U.S. Holds On To Biometrics Database Of 3 Million Iraqis


(Spencer Ackerman)The troops have come home, the flag has been been lowered, and the Iraq War is officially in the past for the U.S. military. But the military is holding on to a major souvenir of the war: a massive database packed with retinal scans, thumb prints and other biometric data identifying millions of Iraqis. It will be a tool for counterterrorism long after the Iraq War becomes a fading memory.

U.S. Central Command, the military command responsible for troops in the Mideast and South Asia, confirms to Danger Room that the biometrics database, compiled by U.S. troops over the course of years, will remain U.S. property. “Centcom has the database,” says the command’s chief spokesman, Army Maj. T.G. Taylor, who says it contains files on three million Iraqis. The U.S.-sponsored Iraqi government, in other words, doesn’t control a host of incredibly specific information on its citizens.

For much of the war, U.S. troops carrying viewfinder-like scanning devices kept digital records of the Iraqis they encountered. Some Iraqis got their unique identifiers recorded because they were suspected insurgents on their way to detention centers. Residents of violent cities like Fallujah would only get to return home from travel if they showed U.S. troops an ID card complete with biometric data. Iraqis underwent iris scans when they wanted to join the police. So did Iraqis who worked on U.S. bases.

It was all part of an effort to answer the war’s most vexing challenge: distinguishing insurgents from Iraqi civilians. And that effort isn’t going away, even after the war technically ended. It’ll be part of U.S. counterterrorism missions for a long time to come.

“Certainly, if someone was in another country or another place and showed up somewhere, we’d compare information to see if it’s someone we had info on,” Taylor explains. For instance, “if they show up in Afghanistan, we collect biometric data [on the individual, maybe] we don’t see them there. But we run it through this database and we see them show up.”

The digital database is the property of Central Command’s intelligence shop in Tampa, Florida. It is conspicuously not in the control of the Iraqi government. Taylor says that the Iraqis might be able to access the database’s contents if they go “through the [U.S.] embassy” in Baghdad.

“Common sense-wise, we still have an interest there in helping our Iraqi partners,” Taylor explains, “and that information might be helpful to them should there be any issues.”

Taylor doesn’t say why the U.S. didn’t hand over its biometrics toy to the Iraqis. But there’s an obvious reason: Iraq’s sectarian divides have not healed. And a database filled with uber-specific information about approximately 10 percent of Iraq’s population could represent a wish list for a death squad, militia or insurgent group — some of which are aligned with Iraqi political parties.

It’s not an idle fear. The day after the U.S. departed, a court beholden to Iraq’s (Shiite) prime minister issued an arrest warrant for the (Sunni) vice president on terrorism charges. “Three of my brothers have been killed because of my participation in building a new Iraq, regardless of all I have done,” the incredulous VP, Tarek al-Hashemi, told Eli Lake of Newsweek. Hashemi, who is Iraq’s highest ranking Sunni, blamed the U.S. for leaving Iraq in Maliki’s hands.

Iraqis aren’t the only ones to wind up in huge U.S. biometrics databases. Afghans, too, have been scanned by the millions. As far back as 2005, detainee biometric data from both Iraqis and Afghans turned up in an obscure Pentagon anti-terrorism database called the Department of Defense DNA Registry. Documents released by WikiLeaks suggest that the U.S. even seeks to collect bio-data on foreign leaders.

Now that Central Command is keeping the Iraqi database, it’s clear that the military isn’t going to get rid of its troves of super-specific data once the wars end. Nor will it trust its nominal local allies to maintain them. (Some in the military have complained to Danger Room in the past that the Iraqi soldiers and cops they train aren’t great at taking eye scans and thumb prints from detainees.) It’s an intelligence tool, Taylor says, not a broad targeting list.

“We have this information, and rather than cull through it all and say ‘bad guy, good guy, bad guy, good guy, it’s better to just keep it, because that would be very time consuming,” Taylor says. “Biometric data was collected on people who worked on the bases. You’re a good guy; you worked here. It’s not like we’re collecting [data] on an enemy.”
Source-http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/iraq-biometrics-database/

IBM Predicts Mind-Reading Machines

(Fox NY) Century-old technology colossus IBM on Monday depicted a near future in which machines read minds and recognize who they are dealing with.
The ” IBM 5 in 5 ” predictions were based on societal trends and research which the New York State-based company expected to begin bearing fruit by the year 2017.
“From Houdini to Skywalker to X-Men, mind reading has merely been wishful thinking for science fiction fans for decades, but their wish may soon come true,” IBM said in its annual assessment of innovations on the horizon.
“IBM scientists are among those researching how to link your brain to your devices, such as a computer or a smartphone,” it continued.
IBM gave the examples of ringing someone up just by thinking it, or willing a cursor to move on a computer screen.
Biological makeup will become the key to personal identity, with retina scans of recognition of faces or voices used to confirm who people are rather than typing in passwords, the company forecast.
“Imagine you will be able to walk up to an ATM machine to securely withdraw money by simply speaking your name or looking into a tiny sensor that can recognize the unique patterns in the retina of your eye,” IBM said.
“Or by doing the same, you can check your account balance on your mobile phone or tablet,” it continued.
Technology will also be able to produce electric power from any types of movement from walking or bicycle riding to water flowing through pipes of homes, IBM predicted.
Mobile phones will narrow the digital divide between “haves and have-nots” by making information easily accessible and junk email will be eliminated by smarter filtering and masterful targeting of ads people like,

Read more: http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/ibm-predicts-mind-reading-machines-20111221-ncx#ixzz1hBo9wBb6

10 Ways The U.S. Gov’t Has Destroyed Its Own Declaration Of Independence

(Activist Post) The irony cannot be escaped that a country that issued a document codifying independence for free citizens, should turn into one that declares outright war on all that signifies independent living and prosperity.

It is not a king this time who is exerting ownership over the land and its people, but it is a similar top-down tyrannical system that employs police state enforcers in much the same manner.

In America, this tyranny has remained largely disguised behind pleasantries and a growing bureaucracy centered around Orwellian safety measures, but those days are over; the king (the tyranny) has returned to make its move from the shadows out into the open square for public view. Its kid gloves have transformed to an iron fist, which always seems to herald the final phase.

The Declaration of Independence has been inverted in 10 key ways:

1. The refusal to assent to law:
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

These are just a couple of excerpts from the beginning of the list of grievances that set the tone for a criticism of rule by federal force, rather than rule by local law. Currently, we have seen an official elimination of the 4th Amendment in Indiana, which is a clear precedent-setting ruling to say that the State now believes that it owns the property and person of its citizens. TSA groping and sexual harassment anywhere it deems fit, public school surveillance, and a plethora of other federal initiatives have created a top-down managed society promoted through federal grants. These agencies such as the TSA actually believe they rule supreme over the states and sovereign citizens. This is perhaps most pronounced in the federal intervention over the legalization of medical marijuana. We now have a textbook tyranny in America, which operates with two separate definitions of legality: impunity for those in control, and an ever-increasing rule book whereby average citizens are likely to be in violation of something at any given time, and are stripped of their right of representative self-governance.

2. Imposition of bureaucratic rule:
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
Regulations and licenses coordinated between private companies and government have been handed down by political and corporate leadership, and have become de facto laws enforced by compromised judges. This has resulted in an almost impossible environment for entrepreneurial success.

Independence has been criminalized, most notably by food safety laws, which have stripped the rights of individual farmers and use of their private land. In fact, there is only one growth industry left: government.

3. Standing armies (military rule):
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
The militarization of local police has been going on since the advent of the War on Drugs. SWAT team raids are now common even on raw milk vendors and natural health practitioners. More than that, Army and Marines have been called to man checkpoints and have been called in for support in any situation deemed an “emergency.” TSA has groped and abused air travelers, and are rolling out to other modes of transportation with their VIPR teams. These actions are anathema to the Constitution of the United States in which the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 expressly prohibits military operations to be conducted on American soil. Naturally, this is why the National Defense Authorization Act has declared America to be a war zone, thus eradicating that illegal activity and allowing for the military to operate independently.

4. Economic warfare:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.

Advertisement
The policies of the American government have fully emboldened every other nation, except our own. The “trade” spoken of in the Declaration of Independence was based on concepts of free market trade, not free or fair trade. As a perfect example, one study by the Congressional Research Service identified 751 different types of barriers to American exports worldwide. Current policies have built-in exploitation and a lowered standard of living that is unrewarding to American innovation and excellence. It is no mystery, then, why the entire world is becoming poorer. Hidden taxes plague independent small businesses and reward only the governments and mega corporations which benefit from specially written tax loopholes and foreign account holdings to help them pay nothing, while enforcers of the IRS have been unleashed in greater numbers against everyday citizens — soon they’ll even do your taxes for you, or enforce compliance through pre-crime measures.

5. Removal of trial by jury:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury
This has been made complete by the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, which contains provisions for American citizens to be detained in America indefinitely without formal charges or jury trial.

6. Permitting citizens to be detained outside America:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences: For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies.
America has indeed enlarged the boundaries of its sovereign law and jurisprudence by declaring the entire world a war zone in which American citizens under suspicion of loosely defined terrorism can be sent to any other country for interrogation, torture, and detention.

7. Fundamentally altering the role of binding laws of government:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
Government encroachment on civil liberties is now pervasive and obvious. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights is effectively dead; our laws are subject to the interpretation of a selected Super Congress, thus eliminating proper representation; and the office of the president has been given dictatorial power. The fundamental structure of government and its laws has been upended. Peaceful protest against such incursions are being violently oppressed, and our right to free speech has come under attack whether in the physical domain, or the virtual domain of the Internet.

8. Internal war on American citizens:
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
It should now be clear just how much the USA PATRIOT ACT, and its even worse brethren such as the National Defense Authorization Act have played in the incremental inversion of the Declaration of Independence. As someone recently lamented, “How can I have a Merry Christmas when my own government can kill me?” The U.S. Government has, and it will. The overseas killing of U.S. citizens by drones is something that is ready to come to American soil. The (il)legal framework is now in place, and the precedent has been set to use drones for domestic law enforcement. Meanwhile, other “free” military hardware is being handed out to local police nationwide to further militarize American neighborhoods. Furthermore, documents like the MIAC report of 2009, as well as many other leaked policy papers, are evidence that the federal government views its own citizens as the greatest threat of all.

9. Use of mercenary armies:
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
The behavior of mercenary groups like Blackwater used overseas, as well as paid security forces to protect large domestic corporations like BP during the Gulf Oil disaster are completing the works of “death, desolation, and tyranny” referenced above. They are held unaccountable for their war crimes and atrocities committed abroad, as well as on American soil, while employing foreigners as well. Additionally, public servants such as the NYPD have become more beholden to large banks that contribute to their retirement funds than they are to the people they swore to protect and serve.

10. Use of false flag terror
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us.
It has been admitted that the Gulf of Tonkin incident, as well as the latest Fast and Furious scandal, were both conducted expressly to bring America to war — whether foreign, or now the domestic War on Drugs. This was done knowingly and premeditatedly to cause increasing strife and economic hardship to American citizens, and to enrich international banks and organizations. This is merely the latest in a long history of American false flag terror that has been used to drum up support for various political and corporate power grabs. This use of criminal acts to spread fear and contrived problems among civilian populations for political power and financial gain is the very definition of terrorism and warfare.

In conclusion, we find it difficult to improve upon, or add anything to the summary of a document created expressly to declare a proper evaluation of the conditions which require immediate action by free people to protect themselves against tyrants.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Source-http://www.activistpost.com/2011/12/10-ways-us-govt-has-destroyed-its-own.html

Iowa Governor: If Ron Paul Wins, Ignore It And Look At Who Finishes Second

(Paul Joseph Watson) From rightly heralding the Iowa primary as a crucial indicator as to who will eventually capture the GOP nomination, the establishment has closed ranks and now decided that a Ron Paul victory doesn’t count and that the focus will be on who finishes second.
A Politico article entitled Ron Paul panic seizes Iowa establishment perfectly illustrates the supreme arrogance of the very political elite Paul is fighting against and goes a step beyond Fox News pundit Chris Wallace’s insistence that the Iowa result “won’t count” if Ron Paul wins.
Despite the fact that two out of the last three winners of the Iowa primary have gone on to successfully capture the Republican nomination, the political class have decided that Ron Paul doesn’t deserve the opportunity to build the same kind of momentum, and that a victory for him in Iowa “would do irreparable harm to the future role of the first-in-the-nation caucuses.”
The hierarchy is so petrified at the possibility of a Ron Paul win that the state’s own Governor, Terry Branstad, has pre-empted the result by urging people to ignore Paul if he secures a first place finish and instead concentrate on who comes second.
“People are going to look at who comes in second and who comes in third,” said Branstad, adding, ““If [Mitt] Romney comes in a strong second, it definitely helps him going into New Hampshire and the other states.”
As we have seen from the Republican race thus far, the identity of the frontrunner has changed several different times. Rick Perry, Herman Cain and now Newt Gingrich all saw their campaigns rise and fall dramatically. Ron Paul is the only candidate to slowly build momentum and not suffer any major setback.
Yes, it’s true that Ron Paul’s national figures are significantly lower than both Gingrich and Romney, but the Texan Congressman would have a very real chance of overturning that deficit if his potential victory in Iowa was treated with a modicum of respect, but the establishment are determined not to let that happen. This is why we are now seeing a deluge of whining “Ron Paul can’t win” articles every day.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The establishment has gone all out to virtually sabotage the credibility of the primary weeks before it even takes place, terrified that a Ron Paul success could upset the apple cart of the two RINO establishment candidates.
In addition, the Politico piece floats the hoax that a Ron Paul win would ensure an Obama re-election, when in reality Ron Paul has the best chance of beating Obama out of all the Republican candidates.
Isn’t it fascinating that the political class doesn’t consider how Newt Gingrich, who is about as conservative as Mao Tse-Tung, would also cause “irreparable harm” to the reputation of the primary if he won? Their concern for the potential harm caused by a Mitt Romneycare victory is also notable by its absence.
Ron Paul has the most conservative voting record since 1937 – so why on earth should a Paul victory cause “irreparable harm” to Iowa?
His success in the state should be celebrated as a sign that the Republican Party is finally starting to return to its constitutional principles.
Source-http://www.infowars.com/iowa-governor-if-ron-paul-wins-ignore-it-and-look-at-who-finishes-second/

No Fear: Memory Adjustment Pills Get Pentagon Push

(Wired) The Pentagon hasn’t come close to solving the PTSD crisis plaguing the current generation of troops. And the top brass looks like it’s ready to try anything — like a major push into a cutting-edge, controversial realm of treatment. One that’d see military personnel popping a pill to wipe away the fear they associate with traumatic memories.

The Pentagon this week announced an $11 million grant doled out to three research institutions, all of them long-time hubs for the military’s ongoing PTSD investigations. Experts at Emory University, the University of Southern California and New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center will study the effectiveness of D-Cycloserine (DCS). DCS is a pharmaceutical thought to help extinguish fearful memories. It’s usually taken right before exposure therapy, a process that involves recalling traumatic experiences in an effort to nullify the menacing associations that accompany them.

“We already know that exposure therapy is an effective [therapy] for PTSD, and we want to figure out how to optimize it,” Dr. Barbara Rothbaum, who will lead the Emory team’s research, told Danger Room. “I really think that this study will move beyond the theoretical. We can rescue people.”

Exposure therapy is thought to work by allowing patients to revisit traumas in safe settings. Every time the mind remembers an event, it “rewrites” that recollection. By helping a patient rewrite traumatic memories to be less frightening, studies suggest that exposure therapy can significantly improve symptoms like nightmares and flashbacks.

Adding DCS seems to hasten that process, targeting the precise brain pathways responsible for regulating fear responses.

Researchers will look at two different kinds of exposure therapy: Virtual reality, where a patient is fully immersed in digital combat scenarios, and prolonged imaginal exposure therapy, which asks them to simply remember and recount fearful memories. A total of 300 patients, all of them veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, will partake. They’ll undergo seven individual weekly sessions of one of the therapies. Before each session, half will receive DCS, and the rest will get a placebo.

Experts have already spent plenty of time figuring out how DCS works. It’s been around since the 1960s, when it was used to treat tuberculosis. Now, however, researchers are more excited about the drug’s potential ability to alleviate symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and, of course, PTSD — without a lifetime of pill-popping.

“Most drugs, you dose every day,” Rothbaum says. “But DCS is only useful during exposure therapy, so you’re taking the drug right before the session. And when your series of sessions end, the medication ends too.”

DCS seems to enhance the brain’s learning process. For PTSD treatment, the drug could, ostensibly, help patients more quickly internalize that, say, driving down a suburban American highway is far different — and less dangerous — than driving on a Baghdad street. The drug also binds to receptors in the amygdala, the region of the brain that governs fear response. So by blocking out fearful reactions while a patient revisits trauma, experts think DCS can, literally, “extinguish” fear right at the source.

Emory researchers have already tried using DCS and virtual reality in humans with PTSD, fear of heights and obsessive compulsive disorder. Since 2006, Rothbaum and a team of experts have been comparing exposure therapy, used along with DCS, Xanax or placebo, in patients. “Results so far are positive,” Rothbaum says, though they haven’t finished analyzing the data.

That said, results from other human studies on DCS aren’t encouraging. Just last year, several disappointing trials using DCS were presented by researchers assembled at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies conference. “The early results are not as positive as we [had] hoped,” noted Dr. Charles Marmar, head of the psychiatry department at NYU, of his team’s study that combined DCS with cognitive behavioral therapy.

But even a glimmer of hope seems to be enough for the Pentagon. So far, what they’ve tried to treat PTSD — which afflicts at least 250,000 of this generation’s soldiers — isn’t working. Conventional approaches, like antidepressants and behavioral therapy, have been a massive failure. So it makes sense that military officials are increasingly open to out-there ideas: They’re already funding research into yoga and acupuncture, neck injections and “digital dream” computer programs — although promising approaches taking advantage of “illicit” substances, like marijuana and ecstasy, have thus far been nixed.

Of course, this latest study will be bigger and more thorough than its failed predecessors. It also builds on years of animal research suggesting that DCS has potential. And there’s no doubt the project is calling on some of the Pentagon’s top civilian scientists. Dr. Rothbaum has been evaluating PTSD treatments, including preliminary studies on DCS, for decades. And Dr. Albert “Skip” Rizzo, from the University of Southern California, pioneered the use of virtual reality therapy to mitigate PTSD symptoms.

Not to mention that this research team will also be conducting genetic tests on every patient. In particular, they’ll be looking at a gene dubbed “BDNF.” Experts already know that a variant of the BDNF gene can make fear extinction tougher. By comparing patient results to genes, Rothbaum says they hope to “figure out what’s the best treatment approach, and whether DCS can really rescue those patients, where maybe therapy alone can’t.”

Of course, the idea of using drugs to tweak memories isn’t without controversy: An online debate flared last year among two camps of neurologists and neuroethicists, arguing over whether the existence of such drugs would “alter something that makes us all human,” or open a Pandora’s Box of illicit use “by people doing things they’d like to forget themselves, or that they would like others to forget.”

Then again, those debates hinge on DCS, or some other memory extinguisher, actually working. DCS’s efficacy is far from proven. And earlier research efforts that tested supposed “fear-extinguishing” drugs, most notably a series of much-touted, Pentagon-funded studies on Propanolol at Harvard, have all been disappointments.
Source-http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/fear-erasing-drugs/

Gingrich Collapses In Iowa As Ron Paul Surges To The Front

(Atlantic Wire) A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows that Ron Paul has taken the lead in the Iowa caucus race, while Newt Gingrich’s support is fading fast. A different Gallup poll shows Gringrich still holding the lead, but slipping, while The New York Times has Paul in the lead as well.

Gingrich has seen his numbers in the PPP poll drop from 27 percent to 14 percent in just three weeks, while his favorability rating is now split at 46 percent for to 47 percent against, the worst of any candidate not named Jon Huntsman. That’s quite a fall for someone who looked to be running away with the state and taking charge on the national level.

Mitt Romney has also seen his numbers tick up slightly (to 20%), putting him just behind Paul (23%) for second place. The poll measured voters who are planning to vote in the Republican caucus.

Perhaps the most telling secondary question was, “Do you think Newt Gingrich has strong principles?” Only 36 percent say that he does, but for Paul that number was 73 percent.

The bad news for Paul, however, is that when asked for their second choice for President, only 9% said they would vote for him after their preferred candidate. That means if supporters of any of the second-tier candidates sense defeat and decided to abandon their choice at the last minute, those votes are more likely to go to Romney. Even if Romney doesn’t win, the stronger than expected showing could be the snowball that starts a primary avalanche for him.

One other tidbit from the PPP poll, the first question about Barack Obama asked if the respondents think he was born in the United States. Fifty-two percent either said he was not or they’re not sure.
Source-http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/12/gingrich-collapses-iowa-ron-paul-surges-front/46360/

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il Dead

(AP) Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s mercurial and enigmatic longtime leader, has died of heart failure. He was 69.

In a “special broadcast” Monday from the North Korean capital, state media said Kim died of a heart ailment on a train due to a “great mental and physical strain” on Dec. 17 during a “high intensity field inspection.” It said an autopsy was done on Dec. 18 and “fully confirmed” the diagnosis.

Kim is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008, but he had appeared relatively vigorous in photos and video from recent trips to China and Russia and in numerous trips around the country carefully documented by state media. The communist country’s “Dear Leader” – reputed to have had a taste for cigars, cognac and gourmet cuisine – was believed to have had diabetes and heart disease.

“It is the biggest loss for the party … and it is our people and nation’s biggest sadness,” an anchorwoman clad in black Korean traditional dress said in a voice choked with tears. She said the nation must “change our sadness to strength and overcome our difficulties.”

South Korean media, including Yonhap news agency, said South Korea put its military on “high alert” and President Lee Myung-bak convened a national security council meeting after the news of Kim’s death. Officials couldn’t immediately confirm the reports.

The news came as North Korea prepared for a hereditary succession. Kim Jong Il inherited power after his father, revered North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, died in 1994.

In September 2010, Kim Jong Il unveiled his third son, the twenty-something Kim Jong Un, as his successor, putting him in high-ranking posts.

Traffic in the North Korean capital was moving as usual Monday, but people in the streets were in tears as they learned the news of Kim’s death. A foreigner contacted at Pyongyang’s Koryo Hotel said hotel staff were in tears.

Asian stock markets moved lower amid the news, which raises the possibility of increased instability on the divided Korean peninsula.

South Korea’s Kospi index was down 3.9 percent at 1,767.89 and Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8 percent to 8,331.00. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 2 percent to 17,929.66 and the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 2 percent to 2,178.75.
Source-http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_KOREA_KIM_JONG_IL?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-12-18-22-08-46

Video-The Real Newt Gingrich

(LNN) John F. McManus anaylzes the voting record and actions of former Congressman Newt Gingrich, revealing that Gingrich is not the conservative he portrays himself to be. This is a must see video that touches on Newt’s career and Larry Mcdonald. If you don’t know who Mr. McDonald is please vies his skewed Wikipedia page to get a taste.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_McDonald

Corporate Sponsored Internet Bill Will Turn YOU Into A Criminal

(Wired) The House Judiciary Committee debated the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act for hours Thursday — and despite protracted criticism of the bill from the nation’s leading internet engineers and companies, lawmakers repeatedly rejected attempts to water-down the bill.

About five hours into the 11-hour hearing, the committee voted 22-12 to reject an amendment that would do away with the bill’s most controversial provision that lets the Attorney General order changes to core internet infrastructure in order to stop copyright infringement.

Despite that vote, members on both sides of the political aisle also expressed reservations that the internet-blacklisting legislation was moving too fast.

“I would just ask: Why is there this rush?” Rep. Dan Lungren (R-California) said. He mentioned there were exigent circumstances when lawmakers approved the Patriot Act weeks after 9/11, but none existed here. “For the life of me, I can’t understand it.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California) had similar thoughts, and added that the measure went too far. “We never tried to filter the telephone networks to block illegal content on the telephone network, yet that is precisely what this legislation would do relative to the internet.”

The legislation’s most vocal backers are the recording and movie studios, who say online piracy is killing their business. The measure’s detractors are civil liberties groups and internet architects who say the bill amounts to censorship and a fundamental alteration of the internet itself.

At the outset Thursday, lawmakers demanded that the entire 70-plus-page bill be read into the record. It took a House clerk an hour to read Rep. Lamar Smith’s SOPA bill, which is an amended version of legislation he introduced last month.

“While the internet should be free, it should not be lawless,” Smith, the committee’s chairman from Texas, said.

The measure effectively grants private companies the ability to de-fund websites they allege to be trafficking in unauthorized copyright and trademark goods. The latest version requires a judge’s signature to order ad networks and banks to stop doing business with a site “dedicated” to infringing activities.

What’s more, SOPA originally required ISPs to alter records in the net’s system for looking up website names, known as DNS, so that users couldn’t navigate to the site. Under Smith’s amendment, ISPs would not be required to introduce false information into DNS at the urging of the Justice Department, but they would be mandated to employ some method to prevent American citizens from visiting infringing sites. ISPs, could, for instance, adopt tactics used by the Great Chinese Firewall to sniff for traffic going to a blacklisted site and simply block it.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) urged panelists to remove the DNS and firewall aspects of the bill.

Rep. Mel Watt (D-North Carolina) said he was not a technological “nerd,” but said he did not “believe” security experts who said that the internet would become less secure unless Issa’s amendment was adopted. “I’m not a person to argue about the technology of this,” Watt said before he voted against the amendment. Issa’s amendment failed 22-12.

Stewart Baker, the former policy director of the Department of Homeland Security, said in a paper that he believed SOPA was dangerous, as do some of the internet’s founders.

“The US government has regularly claimed that it supports a free and open internet, both domestically and abroad. We cannot have a free and open Internet unless its naming and routing systems sit above the political concerns and objectives of any one government or industry,” wrote 83 prominent internet engineers, including Vint Cert, John Gilmore and L. Jean Camp.

At last month’s hearing on the bill and on Thursday’s, not one technical expert was called to testify. Many lawmakers urged Smith to continue the hearing to enable the committee to hold another hearing with technical experts. Smith declined.

No vote was taken on whether to send the measure to the House floor as lawmakers debated for nearly 12 hours a host of amendments. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) proposed a measure that the pornography industry would not enjoy the Justice Department protections of the measure. He said the Justice Department “should protect pornographers last.” That amendment failed, with nine members favoring and 18 against.

Chairman Smith recessed action about 9:30 p.m. EST, saying the hearing would resume at 10 a.m. EST time Friday.

“It’s going to be a long day tomorrow,” he said.

Earlier in the day, lawmakers also defeated an amendment that would have excluded universities and research institutions from having to blacklist sites. So that means those institutions would be included in Justice Department orders demanding Internet Service Providers like AT&T and Comcast to block their customers from visiting infringing sites.

The legislation also gives legal immunity to financial institutions and ad networks that choose to boycott “rogue” sites even without having been ordered to do so.

Smith’s measure, as amended, also clarifies that sites ending in .com, .org and .net are not covered by the bill. Only foreign sites fall under the revised SOPA’s wrath.
Source-http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/12/sopa-stalls/

MF Global Black Box: A Minute By Minute Breakdown Of The Doomed Broker’s Last Week On Earth

(Zero Hedge) In order to get to the bottom of every collapse (or death), a forensic analysis of the last minutes of any transition from life to death has to be perormed. So far, we have only had broad strokes of the key events in the last days of MF Global as obviously many of them will implicate the management team in gross criminal behavior. Until now, when courtesy of the CME we have received a full breakdown of every key events in the chronology of MF Global’s last days on earth, starting with October 24, and the rating agency downgrade of the futures broker (the same catalyst incidentally that started the AIG death spiral waterfall… and yet clueless pundits will tell you the ratings are totally irrelevant), and ending with the firm’s filing for bankruptcy protection. Anyone who has any interest in the MF Global collapse, which incidentally should be anyone who has capital in third party possession and thus has counterparty risk, should read this narrative from first to last bullet.

October 24, 2011

Mike Procajlo (“Procajlo”) speaks with Mike Bolan (“Bolan”), MF Global, Inc.’s (“MFGI”) Assistant Controller. Bolan gives Procajlo a heads-up that a downgrade is forthcoming and that the earnings call for MF Global Holdings, Ltd. (“MFGH”), scheduled for Thursday, which is expected to report losses, is being moved up to Tuesday.
Moody’s downgrades MFGH and MFGI.
October 25, 2011

Procajlo speaks with Bolan via phone; Bolan confirms there has not been a customer run on the bank since the downgrade news.
CME senior management, including Kim Taylor (“Taylor”), Terry Duffy (“Duffy”), and Craig Donohue (“Donohue”) are in Florida at the Global Financial Leadership Conference.
Taylor is advised by an MFGI customer of rumors circulating about problems at MF Global (“MFG” with respect to information not given as specific to a particular entity) stemming from OTC activity.
11 a.m.: Taylor speaks with Laurie Ferber (“Ferber”), the General Counsel of MFGH, and Steve Monieson, another MFG employee, who tell Taylor that the rumor about problems at MFG stemming from OTC activity is not accurate. Procajlo speaks with Bolan about OTC questions.
11 a.m.: Taylor, Donohue, and Duffy seek and obtain Jon Corzine’s phone number. They do not recall speaking with Corzine.
11:54 a.m.: Procajlo emails Grace Vogel at FINRA to see if FINRA has any additional concerns or is imposing any additional requirements in light of the downgrade news.
1:30 p.m.: Taylor speaks with Ferber again, who informs Taylor that MFG does not have any large losses attributable to OTC activity.
2 p.m.: CME Audit Department members, including Procajlo and Anne Bagan (“Bagan”), as well as CME Risk Department members, including Dale Michaels (“Michaels”), Amy McCormick (“McCormick”) and Bryan McBlaine (“McBlaine”), speak with Bolan about MFGH’s earnings release and Moody’s downgrade. MFGH’s net losses reported were $192M. The CME employees ask about MFGH’s liquidity resources. Bolan confirms that any further downgrades will only trigger covenants related to interest rates. Bolan also confirms the firm is well-capitalized and states that MFGI has not seen customers looking to transfer.
7 p.m.: At this point, CME is taking the following steps to monitor the situation:
(1) keeping MFGI on daily financial reporting;
(2) monitoring MFGI’s positions, exposure, and customer transfer/segregated funds balance changes for signs of a significant loss of customer confidence;
(3) drafting a “good standing” press release to have ready if necessary;
(4) establishing a process to ensure customers looking for information get answers to their questions;
(5) establishing an industry call process to ensure information flows to other affected clearing houses and regulators; and
(6) considering whether other financial measures are in order, in coordination with other regulatory bodies.
October 26, 2011

4 p.m.: CME arranges an industry call regarding the MFG situation.
6 p.m.: Taylor, Bagan, Tim Doar (“Doar”) and possibly other CME personnel participate in a conference call with Ferber and Henri Steenkamp (“Steenkamp”), the CFO of MFGH. Ferber and Steenkamp give Taylor and Doar the sense that MFGI is actively engaged in conversations with their customers in an attempt to preserve the business.
7:45 p.m.: Taylor emails Ferber regarding CME helping “to ensure a good outcome for MF and your customers. You and your clients are important to us, and the clients’ continued protection is paramount.”
October 27, 2011

MFGI and MFGH are downgraded to junk this day.
Members of CME’s Risk Department — Michaels and Suzanne Sprague (“Sprague”) — as well as Scott Malcolm (“Malcolm”) from CME’s Audit Department — meet with MFGI in New York (planned earlier in the week) to do a risk review, the purpose of which is to talk with the firm about their liquidity and assess the situation. At the time, CME is starting to have concerns that MFGI’s liquidity is drying up.
Michaels, Sprague, and Malcolm meet with a number of individuals from MFGI, including Stephen Hood (“Hood”), MFGI’s Market Risk Manager, Dennis Klejna, MFGI’s Compliance Officer, the CRO Michael Stockman, and the CFO (Steenkamp). Edith O’Brien (“O’Brien”), MFGI’s treasurer, may have been on the phone.
At the conclusion of the meeting, CME- continued to have concerns regarding MFGI’s liquidity and the ability of the company to continue normal operations without a sale of all or part of the business, notwithstanding MFGI’s assurances.
10 a.m.: Procajlo emails Bolan, who is at MFGI in New York, for a copy of the liquidity analysis being prepared by MFGI’s broker-dealer side. Bolan responds saying the analysis will be ready later that day. Procajlo never receives the analysis.
1 p.m.: CME decides to send members of the Audit Department out to MFGI in Chicago. Silmar Ramirez (“Ramirez”) and Jason Guch (“Guch”) arrive at MFGI and request documents to tie out the Daily Statement of Segregation Requirement and Funds in Segregation for Customers Trading on U.S. Commodity Exchanges (“seg. statement”) for the close of business as of 10/26. They start working on tying out the 10/26 seg. statement, which shows excess segregated funds of $116,164,132.
In addition to tying out the 10/26 seg. statement, another purpose of their presence is to have CME people at MFGI to assist in obtaining information quickly if necessary.

The CFTC — Melissa Hendrickson (“Hendrickson”), Lisa Marlow (“Marlow”), and Tamara Durvin (phonetic) (“Durvin”) — is already present on site at MFGI when CME arrives.

CME begins making contingency plans for transferring MFG customer accounts to other FCMs.

2 p.m.: Individuals from MFGH and CME communicate via email to set up a conference call to discuss a number of items including: (1) MFGI’s liquidity; (2) repo counterparties update; (3) any issues with transfers of customers to other FCMs; (4) margin calls resulting from downgrades; (5) amount of segregated assets not currently pledged to a DCO; (6) contingency plans.
2:50 pm: Taylor communicates with Ananda Radhalcrishnan (“Radhakrishnan”), Director, Division of Clearing and Risk, at the CFTC regarding an FCM that has the capacity to take on some portion of MF Global’s business. CME President Phupinder Gill (“Gill”) also communicates with Radhakrishnan via email throughout the day.
3:53 pm: Procaljo emails a letter to Christine Serwinski (“Serwinski”), the CFO of MFGI, Ferber and Bolan stating “Effective immediately, any equity withdrawals from MF Global Inc. must be approved in writing by CME Group’s Audit Department.”
4 p.m.: CME arranges an industry call regarding the MF Global situation.
5:30 p.m.: Ramirez and Guch leave MFGI for the night, having completed work on documents and information supplied by MFGI as of that time.
Evening: Procajlo, Taylor, Doar, Gill and others participate in a call with Ferber and Steenkamp, who are in New York. Ferber and Steenkamp provide assurances that MFGI has appropriate liquidity and also that MFGI is taking steps to reduce its securities inventory (not on the FCM side).

Additionally, CME encourages MFG to pursue a strategic solution for the company. Ferber provides comfort that MFG is aggressively pursuing a transaction.

October 28, 2011

7:30 a.m.: Ramirez and Guch arrive at MFGI and continue trying to tie out the 10/26 seg. statement. They still have not received all of the documents they requested from MFGI and that they need to complete their tie out. They are also working on tying out the Daily Statement of Secured Amounts and Funds Held in Separate Accounts for Foreign Futures and Foreign Options Customers Pursuant to Commission Regulation 30.7 (“secured statement”). CME and CFTC are in communication throughout the day about MFGI’s 30.7 secured computations and MFGI topping up the 30.7 secured assets.
The CFTC — Hendrickson, Marlow, and Durvin — is again present on site at MFGI in Chicago and appears to also be working on tying out MFGI’s seg. statement.

Morning: Duffy receives a call from Radhakrishnan and Gensler. Radhalcrishnan and Gensler tell Duffy that the CFTC has concerns about MFG and ask him about CME’s thoughts with respect to MFG. Duffy tells them that he does not have the information they seek, and suggests they speak with CME Clearing House personnel. Radhakrishnan speaks with Gill later that day.

Procajlo and senior management at CME have another call with MFGH, including Steenkamp and Ferber, who assure CME that they have drawn down all or substantially all of their line of credit — which has a limit of approximately $1.2 billion — but are not yet using the money.

They confirm that MFGH believes finding a buyer is the best option at this point.

3:54 p.m.: MFGI submits its 10/27 seg. statement showing excess segregated funds of $200,178,912.
4 p.m.: CME arranges an industry call regarding the MF Global situation.
6 p.m.: Ramirez and Guch leave MFGI, expecting to come back Monday and finish tying out the 10/26 seg. statement. At this time, Ramirez and Guch do not yet have all of the documents necessary to tie out the 10/26 seg. statement. Based on their review of the documents they have received, they have no reason to believe that the segregated account is out of compliance as of 10/26 close of business.
8:25 p.m.: Taylor emails Radhakrishnan at the CFTC to relay information she received from Ferber. MFGI has a “very motivated buyer” and needs to obtain approvals from the SEC, F1NRA, and CFTC.
October 29, 2011

Procajlo is in communication with Hendrickson of the CFTC via phone about a potential sale of MFGI’s FCM business.
2:30 p.m.: Taylor speaks with Radhakrishnan regarding a potential asset sale of MFGI’s assets. The CFTC is concerned with a transfer because of the CFTC’s rules on bulk transfers, though note that they will waive the rule if an asset sale works out.
3:40 p.m.: Taylor forwards to Radhalcrishnan a Bloomberg News report stating that MFGH’s Board of Directors will be meeting later that day regarding options to sell the company.
4:30 p.m.: Taylor speaks with Radhakrishnan, who states that the SEC told him the FSA in the UK may be starting to panic. Radhakrishnan says he is going to call the FSA to share insights into his thinking and learn FSA’s thinking. Taylor and Radhakrishnan also discuss additional details regarding a potential sale.
7:50 p.m.: Radhakrishnan forwards to Taylor an email chain between Ferber and Radhakrishnan regarding a meeting of MFGH’s Board.
11 p.m.: Interactive Brokers (“IB”) is the leading candidate, looking to buy either the entire business, or possibly just the FCM.
October 30, 2011

8:30 a.m.: Taylor speaks with Paul Brody (“Brody”) at IB regarding details of the potential transaction.
8:45 a.m.: CME is making contingency plans in case the proposed sale falls through.
12:30 p.m.: Taylor receives email correspondence from Radhakrishnan indicating that the CFTC is concerned about having a contingency plan for MFGI if the IB deal falls though.
1 p.m.: Conference call between CME and IB regarding operations issues in the event the sale is completed.
Approx. 1 p.m. – 2 p.m..: Taylor participates in a conference call with the CFTC, SEC, and MF Global.
Approx. 2 p.m.: Taylor, Procajlo and others arrive at CME offices to work on matters that need to be addressed to facilitate the MFGI transaction.
Approx. 2 p.m.: Hendrickson, who is present at MFGI in Chicago, calls Procajlo and tells him that she has seen a draft of the 10/28 seg. statement and it shows a deficiency in the segregated funds.
After 2 p.m.: Ramirez and Guch are sent to MFGI’s Chicago office. Malcolm is sent to MFGrs New York office.
4 p.m.: CME arranges an industry call regarding the MFG situation.
4:18 p.m.: Bolan responds to an email from Procajlo, in which Procajlo had indicated that Malcolm is on his way to MFGI’s office in New York, by stating that MFGI has been working with Hendrickson at the CFTC and that he will update Procajlo later.
Late afternoon or evening: Taylor briefs the CME Emergency Financial Committee concerning MFGI’s status. The CME Emergency Financial Committee is composed of Donohue, Duffy, Taylor, Gill, and CME Clearing House Risk Committee Co-Chairs James Oliff and Howard Siegel.

6 p.m.: MFGI forwards to CME a draft press release announcing deal with IB.

Approx. 6 p.m. and into the evening: Procajlo and Taylor engage in a series of phone calls with Ferber, Bolan and/or O’Brien. Initially, Ferber and Bolan explain that there is an apparent deficiency, which they believe is an accounting error. At some point, MFG representatives state that they believe they found the error and it is on the liability side.
Procajlo calls Ramirez and Ouch, who are at MFGI’s offices in Chicago, to confirm that the accounting error has been identified. Ramirez and Ouch inform Procajlo that MFGI has not found the error.

Procajlo asks Bolan to explain what the error is in an in-person meeting with Malcolm (CME) and Jerry Nudge (CFTC), who are in MFGI’s New York office.

30 minutes or so later, Malcolm calls Procajlo and tells him that Bolan says the accounting error is based on a $450M mis-posting. The error Bolan described to Malcolm is not on the liability side.
Procajlo again calls Ramirez and Guch to confirm that the accounting error has been identified. Ramirez and Guch again inform Procajlo that they are with MFGI individuals working on the reconciliation, and they are not aware of anyone having found the error.

Taylor and others at CME have calls with O’Brien regarding the potential error.

Approx. 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.: O’Brien, MFGI’s treasurer, calls a meeting with the CFTC, CME, and MFGI employees present at MFGI’s Chicago office and confirms that MFGI has a potentially huge deficiency in the segregated account due to what MFGI states is an unidentified accounting mistake, such as a mis-booking.
Later that evening, while at MFGI, CFTC’s Marlow gives Guch and Ramirez a disc containing documents the CFTC received from MFGI supporting the 10/26 seg. statement. At this time, however, Ramirez and Guch are assisting with trying to locate the accounting error and therefore do not look at the documents to tie out the rest of the 10/26 seg. statement at this time.

8:30 p.m.: Radhakrishnan talks to Gill.
8:40 p.m.: Procajlo sends an email to Bagan and Debbie Kokal (“Kokal”) stating that MFGI’s “explanation of the $900 million shortfall proved to be unsubstantiated.”
8 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Procajlo arrives at MFGI. He speaks to CFTC’s Hendrickson and gets a status update.
Christine Serwinski arrives at MFGI.
9 p.m. – 10 p.m.: Procajlo speaks with Serwinski and O’Brien, who repeat the explanation that the deficiency must be an accounting error and make statements to the effect that it is too big to be anything else.
10 p.m.: Procajlo meets with Serwinski and O’Brien again and asks if MFGI has tried to locate funds MFGI can transfer into segregation first thing in the morning as a contingency in the event that they cannot locate the accounting error.
10:50 p.m.: CME requests via email that “MF not add any further exposure to your house account.” CME does not request MFGI to “liquidate the positions that you have in place, but that you not add to them at this point.”
11:30 p.m.: The CFTC leaves MFGI’s Chicago offices.
11:40 p.m.: Procajlo emails Bagan and Kokal, stating that he is now at MFGI’s offices and the shortfall, of approximately $950 million in segregation, is still a “huge issue.” No one has found the error, but the belief is still that there is an error. Serwinski is looking into coming up with additional funds to transfer into segregation as a contingency in the event that they cannot locate the accounting error.
Procajlo also states that he understands IB is now aware of the potential shortfall.
October 31, 2011

12 a.m.: Ferber emails Taylor, stating only: “we may have it.”
Approx. 12:30 a.m.: At this time: (1) The IB deal is ready to go — apparently including regulatory signoffs; (2) there is still a $900M apparent segregation shortfall and MFGI says it is an accounting error; (3) the transfer cannot happen until it is clear there is no segregation shortfall; (4) MFGI is starting to identify sources of funds available to top up segregation — and the latest report from MFGI is that they may have sufficient funds; (5) IB and MFGI have spoken to CME and both seem aligned on the importance of the transfer occurring promptly, and state they are open to the suggestion of having MFGI top up segregation and TB making corresponding adjustments to the deal economics.
Approx. 1 a.m. —2 a.m.: CME learns the deficiency is real: Serwinski and O’Brien call Procajlo into Serwinski’s office and tell him there is an actual shortfall; about $700M was moved to the broker-dealer side of the business to meet liquidity issues in a series of transactions on Thursday, Friday, and possibly Wednesday. Additionally, Procajlo is told there was a loan of $175M of segregated funds to MF UK.
CME stops its efforts to look for the accounting error. CME understands that MFGI is attempting to find available funds and get Fedwire to open early so they can start transferring money into the segregated account.
2 a.m.: Taylor emails the FSA and CFTC to let them know that IB has gone home to get some sleep, but may still be interested in the transaction.
2 a.m.: Procajlo communicates via email with Thelma Diaz from the CFTC Washington D.C. office, who is on a regulatory call at the time, and discusses whether Fedwire can open early so MFGI can start transferring funds into segregation.
3 a.m.: Ramirez and Guch leave MFGI for the night. Procajlo stays until 8 p.m. the following day.
During the night, Procaljo also participated in a phone call with senior MFG employees wherein one employee indicated that Corzine knew about loans that had been made from the customer segregated accounts. CME Group has provided information about this call and related conversations, and the names of the individuals who participated, to the Department of Justice and the CFTC who are investigating these matters.

4 a.m.: Taylor and Gill participate in a call with MF Global and the regulators.
4:37 a.m.: Procajlo emails others at CME with a list of potential assets MFGI has identified that it could move into segregation.
The deal with IB to buy MFGI collapses.
6:45 a.m.: Taylor emails CME senior management to inform them that the deal has collapsed, the shortfall is real, and there will likely be a bankruptcy.
7:30 a.m.: Procajlo, Ramirez and Guch are on site at MFGI while MFGI attempts to make transfers of funds back into segregation. The CFTC is also present.
8:30 a.m.: Taylor and Radhalcrishnan communicate via email regarding MFGI bulk transfers.
9 a.m.: MFGH files for bankruptcy.
10 a.m.: Taylor and Radhakrishnan communicate via email regarding the amount of shortfall.
10:30 a.m.: CME’s Emergency Financial Committee orders that all trading of MFGI and its customers be for liquidation only. Taylor’s assistant emails a letter from Taylor to Dennis Klejna (“Klejna”), Assistant General Counsel of MFGI, stating the Committee’s order. The letter further states that CME will no longer permit floor trading to be guaranteed by MF Global, and that CME will process account transfers at the Friday settlement price but that customers will need to re-margin transferred positions.
Moody’s further downgrades MFGI.

S&P and Fitch downgrade MFGH to default following MFGH’s filing for bankruptcy protection.

11 a.m.: A SEPA proceeding is filed for the liquidation of MFGI and a SIPC Trustee is appointed.
12:15 p.m.: CME’s Emergency Financial Committee orders that MFGI liquidate its house proprietary positions. Taylor’s assistant subsequently emails a letter to this effect to Klejna and Serwinski. The Committee also authorizes CME to liquidate securities held as house and customer collateral under the control of the Clearing House to cash.
Throughout the day, Ramirez and CME staff— Guch, Jared Jarvis (“Jarvis”), Procajlo, and Mudassir Arby (“Arby”) — attempt to tie out the 10/28 seg. statement.

7 p.m.: CME’s Emergency Financial Committee approves a rule change releasing members qualified by MFGI, such that those members could become qualified and guaranteed by another clearing member in order to resume trading.
7:46 p.m.: CME receives the amended MFGI seg. statement for 10/27 showing a segregation deficiency of $213,062,967.
7:55 p.m.: CME’s Emergency Financial Committee (i) authorizes the Clearing House to conduct an auction of MFGI’s house positions in order to transfer the positions to another clearing member, and (ii) authorizes the Clearing House to accept certain deliveries from MFGI customers through Friday November 4 in order to minimize disruption to the markets.
8 p.m.: CME notifies MFGI that it is suspended as a clearing member on all CME Group exchanges. Taylor’s assistant subsequently emails a letter from Taylor to Klejna and Serwinski confirming the suspension.
8:06 p.m.: CME receives MFGI’s seg. statement for 10/28 showing a segregation deficiency of $891,465,650.
Source-http://www.zerohedge.com/news/must-read-presenting-mf-global-black-box-minute-minute-breakdown-doomed-brokers-last-week-alive

Anonymous Attacking Creators Of Indefinite Detention Bill

(Russia Today) With President Obama read to sign away the freedoms of Americans by inking his name to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, opponents are already going after the lawmakers that made the legislation possible.
The act, abbreviated as NDAA FY2012, managed to make its way through Congress with overwhelming support in recent days, despite legislation that allows for Americans to be detained indefinitely and tortured by authorities for the mere suspicion of committing “a belligerent act.” The Obama administration originally decreed that they would veto the bill, only for the White House to announce a change of heart on Wednesday this week.
With the passing of the act almost certain at this point, hackers aligned to the massive collective Anonymous are taking a stab at staking out the politicians that helped put the bill in the president’s hands.
On Wednesday, Internet hacktivists gathered on the Web to find a way to take on the lawmakers, who have allowed for this detrimental legislation to make it all the way to the Oval Office desk. Upon discussion of routes to take to show their opposition to the overwhelming number of politicians who voted in favor of NDAA, Anonymous members agreed to begin with Senator Robert J Portman, a Republican lawmaker from the state of Ohio.
By Thursday morning, an Anonymous operative released personal information pertaining to the lawmaker, and revealed that not only was Sen. Portman among the politicians to vote “aye” on the legislation, but it has also been revealed that the senator had good reason to do so.
According to a OpenCongress.org, Sen. Portman received $272,853 from special interest groups that have shown support for NDAA.
“Robert J. Portman, we plan to make an example of you,” writes an Anonymous operative. The hacktivist has also released personal data including the senator’s home address, phone number and social networking accounts in an attempt to further an infiltration from the Internet to show the opposition to the bill that colossally impacts the constitutional rights of Americans.
According to the information posted by the operative, the nearly $300,000 in special interest monies lobbied at Portman could have helped him purchase around $1.7 million in real estate in Ohio.
The next lawmaker to receive anywhere near as much as Sen. Portman is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada and third-ranked official in Congress, who pulled in more than $100,000 less than his Ohio counterpart with $172,635.
Among the supporters of NDAA are California-based manufacturer Surefire, L.L.C., who won a $23 million contract from the Department of Defense three months ago. Also contributing to the cause (and the lawmakers who voted ‘yes’) are Honeywell (who secured a $93 million deal with the Pentagon last May and a $24 million contract this year) and Bluewater Defense, a longtime DoD-ally that produces, among other garments, fire resistant combat uniforms.
When the military storms down your door for suspicion of “belligerent” acts, you can thank Bluewater and Senator Portman for the lovely flame-proof attire the soldiers will be donned in as they haul you off to Gitmo.

Source-http://rt.com/usa/news/anonymous-ndaa-portman-torture-913/

Obama To Fill Gitmo With Americans As NDAA Law Passes

(NaturalNews) The right to due process in America is coming to a sudden end as traitorous members of Congress have now passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which gives the U.S. military the power to arrest, detain, interrogate, torture and murder U.S. citizens inside the United States, with no due process.

President Obama, who had previously said he would oppose the bill (because he claimed he already had the power to kill Americans outside the law), now says he will support it and presumably sign it. The White House even issued a statement, which is one of the most astonishing and Big Brother-ish examples of doublespeak yet observed coming out of the Obama administration:

“We have concluded that the language does not challenge or constrain the President’s ability to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists, and protect the American people, and the President’s senior advisors will not recommend a veto…”

Of course, by “protect the American people” what they really mean is that they will shred the Peoples’ protections under the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

“It’s something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration,” said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch. “It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries not to adopt. At a time when the United States is urging Egypt, for example, to scrap its emergency law and military courts, this is not consistent.” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/201…)

Obama’s Christmas gift to Americans: Complete nullification of the Bill of Rights

Under the NDAA:

• You may be arrested and indefinitely detained merely for being “suspected” of any involvement whatsoever with “terrorism” — a term that can be twisted to mean almost anything, including protesting against animal testing laboratories or chaining yourself to a tree as an environmental protester.

• You no longer have a right to legal representation.

• You can be held for life without ever being charged for any crime.

• You no longer have a right to a trial by a jury of your peers.

• You can be murdered by the government — legally! — without ever being charged with a crime.

• The government does not have to present ANY evidence against you to take all these actions. The government merely has to assert that you are “suspected” of being involved in “terrorism.” Such suspicion, of course, could be dreamed up against anyone! Political opponents, Free Speech proponents, protesters, dissenters… anyone at all.

283 traitorous, criminal members of the House voted YES

The complete list of the traitorous, criminal members of the House who voted YES on this bill — all of which must now be arrested and prosecuted under the laws of the U.S. Constitution — is available here:

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/rol…

Read these names well, because they will go down in history as the seditious elitists who betrayed the American people in their most desperate hour, unleashing total police state tyranny against the innocent.

That these people in Congress somehow think they have the right to strip away the very freedoms GUARNTEED the American people under the U.S. Constitution is an outright violation of their own sworn oaths to protect that Constitution. It is also a deeply spiritual violation of natural law and a fundamental betrayal of the very principles upon which this country is founded.

We warned ya, and you didn’t listen

Here at NaturalNews — and even more so at places like InfoWars.com — we warned you about this very thing, sometimes screaming at the top of our lungs that if we didn’t reverse the Patriot Act and stop the irrational and unrelenting “war on terror,” we would all end up slaves under a system of total government tyranny.

The public laughed and mocked us. “That will never happen in America. We’re a free country,” they insisted. The trolls accused us of fear mongering. The mainstream media said we were crazy.

And now, here we are, with the indefinite military detention bill passed by both houses, and the White House saying it will sign it, granting the military the “administrative right” to kidnap you in the middle of the night, steal you away from your family, throw you in a secret military prison and hold you there for the rest of your life without ever being charged with a crime or given legal representation of any kind.

The time for denial is over, friends. We warned ya! Over and over again, screaming for anyone intelligent enough who might listen, we warned about the Patriot Act, the Bush-era “war on terror,” the government’s false flag 9/11 attack, the secret military prisons, and the criminality of key people within the Obama administration such as Eric Holder who ran Operation Fast & Furious.

We warned you, and you didn’t listen. So now here we are on the verge of the Bill of Rights being nullified by Congress and President Obama, and most of America remains hopelessly asleep at the wheel, having no idea what they have allowed to unfold right in front of them. Tyranny is like a serpent that slithers into your tent, silently and maliciously, coiling around your torso and neck while you sleep. By the time you notice what’s happen and try to scream, it’s already too late.

People will start to “disappear” across America

So now, thanks to the NDAA and the Obama administration — which has proven to be a far greater threat to our liberties than even the Bush administration was — people in America will simply “disappear” in the middle of the night, as covert military teams kidnap them, take them away, and torture them — all with the full approval of President Obama who once promised he would close Gitmo.

Close it? Heck, this guy’s planning on filling Gitmo with Americans!

Every President, when sworn into office, swears upon a bible that they will protect and defend the United States Constitution. The NDDA law is a gross violation of that oath to God, and that makes the passage of this act not merely a betrayal of the American people, but a spiritual betrayal to a higher power. And that’s something these members of Congress who voted for this bill will have to answer for.

Their souls are marked for eternity. This is a betrayal of natural law and spiritual truth. It is also, of course, a gross violation of U.S. law and the Constitution itself. That the passage of such a law is even contemplated by members of Congress is, all by itself, such a malicious violation against America that if a law with the exact same wording were proposed in 1789, those who voted for such a law would have been shot on sight and memorialized as criminal traitors to the United States of America.

It only took 222 years for the American people to forget what freedom means, apparently. And now, Americans are so asleep, drugged up and ill-informed that they won’t even speak out against the very government that’s coiling around their necks and strangling them to death.

“It turns out that destroying the American democratic republic was easy to accomplish,” writes David Seaman from BusinessInsider.com (http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa…). “Simply get the three major cable news networks to blather on about useless bull**** for a few days, while legislators meet in secret behind closed doors to rush through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), and its evil twin sister, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which is a clever name for an Internet censorship bill straight out of an Orwellian nightmare.”

Sources for this story include: (must read)

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/rol…

http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa…

http://www.unitedliberty.org/articl…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/201…

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162…

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/12…

http://www.infowars.com/indefinite-…

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/ameri…

http://loyalopposition.blogs.nytime…

http://rt.com/usa/news/anonymous-nd…

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/034414_NDAA_military_detention_Bill_of_Rights.html#ixzz1gfJPyVde

Cashless Voice Recognition System Now Being Converted To Analyze Behavior

(Activist Post) In 2011, it is scarcely even possible to keep up with the new methods of surveillance and control being introduced by governments, corporations, and universities on what seems like a daily basis. I, myself, have had quite a time over the last few months trying to keep track of them all.

Indeed, in just a matter of months, we have seen the implementation of the Google Wallet Smartphone app in places like New Jersey and New York transportation systems, as well as the development of implantable microchips that can both react to — and control — the human brain. Not only that, but we have recently witnessed the introduction of vein scanners to the general public for the purpose of payment and identification.

However, with a recent announcement made by Homeland Security News Wire, it appears we can add one more strand in the web of the high-tech security grid that is being built before our eyes.

According to Homeland Security News Wire, research teams from all across the United States are hard at work developing a new voice recognition software that can analyze and determine whether or not a person is drunk, angry, or lying.

Dr. Julia Hirschberg, a computer science professor at Columbia University, is described in the article as being one of the researchers working on such a program. Her project involves the creation of a computer program that can “deconstruct an individual’s speech pattern to see if they are being honest by searching for cues like volume, changes in pitch, pauses between words, and other verbal signs.”

So far, Hirschberg’s team claims they have been able to tell whether or not an individual is lying with 70% accuracy.

The technology being developed by Hirschberg is similar in scope to the “emotion detectors” set to be implemented in Western airports, which claim to be able to translate subconscious eye movements, dilated pupils, biting, nose wrinkling, heavy breathing, pressing lips together, blinking, swallowing, and other facial movements into mathematical algorithms capable of predicting potential “terrorist” activity or emotions such as anger and resentment.

Another speech analysis research program, being conducted by Shrikanth Narayanan, a University of Southern California engineering professor, is set to develop a system that can analyze “an individual’s emotions using by using mathematical algorithms that scan hundreds of vocal cues like pitch, timing, and intensity.”

Although Narayanan claims that some emotions are difficult to determine, he says that anger is relatively easy to spot. He is also at work on a program that will be able to determine if an individual is drunk. However, that program, according to the report, has not progressed as far as the one focused on anger.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the research, particularly of Hirschberg’s programs, is the source of funding.

Interestingly enough, Dr. Hirschberg recently became the recipient of $1.5 million dollars by virtue of a grant from the U.S. Air Force to work on algorithms to analyze Arabic and Mandarin speakers. The grant also includes a directive to analyze English speakers, a very important tool if one is intent on tracking and tracing American citizens.

Of course, a $1.5 million grant from the Air Force simply means a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. taxpayer. So, ironically, the American people are funding the Big Brother control grid with their own money, but, unfortunately, with the level of knowledge currently held by the general public, that irony is likely to be lost forever.

In addition, Dr. Dan Jurafsky, a Professor at Stanford University whose research focuses on “the understanding of language by both machines and humans,” recently headed a study of the ability to analyze short conversations for qualities like friendliness and flirtatiousness. Dr. Jarufsky, whose research is quite similar to that of Dr. Hirschberg and Dr. Narayanan, was awarded a fellowship from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, an organization that is a major supporter of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as numerous overseas and domestic programs that focus on “Sustainability” and “Population and Reproductive Health.”

However, programs that recognize voice prints are already in existence on the private market. Like the Google Wallet apps and the vein scanners that I have discussed previously in other articles, voice print recognition-based software is nothing new.

Indeed, in an article published in the New York Times, entitled “Software That Listens for Lies,” Anne Eisenberg writes that programs have been in place at call centers for some time with the ability to alert operators to potentially irate customers holding on the line.

Similar to the other forms of biometric identification, voice print software is also available for online payment. In what is being termed “Voice Biometric Technology,” a product created by VoiceVault (known as VoiceAuth), now allows shoppers to add items to an online shopping cart via their smartphones and subsequently make payments on the phones using their voice as an authorization program.

As seen in part one of the demonstration video below, once the product is brought up on the screen and the checkout steps have been taken, a randomly generated numeric code appears on the screen. At this point, the user must read the numeric code into the phone and the VoiceVault software will analyze and confirm the user’s identity based on their voice print, as seen in part two.



Another company, Perceive Solutions Inc., has also developed voice recognition software. However, Perceive Solutions Inc.’s version of the technology goes beyond the applications seen in VoiceVault’s version and it is also more indicative of the direction this technology will be headed once it is fully implemented in society.

Perceive’s software not only recognizes voice prints based on those voices already programmed into the system for authentification purposes, it allows for voice recognition and categorization of voices not yet entered into the system by the user.

Essentially, the software allows for users to receive calls or record the voices of others (by whatever means available) and then program those voices into the system for future recognition. This can easily be done without the other party’s permission or their knowledge.

The demonstration video below for the Voice Biometrics Software program offers a better understanding of how this works.


Also, be sure to visit Perceive Solutions’ website to view the logo of the company. The all-seeing eye seems to be an increasingly popular symbol these days.

Nevertheless, it is important to understand that the technology on the scale of that being produced by Perceive Solutions is simply another brick in the Berlin wall of the high-tech security state. With these programs, each and every login serves as a data mining operation. Even better, it functions at the pleasure of the plebs who use it voluntarily, and not the result of a security state snooping project directed by force. Users of these programs unwittingly register and categorize themselves, so the majority of the work is essentially done for the technocratic authoritarians who wish to implement such a system in the first place. All the controllers need to do is introduce the surveillance net and the prey will take the bait and ensnare themselves.

Not only that, but the fact that this technology is able to catch voice prints from unwitting victims should also give rise to great concern about its use if it were to fall into the wrong hands – namely, those in the U.S. Corporate Government who would use it to document and spy on its own citizens, something that it has become rather open about as of late. Indeed, there is little doubt that this is the ultimate purpose of the technology to begin with.

With this in mind, imagine a surveillance state with the capability to record conversations held online or over the telephone. Now imagine that this surveillance state possesses the capability to record the voice prints of those conversations and store them in a database. Combine this technology with the incessant and voluntary online chatter by virtually every person in the country, digital accounts, palm scans, vein scans, blood databases, and Patriot Act snooping powers and, by now, you should be getting the picture of humanity’s future.

All of these capabilities are not only possible in the current system, they are readily available and they are being utilized. Never mind the fact that the private sector has had this type of technology for some time but, governments — particularly the United States — have had far more sophisticated systems for many years.

It is absolutely true that any system released and introduced to the general public has been obsolete for at least several generations and voice print recognition technology is no exception.

As a society, we have shown no signs of resisting this obvious encroachment on our basic freedom and, unfortunately, we have only helped to enslave ourselves that much more.

If the American people do not sever their gross attachment to convenience and gadgetry, there will be no hope for us in the future. For those of us who do value liberty and privacy, we must make our voices heard . . . even if they are being recorded.

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Mullins, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University where he earned the Pee Dee Electric Scholar’s Award as an undergraduate. He has had numerous articles published dealing with a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, and civil liberties. He also the author of Codex Alimentarius – The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies and Five Sense Solutions.
Source-http://www.activistpost.com/2011/12/cashless-voice-recognition-system-now.html#more

Boston Middle School Bans Christmas Cookies And Cakes In The Classroom

(CBS) – Westford school officials are getting tough on classroom holiday parties.

They’re banning sugary snacks and sweetened beverages from the celebrations this year.

Students are being told to leave the Christmas cookies, cakes, candy bars, and soda at home and to bring fruits, unsweetened juices, popcorn and raisins instead.

Superintendent Everett Olsen says the ban on holiday sweets has nothing to do with being politically correct, rather, his motive is simply promoting a healthy lifestyle.

“We aren’t trying to take the Christmas out of Christmas. We’re not trying to take the enjoyment out of children’s lives. We’re just trying to act responsible,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mike Macklin.

The school’s goal is to avoid the types of sweets that pile on empty calories and contribute to childhood obesity.

School officials say they’re also hoping to protect the growing number of children with severe food allergies.

The new policy comes as schools across Massachusetts get set to implement stricter state-mandated food policies aimed at reducing child obesity.
Source-http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/12/15/westford-students-told-to-leave-the-christmas-cookies-at-home/

The Poor Man’s Guide To Survival Gear

(Brandon Smith) A friend of mine took note recently that a large portion of activists involved in the Liberty Movement had hit extremely hard times, or had been struggling financially even before the general economic collapse began to take hold. He asked me my theory on why it was that so many of us are always so broke. I could only relate that it is almost always the working class poor in any society that first sees the effects of a corrupt government and a faulty economic system. Those who legitimately hold to the principles of self sufficiency, and fair play, are usually the first to be stabbed in the back by the establishment and, so, they are the first to become politically active against it. That is to say, sometimes we have to lose almost everything before we are able to see the bigger picture.

While I consider this fact a source of solace in these extraordinarily hard times, it still does little to put food on the table, or survival gear in the bug-out-bag.

The overall consensus within the prepper community is that survival planning is expensive, and yes, it certainly can be.

Another consensus is that you “get what you pay for”; also true…to a point.

My belief is that while no prepping model is free of expense or of quality concerns, perhaps there is a middle road that activists with thin wallets can take which will provide solid gear for less money, and that will serve most of the functions of high-end gear that is ten times as expensive.

Let’s examine a foundation list of those items that can help get you started now….

Backpack (Bug Out Bag)
You can literally spend hundreds of dollars on many top-of-the-line framed backpacks, and some may even be worth it, but it is not necessary to spend that kind of cash to purchase a decent bug-out-bag. In fact, surplus ALICE packs with frames can be had online for as little as $30-$60, sometimes even less if they are a bit worn. The ALICE system provides adequate back support for your needs, for a low price, and the quality of the design is military proven.

www.govtslaves.info
www.govtslaves.info

Camouflage Clothing

Camouflage clothing and gear runs a wide spectrum in price, and it’s hard sometimes to find the colors you want at a discount. One trick is to buy any camo you find on the cheap, and then lightly dye it to match the colors you want. For instance, one could gauge the dye levels with small samples, find the right strength, and then dye light camo like Digital ACU a darker green. Eventually, you may be able to make your own camo with any clothing you come across. It sounds like a pain, but it’s actually quite easy, and could save you considerable amounts of money.

Extreme Weather Protection
Gortex is outrageously expensive, unless you get lucky and find it used or discounted.

While it is difficult to beat the quality (or the warranty) on most Gortex cold weather gear, there are cheaper alternatives that get the job done almost as well. A great extreme cold weather coat is the N-2B Flight Jacket designed to mil spec and resistant to most wet weather conditions. The jacket was meant specifically to deflect freezing temperatures and it can be had for around $120 or less.

Purchasing several packages of polypropylene thermal underwear could also save your life in extreme weather situations. They are lightweight, can be easily layered, can be packed into a tiny corner of your B.O.B., and will retain much of your body heat. Even if you don’t have a lot of winter gear with you, absolutely do not forget to bring the poly-wear! $30-$50 for a shirt and pants together is well worth it.

Finally, buy wool socks. Buy plenty. Look for deals, but do not cut them out of your budget. Any weather below 20 Degrees Fahrenheit and you’ll want to double up. Cold feet, on a march, on patrol, on guard duty, sucks. They can be damaged permanently if you are not careful.

Combat Boots

Top quality combat boots traditionally run anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on the brand. One rule that you cannot break regardless of the circumstances; always treat your feet right. They hold up your entire body. Surplus boots are a good place to start when looking to cut costs, but usually you won’t be saving much. To be honest, there are plenty of knockoff combat boots found in sporting goods stores, usually in the hiking section, that are just as durable as the expensive models but for much less. You can go far in a pair of $60 boots. Be sure, though, to thoroughly check for poor sewing on the seams, crap laces, and light construction. If they feel heavy, they are probably made well enough.

Camp Heater

Unless you have your own oil well, or a line on a hidden vein of coal (some preppers I have met actually do), then your best bet for efficient heat during the winter weather in a tent, a makeshift shelter, or a house, is a wood burning stove. Timber fuel sources are everywhere. A couple cords of wood are enough to heat most homes and shelters through the colder months.

Gasoline and propane storage is possible, but the likelihood of shortage is high, and arranging a practical supply lasting a year or more is incredibly expensive. Solar power systems and battery banks are recommended, but again, this is another option that requires moderate to substantial investment when it comes to heating a house. A very affordable alternative for your heating needs would be the M-1941 Military Tent Stove. The cylindrical stove is portable, burns quite hot, and can be had usually for $100 or less.

Survival Knife

Some knives deserve the amount of attention and the high price tag they have garnered, but many are just….well….regular knives with a fancy name engraved in the blade. You are buying a knife for its functionality, not its sex appeal. Gerber, SOG, and Kershaw make plenty of knives which work just as well for $80 or less than any $400 cord wrapped Strider knife. Again, pay for the tool, not the name or the artificial commercial mystic.

Communications

Good HAM radios, base stations to handheld models, can be had for around $200-$300, but even this amount is sometimes too high for a limited prepper budget. Unless you plan to coordinate operations over longer distances using repeaters, or set up a HAM alert system with multiple members of your community, regular two-way radios costing around $40 to $60 like those produced by Midland should suffice for communications. Consumer models often advertize an effective range of 20 to 30 miles, but this is in totally flat terrain. If you can get five miles out of them in rough terrain, you are doing well. This range is adequate to handle most tasks required during a survival situation.

Electricity
Gas powered generators are unnecessary long term survival situations, primarily because the amount of fuel they use is impractical and the noise many of them produce could make having electricity a daily temptation of fate. Solar is really the best way to go. Unfortunately, many people assume solar power solutions to be too technical and overwhelming. In fact, setting up a solar power system is so straight forward it makes all the prepper uneasiness a bit laughable.

A simple and comparably affordable set-up would include one 180 Watt solar panel (which can quickly charge your battery bank during the day), one deep cycle battery, a charge controller, and an inverter. This kit can be had for $600 to $1000, is compact enough to fit a medium Rubbermaid storage bin, and will power almost every appliance and charge every electronic device that would make life easier during a collapse. Remember also that every Watt of power you produce by the sun reduces your on-grid electric bill, saving you even more money.

At the very least, a portable solar powered battery charger is a must have item. Doing without gear like radios and flashlights is simply not an option. Going caveman is the most ill conceived method for living through the worst of all possible situations.

Survival Tin

Pre-made mini survival kits are a rip off. Most of the items they contain (matches, fishing line, compass, small knife, firestarter, wire saw, water purification tablets, etc.) can be easily purchased separately for half the cost. Making your own mini-kit is also a good exercise in efficiency. Being able to prioritize gear and understand what is truly useful versus what is a waste of space is as important a skill as being able to shoot or navigate a map. It does not take a lot of money to build a solid base kit for emergencies….unless you buy one that somebody made for you.

www.govtslaves.info
www.govtslaves.info

Emergency Medical Kit

Again, all items within most pre-made medical kits can be bought individually for much less. Celox blood stopper, silk sutures, surgical tools, transfusion bags, and other goods should be added in with the staples, raising the cost slightly, but rounding out your kit and allowing for more critical injuries to be cared for. Bulk over the counter medications, especially for stomach ailments, would be highly valuable post collapse, and can be bought wholesale. Medicinal teas, at least the organic brands, work very well! These can be bought for reasonable prices and will boost your immune system, preventing illness before it ever occurs.

Food Production

If you have enough land to keep them, a half dozen chickens, a half dozen breeding rabbits, and a goat, will produce milk, meat, and eggs daily, providing valuable sustenance, reducing the amount of stored foods you need to use in a day, and reducing the amount of time you have to spend hunting for food in a dangerous collapse environment. Chickens and goats practically feed themselves with whatever is available on your land. Rabbit feed is easy to store, and can also be made at home. These animals are indeed worth their weight in gold.

Seeds are, of course, a currency in and of themselves. Non-GMO seed and strong gardening knowledge will save you and your family. Gardening is not as easy as it seems, however. Extensive practice, trial and error, and an understanding of regional climates will improve your crop yields dramatically.

If you are looking to survive on the cheap and avoid paying thousands of dollars for years worth of freeze dried goods, sustainable food production is the only way to go. Foraging and scavenging is NOT a reliable alternative.

Security Systems

Trip wires and tin cans are certainly cheaper than thermal security cameras, and a few well trained guard dogs can put your mind at ease, but sometimes more silent or less obvious methods are in order. I would recommend the MURS radio and infrared alert system for perimeter defense. As far as force multipliers go, MURS is relatively inexpensive. MURS motion detectors are wireless, weather proof, have a beam range of around 100 ft, and can be placed up to 4 miles away from your radio base station. Intruders crossing the infrared beam will set off an alert on your base station and all MURS handheld radios. Some MURS systems even have underground probes designed to detect the movement of vehicles. Up to four motion censors can be linked to one base station and each can be designated for a sector, telling you exactly where on your property the intrusion is occurring. A full MURS system with multiple motion detectors can be had for $300 or less. Other comparable outdoor security systems often cost $500 or more.

Night Vision

The price range of night vision devices is truly staggering. Some can run as little as a few hundred dollars, others climb into the thousands. For the prepper with low cash flow who feels the need for night time security, a couple models offer good quality at a lower price.

For typical surveillance and overwatch, the Bushnell 2.5 by 42 night vision monocular creates a strong image with quality construction for around $200.

For combat, the Yukon Nvmt Night Vision Scope offers many of the advantages of high end systems for only $350 or less.

Night vision may seem like an unnecessary expense, even at these prices, but any edge one can get in survival is a good thing. Being at a disadvantage monetarily does not mean you have to be at a disadvantage tactically.

Self Defense

Yes. Guns. Big-scary-guns. Guns and survival go hand in hand, especially during an economic or social collapse. To bring up guns in a prepping article almost always draws criticism of militancy and extremism from suburban basted over-privileged adolescent hippies who have read “Into The Wild” way too many times and think survival is about “communing with nature”. Sorry kids, but as much as I love nature, as soon as you turn your back on it, you end up a pre-digested meal spread like almond butter across 30 acres of grizzly valley. On the other side of the coin, firearms analysis always draws endless opinions and puffy chested “expertise” from armchair generals and “invincible special-ops superheroes”.

Frankly, after years of survival writing, you stop caring what other people think. That said, for those of us with limited resources (of which I would include myself), firearms purchases are much less about technical proficiency and more about affordability.

I won’t be delving into sidearms here. Instead we’ll focus on what you cannot conceivably live without. Purchasing a primary battle rifle should always be the prepper’s first concern as far as firearms go, whether he is rich or poor. Semi-automatic, accurate, reliable, hard to damage, fires a common military caliber (.223, 7.62 by 39, .308). There’s your list. Finding cheap rifles that meet that list is another matter, but here are a few that come pretty close:

SAIGA

The Saiga is a high capacity AK variant that comes in all common military calibers as well as a 12 gauge shotgun model (I’m amazed it’s still legal). Works great, shoots straight, built tough, runs between $450 to $650. For the price, you can’t go wrong.

www.govtslaves.info
www.govtslaves.info

A Spanish made .308 semi automatic rifle with a similar design to the HK G3. Many in circulation have been pieced together with surplus parts, and it is wise to get yours checked out by a trusted gunsmith. A little tuning may be required. Otherwise, a pretty solid 300 yard gun running at $450 to $600.

FN FAL

The FAL is a Belgium made semi auto .308 rifle. Accurate and well made. Effective range of around 700 yards. Can be found for $600 to $800.

AK 47

Will you look like a terrorist holding this gun? Yes. But beyond that, the AK is synonymous with dependability, and affordability. Though gun prices the past few years have skyrocketed in ridiculous fashion, the AK 47, a 7.62 by 39 caliber rifle, can still be found for around $300 to $600 depending on the make, the age, and the honesty of your dealer. This is not a very accurate gun beyond 100 yards. Can you hit a man sized target beyond 100 yards with an AK? Yes. Can you do it accurately and consistently? No. You want pinpoint sniper accuracy from a Russian made weapon? Get a Dragunov. You want a close quarters weapon that you can clean with a dish rag and motor oil and still have it fire? Get an AK.

SKS

The SKS used to be a good deal. Four years ago you couldn’t spit without hitting one priced at around $200. Nowadays, many gun shops are fishing for $400 to $500. Do not pay this for any SKS. It is not a $500 gun. It is a $200 to $300 gun. Period. Deals can still be found if you are patient. The 7.62 by 39 rifle is relatively accurate and solidly built. The bayonet is a bit of a pain, but removing it is apparently an ATF no no. Technically you are required to remove the bayonet mounting lug and the grenade launcher attachment along with the blade for the gun to be legal (I’m not going to go into the absurdity of ATF assault rifle guidelines). Honestly, if you don’t like the bayonet, just take it off, and don’t let any of your ATF buddies shoot it at the range.

RUGAR MINI-14

Another rifle that used to be a good deal, now ruined by overenthusiastic gun shop owners. Private sale at a gun show is the only way lately to find this rifle at its traditionally suitable price of $350 to $450. Gun shops today will ask $600 to $800. The .223 rifle, designed after the M1 Garand, is light, easy to wield, and pretty accurate out to 300 yards. Lighter ammo means more rounds can be carried at a time.

Long Range Sniper Systems

For long range at an affordable price, you just can’t go wrong with Savage Arms. The company has maintained the great quality of its products, kept their prices low despite the Obama gun boom, and most of their rifles compete equally with guns twice as expensive. One issue to keep in mind, though, is optics, which can sometimes cost as much as the gun itself if you are not careful. Long range shooting platforms are essential for a small force defending against a larger or better supplied enemy. The more you can increase your standoff distance when at a disadvantage, the better chance you have of survival. One or two long range experts can wreak havoc on a seemingly unstoppable foe, making the cost of operations so high the enemy begins to question the practicality of moving forward. In collapse environments, snipers, amateur to professional, always come out of the woodwork to dominate the landscape. Preppers have the ability to counter this threat, and with very inexpensive firearms.

SAVAGE MODEL 10

This is a .308 sniper system commonly found with a precision stock and a heavy barrel. Range of around 800 yards. Can be found for $600 to $700. Modified systems come more expensive, but the standard model is all you need.

SAVAGE 111

A highly accurate rifle utilizing the effective 300 Win Mag cartridge. Range exceeding 1000 yards. Can usually be found for around $700.

SAVAGE 111 BA

The “long range hunter” model of the Savage 111 in .338 Lapua costing less than $1000. The .338 is an incredible cartridge with an effective range of about 1 mile. The Savage has been found comparable to sniper systems three times as expensive. The only problem with the .338 is the price of the ammo, which usually runs around $60 to $70 for a box of 20 rounds, almost twice as expensive as 300 Win Mag. Man, does that sting! This rifle should be considered a poor man’s substitute for the .50 Cal, a rifle that will always be undeniably expensive, considering one round usually sets you back $4 to $5. If you want the capability of a .50 Cal but not a quite so outrageous ammo price, the Savage is your best bet.

Procrastination Is Something We Cannot Afford

Preparation is not limited to the realm of the rich. Ultimately, survivalists with limited incomes must pursue their prepping MORE vigorously than those with expendable cash exactly because they are at a greater disadvantage. Being poor is no excuse for procrastination. Great gear can be had for little money, as long as purchases are approached intelligently. Budgeting for survival is not an enterprise for some future date in which we imagine ourselves to be better off than we are now. It should be a part of our daily life, even when times are tough.

Self discipline gets things done. Making a plan and then sticking to that plan despite our inner weaknesses and apprehensions gives greater returns in the long run. This method not only earns the respect we hold for ourselves, but also the respect others hold for us. The flaky and indecisive cannot be relied upon. The gravity of the socio-political situation we face in the near term demands that we shake off our fears and our apathy, step out of our baby cradle comfort zone, and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Backing out is not an option. Otherwise, we simply defeat ourselves, and we let each other down.

Special Note: Obviously, an entire book could be written on this subject, which is a task beyond the scope of this article. The purpose of the following piece is to give those with financial difficulty a foothold on prepping without added pain. It is meant to be a starting point, not a compendium.
Source-http://www.activistpost.com/2011/12/poor-mans-guide-to-survival-gear.html

Obama’s U-Turn On Indefinite Detention Bill A “Historic Tragedy” For Rights

(Paul Joseph Watson) Human Rights Watch has labeled President Obama’s U-turn on his decision to veto the NDAA bill, which empowers the government to indefinitely detain Americans without trial, a “historic tragedy for rights,” but should we really be surprised given the fact that it was Obama’s White House which ensured language that would have protected U.S. citizens was removed from the bill in the first place?
With the House passing a revised version of the bill last night and the Senate set to follow, Obama could sign the legislation into law before the end of the week after the White House dropped its threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, which under Section 1031 empowers the government to arrest Americans and hold them in a detention camp with no legal recourse.
“By signing this defense spending bill, President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “In the past, Obama has lauded the importance of being on the right side of history, but today he is definitely on the wrong side.”
HRW describes Obama’s about-face as a “historic tragedy for rights”.
The ACLU strikes a similar tone, warning “it will damage both his legacy and American’s reputation for upholding the rule of law,” if Obama signs the bill.
HRW and the ACLU’s opposition to the bill is commendable, but in none of their press releases does it point out that it was Obama’s White House itself which demanded language be removed from the original version of the bill that would have protected U.S. citizens from its most dangerous provisions.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Obama’s veto threat was never about stopping detention without trial of American citizens, it was about ensuring that the federal government didn’t completely hand such powers over to the U.S. military, and enshrining into law Obama’s unconstitutional policy of targeting Americans as terrorists without the legal requirement to offer any proof.
Indeed, as the bill’s co-sponsor Senator Carl Levin said during a speech on the floor last week, it was the Obama administration that demanded the removal of language that would have precluded Americans from being subject to indefinite detention.
“The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved…and the administration asked us to remove the language which says that U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section,” said Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
“It was the administration that asked us to remove the very language which we had in the bill which passed the committee…we removed it at the request of the administration,” said Levin, emphasizing, “It was the administration which asked us to remove the very language the absence of which is now objected to.”

Military Given Go-Ahead To Detain US Terrorist Suspects Without Trial

(Chris McGreal) Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay.

Human rights groups accused the president of deserting his principles and disregarding the long-established principle that the military is not used in domestic policing. The legislation has also been strongly criticised by libertarians on the right angered at the stripping of individual rights for the duration of “a war that appears to have no end”.

The law, contained in the defence authorisation bill that funds the US military, effectively extends the battlefield in the “war on terror” to the US and applies the established principle that combatants in any war are subject to military detention.

The legislation’s supporters in Congress say it simply codifies existing practice, such as the indefinite detention of alleged terrorists at Guantánamo Bay. But the law’s critics describe it as a draconian piece of legislation that extends the reach of detention without trial to include US citizens arrested in their own country.

“It’s something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration,” said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch. “It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries not to adopt. At a time when the United States is urging Egypt, for example, to scrap its emergency law and military courts, this is not consistent.”

There was heated debate in both houses of Congress on the legislation, requiring that suspects with links to Islamist foreign terrorist organisations arrested in the US, who were previously held by the FBI or other civilian law enforcement agencies, now be handed to the military and held indefinitely without trial.

The law applies to anyone “who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaida, the Taliban or associated forces”.

Senator Lindsey Graham said the extraordinary measures were necessary because terrorism suspects were wholly different to regular criminals.

“We’re facing an enemy, not a common criminal organisation, who will do anything and everything possible to destroy our way of life,” he said. “When you join al-Qaida you haven’t joined the mafia, you haven’t joined a gang. You’ve joined people who are bent on our destruction and who are a military threat.”

Other senators supported the new powers on the grounds that al-Qaida was fighting a war inside the US and that its followers should be treated as combatants, not civilians with constitutional protections.

But another conservative senator, Rand Paul, a strong libertarian, has said “detaining citizens without a court trial is not American” and that if the law passes “the terrorists have won”.

“We’re talking about American citizens who can be taken from the United States and sent to a camp at Guantánamo Bay and held indefinitely. It puts every single citizen American at risk,” he said. “Really, what security does this indefinite detention of Americans give us? The first and flawed premise, both here and in the badly named Patriot Act, is that our pre-9/11 police powers were insufficient to stop terrorism. This is simply not borne out by the facts.”

Paul was backed by Senator Dianne Feinstein.

“Congress is essentially authorising the indefinite imprisonment of American citizens, without charge,” she said. “We are not a nation that locks up its citizens without charge.”

Paul said there were already strong laws against support for terrorist groups. He noted that the definition of a terrorism suspect under existing legislation was so broad that millions of Americans could fall within it.

“There are laws on the books now that characterise who might be a terrorist: someone missing fingers on their hands is a suspect according to the department of justice. Someone who has guns, someone who has ammunition that is weatherproofed, someone who has more than seven days of food in their house can be considered a potential terrorist,” Paul said. “If you are suspected because of these activities, do you want the government to have the ability to send you to Guantánamo Bay for indefinite detention?”

Under the legislation suspects can be held without trial “until the end of hostilities”. They will have the right to appear once a year before a committee that will decide if the detention will continue.

The Senate is expected to give final approval to the bill before the end of the week. It will then go to the president, who previously said he would block the legislation not on moral grounds but because it would “cause confusion” in the intelligence community and encroached on his own powers.

But on Wednesday the White House said Obama had lifted the threat of a veto after changes to the law giving the president greater discretion to prevent individuals from being handed to the military.

Critics accused the president of caving in again to pressure from some Republicans on a counter-terrorism issue for fear of being painted in next year’s election campaign as weak and of failing to defend America.

Human Rights Watch said that by signing the bill Obama would go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.

“The paradigm of the war on terror has advanced so far in people’s minds that this has to appear more normal than it actually is,” Malinowski said. “It wasn’t asked for by any of the agencies on the frontlines in the fight against terrorism in the United States. It breaks with over 200 years of tradition in America against using the military in domestic affairs.”

In fact, the heads of several security agencies, including the FBI, CIA, the director of national intelligence and the attorney general objected to the legislation. The Pentagon also said it was against the bill.

The FBI director, Robert Mueller, said he feared the law could compromise the bureau’s ability to investigate terrorism because it would be more complicated to win co-operation from suspects held by the military.

“The possibility looms that we will lose opportunities to obtain co-operation from the persons in the past that we’ve been fairly successful in gaining,” he told Congress.

Civil liberties groups say the FBI and federal courts have dealt with more than 400 alleged terrorism cases, including the successful prosecutions of Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber”, Umar Farouk, the “underwear bomber”, and Faisal Shahzad, the “Times Square bomber”.

Elements of the law are so legally confusing, as well as being constitutionally questionable, that any detentions are almost certain to be challenged all the way to the supreme court.

Malinowski said “vague language” was deliberately included in the bill in order to get it passed. “The very lack of clarity is itself a problem. If people are confused about what it means, if people disagree about what it means, that in and of itself makes it bad law,” he said.
Source-http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/15/americans-face-guantanamo-detention-obama

Obama Will Not Veto National Defense Authorization Act

( Eric W. Dolan) The White House on Wednesday said it would not veto the controversial National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). President Barack Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney said lawmakers who crafted a compromise version from rival Senate and House versions of the legislation had addressed his worries about proposed tough rules on detainees.

The legislation has been the subject of considerable criticism.

At one point the bill contained a provision that would have authorized the U.S. to use military force anywhere there were terrorism suspects, including within the U.S. itself. The American Civil Liberties Union described it as authorizing a “worldwide war without end.”

The section was removed from the bill in July.

But other controversial provisions, Sections 1031 and 1032, remained. The provisions authorize the U.S. to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists anywhere in the world without charge or trial, and require them to be held in military custody. Civil liberties advocates and others were furious at lawmakers for the broad scope of the provisions, which could have allowed U.S. citizens on U.S. soil to be indefinitely detained without trial.

Democratic senators tried amend the provisions, but failed. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) warned the provisions “put every American at risk” of being sent to Guantanamo Bay. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) said it violated the Constitution because U.S. citizens could be apprehended on U.S. soil and held without a trial.

Obama threatened to veto the entire bill because of the provisions, which he said were “inconsistent with the fundamental American principle that our military does not patrol our streets.”

The latest version of the bill, drafted by the House-Senate conference committee, kept both provisions. But it exempted U.S. citizens from the requirement for terror suspects to be held in military custody and included language stating that the bill did not extend new authority to detain U.S. citizens.

The bill forces federal agencies to treat non-citizen terrorism suspects as enemies waging war against the U.S. rather than criminals. FBI Director Robert Mueller said the provisions would disrupt, rather than strengthen, efforts to fight terrorism in the U.S.

“The statute lacks clarity with regard to what happens at the time of arrest,” he explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It lacks clarity with regard to what happens if we had a case in Lackawanna, New York, and an arrest has to be made there and there’s no military within several hundred miles.”

“What happens if we have … a case that we’re investigating on three individuals, two of whom are American citizens and would not go to military custody and the third is not an American citizen and could go to military custody?”

The House approved the $662 billion Defense Authorization bill, which also sets high hurdles for closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, by a 283 to 136 vote Wednesday afternoon. The Senate still must approve the bill before it heads to the president’s desk.

“As a result of these changes, we have concluded that the language does not challenge or constrain the President’s ability to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists, and protect the American people, and the President’s senior advisors will not recommend a veto,” Carney said.

“However, if in the process of implementing this law we determine that it will negatively impact our counterterrorism professionals and undercut our commitment to the rule of law, we expect that the authors of these provisions will work quickly and tirelessly to correct these problems,” he added.

The White House, which had threatened a veto of the original House and Senate versions of the legislation, said it “remained concerned about the uncertainty that this law will create for our counterterrorism professionals.”
Source-http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/14/white-house-will-not-veto-national-defense-authorization-act

Leave The USA Before The Collapse? Words Of Wisdom From Someone Who Tried

(NaturalNews) One of the most common questions I’m asked today from people who are aware of what’s really going on is, “Should I leave the USA to get away from the coming police state?” Three years ago, I would have said YES, but today, after having experienced such an effort myself and now having a clear understanding of the ramifications of such an effort, I must urge people to reconsider. As you’ll read here, you may ultimately be far safer and more successful living right where you are, in your “home country,” even if that home country becomes a police state.

I’ve lived in many countries, by the way: Taiwan, Australia and Ecuador. I’ve traveled extensively throughout Asia, giving seminars in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. I’ve traveled across England, France, Spain and even Portugal. Spent quite a bit of time in Central America and South America. I speak decent Spanish and decent Chinese, so there’s almost nowhere I go in the world that I can’t speak to the local people in either English, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese. I’ve seen extreme wealth, extreme poverty and extreme corruption in all its world flavors, and I’ve seen what corruption does to nations and its populations, first hand.

I don’t claim to be a prophet of any kind, but today I’m a bit wiser, a bit more experienced and a bit less foolish than I was a few years ago, and I’d like to pass on whatever nuggets of wisdom might help you and your family prepare for the powerful global changes which have already begun to unfold.

Here, I share with you five powerful realizations you need to keep in mind when considering where to locate (or relocate) before the collapse becomes a reality. (Time is growing short, so read up…)

For starters, there is a universal truth you must accept if you hope to make a truly wise decision about where to locate: Corruption is everywhere.

Realization #1 – Corruption is far worse outside the USA

If you think the USA is corrupt, you should try living in Peru, or Bolivia, or Panama. And if you think that’s corrupt, head over to Haiti for a double heaping serving of corruption.

Yes, we may all legitimately complain about the USA, but from what I’ve seen everywhere around the world, the United States is still less corrupt than most places in the world. Yes, there are bad apples everywhere throughout local police, federal FBI agents and even the court system, but for every bad apple there are probably three times as many honorable people who are truly just trying to do their jobs.

In years past, I served in a non-profit support role, the local police in Tucson, Arizona, and I came to know them as some of the most upstanding, honorable peace officers I’ve ever met. Yes, they had a history of outrageous corruption (which you’ll find in every police force from time to time), but they rooted out that corruption and restored integrity to their operation. You’ll find the same dedication to honest public service all across the nation, even if there is a little corruption that normally goes along with it.

So don’t make the mistake of thinking you can escape corruption by leaving the USA. You are actually likely to discover MORE corruption elsewhere. For example, in Ecuador, where I lived for two years and held a local driver’s license, it wasn’t unusual for me to be stopped at an armed military roadblock and asked questions. These were staffed with soldiers carrying what appeared to be variants of the standard U.S. issue M4 rifles (AR-15 in the civilian editions). They never gave me any trouble, it turns out. They asked a couple of questions and looked at my documentation, then waved me through.

In fact, I had many friends in law enforcement in Ecuador, and I spoke with them regularly. Sure, they were a little corrupt, but not in an over-the-top criminal way like we see with the FBI in the United States actually masterminding terrorist plots and then magically “discovering” those plots just in time to halt them (http://www.naturalnews.com/034325_F…).

Costa Rica has been described as a “police state” by numerous people who have visited or even lived there. Yes, the country if a beautiful paradise in terms of climate, and it is perhaps the most socially advanced nation in Central and South America, but like all such nations, it has a socialist police state mentality.

South Americans love socialism, it turns out. And this has everything to do with preparedness…

Realization #2 – Many cultures do not practice long-term preparedness thinking

In observing all this first hand, I’ve come to the conclusion that the embracing of socialism throughout South America is the result of cultural short-term thinking.

For example, throughout South America, people often buy prescription medicines one pill at a time. They buy a bag of twenty screws from the hardware store, then return to the store after they run out to buy another twenty. This is often infuriating to the “gringos” who are trying to build a house, for example, because they operate with the idea that you should just buy 5,000 screws all at once and have plenty to get the job done. I can assure you from first-hand experience that such a concept is completely alien to a great many South Americans (most notably in rural areas).

I make no judgments about this, by the way. There are pros and cons on both sides of this equation. But in my experience living in Ecuador, finding people engaged in preparedness planning was virtually impossible unless they were of European descent. For example, rural Ecuadorians often buy a small baggy of spices in a quantity for cooking one meal. And in doing this kind of thing, they nickel-and-dime themselves into actually losing money because they don’t take advantage of the purchasing efficiencies realized through long-term planning. The idea, for example, of buying large quantities of facial tissue at a Costco or Sam’s Club is completely foreign to most South American cultures (more so in rural areas than urban). Even if they might save 40% from buying in bulk, their cultural tendency is to buy one tissue box at a time, paying a much higher overall price over time.

This concept is also reinforced by the very heavy reliance on state-run lotteries throughout South America. In any nation, high participation in lotteries is a powerful demonstration that a culture lacks the cognitive coherence necessary for intelligent financial planning. You see this heavily reflected throughout Peru and Brazil, by the way. You’ll even find this in many poorer areas of rural USA where the lack of mathematics education (and, perhaps, an irrational belief in luck) motivates many people to hand over their money to the state. That’s why the mathematically inclined call the lottery “a tax on people who can’t do math.”

There is, of course, an interesting up-side to short-term thinking, because the very same phenomenon might also be called “living in the moment.” Some in the new age movement call it “the power of NOW.” South Americans know all about the power of NOW, as you’ll clearly see on a Sunday morning when driving your car down the road, weaving around drunken citizens sleeping in the ditches, sometimes still clutching an empty bottle of sugar cane alcohol. The night before, they all lived in “the now,” you see, and they weren’t necessarily thinking about the hangover implications that would inevitably arrive the next morning.

You see, to actually get anything done in society, you have to live at least a little bit in the future.

On the food production front, by the way, it is extremely difficult to buy a John Deere tractor in many Central and South American nations. Much of the food production there is still done by hand (not as much in Brazil, of course, where agricultural mechanization is in full swing…).

In Texas, by comparison, John Deere tractors are available everywhere. More importantly, there are lots of people who know how to fix ‘em. Given that a tractor is one of the most fundamental work multipliers in agriculture, if you hope to survive the coming collapse, you need a reliable tractor on your land in a community that’s familiar with tractors, and you need a few hundred gallons of stored diesel fuel to power it through the disruptions. It’s no exaggeration to say that one gallon of diesel fuel can replace the labor of twelve men working twelve hours. It’s a powerful force multiplier if you own the right hardware.

If you get a tractor, by the way, avoid all those more recent John Deere tractors which are fifty percent electronics and plastic. Buy the old ones, made out of iron and grit, because they’re the only ones that will still operate after an electromagnetic pulse attack, in case you were wondering.

Climate reveals a lot about the planning tendencies of any culture

Getting back to the preparedness mentality of different cultures, climate shapes cultural tendencies, too. The climate in Central and South America is so much more amenable to easy food production (except at very high altitudes) that there really isn’t a cultural impulse to engage in behaviors such as “storing food to survive the winter.” With food literally falling off the trees year-round in places like Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil, generations after generations of people there have settled into a rhythm of day-to-day living with relatively little planning. The very best preparedness planners, not surprisingly, are people whose ancestors survived harsh climates and brutal winters.

A lack of planning in South American culture is also evident in the surprising lack of family planning you’ll find there, where it’s not unusual to find women with four, six or even ten children, none of which seems to own a decent pair of shoes. It makes you seriously wonder about the “thinking ahead” portions of the brain and why they have not been activated in some people. There is a part of the brain — the future planning part — that can imagine a particular future emerging as a result of today’s actions and then use that imagined future to reshape today’s actions in order to improve the future (which eventually becomes the NOW, of course, as you’ve no doubt noticed). People who are cognitively skilled at this process are, by definition, good planners. They tend to have better outcomes in life. Those who are poor at this skill, for whatever reason, tend to have poorer outcomes in life.

Women’s rights advocacy groups correctly point out that a lack of family planning among women usually stems from a cultural devaluing of the female, which then leads to a chronic lack of women’s education, subsequently correlated to startlingly high birth rates. The best way to reduce birth rates in developing nations, it turns out, is to either build more schools or just go the Bill Gates route and vaccinate everyone into a state of total infertility. (If you’re an evil globalist, it’s so much easier to just inject women than educate them…)

Why does all this matter? I’ve learned over the last few years that the best place to be in a collapse scenario is living around a bunch of other people who are also prepared because they are long-term thinkers and planners. You might want to live in a Mormon community, in other words, as they are typically the best prepared.

You might also find some preparedness communities in places like Ecuador, Uruguay, Panama or Costa Rica where there exists a critical mass of preparedness-minded people who tip the scales in your favor. So that’s definitely a solid option for those who are still intent on leaving the USA or Canada and looking for preparedness options elsewhere. I do know first-hand that there are some very viable ex-pat communities in both Panama and Costa Rica where a critical mass of aware citizens already exists. Lots of libertarians down there… but watch out for “retirement communities” in these countries, which are populated by people who have no interest in actively surviving anything because they figure they’re close to dying anyway.

You do NOT want to live around a whole city of people who culturally and habitually lean toward short-term thinking rather than long-term planning. A city full of starving children with mothers living in total poverty who can barely afford their next meal is not a good backdrop against which you want to build a survival retreat, especially if you’re living out in the country by yourself.

Read books by Jared Diamond (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared_…) if you really want to understand the long-term implications of geography and climate on the development of human culture. You will come to understand that in cultures where food comes too easily, over time there comes to exist a systemic lack of long-term planning in the minds of the citizens. This is a red flag for anyone seeking a preparedness destination.

Realization #3 – Don’t be the foreigner

Another important point to remember in all this is that if you’re, let’s say, a white person living in a white town in America, you blend in. You can walk around anonymously — at the grocery store, the shopping mall, the gas station, whatever. But the minute you move to some country town in South America (or Thailand, or whatever), then you suddenly stick out like a sore thumb.

In other words, if you’re a 6′ 1″ white guy walking around a town of 5′ 8″ brown-skinned people, do ya think anyone will notice?

You bet they will, and when they see a 6′ 1″ white guy walking around, what they really see is a walking ATM.

You’re a symbol of wealth, and the poorer the country you go to, the more wealth disparity you’ll find, of course. And what you need to understand is that wealth disparity breeds contempt. So while you’re driving around in a brand-new Toyota 4×4 (which I never did, by the way), the locals are looking at you and thinking to themselves that they could never afford that vehicle in their LIFETIME.

Why does this matter? From a practical perspective, it means that in a social breakdown scenario, these people have an instant idea of where the goods are. Who has the money? The white people! Who has the nicest houses, cars and electronics? The white people! (Or “the foreigner,” even if you’re not white.)

What I learned from this is that I’d rather be an “average” white guy living in an average neighborhood, driving an average car than sticking out like some sort of person who appears to be relatively well off. That’s why today I still live in a modular trailer unit in Austin, I still drive a Toyota pickup truck, I dress like a rancher in blue jeans and flannel shirt, and nobody gives it a second thought when I’m out in public. I blend in, and that’s far wiser than sticking out.

Some people want to look rich and popular, so they wear a lot of bling, and they drive a high-end car they can’t afford, and they live in a house they can’t pay off, and they try to fool everybody into thinking they’re rich and powerful. I’d rather fool people into thinking I’m NOT powerful. Because underneath all that, I actually am quite capable of defending myself, or taking decisive action, or just quietly removing myself from the situation if required.

God help the mugger who tries to mug me on the street someday, because I don’t dial 911. Then again, I don’t walk around looking wealthy enough to mug in the first place. In fact, half the time when I walk into a hardware store in Austin to buy some equipment, I still have dirt and grime on my face from working on the farm that morning, and I’ve got mud on my jeans and grease on my shirt from greasing the hydraulics of the tractor loader bucket.

The point is, if you try to stand out in a time of crisis, you’re an idiot. Blending in is so much wiser, I’ve learned. And I learned some of this the hard way, being an idiot myself in years past.

So the bottom line on this point is simple: Live where you fit in. If you speak with a Cajun accent, live around Cajuns. If you’re black, don’t be the one black guy in a white neighborhood (nor do you want to be the one white guy in a black neighborhood). It’s not racial segregation I’m advocating, by the way, it’s simply a preparedness attitude of blending in so you don’t attract unwarranted attention to yourself and your daily activities.

Don’t draw attention to yourself

You’re going to have far better success at preparedness, survival and even home defense if you can engage in preparedness activities without drawing attention to yourself. So if you’re out at the local Wal-Mart, let’s say, buying up a case of rubbing alcohol to add to your first aid kit, you don’t want to leave any kind of strong impression a cashier there who, for example, might later tell some FBI agent, “Oh yeah, there was this 6′ 2″ guy with red hair and an old-style Western mustache, and he bought up a cart full of shotgun ammo, rubbing alcohol and bandages. I thought that was kinda weird…”

So another tip in all this is that if you’re buying first aid supplies, or stored food, or anything you need to stay prepared, buy things in small quantities, and better yet use the self checkout lanes at local retailers, so you’re not even interacting with a cashier at all. And don’t be a moron and buy too many items of anything at once. It’s far better to make multiple trips (to different stores, preferably), buying up smaller quantities of things and then combining them at home.

And what kind of things should you have? Well, if you want the full details, get my Be Prepared, Not Scared course that I recorded with Robert Scott Bell, as we go over the entire preparedness list covering food, first aid, emergency communications, lighting, safety and much more:

Food Security:

http://premium.naturalnews.tv/Be_Pr…

Economic Security:

http://premium.naturalnews.tv/Be_Pr…

I’ve also created what I believe to be a very powerful audio recording called “Five Mental Strategies for Surviving Anytime, Anywhere” which is included as a free bonus to our “Surthrival” course recorded with Daniel Vitalis. Read about it here:

http://www.naturalnews.com/033985_S…

…or download the full course at:

http://premium.naturalnews.tv/Surth…

Realization #4 – You cannot escape the global police state

I learned this with the help of Alex Jones of InfoWars.com. I was talking to him in the studio one day, during a commercial break, and he was asking me about Ecuador. Then he said something profound: “You can’t escape the police state, you know. It’s global.”

And he’s right. Think about the controllers and how they operate: It’s the global banksters, the global pharmaceutical giants, Monsanto, Coca-Cola, Exxon and all the other evil corporations that infect our world with disease and suffering. These corporations run the global governments, and if you don’t believe me, just ask John Perkins, the former “Economic Hit Man.”

Listen to my interview with Perkins here:

http://www.naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=8…

You will be astounded by what you’ll learn there, probably. But the upshot of it is that tyranny is a global phenomenon, and you cannot escape it by simply crossing some national boundary.

The simple truth is that our entire world is under assault by criminals right now, and those criminals are deeply embedded in the financial system of Goldman Sachs crooks and Federal Reserve elitists. They are dominating economies across Europe, North America, Asia and even Central and South America. They are planning an economic implosion so they can steal the world’s wealth. All assets backed by paper may become worthless in 2012 in the years soon thereafter. This is all by design, and it’s global.

With economic implosion comes social unrest, and with social unrest comes martial law. So you can expect martial law to be declared in many nations around the world, and in my experience, if you’re living under martial law, it’s preferable to blend in so that you don’t attract unnecessary attention to your own activities. (And by this, I don’t mean anything unlawful or subversive. I just mean fundamental commonsense things like buying extra food and supplies, for example, to defend your family and your local community. And have yourself a reliable mechanical lead-slinger as well.)

Realization #5 – You are far safer to hunker down than try to go mobile

A lot of people talk about having a backup retreat somewhere that they will “drive to” or “fly to” when the collapse strikes. In my view, this is foolish. Highways will become kill zones targeted by marauders, and using vehicles on roads will only get you either robbed or dead (or maybe both).

To a gang of armed looters who forgot to plan ahead before the collapse, there’s no more juicy target than an RV loaded down with stored food, ammo and gold, and if you’re stupid enough to drive one of those as you’re trying to get to your destination, you’d better have your own cavalry along for the ride, or you probably won’t get very far.

Anyone who has studied military tactics, gang mentality or historical accounts of what happens when governments fall knows that roads are to be avoided at all costs. The only safe way to go from point A to point B is to hump it on foot, cross-country style, and even then you’d better only walk at night or you risk being shot by someone defending their own land.

Once you start actually thinking about all this, it doesn’t take long to realize that the far safer strategy is to live in your castle starting right now. Stay put, stock up, and find a way to defend it.

Want a great book on how to accomplish that? Buy and read “Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/06…)

It’s written by “Joe Nobody,” which itself is a lesson in laying low. This book isn’t about turning your house into a concrete bunker armed to the teeth, because that’s just an invitation to be hammered by an armed gang of looters. Rather, it’s just as much about using cosmetic deception to fool would-be marauders into thinking your place has already been hit, for example, and is therefore worthless. This informative book is really an example “The Art of War-” style thinking for defending your home and your family, using very clever techniques that go far beyond “shooting back.”

Don’t expect the book to be well edited, by the way. A lot of the best survival and prepper books have lousy editing because they’re written by people who are experts in practical skills but relatively inexperienced writers. But who cares? I’m not looking for Shakespeare here. I’m looking for tactics that really work, and this book delivers. (Wish I could find who really wrote this because I’d like to interview them here on NaturalNews…)

Getting back to the point at hand, even with a vehicle you can’t possibly carry everything you need to stay safe and prepared, and on top of that gasoline supplies may be impossible to find for a while, so the very best place to hunker down is the place where you live. That’s where you can store your food, emergency first aid supplies, communications equipment (wind-up emergency radios, for example), defensive items such as defensive items, solar battery chargers, cooking gear, instructional books, garden seeds and whatever else you might need to survive an economic collapse.

That’s why I’ve decided to ride out the collapse in Austin, Texas, by the way. Well, not exactly in the inner city itself, but near enough to the city to be considered an Austinite.

Why Texas? It’s not perfect, but it’s well-armed

Why Austin? Because Texas has its own power grid unlike the rest of the nation. Texas can grow its own food. Texas is the energy capital of the nation and can produce natural gas, diesel, oil and even jet fuel. Texas has masses of armed patriots who own more guns than they do pairs of shoes, and that makes Texas practically impenetrable to any invading force.

For example, suppose North Korea launches an ICBM into the high atmosphere over North America and unleashes an EMP weapon that destroys nearly all electronics (http://www.naturalnews.com/034344_E…)

This could theoretically be followed by a naval invasion of forces from Red China and North Korea, both of which suffer from too many young males that can hardly be fed and might as well be thrown at some enemy nation as cannon fodder. These forces would plow right through Southern California, with all its anti-gun laws and totally unprepared populations. Oregon would fare a lot better, thanks to the country folks who know how to live off the land, and although Seattle would be quickly overrun by enemy forces, the eastern (country) parts of Washington state would put up a fierce resistance. And any enemy forces foolish enough to try to make it into Idaho would, of course, be viciously intercepted by highly capable resistance forces that would snipe, explode and shred the enemy’s supply lines, halting any advance no matter how strongly intentioned. (You do not want to mess with American rebels and patriots in Idaho, for the record.)

If some enemy force was foolish enough to try to enter Texas, they would be obliterated by a mass of Texas farmers, ranchers, National Guardsmen, law enforcement officers and ex-military men who are all locked and loaded to the hilt. That’s where I feel safest, in the midst of the best-armed and most well-skilled riflemen in the country, most of which are upstanding, community-minded citizens who defend life and liberty. Texas is a fortress of determined men and women who will not, under any circumstances, willfully surrender their freedoms or their Bill of Rights.

Interestingly, Austin is also a progressive town with lots of raw foods, vegans, yoga studios and amazing artists. It’s a progressive, almost liberal town, surrounded by conservative country folks who ultimately serve as a safety buffer that protects the city of Austin itself. When SHTF time comes, you can bet all the unarmed Austin residents will be begging the rural cowboys to protect them from looters and armed gangs.

That’s why people who don’t own guns dial 911 — because they want men who DO own guns to arrive as quickly as possible and solve their problem.

Are your current skills based in reality? Or fiction…

As you consider where to go in a time of crisis, think about where you are right now. Is your local community able to defend itself? Do you live among people who know how to repair cars, weld equipment, repair a rifle, clean fresh fish, grow vegetables, raise chickens and chop firewood? If not, you might want to think about relocating to a place where you live among some more capable people rather than the city-minded people who — let’s face it — live in an artificial reality that’s extremely fragile and won’t last but a few days in a true collapse scenario.

If your top skills today are things like: texting while driving, finding the best sales at Macy’s, and beating the level 12 boss on your Xbox video game, then you’re not likely to survive very long in a real crisis. Xbox skills, it turns out, do not translate into the real world. All those people who are currently experts at artificial skills need to think long and hard about picking up a few reality skills that might help them in the real world.

You don’t know jack, Jack!

Above all, as much as you think you know about preparedness, survival and the like, you probably don’t know jack.

And that goes for myself, too, even as I study this subject and work to learn as much as I possibly can in the short time remaining. Do you know how to suture an open wound? I have literally spent an afternoon reading a suture book and practicing stitches on chicken meat bought from the grocery store. Seems silly, right? Who spends their Saturday suturing a chunk of chicken? Then again, if you’re cut and bleeding more than a little, I’m the guy who knows how to apply a tourniquet in 60 seconds, sanitize the wound and sew it up. It will be ugly as all hell, as I’m no cosmetic surgeon, but as long as you didn’t sever some major artery, you’ll probably live.

I’ve also been known to pack open wounds with freshly-cut aloe vera gel. I just stuff it right into the wound then use a skin stapler to staple the surface shut. Never had an infection problem, as aloe vera gel is a powerful antibacterial substance that also pulls the wound shut as it dries. It’s crude, free and highly effective. Just the kind of country remedy I like to have handy in a time of crisis. That’s why I always grow aloe vera everywhere I go.

Get some skillz, Jack!

These days, my goal in preparedness is to know as many useful skills as possible, which is why I study emergency first aid and other practical skills. In a crisis, I can prep emergency food for an entire community, sanitize water for a small group, perform basic emergency medical procedures on the wounded or even be part of a rifle fire team that defends a church, for example, against a band of armed looters. I’m not the best at any one of those things, but I’m useful in them all.

I know how to grow medicine, grow food and (somewhat) handle farm animals. I know how to clean a rifle, repair a torn belt on a broken piece of farm equipment, operate a John Deere tractor, start a fire without matches, and stitch back together a torn piece of canvas or clothing.

I still don’t know how to field dress a wild pig or deer, but I figure I can always barter with someone who does, as I’ve got a complement of other useful skills that they probably don’t possess. (I’m not into hunting or skinning anything. Can’t stand to shoot live animals. That’s just not my thing, y’know?)

Most of all, I’m determined to survive, and I’m determined to help as many of my fellow human beings survive with me, to the best of my ability and resources. And that’s ultimately what’s going to get me through the coming collapse, so help me God.

Wherever you go, assess the basics

The other day I was thinking about Jim Rogers, the wealthy investor who lives in Singapore and often appears on alternative news shows like RT America or InfoWars. As much as I totally agree with Jim’s advice on learning Chinese (which is one reason why I speak a fair amount of Mandarin myself), if you know anything about Singapore, you also know it is perhaps the last place in the world you want to live in a collapse scenario.

Singapore is a concrete jungle with virtually no usable space for growing food in proportion to its population. Even worse, Singapore has virtually no water supply and must import a huge portion of its water from Malaysia, a nation with which Singapore has dicey relations.

The food for Singapore must all be imported from surrounding nations (such as Malaysia), and Singapore’s claim to fame — a financial hub of Asia — is in many ways based on the very false derivatives and fragile debt instruments that are on the verge of total collapse in the years ahead. If Asia suffers much in the way of economic collapse, Singapore may become a desperate place. Certainly, a resourceful guy like Jim Rogers can probably weather the storm and still come out on top (he’s got assets in multiple currencies, in many financial institutions around the world), but for your average run-of-the-mill citizens, Singapore could become a very dangerous place to try to survive.

When people look at relocating for preparedness reasons, they often overlook the basics such as water resources. That’s why I recommend people buy the book “Strategic Relocation — North American Guide to Safe Places, 3rd Edition” (http://www.amazon.com/Strategic-Rel…) by Joel Skousen. I’ve been a fan of Skousen for over a decade, and this book will walk you through the key decision-making process of finding a place that can keep you and your family alive. That place is NOT New York City, nor Los Angeles, obviously. Those are places to go if you want to DIE in a collapse.

But there are many places across North America that are quite suitable for creating your preparedness retreat as a primary residence. Many of these places even have internet bandwidth available, so you can potentially earn a living on the ‘net while you prepare your location.

If you read the book, you’ll discover that Austin has its own pitfalls, including being relatively close to both nuclear power facilities and the border with Mexico. Both of those are legitimate concerns, of course, and there’s no perfect spot that has everything you want. You have to find the best combination of factors that matter to you, then do the best you can with the time, skills and resources available to you.

Timing: Are you prepared yet?

If you’re not already well along with your own preparedness plans, you run the risk of missing this train entirely. 2012 is nearly upon us, and while I don’t believe all the Mayan calendar nonsense being rumored around the internet, I certainly see a financial collapse headed our way in 2012 or very soon thereafter.

It takes 2-3 years to really get squared away with your retreat if you consider the process of making good quality soil for gardening, planting some fruit trees, squaring away your irrigation system, getting some backyard chickens and so on. You can’t just “buy a place” and move in and suddenly expect to be fully covered. Building a retreat requires experience that only time will deliver — experience dealing with weather, garden pests, wild predators, knowing the lay of the land and so on. Just squaring away your own home water supply can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to begin, and even getting a well drilled can be a six-month process in terms of acquiring permits and waiting on drilling companies (which are often backlogged).

Time is running short. If you’re not already in the process of storing the supplies you need — and learning the skills that go with them — you’re late. Get on top of this NOW.

And don’t worry if you’re not in the “perfect” geographic location or the perfect house or whatever. Work with what you have. A family with skills and just a few basic supplies is far better off than a wealthy family with a house full of gear they don’t know how to use. I can’t even tell you how many people out there just buy stuff, toss it on a shelf and never learn how to use it. That’s about as silly as owning a guitar and thinking you’re suddenly a “musician” because you have the gear.

Whatever you buy to be prepared, practice with it and practice with your entire family. Even if you don’t own firearms (or don’t want to), a family of four armed with a few cans of heavy duty pepper spray can make a small group of attackers think twice. Plan ahead for what’s coming, and you won’t be left behind.

Source-

Congress Authorizes Pentagon To Wage Internet War

(Wired) The ancient art of war is coming to the internet.
The House and Senate agreed to give the U.S. military the power to conduct “offensive” strikes online — including clandestine attacks, via a little-noticed provision in the military’s 2012 funding bill.

The power, which was included in the House version but not the Senate version, was included in the final “reconciled” bill that is all but guaranteed to pass into law.

Congress affirms that the Department of Defense has the capability, and upon direction by the President may conduct offensive operations in cyberspace to defend our Nation, Allies and interests, subject to–
(1) the policy principles and legal regimes that the Department follows for kinetic capabilities, including the law of armed conflict; and
(2) the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.).

While “offensive” action isn’t defined, that’s likely to include things like unleashing a worm like the Stuxnet worm that damaged Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, hacking into another country’s power grid to bring it down, disabling websites via denial-of-service attacks, or as the CIA has already done with some collateral damage, hacking into a forum where would-be terrorists meet in order to permanently disable it.

The conference report goes on to say:

The conferees recognize that because of the evolving nature of cyber warfare, there is a lack of historical precedent for what constitutes traditional military activities in relation to cyber operations and that it is necessary to affirm that such operations may be conducted pursuant to the same policy, principles, and legal regimes that pertain to kinetic capabilities.

The conferees also recognize that in certain instances, the most effective way to deal with threats and protect U.S. and coalition forces is to undertake offensive military cyber activities, including where the role of the United States Government is not apparent or to be acknowledged. The conferees stress that, as with any use of force, the War Powers Resolution may apply.

Despite mainstream news accounts, there’s been no documented hacking attacks on U.S. infrastructure designed to cripple it. A recent report from a post-9/11 intelligence fusion center that a water pump in Illinois had been destroyed by Russian hackers turned out to be baseless — and was simply a contractor logging in from his vacation at the behest of the water company.

Over the last few years, there’s been a drumbeat from D.C. and security contractors about the possibility of “cyberwar,” and the military has been pushing for, and largely receiving, increased funding for internet security research and more power to monitor and operate on the civilian internet.

Chinese hackers, perhaps affiliated with the government, have targeted large U.S. corporations, defense contractors and human rights groups with data-stealing trojans, something Bloomberg News trumpeted Tuesday as an “undeclared global cyber war.”

However, spying isn’t an act of war — just ask the NSA and CIA, who spend billions of dollars a year spying on other countries by intercepting communications and persuading foreign citizens to give the U.S. valuable intelligence. It’s certainly an aggressive state action, and a diplomatic issue. But if spying was an act of war, every CIA agent hiding under diplomatic cover would count as cause for a country to attack the U.S.

After perfunctory votes in both the House and Senate, the spending measure — and the cyberwar green light — will go to the President for his signature.
Source-http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/12/internet-war-2/

Iran Threatens To Close Strait Of Hormuz,Oil Surges

(Reuters) – A member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security Committee said on Monday that the military was set to practice its ability to close the Gulf to shipping at the narrow Strait of Hormuz, the most important oil transit channel in the world, but there was no official confirmation.
The legislator, Parviz Sarvari, told the student news agency ISNA: “Soon we will hold a military maneuver on how to close the Strait of Hormuz. If the world wants to make the region insecure, we will make the world insecure.”
Contacted by Reuters, a spokesman for the Iranian military declined to comment.
Iran’s energy minister told Al Jazeera television last month that Tehran could use oil as a political tool in the event of any future conflict over its nuclear program.
Tension over the program has increased since the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on November 8 that Tehran appears to have worked on designing a nuclear bomb and may still be pursuing research to that end. Iran strongly denies this and says it is developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Iran has warned it will respond to any attack by hitting Israel and U.S. interests in the Gulf and analysts say one way to retaliate would be to close the Strait of Hormuz.
About a third of all sea-borne shipped oil passed through the Strait in 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and U.S. warships patrol the area to ensure safe passage.
Most of the crude exported from Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq – together with nearly all the liquefied natural gas from lead exporter Qatar – must slip through a 4-mile wide shipping channel between Oman and Iran.
Source-http://news.yahoo.com/iran-army-declines-mps-hormuz-exercise-remarks-132115297.html

10 Ridiculous Things That Make You a Terror Suspect

(Activist Post) You thought you weren’t doing anything wrong, so why should you care about who they call a terrorist? Well, you may not believe it, but you’re likely a terror suspect in America’s new paradigm of the Land of the Fear.

The government is casting a wide net over its citizens in its search for potential threats. Now, you don’t need to actually commit a crime to be hauled away to a detention center and held without charges while you are tortured; you just need to appear suspicious by sympathizing with anti-government views to be labeled a domestic terrorist.

First, it’s important to understand the official definition of domestic terrorism in the United States. The ACLU reports that a person is a domestic terrorist if they engage in any “act dangerous to human life” that “appears to be intended to (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.”

Although recent White House action plans claim to be targeting “violent extremism in all its forms,” the government itself is clearly guilty of countless “acts dangerous to human life intended to coerce the civilian population, to influence the policy, and to affect the conduct of a government.” But that’s for another article.

What’s more disturbing, is the government’s expansion of guilty parties to “terrorist sympathizers.” This is where the net gets really large. What exactly constitutes sympathizing with a terrorist? Is questioning the imperial foreign policy and the destruction of civil liberties, sympathizing with the enemy? In the U.S., it seems that if you don’t agree with the violence and coercion America commits, then you’re an anti-American terrorist sympathizer, as evidenced by peace organizations being added to terror watch lists.

So, what makes you a terror suspect in America? Here are 10 ridiculous things that make you a terrorist according to “officials” running the U.S. government:

Tea Party Activists: The political Left demonized peaceful Tea Party activists as right-wing extremists, leading to the second most powerful official in the U.S. government, VP Joe Biden, to liken them to terrorists. Do you sympathize with those who are angry about bank bailouts on the backs of taxpayers? Well, you’re likely a terrorist in the eyes of the State.

Occupy Activists: Now, the “Occupy” movement, said to be made up of left-wing extremists, is enjoying the same treatment as the Tea Party’s right-wing extremists. The United Kingdom has officially labeled “Occupy” demonstrators as domestic terrorists. The U.S. hasn’t gone quite that far, but the violent Police State did spy them in search of “domestic terrorists.” Watch out, you may be a terror suspect if you sympathize with the 99%.

7 Days of Food: The Department of Justice and FBI considers you a terrorist threat if you have more than 7 days of food stored, as explained by Rand Paul on the Senate floor:


Paul was referring to an official FBI/DOJ flyer given out to business owners to help them identify potential threats. And recently, Federal agents went to food storage facilities demanding customers lists, while citizens were harassed by the government with door-to-door “assessments” of their preparedness.

Missing Fingers: The document referred to by Rand Paul above, also claims that if someone is missing a finger or has burn marks, they’re more likely to be a terror suspect.

Buying Flashlights: Also from the same official source, if you’re buying night-vision devices including flashlights, you should be considered a terror suspect.

Paying Cash at Hotels: Watch out if you want to pay with cash for hotel rooms. This DHS commercial indicates that you’re a terror suspect if you do:


The DHS has also launched their citizen spy program for hotels and has sent them hotel protection guidelines which lists suspicious activities like persons carrying observation equipment or standing around in the same area.

Texting Privately in a Public Place: According to this DHS commercial for their citizen spy program, if you’re texting while sitting in a public park, but trying to keep it concealed from people who pass by, you should be reported for suspicious terrorist activity:


Ron Paul Stickers: A 2009 law enforcement report from the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) labeled Ron Paul supporters, Libertarians, and people sharing movies about the Federal Reserve as “domestic terrorists.” When supporters of a political candidate who stands for peace and freedom become terror suspects, America is in big trouble.

Belief in Conspiracies — Obama’s Information Czar, Cass Sunstein, has identified those who hold conspiracy theories as targets for online “cognitive infiltration.” Do you question the motives for war? Question the motives of the private Federal Reserve bank? Question any government policies? Chances are you already have been marked as a suspect.

Own Precious Metals — Despite the fact that the Federal Reserve paper note (a.k.a. the dollar) is only sustained by faith, you could now be a suspected terrorist if you would like to preserve your wealth with something that holds real value like precious metals. And forget about establishing an alternative currency made from silver or gold like Bernard von NotHaus as you may be lumped into a “unique form of terrorism.”

And now the bonus round for being registered as a potential terrorist — #11– Owning guns and ammo. Let’s face it: you disagree with the American government colluding with international banks to rob you blind AND you’ve armed yourself? This also why returning veterans have also been labeled potential terrorists — they have guns, know how to use them, and may be angry about the lies that sent them to war.

As the Fast and Furious scandal has now revealed, it was done with a premeditated strategy to vilify the Second Amendment to the nation’s Constitution. Wait — actively planning to undermine the founding document of the country and plot criminal activity against citizens to spread fear and increase political power? Should that be considered under the definition of terrorism. . . .?

Let’s have Lowkey, quoted at the top of this article, add a conclusion to this article:


Source-

http://www.activistpost.com/2011/12/10-ridiculous-things-that-make-you.html

The European Financial System Is Heading For An Implosion Of Historic Proportions

(Economic Collapse) What happens when you attempt a cold shutdown of one of the biggest debt spirals that the world has ever seen? Well, we are about to find out. The politicians in Europe have decided that they are going to “take their medicine” and put strict limits on budget deficits. They have also decided that the European Central Bank is not going to engage in reckless money printing to “paper over” the debts of troubled nations.

This may all sound wonderful to many of you, but the reality is that there is always a tremendous amount of pain whenever a massive debt spiral is interrupted. Just look at what happened to Greece. Greece was forced to raise taxes and implement brutal austerity measures. That caused the economy to slow down and tax revenues to decline and so government debt figures did not improve as much as anticipated. So Greece was forced to implement even more brutal austerity measures. Well, that caused the economy to slow down even more and tax revenues declined again. In Greece this cycle has been repeated several times and now Greece is experiencing a full-blown economic depression. 100,000 businesses have closed and a third of the population is living in poverty. But now Germany and France intend to impose the “Greek solution” on the rest of Europe. This is going to create the conditions needed for a “perfect storm” to develop and it means that the European financial system is heading for an implosion of historic proportions.
The easiest way to deal with a debt spiral is to let it keep going and going. That is what the United States has done. Sure, “kicking the can down the road” makes the crisis much worse in the long run, but bringing the pain into the present is not a lot of fun either.
Europe has decided to do something that is unprecedented in the post-World War II era. They have decided to put very strict limits on budget deficits and to impose tough sanctions on any nations that break the rules. They have also decided that they are not going to allow the European Central Bank to fund the debts of troubled nations with reckless money printing.
Without a doubt, this is a German solution for a German-dominated Europe. Germany does not want to pay for the debt mistakes of other EU nations, and so they are shoving bitter austerity down the throats of those that have gotten into too much debt.
But this solution is not going to be implemented without a massive amount of pain.
In fact, this solution is going to make a massive financial collapse much more likely. The following are 17 signs that the European financial system is heading for an implosion of historic proportions….
#1 As noted above, when you reduce government spending you also slow down the economy. We have already seen what brutal austerity has done to Greece – 100,000 businesses have shut down, a third of the population is living in poverty and there is rioting in the streets. Now that brand of brutal austerity is going to be imposed in almost every single nation in Europe.
#2 As the economy slows down in Europe, unemployment will rise. There are already 10 different European nations that have an “official” unemployment rateof over 10 percent and the next recession has not even officially started yet.
#3 Before it is all said and done, the EU nations that are drowning in debt will likely need trillions of euros in bailout money just to survive. But at this point Germany and the other wealthy nations of northern Europe are sick and tired of bailouts and do not plan to hand over trillions of euros.
#4 The European Central Bank could theoretically print up trillions of euros and buy up massive amounts of European sovereign debt, but this would go against existing treaties and most of the major politicians in Europe are steadfastly against this right now. But without such intervention it is hard to see how the ECB will be able to keep bond yields from absolutely skyrocketing for long. In fact, without massive ECB intervention it is hard to see how the eurozone is going to be able to stay together at all. Graeme Leach, the chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said the following recently….
“Unless the ECB begins to operate as a sovereign lender of last resort function, with massive purchases of eurozone public debt, the inexorable logic is that the eurozone will break up.”
#5 European leaders are hoping that the new treaty that was just agreed to will be ratified by the end of the summer. In reality, it will probably take much longer than that. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made it clear that the solution to this debt crisis is going to take a long time to implement….
“It’s a process, and this process will take years.”
Unfortunately, Europe does not have years. Europe is rapidly running out of time. A massive financial crisis is steamrolling right at them and they need solutions right now.
#6 Sadly, the cold, hard reality of the matter is that none of the fundamental problems that Europe is facing were fixed by this recent “agreement” as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard recently noted in one of his columns….
There is no shared debt issuance, no fiscal transfers, no move to an EU Treasury, no banking licence for the ESM rescue fund, and no change in the mandate of the European Central Bank.
In short, there is no breakthrough of any kind that will convince Asian investors that this monetary union has viable governance or even a future.
Germany has kept the focus exclusively on fiscal deficits even though everybody must understand by now that this crisis was not caused by fiscal deficits (except in the case of Greece). Spain and Ireland were in surplus, and Italy had a primary surplus.
#7 Nobody wants to lend to European banks right now. Everyone knows that there are dozens of European banks in danger of failing, and nobody wants to throw any more money into those black holes. The U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank have been lending them money, but a lot of European banks are already starting to run out of “acceptable forms of collateral” for those loans as one Australian news source recently explained….
“If anyone thinks things are getting better, they simply don’t understand how severe the problems are,” a London executive at a global bank said. “A major bank could fail within weeks.”
Others said many continental banks, including French, Italian and Spanish lenders, were close to running out of the acceptable forms of collateral, such as US Treasury bonds, that could be used to finance short-term loans.
Some have been forced to lend out their gold reserves to maintain access to US dollar funding.
So will the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank keep lending them money once they are out of acceptable collateral?
If not, we could start to see banks fail in rapid succession.
Charles Wyplosz, a professor of international economics at Geneva’s Graduate Institute, is absolutely certain that we are going to see some major European banks collapse….
“Banks will collapse, including possibly a number of French banks that are very exposed to Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain.”
#8 Not only does nobody want to lend money to them, major banks all over Europe are also dramatically cutting back on lending to consumers and businesses as they attempt to meet new capital-adequacy requirements by next June.
According to renowned financial journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, European banks need to reduce the amount of lending on their books by about 7 trillion dollars in order to get down to safe levels….
Europe’s banks face a $7 trillion lending contraction to bring their balance sheets in line with the US and Japan, threatening to trap the region in a credit crunch and chronic depression for a decade.
When nobody wants to lend to the banks, and when the banks severely cut back on lending to others, that is called a “credit crunch”. In such an environment, it is incredibly difficult to avoid a major recession.
#9 European banks are absolutely overloaded with “toxic assets” that they are desperate to get rid of. Just as we saw with U.S. banks back in 2008, major European banks are busy trying to unload mountains of worthless assets that have a book value of trillions of euros. Unfortunately for the banks, virtually nobody wants to buy them.
#10 European bond yields are still incredibly high even though the European Central Bank has spent over 274 billion dollars buying up European government bonds.
Up until now, the European Central Bank has been taking money out of the system (by taking deposits or by selling assets for example) whenever it injects new money into the system by buying bonds. That makes this different from the quantitative easing that the U.S. Federal Reserve has done. But at some point the European Central Bank is going to run out of ways to take money out of the system, and when that happens either the Germans will have to allow the ECB to print money out of thin air to buy bonds with or we will finally see the market determine the true value of European government bonds.
#11 Bond yields are going to become even more important in 2012, becausehuge mountains of European sovereign debt are scheduled to be rolled over next year. For example, Italy must roll over approximately 20 percent of its entire sovereign debt during 2012.
#12 Once the new treaty is ratified, eurozone governments will lose the power to respond to a major recession by dramatically increasing government spending. So if the governments of Europe cannot spend more money in response to the coming financial crisis, and if the ECB cannot print more money in response to the coming financial crisis, then what is going to keep the coming recession from turning into a full-blown depression?
#13 Credit rating agencies are warning that more credit downgrades may be coming in Europe. For example, Moody’s recently stated the following….
“While our central scenario remains that the euro area will be preserved without further widespread defaults, shocks likely to materialise even under this ‘positive’ scenario carry negative credit and rating implications in the coming months. And the longer the incremental approach to policy persists, the greater the likelihood of more severe scenarios, including those involving multiple defaults by euro area countries and those additionally involving exits from the euro area.”
#14 S&P has put 15 members of the eurozone (including Germany) on review for a possible credit downgrade.
#15 The stock prices of many major European banks are in the process of collapsing. If you doubt this, just check out the charts in this article.
#16 Bank runs have begun in some parts of Europe. For example, a recent article posted on Yahoo News described what has been going on in Latvia….
Latvia’s largest bank scrambled Monday to head off a run among depositors who were gripped by rumours of the bank’s imminent ruin.
Weekend rumours that Swedbank was facing legal and liquidity problems in Estonia and Sweden sent thousands of Latvians to bank machines on Sunday, with some lines reaching as many as 50 people.
The Greek banking system is literally on the verge of collapse. According to a recent Der Spiegel article, the run on Greek banks is rapidly accelerating….
He means that the outflow of funds from Greek bank accounts has been accelerating rapidly. At the start of 2010, savings and time deposits held by private households in Greece totalled €237.7 billion — by the end of 2011, they had fallen by €49 billion. Since then, the decline has been gaining momentum. Savings fell by a further €5.4 billion in September and by an estimated €8.5 billion in October — the biggest monthly outflow of funds since the start of the debt crisis in late 2009.
#17 There are already signs that European economic activisty (as well as global economic activity) is really starting to slow down. Just consider the following statistics from a recent article by Stephen Lendman….
In November, French business confidence fell for the eighth consecutive month. In October, Japanese machinery orders dropped 6.9%, following an 8.2% plunge in September.
South Africa just reported a 5.6% drop in manufacturing activity. Britain recorded a 0.7% decline. China’s October exports fell 1.7% after dropping 3.8% in September.
Korea’s exports are down three consecutive months. Singapore’s were off in September and October. Indonesia’s plunged 8.5% in October after slipping 2% in September. India’s imploded 18.3% after being flat in September.
Are you starting to get the picture?
Europe is in a massive amount of trouble.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The equation is simple….
Brutal austerity + toxic levels of government debt + rising bond yields + a lack of confidence in the financial system + banks that are massively overleveraged + a massive credit crunch = A financial implosion of historic proportions
Unless something truly dramatic happens, the economy of Europe is a dead duck.
There is no way that Europe is going to be able to substantially reduce the flow of money coming from national governments and substantially reduce the flow of money coming from the banks and still be able to avoid a major recession.
Look, I want it to be very clear that I am in no way advocating government debt in this article. It is just that under the debt-based monetary paradigm that we are all operating under, there is no way that you can dramatically reduce government spending without experiencing a whole lot of pain.
An economic “perfect storm” is developing in Europe. All of the things that need to happen for a major recession to occur are falling into place.
So does anyone out there disagree with me? Does anyone think that Europe is going to be just fine?
Source-http://www.infowars.com/mega-fail-17-signs-that-the-european-financial-system-is-heading-for-an-implosion-of-historic-proportions/

Former Gov. Granholm Predicts Surge For Ron Paul

(Eric W. Dolan) Speaking to a Current TV panel after the Republican presidential debate on Saturday, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) suggested that Texas Rep. Ron Paul may see a new influx of support.

The post-debate panel included Former Vice President Al Gore, Current TV Anchor Cenk Uygur, and The Young Turks contributors Michael Shure and Brian Unger.

“Ron Paul going into this debate was essentially tied with Mitt Romney, and Newt [Gingrich] of course was ascendant,” Granhold said. “I think Ron Paul may end up seeing a surge as a result of this.”
“But I think Romney, especially with the $10,000 bet, showed that he is completely out of touch.”

Paul, a libertarian, has gained an enthusiastic following for his strong views on limited government, free market economics and non-interventionist foreign policy. In the 2008 Republican presidential primary his views clearly made him an outlier, but many of his economic positions have now been adopted by mainstream Republicans — thanks in part to the tea party movement.

Paul is outperforming Romney in the key GOP primary state of Iowa but trailing behind Gingrich, according to a poll released last week.
Source-http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/11/former-gov-granholm-predicts-surge-for-ron-paul/

Rand Paul Warns GOP Voters: Gingrich, Romney Are Not Conservatives

(Joe Wolverton) Senator Rand Paul, a self-described representative of the Tea Party, worries that the small progress toward the restoration of limited government may be “set back” by the upcoming Republican presidential nomination.

In a letter to the Des Moines Register, the son of GOP White House hopeful Ron Paul set forth his two goals for striving to protect the “conservative movement” from being hampered by the nomination of a candidate with “a different set of ideas and values.”
The first of Senator Paul’s two goals is to “prevent the European debt crisis from consuming America next.” Although certainly a priority for the Senator, the rest of the letter is devoted to details of his second goal: electing a “constitutional[ly] conservative president in 2012.”
An urgent issue for the Republican Party and the United States is the election of a president who will remain faithful to his Oath of Office from the moment his hand is placed on the Bible on Inauguration Day.
While Senator Paul admits that anyone on the current roster of Republican candidates would be an improvement over Barack Obama, he calls out the two men leading in the polls — Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich — for not representing “the tea party, the conservative movement, or the type of change our country desperately needs….”
In his indictment of the former Governor of Massachusetts and the former Speaker of the House, Paul’s first charge against both is their support for the $700-billion bank bailouts signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008.
Paul quotes the Obama Treasury Department as describing the bailouts, officially called the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), as “one of the most unpopular government programs in American history.”
A D V E R T I S E M E N T

In a debate in October, Romney defended the bailouts as necessary “to keep the entire currency of the country worth something. My experience tells me that we were on the precipice, and we could have had a complete meltdown of our entire financial system, wiping out all the savings of the American people. So action had to be taken.”
As for current “frontrunner” Newt Gingrich, he claims to have changed his mind on TARP after having his ear bent by a number of “very right wing” businessmen. These unnamed advisors convinced Gingrich that the financial meltdown was a “true crisis” and that the bailouts were necessary to prevent the financial system from suffering a “heart attack.”
Further evidence of the necessity for the bailout of financial institutions was provided to Gingrich by the fact that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and Secretary of the Treasury agreed “that the global financial system was on the edge of total failure” and so Gingrich changed his position and favored passage of the legislation.
The next charge leveled by Senator Paul at Romney and Gingrich is their “outspoken and unapologetic” support for the individual mandate of ObamaCare.
The individual mandate provision of the Obama health care requires that all residents of the United States purchase a qualifying medical insurance policy or face tax penalties and possible imprisonment. This mandate is the first time in history that the Congress of the United States has passed a law forcing citizens to purchase a commodity regardless of personal preference or financial ability.
Neither candidate can run from their record as both have for years ardently advocated the government-mandated purchase of health insurance.
As Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney signed a health care plan into law that contains an individual mandate provision nearly identical to that included in the ObamaCare legislation.
In the case of Newt Gingrich, in an interview in 2005, Gingrich said that if a person earning over $50,000 a year did not have health insurance, then he was in favor of the government forcing that person to either purchase a policy or post a bond.
While serving as a Congressman in 1993, Gingrich made similar comments advocating a national healthcare system supported by an individual mandate. “I’ve said consistently we ought to have some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way indicate that you are going to be held accountable.”
Senator Paul’s letter is his way of making sure Gingrich, Romney, and all of the potential Republican nominees are held accountable for their policy positions and that they are truly dedicated to principles of freedom as enunciated in the Constitution.
So seriously does Paul take the support of these two men for TARP and the individual mandate that he argues that it “disqualifies” them from receiving the support of the Tea Party.
Beyond their support for two programs that must be undone if the American Republic is ever to return to within its proper, constitutional bounds, Rand Paul points out that both men cannot sincerely commit to accomplishing that critical goal in light of their irrefutable promotion of expansive government intervention in the lives of citizens and of corporate welfare.
Briefly, Paul describes Romney as a “moderate, northeastern, don’t-rock-the-boat Republican” and that everyone in the party gets that.
As for Gingrich, however, Paul is concerned that the rank and file of his party are “being sold a bill of goods” that doesn’t represent the truth about Newt Gingrich and his philosophy and policies.
Paul proposes that despite Gingrich’s multiple “flip-flops,” his heart remains with the left wing of the Republican Party. Says Paul, “His record features ‘highlights’ such as global warming commercials with Nancy Pelosi, support for cap-and-trade, funding Planned Parenthood, and, recently, announcing that life does not begin at conception.”
All those acts are certainly antithetical to the positions taken by the conservative wing of the Republican Party.
The list of sins against the Constitution for which Newt Gingrich has never repented is long, according to Senator Paul’s opinion piece.
Next, there is Gingrich’s work as a lobbyist for Freddie Mac — one of the agencies whose malfeasance precipitated the nation’s economic meltdown.
Gingrich, Paul says, “took in nearly $40 million promoting big-government ideas….”
Then there is Gingrich’s alleged capitulations on “right-to-work laws” and the Second Amendment, both critical components of the conservative agenda.
And, as opposed to calling for the abolition of the Department of Education, Gingrich actually voted to create it.
When push comes to shove, Paul warns, Gingrich will put party above principle, as he did in the congressional race in New York in 2009 when he supported the “liberal” Republican candidate who eventually lost and threw her support behind the Democrat in the race.
So, Paul ably presents the case for the prosecution against the two men at the top of recent Iowa polls.
The conclusion drawn is that neither man is a conservative and that if the Republican Party is to “continue the work [it] resolved in 2010 to undertake” then it must not elect a nominee who has a track record of advocating the expansion of government and the concomitant abandonment of the Constitution and the small federal government of limited and enumerated powers created by it.
Source-http://www.infowars.com/rand-paul-warns-gop-voters-gingrich-romney-are-not-conservatives/

Police Employ Spy Planes To Arrest U.S. Citizens

( Brian Bennett) Reporting from Washington— Armed with a search warrant, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke went looking for six missing cows on the Brossart family farm in the early evening of June 23. Three men brandishing rifles chased him off, he said.

Janke knew the gunmen could be anywhere on the 3,000-acre spread in eastern North Dakota. Fearful of an armed standoff, he called in reinforcements from the state Highway Patrol, a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulances and deputy sheriffs from three other counties.

He also called in a Predator B drone.

As the unmanned aircraft circled 2 miles overhead the next morning, sophisticated sensors under the nose helped pinpoint the three suspects and showed they were unarmed. Police rushed in and made the first known arrests of U.S. citizens with help from a Predator, the spy drone that has helped revolutionize modern warfare.

But that was just the start. Local police say they have used two unarmed Predators based at Grand Forks Air Force Base to fly at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have used Predators for other domestic investigations, officials said.

“We don’t use [drones] on every call out,” said Bill Macki, head of the police SWAT team in Grand Forks. “If we have something in town like an apartment complex, we don’t call them.”

The drones belong to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which operates eight Predators on the country’s northern and southwestern borders to search for illegal immigrants and smugglers. The previously unreported use of its drones to assist local, state and federal law enforcement has occurred without any public acknowledgment or debate.

Congress first authorized Customs and Border Protection to buy unarmed Predators in 2005. Officials in charge of the fleet cite broad authority to work with police from budget requests to Congress that cite “interior law enforcement support” as part of their mission.

In an interview, Michael C. Kostelnik, a retired Air Force general who heads the office that supervises the drones, said Predators are flown “in many areas around the country, not only for federal operators, but also for state and local law enforcement and emergency responders in times of crisis.”

But former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), who sat on the House homeland security intelligence subcommittee at the time and served as its chairwoman from 2007 until early this year, said no one ever discussed using Predators to help local police serve warrants or do other basic work.

Using Predators for routine law enforcement without public debate or clear legal authority is a mistake, Harman said.

“There is no question that this could become something that people will regret,” said Harman, who resigned from the House in February and now heads the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a Washington think tank.

In 2008 and 2010, Harman helped beat back efforts by Homeland Security officials to use imagery from military satellites to help domestic terrorism investigations. Congress blocked the proposal on grounds it would violate the Posse Comitatus Act, which bars the military from taking a police role on U.S. soil.

Proponents say the high-resolution cameras, heat sensors and sophisticated radar on the border protection drones can help track criminal activity in the United States, just as the CIA uses Predators and other drones to spy on militants in Pakistan, nuclear sites in Iran and other targets around the globe.

For decades, U.S. courts have allowed law enforcement to conduct aerial surveillance without a warrant. They have ruled that what a person does in the open, even behind a backyard fence, can be seen from a passing airplane and is not protected by privacy laws.

Advocates say Predators are simply more effective than other planes. Flying out of earshot and out of sight, a Predator B can watch a target for 20 hours nonstop, far longer than any police helicopter or manned aircraft.

“I am for the use of drones,” said Howard Safir, former head of operations for the U.S. Marshals Service and former New York City police commissioner. He said drones could help police in manhunts, hostage situations and other difficult cases.

But privacy advocates say drones help police snoop on citizens in ways that push current law to the breaking point.

“Any time you have a tool like that in the hands of law enforcement that makes it easier to do surveillance, they will do more of it,” said Ryan Calo, director for privacy and robotics at the Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society.

“This could be a time when people are uncomfortable, and they want to place limits on that technology,” he said. “It could make us question the doctrine that you do not have privacy in public.”

In North Dakota, Janke learned about the Predators last spring after local law enforcement was invited to a briefing on how two Customs and Border Protection drones based at the Grand Forks air base could assist police. He immediately saw advantages.

“We don’t have to go in guns blazing,” the sheriff said in a telephone interview. “We can take our time and methodically plan out what our approach should be.”

Macki, head of the regional SWAT team, decided drones were ideal for spotting suspects in the vast prairie, where grassy plains stretch to the horizon except for trees planted to stem erosion from the winds.

“Anything where we need an advantage, we try to give them a call,” said Macki, who declined to specify how often or where he has used the Predators. “We are very fortunate to have them in our area willing to assist us.”

The first known use was June 23 after Janke drove up to the Brossart farm with a search warrant for cattle that supposedly had strayed from a neighboring ranch. The sheriff says he was ordered off the property at gunpoint.

The six adult Brossarts allegedly belonged to the Sovereign Citizen Movement, an antigovernment group that the FBI considers extremist and violent. The family had repeated run-ins with local police, including the arrest of two family members earlier that day arising from their clash with a deputy over the cattle.

Janke requested help from the drone unit, explaining that an armed standoff was underway. A Predator was flying back from a routine 10-hour patrol along the Canadian border from North Dakota to Montana. It carried extra fuel, so a pilot sitting in a trailer in Grand Forks turned the aircraft south to fly over the farm, about 60 miles from the border.

For four hours, the Predator circled 10,000 feet above the farm. Parked on a nearby road, Janke and the other officers watched live drone video and thermal images of Alex, Thomas and Jacob Brossart — and their mother, Susan — on a hand-held device with a 4-inch screen.

The glowing green images showed people carrying what appeared to be long rifles moving behind farm equipment and other barriers. The sheriff feared they were preparing an ambush, and he decided to withdraw until daybreak. The Predator flew back to its hangar.

At 7 a.m. the next day, the Predator launched again and flew back to the farm. The drone crew was determined to help avoid a bloody confrontation. No one wanted another Ruby Ridge, the 1992 shootout between the FBI and a family in rural Idaho that killed a 14-year-old boy, a woman and a deputy U.S. marshal.

This time, Janke watched the live Predator feed from his office computer, using a password-protected government website called Big Pipe.

Around 10 a.m., the video showed the three Brossart brothers riding all-terrain vehicles toward a decommissioned Minuteman ballistic missile site at the edge of their property. The sensor operator in Grand Forks switched to thermal mode, and the image indicated the three men were unarmed.

Janke signaled the SWAT team to move in and make the arrests. No shots were fired.

A search of the property turned up four rifles, two shotguns, assorted bows and arrows and a samurai sword, according to court records. Police also found the six missing cows, valued at $6,000.

Rodney Brossart, his daughter Abby and his three sons face a total of 11 felony charges, including bail jumping and terrorizing a sheriff, as well as a misdemeanor count against Rodney involving the stray cattle. All have been released on bail. Calls to Rodney Brossart were not returned Saturday. The family is believed to be living on the farm.

Source-http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-drone-arrest-20111211,0,72624,full.story

10 Things The “Social Controllers ” Have In Mind For The Near Future

(NaturalNews) What corporate-driven “science” has in mind for the future of humanity is far different from the dreamy utopian landscape that’s been portrayed by the mainstream media. To hear the corporate-run media tell it, science is always “good” for humanity. Scientific achievements are always called “advances” and not “setbacks,” even though many of them have proven to be disastrous for humanity (atomic bombs, for example, or GMOs).

While pure science is, indeed, a necessary component of any civilization which seeks to expand its understanding of the universe, what we see dominating the landscape today isn’t pure science but corporate-driven “science” that only seeks to accelerate corporate profits, not human understanding. And with that corporate-slanted science comes a whole new era of truly terrifying technologies that we may soon see become reality in our world.

Here, I’ve compiled a list of ten future technologies that might be used to strip away your freedoms and enslave you to the corporate globalist masters, all under the label of “science.”

#1) Organ harvesting from genetically modified, patented pigs

Need a replacement heart or lung? No worries, mate! Monsanto will grow you a new one using a genetically modified, trans-species pig (patent pending) that was raised on GMO animal feed and subjected to organ harvesting while it was still alive in order to keep the organs “fresh.”

Your government-approved, Medicare-funded transplant will be handled by one of the top U.S. hospitals, which are, even today, deeply engaged in black market organ trafficking and illegal transplantations.

#2) “Behavioral vaccines” that rewire your brain to eliminate dissent

Disobedience is a disease! And the “cure” for disobedience (or Oppositional Defiance Disorder, as they call it) will be a new “vaccine” that biologically rewires your brain to make you more socially acceptable to the controllers.

It will be called a “behavioral vaccine” even though, in reality, it’s just a chemical lobotomy. This technology will be a cornerstone of the global police state, which will have no tolerance for independent thinking or critical thought of any kind, especially against the state.

#3) Centralized, remote monitoring of all your health statistics and vital signs by the police state

Think your medical records are really private? Think again: Even now, the U.S. government maintains a secret centralized bank of blood taken from children at birth. In the near future, citizens will be implanted with biometric monitoring chips that relay information back to the government about your pulse, respiration, and the presence of either illegal drugs or legalized pharmaceuticals (which are often the very same chemicals as illegal drugs, just re-branded as a medication).

These chips will be used by the government to enforce people taking their medications. They will also be used to locate and arrest those who smoke a little pot or take addictive substances without a prescription.

But most importantly, these chips will be used to monitor nutritional levels and make sure no one attains a high level of vitamin D, for example, which promotes clear thinking and strong cognitive function (http://www.naturalnews.com/029190_v…). Under scientific dictatorship, the sheeple must be kept in a state of chronic nutritional deficiency in order to be easily controlled. This will all be sold to the public as a way for the government to monitor their “safety” because, the government will claim, “Too much vitamin D can be dangerous!” So they will set the upper safety limits to the lower threshold of cognitive awakening, making sure that everyone remains in a mental stupor as they live out their state-run lives.

#4) The total secrecy of all food ingredients, sources and places of origin

As the food industry is increasingly invaded by junk science (GMOs, anyone?), efforts will increase to hide all the chemical ingredients in food products and rename dangerous-sounding chemicals into nice-sounding chemicals.

The Corn Refiners Association is already trying to rename “High Fructose Corn Syrup” to “corn sugar.” (http://www.naturalnews.com/029748_h…) Aspartame is now going to be called “AminoSweet,” and MSG has been renamed things like “yeast extract” or “Torula yeast powder.”

But it’s going to get far worse as fraudulent science accelerates food industry deceptions. Expect to see preservatives like “sodium benzoate” renamed as things like, “Freshiness crystals.” Or “artificial colors” might be described as “Fortified with pretty colors.”

Above all, the food industry wants to hide where its foods come from, how they are made, and what’s in them, because all three of those categories are bad news for your health.

#5) The complete criminalization of home-produced foods and medicines, forcing total reliance on factory food production

Speaking of food, corrupt “scientists” will soon insist that growing your own food is extremely dangerous because you might grow e.coli in your garden! With such absurd justifications, home gardening will be completely outlawed in many towns, and those who try to secretly grow tomatoes will be arrested and imprisoned as if they were heroin smugglers.

The idea of all this is to make the population completely dependent on centralized factory food production, in the same way the population is currently dependent on centralized electricity and centralized fossil fuels. This will all be justified with the help of “scientists” who claim that factory-produced food is safer for you because it’s all pasteurized, irradiated and fumigated.

#6) The unleashing of a global bioweapon pandemic through seasonal flu shots

Whereas vaccines were once intended to prevent disease, they are now being increasingly weaponized and engineered to spread disease, which is why most of the people who get the flu each winter are the very same people who routinely take flu shots.

In the near future, as the globalists decide the world population has reached its upper tolerable limit, a live “population control” virus will be engineered right into the vaccines, followed by an aggressive vaccine push that even offers to pay people to receive flu shots. (Get a flu shot, earn $25!)

The whole scheme, of course, is nothing more than a population control measure designed to eliminate all the lower-IQ people on the planet who are stupid enough to allow themselves to be injected with biological weapons packaged and sold as vaccines. Effectively, it’s really a eugenics program that the globalists believe will save the human race from the rise of stupidity (no matter what the cost in human suffering).

#7) Total government control over your reproduction and the genetic code of your “offspring”

Copulating with the person of your choice and producing your own “random” offspring will no longer be allowed under the scientific police state. Reproduction must be carefully controlled through licensing and regulation to make sure that no unexpected results occur.

Before having children, parents will need to apply to the government for permission to reproduce, at which point they will be genetically and cognitively profiled, then granted a reproduction classification status that must be strictly followed to avoid imprisonment.

People who show rebellious tendencies and speak out against the state will be denied reproduction “privileges.” Only the most obedient, white-skinned, do-gooder mind slaves will be granted reproduction privileges, and they will gladly copulate and raise yet more babies to be sacrificed to the state as the next generation of mind slaves.

#8) Wireless brain implants that can be remotely activated by law enforcement to make entire crowds of people passive

The future of “science” involves all sorts of electronics implanted into the human body. One of the most convenient ones will be the “pacification chip” that will be forced upon citizens along with “money chips” that they use to pay for everything (cash will be outlawed, and using cash will be seen as a terrorist activity).

The pacification chip can be remotely activated by the government through cell tower bursts — or through hand-held units issued to police and law enforcement commanders — to instantly pacify large crowds of protesters or rioters. Are the students protesting about free speech again? Activate the pacification chip, and they’ll all lay down on the lawn and daydream for a while.

Are revolutionaries marching on the capitol and trying to overthrow the government? Activate the pacification chip, and your tyrannical dictatorship is safe!

Such chips may also be used to “excite” the brain at times when it is also politically useful. For example, when another terrorist attack is staged on U.S. soil, the “excitation chips” can be activated across the population to get people riled up and calling for war! (And that’s the whole point of false flag attacks, of course.)

#9) The genetic engineering and breeding of obedient super soldiers

In the far future, battlefield soldiers will actually be humanoid-shaped robots equipped with firearms and body armor. Think “Terminator” model T-1000. That’s still a ways off, of course, given the incredible complexity of mobile power, robotic actuation technologies, vision recognition systems and artificial intelligence.

In the mean time, the most powerful nations of the world will pour R&D money into growing genetically modified super soldiers who are secretly birthed, raised and trained to be as robotic as possible. These super soldiers will be genetically engineered with peak performance attributes (high blood oxygenation, large body frames, etc.) combined with small brains that can only process enough information to follow orders but never question them.

They will also be outfitted with numerous electronic implants, making them more cyborg than human. They will have vision implants attached to their retinas, for example, GPS chips wired to their brains, comm equipment wired into their ears, and built-in pain medication dispensers that flood their bodies with stimulant chemicals so they can keep fighting even after an arm gets blown off, for example.

#10) The electromagnetic activation of metals and nano-crystals injected into you through vaccines

Here’s a new one most people haven’t thought about: In addition to vaccines being used to spread infectious disease, they can also be used to inject humans with nano-crystals that are sized and tuned to resonate at certain frequencies, much like a radio crystal tunes in to a specific radio band.

Such nano-crystals may lie dormant in the bodies of the general public for years or even decades, but at some point the government can take over the radio towers with an “emergency” national transmission that broadcasts an activation signal at precisely the right wavelength to excite the nano-crystals already in peoples’ bodies. The results could be anything from mass insanity to massive outbreaks of violence (rioting, etc.) or just tens of millions of people instantly dropping dead. Any of those outcomes could then be exploited by the government to sell a cover story of a “terrorist attack” that requires even more government control over the population.

It could all be done in the name of “science”

Remember, this collection of 10 points is about possible future technologies that exemplify the abuse of science to empower tyrannical governments and corrupt industries. Thankfully, these ten examples have not come true yet, but several are well on their way to become reality in just the next few years.

Real science has an important role to play in any society, but I believe that science should serve the interests of the People, not the self-serving controllers who run globalist corporations and national governments. When science is used to dominate and enslave people rather than setting them free, it is a violation of one of the most fundamental truths throughout the universe: only through freedom (the freedom of ideas, freedom of questioning, freedom of discussion) can true understanding of our universe be achieved.

NaturalNews salutes the real scientists out there who pursue the betterment of human civilization without punching a clock for all the evil corporations which abuse science for their own nefarious purposes.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/034229_science_cyborgs.html#ixzz1gIj2zAhy

Muslim Women Banned From Touching Bananas and Cucumbers

(Roque Planas )An alleged fatwa banning women from touching bananas and cucumbers is making the rounds through Muslim listservs.

The religious directive forbids women from handling bananas or cucumbers, because their phallic shape may “make them think of sex,” according to The Times of India.

“If women wish to eat these food items, a third party, preferably a male related to them such as their a father or husband, should cut the items into small pieces and serve,” the cleric supposedly dictated.

Carrots and zucchinis pose a similar threat, according to the Muslim decree.

The supposed fatwa first appeared in the religious publication el-Senousa, according to Fox News. An independent, English-language news Web site called Bikya Masr then published a story about it on Dec. 6, which spread rapidly through social media.

As of Saturday night, 19,000 people had shared the Bikya Masr article through Facebook and over 3,400 had tweeted it, according to social media buttons appearing at the bottom of the post.

News of the supposed fatwa also moved through the Muslim community via email listservs carrying the headline “Did an Islamic cleric really ban women from touching bananas and cucumbers?” The Daily Beast reports.

The order has drawn sharp criticism from liberal Muslims.

It’s not yet clear whether Muslim scholars are taking the religious pronouncement seriously or if the man who issued it is qualified to do so. The person who originally spoke of the fatwa identified himself as a Muslim cleric residing in Europe, but did not provide a name.

Author Asra Nomani, who covers issues related to Islam, wrote in The Daily Beast that it’s hard to confirm the authenticity of the fatwa, but notes it wouldn’t be the first oddball religious ruling she’s seen.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/supposed-fatwa-bans-women-touching-bananas-cucumbers-article-1.989930#ixzz1gIglBDVQ

UN Calls For International Climate Court Of Justice

(Paul Joseph Watson) Bureaucrats at the UN Climate Summit in Durban have outlined plans for the most draconian, harebrained and madcap climate change treaty ever produced, under which the west would be mandated to respect “the rights of Mother Earth” by paying a “climate debt” which would act as a slush fund for bankrolling an all-powerful world government.

Even as the tattered shreds of whatever credibility global warming alarmists had left evaporate in the aftermath of Climategate 2.0, the monstrous bureaucracy behind ManBearPig continues to lurch forward.
Lord Christopher Monckton’s extensive report breaks down the key aspects of the current draft text.
“Here – and, as always, you heard it here first, for the mainstream media have conspired to keep secret the Madness of King Rajendra and his entire coterie of governmental and bureaucratic lunatics worldwide – is what the dribbling, twitching thrones and dominions, principalities and powers of the world will be asked to agree to,” he writes, adding that actual climate science has not been a topic of debate at the summit.
– The treaty calls for the west to achieve a 50% CO2 emissions reduction within the next eight years, a feat that would completely bankrupt the global economy and spark a new great depression, as well as a “more than 100%” reduction by 2050, which presumably could only be accomplished by killing billions of humans to prevent them from exhaling carbon dioxide.
“So, no motor cars, no coal-fired or gas-fired power stations, no aircraft, no trains. Back to the Stone Age, but without even the right to light a carbon-emitting fire in your caves,” writes Monckton.
– The text calls for a 2 degree Celsius drop in global temperatures, which as Monckton points out “would kill hundreds of millions” and herald a new ice age.
– The reduction in CO2 concentration the text calls for would actually begin to kill all plant life and trees on the planet because they need levels of carbon dioxide above 210 ppmv to survive.
– All military forces would be abolished because they contribute to climate change. Presumably the United Nations would then take on the role of world army to police the globe.

– The process will be enforced by an “International Climate Court of Justice” under a bureaucracy of world government that will force western nations to pay “climate debt,” as well as reparations to third world nations to pay for carbon cuts that wouldn’t be as drastic. The burden of “historical responsibility” has been applied to industrialized nations, implying they are guilty for whatever the weather decides to do and must be punished for it.
– All the money will be collected by the UN and whatever is left after they have taken their considerable cut will be doled out according to the wishes of UN bureaucrats. “As a senior UN diplomat told me last year, “The UN exists for only one purpose: to get more money. That, and that alone, is the reason why it takes such an interest in climate change,” writes Monckton.
– Environmental enforcement arms of the UN will be given the power of a global government in the name of fighting climate change. “The draft “agrees that common principles, modalities and procedures as well as the coordinating and oversight functions of the UNFCCC are needed” – in short, global centralization of political, economic and environmental power in the manicured hands of the Convention’s near-invisible but all-powerful secretariat. No provision is made for the democratic election of key members of the all-powerful secretariat – in effect, a world government – by the peoples of our planet,” writes Monckton.
– This world government will mandate that western nations submit reports every two years on their progress and then implement the measures demanded by the world government.
– The UN will create several new slush funds from which to enrich its coffers, including a tax on shipping and aviation fuel, a new “green climate fund” and a worldwide cap and trade. Most of the costs will be handed down to taxpayers.
This merely scratches the surface of what the UN is trying to include in its “legally-binding treaty,” which represents eco-fascism on steroids. Despite press reports that the text is once again likely to be rejected, Monckton points out that UN bureaucrats are confident they can get some form of deal rammed through on this occasion.
Source-http://www.infowars.com/un-calls-for-eco-fascist-world-government-at-durban-summit/

Paul Rips Romney, Gingrich As ‘From The Same Mold’

( Seema Mehta) Texas Rep. Ron Paul slammed Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney on Sunday, saying they were inconsistent politicians who represent the status quo.

“They come from the same mold,” he said on “Meet the Press.” “They’re about the same. They’re both on the defensive, they’re both explaining themselves … Why should we have a nominee that is going to spend most of the their time explaining themselves and deciding what position they were on and when?” (Watch video below.)

“I think if you are consistent it speaks for itself,” Paul said. “You know nobody ever challenges me and I don’t have to brag about it either because everybody knows exactly what I’m going to do and exactly what I’ve done for 30 years.”

Paul called Gingrich working for Freddie Mac and being paid more than $1 million “immoral,” and he said Romney had a more “diplomatic” style than Gingrich.

Pressed by David Gregory on whether Paul would consider a third-party run if his bid to win the GOP nomination is unsuccessful, Paul declined to definitively say he would not pursue such a course.

“I have no plans to do that,” he said. “I’m not going to rule anything out or anything in.”
Source-http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-paul-romney-gingrich-20111211,0,6499667.story

Forbes Predicts Ron Paul Will Win Iowa

(John Thorpe) It is my belief that, in one month, Ron Paul will shock the world and win the Iowa Caucuses.
Granted, that belief goes against all the polling data and all the money data and all the common sense in the world. Mitt Romney has all the money in the world, and has the national party secretly/silently pulling for him to win. Newt Gingrich has the lead in the polls and seems to have caught fire at just the right time. Michele Bachmann is from a neighboring state, and, well, you never know.

Even Rick Santorum has an outside shot at a decent showing, based on his practically living in the state this year.

But Ron Paul has the one thing that you cannot buy, you cannot fake, and you cannot manufacture: genuine enthusiasm and a team of dedicated volunteers. His team on the ground in Iowa is one of the best that has ever been assembled. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad doesn’t think Paul will win outright, but sees him finishing in second place with a very solid 15 to 18 percent of the vote.

“Ron Paul has got probably the best organization and has a very loyal following. He’s got more yard signs and bumper stickers than anybody else,” he said to Politico. “I don’t think he’ll win, but I think he will get 15 to 18 percent. The person who wins is going to probably get 25 percent plus.”

That very well may be the case, and much will depend on the next two debates and – oddly enough – the weather on caucus day. One, if he can continue to hammer down Gingrich’s support, he can drive the race down to where the winner will be in his 15 to 18 percent range. If he does this, it will be by convincing Iowans that Gingrich is not the conservative he claims to be. (And, of course, Ron Paul would be correct — Newt Gingrich is actually to the left of Mitt Romney on many, many GOP issues).

Two, this will have the added effect of adding supporters to his own drive, as Gingrich’s supporters literally have nowhere else to go. They want a conservative, and it seems that the only true conservative left in this race is Ron Paul. He could pick up a few more points here, which would push him over the top.

(Like John Thorpe’s analysis? Sign up for his newsletter here.)

Third, as I mentioned, the weather can have a tremendous impact on the Iowa Caucuses. Unlike a primary election, where one’s commitment to the process is only as long as one’s line to vote, a caucus can last all night long. Iowans have to travel to someone’s home or a small, local center (like a church or a rec center) to engage in an hours-long debate on who to support. There are rounds of voting, eliminations of candidates, and tedious speeches. It’s a long, drawn-out affair. It is one thing to support a candidate; it is quite another to go through THAT process to support the candidate.

If you add to that process a snowstorm, or just plain bad weather (and really, Iowa in January, is there anything other than bad weather?) you change the game significantly. You make it such that only the most dedicated supporters will show up, drudging through a foot of snow and subzero temperatures to deal with the caucuses. Those supporters? Ron Paul fans.
More than just an analysis of how I think things will play out is my hope, for the future of this nation, that Ron Paul is the nominee. As I have said before, I am not a Republican – though I used to be. I believe some things need to be socialized. I believe big business is too big, too powerful, and its powers are a harm to liberty. I believe the wars are a mistake and the military is too big.

Ron Paul and I would disagree on many issues. I don’t feel the gold standard is an acceptable monetary policy, and cutting government back to the extreme he’s advocated is not workable. However, these are policy differences. They can be negotiated or legislated into a compromise.

But on liberty, on human rights, and on the Constitution, Ron Paul is the only candidate who gets it. Without liberty, all the socialized medicine plans (things I would support) mean nothing. Without liberty, tax cuts or tax hikes, balanced budgets or deficits, clean air or pollution, mean nothing. Liberty is where we begin and end the conversation in America.

For far too long, government has chipped away at the rights of Americans. Ron Paul would reverse that trend. Whatever else he does is secondary to that prime directive. That is why I hope I am correct in predicting Ron Paul’s victory in this January’s Iowa Caucuses.
Source-http://www.forbes.com/sites/benzingainsights/2011/12/07/why-ron-paul-will-win-iowa/

The 50 Most Dangerous Liberals In America

(Chris Field) #1 GEORGE SOROS Businessman and Billionaire Liberal Financier; Founder and Chairman of Open Society Foundations. George Soros, the main “money bags” of the Left who is responsible for taking down entire economies on his own by betting against weak currencies, has a disturbing personal history. He grew up in a Jewish, yet anti-Semitic, home in Hungary during the Nazi occupation of Europe and calls it the happiest time of his life.

Soros, now an atheist, is a naturalized U.S, citizen with an estimated net worth of more than $14 billion, according to Forbes, making him one of the wealthiest men in the world. He has made his billions by collapsing currencies, ruining lives and crushing economies, all while portraying himself as the god of a new world order.

Soros is responsible for the collapse of four currencies in Britain, Russia, Thailand, and Malaysia. He is known as the man who “broke the Bank of England” and has called an economic war criminal by the Thailand prime minister. When Soros collapsed the British sterling in 1993, he raked in $1 billion through a single transaction while destroying investments and draining savings of millions of hard-working British citizens. After collapsing the Russian ruble, Soros called the former Russian empire the “Soros Empire,” and now, he appears set on collapsing the dollar. With the U.S. government flooding the market with trillions in new money, the dollar is in a particularly vulnerable position. He has been successful in betting against currencies in the past, resulting in economic chaos, which is all part of his open society agenda for the world.

If Soros is successful in manipulating that agenda, we could see a new world order with countries like China controlling much of the globe’s economic and financial decisions.

Soros believes in open borders, doing away with nationalities, legalized drugs and is highly dissatisfied with the dominant position of the United States in the global economy. Soros has said the main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States and that his open society is endangered by the current government system in America. He has focused his attention on bringing a steady decline to the dollar in order to burst what he calls the “bubble of American supremacy.”

Soros has been able to mask his progressive agenda for years by portraying his donations as “humanitarian aid,” while funneling hundreds of millions of dollars through his Open Society Foundations and the Tides Foundation to far-Left groups, including Democracy Alliance, MoveOn.org, the Center for American Progress, La Raza and Media Matters.

George Soros is the man behind the curtain. To read more information about this blatant psychopath, click here.

#2 ERIC HOLDER
Attorney General of the United States

Attorney General Eric Holder refuses to acknowledge the United States is at war with radical Islam and seems more concerned about giving terrorists constitutional protections rather than protecting the rights of American citizens. Holder believes that “the venue in which we are most likely to obtain justice for the American people is in federal court.” The most dangerous failure of Holder to date came with the recent acquittal of terrorist and Guantanamo Bay detainee Ahmed Ghailani.

Ghailani was acquitted of more than 280 counts after openly admitting – twice – to bombing the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 and wounding thousands more. Ghailani was convicted in Federal District Court in Manhattan by a jury on just one count, conspiracy to destroy government buildings and property. Holder’s law enforcement approach to prosecuting terrorists, essentially giving them the same constitutional rights as American citizens, has failed in the Ghailani case and will fail in the future. Holder’s continuing push to hold trials for enemy combatants and terrorists in civilian court after declaring Justice Department satisfaction with the Ghailani verdict is disturbing and dangerous for the security of America.

#3 BARACK OBAMA
President of the United States

“Organizer in Chief,” “Radical in Chief,” “Commander in Chief ” — all titles given Barack Obama by the American people. In light of the first two, the third is probably the most frightening.

Tomes have been written of the progressive ideology of the president — and tomes more are yet to be published — but it’s not simply the ideology that makes this man so dangerous. If he hadn’t been successfully groomed to be president, he wouldn’t even be a blip on our radar — the community organizer and agitator who was friends with some shady characters in Chicago might have had some national impact eventually, but he would never have had the power of, say, a George Soros, John Podesta, Cass Sunstein or Andy Stern.

No, what makes Barack Obama dangerous is that he surrounds himself with crazy (and very dangerous) people who have his ear and have been placed in positions of power, thanks to the president’s ability to nominate federal judges (most importantly Supreme Court justices), appoint unaccountable czars and fill the Cabinet with radicals. Add on top of that his ability to negotiate treaties, conduct diplomacy, make back-room deals and implement harmful regulations, and you have a truly dangerous liberal.

To read more about the plans of this extreme radical, click here.

Next read this one.

#4 CASS SUNSTEIN
White House Regulation Czar

Cass Sunstein is Obama’s regulation czar, affectionately known to conservatives as the “nudge” czar. As the head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“the cockpit for the modern administrative state”), Sunstein oversees federal regulations at other agencies. According to the Washington Post’s WhoRunsGov.com, his position has become more powerful under President Obama.

His theory, “libertarian paternalism,” is light on libertarianism and heavy on paternalism and essentially means incentivizing the masses to do what he deems is best for them. What does this entail? A default to organ donation, First Amendment “reform” (read: Fairness Doctrine), celebrating taxes and giving animals rights.

In 2008, Sunstein wrote an article proposing that covert government agents infiltrate activist organizations that “conspire” to undermine its good deeds. These agents would be charged with infiltrating “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups,” trying to look independent and credible while augmenting the pro-government message. The purpose of this exercise would be to undermine the activists and restore faith in the government. What do you think he wants to do to the tea party?

This is the man who oversees financial, health care, housing, environmental and privacy policies, to name a few.

Nudge.

#5 CECILE RICHARDS
President of Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Cecile Richards directs the largest abortion provider in the country: Planned Parenthood of America. Her taxpayer-funded organization has been exposed for being on the wrong side of the law countless times through undercover investigations by pro-life activist Lila Rose and her organization Live Action. Richards joined Planned Parenthood in 2006, and a recent Government Accountability Office report showed Planned Parenthood performed 306,310 abortions the following year while spending $97.6 million of federal funds. A National Right to Life fact sheet reports Richards’ organization made upwards of $1 billion in revenue for the fiscal year ending in June 2008. Richards herself makes about $400,000 annually (including compensation and benefits) according to LifeNews.com.

Richards also worked to influence the laws and regulations you live under. Planned Parenthood’s website lauds her “yearlong, tireless leadership” on the 2010 health care legislation Congress passed, and Americans didn’t want, with polling showing a majority of Americans were against taxpayer-funded abortions.

Richards least disgusting accomplishment may be outshining her former boss on this list of dangerous liberals – Richards previously served as Nancy Pelosi’s deputy chief-of-staff and “played a key role in her election as the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives,” according to the Planned Parenthood website. So she is a leading baby-killer.

#6 LISA JACKSON
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Lisa Jackson has been working in government environmental regulation for more than 20 years and is now Obama’s administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Under Jackson’s watch, the EPA formally declared carbon dioxide and five other natural gases hazardous pollutants at the 2009 Global Warming Conference in Copenhagen, clearing the way for the federal government to regulate so-called greenhouse gases, raising energy prices, increasing tax rates, inhibiting job growth and over-regulating businesses with endless amounts of red tape. This overreach of government authority is now being justified in order to reduce pollutants that Jackson claims “endanger public health,” enabling the EPA to regulate emissions from heavy machinery and factories. Jackson also helped implement the first-ever national emissions limit for vehicles in 2009.

In addition to making the regulation of greenhouse gases a top priority, Jackson has called on Congress to pass clean-energy and climate legislation. The EPA has called for the regulation of greenhouse gases to fall under the Clear Air Act, and Jackson has said that if Congress cannot pass legislation to regulate carbon use, the EPA will administratively take on the task, circumventing Congress and the electoral process altogether.

#7 KATHLEEN SEBELIUS
Secretary of Health and Human Services

On Sept. 9th, Kathleen Sebelius issued a warning letter to the national office of America’s Health Insurance Plans, threatening to remove health insurance companies from exchanges in 2014 for communicating the effects of ObamaCare to their customers. She wrote, “There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases.” Kathleen Sebeluis: secretary of the Department of Health and Human Serivices and First Amendment arbiter.

Someone should have informed the rest of us that the First Amendment now permits only speech that is not critical of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). But the secretary’s concern extends beyond health insurance companies to other forms of “misinformation” scattering the public sphere. With a level of aggression usually reserved for leaders of communist countries, Sebeluis opined that “there still is a great deal of confusion about what is in [the reform law] and what isn’t” and that the government had a lot of re-education to do. This will hurt a bit.

So the government’s role is no longer to assist in providing health care (as if it ever were) but to make sure that citizens bend over and take whatever the ivory tower deems best for the commoners. It’s a brave new world.

#8 JOHN PODESTA
President and CEO of the Center for American Progress

Former Clinton administration chief of staff John Podesta has been at the helm of the uberliberal progressive Center for American Progress (CAP) since its founding in 2003, when he was hand-picked for the post by George Soros (remember him?) and other CAP founders. Podesta’s dirty politics, which served him well during the Clinton years and the 2000 election, when he helped force the Bush-Gore standoff to the Supreme Court, made him the logical choice to run CAP and push for change the radical Left has been seeking for years.

Podesta’s agenda at CAP is exactly what you’d expect: social justice (read: Marxism), ObamaCare and increasing government programs (socialism), “ideological diversity” on the airwaves (Fairness Doctrine), abortion on demand (infanticide/genocide), stopping global warming (fear mongering) and degrading American exceptionalism (one-world governance) for starters.

Not surprisingly, he has served as an influential adviser to the Obama White House and helped staff the administration with several of his CAP alumni. Podesta’s think tank has also been the refuge of lefties who have left the administration after having their radicalism exposed (think: Van Jones).

#9 DONALD BERWICK
Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Donald Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — or health care czar — has a love affair with the socialist British health care system and wants a single-payer government system implemented in America.

A strong supporter of spreading the wealth, Berwick believes in death panels, planning the supply of health care and that rationing is essential to an efficiently run system. Berwick has said that “excellent health care is by definition re-distributional” and is an advocate of moving wealth from the rich to the poor in order to secure what he calls the human right of health care. Berwick has publicly condemned private health care systems in America and believes the health care market should not be left to the free hand of the market. Berwick also believes in one-size-fits-all health care, limiting health care options for different individual needs.

Berwick was recess-appointed by President Obama, making the opportunity for a Senate hearing to expose his radical beliefs unavailable. He now controls a budget that dwarfs the budget available to the Pentagon and runs the largest insurance program in the country. He is also responsible for overseeing the implementation of ObamaCare.

#10 MICHELLE OBAMA
First Lady of the United States

She has the ear of the President and an eye for his political interests. In fact, Time described Michelle Obama as “instrumental” in helping launch Barack Obama’s political career. “Combined with her own Southside roots – she went to high school with Sanita Jackson, the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s daughter – Michelle’s job gave her husband entree into the best political machine in Illinois,” Time reported in an August 2008 profile of Michelle, while she was undergoing a public image makeover as a fit and fashionable mother that propelled her to a 79% approval rating in April 2009.

Toned biceps aside, Michelle earned her way on this list by championing government intervention on your child’s lunch plate. The child nutrition bill she endorsed last July federalized nutrition standards for schools – even food sold at fundraising bake sales – and placed a minimum price on paid school meals, a cost that will be passed on to middle-class families. USA Today said it was the first time she issued a statement regarding and encouraging more legislative action. The bill passed Congress and was sent to her husband for his signature.

#11 PETER LEWIS
Businessman and Billionaire Liberal Financier; Chairman of Progressive Insurance

It’s not just George Soros who serves as the Orphan Annie Left’s Daddy Warbucks. There’s another major financier the Left turns to with their collective hand out, begging for cash: Soros friend and Progressive Insurance chairman Peter Lewis.

Over the last 10 years, Lewis, whose Florida home is festooned with numerous paintings of communist dictator Mao Zedong, has been right behind Soros in giving to pet causes such as pot legalization and to liberals seeking to fundamentally transform America. Though he’s probably best known for his tens of millions of dollars in donations to the ACLU over the last decade ($25 million from just 2001-2006), his real agenda is propping up radical left-wing causes, including millions upon millions of dollars to the now-defunct America Coming Together and Joint Victory Fund (the 2004 fundraising arm of the Democrat Shadow Party, which sought support from only hard-Left donors), MoveOn.org, Media Matters, Democracy Alliance and the Center for American Progress.

#12 RICHARD TRUMKA
President of the AFL-CIO

Richard Trumka has made a career out of driving America’s labor movement into the ground and attempting to bring every other hard-working American down with it. Trumka has served as president of the AFL-CIO since 2009, after working at the organization for 14 years prior and serving as the president of the United Mine Workers since the 1980’s. His single-handed pursuit of soaking the rich is rivaled only by his desire to use politicians to accomplish that goal.

Trumka is most infamously responsible for pushing a worldwide tax and recently called Obama’s deficit commission’s recommendations an attempt to tell working Americans to “drop dead.”

#13 JOHN HOLDREN
White House Science Czar

As President Obama’s “Science Czar,” John Holdren helps coordinate White House policy on matters of science and technology. The former Harvard professor holds radical views on a number of subjects, several of which he has written about extensively. He once opined that a fetus is not a “human being” until he has experienced “crucial early years” of “socializing.” He has favorably cited an essay proposing that “forests, oceans and rivers” be afforded legal rights.

On the subject of population control – a pet issue of Holdren’s – he’s advocated compulsory abortions and even suggested that mass sterilization would be “acceptable” if it were carried out under “strict requirements.” He wrote this goal might be accomplished by “adding a sterilant to drinking water.”

#14 ANDY STERN
Former President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Andy Stern made history as one of the most frequent White House visitors when President Obama made the list of visitors public last year. That’s because he was one of the grand architects of the health care bill during his tenure as president of the Service Employees International Union, which stands to win big by the socialization of American medicine.

Under Stern’s watch, SEIU fought (and continues to fight) rampant charges of voter fraud and has seen its unfunded pension liabilities explode from $7 million to $1.2 billion. The unfunded pension problem originated long before Stern got there, but he’s relentlessly pushed the idea that the American taxpayer should be the one to make up the losses.

To read more on Andy Stern, click here.

#15 TIMOTHY GEITHNER
Secretary of the Treasury

It’s hard to say whether the failing economy is directly a product of Timothy Geithner’s actions or whether his actions simply didn’t help. Regardless, our 75th Treasury secretary (who has admitted to being too incompetent to file his own income tax return) was responsible for authoring the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, $862 billion stimulus and overseeing one of our longest stretches of unemployment.

It’s hard to pin the blame on a problem that has so many sources, but its clear that Geither’s policies haven’t helped – and have probably made things worse. His feisty rhetoric has angered conservatives and moderates alike.

#16 ARIANNA HUFFINGTON
Co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post.

It should be hard to take Right-turned-Left Arianna Huffington seriously when looking at the title of her 2008 book, “Right is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe.” But her platform is the Huffington Post, the preeminent voice of the Left online, and the site generates major traffic – earlier this year, it made the top 10 sites for global news, according to various news reports on Nielson Online’s tracking system. That’s a lot of eyes being exposed to Huffington’s crazy-Left editorial viewpoint.

#17 CHUCK SCHUMER
U.S. Democratic Senator from New York

Many political observers know Chuck Schumer as the publicity-addicted senior U.S. senator from New York. Others regard him as a consummate Washington class warrior and hypocrite, as his broadsides against Republican policies “for the rich” are a bit difficult to swallow, coming from a man who rakes in mammoth donations from hedge funds.

But what makes Schumer especially dangerous is his exceptional political acumen. Schumer chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2005-2008, shepherding Democrats from a 44-seat minority to a 59-seat majority during that span. If Harry Reid had fallen to Sharron Angle in November, Schumer likely would have outmaneuvered Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin to supplant Reid as Senate majority leader.

#18 SUSAN HERMAN
President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

ACLU President Susan Herman heads the never-ending assault on America’s core values through the gross distortion of the judicial system. The ACLU has played a progressive and unrelenting role in attacking traditional American values like marriage, parental authority, Christmas, public displays of the Ten Commandments and strongly stands behind abortion-advocacy groups.

The ACLU has not only succeeded in separating religion from America’s public places but also has made an effort to move America away from religion altogether. They have also been at the forefront of defending terrorists and open-border advocates. Herman and her team of leftist lawyers have a goal to re-shape America, taking the country as far away from what the Founding Fathers intended as they possibly can.

#19 DAVID AXELROD
Senior Advisor to President Obama

David Axelrod is everything that you would expect the White House senior advisor to be. As Obama’s right-hand man, he reviews every policy proposal and speech and is present at all Oval Office meetings. Nancy Pelosi can say what she wants about the Tea Party, but Axelrod takes part in a little astroturfing himself. During the health care debate, “pro-reform” groups (SEIU, PhRMA) bought $12 million worth of ads through Axelrod’s old PR firm, AKP&D. His current moonlighting gig is with ASK Public Strategies, a firm known for creating front groups. ASK recently worked with an electricity company in Illinois, creating a front group to persuade regulators to raise electricity rates.

#20 BILL KELLER
Executive Editor of the New York Times

Whether he’s regurgitating liberal Democratic talking points or exuding religious bigotry by personally bashing Catholics or overseeing the publication of lies and innuendo about Republican presidential candidates or justifying the publication of military and state secrets that both undermine the War on Terror and our international diplomacy efforts, New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller has made a career of spouting the typical leftist tripe that the “newspaper of record” attempts to pass off as journalism.

Under his tutelage, observers have watched as the Old Gray Lady has been reduced from a typical left-wing rag to a shameful, whorish caricature of itself. Though thoughtful conservatives use it to line their birdcages, much of the world still looks to the Times for actual news — unfortunately, what they’re getting is Keller’s spin instead of the truth.

#21 RUTH BADER GINSBERG
U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Confirmed by the Senate in 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsberg is the most senior of the liberal bloc of the U.S. Supreme Court justices (judicially, liberal means viewing the text of the Constitution as flexible rather than taking the text for itself). That also means she’s had the most time to build up personal influence and respect through her work as a justice.

A truly worrisome judicial idea espoused by Ginsberg, which Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network calls her out on, is being able to use foreign and international law as a resource when deciding cases.

#22 ARNE DUNCAN
Secretary of Education

Education Secretary Arne Duncan wants kids to attend public schools while closing the door to parental involvement in their child’s education. Duncan is fully prepared to carry out President Obama’s education agenda, limiting the role of parents in schools while giving more power to the federal government to control the education agenda in the classroom.

Despite higher test scores and better grades through school choice, Duncan’s first move as Education secretary erased the option for low-income parents to send their children to high-performing schools by pulling scholarships and vouchers for students who had been admitted to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. These students are now forced to attend low-performing public schools.

#23 JANET NAPOLITANO
Secretary of Homeland Security

As the top government official tasked with protecting the American homeland, Janet Napolitano certainly seems to spend a disproportionate amount of her time sanitizing the nation’s vocabulary and projecting a deliberate obtuseness about the threats it faces. Banished are “terrorist attacks” and the “global war on terrorism.” They’ve been replaced by antiseptic terminology such as “man-caused disasters” and “overseas contingency operations.”

Leaders who are unwilling to candidly and accurately identify the enemy stand little chance of defeating it. When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow an airliner out of the sky last Christmas, his device malfunctioned, and he was subdued by alert passengers. Napolitano’s response? “The system worked.”

Do you feel secure?

#24 HARRY REID
U.S. Senate Democratic Majority Leader from Nevada

Those who have dealt with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s smarmy tactics say he’s a lot like a hydra; every time you cut off one of his heads, two more grow back in its place. Reid’s ability to get re-elected is second only to his ability to get legislation passed through Congress, such as ObamaCare and multiple Democratic bailouts. Once the top lieutenant of the notorious Tom Daschle, he learned his leadership role well and has had a hand in passing every major piece of liberal legislation in the past 20 years and, at age 71, shows no signs of letting up.

#25 NIHAD AWAD
Co-founder and Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Nihad Awad is the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), against which federal prosecutors have alleged conspiracy with other affiliates to support terrorists, according to the Investigative Project on Terror reports.

A local chapter of Awad’s organization is currently suing the state of Oklahoma over a ballot initiative voters passed in November declaring Shariah law can’t be used to help determine a ruling in court.

The FBI finally had to cut off “cooperative” ties with CAIR in 2008 after the organization was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a trial for an organization that was funneling charitable contributions to Hamas (see “Devil May CAIR,” by Robert Spencer, July 2009). Yet CAIR presents itself as mainly a civil rights organization and a group that provides Islam’s perspective on issues affecting the American public.

Dangerous deception? We think so.

#26 STEPHEN BREYER
U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is also a consistent member of the liberal voting bloc on the Supreme Court. Cass Sunstein (our #4 most dangerous liberal) praised Breyer’s staunchly left-wing stance in the justice’s book “Active Liberty” on at least one issue key to conservatives: “He is right to resist the constitutional assault on affirmative action programs.”

The Wall Street Journal recently speculated that “Justice Breyer seems the most willing to articulate a judicial philosophy that stands in contrast with that of the conservative bloc” in an article entitled, “Is Justice Breyer Emerging as New Leader of Liberal Bloc?”

#27 JIM WALLIS
President and CEO of Sojourners

In order to spread their radicalism, the Left knows they must infiltrate the churches with a seemingly positive message about helping others: Progressives call it “social justice”; the rest of the sane world recognize it for what it is – the forced redistribution of wealth by the government, better known as Marxism.

This is where Jim Wallis comes in. He’s the liberal evangelical spiritual advisor to President Obama who is helping spread the disease of socialism through American churches. And he isn’t afraid to break a commandment or two (think false witness and covetousness) – and twist and distort Scripture in the process – to see that those who would dare shine a light on his and his cohort’s agenda, exposing all of its evil, are put in their “proper” place.

#28 JON STEWART
Host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”

Political satirist Jon Stewart’s tongue is acid-tipped. His popular “Daily Show” program regularly slays elected officials for hypocrisy and self-importance, derides political buffoonery and skewers media excesses. More often than not, it’s bitingly hilarious and decidedly Left-leaning: a potent combination.

A 2007 media survey revealed that more than one-in-10 young voters relied on Stewart’s show as a primary source of political news — a share that has undoubtedly swelled since. It’s no small coincidence that voters aged 18-29 backed Barack Obama for president by a breathtaking 2-to-1 margin.

While acting as a formidable political opinion maker, Stewart inoculates himself against serious criticism by playing the “I’m just a comedian” card. This artifice has become known among conservatives as the Jon Stewart “clown nose on, clown nose off ” routine.

Laugh all you want. It works.

#29 HENRY WAXMAN
U.S. Democratic Representative from California

Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman, the former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, is one of the most liberal and powerful members of Congress. Waxman introduced cap-and-trade legislation known as the Waxman-Markley bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives. If it had passed in the Senate, too, companies would have been required to trade carbon emissions credits in order to operate under government regulations. Waxman would enormously increase taxes, energy costs, kill jobs and potentially could put entire industries out of business.

On another note, Waxman was one of 74 Democrats who voted to continue funding ACORN with taxpayer dollars after an undercover operation by two conservative journalists revealed the organization was promoting child prostitution, illegal immigration and tax evasion.

To read more about Henry Waxman, click here.

#30 AL GORE
Former Vice President; Environmental Activist

Al Gore would like you to know that global warming is coming to get you. Be afraid. Be very afraid. His career as a climate change activist (accolades include a Grammy and the ever-prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, both for promoting his ideas about global warming) almost eclipses his previous position as Bill Clinton’s second in command.

In all fairness, Gore is probably less dangerous now than he was in the 1990’s (though he is inversely annoying). As vice president, he pushed for the passage of the Kyoto Protocol. Now, he mostly lectures people about the immorality of SUV’s.

#31 BARNEY FRANK
U.S. Democratic Representative from Massachusetts

Though the Democrat’s political star may be waning with the House turnover of power following the 2010 midterm elections, the re-elected Frank could still cause damage as he extends his 30-plus years of service in Congress and most likely his time on the Financial Services Committee, which he recently chaired. During that time, the House passed a financial regulatory reform bill that conservative Rep. Jeb Hensarling called a “perpetual Wall Street bailout bill” in the Washington Post.

Frank was also for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before he was against them, disagreeing with Republicans who wanted to regulate the two more carefully and even saying as late as 2004 that he didn’t see any major problems, despite a congressional hearing where concerns were raised.

#32 PAUL KRUGMAN
Economist and Columnist for the New York Times

Once upon a time, Paul Krugman was a half-decent economist. He sat in his ivory tower playing with models and numbers and had little effect on the real world.

Then Paul read a science-fiction book about economists saving the world. He looked down upon the poor, hapless denizens of the world, and his mighty intellect took pity on them. Armed with the power of a New York Times column, he would save them.

Actually, Paul Krugman is just a hack, spouting off standard extreme-Left opinions, sputtering with rage at the simpletons who won’t banish the evil GOP to the graveyard of failed politics and growing ever more bitter. Now armed with a Nobel Prize, he unfortunately carries credibility with many of the Left’s major power brokers.

#33 PETER SINGER
Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University

Peter Singer is a eugenicist. He is ironically a professor of ethics in Princeton University.

It is not accurate to simply call this man pro-choice. He does not deny that fetuses are people. Instead, he argues that it is not wrong to kill them. Singer believes that the ability to anticipate the future is a necessary condition of personhood. This leaves out newborn babies, “defective” infants and people with certain developmental disabilities.

Believing that the right to life is intrinsically tied to the capacity to anticipate the future, Singer has admitted that had it been up to him, his own mother, who had Alzheimer’s, might not have continued to live.

#34 NANCY PELOSI
U.S. House Democratic Minority Leader from California; Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

The best news here is that the 2010 midterms’ rejection of Democratic power in the House means Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have to be ranked higher on this list. The exiting House speaker oversaw an increase in the national debt of approximately $5 trillion during her tenure, according to Terrence Jeffrey at CNSNews.com. “Pelosi… has added more to the national debt than the first 57 house speakers combined,” Jeffrey writes.

Under Pelosi’s strong-arm tactics, the House passed a massive government takeover of health care, a massive stimulus that didn’t work, an auto bailout and a financial services bailout. She also found time to accuse the CIA of lying.

A minority leader in the next Congress, Pelosi returns to her pre-2006 role of attacking the majority and being as annoying as possible.

#35 HAROLD KOH
Legal Adviser for the U.S. State Department

State Department legal adviser and rumored judicial nominee Harold Koh rejects traditional notions of American legal sovereignty. Conservative legal scholar Ed Whelan argues that Koh adheres to an ideology known as “transnationalism,” the purpose of which is to “use American courts to import international law to override the policies adopted through the processes of representative government.”

To this end, Koh has argued that the U.S. Constitution can and should be interpreted through the prism of international law and the “evolving” concept of “global human rights.”

#36 JANET MURGUIA
President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza

Janet Murguia, head of the National Council of La Raza (translated “the race”), is at the forefront of the push for amnesty for millions of illegal aliens. Murguia successfully shuts down debate about the issue using lies and claims of racism and intolerance.

Murguia maligns those who want immigration laws enforced by saying they are promoting a wave of right-wing hate, calls for boycotts of TV and cable news network hosts who dare talk about immigration enforcement on the airwaves and believes so-called “hate speech” should not be tolerated, even if censorship were a violation of First Amendment rights.

She advocates La Raza’s radical agenda, which includes fighting for driver’s licenses and in-state tuition discounts for illegals, resisting cooperative immigration enforcement efforts among local, state and federal governments, opposing a fence along the southern U.S. border, fighting identification requirements on Election Day and more.

#37 OPRAH WINFREY
Television Host and Media Mogul

If she sneezes the title of a book, it flies off the shelves. Rasmussen Reports said in 2009 that at least 24 percent of adults said they’ve “read a book or product endorsed by Winfrey.”

Oddly, her biggest endorsement (Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign) didn’t influence nearly as many voters, they told Rasmussen, but it wasn’t for lack of trying on Winfrey’s part. She threw Obama a fundraiser that reportedly raised $3 million and hit the campaign trail for him.

She also enjoys both monetary and cultural influence – she has a net worth upward of $2,7 billion, according to Forbes’ September 2010 calculations, and will launch her own network in 2011.

#38 HOWARD DEAN
Liberal Democratic Pundit; Former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee

Remember his “I have a scream” speech? Some said it was the beginning of the end of Howard Dean’s presidential campaign in 2004. Others maintain that he was done in by his universal health care platform. In any case, the yelp might have been a lucky break for conservatives, as it was a nail in Dean’s ICC-deferring, break-up-giant-media-enterprises, New Testament-forgetting presidential coffin.

After a failed bid, Dean went on to become the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, launch a political punditry career and found Democracy for America, a left-wing PAC that lists supporting card-check legislation and exposing the “lies” of the Bush Administration as its accomplishments.

BYAAAAAH!

#39 ELENA KAGAN
U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Though she’s had to sit out most cases in her first few months because of her previous work as solicitor general, newest Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan did cast a vote along with Ginsberg, Sotomayor, and Breyer to stay the death penalty for a convict in Arizona, though they were outnumbered 5-4.

The 50-year-old activist Kagan was confirmed 63-37 in mid-2010 with no prior judicial experience, but her political career in the Clinton administration and her tangle as dean of Harvard Law School with the military over Harvard campus recruitment because of the armed forces’ “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy rightly bothered conservatives.

She is also a lesbian. To read more about Kagan, click here.

#40 MARKOS MOULITSAS
Founder and Publisher of Daily Kos

As the founder of the influential left-wing DailyKos blog, Markos Moulitsas’ — or “Kos” — apparent raison d’?tre is to drag the Democratic Party farther to the Left while installing a vituperative brand of scorched-earth politics as the new American normal. He’s made significant progress on both fronts.

Kos’ ever-hovering threat of “primarying” insufficiently liberal politicians engenders a certain paranoia among many elected Democrats, legions of whom trek to his annual Netroots Nation conference to genuflect before the altar of Leftism.

In 2004, following the brutal murders of four U.S. contractors in Fallujah, Kos reacted bitterly: “Screw them,” he blogged. While such an odious comment would likely kill a conservative’s career, DailyKos’ traffic and clout have expanded ever since, as dozens of prominent legislators and commentators regularly line up to contribute to the site.

#41 DAVID BROCK
CEO of Media Matters

Liberal “journalist” David Brock, a former conservative and an admitted serial liar, runs the George Soros-backed Media Matters, which is nothing more than a far-Left attack and smear machine that tries to bully the press into advancing its progressive agenda.

Though Brock and his cronies claim to be an impartial media watchdog, their anti-conservative bile reveals their ugly truth. Brock uses invective and blatant falsehoods to come against anyone — even liberal journalists — whom they perceive might be standing in the way of the anti-American, pro-socialist agenda he and his billionaire overlord want to foist upon us all.

#42 SONIA SOTOMAYOR
U.S. Supreme Court Justice

The numbers are in for the “wise Latina” Democrats painted as a moderate voice on the U.S. Supreme Court during her nomination, and those numbers show her in full agreement with ultra-liberal Ruth Bader Ginsberg 85 percent of the time, the highest such pairing of that Supreme Court term. Overall, she voted with Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer in 90 percent of the cases, according to SCOTUSblog’s final statistical analysis for the October 2009 term. She also cast a dissenting vote in the Second Amendment-affirming decision McDonald v. Chicago, an issue that worried Republicans during her confirmation process.

At only 56, she and fellow youth vote Elena Kagan (age 50) will have many years to influence the country through the Court’s powerful decisions.

#43 DICK DURBIN
U.S. Senate Majority Whip from Illinois

Also known as “dickhead” (just kidding, sort of), Dick Durbin was considered one of the top contenders to replace Harry Reid if Reid would’ve lost his re-election this cycle because of his experience forcing liberal agenda items through the Senate hopper since 1983. Durbin has supported every piece of liberal legislation that has been rammed through during the Obama administration and is an ardent backer of the Fairness Doctrine and amnesty for illegal aliens.

Showing his total lack of class, he was famously and roundly criticized for equating the treatment of Guantanamo Bay prisoners by U.S. soldiers to the treatment of Holocaust victims by Nazi oppressors.

#44 RACHEL MADDOW
Host of “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC

MSNBC’s all-liberal, all-the-time primetime lineup is anathema to most conservatives. In this sea of ignorance, partisan invective and unhinged diatribes, a lone commentator manages to remain afloat in a dinghy of relative thoughtfulness and sobriety.

Rachel Maddow was plucked from relative obscurity in 2005, quickly becoming a regular panelist on MSNBC and CNN. By 2008, Maddow’s star had risen to new heights, prompting NBC executives to launch “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

While several of her network comrades have descended steadily into punditry madness, Maddow has largely evaded the stigma of laughingstock status. Unlike the Olbermanns of the world, Maddow maintains a reputation beyond the feverish precincts of the far Left. Her occasional appearances on respected programs such as “Meet the Press” bolster her gravitas as a measured spokesperson for the American Left. Maddow’s ability to cloak leftwing arguments in reasonable-sounding rhetoric distinguishes Maddow from her colleagues. It makes her more persuasive in spreading the liberal gospel and, therefore, far more dangerous.

#45 ANNIE LEONARD
Author and Host of “The Story of Stuff”

How many trees had to die so that Annie Leonard could create and distribute her documentary, “The Story of Stuff”? Since its release in 2007, it has been viewed more than 12 million times on her website, StoryOfStuff.com, and is shown in more than 7,000 classrooms.

Leonard, a former Greenpeace activist hack, has produced several films condemning the consumption of, well, anything and telling everyone that it’s the government’s job to take care of us. Is this someone you want proselytizing your children?

Leonard is ironically able to create her own standard of living by telling everyone else to reduce theirs (sounds like Al Gore). No word yet on how she feels about scaring children out of buying Legos.

#46 BILL AYERS
Co-founder and Former Leader of Weather Underground Terrorist Group; Education Professor at the University of Chicago, Illinois.

Bill Ayers is an unrepentant domestic terrorist. He and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, founded the treacherous Weather Underground organization in the 1960’s and 1970’s. For years they bombed federal buildings, incited riots and plotted to bring down the U.S. government through violent revolution. Today, they both walk free as “respected” members of Chicago’s academic community.

Ayers became a liability for presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 when some details of their professional ties leaked out. Especially galling to many voters were Ayer’s 2001 comments in the New York Times expressing regrets over not pushing his campaign of terror against America even farther.

With the assistance of his ivory tower fellow travelers, Ayers has rehabilitated his image and is now considered an “authority” on education reform and juvenile justice. Indeed, Barack Obama penned a glowing endorsement of one of Ayer’s tomes on the subject.

Despite his slippery denials, President Obama’s relationship with Ayers runs deep. The sordid details of this alliance are meticulously chronicled in Stanley Kurtz’s new book, “Radical in Chief.”

#47 AL SHARPTON
Founder of the National Action Network

Race Baiter in Chief Al Sharpton has made a living — a nice living — pitting Americans against each other. Never satisfied to see his fellow citizens living together in harmony, “Reverend Al” is in a constant state of agitation trying to infuriate minorities over a perceived slight by the evil white man, get anyone right-of-center kicked of the airwaves or promote one of a slew of radical leftist causes — most of which are actually harmful to the black family.

Knowing he risks irrelevancy and losing the perks of being in a position of influence should racial tensions vanish, Sharpton is far more concerned with seeing blacks in perpetual misery and the United States always on a racial edge than to see us live out Martin Luther King Jr.’s inspired vision for America.

#48 THOMAS FRIEDMAN
Columnist for the New York Times

When you look at the authoritarian, autocratic China, with its horrific political oppression, media censorship, Internet restrictions, family-planning policies, “re-education through labor” and other policies, do you see utopia?

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman does. He’s been there, unlike you. They take action to combat global warming. They have a really fast train.

It’s tempting to write Friedman off as disillusioned and irrelevant. Despite his descent into Chinese-worshiping self-parody, he continues to maintain a sizable audience and access to people who actually have influence.

Friedman’s great foresight allows him to see past autocracy and into utopia. Because, gosh, their train is really fast.

#49 BILL MAHER
Comedian; Host of “Real Time With Bill Maher” on HBO

Bill Maher is tearing down traditional American values and religion under the tent of stand-up comedy. Maher hosts “Real Time With Bill Maher” on HBO but also serves on the board of PETA and is an advisory board member of Project Reason, a foundation that promotes the destruction of all religion in society.

Maher has vast influence on popular culture and spends most of his air time ridiculing all religion, particularly Christianity, and painting middle America and the tea party as an angry mob of racists.

#50 OLIVER STONE
Movie Director and Screenwriter

Oliver Stone, who specializes in historical revisionism, once claimed that the “Jewish domination of the media” is the reason Hitler is a hated historical figure. His 2009 production “W” characterized President George W. Bush so poorly that the film was roundly criticized by the Right and Left alike, with Newsweek calling it “cinematic lame duck.” “W” came after Stone’s gushing documentaries on Hugo Chavez and Che Guevara. His upcoming series, “The Secret History of the United States,” promise to unleash a torrent of new American-hating vitriol in a 10-episode HBO special.
Source-http://bcfoley.blogspot.com/2011/01/50-most-dangerous-liberals-in-america.html

Holder: “Nobody At The DOJ Has Lied”

(Philip Klein) Attorney General Eric Holder denied that anybody at the Department of Justice lied about the Fast and Furious program that allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug lords, even though he admitted that the DOJ sent inaccurate information to Congress.

Last week, the DOJ took the rare step of formally withdrawing a letter it sent to Congress in February that falsely claimed the program being executed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives did not allow guns to “walk” into Mexico.

Confronted about this by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., Holder defended the DOJ.

“Nobody at the Justice Department has lied,” Holder insisted.

When Sensenbrenner pressed Holder on the distinction between lying and misleading Congress, Holder said it was a matter of a person’s “state of mind.”

Holder said that when DOJ officials provided inaccurate information to Congress, they didn’t know at the time that it was inaccurate.
Source-http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/holder-nobody-doj-has-lied/244706

Ron Paul Dominates Favorable Twitter Election Coverage

(Kurt Nimmo) The establishment media campaign to ignore Ron Paul despite his immense popularity received a blow this week when the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism released the results of a new study.
PEJ looked at 20 million Tweets about the race for president and found that Ron Paul “fared far better” than any other Republican candidate on Twitter.
Paul was referred to positively in 55 percent of the 1.1 million assessments studied by PEJ. “That is a differential for Paul of 40 points on the positive side,” notes Pew.
“This treatment of Paul stands in contrast to that of most of the GOP field, for whom Twitter has been a tough neighborhood,” the study concludes. “Five of Paul’s seven GOP rivals have had negative opinions on Twitter outstrip positive ones by roughly 2-1 or more.”
In addition to his favorability on Twitter, Ron Paul dominates the blogosphere according to Pew.
Paul’s popularity on the internet is due primarily to his youthful base. “Ron Paul has managed to do what no libertarian organization or electoral candidate ever has: Energize the masses of young Americans, all throughout the nation’s college campuses, including its most leftist, and get them interested in the politics of freedom and peace,” writes Anthony Gregory. “Ron Paul’s young supporters attend his campus rallies cheering for the gold standard, the Constitution, and a Jeffersonian foreign policy.”
This was apparent in Ames, Iowa, on Thursday when Paul drew a standing-room-only gathering of more than 1,000 college-age students. “Paul traditionally draws a great deal of enthusiasm from young supporters. A speech at Louisiana State University in September drew an estimated 1,200 people and a speech at Webster Hall in New York that same month pulled in an even larger crowd. Paul will hold another youth rally Friday night at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls,” writes Jason M. Volack for ABC News.
Source-http://www.infowars.com/ron-paul-dominates-favorable-twitter-election-coverage/

Feds Demand Customer Lists From Storable Food Facility

(Infowars) “A fellow veteran contacted me concerning a new and disturbing development. He had been utilizing a Mormon cannery near his home to purchase bulk food supplies. The man that manages the facility related to him that federal agents had visited the facility and demanded a list of individuals that had been purchasing bulk food. The manager informed the agents that the facility kept no such records and that all transactions were conducted on a cash-and-carry basis.

Jon Corzine Pleads 5th To Missing 200 Million Dollars

(Golden Truth) Jon Corzine has released the written testimony that he will make before Congress today. It has been highly polished up by his legal advisers and contains so many “I can’t recall’s” that even Bill Clinton would blush. While the entire testimony has very little credibility with regard to substantive issues, I just want to address one specific quote from the testimony because I know – for a fact – that Corzine is lying. From page 17 of the prepared testimony:
I did not, however, generally involve myself in the mechanics of the clearing and settlement of trades, or in the movement of cash and collateral. Nor was I an expert on the complicated rules and regulations governing the various different operating businesses that comprised MF Global. I had little expertise or experience in those operational aspects of the business.
Here’s the full testimony: LINK If you take the time to read the full testimony, please try not to puke like I nearly did over the obvious lies and legally refined statements which are designed to obfuscate and cover-up the truth.

Now, earlier in the testimony, Corzine lays out his history of employment and experience in the securities industry. For much of his career, he was in oversight and management roles which would have required that he passed certain industry exams. One of them is the Series 24 principal’s exam. Having just studied for and passed this particular exam, I know for a fact that the material covers the rules regarding “movement of cash and collateral.” I spent a few hours making sure I understood exactly what the regulations prescribe. For Corzine to have been promoted into the positions he lays out in his testimony, it means he had to pass the Series 24 exam and he spent part of his time at Goldman having to deal with the issues from a practical standpoint covered by the material in the Series 24. In other words, he knows the regulations and mechanics and he’s lying in his testimony.

Moreover, having worked as a trader on a big bond trading desk, as Corzine did at Goldman (he ultimately ran the Government bond trading operations at one point), I know for a fact he had to have been intimately aware of and knowledgeable about “back office” (the functions to which he refers to as “clearing and settlement”) functions and mechanics. It would be impossible that he would have risen through the ranks at Goldman in the bond trading business and not have spent a good part of his of time understanding and dealing the “back office operations” of the securities trading business. Impossible.

Unfortunately for justice – but fortunately to prove my contention that he will extract himself from facing prison by exploiting the inability of Congress to ask the right questions – the people who will be grilling him, Senators and Reps, have no knowledge of how Wall Street functions and they will not take the time to figure out the right questions to ask. Nor will they make an earnest attempt to hold him accountable.

There’s plenty of other statements that can likely be proved to be false. For instance he claims to have not made contact with NY Fed Chairman Bill Dudley during his time at MF Global. Those two worked together at Goldman Sachs. MF Global was admitted to the Fed as a primary dealer under Corzine. I find Corzine’s statement therefore exceedingly difficult to believe. Let’s see the phone and email records. But the best shot this country has seeing justice served against Corzine is having private lawsuits waged against him which will bring in expert witnesses to educate the courtroom and jury as to exactly why Corzine’s testimony today is one big lie. Let’s hope and pray that happens.
Source-http://truthingold.blogspot.com/

Every Single Tweet Being Turned Over To U.S. Government

(NaturalNews) They say there are billions of them, with more than 50 million added per day. But whatever the actual number, every single tweet ever sent since the beginning of Twitter-time is set to be turned over to Uncle Sam.

According to Federal News Radio earlier this week, Twitter has struck a deal (deal?) with the Library of Congress to archive every single tweet. Rather than treat them as free, protected speech, the billions of Tweets are being treated as historical documents and will archived as such, the report said.

“We have an agreement with Twitter where they have a bunch of servers with their historic archive of tweets, everything that was sent out and declared to be public,” Bill Lefurgy, the digital initiatives program manager at the library’s national digital information infrastructure and preservation program, said on Federal News Radio.

“We were excited to be involved with acquiring the Twitter archives because it’s a unique record of our time,” he added. “It’s also a unique way of communication. It’s not so much that people are going to be interested in what you or I had for lunch, which some people like to say on Twitter.”

Which begs the question: What, then, is the government “interested” in? According to the report, the tweets will be made available to researchers who “could then data-mine for interesting information.”

“There have been studies involved with what are the moods of the public at various times of the day in reaction to certain kinds of news events,” said Lefurgy. “There’s all these interesting kinds of mixing and matching that can be done using the tweets as a big set of data.”

The agreement, it turns out, has been in the works since last year.

Reportedly, no Tweets that users have “protected” will be included in the data dump, but let’s ask the obvious question here: How many of us actually believe that private tweets aren’t somehow going to show up in this LOC tweet repository – for some researcher to “data-mine?”

So, the lesson here is this: If you think your tweets are just going to vanish into the unknown after you send them, think again. And be careful what you tweet; some “researcher” may just “data-mine” it some day, to your dismay.

In the electronic age, privacy is increasingly becoming a quaint concept of the past.

Sources:

http://content.usatoday.com/communi…

http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?ni…

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/034356_tweets_surveillance_government.html#ixzz1fxxT9XiS

20 Things You Should Know About the Bill That Could Ruin America

(Gawker) Last week the U.S. Senate passed 93-7 a version of the National Defense Authorization Act that includes provisions giving the military the right to detain you forever and without charge if they think you’re some kind of terrorist. Consider it an early holiday present! There is no exchange policy, sorry.

President Barack Obama can get rid of the Act’s indefinite detention provisions by using his veto powers. He says he might do just that, so there is hope. But Hopey could also change his mind at the last minute and let the language become law. Civil libertarians from all sides of the political spectrum are very anxious about the final call he’ll make.

Even though you can’t do much to prevent the provisions from taking effect, here’s a list of 20 details about them. Maybe the info will come in handy when you finally flee to Saudi Arabia ISO political refugee status and have to explain how your country was oppressing you:

1. The provisions were passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)—enacted for the last 48 years or so to provide funding for the military and all our wars. (The act for fiscal year 2012 awarded $662 billion for defense spending.) Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-MI) took the lead in promoting them, making passage a bipartisan effort/failure.
2. Initially the provisions passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without a single hearing. The Senate didn’t want to spoil the surprise for everybody.
3. Because of the provisions, the NDAA now says the military can detain anyone deemed to be “a part of” or deemed to have “substantially supported” Al Qaeda, the Taliban, or “associated forces.” You can be on the battlefield, or you can be PayPaling money to your local terrorist cell while sipping your latte at a Starbucks—doesn’t matter. Even though we captured Saddam, Osama, and Anwar al-Awlaki, these powers are still necessary. Don’t question.
4. The bill grants power to the military to arrest U.S. citizens on American soil and detain them in military prisons forever without offering them the right to legal counsel or even a trial. This isn’t a totally new thing: “dirty bomb” plotter Jose Padilla spent three-and-a-half years as an “enemy combatant” until he was finally charged. But Padilla’s detention was unusual and sparked a huge outcry; the new provisions would standardize his treatment and enable us all to become Jose Padillas.
5. Some people are trying to say that language regarding indefinite detention (Section 1031) doesn’t apply to American citizens, but it does. However, the mandatory detention requirement (Section 1032) includes an exemption for American citizens, which means the military doesn’t have to imprison you forever and ever “unless ordered to do so” by the president. You better remove that Nobama bumper sticker from your truck.
6. The provisions could last as long as fruitcake lasts. We covered this earlier.
7. Many important people oppose the provisions, including FBI Director Robert Mueller, the CIA, the military, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, the Director of National Intelligence, and your mom (unless she’s a U.S. senator).
8. A group of 26 retired generals and admirals wrote a letter to the Senate saying the provisions “reduce the options available to our Commander-in-Chief to incapacitate terrorists,” and will “do more harm than good.” The Senate obviously ignored them.
9. According to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who opposes indefinite detention of U.S. citizens, an American can be deemed a “terrorist” after just one hearing. Finally, the government promises to work efficiently on something.
10. Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) tried to kill the provision on indefinite detention with an amendment that required Congressional review of these brand-new military detention powers, but his effort failed 60 votes to 38.
11. All the Republican senators supported the provisions except for Paul and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).
12. Former Vice President Dick Cheney was in attendance for the vote on behalf of the waterboarding lobby. Every time he heard the words “indefinite detention,” he got an erection.
13. None of this stuff will ever affect people who are innocent of terrorism-related crimes, unless the government wrongly accuses them.
14. As pointed out by Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald, the provision dispenses with Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution, which provides that nobody can be punished for treason without heightened due process requirements being met.” Goodbye, Art. 3 Sec. 3! Send our regards to the 4th, 8th, and 14th Amendments.
15. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of the provisions’ most vocal supporters, put it this way to the New York Times: “Citizens who are suspected of joining Al Qaeda are opening themselves up ‘to imprisonment and death … And when they say, “I want my lawyer,” you tell them: “Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer. You are an enemy combatant, and we are going to talk to you about why you joined Al Qaeda.”‘” Shut up, fool! Lindsey Graham hates it when you talk.
16. Some of the senators who passed this shit don’t really know what they are talking about when they talk about “enemy combatants” and their status under existing law.
17. President Barack Obama has stated he’ll veto the provisions because they would “raise serious and unsettled legal questions and would be inconsistent with the fundamental American principle that our military does not patrol our streets.” They’re also confusing.
18. The provisions will militarize America even further and—in Graham’s words—”basically say[s] in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield.” Your backyard is a microcosm of the war on terror. Just think of that every time you host a barbecue.
19. They could disappear from the NDAA if the House and Senate conferees who meet in conference committee this week decide to get rid of them.
20. Texas Republicans have somehow worked sex with animals into all this.
Now for the good news: Greenwald at Salon says none of this indefinite detention without a lawyer stuff changes the status quo that much. It only codifies what’s already been happening in the U.S. for the past few years. So you’ve been living under these conditions for a while now, but look—you’re still not in jail. Just be more careful about what sorts of opinions on the government you post on Twitter, and don’t say anything nice about Al Qaeda, and you’ll be fine.
Source-http://gawker.com/5865089/20-things-you-should-know-about-americas-most-horrifying-new-law

Occupy WallStreet Officially Classified As Terrorist Group Along With Al-Qaeda

As I previously reported, the US Army is being mobilized to crush Occupy Wall Street and the recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act opens the door for the military to arrest and detain American citizens indefinitely without trial.
We now have our first confirmation that Occupy Wall Street is being labeled as a Domestic Terrorist Threat and protestors now being labeled as possible domestic terrorists. Don’t hesitate to think for a single second that agencies across the entire US agencies haven’t already done the same exact thing.
Perhaps more alarming is the photo of the original police document that has secretly handed “trusted” anti-terrorism partners has been removed from twitter.
Here is a copy.

Source-http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2011/12/06/begins-occupywallstreet-labeled-terrorist-group-alqaeda-81051/

Federal Judge: Montana Blogger Is Not Journalist

(AP) A federal judge in Oregon has ruled that a Montana woman sued for defamation was not a journalist when she posted online that an Oregon lawyer acted criminally during a bankruptcy case, a decision with implications for bloggers around the country.

Crystal L. Cox, a blogger from Eureka, Mont., was sued for defamation by attorney Kevin Padrick when she posted online that he was a thug and a thief during the handling of bankruptcy proceedings by him and Obsidian Finance Group LLC.

U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez found last week that as a blogger, Cox was not a journalist and cannot claim the protections afforded to mainstream reporters and news outlets.

Although media experts said Wednesday that the ruling would have little effect on the definition of journalism, it casts a shadow on those who work in nontraditional media since it highlights the lack of case law that could protect them and the fact that current state shield laws for journalists are not covering recent developments in online media.

“My advice to bloggers operating in the state of Oregon is lobby to get your shield law improved so bloggers are covered,” said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “But do not expect the shield law to provide you a defense in a libel case where you want to rely on an anonymous source for that information.”

The judge ruled that Cox was not protected by Oregon’s shield law from having to produce sources, saying even though Cox defines herself as media, she was not affiliated with any mainstream outlet. He added that the shield law does not apply to civil actions for defamation.

Hernandez said Cox was not a journalist because she offered no professional qualifications as a journalist or legitimate news outlet. She had no journalism education, credentials or affiliation with a recognized news outlet, proof of adhering to journalistic standards such as editing or checking her facts, evidence she produced an independent product or evidence she ever tried to get both sides of the story.

Cox said she considered herself a journalist, producing more than 400 blogs over the past five years, with a proprietary technique to get her postings on the top of search engines where they get the most notice.

“What could be more mainstream than the Internet and the top of the search engine?” she said.

Padrick, of Bend, Ore., was a trustee in a bankruptcy case involving Summit Accommodators, a company that helped property owners conduct real estate transactions in a way to limit taxes. Three executives face federal fraud and money laundering indictments.

The lawyer sued Cox for defamation, a legal fight that is typically difficult for plaintiffs to win. Public figures, for example, must prove the defendant knew the statement in question was false, and the statement must be matters of public interest.

The judge found that Padrick was not a public figure, and that the bankruptcy case was not in the public interest. The ruling opened the way for a jury to award $2.5 million to Padrick and Obsidian.

Cox said she didn’t have the money to pay the judgment, and that she intended to keep posting about the Summit bankruptcy case.

“My intensions are the highest and best,” she said. “I know I am sometimes over the top or a little bit vulgar. But I encourage people not to listen to me or him but to look at the documents and make their own decision based on that.”

Padrick said the case showed how vulnerable anyone was to someone with a computer. He said he has lost business from potential clients who search his name and firm through Google and find Cox’s postings at the top of the list, adding that he has no way to remove them.

“If anyone can self-proclaim themselves to be media, the concept of media is rendered worthless,” Padrick said. “When everyone is media, the concept of media is gone.”

The judge ruled that Padrick and his company did not have to seek a retraction, as required by Oregon law, before claiming damages, because a blogger is not on the list of recognized media, which include newspapers, magazines, television and radio news, and motion pictures.

Padrick said he did not expect to collect much of the $2.5 million jury award, or to see his business fully rebound. He said his only consolation was that all eight jurors who heard the case believed he had been significantly harmed.

Ellyn Angelotti, who teaches about digital trends and social media at The Poynter Institute, said the ruling was significant because so little case law has built up on online media. But she believed it would have little impact on bloggers in general until the U.S. Supreme Court takes up a case, or more federal courts rule.

Kyu Ho Youm, a First Amendment expert and journalism professor at the University of Oregon, called the judge’s strict definition of a journalist “outdated” since so-called citizen journalists currently outnumber traditional journalists.

“When we talk about the shield law, we should pay more attention to the function people are doing than whether people are connected to traditional and established news media,” he said.
Source-http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_BLOGGER_DEFAMATION_SUIT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-12-07-20-39-18

NYC Banks On Bomb Alert

(Fox) The New York Police Department is warning local banks to bolster mailroom security after a letter bomb was addressed to the CEO of Deutsche Bank in Germany.
All New York-area banks were advised to take extra precautions on Wednesday after the device was found in the mailroom of Deutsche Bank’s headquarters in Frankfurt. No one was injured.
The letter, which was not en route to New York, was addressed to CEO Josef Ackermann, Fox News Channel reports.
“We confirm that a suspicious envelope has been sent to Deutsche Bank,” a spokesman for Germany’s biggest lender told Reuters.
Deutsche Bank, which opened its first branch in New York in 1979, is the only investment bank physically located on Manhattan’s Wall Street and is one of the largest foreign-based employers in New York City. In the United States, it employs more than 11,000 workers in 28 states and 90 cities.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/12/07/nypd-puts-local-banks-on-alert-after-parcel-bomb-found-in-germany/#ixzz1ft0Gcele

Video-Gov’t Activating FEMA Camps Across The U.S.

(Aaron Dykes) In tonight’s Tuesday, December 6, 2011 edition of the Infowars Nightly News, Alex takes on breaking news leaked from an insider about Halliburton subsidiary KBR. The documents reveal current on-going operations to staff the FEMA and U.S. Army camps it runs around the United States. According to our info, KBR is contracting services for temporary fencing and barricades, laundry and medical services, power generation, refuse collection, catering and other services required for temporary “emergency environment” camps located in five regions of the United States. Disturbingly, this comes immediately after the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including the controversial amendment to the bill which allows the indefinite detention of American citizens. All this at a time which economic conditions and mass demonstrations sweep the country and threaten potential unrest. Meanwhile, focus has fallen on President Obama’s real reason for threatening to veto the NDAA legislation– experts say it would hold the U.S. to the Geneva Convention and disrupt a tradition of executive fiat wherein presidents have long declared their own right to hold Americans.

The 2012 GOP primary is also going hot, with only weeks until the Iowa caucus initiates voting. Ron Paul, who has been consistently ignored by the media and polling agencies, has launched a new attack ad underlining the ‘serial hypocrisy’ of rival Newt Gingrich, a career globalist and two-faced politician who readily props up the establishment agenda. Polls currently show Newt leading Iowa, with Ron Paul in a solid second place. Alex also examines Gingrich’s support for radical geoengineering projects, dovetailing with his highly publicized TV ad pitching bi-partisan climate change action alongside Nancy Pelosi.
Guest Patrick C. Dew joins Alex to discuss his statistical analysis of the media’s bias against Ron Paul, citing in part the numbers compiled by the Pew Research Center earlier in the campaign which strongly suggest an intention obscuring of the Texas Congressman in his bid for presidency. Read a detailed PDF of that research here.
In the geo-political arena, China is preparing its Navy for war while Iran is reportedly positioning its long-range missiles for attack. In other news, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that everyone will be a research patient under plans to share all NHS health records with private healthcare firms. More than a year after the Gulf oil spill, BP has accused Halliburton of intentionally destroying records that held damaging evidence about the blast that initiated the massive oil leak.
Facing re-election in 2012, Obama has lost much of the support he enjoyed in 2008 from top Hollywood celebrities, while former President Bill Clinton has been accused of receiving $50,000 per month from the now-defunct MF Global for image & advisory work he did through a firm called Teneo.
While former MF Global CEO awaits testimony before Congress, Portugal has announced that it will seize some 5.6 billion euro from state employee pension funds to meet budget shortfalls. Alex will also discuss accusation from a long-time Internet software guru that Facebook IS used for mass surveillance.
In lighter news, Alex laughs off a hit piece aired on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report ridiculing reports that Infowars and former Governor Jesse Ventura have done on underground bunkers reportedly connected to the otherwise creepy Denver International Airport.

Alex will also review the themes contained in Stanley Kubrick’s dystopic masterpiece A Clockwork Orange, which predicts a future where society is broken, and youth gangs menace the population while the government is focused on rounding up political prisoners and re-programming common criminals in attempt to prevent crime.
Source-

http://www.infowars.com/fema-camps-go-live-ron-paul-fights-newt-for-iowa-more-infowars-nightly-news/

Detention Camp Order Follows Preparations For Civil Unrest

(Paul Joseph Watson) The revelation that Halliburton subsidiary KBR is seeking sub-contractors to staff and outfit “emergency environment” camps located in five regions of the United States follows preparations over the last three years to deal with riots inside the United States that have already spread throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

As Infowars reported last night, a document sent to us by a state government employee confirms that Kellogg Brown & Root Services are looking to activate camps built for FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers across the United States.
This follows the Senate’s passage of Section 1031 of the National Defense Authorization Act which allows American citizens to be snatched off the street and held in detention camps without trial.
In 2006, KBR was contracted by Homeland Security to build detention centers designed to deal with “an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S,” or the rapid development of unspecified “new programs” that would require large numbers of people to be interned.
Since 2006, the world has been beset by riots and civil unrest as a result of the fallout from the economic collapse. From the United Kingdom, to continental Europe, to the Middle East and North Africa, almost every corner of the globe has experienced social dislocation.
Now U.S. authorities are preparing for such eventualities on home soil, with major police departments like the NYPD staging “mobilization exercises” to train police to prepare for civil disorder in the United States.
Warnings and preparation for civil unrest coming to the United States have been voiced on a regular basis.
Back in 2008, U.S. troops returning from Iraq were earmarked for “homeland patrols” with one of their roles including helping with “civil unrest and crowd control”.
In December 2008, the Washington Post reported on plans to station 20,000 more U.S. troops inside America for purposes of “domestic security” from September 2011 onwards, an expansion of Northcom’s militarization of the country in preparation for potential civil unrest following a total economic collapse or a mass terror attack.
A report produced that same year by the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Institute warned that the United States may experience massive civil unrest in the wake of a series of crises which it termed “strategic shock.”
“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” stated the report, authored by [Ret.] Lt. Col. Nathan Freir, adding that the military may be needed to quell “purposeful domestic resistance”.

The United States has continuity of government plans in place should martial law be declared by the President. However, the details of those plans have been so tightly guarded that even Congressman and Homeland Security Committee member Peter DeFazio (D – OR), who has the necessary security clearance, was denied access to view the material when he requested to do so back in July 2007.
Under the terms of the the National Emergency Centers Act or HR 645, first introduced in January 2009 and still awaiting passage, emergency camps are to be made available to “meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security,” an open ended mandate which many fear could mean the forced detention of American citizens in the event of widespread rioting after a national emergency or total economic collapse.
With many Americans now becoming “pre-revolutionary” as a result of their fury at the Obama administration and equally unpopular lawmakers in Washington, potential civil unrest could spring not just from a poverty-stricken underclass, but also the shrinking middle class.
Indeed, top elitist Zbigniew Brzezinski warned earlier this year that middle class unrest caused by economic disenfranchisement would soon hit America.
Perhaps that’s why the Department of Homeland Security is increasingly focusing its anti-terror apparatus on white middle class Americans, portraying them as domestic terrorists in a series of PSA videos. In addition, ‘Occupy’ protesters are also now being characterized as terrorists.
The fact that detention camps have been constructed inside America and are now being staffed and readied for “emergency” situations can no longer be ignored or ridiculed as a conspiracy theory.
Kellogg Brown & Root need to be completely transparent and explain where the camps are located, what they contain, and during what type of “emergencies” are they planned to be used for.
Source-http://www.infowars.com/detention-camp-order-follows-preparations-for-civil-unrest/

13 Reasons Why Newt Gingrich Won’t Win the Nomination

Newt Gingrich is flying high. The former Speaker of the House has rocketed to the top of the Republican polls, taking a 30-point lead in Florida and giving one-time GOP front-runner Mitt Romney a run for his money in New Hampshire. What’s more, the competition around him seems to be collapsing. Herman Cain is history; Romney has slowly but steadily lost support nationwide; Rick Perry is still making fun of himself for a gaffe everyone else stopped talking about last month; Michele Bachmann fell in a crowded primary forest and never made a sound. Gingrich, for one, is ready to declare victory. As he told ABC’s Jake Tapper on Thursday, “I’m going to be the nominee.”

Well, Gingrich may be on a roll, but he’s overlooking the one truly formidable candidate who stands between him and the nomination: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. He is in many ways the perfect foil for the current GOP front runner. Here, in 13 episodes, is much of the baggage you’re likely to see aired soon in anti-Gingrich attack ads. For him, it won’t be Christmas in Iowa.

The front seat: It’s a testament to Herman Cain’s utterly catastrophic collapse that Gingrich has emerged as a palatable alternative for family-values conservatives. But it won’t last. Gingrich had a six-year affair with his third wife while he was still married to his second. He had an affair with his second wife while he was still married to his first wife. And as we previously reported, during his 1974 campaign, a former aide described “approaching a car with Gingrich’s daughters in hand, only to find the candidate with a woman, her head buried in his lap.” Another former aide alleged that Gingrich had attempted to seduce her, Chaz Reinhold-style, after the death of a relative.

The back seat: On the flight back from Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral in Israel in November 1995, Gingrich was asked to sit in the back of Air Force One, rather than up front with President Clinton. As a result, Gingrich upped his demands in the budget fight, leading to a historic government shutdown. “It’s petty, but I think it’s human,” Gingrich explained at the time. The New York Daily News put Gingrich on its cover dressed in a diaper, holding a bottle and crying.

Newt’s complaint about sitting in the back seat of Air Force One did not sit well with the New York tabloids. Yes, that’s a milk bottle.: Courtesy of the New York Daily News

(AlterNet) The Couch: Have you seen the advertisement in which Newt sits in a love seat with Nancy Pelosi, on behalf of Al Gore’s non-profit, to call for Congress to take action on climate change? Well, you will—Rep. Ron Paul has already featured the clip in an online ad. Although he maintained at the time that “our country must take action to prevent climate change,” Gingrich now says he doesn’t think the science is settled and it’s not the government’s role to involve itself with climate change.

He calls the ad his single biggest regret in life. Which brings us to…

The hospital bed: In some ways, the fact, first reported in MoJo, that Gingrich hammered out the details of his first divorce while his wife was in the hospital recovering from cancer isn’t even the most damaging revelation from that story. But it’s certainly damaging. One longtime Gingrich aide recalled: “Newt came up there with his yellow legal pad, and he had a list of things on how the divorce was going to be handled. He wanted her to sign it. She was still recovering from surgery, still sort of out of it, and he comes in with a yellow sheet of paper, handwritten, and wants her to sign it.” It’s a damaging enough story that he feltcompelled to mention it in his new fight-the-smears, site, “Answering the Attacks.”

The smoke-filled room: Since leaving Congress in 1998, Gingrich has reinvented himself as the epitome of everyone’s worst stereotypes of a Washington insider. His consulting firm has brought in more than $100 million in contracts since 2000, including $1.6 million from government-backed housing giant Freddie Mac—a payment Gingrich said initially was for his analysis as “a historian.” Although never a registered a lobbyist, he certainly fit the definition.

The inglorious exit: It almost seems like an afterthought given everything he’s done before and since, but Gingrich left Capitol Hill in disgrace, resigning from the House of Representatives after being slapped with a $300,000 fine for ethics violations. The only reason this hasn’t appeared in a Mitt Romney campaign ad yet is that, up until recently, it didn’t seem necessary.

The border: On immigration, Gingrich boldly went where Rick Perry had gone before, telling GOP voters that they should think twice before indiscriminately deporting all undocumented residents. To put it mildly, that’s heresy among social conservative voters in Iowa, where Gingrich hopes to win big. It’s a big reason why Perry is currently polling in single digits.

The dog house: Gingrich rose to the top of his party in the ’90s by eating his own. He publically rebuked the leader of his own party, then-president George H.W. Bush, on taxes. He aggravated senior members of his party like Bob Dole, who famously chewed him out for trying to have it both ways on spending, calling Gingrich and his cohorts “young hypocrites.” Rep. Peter King (R-NY) was just as dismissive: “He also has this incredible sense of exaggeration. Like, I don’t know how many times he’ll say, ‘This is the most corrupt act in the history of Western Civilization,’ or ‘the most despicable.’ You can only say that so many times.” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Ok.), a former congressman, told Fox News Sunday that “I’m not inclined to be a supporter of Newt Gingrich’s having served under him for four years and experienced personally his leadership.” After Gingrich criticized Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan in June, the Wisconsin Rep. said, “with friends like that, who needs enemies.” Newt’s got plenty of enemies.

Planet Earth: Gingrich was a dues-paying member of the Sierra Club, as Mike Mechanicnoted, from 1984 to 1990. During that period, he publicly opposed drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge, calling it a “180-day quick fix.” In the name of preventing global warming, he also supported the 1989 Global Warming Prevention Act, which called for global population control—hugely problematic for social conservatives, who conflate family planning programs with contraception and abortion. In 2009, he called for “mandatory carbon caps,” a position he now derides it as an “anti-energy, big bureaucracy agenda.” It goes much, much deeper than a one-time-off appearance on a couch with Pelosi. Speaking of large, gaseous spheres…

Planet Newt: When he tried out for his high school football team in the 1960s, the equipment manager had to order acustom-made helmet to accomodate his head. This, it turned out, was a metaphor: Newt Gingrich is arrogrant. It’s not a cheap shot to say that. He said it himself, many times over. To read through Gingrich’s log of quotes is to hear a politician perpetually talking about himself. “If you’re not in the Washington Post everyday, you might as well not exist,” he said in 1989. “I’m unavoidable,” he said in 1985. “I represent real power.” In 1989, he explained why he fought with his second wife: “It’s not even that it matters to me. It’s just the habit of dominance, the habit of being the center of my staff and the center of the news media.” It’s not just off-putting; it’s often disastrous. As conservative columnist George Will argued on Sunday, Gingrich “embodies the vanity and rapacity that make modern Washington repulsive…His temperament—intellectual hubris distilled—makes him blown about by gusts of enthusiasm for intellectual fads…”

Mandate, mandate, mandate: Have you heard of this thing called Obamacare? It’s a pretty big deal on the political right, mostly because it contains an individual mandate requiring people to buy health insurance if they can afford it. Gingrich has been characteristically outspoken in his opposition to the mandate recently. But there’s one little problem: Before he decided it was an unconstitutional, tyrannical abuse of power, he was all for the individual mandate. In a 2007 column, he called on Congress to “require anyone who earns more than $50,000 a year to purchase health insurance or post a bond.” He made the same pitch in 2005. Hey, there’s even a video of it—and, what do you know, he’s sitting just across from conservative favorite Hillary Clinton:

Odds of this appearing in someone else’s campaign ad? 1-1.

The Exodus: Gingrich’s political aggression and impulsiveness sometimes pays off. It also frequently ends in disaster—as it did last June, when his entire Iowa campaign staff quit en masse over complaints that (among other things) he lacked discipline and frugality. To the extent that many of those staffers then went on to work for Perry, you could say that Gingrich had the last laugh. But the consequence of that is that Gingrich didn’t even have an Iowa campaign office until late last week. Organization is everything in the caucuses, and with just a few weeks to go, Newt doesn’t really have one.
Source-http://www.alternet.org/story/153322/13_reasons_why_newt_gingrich_won%27t_win_the_nomination/?page=entire

Anxious Greeks Emptying Their Bank Accounts

Georgios Provopoulos, the governor of the central bank of Greece, is a man of statistics, and they speak a clear language. “In September and October, savings and time deposits fell by a further 13 to 14 billion euros. In the first 10 days of November the decline continued on a large scale,” he recently told the economic affairs committee of the Greek parliament.

With disarming honesty, the central banker explained to the lawmakers why the Greek economy isn’t managing to recover from a recession that has gone on for three years now: “Our banking system lacks the scope to finance growth.”
He means that the outflow of funds from Greek bank accounts has been accelerating rapidly. At the start of 2010, savings and time deposits held by private households in Greece totalled €237.7 billion — by the end of 2011, they had fallen by €49 billion. Since then, the decline has been gaining momentum. Savings fell by a further €5.4 billion in September and by an estimated €8.5 billion in October — the biggest monthly outflow of funds since the start of the debt crisis in late 2009.

The raid on bank accounts stems from deep uncertainty in Greek households which culminated in early November during the political turmoil that followed the announcement by then-Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou of a referendum on the second Greek bailout package.

Papandreou withdrew the plan and stepped down following an outcry among other European leaders against the referendum, and a new government was formed on Nov. 11 under former central banker Loukas Papademos. That appears to have slowed the drop in bank savings, at least for the time being.

Bank Withdrawals Worsening Crisis

Nevertheless, the Greeks today only have €170 billion in savings — almost 30 percent less than at the start of 2010.

The hemorrhaging of bank savings has had a disastrous impact on the economy. Many companies have had to tap into their reserves during the recession because banks have become more reluctant to lend. More Greek families are now living off their savings because they have lost their jobs or have had their salaries or pensions cut.

In August, unemployment reached 18.4 percent. Many Greeks now hoard their savings in their homes because they are worried the banking system may collapse.

Those who can are trying to shift their funds abroad. The Greek central bank estimates that around a fifth of the deposits withdrawn have been moved out of the country. “There is a lot of uncertainty,” says Panagiotis Nikoloudis, president of the National Agency for Combating Money Laundering.

The banks are exploiting that insecurity. “They are asking their customers whether they wouldn’t rather invest their money in Liechtenstein, Switzerland or Germany.”

Nikoloudis has detected a further trend. At first, it was just a few people trying to withdraw large sums of money. Now it’s large numbers of people moving small sums. Ypatia K., a 55-year-old bank worker from Athens, can confirm that. “The customers, especially small savers, have recently been withdrawing sums of €3,000, €4,000 or €5,000. That was panic,” she said.

Marina S., a 74-year-old widow from Athens, said she has to be extra careful with money these days. “I have no choice but to withdraw money from my savings,” she said.

Bad Loans

The shrinking Greek bank deposits compare with bank loans totalling €253 million. Analysts say the share of bad loans could rise to 20 percent next year, or €50 billion, as a result of the recession. This in turn will worsen the already pressing liquidity problems faced by Greek banks.

Nikos B., a doctor in the Greek military, has had enough of the never-ending crisis his country is going through. While the 31-year-old has a secure job, repeated salary cuts have made it increasingly hard for him to make ends meet.
He needs most of his money to make loan repayments for a small car. “How can I clear my account? There’s hardly anything in it,” he says. He started learning German two months ago and wants to leave Greece. “As soon as possible!”

Nikos pauses and looks down. He quietly utters words that must be painful for a proud Greek. “It would be best to change nationality.”
Source-http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,802051,00.html