Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Genetically Manipulated Crops: The GMO Catastrophe in the USA. A Lesson for the World

Recently the unelected potentates of the EU Commission in Brussels have sought to override what has repeatedly been shown to be the overwhelming opposition of the European Union population to the spread of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in EU agriculture. EU Commission President now has a Maltese accountant as health and enviromnent Commissioner to rubber stamp the adoption of GMO. The former EU Environment Commissioner from Greece was a ferocious GMO opponent. As well, the Chinese government has indicated it may approve a variety of GMO rice. Before things get too far along, they would do well to take a closer look at the world GMO test lab, the USA. There GMO crops are anything but beneficial. Just the opposite.

What is carefully kept out of the Monsanto and other agribusiness propaganda in promoting genetically manipulated crops as an alternative to conventional is the fact that in the entire world until the present, all GMO crops have been manipulated and patented for only two things—to be resistant or “tolerant” to the patented highly toxic herbicide glyphosate chemicals that Monsanto and the others force farmers to buy as condition for buying their patented GMO seeds. The second trait is GMO seeds that have been engineered genetically to resist specific insects. Contrary to public relations myths promoted by the agribusiness giants in their own self-interest, there exists not oné single GMO seed that provides a greater harvest yield than conventional, nor one that requires less toxic chemical herbicides. That is for the simple reason there is no profit to be made in such.

Giant super-weeds plague

As prominent GMO opponent and biologist, Dr Mae-Wan Ho of the Institute of Science in London has noted, companies such as Monsanto build into their seeds
herbicide-tolerance (HT) due to glyphosate-insensitive form of the gene coding for the enzyme targeted by the herbicide. The enzyme is derived from soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Insect-resistance is due to one or more toxin genes derived from the soil bacterium Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). The United States began large scale commercial planting of GMO plants, mainly soybeans and corn and cotton around 1997. By now, GM crops have taken over between 85 percent to 91 percent of the areas planted with the three major crops, soybean, corn and cotton in the US, on nearly 171 million acres.

The ecological time-bomb that came with the GMO according to Ho, is about to explode. Over several years of constant application of patented glyphosate herbicides such as Monsanto’s famous and highly Roundup, new herbicide-resistant “super-weeds” have evolved, nature’s response to man-made attempts to violate it. The super-weeds require significantly more not less herbicide to control.

ABC Television, a major US national network, made a recent documentary about the super-weeds under the rubric, “super weeds that can’t be killed.”[1]

They interviewed farmers and scientists across Arkansas who described fields overrun with giant pigweed plants that can withstand as much glyphosate as farmers are able to spray. They interviewed one farmer who spent almost €400000 in only three months in a failed attempt to kill the new super-weeds.

The new super-weeds are so robust that harvester combines are unable to harvest the fields and hand tools break trying to cut them down. At least 400000 hectares of soybean and cotton in Arkansas alone have become invested with this new mutant biological plague. Detailed data on other agricultural regions is not available but believed similar. The pro-GMO and pro-agribusiness US Department of Agriculture has been reported lying about the true state of US crop harvest partly to hide the grim reality and to prevent an explosive revolt against GMO in the world’s largest GMO market.


One variety of super-weed, palmer pigweed can grow up to 2.4 meters high, withstands severe heat and prolonged droughts, and produces thousands of seeds with a root system that drains nutrients away from crops. If left unchecked, it takes over an entire field in a year. Some farmers have been forced to abandon their land. To date palmer pigweed infestation in GMO crop regions has been identified in addition to Arkansas, also in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, New Mexico, Mississippi and most recently, Alabama and Missouri.

Weed scientists at the University of Georgia estimate that just two palmer pigweed plants in every 6 meter length of cotton row can reduce yield by at least 23 percent. A single weed plant can produce 450 000 seeds. [2]

Roundup toxic danger being covered-up

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the US and the world at large. Patented and sold by Monsanto since the 1970s under the trade name Roundup, it is a mandatory component of buying GMO seeds from Monsanto. Just go to your local garden store and ask for it and read the label carefully.

As I detail in my book, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, GMO crops and patented seeds were developed in the 1970’s with significant financial support from the pro-eugenics Rockefeller Foundation, by what were essentially chemical companies—Monsanto Chemicals, DuPont and Dow Chemicals. All three were involved in the scandal of the highly toxic Agent Orange used in Vietnam, as well as Dioxin in the 1970’s, and lied to cover up the true damage to its own employees as well as to civilian and military populations exposed.

Their patented GMO seeds were seen as a clever way to force increased purchase of their agricultural chemicals such as Roundup. Farmers must sign a legal contract with Monsanto in which it stipulates that only Monsanto Roundup pesticide may be used. Farmers are thus trapped both in buying new seeds from Monsanto each harvest and buying the toxic glyphosate.

France’s University of Caen, in a team led by molecular biologist, Gilles-Eric Seralini, did a study that showed Roundup contained one specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA. Seralini’s team demonstrated that POEA in Roundup was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than even the glyphosate itself. Monsanto refuses to release details of the contents of its Roundup other than glyphosate, calling it “proprietary.” [3]

The Seralini study found that Roundup’s inert ingredients amplified the toxic effect on human cells—even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns! The French team studied multiple concentrations of Roundup, from the typical agricultural or lawn dose down to concentrations 100,000 times more dilute than the products sold on shelves. The researchers saw cell damage at all concentrations.

Glyphosate and Roundup are advertised as “less toxic to us than table salt” in a pamphlet from the Biotechnology Institute promoting GMO crops as ‘Weed Warrior.’ Thirteen years of GMO crops in the USA has increased overall pesticide use by 318 million pounds, not decreased as promised by the Four Horsemen of the GMO Apocalypse. The extra disease burden on the nation from that alone is considerable.

Nonetheless after introduction of Monsanto GMO seeds commercially in the USA, use of glyphosate has risen more than 1500% between 1994 and 2005. In the USA some 100 million pounds of glyphosate are used on lawns and farms every year, and over the last 13 years, it has been applied to more than a billion acres. When questioned, Monsanto’s technical development manager, Rick Cole, reportedly said the problems were “manageable.” He advised farmers to alternate crops and use different makes of herbicides produced by Monsanto. Monsanto is encouraging farmers to mix glyphosate with its older herbicides such as 2,4-D, banned in Sweden, Denmark and Norway for links to cancer and reproductive and neurological damage. 2,4-D is a component of Agent Orange, produced by Monsanto for use in Vietnam in the 1960s.

US Farmers turn to organics

Farmers across the United States are reported to be going back to conventional non-GMO crops instead. According to a new report from the US Department of Agriculture, retail sales of organic food went up to $21.1 billion in 2008 from $3.6 billion in 1997.[4] The market is so active that organic farms have struggled at times to produce sufficient supply to keep up with the rapid growth in consumer demand, leading to periodic shortages of organic products.

The new UK Conservative-Liberal coalition government is strongly backing lifting a de facto ban on GMO in that country. UK Chief Scientific Adviser, Prof. John Beddington, recently wrote an article in which he misleadingly claimed “The next decade will see the development of combinations of desirable traits and the introduction of new traits such as drought tolerance. By mid-century much more radical options involving highly polygenic traits may be feasible.” He went on to promise “cloned animals with engineered innate immunity to diseases” and more. I think we can pass that one up, thank you.

A recent study by Iowa State University and the US Department of Agriculture assessing the performance of farms during the three-year transition it takes to switch from conventional to certified organic production showed notable advantages of organic farming over GMO or even conventional non-GMO crops. In an experiment lasting four years—three years transition and first year organic—the study showed that although yields dropped initially, they equalized in the third year, and by the fourth year, the organic yields were ahead of the conventional for both soybean and corn.

As well, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) has recently been published, the result of three-year deliberation by 400 participating scientists and non-government representatives from 110 countries around the world. It came to the conclusion that small scale organic agriculture is the way ahead for coping with hunger, social inequities and environmental disasters. [5] As Dr Ho argues, a fundamental shift in farming practice is needed urgently, before the agricultural catastrophe spreads further across Germany and the EU to the rest of the world.[6]


[1] Super weed can’t be killed, abc news, 6 October 2009. See also,Jeff Hampton, N.C. farmers battle herbicide-resistant weeds, The Virginian-Pilot, 19 July 2009,

[2] Clea Caulcutt, ‘Superweed’ explosion threatens Monsanto heartlands, Clea Caulcutt, 19 April 2009,

[3] N. Benachour and G-E. Seralini, Glyphosate Formulations Induce Apoptosis and Necrosis in Human Umbilical, Embryonic, and Placental Cells, Chem. Res. Toxicol., Article DOI: 10.1021/tx800218n

Publication Date (Web): December 23, 2008.

[4] Carolyn Dimitri and Lydia Oberholtzer, Marketing U.S. organic foods: recent trends from farms to consumers, USDA Economic Research Service, September 2009,

[5] International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, IAASTD, 2008,

[6] Ho MW.UK Food Standards Agency study proves organic food is better. Science in Society 44, 32-33, 2009.

F. William Engdahl is the author of Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation

Skolnick - Wal-Mart And The Red Chinese Secret Police, Pt 3

By Sherman H. Skolnick
Wal-Mart And The Red Chinese Secret Police, Pt 1
Wal-Mart And The Red Chinese Secret Police, Pt 2
Wal-Mart And The Red Chinese Secret Police, Pt 3

Wal-Mart and the Reputed Crooked Judges in Chicago.
As owners and operators of the State of Arkansas, the Rockefeller Family have had a two-pronged plan. As agent for the Rockefellers/Red Chinese, Bill Clinton arranged for the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport to be built. Some critics thought it was an unnecessary facility. Perhaps they did not take into consideration its location close to three Rockefeller-assisted so-called new "fortunes", started and headquartered nearby and now spread out all over the nation if not the world: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and their subsidiaries; Tyson Foods, Inc., also known as Tyson Chickens; and their transportation wing, J.B Hunt Transport Services, Inc.
The oil-soaked, spy-riddled monopoly press seldom mentions the plans of the Rockefellers, always showing them, if at all, smiling, and only rarely mentions them and Arkansas. Like the British in the 19th Century, seeking to subjugate China with opium, the Rockefellers, as the first part of the plan, are seeking to control the common people of the U.S. by flooding the nation with "China White", high purity dope from Southwest China. Junkies prefer "China White" because it can be smoked in a pipe and does not require a needle in the arm. In the process, the Rockefellers are assisting Red China in undermining the skilled trades and useful employment in the U.S. by deluging the nation with cheap goods from China and countries dominated by them such as Sri Lanka. Spear-heading that effort has been Wal-Mart capable of underselling most everybody with products made by Chinese and other slave-laborers at camps and factories under the authority of the Secret Police.
And the Red Chinese Gestapo pick healthy dissidents to be arbitrarily imprisoned, awaiting orders for human body parts from major U.S. transplant centers, dominated by the Rockefellers. Upon receiving such an order from a well-off patient, a prisoner is condemned to death, shot in the back of the head, and his liver, kidneys, and such removed. They are most often sent to the major U.S. transplant center at Rockefeller's University of Chicago Hospitals. The proceeds from the major "China White" dope trafficking, weapons smuggling, and harvesting of human body parts, and other such, are laundered through the Chicago markets disguised as dealings in currency and soybeans.
[Visit our extensive website series, "THE RED CHINESE SECRET POLICE IN THE U.S."]
The second section of the Rockefeller scheme is to re-locate all or a substantial portion of Wal-Mart's headquarters to Chicago. Tyson has already set up in Chicago a major food processing plant that reportedly employs a large number of non-citizen Mexicans more or less induced to infiltrate the U.S. Such workers are subject to being cowed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, INS. And such labor is preferred to local labor which likes to be unionized and receive numerous fringe benefits. After all, Chicago has traditionally been a trade union town.
To make this all work, Wal-Mart needs an arbitrary and corrupt federal judiciary, cowardly lawyers, and a venal see-nothing press who are more like stenographers of official government lies rather than like inquiring reporters. Big corporations prefer to litigate in Chicago's Federal courts. Why? As one blunt observer aptly stated, "Chicago has the cheapest judicial whores in the nation".
Notice this example from one of our website stories. A crusading attorney from Fayetteville, Arkansas, Dan C. Ivy, has been the attorney of choice in Chicago for a storyboard designer sueing Coca-Cola and Simon Marketing for copyright damages. Ivy is one of the few attorneys I have observed in 40 years as a court-reformer, that dared to repeatedly confront, to her face, a federal district judge in Chicago who committed a fraud upon her own Court. How? Through judicial perjuries. That is, in plain language, a judge trying to cover up an arbitrary and corrupt ruling by mouthing off straight-out lies from the bench. As a cover-up, Chicago District Judge Blanche M.Manning [(312)435-7608] did what is forbidden in Anglo-Saxon Law. That is, for a person to sit as a judge in their own case. She ruled that she had not done the judicial lies with which she was charged in some six petitions by Ivy, invoking "fraud upon the court" against her.
A reputed major unpunished gangster and power broker reportedly paid a million dollars for her to have a chair in the U.S. District Court in Chicago. Buying and selling judgeships is a seldom discussed subject. [Visit our 8-part series "Coca-Cola, the CIA, and the Courts", also "Open Letter to Coca-Cola Bottlers", as well as "Buying a Judgeship"].
An appeal from the Chicago U.S. District Court goes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit [Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin]. It is the end of the line for most all cases. Why? The U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear only a handful of cases from the many thousands that petition for Certiorari, a form of "begging" petition, imploring them to please, please allow you to be heard in their tribunal. Just to show they are lazy and indifferent, at the beginning of a recent U.S. Supreme Court term, which starts in October, there were pending 1600 such "begging" petitions. EACH AND EVERY such petition was refused, without explanation, with just one word, "DENIED". No "merit" to any of them? Really?
Two spark-plugs on the 7th Circuit Appeals Court have been Richard A. Posner [(312) 435-5806], for a long time Chief Judge, and his ever present shadow and side-kick, Frank H. Easterbrook [(312) 435-5808]. [I confirmed by personal observation and reported on my TV Program that Easterbrook is a dope user and in the middle of hearings in his court, giggles and laughs to the ceiling. As a reprisal, Posner/Easterbrook ordered that I and a TV Show associate of mine, Joseph Andreuccetti, be barred FROM ALL THE COURTS in the 7th Circuit. Do not waste my time telling me about my First Amendment rights. The U.S. Supreme Court sent back one word as to our petition, "DENIED". So our First Amendment rights have been CANCELLED.]
Both Posner and Easterbrook previously were law professors at Rockefeller's University of Chicago Law School. [So the monopoly press never told you the Rockefellers founded and dominate the University of Chicago? Now you know.] Another fellow law professor was Antonin Scalia who sits on the U.S. Supreme Court. He is so arbitrary and hard-hearted, Scalia could if he were an adult then, have been a functionary in Benito Mussolini's Fascist government. Study Scalia's outrageous role in dominating the installation of George W. Bush as "resident" and "occupant" of the White House via the case of Bush versus Gore. The un-inaugurated PRESIDENT, who won the popular vote, was GORE. [Visit our website stories on the 2000 Election.]
While on the bench, Posner, Easterbrook, and Scalia, do not disclose in their mandatory annual financial disclosure forms, that they also represent the billion dollar stock portfolio of their patrons, Rockefeller's University of Chicago. Among the stock therein are blocks of stock of Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, and other major corporate pirates. Guess who is favored in their crooked court?
Judge Posner has several specialties. He has written books and articles on the subject of "economic efficiency" in the judiciary. In simple terms, he believes it is NOT economically "efficient" for an underdog to be ALLOWED to sue or bother a large corporation.
In a debate sponsored by the Federal Bar Association's Chicago chapter, Judge Posner advanced the view that people who think federal jurists base their legal opinions solely on their interpretation of the law and the Constitution are living in a make-believe world. [As reported in the lawyers' newspaper, the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, May 24, 2001.] Posner heckled a law professor who teaches his students to rely on the law and the facts. "But Posner suggested that [Law Professor] Stone was not being realistic about how the courts work," the article went on to quote Judge Posner,"I don't understand why constitutional law professors teach fairy tales to their students".
Judge Posner's views as a judicial dictator as to "economic efficiency" as to the courts, are set forth in "Frontiers of Legal Theory" by Richard A. Posner, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., as reported in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, June 26, 2001.
Another specialty of Judge Posner/Judge Easterbrook is to mouth off judicial perjuries in their rulings, arbitrarily favoring certain corporate pirates. Also, Judge Posner refuses to disqualify himself even when confronted in an appeal that he is directly personally involved. Further, Posner formed a business, a litigation service firm, that reportedly engages in the BIG FIX. [See the details in our website story, at the time Posner was a mediator in the Microsoft Anti-Trust case, "Chief Crook Enters Microsoft Case".]
What is a JUDICIAL PERJURY? A simple explanation. The undisputed court record shows it is DAY. The lying, corrupt judge proclaims the record shows it is NIGHT. Then, applying prior decisions, called case law, as to NIGHT, the corrupt judge favors those in the case who worked a malign influence on the judge. [Posner/Easterbrook threatened lawyers with punishment who dared complain about the judges' judicial lies. See our story about Chief Crook.]
In the Rockefeller plan to have Wal-Mart re-locate their headquarters or part of their headquarters to Chicago, Rockefeller-linked Banker-Judges like Posner and most others on the 7th Circuit in Chicago, will protect the Rockefeller-assisted Wal-Mart from any "legal problems".
An example. While his fight with Wal-Mart was pending in Arkansas, attorney Dan ivy filed an appeal in Chicago against Coca-Cola. All the federal appeals judges in active service in Chicago, under the domination of gang-leaders Posner/Easterbrook, without explanation or specifics, entered an order REFUSING to allow Ivy to appear as an attorney in their Court, thus seeking to block the appeal. That is one way of dealing with a crusading attorney who also bothers Helen Walton and Wal-Mart. Are Wal-Mart stores major sellers of Coca-Cola, and have ties to McDonald's?[Visit part 2 of this series. Also Coca-Cola series, Part 8, dealing with purported embezzlement of McDonald's.]
Look what happens to more independent-minded commodity and currency traders in Chicago who do NOT go along with the money laundering of the Red Chinese Secret Police through the Chicago markets. That is, the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and their basement sort of step-sister, Chicago Board Options Exchange.
In January, 1989, the day after the inauguration as President of George Herbert Walker Bush, began the federal criminal indictments of 46 Chicago commodity and currency traders. Going back to the time he was Vice President, the Elder Bush instigated these indictments. Involved were mostly five dollar discrepancies in "front running" trading, a long-accepted industry practice to which no customer apparently complained.
I was present in 1992 in the courtroom of the U.S. Court of Appeals Chicago, when some of the cases were heard on oral argument. For example, a group of the defendants known as the "Soybean Ten" were kept in jail and not allowed out on bond, yet they had ostensibly no prior criminal records. I tried, in vain, to point out to their million-dollar-retained lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, there present, the serious conflicts of interest of the 7th Circuit Judges. I had, likewise in vain, informed him of it, prior to the appeal hearing.
For example, heading the three-judge hearing panel was Federal Appeals Judge Richard D. Cudahy [(312) 435-5825], the richest judge in the U.S. His extensive mandatory annual financial disclosure forms showed he headed the Patrick Cudahy Trust, a massive offshoot of the meat-packing and commodity industries, opponents of the defendants. He should have disqualified himself and Dershowitz was busy counting the million dollars he got and too chicken to speak up. Before the hearing, I informed some of the spectators who were relatives of the "Soybean Ten".
Thinking themselves somehow in the same category as the high and mighty judicial dictators, the relatives insulted me. "Who the hell are you, Mr. Skolnick? We are not interested in your so-called details." I almost blurted out, "Your relatives are going to get what they deserve, since they suck up to the Establishment so much." They did not know or want to know, that by not adequately assisting the Red Chinese Secret Police, and their dope/weapons/human body parts money laundry, dominating the Chicago markets since at least the early 1980s, the traders were going to be put into Judge Cudahy's meat-grinder.
So, will the Rockefeller puppet, Wal-Mart, be in a safe and secure place in the Chicago-area as their planned new headquarters? Wal-Mart's reputed crooked federal judicial protectors have given their oath. Secretly, the corruptible judges have sworn to uphold, not the U.S. Constitution, but the plans of the Rockefellers, their oily patrons.
Stay tuned.
[For details of the most massive judicial bribery in U.S. history, in related civil cases involving soybeans, Visit our website story "Marc Rich--Swindles the Pope's Soybean Company".]

10 Signs The U.S. is Becoming a Third World Country

The United States by every measure is hanging on by a thread to its First World status. Saddled by debt, engaged in wars on multiple fronts with a rising police state at home, declining economic productivity, and wild currency fluctuations all threaten America's future.

The general designations of the ranking system for world status date back to the 1950s, and have included countries at various stages of economic development. Since the Cold War, the definition has come to be synonymous with repressive countries where a wealthy class of ruling elites segment society into the haves and have-nots, many times capitalizing on the conditions that follow an economic crisis or war.

While much of the world is still mired in poverty, the reduced cost of innovative tools such as computing and connectivity ironically puts traditional Third World countries at the forefront of a new lean-and-mean economy that is based on ideas of empowerment for the disenfranchised. For better or worse, the world is leveling due to Globalism. However, America and other over-leveraged countries face this re-balancing of the globe at a time when they have dwindling resources. We can speculate about who and what is to blame for America's fantastic fall, but for the purposes of this article we shall focus on the obvious signs that the United States is beginning to resemble a Third World country.

30,000 Section 8 wait for 455 vouchers
1. Rising unemployment and poverty: Unemployment numbers, food stamps, and home foreclosures continue to reach new record highs. The ugly reality of those numbers was recently on display when 30,000 people showed up to apply for public housing in East Point, GA for 455 available vouchers. Fights broke out, people were fainting from the heat while in line, and riot police showed up to handle the angry poor.

2. Economic dependence: The United States finished 2009 with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 85%, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The current trend projects the United States to finish 2010 at 94% and 2011 at 98%. The 90% level has become the IMF's make-or-break point for countries hoping to grow their way out of debt. If the government debt load climbs above 90% of GDP, economic growth slows so much that growth is no longer a viable solution for reducing that debt, and the IMF insists on austerity measures. Surpassing this debt threshold has also caused China's lead credit rating agency to cut America's credit rating.

3. Declining civil rights: Everyday freedoms are often a casualty of a society in collapse. As the anger of the populace mounts in response to declining economic conditions and political corruption, the government counters by increasing draconian measures that restrict the political rights and civil liberties of its citizens.

America is becoming a country like China, which has one of the lowest scores according to Freedom House. In America, private discussions and movements are monitored, free speech is corralled, the freedom to assemble for protest is by government decree, and independent thought that questions the political system is increasingly looked upon with suspicion. A final indicator is when the government insists upon secrecy for its own actions, while new laws and systems are created to put the individual under nearly constant surveillance.

4. Increasing political corruption: When political corruption becomes the accepted norm, as opposed to the exception, then there's a good bet your country resembles the Third World. Congress and all major institutions face a growing crisis in confidence, where a record-low 11% of the population believe Congress is doing a good job. It now seems obvious to all observers that big corporations directly control the agenda in Washington -- much like typically corrupt Third World countries.

5. Military patrolling the streets: The rise of a militarized police state is a hallmark of most Third World countries, particularly in times of rapid economic collapse. America's declaration of the War on Terror has created a constant threat to National Security that has allowed for the military to be deployed on American soil. Building upon the War on Drugs, this has created a fusion between the military and local police, where military-grade weapons and tactics are being used against American citizens in a cascade of violent confrontations over non-violent offenses. Military checkpoints are moving farther inland, away from meaningful border control functions, and a full-blown military presence in American cities has been planned by the U.S. Army War College.

6. Failing infrastructure: As 46 of 50 states are on the verge of bankruptcy, cities are going dark, asphalt roads are returning to the stone age, and nationwide budget cuts are leaving students without teachers, supplies, or a full-time education. These are common features one will see as they travel through the poorest of Third World countries.

7. Disappearing middle class: During the last presidential debate season, they argued that a family income of $250K was solidly middle-class. Well, Census data shows less than 15% of families make over $100K, and only 1.5% of families make over $250K. The income gap between the rich and poor has increased at a staggering pace, while many more middle-class folks join the ranks of the poor every day. Cavernous income gaps may be what Third-World nations are best known for.

U.S. Dollar Monetary Base
8. Devalued currency: The value of the Federal Reserve Note (U.S. dollar) has declined 96% since the inception of the Federal Reserve in 1913. The value of the dollar is based on its supply in circulation and, to a lesser extent, the demand for those dollars. For the last three years, the money supply has spiked literally off the charts. It can be argued that the dollar has become America's top export as the world's reserve currency, and if the volatile dollar is scrapped, which the U.N. and IMF now suggest, then demand will plummet, killing the currency.

9. Controlling the media: A government-influenced media that censors information is a key component of Third World countries. In some countries it is openly owned by the State. In America, privately-owned major media is not as balanced or as diverse as it seems; the concentration of ownership has led to censorship when national and corporate interests have sometimes overlapped. The persecution of high-profile investigative journalists such as WikiLeaks is set amid a backdrop of the proposed Internet censorship of bloggers who wish to remain anonymous. The end of net neutrality creates a pay-to-play system that can lead to further corporate and government control of information and opinion. Cybersecurity initiatives are the final nail in the coffin, as the entire free flow of information can be vetted in a China-style system of "identity management." On the street, the police state and media control have converged in the recent rise of arrests for those who videotape the police. This is a huge blow to First Amendment rights and the role of photojournalists who wish to document public police behavior.

10. Capital Controls: Many nations have enforced capital controls as their economies collapse. It most recently happened in Argentina and Venezuela as they sought to keep the remaining wealth within their borders. The SEC already has adopted policies to allow money market funds to suspend withdrawals during a financial crisis, while the recent HIRE bill (HR 2487) puts restrictions on Americans moving capital to foreign countries. Some economists suggest that the national debt has gotten so high that the government must now force investment of private capital into U.S. Treasury debt.

Key economic indicators point to a situation potentially worse than the Great Depression. The land of opportunity for so many is devolving into a system of government corruption, corporate looting, and military rule that threatens to sink the American Dream. The capital flight from America has left a dwindling middle class holding an empty bag. This style of underinvestment in the foundation of society is similar to what already has led to the exodus from the rural Midwest. Now, there are ominous signs of a silent exodus of young, intelligent professionals seeking opportunities to realize their dreams outside of America; they are becoming known as Generation Xpat. Lastly, many skilled immigrants have returned to their home countries to seek a better quality of life, which might be the scariest indicator of all.

George Soros slashes exposure to US equities

George Soros has slashed the amount of money he is willing to gamble on the fortunes of the US stock market in the second quarter as market volatility increased

Hedge fund manager George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC
George Soros' fund has approximately $25bn under management Photo: Reuters

The legendary investor's Soros Fund Management – which has approximately $25bn (£16bn) under management – reduced its equity investments by 42pc to $5.1bn by the end of June, down from $8.8bn at the end of March.

The asset allocation decisions were made during a period in which the Standard & Poor's 500 index – the broadest US equity index – fell 12pc.

The fact that Mr Soros – best known as the man reputed to have made $1bn by "breaking the Bank of England" during the 1992 fiscal crisis – has decided to make such a concerted shift out of equities will send a clear message to other investors.

Gone are Soros's investments in Petrobras, Brazil's oil giant, with investments in bellwether stocks such as Wal-Mart, JP Morgan Chase and Pfizer drastically reduced, cut by 99pc, 97pc and 95pc respectively.

Of those equities that do remain, the fund's holding in a gold exchange traded fund constitutes his largest investment, some 13pc of the equity portfolio, worth $638m.

Although neither Mr Soros of his fund typically do not explain their quarterly investment decisions, it is likely some of the money has been shifted into government bonds, as well as investing in commodities and other safe havens.

The quarterly report – filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission – details investments only in US-traded shares and related derivatives, and the fund does not have to detail overseas shares or cash or commodities held.

A spokesman for Mr Soros did not comment.

Southern California Home Sales Drop 21 Percent

LOS ANGELES (AP) ―A tracking firm says home sales in Southern California plummeted more than 21 percent last month from July 2009, their biggest drop in more than two years.

San Diego-based MDA DataQuick said Tuesday that the drop from about 24,100 homes in June 2009 to around 19,000 homes last month came as federal tax credits that had been fueling sales expired.

The firm says last month was the slowest July since 2007, when just under 18,000 homes sold.

Last month's sales were also down about 21 percent from around 23,900 in June.

(© 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

White House Directive: Erect Signs at All Stimulus Projects as ‘Symbol of President Obama’s Commitment to American People’

( - Federal contractors receiving money for projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)—the $862 billion economic stimulus law President Barack Obama signed in February 2009—have been encouraged and, in some cases, required by the administration to post signs that say their work is funded by that specific act.

Some congressional Republicans are calling the signs propaganda for the administration and questioning their cost.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development recommended one model sign that included these words: “Funded By: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act/ Barack Obama, President.”

The law itself does not require the signs. The program sprung from a March 2009 directive issued by the Office of Management and Budget in the Obama White House.

“Projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will bear a newly-designed emblem,” said the OMB directive. “The emblem is a symbol of President Obama’s commitment to the American People to invest their tax dollars wisely to put Americans back to work.”

“All projects which are funded by the ARRA should display signage that features the Primary Emblem throughout the construction phase,” said the directive. “The signage should be displayed in a prominent location on site. Some exclusions may apply. The Primary Emblem can also be displayed on signs at events or conferences associated with the ARRA or the individual projects funded by the ARRA. The Primary Emblem should not be displayed at a size less than 6 inches in diameter.”

Many of the ARRA signs already posted say: “Putting America Back to Work.” All cite the name of the law: “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” And the Department of Housing and Urban Development even suggested a model sign that gives Barack Obama personal credit as president for funding the project.

HUD agencies doling out ARRA dollars eventually scaled back their mandate that contractors post the signs and instead simply encouraged them to do so, according to an Aug. 6 review by the HUD Office of Inspector General.

The Commerce Department, however, does require posting of the ARRA signs, and has not rolled back their rules, according to the department's inspector general.

Obama administration officials have said the signs are designed to increase government transparency by showing people how recovery dollars are being spent. But some Republicans are concerned that the signs are a use of taxpayer money to promote President Obama.

“The idea that my constituents think anybody but them is paying for these public works projects is an insult to their intelligence,” Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), told

Further, Republicans say that unlike other government signage that can be reused, these signs have a very short half-life since ARRA expires in 2011.

“It’s blatant propaganda on the part of the Obama administration to take credit for the spending of public dollars,” said Schock, who has investigated the matter as a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “It’s propaganda that will be worthless in a matter of years. To think that we can spend $200 million on a bunch of sheet metal signs that will end up in a landfill somewhere is a poor use of public funds at a time when our nation is facing mounting deficits.”

Currently, the actual full cost of all the signs is not known. The Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board, however, is expected to release a report about the cost of the signs by Sept. 1.

In the meantime, Republicans on the oversight committee have gone directly to the states in an effort to determine costs. Thus far, they have found that Ohio has spent $1 million on ARRA signs and Illinois has spent $640,000, Schock said. ABC News reported in July that a stimulus funded project at Washington, D.C.’s Dulles Airport has a 10-foot-by-11-foot ARRA sign that cost $10,000. ABC also reported that Pennsylvania spent $157,000 on ARRA signs.

New York opted not to post signs after estimating a large ARRA sign would cost between $6,000 and $8,300, while Georgia announced it would stop posting the signs because the average sign was costing $1,200, according to a report by the Republican staff of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The Department of Commerce guidance for stimulus fund recipients says, “All projects which are funded by the Recovery Act shall [emphasis added] display signage that features the Primary Emblem throughout the construction phase. The signage should be displayed in a prominent location on site.”

These department guidelines mirror the March 20, 2009 guidance from the Obama White House.

“Agencies awarding stimulus funds are permitted to provide further instructions regarding the sign specifications,” wrote Todd J. Zinser, inspector general for the Department of Commerce in a July 30 letter responding to questions from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“This has resulted in varied signage requirements across the five Commerce bureaus,” the IG’s letter said. “For example, one agency provided specific guidance on the size of the sign, the material used in its construction, and its placement. Another agency required only that there be a sign and that it display the Recovery Act logo.”

The IG letter noted that the law did not require the signs, but rather they were required by regulations issued by the administration.

“Except for a requirement for non-federal employers receiving stimulus dollars to post a whistleblower protection poster on site, there is no statutory requirement in the Recovery Act itself for the posting of signs,” Zinser wrote.

The letter also said, “Finally, our review found no instances in which a bureau had relaxed the Commerce's Recovery Act signage policy requirements [emphasis added] or the implementation of those requirements.”

The Commerce Department is not distinct from other departments, said Shira Kramer, a spokeswoman for the department.

“As I understand it, the OMB instituted guidelines across government for signs,” Kramer told “As far as I know, the Commerce guidelines mirror the OMB across the board for the Recovery Act.”

In Schock’s view, there is little difference between HUD’s effort to encourage contractors to post the signs and Commerce’s mandate that they do so.

“I’m less concerned about the perceptions of the policy makers than I am of the grant recipients,” Schock said. “I’ve spoken with recipients in my district who thought that if they did not participate in the promotional signs, recovery money would be less likely.”

He added, “Without a requirement, most units of government would choose to spend that money putting people to work.”

A review by the HUD inspector general’s office stated that in most cases the department encouraged but did not require recovery act signs.

“HUD initially included provisions in the grant agreements requiring posting of signs,” said the review written by Saundra G. Elion, director of the headquarters audit division of the HUD Office of Inspector General. “HUD subsequently issued agency-wide guidance that ‘encouraged’ Recovery Act recipients to post signs.”

The HUD review examined 10 stimulus funded projects: three Native American Housing Block Grant grantees, two Indian Community Development Block Grant grantees and five public housing authorities “to determine whether they were required or encouraged to post signs publicly identifying projects.”

After a change in HUD guidelines, the two Native American programs changed their policy from requiring signs to encouraging signs.

The HUD OIG report says, “In September 2009, shortly after HUD issued its agency-wide guidance, both program officials notified their recipients that posting of signs was no longer mandatory. Instead, they encouraged the recipients to ‘identify HUD Recovery Act funded projects, to the extent possible and reasonable, with clear signage.’”

The IG report says HUD sent an e-mail to recipients of the department’s stimulus dollars that said, “HUD’s policy is to encourage recipients of Recovery Act funds to identify Recovery-funded projects, to the extent possible and reasonable, with clear signage.”

The HUD e-mail, cited in the IG report, included an attachment with two templates for a sign. One included a blank white space where the details of the specific project could be inserted over the words, “Funded By: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; Barack Obama, President.”

The HUD IG report said the HUD decided to only encourage rather than mandate the signs because the administrative efforts necessary to enforce a mandate were too great and because: “While posting signs is normal, it should not be imposed on Recovery Act recipients.”

“While HUD’s published guidance did not require its recipients of Recovery Act funds to post signs identifying projects provided by stimulus funds, it encouraged its Recovery Act recipients do so,” the HUD IG concluded.

HUD as an agency never required the posting of Recovery Act signs, said HUD spokeswoman Andrea Mead.

“There are various existing program in HUD. Those programs include Native American housing programs that did give guidance to grantees early on as a requirement, but clarified that after the HUD agency-wide guidelines were issued,” Mead told

HUD traditionally posts a sign near all of its projects, regardless of whether it’s funded through the Recovery Act, Mead said.

“There were never political considerations for HUD,” Mead said. “Posting signs at projects has been our policy for ever and ever and ever. We thought it was extremely important that taxpayers knew where their money was spent. Politics was the farthest thing from our thinking 18 months ago when we started these projects.”

The White House did not respond to requests from for comment by phone and e-mail.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration also issued guidance to ARRA recipients encouraging but not requiring that signs be posted at job sites.

“On March 3, 2009 President Obama made the commitment that all projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will bear a recovery emblem to make it easier for Americans to see which projects are funded by the ARRA,” the agency’s Web site says. “To meet this commitment, FHWA strongly encourages agencies to use the economic recovery signs on all projects funded by the ARRA.”

How many of President Obama’s signs have been posted at highway projects around the country? “That’s a question for the states,” a Federal Highway Administration spokesman told “It would be like asking how many stop signs are out there. We don’t know.” But the spokesman did confirm that the signs themselves are paid for by Recovery Act dollars.

“There is no requirement for a state to use them,” said the spokesman, who did not want his name to be used. “The president believes it is a way of keeping the taxpayers informed about where their dollars are being used.”


Crime scene
Photo by: Channel 2 [file]

Three reports simultaneously appeared on the Israeli press Websites…. all saying the same thing’

I could believe that if the incident in question occurred in the remote hills of Peru, but Tel Aviv?? One of the busiest cities in Israel swarming with news reporters….. NO DETAILS AVAILABLE???

Sounds too fishy to me to be realistic….

New Report from HarAretz.

Reports: Shots fired at Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv

From YNet
Man shot at Turkish embassy

Man shot outside Turkish embassy

This all reeks of false flag to try to trick the Turks back in line with Israel.

When University Scientists Found Underwater Oil Plumes, the Government Said Shut Up, Don't Tell Anyone ... and Then Tried to Discredit Them

Washington’s Blog

As I've previously reported, a senior EPA policy analyst says that NOAA and the EPA have been "sock puppets" for BP.

NOAA has repeatedly denied the existence of underwater oil plumes (see this and this), calculated the spill to be only 5,000 barrels a day, and buried core data on the oil spill.

Now, university scientists have revealed the NOAA used strong-arm tactics to try to silence any information on underwater plumes. As the St. Petersburg Times reports:

The reaction that [the University of South Florida] announcement [of the discovery of huge underwater plumes] received from the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agencies that sponsored their research:

Shut up.

"I got lambasted by the Coast Guard and NOAA when we said there was undersea oil," USF marine sciences dean William Hogarth said. Some officials even told him to retract USF's public announcement, he said, comparing it to being "beat up" by federal officials.

The USF scientists weren't alone. Vernon Asper, an oceanographer at the University of Southern Mississippi, was part of a similar effort that met with a similar reaction. "We expected that NOAA would be pleased because we found something very, very interesting," Asper said. "NOAA instead responded by trying to discredit us. It was just a shock to us."

NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, in comments she made to reporters in May, expressed strong skepticism about the existence of undersea oil plumes — as did BP's then-CEO, Tony Hayward.

"She basically called us inept idiots," Asper said. "We took that very personally."

Lubchenco confirmed Monday that her agency told USF and other academic institutions involved in the study of undersea plumes that they should hold off talking so openly about it. "What we asked for, was for people to stop speculating before they had a chance to analyze what they were finding," Lubchenco said. "We think that's in everybody's interest. … We just wanted to try to make sure that we knew something before we speculated about it."

"We had solid evidence, rock solid," Asper said. "We weren't speculating." If he had to do it over again, he said, he'd do it all exactly the same way, despite Lubchenco's ire.


USF's first NOAA-sponsored voyage to take samples after Deepwater Horizon, the one that turned up evidence of the undersea plumes, was designed to gather evidence for use in an eventual court case against BP and other oil companies involved in the disaster. At the end of the voyage, USF turned its samples over to NOAA, expecting to get either a shared analysis or the samples themselves back. So far, Hogarth said, they've received neither.

NOAA's top oil spill scientist, Steve Murawski, said Monday that he was "sure we will release the data" at some point. However, he said, because NOAA has collected so many samples over the past three months, when it comes to the samples from USF's trip in May, "I'm not sure where they are."

A government official named "Lubchenco" strong-arming scientists to tow the party line, and a government agency "losing" samples instead of sharing results with the scientists who had taken them.

Sounds like the Soviet Union, doesn't it?

Too bad it's America.

It Came from Beneath the Valley of the New Shangri-La.

Dog Poet Transmitting…….

Finally we are here, not only back at Visible Origami, where we have not been for a little while; stepping outside the routine of things but also on the verge of beginning to think about structures and locations, for the die hard among us, who want that communal living experience and know that it’s going to happen; like me (grin)

Of course you can get that communal experience many places; prisons, large urban areas, mental institutions and tent cities but I’ve been thinking of something a little more under our control; seemingly (cause nothing ever is under our control except our right to make mistakes) ….and a little more (possibly quite a bit more) upscale.

Probably I should say here that I intend for this to happen and it will happen; keeping in mind the ‘seemingly’ above and the understanding that the divine wants for us what we want for ourselves. Desire is the agent of divine will. Those last two sentences will reward careful thought and- keeping in mind- that all we have to do is ‘envision’. That is our end of the equation, along with putting one foot in front of the other and possessing certitude. If you set out for New Orleans, with or with or without Fats Domino, you can be sure you will get there if you can keep going until you do because it is there… already.

If you set out for the New Shangri-La you can also be sure that you will get there if you keep going because it is there already too. Everything and anything that ever materialized did so according to the process of precipitation. There are four planes through which physical objects of any kind arrive here. The first plane is the plane of ideas. This is where you have the strong flash of the thing and/or a location where your idea can come to fruition. The next plane is the creative plane. This is where the blueprints are. This is where the schematic is designed. The next plane is the formative plane. This is where you wield a hammer, an earthmover and so on. It’s the plane of action and processes. The final plane is the manifest plane where you see the item itself.

This item exists virtually already, just about everything does. Everything is an idea in the cosmic mind. You can look around you and see blueprints taking shape in the realm of processes and you can see the finished (or ongoing) result in Nature and in cultures everywhere. Pick up anything and hold it in your hand. That was once an idea. Get the concept and realize that the power to make something real is in your hands. It can be effortless. Usually when there is effort you are pushing against the natural direction or insisting that you have located what you have yet to discover. This is an important feature and the cause of much distress so, keep it in mind too.

I am talking about a simple process of profound meaning that is in operation all around you at all times and is in operation within you at all times. The fact is that we are constantly doing this but in many cases we are doing it badly; like sorcerer's apprentices, like clumsy dancers, like bad lovers.

Among many positive opportunities, I hope to see the principles in Michael Astera’s book, “The Ideal Soil” given a place to occur. I hope to see the principles of Robert Gray applied as well as elements of Macrobiotics and the Mucusless Healing System, Ayurveda and so many of the brilliant ideas that are suppressed and ridiculed in the present day.

So, I intend to purchase an existing hotel restaurant complex. I have seen some surprising possibilities for as little as half a million and going up to an arbitrary ceiling that I have of four million. I would like it on a body of water and I would like it in Europe, with the idea of satellite locations. I’m flexible. The water could be a few miles away. There are a number of accoutrements that I would appreciate but I am prepared to install them etc; what I am saying is that I am building a comprehensive plan and accounting, ahead of time, for whatever may or may not be resident in any location. It’s no different than planning a battle engagement and something that should have been considered, at all levels, well before one considers engaging in battles. I am proceeding as if I am doing this completely alone, in consort with the universe and will remain in that head space until there are others to assume their natural responsibilities. Every one has something of value for everyone and everyone does their share of the shit work by rotation.

Everything that composes this life is either inside or outside. Everything operates on the male female principle that you see in the application of electric plugs. With the addition of a neutral element, you basically have the system, except for resistance, capacitating, transforming, storage and the like. Successful life is basically Tantric and the primary motive force in creation is Love. Ergo… approach everyone as your lover and engage with the primary force. Love knows ‘the varieties of penetration’. Love has class. Love is not what most people think Love is and… like electricity, no one understands it but a lot of people can use it in a lot of ways.

In that last paragraph is the key to everything and especially the key to a successful life. If you read Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” you will find pretty much the same thing said another way. If you read Peale’s, “The Power of Positive Thinking”, you will get pretty much the same thing and if you read Ernest Holmes, “The Science of Mind”, you will get the process entire laid out for you. Though he was a Christian and wrote it in the early part of the last century, it is not intrusive in a dogmatic way. The last of these books should be on the bookshelf of every conscious thinker and should be read by the inquisitive and industrious many times until the principles are engraved within. That is a process that I call imprinting. I used to take the Witter Bynner translation of “The Way of Life” and read it over and over through an entire acid trip.

A very annoying and clueless individual was haranguing me recently about seeking money from the same sources that I criticize and being nasty about it at the same time, yadda yadda. I am seeking and going to get the funds from the universe, regardless of the medium and it should be understood that though I have lived, by choice, with very little for long periods of time that I do not question the relevance of money or the coming and going of civilizations. I question motives and methodologies and mostly because they are inefficient, not because they are wrong. Criticism, with the intent of improvement, is a most worthy tool. Criticism for no other purpose than the opportunity to sneer is not useful and should see the light of day, only in those places where this practice is considered entertaining, or whatever the level of appreciation may be, should there be one.

As Omar Khayyam once said, “the dogs bark but the caravan moves on”. What kind of a fool jumps out of his caravan to argue with barking dogs? Is there a possibility of resolution here? That’s what dogs and a lot of people do as a routine. Often it has nothing to do with you personally. It’s how they interact. With dogs it is a natural instinct and the gift they truly believe they are giving us in being watchful. They think of it as their job. With people it’s a negative habit that wants to drag you down into the hole they are in a la, “misery loves company”.

I am not an astrologer but I comprehend it esoterically and have given it a lot of study. Math aside, I can understand and/or intuit the meaning of transits, aspects and house locations. I have four planets in the eighth house and they are now entering into serious fortunate aspect in a number of ways regarding inheritances and gifts from wherever. They are also very fortunate in other areas as well. I’m not relying on that but I am aware of it and every life receives its bounty for the time and love invested in it. This is a cosmic principle. Another cosmic principle is that if you desire something that causes no injury or loss to another and, furthermore, is intending to benefit others, then… you may have it with all the blessings of the primary motive force.

We question these things because we don’t see where we have gotten what we wanted; even when we haven’t been consciously practicing them. The problem is ‘incomplete visualization’ and also not having the correct idea in the first place. A lot of ideas are very similar but not the same and they can widely diverge over time and distance. What shows up in our lives is something we requested in former times but often no longer want. We change as we live and age. This is why one should be seeking archetypal and eternal things because you don’t outgrow them. They do grow within you however.

Life is very simple if you keep it so. Complexity usually comes about when you are trying to justify something outside the restrictions of your own professed, personal code or finding an excuse for collateral damage as the price of doing business with the intent (actually a lie) of wider benefit that winds up taking any of various exits into ultimate self-interest and forgets everything it told itself when it was promising to set everything right at the other end.

Our community is already formed. We have near 300 members at the New Shangri-La website. Operating off of the ten percent factor we have 30 people who would gladly sell off everything they have and engage in an adventure that reflects their deepest desires for fellowship and shared industry in common purpose. This is the major thing lacking in contemporary society and that’s not going to get fixed. The key is to find a way to have it within it; just as you can be in the world but not of it. I’ll leave it at that for the moment.

End Transmission……

Family of woman(92 yrs old - Atlanta) killed in botched drug raid to receive $4.9 million

The city of Atlanta will pay $4.9 million to the family of Kathryn Johnston, a 92-year-old woman killed in a botched November 2006 drug raid, Mayor Kasim Reed's office announced Monday.

Johnston was shot to death by narcotics officers conducting a "no-knock" warrant. Investigators later determined the raid was based on falsified paperwork stating that illegal drugs were present in the home.


As the search warrant was being executed November 21, 2006, at Johnston's home, she fired at officers with an old pistol, apparently believing her home was being broken into. Six officers returned fire. Johnston's one shot went through her front door and over the officers' heads. They responded with 39 shots, hitting the elderly woman five times.

"The resolution of this case is an important step in the healing process for the city and its residents," Reed said in the statement. "As a result of the incident, several police officers were indicted in federal and state court on charges and were later convicted and sentenced for their actions. In addition, the narcotics unit of the Atlanta Police Department was completely reorganized, which included changes in policy and personnel."

Irish graduates protest lack of employment

The union body representing Irish students in Ireland (USI) staged a protest against the lack of action by Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe, in dealing with the mass numbers of graduates out of work in the country.

On Monday, thousands of students and graduates held a demonstration outside O’Keefe’s offices in Co. Cork.

The Central Statistics Office in Ireland is reporting that 91,646 people, under the age of 25, are unemployed in the recession bitten country.

USI President Gary Redmond is concerned about the mass numbers of graduates that are forced to leave Ireland in search of employment in other countries.

Said Redmond, “Thousands of valuable graduates have already left Irish shores and USI believes that Minister O’Keeffe must work harder to prevent many more thousands of graduates from emigrating in the future.

“USI will continue to voice the concerns of Ireland’s students and graduates, who are anxious to be given the opportunity to rebuild Ireland’s economy, and contribute to the future prosperity of this island.”

He added: “Last week Minister O’Keeffe requested the help of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) to combat graduate unemployment. However, despite our request for an urgent meeting, the Minister has so far failed to meet with us. Each additional day that Minister O’Keeffe puts this issue on the long finger, more and more of our highly skilled graduates are leaving the country, many of whom will never return. His inaction is crippling the future of Ireland’s smart economy, and USI will not stand idly by while the government lets this country fall to ruin. 

“The Government has invested millions in an attempt to create a workforce that is renowned across the globe for is expertise and innovative capacity. Therefore, it can only be seen as ludicrous to deny our graduates any opportunity to repay that investment by forcing them to emigrate,” Redmond concluded.

Wal-Mart Quietly Raises Prices

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), which for years has touted its prowess at lowering prices, has been doing the opposite as it tries to bolster its bottom line amid stagnating sales.

A JPMorgan Chase (JPM) study of a Walmart Supercenter in Virginia found that the world's largest retailer has raised prices by nearly 6% on average over the past six weeks, according to the New York Post. Reuters says it was the biggest sequential increase since JPMorgan started the study in January 2009.

Some Prices Hiked Over 60%

Some of the price hikes were considerably larger. For instance, the price of a 32-ounce bottle of Windex household cleaner jumped 50%, a 12-ounce box of Quaker Oats instant grits climbed 65% and a 50-ounce container of Tide detergent rose by more than 50%. A spokesperson for the Bentonville, Ark., company could not immediately be reached for comment.

The results of the price-hike study aren't entirely surprising. Shares of Wal-Mart, which rose at the height of the recent recession, are down more than 2% this year amid lackluster performance at its U.S. stores, where same-store sales fell 1.1% during the 13 weeks ended April 30. When Wal-Mart announced a revamping of the management team overseeing these stores, including the departures of CEO and President of Wal-Mart U.S. Eduardo Castro-Wright and Chief Merchandising Officer John Fleming, current Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon bluntly said, "our mandate is clear: increase customer traffic, make sure our products are relevant to our customer and never give an inch on price leadership."

Unfortunately for Wal-Mart, keeping prices low is tough with less store traffic. To make matters worse, rivals appear to be doing better. Target (TGT) reported a 2% gain in July same-store sales, which are a key metric for retail investors. Kohl's (KSS) reported a 4.1% gain. Wal-Mart stopped releasing monthly same-store sales figures for its units last year, so making an apples-to-apples comparison is difficult.

Narrowing Its Lead in the Low-Price Wars

Wal-Mart is also under assault in the grocery aisle -- one of the areas it has aggressively expanded over the last few years. As the Post notes, "Although Walmart still has lower prices on key groceries and staples compared to mainstream supermarkets, its lead is narrowing -- to 10.4% last month from 16% in June." The grocery business is noted for its low margins and fierce competition. Even niche players like Whole Foods Market (WFMI) cut prices by 0.7% in July, the paper says.

Theoretically, this should be Wal-Mart's moment to shine. U.S. consumer confidence in July was at its lowest point since February. People still want low prices. Unfortunately for Wal-Mart, they just would rather shop at other stores.

Gilad Atzmon: United Against Paintings

Some British Jews are desperate to stop the truth about the Jewish state being spread around. The Jewish Chronicle reported today that Jewish “Community leaders are battling to stop an exhibition of paintings by children from Gaza being shown in schools in the North of England.”

Jewish campaigners say they have “no objection to the paintings, but have reacted with anger at a series of talks given to accompany them.”

The man behind the exhibition and the talks is Rod Cox, 62, who visited Gaza and the West Bank a few times in recent years. The exhibition, Loss Of Innocence, has been on tour since September, visiting universities, town halls and, most recently, Manchester Cathedral. It was taken to a Quaker venue in Marple, Stockport, on Monday evening and plans are under way to take it to schools in the north west.

To watch Rod Cox and the Exhibition:

Manchester Rep Council President Lucille Cohen said: "Rod Cox is disseminating hatred. His talk and text accompanying his exhibition either indirectly implied or overtly conveyed a number of unsubstantiated assumptions about Israel. I am astounded that Christians of good will would seem willing to become a party to this."

I guess that Lucille Cohen better read the Goldstone report. The list of Israeli war crimes against humanity is totally and overwhelmingly substantiated. As it happens, the Jewish community leaders who rush to assist the Jewish state give a clear message of Jewish collective support of Israel and its crimes. It is also almost amusing to read Zionist Lucille Cohen trying to tell Christians what the meaning of ‘good will’ is all about.

Zionist Federation co-president Joy Wolfe said: "If the pictures had been allowed to speak for themselves most people, myself included, would have found little reason to criticise the concept of the exhibition. But they weren't. They were accompanied by Rod Cox's captions which demonised Israel and invented some truly remarkable allegations."

The pictures obviously speak for themselves and as for the Palestinian cause, slowly but surely, it becomes a universal cause. Someone also should remind Zionist Wolfe that the children of Gaza live in a siege, neither they nor their picture can travel around unless Mr Cox kindly delivers. God bless Mr Cox for his activism.

I would suggest that Britain do itself a great favour if it proceeds with the idea of comparative literature and combine the teaching of Anne Frank with the story of Gaza children. At the end of the day, history is meaningful once it is put in perspective.