Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bob Tuskin Confronts 9/11 Inquiry co-Chair Senator Bob Graham 9/11/11


Drones - Protesting on London Streets - Sept 13

Nearly 1 in 6 Americans in poverty, Census says

WASHINGTON (AP) — The ranks of the nation's poor have swelled to a record 46.2 million — nearly 1 in 6 Americans — as the prolonged pain of the recession leaves millions still struggling and out of work. And the number without health insurance has reached 49.9 million, the most in over two decades.
The figures are in a Census Bureau report, released Tuesday, that offers a somber snapshot of the economic well-being of U.S. households for last year when joblessness hovered above 9 percent for a second year. The rate is still 9.1 percent at the start of an election year that's sure to focus on the economy and President Barack Obama's stewardship of it.
The overall poverty rate climbed to 15.1 percent, from 14.3 percent the previous year, and the rate from 2007-2010 rose faster than for any similar period since the early 1980s when a crippling energy crisis amid government cutbacks contributed to inflation, spiraling interest rates and unemployment. For last year, the official poverty level was an annual income of $22,314 for a family of four.
Measured by total numbers, the 46 million now living in poverty are the most on record dating back to when the census began to track in 1959. The 15.1 percent tied the level of 1993 and was the highest since 1983.
Broken down by state, Mississippi had the highest share of poor people, at 22.7 percent, according to calculations by the Census Bureau. It was followed by Louisiana, the District of Columbia, Georgia, New Mexico and Arizona. On the other end of the scale, New Hampshire had the lowest share, at 6.6 percent.
The share of Americans without health coverage rose from 16.1 percent to 16.3 percent — or 49.9 million people — according to Census Bureau revisions. The increase was due mostly to continued losses of employer-provided health insurance in the weakened economy.
Congress passed a health overhaul last year to address rising numbers of the uninsured. While the main provisions don't take effect until 2014, one aspect taking effect in late 2010 allowed young adults to be covered under their parents' health insurance until age 26.
The uninsured rate for adults 18 to 24 actually declined last year, from 29.3 percent to 27.2 percent, noted Brett O'Hara, chief of the Health and Disability Statistics branch at the Census Bureau. That was the only age group that posted a decrease, and he said "the law change certainly could be a factor."
For last year, the median — or midpoint — household income was $49,445, down 2.3 percent from 2009.
The poor include Nekisha Brooks, 28, of Fort Washington, Md., who lost her job as a customer service representative for AT&T several months ago in a round of layoffs. Raising five young children, she is now on food stamps and partly leaning on friends and family for help.
"It's hard on the kids," Brooks said, describing how her family has had to cut back on clothing and restaurant outings. "I've been putting in job applications every day and calling around, from housekeeping to customer service to admin or waitresses, but nobody seems to be hiring right now."
Bruce Meyer, a public policy professor at the University of Chicago, cautioned that the worst may be yet to come in poverty levels, citing in part continued rising demand for food stamps this year as well as "staggeringly high" numbers in those unemployed for more than 26 weeks. He noted that more than 6 million people are in the category of long-term unemployed and more likely to fall into poverty, accounting for more than two out of five currently out of work.
The latest numbers, which cover Obama's second year in office, offer political fodder for both parties as Obama seeks to push a new $447 billion plan for creating jobs and stimulating the economy. The plan includes a proposed Social Security payroll tax cut and an extension of unemployment benefits.
Obama is urging Congress to pay for the new spending largely by increasing taxes on the wealthy, which Republicans have emphatically rejected.
According to the report, the gap between the rich and poor widened last year, at least based on some measures. For instance, income fell for the wealthiest — down 1.2 percent to $180,810 for the top 5 percent of households. But the bottom fifth of households — those making $20,000 or less — saw incomes decline 4 percent.
Other measures pointed to a longer-term widening of income inequality but with little change in 2010.
On Tuesday, the Census Bureau also noted the impact of government safety-net programs on the poor. It estimated that new unemployment benefits passed in 2009 — which gave workers up to 99 weeks of payments after layoffs, and didn't run out for most people until this year — lifted 3.2 million above the poverty line. Social Security kept about 20.3 million — seniors as well as working-age adults receiving disability payments — out of poverty.
"If these programs are cut back in the future, poverty rates are likely to rise even more," Meyer said.
At the same time, the working-age population — ages 18 to 64 — showed some of the biggest hits in poverty, rising from 12.9 percent to 13.7 percent. Working-age Americans now represent nearly 3 out of 5 poor people and are at the highest level since the 1960s when the war on poverty was launched.
Young adults, in particular, struggled. Median income for those ages 15-24 fell 9 percent to $28,322. For those 25-34, nearly 6 million "doubled up" in households with parents and friends to save money, up 25 percent from before the recession. For that group, the poverty rate was at 8.4 percent; but the rate would have risen to 45.3 percent if their parents' incomes weren't taken into account.
"It's pretty bad for young people," said Harry Holzer, a professor of public policy at Georgetown University. "They are cushioning the blow in several ways by living with others and going to school longer, but eventually they will have to enter the labor market and find a very inhospitable place."
Last year saw a third year of increases in Americans without health insurance, lifting the total number to the highest since the government began tracking the figures in 1987. The number of people covered by employment-based health plans declined from 170.8 million to 169.3 million, although those losses were partially offset by gains in government health insurance such as Medicaid and Medicare.
Other census findings:
—Poverty rose among all racial and ethnic groups except Asians. The number of Hispanics in poverty increased from 25.3 percent to 26.6 percent; for blacks it rose from 25.8 percent to 27.4 percent and for Asians it was flat at 12.1 percent. The number of whites in poverty rose from 9.4 percent to 9.9 percent.
—Child poverty rose from 20.7 percent to 22 percent.
—Poverty among people 65 and older was statistically unchanged at 9 percent, after hitting a record low of 8.9 percent in 2009.
The official poverty level is based on a government calculation that includes only income before tax deductions. It excludes capital gains or accumulated wealth, such as home ownership.
As a result, the official poverty rate takes into account the effects of some stimulus programs passed in 2009, such as unemployment benefits, as well as jobs that were created or saved by government spending. It does not factor in noncash government aid such as tax credits and food stamps.
Next month, the government will release new supplemental poverty numbers for the first time that will factor in food stamps and tax credits as well as everyday costs such as commuting. Preliminary census estimates show a decline in child poverty based on the new measure but increases in poverty among working-age Americans as well as those 65 and older due to rising out-of-pocket medical costs.

Americans are poorer than ever

A homeless woman panhandles on the street in New York City (Spencer Platt / Getty Images / AFP)
A homeless woman panhandles on the street in New York City (Spencer Platt / Getty Images / AFP)

More Americans were living in poverty last year than in the entire 52 years that the US Census Bureau has been tracking the figure, new reports say.
Demographers raking over the 2010 census info have revealed that 56.2 million people in the US were living below the poverty line last year, which puts the percentage of impoverished Americans at nearly one-in-six, reports The New York Times. While the population of the country continues to grow, the raw number of Americans suffering does as well. Speaking in terms of per capita, the 15.1 percent figure of impoverished in 2010 is the highest sampling since 1993.
Data suggests that an additional 2.6 million people in America dipped below the poverty line last year, which the Office of Management and Budge says is an annual income of around $22,314 for a family of four, or $11,139 for a single individual. For adults aged 25 to 34, 45.3 percent were living below the poverty line as of last year.
The median income for 2010, $47,715, is only within a few dollars of the 1973 statistic, adjusted for inflation, signaling a stagnant level of wage earning over the course of several decades now. CNN reports that while consumer prices have risen by around 150 percent since 1980, people in America bring in an average of only 11 percent more than they did 30 years earlier.
The Associated Press, meanwhile, adds to the report with the shocking statistic that the number of Americans in need of health insurance went up as well — now at nearly 30 million. The AP says that a weak economy in the wake of the recession has caused an alarming amount of Americans to lose benefits from their employers, and as the unemployment rate continues at 9.1 percent for the month of August, nearly 14 million Americans are out of a job entirely.
“The figures we are releasing today are important,” Robert Groves, the director of the Census Bureau, tells The Times. “They tell us how changing economic conditions have impacted Americans and their families.”
The recession didn’t impact all Americans for the worse, however. Households raking in more than $100,000 annually saw a raise in income last year compared to 2009. The bottom 60 percent? They saw their income drop drastically.
Back in 2009, only 14.3 percent of the country was living below poverty. Statistics from the 2010 census suggest that that percentage has now gone up for three years in a row.

Massive default is best way to fix the economy

Commentary: Clearing away the debt is the only way forward

Debt Click - Wiki image
Brett Arends
Market Watch

NEW YORK — You want to fix this economic crisis? You want to put people back to work? You want to light a fire under the economy?

There’s a way to do it. Fast. And relatively simple.

But you’re not going to like it. You’re not going to like it at all.

Default. A national Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The fastest way to fix this mess is to see tens of millions of homeowners default on their mortgages and other debts, and millions more file for bankruptcy.

Read Full Article

77 Americans wounded in Afghan truck bombing

An Afghan police officer investigates the destruction outside Combat Outpost Sayed Abad in eastern Wardak province of Afghanistan on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Mohammad Naser)

(AP)  Last Updated 2:06 p.m. ET
KABUL, Afghanistan —
A powerful Taliban truck bomb that wounded 77 American soldiers and killed five Afghans outside a combat outpost served as a reminder on Sunday that 10 years after the Sept. 11 attacks, nearly 100,000 U.S. troops are still fighting a war that shows no signs of slowing down.
No U.S. troops were killed when the massive bomb loaded on a truck filled with firewood exploded Saturday night just outside the gates of Combat Outpost Sayed Abad in eastern Wardak province. NATO said a protective barrier at the entrance absorbed most of the force of the blast, although the area outside the base was hit hard.
Officials said the Afghans killed included a policeman and four civilians, including a 3-year-old girl. Another 17 Afghans — 14 civilians and three policemen — were wounded. The provincial governor said the blast was so powerful it damaged about 100 shops in the nearby Sayed Abad bazaar.
Although Saturday's truck bombing occurred outside the base, the numbers of injuries it caused was significant. Combat outposts usually house about 200 troops.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Earlier, they had issued a statement vowing to fight until all foreign troops leave. The radical Islamic movement, which gave shelter to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda when it ruled Afghanistan, also stressed that it had no role in the Sept. 11 attacks, and it accused the U.S. of using them as a pretext to invade the country.
"The Afghans have an endless stamina for a long war," the statement said. "Through a countrywide uprising, the Afghans will send the Americans to the dustbin of history like they sent other empires of the past."
The attack occurred just over 40 miles, or about an hour's drive, from Kabul in an increasingly lawless district in a key province that controls a strategic approach to the capital.
Sayed Abad is seven miles east of the Tangi Valley, where the Taliban on Aug. 6 shot down a U.S. military helicopter, killing 30 Americans. Many of the dead belonged to the U.S. Navy's SEAL Team 6 — the same elite unit that killed bin Laden during a May 2 cross-border raid into Pakistan, where al Qaeda's leadership was driven. It was the deadliest single loss for American forces in the decade-old war.
"Some back home have asked why we are still here," U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker said at a 9/11 memorial at the embassy in Kabul. "It's been a long fight and people are tired. The reason is simple. Al Qaeda is not here in Afghanistan, and that is because we are. "
"We're here so that there is never again another 9/11 coming from Afghan soil. We, with our Afghan partners, figured out that the best way to ensure that is to work together and with the international community for a stable, secure, democratic Afghanistan."
The Taliban continue to launch regular attacks and orchestrate assassination campaigns against those allied with the government. In addition to the attack in Wardak on Saturday, 10 Afghan civilians were killed in two separate roadside bombings.
Two Afghan security guards were also killed late Saturday when an insurgent rocket slammed into a part of the sprawling U.S. base at Bagram air field outside Kabul, the U.S. military said. Two NATO service members and two Afghans were slightly wounded.
NATO also said Sunday that one of its service members was killed in an insurgent attack a day earlier in eastern Afghanistan. That brought the death toll to 13 this month — and 417 this year — for coalition forces. At least 307 of the dead were Americans, and despite U.S. reports of progress on the battlefield the number of troops dying this year is at about the same level as 2010.
While the overall international death toll dropped by 14 percent in the first half of the year, the number of Americans who died remained virtually unchanged, 197 this year compared with 195 in the first six months of last year, according to a tally by The Associated Press.
In a midyear report last July, the U.N. said 1,462 Afghan civilians also lost their lives in the first six months of this year in the crossfire of the battle between Taliban insurgents and Afghan, U.S. and NATO forces. During the first half of last year, 1,271 Afghan civilians were killed.
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, after the Taliban, who then ruled the country, refused to hand over Osama bin Laden.
The late al Qaeda leader was at the time living in Afghanistan, where the terror network had training camps from which it planned attacks against the U.S. and other countries.
Although the Taliban were swiftly driven from power by the U.S.-led coalition, they managed to use the years of the Iraq war — when America focused its military strength on the conflict against Saddam Hussein — to regroup, rearm and reorganize.
They began winning back ground lost to the international military coalition until President Barack Obama decided to send in 30,000 more troops last year to help.
The U.S. has begun withdrawing some of its 100,000 troops from Afghanistan and will send home 33,000 by the end of next year. The international military coalition has already begun transferring security responsibilities to newly trained Afghan forces with the aim of removing all their soldiers by the end of 2014.
"We are and will remain committed to Afghanistan and the region," Crocker said. "We are in this for the long haul. We are transitioning security responsibility to Afghan forces, but transition does not mean disengagement."
Commemoration ceremonies were held at many U.S. and NATO military bases around the country.
Although the coalition has made some gains in the Taliban's traditional southern strongholds, violence has not abated around the country.
The battle against al Qaeda also has spread across the border with Pakistan, where a suspected U.S. missile strike on a house Sunday killed three people in an al Qaeda and Taliban safe haven along the frontier, Pakistani intelligence officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk with reporters.
The United States has fired scores of missiles into northwest Pakistan since 2008, trying to keep al Qaeda operatives there on the run.

Lawyer: Iran sets bail for 2 jailed Americans

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian court Tuesday set bail of $500,000 each for two American men arrested more than two years ago and convicted on spy-related charges, clearing the way for their release a year after a similar bail-for-freedom arrangement for the third member of the group, their defense attorney said.
Lawyer Masoud Shafiei said the court would begin the process to free Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal after payment of the bail, which must be arranged through third parties because of U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. But the timing of the court's decision is similar to last year's bail deal mediated by the Gulf state of Oman that freed a third American, Sarah Shourd.
"They accepted to set bail to release," Shafiei told The Associated Press after leaving the court. "The amount is the same for Sarah."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in an interview aired on NBC's "Today" show, predicted the Americans could be freed "in a couple of days." He described the bail offer as a "humanitarian gesture" and repeated complaints about attention for Iranians held in U.S. prisons.
In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States was "encouraged" by Ahmadinejad's comments.
"We obviously hope that we will see a positive outcome from what appears to be a decision by the government," Clinton told reporters at the State Department.
The Americans were arrested in July 2009 along the Iran-Iraq border and accused by Iran of espionage. The trio have denied the charges and say they may have mistakenly crossed into Iran when they stepped off a dirt road while hiking near a waterfall in the Kurdish region of Iraq.
Last month, Bauer and Fattal, both 29, were sentenced to three years each for illegal entry into Iran and five years each for spying for the United States. They appealed the verdicts. Shourd's case remains open.
Shafiei said he has passed along details of the court's decision to the Swiss Embassy, which represent U.S. interests in Iran since there are no diplomatic relations between Tehran and Washington.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said officials were in touch with Swiss envoys "to get more details from the Iranian authorities."
Iran may have timed the court decision to coincide with Ahmadinejad's visit later this month to New York for the general assembly of the United Nations. Last year, Shourd was released on bail just as Ahmadinejad was heading for the annual gathering of world leaders.

But Ahmadinejad was not likely involved closely in any decisions on the case. Iran's judiciary is controlled by the country's ruling clerics, who have been waging relentless pressure on Ahmadinejad and his allies as part of an internal power struggle.
The diplomatic pathways for possible bail payments was not immediately clear. Officials in Oman — which has close ties with the U.S. and Iran — did not immediately respond for comment on whether they could again offer assistance.
The prime minister of Pakistan, which handles Iran's diplomatic interests in the U.S., has been in Iran since Sunday. But there has been no indication that Yousef Raza Gilani is playing any role in the case.
The possible release of the two Americans would remove one point of tension between Iran and the United States, but massive suspicions still exist on both sides and no thaw is in sight.
Washington and European allies worry Iran is using its civilian nuclear program as cover to develop atomic weapons and have urged for even stronger sanctions to pressure Tehran. Iran denies any efforts to make nuclear weapons.
Iranian officials, meanwhile, is deeply concerned about the U.S. military on its borders in Iraq and Afghanistan, and sharply denounces U.S. influence in the Middle East.
Fattal's mother, Laura Fattal, of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, told the AP that she could not comment on the court decision. There was no immediate comment from Bauer's family.
Shourd is living in Oakland, California; Fattal is from suburban Philadelphia and Bauer — who proposed marriage to Shourd while in prison — grew up in Onamia, Minnesota.
The last direct contact family members had with Bauer and Fattal was in May 2010 when their mothers were permitted a short visit in Tehran.
Their case most closely parallels that of freelance journalist Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American who convicted of spying before being released in May 2009. Saberi was sentenced to eight years in prison, but an appeals court reduced that to a two-year suspended sentence and let her return to the U.S.
At the time, a spokesman for the Iranian judiciary said the court ordered the reduction as a gesture of "Islamic mercy" because Saberi had cooperated with authorities and expressed regret.
In May 2009, a French academic, Clotilde Reiss, also was freed after her 10-year sentence on espionage-related charges was commuted.

Last year, Iran freed an Iranian-American businessman, Reza Taghavi, was held for 29 months for alleged links to a bombing in the southern city of Shiraz, which killed 14 people. Taghavi denied any role in the attack.
Associated Press writers Patrick Walters in Philadelphia and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

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Manifest Destiny to PNAC

This is the history that the USA school system does not teach, that of Manifest Destiny, before it existed as a coherent thought, and beyond the dawning of that idea to PNAC.

This painting (circa 1872) by John Gast called American Progress, is an allegorical representation of the modernization of the new west. Here Columbia, a personification of the United States, leads civilization westward with American settlers, stringing telegraph wire as she sweeps west; she holds a school book. The different stages of economic activity of the pioneers are highlighted and, especially, the changing forms of transportation. Native Americans and animals flee in terror.

by Jack JC

It is a well recognized fact that the USA achieved its independence from Great Britain in 1776.  The turmoil though, that led up to the revolution, was economic and emotional in origin: economic in that some people were sorely affected by taxation decisions from overseas, emotional in that many people were whipped into a frenzy to achieve the architects desire.  Here is information that I doubt the US texts carry.  In 1763 Canada became a part of of the British Empire after a long and bitter struggle between Britain and France.  In 1766 Sir Guy Carleton, the newly appointed governor of Quebec noted that the Atlantic colonies were close to rebellion and worked diligently to ensure the French population would remain a part of the British Realm, Quebec Act 1776.  This caused considerable discontent among the New Englanders and others who had looked forward to expanding into this very same fertile (hence profitable) territory thus laying one of the seeds of the revolution.
In 1763, as peace was proclaimed between the French and English, feelings between the colonies and England became very strained.  This was due in part to the practice of sending British Governors out to govern the colonies, but also the realization that the colonies no longer needed as much protection against the Natives and French.  Furthermore, the Crown felt it only fair that the colonists should assist in paying for the costs of the war from which they had benefited (in the form of protection), and so introduced the Stamp Act as a means of collecting some of the costs.  This raised the cry of “no taxation without representation”, and other taxes followed to replace the Stamp Act.  King George, despite the situation in America, was too stubborn to institute the third stage of Empire – that would be for a later Monarch.  It should be noted that Spain and France, bent on retention of their own empires, very much supported the US revolution – thus the Americans served as proxy troops for Spanish and French interests in weakening the British Empire.
I should note that the US Constitution enshrines in one document pre-existing rights and freedoms from the British Acts, thus the rebels did not gain any further rights over their British cousins, they replaced several documents; the Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus Act, Bill of Rights, Petition of Rights, Apprentice Act and so many others based on 1,000 years of Anglo-Saxon Jurisprudence with one – the Constitution of the United States.  The US government was still based on the four competing “pillars of power” similar in many ways to the Constitutional Monarchy in Britain.  Exchange a King for President, the House of Lords for a Senate, a Parliament for a House of Representatives, and an armed and free people for an armed and free people.  The similarities are remarkable.  But what is significant is that despite having the same legal rights as a British citizen, there is no evidence I can find of any non-violent legal challenge to the British Courts regarding the US complaints on taxation – that is suspect in my eyes.
Regardless, the revolution sowed the first seeds of Manifest Destiny.  Imagine the fear that the Empire, ¼ the world land mass and 1/5 the world population, might bring to bear the combined weight of the Empire to reabsorb the fledgling USA, what would have happened to all those traitors?  The solution would be to diligently use Britain’s enemies against the Empire to create the seeds of its destruction and a new world order.
But did freedom to speak and believe as one wanted really come to the USA?  It should be noted that Empire Loyalists composed about 1/3 the population of the US, and the US government refused to guarantee their safety so more than 30,000 people were transported to Canada, Great Britain and other parts of the Empire to save them from continued mistreatment at the hands of the Americans.  The British Army did not leave New York till all who wished to leave had shipped out.
The United Empire Loyalists?
It should be considered significant that the War of 1812 was instigated by the Americans in the form of a pre-emptive strike on British interests in North America at the same time that Britain was fighting against Napoleon in Europe.  Napoleon attempted mastery of Europe and the USA assisted Napoleon by diverting British troops critically needed in Europe to North America.  Again, the US served as proxy troops fighting in a European induced war against European interests.  So much for the “Isolationist theory” that you often see permeating the internet.  The war of 1812 ended in two decisive conclusions, the USA would not be reabsorbed into the Empire, and Canada would choose a different path than the USA.
In 1818, the USA pushed Spain out of the Florida’s, ruthlessly punishing any Seminole people who took up the sword to assist the Spanish.  The excuse given by the US troops for the rough treatment was that the Florida’s were part of America and therefore they had a right to expand into them – a philosophical bent peculiar to those purporting to believe in Manifest Destiny.  In 1822 Monroe issued a “doctrine” advising all nations to stay away from “the western hemisphere” essentially claiming it for the USA.  The Monroe Doctrine (1823)
In the 1830′s the first writings on MD appeared, here is a excerpt from O’Sullivan.In this the case is clearly laid by the USA that the USA is “destined” to own all the firmament under the “star studded sky”.  In actual fact, this document is based on a premise that all “white” men are created equal as at the time this was written, slavery in the USA was widely practised.  In essence, therefore the document is based on a lie.
In the 1840′s Manifest Destiny drove the US to declare war on Mexico and wrest most of the southwest USA from them.  Later the 1860′s dragged the USA into the civil war (based on societal tension between the two cultures), here is an interesting article on a forgotten cause of the civil war.  Forgotten Cause of the Civil War  Yet other drivers also existed, mainly constitutional in nature, wherein the South believed that the Constitution was consensual, whereas the North believed it not – thus the North was driven by Manifest Destiny.  Causes of the Civil War
At the time that the Civil War was raging, settlers were heading west in both the USA and Canada.  Both Britain and Canada recognized that Manifest Destiny would drive the US Government north to wrest large sections of western Canada away from British control as there was no force in the Canadian west to anchor that territory.  Enter the North West Mounted Police, two battalions of red clad ex British forces to act as a “Police force” representing British Commonwealth Law, but armed and equipped as light regular cavalry complete with field artillery.  The traditions of the RCMP (descendants of the NWMP) are still heavily drawn from 1860′s British Military drill.
In another series of incidents, the US government supported the Fenian Movement that would later develop into the IRA, a terrorist organization.  There was even covert and tacit support for invasions of British Canada as the Fenian Secretary for War was a US Army Officer, who was ‘removed from the lists’ for the period of the raids.  Fenian Brotherhood
In the 1890′s, war was fomented with Spain, and Cuba cleared of Spanish troops.  In the reparations the USA acquired Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines for a sum of 20 million.  This war, oddly enough was sparked by an insurrection in Cuba, followed by a US warship the “Maine” being destroyed with 260 lives lost….the territorial gain made by the USA was all out of proportion to the cause.  USS Maine Memorial  The Hearst newpapers immediately blamed the Maine’s sinking on the Spanish although both US and Spanish investigations could not prove definitively who caused the explosion.  Later investigations in the 1970′s suggest a coal bunker explosion and not an external mine.  Could Hearst have planned the explosion?
The ceding of the Philippines to the USA, sparked a three year long war between the USA and their previous Philippine allies.  This war was sparked when a US sentry discovered three armed Philippine soldiers on a bridge and fired at them – that was 4 February 1899.  For more information please consult this link…Philippine-American War   It’s dangerous to be an ally of the USA.
In 1914 the Great War started in Europe – that would be the first “war to end all wars” WWI, and the US entry into the war was sparked by the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, the Sussex pledge of 1916, and German declaration of unrestricted U-Boat activity in 1917.  On 6 April 1917 the USA entered the war on the side of Great Britain and France.  It should be noted though, that US trade with the allies had increased from 825 million in 1914 to 3.2 billion in 1916, and was being secreted across the Atlantic in defiance of the USA’s “neutral” pledge to Germany.  The Lusitania used to bring the US into the war on the allies side really was carrying munitions.  Secret of the Lusitania: Arms find challenges Allied claims it was solely a passenger ship
After WWI, the USA refused to ratify the League of Nations based in Geneva.  Why?  It would be interesting to do a background search on Henry Cabot Lodge and Alfred Beveridge as these two individuals are the two who killed the USA’s entry into the League of Nations – essentially setting the League up for failure, and despite Woodrow Wilson campaigning for it.  Regardless, this ushered in a brief period of US isolationism. WWI
Finally, we come to WWII, the second war to end all wars.  Britain and the Commonwealth forces entered the war early in response to Hitlers annexation of Czechoslovakia in March of 1939 and later invasion of Poland on 1 Sept 1939.  From there, the blitzkrieg spread through Belgium, and France, ending in Britain isolated and alone.  What is little known is US trade with Germany, and the wealthy US financiers who assisted in bringing Hitler to power.  Prescott Bush made a financial killing bankrolling Hitler, as did other US families – major financial feeds that led into the beginning WWII.  It should be noted that is is entirely possible that the US bankrolled Hitler with the intent of causing WWII, but had to step in when Hitler was too successful.  A “brush war” in Europe would have been very expensive for the participants and reduced the international effectiveness of at least three international “Imperial” countries.  By feeding the war and remaining neutral the USA could feed arms to both sides.
During the early days of WWII, Britain, with the Commonwealth not quite hitting full war time production, entered into the Lease-Lend Act.  The one side of Lease-lend that most people don’t know is the absolutely crippling effects on the British economy from 1944 till the 70′s.  Lease-lend was a deal from hell for the British, and one could surmise was dangled in front of a desperate Empire to bring them to their knees – by the way, the number the US congress gave the act could be significant in suggesting that – 1776.  In essence, the Act gave Britain much needed military gear at the expense of bases around the globe on a 100 year lease thus reducing British military presence and protection of her colonies.  Furthermore, it prevented the export from Britain of any goods that were imported via this act until the debt was repaid; thus machine parts and tools, weapons, food, etc could not be exported from a country that was once a world wide hub of commerce.  The dawn of American world expansion and military hegemony had come!
Many will claim that the USA would enter the war as a result of a sneak attack on Pear Harbour, there is, however, other information that does lend one to question.  On 16 October 1941 the Stimson diary notes “make sure that Japan was put into the wrong and made the first bad move”.  Also, a prior warning of Japanese intention had been received on 12 Dec 1937 with the USS Panay incident.  Other items to note are that the Japanese did present proposals to avoid war, including a plan to leave Indochina if oil trade would resume with Japan.  Although there is no doubt that the Japanese occupation forces were brutal far to excess, one must further question why, when adequate warning was given, were the orders to “tighten security” at US bases so poorly written?  It’s as if the US government wanted a disaster to simplify their entry into the war.  Here is a chronological link that will prove most interesting for those who like to see a larger picture.  Chronology of World War II

It should also be noted that the UN was born of WWII with a headquarters in New York.  Apparently when the head office of an International Organization is on US territory it is considered appropriate for the US to become a member.  With the fall of the Japanese Empire and the Third Reich the stage was set for the rise of Communism as the next major threat – welcome the McCarthy Era. COINTELPRO: The Untold American Story
With Communism as the next major obstacle to world domination it should be obvious that containment of Communism would be attempted: outright assault would be too costly for either system.  The Korean War started in 1950.  In 1910 the Japanese had overrun Korea, and during WWII, US forces had cleared the southern part (up to the 38th parallel) while USSR forces had cleared the northern portion of Japanese troops.  The USSR then posted Kim Il Sung as the leader in the North, while the US replaced a left leaning government in the south (formed June 1945) with an “elected” government led by Syngman Rhee.  Division of Korea  The USSR encouraged Kim Il Sung to embark on a massive troop buildup and on 25 June 1950 Kim Il Sung crossed the 38th parallel.  The Korean War was on and ROK troops were rapidly shattered as North Korean troops pushed south – the reunification process had begun.  The UNSC was being boycotted by the USSR due to the exclusion of the Peoples Republic of China (the Republic of China was included instead ie, Taiwan), and so the US and other members of the UNSC were able to push through a “police resolution” drawing US and Commonwealth forces into the conflict.  As the war raged on, the PRC stated that any US advance north of the 38th, a boundary that the USA had only considered “temporary” anyway, would be considered an act of aggression.  On 7 October 1950 US forces exceeded the Chinese limitation, and China entered the war.
To explain China’s response to the Korean War, as a result of imbalanced trade with Britain, where gold and silver flowed east and silk and china flowed west, Britain instituted the Opium wars, resulting in the Boxer Rebellion and later fall of the Qing Dynasty.  The western powers, USA, Britain, France, and Germany made agreements to carve China up into protectorates and were on the path to doing so with the Kuomintang government.  With the invasion of Japan in the 1920′s, the rise of Communism under Mao Zedong and the later victory of the Chinese Communist party China was saved the embarrassment of being carved up by the western powers.  The borders were slammed shut, press ganging and “shanghaiing” were stopped, the opium trade was halted, and Chinese culture was saved.
The Chinese, after the treatment they had received at the hands of western powers, had every reason to avoid a US controlled Korea.  Korea was actually a success for the People’s Liberation Army as for the first time in 100 years, a Chinese army faced down and held their own against western forces during a conflict.  Wikipedia has an excellent entry on this war.  Korean war
But what about this Joe McCarthy?  The fellow who had led such a campaign against Communists, and damaged so many reputations and careers?  A very interesting read, and it appears his hands were firmly in the pockets of a group of companies.  USA McCarthy
From the 1950′s on, the struggle between Communism and US Capitalism was fought across the globe by proxy troops, each supplied by their respective masters.  In the end, US Capitalism came to outlast Communism with the fall of the Berlin Wall in the 1989.  I will not consider the very important Vietnam War because the seeds of that war were laid with the advent of McCarthyism and the rise of an industro-military complex within the USA.
Established in spring of 1997, PNAC echoed into a mission statement the words spoken by John O’Sullivan in the 1830′s…that it was the manifest destiny of the USA to rule the world.
About PNAC
A version of this article was first published in the Truthout Town Forum.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jack JC,  is a reserve Officer in a NATO aligned country, he has a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering and an interest in the strategic effects history and culture bring to present geo-political affairs.  As an international travelor he has friends and family serving in both NATO and non-NATO countries and would prefer that his friends and family in both camps not kill each other.  He has operated at senior corporate levels of management, and has developed equipment for both civilian and military use.

Senator Mike Gravel On The Bob Tuskin Radio Show - 9/11 Terror Attacks!

Ron Paul EXPOSED in this old video!

In this 1970's video, Ron Paul argues that the power to control the purchasing power of money has been, throughout history, the most sought-after and dangerous monopoly. Paper is not money. It's only "money" because we are forced to use it. He asks, "By what moral authority do we have the power to create money out of thin air?" Until trust in money is restored, we can never balance the budget or fix our other economic problems.

Foir more than three decades, Ron has boldly championed this cause. Because of his tireless work, we are now seeing this issue come alive among people all over the world. This issue has been the cornerstone of his political career, and the reason he felt it necessary to run for congress from the very beginning. And for president.

Economist: 46 out of 50 US States are Insolvent

During a presentation today at the Adam Smith Institute, economist Kevin Dowd,  a visiting professor at the Pensions Institute, Cass Business School in London, told his audience:

Fiat money is entering its death spiral...

Banks use crooked accounting methods to hide losses and enrich employees with bonuses. It's another form of looting...

At least 46 out of 50 US states are insolvent.
What's behind Dowd's thinking? He wrote this last December:

Sooner rather than later, it will dawn on investors that Treasuries are over-valued and confidence in the Treasuries market will crack: one possibility is that rising inflation expectations or higher deficits will then push up market interest rates, causing bond prices to falter and then fall; an even more imminent prospect is that some combination of the Fed’s quantitative easing and yawning Federal budget and U.S. balance of payments deficits will cause a further decline in the dollar that makes foreign holders of Treasury bonds lose confidence in their investments. In either case, there is then likely to be a rush to the exits – a flight from Treasuries on a massive scale – forcing up interest rates in general and inflicting heavy losses on bondholders, especially on those holding long-term bonds.

• The collapse of the Treasuries market will cause the banks’ previously profitable ‘gapping’ adventure to unravel with a vengeance: the very positions that yielded them such easy returns will now suffer swingeing capital losses. Confidence in the banks – never strong since the onset of the crisis – will collapse (again) and we will enter a new (and severe) banking crisis.

• The bursting of the Treasuries and financials bubbles will then feed through to the junk bond bubble: the collapse in the Treasuries market and the renewed banking crisis will lead to sharp falls in the values of corporate bonds and sharp rises in credit spreads. Highly leveraged firms will then default in droves, the junk bond market will collapse and LBO activity will dry up.

We also have to consider the nontrivial knock-on effects: the Treasuries collapse will trigger an immediate financing crisis for governments at all levels, and especially for the federal government, and one which will likely involve the downgrading of its AAA credit rating, and so further intensify the government’s by-then already chronic financing problems. Nor should we forget that these financial tsunamis are likely to overwhelm the Federal Reserve itself: the Fed has a highly leveraged balance sheet that would do any aggressive hedge fund proud; it too will therefore suffer horrendous losses and is likely to become insolvent. The events of the last three years will then look like a picnic.

There is also the problem of resurgent inflation. For a long time, the U.S. has been protected from much of the inflationary impact of Federal Reserve policies: developments in IT and the cost reductions attendant on the outsourcing of production to east Asia had the impact of suppressing prices and masking the domestic impact of Fed policies. Instead, these policies produced a massive buildup in global currency reserves: these have increased at 16% per annum since 1997-98 and caused soaring commodity prices and rampant inflation in countries such as India (current inflation 16%) and China (maybe 20%, judging by wage inflation, and definitely much higher than official figures acknowledge) whose currencies have been (more or less) aligned to the dollar. U.S. inflation was already rising by 2008 (annual rate 3.85%), but this rise was put into reverse when bank lending and consumer spending then fell sharply. However, there are good reasons to think that inflation will soon take off again: (1) The combination of booming commodity prices and a depreciating dollar (trade-weighted dollar exchange rate index down 15% since March ’09) means that imports will cost more in dollar terms and this must inevitably feed through to U.S. inflation. (2) Rising labor costs in the Asian economies mean that the outsourcing movement is coming to an end and even beginning to reverse itself, and with it the associated cost reductions for American firms that outsource to Asia. Most importantly, (3), there is the huge additional monetary overhang created over the last couple of years (or, to put it more pointedly, the vast recent monetizations of government debt), the impact of which has been held temporarily in check by sluggish conditions over 2009-2010, but which will must eventually flood forth – and, when it does, inflation is likely to rise sharply.

Once inflation makes a comeback, a point will eventually come where the Fed policy has to go into sharp reverse – just like the late 1970s, interest rates will be hiked upwards to slow down monetary growth. The consequences would be most unpleasant: the U.S. would experience the renewed miseries of stagflation – and a severe one at that, given the carnage of a renewed financial crisis and the large increases in money supply working through the system. Moreover, as in the early 1980s, higher interest rates would lead to major falls in asset prices and inflict further losses on financial institutions, wiping out their capital bases in the process. Thus, renewed inflation and higher interest rates would deliver yet another blow to an already gravely weakened financial system.

Ron Paul Highlights - CNN Tea Party Debate

Philip Giraldi : A 10-Year Reckoning

The dollar tag on the warfare is also hard to pin down. The actual appropriations for Iraq alone now approach a total of $1 trillion, but that number excludes legacy costs like paying interest on the money borrowed to finance the war and health care for badly wounded veterans of the conflict.

by Philip Giraldi 

U.S. obeisance to Israel is the main reason we are fighting the Middle East. If we persist in passing over that major tragedy of our time, it will come back to haunt us. We must FULLY separate us and our funding from Israel. -- George Beres
This weekend will mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the day that changed the United States forever. There will be remembrance ceremonies in many cities and towns. In many cases, they will be accompanied by military displays, to remind everyone that the America of George W. Bush and Barack Obama responded with anger, striking first against Afghanistan, which had given Osama bin Laden shelter, and then against a number of other nations that were either considered to be somehow complicit or that harbored their own brands of terrorists. It is a war that once begun could only grow larger as the perceived threat of terrorism grew from a lucky and opportunistic blow against the United States into something much larger, resulting in an international crusade to crush dissent and remake governments in a considerable part of the globe. At this point, the war continues with no end in sight.
If the war to remake the Muslim world is ever to be considered objectively rather than emotionally and possibly reined in, it is necessary first to determine just how much it has cost. Some of the numbers are easy to obtain. Seven thousand four hundred and ninety-four American and allied soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The impact on civilian populations is more elusive, however. It is estimated that at least 30,000 Afghan civilians have died. The numbers for dead Iraqis range from a low of 102,000 to a high of over 1 million. Most agree that at least 2 million Iraqis and 200,000 Afghans have been displaced and are now in camps or living as refugees in neighboring countries, where they are allowed to stay until their money runs out. The infrastructure of Iraq, devastated by the years of U.N. sanctions followed by the U.S. invasion, has never recovered. Unemployment is over 15 percent, with considerable underemployment on top of that, and electricity and clean water are provided at lower levels than under Saddam Hussein. Development projects in both Iraq and Afghanistan have become money pits, with little to show for billions of dollars spent, thanks to corruption and sheer incompetence on the part of the government agencies and NGOs that administer the funds.
The dollar tag on the warfare is also hard to pin down. The actual appropriations for Iraq alone now approach a total of $1 trillion, but that number excludes legacy costs like paying interest on the money borrowed to finance the war and health care for badly wounded veterans of the conflict. Throw in the damage to the civilian economy caused by diversion of resources to war spending, and some estimates for the total cost of the war after all the bills are paid are as high as $5 trillion. The Iraq war is currently winding down only because the Iraqi government is unwilling to face considerable domestic opposition if it allows substantial U.S. garrisons to remain, but Afghanistan continues at a cost of $8 billion a month. President Obama would like to have everyone believe that the U.S. will largely be out of Afghanistan by the end of next year, but the generals foresee American involvement through 2015. The U.S. is spending annually three times as much to “defend” Afghanistan as the total gross national product of the country, hardly a sustainable situation and not at all suggestive of a possible handover to the Afghan army to “finish the job.” Only this week, there have been reports of high levels of desertion from the Afghan armed forces being trained to take over from ISAF.
And what would nation-building be if it were not expansionist, regularly finding new countries to remake? The U.S. has just completed phase one of its reshaping of Libya and will no doubt be involved in that unhappy land for the foreseeable future. And then there is the meddling in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and Somalia.
Another measure of the meaning of 10 years of constant warfare is the gain that has come out of the process. Iraq, which 10 years ago was an Arab bulwark against Iranian ambitions, is now not only not a fledgling democracy, it is hardly even Iraqi, given its de facto division into three communities: Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds. It is regarded by many as a virtual client state of Iran. And speaking of Iran, the U.S. invasion of two of the countries that it borders and the stationing of the Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf with headquarters in Bahrain has served as a powerful incentive for the rulers in Tehran to develop a nuclear weapon, if that is indeed what they are doing. The foreign threat has also given new life to the country’s theocratic rulers, enabling the mullahs to clamp down on their own reformers, claiming plausibly that they are agents of foreign powers.
Afghanistan might well qualify as the most corrupt country in the world, mostly thanks to the money poured in with little adult supervision as part of the U.S. nation- building project. Many observers believe that the Taliban will eventually return to government, so the principal objective for fighting for 10 years and spending billions of dollars is basically a fiction used to sustain the conflict while knowing that the result will be pretty much the status quo ante. The U.S. will not succeed in remaking Afghanistan in its own image and will surely leave some day. As in Iraq, the legacy will be unpleasant to behold. America will be hated and reviled by the local people.
And then there is nuclear-armed Pakistan. The United States has interfered in the country’s elections to replace a strong man with someone more “democratic,” has engaged in drone attacks that have killed numerous civilians and turned the people against both the government and Washington, and has engaged in tit-for-tat exchanges with Islamabad that have basically ended any form of cooperation. If there really is such a thing as the war on terror, its epicenter is in Pakistan, but Washington has succeeded in making that nation something approaching a failed state that is turning increasingly hostile. And don’t forget the nukes. Congratulations are due to Condi and Hillary and their bosses in the White House.
Finally, there is the question of what the Bush and Obama doctrines, which permit Washington to act preemptively anywhere and at any time, have done to the reputation of the United States. They have effectively trashed it. In the Pew opinion polls, the United States “as a threat to world peace” is at the same level as North Korea and Iran. In key allies Turkey and Egypt, our favorable rating is 17 percent, and in Pakistan it is 12 percent . Fortunately, most foreigners are astute enough to realize that the problem is with the government in Washington and not necessarily with the American people, but they might be wrong in that assessment. Fed a steady diet of “military necessity” over the past 10 years, most Americans support constant armed intervention in other nations even if a growing minority does not. Yes, we have identified the problem and it is us. Beam me up, Scotty. It’s pretty bad down here.
So one has to conclude that the U.S. imperial project of the past 10 years has killed as many as 1 million people while displacing millions of others, has nearly bankrupted the United States with major costs still to come, has rendered the world even more unstable than it was in 2001, and has made Washington hated by nearly everyone nearly everywhere. It is difficult to find a plus side to all the activity unless one is a defense contractor or a government employee, because all the fun has also grown the government into a Leviathan twice as big and expensive as before. In short, there has been no benefit gained from the past decade even if the usual cheerleaders in the media predictably argue for and embrace an America continuously at war, insisting that “today, radical religious ideologies, new technologies and cheap, powerful weapons have catapulted the world into ‘a period of persistent conflict,’ according to the Pentagon’s last major assessment of global security. ‘No one should harbor the illusion that the developed world can win this conflict in the near future.’” That bumper-sticker view of the world and America’s persistent role in it ignores the fact that the interventionist policy itself is both a failure and a source of the instability, creating ever more enemies at great cost and resolving nothing.
Back at home, there have also been consequences. As Americans lose their jobs and homes, wonder what has happened to the Bill of Rights, and count soaring deficits promoted by an increasingly distant and unresponsive federal government, they might begin by asking what has gone wrong. Well, everything has gone wrong, and it all started with 9/11.
Original source: Antiwar

The Crime of the Century ~ 9/11

The Intel Hub
Sept. 11, 2011
As we all remember the events of September 11, 2001, many of us have been searching for the truth regarding the events of 9/11 for many years. A new documentary produced by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth –, 9/11: Explosive Evidence — Experts Speak Out is the culmination of years of dedicated research.
Watch 9/11 Explosive Evidence, Experts Speak Out
Just a mere and simple utterance of the word, 9/11, or September 11th, or any other various related terms can stir up a caldron of emotion – and it runs the entire spectrum. From steadfast defenders of the government’s official explanation of what happened on 9/11 to those arguing theories of a deep, dark, evil conspiracy. There is no shortage of passion.
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Regardless of your personal beliefs about what happened on 9/11 we can all agree (as we’ve been told over and over again) that 9/11 has indeed fundamentally changed the world we all live in and experience every day.
This would all be well and good if there was no doubt about what happened. If the official story was rock solid and beyond reasonable doubt, we could all stand up in unison, proudly, pound our chests with righteous indignation and get the bad guys without a second thought.
Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth recently released another documentary Architects & Engineers: Solving the Mystery of WTC 7 – which is available on AE911Truths’ YouTube Channel
Architects & Engineers – Solving the Mystery of WTC7 has reached a new milestone for AE911Truth, garnering over 100,000 YouTube views in less than a week. The popularity of this groundbreaking mini-documentary has far outpaced every other video produced by AE911Truth, including the seminal film, 9/11: Blueprint for Truth. Congratulations to the Video Team and everyone else who helped to make this success possible! – Editorial
Architects & Engineers: Solving the Mystery of WTC 7
Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth is pleased to announce the launch of the Remember Building 7 10th Anniversary Campaign – the most aggressive ad campaign yet. This season we are accelerating our strategic partnership with in order to make this 10th Anniversary a vital turning point in the pursuit of a new 9/11 investigation.
Remember Building 7 Campaign Cosponsors
NYC CAN is non-partisan organization representing over one-hundred 9/11 family members, dozens of first responders and survivors, and thousands of proud citizens committed to bringing about a new and independent investigation into the events of September 11, 2001.
Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth is a non-partisan association of architects, engineers, and affiliates whose work is dedicated to the victims, families and all others throughout the world affected by the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath. Their mission is to research, compile, and disseminate scientific evidence relative to the destruction of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers, calling for a truly open and independent investigation and supporting others in the pursuit of justice.
911Blogger is committed to covering 9/11-related news and serves as a forum for discussion among thousands of concerned citizens seeking the truth about the events of September 11, 2001.
The Journal of 9/11 Studies is a peer-reviewed, open-access, electronic-only journal, covering the whole of research related to the events of 11 September, 2001. Many fields of study are represented in the journal, including Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Psychology. All content is freely available online.
World for 9/11 Truth is a grassroots initiative to unify the world behind one single idea: a new 9/11 independent investigation.
Firefighters for 9/11 Truth is a non-partisan association of firefighters and affiliates created to increase awareness, provide public education, demand a real investigation that follows National Standards, and provide support to our Brothers and Sisters in need. Firefighters for 9/11 Truth call for: 1) A truly independent investigation with Subpoena and Contempt Powers to uncover the complete truth of the events related to 9/11/2001, specifically the collapse of WTC Building 7 and the possibility of explosive demolition, 2) For the investigation to follow the national standards so clearly outlined in the National Fire Protection Association guidelines, specifically, NFPA 921 to include thorough analysis of the steel for the presence of “exotic accelerants,” and 3) For Congress to honor the promises made to the rescue workers of 9/11 by passing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
In addition to leading the way in educating the French public about 9/11, ReOpen911 members translate English materials into French and make it available for the global French community. They are currently co-producing the upcoming documentary film “One”, the follow up to the 9/11 film “Zero: An investigation into 9/11”.
Political Leaders for 9/11 Truth is an association of political leaders from around the world calling upon President Barack Obama to authorize a new, truly independent investigation to determine what happened on September 11, 2001.
Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth is a multi-faith association of religious leaders from around the world formed to address the significant moral challenge that has emerged from the discrepancies between the official account of 9/11 and the results of extensive independent research by individuals with relevant scientific or professional expertise. They call upon President Barack Obama to authorize a new, truly independent investigation into the 9/11 attacks.
Lawyers for 9/11 Truth is an association of lawyers who have concluded that the 9/11 Commission and other government examinations were wholly inadequate, and did not follow proper rules of evidence or procedure. They demand a full investigation by unbiased people with subpoena power and the courage to demand that the Constitution and rule of law are followed, and all guilty persons held accountable for their actions.

Facebook Commissar Warns Infowars Reporter About Political Posts

Infowars image
Kurt Nimmo
Infowars reporter Darrin McBreen was instructed by the “Facebook Team” to not voice his political opinion on the popular social networking site.

“Be careful making about making political statements on facebook,” McBreen was told in an email, “facebook is about building relationships not a platform for your political viewpoint. Don’t antagonize your base. Be careful and congnizat (sic) of what you are preaching.”

Facebook sent the message in relation to a comments posted about “Is living off the Grid now a crime?,” an article about “nuisance abatement teams” intimidating people who have decided to disconnect from the power grid in California.

The message provides further evidence that Facebook is not only monitoring discussions, but also feels compelled to warn users about the supposed inappropriateness of their political viewpoints, especially if they deviate from prepackaged left-vs-right political viewpoints propagated by the establishment.

The misspelling contained in the comment indicates it is probably not a boiler-plated message but was written specifically in response to the discussion.

The Facebook message received by McBreen is intimidation, pure and simple. Thousands of Facebook users utilize the site to push political agendas.

For instance, Obama has a Facebook page and his photo is emblazoned with “2012,” indicating that he will seek to be reelected to political office. Nancy Pelosi’s page identifies her as a “Government Official” and the top post on her page is about Obama’s politicalized “jobs” program.

Facebook obviously is a political platform. It is only an issue when and other politically incorrect individuals and groups post political content.

But Facebook is not merely a political platform in addition to a social one. It is also a spook platform designed for intelligence gathering.

Facebook’s funding can be traced back to the CIA through the venture capital firm Accel Partners. Its manager James Breyer was formerly chairman of the National Venture Capital Association and served on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. Anita Jones is also associated with the company. She sat on the In-Q-Tel’s board and was director of Defense Research and Engineering for the Pentagon and served as an adviser to the Secretary of Defense and was involved in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Before it was closed down after it was made public and drew an outraged response from civil libertarians, DARPA ran the Information Awareness Office, a sprawling data-mining scheme.

In-Q-Tel has invested in Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring the internet. “Visible Technologies examines more than half a million websites a day, looking through more than a million posts and interactions happening on blogs, in online forums and on popular social media sites such as Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Amazon,” The Telegraph reported in 2009.

Although not widely reported by the corporate media, Facebook has now implemented facial recognition software, the latest high-tech gizmo in service to the spook-state.

“The new facial recognition technology, which was announced in December but only introduced to a small test group, is basically Facebook’s way of creating a huge, photo-searchable database of its users. And yes, it’s terrifying,” writes PCWorld. “Facial recognition technology will ultimately culminate in the ability to search for people using just a picture. And that will be the end of privacy as we know it – imagine, a world in which someone can simply take a photo of you on the street, in a crowd, or with a telephoto lens, and discover everything about you on the internet.”

CBS has capitalized on the in-your-face surveillance state in a promotion of a fall drama called “Person of Interest” by exploiting interactive billboards and installing them in New York City and Los Angeles. The billboards take photo of people and “the person’s face is incorporated into the display.

The photo is accompanied by a phone number and identification number to text-message. If the person sends the text, they receive a link to their ‘classified file’ and can post the photo on Facebook or Twitter,” explains The Wall Street Journal.

Darrin McBreen’s experience reveals that Facebook not only is in the business of data-mining and surveillance, but also in select instances of informing the targets of that surveillance that they are being watched, a tactic often used by the Stasi and secret police in other totalitarian states.

Thus a seemingly friendly act of instruction on how not to antagonize fellow users of the service becomes an act of political intimidation by an organization with documented links to the CIA and the Pentagon.

6.0-magnitude quake strikes off Vanuatu: USGS

SYDNEY — A shallow 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of the South Pacific island of Vanuatu on Monday, the US Geological Survey said, but there was no tsunami warning issued.
The quake struck at a depth of just one kilometre (half a mile), around 61 kilometres southwest of the capital Port Vila.
"It was very shallow and produced a lot of surface water activity, but no tsunami," said a GeoScience Australia seismologist, adding that it would have been felt in Port Vila but damage was unlikely unless structures were weak.
It follows a series of recent quakes near Vanuatu including two of 7.0 magnitude or over in the past month.
"Over 40 quakes this year have been recorded in the area southwest of Port Vila and this would be an aftershock from those," said the seismologist.
Vanuatu lies on the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", a zone of frequent seismic activity caused by friction between shifting tectonic plates.
Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved

Texas fire destroys more than 1,500 homes

The number of homes destroyed by a still-raging wildfire in Texas increased yesterday to 1,554 and will increase further as emergency crews enter areas where the blaze has been extinguished.
17 people remain unaccounted for, but officials believe they could simply be out of town.
Bastrop County officials joined by Democratic US Representative Lloyd Doggett sought to provide new information to hundreds of residents evacuated a week ago, when blustering wind whipped up by Tropical Storm Lee swept across parched, drought-stricken Texas — helping to spark more than 190 wildfires statewide that killed four people.
The worst of the fires is the one in Bastrop that has consumed more than 34,000 acres.
Crews have now contained more than 50 per cent of the blaze, paving the way for people to begin returning home and trying to rebuild their lives from the remains of the smouldering rubble.
Many who were forced to evacuate still don't know what became of their homes.
Today, county officials will begin allowing them to slowly re-enter scorched areas as authorities ensure the land has properly cooled and hotspots are extinguished. Some were given only minutes to evacuate as the raging blaze surrounded homes and neighbourhoods. Some had time to gather a few important belongings, others fled with only the clothes on their back.