– A giant US military base emerges in Afghanistan (AFP):
The base is needed quickly with the US military presence in Afghanistan due to double by the autumn, when the Obama administration says up to 68,000 troops will be in place.
– Obama budget to slash ‘stunning’ waste in US (AFP):
WASHINGTON (AFP) — President Barack Obama vowed to slash 17 billion dollars in “stunning” government waste, as he showcased a 3.44-trillion-dollar budget at a time of historic deficits and economic crisis.
– Obama’s budget cuts take aim at 121 federal programs (Boston Globe):
On the Senate floor, Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, said the savings wouldn’t put a dent in the federal deficit, projected at $1.5 trillion this year. He likened what Obama proposed to taking a “few pieces of sand off the desert.”
This is what Obama calls ‘change’. Obama is just another puppet of the elite, that is about to destroy the dollar and turn the U.S. into a Third World Country. The U.S. is totally broke.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s Defense Department plans to create 20,000 new government jobs to help revise how it buys more than $100 billion of weapons each year, the Pentagon’s No. 2 official told Congress.
The Pentagon also plans to tie contract fees more closely to performance and make deals spanning two years, or more, only when “real, substantial” savings result to taxpayers, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.
Lynn said the planned jobs growth would take place over the next five years. Included would be more than 9,000 positions at two Pentagon agencies that audit and manage contracts for everything from bullets, to bombs, to bread rolls.
The remaining 11,000 new hires would come from the conversion to federal civilian slots of jobs that had been outsourced to contractors.
“This unprecedented, five-year planned workforce initiative will result in a properly sized, well-trained, capable and ethical workforce,” he said.
And here we have the Zimbabwe School of Economics … again.
The pound will be very soon bad toilet paper.
Got gold and silver?
LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England stepped up its campaign to boost the struggling economy, raising the size of its asset purchase programme on Thursday in a surprise move tantamount to printing an extra 50 billion pounds to get banks lending again.
The central bank kept rates at a record low of 0.5 percent as expected, but surprised markets by moving swiftly to reassure them that its scheme to buy up government and corporate bonds with newly-created money would last at least 3 months more.
Sterling lost ground against the euro and dollar on the news, but gilt futures more than halved earlier hefty losses that had taken bond yields back up to levels last seen in February, before Bank Governor Mervyn King had seriously mooted the policy of quantitative easing.
Looks like the ECB has now the ‘Bernanke’ virus.
Now all the Illuminati banksters are printing money which increases the money supply and that is called inflation … and inflation is nothing more than a hidden tax.
“The U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and Bank of Japan have lowered rates close to zero and are already buying bonds, effectively printing money to reflate their economies in a policy known as quantitative easing. “
Quantitative easing should be better called ‘ruthless stealing’ instead:
“By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”
– John Maynard Keynes
“In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. … This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.”
– Alan Greenspan
Got gold … and silver?
May 7 (Bloomberg) — European Central Bank President Jean- Claude Trichet said the ECB unanimously agreed on a 60 billion- euro ($80.5 billion) plan to buy bonds as officials step up their response to the worst recession since World War II.
“The Governing Council has decided in principle that the eurosystem will purchase euro-denominated covered bonds issued in the euro area,” Trichet told reporters in Frankfurt. He said the bank’s main interest rate, which it cut by a quarter point to a record low of 1 percent today, is appropriate and that the ECB will extend its unlimited auctions of funds to banks.
ECB officials have spent the past months bickering over whether to fight a recession by purchasing assets, with Bundesbank President Axel Weber leading resistance to such a move. The U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and Bank of Japan have lowered rates close to zero and are already buying bonds, effectively printing money to reflate their economies in a policy known as quantitative easing.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
On October 16, 2004, President George W. Bush signed the Israel Lobby’s bill, the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act. This legislation requires the US Department of State to monitor anti-semitism world wide.
To monitor anti-semitism, it has to be defined. What is the definition? Basically, as defined by the Israel Lobby and Abe Foxman, it boils down to any criticism of Israel or Jews.
Rahm Israel Emanuel hasn’t been mopping floors at the White House.
As soon as he gets the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 passed, it will become a crime for any American to tell the truth about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and theft of their lands.
It will be a crime for Christians to acknowledge the New Testament’s account of Jews demanding the crucifixion of Jesus.
It will be a crime to report the extraordinary influence of the Israel Lobby on the White House and Congress, such as the AIPAC-written resolutions praising Israel for its war crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza that were endorsed by 100 per cent of the US Senate and 99 per cent of the House of Representatives, while the rest of the world condemned Israel for its barbarity.
Don’t miss: US no longer ruled by law: Paul Craig Roberts
It will be a crime to doubt the Holocaust.
It will become a crime to note the disproportionate representation of Jews in the media, finance, and foreign policy.
In other words, it means the end of free speech, free inquiry, and the First Amendment to the Constitution. Any facts or truths that cast aspersion upon Israel will simply be banned.
Given the hubris of the US government, which leads Washington to apply US law to every country and organization, what will happen to the International Red Cross, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and the various human rights organizations that have demanded investigations of Israel’s military assault on Gaza’s civilian population? Will they all be arrested for the hate crime of “excessive” criticism of Israel?
This is a serious question.
A recent UN report, which is yet to be released in its entirety, blames Israel for the deaths and injuries that occurred within the United Nations premises in Gaza. The Israeli government has responded by charging that the UN report is “tendentious, patently biased,” which puts the UN report into the State Department’s category of excessive criticism and strong anti-Israel sentiment.
Israel is getting away with its blatant use of the American government to silence its critics despite the fact that the Israeli press and Israeli soldiers have exposed the Israeli atrocities in Gaza and the premeditated murder of women and children urged upon the Israeli invaders by rabbis. These acts are clearly war crimes.
Computer containing confidential data about Lockheed Martin staff was bought online
Highly sensitive details of a key US missile defence system have been found on the hard drive of a computer that was disposed of in California.
The information about defence contractor Lockheed Martin included a document detailing test launch procedures, blueprints of facilities and photos and personal daat about employees – including their social security numbers.
Access to such data could allow identity theft or industrial espionage against Lockheed Martin, which is working on the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system – a project begun under president Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” Strategic Defence Initiative in the 1980s.
The computer, which has been turned over to the FBI, was bought online as part of a global research project conducted by three universities – Longwood University in the US, Glamorgan University in the UK and Edith Cowan University in Australia – along with BT and Sims Recycling Solutions.
The American International Greed Group (AIG) offices in New York, 2008. Troubled US insurance giant American International Group is close to selling its Japanese headquarters for about one billion dollars.
The 2008 AIG bonus pool just keeps getting larger and larger.
In a response to detailed questions from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the company has offered a third assessment of exactly how much it paid out in bonuses last year.
And the new number, offered in a document submitted to Cummings on May 1, is the highest figure the company has disclosed to date.
AIG now says it paid out more than $454 million in bonuses to its employees for work performed in 2008.
That is nearly four times more than the company revealed in late March when asked by POLITICO to detail its total bonus payments. At that time, AIG spokesman Nick Ashooh said the firm paid about $120 million in 2008 bonuses to a pool of more than 6,000 employees.
The figure Ashooh offered was, in turn, substantially higher than company CEO Edward Liddy claimed days earlier in testimony before a House Financial Services Subcommittee. Asked how much AIG had paid in 2008 bonuses, Liddy responded: “I think it might have been in the range of $9 million.”
“I was shocked to see that the number has nearly quadrupled this time,” said Cummings. “I simply cannot fathom why this company continues to erode the trust of the public and the U.S. Congress, rather than being forthcoming about these issues from the start.”
AIG spokesman Ashooh said the company’s revised accounting is the result of different wording of the questions asked by Cummings and POLITICO.
The new figure of $454 million, Ashooh said, “reflects all types of variable compensation across all of our businesses,” while the $120 million figure he provided earlier reflected only bonuses paid to corporate headquarters executives and high-ranking officers at its major businesses around the world. Ashooh said the $454 million figure includes the $120 million he had previously disclosed.
All of the numbers provided are on top of the controversial $165 million in retention bonuses offered to employees of a division of the company known as AIG Financial Products. It was the disclosure of those payments that set off a political firestorm earlier this year. Washington was stunned that employees of the very unit that had brought AIG to its financial knees were being so richly rewarded — especially after the company received $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money.
10p tax hike needed to rescue British economy as MPs attack Darling’s ‘optimistic’ forecast
Prayers: Gordon Brown should be worried with GDP slumping by more than 4.6 per cent, says national economic think-tank
Huge tax rises may be needed to rescue the British economy as it heads towards a bigger annual crash than in the depths of the Great Depression, a respected forecasting group warns today.
The plunge in national output would require the Treasury to raise an extra £42billion – the equivalent of a 9-10p in the pound rise in the basic income tax rate.
Alternatively, workers could be required to work until they are 70.
Gross domestic product could slump by more than 4.6 per cent this year, exceeding the decline recorded in 1931 when Labour’s Ramsay Mac-Donald was prime minister, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
– UK economy shrinking at fastest since 1931 (Financial Times):
“The economy is expected to decline more sharply in 2009 than at any time since 1931 and is already contracting faster than in the early 1930s, according to the National Institute for Economic and Social Research.”
Such a catastrophic fall would further erode government revenues and drive unemployment through the three million mark.
During a flu epidemic in China 1000 still healthy people were treated with acupuncture, not one of this group that was treated with acupuncture got ill. (If I remember it correctly 97% of the population got ill.)
I just heard today that “Codex Alimentarius” is well on it’s way in the EU. This is the worst case scenario for alternative medicine and organic food. This would also be the end for homeopathy.
(NaturalNews) Homeopathy was successful in treating the flu epidemic of 1918 and can provide answers to questions about the 2009 Swine Flu. Homeopathy can provide quick and inexpensive relief for symptoms of the flu.
A system of medicine based on the principles of “like cures like,” homeopathy uses plant, mineral and animal sources for the natural flu remedies. Homeopathy is based on ideas from ideas dating back to Egyptian medicine.
The term “homeopathy” was coined by the medical doctor and medical reformer, Samuel Hahnemann in the 1800s. Homeopathic remedies have been used to treat flu symptoms for two centuries.
Was homeopathy successful in treating the flu epidemic of 1918?
While the mortality rate of people treated with traditional medicine and drugs was 30 percent, those treated by homeopathic physicians had mortality rate of 1.05 percent.
Of the fifteen hundred cases reported at the Homeopathic Medical Society of the District of Columbia there were only fifteen deaths. Recoveries in the National Homeopathic Hospital were 100%. In Ohio, of 1,000 cases of influenza, Dr. T. A. McCann, MD, Dayton, Ohio reported NO DEATHS.
What homeopathic remedies were used to successfully treat the Spanish flu in 1918?
Gelsemium and Bryonia
According the Dr. Frank Wieland, MD, in Chicago, “(With) 8,000 workers we had only one death. Gelsemium was practically the only remedy used. We used no aspirin and no vaccines.”
Homeopathy was 98% successful in treating the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918?
Ohio reported that 24,000 cases of flu treated allopathically had a mortality rate of 28.2% while 26,000 cases of flu treated homeopathically had a mortality rate of 1.05% . In Connecticut, 6,602 cases were reported, with 55 deaths, less than 1%. Dr. Roberts, a physician on a troop ship during WWI, had 81 cases of flu on the way over to Europe. He reported, “All recovered and were landed. Every man received homeopathic treatment.
The US government has told BoA to bolster its capital cushion – and similar instructions are expected at up to 10 other banks
The US government has told Bank of America that it needs to bolster its capital cushion by as much as $34bn (£22.6bn) after a stress test found weaknesses in the bank’s ability to withstand any further shocks.
Bank of America’s executives learned of the figure from treasury officials before tomorrow’s public release of the results of tests on the 19 largest US financial institutions.
As many as 10 banks, including major players such as Citigroup and Wells Fargo, are likely to be told that they need extra capital. But BoA’s shortfall could be the largest of any bank.
– Reports: Wells Fargo needs $15B capital boost following ‘stress test’ (Denver Business Journal)
– Wells Fargo freezes traditional pension plan (San Francisco Chronicle):
Wells Fargo & Co. told employees on Monday it will no longer contribute to their traditional pension plan, effectively cutting the total compensation of its workers less than two weeks after announcing record first-quarter profit.
– Regulators Say Banks Needing Capital Must Submit Plan by June 8 (Bloomberg):
May 6 (Bloomberg) — Banks that need to raise capital under the government’s stress tests will have until June 8 to develop a plan and until Nov. 9 to implement it, U.S. bank regulators said today.
The North Carolina-based bank, which is the largest US high-street player in terms of deposits, has been financially weakened by its purchase of the troubled Wall Street brokerage Merrill Lynch, which lost $15bn in the final quarter of last year. Angry about the deterioration in the bank’s condition, shareholders last week voted to strip chief executive Ken Lewis of his title as chairman.
Walter Schmidt used a stun gun like this one to administer powerful electric shocks to children touring the prison
Prison officer Walter Schmidt wanted to give his colleagues’ children a taste of what their mums and dads get up to at work while showing them around a Florida jail.
So to make the youngsters’ experience all the more realistic as they toured Franklin Correctional Institution during the lock-up’s ‘Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day’, he decided to zap them with his 50,000-volt stun gun.
The jolt sent at least two of them sprawling to the floor, crying out in pain and clutching at agonising burns on their arms. One child ended up in hospital.
But 37-year-old Schmidt told officials who later fired him that he had only been trying to show the children – whose parents all work at the jail near Tallahassee – what a typical day involves while handling unruly inmates.
‘It wasn’t intended to be malicious, but educational,’ he explained to the St Petersburg Times.
‘The big shock came when I got fired.’
Sgt Schmidt, who had served as a jailer for 14 years and was in charge of the prison arsenal, claims that he had asked permission from the children’s parents for the stunt. ‘When they said “Sure” I went ahead and did it,’ he shrugged.
A feeder canal sits empty off the Delta Mendota Canal after the Federal Bureau of Reclamation instituted a “zero allocation” policy for irrigation water to farmers in Mendota, California, as seen on April 14, 2009. Photographer: Phil Hawkins/Bloomberg News
May 6 (Bloomberg) — The drought in California’s Central Valley is so severe that it’s drying up money for haircuts.
One customer waited six months to get a $10 haircut, then asked to have his head shaved so he could wait another six months, said Armando Ramirez, a barber in Firebaugh.
“People come in and say, ‘Hey Armando, how about I give you a dollar for a cut, it’s all I have,'” said Ramirez, 63, who has owned his shop for four decades. “Saturday is supposed to be my busiest day, but I’m lucky if I get one customer before I go to lunch.”
Businesses are casualties of the three-year drought that is forcing farmers to leave hundreds of thousands of acres fallow in the Central Valley, the semi-arid agricultural region running 400 miles (600 kilometers) down the middle of the state. The drought may cost the valley 35,000 jobs and $959 million in lost revenue this year, said Richard Howitt, chairman of agricultural and resource economics at the University of California, Davis.
“I’ve never seen a drought this bad,” said Bob Diedrich, who has been farming near Firebaugh, 140 miles southeast of San Francisco, since 1973. “It’s putting a chokehold on us.”
(NaturalNews) Rep. Ron Paul has introduced the Parental Consent Act to protect families from mandatory “mental health screening” — a thinly-veiled attempt by Big Pharma to drug expectant mothers and new moms with dangerous psychiatric drugs.
Here’s the full text of the speech given by Ron Paul in the House of Representatives, April 30, 2009:
Madam Speaker, I rise to introduce the Parental Consent Act. This bill forbids Federal funds from being used for any universal or mandatory mental-health screening of students without the express, written, voluntary, informed consent of their parents or legal guardians. This bill protects the fundamental right of parents to direct and control the upbringing and education of their children.
The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health has recommended that the federal and state governments work toward the implementation of a comprehensive system of mental-health screening for all Americans. The commission recommends that universal or mandatory mental-health screening first be implemented in public schools as a prelude to expanding it to the general public. However, neither the commission’s report nor any related mental-health screening proposal requires parental consent before a child is subjected to mental-health screening. Federally-funded universal or mandatory mental-health screening in schools without parental consent could lead to labeling more children as “ADD” or “hyperactive” and thus force more children to take psychotropic drugs, such as Ritalin, against their parents’ wishes.
Already, too many children are suffering from being prescribed psychotropic drugs for nothing more than children’s typical rambunctious behavior. According to Medco Health Solutions, more than 2.2 million children are receiving more than one psychotropic drug at one time. In fact, according to Medico Trends, in 2003, total spending on psychiatric drugs for children exceeded spending on antibiotics or asthma medication.
Many children have suffered harmful side effects from using psychotropic drugs. Some of the possible side effects include mania, violence, dependence, and weight gain. Yet, parents are already being threatened with child abuse charges if they resist efforts to drug their children. Imagine how much easier it will be to drug children against their parents’ wishes if a federally-funded mental-health screener makes the recommendation.
Barack Obama is a brand. And the Obama brand is designed to make us feel good about our government while corporate overlords loot the Treasury, our elected officials continue to have their palms greased by armies of corporate lobbyists, our corporate media diverts us with gossip and trivia and our imperial wars expand in the Middle East. Brand Obama is about being happy consumers. We are entertained. We feel hopeful. We like our president. We believe he is like us. But like all branded products spun out from the manipulative world of corporate advertising, we are being duped into doing and supporting a lot of things that are not in our interest.
What, for all our faith and hope, has the Obama brand given us? His administration has spent, lent or guaranteed $12.8 trillion in taxpayer dollars to Wall Street and insolvent banks in a doomed effort to reinflate the bubble economy, a tactic that at best forestalls catastrophe and will leave us broke in a time of profound crisis. Brand Obama has allocated nearly $1 trillion in defense-related spending and the continuation of our doomed imperial projects in Iraq, where military planners now estimate that 70,000 troops will remain for the next 15 to 20 years. Brand Obama has expanded the war in Afghanistan, including the use of drones sent on cross-border bombing runs into Pakistan that have doubled the number of civilians killed over the past three months. Brand Obama has refused to ease restrictions so workers can organize and will not consider single-payer, not-for-profit health care for all Americans. And Brand Obama will not prosecute the Bush administration for war crimes, including the use of torture, and has refused to dismantle Bush’s secrecy laws or restore habeas corpus.
4. Mai 2009
Added: 2. Mai 2009
Five Things You Should Know About the Torture Memos
By Judge Andrew Napolitano
No. 1. I have read the 175 pages of legal memoranda (the memos) that the Department of Justice (DoJ) released last week. They consist of letters written by Bush DoJ officials to the Deputy General Counsel of the CIA concerning the techniques that may be used by American intelligence agents when interrogating high value detainees at facilities outside the U.S. The memos describe in vivid, gut-wrenching detail the procedures that the CIA apparently inquired about. The memos then proceed to authorize every procedure asked about, and to commend the CIA for taking the time to ask.
By Bob Chapman
(Mr. Chapman is 72 years old. He was born in Boston, MA and attended Northeastern University majoring in business management. He spent three years in the U. S. Army Counterintelligence, mostly in Europe. He speaks German and French and is conversant in Spanish. He lived in Europe for six years, off and on, three years in Africa, a year in Canada and a year in the Bahamas.
Mr. Chapman became a stockbroker in 1960 and retired in 1988. For 18 of those years he owned his own brokerage firm. He was probably the largest gold and silver stockbroker in the world during that period. When he retired he had over 6,000 clients.)
Suckers rally in the markets, Dow will be driven down again, market gyrations motivated by insider greed, bank acquisitions point to a greater agenda, despite what economists and institutions are attempting, the economy will remain in a spiral
In the first three weeks of April this year, insiders for NYSE listed companies sold 8.32 times more stock, by dollar value, than they purchased. What does that tell you? We won’t insult your intelligence by answering. If ever there was an indicator to identify a sucker’s rally, this would be it. This is the ongoing Big Sting Two as strength is created by the PPT for insiders to sell into as our economy collapses under a dollar-busting juggernaut of fiat paper, aka Federal Reserve notes, being monetized at light speed as our President and Congress go on a spending spree that makes the spending habits of a Saudi sheik’s entourage look like those of a group of Welsh penny-pinchers. So much for “beloved” Emperor Obama’s promise to put an end to legislative pork and fiscal profligacy.
By JAMES G. ABOUREZK
(James G. Abourezk is a lawyer practicing in South Dakota. He is a former United States senator and the author of two books.)
Where’s the Justice at the Justice Department?
The big news last week was the defection of Republican Senator Arlen Specter to the Democrats; the bankruptcy filing of the Chrysler Corporation, and finally, the retirement of Justice David Souter from the U.S. Supreme Court.
A much smaller news item competing with these sensational stories was that the U.S. Justice Department announced that it is dropping the espionage charges against two former AIPAC agents. The story was so small that it barely was a blip on the media’s radar, bringing absolutely no comment on the network news and talk shows.
That’s known as clever public relations. Announce the bad news on a day when it won’t be noticed.
Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman had been charged in 2005 with the crime of espionage; specifically, handing over to Israel secret information they had retrieved from Larry Franklin, who was then a policy analyst in the U.S. Defense Department, working for Douglas Feith and for Paul Wolfowitz.
Related article: Lawyers credit Obama team for dismissing AIPAC case
Franklin pleaded guilty to relaying top secret information on Iran to Rosen and Weissman, and was sentenced to 12 years and 7 months in prison, a term he is currently serving.
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Lawyers for the two former AIPAC staffers charged four years ago with dealing in government secrets credited the Obama administration for dropping the case.
“We are extremely grateful that this new Administration, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Virginia, has taken seriously their obligation to evaluate cases on the merits and not to allow an unjust prosecution to continue solely due to momentum,” said the joint statement by lawyers for Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman issued Friday, hours after the government filed for a dismissal of the charges against the two former senior staffers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “This Administration truly shows that theirs is a Department of Justice, where the justice of any case can be re-evaluated and the government can admit that a case should not be pursued.”
Related article: The AIPAC Spy Case
Sources close to the defense said the investigation, which first came to light in 2004 when FBI agents raided AIPAC offices, appeared to be of a piece with the Bush administration policy of expanding its secrecy powers that President Obama has said he will reverse. Rosen and Weissman were the first civilians to be prosecuted under 1917 statute that criminalizes the receipt and retention of classified information.
JTA has learned that the defense lawyers two months ago launched an intensified effort to get Obama appointees at the Justice Department to review the case.