Sunday, February 26, 2012
The official G-20 communique will link the strengthening of Europe's bailout fund as "essential input" into its considerations of bulking up the International Monetary Fund's own lending resources, the person said.
Although the G-20 statement won't incorporate specific amounts officials are targeting for ...
How the Fall of Greece Affects YOU
All We Like Sheep
by Joseph Sobran
January 1, 2004
Once upon a time, my father bought Time magazine every week, as I do now. He paid 20 cents per issue; I’m paying $3.95. In my teens I bought paperback editions of Shakespeare’s plays for 35 cents each; now they cost about five bucks.
I’m no economist; these are just some of my rough indices of how prices have risen in my memory. Things in general now cost ten to twenty times as much as they used to. Don’t even ask about groceries or cars. If prices increased 1000 per cent overnight, we’d notice. Spread over decades, it seems natural. We hardly notice, let alone suspect mischief.
What’s going on? Is America under the sway of an enormous counterfeiting ring? That’s one way to put it. The funny money operation is formally known as the U.S. Government.
The money supply is now managed by the Federal Reserve System, which was created in 1913 and was supposed to protect the dollar from inflation. It obviously hasn’t quite worked out as planned. Or maybe it has, but the public wasn’t let in on the real plan. Somebody must benefit from the constant sapping of the dollar, but don’t look at me.
Originally the “dollar” was more than a piece of paper with some president’s face on it. It was a fixed amount of precious metal. When paper money came in, you could demand, and get, solid gold or silver for it.
Over time, the government took the dollar off the gold standard, meaning that it was now just a piece of paper. Most people were a bit foggy about that anyway, since they were used to paper money and supposed it had some intrinsic value. In fact, its only value now lay in its relative scarcity; it was no longer a promise to pay in precious metals.
All this would have shocked the Framers of the U.S. Constitution, who authorized Congress to “coin” money, not private bankers to “print” the stuff. The eventual decline of the dollar is just what they would have expected when the Constitution’s prescription was abandoned, which amounts to counterfeiting dollars with the permission and encouragement of the government itself.
Our forebears would have seen this as a moral issue – a government conniving in the defrauding of its own citizens. But we accept it, take it for granted, don’t get riled up, any more than sheep get indignant about being sheared.
The chief business of the U.S. Government today is fleecing us – through taxes, spending, creating debt, and ensuring that we’re paid in shrinking dollars. It may look like a conspiracy, but I’m inclined to think it’s just the aggregate result of the doings of men who are at once powerful and weak, venal and short-sighted, taking the path of least resistance for men in their position.
And if the public puts up with it, why not? Are your grandchildren going to be furious at having to pay off huge debts bequeathed to them? Probably no more furious than you are about the national debt you’ve been paying off all your adult life.
I can’t really get angry about it myself, even though I sense what’s happening to us every time I notice another price increase. I almost admire the people who do make a fuss about it, but there are so few of them that they sound crazy, like Ezra Pound ranting about “international financiers.”
No, it’s hard to make a melodrama out of a slow process. The government is less like a bank robber who storms in with ski mask and pistol than like a timid little bank clerk who quietly, over the years, embezzles a large fortune without setting off alarms or getting caught.
That timid clerk may look like nobody’s idea of a criminal, but he may be an all-the-more-effective enemy to trusting people just because they’d never suspect him of breaking the law. Why, they assume he shares their concern about the general moral deterioration of society! Crime has no better mask than outward respectability. And a man who sticks up a bank for $50 is more noticeable than a man who embezzles a million bucks over many years, while carefully fixing the books.
So when the government tells us it’s protecting us from the world’s most ruthless criminals, we ought to wonder if perhaps we need to be protected from criminals a little closer to home. The chances of your being harmed by terrorists are mathematically minute. The chance of your being robbed by your own government? That’s easy: 100 per cent.
Sobran's Reactionary Utopian archives. Watch Sobran's last TV appearance on YouTube. Learn how to get a tape of his last speech during the FGF Tribute to Joe Sobran in December 2009. To subscribe to or renew the FGF E-Package, or support the writings of Joe Sobran, please send a tax-deductible donation to the: Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, P.O. Box 1383, Vienna, VA 22183 or subscribe online.
Copyright (c) 2004 Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation
Pay It Down
You’ve probably heard about “paying it forward” and of course, we all know about paying it back. But what about paying it down?
Debt, I mean.
Sit in traffic and look around. Probably no more than 20 or 30 percent of the cars around you are paid-for. People routinely buy more car than they can really afford via the seductive mechanism of debt-financing. It is the keystone of our economic life – which is arguably why our economic health is pretty poor.
Debt allows artificially rapid progress – sort of like shooting some nitrous oxide into a car’s engine. It will go much faster than it otherwise would, but the catch is – not for long. It is not sustainable. When the nitrous (or the creative financing) runs out, there is a severe and sudden slowdown – kind of like what we’ve been experiencing these past few years.
With debt-financing, people can “afford” a car with six air bags, more computing power than the Apollo 11 rocket, with 17 inch wheels and 300 hp, swathed in leather and fitted with the finest 12 speaker stereo. Well, they can drive it around for awhile – so long as they can keep up with the payments.
Which amounts to an economic sword of Damocles hanging over the head of the debtor – who probably also has mortgage debt and credit card debt and some other debts on top of that. Multiple that by 300 million and you have a picture of the American economic system as it currently exists.
That’s bad – but worse is the way debt-financing hides the cost of government from the average person. Consider vehicles. It is no coincidence that the pile-on of government mandates that started small in the late 1960s with seat belt requirements and a few basic emissions controls that rapidly upticked to increasingly global requirements that began to necessitate the wholesale redesign of entire systems, then entire cars, during the ’70s and ’80s and right through to now tracks exactly with the rise in debt-financed vehicle “purchases” and also the ever-increasing length of the payment plan.
Three years has become five years – even six years.
And as every sharpie salesman knows, extending the loan decreases the monthly payment – creating the illusion of affordability. Innumerate people think if they’re paying “only” $250 a month for six years they are doing so much better than their neighbor who pays $340 a month for three years.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
» Fox Edits Anti-war Veteran’s Confrontation with Neocon John Bolton Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
1. Depress Interest Income: Interest rates have been held unnaturally low (by the Fed) for a very, very long time. Thus any money that senior citizens have in safe places like savings accounts, money market funds, and even most bonds, earns very, very little interest—between 0.3% and 2%.
2. Draining Remaining Social Security Funds: In his desire to show some economic growth and “buy votes” Obama created the “Payroll Tax Holiday,” which was supposed to be for a short time—like 6 months—because reducing the employee’s portion of payroll taxes by 2% takes that money directly out of what is used to fund Social Security. And now he has “gallantly” decided to do it again—for a year this time. This further drains a Social Security System which the president has refused to “fix and fund,” and continues to ignore as it becomes more and more insolvent.
But that’s not all. There’s more. Of course these are all part of the President’s grand plan to keep the (lukewarm) recovery going artificially until he can be reelected to a second term.
3. Dry Up Dividends, Gut Capital Gains: Obama’s latest tax proposal includes doubling the tax rate on dividends and capital gains, which is his way of paying for the irresponsible spending that is creating $5 trillion in deficits just four years. Every year Obama has been in office spending has exceeded revenue by more than a trillion dollars. The only way to over that is with tax increases, and while he talks about taxing the rich—a part of the taxes involved doubling the tax rate on dividends and capital gains. These two of the primary sources of retirement income for seniors, will be taxed more heavily and thus less desirable for companies to pay dividends.
4. New Taxes Hidden in Obamacare: There are hidden surprises in Obamacare—the massive health care bill that was supposed to fix everything—but doesn’t. The most notable one is a 3.8% tax on “unearned income,” which includes dividends, interest, and proceeds from the sale of a home (which many seniors are downsizing, and would use as a source of assets for retirement income.
5. Reduced Funding in Medicare and Rationing Health Care: This one might help seniors by shortening the time they’d have to endure the others, because part of the economic justification of Obamacare was to cut Medicare benefits by $500 billion over a period of years. How? By rationing health care—and refusing to pay for medical expenses incurred by people whose lives were nearing the end anyway. Medicare is already insolvent, and President Obama has not done anything to try fixing it—except take more money away from it.
U.S. Stocks Rally as S&P 500 Climbs to Highest Level Since 2008
By Lu Wang
Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks rose this week, driving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to the highest level since 2008, after Greece got a bailout and better-than-expected data boosted confidence in the world’s largest economy.
Energy companies surged 1.9 percent, the most among 10 S&P 500 industries, as crude oil futures exceeded $109 a barrel. Sears Holdings Corp. rallied 25 percent, the most in the S&P 500, after announcing real estate sales and a rights offering. Technology companies in the stock index advanced an eighth straight week even as Hewlett-Packard Co. tumbled 10 percent. Procter & Gamble Co. added 2.8 percent after saying it will cut 5,700 jobs.
The S&P 500 added 0.3 percent to 1,365.74, the seventh gain in the past eight weeks. It exceeded last year’s high of 1,363.61 as a 24 percent rally since October restored $3.2 trillion to American equity values. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 33.08 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,982.95. The measure exceeded 13,000 for the first time since 2008.
“You’re seeing a whiz of optimism mainly because of a lack of negative news out of Europe and moderate growth in the U.S.,” Matt McCormick, who helps oversee about $5.1 billion at Bahl & Gaynor Inc. in Cincinnati, said in a phone interview. “This trend will continue until either of these two variables change.”
European finance ministers this week approved 130 billion euros ($175 billion) in aid for Greece by tapping into European Central Bank profits and coaxing investors into providing more debt relief to shield the region from a default. In the U.S., data showed applications for jobless benefits stayed at the lowest level since 2008, consumer confidence rose to a one-year high and purchases of new homes exceeded economists’ forecasts.
No 1% Losses
The S&P 500 has gone without losing 1 percent for 39 consecutive days, the longest streak since the 40 days through May 9, 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While the gauge surpassed last year’s peak set on April 29, its price- earnings ratio is 9 percent cheaper than it was then as profit growth outpaced stock prices.
Earnings topped analysts’ estimates at 68 percent of the 440 companies in the index that released results since Jan. 9. The S&P 500 trades at 14 times reported earnings, compared with a high of 15.4 in April and the average since 1954 of 16.4 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The lower valuation reflects lingering concern among investors over Europe’s debt crisis, according to Jeff Sica, who oversees $1 billion of assets as president of SICA Wealth Management in Morristown, New Jersey.
‘Quick to Sell’
FBI Agents Pretended to Be al-Qaeda, Made Fake Suicide Vest
The FBI has uncovered another FBI-created terrorist plot in the DC Area today, this time ending with the arrest of an unnamed Moroccan-American in his 30′s, apparently the only non-FBI agent in the entire scheme.
The FBI says the operation was a “lengthy and extensive” one, and their agents pretended to be members of al-Qaeda, furnishing the arrested man with a phony suicide vest they had created and told him to attack Capitol Hill with it.
After receiving the FBI-created non-explosive vest, the man went to a local mosque to pray, and was arrested shortly thereafter on Constitution Avenue, not far from the Capitol building.
The FBI insisted that Congressmen were never in any danger from the manufactured plot, assuring everyone that it was “all very controlled.” Arrests in such “attacks” are fairly common. The FBI approaching someone, usually after an offhand comment made on Facebook, and then giving them fake explosives before arresting them, seems to be standard operating procedure.
Silencing The Critics
In 2010 the FBI invaded the homes of peace activists in several states and seized personal possessions in what the FBI–the lead orchestrator of fake “terrorist plots”–called an investigation of “activities concerning the material support of terrorism.”
Subpoenas were issued to compel antiwar protestors to testify before grand juries as prosecutors set about building their case that opposing Washington’s wars of aggression constitutes giving aid and comfort to terrorists. The purpose of the raids and grand jury subpoenas was to chill the anti-war movement into inaction.
Last week in one fell swoop the last two remaining critics of Washington/Tel Aviv imperialism were removed from the mainstream media. Judge Napolitano’s popular program, Freedom Watch, was cancelled by Fox TV, and Pat Buchanan was fired by MSNBC. Both pundits had wide followings and were appreciated for speaking frankly.
Many suspect that the Israel Lobby used its clout with TV advertisers to silence critics of the Israeli government’s efforts to lead Washington to war with Iran. Regardless, the point before us is that the voice of the mainstream media is now uniform. Americans hear one voice, one message, and the message is propaganda. Dissent is tolerated only on such issues as to whether employer-paid health benefits should pay for contraceptive devices. Constitutional rights have been replaced with rights to free condoms.
The western media demonizes those at whom Washington points a finger. The lies pour forth to justify Washington’s naked aggression: the Taliban are conflated with al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, Gaddafi is a terrorist and, even worse, fortified his troops with Viagra in order to commit mass rape against Libyan women.
President Obama and members of Congress along with Tel Aviv continue to assert that Iran is making a nuclear weapon despite public contradiction by the US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and the CIA’s National Intelligence Estimate. According to news reports, Pentagon chief Leon Panetta told members of the House of Representatives on February 16 that “Tehran has not made a decision to proceed with developing a nuclear weapon.” http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_19978801?source=rss However, in Washington facts don’t count. Only the material interests of powerful interest groups matter.
At the moment the american Ministry of Truth is splitting its time between lying about Iran and lying about Syria. Recently, there were some explosions in far away Thailand, and the explosions were blamed on Iran. Last October the FBI announced that the bureau had uncovered an Iranian plot to pay a used car salesman to hire a Mexican drug gang to kill the Saudi Ambassador to the US. The White House idiot professed to believe the unbelievable plot and declared that he had “strong evidence,” but no evidence was ever released. The purpose for announcing the non-existent plot was to justify Obama’s sanctions, which amount to an embargo–an act of war–against Iran for developing nuclear energy.
As a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty, Iran has the right to develop nuclear energy. IAEA inspectors are permanently in Iran and report no diversion of nuclear material to a weapons program.
In other words, according to the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the US National Intelligence Estimate, and the current Secretary of Defense, there is no evidence that Iran has nukes or is making nukes. Yet, Obama has placed illegal sanctions on Iran and continues to threaten Iran with military attack on the basis of an accusation that is contradicted by all known evidence.
How can such a thing happen? It can happen because there is no Helen Thomas, who also was eliminated by the Israel Lobby, to question, as a member of the White House press, President Obama why he placed war-like sanctions on Iran when his own CIA and his own Secretary of Defense, along with the IAEA, report that there is no basis for the sanctions.
The idea that the US is a democracy when it most definitely does not have a free watchdog press is laughable. But the media is not laughing. It is lying. Just like the government, every time the US mainstream media opens its mouth or writes one word, it is lying. Indeed, its corporate masters pay its employees to tell lies. That is their job. Tell the truth, and you are history like Buchanan and Napolitano and Helen Thomas.
What the Ministry of Truth calls “peaceful protesters brutalized by Assad’s military” are in fact rebels armed and financed by Washington. Washington has fomented a civil war. Washington claims its intention is to rescue the oppressed and abused Syrian people from Assad, just as Washington rescued the oppressed and abused Libyan people from Gaddafi. Today “liberated” Libya is a shell of its former self terrorized by clashing militias. Thanks to Obama, another country has been destroyed.
Reports of atrocities committed against Syrian civilians by the military could be true, but the reports come from the rebels who desire Western intervention to put them into power. Moreover, how would these civilian casualties differ from the ones inflicted on Bahraini civilians by the US supported Bahraini government, the military of which was fortified by Saudi Arabian troops? There is no outcry in the western press about Washington’s blind eye to civilian atrocities committed by its puppet states.
How do the Syrian atrocities, if they are real, differ from Washington’s atrocities in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo prison, and secret CIA prison sites? Why is the american Ministry of Truth silent about these massive, unprecedented, violations of human rights?
Remember also the reports of Serbian atrocities in Kosovo that Washington and Germany used to justify NATO and US bombing of Serbian civilians, including the Chinese consulate, dismissed as another collateral damage. Now 13 years later, a prominent German TV program has revealed that the photographs that ignited the atrocity campaign were grossly misrepresented and were not photographs of atrocities committed by Serbs, but of Albanian separatists killed in a firefight between armed Albanians and Serbians. Serbian casualties were not shown. http://www.freenations.freeuk.com/news-2012-02-19.html
The problem that truth faces is that the western media continually lies. On the rare instances when the lies are corrected, it is always long after the event and, therefore, the crimes enabled by the media have been accomplished.
Washington set its puppet Arab League upon Syria in order to establish Syria’s isolation among its own kind, the better to attack Syria. Assad forestalled Washington’s set-up of Syria for destruction by calling a nationwide referendum on February 26 to establish a new constitution that would extend the prospect of rule beyond the Ba’athists (Assad’s party).
One might think that, if Washington and its Ministry of Truth really wanted democracy in Syria, Washington would get behind this gesture of good will by the ruling party and endorse the referendum. But Washington does not want a democratic Syrian government. Washington wants a puppet state. Washington’s response is that the dastardly Assad has outwitted Washington by taking steps toward Syrian democracy before Washington can obliterate Syria and install a puppet.
Here is Obama’s response to Assad’s move toward democracy: “It’s actually quite laughable–it makes a mockery of the Syrian revolution,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One.
Obama, the neoconservatives, and Tel Aviv are really pissed. If Washington and Tel Aviv can figure out how to get around Russia and China and overthrow Assad, Washington and Tel Aviv will put Assad on trial as a war criminal for proposing a democratic referendum.
Assad was an eye doctor in England until his father died, and he was called back to head the troubled government. Washington and Tel Aviv have demonized Assad for refusing to be their puppet. Another sore point is the Russian naval base at Tartus. Washington is desperate to evict the Russians from their only Mediterranean base in order to make the Mediterranean an american lake. Washington, inculcated with neocon visions of world empire, wants its own mare nostrum.
If the Soviet Union were still extant, Washington’s designs on Tartus would be suicidal. However, Russia is politically and militarily weaker than the Soviet Union. Washington has infiltrated Russia with NGOs that work against Russia’s interests and will disrupt the upcoming elections. Moreover, Washington-funded “color revolutions” have turned former constituent parts of the Soviet Union into Washington’s puppet states. Shorn of communist ideology, Washington does not expect Russia to push the nuclear button. Thus, Russia is there for the taking.
China is a more difficult problem. Washington’s plan is to cut China off from independent sources of energy. China’s oil investment in eastern Libya is the reason
Gaddafi was overthrown, and oil is one of the main reasons that Washington has targeted Iran. China has large oil investments in Iran and gets 20% of its oil from Iran. Closing down Iran, or converting it into Washington’s puppet state, closes down 20% of the Chinese economy.
Russia and China are slow learners. However, when Washington and its NATO puppets abused the “no-fly” UN resolution concerning Libya and violated the UN resolution by turning it into armed military aggression against Libya’s armed forces, which had every right to put down a CIA sponsored rebellion, Russia and China finally got the message that Washington could not be trusted.
This time Russia and China did not fall into Washington’s trap. They vetoed the UN Security Council’s set-up of Syria for military attack. Now Washington and Tel Aviv (it is not always clear which is the puppet and which is the puppet master) have to decide whether to proceed in the face of Russian and Chinese opposition.
The risks for Washington have multiplied. If Washington proceeds, the information that is conveyed to Russia and China is that they are next in line after Iran. Therefore, Russia and China, both being well-armed with nuclear weapons, are likely to put their foot down more firmly at the line drawn over Iran. If the crazed warmongers in Washington and Tel Aviv, with veins running strong with hubris and arrogance, again override Russian and Chinese opposition, the risk of a dangerous confrontation rises.
Why isn’t the american media raising questions about these risks? Is it worth blowing up the world in order to stop Iran from having a nuclear energy program or even a nuclear weapon? Does Washington think China is unaware that Washington is taking aim at its energy supply? Does Washington think Russia is unaware that it is being encircled by hostile military bases?
Whose interests are being served by Washington’s endless and multi-trillion dollar wars? Certainly not the interests of the 50 million americans with no access to health care, nor the 1,500,000 american children who are homeless, living in cars, rundown motel rooms, tent cities, and the storm sewers under Las Vegas, while huge amounts of public funds are used to bail out banks and squandered in wars of hegemony. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suJCvkazrTc
The US has no independent print and TV media. It has presstitutes who are paid for the lies that they tell. The US government in its pursuit of its immoral aims has attained the status of the most corrupt government in human history. Yet Obama speaks as if Washington is the font of human morality.
The US government does not represent americans. It represents a few special interests and a foreign power. US citizens simply don’t count, and certainly Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, Somalians, Yemenis, and Pakistanis don’t count. Washington regards truth, justice, and mercy as laughable values. Money, power, hegemony are all that count for Washington, the city upon the hill, the light unto nations, the example for the world.
Alleged death of two Western journalists in Syria used to dance around UNSC veto.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
You are an embattled nation with the entire world watching. Your allies Russia and China just made a major decision at the UN Security Council in your favor with much of their reputation and future at stake. Western propagandists have been relentlessly making up news stories regarding your nation no matter what you do, for nearly a year, starting with “Gay Girl in Damascus” who Syrian activists insisted was still real even after doubts began to surface, and leading up to daily reports from “activists say” coming out of London, England.
Your choices: continue a campaign to restore order in Homs which is admittedly overrun by cross-border militants and foreign terrorists operating with NATO support and arms, fighting under the banner of the “Free Syrian Army.” Or, spend your time instead purposefully killing women and children in front of British and French journalists before plotting over easily-intercepted radios their spectacular deaths in front of a watching world?
Quite clearly there is something wrong with this narrative being given to us by the West, who have established themselves by a comfortable margin as serial liars. Iraq lost a million sons and daughters to these lies. Libya likewise was portrayed as a nation “massacring civilians” when it is now clear these “civilians” were US State Department-listed terrorists of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group who are now conducting nationwide murder sprees.
Reading any report out of the corporate-media, we find Syria’s campaign against admittedly armed rebels paradoxically referred to as a “massacre,” and an almost palpable fervor to justify circumventing the latest UNSC resolution veto. As news comes out of the death of two foreign journalists in Homs, Remi Ochlik and Marie Colvin who sneaked into Syria and were operating there illegally to begin with, Western leaders are unanimously calling this the “breaking point.” France’s Nicolas Sarkozy even stated, “that’s enough now, this regime must go and there is no reason that Syrians don’t have the right to live their lives and choose their destiny freely.”
One wonders where Sarkozy’s moral fortitude was when in January, while covering a pro-Assad rally in Homs, French journalist Gilles Jacquier was killed in a rebel attack. Unbelievably, not only does this contradict the news we’ve been told all along of Assad persecuting a brutal campaign against peaceful protesters, but while the attack was condemned by France, it was the Syrian government who was blamed for not protecting their journalists from armed thugs. Where were the calls for the rebels to lay down their arms? Where was the cessation of political support for the “Free Syrian Army?” Where was the decision by NATO to discontinue their support for rebels who had now murdered a Western journalist?
Clearly, reason is not driving Western foreign policy, rather a search for a convenient “casus belli” to serve where their “responsibility to protect” doctrine has failed. We will not know what really happened in Syria this week regarding the two journalists allegedly killed there, so long as “activists say” is attached to each claim made about the events.
What we do know is that the West has long ago predetermined that regime change will occur in Syria, and that they will do anything necessary, at any cost to achieve it.
February 19, 2012
You may be exposing yourself to toxic cancer-causing bisphenol A (BPA) on a daily basis if you’re handling receipts from a variety of stores. While this has been known for quite some time, lawmakers in Illonois are now moving to ban the health threatening BPA. If legislators fully act and require stores to halt the usage of BPA-laced receipts, it could lead to nationwide changes being made in the fight against BPA contamination.
Introduced by State Rep. Karen May, the Illonois legislation is actually long overdue. It has been known for years that BPA can cause diabetes, artery hardening, and even infertility! Representative May explains that BPA on paper receipts are particularly of concern due to the fact that the BPA content of the receipts can actually rub off on your fingers. After rubbing off on your fingers, the BPA will go through your skin and enter your body. Hand washing is also virtually ineffective at removing it. For cashiers and customers alike, this is very concerning.
“It’s especially important because it rubs off on your fingers,” May says. “It’s a class of chemicals called endocrine disrupters, and they really do nasty things to our body.”
The legislation is a step in the right direction, as BPA is heavily ubiquitous among the food supply. Present in everything from canned goods to global currencies, this toxic chemical has been allowed by regulators to enter the food supply and now legislators must move to solve this issue.
Until this legislation is carried across the United States and elsewhere, natural solutions do exist to rid your body of BPA and reverse many of the harmful effects. I encourage you to read an article I wrote back in 2011 entitled The BPA Solution, which outlines how a total of 13 completely natural and health-promoting substances can help restore your body to optimal health and fight back against BPA toxicity.
Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/lawmakers-move-to-ban-bpa-in-receipts/#ixzz1nQEVPE1S
Russia: Israeli attack on Iran would be catastrophe
By IDF spokesperson
Russia warned Israel not to attack Iran over its nuclear program, saying on Wednesday that military action would have catastrophic consequences.
"Of course any possible military scenario against Iran will be catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said.
"Therefore I hope Israel understands all these consequences ... and they should also consider the consequences of such action for themselves," Gatilov said at a news conference.
Gatilov's comments came as Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that Tehran's nuclear course would not change regardless of international sanctions, assassinations or other pressures.
"With God's help, and without paying attention to propaganda, Iran's nuclear course should continue firmly and seriously ... Pressures, sanctions and assassinations will bear no fruit. No obstacles can stop Iran's nuclear work."
Khamenei was speaking on state television shortly after the UN nuclear watchdog declared a collapse in talks with Iran aimed at getting it to address suspicions that it is covertly seeking nuclear weapons capability.
The Islamic Republic denies this, saying its program to enrich uranium for nuclear fuel is for peaceful energy only.
But Iran's refusal to curb sensitive atomic activities with both civilian and military purposes, and its track record of secrecy and restricting UN inspections, have drawn increasingly harsh UN and separate US and European sanctions, now targeting its economically vital oil exports.
Several Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in bombings over the past two years, attacks that Tehran has blamed on arch-adversary Israel. The Jewish state has not commented.
The United States and Israel have not ruled out resorting to military action against Iran if they conclude that diplomacy and sanctions will not stop it from developing a nuclear warhead.
Veterans, Active Military march in D.C. for Ron Paul
Washington, February 20th , 2012- Over 1000 active duty military and veterans gathered in D.C. today for the ‘Ron Paul is the choice of the troops’ march at the Washington Monuments Sylvan Theater.
Led by activist and Marine veteran Adam Kokesh, the rally was formulated on the underpublicized, but impressive statistic that Congressman Ron Paul has more campaign contributions from active duty military then all other candidates (including President Obama) combined. This overwhelming support is based on Paul’s constitutional non interventionist foreign policy standards, in which troops and supporters strongly feel he would uphold if he was elected into the office of Commander in Chief.
March to the White House
The rally then turned into a march in formation to the White House with the chant ‘President Paul,’ along with ‘Ron Paul for President’ and ‘Ron Paul Revolution’ banners interspersed amongst the participants.
The procession stopped in front of the White House to honor fallen soldiers, and a special prolonged salute held to honor those soldiers who have committed suicide under President Obama’s tenure as Commander in Chief- pointing out his hand in prolonging the “unjust and unnecessary wars” costing soldiers their lives in the line of duty, or by their own hand.
The march then proceeded back to the Washington Monument and was followed in the evening by a reception and entertainment.
For more information on Adam Kokesh, click here.
February 22, 2012
In a secret program that is now admitted to be true, the United States government injected unknowing human ‘participants’ with highly toxic plutonium. It sounds like a bizarre torture scenario that you’d expect to see blamed on illegal terror organizations, but the individuals behind this crime are actually doctors working for the United States government. Disregarding the health of innocent citizens, the government testers were eager to see how unknowing participants suffered as a result of secret plutonium injection.
It began in 1945, when an employee at the Oak Ridge Nuclear Facility was in a car accident. Ebb Cade survived, but was taken in as a human participant in a disturbing study he did not consent to. It is important to note that this man was a fifty-three-year-old African American, as previous government trials have singled out African Americans and other minorities. The racist sterilization programs occurred between 1929 to 1974 under an admitted eugenics programs that officials claimed were ‘creating a better society’. Most victims were poor, black women who were ‘deemed unfit to be parents’. Individuals as young as 10 were sterilized simply for not getting along with schoolmates or being promiscuous, and many parents were misled into sterilizing their children.
Ebb Cade was taken and bound to a bed with a broken arm and leg, where doctors interviewed him regarding his current state of health. After determining he was in a state of proper health, doctors secretly injected him with 4.7 micrograms of plutonium on Aptil 10th. It is still unknown who exactly ordered the program within the U.S. government, as they have managed to disassociate themselves with the entire nefarious program. At the time of the injection, scientists were perfectly aware of the negative effects associated with radiation. With cancers and radiation sickness on the rise, these scientists knew exactly what they were doing — examining the effects of plutonium isotopes on living beings.
Prior to the tests on Cade, the scientists injected animals with plutonium and noted the severe adverse effects. In some cases, animals were even fed radioactive waste. In fact, one scientist received a face full of gas and required his stomach to be pumped along with a full face scrub in an attempt to eliminate the threat. The scientists made sure that they were given the full treatment after the exposure. Meanwhile, they were injecting individuals with plutonium.
Scientists took excretions from Cade over the next five days to see how much plutonium retained in his body. They also refused to set his broken bones until April 15th, and cut samples from the bone before doing so to examine the plutonium content in his bone tissue. Fifteen of his teeth were pulled for testing. After all of this, they never informed Cade what they were doing. One nurse said that the tortured Cade escaped in the middle of the night, and he was later found to die in 1953 of heart failure.
Sadly, Cade was not the last test experiment.
Three human experiments followed, all cancer patients seeking treatment. Instead of treatment, the patients were injected with deadly plutonium in order for government scientists to see the effects. A man in his sixties with lung cancer, a woman in her fifties with breast cancer, and a “young man” with Hodgkin’s lymphoma were all given the poison. Conveniently, the third patient’s records are not available. He was injected with fifteen times more than any other individual, at 95 micrograms.
What followed is further widespread testing. The University of Rochester joined the program, injecting patients with not only plutonium but radioactive isotopes like polonium and uranium. Other institutions like the University of California soon followed suit.
Perhaps most concerning is the fact that this disgusting disregard for human health is not an isolated incident. The Tuskegee syphilis experiment is but one example of secret government human experiments that have run rampant throughout recent history. Taking place between 1932 and 1972, Tuskegee, Alabama, the U.S. Public Health Service knowingly infected poor black men with syphillus in order to test the effects. These men thought that they were receiving free healthcare by the U.S. government.
The list goes on, targeting minorities and the disabled in particular. From forced sterilizations to incognito injections, there is a lengthy history of government testing that shows the blatant disregard for your health by the United States government and elsewhere. With this in mind, is it any wonder why the FDA keeps toxic substances like mercury unregulated among the food supply?
Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/us-government-program-secretly-injected-plutonium-uranium/#ixzz1nQBn2v9k
Europe's banks bleed from Greek debt crisis
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- RPT-UPDATE 2-Commerzbank sees euro zone debt pressure continuingThu, Feb 23 2012
- UPDATE 3-Credit Agricole posts record 3 bln euro quarterly lossThu, Feb 23 2012
- French and Benelux stocks-Factors to watch on Feb 23Thu, Feb 23 2012
- Greece pores over bailout laws amid protestsWed, Feb 22 2012
- Fitch downgrades Greece on debt swap planWed, Feb 22 2012
By Steve Slater and Lionel Laurent
LONDON/PARIS | Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:58am EST
(Reuters) - The scars of Greece's debt crisis were laid bare in heavy losses from a string of European banks on Thursday, and bosses warned the region's precarious finances would continue to threaten economic growth and earnings.
From France to Germany, Britain to Belgium, four of the region's biggest banks lined up to reveal they lost more than 8 billion euros last year from their Greek bonds holdings.
"We are in the worst economic crisis since 1929," Credit Agricole chief executive Jean-Paul Chifflet said.
Credit Agricole reported a record quarterly net loss of 3.07 billion euros ($4.1 billion), performing worse than expected from the cost of shrinking its balance sheet and after a 220 million euro charge on its Greek debt. For 2011 as a whole, the bank took a hit of 1.3 billion euros on its Greek debt.
"We think 2012 is going to still be a tense period," Chifflet said, adding: "We're hoping that our results will be largely better than in 2011."
Europe's banks have already written down billions of euros from losses on Greek government bonds and loans, and a deal agreed this week with its creditors will inflict losses of 74 percent on bondholders.
"We can't say that the writedowns are over," said Franklin Pichard, director at Barclays France. "Even if some can say that the worst is over, we are only at a new stage in terms of provisioning and not necessarily at the end."
That is because, despite the bond swap deal, bondholders could suffer further hits if Greece's economy fails to recover.
Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland has marked its Greek bonds at a 79 percent loss - or 1.1 billion pounds - for 2011. The state-owned bank posted a fourth quarter loss of nearly 2 billion pounds on Thursday.
Markets were nevertheless pleased at RBS's efforts to turn itself around. Its shares climbed 3.2 percent by 1550 GMT compared with a 4.8 percent fall for Credit Agricole and a 6.7 percent loss for Commerzbank. The STOXX Europe 600 bank index was down 1 percent.
Problems in Europe's banking sector are far wider than Greece.
"We have reduced the balance sheet of RBS by over 700 billion pounds of assets. That is roughly twice the size of the entire national debt of Greece," said RBS boss Stephen Hester.
The region's banks are still repairing the damage of the financial crisis and shrinking their assets. They must also find 115 billion euros by the middle of this year to shore up their balance sheets against future shocks. But any weakening in the economy will hit earnings and make that harder to achieve.
Germany's Commerzbank, whose fourth-quarter earnings were spoiled by a 942 million euro hit on Greek sovereign debt and on interest rate derivatives used to hedge it, needs to find 5.3 billion euros to meet the stringent new capital requirements set by Europe's banking regulator. For the whole of 2011, it lost over 2 billion euros on its Greek bonds.
Commerzbank said it could reduce some of its shortfall by shedding risky assets, though the debt crisis still had the potential to disrupt earnings.
"The high degree of uncertainty associated with the European sovereign debt crisis will ... continue to pose challenges for us," Chief Executive Martin Blessing said.
Commerzbank has prepared an emergency plan in case of a Greek default and a break-up of the euro zone, and while Blessing said he did not expect such a break-up, cautioned: "It would be unwise to assume there is a 100 percent likelihood the euro zone will prevail."
The bank had little option but to take part in the Greek debt swap deal, he said: "The voluntariness (of the Greek debt swap) is about as voluntary as a confession at a Spanish inquisition trial."
STILL ROOM FOR A BONUS
European governments are hoping to avoid more state bailouts to prop up the banking sector, and to limit the fallout should any bank collapse.
Bailed out Franco-Belgian bank Dexia warned on Thursday it risked going out of business. It suffered a 2011 net loss of 11.6 billion euros, hit by its break-up and exposure to Greek debt and other toxic assets such as U.S. mortgage-backed securities.
Dexia, which accepted a state-led break-up and the nationalization of its Belgian banking arm in October and is now little more than a holding of bonds in run off, booked a 3.4 billion euro loss on its holding of Greek sovereign bonds.
French investment bank Natixis, rescued from near-collapse during the 2008 financial crisis by a government-backed merger of its retail cooperative parents, reported a milder-than-expected 32 percent decline in quarterly profits.
Despite the weak results, banks still found room for bonuses.
RBS, 82 percent owned by the British government, paid out almost 1 billion pounds in bonuses to staff in 2011. Credit Agricole said it would cut trader bonuses by 20 percent.
RBS boss Hester said the row in Britain over pay at the bank was damaging. Payouts at RBS have been a sore point for many Britons, who remain angered by the fact bankers have continued to pay themselves large rewards while elsewhere thousands lose their jobs as the global economy weakens.
"The noise around RBS is damaging to the prospect of achieving the goals everyone needs of it," Hester told reporters. "So far in the last three years we have overcome that noise and we will try to keep doing that, but no-one should be under any illusions that you can't have your cake and eat it."
(Writing by Jodie Ginsberg; Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta in London, Matthieu Protard and Christian Plumb in Paris, Arno Schuetze, Edward Taylor and Andreas Kroner in Frankfurt; Editing by Will Waterman and Mark Potter)
Government Chooses Monsanto's Financial Interest Over Public Safety
February 24, 2012
Despite being created to protect the public, government organizations like the FDA and the USDA are continually bowing down to biotech giant Monsanto through loose regulations and inadequate review processes. Beyond denying consumers the right to know if their products contain GMO ingredients, these organizations have taken it a step further and are now compromising public safety in favor of enabling Monsanto's profits to surge. In the latest move by the USDA, Monsanto's GMO crops are set to receive ‘speedier regulatory reviews’. With the faster reviews, there will be even less time spent on evaluating potential dangers.
In response to why the current review process is longer than the USDA would like (about 3 years), the USDA said it was due to ‘public interest, legal challenges, and the challenges associated with the advent of national organic food standards‘. The USDA is openly stating that it is struggling against public opinion. In other words, they are 'challenged' with the protest of the very citizens that the organization was created to protect. While the public cries out for GMO labeling and a halt to the modification process as a whole, the USDA completely ignores public interest and, instead, describes it as a 'challenge' in shortening the review process for Monsanto's latest GMO invention.
Steve Censky, chief executive officer of the American Soybean Association, states it quite plainly. This is a move to help Monsanto and other biotechnology giants squash competition and make profits. “It is a concern from a competition standpoint,” Censky said in a telephone interview.
The same statements are reiterated by analyst Jeff Windau in an interview with Bloomberg: “If you can reduce the approval time, you get sales that much faster,” said Windau. And it is all about profits and political play.
In another move by the USDA to secure a financial future for genetically modified foods and Monsanto alike, the agency approved Monsanto's new GMO corn despite 45,000 comments in opposition. The ‘drought tolerant’ genetically engineered corn was passed despite nearly 45,000 public comments voicing opposition and only 23 comments in favor since comments opened.
The USDA continues to grant Monsanto further power while ignoring evidence linking Monsanto’s creations to health problems and environmental devastation. In a review of 19 studies analyzing the dangers of GMO crops such as corn and soybeans, researchers found that that consumption of GMO corn or soybeans may lead to significant organ disruptions in tested animals – particularly in the liver and kidneys.
On the environmental front, farms across the world are experiencing the emergence of herbicide-resistant superweeds, thanks to a Monsanto product called Roundup.
It is clear that the USDA and the FDA alike have chosen Monsanto and other biotechnology corporations over the public health of American citizens.
Is it any surprise that the FDA's food safety czar is directly connected to Monsanto?