There is no plant on Earth more condemned than marijuana. We’re talking about a living organism which governments have taken upon themselves to designate as an illegal substance. Despite no existing evidence of anyone ever dying of a marijuana overdose, possession of this plant is still illegal in many parts. Marijuana has been found to suppress cancer, reduce blood pressure, treat glaucoma, alleviate pain and even inhibit HIV. It is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective. Can you understand more now why it’s illegal?
No Independent Study Has Ever Linked Marijuana To Psychosocial Problems
Cannabis is one of the most powerful healing plants on the planet. Dozens of studies have made pseudoscientific attempts to indicate that young people who use cannabis tend to experience psychological, social problems and mental decline. However, there is no evidence that marijuana use is directly linked with such problems, according to the results of a study published in The Lancet.
“Currently, there is no strong evidence that use of cannabis of itself causes psychological or social problems,” such as mental illness or school failure, lead study author Dr. John Macleod of the University of Birmingham in the UK told Reuters Health.
“There is a great deal of evidence that cannabis use is associated with these things, but this association could have several explanations,” he said, citing factors such as adversity in early life, which may itself be associated with cannabis use and psychosocial problems.
Macleod and his team reviewed 48 long-term studies, 16 of which provided the highest quality information about the association between illicit drug use reported by people 25 years old or younger and later psychological or social problems. Most of the drug-specific results involved cannabis use.
Cannabis use was not consistently associated with violent or antisocial behavior, or with psychological problems.
In another study, Scientists from King’s College, London, found occasional pot use could actually improve concentration levels.
The study, carried in the American Journal of Epidemiology, tested the mental function and memory of nearly 9,000 Britons at age 50 and found that those who had used illegal drugs as recently as in their 40s did just as well, or slightly better, on the tests than peers who had never used drugs.
‘Overall, at the population level, the results seem to suggest that past or even current illicit drug use is not necessarily associated with impaired cognitive functioning in early middle age,’ said lead researcher Dr Alex Dregan.
Dr Dregan’s team used data on 8,992 42-year-olds participating in a UK national health study, who were asked if they had ever used any of 12 illegal drugs. Then, at the age of 50, they took standard tests of memory, attention and other cognitive abilities.
Overall, the study found, there was no evidence that current or past drug users had poorer mental performance. In fact, when current and past users were lumped together, their test scores tended to be higher.
The Age of Deception is Ending
In 2003, the U.S. Government as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services filed for, and was awarded a patent on cannabinoids. The reason? Because research into cannabinoids allowed pharmaceutical companies to acquire practical knowledge on one of the most powerful antioxidants and neuroprotectants known to the natural world.
The U.S. Patent 6630507 was specifically initiated when researchers found that cannabinoids had specific antioxidant properties making them useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.
In a historic and significant moment in American history, last November, Colorado became the first US state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The impact of the decision could ripple across the entire country with vast opportunities to educate millions on the top health benefits of marijuana.
With the passage of I-502 in the 2012 Washington State election, marijuana also became legal in Washington–not just for medical use, but also for recreational use. Weed is still illegal as far as the United States government is concerned, but Washington and Colorado both have yet to figure out how that will work. It’s certain that this issue will continue to evolve and smooth out as time goes by, but the remaining states will eventually follow suit or be left behind with outdated laws.
Top Health Benefits
It’s no surprise that the United States has decreed that marijuana has no accepted medical use use and should remain classified as a highly dangerous drug like heroin. Accepting and promoting the powerful health benefits of marijuana would instantly cut huge profits geared towards cancer treatment and the U.S. would have to admit it imprisons the population for no cause. Nearly half of all drug arrests in the United States are for marijuana.
According to MarijuanaNews.com editor Richard Cowan, the answer is because it is a threat to cannabis prohibition “…there really is massive proof that the suppression of medical cannabis represents the greatest failure of the institutions of a free society, medicine, journalism, science, and our fundamental values,” Cowan notes.
Besides the top 10 health benefits below, findings published in the journalPLoS ONE, researchers have now have now discovered that marijuana-like chemicals trigger receptors on human immune cells that can directly inhibit a type of human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) found in late-stage AIDS.
Recent studies have even shown it to be an effective atypical anti-psychotic in treating schizophrenia, a disease many other studies have inconsistently found it causing.
Cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana, inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animalsÂ and also kill cancer cells. Western governments have known this for a long time yet they continued to suppress the information so that cannabis prohibition and the profits generated by the drug industry proliferated.
THC that targets cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 is similar in function to endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that are naturally produced in the body and activate these receptors. The researchers suggest that THC or other designer agents that activate these receptors might be used in a targeted fashion to treat lung cancer.
2. Tourette’s Syndrome
Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological condition characterized by uncontrollable facial grimaces, tics, and involuntary grunts, snorts and shouts.
Dr. Kirsten Mueller-Vahl of the Hanover Medical College in Germany led a team that investigated the effects of chemicals called cannabinols in 12 adult Tourette’s patients. A single dose of the cannabinol produced a significant reduction in symptoms for several hours compared to placebo, the researchers reported.
Marijuana is a muscle relaxant and has “antispasmodic” qualities that have proven to be a very effective treatment for seizures. There are actually countless cases of people suffering from seizures that have only been able to function better through the use of marijuana.
Since medicinal marijuana was legalized in California, doctors have reported that they have been able to treat more than 300,000 cases of migraines that conventional medicine couldn’t through marijuana.
Marijuana’s treatment of glaucoma has been one of the best documented. There isn’t a single valid study that exists that disproves marijuana’s very powerful and popular effects on glaucoma patients.
6. Multiple Sclerosis
Marijuana’s effects on multiple sclerosis patients became better documented when former talk-show host, Montel Williams began to use pot to treat his MS. Marijuana works to stop the neurological effects and muscle spasms that come from the fatal disease.
7. ADD and ADHD A well documented USC study done about a year ago showed that marijuana is not only a perfect alternative for Ritalin but treats the disorder without any of the negative side effects of the pharmaceutical.
8. IBS and Crohn’s
Marijuana has shown that it can help with symptoms of the chronic diseases as it stops nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
Despite what you may have heard about marijuana’s effects on the brain, the Scripps Institute, in 2006, proved that the THC found in marijuana works to prevent Alzheimer’s by blocking the deposits in the brain that cause the disease.
10. Premenstrual Syndrome
Just like marijuana is used to treat IBS, it can be used to treat the cramps and discomfort that causes PMS symptoms. Using marijuana for PMS actually goes all the way back to Queen Victoria.
Mounting Evidence Suggests Raw Cannabis is Best
Cannabinoids can prevent cancer, reduce heart attacks by 66% and insulin dependent diabetes by 58%. Cannabis clinician Dr. William Courtney recommends drinking 4 – 8 ounces of raw flower and leaf juice from any Hemp plant, 5 mg of Cannabidiol (CBD) per kg of body weight, a salad of Hemp seed sprouts and 50 mg of THC taken in 5 daily doses.
Why raw? Heat destroys certain enzymes and nutrients in plants. Incorporating raw cannabis allows for a greater availability of those elements. Those who require large amounts of cannabinoids without the psychoactive effects need to look no further than raw cannabis. In this capacity, it can be used at 60 times more tolerance than if it were heated.
Raw cannabis is considered by many experts as a dietary essential. As a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, raw cannabis may be right u there with garlic and tumeric.
About the Author
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.
Source: Waking Times
The Paris Peace Accords, ending the War in Vietnam, were signed on January 27, 1973. The four parties to this conflict agreed to the unconditional withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam and to “support the healing of the wounds of war.”
Despite that Agreement, the war continued until April 1975.
The promises efforts for healing would not begin for decades. Third generation Vietnamese, born today, enter the world with deformities because their grandfathers were exposed to chemical agent orange. Children are losing life and limbs because they live in a village where a buried unexploded ordinance is unearthed during an ordinary play day.
When these buried bombs explode, a lifetime of new suffering is created. For these victims, the war has continued.
Rennie Davis, one of the Chicago Seven, an organizer of the Anti-War Movement of the 60′s and 70′s, flew to Vietnam this last January to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. He landed in a Vietnam which still faces the impact of a war two generations ended. The 40th Anniversary commemoration of the signing of the Paris Peace Accord in Vietnam was a national ceremony that included past and present political and military leadership. Their nation-wide moment for rememberance was not covered in the United States.
But here in Ashtabula, and across our country, we face many of the same problems which still confront Vietnam and the solutions now being applied there to the continuing presence of toxic waste can also solve problems here.
Vietnam’s land and water was impacted by toxic waste, Agent Orange among these. The dioxin-contaminated soil persists, but ways have been identified for remediation which leave the soil cleansed of contaminants, fertile, and renewed. This gift for peace brings blessings which can change our lives, too.
The same process identified and now in use in Vietnam provides the means for dealing with all the toxic waste left here in Ashtabula from World War II and the War in Vietnam. Our soil and water, once treated, can also be left clean and fertile.
After Vietnam ended Rennie moved on to very different work in corporate America. Understanding the problems he had begun looking for answers. Today, the technologies he identified are proven, tested and being used in Vietnam. These same tools can serve us as well.
Ashtabula can recover and find new prosperity from places none of us imagined.
As the harsh storms of winter subside we approach the 238thanniversary of an event in American history which provides insight and direction badly needed today. On April 19, 1775 a musket was discharged, beginning a clash of arms over a small bridge standing astride the stream at Concord, Massachusetts. We have all seen the statues and, perhaps, remember the poems.
To this day no one knows who fired the shot. But the unfolding clash shocked the British Crown and set the stage for the first nation on Earth who proclaimed the principle of universal freedom in July of the next year.
This was not a government operation. These were a people who recognized the power was within them.
Perhaps the best lesson to be drawn from those events, which we have allowed to be obscured through the misted lens of time, is that this marked a moment when the people did it themselves. By so doing, they confounded the greatest power then existing on Earth.
The people had come together to determine their course thorough the Committees of Correspondence. In most towns across the colonies small groups met and discussed all of the reasons for action and their options. Today, the parallel method would be the Internet.
The British had been emboldened by their success in seizing the colonist’s powder, read this ‘ammunition,’ held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire the year before. With their supply of munitions cut off from capture of the Fort William And Mary, the colonists were determined to be prepared. Town folk armed themselves and turned out to practice.
The British Empire had 8,000 men under arms across the globe. A far smaller number were serving the Crown in New England. That, the Crown felt, was entirely sufficient.
At the close of day, April 19, 1775, 10,000 Americans were marching towards Lexington and Concord, muskets, knives, and hammers in hand, prepared to die to win their freedom.
Women who helped their husbands, fathers, grandfathers and sons ready themselves, packing their pouches with food, filling containers with water, understood the danger they, too, faced. This was not a war fought far away, but one which would shatter families, homes and destroy their businesses and the food they relied on for winter.
They were a people who understood the value of freedom to each, as part of their nature granted, not by a king, but by God.
On April 4 the Pentagon announced that it was sending a mobile missile defense system to Guam as a “precautionary move” to protect the island from the potential threat from North Korea. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) comprises ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California, as well as naval vessels capable of shooting down missiles.
On the same day, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that North Korea posed a “real and clear danger” to the island, to U.S. allies in the region, and even to the United States. Its leaders have “ratcheted up their bellicose, dangerous rhetoric,” Hagel told the National Defense University in Washington. Areas at risk include South Korea and Japan, he added, as well as Guam, Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States. “We have to take those threats seriously,” he said.
It is the job of defense secretaries to take all threats seriously, but there is less than meets the eye to this one. While media coverage of tensions with North Korea makes it appear that its recent threats in response to the ongoing “Foal Eagle” U.S.-South Korean military exercises came unexpectedly, Pyongyang has a long history of objecting vehemently to such war games. North Korea is using bizarre rhetoric—as it has done many times before—but there is no “real and present danger,” because the country’s nuclear and missile delivery capabilities are rudimentary now and will remain so for years to come. Its three nuclear tests thus far—in 2006, 2009 and on February 12 of this year—amounted to a total yield of around 10 kilotons, or less than one-half the power of the bomb that destroyed Nagasaki in August 1945. At least two, and possibly all three, of those tests used plutonium as the fissile material. Crude and bulky, plutonium devices cannot be fitted onto a missile.
North Korea’s claims to have miniaturized its latest device are unproven and probably untrue: no tell-tale isotopes indicative of weapons-grade uranium have been detected. In addition, at the moment, its uranium-enrichment facilities are not producing requisite quantities of highly-enriched uranium (HEU). The Yongbyon site—the country’s main nuclear facility—has been limited to electricity generation for the past five years, as part of a disarmament-for-aid deal signed in September 2005. The agreement’s implementation was always wrought with difficulties, however. Last month, the regime vowed to restart all facilities at Yongbyon—presumably including uranium enrichment to weapons-grade levels (HEU). They have the technical ability to do this, but even if the enrichment program proceeds immediately North Korea will be several years away from producing a deliverable device on a reliable missile.
In the final months of Kim Jong-il’s life it appeared that the talks with the U.S. on the control of North Korea’s nuclear facilities would be restarted. After he died in December 2011, his young son and successor Kim Jong-un soon shifted emphasis from hoped-for cooperation to confrontation. In February 2012, Pyongyang unexpectedly announced that it would suspend nuclear activities and observe a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests in return for American food aid. That agreement was suspended after North Korea unsuccessfully launched a rocket carrying a satellite a year ago, which caused major embarrassment to the regime. A successful launch came last December, swiftly followed by the tightening of international sanctions in January (this time supported by China), a third nuclear test in February, and the ongoing escalation of warlike rhetoric since early March.
That rhetoric is a mix of bluster and bravado. Even if it had the theoretical wherewithal to threaten the United States—which it does not have—North Korea could not do it credibly: a single missile, or two, or five, would be fairly easy to intercept and destroy, and the ensuing retaliation would turn much of the People’s Democratic Republic into a parking lot. In the fullness of time the North may develop a device capable of fitting into a warhead, but it will have no guidance system necessary for accuracy and no re-entry technology to bring an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) back to Earth. According to the UK-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, North Korea has something that can hit American shores, but a “functioning nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile is still at least several years away.”
Even if it were to miniaturize a half-dozen nuclear weapons and perfect some form of functioning delivery system, North Korea would not be able to use them as a means of blackmail to alter the regional balance of power. The U.S., Russia, China, Great Britain, France, India, Pakistan, and Israel have possessed nuclear weapons for decades. None of them has ever been able to change the status quo in its favor by threatening to use the bomb. The possession of nuclear weapons by one of the parties did not impact the outcome in Korea in 1953, or Suez in 1956, or prevent the two superpowers’ defeats, in Vietnam and Afghanistan respectively. It makes no difference to China’s stalled efforts to bring Taiwan under its control. South Africa had developed its own nuclear arsenal in the 1980s—it has been dismantled since—but this did not enhance its government’s ability to resist the pressure to dismantle the Apartheid in the early 1990’s. The political effect of a country’s possession of nuclear weapons has been to force its potential adversaries to exercise caution and to freeze the existing frontiers. There is no reason to think that North Korea will be an exception to the rule.
The root causes of North Korea’s apparently reckless behavior are predominantly domestic, as usual. Kim Jong-un, the third absolute ruler in the dynasty established by his late grandfather Kim Il-sung, is young (29), untested and insecure. When his father Kim Jong-il died on December 17, 2011, the military and Party leadership accepted his third son as the designated successor, but it was not immediately clear whether Jong-un would in fact take full power right away. A cult of personality started developing right away. With no track record of achievement and no sign of outstanding talent, he was hailed as the “great successor to the revolutionary cause,” “outstanding leader of the party, army and people,” “respected comrade identical to Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il,” even as “a great person born of heaven”—an eccentric metaphor for a society nominally based on the teaching of dialectical materialism. The titles followed: within days of his father’s death, Kim Jon-un was declared Supreme Commander of the Korean Peoples Army, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and “supreme leader of the country.” In March of last year, he was appointed first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea; three months later, he was awarded the rank of a field marshal.
The plethora of titles does not mean that Kim Jong-un automatically commands the same level of authority and unquestioning obedience enjoyed by his father and grandfather before him. According to a psychological profile put together by U.S. intelligence, Kim Jong-un may feel compelled to prove just how tough he is in order to make up for his inexperience. One of the CIA’s former top experts on North Korea, Joseph DeTrani, regards him as a young man insufficiently well prepared for the position, with limited foreign exposure, who has the urge to prove his toughness to his own military by emulating his grandfather, Kim Il-sung. But the heir is unlikely to start a general war, which he knows he cannot win, and in which China—his often reluctant backer—would likely remain aloof. “It would probably mean his defeat, and his defeat would probably mean the downfall of his regime and, very probably, the end of him as well,” according to the Telegraph’s David Blair. “Assuming that he’s not suicidal, he is very unlikely to start a general conflagration.” The danger remains, however, that North Korea, having ratcheted up the rhetoric for so long and having issued so many blood-curdling threats, feels that it has to do something.
My hunch is that in the end Kim the Third will do nothing. South Korea refrained from retaliation when one of its naval vessels was sunk under mysterious circumstances in disputed waters in March 2010, or when North Korea bombarded the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong in November of that year. This time the leaders in Seoul appear determined to respond to any hostile act. While China is urging all sides to tone it down, its warnings are primarily directed at North Korea. Beijing has conveyed a warning to Pyongyang that any incident would subject the North to swift and vigorous retaliation. It is noteworthy that there are no significant troop movements along the 38th parallel, and the feverish tone of North Korea’s state media appears to have abated in recent days. The specific warnings that preceded the Yeonpyeong attack are now absent. The regime is well aware of North Korea’s inadequacies in the nuclear and missile technologies. Economically it is a mess. According to the CIA economic assessment issued last month, North Korea’s industrial and power output have receded to pre-1990 levels, while frequent crop failures since the catastrophic 1995 famine have produced chronic food shortages and malnutrition. Its people depend for survival on international food aid deliveries, mainly from China.
Once this latest teacup storm is over, a coherent long-term American response should address the question as to why North Korea feels it needs nuclear weapons in the first place. This is not because Kim Jong-un plans to reunify the peninsula by force—that he cannot do, with or without the bomb—but because Pyongyang regards the United States as a real threat. North Korea is one of the tightest despotisms in existence, but ever since it was designated the eastern pivot of the “Axis of Evil” in President George W. Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Address its leaders have rational grounds to feel threatened. According to President Obama, the nuclear test offered only an illusion of greater security to North Korea. This is incorrect. The possession of nuclear weapons, far from providing an “illusion” of greater security, is the only reliable insurance policy to those states that Washington may deem fit for regime change. Had Serbia had the bomb in 1999 or Iraq in 2003, they would not have been subjected to illegal American attacks on patently spurious grounds.
Some imagination is needed in Washington, including a rethink of the old orthodoxy that nuclear proliferation is inherently dangerous. It is not. Since 1945, there have been many wars, but no catastrophic ones on par with 1914-1918 or 1939-1945. This long peace—lasting for close to seven decades thus far—is due almost entirely to the existence of nuclear weapons and to their possession by an expanding circle of powers. Contrary to the will of the United States—whose leaders do not want other countries to possess what America has possessed, and used, since 1945—nuclear proliferation has been a major factor in the preservation of peace. The “Balance of Terror” is a grim term which denotes a comforting reality, and its logic applies to the lesser powers, such as India and Pakistan, which went to war three times after the Partition—in 1947, 1965, and 1971—but not since then. On previous form, the violence in Kashmir in March 2008 and the Pakistani-linked terrorist attacks in Bombay in November of that year would have reignited the conflict—but they did not. The possession of nuclear weapons by both adversaries has been a major war-inhibiting factor for over four decades, and it will likely remain so for many years to come.
What is valid for the Subcontinent should apply to the North Korean peninsula. Sanctions or no sanctions, Pyongyang will not give up its bomb. For the sake of regional peace and stability, South Korea should acquire one as well—and there is no reason for Japan not to follow suit. Back in the 1970’s, the Ford Administration induced South Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program in return for not withdrawing American soldiers. Now is the time to reverse the sequence. Washington should grant a free nuclear hand to Seoul in return for the mutually agreed U.S. troop withdrawal. The latest crisis strengthens the case for the long-overdue withdrawal of the remaining 28,000 American troops from the Korean peninsula. It is high time to let the countries directly affected by Pyongyang’s actions—South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia—deal with North Korea themselves, to the best of their abilities.
As you read in the First Basic Law of Stupidity, our U.S. Congress works on yet another mass amnesty for 20 million illegal alien migrants now working and residing in our country in violation of dozens of our laws. Notice that Congress failed to enforce the employment laws from the 1965 Immigration Reform Law as well as the 1986 Amnesty that gave four million Mexicans instant citizenship. All totaled, those two new laws by Congress flooded this country with over 120 million more people since 1965. This next amnesty will flood the country with yet another 100 million immigrants at the bare minimum.
Today, we live in 2013 with a few other interesting facts Congress bestowed on the American people:
- Congress placed our country into a $16.5 trillion national debt. It’s wrecking the foundation of our republic and our financial ability to survive.
- Congress waged two useless, worthless and meaningless wars for the past 10 years at a cost of $3 trillion. Trillions more when it comes to the emotional, physical and psychological chaos incurred by our military veterans.
- Congress outsource, insourced and offshored millions of US jobs so we now suffer 14 million unemployed and 7 million underemployed.
- Congress killed so many jobs and job training that 47 million Americans subsist on food stamps in April of 2013.
- Congress refuses to enforce internal immigration employment, housing and transport laws—so that we face 20 million illegal aliens scamming American workers out of jobs as well as using $346 billion annually in taxpayer services like education, medical care, anchor babies, incarceration, drug distribution, shop lifting and more.
- Congress refuses to aid lawful American citizens with jobs, but it works its magic in allowing over eight million illegal aliens full time work in our country—and much of it off the books and no taxes collected, but we subsidize their children, health care and prison costs.
- Congress huddles in Washington, DC to gift another 20 million illegal aliens with instant citizenship and all the cash and welfare benefits that entails. Heritage Foundation estimates $3 to $5 trillion for the cost of this new amnesty paid for by you, the legal American taxpayer.
Which brings us to the “Second Basic Law of Stupidity” by Carlo M. Cipolla, Professor of
Economics, UC Berkeley in Whole Earth Review, Spring 1987
Cipolla said in the Second Basic Law of Stupidity, “Cultural trends now fashionable in the West favor an egalitarian approach to life. People like to think of human beings as the output of a perfectly engineered mass production machine. Geneticists and sociologists especially go out of their way to prove, with an impressive apparatus of scientific data and formulations that all men are naturally equal and if some are more equal that others, this is attributable to nurture and not to nature.
“I take an exception to this general view. It is my firm conviction, supported by years of observation and experimentation, that men are not equal, that some are stupid and others are not, and that the difference is determined by nature and not by cultural forces or factors. One is stupid in the same way one is red-haired; one belongs to the stupid set as one belongs to a blood group. A stupid man is born a stupid man by an act of Providence.”
The collective IQ of America declines below three digits. Notice that 7,000 high school kids drop out or flunk out of high school every day in America. Notice those failure rates correspond to the millions of third world immigrants imported into America. Not only does our Congress import illiteracy, it imports poverty and cultures of poverty. One look at Los Angeles today provides ample proof where a teenager cannot read the bus schedule. Unemployment screams off the charts and immigrants ride the welfare gravy train like a new art form.
“Although convinced that fractions of human beings are stupid and that they are so because of genetic traits,” said Cipolla. “I am not a reactionary trying to reintroduce surreptitiously class or race discrimination, I firmly believe stupidity is an indiscriminate privilege of all human groups and is uniformly distributed according to a constant proportion. This fact is scientifically expressed by the Second Basic Law with states that: The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.”
Today in America 42 million Americans cannot read, write or perform simple math problems. Another 50 million cannot read past the 4th grade level. It will be interesting when we import the projected 100 million more immigrants from the burgeoning third world by 2050—as to what kind of a completely stupid, dumb, dysfunctional and totally illiterate civilization the majority of our citizens will have become.
The democrats and republicans will probably tell us we need more immigrants to revitalize the nation, freshen it and bring new ideas to solve all our problems.
If you listen to the alarm coming out of the imperium empire media, you would think that missiles would be flying at any moment. That medieval torture regime noted for starving their population is boasting that a bellicose attack is imminent. Of course, their propagandists are pointing the finger at the Yankee bully that is the perennial bogyman posed to snuff out the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Such an earthly paradise is billed as a “genuine workers’ state in which all the people are completely liberated from exploitation and oppression. The workers, peasants, soldiers and intellectuals are the true masters of their destiny and are in a unique position to defend their interests.”
Indeed such a freedom loving society takes pride in professing their government is the rightful leadership for the entire Korean peninsula. Such bold determination to dominate the imposter that has set up shop in the south must mean that the Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-Il dynasty will prevail. Both adopted the Songun, or “military-first” policy in order to strengthen the country and its government. North Korea is the world’s most militarized country, with a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel. Now the grand Kim Jong-un general in chief is ready to hit the nuke button as a sign of his manhood.
Does it really matter that North Korea Defies World Body with Third Nuke Test, or is this just another opportunity for the world community to play the role of the white knight as it slays an infantile dragon that causes trepidation among his commie mentors?
“Still, three Security Council resolutions – in 2006, 2009 and 2013 – critical of North Korea’s nuclear program and tightening sanctions on Pyongyang – had the blessings of China, a permanent member with veto powers.
But the harshest of possible sanctions – a naval blockade, an oil embargo or a cutoff of economic aid from China – have escaped Security Council resolutions, at least so far.
The 15-member Council met in an emergency session Tuesday and issued a predictable statement condemning the test as “a grave violation” of its three resolutions and describing North Korea as a country which is “a clear threat to international peace and security”.”
When the Guardian newspaper writes, Now North Korea defies even China, should we really believe that the true Asian tiger is powerless to reign in the unhinged stepchild.
“In this tense game of diplomatic-military poker, South Korea is not even the North’s principal adversary. Kim Jong-il is now blithely defying all the major regional actors – the US, China, Russia and Japan – while actively exploiting differences between them. It makes little difference whether his aim is recognition and security guarantees; economic and financial assistance; or the succession of his son. Kim is playing off the great powers against each other, to see what he can get out of them. The result is virtual diplomatic meltdown.
Just look at what has happened since last month’s bombardment of Yeonpyeong island. China, the North’s only influential ally, has come under strong US pressure to pull its supposed client into line. China’s perceived failure to do so is straining relations with Washington. James Steinberg, the US deputy secretary of state, visited Beijing today carrying the message: China must do more, fast.”
China saved the original North Korean dictatorship from defeat with their intervention of troops back in November 1950. Mao and Stalin fired up the cold war into a blood stained conflict that never ended. The uneasy armistice at the cease of arms, supposedly now terminated, allows for active deployment of the most sophisticated weapons. Is this a fragile standoff or should the prudent student of the global gulag conclude, that the Chinese and even the Russians, are eager to confront the Western allies through a standalone surrogate?
The New York Times hints at the answer in the article, China Looms Over Response to Nuclear Test by North Korea.
“The Chinese military, and to a lesser extent the International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party, assert strong influence on China’s Korea policy, and both powerful entities prefer to keep North Korea close at hand, Chinese and American analysts say.
While the People’s Liberation Army is not even able to conduct military exercises with the North Koreans – the government in the North forbids such contact with outsiders – Chinese military strategists adhere to the doctrine that they cannot afford to abandon their ally, no matter how bad its behavior, analysts here say.
At the same time, the Chinese Communist Party looks upon the North Korean Communist Party – led by Kim Jong-un, the grandson of the nation’s founder – as a fraternal brotherhood. Indeed, relations between the two countries are conducted largely between the two parties rather than between the two foreign ministries, the more normal diplomatic channel.
In an early sign that Mr. Xi is unlikely to veer from past policy, the state-run news agency, Xinhua, criticized the United States and its allies for essentially forcing the North’s aggression by causing the country to feel insecure.”
Blame the U.S. for causing insecurity, when the sordid record of capitulation to the repeated game of North Korean chicken, resembles a farmers feed the world that largely benefits corporate agriculture. Putting and keeping Kim Jong-un on a short choke chain leash is certainly within the power of the Chinese.
Since China is the preferred economic model of the globalists and North Korea is the chosen police state version for social repression, what possible reason would China have to intervene by stopping the challenge to the American military?
The Storm Clouds Gathering video, The North Korean Nuclear Crisis What You Aren’t being Told, provides a perceptive analysis of the current confrontation.
The proper method to interpret Sino-American foreign policy is through a lens of transnational monopoly control. The real masters of Asian industrialization and American decline operate above and beyond national sovereignty. The best explanation of perceived unstable skirmishes that lead to deployed conflicts, must accept that it is good business for the globalists to keep tensions high with frequent warfare.
The bondage cult that adores the North Korean regime is an expendable ritual killer machine that excels in making threats, but comes up short, when faced with superior force defense. The mission assigned for North Korea is to stir the pot for state of war stress, while backing down without losing face domestically.
Defense News offers a familiar establishment appeasement attitude viewpoint in the report, Has China Had Enough of N. Korean Antics? Maybe Not.
“North Korea’s continuous provocations defying China’s demands, warnings and brazen neglect of China’s key strategic and security interests certainly drive many in China, both in the public and among elites, to ‘soul-searching’ on its North Korea policy,” said Wang Dong, director, School of International Studies, Center for Northeast Asian Strategic Studies, Peking University, Beijing.
China will join the international community in tightening sanctions against the regime, “but it will also carefully ensure the sanctions do not ‘threaten’ another key goal of China, which is peace and stability on the Korean peninsula,” Wang said.”
Get real folks! The notion that North Korea is defying Chinese interests is ridiculous. The actual international community consensus that controls worldwide politics, seeks to dismantle the global influence of America and deepen damage on the U.S. political system.
Fear of a nuclear exchange with Kim Jong-un military is rooted in the false premise that North Korea can and would operate separately from Chinese or Russian direction. Ratcheting up the threats makes high drama, but produces a low probability for an actual attack.
The prospects for direct negotiations with the AmeriKan “Beloved Leader”, Barack Hussein Obama might well take place at a Tehran Conference II. What a great diplomatic coup for a peacemaker of banksters’ interests to immerge as the capitulator in chief. Averting WWIII by compliance and singing an international ecumenical anthem is the ultimate game plan from this latest trumped up crisis.
Do not rule out a false flag incident. The dogs of war like to play in the killing fields of properly planned out maneuvers. However, that threatened surge of a 10 million horde, breaching the 38th parallel, has a greater likelihood that the rush would be to seize Samsung electronics, than to mop up the debris from depleted uranium.
An inevitable World War III will be fought under the direction of unworldly principalities. Kim Jong-un is a cartoon caricature and a paper tiger, more suited for his 15 minutes of fame, than a reincarnated Napoleon.
Watch for the real fallout from this episode of “true grit”. Keep your eye on the monetary radioactive dust cloud. The threat of war is the best cover for a heist of global propositions. When in trouble, the great powers mobilize for pillage. The North Korea gulag is a nightmare that readies replication for the rest of the world. The cabal of globalists is the actual warmongers.
With the Easter message fresh on my mind, I am again reminded of what the Jewish leaders said to Pilate when they tried to coerce him to crucify Jesus. They said, “We have no king but Caesar.” Remember, these were the Jewish Pharisees, scribes, elders, priests, and high priests. They prided themselves in being scholars of the Torah. They believed themselves to be the sole interpreters of the Mosaic Law. Yet, the very First Commandment of the Decalogue handed down to Moses is, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” But in order to stay in the good graces of the Roman government, they emphatically proclaimed that they recognized no king but Caesar.
Remember, Caesar insisted that everyone recognize him to be, not only king, but God. To be loyal to Rome, one had to acknowledge the deity of Caesar. One could worship any other god that one wanted to, as long as Caesar was acknowledged as Sovereign. Historians famously say that there were as many gods in Rome as people. Rome prided itself in being religiously pluralistic and tolerant. First Century Christians were not persecuted because they worshipped Jesus; they were persecuted because they refused to worship Caesar; they refused to acknowledge the sovereignty of Caesar. It was for this reason that early Christians were fed to lions and made sport of in the amphitheaters.
In their desire to use the Roman government to advance their own agenda (crucifying Christ and later His disciples and apostles), the Jewish leaders were quite willing to acknowledge the deity and sovereignty of Caesar–even though doing so was a blatant violation of the First Commandment given by Jehovah to Moses. Is it a little more than interesting that after conducting a secret, illegal trial of Jesus and blaspheming God in declaring Caesar king that they immediately afterward sat down to observe the Passover? No wonder Jesus called them “Hypocrites.”
“What does all of this have to do with modern America?” you ask. Everything!
Anytime a pastor or church uses Romans 13 to teach that Christians should submit to government “no matter what,” they are joining the First Century Jewish leaders in saying, “We have no king but Caesar.” Wittingly or unwittingly, they have made a god out of government. And by doing so, they have violated the First Commandment and blasphemed the God they claim to serve. They are like the Jewish leaders who declared unlimited submission to Caesar then sat down to observe the Passover. These modern pastors and church leaders do the same thing: they declare unlimited submission to government and then go through the exercise of conducting a Christian worship service, complete with songs of praise, recitations of scripture, and collecting tithes and offerings. Are they not as guilty of blasphemy and hypocrisy as were the First Century Jewish leaders?
Another statement that leaped out at me as I rehearsed the Easter story last Sunday was spoken by the Lord Jesus. When questioned by Pilate, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36 KJV)
How many times have I heard some We-have-no-king-but-Caesar-
Yet, the vast majority of these same Christian leaders who say “don’t resist government” are the first ones to lead the cheer for foreign wars of aggression. They are the loudest and most vocal supporters of military action against governments all over the world. They proudly extol and laud acts of war by our nation’s military. They brag about the young men of their churches joining the military and going off to war. And just what is it that military troops do? They commit acts of violence and resistance against foreign governments.
Am I a pacifist? Am I promoting pacifism? Absolutely not! I am a staunch believer in the Natural, God-given right of self-defense. I believe men have an inalienable right to resist and fight against evil government–even if it sometimes means using violence–such as when America’s founders fought our country’s War for Independence. I’m merely trying to point out the hypocrisy of these modern-day preachers and Christians who try to justify their own refusal to even peacefully resist evil government at home but who then turn around and blatantly justify violent acts of resistance against government overseas.
At least the conscientious pacifist is consistent. A true pacifist would refuse to resist any and all government–regardless of how evil that government is. Of course, this would require that such people refuse to join the military, refuse to become a policeman or sheriff’s deputy, and refuse to defend themselves against any act of criminality committed against them or their family. I have known a small handful of such people. And I always encourage them to pray for those of us in America who are not pacifists–and who believe in defending the liberties of all Americans–so that they will have the freedom to practice their pacifism.
And interestingly enough, as the federal government in Washington, D.C., becomes more and more oppressive, more and more Christian leaders are preaching the doctrine of nonresistance. And when they do, they almost always justify themselves by using Jesus’ words referenced above.
However, Jesus’ words actually teach the opposite of nonresistance. Notice He said, “Then would my servants FIGHT.” That Jesus refused to resist His arrest and crucifixion is not to be construed as Him teaching nonresistance as a duty for Christians of all time.
Remember that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son who came to give His life a sacrifice for man’s sin. No other man, before or since, shares Christ’s nature, character, and mission. There is ONE mediator between God and men: the man Christ Jesus. He was born to die; He came to be crucified. No man took His life from Him: He gave it. None of us can claim such a mission or destiny. None of us!
We Christians might not be “of” this world, but we are most certainly “in” it. And Jesus prayed to keep us “in” this world. (John 17:15) We go to work in this world; we pay our bills in this world; we lock our doors at night in this world; we instruct our children to avoid certain locations and situations in this world; we sit on juries in this world; our taxes support policemen and sheriff’s deputies who arrest criminals and protect society in this world; we join “neighborhood watch” groups in this world; and we install burglar alarms in this world. Jesus did none of that. He didn’t even own a home. Are all of these pious-talking non-resistors going to give up their homes and properties because Jesus didn’t own any? Jesus didn’t marry either. So, should Christians not marry because Jesus didn’t? Again, Jesus’ life and mission were unique; no Christian can claim such a duty or purpose.
Furthermore, Jesus plainly instructed His disciples to buy a sword (Luke 22:36). The Roman sword was the most effective and efficient self-defense tool in the world at the time. The Roman sword was the First Century equivalent of the modern-day AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Realize, too, that when Jesus uttered this command, it was against the law for Hebrews to possess a sword of this type. Yes, Jesus commanded His disciples to break the law of man in order to obey the higher Natural Law of God. So much for the argument that Jesus would endorse Obama’s universal background check proposal.
For Franklin Graham and Richard Land–and other evangelical leaders–to support Barack Obama’s attempt to register and restrict the arms of the American people, is not only blatantly unconstitutional, it is blatantly unscriptural. Here is my column regarding the asinine support of universal background checks by Graham and Land:
Recall, too, that at the time of His arrest in the garden, Jesus protected Simon Peter’s right to keep and bear arms when He literally knocked the soldiers off their feet with the power of His voice, which allowed Simon and the other armed disciple to leave the garden unmolested and fully armed. Yes, Jesus fully protected the disciples’ right to keep and bear arms in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Readers should also be aware that my new book, co-authored by my constitutional attorney son, Tim, entitled, “To Keep or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns,” is at the printers now and will be delivered in the next few weeks. To pre-order this very relevant and powerful book, go to:
Remember, too, that it was Jesus who violently resisted the money changers in the temple, driving them out with the force of whip and fist. This is hardly an act of nonresistance. And it is this same Jesus who will come again in power and glory subduing His enemies with the violence and force of the sword.
Furthermore, if Christ is divine (and all true Christians believe He is), Jehovah of the Old Testament and Jesus of the New Testament are One. There is absolutely no doubt that Jehovah approved of, authorized, and directly ordered the use of violent resistance against myriads of oppressors, dictators, and despots of all kinds. To preach the doctrine of nonresistance, one must ignore the entire Old Testament, not to mention a host of New Testament passages–including Hebrews 11.
At some point, every person on earth has to determine in his or her own mind who is king. Is Christ king, or is Caesar king? This is the spiritual battle that is raging in America’s churches today. And, unfortunately, as did the Jewish leaders at the crucifixion of Jesus, many pastors and church leaders are saying, “We have no king but Caesar.”
As for me and my house, we cast our lots with America’s founders whose battle cry of the Revolutionary War was “No King but Jesus.”
Christian, make up your mind.
The International Monetary Fund is an extortion financier’s outfit for a gang of exploiter banksters. The colonists of global mercantilism operate on extending credit with strings attached and assets targeted for attachment. Poor and underdeveloped economies beg for roll over extensions of old debt in an endless circle of currency debasement and resource transfer. So why anyone would get excited over a competing banking house, seems to escape implications within the news publications.
The Global Post describes in the article, BRICS countries to form new development bank.
“The bank is intended to fund development and infrastructure projects in BRICS nations and elsewhere. First discussed a year ago, it has been described as an alternative to the IMF and World Bank for developing countries.
Although the plan is the biggest announcement to come out of a summit of BRICS leaders in Durban, South Africa, where they signed an accord today, details such as how much capital the bank will have, its structure and its location have yet to be worked out.”
Would this development bank become simply a Chinese dynasty investment structure based upon the weight of their financial leverage within the system? Or would the union of eager modernizing countries really be the future formula for economic growth and wealth? On the surface the positive foreign reserves and lower indebtedness seem to answer a resounding yes, but look a little deeper.
Without specific details, the viability of such a scheme is unknown. The article, BRICS Seek to Cement Position in Global Economic Landscape, does not exactly envision a smooth maturation.
“The planned development bank “is feasible and viable,” leaders confirmed in a statement on Wednesday. Such a bank would “supplement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.”
However, officials speaking earlier during the summit admitted that various key details remain to be worked out before the proposed bank can become fully operational – a process that is expected to take years. For instance, disagreements have already surfaced among the BRICS on the specifics of the bank’s mandate, and how exactly the institution would be financed.”
The question, missing from the depths and significance of news analysis is whether a competing fund for international lending from a group of rival countries will improve on the sorry record of Western banking.
Venky Vembu from First Post in BRICS Bank is just a castle in the air, points out the infighting among participating partners.
“Analysts who attend the BRICS deliberations point out: ”By day they talk grandly of multilateral action to tip the playing field in favour of poorer nations, while by night they scheme shamelessly against each other, often in conjunction with their supposed economic oppressors in the West.” There is, he adds, virtually nothing that unites them other than resentment and suspicion of Western monopoly – not all of which is justified.”
Another viewpoint that brings the discussion down to earth is written by Ruchir Sharma in The Economic Times article, Brics summits are so last decade: All members are slowing down.
“All the Brics are slowing sharply. China’s economy has slowed from an average annual growth rate of 11% in the last decade to less than 8% in 2012. That has taken the wind out of economies that set sailBSE 0.56 % by selling raw materials to China, particularly Brazil and Russia, where GDP growth slipped to 1% and 3.5%, respectively, last year. Investors are heading for other destinations, and in dollar terms the Brics stock markets are trading 30-40 % below the peaks of the last decade. But, once again, the politicians are a step behind.
The Brics no longer look like a rising economic axis. On average, the growth rate of Brazil, Russia and South Africa is likely to be around 2.5% over the next few years, about the same pace as the US. That would be a terrible disappointment for these developing nations eager to catch up to the West, as their per capita income is much lower than that of the US. Owing in good part to the Brics slowdown, the US economy is now growing at the same pace as the global average for the first time since 2003, leading to stabilisation in its share in the world economy at around the long-term average of 23%.”
These foreign press items reflect a much different understanding from the news report on the BRICS announcement video, ‘Hegemonic corporations scared as BRICS plan bank to rival IMF‘.An optimistic projection that the global economy will generate sensible growth and prosperity because of BRICS leadership, is a stretch at best. This concern is certainly no endorsement of the existing Western debt created money-banking model. However, the power of the IMF and World Bank is based upon the military enforcement arm of the NATO machine.
The concept of central banking is immutably defined by the dominance of empire. The peaceful relinquishment of international finance to the BRICS is about as probable as a soft landing from the world debt bubble.
Evolving is a testing of world markets for a transfer to a different banking centercolossus. In order for that hypothesis to be even remotely possible, the world reserved currency status of the U.S. Dollar must be replaced with a basket of other currencies.
The BRICS countries have their own set of internal economic shortcomings. Much of their cash flow is export trade related. The collapse of global trade is the biggest risk that looms over a brighter future for especially undeveloped economies. Another quasi-IMF stratagem that presents a top down banking compliance is not an alternative to the existing fraud.
Looking for altruistic benefactors that are willing to finance capital requirements, from usury lenders is a fools dream. Setting off a turf war, results in collateral damage, for everyone. Financial conflict is predictable when business is based upon a destructive banking version for an imbalance in commerce obligations. A butting of heads between the BRICS, the EU and the USA is just as inevitable.
The politicians of the western world are coming after your bank accounts. In fact, Cyprus-style “bail-ins” are actually proposed in the new Canadian government budget. When I first heard about this I was quite skeptical, so I went and looked it up for myself. And guess what? It is right there in black and white on pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013″ which the Harper government has already submitted to the House of Commons. This new budget actually proposes “to implement a ‘bail-in’ regime for systemically important banks” in Canada. “Economic Action Plan 2013″ was submitted on March 21st, which means that this “bail-in regime” was likely being planned long before the crisis in Cyprus ever erupted. So exactly what in the world is going on here? In addition, as you will see below, it is being reported that the European Parliament will soon be voting on a law which would require that large banks be “bailed in” when they fail. In other words, that new law would make Cyprus-style bank account confiscation the law of the land for the entire EU. I can’t even begin to describe how serious all of this is. From now on, when major banks fail they are going to bail them out by grabbing the money that is in your bank accounts. This is going to absolutely shatter faith in the banking system and it is actually going to make it far more likely that we will see major bank failures all over the western world.
What you are about to see absolutely amazed me when I first saw it. The Canadian government is actually proposing that what just happened in Cyprus should be used as a blueprint for future bank failures up in Canada.
The following comes from pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013″ which you can find right here. Apparently the goal is to find a way to rescue “systemically important banks” without the use of taxpayer funds…
Canada’s large banks are a source of strength for the Canadian economy. Our large banks have become increasingly successful in international markets, creating jobs at home.
The Government also recognizes the need to manage the risks associated with systemically important banks — those banks whose distress or failure could cause a disruption to the financial system and, in turn, negative impacts on the economy. This requires strong prudential oversight and a robust set of options for resolving these institutions without the use of taxpayer funds, in the unlikely event that one becomes non-viable.
So if taxpayer funds will not be used to bail out the banks, how will it be done? Well, the Canadian government is actually proposing that a “bail-in” regime be implemented…
The Government proposes to implement a “bail-in” regime for systemically important banks.This regime will be designed to ensure that, in the unlikely event that a systemically important bank depletes its capital, the bank can be recapitalized and returned to viability through the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital. This will reduce risks for taxpayers. The Government will consult stakeholders on how best to implement a bail-in regime in Canada. Implementation timelines will allow for a smooth transition for affected institutions, investors and other market participants.
So if the banks take extreme risks with their money and lose, “certain bank liabilities” (i.e. deposits) will rapidly be converted into “regulatory capital” and the banks will be saved.
In other words, the banks will just be allowed to grab money directly out of your bank accounts to recapitalize themselves.
That may sound completely and utterly insane to us, but this is how things will now be done all over the western world.
Sometimes a “bail-in” can be done by just converting unsecured debt into equity, but as we just saw in Cyprus, often when there is a major bank failure a lot more money is required to “fix the banks” than can possibly be raised by converting unsecured debt into equity. That is when it becomes very tempting to dip into uninsured back accounts.
In fact, some European politicians are openly admitting as much. According to RT, the European Parliament will soon be voting on a new law which will make Cyprus-style bank account confiscation a permanent part of the solution when major banks fail throughout the EU…
A senior lawmaker told Reuters the Cyprus model may not be an isolated case, and is perhaps a future template in dealing with troubled European banks.
The new template is now likely to turn into a full-scale EU law, letting taxpayers off the hook in case a bail-out is needed, but imposing major losses on bigger savers on a permanent basis.
“You need to be able to do the bail-in as well with deposits,” said Gunnar Hokmark, member of European Parliament, who is leading negotiations with EU countries to finalize a law for winding up problem banks, Reuters reported.
“Deposits below 100,000 euros are protected … deposits above 100,000 euros are not protected and shall be treated as part of the capital that can be bailed in,” Hokmark told Reuters, adding that he was confident a majority of his peers in the parliament backed the idea.
The European Commission has written the draft of the law, which now awaits approval from eurozone member states and the parliament on whether and when it can be implemented. It’s been reported, the law is planned to take effect in the beginning of 2015.
Are you starting to understand?
The other day when I said that “The Global Elite Are Very Clearly Telling Us That They Plan To Raid Our Bank Accounts“, I was not exaggerating.
And for those in Cyprus with deposits of over 100,000 euros, the news just keeps getting worse and worse.
When the crisis first erupted, they were told that 10 percent of all deposits over 100,000 euros would be confiscated.
Then a few days later they were told that it would be 40 percent.
Now, according to the Washington Post, those with deposits over 100,000 euros at the second largest bank in Cyprus may lose as much as80 percent of those deposits…
A deal was finally reached in Brussels with other euro countries and the International Monetary Fund early Monday. The country’s second-largest bank, Laiki, is to be split up, with its healthy assets being absorbed into the Bank of Cyprus. Savers with more 100,000 euros ($129,000) in either Bank of Cyprus and Laiki will face big losses. At Laiki, those could reach as much as 80 percent of amounts above the 100,000 insured limit; those at Bank of Cyprus are expected to be much lower.
Sadly, the truth is that those people will be lucky to ever see any of that money ever again.
How would you feel if someone came along and wiped out your life savings so that banks that took incredibly reckless risks could be bailed out?
Needless to say, a lot of people in Cyprus are very, very angry right now. The following reactions from outraged depositors in Cyprus are from Sky News…
“They have stolen our money,” Milton Loucas told Sky News.
“I have been working for 60 years. I am 80 years old. I cannot work again for my living – they have cut the lot.
“Our money, our social insurance – they have cut them. How are we going to live?”
Another Cypriot, Stelios, came out of the bank empty handed.
“I tried to get my February wages and they gave me a piece of paper only,” he said.
“I have two children in the army and they asked for money – I don’t have money to give them.
“The Government didn’t pay anybody. My old parents didn’t get their pension.”
A lot of people have just had their entire lives turned upside down.
But there were some people that were told ahead of the crisis and were able to get their money out in time.
According to the BBC, foreigners pulled a whopping 18 percent of their money out of Cyprus banks during the month of February alone…
Information from the Central Bank of Cyprus released on Thursday showed that foreign depositors had already withdrawn 18% of their cash from the nation’s banks during February, before the current crisis hit home.
So how did they know to pull their money out and who told them?
In addition, branches of the two largest banks in Cyprus were kept open in Moscow and London even after all of the banks in Cyprus itself were shut down. So wealthy Russians and wealthy Brits have been able to take all of their money out of those banks while the people of Cyprus have been unable to. It is hard to even find the words to describe how unfair that is. The following is from a recent article by Mark J. Grant…
So let us then turn back to Cyprus and see why the Russians are not quite so upset as they were at the beginning of the crisis. The answer to this question is Uniastrum bank which is headquartered in Moscow. Eighty percent (80%) is owned by the Bank of Cyprus. After the crisis began and right up until the capital controls were implemented the bank wasopen for business with no restrictions upon withdrawals. So the crisis began, was all over the Press and the Russian depositors walked into the local bank and withdrew their money from Uniastrum, the Bank of Cyprus, or had it wired in from the other local Cyprus banks and it was then withdrawn. Problem solved!
At the same time Laiki bank and the Bank of Cyprus had operating branches in London. There were no restrictions there either so people could walk into those banks and withdraw their money as well. No restrictions at all right up until the time of the Capital Controls. In the meantime, in Cyprus, people and institutions could not get at their money so the Russians and many British took out their money, closed their accounts while the people in Cyprus were left high and dry.
The wealthy always seem to come out ahead somehow, don’t they?
Meanwhile, those in Cyprus with deposits under 100,000 euros are now dealing with some very stringent capital controls. In other words, there are some very tight restrictions on what they can do with their money. For example, the maximum daily cash withdrawal has been set at 300 euros. The following are some of the other restrictions that are in force right now…
As well as the daily withdrawal limit, Cypriots may not cash cheques.
Payments and/or transfers outside Cyprus via debit and or credit cards are allowed up to 5,000 euros per person per month.
Transactions of 5,000-200,000 euros will be reviewed by a specially established committee, with applications for those over 200,000 euros needing individual approval.
Travellers leaving the country will only be allowed to take 1,000 euros with them.
When the next great wave of the economic collapse strikes, capital controls and bank account confiscation will suddenly become “normal” all over the world.
So get prepared while you still can.
One thing that you can do is make sure that you don’t have all of your eggs in one basket. The following is what Jim Rogers recently told CNBC…
“I, for one, am making sure I don’t have too much money in any one specific bank account anywhere in the world, because now there is a precedent,” he said. “The IMF has said ‘sure, loot the bank accounts’ the EU has said ‘loot the bank accounts’ so you can be sure that other countries when problems come, are going to say, ‘well, it’s condoned by the EU, it’s condoned by the IMF, so let’s do it too.’”
The more places that you have your money, the more difficult it will be for “the powers that be” to loot it.
The global elite are fundamentally changing the game. From now on, no bank account on earth will ever be able to be considered “100% safe” again. This is going to create an atmosphere of fear and panic, and no financial system can operate normally when you destroy the confidence that people have in it.
Confidence is a funny thing – it can take decades to build, but it can be destroyed in a single moment.
None of us will ever be able to have confidence in our bank accounts again, and I fear that the next wave of the economic collapse may be closer than I had first anticipated.
Source: The Economic Collapse
Where’s the Kingfish Now That We Really Need Him?
Wrong. The truth is that support for capitalism has been steadily eroding since the Great Crash of ’08 when markets tumbled and housing prices plunged wiping out $8 trillion in home equity and leaving 5 million homeowners facing foreclosure. After that dose of cold water in the face, support for the free market system dropped precipitously from 80% (in 2002) to a titch above 54% by 2010. Interestingly, in France (according to the Economist) only 6% of the people now “strongly” support the free market. Here’s more from the article in the Economist:
“Capitalism’s waning fortunes are starkly visible among Americans earning below $20,000. Their support for the free market has dropped from 76% to 44% in just one year. The research was conducted by GlobeScan, a polling firm. Its chairman Doug Miller says American business is “close to losing its social contract” with average families.” (“Market of Ideas: Capitalism’s waning popularity”, The Economist)
“Social contract”? What social contract? You mean the social contract that allows the banks to fleece your ass at every opportunity with no chance of being held accountable?
While the report is 2 years old, it indicates something that’s fairly obvious to many, that Americans are generally pragmatic people who judge a system by its results not by the public relations blabber issuing from the business channel. “Show me the beef”, that’s what the average working slob cares about, not some horseshit about “the wondrous symmetry of the self-correcting market”. What a load of malarkey. If we’d applied the theories of the market fundamentalists after Lehman Brothers collapsed, the 10 biggest banks in the country would have been euthanized (as they should have been) and we’d be well on our way to a true recovery. Instead, the economy is still hopelessly mired in a long-term slump that shows no sign of ending. The only thing that’s “corrected” is the profit margins on Wall Street which are at record highs. Get a load of this from the WSWS:
“As the US government prepares to furlough 1 million federal workers and slash hundreds of billions in social spending, corporate executives in the United States are receiving among the highest payouts in history. USA Today reported Thursday that at least ten CEOs took in $50 million apiece in 2012, largely as a result of cashing in stocks that have soared in value with the rising market. According to the newspaper, “Early 2013 proxy filings detailing 2012 compensation show a growing number of CEOs reaping $50 million or more, gains that could prove unmatched in breadth and size since the Internet IPO craze enriched tech company executives more than a decade ago…..
Among the top pay packages according to preliminary calculation is that of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, which included stock options valued at $103.3 million this year, on top of $30 million in other compensation and stock, as well as $10.2 million in vested shares, according to USA Today.” (“US corporate executives cash in”, World Socialist Web Site)
Geez, I sure hope Mr. Starbucks can make ends meet on a measly $130 mil a year. He might have to cutback on his trips to Walmart, don’t you think?
The whole thing is laughable. This is a free market? Give me a break! The Fed is pumping $85 billion per month into financial assets pushing up stock prices, while everyone else faces the grinding deprivation of austerity. Who can support a system like that? Everything about it is a lie. Now take a look at this from Trimtabs:
“…there has been a record number of buybacks announced since the start of February. There have also been a bumper crop of new cash takeovers. The number of shares grows when companies and or insiders sell new shares. …
Here’s why this is such a big deal. In essence over the last seven weeks companies have given shareholders $120 billion in cash in exchange for shares. Compare that $120 billion with just $50 billion of new money going into all equity mutual and exchange traded funds so far for all of 2013.
Remember, 80% of US stocks are held by institutions. Institutions typically have a constant rate of cash holdings, whether 1% or 5%. When the number of share held by institutions shrinks by $100 billion, or around 80% of $120 billion, that means those institutions have more money with which to buy the fewer shares available in the equity markets. Therefore, the price of the remaining shares should go up.” (“Record Buybacks Creating Massive Float Shrink”, Trimtabs)
There’s your great stock market rally in a nutshell. 100% fake. The Fed is juicing the system, so the guys with money are following Bernanke’s lead and buying back their own stinking shares, thus, pushing prices even higher. They make boatloads of cash while you and I get bupkis. That’s fair, isn’t it?
The whole thing is a joke. There’s no free market; it’s just PR-hype geared to dupe people out of their hard-earned money. Did you know that the nation’s biggest corporations are giving record amounts of cash back to investors via dividends because they don’t have anything to invest in? Here’s the story:
“The New York Times reported earlier this month that S&P 500 companies are expected to hand investors $300 billion in dividends this year, an increase over last year’s payout of $282 billion. American corporations bought back $117.8 billion in their own stock last month, the highest total on records going back to 1985.”
Of course, the reason they have nothing to invest in because everyone is broke. Unemployment is still high, wages are falling, and the average working family is up-to-their-eyeballs in debt. So, where’s the demand for more widgets? There isn’t any. The behemoth financial institutions have cannibalized the system to the point where nothing is left but a stripped carcass. There’s no sense in investing in plants and machinery when everyone is flat busted. You’re better off just giving money back to your rich friends so they can buy another bauble at Tiffany’s. And, that’s what they’re doing.
But, at least housing rebounding, right? I mean, it’s not all bad. Here’s the scoop from the country’s Number 1 housing cheerleader, Calculated Risk, from a post titled “Existing Home Sales in February: 4.98 million SAAR, 4.7 months of supply”:
“Sales in February 2013 (4.98 million SAAR) were 0.8% higher than last month, and were 10.2% above the February 2012 rate. “
Sounds pretty good, eh? Prices are up, sales are up, and all is well with the world. There’s only one little glitch; it’s all bullshit. In fact, disproving the “Housing is Back” theory is so easy, it’s ridiculous. If you can read a chart, you can grasp why housing is NOT rebounding. Look carefully at the chart above. See where we are now as far as existing housing sales. Sales are back to what they were in 2002, right? Now–ask yourself this– what happened in 2002 that might have impacted housing sales?
Does “housing bubble” ring a bell?
There was a sharp uptick in sales due to the fact that the banks started selling homes to anyone who could fog a mirror, right? Remember the subprimes, ARMs, no-down, interest only, liar’s loans, piggybacks, ALT As, and the whole panoply of freakish mortgages that boosted sales and sent housing prices into the stratosphere? That all started right around 2002. In other words, the bubble was caused by extending credit to people who were not creditworthy to begin with, people who the banks knew, would never be able to repay the loan. THEY KNEW THAT. That WAS the scam. Sure, low interest rates did play a role, but not nearly as big a role as criminally lax lending standards that put people in homes that they would eventually lose to foreclosure.
So, now sales are back to their historic trend, which is good. But it’s silly to expect prices and sales to return to bubble-era highs unless regulations are jettisoned (again) and the banks start issuing loans to anyone who stumbles into their office. That’s not to imply, that the banks and industry leaders are not working as hard as they can to weaken lending rules and to gut the new “Ability to Repay” provision of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) “Qualified Mortgage” regulation. They are! In fact, they appear to be making great strides in that regard. (See: MBA Applauds Bill to Clarify Points and Fees Calculation for Qualified Mortgage Rule, RISMedia.)
But the point is, unless the banks are able to sabotage the new guidelines for lending, (for gov-insured mortgages) there is not going to be another housing bubble. At best, prices will rise at their traditional 1 to 2% appreciation per year. And at worst, they will resume their downward slide when the speculators (who now make up roughly 25% of all sales) flee the market for greener pastures. Bottom line: There’s nothing in the recent data that suggests that housing prices will continue to rise. It’s all interest rate stimulus, inventory suppression and aggressive mortgage mods. (keeping underwater borrowers in their homes)
When the average guy reflects on the way he got raped in the housing swindle, or the twisted way the banks were bailed out, or the way the Fed forks over $85 billion per month to his crooked friends on Wall Street (while teachers, firefighters and other public workers get their pink slips month after month); he doesn’t get a real warm and fuzzy feeling about the system. He knows the system is rigged against him, that Bernanke’s thumb is planted on the scale, and that he’s getting bent-over by lowlife vipers and miscreants. He knows all that, which is why his support for free market capitalism is tenuous at best. Just take a look at this recent survey by Gallup and you’ll see that majorities on both sides of the aisle support big government programs that put people back to work.
Majority of Party Groups Favor Each Jobs Proposal
A majority of Democrats, Republicans, and independents support each of the three job creation proposals tested in a new Gallup poll. Republicans are much more supportive of business tax breaks than the new job programs, and Democrats are more likely to favor the job creation programs, while independents show roughly equal support for all three.
Implications: “Job creation proposals enjoy widespread public support, including majority backing among all party groups, even when the issue of government spending is raised in an era when deficit reduction is one of the major priorities for the federal government.” (Gallup)
Can you believe it? Even the Republicans support government jobs programs. So all that gibberish about “hating big government and loving the free market” is just a load of crap. Americans don’t hate socialism; What they hate is the word which conjures up images of the Berlin Wall, Joe Stalin and Soviet troops marching through Red Square. One of the country’s greatest political visionary’s was died-in-the-wool socialist; a man who worked his entire life to put the rich in their place and spread the wealth to ordinary working stiffs. He was America’s Hugo Chavez and his name was Huey P. Long, Governor of Louisiana, aka the “Kingfish”. Here’s a short video of Long giving speech to Congress.
“How many men ever went to a barbecue and would let one man take off the table what’s intended for 9/10th of the people to eat? The only way to be able to feed the balance of the people is to make that man come back and bring back some of that grub that he ain’t got no business with!
Now we got a barbecue. We have been praying to the Almighty to send us to a feast. We have knelt on our knees morning and nighttime. The Lord has answered the prayer. He has called the barbecue. “Come to my feast,” He said to 125 million American people. But Morgan and Rockefeller and Mellon and Baruch have walked up and took 85 percent of the victuals off the table!
Now, how are you going to feed the balance of the people? What’s Morgan and Baruch and Rockefeller and Mellon going to do with all that grub? They can’t eat it, they can’t wear the clothes, they can’t live in the houses.
Giv’em a yacht! Giv’em a Palace! Send ‘em to Reno and give them a new wife when they want it, if that’s what they want. [Laughter] But when they’ve got everything on God’s loving earth that they can eat and they can wear and they can live in, and all that their children can live in and wear and eat, and all of their children’s children can use, then we’ve got to call Mr. Morgan and Mr. Mellon an Mr. Rockefeller back and say, come back here, put that stuff back on this table here that you took away from here that you don’t need. Leave something else for the American people to consume. And that’s the program.”
Where’s Kingfish now that we need him?
“Every man a king, but no one wears a crown.” – Huey P. long, Governor of Louisiana
Victoria’s Secret (VS) has sunk to a new low – and I didn’t think that was possible. Recently the retailer introduced a line of intimate apparel that they’re calling “Bright, Young Things.” The new line is designed to appeal to teen and tween girls. Get a load of this:
In the spring line, you’ll find an array of panties, from lace back cheeksters with the word “Wild” on the back, to a lace trim thong with “Call Me” on the front, to green-and-white polka-dot hipsters reading “Feeling Lucky? (Source)
So – the decision makers at VS see nothing wrong with targeting middle and high school girls for the purpose of purchasing lace trimmed thongs with “Call me” emblazoned on the front? Do these people not comprehend that this new line exploits girls? Have they no sense of decency?
Because the company is in business to make money it appears every decision is strictly about the bottom (pardon the pun) line: “Sales of lingerie for younger women are a $1.5 billion-a-year business for Victoria’s Secret’s Pink line, which also woos girls.” If making a profit means the company has to hyper-sexualize girls – because that’s what they’re doing – so be it. Dads, how do you feel about your 12-year-old wearing hipster panties that ask the question: “Feeling lucky?” Would you think it cute? This is what I was referring to when I said that Victoria’s Secret has sunk to a new low. One can only hope that parents will have the good sense to shop elsewhere for their precious daughter’s undergarments.
But VS is not the only organization pushing sleazy undergarments to young girls. According to Bloomberg Business Week, retailers of top name brands such as Hot Topic and Urban Outfitters present their garments as cute vs. sexy. Marcie Merriman, founder of consulting firm PrimalGrowth, candidly reveals that retailers are “all going to say they’re targeting 18- to 22-year-olds, but the reality is you’re going to get the younger customer.”
The Bloomberg article maintains that intimate apparel for girls generates big bucks for retailers – more than $11.1 billion in annual sales! Limited Brands has done even better – its VS Pink brand has done $1.5 billion and expects to do even better in the coming years.
Bloomberg also reports this sad fact:
A decade ago girls had little choice in underwear; a training bra was often a plain garment bought at Target (TGT). No longer. “Sensuality and body image continues to be a message that young girls are seeing and are being exposed to in a much less controlled fashion perhaps than even 10, 12 years ago,” says Dan Stanek, executive vice president at consultancy Big Red Rooster. They’re aiming to imitate the lingerie styles worn by celebrities seen on the Web, he says.
Lingerie makers have to be careful adjusting their messaging for a younger audience so it’s more about the girl and less about dressing in a way that’s appealing for men…” Moreover, “Merchandisers must “use the word ‘pretty’ more than ‘sexy’…. (Source)
Sly devils, aren’t they?
Teen Girl Magazine “Seventeen”
While I’m on the subject of hyper-sexualizing teens and tweens, according to a March 11 Fox News report:
Ashley Benson, 23, knows what sells to America’s 12-year-old girls: sex, including threesomes. Together with Seventeen magazine, the actress is promoting her new movie “Spring Breakers” on the magazine’s cover, despite the fact that the movie is being hyped elsewhere for its steamy sex scene between Benson, actress Vanessa Hudgens, 24, and actor James Franco. The movie is rated R for strong sexual content, language, nudity, drug use and violence. Seventeen targets an audience of females, aged 12 to 19.
What, no cannibalism?
From the Media Research Center:
“Seventeen” Entertainment Director, Carissa Rosenberg Tozzi, introduced the interview with Benson by asking girls, “Ever feel like you want to try something different, but everyone else wants you to stay exactly the same?” The article sought empathy, relating how “It’s super-frustrating to be pigeon-holed like that – and Ashley Benson knows exactly how it feels.”
According to Tozzi, Benson desired to “branch out and try something edgier” in her new “Spring Breakers” role. She wanted to be “bold” because, in Benson’s words, “as long as you’re happy, that’s what’s important.”
In an effort to be viewd as bold and edgy, the Disney star happily cast off her wholesome image, much the same as teen idol Miley Cyrus did a few years ago when she decided to change her wholesome image to sultry seductress. In a column I wrote entitled America’s Moral Implosion I disclosed what young Miley was up to:
In her raunchy new music video single “Who Owns My Heart” fans won’t recognize the cute teenage girl who plays the title role of Hanna Montana on the Disney channel. Miley is17-years-old and apparently thinks she’s all grown up. If appearances are any indication, she seems quite comfortable in her new role. Watching the video makes one think that writhing on a bed wearing only underwear and grinding with males and females on the dance floor wearing short shorts and a reveling top is old hat for Lady Miley. One thing’s for sure: Miley Cyrus is no longer the Disney darling she once was. Watch her video. See the new Barbarella do her thing.
I also pointed out that ever since the early sixties secularists have done their best to denigrate and coarsen the culture. Five decades later most adults don’t bat an eye when they see “teenage girls parade around in public, scantily dressed, wearing getups that 20 years ago only prostitutes turning tricks on street corners would dare dress in.” And I warned that, “unbridled immorality is part and parcel of the secular worldview.” Moreover:
Young people abuse drugs and alcohol. They lie, cheat and steal without remorse. They do not flinch at brutality. Instead of portraying vampires and witches as villains, they are the new heroes and heroines. Coarse language spews forth from the mouths of preteens…there is little or no respect for authority or for adults…selfishness and narcissism has become the rule, not the exception. What more proof do we need that liberalism brings destruction to a nation?
Dysfunctional Hollywood Liberals
To a great extent, the entertainment industry (EI) is to blame for sexualizing girls. It’s a well known fact that liberals are the movers and shakers in the EI. And those who work in entertainment, especially celebrities, are largely to blame for corrupting society.
Pro-family and religious conservatives are not the ones that have brought us the culture of death and destruction – liberals have. Liberals, aka progressives, insist that all mention of God and the scriptures be removed from the public square through their misinterpretation of the First Amendment. Was the First Amendment really intended to rid public education of prayer and the Bible, while at the same time giving license to pornography that has introduced society to every sort of evil imaginable?
Track the increase of gruesome crimes against children such as rape, sodomy and abductions since 1947 and you’ll find a huge spike. No one can blame Bible reading and prayer for the upswing in crime against children. No. The blame must be laid squarely upon the shoulders of hedonist “progressives” for the simple reason that they are the ones to blame for our nation’s descent onto moral relativism – the belief that there is no right or wrong and that morality does not exist – and if everyone’s doing it then it must be okay.
A large number of Americans worry that society is experiencing a moral meltdown. They point to Hollywood as the main culprit for this. Yet Hollywood’s elites choose to ignore the obvious. Instead of producing wholesome entertainment, which many people seem to want, the EI continually turns out filth – and the more twisted the better. Sex, violence and occult themes have increased in movies, on TV programs, video games, board games, and so on. Sex sells in magazines. Clothing manufactures sell sex. Even so-called Christian retailers are selling sex! (I reported on this in depth in my columnThe “New Breed” of Christian Fashion.)
A July 2012 study suggests that children who watch sex on TV programs and movies will be more promiscuous and sexually active from a younger age. “Psychologists concluded that teenagers exposed to more sex on screen in popular films are likely to have sexual relations with more people and without using condoms.”
Dr. Ross O’Hara, who led the study, cautioned:
This study, and its confluence with other work, strongly suggests that parents need to restrict their children from seeing sexual content in movies at young ages. (Source)
What To Do?
I’ll close with an excerpt from a column I wrote entitled Liberals Created the Culture of Evil and Death, Part 1 where I offered the following advice on ways to turn the clock back to a time when children were allowed to be children, before America took a very dark turn:
First, Bible believing Christians must share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith” (Rom 1:15-7).
We must make disciples of all nations. (Mat. 28:19) This is a command not a suggestion. People will not change unless hearts and minds are changed. It is men and women who need changing, not just the system (but the system needs changing too). There’s a Holy Spirit filled power in the gospel that can change the most hardened criminal into a saint.
Second, Christian parents must instill in their children a Christian worldview on a variety of moral issues such as premarital sex, bearing babies out of wedlock, abortion, homosexuality, biblical marriage, gambling and drug use.
Third, parents must address what’s going on in the government-run-schools they send their children to, where individual thinking is discouraged and group-think is rewarded. What kids are being exposed to is humanistic education. A large number of our public school teachers and counselors are radical liberals. Their aim is to persuade students to reject their parent’s values and instill their own leftist ideology. In her book “Total Truth,” Nancy Pearcey warns parents that they’re youngsters “must be equipped to analyze and critique the competing worldviews they will encounter when they leave home” and she explains how to equip them. In short, young people must have the confidence to stand up for what they believe, both in college and the workplace. Turning the other cheek has never deterred a liberal.
Fourth, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” Why is this important? “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Tim 4:2-5).
Fifth, pray! “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” (James 5:17, 18). When you pray you must pray to the only true God.
Upstate New York’s Catskill Mountain Range is a bucolic place near and dear to my heart. It’s where storybook character Rip Van Winkle enjoyed his legendary slumber, and its scenery hasn’t changed much since he was born of Washington Irving’s fertile imagination. Yet, like Van Winkle, if I’d fallen asleep for 20 years when first arriving in that verdant heaven, I, too, would have noticed some profound changes upon awakening.
About two decades ago, many rural Catskill teens — sons of farmers and hunters and fishermen — suddenly started donning baggy pants and reflecting “gangsta’” counter-culture despite living nowhere near any large urban center. The following generation of teens experienced today’s recent cultural evolution and often sport multiple tattoos and body piercings despite living nowhere near NYC’s grungy East Village. Yet I’m wrong in a sense: those places were actually very close — a television set away.
My old hinterland haunt was once place where, if you wiggled the rabbit-ear antenna just right, you could pull in one or two TV stations. And what could you see? Perhaps reruns of The Brady Bunch, perhaps the news. But about a quarter century ago came VCRs and video stores; then cable and satellite TV; and, finally, the Internet. The serpent had entered Eden.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, much fire has been directed at gun advocates in general and the National Rifle Association in particular. In response, the organization has implicated Hollywood and popular culture in general for mainstreaming mindless violence. Yet even many Second Amendment advocates part company with the NRA on this point. After all, blaming entertainment for crime smacks of blaming guns. Yet there’s quite a profound difference: guns don’t transmit values. But how we use guns— and knives, fists and words — on screen certainly does.
This message is often a tough sell, however, as it’s very natural to defend one’s entertainment. We grow up with certain shows, movies, characters and music and often become emotionally attached to them; in fact, we may identify with them so closely that an attack upon them can be taken personally. It’s the same phenomenon that causes an avid sports fan to defend his favorite team as if it’s his favored son. And it is then we may hear that old refrain, “It isn’t the entertainment; it’s the values learned at home” (they’re actually one and the same since entertainment enters the home with, in the least, the parents’ tacit approval).
Yet it appears few really believe that refrain. Sure, depending on our ideology, we may disagree on what entertainment is destructive, but that it can be destructive is something on which consensus exists. Just consider, for instance, that when James Cameron’s film Avatar was released, there was much talk in the conservative blogosphere about its containing environmentalist, anti-corporate and anti-American propaganda. At the other end of the spectrum, liberals wanted the old show Amos ‘n Andy taken off the air because it contained what they considered harmful stereotypes. Or think of how critics worried that Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ would stoke anti-Jewish sentiment or that Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ would inspire anti-Christian feelings, and how the Catholic League complained that The Da Vinci Code was anti-Catholic. Now, I’m not commenting on these claims’ validity. My only point is that when our own sacred cows are being slaughtered, few of us will say, “Well, yeah, the work attacks my cause, but I don’t care because it’s the values taught at home that really matter.”
The truth? Entertainment is powerful. This is why Adolf Hitler had his propaganda filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl, and why all modern regimes have at times created their own propaganda films. It’s why the ancient Greeks saw fit to censor the arts and American localities traditionally had obscenity laws. And it is why, while “The pen is mightier than the sword” and a picture mightier still, being worth a “thousand words,” we have to wonder how many words moving footage coupled with sound would be. How mighty art thou, Tinseltown? Well, we worry that a child witnessing one parent continually abuse the other will learn to be violent, as children learn by example. Yet often forgotten is that while a person can model behavior seven feet away from the television, he can also model it seven feet away through the television.
And what effect do our entertainment role models have? Much relevant research exists, and the picture it paints isn’t pretty. For instance, a definitive 1990s study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association found that in every society in which TV was introduced, there was an explosion in violent crime and murder within 15 years. As an example, TV had been banned in South Africa for internal security reasons until 1975, at which point the nation had a lower murder rate than other lands with similar demographics. The country’s legalization of TV prompted psychiatrist Dr. Brandon Centerwall to predict “that white South African homicide rates would double within 10 to 15 years after the introduction of television….” But he was wrong.
By 1987 they had more than doubled.
Then the Guardian told us in 2003 that, “…Bhutan, the fabled Himalayan Shangri-la, became the last nation on earth to introduce television. Suddenly a culture, barely changed in centuries, was bombarded by 46 cable channels. And all too soon came Bhutan’s first crime wave — murder, fraud, drug offences.” The serpent had struck again.
And exactly how it strikes is interesting…and scary. Lt. Col. David Grossman, a former West Point military psychologist and one of the world’s foremost experts on what he calls “killology,” explains the process well. In his essay “Trained to Kill,” he speaks of how the military learned that during WWII only 15 to 20 percent of riflemen would actually shoot at an exposed enemy soldier. Yet this rate was increased to 55 percent during the Korean War and then 90 percent in Vietnam. How? By applying psychological principles, says Grossman, identical to the forces our children are exposed to through entertainment. They are (all quotations are Grossman’s):
- Brutalization and desensitization: this occurs in boot camp where the training is designed “to break down your existing mores and norms and to accept a new set of values that embrace destruction, violence, and death as a way of life.” Entertainment can perhaps be even more effective when doing this to children because the process often starts when they’re too young to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Grossman explains:
- To have a child of three, four, or five watch a “splatter” movie, learning to relate to a character for the first 90 minutes and then in the last 30 minutes watch helplessly as that new friend is hunted and brutally murdered is the moral and psychological equivalent of introducing your child to a friend, letting [him] play with that friend, and then butchering that friend in front of your child’s eyes.
- Classical conditioning: the Japanese employed this during WWII. Soldiers would have to watch and cheer as a few of their comrades bayoneted prisoners to death. All the servicemen were then “treated to sake, the best meal they had had in months, and to so-called comfort girls. The result? They learned to associate committing violent acts with pleasure.” Likewise, today “[o]ur children watch vivid pictures of human suffering and death, learning to associate it with their favorite soft drink and candy bar, or their girlfriend’s perfume.”
- Operant conditioning: “When people are frightened or angry, they will do what they have been conditioned to do…. [It’s] stimulus-response, stimulus-response.” Thus, one of the ways the military increased riflemen’s willingness to shoot exposed enemies was to switch from the bull’s-eye targets of WWII training to “realistic, man-shaped silhouettes that pop into their field of view.” The soldiers have only a split-second to engage this new “stimulus” with the response of firing reflexively. As for kids, “every time a child plays an interactive point-and-shoot video game, he is learning the exact same conditioned reflex and motor skills.” This can help explain, says Grossman, why robbers under stress will sometimes reflexively shoot victims even when it wasn’t “part of the plan.”
If the above seems at all simplistic, note that it’s a life’s work boiled-down to 500 words. Suffice it to say, however, that entertainment has an effect. And do we really consider today’s entertainment benign? We’ve transitioned from a pre-TV America where boys sometimes brought real guns to school for target shooting to a TV-addicted America where boys bring toy guns to school and get suspended. And, of course, the reasons for this societal sea change are complex. But if we’re going to point to one factor, is it wiser to blame the AR-15 than PG-13?
US and UK Drowned Iraq in Blood…
All forms of political media — in print, on line, on the air — have been awash in recent weeks with retrospectives on the tenth anniversary of the American-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Amidst the mountainous heap of drivel and falsehood such an occasion inevitably produces among the vast and vapid army of analysts who happily spend their days chewing the cud of whatever happens to be the conventional wisdom of the day, there have been a few outstanding pieces that put this continuing war crime in stark perspective.
One of the better short pieces I’ve seen on the subject comes from — of all people — an actual Iraqi. Sami Ramadani, a dissident forced into exile by Saddam, has been one of the most insightful observers — and vociferous opponents — of the atrocities inflicted on his country by Western elites and their local collaborators (including, of course, for many decades, Saddam Hussein). From the Guardian:
Ten years on from the shock and awe of the 2003 Bush and Blair war – which followed 13 years of murderous sanctions, and 35 years of Saddamist dictatorship – my tormented land, once a cradle of civilisation, is staring into the abyss.
Wanton imperialist intervention and dictatorial rule have together been responsible for the deaths of more than a million people since 1991. And yet, according to both Tony Blair and the former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright, the “price is worth it”. Blair, whom most Iraqis regard as a war criminal, is given VIP treatment by a culpable media. Iraqis listen in disbelief when he says: “I feel responsibility but no regret for removing Saddam Hussein.” (As if Saddam and his henchmen were simply whisked away, leaving the people to build a democratic state). It enrages us to see Blair build a business empire, capitalising on his role in piling up more Iraqi skulls than even Saddam managed.
As an exile, I was painfully aware of Saddam’s crimes, which for me started with the disappearance from Baghdad’s medical college of my dearest school friend, Hazim. The Iraqi people are fully aware, too, that Saddam committed all his major crimes while an ally of western powers. On the eve of the 2003 invasion I wrote this for the Guardian:
“In Iraq, the US record speaks for itself: it backed Saddam’s party, the Ba’ath, to capture power in 1963, murdering thousands of socialists, communists and democrats; it backed the Ba’ath party in 1968 when Saddam was installed as vice-president; it helped him and the Shah of Iran in 1975 to crush the Kurdish nationalist movement; it increased its support for Saddam in 1979…helping him launch his war of aggression against Iran in 1980; it backed him throughout the horrific eight years of war (1980 to 1988), in which a million Iranians and Iraqis were slaughtered, in the full knowledge that he was using chemical weapons and gassing Kurds and Marsh Arabs; it encouraged him in 1990 to invade Kuwait…; it backed him in 1991 when Bush [senior] suddenly stopped the war, exactly 24 hours after the start of the great March uprising that engulfed the south and Iraqi Kurdistan…”
But when it was no longer in their interests to back him, the US and UK drowned Iraq in blood.
…We haven’t even counted the dead yet, let alone the injured, displaced and traumatised. Countless thousands are still missing. Of the more than 4 million refugees, at least a million are yet to go back to their homeland, and there still about a million internal refugees. On an almost daily basis, explosions and shootings continue to kill the innocent. … Lack of electricity, clean water and other essential services continues to hit millions of impoverished and unemployed people, in one of the richest countries on the planet. Women and children pay the highest price. Women’s rights, and human rights in general, are daily suppressed.
And what of democracy, supposedly the point of it all? The US-led occupying authorities nurtured a “political process” and a constitution designed to sow sectarian and ethnic discord. Having failed to crush the resistance to direct occupation, they resorted to divide-and-rule to keep their foothold in Iraq. Using torture, sectarian death squads and billions of dollars, the occupation has succeeded in weakening the social fabric and elevating a corrupt ruling class that gets richer by the day, salivating at the prospect of acquiring a bigger share of Iraq’s natural resources, which are mostly mortgaged to foreign oil companies and construction firms.
Warring sectarian and ethnic forces, either allied to or fearing US influence, dominate the dysfunctional and corrupt Iraqi state institutions, but the US embassy in Baghdad – the biggest in the world – still calls the shots. Iraq is not really a sovereign state, languishing under the punitive Chapter VII of the UN charter.
Yes, it has certainly been, as Barack Obama memorably characterized it, a “remarkable achievement.” It is also, more and more, a forgotten “achievement.” America’s amnesia regarding the war crime in Iraq and its continuing ramifications — not only the repression and death still going on there, but also the catastrophic impact of this atrocity on America itself, including the tsunami of suicide, homelessness and PTSD among its soldiers, and the back-breaking costs of this orgy of corruption and war-profiteering — is indeed remarkable. It is no longer a reality — a living, anguished, ongoing human tragedy — but simply fodder for commentary, for partisan point-scoring, for barroom blather. This has always been the case with our misbegotten wars of imperial domination (for an especially acute and egregious example of our chronic amnesia, see this review of Nick Turse’s new book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam), going back to the 19th century. And the “paradigm-changing” iadvent of the internet has done nothing to change that; despite today’s easy access to unprecedented levels of information about the realities of the Iraq war (and other high crimes and atrocities), the amnesia and willful ignorance remains as profound as ever.
So here we are. Ten years on from the frenzied paroxysm (or was it an orgasm?) of mass violence — which was itself the culmination of years of the bipartisan war-by-sanctions that American officials have openly acknowledged killed more than half a million Iraqi children — what is the central “moral” issue of our national politics today? This once-unimaginable, horribly depraved and obscene question: Should the president be allowed to murder any American citizen he chooses, or should there perhaps be be some kind of secret Congressional oversight of the secret killing program? (The idea of restricting the president’s power to kill any filthy foreignerhe chooses is not in question anywhere in our national politics, of course; Rand Paul wasn’t filibustering against that idea. No, any debate on the “ethics” of state murder is restricted to its application to Americans, who, as we know, are the only fully human beings on the face of the earth.)
Given the current trajectory of our plunge into barbarism, I predict that in just a few years we’ll be “debating” whether the president has the right to stick the severed heads of “terrorists” on spikes outside the White House, or if the heads should be passed around discreetly to members of the relevant Senate committees before being dumped in the ocean.
Source: Empire Burlesque
If We Will Get Understanding…
I have often written about the intractable diversity that results from humanistic forums. Following is a brief synopsis of three different thinkers. They are all sincere, smart, thoughtful, and truthful.
Amy Chua is a Law Professor at Yale University. She earned her Doctor of Law degree at Harvard and has a resume that includes apogee honors from each of her educational endeavors. Born to pedagogic Chinese parents she is a winsome women married to Jewish intellectual and fellow Yale Law Professor, Jed Rubinfeld.
Dr. Chua has written three books and published a controversial review in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Why Chinese Moms are Superior”. The review is an excerpt from another book entitled “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”.
“Chinese parents believe that their kids owe them everything. The reason for this is a little unclear, but it’s probably a combination of Confucian filial piety and the fact that the parents have sacrificed and done so much for their children. (And it’s true that Chinese mothers get in the trenches, putting in long grueling hours personally tutoring, training, interrogating and spying on their kids.) Anyway, the understanding is that Chinese children must spend their lives repaying their parents by obeying them and making them proud.”
Chua’s writing wears well, it is lucid and readable. She is critical of American exportation of Free Market Democracy but is enamored with empire and world government. In “Day of Empire” she writes almost lovingly of the Mongol leader, Khubilai: “(He) was a globalizer, seeking to create one world system. By synthesizing Arab, Chinese, and Greek expertise, Khubilai’s astronomers and cartographers produced the world’s most sophisticated maps, nautical charts, and terrestrial globes, far outstripping their European counterparts. He embraced international commerce, religious coexistence, free communication and cultural exchange. Fittingly, two of Khubilai’s most passionate ambitions were to establish a universal alphabet, encompassing all the languages of the world, and a universal calendar unifying the lunar calendar of the Arabs, the solar calendar of the Europeans, and the twelve-year animal cycle of the Chinese.”
Pat Buchanan is a writer, television personality, former candidate for President of the United States, and an America First patriot. In Chapter 11 of his book, “Suicide of a Superpower” he writes, “We are trying to create a nation that has never before existed, of all the races, tribes, cultures and creeds of Earth, where all are equal. In this utopian drive for the perfect society of our dreams we are killing the real country we inherited — the best and greatest country on earth.”
In the final paragraph of his book “The Great Betrayal” Buchanan concludes: “There are many who say there is no turning back, that the Global Economy is inevitable, that the death warrant of the nation-state has be signed, and that there is to be no reprieve. I do not believe this. It is vital that we not surrender this fortress of freedom, liberty, and human dignity that our ancestors died creating. I do not want to live in their brave new world; if it is coming, let us all stand our post. And if indeed, as James Fitzjames Stephens wrote, ’The waters are out and no human force can turn them back…I do not see why as we go with the stream we need sing Hallelujah to the river god’ We can take our country back and God willing, we shall.”
In an interview by Thierry Meyssan, Mother Agnès-Mariam of the Cross, mother superior of the monastery of James the Mutilated in Qara, Syria says: “The West is so full of pride that it cannot imagine a different civil order could possibly exist, even though theirs is facing an insoluble social, economical and moral crisis. In traditional societies loyal to the ancestral system inherited from biblical times, there are other ways, other parameters to organize the everyday life of the society. I am thinking about the patriarchal system. I am thinking about the system based on alliances among families, tribes, cities, regions and countries; a federal system based on freedom and the particular interests of the family, the tribe, attached to the land of the ancestors. Unfortunately the West has swept away the concept of belonging to the land, the family, the ethnic group, in short the ontological identity. The Western model is not based on the acknowledgement of the individual but on external interests. It is in the name of what is economically expedient that they sacrifice — for the benefit of the multinationals — the principles of the homeland, the family and personal identity. We don’t realize that we are caught up in a much more unbridled and evil totalitarianism than the small authoritarian regimes which they seek to overthrow. The latter at least have the merit of availing themselves of the social, identity, family, tribal and clan network of our mysterious Orient. I am conscious of the fact that, seen from a distance, our happy life is completely incomprehensible for the West.” Read the interview here.
Buchanan, Chua, and Mother Agne-Mariam express three different world views. There are elements of truth in each of the views but there is also conflict and error.
Although she lives and works in United States Amy Chua remains Chinese. Her study of empires and “Tiger Mother” seems to indicate an authoritarian bent. She believes China with an authoritarian regime has done better than Russia with a more democratic regime. Democracy, she contends, may be viable in a homogenous society but tends to create a class struggle in nations that have a large percentage of poor citizens.
Chua’s description of the parent/ child relationship is compatible with Biblical standards and strikes a chord with many Christians. Children owe their existence to their parents and should endeavor to make them proud. Many Americans have either lost this Biblical truth or are unwilling to put forth the effort needed to overcome puerile lethargy. Dr. Chua is not a Christian. Her admiration for Mongol emperor Khubilai stems from his “tolerance” – a concept at odds with the worship of a jealous God and useless against tyranny. Tolerance is the central theme her book “Day of Empire” and a necessary element for the success of the world government movement she supports.
When Chua champions tolerance she is supporting the religion of Humanism. Because Humanists have no absolute standard provided by an overarching source they must be tolerant of the individual opinions of the masses. However, Humanism’s intolerance of intolerance is equal to the intolerance of any other religion. Humanists are busy attempting to eradicate Christianity which is the religion claimed by the majority of the citizens of the United States.
Pat Buchanan was born into a large Catholic family in Washington, DC. He received his higher education in Journalism at Columbia University. He has an active intellect and is an excellent writer with several published books. He pines for the peace and prosperity of yesteryear. and challenges the cunning dismantling of our nation that has emanated from Talmudist Jewish influences in the press, education, and government. Ironically, his quest might be compared to the “Israel First” policies of the racial restricted nation of neo-Israel which is diametrically different than what its powerful supporters are foisting on the United States. Buchanan believes a nation must have common values and common goals. His latest book “Suicide of a Superpower” contains a Chapter titled “The End of White America” which correctly points to the demographic reality that Zionist forces have helped bring to the United States. This bit of truth telling resulted in his dismissal from MSNBC owned by the same pernicious power brokers whose policies Buchanan deplores. http://slatest.slate.com/
Each of these three thinkers brings truth to the table: Chua in the rearing of children; Buchanan in support of bygone righteousness; and Mother Agnès-Mariam on American hubris. None, however, provides an consummate remedy.
Please meet an East Indian Christian intellectual named Vishal Mangalwadi who has addressed one of his several books to the citizens of United States of America; its title is “The Book That Made Your World”. There is a tragic side to the need for a Christian from India to inform Americans who are supposedly 70 percent Christian that it was the Bible that made United States a great nation and its people the world’s most prosperous.
In 403 pages Mangalwadi informs us in detail. He compares the United States to his native country of India and to other non-Christian nations. He tells us of the importance Christians place on reading and education so converts can read the Bible and progress through acquiring knowledge. He relates the Biblical demand for work and for the wise conduct of one’s affairs. He points out the unique role of compassion in the Christian religion, the virtue of sharing and the acceptance of political defeat without the riots that characterize many other nations. He relates the success of billionaires like Bill Gates to the peace and order of our nation and emphasizes the paramount importance of a Christian culture for business success..
Mangalwadi finds the ashes of Christianity in American social life long after domestic recognition of their origin has vanished.
Toward the end of the book he reminds us that Harvard was named after Reverend John Harvard and its motto, in the year of our Lord, 1692, was “Truth, for Christ and the Church”. Every student was “plainly instructed and earnestly pressed” to know God and Jesus Christ, to read the Scripture twice daily and to be ready to give account of his knowledge. He writes, “Universities like Harvard were institutions that produced leaders who built the greatest nation in history. Yet now they turn out graduates brilliant in abilities but not always great in character….As brilliant but amoral graduates from secular universities such as Harvard gain control of America’s economic and political life, the world has every reason to cease trusting America. The trust that made the dollar the reserve currency of the world came from the original Harvard created by the Bible.”
What happened at Harvard is a microcosm of what has happened to America. From a nation that honored the God of the Bible we have become a nation that has forgotten Him along with His character and integrity. The causes of this deterioration are complex and have occurred slowly but some of the seeds were planted very early. In an effort to grow and expand, major Christian educational institutions began to cater to the evil quest for the knowledge of good and evil. In 1802 Harvard elected Unitarian Henry Ware to a professorship. Other colleges and Universities followed by introducing secular courses and entertaining humanistic thought. Righteousness was surrendered to growth in numbers of students and breadth of curriculums.
Churches followed a similar pattern. As ambitious preachers sought to grow their churches the messages sound Biblical theology and became seeker friendly. At least in part, the desire to appeal to a larger audience allowed the pernicious doctrine of Dispensationalism to become popular. This aberrant interpretation of the Bible removed the standard for obedience and made evangelism the final goal of Christianity. As this deterioration took place, in both colleges and churches, true believers split from the parent organization forming separate orthodox organizations. Yale began in that fashion. New churches and new colleges were birthed but the heretical originals remained and their numbers continued to grow.
Mangalwadi sees the United States from an immigrant’s perspective. His book records in detail the Christian doctrines that helped the young nation grow and prosper. He misses the conspiracy to dominate the world and the moral and cultural deterioration being created by powerful Talmudist Jews. But nevertheless his book buttresses the factual and persuasive argument that a Christian base provides the only proper framework for a free, prosperous and successful nation.
He provides the “who, what, where, and why” but the “how” and “when” are missing. American Christians need to realize that nothing can be changed until we are ready and willing to leave the end times in the Hands of God and begin to obey His Commandments. If 70 percent of our citizens began demanding that our government obey God and our Constitution (in spite of its errors) we would get major change almost immediately.
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” (George Orwell)
“The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought – that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc – should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words…” .
Thought control is irreconcilable with the scientific method, which, since the 17th century, has hinged on the identification of natural and human realities, using systematic observation, measurement, experiment, formulation and testing of hypotheses in an endeavor to construct an accurate representation of the world. By definition, the scientific method, which along with humanism forms the basis for the Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, poses a challenge to attempts at thought control .
In an Orwellian world the science itself would be deemed to constitute a ‘thoughtcrime’ .
Currently much of the world is either denying, or not acting on, the ultimate warning science has ever issued to humanity, namely, that any major interference with the atmosphere-ocean-land carbon cycle threatens to erode the very life support system of the planet.
Prior to the Neolithic, some 10,000 years ago, and the development of Great River Valley civilizations, erratic climates severely hindered cultivation of crops, requiring our ancestors to rely on hunting and gathering. Since then the relatively stable world climate has permitted the development of agriculture and civilization. However, the release since 1750 of over 560 billion tons of carbon (Gt C), more than 40% of which accumulates in the atmosphere, at the unprecedented rate of 2 parts per million/year , signals the termination of stable climate, as manifested by the spate of extreme weather events .
As CO2 remains in the atmosphere for 1000 to 10,000 years, current emissions are condemning future generations to impossible conditions. 
Overlooking all that, the “powers to be” appear bent on business as usual, and have developed an Orwellian language that attempts to circumvent the scientific message. Rarely are the dominant terms used in the media questioned. An example of such terms which have direct and indirect implications for the future of the Earth’s atmosphere include: ‘sustainable growth’ – The notion of endless growth in populations, GDP and material goods, on a finite planet, has acquired religious overtones among economists and politicians. To date no government appears to have the courage to call for a reversal of this trend.
Government statements appear to take for granted a continuation of the basic social and economic structures, taking little account of the state of the world should the IPCC-projected trajectories toward 4 degrees Celsius increase in global temperatures continue.
Rational decisions depend on the knowledge of facts. As recorded in history, the cradle of democracy in ancient Greece was destroyed by the rise of the demagogues, distorting the factual basis on which any choices could be made by voters. Modern analogues, where people grow from cradle to grave watching commercial and political propaganda by privately-owned media and by governments, are obvious.
Between 1988 and 2011 the world spent between $1.0 and $1.6 trillion annually on the military, and $1.56 trillion in 2012 , mostly on remote conflicts, wrecking economies and killing millions. These astronomical amounts of money are now required for the defence of the human race and other species from extinction in a world 4 degrees Celsius warmer.
There are those who see through the Newspeak. Ian Dunlop, a former an international oil, gas and coal industry executive, states in his submission to the Senate committee on extreme weather events:
“Scenarios abound, setting out the implications of differing assumptions for the future of our children and grandchildren. All of which would be laudable were it not for the fact that the critical scenario, of accelerating climate change and resource scarcity, is deliberately ignored – apparently too scary for ‘political realism’ to contemplate. Which is a nonsense, for the whole idea of scenarios is to prepare for the real, and increasingly likely, risks and opportunities which we face.” 
However, attempts at suppression of the scientific evidence are growing.
In North Carolina a bill that could be introduced in the state General Assembly would prevent state agencies and local governments from planning for the higher seas that many scientists expect later this century as the climate warms, making it illegal to accurately measure that sea level rise. Instead, the bill requires that any state forecast for future sea-level rise be based on the historical rise of the last century .
In New Zealand, the climate-change-denier organisation, the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust went to the High Court to challenge data published by the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere Research showing rising temperatures in New Zealand between 1909 and 2009. The judge threw out their claims, commenting “This Court should not seek to determine or resolve scientific questions demanding the evaluation of contentious expert opinion.” 
In Australia, which in 2010 became the world’s fourth-largest coal producer, after China, the United States, and India, and which exports roughly 70% of its coal production , climate change has become a sensitive political issue. The government has introduced a Carbon Tax which aims at a 5% reduction in carbon emissions, while at the same time the infrastructure is built for the export of over 1 billion tons of coal in the next few decades – almost 10% of the world’s annual fossil fuel consumption – which will all end up in the atmosphere.
Opposition by conservative parties to the Carbon Tax constitutes a mask for their denial of climate change. Attempts at either denying the science or belittling the consequences of carbon emissions are common, including by political leaders [11, 12, 13, 14]. Only rarely are the precautionary and risk management principles mentioned. Echoing Senator James Inhofe’s attempts to challenge climate science at the US Senate , some call for political-based inquiries into climate science  – unprecedented since Galileo.
Good planets are hard to come by.
 http://www.climatecentral.org/news/hansen-study-extreme-weather-tied-to-climate-change-14760/ ;
“My Name is Rachel Corrie” is based on the writings and journals of Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old Evergreen State College student, who traveled to the Gaza Strip in 2003 and was run over and killed by a USA MADE Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer which was operated by Israeli Forces, on March 16th, which was just a few days before President Bush began the bombing of Baghdad.
Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister at the time of Corrie’s death, promised a “thorough, credible and transparent investigation” would be conducted. An internal military inquiry cleared the two soldiers operating the bulldozer was even criticized by US officials.
Human Rights Watch noted it “fell far short of the transparency, impartiality and thoroughness required by international law”.
The army report said Rachel Corrie “was struck as she stood behind a mound of earth that was created by an engineering vehicle operating in the area and she was hidden from the view of the vehicle’s operator who continued with his work. Corrie was struck by dirt and a slab of concrete resulting in her death.”
Tom Dale, a British activist who was 10m away when Corrie was killed, wrote an account of the incident two days later. He described how she first knelt in the path of an approaching bulldozer and then stood as it reached her. She climbed on a mound of earth and the crowd nearby shouted at the bulldozer to stop. He said the bulldozer pushed her down and drove over her.
“They pushed Rachel, first beneath the scoop, then beneath the blade, then continued till her body was beneath the cockpit. They waited over her for a few seconds, before reversing. They reversed with the blade pressed down, so it scraped over her body a second time. Every second I believed they would stop but they never did.”
Rachel has been eulogized and demonized, celebrated and castigated. Her words and witness speak for themselves and what follows are but a few excerpts from her emails written while in the homes of strangers who became friends and family in Rafah.
In January 2003, upon leaving Olympia, Washington, Rachel wrote:
We are all born and someday we’ll all die…to some degree alone. What if our aloneness isn’t a tragedy? What if our aloneness is what allows us to speak the truth without being afraid? What if our aloneness is what allows us to adventure – to experience the world as a dynamic presence – as a changeable, interactive thing?
On February 7, 2003, Rachel wrote:
No amount of reading, attendance at conferences, documentary viewing and word of mouth could have prepared me for the reality of the situation here. You just can’t imagine it unless you see it – and even then you are always well aware that your experience of it is not at all the reality…Nobody in my family has been shot, driving in their car, by a rocket launcher from a tower at the end of a major street in my hometown…When I leave for school or work I can be relatively certain that there will not be a heavily armed soldier waiting…at a checkpoint with the power to decide whether I can go about my business, and whether I can get home again when I’m done…I am in Rafah: a city of about 140,000 people, approximately 60% of whom are refugees – many of whom are twice or three times refugees. Today, as I walked on top of the rubble where homes once stood, Egyptian soldiers called to me from the other side of the border, ‘Go! Go!’ because a tank was coming. And then waving and [asking] ‘What’s your name?’
Something disturbing about this friendly curiosity.
It reminded me of how much, to some degree, we are all kids curious about other kids. Egyptian kids shouting at strange women wandering into the path of tanks. Palestinian kids shot from the tanks when they peak out from behind walls to see what’s going on. International kids standing in front of tanks with banners. Israeli kids in the tanks anonymously – occasionally shouting and also occasionally waving – many forced to be here, many just aggressive – shooting into the houses as we wander away…There is a great deal of concern here about the “reoccupation of Gaza”. Gaza is reoccupied every day to various extents but I think the fear is that the tanks will enter all the streets and remain here instead of entering some of the streets and then withdrawing after some hours or days to observe and shoot from the edges of the communities. If people aren’t already thinking about the consequences of this war for the people of the entire region then I hope you will start….
Currently, the Israeli army is building a fourteen-meter-high wall between Rafah in Palestine and the border, carving a no-mans land from the houses along the border. Six hundred and two homes have been completely bulldozed according to the Rafah Popular Refugee Committee. The number of homes that have been partially destroyed is greater. Rafah existed prior to 1948, but most of the people here are themselves or are descendants of people who were relocated here from their homes in historic Palestine—now Israel. Rafah was split in half when the Sinai returned to Egypt.
In addition to the constant presence of tanks along the border and in the western region between Rafah and settlements along the coast, there are more IDF towers here than I can count—along the horizon, at the end of streets. Some just army green metal. Others these strange spiral staircases draped in some kind of netting to make the activity within anonymous. Some hidden, just beneath the horizon of buildings. A new one went up the other day in the time it took us to do laundry and to cross town twice to hang banners.
Despite the fact that some of the areas nearest the border are the original Rafah with families who have lived on this land for at least a century, only the 1948 camps in the center of the city are Palestinian controlled areas under Oslo.
But as far as I can tell, there are few if any places that are not within the sights of some tower or another. Certainly there is no place invulnerable to Apache helicopters or to the cameras of invisible drones we hear buzzing over the city for hours at a time.
…According to the municipal water office the wells destroyed last week provided half of Rafah’s water supply. Many of the communities have requested internationals to be present at night to attempt to shield houses from further demolition. After about ten p.m. it is very difficult to move at night because the Israeli army treats anyone in the streets as resistance and shoots at them. So clearly we are too few.
Many people want their voices to be heard, and I think we need to use some of our privilege as internationals to get those voices heard directly in the US, rather than through the filter of well-meaning internationals such as myself. I am just beginning to learn, from what I expect to be a very intense tutelage, about the ability of people to organize against all odds, and to resist against all odds.
People here watch the media, and they told me again today that there have been large protests in the United States and “problems for the government” in the UK. So thanks for allowing me to not feel like a complete Polyanna when I tentatively tell people here that many people in the United States do not support the policies of our government, and that we are learning from global examples how to resist.
February 20, 2003:
Now the Israeli army has actually dug up the road to Gaza, and both of the major checkpoints are closed. This means that Palestinians who want to go and register for their next quarter at university can’t. People can’t get to their jobs and those who are trapped on the other side can’t get home; and internationals, who have a meeting tomorrow in the West Bank, won’t make it. We could probably make it through if we made serious use of our international white person privilege, but that would also mean some risk of arrest and deportation, even though none of us has done anything illegal.
The Gaza Strip is divided in thirds now. There is some talk about the “reoccupation of Gaza”, but I seriously doubt this will happen, because I think it would be a geopolitically stupid move for Israel right now. I think the more likely thing is an increase in smaller below-the-international-outcry-radar incursions and possibly the oft-hinted “population transfer”.
…A move to reoccupy Gaza would generate a much larger outcry than Sharon’s assassination-during-peace-negotiations/land grab strategy, which is working very well now to create settlements all over, slowly but surely eliminating any meaningful possibility for Palestinian self-determination. Know that I have a lot of very nice Palestinians looking after me…
February 27, 2003:
…I have bad nightmares about tanks and bulldozers outside our house…Sometimes the adrenaline acts as an anesthetic for weeks and then in the evening or at night it just hits me again – a little bit of the reality of the situation. I am really scared for the people here. Yesterday, I watched a father lead his two tiny children, holding his hands, out into the sight of tanks and a sniper tower and bulldozers and Jeeps because he thought his house was going to be exploded. Jenny and I stayed in the house with several women and two small babies. It was our mistake in translation that caused him to think it was his house that was being exploded. In fact, the Israeli army was in the process of detonating an explosive in the ground nearby – one that appears to have been planted by Palestinian resistance.
This is in the area where Sunday about 150 men were rounded up and contained outside the settlement with gunfire over their heads and around them, while tanks and bulldozers destroyed 25 greenhouses – the livelihoods for 300 people. The explosive was right in front of the greenhouses – right in the point of entry for tanks that might come back again. I was terrified to think that this man felt it was less of a risk to walk out in view of the tanks with his kids than to stay in his house. I was really scared that they were all going to be shot and I tried to stand between them and the tank. This happens every day, but just this father walking out with his two little kids just looking very sad, just happened to get my attention more at this particular moment, probably because I felt it was our translation problems that made him leave.
I thought a lot about what you said on the phone about Palestinian violence not helping the situation. Sixty thousand workers from Rafah worked in Israel two years ago. Now only 600 can go to Israel for jobs. Of these 600, many have moved, because the three checkpoints between here and Ashkelon (the closest city in Israel) make what used to be a 40-minute drive, now a 12-hour or impassible journey. In addition, what Rafah identified in 1999 as sources of economic growth are all completely destroyed – the Gaza international airport (runways demolished, totally closed); the border for trade with Egypt (now with a giant Israeli sniper tower in the middle of the crossing); access to the ocean (completely cut off in the last two years by a checkpoint and the Gush Katif settlement). The count of homes destroyed in Rafah since the beginning of this intifada is up around 600, by and large people with no connection to the resistance but who happen to live along the border……about non-violent resistance.
When that explosive detonated yesterday it broke all the windows in the family’s house. I was in the process of being served tea and playing with the two small babies. I’m having a hard time right now. Just feel sick to my stomach a lot from being doted on all the time, very sweetly, by people who are facing doom. I know that from the United States, it all sounds like hyperbole. Honestly, a lot of the time the sheer kindness of the people here, coupled with the overwhelming evidence of the willful destruction of their lives, makes it seem unreal to me. I really can’t believe that something like this can happen in the world without a bigger outcry about it.
It really hurts me, again, like it has hurt me in the past, to witness how awful we can allow the world to be…you actually do go and do your own research. But it makes me worry about the job I’m doing. All of the situation that I tried to enumerate above – and a lot of other things – constitutes a somewhat gradual – often hidden, but nevertheless massive – removal and destruction of the ability of a particular group of people to survive. This is what I am seeing here. The assassinations, rocket attacks and shooting of children are atrocities – but in focusing on them I’m terrified of missing their context.
The vast majority of people here – even if they had the economic means to escape, even if they actually wanted to give up resisting on their land and just leave (which appears to be maybe the less nefarious of Sharon’s possible goals), can’t leave…they can’t even get into Israel to apply for visas, and because their destination countries won’t let them in (both our country and Arab countries).
…when all means of survival is cut off in a pen (Gaza) which people can’t get out of, I think that qualifies as genocide. Even if they could get out, I think it would still qualify as genocide. Maybe you could look up the definition of genocide according to international law…
When I come back from Palestine, I probably will have nightmares and constantly feel guilty for not being here, but I can channel that into more work. Coming here is one of the better things I’ve ever done. So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.
February 28, 2003:
…I spent a lot of time writing about the disappointment of discovering, somewhat first-hand, the degree of evil of which we are still capable. I should at least mention that I am also discovering a degree of strength and of basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances – which I also haven’t seen before. I think the word is dignity. I wish you could meet these people. Maybe, hopefully, someday you will…
I think I could see a Palestinian state or a democratic Israeli-Palestinian state within my lifetime. I think freedom for Palestine could be an incredible source of hope to people struggling all over the world. I think it could also be an incredible inspiration to Arab people in the Middle East, who are struggling under undemocratic regimes which the US supports.
I look forward to increasing numbers of middle-class privileged people like you and me becoming aware of the structures that support our privilege and beginning to support the work of those who aren’t privileged to dismantle those structures.
I look forward to more moments like February 15 when civil society wakes up en masse and issues massive and resonant evidence of it’s conscience, it’s unwillingness to be repressed, and it’s compassion for the suffering of others.
I look forward to more teachers emerging like Matt Grant and Barbara Weaver and Dale Knuth who teach critical thinking to kids in the United States.
I look forward to the international resistance that’s occurring now fertilizing analysis on all kinds of issues, with dialogue between diverse groups of people.
I look forward to all of us who are new at this developing better skills for working in democratic structures and healing our own racism and classism and sexism and heterosexism and ageism and ableism and becoming more effective.
In fifth grade, at the age of ten, Rachel Corrie wrote her heart out and stated it at a Press Conference on World Hunger in 1990:
I’m here for other children.
I’m here because I care.
I’m here because children everywhere are suffering and because forty thousand people die each day from hunger.
I’m here because those people are mostly children.
We have got to understand that the poor are all around us and we are ignoring them.
We have got to understand that these deaths are preventable.
We have got to understand that people in third world countries think and care and smile and cry just like us.
We have got to understand that they dream our dreams and we dream theirs.
We have got to understand that they are us. We are them.
My dream is to stop hunger by the year 2000.
My dream is to give the poor a chance.
My dream is to save the 40,000 people who die each day.
My dream can and will come true if we all look into the future and see the light that shines there.
If we ignore hunger, that light will go out.
If we all help and work together, it will grow and burn free with the potential of tomorrow.