Humanity’s horizons glowed from the brilliance of Nikola Tesla. But to our horrible misfortune, the glow was much too bright for the Power Status Quo (PSQ). Money means power, and Tesla cost tycoons a lot of money by slaying with alternating current (AC) the dead-end direct current (DC) power distribution system of Thomas Edison (financed by J.P Morgan).
More than forty of Tesla’s patents from 1888 cover the entire system of “polyphase” AC that, virtually unchanged, powers civilization to this day—a monumental lifetime achievement for any man.
But polyphase AC didn’t lead directly to the PSQ’s campaign of erasing Tesla from history. It was “Tesla’s Coil,” key to unlocking “Aether” and harnessing “Radiant Electricity.” The ultimate forbidden technology, Aether and Radiant Electricity was a primary focus of Tesla’s last forty years on Earth.
By tapping the Aether, by touching “ . . . the wheelwork of nature,” Tesla illuminated visions of humanity freed from domination by the likes of Rothschild, Morgan, Rockefeller . . . the entire global tyranny machine powered largely by fossil energy, private central banking, war.
One man found an antidote for pathocracy, humanity’s premier poison.  His name was Nikola Tesla; that remains one of the few things about the man that has not been altered by the PSQ. The name survives, but little else about Tesla has not been violated. His crime or “sin” was competition tycoons couldn’t control.
Tesla always knew he would triumph. In his own words, regarding tycoons such as J.P. Morgan: “I am unwilling to accord to some small-minded and jealous individuals the satisfaction of having thwarted my efforts. These men are to me nothing more than microbes of a nasty disease. My project was retarded by laws of nature. The world was not prepared for it. It was too far ahead of time, but the same laws will prevail in the end and make it a triumphal success.”
Tesla’s “ . . . triumphal success” has the power to unwind tyranny. All we need is for enough humans to awaken from the PSQ’s spell. Tesla obviously thought awakening was possible even while insisting, “No free energy device will ever be allowed to reach the market.” Tesla knew that mass awakening was the wildcard. If we let him down, we let humanity down.
Tycoons throw enormous wealth at protecting people from reality by keeping them asleep. But waking up is free, the only ticket to freedom of development of the human potential.
Freedom . . . a gorgeous concept increasingly hollowed-out by the PSQ. Try to imagine what humanity might achieve without being kicked in the face by the psychopathic elite.
George Orwell said in his novel, 1984, “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”
If we have any chance at proving Orwell wrong, Tesla might be our best hope. So he gets the boot. But they haven’t stamped out Tesla’s spirit. His ultimate technology is still alive not only in Black-Ops, but in laboratories of valiant researchers cheating death-by-truth.
The PSQ’s perpetual fouling of Tesla accents his elevation of what it means to be human. That most salient testament to Tesla’s brilliance, his suppression by the PSQ—it’s all around us, hidden in plain sight.
Style of the PSQ exhibits fear of people thinking for themselves. As long as pockets of human intelligence resist brainwashing, and independent thoughts fly around uncontrolled, that means the PSQ’s choke hold on power is not “safe.” Similar alarm flourished in America’s top Rothschild agent, J.P. Morgan.  He knew monopolistic fortunes were not safe with Tesla a funded free spirit. Morgan and other tycoons stung by the “War of the Currents”  went into a defensive blitz. And when Tesla denied Morgan control of Radiant Electricity, Morgan had Tesla’s laboratories burned down. Works of genius were destroyed, but not the man. Morgan also instructed the four publishers of school textbooks to never mention Nikola Tesla; ditto for the Smithsonian—Nikola Tesla was an unperson. Morgan stamped like a professional on truth about Tesla. And the money boot keeps stamping with help from public ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in “authority.” . . .
Creativity . . . humans working outside “the box”—writers, inventors, scientists and researchers and free spirits soaring above dogma embody what the PSQ fears in humanity. Nikola Tesla is a stellar example of what the PSQ fears most.
Tesla revered nature, not money. That got Tesla the electrical wizard off to a bad start with the PSQ—a moral eminence compounded by Tesla’s public declaration: “Science is but a perversion of itself unless it has as its ultimate goal the betterment of humanity.”
Those were fighting words to the tycoons—especially the part about, “ . . . betterment of humanity.” Tycoons seek “arrested human development,” conspire to fit humanity with cement overshoes. Tesla’s treasures remain difficult to fathom with the PSQ so good at not only mangling and suppressing them, but misrepresenting many as works of Edison, Marconi and others.
On his deathbed, Edison said his biggest mistake had been in trying to develop direct current, rather than the superior alternating current system that Tesla had put within his grasp.
Tesla’s reply about Marconi’s work in radio: “Marconi is a good fellow. Let him continue. He is using 17 of my patents.”
If Tesla doesn’t terrify the PSQ, why their obsession with polluting his accomplishments? Why did they ban Tesla in textbooks and at the Smithsonian, choke off his funding and conjure him into a bogeyman?
Standard indoctrination coddles third graders along in this video of an “Awesome! ‘Tesla Coil’” (don’t miss Alex Jones growling in the wings). 
Here’s an encouraging story of spunky third graders with a great teacher, and their letter-writing campaign focused on getting Tesla acknowledged in the Smithsonian. 
Among Tesla’s most noble contributions to humanity and the cause of freedom . . . his intimate disclosure of PSQ’s will to protect their power at the complete disregard of humanity. Tesla revealed what it means to be psychopathic, and elite, showing humanity what inhumanity we are up against. Destruction of competition is a martial situation where, as the PSQ likes to frame it: “No options are off the table.”
The Internet has made progress against common public sentiment regarding Tesla being derivatives of: “I heard Tesla was kind of a crackpot.” Big money manipulates this idea from off in the wings, but when it comes to truth about Tesla, austerity takes center stage.
A nurtured “ . . . then how come?” variety of popular ignorance clings to the idea: “If Tesla was so great, then how come we’re not utilizing his so-called ultimate technology?” The PSQ religiously stamping out competition is “how come.” And once again, when it comes to protecting their monopolies, “ . . . nothing is off the table.”
Accurate information about Tesla still haunts the Internet. People can even learn about Eric Dollard.  But the PSQ’s “Internet problem” seems merely a speed bump, considering the PSQ’s record of successfully controlling whatever they want to control, if given enough time. Where would the PSQ be without it’s enablers, us?
A great quote from Eric Dollard: “Tesla scared the central bankers senseless. They knew what his plan meant. Energy independence meant an almost complete loss of control of the people.”
Tesla fought in the trenches, pulling back curtains on the PSQ—on humanity versus tyranny, freedom versus slavery. Profit from death and destruction—perpetual war fueled by fossil energy. Private central banking’s “ . . . continuous consolidation of wealth and power into higher, tighter and righter hands” (GHW Bush quote). Continuous consolidation of wealth in the fewest hands drives debt slavery, genocide, looting of the future, the “New World Order.”
“If we don’t exploit every resource with alacrity and no mercy, our competitors will”—that’s the apparent creed of the PSQ. Sugary platitudes regarding people yet to be born seem vulgar in light of the PSQ twisting future generations into competitors. First come, first served. A penny stolen is a penny earned.
Imagine “free” energy.
Imagine no contrived shortages and price gouging. No ”gas” tanks, power lines, meters, power bills, wars for oil and pipeline routes, Alberta tar and Keystone XL kinds of high-pressure DilBit arteries of death—imagine some of the PSQ’s worst nightmares. Toss in no climate-changing hydrocarbon pollution, no more churning out mountains of radioactive waste to attack the human genome for thousands of generations, no psychopathic domination by an invisible elite controlling what billions of people need to survive. Imagine modern warfare obsolete.  Tesla offered salvation from survival of the wickedest.
The wicked panicked . . .
Truth is the antidote for diseased wealth and propaganda smothering and mangling the best of Tesla. A rare step in the right direction would be millions of people realizing that Tesla really did not dedicate the second half of his life to making bigger and ever-more-“Awesome!” sparks—but rather, he was absolutely dedicated to freedom of humanity. Tesla’s greatest invention being reduced to a toy for “ . . . entertainment and educational displays”—that’s very potent PSQ mind venom. They even tagged Tesla the “God of Lightning.” Can’t beat lightning for “Awesome!” sparks. Can’t beat the PSQ for . . . perhaps W.C. Fields said it best: “There comes a time in the affairs of man, when we must take the bull by the tail, and face the situation.” The “bull” in this case is the PSQ; the situation is what blasts from under the bull’s tail to foul humanity, and our nest.
Do we still have, if we ever did have, the mettle to wake up and rub the PSQ’s nose in their foulness? The stakes have never been higher.
The sin of competition
A quote variously attributed to both J.D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan set the stage for maniacal fouling of Tesla: “Competition is a sin.” 
Chutzpah of these two “tycoons’” implies that monopoly is divine—especially monopoly on energy, money, food, fresh water, and war; a “royal flush” in this Earthly game of poker.
Consider our nightmare of perpetual war in terms of this quote from Aldous Huxley, author of the novel, Brave New World: “The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.”
Lies are the foundation of the PSQ’s reaction to Nikola Tesla. It’s paramount to humanity that freethinkers survive the elite and witness epiphany of this wisdom from Buddha: “The lie tastes sweet at the beginning, but bitter at the end. The truth tastes bitter at the beginning, but sweet at the end.”
“Tesla’s Coil” versus “The Tesla Coil”
The jungle of confusion and suppression of Tesla’s masterpiece might be easier to navigate if we distinguish between “Tesla’s Coil,” and the “Tesla Coil.” The former could be the epitome of human invention, the latter is its neutered caricature. For elaboration on this distinction, let’s check in with Zionist propaganda, the richest kind.
Wikipedia is hailed by Zionist Israel as “ . . . the major source of information in the world.” They even advertise, with standard Zionist chutzpah, that Wikipedia is “ . . . under constant, paid review of Zionist assets.” 
Below is Wikipedia’s first three paragraphs (underlining added) for their listing: “Tesla Coil” (as opposed to “Tesla’s Coil”):
“A Tesla coil is an electrical resonant transformer circuit invented by Nikola Tesla around 1891. It is used to produce high-voltage, low-current, high frequency alternating-current electricity.
“Tesla coils can produce higher voltages than other artificial sources of high-voltage discharges, electrostatic machines. Tesla experimented with a number of different configurations consisting of two, or sometimes three, coupled resonant electric circuits.
“Tesla used these coils to conduct innovative experiments in electrical lighting, phosphorescence, x-ray generation, high frequency alternating current phenomena, electrotherapy, and the transmission of electrical energy without wires. Tesla coil circuits were used commercially in sparkgap radio transmitters for wireless telegraphy until the 1920s, and in pseudomedical equipment such as electrotherapy and violet ray devices. Today their main use is for entertainment and educational displays.”
Please note the use of “high-voltage, low-current, high frequency alternating-current electricity,” and, “high frequency alternating current phenomena,” topped off with, “Today their main use is for entertainment and educational displays.” In terms of what Tesla actually achieved—in terms of transcendent capabilities of “Tesla’s Coil,” Wikipedia’s “Tesla Coil” definition could not be more misleading if Wikipedia’s goal was to mislead.
Smell a rat? Tesla has offered to show us that rats don’t always win.
Regarding Wikipedia’s, “Today their main use is for entertainment and educational displays” . . . this is a naked example of Wikipedia’s Zionist-propaganda roots, and propagation of twisted truth.
Frank Zappa characterized America’s educational system as a mechanism designed to create “ . . . functional ignorance.”
Disguised as an educational system, America’s youth indoctrination system also gets a nod in Wikipedia’s line about the “Tesla Coil” being for “ . . . entertainment and educational displays.”
Entertainment, surely, but educational? Entertainment and indoctrination are more accurate here; the “Tesla Coil” is hailed while “Tesla’s Coil” is . . . what, “conspiracy theory”?
We suffer severe multi-generational distress when “education” is largely indoctrination aimed at inhibiting independent thinking. Students memorize dogma sanctioned by the PSQ so they can pass standardized tests sanctioned by the PSQ. Students learning to think for themselves, learning how to distinguish truth from dogma—this will not do. The PSQ wants young minds regurgitating hive thinking in preparation for becoming obedient workers in thrall of authority, wingless and weighed-down by leaden dogma planted in their minds by PSQ ovipositors.
Tesla’s “Wheelwork of Nature”
While the primary function of the contrived “Tesla Coil” is to disengage Tesla’s masterpiece from reality, the primary function of “Tesla’s Coil” is to disengage voltage from current—disengage “the true electricity” (Aether) from the flow of massive electrons. Only when zero current is achieved in “Tesla’s Coil” will Aether flow freely and the “Tesla Effect” be realized. Any flow of electrons chokes off the Aether. It’s no coincidence that the awesome-spark-toy “Tesla Coil” has popularly replaced “Tesla’s Coil” to choke off Tesla’s threat to the PSQ.
Tesla’s inspiration regarding the decoupling of voltage and current grew during his brief employment by Thomas Edison.
Edison’s DC power distribution system was so inefficient that power-line resistance would cause voltage to fade within several city blocks. Voltage was cranked up very high at the main generators, and “pumping stations” were required every half mile to boost sagging voltage and current.
When a main switch was thrown to hit transmission lines with cranked-up voltage right off the main generators, a blast of blue and purple spikes and stinging, shocking sensations radiated in all directions from the transmission lines before electrons (current) flowed in the lines. This instantaneous phenomenon actually killed some linesmen. Engineers considered these bursts of magnified electrostatic potential a nuisance to be eliminated. Tesla saw them as a powerful, mysterious form of energy to be explored.
In Part Two:
● Tesla and the Earth (his laboratory)
● “Tesla’s Coil” (the real thing)
● The “Tesla Effect”
● Aether’s “whitefire” fountains and “mass-free cold electricity”
● Wardenclyffe without propaganda
● Tesla allowed a cameo appearance in the Smithsonian
● Eric Dollard’s eight destroyed laboratories, and why a most profound and honorable way to help humanity, Earth, and generations to come is also the most dangerous
Source: Intrepid Report
Of all the delusions we entertain in our lives, both individually and collectively, that we are the “masters of our own destiny” has got to be one of the grandest. It is emboldening to feel we are somehow ‘in control’, ‘in charge’ of the myriad forces and influences that surround and inhabit us but in reality we seem more like high-stakes gamblers than gods, playing a numbers game not fully aware of the odds that, as often as not, are resolutely stacked against us.
Long before ‘rationalism’ convinced us it was able to even up these odds thus moving into the dominant position it now occupies in the modern psyche, an old proverb, originating from not only a different era but also school of thought, suggested a more subtle and unpredictable relationship between mans actions and the consequences of those actions, in other words between causes and their inevitable, if not immediately obvious, effects. It was a clear warning to those who presume superiority and dominion over wild, unruly Nature and attempt to subjugate it to a mere predictable mechanism. “They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind”, goes the ancient saying which seeks to reintroduce the principle of the ‘unknown’, the ‘unaccounted for’ back into the minds of those who cling to their sophisticated certainties and complacencies. As Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defence in the Bush administration and no stranger to an elevated sense of certainty, famously and rather ironically put it: “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
The Hidden Conditionality
In 1961 mathematician and meteorologist Professor Edward Lorenz working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, made what appeared to be an accidental discovery whilst running some tests on his new, though by today’s standards rather primitive computer, the charmingly named Royal McBee LGP-30. This discovery has helped to change our perception of just how surprisingly sensitive the world, as a vast, organic System made up of many minor, interconnected systems, actually is upending the reductionist, ‘world as giant machine’ model which many, particularly in science, have subscribed to.
Far-reaching ideas often originate and ripple outwards from simple, seemingly insignificant insights; the concept of splitting the atom, for example, must be about as small and inconsequential a starting-point as one can imagine. Lorenz’s profound realisation began life rather similarly. In one of those early tests, in 1961, he re-entered data into his computer for a re-run of a weather simulation he had already completed, but this time using the numbers direct from the original printout. To his surprise, he found that the simulation ended with a totally different result. Using exactly the same input data, the final outcome should have been identical. He did this many times over and kept finding the same wild variations. The reason was that the Royal McBee had, in the first instance, entered numbers to an accuracy of six decimal points, whereas the subsequent printout was rounding them off to three decimal points. It was only a margin of error of less than 0.1 per cent, then seen as quite insignificant over a whole experiment, and yet it resulted in huge deviations from the original, exposing the underlying conditionality limiting the science of long-term prediction and a killer-blow to those who see in it an omnipotent future for man and computer.
Lorenz was not the first to have had an inkling of this somewhat hidden conditionality. Over 100 years earlier, the brilliant French mathematician Jules Henri Poincare, whose work also showed that systems are not as stable or predictable as they were previously assumed to be, was largely misunderstood and ignored. Post-Lorenz though that insight, perhaps finding a more receptive time in which to take root than the 1800s of Poincare, has taken on a whole new dimension, showing up the limitations of systemic modelling and analysis, something we have become, in our attempts to ‘manage risk’, increasingly dependent upon and especially with the advent of computers. This, for example, was clearly played out in 2007 at the very beginning of the global financial crisis, when predictive models employed to chart the behaviour of international trade and capital flows, under an atmosphere – not fully recognised at the time – of accentuated volatility proved to be misrepresentative leaving policy-makers, forecasters and speculators completely wrong-footed. Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman, stated in late 2008, before a Congressional hearing in Washington, “I have discovered a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works”, in what can only be described as a moment of frank admission, for an ultra-rationalist. He added, “This modern risk-management paradigm held sway for decades…The whole intellectual edifice, however, collapsed in the summer of last year “. He was referring partly to his shaken belief in a neo-liberal, ‘free-market’ economic model, and to the ability to predict and control its behaviour, which, on Mr Greenspan’s watch, has managed to dysfunctionalise the entire global economic system and caused untold suffering. Some, including many notable economists, say his policies, whilst the head of the Fed, were significantly responsible for the onset of the financial crisis as they encouraged the sub-prime housing bubble, and it’s inevitable collapse, by keeping interest rates too low for too long – “easy money”. And he failed to rein in the explosive growth of the largely unregulated business of derivatives, risky financial instruments that, as he admitted in the Washington hearing, were out of control and had created havoc throughout the financial world. In 1994, Greenspan successfully opposed the implementation of tougher regulations and restrictions on the derivatives market.
Of course the world still operates predictably and measurably in many ways, as our extraordinary modern science has shown but it has become increasingly clear that this is by no means the full story. Those now infamous “masters of the universe”, both in high finance and science, over-dependent on speculative theories and models, hell-bent on retaining their triple-A, god-like status, have tended to conveniently overlook this underlying fact. All systems, which inevitably experience conditions of stress and can therefore become highly sensitized as a result, are prone to unstable, unpredictable modes of behaviour; an instability which can be symptomatic of being driven too hard and to the very limits of natural functioning. It is a warning indicator that any particular system is reaching or has reached a ‘tipping-point’, beyond which it will move into a disturbed and increasingly dysfunctional phase of activity and eventually completely collapse, much like a wheel coming loose from it’s axle; at first wobbling uncontrollably and then coming off altogether. The climate of a particular region, for example, may be masking underlying instability latent in that system and so the potential for disruptive weather patterns is present but remains unnoticed. Similarly with the economy, where many learned and even Nobel-prize winning economists have been caught out, admitting that they did not see this “once in a lifetime” crisis coming. And in the case of the environment, no one truly knows what might unravel if we reach that ominous tipping-point of a polar ice cap and permafrost meltdown.
The sensitivity of systems to influencing factors which may be miniscule, as Lorenz discovered, and therefore virtually impossible to monitor, no matter how accurate the devices used, is often referred to by the well-known term ‘butterfly effect’. It points to the fact that when systems like the climate, environment or economy are in an inherently unstable condition it can lead to unforeseen events even with the smallest of initial disturbances. Like the turbulence generated by the beat of a butterfly’s wings or for that matter the splitting of an atom which, again when the fissile material, on an atomic level, is unstable enough, can set in motion a cataclysmic chain of events. Put another way, in a highly charged ‘atmosphere’, using the word in its broadest sense, it often only takes the smallest of switching devices, a hair-trigger, to move it rapidly into an either destructive or creative phase of activity. The tension inherent in that atmosphere or environment seeks to be diffused, discharged either dramatically as takes place in a lightning strike or gradually like the steady flow of household electricity, kept relatively safe and useable by a whole network of regulating mechanisms and in stark contrast to our neoliberalised and therefore deregulated financial system, which some believe is “ready to blow” – like a whirlwind. The trigger-point or activating ‘seed’ may be minute but in a system, in a sense, ‘fertile’ enough it can grow exponentially into say a hurricane, nuclear explosion, stock market implosion or even social revolution – not by any means a new phenomena but one we are seeing today in a globalised form which includes protest movements like the Arab Spring, the Spanish Indignados and the Occupy Movement.
The True Nature of Justice
There can be little doubt that the ‘global atmosphere’, so to speak, today is one that indeed can be characterised as highly charged, socially, politically, economically and environmentally not to mention the inner storm brewing up in our collective psyche. These are uncertain times with uncertain futures and distressing to a world that appears, to anyone who has eyes to see and not their head jammed firmly in the sand, to have completely lost it’s way. In the lead-up to its annual meeting, the World Economic Forum published its annual report in January 2013 – Global Risks – warning of potential dangers to the functioning of our most critical systems. Compiled by a panel of 1,000 experts, it urged policy-makers to address the key issues of severe income disparities, the indebted state of governments and rising greenhouse gas emissions. The report states: “Continued stress on the economic system is positioned to absorb the attention of leaders for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, the Earth’s environmental system is simultaneously coming under increasing stress. Future simultaneous shocks to both systems could trigger the ‘perfect storm’ with potentially insurmountable consequences… On the economic front, global resilience is being tested by bold monetary and austere fiscal policies. On the environmental front, the Earth’s resilience is being tested by rising global temperatures and extreme weather events that are likely to become more frequent and severe. A sudden and massive collapse on one front is certain to doom the other’s chance of developing an effective, long-term solution.”
We have sown the wind and the whirlwind has surely followed. That is a fact whether generally accepted or not. Many of the operating systems of the planet, as stated above, are under tremendous pressure and are showing the telltale signs of distress and dysfunctionality. The most obvious of course being the degradation of our living environment, which includes pollution and climate change, and yet there are those who are still quite able to rationalise the whole problem away, conveniently understating the human factor and choosing instead to put the emphasis on ‘nature’s cycles’.
As the well over-used cliché puts it, we are now in uncharted territory – a realm of “unknown unknowns” – though perhaps not quite as uncharted as we imagine. For it is always that Nature, an ultimately benevolent, self-regulating Organism, sooner or later, responds to extremes with balancing corrective measures. When the excesses of our planet reach the toxic levels they so obviously have today, with say environmental destruction, carbon dioxide emissions, the wealth and income inequality that exists between the so-called haves and have-nots and many other socio-economic injustices, Nature at a certain point kicks in. Like a safety valve letting off steam it attempts to stem the destructive energetic imbalance before it becomes dangerously polarised, much like an electrical storm, mentioned earlier, seeks to neutralise the build-up of a super-charged differential. There seems in-built in Nature a correcting factor, an element of Universal Justice, which attempts to harmonise destructive inequities and one we appear to be quite unaware of, or at least act as if we are.
In essence, and not to put too fine a point on it, we have somehow succeeded in creating a global ‘energy-bomb’, for want of a better way of putting it, with many factors having gone into its assemblage and ourselves as the unfortunate targets – the ultimate in suicide missions, albeit an unconscious one. The mounting tensions of the world have been, at best, misunderstood, at worst overlooked and ignored for generations by a long succession of influential policy-makers, both in global politics and economics. This has led to a dangerous and seemingly intractable, bomb-like concentration of problems affecting all aspects of life. It has created this super-charged atmosphere, a supercell of disharmony and dis-ease, which will take some skill and a considerable amount of patience to diffuse before some unforeseen trigger sets in motion a catastrophic chain of events, in the same way a single, well-placed bullet, killing Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on 28th June 1914, acted as the tiny spark that seeded what would later become the raging inferno of World War One.
The world cries out, knowingly or not, for a team of skillful operators with abilities in all fields, whose primary task it is to diffuse the currently explosive situation facing the planet. High level, high-calibre compromisers and negotiators, a role for which the United Nations was originally set up, respected by many and able to take the sting out of the gathering mother of all storms, we have all unintentionally reaped, before it does further untold and perhaps irreversible damage to an already beleaguered planet. At this time of extraordinary significance can we make the right choices in the sense that we accept what the present situation demands from us, as laid down by the Universal Laws of Nature, particularly the key Law of Cause and Effect, which in the end express the interconnectedness of all things? The universe itself is bound together by the interplay of these underpinning guiding principles, as science is continually re-discovering. Why is it humanity thinks it can reasonably exist in some fantasy realm beyond them? And, perhaps more importantly, when will we wake up to this dangerous delusion and renounce these outlaw ways which have brought us all to the very edge of extinction without even fully realising it? That is the question of our times. We appear not to have forever to answer it.
Report and Appeal to the International community to support a process of dialogue and reconciliation in Syria between its people and Syrian government and reject outside intervention and war.
BY Mairead Maguire, Nobel peace laureate. Spokesperson for Mussalaha International
Peace delegation to Lebanon/Syria l-llth May, 2013,
After a 10 days visit to Lebanon and Syria, leading a 16 person delegation from 8 countries, invited by Mussalaha Reconciliation Movement, I have returned hopeful that peace is possible in Syria, if all outside interference is stopped and the Syrians are allowed to solve their own problems upholding their right to self-determination.
An appeal to end all violence and for Syrians to be left alone from outside interference was made by all those we met during our visit to Syria. We have tried to forward it to the International community in our Concluding Declaration(l).
During our visit we went to refugee camps, affected communities, met religious leaders, combatants, government representatives, opposition delegations and many others, perpetrators and victims, in Lebanon and Syria.
1. Visits to refugee camps: In Lebanon we visited several refugee camps, hosted by Lebanese or Palestinian communities. One Woman said: “before this conflict started we were happy and had a good life (there is free education, free healthcare, subsidies for fuel, in Syria ,) and now we live in poverty”. Her daughter and son-in-law (a pharmacist and engineer) standing on a cement floor in a Palestinian refugee camp, with not even a mattress, told us that this violence had erupted to everyone surprise’s and spread so quickly they were all still in shock, but when well armed, foreign fighters came to Homs, they took over their homes, raped their women, and killed young males who refused to join their ranks, so the people fled in terror. They said that these foreign fighters were from many countries like Libyans, Saudis, Tunisians, Chechens, Afghanis, Pakistanis, Emiratis, Lebanese, Jordanians, Turkish, Europeans, Australian, and these gangs are financed and trained by foreign governments. They attach suicide vests around peoples’ bodies and threaten to explode them if they don’t do what they are told. One refugee woman asked me ‘when can we go home’? (To my great delighted a few days later in Damascus I met a woman working on a government programme which is helping refugees to return to Syria and over 200 have returned to date).
Religious and government leaders have called upon people not to flee Syria and it is to be hoped many will heed this call, as after seeing so many Syrian refugees living in tents and being exploited in so many ways, including sexually, I believe the best solution is the stability of Syria so its people feel safe enough to stay in Syria. If refugees continue to flee Syria then surrounding countries could be destabilized, causing the domino effect and destabilizing the entire Middle East.
Many people have fled into camps in surrounding countries like Turkey, Jordan or Lebanon, all of whom are trying to manage the huge influx of Syrian refugees. Although the host countries are doing their best to cope they are overwhelmed by refugee numbers. (UNHCR’s official figure of refugees is one million). Through our meetings we have been informed that Turkey invites Syrian refugees into the country and forbid them to go back home. It is documented that Syrian refugees in Turkey and Jordan are mistreated. Some young Syrian refugee girls are sold for forced marriage in Jordan. From OHCHR reports we know that more than 4 million Syrians are displaced inside their own country, living in great need.
A representative from Red Cross, told us that there is freedom to do their work throughout Syria for all NGO and the Syrian Red crescent in co-ordination with the Ministry of Social affairs and under such dire circumstances, they are doing their best, providing services to as many people as possible. However there is a great shortage of funds for them to cope with this humanitarian tragedy of refugees and internally displaced population. The economic sanctions, as in Iraq,are causing great hardship to many people and all those whom we met called for them to be lifted. Our delegation called for the lifting of these illegal US-led sanctions that target the Syrian Population for purely political reasons in order to achieve regime change.
2- Hospitals: We visited the hospitals and saw many people injured by shootings, bombings, and armed attacks. A moderate Sunni Imam told me how he was abducted by jihadists, who tortured him, cut off his ear, tried to cut his throat, slicing his legs, and left him for dead. He said when he goes back to his mosque they will slaughter him. He told us “these men are foreign fighters, jihadists from foreign countries, well armed, well trained, with money, they are in our country to destroy it. They are not true Muslims but are religious extremist/fundamentalists terrorizing, abducting, killing our people”. The government spokesman also confirmed that they have in detention captured foreign fighters from 29 countries, including Chechens, Iraqis, and many others. The Ministry of Health showed us a documentary on the terrible killings by Jihadists and the terror caused by these foreigners with the killing of medics and destruction of medical infrastructure of the Syrian State which has made it difficult to answer the needs of the population.
3- Meeting with Opposition: Our delegation participated in an open forum with many representatives of internal opposition’s parties. One political opponent who was in prison 24 years under the Assad regime, and has been out for 11 years, wants political change with more than 20 other internal opposition components, but without outside interference and the use of violence. We met with ‘armed’ opposition people in a local community who said they had accepted the governments offer of amnesty and were working for a peaceful way forward. One man told me he had accepted money from Jihadists to fight but had been shocked by their cruelty and the way they treated fellow Syrian muslims considering them as not real Muslims. He said foreign Jihadists wanted to take over Syria, not save it.
The 10th May a part of our delegation headed to Homs, invited by the opposition community of Al Waar city where displaced families from Baba Amro, Khalidiyeh and other rebel’s strongholds seek refuge. The Delegation saw all the conditions of this city and is studying a Pilot Project for Reconciliation and peaceful reintegration between this community and the surrounded non rebel communities (Shia and Alaouites) with whom 15 days ago an agreement of non belligerence has been signed through the auspices of Mussalaha.
4 – Meeting with Officials: Our Delegation met, and spoke, at the Parliament, and also with the Governor, Prime Minister and 7 other Ministries. We were given details of the new Constitution and political reforms being put in place, and plans for elections in 2014. Government Ministers admitted that they had made mistakes in being slow to respond to legitimate demands for change from civil community but these were now being implemented. They told us when the conflict started it was peaceful for change but quickly turned into bloodshed when armed men killed many soldiers.
In the first days soldiers were unarmed but when people started asking for protection the government and military responded to defend the people and in self defence.
When we enquired from the Prime Minister regarding the allegation that the Syrian Government had used Sarin gas, he told us that as soon as news came from Aleppo that allegedly gas had been used, his government invited immediately the UN to come into investigate, but heard nothing from them. Most recently however, a UN investigator, High Commissioner Carla Del Ponte, has confirmed that it was rebels, not Syrian government, who used Sarin gas. During meeting with Justice Minister, we requested that a list of 72 non-violent political dissidents currently detained be released. The justice Minister said after checking those listed were indeed non-violent political dissidents, he would, in principal, agree to the release of these nonviolent detainees. He also informed us they they do not implement the death penalty and it is hoped that when things settle in Syria they will move to have the death penalty abolished. We also asked the Justice Minister (an international lawyer) about Syrian Government’s Human rights abuses, namely the artillery shelling into no-go areas being held by jihadists and armed opposition. The Minister accepted those facts but alleged that the Government had a duty to clear these areas. We suggested there was a better way to deal with the problem than artillery shelling but he insisted that the government had responsibility to clear the areas of rebel forces and this was the way in which they were doing it
The Ministers and Governor said that President Assad was their President and has their support. There were many people we spoke to who expressed such sentiments. However, some young people said they support the opposition but in order to protect the Unity of Syria from outside destruction, they will support the government and President Assad, until the election next year and then they will vote for the opposition. They said the Doha Coalition in Qatar does not represent them and that no one outside Syria has a right to remove President Assad but the Syrian people through the elections next year. The journalists in Syria are in great danger from the religious extremist/fundamentals,and during my visit to a television station a young journalist told me how his mother was killed by jihadists and he showed me his arm where he had been shot and almost killed.
5- Meeting with religious leaders: We attended in the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus a prayer gathering led by the Grand Mufti of the Syrian Arab Republic, Dr. Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun and the Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham with the delegate of Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X Yazigi, and clerics of all traditions. The Assembly prayed for the peace and unity of Syria and the non-interference of outsiders in their country. They stressed the conflict in Syria is not a religious conflict, as Muslims and Christians have always lived together in Syria, and they are,(in spite of living with suffering and violence much of which is not of their own making), unified in their wish to be a light of peace and reconciliation to the world. The Patriarch said that from the Mosque and Christian churches goes out a great movement of peace and reconciliation and asked both those inside and outside Syria, to reject all violence and support the people of Syria in this work of dialogue, reconciliation and peacemaking.
The Muslim and Christian Spiritual Leaders are very conscious if the religious extremist/fundamentalists gain momentum and control Syria, the future of those who are not supportive of fundamentalists like moderate Muslims, Christians, minorities, and other Syrians is in great danger. Indeed the Middle East could loose its precious pluralistic social fabric with the Christians, like in Iraq, being the first to flee the country. This would be a tragedy for all concerned in this multi-religious, multi-cultural secular Syria, once a light of peaceful conviviality in the Arab world.
Following many authorized reports in the mainstream Medias and our own evidences I can stress that the Syrian State and its population are under a proxy war led by foreign countries and directly financed and backed mainly by Qatar who has imposed its views on the Arab League. Turkey, a part of the Lebanese opposition and some of the Jordan authorities offer a safe haven to a diversity of jihadist groups, each with its own agenda, recruited from many countries. Bands of jihadists armed and financed from foreign countries invade Syria through Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon porous frontiers in an effort to destabilize Syria. There are an estimated 50,000 foreign jihadist fighters terrorizing Syria. Those death squads are destroying systematically the Syrian State infrastructures (Electricity, Oil, Gas and water plants, High Tension Pylons, hospitals, schools, public buildings, cultural heritage sites and even religious sanctuaries). Moreover the country is submerged by snipers, bombers, agitators, bandits. They use aggression and Sharia rules and hijack the freedom and dignity of the Syrian population. They torture and kill those who refuse to join them. They have strange religious beliefs which make them feel comfortable even perpetrating the cruelest acts like killing and torture of their opponents. It is well documented that many of those terrorists are permanently under stimulant like Captagon. The general lack of security unlashes the terrible phenomenon of abduction for ransoms or for political pressure. Thousands of innocents are missing, among them the two Bishops, Youhanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi, many priests and Imams.
UN and EU economic sanctions as well as a severe embargo are pushing Syria to the edge of social collapse. Unfortunately the international media network is ignoring those realities and is bent on demonizing, lying, destabilizing the country and fuelling more violence and contradiction.
In summary: the war in Syria is not as depicted a civil war but a proxy war with serious breaches of International laws and the Humanitarian International laws.. The protection of the foreign fighters by some foreign countries among the most powerful gives them a kind of an unaccountability that pushes them with impunity to all kind of cruel deeds against innocent civilians. Even war conventions are not respected incurring in many war crimes and, even, crimes against Humanity.
During our visit to Syria, our delegation was met with great kindness by everyone and I offer to each one who facilitated or hosted our Delegation my most sincere feelings of gratitude. We witnessed that the Syrian people have suffered very deeply and continue to do so. The entire population of 23 million people are under tremendous threat of continued infiltration by foreign terrorists. Many are still stunned by the horrors and suddenness of all this violence and worried their country will be attacked and divided by outside forces, and are all too aware that geopolitical forces are at work to destabilize Syria for political control, oil and resources. One Druze leader said ‘if westerns want our Oil – both Lebanon and Syria have oil reserves – let us negotiate for it, but do not destroy our country to take it’. In Syria memories of next door Iraq’s destruction by US/UK/NATO forces are fresh in people’s minds, including in the minds of the one and a half million Iraqis who fled Iraqi’s conflict, including many Christians, and were given refuge in Syria by the Syrian Government.
The greatest hope we took was from Mussalaha, a non political movement from all sections of Syrian society, who have working teams throughout Syria and is proceeding through dialogue to building peace and reconciliation. Mussalaha mediates between armed gunmen and security forces, help get release of many people who have been abducted, and bring together all parties to the conflict for dialogue and practical solutions. It was this movement who hosted us, under the leadership of Mother Agnes-Mariam, Superior of Saint James’ Monastery, supported by the Patriarch Gregory III Laham, head of the Catholic Hierarchy of Syria.
This great civil community movement building a peace process and National Reconciliation from the ground up, will, if given space, time, and non-interference from outside, help bring Peace to Syria. They recognize that there must be an unconditional, all inclusive political solution, with compromises and they are confident this is happening at many levels of society and is the only way forward for Syrian peace.
I support this National Reconciliation process which, many Syrian believe, is the only way to bring Peace to SYRIA and the entire Middle East. I am myself committed to this peaceful process and hope that the International Community, the Religious and Political Leaders as well as any person of good will will help Syria to bypass violence and prejudice and anchor in a new era of Social peace and prosperity. This cradle of civilizations where Syria occupies the heart is an enormous spiritual heritage for humanity, let us strive to establish a non war zone and proclaim it an OASIS of Peace for the Human Family.
Nobel peace laureate. www.peacepeople.com
Peace people, 224 Lisburn Road, Belfast. Bt9.
It’s not hard to find critics of the Assad government in the Governorate (Muhafazat) of Homs or for that matter, to varying degrees in Syria’s other thirteen Governorates according to Syrian analysts interviewed by this observer and reports from human rights groups including lawyers representing dissidents in Syria. However, after nearly 27 months of turmoil, the public opinion pendulum is markedly shifting back in support of the current regime.
One international political result was registered at the United Nations this past week when a US-Qatari-Saudi drafted General Assembly Resolution that was designed to increase pressure on the Assad government stumbled badly and fell far short of what the Saudi Ambassador to the UN and other US allies predicted would be an overwhelming vote in favor.
Effect of shift in popular opinion in Syria
Over the past four or five months it has become increasingly clear that public opinion in Syria is shifting for reasons that include, but are not limited to the following:
While inflation at the grocery stores in probably the most common complaint heard from a cross-section of society here, the population is adapting somewhat to higher prices and it appears to credit the government for efforts, some successful, to soften the impact of the illegal US-led sanctions that target this same Syrian population for purely political reasons to achieve regime change.
While Syrians demand dignity and freedom from oppressive security forces and an end to corruption, as all people do in this region and beyond, they are witnessing a return to near normalcy with respect to supplies of electricity, benzene, mazout fuel oil, bus schedules, schools, and a host of public services such as garbage collection, street sweeping, park maintenance, and sympathetic traffic cops who are rather understanding of short-cuts taken by drivers and pedestrians due to “the situation”.
In addition, public service announcement and even text messages demonstrate that the government is aware of the degree of suffering among the population, accept partial blame, and are focusing on remedial measure and crucially, ending the crisis with its horrific bloodshed. One observes here a definite trend of the pulling together of a high percentage of Syrians who share a very unique history and culture and who are deeply connected to their country and who are increasingly repelled by the continuing killing from all sides including the recent barbarisms of body mutilations and summary executions videotaped and broadcast on utube by jihadist elements. The latter who these days come from nearly three dozen countries, paid for and indoctrinated by enemies of Syria’s Arab nationalism and deep rooted pillar of resistance to the occupation of Palestine.
In addition, many among Syria’s 23 million citizens, who initially supported the uprising following government reaction to event in Deraa in March 2011, now have serious second thoughts about who exactly would replace the current government. Events in Syria are also making plain that the army is still loyal to the Assad government, and according to Jane’s Defense Weekly, is actually gaining experience and strength as well as the well-known fact that as western diplomats are admitting, the “opposition militias” are hopelessly fractured, turning one another, many essential mafia outfits, and beginning to resemble their fellow jihadists from Libya, Chechnya and in between.
Opinion in Damascus and surrounding areas visited this past week, confirms this observers experience the past five months of a sharp and fairly rapid shift in opinion that now strongly favors letting the Syrian people themselves decide, without outside interference, whether the Assad regime will stay, and indeed, whether, the Baathist party will continue to represent majority opinion, not through wanton violence but rather via next June’s election. Many express confidence in the run up to this critical vote, noting that the election will be closely monitored by the international community to assure fairness.
Perhaps aided by the current glorious May weather, a certain optimism, that was more scarce in the past, pervades many neighborhoods.
For different reasons, foreign powers, including the USA, Turkey, European Union, the UK Jordan and even the majority population of the six Gulf Cooperation Council family run countries, according to Pew Research, are shifting their earlier positions which were based in part of the US administration, NATO, and Israeli assurances that the Assad government would surely fall quickly, “A matter of days, not weeks” US President Obama promised. That was two years ago.
As noted above, this trend has accelerated since the UN General Assembly vote with last weeks which did not go as planned on the biased and politicized non-binding draft resolution on Syria.
The public reaction in Syria and across the Middle East is substantially that the “Friends of Syria” non-binding GA resolution contradicts the reality on the ground, backs terrorism in Syria and hinders the international efforts to help achieve a political solution to the crisis in this country. Only 107 states voted in favor of the resolution, 12 against while 59 countries, mostly from Africa and Latin America, abstained from voting.
One reason the vote fell short of the 130 favorable votes that the basically same resolution garnered the past two times is that it is widely viewed as ignoring the crimes and atrocities committed by the armed jihadist groups in Syria and the flow of thousands of international terrorists backed by the West, the Gulf states and Turkey who provide them with weapons and money. According to the Russian delegate, backed by several other speakers, “the resolutions ignores all the terrorists’ heinous crimes and denounces what it called the escalation of the attacks by the Syrian government”. Afterward one Latin American Permanent Representative told Inner City Press that the count would have been below 100 if not for some “last minute arm-twisting.” As it turned out, 15 countries didn’t vote at all, opting to “get coffee,” as one African Permanent Representative put it before the vote.
Syria’s Ambassador al-Jaafari exposes a hoax in the Gulf
Syria’s permanent Envoy to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari said his country regretted the adoption of a biased and unbalanced UN resolution, thanking the countries that rejected the resolution “for their responsible positions which support the UN principles and the international law articles”. He noted that the decrease in the number of countries that voted in favor and the increase of numbers of those who abstained from voting indicates the growing international understanding of the reality of what is happening in Syria due to the foreign interference, support of terrorism, the spread of extremism and incitement besides the refusal of dialogue.
“We rely on the UN and its member states to support Syria and its people against the culture of extremism and terrorism, and to encourage the comprehensive national dialogue to peacefully resolve the Syrian crisis.” he said. In a statement released after the vote on the UN draft resolution on Syria, al-Jaafari He said that the French delegation had foiled the issuance of a number of UN press releases to condemn the terrorist acts committed by al-Qaeda-linked armed groups in Syria which claimed the lives of thousands of Syrians as it foiled a UN release to condemn the attempt of assassination of the Syrian Premier.
After Qatar’s ambassador spoke in favor of the resolution his country drafted (and re-drafted several time), Ja’afari revealed that there existed an e-mail, from the representative of the Syrian opposition given to Syria’s embassy in Qatar, showing Qatar’s involvement in the kidnapping of UN peacekeepers by the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade. He read out a phone number from the e-mail as several Gulf diplomats grimaced or scowled, and three left the Chamber.
Visibly stunned, the UK Permanent Representative Lyall Grant called the whole matter “deeply confusing”. Another Permanent Representative, from a militia contributing country, said that if true, it’s “very problematic.” The reasons include the fact that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had just thanked Qatar for its roles in the release of the UN Peacekeepers the earlier kidnapping of whom the Qatari government may have planned, paid for and executed.
Meanwhile, Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Martin Nesirky said he would not disclose any more about the “negotiations to free the peacekeepers or who was behind the crime.”
Score a major diplomatic victory for Syria’s UN Ambassador as public opinion shifts in favor of the Assad government and pressure as well as certain optimism builds in the run-up to the Geneva II conference being organized by the White House and the Kremlin.
Many in the precious metals community are eagerly anticipating a complete systemic collapse of the financial system because as “preppers”, they expect to not only survive, but to prosper in a SHTF scenario. We suspect however that the following MUST READ account of surviving the Bosnian war in the midst of a complete collapse of the grid will be eye-opening in just how difficult it is to survive a full-on Mad Max scenario, even if one has spent years preparing for it.
I am from Bosnia. You know, between 1992 and 1995, it was hell. For one year, I lived and survived in a city with 6,000 people without water, electricity, gasoline, medical help, civil defense, distribution service, any kind of traditional service or centralized rule.
Today, me and my family are well-prepared, I am well-armed. I have experience. It does not matter what will happen: an earthquake, a war, a tsunami, aliens, terrorists, economic collapse, uprising. The important part is that something will happen.
The following is my experience:
Our city was blockaded by the army; and for one year, life in the city turned into total crap. We had no army, no police. We only had armed groups; those armed protected their homes and families.
When it all started, some of us were better prepared. But most of the neighbors’ families had enough food only for a few days. Some had pistols; a few had AK-47s or shotguns.
After a month or two, gangs started operating, destroying everything. Hospitals, for example, turned into slaughterhouses. There was no more police. About 80 percent of the hospital staff were gone. I got lucky. My family at the time was fairly large (15 people in a large house, six pistols, three AKs), and we survived (most of us, at least).
The Americans dropped MREs every 10 days to help blockaded cities. This was never enough. Some — very few — had gardens. It took three months for the first rumors to spread of men dying from hunger and cold. We removed all the doors, the window frames from abandoned houses, ripped up the floors and burned the furniture for heat. Many died from diseases, especially from the water (two from my own family). We drank mostly rainwater, ate pigeons and even rats.
Money soon became worthless. We returned to an exchange. For a tin can of tushonka (think Soviet spam), you could have a woman. (It is hard to speak of it, but it is true.) Most of the women who sold themselves were desperate mothers.
Arms, ammunition, candles, lighters, antibiotics, gasoline, batteries and food. We fought for these things like animals. In these situations, it all changes. Men become monsters. It was disgusting.
Strength was in numbers. A man living alone getting killed and robbed would be just a matter of time, even if he was armed.
Today, me and my family are well-prepared, I am well-armed. I have experience.
It does not matter what will happen: an earthquake, a war, a tsunami, aliens, terrorists, economic collapse, uprising. The important part is that something will happen.
Here’s my experience: You can’t make it on your own. Don’t stay apart from your family; prepare together, choose reliable friends.
1. How to move safely in a city
The city was divided into communities along streets. Our street (15 to 20 homes) had patrols (five armed men every week) to watch for gangs and for our enemies.
All the exchanges occurred in the street. About 5 kilometers away was an entire street for trading, all well-organized; but going there was too dangerous because of the snipers. You could also get robbed by bandits. I only went there twice, when I needed something really rare (list of medicine, mainly antibiotics, of the French original of the texts).
Nobody used automobiles in the city: The streets were blocked by wreckage and by abandoned cars. Gasoline was very expensive. If one needed to go somewhere, that was done at night. Never travel alone or in groups that were too big — always two to three men. All armed, travel swift, in the shadows, cross streets through ruins, not along open streets.
There were many gangs 10 to 15 men strong, some as large as 50 men. But there were also many normal men, like you and me, fathers and grandfathers, who killed and robbed. There were no “good” and “bad” men. Most were in the middle and ready for the worst.
2. What about wood? Your home city is surrounded by woods; why did you burn doors and furniture?
There were not that many woods around the city. It was very beautiful — restaurants, cinemas, schools, even an airport. Every tree in the city and in the city park was cut down for fuel in the first two months.
Without electricity for cooking and heat, we burned anything that burned. Furniture, doors, flooring: That wood burns swiftly. We had no suburbs or suburban farms. The enemy was in the suburbs. We were surrounded. Even in the city you never knew who was the enemy at any given point.
3. What knowledge was useful to you in that period?
To imagine the situation a bit better, you should know it was practically a return to the Stone Age.
For example, I had a container of cooking gas. But I did not use it for heat. That would be too expensive! I attached a nozzle to it I made myself and used to fill lighters. Lighters were precious.
If a man brought an empty lighter, I would fill it; and he would give me a tin of food or a candle.
I was a paramedic. In these conditions, my knowledge was my wealth. Be curious and skilled. In these conditions, the ability to fix things is more valuable than gold.
Items and supplies will inevitably run out, but your skills will keep you fed.
I wish to say this: Learn to fix things, shoes or people.
My neighbor, for example, knew how to make kerosene for lamps. He never went hungry.
4. If you had three months to prepare now, what would you do?
Three months? Run away from the country? (joking)
Today, I know everything can collapse really fast. I have a stockpile of food, hygiene items, batteries — enough to last me for six months.
I live in a very secure flat and own a home with a shelter in a village 5 kilometers away. Another six-month supply there, too. That’s a small village; most people there are well-prepared. The war had taught them.
I have four weapons and 2,000 rounds for each.
I have a garden and have learned gardening. Also, I have a good instinct. You know, when everyone around you keeps telling you it’ll all be fine, but I know it will all collapse.
I have strength to do what I need to protect my family. Because when it all collapses, you must be ready to do “bad” things to keep your children alive and protect your family.
Surviving on your own is practically impossible. (That’s what I think.) Even you’re armed and ready, if you’re alone, you’ll die. I have seen that happen many times.
Families and groups, well-prepared, with skills and knowledge in various fields: That’s much better.
5. What should you stockpile?
That depends. If you plan to live by theft, all you need is weapons and ammo. Lots of ammo.
If not, more food, hygiene items, batteries, accumulators, little trading items (knives, lighters, flints, soap). Also, alcohol of a type that keeps well. The cheapest whiskey is a good trading item.
Many people died from insufficient hygiene. You’ll need simple items in great amounts. For example, garbage bags. Lots of them. And toilet papers. Non-reusable dishes and cups: You’ll need lots of them. I know that because we didn’t have any at all.
As for me, a supply of hygiene items is perhaps more important than food. You can shoot a pigeon. You can find a plant to eat. You can’t find or shoot any disinfectant.
Disinfectant, detergents, bleach, soap, gloves, masks.
First aid skills, washing wounds and burns. Perhaps you will find a doctor and will not be able to pay him.
Learn to use antibiotics. It’s good to have a stockpile of them.
You should choose the simplest weapons. I carry a Glock .45. I like it, but it’s a rare gun here. So I have two TT pistols, too. (Everyone has them and ammo is common.)
I don’t like Kalashnikov’s, but again, same story. Everyone has them; so do I.
You must own small, unnoticeable items. For example, a generator is good, but 1,000 BIC lighters are better. A generator will attract attention if there’s any trouble, but 1,000 lighters are compact, cheap and can always be traded.
We usually collected rainwater into four large barrels and then boiled it. There was a small river, but the water in it became very dirty very fast.
It’s also important to have containers for water: barrels and buckets.
6. Were gold and silver useful?
Yes. I personally traded all the gold in the house for ammunition.
Sometimes, we got our hands on money: dollars and Deutschmarks. We bought some things for them, but this was rare and prices were astronomical. For example, a can of beans cost $30 to $40. The local money quickly became worthless. Everything we needed we traded for through barter.
7. Was salt expensive?
Yes, but coffee and cigarettes were even more expensive. I had lots of alcohol and traded it without problems. Alcohol consumption grew over 10 times as compared to peacetime. Perhaps today, it’s more useful to keep a stock of cigarettes, lighters and batteries. They take up less space.
At this time, I was not a survivalist. We had no time to prepare — several days before the shit hit the fan. The politicians kept repeating over the TV that everything was going according to plan, there’s no reason to be concerned. When the sky fell on our heads, we took what we could.
8. Was it difficult to purchase firearms? What did you trade for arms and ammunition?
After the war, we had guns in every house. The police confiscated lots of guns at the beginning of the war. But most of them we hid. Now I have one legal gun that I have a license for. Under the law, that’s called a temporary collection. If there is unrest, the government will seize all the registered guns. Never forget that.
You know, there are many people who have one legal gun, but also illegal guns if that one gets seized. If you have good trade goods, you might be able to get a gun in a tough situation. But remember, the most difficult time is the first days, and perhaps you won’t have enough time to find a weapon to protect your family. To be disarmed in a time of chaos and panic is a bad idea.
In my case, there was a man who needed a car battery for his radio. He had shotguns. I traded the accumulator for both of them. Sometimes, I traded ammunition for food, and a few weeks later traded food for ammunition. Never did the trade at home, never in great amounts.
Few people knew how much and what I keep at home.
The most important thing is to keep as many things as possible in terms of space and money. Eventually, you’ll understand what is more valuable.
Correction: I’ll always value weapons and ammunition the most. Second? Maybe gas masks and filters.
9. What about security?
Our defenses were very primitive. Again, we weren’t ready, and we used what we could. The windows were shattered, and the roofs in a horrible state after the bombings. The windows were blocked — some with sandbags, others with rocks.
I blocked the fence gate with wreckage and garbage, and used a ladder to get across the wall. When I came home, I asked someone inside to pass over the ladder. We had a fellow on our street that completely barricaded himself in his house. He broke a hole in the wall, creating a passage for himself into the ruins of the neighbor’s house — a sort of secret entrance.
Maybe this would seem strange, but the most protected houses were looted and destroyed first. In my area of the city, there were beautiful houses with walls, dogs, alarms and barred windows. People attacked them first. Some held out; others didn’t. It all depended how many hands and guns they had inside.
I think defense is very important, but it must be carried out unobtrusively. If you are in a city and SHTF comes, you need a simple, non-flashy place, with lots of guns and ammo.
How much ammo? As much as possible.
Make your house as unattractive as you can.
Right now, I own a steel door, but that’s just against the first wave of chaos. After that passes, I will leave the city to rejoin a larger group of people, my friends and family.
There were some situations during the war. There’s no need for details, but we always had superior firepower and a brick wall on our side.
We also constantly kept someone watching the streets. Quality organization is paramount in case of gang attacks.
Shooting was constantly heard in the city.
Our perimeter was defended primitively. All the exits were barricaded and had little firing slits. Inside we had at least five family members ready for battle at any time and one man in the street, hidden in a shelter.
We stayed home through the day to avoid sniper fire.
At first, the weak perish. Then, the rest fight.
During the day, the streets were practically empty due to sniper fire. Defenses were oriented toward short-range combat alone. Many died if they went out to gather information, for example. It’s important to remember we had no information, no radio, no TV — only rumors and nothing else.
There was no organized army; every man fought. We had no choice. Everybody was armed, ready to defend themselves.
You should not wear quality items in the city; someone will murder you and take them. Don’t even carry a “pretty” long arm, it will attract attention.
Let me tell you something: If SHTF starts tomorrow, I’ll be humble. I’ll look like everyone else. Desperate, fearful. Maybe I’ll even shout and cry a little bit.
Pretty clothing is excluded altogether. I will not go out in my new tactical outfit to shout: “I have come! You’re doomed, bad guys!” No, I’ll stay aside, well-armed, well-prepared, waiting and evaluating my possibilities, with my best friend or brother.
Super-defenses, super-guns are meaningless. If people think they should steal your things, that you’re profitable, they will. It’s only a question of time and the amount of guns and hands.
10. How was the situation with toilets?
We used shovels and a patch of earth near the house. Does it seem dirty? It was. We washed with rainwater or in the river, but most of the time the latter was too dangerous. We had no toilet paper; and if we had any, I would have traded it away.
It was a “dirty” business.
Let me give you a piece of advice: You need guns and ammo first — and second, everything else. Literally everything! All depends on the space and money you have.
If you forget something, there will always be someone to trade with for it. But if you forget weapons and ammo, there will be no access to trading for you.
I don’t think big families are extra mouths. Big families means both more guns and strength — and from there, everyone prepares on his own.
11. How did people treat the sick and the injured?
Most injuries were from gunfire. Without a specialist and without equipment, if an injured man found a doctor somewhere, he had about a 30 percent chance of survival.
It ain’t the movie. People died. Many died from infections of superficial wounds. I had antibiotics for three to four uses — for the family, of course.
People died foolishly quite often. Simple diarrhea will kill you in a few days without medicine, with limited amounts of water.
There were many skin diseases and food poisonings… nothing to it.
Many used local plants and pure alcohol — enough for the short-term, but useless in the long term.
Hygiene is very important, as well as having as much medicine as possible — especially antibiotics.
Source: Silver Doctors
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.
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
With all the caustic New World Order climate change and land use plans, and in spite of public outrage stemming from the global warming fraud, the bureaucratic juggernaut rolls on. Especially in New York State, the home of the sinister United Nations, the plotters against rational conservation, efficient energy policy and prudent economic growth, are destroying the very nature of sound environmentalism. Hard at work are the brain dead toady bureaucrats and the “true believers” in total denial meltdown mode. Turning the concept of ‘self-sufficiency’ into a dirty word – ‘sustainability’ – is the new catch phrase to distinguish vogue ignorance, in order to save the planet you need to destroy it, crowd.
Ordinary citizens need to rally and put an end to central control government. Start with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation efforts in there, Sustainability Plan Guidance A Regional Plan. This outline adopts the objectives of imposing an Agenda 21 program as official NYS policy. “The core of the plan is the regional focus that enables a consortium of municipalities to create a shared vision and then pool their resources towards achieving that vision.”
Efforts and criticism from the like of John W. Wallace need to multiply across the state and caution their neighbors. Now is the time to stop, GOVERNOR ANDREW COUMO TO IMPLEMENT UNITED NATIONS’ AGENDA 21 IN NEW YORK STATE VIA REGIONAL PLANNING GROUPS.
“Of course, the county and local government officials are unaware that by signing an agreement to participate in this new regional program, that they have actually signed onto Agenda 21 and that their town, city, village or county will now appear on the ICLEIwebsite. Most local residents will remain unaware of the implications of the new comprehensive plan and Agenda 21 until after it is promulgated in their own backyards in the form of a regional draft comprehensive plan that is intended to supersede local planning boards and zoning laws.”
In order to appreciate the scope and intrusion into local communities, the destructive role of the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority, NYSERDA becomes required understanding. A recent case study assessment provides a firsthand testimonial of an attendee at a regional gathering. Please review the source links for supporting evidence.
The following is the summary of activist Mary Kay Barton.
On January 26, 2012, I attended the final meeting in Batavia, NY for the Finger Lakes “Regional ‘Sustainability’ Plan” - part of NYSERDA’s $10,000,000 expenditure state-wide to have regional Planning Departments orchestrate plans that coincide with the “sustainability” initiative described in NYSERDA’s “Cleaner, Greener Communities” Program. Following is my take on what is going on in regard to this extensive plan in the works across New York State.
As those who have done their homework regarding the United Nation’s ‘Agenda 21′ plan are very well-aware, “Sustainability” is a key buzzword that is part and parcel of the UN’s ‘Agenda 21′. There is no doubt that the “Sustainability” Plan currently being devised by Planning Departments across the state, who are acting “under NYSERDA’s thumb” (as one Planner phrased it at their first meeting in Batavia), IS ’Agenda 21′ in the works (think carbon taxes, ‘green’ energy transfer-of-wealth schemes, and one-world governance).
While at the “open-house style” meeting in Batavia last evening, folks were asked to read the poster boards relevant to each part of the overall plan: Land Use, Water Use, Agriculture, Forestry, Waste Management, Economic Development, and Energy — and to then use sticky notes to post their comments on the boards for each particular segment of the plan.
Many will say they see nothing wrong with developing a good overall plan like this, and there certainly are many aspects of the extensive plan that look good at first glance. However, as they say – the devil is in the details.
The fact that NYSERDA is the bureaucracy over-seeing this process is the tell-tale warning sign, as the development of renewable energy across the state and ways to regulate carbon emissions is the overarching goal in each area of the plan. This should leave everyone very wary about the remaining $90,000,000 – that came from RGGI ratepayer dollars, that will be offered as ‘grants’ (the proverbial ‘carrots’ used to lead the sheep) to guide our communities into “compliance” with the overall underlying agenda – that of ‘Agenda 21′. Who knows where the money will come from for Governor Cuomo’s proposed $BILLION dollar “Green Bank”, and $1.5 Billion dollar Solar fund? One thing is for sure — Who needs Cap & Trade legislation when these kinds of “Sustainability Plans” are in the works!
One of the biggest warning flags I noted last evening (besides the obvious HUGE “green” energy push and carbon regulation goals) was on the chart regarding ‘Land Use’. I noted one line that said, “Home Rule” interferes with inter-municipal cooperation…” The obvious subliminal message here is that “Home Rule” is a BAD thing.
Our municipalities’ long-held, Constitutional-right to “Home Rule” is being progressively undermined in this whole process of State-led planning. We are unwittingly, slowly and methodically giving over total control to unelected bureaucrats and planners who are devising these “green”, “sustainability” plans — which are part and parcel of ‘Agenda 21′ (which many officials and bureaucrats say they still know nothing about).
The sad reality – that most of these planners are not at all educated about energy and power, became evident just as I was getting ready to leave the meeting. One of the FL Planners asked me what I had thought of the display. I told him straight out that the obvious push for “Unreliables” (what the ‘greens’ refer to as ‘renewables’) like wind is a complete waste of our tax- and rate-payer dollars. I told him that while I am certainly all for scientifically-vetted, economically-sound energy-innovation, industrial wind was the biggest scam to ever come down the pike. Not surprisingly, he did not like my response.
Sadly, he responded with the decades-old propaganda line, “Well, we have to do something. Oil is responsible for so much of our pollution.”
I responded, “I’m not talking about oil – which is used for transportation. I’m talking about unreliable wind power – which is used for electricity!”
He tried to argue that eventually we would end up going to all electric vehicles. I just laughed, and said, “Sir, I’m afraid you’ve drank the Kool-Aid! I couldn’t even make it home and back in an electric car.” Thankfully, a local guy who does get it, stepped in and said that even if electric vehicles became more prevalent, they could never be used to do the kind of heavy work required on our farms.
As our conversation proceeded, we had the attention of the entire small crowd that was in the room – which played out great, as the facts totally destroyed this planner’s entire argument.
Not one of the five planners who were there knew what “Capacity Value” was, nor that wind provided virtually NONE. I told him that wind is NOT the future, and in all actuality,there is a direct correlation between RELIABLE, AFFORDABLE power, and increased health and longevity in this country, which he could verify by doing a little research.
I ended up leaving a copy of The Wind Farm Scam and Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future with one of the head planners there. Hopefully, they will actually read them.
What is transpiring in New York State regarding the push for United Nation’s recommended “Sustainability” plans by Governor Andrew Cuomo and his cohorts at NYSERDA, is described by Dr. Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance in the article, “Is your church bowing to the ‘Green Dragon’?” Dr. Beisner discusses how “Environmentalism” has become the world’s new religion. Global Warming Alarmism and the push for all things “green” is all about worshiping the earth and protecting the earth from evil men — rather than worshiping and trusting in God and being good stewards of the earth in order to better serve all mankind, as God intended it to be. Dr. Beisner is exactly right!
NYSERDA is a scalawag outfit that does harm to New York State residents. It is a government agency based upon deceit and pseudo energy research, corrupt cronyism and fake environmentalism. The article, Agenda 21 in New York State – Home Rule and Article X, provides relevant details on the way the technical process of administrative agencies erode the basic property rights of landowners and authority of local communities.The limited powers and narrow influence of elected representatives on the actual governance by bureaus is the worst of all worlds. The globalist master deceivers, game and work the system to circumvent traditional safeguards and legitimate home rule jurisdiction.
The value of insights gained from attending such meetings as the Finger Lakes “Regional ‘Sustainability’ Plan”, clearly document and expose, the true intent and consequences of Agenda 21. Sustainability really means sustain instability for the consumer, while enriching the benefactors of the Cap and Trade rip off scheme.
The mainstream media covered the inauguration of Barack Obama with breathless anticipation on Monday, but should we really be celebrating another four years of Obama? The truth is that the first four years of Obama were an absolute train wreck for the U.S. economy. Over the past four years, the percentage of working age Americans with a job has fallen, median household income has declined by more than $4000, poverty in the U.S. has absolutely exploded and our national debt has ballooned to ridiculous proportions. Of course all of the blame for the nightmarish performance of the economy should not go to Obama alone. Certainly much of what we are experiencing today is the direct result of decades of very foolish decisions by Congress and previous presidential administrations. And of course the Federal Reserve has more influence over the economy than anyone else does. But Barack Obama steadfastly refuses to criticize anything that the Federal Reserve has done and he even nominated Ben Bernanke for another term as Fed Chairman despite his horrific track record of failure, so at a minimum Barack Obama must be considered to be complicit in the Fed’s very foolish policies. Despite what the Obama administration tells us, the U.S. economy has been in decline for a very long time, and that decline has accelerated in many ways over the past four years. Just consider the statistics that I have compiled below. The following are 37 statistics which show how four years of Obama have wrecked the U.S. economy…
1. During Obama’s first term, the number of Americans on food stamps increased by an average of about 11,000 per day.
3. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”
4. The number of Americans receiving money directly from the federal government each month has grown from 94 million in the year 2000 tomore than 128 million today.
5. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either “poor” or “low income” at this point.
6. The unemployment rate in the United States is exactly where it was (7.8 percent) when Barack Obama first entered the White House in January 2009.
8. During the first four years of Obama, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” soared by an astounding 8,332,000. That far exceeds any previous four year total.
9. During Obama’s first term, the number of Americans collecting federal disability insurance rose by more than 18 percent.
10. The Obama years have been absolutely devastating for small businesses in America. According to economist Tim Kane, the following is how the number of startup jobs per 1000 Americans breaks down by presidential administration…
Bush Sr.: 11.3
Bush Jr.: 10.8
11. Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years. Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.
12. The economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for the hordes of young people now entering the workforce. Approximately 53 percentof all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed in 2011.
13. According to a report from the National Employment Law Project, 58 percent of the jobs that have been created since the end of the recession have been low paying jobs.
14. Back in 2007, about 28 percent of all working families were considered to be among “the working poor”. Today, that number is up to 32 percent even though our politicians tell us that the economy is supposedly recovering.
15. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, only 24.6 percent of all of the jobs in the United States are “good jobs” at this point.
16. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.
17. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the United States is losinghalf a million jobs to China every single year.
18. The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.
19. According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percentof all global economic activity in 2001. That number declined steadily over the course of the next decade and was only at 21.6 percent in 2011.
20. The United States actually has plenty of oil and we should not have to import oil from the Middle East. We need to drill for more oil, but Obama has been very hesitant to do that. Under Bill Clinton, the number of drilling permits approved rose by 58 percent. Under George W. Bush, the number of drilling permits approved rose by 116 percent. Under Barack Obama, the number of drilling permits approved actuallydecreased by 36 percent.
21. When Barack Obama took office, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was $1.84. Today, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is$3.26.
22. Under Barack Obama, the United States has lost more than 300,000 education jobs.
24. Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 now have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
25. More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as were sold in 2012.
26. Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.
27. Health insurance costs have risen by 29 percent since Barack Obama became president.
28. Today, 77 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.
29. It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
30. The total amount of money that the federal government gives directly to the American people has grown by 32 percent since Barack Obama became president.
31. The Obama administration has been spending money on some of the most insane things imaginable. For example, in 2011 the Obama administration spent $592,527 on a study that sought to figure out once and for all why chimpanzees throw poop.
32. U.S. taxpayers spend more than 20 times as much on the Obamas as British taxpayers spend on the royal family.
33. The U.S. government has run a budget deficit of well over a trillion dollars every single year under Barack Obama.
35. During Obama’s first term, the federal government accumulated more debt than it did under the first 42 U.S presidents combined.
36. As I wrote about yesterday, when you break it down the amount of new debt accumulated by the U.S. government during Obama’s first term comes to approximately $50,521 for every single household in the United States. Are you ready to contribute your share?
37. If you started paying off just the new debt that the U.S. has accumulated during the Obama administration at the rate of one dollar per second, it would take more than 184,000 years to pay it off.
But despite all of these numbers, the mainstream media and the left just continue to shower Barack Obama with worship and praise. Newsweek recently heralded Obama’s second term as “The Second Coming“, and at Obama’s pre-inauguration church service Reverand Ronald Braxton openly compared Obama to Moses…
At Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Braxton reportedly crafted his speech around Obama’s personal political slogan: “Forward!”
Obama, said Braxton, was just like Moses facing the Red Sea: “forward is the only option … The people couldn’t turn around. The only thing that they could do was to go forward.” Obama, said Braxton, would have to overcome all obstacles – like opposition from Republicans, presumably, or the bounds of the Constitution. Braxton continued, “Mr. President, stand on the rock,” citing to Moses standing on Mount Horeb as his people camped outside the land of Israel.
But it wasn’t enough to compare Obama with the founder of Judaism and the prophet of the Bible. Braxton added that Obama’s opponents were like the Biblical enemies of Moses, and that Obama would have to enter the battle because “sometimes enemies insist on doing it the hard way.”
So what do you think the next four years of Obama will bring?
Source: The Economic Collapse
While our government still happily continues to peel big bucks off its wad and shower it down on Wall Street, big business and the “war” machine like it was Christmas for banksters and war-mongers all year long whether they need it or not, all too many hard-working tax-paying victims of Hurricane Sandy out in Staten Island and Rockaway are still getting no help at all. Zero. Ziltch. Nada.
Nothing is currently being peeled off our government’s endless roll of big bucks for them.
Last week I was riding in a Muni bus over in San Francisco (on my way back from an audition to play a bored office worker in a student film) and on the bus was a very delightful older couple who seemed to have absolutely no cares.
“Where are you from?” I asked them.
“Rockaway,” they replied hesitantly. Rockaway? OMG! Not THAT Rockaway? “Yeah, that’s the one. And, yes, we did live through Hurricane Sandy and, yes, our home was badly damaged and almost destroyed.” http://www.phillipvan.com/
“So what the freak are you doing out here?”
“Having fun! After having survived a personal visit from Sandy, we realized that life is just too short not to enjoy it. So we came out here to have fun.”
“But did you at least get any help from FEMA?” I asked, figuring that after our government has spent trillions on bailing out Wall Street (where no one hardly ever pays taxes and pretty much lives on Welfare for the Wealthy), then the least that our government could do is send a measly few billion bucks off to bail out afflicted taxpayers in Rockaway. http://www.phillipvan.com/
“Have we received any help from FEMA? In a word? No.”
“Not even anything?” No.
“It’s been a whole month after Sandy and parts of Rockaway still don’t even have electricity now. Or places for people to go.”
“But did FEMA give you any money to help you out?” No.
“We got nothing but an avalanche of paperwork.” They didn’t even get bottled water. “A relative in Wisconsin finally ended up bringing us some.” And they can’t go back to their home because the wife has asthma and their house is a hell-hole of black mold right now. Ah, black mold, the bane of asthma sufferers’ existence.
“We just took out a 60-day insurance policy from Lloyd’s of London on our stuff and left.”
I tried to grill the happy couple for more information on what is happening in Rockaway right now — and right in the middle of the Christmas season too — but they weren’t interested in being reminded. All they wanted to do was forget their worst nightmare and celebrate that they, unlike some of their neighbors, were still alive and had survived one of the fiercest mega-storms ever.
And as our bus drove on past Chinatown, the happy couple soon had all us passengers singing “Merry Christmas” — in Chinese. Brave souls. I almost cried.
Avgi Tzenis, 76, is standing in the hall of her small brick row house on Bragg Street in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. She is dressed in a bathrobe and open-toed sandals. The hall is dark and cold. It has been dark and cold since Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast a month ago. Three feet of water and raw sewage flooded and wrecked her home.
“We never had this problem before,” she says. “We never had water from the sea come down like this.”
Hurricane Sandy, if you are poor, is the Katrina of the North. It has exposed the nation’s fragile, dilapidated and shoddy infrastructure, one that crumbles under minimal stress. It has highlighted the inability of utility companies, as well as state and federal agencies, to cope with the looming environmental disasters that because of the climate crisis will soon come in wave after wave. But, most important, it illustrates the depraved mentality of an oligarchic and corporate elite that, as conditions worsen, retreats into self-contained gated communities, guts basic services and abandons the wider population.
Sheepshead Bay, along with Coney Island, the Rockaways, parts of Staten Island and long stretches of the New Jersey coast, is obliterated. Stores, their merchandise destroyed by the water, are boarded up and closed. Rows of derelict cars, with the tires and license plates removed and the windows smashed, line the streets. Food distribution centers, most of them set up by volunteers from Occupy Sandy Recovery, hastily close before dark every day because of the danger of looting and robbery. And storm victims who remain in their damaged homes, often without heat, electricity or running water, clutch knives against the threat of gangs that prowl at night through the wreckage.
This storm—amid freakish weather patterns such storms will become routine—resulted in at least $71.3 billion in property damage in New York and New Jersey. Many of the 305,000 houses in New York destroyed by Sandy will never be rebuilt. New York City says it will have to spend $800 million just to repair its roads. And that is only the start. The next hurricane season will most likely descend on the Eastern Seaboard with even greater destructive fury. A couple of more hurricanes like this one and whole sections of the coast will become uninhabitable.
This is the new America. It is an America where economic and environmental catastrophes converge to trigger systems breakdown and collapse. It is an America divided between corporate predators and their prey. It is an America that, as things unravel, increasingly sacrifices its own.
Rene Merida, 27, is standing on a street corner. His house, on Emmons Avenue, does not have electricity, running water or heat. He and his pregnant wife and two children, ages 7 and 4, huddle in the darkness inside the ruined home or at times flee to live for a few days with relatives. Merida, who recently lost his job as an ironworker, managed to reach his landlord once on the phone. That was three weeks ago. It was the only time the landlord, despite Merida’s persistent calls, answered.
“He told me it [the repair] will get done when it gets done,” he says. “The temperature inside my house is 15 degrees. I got a thermometer to check.”
Lauren Ferebee, originally from Dallas and now living in Greenpoint in Brooklyn, sits behind a table in the chilly basement of the 123-year-old St. Jacobi Evangelical Lutheran Church, founded by German immigrants. On large pieces of cardboard hanging from the ceiling are the words “Occupy Sandy Relief.” The basement is filled with donated supplies including pet food, diapers, infant formula, canned goods, cereal and pasta. The church was converted two days after the storm into a food bank and distribution center for the victims of the hurricane. Hundreds of people converge daily on the church to work. Volunteers with cars or vans deliver supplies to distribution points in other parts of New York and in New Jersey.
Ferebee, a playwright, and hundreds of other volunteers instantly resurrected the Occupy movement when the tragedy hit. They built structures of support and community to endure not only the effects of the storm but prepare for the breakdown that appears to lie ahead. As we descend into a world where we can depend less and less on those who hold power, movements like this one will become vital. These movements might not be called Occupy. They might not look like Occupy. But whatever the names and forms of the self-help we create, we will have to find ways to fend for ourselves.
“We have a kitchen about 50 blocks from here where we cook and deliver hot food,” Ferebee says. “We take food along with supplies out to distribution hubs. There is a distribution hub about every 30 or 40 blocks. When I first went out I was giving water to people who had not had water for six days.”
She sits in front of a pile of paper sheets headed “Occupy Sandy Dispatch.” Various sites are listed on the sheets, including Canarsie, Coney Island, Red Hook, the Rockaways, Sheepshead Bay, Staten Island and New Jersey. She is interrupted by Roman Torres, 45, who sings on weekends in a band that plays Mexican folk music. He has pulled his van up in front of the church. He comes two days a week to transport supplies.
“Can you go anywhere?” she asks Torres.
“Yes,” he answers.
“Can you do a couple of drop-offs at the Rockaways?” she asks.
“Yes,” he says. “If someone comes with me.”
As he fixes himself a cup of coffee in the church kitchen, volunteers carry boxes from the basement to his van parked in the rain outside.
“We can’t ever get enough electric heaters, cleaning supplies, tools and baby supplies,” Ferebee says.
In a small apartment above the church Juan Carlos Ruiz, a former Roman Catholic priest who was born in Mexico, sits at a small wooden table. He is the church’s community organizer. It was his decision once the storm hit to open the doors of the church as a relief center. He did not know what to expect.
“It was Tuesday night,” he says. “We got three bags of groceries and two jars of water. It was the next morning that volunteers began to appear. By the first weekend we had over 1,300. It was organized chaos. There was all this creative energy and youth. There was an instant infrastructure and solidarity. It is mutual aid that is the most important response to the disasters we are living through. This is how we will retain our humanity. Some members of the church asked me why these [volunteers] did not come to the church service. I told them the work they were doing was church. The commitment I saw was like a conversion experience. It was transformative. It restores your faith in humanity.”
The emotional cost of the storm is often as devastating as the physical cost.
Tzenis, who was born in Cyprus and immigrated to the United States with her husband in 1956, lists the mounting bills at her Sheepshead Bay home. Since the storm the septuagenarian has paid a plumber $2,000, and that does not cover all the plumbing work that must be done. A contractor gave her an estimate of $40,000 to $50,000 for repairs, which include ripping out the walls and floors. Tzenis has received a $5,000 check from an insurance company, Allstate, and a $1,000 check from FEMA. But $6,000 won’t begin to cover the cost.
“The insurance company told me I didn’t have the water insurance,” she says. “The contractor said he has to break all the walls and floors to get the mold out. I don’t know how I am going to pay for this.”
As she speaks, Josh Ehrenberg, 21, an aspiring filmmaker, and Dave Woolner, 31, an electrician with Local 52, both volunteers with Occupy Sandy, haul ruined items out of her garage and put them in green plastic garbage bags.
“My husband had dementia,” she says. “I took care of him for six years with these two hands. For a few months the insurance gave me help. Certain medications they pay after six years. They told me once he couldn’t swallow no more there was nothing we could do. … He died at home last year.”
She begins to sob softly.
She mutters, “Oye, oye, oye.”
“I was going to hang myself in the closet,” she says, gesturing to the hall closet behind me. “I can’t take life anymore. My husband. Now this. I don’t sleep good. I jump up every hour watching the clock. I’ve been through a lot in my life. Every little thing scares me. I’m on different pills. I’ve come to the age where I ask why doesn’t God take me. I pray a lot. I don’t want to give my soul to the devil because they would not put me in a church to bury me. But you get to an age where you are only able to take so much.”
She falls silent. She begins to reminisce about the bombing of Cyprus during World War II. She says that as a girl she watched a British military airport go up in flames after it was hit by German and Italian bombs. She talks about the 1950s struggle for Cypriot independence that took place between the British and the underground National Organization of Cypriot Fighters, Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston, known as EOKA. She says she misses strong populist leaders such as the Cypriot Archbishop Makarios III, who openly defied British authorities in the campaign for independence.
“People were hung by the British soldiers,” she says. “Women were raped. People had their fingernails pulled out. They were tortured and beaten. My cousin was beaten so badly in jail he was bleeding from his bottom.”
The horrors of the past merge with the horrors of the present.
“They say [hurricanes like] this will happen again because the snow is melting off all the mountains,” she says. “It never flooded here before. No matter how hard it rained not a drop came through the door. But now it has changed. If it happens again I don’t want to be around.”
Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.
Teaneck,N.J. — The damage incurred by Hurricane Sandy – the largest Atlantic super-storm on record — is second only to New Orleans’ Hurricane Katrina in terms of magnitude and cost. Occurring just before Halloween and dubbed “Frankenstorm,” Sandy demolished coastal communities in the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States.
One hundred-mile winds and powerful high tide waters ripped into coastal barriers and the landscape, causing an estimated $60 billion dollars in damages 1. Flooding and power outages were commonplace, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, and millions without electricity, heat and/or provisions. Others devastated by the storm included the sick, elderly, handicapped, and poor who could not get vital medicines by pharmacy or mail; those who lost life savings because the damage to their homes were not insured against certain eventualities; and those who lost their livelihoods through destruction. And although there was no gas shortage by cause of resource depletion, the lack of electricity prevented filling stations from dispensing fuel, resulting in long lines and rationing.
While the level of distress among storm casualties should not be underestimated, and many Good Samaritans rushed to the aid of the less fortunate and continue to selflessly volunteer right up until today, there were those in the Northeastern United States who were wholly unprepared to be inconvenienced by ensuing power outages. It is to “the inconvenienced” that this article is dedicated.
Following are bona fide statements made by some New Yorkers and New Jersey-ites during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
- “I couldn’t take living in a cold house, so checked into a hotel.”
- “The storm has been devastating. No Internet and TV for two days.”
- “I’m dying to wash my hair, but it’s too much work to heat the water on my stove top.”
- “It was murder waiting in line for three hours this morning for gas.”
- “How am I supposed to survive without eggs?”
Now let’s compare these to comments made by authentic casualties of the super-storm:
- “Our house got washed out into theAtlantic, but we’re glad to be alive and will make a fresh start.”
- “A tree fell on our roof and other neighborhood homes, so we’ve gathered the downed limbs and hosted an outdoor bonfire to build morale.”
- “Winds were whipping through my windows when I heard screams for help. I saw my neighbor clutching a fence as water surged around her. If I didn’t open our door and drag her in, she would have been swept out to sea.”
- “I’ve stayed behind to chainsaw down a tree that fell on our house, but the worst hasn’t happened. The important thing is that my wife and children are out of harm’s way.”
- “Floods displaced almost everyone on the block, so we hosted a Hurricane Party to offer a safe place and serve the food that was going to spoil without refrigeration.”
The latter category of commentaries demonstrate that there are many who know the meaning of life-and-death circumstances, and can even uplift others in the wake of hardship.
While surely unintentional, this natural disaster has afforded those affected by it a small taste of how countless others around the rest of the world live – and many not just during a crisis, but on a regular basis. Perhaps the most ironic here is that a great number of the deprived in less fortunate lands have been disenfranchised or “bombed back into the Stone Age” as a result ofUSforeign policy.
According to a 2009 report in Scientific American magazine, more than one quarter of the world’s population does not have electricity 2. Obviously, since that estimate was recorded three years ago, it does not include the more recent destruction, sometimes of entire infrastructures, in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, or Gaza. And a World Watch Institute report notes that the United States, with less than five percent of the global population, uses about a quarter of the world’s natural resources 3.
Perhaps Americans — especially younger generations who have not experienced war, shortages or poverty — are unaware of the above statistics and the privileged lifestyles that they themselves enjoy. More than 1.5 billion people around the world live in absolute poverty, with scarce access to food, shelter, water or sanitation 4. In many countries, people customarily wait on lines for the distribution of food and fuel. Kenyans, among many other nationals around the globe, boil untreated water for cooking and drinking. As Peace Corps volunteers will attest, firewood remains a primary everyday source of heat and method of cooking in many countries where reliable electricity and gas supplies are still not always available 5. Families in Armenia with the means to do so salt their meats, pickle their vegetables, and preserve their fruits to cope with the absence of refrigeration or food in winter. According to an Aleppo native who only wanted to be identified as “Takouhi,” and who, like her neighbors, roams for food while dodging indiscriminate shelling in Syria, “we eat what ever we can find at this point.” The above are where austerity lessons are to be learned.
If Hurricane Sandy has helped those inconvenienced by the storm begin to identify the however temporarily missing privileges they have taken for granted, the storm’s damage may provide a ‘teachable moment.’ But if a college-educated, foreign-born-but-local acquaintance of mine is any barometer (she was nonplussed that her grocery store stocked no bananas in the immediate aftermath of the Hurricane), let us not be surprised if cognitive dissonance persists among some who can’t or won’t gain insight from adversity. As such, I welcome the notion of a lawful requirement that every American perform volunteer humanitarian work, particularly abroad, to get a sense of how many others must live.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is among those who consider climate change “the new normal,” and calls for fresh approaches to protect the environment and public 6. As natural resources continue to deplete and pundits debate the reality of global warming and its effect on the planet, will Americans wake up to the realities and necessities of conservation? Are we prepared to survive amid hardship if and when we cannot simply retreat to the nearest hotel, restaurant or safe house? Do we know how to deal with scarcity, practice self-reliance, and band together? While municipalities are increasingly on the alert, it would be circumspect for individuals to also prepare for future environmental disasters, and interrupted or altogether eliminated conveniences down the line.
A woman slated to participate in the New York Marathon was interviewed on CBS News Radio, saying, “As soon as Mayor Bloomberg cancelled the Marathon in the face of Sandy, I donated my hotel room to someone displaced by the storm, and volunteered with relief workers to help those in need. 7” Once electrical power returned to her home in Queens, civic-minded Rocio Duque immediately joined with the “Occupy Sandy” volunteers to help the dispossessed in Staten Island 8. “We want to teach our children that while there may always be somebody more fortunate in life than they are, there will also be those who are less fortunate, too,” said Wendy Loszynski of Bergenfield, New Jersey, who, with her husband and three children, helped out at a hurricane relief center in Moonachie. “Volunteering this way can help our children better appreciate what they have in life, whether possessions or good health, instead of worrying about what they don’t have,” Loszynski continued.
Particularly as Thanksgiving approaches, may these and other examples of altruism, charity and solidarity in the face of adversity continue to emerge, inspire, and even guide us if and when disaster comes along.
Gilad Sharon, son of Ariel Sharon, wrote in the Jerusalem Post that Israel should “Flatten all of Gaza.”
“There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire,” he wrote. “We need to flatten entire neighbourhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.”
Many Israelis and even some Zionists are ‘outraged’ but the truth must be told – Sharon’s views are fully consistent with Zionism, Israeli thinking and some aspect of Jewish culture.
For example, Sharon’s call is fully consistent with some devastating Old Testament’s passages:
‘You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you. Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.’ Leviticus, 26:7–8
‘When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations … you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.’ Deuteronomy 7:1–2
‘Do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them … as the Lord your God has commanded you …’Deuteronomy 20:16
So, both like his real father and his spiritual forefathers, the young Sharon wants to destroy the Gazans, he wants to reduce them and their civilization into dust – thoughts unfortunately embedded in the Old Testament. Though religious Jews following the Talmud rather than the Torah and may be critical of literal interpretations of the Holly book, Gilad Sharon, is a secular Israeli and yet he follows here the most banal and literal interpretation of the Biblical text.
Sharon is also in line with ultra-Zionist Vladimir Jabotinsky’s Iron Wallphilosophy. Jabotinsky believed that in the erection of an ‘iron wall’ “which the native (Arab) population cannot break through.” Some would argue that by 1948 Jabotinsky’s Iron wall, became the backbone of Israeli political pragmatism and though largely performed by his political enemies, the Nakba could be seen as the materialisation of Jabotinsky’s ideology.
Sharon’s views are also similar to those expressed this week by Israel’s deputy P.M., Eli Yishai, who contended “we must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water.”
The young Sharon is clearly a truth teller. He offers us a genuine glimpse into the murderous Israeli psychosis, and the message to be drawn is obvious. It is now time to admit that we cannot grasp the Israeli collective psychosis and fascination with violence and death without a deep understanding of Jewish culture, Jewish supremacy and Jewish tribalism.
For obvious reasons some Jews and even a few Palestinians do not want us to take this route and insist that we avoid any criticism of the Jewishness of the ‘Jewish State’. This bankrupted philosophy would be almost funny if it weren’t so tragic - Elaborating on the root cause of Zionist barbarism is now an elementary humanist obligation.
I guess that we have reached the point of no return. We must now critically examine Jewish politics, Jewish Lobbying, and Israeli crimes in the context of Jewish culture. Such an approach may save the world and hopefully, it might also save many Jews of the shackles of their own heritage.
I was actually amused to learn today that the notorious Zionist Jeffrey Goldberg, himself an ex IDF concentration camp guard, was amongst the first to denounce Gilad Sharon. Here is how he referred to Sharon’s article on Twitter:
“Gilad Sharon has called on Israel to bomb Gaza to oblivion. I’m semi-surprised the Jerusalem Post published such dreck.”
It is not at all clear at all whether Goldberg opposes Sharon’s views. However, it is obvious that Goldberg is tormented by the idea that Sharon’s view may leak out. ‘I’m semi-surprised the Jerusalem Post published such dreck’ he says. Goldberg believes that the murderous aspects so intrinsic to tribal supremacy are better kept within the ghetto walls. He doesn’t want the Goyim to know. So predictably Goldberg was amongst the first to attack my book, ‘The Wandering Who’, and pursued my endorsers for the exact same reasons. He was very concerned about what people read about Israel, Zionism, Jewish identity politics, and the ideology that motivates himself to serve in our midst as a Zionist agent.
Gaza is a window on our coming dystopia. The growing divide between the world’s elite and its miserable masses of humanity is maintained through spiraling violence. Many impoverished regions of the world, which have fallen off the economic cliff, are beginning to resemble Gaza, where 1.6 million Palestinians live in the planet’s largest internment camp. These sacrifice zones, filled with seas of pitifully poor people trapped in squalid slums or mud-walled villages, are increasingly hemmed in by electronic fences, monitored by surveillance cameras and drones and surrounded by border guards or military units that shoot to kill. These nightmarish dystopias extend from sub-Saharan Africa to Pakistan to China. They are places where targeted assassinations are carried out, where brutal military assaults are pressed against peoples left defenseless, without an army, navy or air force. All attempts at resistance, however ineffective, are met with the indiscriminate slaughter that characterizes modern industrial warfare.
In the new global landscape, as in Israel’s occupied territories and the United States’ own imperial projects in Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan, massacres of thousands of defenseless innocents are labeled wars. Resistance is called a provocation, terrorism or a crime against humanity. The rule of law, as well as respect for the most basic civil liberties and the right of self-determination, is a public relations fiction used to placate the consciences of those who live in the zones of privilege. Prisoners are routinely tortured and “disappeared.” The severance of food and medical supplies is an accepted tactic of control. Lies permeate the airwaves. Religious, racial and ethnic groups are demonized. Missiles rain down on concrete hovels, mechanized units fire on unarmed villagers, gunboats pound refugee camps with heavy shells, and the dead, including children, line the corridors of hospitals that lack electricity and medicine.
The impending collapse of the international economy, the assaults on the climate, the resulting droughts, flooding, precipitous decline in crop yields and rising food prices are creating a universe where power is divided between the narrow elites, who hold in their hands sophisticated instruments of death, and the enraged masses. The crises are fostering a class war that will dwarf anything imagined by Karl Marx. They are establishing a world where most will be hungry and live in fear, while a few will gorge themselves on delicacies in protected compounds. And more and more people will have to be sacrificed to keep this imbalance in place.
Because it has the power to do so, Israel—as does the United States—flouts international law to keep a subject population in misery. The continued presence of Israeli occupation forces defies nearly a hundred U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for them to withdraw. The Israeli blockade of Gaza, established in June 2007, is a brutal form of collective punishment that violates Article 33 of the Fourth 1949 Geneva Convention, which set up rules for the “Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.” The blockade has turned Gaza into a sliver of hell, an Israeli-administered ghetto where thousands have died, including the 1,400 civilians killed in the Israeli incursion of 2008. With 95 percent of factories shut down, Palestinian industry has virtually ceased functioning. The remaining 5 percent operate at 25 to 50 percent capacity. Even the fishing industry is moribund. Israel refuses to let fishermen travel more than three miles from the coastline, and within the fishing zone boats frequently come under Israeli fire. The Israeli border patrols have seized 35 percent of the agricultural land in Gaza for a buffer zone. The collapsing infrastructure and Israeli seizure of aquifers mean that in many refugee camps, such as Khan Yunis, there is no running water. UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) estimates that 80 percent of all Gazans now rely on food aid. And the claim of Israeli self-defense belies the fact that it is Israel that maintains an illegal occupation and violates international law by carrying out collective punishment of Palestinians. It is Israel that chose to escalate the violence when during an incursion into Gaza earlier this month its forces fatally shot a 13-year-old boy. As the world breaks down, this becomes the new paradigm—modern warlords awash in terrifying technologies and weapons murdering whole peoples. We do the same in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Market forces and the military mechanisms that protect these forces are the sole ideology that governs industrial states and humans’ relationship to the natural world. It is an ideology that results in millions of dead and millions more displaced from their homes in the developing world. And the awful algebra of this ideology means that these forces will eventually be unleashed on us, too. Those who cannot be of use to market forces are considered expendable. They have no rights and legitimacy. Their existence, whether in Gaza or blighted postindustrial cities such as Camden, N.J., is considered a drain on efficiency and progress. They are viewed as refuse. And as refuse they not only have no voice and no freedom; they can be and are extinguished or imprisoned at will. This is a world where only corporate power and profit are sacred. It is a world of barbarism.
“In disposing of man’s labor power the system would, incidentally, dispose of the physical, psychological, and moral entity ‘man’ attached to that tag,” Karl Polanyi wrote in “The Great Transformation.” “Robbed of the protective covering of cultural institutions, human beings would perish from the effects of social exposure; they would die as the victims of acute social dislocation through vice, crime, and starvation. Nature would be reduced to its elements, neighborhoods and landscapes defiled, rivers polluted, military safety jeopardized, the power to produce food and raw materials destroyed. Finally, the market administration of purchasing power would periodically liquidate business enterprise, for shortages and surfeits of money would prove as disastrous to business as floods and droughts in primitive society. Undoubtedly, labor, land, and money markets are essential to a market economy. But no society could stand the effects of such a system of crude fictions even for the shortest stretch of time unless its human and natural substance as well as its business organization was protected against the ravages of this satanic mill.”
There are 47.1 million Americans who depend on food stamps to eat. The elites are plotting to take these food stamps away, along with other “entitlement” programs that keep the poor from destitution. The slashing of trillions of dollars from Medicare, Medicaid and other social programs, given the political impasse in Washington and the looming “fiscal cliff,” now seems certain. There are 50 million people considered to be living below the poverty line, but because the poverty line is so low—$22,350 for a family of four—this figure means nothing. Add the tens of millions of Americans who live in a category called “near poverty,” including all those families attempting to live on less than $45,000 a year, and you have at least 30 percent of the country living in poverty. Once these people figure out that there is no economic recovery, that their standard of living is going to continue to drop, that they are trapped, that hope in the future is an illusion, they will become as angry as protesters in Greece and Spain or the militants in Gaza or Afghanistan. Banks and other financial corporations, handed trillions in interest-free money from the Federal Reserve, meanwhile hoard $5 trillion, much of it looted from the U.S. Treasury. The longer this worldwide disparity and inequality is perpetuated, the more the masses will revolt and the faster we will internally replicate the Israeli model of domestic control—drones overhead, all dissent criminalized, SWAT teams busting through doors, deadly force as an acceptable form of subjugation, food used as a weapon, and constant surveillance.
In Gaza and other blighted parts of the globe we see this new configuration of power. What is happening in Gaza, like what is happening to people of color in marginal communities in the United States, is the model. The techniques of control, whether carried out by the Israelis or militarized police units in our inner-city drug wars, whether employed by military special forces or mercenaries in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq, are tested first and perfected on the weak and the powerless. Our callous indifference to the plight of the Palestinians, and the hundreds of millions of poor packed into urban slums in Asia or Africa, as well as our own underclass, means that the injustices visited on them will be visited on us. In failing them we fail ourselves.
As the U.S. empire implodes, the harsher forms of violence employed on the outer reaches of empire are steadily migrating back to the homeland. At the same time, the internal systems of democratic governance have calcified. Centralized authority has devolved into the hands of an executive branch that slavishly serves global corporate interests. The press and the government’s judiciary and legislative branches have become toothless and decorative. The specter of terrorism, as in Israel, is used by the state to divert gargantuan expenditures to homeland security, the military and internal surveillance. Privacy is abolished. Dissent is treason. The military with its mantra of blind obedience and force characterizes the dark ethic of the wider culture. Beauty and truth are abolished. Culture is degraded into kitsch. The emotional and intellectual life of the citizenry is ravaged by spectacle, the tawdry and salacious, as well as by handfuls of painkillers and narcotics. Blind ambition, a lust for power and a grotesque personal vanity—exemplified by David Petraeus and his former mistress—are the engines of advancement. The concept of the common good is no longer part of the lexicon of power. This, as the novelist J.M. Coetzee writes, is “the black flower of civilization.” It is Rome under Diocletian. It is us. Empires, in the end, decay into despotic, murderous and corrupt regimes that finally consume themselves. And we, like Israel, are now coughing up blood.
Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.
Yep, Larsen is staying up at night with the worry beads due to the fact that all the nation’s peanuts are processed at one plant, in North or South Carolina…he can’t remember which. According to Larsen, the centralization of this facility provides an easy target for terrorists wielding chemical or biological weapons.
Larsen is a former Colonel in the United States Air Force and is a decorated Vietnam vet. He is a founding member of the WMD center, a not-for- profit research organization, along with former Senators Bob Graham (D-FL) and Jim Talent (R_MO). Larsen is also the national security advisor at the Center for Biosecurity, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and is a senior fellow at the Homeland Security Policy institute at George Washington University.
In a recent telephone interview, Larsen opined that food terrorism is one the most significant threats faced by the nation.
Larsen also responded to questions about predictions being tendered that we should expect a pandemic by the end of 2013. “Pandemics,” declared Larsen, “run in thirty-forty year cycles. We are overdue.”
In fact, Larsen may have his numbers screwed up. The Spanish flu, which killed 20-40 million people worldwide, made its debut in 1918. The Asian flu killed about a million people in 1957-58 and only ten years later the Hong Kong flu killed just under a million.
Facts notwithstanding, the predictions persist that 2013 will be the Big One—either in terms of a terrorist attack or a pandemic. Not only have Larsen’s colleagues, Talent and Graham committed to this perception, but Dr. Daniel Gerstein of the Department of Homeland Security made just such a prediction last December at the Biological Weapons Convention, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland at the United Nations. “We expect a pandemic before the end of 2013,” stated Gerstein.http://www.activistpost.com/
A pandemic or a biological weapons attack? Or are they one and the same?
Larsen pooh- poohed the idea that water systems might be a target for a domestic terrorist attack. He stated that, given the amount of pathogen necessary to contaminate a water system, it was highly unlikely that such an effort would be successful.
However, Larsen’s perception is not shared by others in government nor by the scientific community. Last year, DHS chief Janet Napolitano issued a homeland security warning http://www.news10.net/news/
Her concerns were echoed just last week by Leon Panetta, who was reported in Money Newshttp://www.moneynews.com/
The scientific community is also at odds with Larsen’s assessment of the threat posed by a waterborne attack. A heavily footnoted report by the Congressional Research Service entitled “Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector,” declared “Bioterrorism or chemical attacks could deliver widespread contamination with small amounts of microbiological agents or toxic chemicals, and could endanger the public health of thousands.” (December 15, 2010)
During the course of our phone interview, this reporter suggested to Larsen that the danger posed by vulnerabilities inherent in the very configuration of water systems countrywide might present a compelling concern to those involved in protecting the United States from a terrorist attack. With his permission, this reporter forwarded a report detailing these vulnerabilities, which was submitted to the Critical Infrastructure unit of the Department of Homeland Security last August. The report is reproduced in its entirety, below.
Larsen’s response was terse and to the point. On September 8, 2012, he sent me this message from his I phone:
“After reading some of your pieces on the Internet about the Patriot Act, I assure you we will have no further conversations or email exchanges. Sorry I wasted your time and mine.”
Well, at least he has locked in on the Skippy terrorism. What a relief. I was beginning to think we might have a problem
During the second half of the 20th century the United States was an opportunity society. The ladders of upward mobility were plentiful, and the middle class expanded. Incomes rose, and ordinary people were able to achieve old-age security.
In the 21st century the opportunity society has disappeared. Middle class jobs are scarce. Indeed, jobs of any kind are scarce. To stay even with population growth from 2002 through 2011, the economy needed about 14 million new jobs. However, at the end of 2011 there were only 1 million more jobs than in 2002. http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cesbtab1.htm
Only 426,000 of these jobs are in the private sector. The bulk of the net new jobs consist of waitresses and bartenders and health care and social assistance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the 9 years, employment for waitresses and bartenders increased by 1,188,000. Employment in health care and social assistance increased 3,087,000. These two categories accounted for 1,000% of the net private sector job growth.
As for manufacturing jobs, they not only did not grow with the population but declined absolutely. During these nine years, 3.5 million middle class manufacturing jobs were lost.
Over the entire nine years, only 48,000 new jobs were created for architects and engineers.
In the 21st century the US economy has been able to create only a few new jobs and these are in lowly paid domestic services that cannot be offshored, such as waitresses and bartenders.
The lack of jobs, especially high value-added, high productivity jobs, is the reason real median household income has declined and the distribution of income has worsened. Without rising real household income, there cannot be a consumer economy.
In the early years of the 21st century, the Federal Reserve substituted a rise in consumer debt to drive the economy in place of the missing rise in consumer incomes. Low interest rates drove up housing prices, and people refinanced their mortgages and spent the equity. The Federal Reserve kept the economy alive by loading up consumers with debt that housing prices and consumer incomes would soon be unable to support.
When debt and real estate prices reached unsustainable levels, the bubble popped, and the ongoing financial crisis was upon us.
The cause of all of the problems is the offshoring of Americans’ jobs. When jobs are moved offshore, consumers’ careers and incomes, and the GDP and payroll and income tax base associated with those jobs, go with them. When the goods and services produced for American markets by offshored labor are brought into the US to be sold, the trade deficit rises, and downward pressure is put on the dollar, pushing up domestic inflation. (On October 12, statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) reported that “third-quarter wholesale inflation jumped to an annualized 6.2%.”)
Jobs offshoring is driven by Wall Street, “shareholder advocates,” the threat of takeovers, and by large retailers, such as Walmart. By cutting labor costs, profits go up.It is that simple. However, as a result of sending American jobs to cheap labor countries, US consumer incomes go down. The end result is to destroy the domestic consumer market. What would have been US consumer income growth becomes instead profit growth for US corporations.
Keynesian economists use in their textbooks the example of how the aggregate effect of individual saving could be the opposite of the effect intended by the individuals. Whereas each saver seeks to improve his position by building wealth, in the aggregate saving could exceed investment, resulting in a decline in aggregate demand and a fall in income for all. Offshoring has the same logic. Each corporation can expect to gain more profits from moving US jobs offshore, but the aggregate effect is a fall in American consumer incomes and a reduction in the American consumer market.
I have told this story many times. But policymakers, the media, and economists seem unable to connect the dots.
Jobs offshoring has substantial implications for Social Security and Medicare. The US has the least adequate social safety net of any developed country. The two major components of the US social safety net are Social Security and Medicare for the elderly. Social Security and Medicare are financed by a payroll tax. The combined tax is 15.3% of payrolls. For the past quarter of a century the Social Security portion of the payroll tax has built up a surplus of over $2 trillion. Recently, the Medicare portion began running in the red.
Right-wing Republicans, free market ideologues, and the left-wing have all indoctrinated themselves with incorrect beliefs about Social Security and Medicare. The right-wing claims that a safety net financed with 15.3% of payrolls is a “Ponzi scheme” and an “unfunded liability.” If that is the case, then so are veterans benefits, military pensions, and federal pensions, all of which are financed by the income tax, the basis for the payroll tax.
The left-wing claims that the rich do not pay high enough payroll taxes, because the income subject to Social Security payroll tax is capped at about $110,000. But the benefits are also capped. Social Security is not supposed to be an income redistribution scheme from rich to poor, and it is not supposed to be a pension system for the rich. The pension paid is supposed to correlate with the pre-retirement income level of the retiree. Those who had higher wages or salaries and consequently paid more in payroll taxes receive a larger Social Security check than those who had lower wages and salaries and paid less payroll taxes, although there is favoritism toward the lower income earners who receive proportionally more in respect to their payroll taxes than higher income earners.
There is no cap on income subject to the Medicare portion of the payroll tax. Moreover, Medicare charges a Medicare Part B premium that is deducted from the Social Security monthly check. In addition, there is a further Part B premium based on retirement age income. For example, someone working beyond retirement age and making $250,000 per year pays about $3,800 in Medicare Part B premium in addition to the Medicare portion of the payroll tax of about $7,500. The annual premium he pays for his “free” Medicare for which he has paid all his working life with a payroll tax is about $11,300.
Moreover, Medicare by itself is insufficient coverage. To actually have medical coverage, those covered by Medicare have to purchase a supplementary private policy to cover the large gaps in Medicare. Depending on the range of coverage, a supplementary policy costs approximately $100 to $300 per month.
As the person making $250,000 per year is likely to go for the most coverage, he will be paying about $14,900 (excluding deductions and co-payments) per year for his “free” Medicare. This is despite having paid the Medicare payroll tax each year of his working life. A person who made $250,000 in taxable income per year for 30 years would have paid $217,500 into Medicare at the current Medicare payroll tax rate.
The right-wing’s notion that Social Security and Medicare are handouts, part of the welfare state’s bread and circuses, and the left-wing’s idea that the rich get a free ride are equally untrue.
(Note: $250,000 is the politicians’ dividing line between the rich and the rest of us. For a person making $50,000 a year, an income five times larger can seem rich. However, a $250,000 annual income leaves a family or person far distant from the lifestyle of the rich. Upper middle class incomes are generally associated with high-tax, high-cost urban areas in states with high income taxes. After federal income and payroll taxes, state income and sales taxes, and property taxes, what appears to many as a large income disappears. In New York City, the federal income tax will take about 25% of the $250,000, New York state will take about 9%, and New York City will take about 3.65%. The combined city and state sales tax is 8.875%. The property tax is high. The conclusion is that in New York City a $250,000 income is reduced to $125,000 or thereabouts. Those who claim “the rich don’t pay taxes” are not talking about $250,000 incomes.)
Social Security and Medicare have served the country well. They protect the individual from his own mistakes, from crooked and incompetent money managers, and from financial crises, and they protect society from the moral dilemma of confronting large numbers of fellow citizens who through fault or no fault of their own cannot provide for their livelihood and medical care. After the financial scandals and crisis of the past five years, it is a stretch to believe that any but the astute can manage their personal wealth, whether small or large, in today’s situation of unregulated financial markets, zero interest rates, currency uncertainty, and highly complex investment instruments with computers programmed with mathematical models dominating equity trades.
The argument that conceptually a person could do better by investing his payroll taxes in the stock market is a poor basis for old age security policy. The person can do better as long as he or she doesn’t fall into the hands of a Bernie Madoff or a Goldman Sachs, doesn’t receive zero interest on his bonds because the Federal Reserve has to bail out the “too big to fail banks,” doesn’t experience a decline in currency value due to monetization of enormous federal deficits, and doesn’t experience a bear market as he approaches retirement.
The right-wing ideologues who try to scare old age security out of existence go on and on about rising medical costs, about an aging population living longer, declining birthrates and a worsening ratio of workers to retirees, about people learning to rely on handouts rather than their own means, and about Washington’s rising unfunded liabilities.
Scare projections are designed to scare, and most are untenable. For example, longevity was a product of rising incomes, good diet, and antibiotics. Today only the upper crust have rising incomes. Antibiotics are wearing out from abuse and rising immunity of bacteria. Diet is compromised in ways still poorly understood as a result of GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, pumping chicken, pork, and beef full of antibiotics and hormones and feeding the animals GMO grains and also possibly infected animal byproducts, and pumping our water full of fluoride. A variety of destructive activities and behaviors are causing ecological damage. Longevity might have been a short-term benefit of irreproducible conditions considering the mounting ecological damage and the rise of superbugs, stress, and tainted food and water production.
The projection of an aging population might also be wrong. Clearly, the post-World War II baby boomers are aging, but do the projections take into account the legislated 1965 immigration increases plus the illegal influx from Mexico and points south of young people with high birth rates? How can it be that a country with allegedly 30 million illegal immigrants, whose children born in the US are citizens, has a declining birth rate? How do we know that the illegal population will not continue to increase?
There are so many Spanish speaking people in the US today that if a person calls any of his utility companies, whether telephone, Internet, water, electricity, TV, or any of his credit card companies, or his bank, he has to select English or Spanish. Obviously, as
anti-immigration sites make clear, the US population is changing in its national origin, and there appears to be no sign of an aging Hispanic population. How many old Spanish speaking people do you see in the US compared to the young?
When confronted with this apparent fact, the response is: “why will the Hispanics pay for the aging white population?” The answer is: because they are in the same payroll tax system and the taxes will be withheld from their wages and salaries just as they are from everyone else’s.
It is possible that if Hispanics in the US have suffered years of hostility, accusations, and hatred from “the ice people,” once Hispanics are sufficiently numerous to control the legislature, assuming one still exists, or to take over the executive branch, the only seat of power, they may in retribution cut off the aging whites. But if so, the whites will have brought it on themselves.
Whatever the scare projections that are mustered to undermine the public provision of old age security, the real financial danger is never mentioned. The only significant financial danger to Social Security and Medicare is the offshoring of American jobs and GDP. A country without a job base is without a payroll tax base. If the only jobs that the 21st century “world’s only superpower” economy can create are for waitresses, bartenders, and health care and social assistance (hospital orderlies and practical nurses), payroll tax revenues will be less than if the US still had 20 million workers and rising in well-paid manufacturing jobs instead of 11 million.
Regardless of Medicare’s financing, the death knell for the elderly was the legality of abortion. If the yet to be born are an insufferable burden, imagine the cost of the elderly. As far as the state is concerned, once you stop producing income and payroll tax revenues for the state, it is time for you to die. Washington would rather enact euthanasia than to pay back the $2+ trillion in the Social Security trust fund that Washington spent, leaving only non-marketable IOUs in the account.
Readers might think that Americans would never stand for death by injection for the elderly once the qualified age is reached. But why would they not? They have accepted millions of aborted babies, and Americans, including the elderly, have stood for Washington’s murder, maiming and displacement of millions of Muslim men, women, and children in 7 countries over the past 11 years and are yet to show any signs of remorse for their complicity in mass murder. Next month tens of millions of Americans will vote for Mitt Romney who believes Obama isn’t killing Muslims fast enough.
The new “Obamneycare” health legislation does have “death panels.” They are not called that, and they do not make formal decisions to terminate lives. But it comes to almost the same thing. Various panels, committees, or bureaucratic departments are empowered to make decisions about “effective care.” It has long been known that most health care costs are associated with the last year of life. Cost and age will be elements in determining standards of care. The greater the weight assigned to cost, the more care will be withheld. In effect, the “effective care” panel is a “death panel.”
Prior to the advent of the new “health care” system, Medicare and or hospitals are already shifting costs to Medicare patients. To avoid penalties and fraud allegations for “medically unnecessary hospitalizations,” rather than formally admit Medicare patients as inpatients, hospital administrators classify them as outpatients “under observation.”
According to a Brown University analysis of Medicare records in 2007, 2008, and 2009, the ratio of Medicare observation patients to those admitted as inpatients rose by 34 percent.
Being classified an outpatient under observation eliminates medicare coverages, especially for post-operative or post-accident rehabilitation care, leaving Medicare patients with bills in the tens of thousands of dollars (AARP Bulletin, October 2012).
Other costs are being shifted to doctors and to hospitals. Medicare pays fixed prices for each covered procedure or test, and these prices can be as low as half of the billed prices. During a period when costs incurred by providers of health care have been rising, Medicare has been cutting the amounts it pays providers.
As the payroll tax is commingled with general tax revenues, Social Security and Medicare payroll tax collections can be diverted to other purposes and, thus, are always subject to competing budgetary demands, such as the previous 11 years of gratuitous wars and the bailouts of “banks too big to fail,” or to deficit reduction demands as the government consistently overspends all revenue sources.
A national health service is the only way to control health costs and provide the population with health care coverage. A national health system takes the many levels of profits out of the system and also reams of compliance and liability costs. A national health system can coexist with a private system for those who can afford it or whose employers are sufficiently profitable to provide it.
As Jarad Diamond reveals in his book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, societies fail, if not because of their moral bankruptcy, then because their rulers are only capable of short-term thinking. The future is beyond their interest. The US offshored its economy, because it worked short-term for corporate executives (rewarded with multi-million dollar performance bonuses), Wall Street (rewarded with profits), shareholders (rewarded with capital gains), and politicians (rewarded with corporate and Wall Street campaign contributions).
Incompetent free market economists confused jobs offshoring with free trade. They said the country would and was benefiting by giving its manufacturing, industrial, and tradable professional service jobs to China and India, that the US was ridding itself of “dirty fingernail jobs” and would soon be flush with highly paid high-tech jobs and highly paid financial service jobs.
None of these promises or predictions were true. Nowhere in the government’s jobs statistics are there any of these promised replacement jobs. The economists who provided cover for the destruction of the US economy were rewarded by the corporations with speaking fees, grants for their university departments, and newspaper columns paid for by corporate advertisers. Those few who told the truth were expelled from the corporate media that Bill and Hilary Clinton allowed to be monopolized (for campaign contributions, of course).
The future of old age security in the United States has been lost, because the job base has been given away to foreigners in order to maximize incomes in the short-run for the few decision-makers.
The misrepresentation of jobs offshoring as free trade has destroyed the prospects of cities, counties, and states along with those of unions and millions of Americans who once had a secure future. It has destroyed the prospects of class after class of university graduates burdened with student loans who expected to step into the jobs that have been offshored or filled by H-1B visa holders from abroad.
The American work force has been forsaken by the corporations and by Washington, and this means that Social Security and Medicare have also been forsaken.
As I predicted in the early years of this new century, “the United States will be a third world country in 20 years.” We might get there even sooner as Washington exhausts what little is left of American wealth in gratuitous wars in service to Israel and the US Military/Security Complex, in unaffordable military buildups in futile hopes of establishing hegemony over China and Russia, and in negative interest rates from the Federal Reserve’s effort to drive up the book value of debt instruments on the balance sheets of financial institutions.
In 1817 Percy Bysshe Shelly forecast America’s future:
“I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stampt on these lifeless things,
The hand that mockt them and the heart that fed:
On the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Writing in the October 15 online CounterPunch, John V. Walsh, relying on charts prepared by economics professor Mark J. Perry at the University of Michigan and blogger John Hunter, concludes that it is a myth that US manufacturing is in decline.
Walsh says that the loss of US manufacturing jobs is due to automation, not to offshoring. Think about this for a moment. Perry’s graph on which Walsh relies shows the sharp drop in US manufacturing employment to be a 21st century experience. However, automation has been around for a long time. The notion that its effect on employment only showed up recently needs an explanation that is not provided. The steep drop in US manufacturing employment that began in 2000 does correspond with the date at which jobs offshoring began to bite hard.
Why does automation not also affect Chinese manufacturing, especially as most of the Chinese manufacturing technology came from the US as US corporations offshored their production for the US market? If Chinese manufacturing is not up to date with automation, like the US is assumed to be, how do the Chinese, even with cheap labor, undersell US automated factories? How did Chinese manufacturing employment increase in a mere four years by an amount equal to the total manufacturing employment in the US?
The US Bureau of Economic Analysis shows only 11.2 million full time US manufacturing jobs in 2010. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 11.7 million US manufacturing jobs in 2011, down from 15.3 million in 2002.
In contrast, China, an industrial and manufacturing backwater for most of my life, had 112 million manufacturing jobs in 2006. In a mere four years (2002-2006), the increase in China’s manufacturing employment was as large as today’s total employment in US manufacturing. As long ago as 2006, China’s manufacturing employment was about 10 times the current US manufacturing employment. The Chinese population is about 4 times larger than the US population, but China’s manufacturing population is proportionately greater–10 times larger. Indeed, Chinese manufacturing employees almost equal the total number of employees in all occupations in the US (Manufacturing and Technology News, December 15, 2009).
Obviously, something is wrong with Walsh’s article or the graphs on which he relied.
America’s manufacturing prowess cannot be found in the statistical data. The US is primarily an exporter of Agricultural commodities. The US imports almost twice the amount of manufactured goods as it exports. Indeed, according to the US Census Bureau Statistical Abstract of the US http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1308.pdf US imports of manufactured goods are 5.5 times larger than US imports of crude oil and 4 times larger than all imports of mineral fuel. Yet, we hear about energy dependency, not manufacturing dependency.
As of 2010 the “superpower” US economy still had a trade surplus in airplanes and airplane parts and a small $6 billion surplus in scientific instruments, but that is about all.
In ADP equipment and office machinery, the US exported $22.2 billion in 2010 (latest information at time of writing), down from $44.6 billion in 2000. US imports in 2010 of ADP equipment and office machinery were $113.5 billion, or 5.1 times exports.
The US cannot even make its own clothes and shoes. In 2010 footwear imports are 28.7 times exports. Clothing imports are 24.6 times exports.
Electrical machinery exports were $77 billion; imports were $120 billion.
Exports of power generating machinery were $33 billion; imports were $42 billion.
Exports of television, VCRs were $21.5 billion; imports were $137 billion.
US exports of vehicles was $88 billion; imports were $179 billion.
US news reports of thousands upon thousands of discharged US workers never cite their replacement by automation. The news story is always that the plant is being closed and the jobs moved abroad. Any review of America’s former manufacturing centers verifies this. Boarded up plants and cities and towns in decline are the remains of America’s formerly world dominant manufacturing economy.
The loss of the US post-war trade surplus in manufacturing has left the US with a huge trade deficit. The charts on which Walsh relied left him unaware of the fact that China has a large trade surplus with the US, and the US has a large trade deficit not only with China but with the world.
The fact that the US has to import not only manufactured goods, but also high-technology products from China, an inconceivable outcome during the second half of the 20th century, is powerful testimony to the decline of the US as a manufacturing powerhouse.
It took some doing to obscure the facts and to present the US as a rival to China in manufacturing prowess. How did it happen?
The fault might lie in the way statistical information is collected and presented. Apple, for example, is a US corporation. It reports its worldwide earnings to the IRS. Its manufacturing is counted as US manufacturing as it is a US corporation. However, Apple doesn’t produce a single computer in the US. They are produced in China. The employment that Apple reports is in China. The Chinese are employed by an American company, but they are not Americans. The Chinese incomes that Apple provides do not support the American consumer market or provide the tax base for cities and states. The Chinese incomes do not provide ladders of upward mobility or careers for Americans.
The wages Apple pays are in China. The consumer incomes and GDP that it generates are in China. When Apple’s computers come back to America to be sold they come in as imports. But Apple’s manufacturing and employment are reported as the output and employment of an American company.
When statistics and the methods by which they are compiled were put into effect, countries did not offshore their production for their domestic markets. Foreign investments were made for selling abroad, not for selling in the home market. With the advent of offshoring, counting the employment and output of US firms that are producing abroad for their domestic market as an indication of the strength of US manufacturing is very misleading. Apple, for example, has done more to boost China’s GDP than to boost America’s GDP. This is true of every US corporation that offshores its production for US consumers.
In recent years the percentage of the work forces of large US corporations that is foreign sourced has risen rapidly. Some of the overseas hiring reflects traditional foreign investment in which a company builds abroad in order to sell abroad, but much of the hiring reflects offshored production for US markets.
The US has been able to survive the large trade deficits produced by jobs offshoring, because the US dollar is the world reserve currency. Being the world reserve currency, the US does not have to earn foreign currencies with exports in order to pay for its imports. However, as these trade deficits persist and the buildup of foreign holdings of dollar paper assets rises, there is a diminishing willingness of foreigners to trade real goods and services for financial assets denominated in a fiat currency whose value is diminishing with the ever-growing supply.
Thus, the basic notion of globalism–that a country’s corporations can produce goods and services in any country for home markets–is false.
Walsh is correct that China is not to blame for the decline in US manufacturing. Offshoring is to blame, and, thus, the blame lies with US corporations, policymakers, and the economists and financial media who shill for “globalism.” The decision was made to sacrifice the US economy to the short-term profits of the few. A country so poorly led can do nothing but decline.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts