The scale and rate of modern climate change have been underestimated.
The release to date of a total of over 500 billion ton (GtC) of carbon through emissions, land clearing and fires, has raised CO2 levels to 397-400 ppm and near 470 ppm CO2-e [a value including methane] at a rate of ~2 ppm CO2 per year  (Figures 1 and 2). These developments are shifting the Earth’s climate toward Pliocene-like (5.2 – 2.6 million years-ago [Ma]; +2-3oC) conditions and possibly mid-Miocene-like (~16 Ma; +4oC) conditions , within a couple of centuries―a geological blink of an eye.
The current CO2 level generates amplifying feedbacks from the ice/water transformation and albedo loss, methane release from permafrost, methane clathrates and bogs, from droughts and loss of vegetation cover, from fires and from reduced CO2 sequestration by warming water.
With CO2 atmospheric residence times in the order of thousands to tens of thousands years , protracted reduction in emissions, either flowing from human decision or due to reduced economic activity in an environmentally stressed world, may no longer be sufficient to arrest the feedbacks.
Four of the large mass extinction events in the history of Earth (end-Devonian, Permian-Triassic, end-Triassic, K-T boundary) have been associated with rapid perturbations of the carbon, oxygen and sulphur cycles, on which the biosphere depends, at rates to which species could not adapt .
Since the 18th century, and in particular since about 1975, the Earth system has been shifting away from Holocene (10,000 years to the present) conditions, which allowed agriculture, previously not possible due to instabilities in the climate and extreme weather events. The shift is most clearly manifested by the loss of polar ice  (Figure 3). Sea level rises have been accelerating, with a total of more than 20 cm since 1880 and about 6 cm since 1990 ..
For temperature rise of 2.3oC, to which the climate is committed if sulphur aerosol emission discontinues (see Figure 1), sea levels would reach Pliocene like levels of 25+/-12 meters, with lag effects due to ice sheet hysteresis.
With global CO2-e levels at ~470 ppm, just under the upper stability limit of the Antarctic ice sheet, current rate of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, cement production, land clearing and fires of ~9.7 GtC in 2010  , global civilization is at a tipping point, facing the following alternatives:
- With carbon reserves sufficient to raise atmospheric CO2 levels to above 1000 ppm (Figure 4), continuing business-as-usual emissions can only result in advanced melting of the polar ice sheets, a corresponding rise of sea levels on the scale of meters to tens of meters and continental temperatures rendering agriculture unlikely.
- With atmospheric CO2 at ~400 ppm, abrupt decrease in carbon emissions may no longer be sufficient to prevent current feedbacks (melting of ice, methane release from permafrost, fires). Attempts to stabilize the climate would require global efforts at CO2 draw-down, using a range of methods including global reforestation, extensive biochar application, chemical CO2 sequestration (using sodium hydroxide, serpentine and new innovations) and burial of CO2 
As indicated in Table 1, the use of short-term solar radiation shields such as sulphur aerosols cannot be regarded as more than a band aid, with severe deleterious consequences in terms of ocean acidification and retardation of the monsoon and of precipitation over large parts of the Earth. Retardation of solar radiation through space sunshades is of limited residence time and would not prevent further acidification from ongoing carbon emission.
Dissemination of ocean iron filings aimed at increasing fertilization by plankton and algal blooms, or temperature exchange through vertical ocean pipe systems, are unlikely to be effective in transporting CO2 to relatively safe water depths.
By contrast to these methods, CO2 sequestration through fast track reforestation, soil carbon, biochar and possible chemical methods such as “sodium trees” and serpentine (combining Ca and Mg with CO2) (Figure 5) may be effective, provided these are applied on a global scale, requiring budgets on a scale of military spending (>$20 trillion since WWII).
Urgent efforts at innovation of new CO2 draw-down methods are essential. It is likely that a species which decoded the basic laws of nature, split the atom, placed a man on the moon and ventured into outer space should also be able to develop the methodology for fast sequestration of atmospheric CO2. The alternative, in terms of global heating, sea level rise, extreme weather events, and the destruction of the world’s food sources is unthinkable.
Good planets are hard to come by.
 IPCC AR4 http://www.ipcc.ch/ ; Global Carbon Project http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/ ; State of the planet declaration http://www.planetunderpressure2012.net/
 Zachos, 2001 cmbc.ucsd.edu/content/1/docs/zachos-2001.pdf; Beerling and Royer, 2011 http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v4/n7/fig_tab/ngeo1186_ft.html; PRISM USGS Pliocene Project http://geology.er.usgs.gov/eespteam/prism/
 Eby et al., 2008. geosci.uchicago.edu/~archer/reprints/eby.2009.long_tail.pdf
 Keller, 2005; Glikson, 2005; Ward, 2007. http://www.amazon.com/Under-Green-Sky-Warming-Extinctions/dp/B002ECEGFC#reader_B002ECEGFC
 Loss of polar ice http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011GL046583.shtml
 CLIM 012 Assessment Nov 2012; http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/indicators/sea-level-rise-1/assessment, Rahmstorf et al., 2012, http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/4/044035/article.
 Raupach, 2011, www.science.org.au/natcoms/nc-ess/documents/ GEsymposium.pdf)
 Geo-engineering the Climate? A Southern Hemisphere perspective. AAS conference www.science.org.au/natcoms/nc-ess/documents/GEsymposium.pdf
Part A. Mean CO2 level from ice cores, Mouna Loa observatory and marine sites;
Part B (inset). Climate forcing 1880 – 2003 (Hansen et al., 2011) http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha06510a.html . Aerosol forcing includes all aerosol effects, including indirect effects on clouds and snow albedo. GHGs include O3 and stratospheric H2O, in addition to well-mixed GHGs.
Relations between CO2 rise rates and mean global temperature rise rates during warming periods, including the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Oligocene, Miocene, glacial terminations, Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles and the post-1750 period.
Greenland (a) and Antarctic (b) mass change deduced from gravitational field measurements by
Velicogna (2009) http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha05510d.html
CO2 emissions by fossil fuels (1 ppm CO2 ~ 2.12 GtC). Estimated reserves and potentially recoverable resources are from Energy Information Administration (2011) and the German Advisory Council on Climate Change (2011). From Hansen 2012 www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/…/20120130_CowardsPart2.pdf
A schematic representation of various geoengineering and carbon storage proposals.
Diagram by Kathleen Smith/LLNL
Did you know that, legally, you can tell or write down any damn lie that you please about anyone else on the planet – as long as you qualify it by saying or writing the magic word “allegedly” just before you start lying through your teeth? Apparently you can — because the use of “allegedly” changes a statement of fact into an opinion, and opinions do not have to be proven because, “pure opinions, by their very nature, cannot be proven true or false.” Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1 (1990)
And did you know that you can also say or write pretty much any damn lie that you please in any court document or in front of any judge in America as well – and not even have to use the word ”allegedly” either? And especially if you are a lawyer? Apparently lawyers get to set their pants on fire in court even more freely than the rest of us schmucks.
I recently found this out the hard way when I filed a libel suit in small claims court because the defendants I was suing had (allegedly) lied their pants off about me in a probate matter where money was involved (and as we all know, where money is involved, anything can happen — and usually does).
The judge, however, then ruled against me — even though the defendants had clearly lied like rugs and I could easily prove it. So why the adverse ruling? Because apparently it is always okay to tell any kind of whopper one pleases about anybody –as long as said whopper is written or spoken in court documents or in front of a judge.
“You can say anything you want in a court document or in front of me,” said the judge, “due to what is called the ‘Litigation Privilege’.” Never heard of it. But obviously the defendants, one of whom was a lawyer, were (allegedly) VERY familiar with the term.
But then, of course, (allegedly) mendacious defendants then have to prove that what they say to a judge is actually true – in most courts. But (allegedly) you can say anything that you want in a Chicago probate or conservatorship court — and not even have to prove what you say is true. What’s with that?
(Allegedly) the Chicago probate and conservatorship system is set up so that if you might happen to see a rich old lady walking down the street, you can follow her home to get her 411, then go to court and tell the judge that said rich old lady is incompetent, ask to become her guardian, wait for her to die — and then spend her millions any way that you damn well please! Or, in many cases, you don’t even have to wait for her to die. You can just dump her in some sleazy flea-infested rest home and start living the Good Life right now.
So why is this information about (allegedly) sleazy probate courts in Chicago important to you and me too? Here’s why. We all are eventually going to die. Every one of us dies. That’s what all human being eventually do. We die. And when that eventually happens to us too, do we really want some (allegedly) corrupt probate or conservatorship court to be the one distributing our estate to whomever they please?
But it could happen. And it (allegedly) has already happened to some nice little old lady in Chicago named Mary Sykes. She was out bowling one day with her youngest daughter and while she was (allegedly) rolling strikes and splits, her elder daughter went off to court, got an illegal conservatorship order against Mary, drilled out her safety deposit box illegally,made off with a whole mail-sack full of Double Eagle gold coins and is now living the good life while her mom is being forced to choke down unneeded drugs to keep her sedated in some God-awful rest home because her elder daughter has also sold her house.
This could happen to you too.
Where money is involved, anything can happen.
And with all these millions of baby-boomers floating around bowling alleys these days, it is definitely time to tighten up America’s probate and conservatorship laws so that you and I don’t end up like Mary Sykes. Well, at least you. No worries for me — because while I do have several “unpredictable relatives,” I don’t own a house or have a safety deposit box.
PS: The Berkeley-Albany Bar Association just held their latest MCLE seminar — this time on the subject of America’s current marijuana laws. Did you know that pot is legal 19 states right now? The Feds, however, have completely ignored this current trend and have been brutally cracking down on medical marijuana users in the last two years — and spending tons of billions of dollars doing it too. Why all the crack-downs? Because (allegedly) there are big bucks to be made if you own a prison or work for the DEA.
“But,” you might say, “what does all that have to do with the elderly?” A lot.
Since senior citizens and retirees compose one of the largest groups of legal medical cannabis users in America today, and also compose one of the largest groups living in subsidized housing, then as the Feds enthusiastically pursue their current policy of throwing legal medical cannabis users living in subsidized housing out on the streets, there is going to a LOT more poor sweet homeless elders hopelessly shuffling around America’s freeway-on-ramps, selling oranges, begging for spare change and living in cardboard boxes in their old age.
Across Syria these days, one is able to examine massive evidence that this ancient civilization, the historic bastion of nationalist Arabism and since the 1948 Nabka, an essential pillar of the growing culture of Resistance to the Zionist occupation of Palestine, is becoming awash with foreign arms being funneled to “rebels” by countries advocating regime change.
This observer has been researching foreign arms transfers into certain Middle East countries since last summer in Libya, where to a lesser degree the identical foreign actors were involved in facilitating the transfer of arms and fighters to topple the then, “Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.”
During a recent stay in Syria, I was able to observe first hand, substantial demonstrative evidence supporting the thesis that American, Zionist and Gulf intelligence agencies as well as private arms dealers from these countries top the list of more than two dozen countries benefiting from the crisis in Syria by injecting arms. These countries gain politically and financially, via governmental and black market arms transfers.
Which countries are sending the most weapons into Syria to arm militia?
A list of the top 24 countries, among the more than three dozen that are currently involved in sending weapons to Syria to achieve regime change include: USA, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, UK, France, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Brazil, Portugal, Poland, Yugoslavia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, and Argentina.
Above: one of the periodic lists complied of foreign weapons confiscated from foreign fighters in Syria. Aug.-late September, 2012
Nearly two-thirds of the above listed arms suppliers are members of NATO and constitute almost half of NATO’s 28 country membership.
Russia is not included in the above list because it is the main supplier of arms to the Syrian government. Yet, one finds older USSR era weapons and even some more recent vintage Russian arms in rebel hands, the latter from the decade (12/79-2/89) of Soviet, occupation of Afghanistan. Also offering Russian weapons are a growing number of black market arms dealers of whom there is no shortage along the Turkey-Syrian border and elsewhere. This recent visitor to Syria was offered near the Old City, AK 47’s (Russian Kalashnikovs) or Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) for $ 1,800 (in Lebanon today and before the Syrian crisis the price was around $800. After some bargaining and starting to walk away a couple of times, the “special one-time only price for an American friend” dropped to $ 750 each. Russian made Dragunov sniper rifles are being offered at $ 6,500 but can be bought for around $ 5000.Buying arms these days in Syria is a caveat emptor proposition. Fake weapons and military rejects/defects are also being offered by hustlers from nearby countries including Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.
The involvement of numerous countries in the Syrian crisis as arms suppliers and political operatives was tangentially referenced by the recent UN Security Council Statement of 12/25/12 which admits the existence of foreign actors and implies their arms supplying activities by urging “all regional and international actors to use their influence on the parties concerned to facilitate the implementation of the (Eid al Adha) ceasefire and cessation of violence.”
Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jaafari observed last week: “This part of the [Security Council] press statement, mentioned for the first time, proves Syria’s view repeated since the beginning of the crisis on the existence of Arab, regional and international parties influencing the armed groups negatively or positively. Therefore, those parties need to be addressed.”
One of the key challenges for the UN and Arab League envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi whose aides told this observer at the Dama Rose hotel on 10/22/12 where we were staying, is: “We need to persuade key countries in the Middle East, but also internationally, not to support the rebels with arms.
The failed initiative of envoy El Brahimi, was the third ceasefire attempt to date following the December 2011Arab League proposal and the April 2012 Kofi Annan initiative, both of which were endorsed by the Syrian government and most of the world community. Some rebel militia, but not nearly enough, did endorse the Brahimi four day Eid al Adha ceasefire only to have it collapse this past weekend. To his credit, Brahimi continues his work.
The same Brahimi sources suggested that the United States may also be supplying man-portable air-defense systems (Manpods) to rebels in Syria. According to Russian Foregin Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich, speaking on 12/15/12: “At the same time, it is also well-known that Washington is aware of supplies of various types of arms to illegal armed groups operating in Syria. Moreover, the United States, judging by admissions by American officials that have also been published in American media, is conducting coordination and providing logistical support for such supplies.” NBC News, based in New York reported in July that Syrian insurgents had obtained two dozen US MANPADS, delivered from Turkey.
A month after the October 2011 death of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in Tripoli that the U.S. was committing $40 million to help Libya “secure and recover its weapons stockpiles.” Congressional sources report that the Obama administration is fully aware that quantities of these arms are current in Syria and more in transit.
With respect to arms moving from Libya to Syria, on the night of Sept. 11 Libya time, in what was his last public meeting, US Ambassador Christopher Stevens met with the Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin, and accompanied him to the consulate front gate just before the assault began. Although what was discussed has not yet been made public, Washington sources including the pro-Zionist Fox News speculate that Stevens may have been in Benghazi negotiating a weapons transfer, from Libya to Syria.
Earlier this year, Assistant Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro expressed concerns that the increasing flow of Libya arms was far from under control. Speaking to the Stimson Center in Washington D.C. on 2/10/12 Shapiro said: “This raises the question — how many weapons and missiles are still missing? The frank answer is we don’t know and probably never will.”
According to a 10/14/12 report by the Times of London, a vessel flying the Libyan flag named Al Entisar (Victory), loaded with more than 400 tons of cargo, docked in southern Turkey 35 miles from the Syrian northern border. While some of the undeclared cargo was likely humanitarian, staff accompanying UN envoy Brahimi during his recent Syrian trip report the Al Entisar also carried the largest consignment of foreign weapons to date, including surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, RPG’s and MANPADS destined for Syria.
Partly because of the jihadists and arms entering Syria from its northern border, southern Turkey is increasingly referred to here in Damascus as “New Afghanistan”, given its matrix of jihadists, salafists, wahabists, and battle-hardened panoply of arriving foreign would-be mujahedeen and al Qaeda affiliates.
One teenage al Qaeda wannebe explained to the author that his specialty was making and using homemade specialized knives as shown in this photo. He also delivered a mini-lecture he said was based on a Koranic Hadith explaining why severing heads of animals and adversaries is actually the most humane method. He gave earnest assurances that if allowed to perform a one-time demonstration, this observer would feel no pain and he would post the photo on Facebook!
Remarkably, as was witnessed in 2007, during the conflict at the Nahr al Bared Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon, some of the arriving eager jihadists in “New Afghanistan” actually believe that they are fighting against Zionist forces near occupied Palestine and not killing fellow Arabs in Syria.
Some, but not all of the many types of small arms flowing into Syria in large numbers, and viewed by this observer include:
7.62mm Tabuk (Yugoslavia) rifles, Mass rifles (UK), 7.62 mm rifles (Poland), 12 mm rifles (Italy), 7.62 mm Kalashnikovs (several countries versions), 9 mm ‘fast gun’, (Austria), 7.62 mm Val (Belgium), G3 7.62 mm G3 rifles (Germany), 7.5mm model 36 rifles (France), M16 and a variety of sniper and other rifles (USA), 7.62 rifles (Bulgaria, 10.5 Uzi and other automatic machine guns, three types of hand grenades (Israel), 9 mm guns (Canada), 7 mm guns (Czech Republic), 7 mm guns (Brazil).
Photo: 10.23.12 Syria
Israeli weapons are among the most frequently found in Syria as was the case in Libya. Israeli arms dealers are claimed to have recently intensified links with Blackwater International and also are currently smuggling through the Golan Heights, the tri-border area of south Lebanon, occupied Palestine and Syria.
The observer also examined and was briefed on M72 LAW and AT-3 anti-tank missiles developed by the United States. But the extent of their use is difficult to verify. Most of the arms shown in accompanying photos are from the main urban centers and near the Turkish, Iraqi, Lebanese and Jordanian borders.
In tightly built up urban areas such as Homs, Idlib and Aleppo, door to door fighting includes a battle among snipers. According to one Syrian military intelligence source in whose Damascus office this observer discussed the subject, the most frequently confiscated sniper rifles currently being found in the hands of “rebels” include:
· the U.S. Army & USMC M1903-A4 (also: USMC M1903-A1/Unertl), the U.S. Army & USMC M1C & M1D and U.S. Army M21;
Photo: Damascus 10/23/12: American weapons from Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey and NATO stores are entering Syria with the aid of Qatar and Saudi Arabia and black market arms dealers.
· the Israeli M89SR Technical Equipment International 7.62x51mm NATO Semi-automatic, Galil Sniper Rifle and the T.C.I. M89-SR,
· the British .243 Winchester, 7.62x51mm NATO/.308 Winchester,.300 Winchester Magnum, and the 338 Lapua Magnum Bolt action sniper rifles.
Photo: Syria 10/13/12: The most frequently confiscated sniper rifles currently being found in the hands of “rebels” in Syria include the above shown U.S. Army & USMC M1903-A4. Other US sniper rifles include the USMC M1903-A1/Unertl), the U.S. Army & USMC M1C & M1D and U.S. Army M21
A few Afghanistan era Russian Dragonov SVD and SV-98 sniper rifles have also been confiscated among an assortment of others.
Foreign jihadists have some access to Soviet-era DShK heavy machine guns or ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft cannons which are used for anti-aircraft and fire support. Both use fairly scarce high-explosive rounds and armor-piercing rounds, which are capable of penetrating the armor of the Syrian military’s BMP infantry fighting vehicles. The ZU-23-2 “Sergey”, also known as ZU-23, is a Soviet towed 23 mm anti-aircraft cannon. Vehicle mounted Zu-23-2’s are relatively easy to spot by government aircraft and artillery units are used to attack a target and quickly flee to avoid counter strikes.
On 10/25/12 Russia reiterated its claims that the US assists and coordinates arms deliveries to foreign-sponsored insurgents battling the Syrian government forces. Russia’s chief military officer said that Syrian armed groups have acquired US-made weapons, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. This observer saw many weapons from more than a dozen types of IED’s (improvised explosive device) to medium sized artillery pieces but no missiles.
Photo: 10/24/12 Damascus, Syria
Improvised Explosive Devices are a key rebel weapon with many arriving from Iraq and camps near Hataya, Turkey. Many DIY (do it yourself) improvisations have been uncovered across Syria in both urban and rural areas. This observer examined and was briefed on several types, including those shown above.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry issued statement of 10/25/12, “Washington is aware of the deliveries of various weapons to illegal armed groups active in Syria. Moreover, judging by the declarations of US officials published in US media, the US coordinates and provides logistical assistance in such deliveries.”
Some analysts in Damascus claim that Syria’s potential military strength has not been as effective as it could be in the current urban fights against rebels. The government appears very strong militarily if one studies the statistics regarding Syria’s large and disciplined army which continues its support and also given its sophisticated long range missiles, air defense systems that have deterred an airborne attack from Israel. One reason progress has at times appeared slow against the “rebels” according to some local analysts was a certain initial unpreparedness to confront highly motivated guerrilla militia in downtown densely populated areas. These kinds of battles, it is claimed, require a mobile infantry, armored flexibility and very effective use of light arms. The Assad government’s “adapt, catch up and go on the offensive” paradigm is developing rapidly according to US Senate Armed Service Committee sources who assert that the Syria army has actually become battle hardened, tougher, stronger and more disciplined over the past several months. But it has taken time and has incurred a significant cost.
Weapons examined by this observer in Syria during 10/12 include some of the more than 1,750 new American sniper rifles channeled from Iraq and NATO supply stores to rebel militia.
How foreign weapons are entering Syria
As widely speculated particularly in the regional media, foreign supplied weapons to “rebels” arrive by air, sea and mainly by land from Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and occupied Palestine.
Israel is reported, by some researchers in Damascus who have been covering the crisis for nearly 20 months, to be sending arms to Syria from Kurdistan, having had much experience in Africa, South America and Eastern Europe via Mossad and Israeli black market arms dealing. What Israel did in Libya in terms of a wide spread arms business it is also trying to do in Syria. Israeli arms, according to Syrian and Lebanese sources are being transported into Syria from along the tri-border area of South Lebanon, near Shebaa Farms, close to Jabla al-Saddaneh, and Gadja. In addition, Israeli smugglers have increasingly, over the past five months, been seen by locals moving arms inside Syria via the Golan Heights. These violations of Syrian and Lebanese sovereignty raise serious questions about the vigilance of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone (UNDO) based in the Golan Heights as well as the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the Lebanese Army as well as National Lebanese Resistance units near the ‘blue line’ to stop the illicit Israeli arms transfers.
The recent arrival in southern Turkey and along the northern Syrian border of Blackwater mercenaries is expected to increase the foreign arms flow. Currently using the name Academi (previously known as Xena- Xe Services LLC, Blackwater USA and Blackwater Worldwide) Academi is currently, according to Jane’s Defense Weekly, the largest of the US governments “private security” contractors. Details of its relationship with the US Defense Department and the CIA are classified.
Is there a coherent US policy toward the Syrian crisis?
Secretary of State Clinton has been announcing recently that the U.S. is increasing its “non-lethal support” (i.e. direct shipments as opposed to boots on the ground or ballistic weapons) according to her Congressional liaison office. She also confirmed that Washington is working with its friends and allies to promote more cohesion among the disparate Syrian opposition groups with the aim of producing a new leadership council following meetings scheduled for Doha in the coming weeks.
Photo: Syria: 10/24/12
Examples of US, UK and NATO “non-lethal aid” equipment taken from militia in south and north Syria between 5/2011 and 10/2012.
However, to the consternation of the State Department, General David Petraeus the former US commander of NATO forces in Iraq, now director of the CIA acknowledged, during his senate confirmation hearings. “Non-lethal aid to combatants, including communication equipment, is sometimes more lethal and important than explosive devices due to the logistical advantages they provides on the battlefield.”
In tandem with the US, the UK and several European governments are supplying “non-lethal” aid to the Syrian opposition, including satellite communications equipment according to Syria security sources.
There is also plenty of anecdotal and demonstrative and probative evidence in Syria of human weapons patterned on the “Zarqawi model” which refers to the bloody al Qaeda in Mesopotamia campaign named for its leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi after U.S. troops occupied Iraq.
In a speech this week in Zagreb, Croatia, this week, Secretary of State Clinton insisted that any group seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad must reject attempts by extremists to “hijack” a legitimate revolution. She added, “There are disturbing reports of heavily armed foreign extremists going into Syria and attempting to take over.” Clinton used her strongest words to date concerning risks that the uprising in Syria could be overtaken by militants who do not seek a democratic replacement or the reforms that the current government claims it is trying to implement. She told her conferees: “We made it clear that the SNC can no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition. They can be part of a larger opposition, but that opposition must include people from inside Syria and others who have a legitimate voice. We also need an opposition that will be on record strongly resisting the efforts by extremists to hijack the Syrian revolution. There are disturbing reports of heavily armed extremists going into Syria and attempting to take over.” Clinton advised her colleagues that the US has become convinced that the SNC does not represent the interests of all ethnic and religious groups in Syria and that it has little legitimacy among on-the-ground activists and fighters, and has done little to stem the infiltration of Islamist extremists into the opposition forces.
Clinton’s language is being interpreted by some as evidence that a post-election Obama Whitehouse, she he win on November, may move toward the Russian, Chinese, and Iranian position and away from, what one Congressional source derisively labeled, “ the view from the Gulf gas stations” i.e. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and some other despotic monarchies.
The intervention in Syria by more than three dozen countries supplying weapons must be stopped. Both sides of the Syrian crisis need to manifest by actions, not just words, a serious commitment to meaningful dialogue. The above noted arms supplying countries, and others off stage, have a solemn obligation to their citizens and to the world community to immediately halt the shipment of arms.
They should, and their people should demand that they do without further delay, honor the words of Isaiah 2:3-5….”and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
Granted, perhaps a cliché and certainly far easier said than done.
Yet, as Oregon’s late great US Senator Wayne Morse used tell audiences around America during the Vietnam War, quoting General George Marshall, “The only way we human beings can win a war is to prevent it.”
It’s time for the international community to end the Syrian crisis diplomatically, stop funneling arms and cash fueling hoped for regime change elements. Instead, they must demand that all the involved parties immediately engage in serious dialogue and settle their differences.
If you want to know what Barack Obama and his fellow travelers have planned for us, you need look only at what their cutting-edge cousins have already implemented overseas. For example, hate-speech laws have long been used in Europe and other parts of the “Western” world to punish people for criticizing Islam and homosexuality. Now feminists are tightening the noose on freedom further with laws prohibiting “sexist” speech. Writes Phyllis Schlafly at The Moral Liberal:
England, [and] 18 other nations including Germany and France signed an absurd United Nations treaty about Women that requires them to pass new laws making sexist comments a crime and outlawing “psychological violence,” which they define broadly to include statements “seriously impairing a person’s psychological integrity through coercion or threats.” This is sold to the public as part of a phony campaign against domestic violence….
As with hate-speech prohibitions, these laws introduce a level of subjectivity into punishment that’s striking. Who will define what constitutes “sexism,” “psychological violence,” and “seriously impairing a person’s psychological integrity through coercion”? Obviously, this will be done by low level judges and bureaucrats on a case-by-case basis — or, perhaps I should say, on either a male or female basis.
Such laws give government the latitude to punish people selectively based on whether they or their words are in political favor. After all, women are the more talkative sex, with studies showing that they speak an average of 7000 words a day to men’s 2000, and they certainly are at least men’s equals in cutting with the tongue. Yet, in the same way that hate-speech laws are used as a hammer against Christians but not Muslims, how many “sexism” charges do you think will be brought against women? Will these laws be used to suppress sentiments such as “Boys are stupid. Throw rocks at them” or products such as the “All Men are Bastards” knife block? It’s more likely that they’ll be trotted out to, among other things, suppress criticism of abortion under the pretext that it impairs the “psychological integrity” of women who have had or are contemplating abortions.
These laws prohibiting “sexist” speech serve further notice that the nanny state has devolved into the Harridan State, as it has now issued a loud “Quiet, dear!” to all who dare utter words — in the home, the halls of government, and the wider society — that displease the feminists. The only bright side is that once you’re convicted of “sexist” speech, the government harridan will at least let you finish your sentence.
Jimmy Savile is considered to be a British TV icon who hosted popular shows like Jim’ll Fix It andTop of the Pops. His decades of presence in pop culture has led him to obtain an incredible amount of “elite” recognition such as Officer of the Order of the British Empire, Cross of Merit of the Order and Freeman of the Borough of Scarborough. He was also knighted by the Queen herself (God save her) “for charitable services” and obtained Papal knighthood from Jean-Paul II, making him a Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great.
But now, over a year after his death, the disgusting, ugly truth about this disgusting ugly character is being revealed by British newspapers: He sexually abused a great number of children and adults during his career, terrifying, manipulating and traumatizing them, while enjoying total immunity. Now that the cat’s out of the box, many startling allegations are surfacing: Savile apparently abused young girls in the backstage of his show Top of the Pops; one of his victims was a young as nine years old; he was given a room at a hospital for the criminally insane where he abused patients and his trips to children’s hospitals for charities were used as a chance to abuse sick children.
The worst fact about this story is that Savile’s “tendencies” were well known by the police and by the BBC (his employer, which is, by the way, funded by British taxpayers) for years but nothing was ever done to stop him. Quite to the contrary, while Savile was aggressively preying on children, the BBC covered up his crimes while the police took bribes and ignored him.
People used to call him “Sir” Jimmy Savile because the Queen knighted him. While those that honored him might now claim that they’re “shocked” to learn about Savile’s actions, I have a feeling that all of this information was known as he was part of a larger system practicing ritual abuse.
How can such a man enjoy so much immunity and protection? And why did he obtain all of these impressive “titles”? The answer is simple yet awful: He was part of the establishment. He had friends within the elite. He was part of its perverse entertainment industry that is filled with manipulative pedophiles such as himself. He was part of this clique that is above the law. Is it surprising that all of these allegation only surfaced y after his death? No, his “friends” protected him while he was alive and he has never suffered any consequences for his actions.
How many other Jimmy Saviles are there in the entertainment industry? Insiders will tell you that it is literally crawling with them. And it goes a lot further than abuse at the backstage of a show. It is an organized system complete with mind controlled slaves, trained handlers and high level officials. Here’s an article on Jimmy So Vile…I mean Jimmy Savile.
The BBC Is Being Shaken To Its Core By An Enormous Sex Abuse Scandal
What’s happening right now in the U.K. can probably be compared to the scandal that engulfed Penn State and Jerry Sandusky earlier this year.If anything, however, it’s even bigger.
The BBC has just announced that it will be holding two internal investigations into widespread allegations of sexual abuse by the late television star Sir Jimmy Savile.
Savile was one of the U.K.’s most famous and long-running television hosts, presenting the weekly music show “Top of the Pops” for 20 years, and later his own show, “Jim Will Fix It,” where he helped children achieve their dreams. He was well-known for his charity work — one obituary estimated he had raised over £40 million ($64 million) for charity, and given away as much as 90 percent of his own considerable wealth.
Savile died last year at the age of 84 after almost five decades of fame, but it was only this month that allegations hit the press that he sexually abused both children and adults during the peak of his fame. British police now say that they have over 340 leads, with 12 allegations officially recorded, and that number is expected to grow.
Some of the new allegations are incredible — that Savile was given a room at a hospital for the criminally insane where he abused patients and that his trips to children’s hospitals for charities were used as a chance to abuse sick children, for example.
Savile had long been known for his extremely unorthodox behavior, but most had cast off accusations of child abuse as simply Savile being “eccentric.” British police had reportedly investigated Savile several times during his lifetime but never found enough evidence to charge him.
For the BBC, it’s a disaster on a huge scale.
For one thing, the scandal came to light this year due to a documentary shown on rival TV channel ITV, which reported that at least 10 women said they had been molested by Savile — with some of the assaults taking place in BBC buildings. It later emerged that the BBC’s own investigative news program, Newsnight, had been investigating allegations of abuse by Saville the previous year, but the show was cancelled, reportedly due to not meeting the editorial standards of the BBC. Many believe that Savile’s association with the BBC led to institutional pressure to drop the story, despite denials from the show’s producers.
Other reports support the idea of a cover-up. One former BBC producer has told UK newspaper The Sun that he had walked in on Savile abusing a girl who looked “very, very young” in the 1970s. When he told his superiors about the incident he claimed he was shrugged off. “Everyone knew what was going on. That includes senior BBC people — chiefs at the highest levels.”
The scandal isn’t limited to Savile either, and has prompted a wider look at the sexual culture of the organization in the 1960s and ’70s. John Peel, a late radio DJ for the BBC who is one of the most revered people in British music history, has been posthumously accused of getting a 14 year old girl pregnant in the late 1960s. Peel is now being investigated, The Guardian reports. If the allegation is found true, the BBC says it will reconsider plans to name a building after Peel.
Of course, the fact that Savile and Peel are now dead means they will not be able to defend themselves in court, or the press. For Savile, in particular, his legacy is destroyed. Even Savile’s elaborate tombstone, only recently laid to rest on his grave, has been destroyed at the request of his family. He now lies in an unmarked grave.
- Source: Business Insider
Here’s another interesting article from the Telegraph you might want to read that is entitled How Jimmy Savile, master manipulator, evaded exposure as a paedophile. While media sources are devilizing this man, singling him out as a crazy old pervert, we must not forget that he was part of and protected by an entire system. While he is dead and gone, many others still remain.
Source: The Vigilant Citizen
A week-long visit to Tunisia, in the course of which I covered some 2,000 miles by rental car, bus, SUV, and a powered hang glider, has confirmed that of faraway places we often assume to know more than we do. The first country affected by a wave of popular discontent known as the Arab Spring was full of surprises.
To start with, the country is safe for foreign visitors. There have been no attacks on tourists, either at the time of the “Jasmine Revolution” last year or during the periodic eruptions of street protests since then. The violence triggered off by that YouTube video was quickly contained. Last week, more than 50 people—most of them policemen—were injured in protests at the reopening of a rubbish dump on the resort island of Djerba, but the protesters stayed away from the hotels. Even in dusty provincial towns, where no foreigners venture, gas station attendants and cold drinks vendors invariably greeted me with a smile and a polite “bonjour, Monsieur, ça va?” This is in contrast to the barely concealed hostility I have encountered on my recent trips to the West Bank, or—over a decade ago—in Libya.
By the third day, I felt emboldened to venture on my own to the spectacular Roman city of Dougga, a three hour drive from Hammamet, where I had the ruins all to myself for over two hours. At Téboursouk, on the way to Dougga, and at Qa Afur on the way back, I stopped casually at coffee houses for refreshments—the only European for miles around. Mustached men observed the strange sight behind clouds of tobacco smoke. Before long, some bold youngsters initiated conversation. Speaking French (however rusty in my case) definitely helps: it is still compulsory in Tunisian schools, and English has not made many inroads outside the capital and the coastal resorts. (As it happens, it also helps not being an American, or at any rate not admitting to being one.) The conversation did not need to be steered to politics, as most Tunisians find it the only topic currently worth discussing. Such encounters have been invaluable in helping me form a broad picture—more comprehensive and reliable than the one visiting foreign journalists get from their Sorbonne-educated, barely-accented colleagues over cappuccinos on Avenue Habib Bourguiba.
The “Arab Spring” stereotype—a simmering volcano of fundamentalism suddenly erupting and sweeping away a secularist autocracy—does not apply to Tunisia. The causes of the revolt against Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali in January 2011 were social and economic, no less than political. The country had outgrown him. Tunisia is blessed not to have much oil or gas—unlike its two neighbors Libya and Algeria—so it was forced to develop tourism, agriculture, and light manufacturing from its own resources. In contrast to the Emirates or Saudi Arabia, the Tunisians do their own work. The results have been impressive: it is the most literate Arab country, with the highest percentage of women in the workforce. It has good roads, reliable phones, clean if sometimes erratic water supply, and working sewers. Its roadsides are littered with garbage, but its living standards and the quality of its public services are second to none on the African continent. (Libya topped the chart until a year ago.)
In the final years of his rule, Ben Ali made the mistake of pandering excessively to his big business cronies, including his second wife’s corrupt family. The anger of “the street” had more to do with an uneven distribution of the fruits of prosperity and the stubbornly high unemployment rate—especially among the young—than with the kind of endemic poverty rampant in Egypt. A year later the Tunisian economy appears to have avoided the nosedive that seemed imminent after Ben Ali’s fall. The country’s budget deficit will be contained at below 6 percent of GDP next year. This year’s growth is expected to exceed 3.5 percent, and next year’s target is an impressive 4.5 percent. Inflation, interest rates and exchange rates remain under control.
Far from having absolute supremacy comparable to that enjoyed by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Tunisia’s Islamic party, Ennahdha, is sharing power in a coalition that includes secularists who opposed Ben Ali’s regime and were the first to hit the streets in January of last year. President Moncef Marzouki, a suave, fluent French speaker, is one of them. Ennahdha’s leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, is still the most powerful player in the country, but he is likely to fall short of an absolute parliamentary majority in the elections due next year. Many Tunisians are disappointed by the graft and corruption that remain endemic a year after his party became the majority stakeholder in the first democratically elected government in the country’s history. The political process is nevertheless well established, the press is free, and not even pro-Western secularists regret the demise of Ben Ali. A recent public opinion survey released by the International Republican Institute shows that most people prefer a democratic Tunisia, however unstable, over a non-democratic system which promised prosperity and security.
A year after gaining 89 of the 217 seats in parliament, Ennahdha has seen its support slip to 30 percent. It is now challenged, even by the veterans of the old establishment. Nidaa Tounes party, led by the former Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi, has come from nowhere to command the support of one-fifth of the electorate. Many Tunisians—including my young casual interlocutors—object to the continuing demand of some Ennahdha deputies for the inclusion of Islamic provisions in the new constitution, including a controversial amendment making women unequal to men. The secularists, including Ennahdha’s current coalition partners and the leftists Workers’ Party, are likely to obtain sufficient support to prevent the country’s drift into Islamism.
All this is light years away from Libya next door, or Egypt further east. It was only towards the end of my tour that it dawned on me why Tunisia’s destiny is by no means sealed: there was no American intervention, which would have secured an Islamist takeover. Ben Ali gave up too soon for the U.S. to get directly involved, and there was no violence to justify calls for intervention. The “revolution” was a Tunisian affair and it has produced an outcome illustrative of Tunisian realities. It is currently the only functioning democracy in the Arab world. It is to be hoped that the Obama Administration will refrain from trying to engineer a different outcome.
The world continues to spiral out of control, as the foreign policy of greed and hubris ratchets up for the next episode of destruction. The prospects of World War III increase with every NeoCon concession to the irrational and suicidal adherence to the Zionist objective of Middle East dominance. The worst kept secret circulating the inner circles of militarist and intelligence agencies are that an October Surprise may be on the horizon. With all this advance notice, the timing probability is unlikely that next month will be the days of dynasty. Nonetheless, the expectations that another major false flag operation is planned to fabricate public sentiment to support an expansion of the perpetual war, that only advances an Israel-First objective, is in the advance stages of execution.
As anyone with a ounce of perception knows, the target of the imperialist drumbeat is Iran. In order to understand the context of the importance of the true account of historic events one needs to view the excellent video, USA – Iran History lesson, to appreciate the barrage of lies and deception that the American public is assaulted with from the pro Israeli controlled media.
Webster G Tarpley, in the Veteran Today article, October surprise to “Carterize” Obama points out the Benjamin Netanyahu Likud sentiment.
“About a week ago, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the United States has no “red lines” in regard to the Iranian nuclear program. Netanyahu replied with an angry outburst, raving that those who have no red lines have “no moral right” to give Israel a red light when it comes to starting a catastrophic aggressive war against Iran. This was interpreted in Washington as a call to vote for Romney.”
While the same NeoCon whores surround Romney that ushered in the Iraqi and Afghanistan invasions, the Obama administration dutifully wages the identical military operations, under the cover of a planned withdrawal of hostilities. Only an imbecile accepts that either of the parties benefits the national interests of the American public.
Yet Netanyahu has the chutzpa to chastise the United Nations assembly as reported in The Telegraph account, Benjamin Netanyahu warns future of world at stake over Iran’s nuclear programme.
“Red lines don’t lead to war, red lines prevent war,” he said. “Nothing could imperil the world more than a nuclear-armed Iran.”
This from a country with a record of first strike aggression, who has secretly compiled their own substantial nuclear arsenal, with the stated directive ready to employ the Sampson Option.As for Israel attaining the moral high ground, just ask the dead from all the Middle East wars that start with, and dies for, a greater Israel expansion in the region. Zionist politics infringe in every corner and crevice of Washington policy, as it subverts our own security.
“A pressing foreign policy question of the U.S. presidential race is whether Israel might exploit this politically delicate time to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites and force President Obama to join the attack or face defeat at the polls, a predicament with similarities to one President Carter faced in 1980, writes Robert Parry.
According to Parry, who worked for the Associated Press at the time:
“There is doubt in some quarters that Israel’s Likud government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would time an attack on Iran in the weeks before a U.S. election with the goal of dooming the incumbent Democratic president, Barack Obama, or forcing his hand to commit American military might in support of Israel.
But there was a precedent 32 years ago when another Likud government had grown alienated from the Democratic president and found itself in a position where it could help drive him from office by covertly assisting his Republican rivals in another crisis involving Iran.”
In order to comprehend the nature of the False Flag operations that Israel routinely and eagerly engages in, you need to read the superbly documented and factual data supplied in the Mark Dankof interview, Kourosh Ziabari and Fars News Agency of Iran: A Conversation with Mark Dankof on Israel and 9-11.
“It all points to Israel.
The American public needs to understand that the entire history of this State is rooted in racism, terror, racial genocide, theft, and False Flag Operations. Look at the King David Hotel Bombing in Jerusalem in 1947; Deir Yassin; the Lavon Affair; Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS Liberty on June 8th, 1967; the Pollard spy case and the subsequent AIPAC, Ben-Ami, and Stewart Nozette spy cases. Your readers and viewers need regular acquaintance with a resource like Grant Smith’s The Israel Lobby Archive, for the Institute of Research: Middle Eastern Policy where these topics are concerned. This is clearly a State that would have no hesitation to pull off a False Flag operation in New York on September 11, 2011, if they felt it benefited them, as Benjamin Netanyahu himself has stated it did. He said the day after 9-11 that [where Israel's interest is concerned], “It’s very good.” He also stated that “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq. . . . these events swung American public opinion in our favor.”
This summary clearly identifies The Ugly Truth that so many immature and brainwashed citizens fear to address or even consider. Therefore, when the pressitute mainstream Zionist media distorts and condemns the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s challenge to the real rogue regime, namely Israel; the screams from Christian-Zionists go wild.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad notes in the article, Arrogant powers seek to save Zionist regime, that continuous ploys and ruses are used to prop up Israel at the expense of the entire sphere of regional countries.
“We should not downplay and underestimate the plots and actions of the enemies, because they are seeking to save the Zionist regime with more sophisticated plots. To that effect, they may pretend to rebuke the Zionist regime, but their main objective is to save this regime,” the Iranian chief executive said.
“We have to be more vigilant in a bid to be able to neutralize their conspiracies,” he added.
Watch the Dr. Ahmadinejad with George Galloway interview video and judge for yourself an in-depth first hand dialogue, without the filter of the internationalist cabal. You will not see this quality of independent discussion on domestic airwaves.Whatever you believe about the Iranian government or Islam in general, the demonic false flag operations conducted by Israel are an accurate reflection of their immoral standing.
Just examine recent warnings citied by the Washington Blog in the article, Will Israel Blow Up Something and Falsely Blame It On Iran?
“Numerous high-level government officials have warned that a false flag may be launched against Iran to start a war:
Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski (who helped to create Al Qaeda to fight the soviets in Afghanistan) told the Senate that a terrorist act might be carried out in the U.S. and falsely blamed on Iran to justify war against that nation.
Robert David Steele – a 20-year Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer, the second-ranking civilian in U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence, and former CIA clandestine services case officer – says that elements within the U.S. government are trying to carry out a false flag operation and blame it on Iran.Former high-level CIA officer Michael Scheuer – who was the head of the CIA unit tasked with capturing Bin Laden – says that Israel or Saudi Arabia could be setting up Iran as a way to foment war 3.”
Ignore such admonitions at your own risk. There may not be an October Surprise simply to influence the Presidential election, but it is difficult to discount all the signs that a phony provocation that blames Iran is not in the works.
Mark Dankof reasons with a most perceptive conclusion.
“The falsehoods and mythologies they continue to perpetrate on the USS Liberty attack, and 9-11 must be absolutely exposed and debunked, not simply in the interest of a recovery of historical truth, but to accomplish the defenestration of Mainstream Media once and for all. This would remove them as an effective force in selling the False Flag incident soon to come which is being planned to legitimize and sell a preemptive military attack on Iran.”
The popular damaging view that a preventative strike on Iran is justifiable is the product of Zionist tricky. The Mossad motto: “By way of deception, thou shall do war”, is exactly the manner of conduct behind the false flag operations, that lead America into destructive and unnecessary wars. Only a clean and clear brake from the yoke of Israeli influence in our internal affairs and politics can reset our foreign policy, with a balanced approach and constructive self-interest. Holding up Israel as a trusted ally is self-destructive and you do not need another October Surprise to recognize this lesson.
In my bicycle adventure across America in 2010, near Denton, Texas, a man drove up behind me. He waved at me to stop. I pulled my bicycle to the side of the road.
Seconds later, the driver walked up to me, “My name is Dave Carder.”
“Frosty Wooldridge,” I said, extending my hand.
“I couldn’t help but wonder what you are doing on a 100 degree day riding a bicycle through Texas,” said Carder.
“Sweatin’, lots of sweatin’” I said. “Just making my way coast to coast across America.”
“I’m an endurance runner,” he said. “So, I have a feel for what you’re doing.”
After some small talk, we exchanged business cards and he drove away. Over the past two years, we kept contact through Facebook. While he didn’t say very much about his life when I met him, his website activities astounded me. He moved to Yellowstone National Park shortly after I met him. Over Facebook, I asked him why he had left his very successful life in Texas to move to a remote area in Wyoming.
“I needed to get out of the box,” he said. “I wanted to live a more minimal and happy life in the woods. Big city living may bring lots of money, but it also brings lots of stress, pressure and a feeling of being in a box.”
I said, “John Muir said something about.”
Muir said, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
In 2011, I bicycled down the Continental Divide through Yellowstone National Park, but Dave Carder ran in a 100 mile endurance race in another state. We just missed each other as I pedaled through Yellowstone.
On Facebook in 2012, he told his 1,600 friends that he and three women and four other men would run 2,400 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica Pier 59 in California on old Route 66. You can see the run at www.runitforward.cc . To tell you the truth, his running escapades defy my imagination, but at the same time, inspire me to my own greater potential.
All in all, I didn’t think much more about his run as I bicycled across the USA in 2012. But as luck would have it, his brother moved within several blocks of me in September. Dave Carder decided to visit his brother in Golden, Colorado last week.
He called and we made a lunch date. During the discussion, he talked about his run across America. Not only did he and his companions run across our country, they stopped at dozens of schools along Route 66 to start running clubs in disadvantaged communities. They brought healthy food to kids without food. They worked with local dentists to drill and fill as well as teach kids and parents how to brush and floss. They inspired kids to work through obesity problems toward healthiness in their lives. They created support systems to keep kids enthusiastic about health, wellness and doing well in school.
As I sat there listening to this man who is a boyhood friend of the seven time world champion of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong, I felt my spirit move. I felt inspired by his true grit, his compassion for humanity, his sense of responsibility to others. Later, I talked about taking a backpacking trip to one of my favorite locations in the Colorado Rockies—a small pond at 11,000 feet near Vail, Colorado in the Mount Holy Cross area.
“You got time to go backpacking?” I said.
“I’m in,” Dave said.
On the weekend, my old friend Bob, Dave and I hoisted our packs over our shoulders and hiked from 8,000 feet to 11,000 feet to a little known pond with lodge pole pines surrounding its crystal clear waters. I call it my “Walden Pond of the Rockies.”
After a three hour hike through the golden colors of autumn, we reached the pond and set up camp. We hiked around the pond. Stunning beauty in magnificent colors!
“Hey, you might like this,” said Dave, as he pulled a flat smooth rock out of his pocket. “Do you see this?
It read, “Meg Annette Rork.”
On the other side, it read, “May the force be with you.”
“Yeah,” Dave said. “I found it while I was running along the Teton Range this summer. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would leave such a beautiful flat rock with a person’s name and a quote from Star Wars. I looked up her name and found out that she was a really beautiful woman who died at the age of 41. She had lived a fantastic life. She got married a month before she died. I Googled her to find out about her life story. From now on, I am going to carry this rock with me and take Meg on many adventures in my lifetime. It seems like a good thing to do.”
“Man,” I exclaimed, “that’s heavy duty profound. You have touched me deeply with that story. Good grief, what a terrible early death, but she lives on through her friends and that rock that you will carry on your adventures. Deeply touching my friend.”
“No telling what life brings to us or how fast it will end,” said Bob. “Nice to see you’re advancing Meg’s life a thousand fold.”
As usual around any campfire, mountaineers tell stories. We laughed as we sipped more hot chocolate. I told of my love affair with Henry David Thoreau.
“Well, I’ve got a surprise for you,” said Dave.
“Yeah, what’s that?” I asked.
Henry David Thoreau said, “If you advance confidently toward your dreams, and endeavor to live the life which you have imagined, you will meet with success unexpectedly in common hours. You will pass through invisible boundaries and you will live with the license of a higher order of beings.”
“Since you’re a Thoreau admirer,” he said. “You might like this.”
At that moment, Dave pulled out his smart phone and turned on the audio from the book Walden. In a split second, Henry David Thoreau began talking about his experiences on Walden Pond. He spoke quietly and simply. He spoke to us as we sat around the campfire. He spoke about life and the pursuit of living. He spoke to us from 150 years ago—through the amazing technology of a smart phone with an audio book download.
“Good grief!” I said. “This is fantastic! This is incredible.”
“Pretty neat,” said Dave.
For the next half hour, we listened to Thoreau espouse his wisdom, his ideas, his thoughts on life. He described everything about living on Walden Pond.
“I can’t thank you enough,” I said to Dave. “Just amazing!”
“I thought you might like this as a special treat in the wilderness on your special pond that you have shared with us,” said Dave.
A few moments in life stand out. Somehow, those moments cement themselves into your memory banks—never to be forgotten. That night, as I sat there with my college roommate Bob and my new friend Dave whom I had met on my bicycle ride across America in Texas in 2010, I knew that I would remember the magic of Walden Pond at 11,000 feet, the campfire and the amazing voice of Thoreau reaching out to all of us over the endless tracks of time. Dave showed us the rock with Megan Annette Rork that he would carry to further her life adventure. Bob sat back with a sense of peace and tranquility for his own remembrances in the woods. All three of us gathered for a photo flash near the campfire. It turned out fantastically with three dudes enjoying a singular moment in time.
“I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…to put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~Henry David Thoreau
“Rise and shine dudes,” I said next morning, slapping their tent nylon. “The sun is coming up over the mountains and will soon be upon the lake. Get out your cameras.”
We stood on the shoreline to watch the sun first hit the mountain tops, then work its way into the tree line, and finally, with slow moving drama, it reached the glass still waters of Walden Pond. The tall pines reflected off the water followed by the jagged rocks from the mountains above—they created a sublime tapestry of nature’s artwork. The combination of huge rocks along the shoreline, criss-crossing logs, dragon flies, water bugs and sunbeams—gave Thoreau’s musings a special accent on the transcendent.
We watched the magic unfold. Slow moving, changing colors. Certain evolving of sunbeams on the still waters. A slight breeze kicked up to create ripples on the far end. The pine needles seemed to spin on their own with the water ripples.
After the lake filled with sunshine, we filtered some fresh water, ate some breakfast and loaded our backpacks.
We stood on the edge of the water for a group shot. Three smiling faces. Three exultant spirits. Three souls plus Megan Annette Rork smiled into the camera. Seconds later, we headed into the deep woods too silent to be real. Walden Pond would continue shimmering throughout the day while we made our way along the mountain riches and pure golden memories.
Down the mountain, we walked on golden gilded trail replete with endless fallen golden leaves raining down from branches above. Golden ribbons hemmed the slopes and traced the streams that meandered down the valley—orange to red, saffron to copper and yellow to gold. They rained down on us like gentle golden butterflies. They decorated pine trees like Christmas lights. They caught in the purple asters and snagged themselves in the heavy under brush.
Next summer, Dave Carder and his team will run from El Paso, Texas to Orlando, Florida to help establish running clubs in cities along the way. I urge you to donate your money and time to their efforts to make America a better, healthier and kinder place. Check him out at www.runitforward.cc . You will be inspired and happy to be a part of his legacy to serve the youth of America. His work will inspire you to create something good in your own community.
It begins . . . the latest downgrade of credit worthiness for the former titan reserve currency. As reality strikes, financial confidence goes negative. Forget the pump and dump equity markets, just how long will it be before the bondholders demand higher interest rates to cover their risk? Ben Shalom Bernanke answers this concern with intentions to keep rates near zero. Pure escapism out of the strange world of banksters’ hubris – faces the rating agencies. US Credit Rating Cut by Egan-Jones … Again
“Ratings firm Egan-Jones cut its credit rating on the U.S. government to “AA-” from “AA,” citing its opinion that quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve would hurt the U.S. economy and the country’s credit quality.
The Fed on Thursday said it would pump $40 billion into the U.S. economy each month until it saw a sustained upturn in the weak jobs market.”
Step back and view the big historic picture. The lesson from the Roman Empire repeats with a vengeance, in the era of digital bookkeeping. Yet the “bread and circus”, food stamps and sports arena society shares the same fate. Appropriately, the Cato Institute describes the pattern to destruction, in How Excessive Government Killed Ancient Rome.
“The revenues of the state remained inadequate to maintain the national defense. This led to further tax increases, such as the increase in the sales tax from 1 percent to 4.5 percent in 444 A.D. (Bernardi 1970: 75). However, state revenues continued to shrink, as taxpayers invested increasing amounts of time, effort and money in tax evasion schemes. Thus even as tax rates rose, tax revenues fell, hastening the decline of the Roman state (Bernardi 1970: 81-3). In short, taxpayers evaded taxation by withdrawing from society altogether. Large, powerful landowners, able to avoid taxation through legal or illegal means, began to organize small communities around them. Small landowners, crushed into bankruptcy by the heavy burden of taxation, threw themselves at the mercy of the large landowners, signing on as tenants or even as slaves.”
The open-ended wizardry of originating imaginary money at the taxpayers’ expense is an alchemy that the central bankers aspire with all the zeal of a bandit that wants to steal from the unborn. Bernanke is desperate to prop up the financial derivative madness. Back in antiquity constrains of pilfering the treasury were not as refined as computer strokes on a spreadsheet. The impact of Coin mintage collapsed the Roman Empire, looks mild to the forecast of pain to come to the abortive American Empire. While the pattern between both imperia uses contemporary techniques of their era, the outcome ensures the same destruction to their respective economies.
“Overtime the metal content of silver coins decreased until it was only around 4% of the ‘silver’ coin. So while for hundreds of years inflation was non-existent around 30 yrs after the silver content was reduced inflation rose at an average of 9% a yr.”This unceasing and continuous explosion of the money supply and the monetization of the currency not only crosses the Rubicon, it ends in the assassination of the Republic. The rule of central bank Caesars begs for the collapse of the imperium. Bernanke’s delusion that Keynesian spending will produce a “sustained upturn in the weak jobs market” is pure lunacy.
The target and beneficiary of this money flow only enriches the insiders, who strive to establish a technocratic feudal dynasty. The merchant economy is under intense pressure and faces demise from the opulent excess. The routine ransacking of the economy by the elites, in union with the oversight of their minion bureaucrats, torture their compatriot brethren.
The intent of the Negotium series “provides a sensible and informative guide on the complexities of business, economics, finance and global commerce”. Any discussion of the numerous topics always presupposes a reasonably stable currency. Currency debasement is historically destructive, points out the similarities that destroyed Rome and the modern day events that are emasculating the citizens of this republic into wards of the state or slaves to the national debt.
“At the end of the day currency debasement is simply another tax, albeit a tax which most people do not understand, and do not even know is being levied upon them. While the Roman empire debased the currency by simply lowering the percentage of gold or silver in the currency, the American empire does so either by printing new money without any accompanying increase in production or by engaging in fractional reserve banking, via which banks lend out money that they do not have, being “insured” by the federal government.
Interestingly enough, the two governments seemed to use these practices for similar reasons. Caracalla needed to increase war spending, and thus debased the currency to do so. The United States has done exactly the same thing throughout its history and especially the last 100 years, and today is attempting to fund an empire that consists of soldiers in over 140 countries worldwide and dozens of nations that are essentially economic dependents.”
Just how long the debt bubble can be expanded until it bursts, is proportionate to the servitude that the public is willing to endure. The day of financial reckoning approaches, while the percentage of taxation tribute increases. The average resident once had enough disposable earnings to live a decent life. Now sufficient after tax income revenue, begs poverty level existence.
QE3 would be better characterized as the final solution to crash and destroy the American economy. The barbarians entered the provinces to rape and pillage Rome. Today the “masters of the universe” Goths are plundering the remaining wealth of the nation with their arbitrage supercomputers. Ruining the value of the currency seems like a small price to pay, when you control or possess the bulk of the real assets.
The Attila the Hun tactics used by Bernanke’s Federal Reserve Board of Governors is the equivalent and true “SCOURGE OF GOD”. The debt bubble is the instrument of the greatest wealth transfer in all of history. Soon the old saying; brother, can you spare a dime, will be on the lips of most; but you had better check the silver content.
Government taxation is as old as the first brute using force to steal from those intimated by threats. So why should it be any different for the internet? In today’s political environment of choosing winners and losers, the rush to tax online sales is gathering steam. Everyone feels the presence of the Amazon behemoth. Retail outlets like Best Buys are rethinking their business model in order to compete. States are eager to tap the flow of transactions with a sales tax that would cost consumers dearly. The issue of “so called” fairness is the argument that bureaucrats love to hang their hat on. So who makes the valid case for exemption or inclusion?
Senator Jim DeMint made quite a stir in his article, No Internet Taxation Without Representation.
“The Marketplace Fairness Act recently introduced in the Senate would require online retailers to collect and pay sales taxes to states where they have no physical presence or democratic recourse. Overstock.com, eBay and the like could have to pay sales taxes to any state from which an Internet user placed an order, even if the company’s headquarters, warehouses and sales staff are located entirely in other states.Such online sales tax proposals are taxation without representation. The proposed federal law tells businesses that there is no escape from the clutches of tax-hungry politicians. That concept is antithetical to our federalist system, which promotes competition among our states for the best economic policies.”
The push back from the bricks and mortar lobby comes from Michael P. Kercheval’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Internet Taxation Will Help States and Local Retailers.
“Sen. Jim DeMint’s “No Internet Taxation Without Representation” (op-ed, Aug.1) is surprising and disappointing in that it is replete with outdated and inaccurate information. What Sen. DeMint fails to mention is that in states with a sales tax—five don’t have one—tax is already owed by consumers when a purchase is made online. This isn’t a new tax. It’s erroneous to state that the Marketplace Fairness Act would create “taxation without representation,” as retailers don’t pay sales tax, they collect it. The in-state customer who makes the purchase and pays the appropriate sales tax has an opportunity every election to render judgment on his state’s fiscal direction. Furthermore, because of technology advancements, it is patently disingenuous to suggest that collecting sales tax is a crushing burden for online merchants.”
In a perfect society, a consumption tax would have merit, if the byzantine bureaucratic tax codes were used for a proper bond fire. In an age of deficit spending and revenue shortfalls, this prospect is zero. So why give special treatment to the Internet, when hungry government tax collectors want to apply their trade to cyber space? Maybe the better question is why are we so willing to comply with state sale tax regulations, that only increase the retail price?
“The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) of 1998 is an act of Congress regulating what kind of taxes may and may not be placed on Internet use in the United States. It was extended as the Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act of 2004 and was extended as The Internet Tax Freedom Act Amendment Act of 2007. President Bush signed the current law, extending provisions to 2014. The act forbids taxation of Internet service based on amount (bit tax), type (bandwidth) or use (email) in order to make the medium affordable and accessible for commercial and personal use.”
No “Bit or Bandwidth Tax” and certainly no “Email Revenue Enhancement” sounds like a sound policy. However, the wheel of creative extortion never sleeps. The respected publication, The Hill reports in the FCC eyes tax on Internet service.
“The Federal Communications Commission is eyeing a proposal to tax broadband Internet service.
The move would funnel money to the Connect America Fund, a subsidy the agency created last year to expand Internet access.The FCC issued a request for comments on the proposal in April. Dozens of companies and trade associations have weighed in, but the issue has largely flown under the public’s radar.”
Our colleague Kurt Nimmo warns about the significance of this new tax.
“The scheme is nothing new. “Consumers already pay a fee on their landline and cellular phone bills to support the FCC’s Universal Service Fund.” The “Service Fund” was devised as yet another grand socialist enterprise “to ensure that everyone in the country has access to telephone service, even if they live in remote areas.”
Who can be against extending the total Google/Facebook surveillance society at taxpayers’ expense! Wiring the planet with a wireless net of shadowing observation goes well beyond compliance of tracing sales, from your favored online merchant. The only valid duty that ought to be levied should target the snoops that are recording your life in real time.
If there was ever a tool to liberate the minds and spirit of mankind, the internet revivals the printing press. The freedom to connect worldwide is awesome. However, the power of governments and corporatists to strip away your privacy and personality is frightening. Access to the web is desirable for those who choose to make the connection. Even so, they must bear the risk and responsibility of linking into the supercomputers of the snoops and spooks.
Yet, the practical intrusion of internet taxation on any level hits, not only the pocketbooks of consumers, but finances the operations of the total observation state. Debate if you wish the equity of sale tax exemptions if you are so inclined, but accept as existential, the danger of accepting the mark of the beast for buying or selling.
Only an all-inclusive net of cyberspace registration would have the ability to tax everyone without exception. At that point, it will not matter if Amazon has cheaper prices than Best Buy.
No doubt, the chief crook on Wall Street is virtually immune from any law that brings lesser mortals to their knees. The latest outrage summed up nicely in “Relieve Goldman Sachs of Their Legal Exposure“, passes with little notice in the establishment media.
“Goldman Sachs got a rare “reverse Wells notice” from the SEC, when they were told that a mortgage-backed securities deal which they earlier heard they would face prosecution for would not net them any civil enforcement. But that was just the beginning. Later in the day, they learned they would not face any prosecution from the Justice Department for the misdealings brought to light in a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report a year ago.”
In case you have not heard the details, the Eric Holder, DOJ of criminal protection and selective prosecution, hit a new low.
“In a written statement, the department said it conducted an exhaustive investigation of allegations brought to light by a Senate panel investigating the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
“The department and investigative agencies ultimately concluded that the burden of proof to bring a criminal case could not be met based on the law and facts as they exist at this time,” the department said.”
TARP was designed to bail out the insolvent banks. Goldman Sachs transformed itself into a BANK so that the firm could borrow from the Fed window. The revolving door cycle of government regulators, opting for a promotion as an investment bankster and compensatory profit well earned from previous service, hardly gets the attention of the financial community or government oversight. The entire obscene relationship of crony favoritism inevitably leads to a society where the rule of law only applies to the competition.
The definitive “vampire squid” watchdog site, Goldman Sachs 666, is so effective that the Goldman Sachs hires law firm to shut blogger’s site. “The bank has instructed Wall Street law firm Chadbourne & Parke to pursue blogger Mike Morgan, warning him in a recent cease-and-desist letter that he may face legal action if he does not close down his website.” Such excessive efforts to inhibit investigative reporting may seem that the global financial titan is afraid of public scrutiny. However, encouraging it is that the flow of information persists; the deplorable reality is that there is no political will to enforce common law violations.
The slanted regulations are written by Goldman Sachs attorneys and shepherd into law with their lobbyists. Their bought and paid for legislators dutifully do their bidding and eagerly take their campaign contributions. That is why the rejection of holding Goldman Sachs accountable by the Department of Justice is significant.
The incomparable ZeroHedge explains in, Confused Why Goldman Will Face No Criminal Charges? Here’s Why.
“We learned courtesy of Goldman’s 10-Q, that the US justice department will not press criminal charges against Goldman Sachs. This, despite Senator Carl “Shitty Deal” Levin, in one of the most bombastic kangaroo court spectacles on live TV ever, asking for a criminal investigation after the subcommittee he led spent years looking into Goldman, and in which he said Goldman misled Congress and investors.”
The Department of Justice functions to discipline the other guy. Goldman Sachs is the hub of the financial pyramid. When partners are installed on the Federal Reserve or are appointed to Treasury, the money elite contain their grip on their control of the fiat money system. This model dominated by bureaucratic technocrats, runs roughshod over the regulators. The mere notion that any Attorney General will enforce statues is naive, when every administration is bought and paid for by the same moneychangers.
Using the distinctive absurdity of legal rationalization, RT reports:
“The Justice Department said that it had conducted an “exhaustive investigation” into allegations of fraud during the crisis from 2008 to 2009. The probe reportedly uncovered email conversations between employees of Goldman Sachs branding mortgage securities sold to investors as “junk” and “crap”.
Moreover, the probe writes that the bank “used net short positions to benefit from the downturn in the mortgage market, and designed, marketed, and sold CDOs [collateralized debt obligations] in ways that created conflicts of interest with the firm’s clients and at times led to the bank’s profiting from the same products that caused substantial losses for its clients.”
Alas, such illegal conduct is acceptable in the world of politicized injustice. No one gets the judicial breaks and skates the fine line of illegality better then Goldman Sachs. The DoJ operates as a mob lawyer for the accused. Prosecuting the proprietors of the criminal system is taboo.
Accepting this obscenity as normal is frustrating. Until now, no practical legislative, regulatory, administrative, legal or punitive response has seen the light of day to hang the Goldman Sachs pirates from the yardarms. Legal recourse will never provide comprehensive relief or rectify the abuses of this wicked protection racket that keeps Goldman Sachs above justice.
Only a total ban and breakup of the House of Rothschild and all their surrogate entities, can resolve by liquidation the monetary monopoly of debt created finance. Reinstituting Glass-Steagall would be a necessary first measure, but that reenactment alone is mere window dressing on a fraudulent Ponzi scheme.
Goldman Sachs stays one-step ahead of a critical mass meltdown, much of its own creation. The risks taken by this firm do not end with their former partners or current shareowners. This house of cards is entrenched in the IOU pecuniary system. What visibly sets Goldman Sachs apart from the rest of Wall Street is their network of entangling influences in every corner and crack of government, media, business and the courts.
No other financial organization enjoys picking financial policy makers on every level in the process. If Congress cannot get the Department of Justice to follow the law, who can honestly believe that a viable Presidential candidate can buck the Wall Street culture that controls and funds the two party facade?
Tragically, the corruption of corporatist is not confined to crony investment banksters. The legal and court organism that watches over the crooked money machine deserves widespread disrespect for their complicity. Goldman Sachs’ day of reckoning await the wrath of the populace.
If you follow mainstream election coverage, you might think Mitt Romney has coasted to an honest, easy, well-deserved Republican nomination. Unfortunately for Republican voters, nothing could be further from the truth. The primary process has been an all-out slugfest and many of the delegates Romney has won may be the result of dirty tricks and even election fraud. The following narrative includes links to reports, first-hand testimonials, and video evidence highlighting actions taken by the GOP to ensure a Romney victory, at the expense of fracturing the party just prior to the general election. Party leaders at the county and state level have changed or violated party rules, cancelled caucuses, changed vote counts, thrown out entire counties of votes, counted public votes privately, called-in the SWAT team, and inexplicably replaced Paul delegates with Romney delegates to block Ron Paul from winning the nomination.
Iowa: Days before the caucuses, Paul held a commanding lead in the polls and all the momentum, with every other candidate having peaked from favorable media coverage and then collapsed under the ensuing scrutiny. Establishment Republicans, like Iowa’s Representative Steve King (R), attempted to sabotage Paul’s campaign by spreading rumors he would lose to Obama if nominated. Even though the Iowa GOP platform reads like a Ron Paul speech, shortly before the caucuses, Iowa Governor Terry Barnstad told Politico , “[If Paul wins] people are going to look at who comes in second and who comes in third. If Romney comes in a strong second, it definitely helps him going into New Hampshire”. The message from the Governor to voters of his state was: a vote for Ron Paul was a wasted vote.
Huffington Post reported that Paul was ahead by one point over Romney and Rick Santorum inentrance polls conducted by Edison Media Research for the AP before the caucuses. For the first time ever, the Iowa GOP changed the final vote count to a secret location . After the caucus, resultsfrom 8 precincts (including those with colleges, in a state where Paul won 48% of the youth vote) went missing. Interestingly, these were all precincts Romney lost in 2008. In addition, GOP officials discovered inaccuracies in 131 precincts. Though polling in a comfortable first place, Paul finished third in this non-binding straw poll, behind Romney and Santorum.
Iowa originally reported Romney in first, Santorum in a close second, and Paul third. After the recount, Santorum was named the winner with Romney in second. No mention was given to how the recount affected Paul’s vote count. Iowa GOP chairman, Matt Strawn, later resigned and wasreplaced by Paul supporter, A.J. Spiker and Paul went on to win the majority of delegates.
Florida: The Florida GOP broke party rules by switching to a winner-take-all state before the date allowed, which favors the candidate with the most money for advertising and attack ads. Senior Advisor to the Ron Paul campaign, Doug Wead, claims this was done specifically to favor Romney.
Nevada: There is bad blood between Paul’s supporters and establishment Republicans in Nevada. This dates back to 2008, when Convention Chair, Sue Lowden and her enlisted delegates got up andwalked out of the convention when it became apparent Paul’s supporters would claim a majority of the delegates. She claimed she would reconvene at a later time, but instead approved the McCain slate of delegates. This year, Paul supporters expected shenanigans; so his State Chairman, Carl Bunce, planned to win by outworking Romney. Just before the caucuses, he claimed to have “more IDs than Romney had votes in ’08″. This means through canvassing door-to-door and phoning voters, he had identified about 25,000 voters committed to show up and vote for Paul.
On caucus day, the media was denied access to most caucus sites and the few that were permitted were not allowed to take photos. Others were even ejected from sites. This CNN clip shows GOP staff preventing a Paul supporter from entering the premises to vote at a special caucus that was set up at the last minute for Newt Gingrich backer, Sheldon Adelson. Here, participants were asked to sign an affidavit (under penalty of perjury) stating they were Jewish and couldn’t vote earlier in the day due to “religious reasons”. CNN showed live coverage of votes being counted at this event, with Paul amassing nearly 60% of the votes. In some precincts in Clark County, the largest in Nevada, the number of ballots did not match the number of voters signed in at the caucus. Though votes were to be counted publicly, they were largely counted in private. The vote count was also inexplicably dragged out for several days, leading to a victory for Romney. Nevada State GOP Chairwoman, Amy Tarkanian resigned the day after the caucuses.
Another interesting note is that Paul’s 2012 votes had doubled, tripled, and more than quadrupled his2008 votes in every state leading up to the Nevada caucuses, yet Paul received only 88 more votes there. Of all the places for this to occur, Nevada, the country’s most libertarian state; is the last in which anyone would expect this.
In spite of these irregularities , Paul won 22 of 25 state delegates and replaced state party officials with Paul supporters. Romney supporters then formed their own state party, called “Team Nevada”. The RNC then bypassed the official state party in order to organize for Romney and send all funds to Team Nevada.
Colorado: Romney supporters were caught passing out fake Ron Paul slates at the state convention. The RNC has not investigated or even commented on the matter.
Minnesota: Doug Wead, claims the state party instructed members not to vote for any delegates under age fifty because most young delegates support Paul.
Missouri: WXIX Cincinnati’s Ben Swann covered the fiasco in St. Charles County. Temporary Chairman, Eugene Dokes, started the meeting by banning video recording devices, a first for this event. Robert’s Rules of Order require the temporary chairman to accept nominations and elect a convention chairman to run the event. Instead, he appointed a chair of his choice. The crowd immediately erupted with booing. Shortly after, Dokes adjourned the meeting without the required two-thirds majority, called the police on attendees, and left. In adherence to state rules, Paul supporter, Brent Stafford, along with one of the top parliamentarians in the state, reconvened in the parking lot and attempted to resume the event. Shortly after, the SWAT team arrived and arrested Stafford, who was following state party rules. Dokes later admitted on talk radio that he and otherstate party officials deliberately broke the rules to prevent Paul from winning.
Maine: Ben Swann reported on shenanigans in Maine . Even though only 84% of votes had been counted; State GOP Chairman, Charlie Webster, declared Romney the winner over Paul by less than 200 votes. Hancock and Washington Counties hadn’t voted yet because Webster cancelled the caucuses due to an impending snowstorm, promising they could vote later and their votes would be counted. The snowstorm never occurred and he later reneged on his promise, telling voters in those counties their votes would not be counted after all. Washington County was Paul’s strongest in the state in 2008. Though other states with close outcomes held recounts, this was never a consideration for Maine.
At least one of the counties that did vote claims the state party recorded its tallies incorrectly. Matt McDonald, pastor of a small community church in Belfast, was nominated as the chairman of his caucus. He says the state instructed the caucus chairmen not to read any of the vote totals aloud, but rather to send the results straight to Augusta without a public reading. McDonald made a motion to change this rule, and it was approved unanimously. McDonald says 22 voters showed up, resulting in 8 votes for Paul, 7 for Santorum, 5 for Romney, and 2 undecided. When he called the votes into Augusta, he was told they already had the results and the totals read 9 for Romney, 5 or Santorum, and 2 for Paul. When McDonald told her the tally had been counted publicly, he says “her voice changed and she said…we’ll record this”. Doug Wead claims, “On every occasion, the votes that were lost were Ron Paul votes and the person responsible for reporting them were Mitt Romney supporters…in one case the votes were actually transferred from paper to…a computer and the lady doing the transfer was a Mitt Romney person”. To date, these tallies have not been corrected and Romney is still credited with the straw vote win while the media continues to report that Paul never won a state contest.
Arizona: The Examiner’s Kevin Kervick reports “ballot stuffing, rule violations, and improper vote counting that occurred behind closed doors” at the convention. In addition, Paul supporters allege threats of physical violence from Romney supporters.
Michigan: Doug Wead reports, ” Michigan, unlike any other state…had a special party rule forbidding any precinct delegate vacancies from being filled at county conventions until after the state delegates and alternates were chosen. In other words, countless Ron Paul supporters attending county convention were forcibly blocked…because they weren’t elected precinct delegates in 2010-long before the Ron Paul 2012 campaign began”. Wead also claims “documented instances in multiple counties where county party officials “edited” the state delegation lists after the county conventions adjourned”.
Washington: At the state convention , a Ron Paul delegate claimed bubble ballot sheets were withheld in King County’s district 36. He also claims the 37 th district caucus was forced to conduct the meeting outside because Chairwoman, Lori Sotelo, was irritated when a Ron Paul supporter was elected to run the caucus, instead of her choice.
Ben Swann interviewed a voter in Pierce County, Washington; who claims the local Republican leadership passed out what they called a “unity slate” to voters and said it represented an equal distribution of delegates committed to Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich. The plan was to organize to block Ron Paul supporters, who outnumbered the other candidates’ supporters, from receiving the lion’s share of the delegates. The Republican leadership prevailed.
Alaska: In spite of last-minute rule changes and violations of party rules, Paul supporters oustedlongtime state chairman, Randy Ruedrich, and voted-in Paul supporter, Russ Millette. Ruedrich then tried to sabotage the state convention and transferred all of the state party’s $100,000 to the local Capital City Republicans in Juneau, effectively bankrupting the party now controlled by Paul supporters.
Georgia: This video shows GOP Chairwoman, Sue Everhart, at the Athens Clarke County GOP meeting admitting “shoddy treatment of the Ron Paul people at that  convention” and publicly apologizing. She presents the rule book that she helped to write and claims it won’t happen again. The video then shows the actual convention and party leaders breaking those rules to force their pre-selected slate of delegates and prevent Paul’s supporters from electing their own. Party leaders then adjourned the meeting illegally and ran out of the meeting.
Massachusetts: Paul won 16 of the 27 delegates selected so far in Romney’s home state. In addition, he swept all 6 from Romney’s home county. As a result (for the first time ever in the state), delegates were asked to sign an affidavit stating ” I certify under the pain and penalty of perjury, that on the first ballot at the 2012 Republican National Convention, I will affirmatively Vote for Mitt Romney, the winner of the 2012 Massachusetts Presidential Primary.” The state GOP then covered up Romney’s embarrassing loss by invalidating ballots and ousting the Paul delegates.
North Dakota: Ben Swann reports the selection of delegates was unfair: the GOP handed out pre-printed ballots with a slate of delegates with 60% of them being Mitt Romney supporters in a state where he won only 26% of the vote.
Oklahoma: Kevin Kervick of The Examiner reports that the Oklahoma convention had to be moved to the parking lot because Robert’s Rules were ignored, delegate credentials were not verified, a convention chair was never appointed, motions made from the floor were ignored, the Chairman illegally elected a slate of Romney delegates, and the convention was closed without a two-thirds majority vote. Consistent with Robert’s Rules, Paul supporters reconvened in the parking lot to elect delegates. Paul supporters have now filed a law suit to ensure their delegates will be seated.
Virginia: Doug Wead claims “at a district convention, they coaxed the Ron Paul delegation outside and then locked the door. The pastor of the church that was hosting the event was, himself, locked out”.
U.S. Virgin Islands: Ron Paul won his first caucus, only to have the GOP take down the straw vote results from their website showing Paul the victor with 29% over Romney’s 26% and replaced with a note from the party claiming Romney won because he won more delegates. Paul’s Official Campaign Blogger, Jack Hunter, explains how every other contest determined the victor by the straw vote, except the one straw vote Paul won.
Alabama: An inexplicable gap exists between Paul’s popular vote count and his delegate vote count. This is odd because voters choose both on the same day and on the same ballot. Alabama Republican Party rules state that voters can only vote for one candidate and then must choose between his delegates. Statewide, Paul received only about one-third as many votes as his delegates. This means voters chose another candidate, but selected Paul’s delegates. No other candidate’s totals showed a similar pattern.
Louisiana: Ben Swann reports a clash between the old Louisiana State GOP leadership and newly-elected leaders who support Paul. Old Chairman, Roger Villere, angered attendees with last-minute rule changes the night before the convention. At the start of the convention, Villere attempted to recognize the former Chair of the Rules Committee, who had been voted out the night before. When new Chair, Alex Helwig, rose to address the delegation; Villere instructed security (comprised of off-duty Shreveport Police) to remove him . They arrested him for trespassing and broke several of his fingers. Next, an overwhelming majority elected a new Convention Chair, Paul supporter Alex Helwig. Members then turned their chairs to face Helwig, with their backs to Villere. In desperation, Villere instructed the police officers to remove the duly-elected Herford. They did so and dislocated his hipin the process, sending him to the emergency room. The reconvened group followed state party rules and went on to elect a majority of Paul delegates, which the state party later replaced with its own slate of Romney delegates. The Paul campaign has appealed to the RNC, but it is unlikely that the RNC will reinstate the Paul delegates.
Oregon: This YouTube video shows establishment Republicans in Congressional District 4 attempting to steal the ballot box and leave the premises when it became apparent the Ron Paul supporters were in the majority. A Paul supporter is chased away from the ballots and claims he was accosted by an establishment party member.
Wisconsin: MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell reports Romney violated state campaign laws by bribing voters with free subs.
In other states, Paul supporters claim vote-flipping occurred with electronic voting machines. Once about 40% of votes are reported, there is typically little variation in the final numbers. However on several occasions, at about 40% Romney’s trajectory “flipped” with the leader, which was often Paul. Austin Election Judge, Anne Beckett, has come forth publicly to claim she witnessed this firsthand.
Baseless allegations or a few isolated incidents may not be cause for concern, but there is enough video evidence in this report to disturb anyone who cares about fair elections. Rule changes, disregard for existing rules, cancelling elections, running off with ballots, secret vote counts, throwing out votes, threats, physical violence, and arbitrary replacement of delegates are activities unbecoming of a democratic society. Whether you’re a Ron Paul supporter, or even a Republican, is irrelevant. That the Republican Party will seemingly stop at nothing to ensure their selected candidate is the nominee should be deeply troubling for all Americans.
Source: Free Words
The Syrian scenario, as concocted in Washington with some help from London and Paris, is proceeding with almost comical predictability. Amnesty International has just issued a report accusing government forces of “crimes against humanity” and calling on the UN Security Council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court. The report, “All-Out Repression: Purging Dissent in Aleppo, Syria,” is a textbook example of Western quasi-NGOs engaging in intervention advocacy. By accusing the “international community” of failing to act – in Bosnia in 1995, in Kosovo in 1999, or in Libya last year – they feign indignation, but in reality perform on their funders’ cue by reinforcing the political and media elite consensus that decisive and robust action is necessary and justified.
Based entirely on unsubstantiated claims by anti-government activists, devoid of any political or military context, and compiled by unnamed Amnesty “delegates” and “field researchers,” the latest report could have been written at the Department of State. It accuses security forces and pro-government militiamen, known as shabiha, of the entire gamut of crimes, from firing on peaceful protesters and bystanders, including children, to targeting medical teams and torturing their members. Members of the Syrian army and security forces are presented as brutal, mindless demons who cherish inflicting death and pain per se, regardless of political and military consequences. Their alleged victims are presented as peaceful, moderate, and innocent. The moralizing tone is well familiar by now:
The international community has before it ample, credible documentation of the scale and gravity of violations committed, but it has so far failed to put any meaningful pressure on the Syrian authorities to halt their onslaught against civilians suspected of protesting or supporting the opposition. The UN Security Council squandered over a year in political wrangling, while the Syrian government responded to mass protests that were largely peaceful with unlawful killings, torture, enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention.
Amnesty’s demand for the involvement of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is particularly indicative of the likely course of events in the weeks to come. As confirmed by Qaddafy’s indictment in May 2011, a key purpose of the ICC is to provide retroactive justification for an illegal and unprovoked act of military aggression. If and when an ICC “warrant” for Bashar al-Assad’s arrest is issued, it can be used by the Obama Administration as a substitute – however legally dubious – for the UN Security Council resolution authorizing intervention, which Russia and China will not accept. As I commented a day after Qaddafy’s “arrest warrant” was issued, the power of the ICC prosecutor to act without third-party restraint and to claim universal jurisdiction offers the scope for considerable pseudo-legal creativity, depending on the will of the prosecutor’s political masters. The transparent predictability of the process is comical in a dark way, but derisive laughter is out of place because its outcome may be yet another war.
The Manichean caricature of the Syrian conflict provided by the Western NGOs would be unworthy of comment were it not for the fact that Amnesty and its ilk (Human Rights Watch, Transparency International) are fully paid-for subsidiaries of the U.S. Government, its European satellites and quasi-independent fellow-travelers, such as George Soros and his Open Society Institute. Amnesty & Co. were not nearly as vocal when, less than a decade ago, the CIA delivered suspected terrorists to Syrian police specialists, detained at U.S. government’s request, and subjected to certain interrogation practices that make Guantanamo look like a summer camp.
The Amnesty report is an example of our tax dollars at work in pursuit of the warmongers’ interests. At a technical level, their modus operandi was revealed on July 12, when yet another “massacre of civilians” – supposedly committed by the forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian village of Tremseh (Traymseh) – briefly dominated the mainstream Western media. The New York Times claimed the killings in Tremseh were “unlike any massacre that has previously occurred in Syria.” All of the leading MSM organs joined the fray, relying on anonymous “opposition activists” and rebel sources for the claims. “People had their throats slit,” an alleged witness told Agence France Presse, which also reported the presence of pro-Bashar graffiti on the blood-stained walls. London’s Guardian quoted an opposition activist who claimed that “Alawite militiamen from surrounding villages descended on Tremseh after its rebel defenders pulled out and started killing the people… Every family in the town seems to have members killed.” The Daily Telegraph claimed – incorrectly – that most recent massacres have involved Sunni villages dominated by the Alawite minority.
Within hours the politicians used media reports to demand action against Damascus. British Foreign Secretary William Hague called the killing of “more that 200 people” a “shocking and appalling atrocity.” He insisted the incident should increase the pressure for a united response from the international community, including Russia and China, which have resisted UN Security Council resolutions authorizing intervention. Only hours later Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement of her own, saying she was “deeply saddened and outraged to learn of reports of yet another massacre committed by the Syrian regime that has claimed the lives of over 200 men, women, and children.” According to Clinton, “Credible reports indicate that this unconscionable act was carried out by artillery, tanks, and helicopters—indisputable evidence that the regime deliberately murdered innocent civilians.”
Mrs. Clinton’s “credible reports” thus rapidly turned into “indisputable evidence,” and duly produced new threats of punishment and more nonnegotiable demands. By now, however, it has become obvious that there is less than meets the eye. The “massacre” in Tremseh appears to have been a replay of nearby Houla six weeks earlier, in other words a Račak-like stage-managed deception where dead rebel combatants were presented as civilian victims. More recent reports, even those based on anonymous “opposition activists,” suggest that fewer than 100 people had died, and that almost all of the dead were military-aged men, rather than “women and children.” A subsequent AFP report revealed that in the final count “the number of civilians killed by shelling is not more than seven,” while the rest were members of the “Free Syrian Army.” The BBC and other MSM outlets subsequently reduced the estimates of the dead and the qualification of the event itself, but in the meantime Mrs. Clinton has moved on, to Aleppo and the alleged brutality of government forces in Syria’s most populous city.
The atrocities are committed by both sides. Those committed by the Syrian rebels are well documented and widely available. When pressed to explain the curious fact that most alleged government crimes occur just ahead of major UN Security Council meetings, a spokesman for the “Syrian National Council” blithely claimed that “Assad doesn’t really care about the international community.” This statement is untrue: Assad is no fool, and his government has repeatedly warned that the rebels were preparing stage-managed massacres some days in advance of their taking place.
In the meantime, as Robert Fisk points out, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia arm and fund the rebels, Washington mutters not a word of criticism against them: “President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, say they want a democracy in Syria. But Qatar is an autocracy and Saudi Arabia is among the most pernicious of caliphate-kingly-dictatorships in the Arab world. Rulers of both states inherit power from their families – just as Bashar has done – and Saudi Arabia is an ally of the Salafist-Wahabi rebels in Syria, just as it was the most fervent supporter of the medieval Taliban during Afghanistan’s dark ages.” The Saudis are repressing their own Shia minority just as they now wish to destroy the Alawite-Shia minority of Syria, Fisk concludes. And we should believe that Saudi Arabia wants to set up a democracy in Syria?
Right now nobody wants democracy in Syria, least of all Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. A democratic Syria would need to develop a system of checks and balances guaranteeing equal rights for its Kurds and Arabs, for the majority Sunnis and minority Alawites and Christians. The only party historically able and willing to guarantee such rights has been the Baath Party. If Assad falls – which is the firm objective of the Obama Administration – Washington’s latest protégés, the Sunni fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, will win. Everyone else will be killed or exiled. The result will be a mono-ethnic, mono-confessional theocracy, part-Gaza and part-Saudi Arabia. A grim prospect, indeed, for the American interest and for American ideals.
An educational futurist, in a video on Edutopia, objects to the teaching of data and information. That’s the sort of thing, he sniffs, that Google can find.
The futurist wants a high-tech classroom where students work only on sophisticated projects, such as “Is there life on Mars?”
The futurist scorns traditional ways of teaching. For one thing, teachers wasted a lot of time on trivial stuff. His voice almost shakes with incredulity: “Teaching kids that ‘In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue’–why on earth waste time presenting that?”
The reasoning runs like this. Anything you want is on Google, so why bother learning anything? I worry that this is a destructive little sophistry. Let’s think about it.
When I was a kid, all knowledge, for all practical purposes, was in the encyclopedias we had in our den or the school library. Did that mean I didn’t need to learn anything? Quite the contrary. Just thumbing through the pages of those encyclopedias was confusing and overwhelming. It was then. It is now.
You need to have the anchor points, the organizational blueprint that arranges details in a logical way. In short, you need to know the fundamental stuff. You absolutely need to know that in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue!
Before discussing whether there is life on Mars, you need to know, for example, what Mars is; what life is; and why it’s profoundly interesting to ask, “Is there life on Mars?”
Today, Google is in effect an encyclopedia with a million times more information than the encyclopedias we knew years ago. So, while the search may be quicker, it’s also far more complicated, disorienting, and nearly hopeless. How do young students know where to start, and what are the primary facts in a given field?
The futurist does see the danger: “Just because they know how to control the technology doesn’t mean they know how to judge the value or accuracy of information they may be finding.” Exactly. Then he skips over his own caution.
I want to suggest a model that describes all learning, and shows us the danger in the futurist’s vision. This model states that the acquisition of knowledge starts with an armature, a skeleton. The armature, even when simple, lets you build elaborate structures on it.
Without an appropriate underlying armature, everything can end up being a hodgepodge of unconnected information which makes no sense. That’s why you have to teach children foundational knowledge. The younger that the students are, the more this is true.
It’s worth noting that our Education Establishment has been disdainful of knowledge going back almost 100 years. Here’s a quote from a textbook written in 1929 by Edward Thorndike and Arthur I. Gates, two of our leading educators: “Artificial exercises, like drills on phonetics, multiplication tables, and formal writing movements are used to a wasteful degree. Subjects such as arithmetic, language and history include content that is intrinsically of little value.”
Note the disdainful tone of voice. So much for history, language, arithmetic, and phonics! It’s the same tone we hear in this video pitching the idea that we needn’t bother with easy-to-find facts.
At some point, however, we always come up against one of life’s harsher truths. To those who have is given more. Certainly, in the case of knowledge, this is completely obvious. You first need a foundation on which you can build. To learn a lot, you first learn a little, which enables you to learn more, then more.
Conversely, those who have little are likely to have even that taken away. We see these pathetic people, when Jay Leno goes Jaywalking, unable to answer the simplest questions.
The way you master any subject is to start with the basics and learn them in a coherent way, so that when you possess hundreds or even thousands of individual pieces of information, they all make sense to you.
Probably, geography provides the simplest paradigm. It used to be considered The Queen of the Sciences. (That our schools neglect it now is a warning sign.) You cannot study history, science or current events, you cannot study the environment, you cannot study much of anything unless you know the names of the oceans and continents, the rivers and mountains, the main features of the planet Earth. The fact that this information is readily available on Google or in an atlas isn’t a good reason for not learning it. That’s the sophistry, right there.
The futurist is obsessed with the fact that it’s SO EASY to find information. He wrongly concludes that students don’t need to acquire any. He focuses on the power of modern technology and all the fancy new ways to present information. But what could be easier than opening an encyclopedia and looking at the information? There it is, easy!
But how would children know how to do that efficiently? They have no sense of what’s important or minor, what to read first, and what to go to next. Without a hierarchy of knowledge, you have intellectual and cognitive chaos.
The futurist is fascinated by all the new technology, some of which lets him project information on the walls of the classroom. Great. But why is that conceptually different from a teacher showing a picture or scribbling a diagram on a blackboard? I submit it’s not different (albeit much more expensive).
The crucial thing is not the ease of presenting information but the easy coherence of the information presented.
Love of technology shouldn’t be an excuse for disdaining facts. It’s not either/or. Why not more of both? Let’s stop accepting shallow alibis for teaching less.
Anyone can build great schools on these two premises: facts are fun and knowledge is power. Therefore, teach more.
You’ll know education is improving when you hear the Education Establishment brag about how they have figured out ingenious new ways to teach more facts.
As the world economy plunges and the financial markets debate the future of EU, the London Olympics provide a pretext to take a holiday and party all night. The latest example of excess and self-absorbed haughtiness, promotes an agenda of internationalism. The spirit of the games is less about sportsmanship than promotion of indoctrination. The cost to produce such an extravaganza approaches sums that necessitate a bailout from the IMF. The article, Winner’s curse? The economics of hosting the Olympic Games, illustrates a disturbing cost for hosting the Games.
“The complete official budget, initially pegged at $3.8 billion for the Games, has nearly quadrupled, and some estimates from British media have set the total cost at as high as $38 billion.
The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta cost $2 billion US. Hosting costs grew to $4.8 billion in Sydney four years later. Athens is estimated to have spend between $15 billion and $32 billion on hosting the 2004 Olympics.
And, at $42 billion, the 2008 Beijing Games are widely thought to be the most expensive ever. Chinese authorities have declined to release the official figures needed to confirm that figure.”
The notion that global comradeship is built through athletic competition is the message behind the quadrennial event. Seldom if ever does the TV viewing audience question the enormous sums required to conduct the amusing circus. So, what does the financial community say about the effect of these sports events, especially in these trying times? The analysis in the Guardian, Will the Olympics get the economy growing again? Don’t bank on it, provides some answers.
“Citi’s Michael Saunders is frank in his assessment: “In our view, the Olympics are likely to be very entertaining. But the Games are not an economic policy.”
Saunders has examined the data from 10 Olympics held between 1964 and 2008 and found that although growth tends to rise in the runup to the tournament, the effect starts to fall away even before the Games begin – and afterwards, growth tends to be weaker.
The trend is explained by the fact that many of the positives that come from the Olympics (such as jobs created during the construction phase) are out of the way long before the opening ceremony, while negatives (such as lost productivity as Britons stay glued to their TVs) come during and after the Games. The anticipation of extra revenue from foreign visitors, economists say, also fails to take into account visitors who might have come to the UK anyway and just change the timing of their visit.”
Yet in an even more in-depth report, Olympic Economics, The Pre-Games Show, the notorious ‘Vampire Squid’ of international banksters produces a lengthy analysis.
“Goldman Sachs has put out a 39-page report (PDF) on the subject (plus, somewhat incongruously, athlete interviews). The bank’s analysts conclude that games in Munich (1972) and Montreal (1976) lost big bucks, while Los Angeles (1984), Barcelona (1992) and Atlanta (1996) “each made a profit.”
Breaking even or making a profit certainly goes a long way to justify the immense expense. However, when governments absorb the losses and cost overruns to produce the symbolic script of worldwide “good will”, the propaganda budgets get a bump from their countries treasuries.
So who benefits from the Olympic “Passion Play” process and how does it work in the bidding competition? Andrew Zimbalist, write in Atlantic magazine.
“The city (principal) is not properly represented by the local organizing committee (agent). The committee that nominally represents the city really represents itself and bids according to its sense of the private benefit (of its members) versus the private cost, rather than the city’s public benefit versus public cost. Since the private cost is diminutive and the private gain extraordinary, the local organizing committees, on behalf of the cities, are bound to overbid, wiping out any modest, potential economic gains.”
Therefore, basic business restraint and prudent judgment is often absent from the marathon race to gain the rewarding decision to go crazy by hosting the Games.
The public has a much different attitude towards the Olympics than the financial movers and shakers. The corporatist jet set loves to merge their interest with that of statist bureaucracies. The Guardian continues and makes an insightful assessment.
“David Cameron started the ball rolling on Thursday with what was billed as the biggest investment conference ever hosted in the UK. The event was a who’s who of the global financial system: International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde rubbed shoulders with Mario Draghi, governor of the European Central Bank and Angel Gurría, secretary general of the OECD. There was also an impressive roll-call of business leaders, with Google chairman Eric Schmidt sharing a platform with Cisco’s John Chambers.”
The centralization of the global economy is supercharged through the figurative meaning of the interlocking rings. The five continents Africa, America, Asia, Australia, and Europe wave their flags under the Olympic banner. These rallies, designed to merge communal synergism under an international symbol, feed the transnational economy. Breaking down national pride may not be easy to see through the repetitive media coverage, but the true intent of holding the Games is to forge a unified system of coordinated financial inclusion.
Just as the budget overruns become the rule for most Olympic venues, the world economic model runs on unsustainable debt. The cavalier attitude toward the economic risks and financial obligations incurred, to light the torch, seems more to do with national ego than practical benefits.
Much like other pet projects of the international community, the Olympics are useful as a training exercise for programming the thinking of rabid and crazed sports buffs. The World (soccer to American observers) Cup, routinely herd psycho fans into confined stadiums. The frequent result engenders a martial law response to chaotic conduct.
The Olympics seeks to instill compliant behavior through more docile means. The accurate assessment of the economic consequences of holding the Olympics more closely resembles a contest of the Hunger Games than Chariots of Fire.
Conducting commerce internationally is not a crime. However, the lack of reinvesting domestically provides an inevitable drag on a viable internal economy. Publically traded companies operate under a set of rules that confuse the average investor. Most privately owned businesses are well aware that paying taxes on profits is the price paid to transact trade. Transnational corporations park extraordinary sums of money offshore to avoid a tax rate that most ordinary businesses pay routinely. Such discrepancies act as negative incentives that plague a feeble employment record.
Bloomberg makes the following points in the article, Repatriation Bill to Tax Overseas Profit at 8.75 Percent.
“Corporate repatriation legislation proposed by Senators Kay Hagan and John McCain would let U.S. businesses bring home offshore profits at an 8.75 percent tax rate.
The rate on repatriated profits would drop to 5.25 percent if a company’s payroll expanded during 2012, according to a summary of the bill released by Hagan’s office. The current top corporate rate is 35 percent.
Independent studies showed that when a tax holiday was last offered, in 2004, the lower tax rate for returning profits spurred little hiring or domestic investment. Most of the money was used to buy back stock. Democrats have said they are concerned that could happen again with a tax holiday.
Under the Hagan-McCain proposal, if a company repatriates profits and then reduces its staff, it would be required to add $75,000 to its gross income for every position eliminated.”
The apparent question is why these domestically chartered companies are not paying a uniformed tax. The U.S. has long taxed the individual on worldwide income. Why enable foreign branches avoidance loopholes to keep huge caches of liquidity overseas? Forbes provides this analysis in, Bringing Overseas Corporate Profits Back To US Not Necessarily A Job Booster.
“All of Western Europe allows for its multinationals to repatriate billions of dollars back home without paying the statutory corporate income tax rate. They enjoy a much lower rate, in the single digits in countries like Japan and UK, where corporate tax rates are similar to that in the U.S., with American companies falling in the middle of the two. In theory, the tax break avoids double taxation on corporate profits filed in other countries, but the trouble with that is that a portion of those profits are being booked in tax havens that have no income tax.
In many cases, these corporations have already accrued profits tax-free using techniques that shift reported income to tax havens anyway, like Google, to avoid an enormous amount of tax.”
Both of the Bloomberg and Forbes accounts see little expansion in domestic jobs just because a conglomerate might get a tax break to bring the money home. While all taxation is punitive and a caustic burden on commerce, the sophisticated tax dodging available to accounting departments of mega-corporations offer some strange strategies.
America is GE’s tax haven author David Cay Johnston provides an example of a different experience.
“GE’s disclosures show that over the last decade it paid much lower tax rates in America than offshore, just the opposite of the Washington political mantra. Even more puzzling, the U.S. corporate giant chooses to take more of its profits in other lands despite the higher tax rates there.
Given that GE has a roughly 1,000-person tax department dedicated to paying as little as possible in taxes, what the disclosures show is that something other than tax policy is driving GE’s business decisions.
The law gives companies a great deal of latitude in deciding how to arrange where they report profits from multinational transactions. GE won’t elaborate on why it takes so much of its profit in higher tax jurisdictions offshore.”
Even the fable king of the corporate cult plays tax games. How Apple’s Phantom Taxes Hide Billions in Profit illustrates stashing money offshore is a trend here to stay.
“On Tuesday, Apple is set to report financial results for the second quarter. Analysts are expecting net income of $9.8 billion. But whatever figure Apple reports won’t reflect its true profit, because the company hides some of it with an unusual tax maneuver.
And just like other corporations, Apple leaves cash overseas. If it brought it home to the U.S., it would have to pay federal income taxes on the money (though it would get a credit for foreign taxes already paid). In Apple’s case, those overseas accounts have grown to a staggering $74 billion – equal to the market value of Citigroup Inc.”
Off-shoring business activity, a cannon of operation for the internationalist multinational, is deleterious to the domestic economy. Keeping after tax profits in foreign banks virtually guarantees that future expansion or acquisitions will be seeded in overseas jurisdictions.
Now many proponents of globalism will defend this practice. However, the harsh reality is that the American market is systematically being dismantled. The motivation behind stripping away an independent industrial based economy is to make domestic consumption reliant upon foreign supplies. This fact is indisputable and, arguably sinister.
Rational protective tariffs are demonized as anti free trade. Yet all that the destructive free trade scheme has produced is widespread poverty within our own borders. Creating the incentive to abandon the domestic manufacturing domicile is tragic. The importing of products or services priced to reflect slave labor costs or deferred before tax capital, is suicidal.
Accumulating huge profits offshore on sales within foreign lands may be more palatable. But allowing domestically incorporated companies to conduct trade under the auspices of U.S. law should demand a legitimate price to be paid for that protection. The trade game, as it currently plays out, is a license to steal from the domestic consumer, while the corporate lobbyist bribe officials and game the system for favorable tax considerations.
Repatriation of profits stored in offshore banks is secondary to re-establishing domestic employment. The link between selling the products and services within a market where they are made, requires a balance and synergism that does not currently exist. This standard certainly applies to the rebuilding of American industry. The tax and duty laws need to correct the methodical destruction of the domestic economy.
Licensing regulations tied to employment requirements are a positive technique to compel transnational companies to fulfill their civic responsibility for the opportunity to operate in the United States. International trade can be beneficial, but a sound domestic economy secures survivability.