August 12, 2011

Pseudofacts from the MSNBC Three |

The latest data on unemployment show little improvement in economic conditions. The official unemployment rate is down slightly to 9.1 percent from 9.2 percent in June:

Some of the facts regarding unemployment are clear. Net increases in jobs were small, but more importantly labor-force participation declined. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data the number of “discouraged workers,” people who have given up looking for work, increased sharply over the last month. A broader measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers (U-5) was unchanged at 10.9 percent.

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RIC airport protester, federal officials present arguments in lawsuit

Richmond Times-Tribune | Reed Williams

Authorities involved in the arrest of a protester who removed his shirt and pants at a security checkpoint at Richmond International Airport were doing their jobs and acted appropriately, a government attorney argued Wednesday in Richmond federal court.

Carlotta P. Wells, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, argued in favor of a motion to dismiss Aaron B. Tobey’s lawsuit, which claims his constitutional rights were violated. Wells said Tobey had made his point by removing his shirt to display words from the Fourth Amendment written on his torso but went too far when he disobeyed a command to pass through a security scanner.

But Anand Agneshwar, an attorney representing Tobey in his lawsuit against airport and federal officials, said the 21-year-old Charlottesville man obeyed the commands of authorities. Agneshwar said it was the authorities who went too far by detaining Tobey for 90 minutes or longer with his hands cuffed behind his back.

“This was one long process to determine if this gentleman was a security risk,” Agneshwar told U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson.

Hudson said he hopes to rule on the defendants’ motion to dismiss in the next two weeks. The judge also set a trial date for Jan. 18.

Tobey claims that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration and airport officials violated his constitutional rights.

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Obama Is Implementing Plans For War Throughout the Middle East Created 10 Years Ago by the Neocons

Washington Blog |

The U.S. has dramatically ratcheted up the pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad, slapping new sanctions on key companies Wednesday as White House press secretary Jay Carney said the leader is guilty of “heinous actions” and the country would be better off without him.


President Barack Obama and other administration officials have already said publicly that Assad has “lost legitimacy” and must begin the push toward democracy in Syria or step down. A few weeks ago, after months of protests on the streets of Syria and little progress from Assad without explicit U.S. calls for his resignation, administration officials began to consider calling for Assad to step down, CNN said.

The new push from the White House, officials said, will make clear Assad is no longer a credible reformer and should give up his post.

A Nato plan for a post-Gaddaffi Libya – carving up the country, and giving the richest spoils to the UAE – has been leaked.

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Assault by TSA

Canada Free Press | – Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh

Last week, at Reagan National Airport I was chosen in line to be screened by the naked scanner. I knew that this technology had been rushed to market and had not been properly tested for the amount of radiation exposure and its concentration in skin, which increases the risk of cancer.

AIT (Advanced Imaging Technology) uses backscatter x-rays, which emit ionizing radiation. The cumulative effect is absorbed almost entirely by skin and underlying tissues. The dose is believed to be 20 times higher than estimated by the manufacturer. Repeated scanning may cause significant health risks particularly in people who are more susceptible/sensitive to radiation and are prone to DNA mutation.

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A “Humanitarian War” on Syria? Military Escalation. Towards a Broader Middle East-Central Asian War?

Global Research | by Michel Chossudovsky

An extended Middle East Central Asian war has been on the Pentagon’s drawing board since the mid-1990s.

As part of this extended war scenario, the US-NATO alliance plans to wage a military campaign against Syria under a UN sponsored “humanitarian mandate”.

Escalation is an integral part of the military agenda. Destabilization of sovereign states through “regime change” is closely coordinated with military planning.

There is a military roadmap characterised by a sequence of US-NATO war theaters.

War preparations to attack Syria and Iran have been in “an advanced state of readiness” for several years. The Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 categorizes Syria as a “rogue state”, as a country which supports terrorism.

A war on Syria is viewed by the Pentagon as part of the broader war directed against Iran. President George W. Bush confirmed in his Memoirs that he had “ordered the Pentagon to plan an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities and [had] considered a covert attack on Syria” (George Bush’s memoirs reveal how he considered attacks on Iran and Syria, The Guardian, November 8, 2010)

This broader military agenda is intimately related to strategic oil reserves and pipeline routes. It is supported by the Anglo-American oil giants.

The July 2006 bombing of Lebanon was part of a carefully planned “military road map”. The extension of “The July War” on Lebanon into Syria had been contemplated by US and Israeli military planners. It was abandoned upon the defeat of Israeli ground forces by Hizbollah.

Israel’s July 2006 war on Lebanon also sought to establish Israeli control over the North Eastern Mediterranean coastline including offshore oil and gas reserves in Lebanese and Palestinian territorial waters.

The plans to invade both Lebanon and Syria have remained on the Pentagon’s drawing board despite Israel’s setback in the 2006 July War: “In November 2008, barely a month before Tel Aviv started its massacre in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military held drills for a two-front war against Lebanon and Syria called Shiluv Zro’ot III (Crossing Arms III). The military exercise included a massive simulated invasion of both Syria and Lebanon” (See Mahdi Darius Nazemoraya, Israel’s Next War: Today the Gaza Strip, Tomorrow Lebanon?, Global Research, January 17, 2009)

The road to Tehran goes through Damascus. A US-NATO sponsored war on Iran would involve, as a first step, a destabilization campaign (“regime change”) including covert intelligence operations in support of rebel forces directed against the Syrian government.

A “humanitarian war” under the logo of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) directed against Syria would also contribute to the ongoing destabilization of Lebanon.

Were a military campaign to be waged against Syria, Israel would be directly or indirectly involved in military and intelligence operations.

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The Stock Market Crash Of 2011?

The Economic Collapse |

How far does the stock market have to go down before we officially call it a crash? The Dow is now down more than 2,000 points in just the last 14 trading days. So can we now call this “The Stock Market Crash of 2011”? Today the Dow was down 519 points. Yesterday, an announcement by the Federal Reserve indicating that the Fed would keep interest rates near zero until mid-2013 helped the Dow surge more than 400 points, but all of those gains were wiped out today. It turns out that the Federal Reserve was only able to stabilize the financial markets for a single day. Fears about the European sovereign debt crisis and the crumbling U.S. economy continue to dominate the marketplace. With each passing day, things are looking more and more like 2008 all over again. So what is going to happen if “The Stock Market Crash of 2011” pushes the U.S. economy into “The Recession of 2012”?

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Gold to hit $2,000 in 2012 – Deutsche Bank |

Deutsche Bank maintained its 2012 gold price target of $2,000 an ounce with a bias towards even higher prices, saying the precious metal would benefit from the low interest rates in the United States.

“We believe the main beneficiary of super low interest rates in the United States, a weak U.S. dollar, a view that central bank holdings in the U.S. dollar are still excessive and ongoing questions over the stability of the financial system will be gold,” the investment bank said.

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London Riots: What Nobody Dares To Say

Lew | Gary North

On August 11, 1965, the Watts riot began. South Central Los Angeles went up in flames for five days – preceded by a night of rock throwing.

Five days earlier, Lyndon Johnson had signed into law the Voting Rights Act, which set up Federal procedures to enable blacks to vote in the South, where state laws had made this difficult for all but the most dedicated and strong-willed blacks to do since 1877.

The South was changed politically forever by this law and its updates. White politicians who had said “never” counted noses – black noses – and said, “soon.” Within five years, the political issue was settled.

The issues in Watts have not been settled.

I remember Watts. I lived in Southern California. In 1959, I sometimes drove to Watts to photograph a track meet or watch a high school sporting event. It seemed safe.

Today, I would not drive into Watts. Some resident would have to drive me. Watch Grand Canyon for a taste of what can go wrong. The ghetto today is far wider than Watts was in 1965. I went to kindergarten through the third grade in what is now referred to as “the hood.”

It all blew up in August 1965. That was one year after the Civil Rights Act was passed. That was a landmark piece of Federal legislation, which only a President from the South (Texas) with enormous clout could have rammed through. Johnson said at the time that it would forever cost the Democrats the South’s votes. So far, he was right.

The Civil Rights Act became law on July 2, 1964. New York City was hit by a race riot two weeks later. Here is an account posted on the site of the University Systems of Georgia, in a section devoted to the civil rights movement.

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The Effects of a Financial Repression

The Daily Reckoning | Adison Wiggins

Something — we’re not altogether sure what — touched off MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan yesterday.

We love it when these guys lose their cool. This is not nearly as entertaining as Jim Cramer’s tantrum imploring the Fed to “open the discount window” in 2007, but pay attention to the content…

We’re not 100% sure what Mr. Ratigan means by “extraction.”

“Privatized profits, socialized risk” is a theme you should be familiar with here in The 5. “Financial repression” is another we heard a lot about during the Symposium in Vancouver.

“Extraction” sounds more like a dental procedure, but from the context, we believe he means a class of financial engineers intentionally stripping the productive classes of their remaining assets.

That’s our best guess… considering his rant came two hours after the Federal Reserve made its own extraction plans known to the world.

Yesterday, the Fed put savers on notice: You’re screwed for the next two years. At least.

The pertinent background: On Dec. 16, 2008, the Federal Reserve launched the first round of “quantitative easing,” accompanied by a decision to slash the federal funds rate to an unprecedented 0-0.25%. The Fed statement said conditions would warrant these “exceptionally low” levels “for some time.”

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Gerald Celente | The Trends Journal

Everything is not all right. And things are going to get worse … much worse. The economy is on the threshold of calamity. Wars are spreading like wildfires. The world is on a razor’s edge.

Not so, say world leaders and mainstream media experts. Yes, there are problems, but the financiers and politicians are aware of them. Policies are already in place and measures are being taken to correct them.

Whether it’s failing economies, intractable old wars or raging new wars, the word from the top always maintains that steady progress is being made and comforts the populace with assurances that the brightest minds and the sharpest generals are in charge and on the case. On all fronts, success is certain and victory is at hand. Only “patience” is required … along with more men, more time and more money.

As far as these “leaders” and their media are concerned, the only opinions that count come from a stable of thoroughbred experts, official sources and political favorites. Only they have the credentials to speak with authority and provide trustworthy forecasts. That they are consistently, if not invariably, wrong apparently does nothing to diminish their credibility.

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Back to the Future on Poverty Policy

City Journal | Heather Mac Donald

Selective amnesia is an essential trait in anyone promoting government antipoverty initiatives. Last week, as he announced the Young Men’s Initiative, a government effort to improve the life outcomes of black and Hispanic males, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to assert the radically new nature of the program. The “pioneering new initiative” (which will cost taxpayers $67.5 million, with another $60 million thrown in by George Soros and Bloomberg himself) represented “an entirely new approach” to poverty reduction, said Bloomberg. The “across-the-board policy reforms” of the “action plan” would “fundamentally change the way our agencies interact with black and Latino young men,” leading to “systemic change.”

In fact, the Young Men’s Initiative consists largely of warmed-over policies dating from the War on Poverty, such as job training,

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8 Years In Prison for a Harmless Prank? Handcuffed for Doodling? The Increasing Criminalization of Students

Amazon Disarms Brits By Banning Self-Defense Items | Paul Joseph Watson

Following calls by politicians, media and the police for Brits not to buy baseball bats and engage in what was disparagingly termed “vigilantism,” Amazon UK has followed suit by banning self-defense items from its online store, after sales of makeshift weapons soared through the roof as a result of riots plaguing the country.

In the immediate aftermath of widespread looting and rioting which was directed primarily against private homes and local family businesses, Brits left defenseless by a blanket gun ban that makes it virtually impossible to own a private firearm rushed to Amazon to purchase whatever could be used as a weapon to protect their families and property from attack.

The need for self-defense was exacerbated after police in London were ordered to stand down and let the rioting take place for the first three nights of chaos as a result of a Scotland Yard directive.

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AlterNet | Rania Khalek

A few months back, 18-year-old Tyell Morton was enjoying his senior year at Rushville High in Indiana. Today, he faces the prospect of being labeled a felon for the rest of his life for a harmless senior prank.

Morton was arrested for putting a blowup doll in a bathroom stall on the last day of school. He was caught when video footage showed a man entering the high school in a hooded sweatshirt and leaving a package in the bathroom. Fearing the package might be a bomb, school officials evacuated the premises and called the Indiana State bomb squad. Although no one was injured, no property damaged and no dangerous materials found, Morton, who had not been in any trouble prior to this incident, is being charged with disorderly conduct (a misdemeanor) and institutional criminal mischief (a class C felony), carrying the potential of two to eight years in prison.

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