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28 September, 2012

The Potato Hole

Here's an awesome alternative to a full-on root cellar: "The Potato Hole" by Sylvia Gist. My only complaint is that this article would have greatly benefited from more pictures.

Ten Simple Steps Toward Self-Sufficiency

Ten Simple Steps Toward Self-Sufficiency - Backdoor Survival: In a utopian world, we would be 100% self-sufficient. We would have enough food, enough water, enough power, and enough fuel, and perhaps most important, enough money to live a well-rounded, healthy and comfortable life. We would have to work hard, yes, but at the end of the day we would have the satisfaction of being able to take care of ourselves without selling out to greedsters or taking a handout from the government.

Alas, everywhere you look there are roadblocks to achieving this state. Not the least of these roadblocks is our dependency on transportation systems and the power infrastructure to deliver goods and energy products to our homes and homesteads. And then there are the entitlements such as social security and Medicare for the older members of our population and disability and Medicaid for the disabled and the sick. Over the years, these systems have been set up – for better or for worse – to create dependencies rather than self-sufficiency’s. (And by the way, the names may be different but these dependencies exist in all Western countries, not just the United States.)

Luckily, though, self-sufficiency is not an all or nothing proposition. At one end of the spectrum is a total, off grid, agrarian lifestyle and at the other is a moderately self-sufficient lifestyle where steps are taken to move toward 10% or 20% self sufficiency. Not a lot. But something...

Justice Department's Warrantless Spying Increased 600 Percent in Decade

Justice Department's Warrantless Spying Increased 600 Percent in Decade | Threat Level | Wired.com: The Justice Department use of warrantless internet and telephone surveillance methods known as pen register and trap-and-trace has exploded in the last decade, according to government documents the American Civil Liberties obtained via a Freedom of Information Act claim.

Pen registers obtain, in real time, non-content information of outbound telephone and internet communications, such as phone numbers dialed, and the sender and recipient (and sometimes subject line) of an e-mail message. A trap-and-trace acquires the same information, but for inbound communications to a target. No probable-cause warrant is needed to obtain the data. Judges are required to sign off on these orders when the authorities say the information is relevant to an investigation.

In 2001, the DoJ issued only 5,683 reported “original orders.” Fast forward to 2011, the latest year for which data is available, the number skyrocketed to 37,616 — a more than sixfold increase. Though these can be used to track e-mail, the vast majority are used to get information on mobile phone users’ phone calls and texts...

Netanyahu Asks U.N. to Draw 'Red Line' on Iran's Nuclear Bomb Plans

Netanyahu asks U.N. to draw 'red line' on Iran's nuclear bomb plans - CNN.com: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exhorted the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday to draw "a clear red line" to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

In a theatrical gesture, Netanyahu held up a cartoon-like drawing of a spherical bomb and drew a red line below the fuse, "before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment to make a bomb," he said.

"It's not a question of whether Iran will get the bomb. The question is at what stage can we stop Iran from getting the bomb," said Netanyahu, who also accused Iran of aggression.

"I ask, given this record of Iranian aggression without nuclear weapons, just imagine Iranian aggression with nuclear weapons," the Israeli prime minister said...

27 September, 2012

Quantitative Easing Did Not Work For The Weimar Republic Either

Quantitative Easing Did Not Work For The Weimar Republic Either: Did printing vast quantities of money work for the Weimar Republic? Nope. And it won't work for us either. If printing money was the secret to economic success, we could just print up a trillion dollars for every American and be done with it. The truth is that making everyone in America a trillionaire would not mean that we would all suddenly be wealthy. There would be the same amount of "real wealth" in our economy as before. But what it would do is render our currency meaningless and totally destroy faith in our financial system. Sadly, we have not learned the lessons that history has tried to teach us. Back in April 1919, it took 12 German marks to get 1 U.S. dollar. By December 1923, it took approximately 4 trillion German marks to get 1 U.S. dollar. So was the Weimar Republic better off after all of the "quantitative easing" that they did or worse off? Of course they were worse off. They destroyed their currency and wrecked all confidence in their financial system. There was an old joke that if you left a wheelbarrow full of money sitting around in the Weimar Republic that thieves would take the wheelbarrow and they would leave the money behind. Will things eventually get that bad in the United States someday?...

How to Clean a Deer

It's about that time of year again. This link sent to me by a reader (not the guy in the video). Be advised: the kids might get on your nerves, but they're young.

QE4? The Big Wall Street Banks Are Already Complaining That QE3 Is Not Enough

QE4? The Big Wall Street Banks Are Already Complaining That QE3 Is Not Enough: QE3 has barely even started and some folks on Wall Street are already clamoring for QE4. In fact, as you will read below, one equity strategist at Morgan Stanley says that he would not be "surprised" if the Federal Reserve announced another new round of money printing by the end of the year. But this is what tends to happen when a financial system starts becoming addicted to easy money. There is always a deep hunger for another "hit" of "currency meth". Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was probably hoping that QE3 would satisfy the wolves on Wall Street for a while. His promise to recklessly print 40 billion dollars a month and use it to buy mortgage-backed securities is being called "QEInfinity" by detractors. During QE3, nearly half a trillion dollars a year will be added to the financial system until the Fed decides that it is time to stop. This is so crazy that even former Federal Reserve officials are speaking out against it. For example, former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker says that QE3 is the "most extreme easing of monetary policy" that he could ever remember...

26 September, 2012

19 Signs That America Is Being Systematically Transformed Into A Giant Surveillance Grid

19 Signs That America Is Being Systematically Transformed Into A Giant Surveillance Grid: You are being watched. The control freaks that hold power in the United States have become absolutely obsessed with surveillance. They are constantly attempting to convince the American people that we are all "safer" when virtually everything that we do is watched, monitored, tracked and recorded. Our country is being systematically transformed into a giant surveillance grid far more comprehensive than anything George Orwell ever dreamed of. If you still believe that there is such a thing as "privacy" in this day and age, you are being delusional. Every single piece of electronic communication is monitored and stored. In fact, they know that you are reading this article right now. But even if you got rid of all of your electronic devices, you would still be constantly monitored. As you will read about [at the link above], a rapidly growing nationwide network of facial recognition cameras, "pre-crime" surveillance devices, voice recorders, mobile backscatter vans, aerial drones and automated license plate readers are constantly feeding data about us back to the government. In addition, private companies involved in "data mining" are gathering literally trillions upon trillions of data points about individual Americans each year. So there is no escape from this surveillance grid...

The Coming Collapse of the Internet

I, too, get regular visits from the Department of Homeland Security. Funny, considering I've never written a word that should make me an enemy.
The Coming Collapse of the Internet - Backdoor Survival: A few months back when my pal George told me he wanted to write a book on the collapse of the internet I was skeptical. Yeah, I knew about the potential for an EMP but if that happened, there would be far more to worry about than the internet. I am also fairly well versed in of government censorship and the potential for the pulling of the proverbial “kill switch”.

As far as government censorship goes, in my opinion that is a non-issue. Not that it is not a big deal because it is. The reason it is a non-issue is that in my opinion, we are already being monitored and watched – especially certain bloggers and online journalists that dare to challenge the established system. (I merely need to look at my daily page hits from the Department of Homeland Security to know that is true.)

The internet kill switch is another story as is the potential for the PTB to release a deadly internet virus – something outside the realm of the CDC if you get the drift. This is not a pleasant thing to think about but think about it I do, because the possibility and probability is out there...

Oven Canning

Oven Canning! - YouTube

25 September, 2012

13 States Now Considering Gold and Silver as Money

13 States Now Considering Gold and Silver as Money: When the governor of Utah signed a bill that made gold bullion and silver bullion legal tender in the state last March, he had no idea of the groundswell he was going to start.

The Utah Sound Money Act outright flies in the face of the fiat money system, which is the printed money used today; backed by nothing but the promises of politicians...

... It is not practical for people to carry around heavy gold bullion or silver bullion coins, so the Utah Gold & Silver Depository was created. People can deposit their gold bullion and silver bullion coins there and receive a debit card to make transactions with—just like depositing money at a bank. The prices of gold bullion and silver bullion are based on the closing prices of both precious metals in U.S. dollars in London on each business day, creating the exchange rate used on the debit card.

Missouri and South Carolina in 2012 are the closest to enacting very similar legislation and creating a gold bullion and silver bullion depository, just like Utah. (Source: CNN Money, February 3, 2012.)...

... Other states considering legislation to make gold bullion and silver bullion legal tender are Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, New Hampshire, Georgia, Washington, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Virginia...

Buy Precious Metals Online

Mom Sues Police and Neighbor After She is Arrested for Letting Her Kids Play Outside

Mom sues police and neighbor after she is arrested for letting her kids play outside | The Sideshow - Yahoo! News: Allowing your kids to play on scooters outside the house on a quiet street seems innocent--and common--enough. But a Texas mom was arrested and spent the night in jail after a neighbor complained that the children were unsupervised.

The parent, Tammy Cooper, disputes the "humiliating" charge, saying she was watching the kids, ages 6 and 9, the whole time from a lawn chair.

But police took the neighbor at her word, and a few hours after the call, arrested Cooper for child endangerment. Cooper told KPRC that the arresting officer told her, "We're here for you."

The accused parent spent the night behind bars...

24 September, 2012

Iranian General: "Strike on Iran will trigger World War III"

‘Strike on Iran will trigger World War III’ - thenews.com.pk: Iran could launch a pre-emptive strike if Israel prepares to attack it, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander told broadcaster Al-Alam on Sunday, a day after his boss warned that conflict was inevitable.

Should Israel and Iran engage militarily, “nothing is predictable... and it will turn into World War III,” Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told Iran’s Arabic-language television network. Hajizadeh, who is in charge of Revolutionary Guards missile systems, said: “In circumstances in which they (the Israelis) have prepared everything for an attack, it is possible that we will make a pre-emptive attack. But we do not see this at the moment.”

He added that Iran would deem any Israeli strike to be conducted with US authorisation, so “whether the Zionist regime attacks with or without US knowledge, then we will definitely attack US bases in Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan.” He warned that Israel “cannot imagine our response — and it will sustain heavy damage and that will be a prelude to its obliteration.”...

Americans Are Literally Being Worked To Death

Americans Are Literally Being Worked To Death: Are you constantly tired and do you feel incredibly stressed almost all the time? Well, that means that there is a really good chance that you are a typical American worker. Even though our incomes are going down, Americans are spending more time at work than ever before. In fact, U.S. workers spend more time at work than anyone else in the world. But it was not always this way. Back in 1970, the average work week for an American worker was about 35 hours. Today, it is up to 46 hours. But there are other major economies around the globe that are doing just fine without burning their workers out. For example, the average American worker spends 378 more hours working per year than the average German worker does. Sadly, for many Americans work is not even finished once they leave the office. According to one recent survey, the average American worker spends an extra seven hours per week on work tasks such as checking emails and answering phone calls after normal work hours have finished. Other Americans are juggling two or three jobs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet. Americans are busier than ever and work is often pushing the other areas of our lives on to the back burner. What this also means is that "family vacations" are becoming increasingly rare in the United States. In fact, Americans spend less days on vacation than anyone else in the industrialized world. While some would applaud our "work ethic", the truth is that the fact that we are being overworked is having some very serious consequences. In fact, as you will see [by following the link above], Americans are literally being worked to death...

Result of Terrible Economy?: Study Reveals More Americans Die By Suicide Than In Car Crashes

$56 million suicide prevention programme launched as study reveals more Americans take their own lives than die in car crashes | Mail Online: Suicide is the cause of more deaths than car crashes, according to an alarming new study.

The number of people who commit suicide in the U.S. has drastically increased while deaths from car accidents have dropped, making suicide the leading cause of injury death.

Suicides via falls or poisoning have risen significantly and experts fear that there could be many more unaccounted for, particularly in cases of overdose...

Study Points to Health Problems with Genetically Modified Foods

Study points to health problems with genetically modified foods - latimes.com: In what is bound to stoke the debate over the labeling of genetically modified foods, scientists in France have published a controversial study reporting that rats fed corn that was engineered to withstand spraying with the herbicide Roundup developed health problems, including tumors and trouble with their livers and kidneys.

The study, which appeared Wednesday in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, was embraced by opponents of genetically altered foods, including backers of Proposition 37, which if approved by California voters in November would require most foods with genetically modified ingredients to bear a label.

But the report was sharply criticized by geneticists, who cited its small size and other methodological problems...

21 September, 2012

21 Facts About America’s Decaying Infrastructure That Will Blow Your Mind

21 Facts About America’s Decaying Infrastructure That Will Blow Your Mind: You can tell a lot about a nation by the condition of the infrastructure. So what does our infrastructure say about us? It says that we are in a very advanced state of decay. At this point, much of America is being held together with spit, duct tape and prayers. Our roads are crumbling and thousands of our bridges look like they could collapse at any moment. Our power grid is ancient and over a trillion gallons of untreated sewage is leaking from our aging sewer systems each year. Our airports and our seaports are clogged with far more traffic than they were ever designed to carry. Approximately a third of all of the dam failures that have taken place in the United States since 1874 have happened during the past decade. Our national parks and recreation areas have been terribly neglected and our railroads are a bad joke. Hurricane Katrina showed how vulnerable our levees are, and drinking water systems all over the country are badly outdated. Sadly, at a time when we could use significant new investment in infrastructure, our spending on infrastructure is actually way down. Back during the 50s and the 60s, the U.S. was spending between 3 and 4 percent of GDP on infrastructure. Today, that figure is down to about 2.4 percent. But of course we don't have any extra money to spend on infrastructure because of our reckless spending and because of the massive amount of debt that we have accumulated. While the Obama administration is spending more than half a million dollars to figure out why chimpanzees throw poop, our national infrastructure is literally falling apart all around us. Once upon a time nobody else on the planet could match our infrastructure, and now we are in the process of becoming a joke to the rest of the world...

Is America The Most Materialistic Society In The History Of The World?

Is America The Most Materialistic Society In The History Of The World?: When it comes to materialism, has any nation ever surpassed what we are seeing in the United States right now? We define our lives by how much stuff we have, to a large degree our personal and business relationships are defined by how much money we make, and even most of the important dates on our calendar are all about materialism. Just think about it. We throw outrageous birthday parties for our kids and we shower them with gifts. Most of our "holidays" have become highly materialistic, and the biggest holiday of all in our society, Christmas, is an absolute orgy of materialism. We make lists of the "wealthiest Americans" and we glorify their achievements. We spend most of our time either making money or spending it. Even the phrase "the American Dream" reveals how materialistic we are. When most people are asked what "the American Dream" is, they start talking about a house, a car, vacations, retirement, sending your kids to college, etc. The American Dream has become all about money and stuff. Sadly, no matter how big our homes are and no matter how many shiny new toys we accumulate, we never seem to be happy. We always want more, and we always seem to be willing to go into more debt to get it. We are the most materialistic society in the history of the world, and our endless greed is going to end up swallowing us alive...

20 September, 2012

The Federal Reserve Is Systematically Destroying Social Security And The Retirement Plans Of Millions Of Americans

The Federal Reserve Is Systematically Destroying Social Security And The Retirement Plans Of Millions Of Americans: [Recently] the mainstream media hailed QE3 as the "quick fix" that the U.S. economy desperately needs, but the truth is that the policies that the Federal Reserve is pursuing are going to be absolutely devastating for our senior citizens. By keeping interest rates at exceptionally low levels, the Federal Reserve is absolutely crushing savers and is systematically destroying Social Security. Meanwhile, the inflation that QE3 will cause is going to be absolutely crippling for the millions upon millions of retired Americans that are on a fixed income. Sadly, most elderly Americans have no idea what the Federal Reserve is doing to their financial futures. Most Americans that are approaching retirement age have not adequately saved for retirement, and the Social Security system that they are depending on is going to completely and totally collapse in the coming years. Right now, approximately 56 million Americans are collecting Social Security benefits. By 2035, that number is projected to grow to a whopping 91 million. By law, the Social Security trust fund must be invested in U.S. government securities. But thanks to the low interest rate policies of the Federal Reserve, the average interest rate on those securities just keeps dropping and dropping. The trustees of the Social Security system had projected that the Social Security trust fund would be completely gone by 2033, but because of the Fed policy of keeping interest rates exceptionally low for the foreseeable future it is now being projected by some analysts that Social Security will be bankrupt by 2023. Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years. Yes, you read that correctly. The collapse of Social Security is inevitable, and the foolish policies of the Federal Reserve are going to make that collapse happen much more rapidly...

How QE3 Will Make The Wealthy Even Wealthier While Causing Living Standards To Fall For The Rest Of Us

How QE3 Will Make The Wealthy Even Wealthier While Causing Living Standards To Fall For The Rest Of Us: The mainstream media is hailing QE3 as a great victory for the U.S. economy. On nearly every news broadcast, the "talking heads" are declaring that Ben Bernanke's decision to pump 40 billion dollars a month into our financial system is definitely going to help solve our economic problems. The money for QE3 is being created out of thin air and this round of quantitative easing is going to be "open-ended" which means that the Federal Reserve is going to keep doing it for as long as they feel like it. But is this really good for the average American on the street? No way. Despite two previous rounds of quantitative easing, median household income has still fallen for four years in a row, the employment rate has not bounced back since the end of the last recession, and new home sales have remained near record lows. So what have the previous rounds of quantitative easing accomplished? Well, they have driven up the prices of financial assets. Those that own stocks have done very well the past couple of years. So who owns stocks? The wealthy do. In fact, 82 percent of all individually held stocks are owned by the wealthiest 5 percent of all Americans. Those that have invested in commodities have also done very nicely in recent years. We have seen gold, silver, oil and agricultural commodities all do very well. But that also means that average Americans are paying more for basic necessities such as food and gasoline. So the first two rounds of quantitative easing made the wealthy even wealthier while causing living standards to fall for all the rest of us. Is there any reason to believe that QE3 will be any different? Of course not...

10 Shocking Quotes About What QE3 Is Going To Do To America

10 Shocking Quotes About What QE3 Is Going To Do To America: Ready or not, QE3 is here, and the long-term effects of this reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve are going to be absolutely nightmarish. The Federal Reserve is hoping that buying $40 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities per month will spur more lending and more economic activity. But that didn't happen with either QE1 or QE2. Both times the banks just sat on most of the extra money. As I pointed out the other day, U.S. banks are already sitting on $1.6 trillion in excess reserves. So will pumping them up with more cash suddenly make them decide to start lending? Of course not. In addition, QE3 is not likely to produce many additional jobs. As I showed in a previous article, the employment level did not jump up as a result of either QE1 or QE2. So why will this time be different? But what did happen under both QE1 and QE2 is that a lot of the money ended up pumping up the financial markets. So once again we should see stock prices go up (at least in the short-term) and commodities such as gold, silver, food and oil should also rise. But that also means that average American families will be paying more for the basic necessities that they buy on a regular basis...

18 September, 2012

Armada of International Naval Power Massing in the Gulf as Israel Prepares an Iran Strike

As discussed previously here on the blog...
Armada of international naval power massing in the Gulf as Israel prepares an Iran strike - Telegraph: Cruisers, aircraft carriers and minesweepers from 25 nations are converging on the strategically important Strait of Hormuz in an unprecedented show of force as Israel and Iran move towards the brink of war.

Western leaders are convinced that Iran will retaliate to any attack by attempting to mine or blockade the shipping lane through which passes around 18 million barrels of oil every day, approximately 35 per cent of the world’s oil traded by sea.

A blockade would have a catastrophic effect on the fragile economies of Britain, Europe the United States and Japan, all of which rely heavily on oil and gas supplies from the Gulf...

Obama Administration Appeals NDAA, Indefinite Detention Ban. Media Ignores it.

Obama Appeals NDAA, Indefinite Detention Ban. Media Ignores it.: Only hours after a US district judge made permanent an injunction that bans the indefinite military detention of Americans without charge, the White House said they’d appeal to continue their efforts to keep a controversial new law on the books.

On Thursday, the Obama administration acknowledged that they plan to challenge a ruling made only a day earlier by US District Court Judge Katherine Forrest that concreted an injunction she issued four months prior on a provision included in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act , or NDAA. In May, Judge Forrest said the indefinite detention statute in the NDAA failed to “pass constitutional muster” and ordered a temporary block. On Wednesday, she made that injunction permanent, but not without raising objection once again from the Executive Branch...

QE3: Helicopter Ben Bernanke Unleashes An All-Out Attack On The U.S. Dollar

QE3: Helicopter Ben Bernanke Unleashes An All-Out Attack On The U.S. Dollar: You can't accuse Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke of not living up to his nickname. Back in 2002, Bernanke delivered a speech entitled "Deflation: Making Sure 'It' Doesn’t Happen Here" in which he referenced a statement by economist Milton Friedman about fighting deflation by dropping money from a helicopter. Well, it might be time for a new nickname for Bernanke because what he did today was a lot more than drop money from a helicopter. Today the Federal Reserve announced that QE3 will begin on Friday, but it is going to be much different from QE1 and QE2. Both of those rounds of quantitative easing were of limited duration. This time, the quantitative easing is going to be open-ended. The Fed is going to buy 40 billion dollars worth of mortgage-backed securities per month until they have decided that the economy is in good enough shape to stop. For those that get confused by terms like "quantitative easing" and "mortgage-backed securities", what the Federal Reserve is essentially saying is this: "We're going to print a bunch of money and buy stuff for as long as we feel it is necessary." In addition, the Federal Reserve has promised to keep interest rates at ultra-low levels all the way through mid-2015. The course that the Federal Reserve has set us on is utter insanity. Ben Bernanke can rain money down on us all he wants, but it is not going to do much at all to help the real economy. However, it will definitely hasten the destruction of the U.S. dollar...

17 September, 2012

Iran On Brink of Having Nuclear Bomb in 6-7 Months

Here's the LINK to the Yahoo! News article.

I feel pretty confident in predicting a strike by Israel sometime soon.

They need to do it before Election Day here in the U.S..  President Obama *REALLY* needs it not to happen before then, because his reaction could piss-off half of Florida; but Israel needs to do it before they're locked-in by 4 more years of him holding them back by their proverbial leash with no fear of political repercussions, due to never needing to run for office again.

First off, I need to say up-front that I consider President Obama's refusal to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu to be a national embarrassment.  Israel have been one of our staunchest allies for 60+ years and he has, more or less, spent his whole Presidency thus far treating them like trashy cousins his Mom makes him be civil toward at awkward family functions.  It's shameful.  It's also part of why mouth-breathing wingnuts still think he's allied with some nefarious Islamic conspiracy.  It's not rocket science: get tough on this stuff and he'd not only take away some of the ammo being used against him, but he'd also sow-up his reelection quick and in a hurry.

The fact is that Israel cannot have a nuclear IranThe world cannot have a nuclear Iran.  There will be repercussions: I imagine there will be a spike in oil prices, and half the world will take to the streets in anger as a result.  Realistically, though, what else can they do?  They have been saying all along that they will never allow a nuclear Iran, providing years of warning, and practically begging us to intervene.  It will definitely cause a ripple of violence as a backlash.  Unfortunately, people will die.  We will need to step-up Embassy security, etc. for a while, simply because we are their allies.  The truth is that other Arab countries don't want Iran to have the bomb either, so it has got to be done.

Also, one must understand that, while they value we in the U.S. as friends, Israel must be for Israel.  Their politics are not always clear and are, at times, possibly even detrimental to us and to many other countries.  But, Israel's politics have been consistent since 1948 and can be summed up in one word: survive.  Survive, even if that means defying every protocol and disregarding every agenda but their own.  Many argue that Israel's motivations and actions never seem to take consequences to others into consideration; but what country's every policy does?

The truth is that we will be detrimentally affected by the ripples from this (maybe even worse than I described above), but I could never justify interfering with the policies of an allied democracy that is surrounded by people who want them dead.  If we were in their shoes, we would have long ago nuked everybody within sight of our borders.  We're lucky enough to have better neighbors and to be tough enough that few are outright preaching for our demise, for fear of being forced to dine on a 2000 lb. bunker-buster bomb. 

In the end, Israel is the only country from that region whose people enjoy such liberties as freedom of religion and freedom of speech; and where people are not executed for things like adultery, homosexuality, etc.  So, if we are picking sides, I'm with them.

Iran cannot be allowed to become a nuclear power.  Iran cannot be allowed to close the Straits of Hormuz for an extended period.  Not ever and not for any reason.  Period.

Pennsylvania Man, Imprisoned Since the Age of 18, Faces Execution for Murder of Older Men Who Repeatedly Raped Him

This guy definitely doesn't deserve the death penalty. In fact, I'm not real sure he doesn't deserve a medal and a parade. :/
Pennsylvania man, imprisoned since the age of 18, faces execution for murder of older men who repeatedly raped him - Boing Boing: Terry Williams is on death row in Pennsylvania for murdering two older men who raped him and physically abused him, something he had endured from a succession of predators from the age of six until he killed two of them them around the time of his 18th birthday. The jury didn't get to hear about the rape, and jurors who subsequently learned about it stated they wouldn't have advocated for the death penalty if they'd known all the facts of the case. A vocal campaign for clemency has grown up, including the widow of one of the men Williams killed...

14 September, 2012

At Least 7 Killed in Regional Protests Over Anti-Islamic Video

At least seven reported killed in regional protests over anti-Islamic video - World News: At least seven people were reported to have been killed Friday across the Middle East and Africa in protests over the anti-Islamic video that led to a deadly attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya this week.

The U.S. said late Friday it would send 50 Marines to reinforce security at the embassy in Khartoum, Sudan's capital, where the Arabic news service al-Arabiya reported three people were killed Friday afternoon in a protest...

How to Stockpile Antibiotics for Long Term Survival

How to Stockpile Antibiotics for Long Term Survival - Backdoor Survival: ... I am not a health care professional nor am I especially qualified on all things health related. On the other had, I do believe in medical self-care and I do believe in doing my own research. It was during that research that I learned that fish antibiotics are the exact same formula as human antibiotics. WTF?

This was not casual research. I went to many sources, looked at bottles, and asked a lot of questions. I came away confident that lacking proper medical facilities, the judicious use of fish and veterinary antibiotics would be safe in a SHTF situation. And the best part about it? They are readily available online at reasonable prices without a prescription...

China And Russia Are Ruthlessly Cutting The Legs Out From Under The U.S. Dollar

China And Russia Are Ruthlessly Cutting The Legs Out From Under The U.S. Dollar: The mainstream media in the United States is almost totally ignoring one of the most important trends in global economics. This trend is going to cause the value of the U.S. dollar to fall dramatically and it is going to cause the cost of living in the United States to go way up. Right now, the U.S. dollar is the primary reserve currency of the world. Even though that status has been chipped away at in recent years, U.S. dollars still make up more than 60 percent of all foreign currency reserves in the world. Most international trade (including the buying and selling of oil) is conducted in U.S. dollars, and this gives the United States a tremendous economic advantage. Since so much trade is done in dollars, there is a constant demand for more dollars all over the globe from countries that need them for trading purposes. So the Federal Reserve is able to flood our financial system with dollars without it causing a tremendous amount of inflation because the rest of the world ends up soaking up a lot of those dollars. But now that is changing. China and Russia have been spearheading a movement to shift away from using the U.S. dollar in international trade. At the moment, the shift is happening gradually, but at some point a tipping point will come (for example if Saudi Arabia were to declare that it will no longer take U.S. dollars for oil) and the entire global financial system is going to change. When that tipping point comes the global demand for U.S. dollars is going to absolutely plummet and nightmarish inflation will come to the United States. If such a scenario sounds far out to you, then you have not been paying attention. In fact, China and Russia have been working very hard to move us toward exactly such a scenario...

The Easy Way to Sharpen a Knife Without Spending a Lot of Money

The Easy Way to Sharpen a Knife Without Spending a Lot of Money - Backdoor Survival: Everyone needs a knife sharpener because no matter how careful you are, when you use your knife in the field, it is going to get dull. I don’t care how expensive, or how high tech your knife is, using a knife will eventually dull the blade.

What does this mean for the prepper? You have some choices. You can carry a ceramic stone and sharpen your blade . . . or you can carry a basic little sharpener that will make the job simple, quick and easy. I guess you know what I choose. I choose the easy way to sharpen a knife without spending a lot of money!...

Gas Sends Wholesale Prices Up The Most In 3 Years

A sharp rise in gasoline costs drove up wholesale prices last month by the most since June 2009. The measurement of price changes before they reach the consumer jumped 1.7% in August, the Labor Department said Thursday. The increase was mostly because gas prices soared 13.6%, the biggest gain in three years.

Gas Sends Wholesale Prices Up The Most In 3 Years : NPR

Things Are Getting Worse: Median Household Income Has Fallen 4 Years In A Row

Things Are Getting Worse: Median Household Income Has Fallen 4 Years In A Row: New numbers that have just been released show that things are getting worse for American families. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income declined to $50,054 in 2011. That is a 1.5 percent decline from the previous year, and median household income has now fallen for 4 years in a row. In fact, after adjusting for inflation median household income has not been this low since 1995. These new numbers once again confirm what so many of us have been talking about for so long - American families are steadily getting poorer. Incomes are going down and the cost of living just keeps going up. This dynamic is squeezing more Americans out of the middle class every single month. Others just keep going into more debt in an attempt to maintain their previous lifestyles. As Americans, we really don't like to hear that things are getting worse and that we are in decline, but unfortunately that is exactly what is happening. Our economy does not produce nearly enough jobs for everyone anymore, the proportion of low wage jobs in our economy continues to grow, and the middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate...

13 September, 2012

33,000 Flee Volcano in Guatemala

33,000 flee volcano in Guatemala - latimes.com: A long-simmering volcano outside one of the Guatemala's most famous tourist attractions exploded into a series of powerful eruptions Thursday, hurling thick clouds of ash nearly two miles (three kilometers) high, spewing rivers of lava down its flanks and forcing the evacuation of more than 33,000 people from surrounding communities.

Guatemala's head of emergency evacuations... said the evacuees were leaving some 17 villages... six miles southwest (16 kilometers) from the colonial city of Antigua. The ash was blowing south and authorities said Antigua was not currently in danger, although they expected the eruption to last for at least 12 more hours.

The agency said the volcano spewed lava nearly 2,000 feet (600 meters) down slopes billowing with ash around Acatenango, a 12,346-foot-high (3,763-meter-high) volcano whose name translates as “Volcano of Fire.”...

U.S. Ambssador and 3 Others Killed

U.S. vows to hunt down perpetrators of Benghazi attack - CNN.com: The United States on Wednesday vowed to avenge the killings of its ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, moving warships toward the Libyan coast and preparing to track the suspected perpetrators with surveillance drones, officials said.

The slain ambassador, Chris Stevens, helped save Libya's eastern city of Benghazi during last year's revolution. He died there Tuesday night, along with another diplomat and two State Department security officers, when a mob stormed the U.S. Consulate and set it ablaze...

Thanks Obama - The Terrorists You Used To Topple Regimes In Egypt And Libya Are Now Attacking Our Embassies

Here again is an article that's pretty rough on President Obama for making decisions that are the product of advice from many advisers, including the Joint-Chiefs. No President is a lone power unto himself, regardless of Party. I share this post here due to the facts being accurate, even if the tone is a bit slanted.
Thanks Obama - The Terrorists You Used To Topple Regimes In Egypt And Libya Are Now Attacking Our Embassies: Many of us tried to warn Barack Obama that using militants from al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations to overthrow governments in the Middle East would not end well. The Obama administration was so determined to get rid of Mubarak and Gaddafi that they didn't even really stop and think about who would be replacing them. Our leaders assured us that those opposed to Mubarak and Gaddafi were "freedom fighters" that just wanted "liberty" and "democracy" in those countries. Well, of course it turns out that the folks that took control of both Egypt and Libya bear no resemblance to George Washington whatsoever. They have simply replaced one form of tyranny with an even worse form of tyranny. Sadly, the last couple of days have been a huge wake up call for all of us...

12 September, 2012

Fresh Water from Drought- Plagued American Midwest is Being Shipped to China

Barack Obama’s war on America’s fresh water supply: Barack Obama is keeping his promise to lower the sea levels, and he’s starting with the drought- plagued Midwest where Lake Michigan water is being shipped by the boatloads over to China! By using a little-known loophole in the 2006 Great Lakes Compact, Obama minions are allowing Nestle Company to export precious fresh water out of Lake Michigan to the tune of an estimated $500,000 to $1.8 million per day profit. By draining the precious jewel of the Great Lakes in the middle of America, our federal water managers are allowing the export of our water out of our country across thousands of miles of oceans into the Asian basin plagued by huge population centers that are suffering from their constant lack of fresh water. How’s that for cutting America down to size?...

The Student Loan Debt Bubble Is Creating Millions Of Modern Day Serfs

The Student Loan Debt Bubble Is Creating Millions Of Modern Day Serfs: Every single year, millions of young adults head off to colleges and universities all over America full of hopes and dreams. But what most of those fresh-faced youngsters do not realize is that by taking on student loan debt they are signing up for a life of debt slavery. Student loan debt has become a trillion dollar bubble which has shattered the financial lives of tens of millions of young college graduates. When you are just starting out and you are not making a lot of money, having to make payments on tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt can be absolutely crippling. The total amount of student loan debt in the United States has now surpassed the total amount of credit card debt, and student loan debt is much harder to get rid of. Many young people view college as a "five year party", but when the party is over millions of those young people basically end up as modern day serfs as they struggle to pay off all of the debt that they have accumulated during their party years. Bankruptcy laws have been changed to make it incredibly difficult to get rid of student loan debt, so once you have it you are basically faced with two choices: either you are going to pay it or you are going to die with it...

TSA Admits Plotting Nude Body Scanners for Rail & Bus, Refuses Environmental Impact Study

TSA Admits Plotting Nude Body Scanners for Rail & Bus, Refuses Environmental Impact Study - TSA Out of Our Pants!: “If you don’t like it, don’t fly!” That has been the refrain of the few people left who support allowing the TSA to digitally strip search us and molest us and our families. We’ve already seen the TSA’s mission creep, expanding to patrolling Amtrak stations, Greyhound terminals, music festivals, and political events. But, the TSA thus far has not brought their nude body scanners and genital groping out of the airport, and has never stated an intention to do so. So, maybe TSA abuse will solely be confined to airports?

Not a chance...

11 September, 2012

Always Remember

Hard to believe it's been 11 years...

The Real Unemployment Numbers Are Worse Than You Are Being Told

I've been saying this for a long time, including just recently here and here. My numbers were a WAG, however; nice to see that somebody did the research to be able to post the actual figures.
The Real Unemployment Numbers Are Worse Than You Are Being Told: According to the Obama administration, the unemployment rate in the United States has been slowly coming down over the past couple of years. But is that actually true? When you take a closer look at the data you quickly realize that the real unemployment numbers are much worse than we are being told. For example, if the labor force participation rate was the same today as it was back when Barack Obama first took office, the unemployment rate in the United States would be a whopping 11.2 percent. But every month the Obama administration has been able to show "progress" because of the fiction that hundreds of thousands of Americans are "disappearing" from the labor force each month. Frankly, the way that they come up with these numbers is an insult to our intelligence...

FBI's Sinister New $1 Billion Project Will Track Everyone By Their Face

FBI's Sinister New $1 Billion Project Will Track Everyone By Their Face: How would you feel if the government could easily track your movements by automatically identifying your face on images captured by the ever-growing network of CCTV of cameras in America? The FBI is will be able to do just that soon, with its one-billion-dollar Next Generation Identification program...

Stop the Hate

If you identify with most of the people in *EITHER* of the videos below, please kill yourself immediately. You are a big part of what is wrong with this country. We have to stop hating everyone who disagrees with us.
Why is it we require tragedies like 9/11 to befall us before we remember, for a few days at least, that we're all Americans?
We should all take a moment to ponder that on today's anniversary of that fateful day.

10 September, 2012

The Country Of Norway Prepares For The End Of The World

The Country Of Norway Prepares For The End Of The World | ETF DAILY NEWS: The concept of a world-ending economic collapse seemed to be a joke several years ago, but as time has pressed on, more and more people have hopped on the bandwagon of a world-ending crisis, be it a natural disaster or economic crisis. But while some people may be sitting around merely talking about the possibilities of all of the terrible things that could happen, one country is actually doing something about it. The Norwegian government has funded and built a seed vault in preparation for any kind of regional or global disaster.

The vault is located in a town called Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen, just 800 miles from the North Pole. The location is desolate, snowy, but secure from public human interaction as few people venture into this frozen tundra just for kicks. The Svalbard Global Seed vaults touts itself as a “a fail-safe, state-of-the-art seed storage facility, built to stand the test of time – and of natural or manmade disasters“, as it is built into the side of a mountain. The seeds that are stored in the facility are duplicates samples from the various crops around the world...

We Don't Need No Stinking Warrant: The Disturbing, Unchecked Rise of the Administrative Subpoena

We Don't Need No Stinking Warrant: The Disturbing, Unchecked Rise of the Administrative Subpoena | Threat Level | Wired.com: Meet the administrative subpoena: With a federal official’s signature, banks, hospitals, bookstores, telecommunications companies and even utilities and internet service providers — virtually all businesses — are required to hand over sensitive data on individuals or corporations, as long as a government agent declares the information is relevant to an investigation. Via a wide range of laws, Congress has authorized the government to bypass the Fourth Amendment — the constitutional guard against unreasonable searches and seizures that requires a probable-cause warrant signed by a judge...

The Crunch: “It’s Going to Happen In The Next Administration; Regardless Of Who Wins This Election"

The Crunch: “It’s Going to Happen In The Next Administration; Regardless Of Who Wins This Election” | Market Daily News: Our incumbent President says that things are getting better, jobs are being created, and America is on the road to recovery. His opponent, Governor Mitt Romney, says the opposite, but claims he has a plan that will turn things around and bring prosperity back.

According to free market proponent Peter Schiff, it doesn’t matter who wins, because the crunch is coming – and it’s going to become apparent during the next President’s administration...

Are You Better Off? 40 Statistics That Will Absolutely Shock You

Are You Better Off? 40 Statistics That Will Absolutely Shock You: Are you better off today than you were four years ago? This is a question that comes up nearly every election. This year the Romney campaign has even created a Twitter hashtag for it: #AreYouBetterOff. The Democrats are making lots of speeches claiming that we are better off, and the Republicans are making lots of speeches claiming that we are not. So are most Americans actually better off than they were four years ago? Of course not. One recent poll found that only 20 percent of Americans believe that they are better off financially than they were four years ago. But the same thing was true four years ago as well. Our economy has been in decline and the middle class has been shrinking for a very long time. The Democrats want to put all of the blame on the Republicans for this, and the Republicans want to put all of the blame on the Democrats for this. A recent CNN headline defiantly declared the following: "Decline of middle class not Obama's fault", and this is the kind of thing we are going to hear day after day until the election in November. But obviously something has gone fundamentally wrong with our economy. So who should we blame?...

Tornado Touches Down in Beachfront NYC Neighborhood

Here's some more evidence of climate change causing weird storms and changes in weather patterns. We've been having frequent tornado warnings here in WV these past few years too, whereas they used to be extremely rare -- like only once or twice in 20-some-odd years. Whether you believe that human activity is causing it or not, one would have to be willfully blind not to see that it is occurring nonetheless.
Tornado touches down in beachfront NYC neighborhood - U.S. News: A tornado swept out of the sea and hit a beachfront neighborhood in New York City on Saturday, hurling debris in the air, toppling power lines and startling residents who once thought of twisters as a Midwestern phenomenon.

Firefighters were still assessing the damage, but an hour after it struck there were still no reported injuries and the area affected by the storm appeared small.

Videos taken by bystanders showed a funnel cloud hurling sand and debris in the air, and possibly small pieces of buildings, as it moved through the Breezy Point section of the Rockaway peninsula in Queens...

Gun Owner Saves Police Officer With 165 Yard Shot

Practical Tactical Training LLC - Gun Owner Saves Police Officer With 165 Yard Shot: ... After a fight over where a dog pooped in an RV park, the deranged man went back to his trailer and grabbed some sort of bolt action rifle. After killing another man and his fleeing wife, he shot two dogs and hid behind a tree and started firing at a responding sheriff’s deputy. In the ensuing gunfight, onlookers could see that the officer’s AR-15 couldn’t penetrate the tree the killer was hiding behind, but that his rifle was easily penetrating the car the deputy was hiding behind.

But, fortunately, a gun owner named Vic Stacy was in a position for a clear shot at the deranged man, with a magnum handgun. The first careful shot hit the shooter in the thigh, and he fell to the ground. The crazy man then turned and fired one confused shot at Stacy, which missed, but caused bits of gravel to cut up Stacy’s legs. Stacy put three more rounds into the man and the deputy put two rounds of .223 into him, and the gunfight was over...

08 September, 2012

Nicaragua Evacuates 3,000 as Volcano Spews Ash

News from The Associated Press: The San Cristobal volcano spewed out a column of ash and gas 2 1/2 miles high Saturday, leading Nicaraguan authorities to evacuate about 3,000 people from nine communities around the country's tallest mountain...

My Worries About Obama

After recently writing a post pointing-out some of the misleading things being touted by the Obama campaign and getting a few comments, I wanted to write a little more to clarify how I feel about the President.

In all truth, I don't dislike President Obama. I imagine, all-in-all, that he's a decent man with whom I disagree on lots of issues and agree on a few. I don't believe that the vitriol many people feel toward him is warranted, or even, for that matter, productive. In fact, I think it hurts those of us with legitamate concerns, because everyone who disagrees with him is automatically dismissed as either a racist who believes he's a Muslim or a crazy "Birther."

The most pressing issue with respect to which I disagree with the President is that I don't believe his economic policies can possibly succeed. You simply cannot fix an economy by going deeper and deeper into debt; in fact, economics is one of the only philosophies with which I still agree with those in the Tea Party. Not that I necessarily agree with Governor Romney's economic ideas either, though. Giving tax breaks to the wealthy job creators made sense during the whole "Trickle-Down Economics" experiment, but now we know it was a failure. Instead of using the extra money to create more, better- paying jobs, a lot of it just gets pocketed to make rich people richer. People blame President Reagan for that disaster, but blaming a President for following the advice of his advisers who were citing a real academic economic theory is moronic; he shouldn't be blamed just because, it turned-out, the theory failed to take into account the phenomenon of human greed.

Ardent Democrats argue that the unemployment rate is actually coming down, albeit slowly and that, if the American Jobs Act had been passed, it would have taken a bigger chunk out of the unemployment rate. Unfortunately -- they argue -- the Republicans chose to block that legislation and some cling to the tinfoil hat conspiracy theory that this was done purposefully in an effort to keep unemployment high to hurt Obama's chances at re-election.

What they fail to see is that the "official" (emphasis added, because the numbers they tell us are actually a clever lie anyway) unemployment numbers are falling only largely because people have stopped looking for work and are being removed from the calculation entirely (which has been happening for a long time i.e. the reason for my claim that the numbers are false). The powers that be claim the unemployment rate is down to 8.1% and 92,000 new jobs were recently created. What has not been highlighted is 360,000 people reported giving up on finding a new job entirely and have thus been removed from the "official" number.  These numbers, by the way, were currently as of the date of this article's publication on 8 September, 2012.

Also, Republicans were not the only ones who objected to the American Jobs Act. Many Democrats criticized the Bill due to it adding another $450 billion in spending, arguing that it is not viable to have a 'job creation' plan that costs more than $200k per every job it creates. These Democrats, such as Sen. Joe Manchin (one of my senators and formerly Governor of my home state) are decried by many on the Left as not being "True Democrats," (whatever that means) but I like Joe... then again, I like moderates. If moderate centrists, capable of governing responsibly through compromise, were the majority of both Parties, rather than the minority shouted-down by the lunatic fringe (Right and Left), we'd actually be living in a country that appeared to be run by adults instead of spoiled, squabbling children.

Anyway, to get back on subject, there are other aspects of President Obama's past that do worry me a bit. I've always believed that you get a more clear picture of who a politician really is, in their heart, by looking and listening less at what they say on the campaign trail and concentrating, instead, on what they did and said when they weren't seeking votes. For instance, I don't believe for a moment that Governor Romney is as Conservative as he is trying to appear. He was a very moderate Republican as a Governor (i.e. before he was faced with having to try to win the votes of the Tea Party and the Evangelical Republican base). As a Governor, he instituted Romneycare, which is nearly identical to the Obamacare plan he rails against now. I've written in partial support of Obamacare here on the blog before, and many of you readers were not at all happy about it.

If you wish, you can read those articles here and here (be sure to also read all the comments), so I won't rehash it all today. What I will say very briefly, however, is that, while it has definite drawbacks, it is *NOT* socialized medicine. It is, in fact, nearly identical to Romneycare, which was based on the Republican answer created by the Heritage Foundation in response to the Clinton Administration's push for Medicare-for-All during the 1990s. It is, essentially, a Republican plan that Senator Bob Dole campaigned on during his sacrificial run at the Presidency in 1996 and Governor Romney later instituted in his state. They are campaigning against it only because they need to draw a stark contrast between themselves and Obama. A wise person once said that politicians "campaign in poetry, but govern in prose;" so we should all be taking everything they say on the campaign trail with a grain of salt. We should look, instead, at what they did and said when national audiences weren't necessarily watching.

With that in mind, some of the people President Obama has surrounded himself with over the years and positions he has championed worry me a bit.

Regarding the 2nd Amendment, Obama has been largely silent during his Presidency, giving the impression that he is a sensible moderate. In fact, the radical anti-gun Brady people are not at all happy with him. Yet, it was not always thus. Between 1994 and 2002, Obama served as the director of the extensive billion+ dollar Joyce Foundation. Yet, he has been largely silent about this, even when being criticized as having insufficient executive experience while campaigning for the 2008 election. I believe this is because, during his tenure, the Joyce Foundation spent millions on anti-2nd Amendment activities.

They even went so far as to attempt to manipulate the Supreme Court. Their plan involved paying for law review articles (which are typically written either for free or for a tiny stipend by law students) that opposed the 2nd Amendment. They did this because, when unable to cite an existing judicial precedent, judges often turn to law review articles, due to the fact that they are (supposedly) impartial and well-cited. During this period, the Joyce Foundation under Obama even paid $84,000 to buy-out an entire issue of the Chicago-Kent Law Review and had it published with every article being an argument against the 2nd Amendment. They brought in an outsider to serve as editor of that issue, a professor who just happened to have been a former director of what is now the Brady Campaign, and who offered a $5,000 fee to each author who would produce an article opposing the individual right view of the 2nd Amendment.

Interesting, at the least, wouldn't you agree? Of course, it's possible President Obama has simply changed his viewpoint; but it's also possible he is waiting for his second term when he will never again have to campaign and win votes. Who knows.

He has also spoken-out heavily in support of partial-birth and late-term abortion, something that even most otherwise Pro-Choice Democrats oppose. In fact, a recent Gallup Poll shows us that only a tiny 10% minority of Americans support such heinous practices, meaning President Obama's views on the subject are in line with only the lunatic fringe of his own Party and far from representative of the beliefs held by most Americans.

Also, something can be said for the company he keeps, though it probably wouldn't be anything at all pleasant. We all know about his ties to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and that he sat docilely through many potentially controversial and divisive sermons by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, only denouncing the things he said when he was worried it might cost him the 2008 election. But one must also take a hard look also at the man he hired as his Science Czar, Dr. John R. Holden.

Dr. Holden, it seems, has an interesting literary history and an odd view of the world. He believes that overpopulation is a huge threat to the planet and to the future of our species, which I agree with... but that is where our agreements end.

Dr. Holden favors, not only legalized abortion (some of his writings were published before Roe v. Wade), but also forced abortions and mass sterilization of the poor and undesirables. He argues that existing single-mothers should have their children forcibly taken from them and placed in the homes of married couples and that future single women who become pregnant should be forced either to get married or to have an abortion. He favors mass sterilization through the introduction of infertility drugs into people's drinking water and staple food sources. He favors the development of a method of birth-control wherein an anti-fertility capsule is placed beneath a young girl's skin at puberty and only removed when she has received "permission" from the government for one of a limited number of "approved" children. He favors that a planetary regime be put in place to implement and oversee all of this.

Worst of all, he justifies his views on abortion by arguing that it isn't the taking of a human life, on the grounds that neither the fetus, nor the newborn, nor the toddler, is truly human anyway. Yep, you heard it right: newborns and toddlers are not really human because they are as yet unable to procure the necessities of life for themselves independently.  His argument is basically that if you dumped a 9 year old kid naked in the woods, they'd at least look for water and food and a place to get warm, whereas a toddler would just die there.  Therefore, in his warped view, a 2 year-old is actually more akin to a fetus than a "child," and it's okay to kill fetuses (because they aren't yet human), so murdering a 2 year old isn't murder either -- it should, rather, qualify as an abortion instead.  I'm not making a word of this up; you can read it all for yourself in his books "Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions" and "Ecoscience".

In short, he's a crazy personAnd President Obama gave him a job.  Take from that what you will.

Maybe those aren't his views, or maybe they once were and he's now changed his mind.  We don't know, but I've always believed that the people with which a person chooses to associate themselves is telling of their character.  That's why I worry about President Obama getting a second term.

As always, comments are welcome.

07 September, 2012

$83,046 For A 3 Hour Hospital Visit – Why Are Hospital Bills So Outrageous?

$83,046 For A 3 Hour Hospital Visit – Why Are Hospital Bills So Outrageous?: The fastest way to go broke in America is to go to the hospital. These days it seems like almost everyone has an outrageous hospital bill story to share. It is getting to the point where most people are deathly afraid to go to the hospital. All the financial progress that you have made in recent years can literally be wiped out in just a matter of hours. For example, you are about to read about an Arizona woman that was recently charged $83,046 for a 3 hour hospital visit. How in the world is anyone supposed to pay a bill like that? I have a really hard time understanding why a visit to the doctor should ever be more than a couple hundred bucks or why a hospital stay should ever be more than a couple thousand dollars. Outrageous hospital bills are a real pet peeve of mine and I have not even been to the hospital in ages. What makes all of this even more infuriating is that Medicare, Medicaid and the big insurance companies are often charged less than 10 percent of what the rest of us are billed for the same procedures. There is a reason why 41 percent of all working age Americans are struggling with medical debt right now. It is because our health care system has become a giant money making scam...

Did Obama Just Make A Deal With Israel To Delay The War With Iran Until After The Election?

The article linked-to below presents a pretty harsh personal assessment of the President as a person, but I went ahead and shared it for the sake of some of the facts contained therein.

Did Obama Just Make A Deal With Israel To Delay The War With Iran Until After The Election?: Barack Obama cares about Barack Obama far more than he does about either Israel or Iran. And as far as Barack Obama is concerned, delaying the coming war between Israel and Iran until after the election is what is best for Barack Obama. Just think about it. If Israel attacked Iran right now, who would that please? It would mostly please hardcore Republicans, and they are not going to vote for Obama anyway. To independents and liberals, Obama would look like a guy that couldn't stop war from happening in the Middle East. If the U.S. showed support for the Israeli attack, that would greatly discourage his anti-war supporters from going to the polls. If the U.S. did not show support for the Israeli attack, Obama would potentially lose many of the Jewish voters that he desperately needs in swing states such as Florida. A war between Israel and Iran is a no-win situation for Obama right now... the Obama administration has been trying to discourage Israel from attacking Iran for weeks. Well, now it is being reported in major international news sources that a deal has been reached between Obama and Israel. Obama is going to publicly declare what the "red lines" are that will cause the U.S. to strike Iran's nuclear program, and the U.S. military is going to send some of their most advanced bunker busting bombs to Israel. Those bombs will come in very handy in getting at the Iranian nuclear facilities that are hidden underground. In return, Israel has apparently agreed to delay the attack on Iran until after the election. So would Barack Obama really play politics with war in the Middle East? Of course he would. Barack Obama is obsessed with winning a second term and he would make a deal with just about anyone if it will get him closer to his goal...

Three Dead, 20 Injured As Major Earthquake Damages Costa Rica Coast

Three dead, 20 injured as major earthquake damages Costa Rica coast - World News: Three people died, two them from heart attacks, when a major earthquake hit northwestern Costa Rica on Wednesday, authorities said. At least 20 people were injured and two others were missing, but the Red Cross said those numbers could rise as damage assessment teams reached more areas.

The quake — initially rated at magnitude 7.9 but then revised by the the U.S. Geological Survey to 7.6 — struck at 10:42 a.m. ET at a depth of about 25 miles about 7 miles southeast of Nicoya. The town of 15,000 people is near the Pacific coast, about 90 miles from the capital, San Jose.

Government buildings, including the National Assembly complex in San Jose, were under evacuation orders, the newspaper La Nacion reported. Thousands of youngsters were sent home from school as a precaution against aftershocks.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center canceled tsunami warnings for Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua...

Salute to All Veterans

A History of Economic Booms and Busts

A History of Economic Booms and Busts: When an economy falls into a recession, we typically observe a cluster of people making similar investment mistakes.  According to historian Stephen Davies, these investment errors occur because governments or central banks manipulate the supply of money. These manipulations place artificial downward pleasure on interest rates, creating false signals that entice individuals to invest in what end up being unprofitable ventures. Booms and busts are not a new phenomenon of this century, but rather, have occurred throughout history both in America and around the globe.

U.S. Incomes Fell More in Recovery Than Recession

Doesn't sound like much of a recovery to me...
U.S. Incomes Fell More in Recovery Than Recession, Sentier Says - SFGate: American incomes declined more in the three-year expansion that started in June 2009 than during the longest recession since the Great Depression, according an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by Sentier Research LLC.

Median household income fell 4.8 percent on an inflation- adjusted basis since the recession ended in June 2009, more than the 2.6 percent drop during the 18-month contraction...

06 September, 2012

Some Of The Really Bad Things That Could Happen If You Do Not Prepare For The Coming Economic Collapse

Some Of The Really Bad Things That Could Happen If You Do Not Prepare For The Coming Economic Collapse: Most people just assume that since things have always been a certain way that they will always be that way in the future. Most people just have blind faith that the people running our government and our financial system know exactly what they are doing and that they are doing their best to take care of us. In fact, once upon a time I was fully convinced of that. When I was a kid I quickly realized that my elementary school teachers really didn't have the answers, but I had total faith that those running society at the highest levels were "experts" that were looking out for our best interests. As time went on I kept progressing in my education, and by the time I was finished with law school I came to understand that none of our "experts" really know what they are doing, and they are definitely not looking out for our best interests. The blind are leading the blind and we all need to finally admit that the emperor is not wearing any clothes. Unfortunately, most Americans will repeat the mantra of "if that was true I would have heard about it on the news" until it is way too late. Most people are waiting for the "authorities" to tell them what to do instead of thinking for themselves. Sadly, time is rapidly running out and a lot of people are going to end up getting totally blindsided by what is coming...

19 Signs That Israel And Iran Are On The Verge Of War

19 Signs That Israel And Iran Are On The Verge Of War: There is going to be war in the Middle East. It is just a matter of time until it happens. Israel has decided that there is no way that it can ever allow Iran to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons. Iran has gone "all-in" on developing a nuclear program and it has become a matter of national pride at this point. Iran does not fear an Israeli attack against its nuclear program. In fact, Iran anticipates that an Israeli attack would cause the Islamic nations of the Middle East to come together and declare war against Israel. Sadly, there is a very strong chance that an Israeli attack on Iran would actually spark a larger regional war. But there is no way that Israel is going to allow Iran to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons, and time for a strike may be running out. It has become quite clear that the Obama administration does not want to strike Iran. So if Israel wants to do something about Iran, Israel is going to have to be the one to do it. But if Obama wins the U.S. election in November, he might work to actively block Israel from attacking Iran for his entire second term, and the Israelis believe that by 2016 it will be way too late to do anything about Iran's nuclear program. If Israel attacks before the election, Obama would be in danger of appearing to be "anti-Israel" if he came out against the attack. And considering the fact that Jewish voters are a key voting block in swing states such as Florida that is not something he would want to do. But after the election Obama would not have to worry about what Jewish voters think. After the election Obama could move to block an attack on Iran indefinitely.

Of course if Mitt Romney wins the upcoming election things would likely be different. Romney has taken a much harder line against Iran than Obama has.

But the Israelis know that the upcoming election could go either way.

In fact, if the election was held today Obama would probably win.

That is why the next couple of months are such a potentially dangerous time for the Middle East.

If Israel does not move against Iran now, moving against them later could be far more difficult if Obama wins a second term...

Hackers claim FBI file12 million Apple device IDs

Hackers claim FBI file12 million Apple device IDs | The Technology Chronicles | an SFGate.com blog: A hacking collective on Monday released what it claims are more than one million unique device numbers for Apple products that it allegedly pulled from an FBI agent’s laptop.

AntiSec said it leaked the so called UDIDs to call attention to what it sees as evidence of the government agency collecting device details and potentially tracking the activity of citizens. In a post on Monday, the group claims the original file it downloaded included information about some 12 million devices, often including personal details like names, addresses and cellphone numbers.

“It is a piece of the puzzle that suggests the extent to which the government has moved beyond targeted surveillance in particular cases to massive surveillance of all Americans,” said Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. ”Someone in the government should launch an investigation into this practice and find out what purpose if any the collection of this data serves.”

If accurate, it raises a series of troubling questions...

Hurricane Isaac May Add to Near Record-Setting West Nile Outbreak

Hurricane Isaac may add to near record-setting West Nile outbreak: With all the rain and flooding Isaac has left behind, some are worried the near record-setting number of West Nile cases in the US will increase. Stagnant, pooling water is a breeding ground for algae, a source of food for mosquito larvae...

... an increase in the mosquito population is expected in the areas affected by Hurricane Isaac. This is due to the fact standing of water providing easy breeding grounds. A higher mosquito population means the potential of more West Nile carrying mosquitoes and an increased risk of humans becoming infected with the disease...

Senator Bernie Sanders Telling The Truth

Senator Bernie Sanders, I Dare You To Comprehend This Speech! Jaw Dropping Truth! - YouTube

18 Indications That Europe Has Become An Economic Black Hole Which Is Going To Suck The Life Out Of The Global Economy

18 Indications That Europe Has Become An Economic Black Hole Which Is Going To Suck The Life Out Of The Global Economy: Summer vacation is over and things are about to get very interesting in Europe. Most Americans don't realize this, but much of Europe shuts down for the entire month of August. I wish we had something similar in the United States. But now millions of Europeans are returning from their extended family vacations and the fun is about to begin. During August economic conditions continued to degenerate in Europe, but I figured that it wouldn't be until after August that the European debt crisis would take center stage once again. And as I wrote about last week, if there is going to be a financial panic, it typically happens in the fall. The stock market has seen quite a nice rally over the summer, and many investors are nervous that we could see a significant "correction" very soon. The month of September has been the absolute worst month for stock performance over the past 50 years, and it has also been the absolute worst month for stock performance over the past 100 years as well. Of course that does not guarantee that anything is going to happen this year. But things in Europe continue to get worse. Unemployment rates are spiking, manufacturing activity is slowing down, housing prices are crashing and major financial institutions are failing. What is happening in Europe right now appears to be an even worse version of what happened to the United States back in 2008...

05 September, 2012

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

He didn't fix the economy.  The economy is still very broken, which to be fair is not really his fault.  The "recovery" is all smoke and mirrors, though.  Almost 6 out of very 10 of the 4.8 million jobs that have been created are burger-flipping, Walmart stock-boy, no benefit, low-paying jobs.  Again, that isn't his fault, and I'm not saying he's even a bad choice (I'm still undecided as to who I'm voting for and probably will be until after the debates); but, campaigning on a "fixed" economy when it's still a wreck and millions of jobs created without pointing-out that they're crappy jobs is outright propaganda and lies aimed at deceiving low information voters.

Here's some examples of just how "fixed" the economy really is.  A whopping 41% of all unemployed workers have been jobless for 6+ monthsAverage income levels are actually even lower now than they were when the recession supposedly ended.  Almost a 3rd of our total population is on welfare in one way or another.  The "official" unemployment numbers are a lie -- they very cleverly changed the way we calculate the unemployment percentage from how it used to be calculated.  Now, it reflects only those who are still actively drawing benefits and sending-out resumes.  The ones who've given-up, moved into Mom and Dad's basement, and started cutting the neighbors grass for a little pocket money are now no longer counted at all.  Some estimates put the true level of unemployment at as high as 15%, not the 8+% claimed.  The "recovery" is a lie, and disingenuously campaigning on it makes me less likely to vote for him, not more.

When I first saw this on a friend's Facebook, I argued the above, and he basically brought forth the point that the ad was stating that President Obama fixed the "collapsed" economy.  He was pretty sure it was referring to the collapse of the banks and the big 3 and agreed that the economy is still recovering from "the 8 years of Bush.  It's going to take more than 3 1/2 yrs to fix what 8 years destroyed though."

My response was that he might be right about the ad meaning that, but that the fact remains that his campaign is touting job creation numbers that, while true technically (a job is a job, even if it's mopping floors for minimum wage), are presented in such a way as to make Joe and Sally Sixpack think things are getting better when they aren't.   Between all the lies and half-truths being told by both campaigns, I'm at a loss as to why any sensible person would be excited about voting for either of them.

My friend responded that he believes we should give Obama the chance to finish what he started.  "We gave Bush 8 years to ruin a surplus, kill jobs, create a wider gap between classes in this country, ect. Look at how good things were in Clinton's second term after 12 years of republican run. Things will get better if republicans grow up and stop trying to make Obama fail at all costs. Even if it's at the cost of the American people. They don't care, all they care about is making Obama fail. It's childish and that's why I will never vote republican. They care more about their personal agenda than how it effects us."

To which, I responded that I believe the problem is that the current Republican Party has been overrun by crazy people. The sensible Republicans are now the minority, shouted-down by the mob. People talk about Reagan's spending, but conveniently forget that we were in the middle of an arms race, trying to build ballistic missile defense systems, and reeling from the terrible economy of the 70s... and his spending wasn't even comparable, at its worst, to the current administration or Bush-era levels.  

My issue with President Obama is that I don't think his economic policies *CAN* succeed (but, then again, I have the same doubts about the Republicans).  You simply cannot borrow and spend and borrow more to fix an economy; it defies logic, and both Parties inexplicably try to do it.  When Clinton was in office (I voted for him), he balanced the budget, yet still he has the nerve to endorse Obama's reckless spending (Party loyalty should never trump personal integrity).  

We, as a country, are like a middle class guy making a comfortable $50k/year salary, but living in a house with a half-a-million-dollar mortgage, paying the note on 3 cars, putting our kid through college, and yet still insisting on eating-out at fancy restaurants 5 nights/week; the thing is, he can only maintain that level quality of life through constant use of credit cards.  He's almost $1 million in debt on a $50k/year salary and the only thing that keeps it all afloat is that he can still scrape together the scratch to pay his minimum monthly credit card premiums.  What happens when he can't anymore?  What happens when we, as a country, can't anymore?  When our GDP is totally outstripped by our debt payments?  

Disaster, that's what.

Economic Failure: 58 Percent Of The Jobs Being Created Are Low Paying Jobs

The current administration in Washington cannot be wholly blamed for the sorry state of our economy, but I take offense when they try to use all of the supposed jobs they've created to entice gullible "low information voters" to vote for their reelection.  Does this sound like a true "recovery" to you?
Economic Failure: 58 Percent Of The Jobs Being Created Are Low Paying Jobs: Are you good at flipping burgers , waiting tables or stocking shelves? Are you proficient with a cash register? Do you enjoy doing mindless work for very low pay? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you are probably going to fit in very well in the new U.S. economy. According to a report that has just been released by the National Employment Law Project, 58 percent of the jobs that have been created since the end of the recession have been low paying jobs. So exactly what is a low paying job? Well, the National Employment Law Project defines it as a job with an hourly wage between $7.69 and $13.83. But of course you can't pay a mortgage or support a family on $13.83 an hour. Even if you got full-time hours the entire year, you would make less than $28,000 on an annual basis. The federal poverty level for a family of five is $27,010. So needless to say, most of these new jobs are not paying enough to support a middle class lifestyle. This represents an economic failure on a fundamental level. Our economy is producing very few good jobs that enable people to be able to raise families and live the American Dream. The ranks of "the working poor" are exploding and the number of Americans that are dependent on the government is sitting at an all-time record. Sadly, if current trends continue things are going to get a lot worse...

Obama Has Stolen $5.3 Trillion From Our Children In Order To Make Himself Look Good

Obama Has Stolen $5.3 Trillion From Our Children In Order To Make Himself Look Good: Barack Obama has destroyed the future of America in order to improve his chances of winning the next election. Under Obama, 5.3 trillion dollars has been ruthlessly stolen from our children and our grandchildren. That money has been used to pump up the debt-fueled false prosperity that we have been experiencing. When the U.S. government borrows money that it does not have from someone else (such as China) and spends that money into the economy it is going to make our economic numbers look better. Even if the government spends that money on incredibly stupid things, it still gets into the hands of average Americans who in turn spend that money on food, gas, clothes, etc. If we were to go back and take that extra 5.3 trillion dollars out of the U.S. economy, I guarantee you that we would be in a rip-roaring depression right now. We would look a lot like Greece at this point. For several years Greece has been raising taxes and cutting government spending in an attempt to balance the budget and these austerity measures have resulted in an unemployment rate of over 23 percent and an economy that has contracted by close to 25 percent. Most Americans don't want to go through pain like that so they are okay with continuing to financially rape our children and our grandchildren. Just imagine how you would feel if your parents died tomorrow and you found out that they had left you with a million dollar debt that you were legally obligated to pay off. How would you feel, knowing that you had just been sold into debt slavery for the rest of your life? Well, that is how our children and our grandchildren are going to feel. We are destroying the greatest economic machine the world has ever seen, we are accumulating the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the planet, and the coming economic collapse that we have caused is going to wipe out the promising future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have. If they get the chance, future generations of Americans will curse us bitterly and will spit on our graves. What we are doing to our children and our grandchildren is the kind of stuff that horror movies are made of. You should be ashamed of yourself America...