Friday, June 17, 2011

More riots in Greece: All dogs to the barricades!

From the BBC: “One committed protester was at the front line when Greek police fired teargas at protesters outside parliament on Wednesday. The dog, thought to be a stray called Loukanikos, or Sausage, has been in the centre of the action for years…”

While the riots this week are focused on austerity measures, most all rebellions eventually trace back to human civilization’s disconnect from the Earth. Read more about the ecological side of resistance in Greece in the Earth First! Journal’s recent 30th Anniversary issue.

Ron Paul Should Be The Next President Of The United States - by Scott Rubin

Ron Paul Should Be The Next President Of The United States - by Scott Rubin
News Link  •  General Opinion

06-17-2011  • via RTR.ORG post 
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The United States of America may potentially be on the precipice of a Greek-style debt crisis within a few years, and our economy is increasingly looking like it may be at risk of entering another recession - and the Financial Crisis 2.0 could make the Great Recession look tame. Simply put, the Fed and Treasury have bloated their balance sheets to such grotesque levels to fight the deflationary forces sparked in the economy as a result of the housing collapse that there will be no more temporary "smoke-and-mirrors" fiscal and monetary options to circumvent another downturn.

Certainly, the Fed will likely give QE3...QE4...QE5, a shot if the economy becomes completely unglued, but similar to what has occurred in Japan for the last 20 years, it will not work. We have already seen what Mr. Bernanke's money printing in the form of QE2 has wrought - it has robbed the middle class blind, while benefitting the entrenched corporate, banking, and political elite, along with wealthy Americans. The vast majority of Americans do not have sufficient financial assets such as bond, stock, commodity and hedge fund portfolios to offset the rise in food and energy prices that Bernanke has unleashed on the country due to his policy of Dollar devaluation through money printing.

The entire burden of a falling Dollar as a result of QE2 and the United States' exploding debt has been placed on the middle and working classes, while the elite have benefitted from rising prices for financial assets. It is a scam. Furthermore, it hasn't provided one iota of benefit for the vast majority of American citizens. The unemployment rate continues to hover at 9.1% and very likely could hit double digits by next year.

Furthermore, home prices hit a new low in May. This is the one asset that matters most to the majority of Americans, and things are getting worse. The creator of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Robert Shiller, recently said that he was optimistic that home prices could fall for the next 20 years. In all likelihood, there will be no economic recovery whatsoever when the dust settles. The bailouts, federal deficit spending, and quantitative easing programs that were enacted to attempt to reflate asset prices and spark the job market will be viewed by historians as failures. The entire Keynesian orgy's real result is likely to be an even more devastating financial collapse.

The toxic debt that was held by the private sector before the crisis has now been transferred to sovereign balance sheets as well as those of global central banks. Furthermore, many private corporations have taken advantage of the Fed's historically low interest rate policy to lever-up their balance sheets once again. These facts when combined with the moral hazard that we have introduced into our economic system as a result of the bailouts (corporate socialism), similar problems in most of the developed world, and an unprecedentedly interconnected global economy have set the stage for a potential systemic meltdown.

All of this could have been averted if we had taken heed of Dr. Ron Paul's warnings years ago. This man has been fighting with absolute integrity and honesty for the values that this country was founded on for the last 30 years - sound money, balanced budgets, free markets, non-interventionist foreign policy and civil liberties. Most every other GOP Presidential candidate is an Establishment panderer who is beholden to entrenched special interests. Why should we trust another Establishment politician after being subjected to the lies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, not to mention nearly every other politician in Washington D.C.?

Reported By Vallejo

America Is Being Raped ... Just Like Greece and Other Countries

America Is Being Raped ... Just Like Greece and Other Countries
News Link  •  Economy - Economics USA
06-16-2011  •  
Well-known Austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek wrote: "Emergencies” have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have eroded. [Obama's former chief of staff] Rahm Emanuel famously said: Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before. Naomi Klein documented in the Shock Doctrine that the Neoliberals and Chicago school followers advocated a kind of "disaster capitalism". Specifically, whenever a natural, economic, war-related, or other disaster strikes, these folks pounce and use the opportunity to quickly impose a brand of economic policy which benefits the elite at the cost of everyone else (by increasing unemployment, pushing the cost of essential goods through the roof, and otherwise increasing poverty), while people are still in shock and before they can react.  
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The War on Libya: Canada’s Parliament Endorses Military Escalation

The War on Libya: Canada’s Parliament Endorses Military Escalation
News Link  •  WAR

06-16-2011  • 
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  While the US Congress questions the legitimacy of the war on Libya, the Canadian parliament with one dissenting voice, votes in favor of extending Canada’s participation in an illegal and criminal military undertaking:
On Tuesday, after Canada recognized the NTC as Libya’s legitimate government, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the rebels are the true representatives of the Libyan population and will therefore be a critical player in Canada’s efforts to provide assistance.
“Our government will engage with the institutions and representatives of the NTC,” Baird told Parliament on Tuesday before the evening vote. “I will be seeking a meeting with my counterparts on the NTC.

Japan scientist synthesizes meat from human feces

Japan scientist synthesizes meat from human feces
News Link  •  Food

06-16-2011  •  Digital Trends 
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Somehow this feels like a Vonnegut plotline: population boom equals food shortage. Solution? Synthesize food from human waste matter. Absurd yes, but Japanese scientists have actually discovered a way to create edible steaks from human feces.

Hackers Target Malaysian Government Sites

Hackers Target Malaysian Government Sites
News Link  •  World News
06-16-2011  •  PC Magazine 

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A number of Malaysian government Web sites fell prey to cyber attacks Wednesday night in a coordinated effort possibly organized by members of the clandestine Web group, Anonymous.
Ninety-one Web sites were attacked starting at 11:30pm local time, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission told Bloomberg. Seventy-six have since come back online.

House Democrats push for vote on China currency

House Democrats push for vote on China currency
News Link  •  China

06-16-2011  •  Reuters 
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The bill would clear the way for the U.S. government to consider currency undervaluation as a subsidy that can be offset with U.S. countervailing duties on Chinese goods.

While only a small portion of Chinese exports to the United States would likely be affected, the legislation would encourage U.S. companies to file more trade cases against Chinese competitors, analysts have said.

.VIDEO: Minister Farrakhan: 'That's a Murderer in the White House'

VIDEO: Minister Farrakhan: 'That's a Murderer in the White House'

  • Minister Louis Farrakhan (Getty Images)
    A YouTube video of Minister Louis Farrakhan taking President Obama to task over the war in Afghanistan and the bombing of Libya is making its way around the Web. In the video, Farrakhan admonishes the president for turning into someone else. Farrakhan says, "We voted for our brother Barack, a beautiful human being with a sweet heart, and now he's an assassin. They turned him into them." 

    He also raises the issue of killing Saddam Hussein over weapons of mass destruction and knowingly sending young men to fight a war based on lies. "You talk about a man killing his own people. When you lie to the American people saying that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. When you lie and then take innocent young men who come to serve their country, and send them to die in Iraq and Afghanistan, over lies, that's a murderer in the White House." Ouch.

    Farrakhan is visibly angry at Obama's leadership of America's intervention in the crisis in Libya, particularly his focus on bringing down Muammar Qaddafi. He says that people do not know Qaddafi like he does, and he's a decent man.

    We find it interesting that this video from May is surfacing just as Farrakhan is set to address the United Nations. Nonetheless, the words used to describe the president are brutal. He raises important points, like questioning why we're still at war in Iraq and Afghanistan if the intelligence proved false, and how a peacemaking mission to Libya turned into a bombing mission.

    We've examined how black leaders romanticize dictators like Qaddafi, and this is a major example of it. Perhaps Farrakhan should consider that he's offering support to his brothers in the Middle East and North Africa while tearing down his brother in the White House. If there's a murderer in the White House, then what do you call Qaddafi?

    Watch video of the speech below.

    Obama Suffers From Economic Schizophrenia

    By Howard Rich
    As originally published at Investor’s Business Daily.
    With deteriorating economic conditions putting a damper on his poll numbers and jeopardizing his 2012 re-election prospects, Barack Obama now portrays himself as a free-market leader for a change.

    Yet while he poses for pictures with CEOs and unveils a private-sector "jobs plan," his administration remains fundamentally committed to sabotaging the American marketplace at every turn.
    In North Carolina this week, Obama accepted the recommendations of his jobs council — corporate leaders who were asked to provide new economic ideas. What he got instead was a hodge-podge of recycled reforms — including an unspecified reduction in red tape, a pledge to expand financing for small businesses and another round of "energy efficiency" initiatives aimed at creating those "green jobs" he's so fond of talking about.

    "What we want for growth is that it be centered in the private sector," Obama's chief economist said earlier this month. "We've got to do what we can to get the private sector leading the recovery."

    Really? Obama certainly didn't want the private sector "leading the recovery" when he pushed through a massive bureaucratic bailout shortly after taking office — nor did he want it "leading the recovery" when he scored new government rules over Wall Street.
    Get full story here.

    Europe Debt Crisis a Window Into America’s Future

    By Robert Romano
    The sovereign debt funding crisis ravaging Europe is a window into America’s future, should Congress fail to find a way to rein in the $14.3 trillion national debt this decade. The only difference is there will not be anybody to bail us out.

    In Europe, troubled sovereigns like Greece (€110 billion), Ireland (€85 billion), and Portugal (€78 billion) have all received massive loans from the European Union, International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank. Already the first bailout to Greece has failed, and the banks are pushing for another one.
    These bailouts actually fail to help the sovereigns settle any debt — they do not pay off any principal owed. Instead, these are merely kick-the-can refinance loans, ostensibly to provide temporary relief until bond markets can or are willing to once again fund the nations in full.

    So, the result of the bailouts is these nations go deeper into debt — which is no solution at all.
    In other words, countries like Greece’s debts have become so large, they cannot be refinanced, let alone repaid, without a printing press.

    So far gone are these nations’ finances, many observers acknowledge that some form of debt restructuring and even partial default is a necessary step to take to once again bring order to their fiscal houses.
    Get full story here.

    The SEIU Rallies Around A Verizon Wireless Store, We Ask Why?

    Video by Frank McCaffrey
    Get permalink here.

    Ignorance (Of Liberalism) Is Bliss

    By David Bozeman

    Too often, presidential primaries resemble American Idol auditions and bear about as much ideological substance. How alarming that our cherished liberties can rest on the whims of focus groups and the same Madison Avenue machinations used to sell toothpaste. Politics regularly sells style over substance, and the temptation lingers to select our leaders breathlessly hopeful of the approval of those who deem themselves the final arbiters of electability — the mainstream media.

    Thanks to the media's incessant prattle about, among other attributes, his towering intellect, Barack Obama was elected president and now presides over an economy careening ever closer to a double-dip recession. And while no one would argue that intelligence is undesirable, it is over-esteemed by some in the bloviating classes (both left and right) as a noble trait unto itself.

    Just calling someone intelligent confers stature unattainable merely by displaying goodness or prudence or to-the-death loyalty. A lack of intellectual finesse, despite one's convictions and ability to inspire, makes her fodder for ridicule and marginalizes her beliefs and her staunchest followers.
    Get full story here.