Monday, August 31, 2009
TRAILER OF JONES NEW MOVIE FALL OF THE REPUBLIC OUT OCT 21,09
CAMP FEMA TRAILOR OUT SEPT 18,09
William Lewis Camp FEMA Now Available at Infowars
Infowars August 31, 2009
Infowars.com is proud to offer the new powerful film by William Lewis (Washington You’re Fired & Life on The Edge of a Bubble) that Glenn Beck is afraid you will see. CAMP FEMA exposes the background legislation already in place for civilian internment camps in the US. Learn what is already on the books and from first hand sources of our countries history of imprisoning it’s own citizens. CAMP FEMA features interviews from ALEX JONES, CATHERINE BLEISH, MICHAEL BADNARIK, & CHUCK BALDWIN This film is available at infowars.com and is bundled with NEW WORLD ORDER from IFC that features ALEX JONES. GET YOUR COPY TODAY.
PREORDER NOW AT INFOWARS.COM
Camp FEMA DVD: http://infowars-shop.stores.yahoo.net/campfemadvd.html
New World Order DVD: http://infowars-shop.stores.yahoo.net/newwoordvd.html
Camp FEMA DVD 2 Pack: http://infowars-shop.stores.yahoo.net/campfema2pack.html
Camp FEMA and New World Order Combo:
GOON STORY VIDEO
Security Goon Crushes Free Speech: This Ain’t America No More.
School officer threatens arrest for anti-Obama sign – unflattering representations of our dear leader are illegal Paul Joseph Watson Prison Planet.com
Monday, August 31, 2009
In a damning indictment of how the First Amendment has been eviscerated, footage from a recent town hall event shows a school security officer threatening a protester with arrest for holding up an anti-Obama sign while declaring that America has ceased to exist, arguing that unflattering representations of our dear leader are illegal.Despite the fact that there were numerous other signs being displayed at the health care event in Reston, Va., security officer Wesley Cheeks Jr. ordered the protester to pull down the placard, which featured the depiction of Obama as the Joker from Batman with the words Organizing for National Socialist Health Care – The Final Solution.An argument ensued before the protester declared, This used to be America,to which the officer responded,It ain’t no more, OK? Cheeks claimed that the protester couldn’t display his sign because it included an image of Obama. Like he’s some kind of religious deity, authority figures somehow think that it is illegal to display a likeness of our dear leader that is anything but flattering.As anyone with a basic grasp of history understands, when the authorities start oppressing people merely for ridiculing those in power, dictatorship and tyranny soon follows.
Sir, leave the picture down,the officer said.If you put the picture back up, you’ll be charged with trespassing.The officer also ascribes upon himself the power to interpret and invent laws, growling, If I told you once to take it down and you put it back up, I can charge you with whatever I want to charge you with.Cheeks’ brazen contempt for the oath he swore to protect and defend the Constitution is laid bare as he openly trashes everything America stands for and claims that in his eyes the country and by extension the bill of rights itself no longer exists.This should act as a wake up call to illustrate the shocking reversal of the role of police and security officers from peace officers to political enforcers for the corrupt state.
Officer Cheeks is a member of the Fairfax County Public Schools’ trained School Security Officer team (e mail them), who have refused to comment on the story until their office opens again today.
BEHEADINGS COMMON DURING THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION
9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain(BEHEADED) for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Secret camps and guillotines? Groups make birthers look sane
By Steven Thomma | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — Is the federal government building secret camps to lock up people who criticize President Barack Obama? Will it truck off young people to camps to brainwash them into liking Obama's agenda? Are government officials planning to replicate the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, using the guillotine to silence their domestic enemies? No. The charges, of course, are not true. However, the accusations are out there, a series of fantastic claims fed by paranoia about the government. They're spread and sometimes cross-pollinated via the Internet. They feed a fringe subset of the anger at the government percolating through the country, one that ignites passion, but also helps Obama's allies to discount broader anger at the president's agenda.In one, retired FBI agent Ted Gunderson says the government has prepared 1,000 camps for its own citizens. He also says the government has stored 30,000 guillotines to murder its critics, and has stashed 500,000 caskets in Georgia and Montana for the remains.Why guillotines? Because,he wrote in a report obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups,beheading is the most efficient means of harvesting body parts.In a second warning, the Web site Worldnetdaily.com says that the government is considering Nazi-like concentration camps for dissidents.
Jerome Corsi, the author of The Obama Nation, an anti-Obama book, says that a proposal in Congress appears designed to create the type of detention center that those concerned about use of the military in domestic affairs fear could be used as concentration camps for political dissidents, such as occurred in Nazi Germany.
Another Web site, Americanfreepress.net, says the proposal would create a Guantanamo-style setting after martial law is declared.There's no evidence of such a plan.In truth, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., has proposed a bill that would order the Homeland Security Department to prepare national emergency centers — to provide temporary housing and medical facilities in national emergencies such as hurricanes. The bill also would allow the centers to be used to train first responders, and for other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.In another ominous warning, a group called the Oathkeepers boasts that it wouldn't cooperate if the government orders dissidents locked up.We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext,the group says in its list of top principles.Oathkeepers is built around the idea that its members — active and retired military, police and firefighters — all have taken an oath to defend the Constitution, not the federal government.Whether inspired by the group or not, the message of loyalty to the Constitution has been heard in many of the angry protests in town hall meetings this summer against a proposed health care overhaul — often side by side with the suggestion that the health care proposal is unconstitutional.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., also is worried about the federal government and children, saying a bill expanding the AmeriCorps volunteer service could lead to mandatory camps for young people.There is a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service,Bachmann told a Minnesota radio station.And the real concern is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go to work in some of these politically correct forums.
Congress Seeks To Authorize & Legalize FEMA Camp Facilities
Dprogram August 30, 2009
A new bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives called the National Emergency Centers Act or HR 645. This bill if passed into law will direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers otherwise known as FEMA camp facilities on military installations. This is an incredibly disturbing piece of legislation considering that the powers that be have already set in motion an agenda to setup a nationwide marital law apparatus through U.S. Northern Command and the Department of Homeland Security. Apparently, the fusion centers, militarized police, surveillance cameras and a domestic military command is not enough. Even though we already know that detention facilities are already in place, they now want to legalize the construction of FEMA camps on military installations using the ever popular excuse that the facilities are for the purposes of a national emergency. With the phony debt based economy getting worse and worse by the day, the possibility of civil unrest is becoming a greater threat to the establishment. One need only look at Iceland, Greece and other nations for what might happen in the United States next. With this in mind, it appears as if these so called national emergency centers will be used in a national emergency but only if the national emergency requires large groups of people to be rounded up and detained. If that isn’t the case, than why have these national emergency facilities built in military installations? If passed HR 645 is passed into law it will direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers otherwise known as FEMA camp facilities on military installations.Let’s look through the various portions of the bill. Here is section 2 of the bill taken directly from the proposed legislation.
SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY CENTERS.
(a) In General- In accordance with the requirements of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish not fewer than 6 national emergency centers on military installations.
(b) Purpose of National Emergency Centers- The purpose of a national emergency center shall be to use existing infrastructure–
(1) to provide temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster;
(2) to provide centralized locations for the purposes of training and ensuring the coordination of Federal, State, and local first responders;
(3) to provide centralized locations to improve the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts of government, private, and not-for-profit entities and faith-based organizations; and
(4) to meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.
The legislation says that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish not fewer than 6 national emergency centers on military installations. This means that the Secretary of Homeland Security can setup as many FEMA camps within military installations as they want, it just has to be more than 6 of them. On top of that, it also states that the facilities will be used to meet other appropriate needs as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security. This could mean anything. If the Secretary of Homeland Security thinks it is appropriate to kill large groups of people like the Nazis did in World War II Germany, than it looks as if this bill would give them the authority to use these facilities for that purpose.
Below is section 3 taken from the bill.
SEC. 3. DESIGNATION OF MILITARY INSTALLATIONS AS NATIONAL EMERGENCY CENTERS.
(a) In General- Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall designate not fewer than 6 military installations as sites for the establishment of national emergency centers.
(b) Minimum Requirements- A site designated as a national emergency center shall be–
(1) capable of meeting for an extended period of time the housing, health, transportation, education, public works, humanitarian and other transition needs of a large number of individuals affected by an emergency or major disaster;
(2) environmentally safe and shall not pose a health risk to individuals who may use the center;
(3) capable of being scaled up or down to accommodate major disaster preparedness and response drills, operations, and procedures;
(4) capable of housing existing permanent structures necessary to meet training and first responders coordination requirements during nondisaster periods;
(5) capable of hosting the infrastructure necessary to rapidly adjust to temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance needs;
(6) required to consist of a complete operations command center, including 2 state-of-the art command and control centers that will comprise a 24/7 operations watch center as follows:
(A) one of the command and control centers shall be in full ready mode; and
(B) the other shall be used daily for training; and
(7) easily accessible at all times and be able to facilitate handicapped and medical facilities, including during an emergency or major disaster.
(c) Location of National Emergency Centers- There shall be established not fewer than one national emergency center in each of the following areas:
(1) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions I, II, and III.
(2) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IV.
(3) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions V and VII.
(4) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region VI.
(5) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions VIII and X.
(6) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IX.
(d) Preference for Designation of Closed Military Installations- Wherever possible, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall designate a closed military installation as a site for a national emergency center. If the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Defense jointly determine that there is not a sufficient number of closed military installations that meet the requirements of subsections (b) and (c), the Secretaries shall jointly designate portions of existing military installations other than closed military installations as national emergency centers.
(e) Transfer of Control of Closed Military Installations- If a closed military installation is designated as a national emergency center, not later than 180 days after the date of designation, the Secretary of Defense shall transfer to the Secretary of Homeland Security administrative jurisdiction over such closed military installation.
(f) Cooperative Agreement for Joint Use of Existing Military Installations- If an existing military installation other than a closed military installation is designated as a national emergency center, not later than 180 days after the date of designation, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Defense shall enter into a cooperative agreement to provide for the establishment of the national emergency center.
(1) PRELIMINARY REPORT- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit to Congress a report that contains for each designated site–
(A) an outline of the reasons why the site was selected;
(B) an outline of the need to construct, repair, or update any existing infrastructure at the site;
(C) an outline of the need to conduct any necessary environmental clean-up at the site;
(D) an outline of preliminary plans for the transfer of control of the site from the Secretary of Defense to the Secretary of Homeland Security, if necessary under subsection (e); and
(E) an outline of preliminary plans for entering into a cooperative agreement for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site, if necessary under subsection (f).
(2) UPDATE REPORT- Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit to Congress a report that contains for each designated site–
(A) an update on the information contained in the report as required by paragraph (1);
(B) an outline of the progress made toward the transfer of control of the site, if necessary under subsection (e);
(C) an outline of the progress made toward entering a cooperative agreement for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site, if necessary under subsection (f); and
(D) recommendations regarding any authorizations and appropriations that may be necessary to provide for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site.
(3) FINAL REPORT- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit to Congress a report that contains for each designated site–
(A) finalized information detailing the transfer of control of the site, if necessary under subsection (e);
(B) the finalized cooperative agreement for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site, if necessary under subsection (f); and
(C) any additional information pertinent to the establishment of a national emergency center at the site.
(4) ADDITIONAL REPORTS- The Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, may submit to Congress additional reports as necessary to provide updates on steps being taken to meet the requirements of this Act.
This section authorizes the Homeland Security Secretary to setup these FEMA camps in closed or open military installations and in regions around the nation. This essentially legalizes any existing FEMA camp infrastructure that has been built in either closed or open military installations and opens the door for additional facilities to be created.Fortunately, the bill only authorizes $180,000,000 per year for these facilities, but considering that the majority of the detention facilities are probably already built, they won’t need much additional funding. There is no doubt judging from the language of this bill, that it is meant to legalize what they’ve already been doing. After all, FEMA has already been looking at ways to transport large quantities of people to camps, they held a FEMA camp drill which consisted of an illegal alien round up in Iowa and KBR/Halliburtion has already aided in the creation of detention facilities. The rationale behind this legislation is undoubtedly to serve as a mechanism of control if the authorities need facilities to hold large amounts of dissenting people. This is not to help people. One only needs to take a look at what happened during Hurricane Katrina and it is obvious that the government does not care about the people. They didn’t care then, and they don’t care now, and these facilities built or unbuilt will definitely not be utilized for the people’s interest.
PESTILENCES (CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS)
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences;(CHEMICAL,BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS) and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Reports: Arctic Sea crewmen home after questioning
Sun Aug 30, 6:20 am ET
MOSCOW – Russian media are reporting that Arctic Sea crew members have returned home after being held in Moscow for questioning about the freighter's mysterious voyage.
NTV television says 11 crewmen arrived Saturday in the northern city of Arkhangelsk. It aired footage Sunday of reunions with relatives on a railroad platform.State-run Channel One and Vesti-24 offered similar reports but did not say how many crewmen returned. Russian investigators did not immediately comment.Murky information about the Arctic Sea's apparent two-week disappearance has sparked speculation that it was carrying clandestine cargo. Authorities have charged eight men they claim hijacked the ship.Four of the 15 crewmen remain aboard the ship as it's towed to Russia.
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Category 4 hurricane threatens Mexico's west coast By LORENA MOGUEL, Associated Press Writer – AUG 30,09
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – Jimena strengthened into a dangerous Category 4 hurricane off Mexico's Pacific coast Sunday, and forecasters said it could hit the Baja California peninsula as a major storm in the coming days.Jimena kicked up surf along the northwestern coast and generated strong winds that bent trees in the resort town of Zihuatanejo, uprooting at least one. Strong waves and wind prevented a couple on a boat from reaching port, forcing them to spend the night at sea, said Zihuatanejo coast guard official Jose Angel Lara.If Jimena stays on its northwestern track, it would carry hurricane-force winds to the tip of resort-dotted Baja California by late Monday and slam into the peninsula by Wednesday morning, said Richard Pasch, a senior specialist with the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.Pasch said Jimena's path is subject to some uncertainty and that it is difficult to predict exactly how strong the storm will be when it nears Baja.I think it's going to be a substantial hurricane by the time it approaches,he said.On Sunday afternoon, Jimena had maximum sustained winds near 140 mph (220 kmh) and was moving west northwest at 8mph (13 kph.)It was centered about 270 miles (440 kms) south of Cabo Corrientes, a coastal town in the western state of Jalisco.Authorities in Cabo Corrientes were setting up shelters in case of heavier wind and rain, said Arturo Garcia, an official with Jalisco's Civil Protection agency.
The U.S. hurricane center issued a public advisory for residents in western Mexico and the southern part of the Baja peninsula to keep tabs on Jimena.Economists from around the world were scheduled to attend a conference sponsored by the Paris-based Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development on Tuesday and Wednesday in Los Cabos at the southern tip of the peninsula. It was not clear if the conference will still take place; the organization's office was closed Sunday.Farther out in the Pacific, a weakening Tropical Storm Kevin had top winds of 45 mph (75 kph) and was centered about 940 miles (1,515 kms) southwest of the Baja peninsula's southern tip.
FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
WATCHING CAL WILDFIRES ONLINE
Smoke from California fires drifts into Craig
By Collin Smith August 31, 2009, 2:21 p.m. Updated: 2:21 p.m.
The haze blanketing Craig today is due to wildfires now burning in California, said Norv Larson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
These fires are so intense, they’ve put so much smoke into the atmosphere right now these are really extraordinary, and once in a season, or once in five years-type fires,he said.More than the haze visible from one side of town to the other, Larson added that the overcast conditions above Craig also are because of the smoke.In another example of how much smoke the fires are generating, Larson said Grand Junction is under the same smoke cloud cover.
He added the smoke may linger in the Craig area through tonight.
It appeared the fires had calmed slightly today, but there was another plume release this afternoon.Depending on weather patterns and fire activity, smoke may continue to find its way to Northwest Colorado throughout the next few days, Larson said.
August 31, 2009 California wildfires threatening D.H. Burnham & Co.'s Mount Wilson Observatory
The California wildfires are posing a serious threat to the historic Mount Wilson Observatory, which was designed by D.H. Burnham & Co, the firm of the great Chicago architect Daniel Burnham. I learned of the observatory's architectural identity in an email from Tim Samuelson, the indispensable cultural historian of the City of Chicago. Ironically, the 163rd anniversay of Burnham's birthday is this Friday. Here is Samuelson's email: Well... thanks to global warming and degradation of the environment, it looks like there's yet another showdown between natural disaster and a Chicago-related historic landmark. Remember the uncertain drama of the Louis Sullivan cottages in Ocean Springs during Katrina? As Daniel H. Burnham's birthday approaches this coming Friday in the year of the Plan of Chicago centennial, the fires raging in California are rapidly approaching the Mount Wilson Observatory (above), a landmark of astronomical history, as well as a notable design by D.H. Burnham and Company. Firefighters are quoted as saying it isn't a matter of if the fire will reach Mount Wilson, but a matter of when.
There's more to the observatory's ties to Chicago than the fact that Burnham's firm designed it. The person behind its construction was astronomer George Ellery Hale, son of Burnham client William E. Hale who commissioned the Reliance Building. Supportive of his son's interest in astronomy, the elder Hale built his son a complete observatory behind the family's Burnham & Root-designed mansion at the NE corner of Drexel Boulevard and 46th Street (left). This domed observatory completed in 1891 is the direct ancestor of the Mount Wilson Observatory. (the house still stands - the observatory was demolished long ago) Here's a link to a photo of the old Chicago observatory: htp://photos.stellafane.org/gallery2/key/Hale?g2_itemId=106
George Ellery Hale had such appreciation for Burnham's role in creating his original observatory in Chicago, he hired his firm to design this state-of-the-art observatory at Mount Wilson thirteen years later.Is this historic observatory going to survive - or even make it to Burnham's birthday? The observatory has maintained a live web-cam overlooking the site which now seems to be giving live coverage of its own possible doom. Here's the link - it was still working as of 10:30 Sunday night. Doesn't look good.http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~obs/towercam.htm
Schwarzenegger tours area near raging California wildfires
(AFP) – AUG 30,09
LOS ANGELES — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger headed Sunday close to where wildfires were ravaging a vast area north of Los Angeles, where three people have been hurt and authorities evacuated 4,000 homes.The fire, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) long, was burning largely out of control along a ridge in a mostly populated area north of Los Angeles. It was under five percent contained, firefighters said.The US Forest Service said the blaze by midday had destroyed 14,000 hectares (35,200 acres).The governor visited the Station fire in Los Angeles County for a briefing on the status of firefighting efforts across California and to encourage the thousands battling the blazes, which are threatening at least 10,000 homes, and 2,500 other buildings including 500 businesses.California has the best and bravest firefighters on the front lines protecting our residents,Schwarzenegger said.I am confident California has emergency response resources in place to ensure the heroic men and woman fighting these fires have the resources they need. We are proud to provide access to any state resources needed to the US Forest Service while they battle the Station fire.The massive operation has sent more than 6,458 firefighters into action as well as a DC-10 that dumps water on the blaze from above.Saturday three people were injured and evacuated, and at least three homes destroyed by the fire in Big Tujunga Canyon.So far a total of 4,000 homes have been evacuated mostly in Acton, La Canada-Flintridge, Altadena and La Crescenta, as well as in Glendale, a near-in Los Angeles suburb.
The Forest Service has warned that the possibility of fires spreading is extreme.
The San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles has experienced record heat and low humidity, with temperatures soaring above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in the hottest locations, the National Weather Service said in its red flag warning for the region.Schwarzenegger declared states of emergency in Los Angeles and Monterey counties on Friday in response to the wildfires.A key factor in the fires' spread is that the areas most at risk are covered with vegetation that has not experienced fire for some four decades, making it even more susceptible to the blaze.California, the most populous US state, is frequently hit by wildfires and in 2007 suffered the worst blazes in its history, which forced the evacuation of 640,000residents and destroyed around 2,000 homes in southern California.
SoCal wildfire surges in size, threatens thousands
Aug 30, 6:23 AM (ET)By JOHN ANTCZAK and CHRISTOPHER WEBER
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A wildfire in the mountains above Los Angeles has surged in every direction, going in a single day from a modest threat to a danger to some 10,000 homes.The blaze nearly tripled in size in triple-digit heat Saturday, leaving three people burned, destroying at least three homes and forcing the evacuation of 1,000 homes and an untold number of people.A slight drop in temperatures and an influx of fire crews from around the state were expected to bring some relief Sunday.Mandatory evacuations were in effect for neighborhoods in Altadena, Glendale, Pasadena, La Crescenta and Big Tujunga Canyon.The flames crept down the slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains despite mild winds blowing predominantly in the other direction.Today what happened is what I call the perfect storm of fuels, weather, and topography coming together,said Captain Mike Dietrich, the incident commander for the U.S. Forest Service.Essentially the fire burned at will; it went where it wanted to when it wanted to.Dietrich said he had never seen a fire grow so quickly without powerful Santa Ana winds to push it.
At least three homes deep in the Angeles National Forest were destroyed, and firefighters were searching for others, Dietrich said.Evacuation centers were set up at two high schools and an elementary school in the area.The fire was the largest and most dangerous of several burning around southern and central California and in Yosemite National Park.The fire especially grew to the north and west, bringing new concerns for the areas near Acton and Santa Clarita.More than 31 square miles of dry forest was scorched by the fire. It was only 5 percent contained.At least three people were burned in the evacuation areas and airlifted to local hospitals, Dietrich said. He had no further details on their injuries.Air crews waged a fierce battle against the southeast corner of the fire, burning dangerously close to canyon homes. Spotter planes and tankers dove well below ridge then pulled up dramatically over neighborhoods.The fire was burning in steep wooded hills next to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in northern Pasadena.In La Vina, a gated community of luxury homes in the Altadena area, a small group of residents stood at the end of a cul-de-sac on the lip of a canyon and watched aircraft battle flames trying to cross the ridge on the far side.At one point, the flying circus of relatively small propellor-driven tankers gave way to the sight of a giant DC-10 jumbo jet unleashing a rain of red retardant.We see a drop, we give a big cheer,said Gary Blackwood, who works on telescope technology at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.We've watched it now for two days hop one ridge at a time and now it's like we're the next ridge.A major goal was to keep the fire from spreading up Mount Wilson, where many of the region's broadcast and communications antennas and the historic Mount Wilson Observatory are located, officials said.A second fire in the Angeles National Forest was burning several miles to the east in a canyon above the city of Azusa. The 3.4-square-mile blaze, which started Tuesday afternoon, was 95 percent contained Saturday. No homes were threatened, and full containment was expected by Monday.A wildfire on the Palos Verdes Peninsula on the south Los Angeles County coast was 100 percent contained Saturday afternoon, according to county fire officials.Southeast of Los Angeles in Riverside County, a 3 1/2-square-mile fire in a rural area of the San Bernardino National Forest was 30 percent contained as it burned in steep, rocky terrain in Beeb Canyon. No structures were threatened.
To the north, in the state's coastal midsection, a 9.4-square-mile fire threatening Pinnacles National Monument kept 100 homes under evacuation orders near the Monterey County town of Soledad. The blaze, 60 percent contained, was started by agricultural fireworks used to scare animals away from crops. The fire destroyed one home.A state of emergency was declared Saturday for Mariposa County, where a nearly 5.5-square-mile fire burned in Yosemite National Park. The blaze was 30 percent contained, park officials said.Park officials closed a campground and a portion of Highway 120, anticipating that the fire would spread north toward Tioga Road, the highest elevation route through the Sierra. The number of firefighters was expected to double over the weekend to 1,000.About 100 residents from the town of El Portal were under evacuation orders, said Brad Aborn, chairman of Mariposa's Board of Supervisors. He said the remainder of the town, an estimated 75 people, were evacuated Saturday morning.Associated Press Writer Andrew Dalton in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse:(CHLORES GREEN) and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword,(WEAPONS) and with hunger,(FAMINE) and with death,(INCURABLE DISEASES) and with the beasts of the earth.(ANIMAL TO HUMAN DISEASE).
DRUG PUSHERS AND ADDICTS
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries (DRUGS) were all nations deceived.
21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries (DRUGS), nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
Flu season: How many shots? Sun Aug 30, 10:21 am ET
WASHINGTON – Doctors don't know yet if it will take one dose or two of vaccine to protect against the new swine flu. Add that to vaccine for the regular winter flu, and it could be a multishot season for a lot of people — or a multisquirt season, for those who choose the FluMist nasal-spray version.
Some possibilities:One shot: Older adults currently aren't on the priority list to get swine flu vaccine but they should get the seasonal vaccine, which is available.
Two shots: There's a potential for the regular vaccine in one arm and the swine flu vaccine in the other, if that one requires just one dose.
Three shots: The swine flu vaccine might require two doses three weeks apart, plus the regular vaccine.
Four shots: There's even this possibility for some children. Youngsters under 9 who are getting their first-ever regular flu vaccination need two doses of it.
Return of swine flu: What's ahead for Americans? By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer - Sun Aug 30, 1:48 pm ET
WASHINGTON – The alarm sounded with two sneezy children in California in April. Just five months later, the never-before-seen swine flu has become the world's dominant strain of influenza, and it's putting a shockingly younger face on flu.So get ready. With flu's favorite chilly weather fast approaching, we're going to be a sick nation this fall. The big unknown is how sick. One in five people infected or a worst case —half the population? The usual 36,000 deaths from flu or tens of thousands more? The World Health Organization predicts that within two years, nearly one-third of the world's population will have caught it.What we know is, it's brand new and no one really has an immunity to this disease,Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says.A lot depends on whether the swine flu that simmered all summer erupts immediately as students crowd back into schools and colleges — or holds off until millions of vaccine doses start arriving in mid-October.Only this week do U.S. researchers start blood tests to answer a critical question: How many doses of swine flu vaccine does it take to protect? The answer will determine whether many people need to line up for two flu shots — one against swine flu and one against the regular flu — or three.The hopeful news: Even with no vaccine, winter is ending in the Southern Hemisphere without as much havoc as doctors had feared, a heavy season that started early but not an overwhelming one. The strain that doctors call the 2009 H1N1 flu isn't any deadlier than typical winter flu so far. Most people recover without treatment; many become only mildly ill.
Importantly, careful genetic tracking shows no sign yet that the virus is mutating into a harsher strain.We're used to regular flu that, sadly, kills mostly grandparents. But the real shock of swine flu is that infections are 20 times more common in the 5- to 24-year-old age group than in people over 65. That older generation appears to have some resistance, probably because of exposure decades ago to viruses similar to the new one.Worldwide, swine flu is killing mostly people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, ages when influenza usually is shrugged off as a nuisance.
Especially at risk are pregnant women. So are people with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and neuromuscular diseases including muscular dystrophy. Some countries report more deaths among the obese.Still, some of the people who've died didn't have obvious health risks.People who argue we're seeing the same death rates miss the point — they're in young adults. To me, that shouldn't happen,said one infectious disease specialist, Dr. Richard P. Wenzel of Virginia Commonwealth University. He spent the past few months visiting South American hospitals to help gauge what the Northern Hemisphere is about to face.Children, however, are the flu's prime spreaders. Already, elementary schools and colleges are reporting small clusters of sick students. For parents, the big fear is how many children will die.Panicked crowds flooded India's hospitals in August after a 14-year-old girl became that country's first death. In the U.S., regular flu kills 80 to 100 children every winter, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reports of about three dozen child deaths from swine flu.Even if the risk of death is no higher than in a normal year, the sheer volume of ill youngsters means a greater than expected number of deaths in children is likely,said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.As a society, that's something that's much harder for us.Swine flu quietly sickened hundreds in Mexico before U.S. researchers stumbled across two children in San Diego who had the same mystery illness. A world already spooked by the notorious Asian bird flu raced to stem the spread of this surprising new virus. Mexico closed schools and restaurants, and barred spectators from soccer games; China quarantined planeloads of tourists. But there was no stopping the novel H1N1 — named for its influenza family — from becoming the first pandemic in 41 years.
Well over 1 million Americans caught swine flu in spring and summer months when influenza hardly ever circulates; more than 500 have died. In July, England was reporting more than 100,000 infections a week. Argentina gave pregnant women 15 paid days off last month at the height of its flu season, hoping that staying home would prove protective.In Saudi Arabia, people younger than 12 and older than 65 are being barred from this November's hajj, the pilgrimage to holy cities that many Muslims save up their whole lives to make. And in Australia — closely watched by the U.S. and Europe as a predictor for their own coming flu seasons — hospitals set up clinics outside the main doors to keep possible flu sufferers from entering and infecting other patients.While this disease is mild for most people, it does have that severe edge,said Australia's health minister Nicola Roxon, who counted over 30,000 cases in a country of nearly 22 million. That's comparable to its last heavy flu season in 2007.Cases are dropping fast as winter there ends. But Australia still plans to start the world's first large-scale vaccinations next month in case of a rebound, inoculating about 4 million high-risk people.Most amazing to longtime flu researchers, this new H1N1 strain seems to account for about 70 percent of all flu now circulating in the world. In Australia, eight of every 10 people who tested positive for flu had the pandemic strain.That begs the question: Do people still need to bother with regular flu vaccine? Definitely, stressed CDC's Schuchat, who plans to get both kinds. There's still enough regular flu circulating to endanger people, especially the 65-and-older generation.Notably, South Africa is having a one-two punch of a flu season, hit first with a seasonal strain known as H3N2 and now seeing swine flu move in.
Wash your hands, sneeze into your elbow, stay home so you don't spread illness when you're sick. That's the mantra until vaccine arrives.This week brings a key milestone. Hundreds of U.S. adults who rolled up their sleeves for a first shot in studies of the swine flu vaccine return for a blood test to see if they seem protected. It will take government scientists a few weeks to analyze results, but the volunteers get a second vaccine dose right away, in case the first wasn't enough.The vaccine, merely a recipe change from the usual flu vaccine, seems safe. Federal authorities two weeks ago gave the go-ahead to start children's vaccine trials.It's been a piece of cake,said Kate Houley of Annapolis, Md., who jumped at the chance to enroll her three sons, ensuring that if the vaccine really works, they'll have some protection as school gets started. Eleven-year-old Ethan was among the first to be vaccinated by University of Maryland researchers and didn't even report the main side effect — a sore arm.In the U.S., Britain and parts of Europe, vaccinations are set to begin in mid-October, assuming those studies show they work. First in line:Pregnant women. Despite accounting for about 1 percent of the U.S. population, they've been accounting for 6 percent of the swine flu deaths. Children and young adults from 6 months to 24 years. Babies younger than 6 months can't get flu vaccine, so their parents and other caregivers should be inoculated to protect the infant.Health care workers.Younger adults with risky health conditions.
Schools around the U.S. are preparing to inoculate children in what could be the largest campus vaccinations since the days of polio. The government has bought 195 million doses and will ship them a bit at a time, starting with 45 million doses or so in October, to state health departments to dispense.The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials is negotiating with pharmacists to help perform those vaccinations. Massachusetts even is deputizing dentists to help give swine flu vaccine, and passed emergency regulations to encourage more health care workers to get either the shot or a nasal spray version.What if people not on the priority list show up? The idea is for pharmacists to gently encourage them to come back a few weeks later, said the association's executive director, Dr. Paul Jarris. A concern is whether enough people are worried about swine flu to get vaccinated. Complacency is a big challenge,said CDC's Schuchat.We are trying to strike a balance between complacency and alarm.Ten-year-old Isabella Nataro had a cousin sent home from summer camp because of an outbreak, and she readily agreed when her mother, a University of Maryland vaccine researcher, signed her and her brothers up for a study of the new shot. (The store gift card that participating kids receive after each blood test was a bonus.)I'm kind of worried about my friends if swine flu does come to our school,the suburban Baltimore girl said.I hope everybody else at my school gets a chance to get it.Associated Press writers Kristen Gelineau in Sydney and Michael Warren in Buenos Aires, Argentina, contributed to this report. On the Net:CDC background on swine flu: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/
OZONE DEPLETION JUDGEMENT ON THE EARTH DUE TO SIN
26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.
27 Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake (ISRAELS SAKE) those days shall be shortened (Daylight hours shortened)
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
Sun Run of 51 Days Without a Spot Now Among the Top 5 Longest
Joseph D’Aleo ICECAP Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30th marks the 51st straight day without a sunspot, one of the longest stretches in a century. One more day and we have a spotless month (we had some by some accounts one last August but a few observatories thought they saw a spot on the sun for a few hours one day). It would be either the first or second spotless month since 1913 depending on whether you count last August as spotless.In fact it rises into 4th place among all spotless periods since 1849 (first table here). Note: It is 5th place if you accept a spotless August 2008 which would have led to a stretch of 52 days. The total number of spotless days this transition from cycle 23 to 24 is now 704, exceeding the number for cycle 15 in the early 1900s (below, enlarged here).We have had 193 spotless days this year (79% of the days). We are in the top 20 years in 16th place. We will very likely rapidly rise up the list in upcoming weeks and rival 2008’s 266 days and likely end in the top 5 years. 2007, 2008, 2009 will only have 1911, 1912, 1913 in the top 20 as string of 3 per transition (below, enlarged here).The cycle minimum probably was December, 2008. January 2009’s 13 month average came up a bit due to slight bump in activity in June and July but if August should end up sunspotless and September low, we could have a double bottom. Still, the 12.7 years assuming December 2008 was longest in two centuries (below, enlarged here).You can see on this chart, by 13 years after the solar minimum year, most of the last 5 cycles already had recovered, in one case already to the solar max of the subseuent cycle (below, enlarged here).This cycle has continued to decline in the solar irradiance, solar flux, sunspot number and geomagnetic activity after 10 years. On the following chart produced by Anthony Watts, you can see the Total Solar Irradiance declining whereas the prior cycle was rebounding (below, enlarged here).Also see the daily TSI which goes through short term cycles at the lowest point of the last few months as of the last plotted measurement.
Clilverd et al 2006 suggests using a statistical analysis of the various cycles (11, 22, 53, 88, 105, 213, and 426 years) shows the next two cycles will likely be very quiet much like those of 200 years ago in the early 1800s, the so called Dalton Minimum, the time of Dickens (with snows and cold in London like last winter) (below, enlarged here).See what David Archibald shows what the result might be if Clilverd is correct here. Some have not ruled out an even stronger Maunder like Minimum.
KNOWLEGE AND WORLD TRAVEL INCREASED
4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro,(WORLD TRAVEL,IMMIGRATION) and knowledge shall be increased.(COMPUTERS MICROCHIPS ETC)
Single molecule, one million times smaller than a grain of sand, pictured for first time Claire Bates UK Daily Mail Sunday, August 30, 2009
It may look like a piece of honeycomb, but this lattice-shaped image is the first ever close-up view of a single molecule.Scientists from IBM used an atomic force microscope (AFM) to reveal the chemical bonds within a molecule.This is the first time that all the atoms in a molecule have been imaged,lead researcher Leo Gross said.The researchers focused on a single molecule of pentacene, which is commonly used in solar cells. The rectangular-shaped organic molecule is made up of 22 carbon atoms and 14 hydrogen atoms.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW)and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:
4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY)of the north quarters, and all his bands:(SUDAN,AFRICA) and many people with thee.
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.(RUSSIA-EGYPT AND MUSLIMS)
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
3 They (ARABS,MUSLIMS) have taken crafty counsel against thy people,(ISRAEL) and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5 For they (MUSLIMS) have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:(TREATIES)
6 The tabernacles of Edom,(JORDAN) and the Ishmaelites;(ARABS) of Moab, PALESTINIANS,JORDAN) and the Hagarenes;(EGYPT)
7 Gebal,(HEZZBALLOH,LEBANON) and Ammon,(JORDAN) and Amalek;(SYRIA,ARABS,SINAI) the Philistines (PALESTINIANS) with the inhabitants of Tyre;(LEBANON)
40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south( EGYPT) push at him:(EU DICTATOR IN ISRAEL) and the king of the north (RUSSIA AND MUSLIM HORDES OF EZEK 38+39) shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.(JORDAN)
42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
3 A fire(NUCLEAR BOMB) devoureth before them;(RUSSIA-ARABS) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army,(RUSSIA,MUSLIMS) and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.(SIBERIAN DESERT)
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(NUCLEAR BOMB)
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
EU: Fresh Mideast talks could be announced soon By JEN THOMAS, Associated Press Writer – AUG 31,09
JERUSALEM – A top European Union official said Monday that renewal of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks could be announced in late September.The EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he expected a plan to reopen negotiations to emerge with the opening of the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23.I sense...that we will have some kind of statement, some kind of proposal, that will come probably around the days of the United Nations,Solana told reporters between meetings with Israeli leaders.Israeli and Palestinian officials last week confirmed that efforts were under way to arrange a meeting between their leaders at the U.N. next month.
Frequent meetings between Israeli and Palestinian officials during the administration of former Israeli premier Ehud Olmert produced no agreement, and talks petered out after Israel launched a large-scale military offensive into the Gaza Strip in December to stop daily rocket attacks by gaza militants.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who took office in March, says he is willing to renew talks. But the Palestinians say he must first halt Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem — areas the Palestinians claim for a future state.
Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said Monday that it was up to President Barack Obama to maintain his insistence on a settlement freeze or fail in his attempt to resuscitate negotiations.If Obama approves continuing settlement-building in Jerusalem, Obama has pulled out of the Middle East peace process,Shaath told foreign journalists in the West Bank town of Ramallah.Without Mr. Obama this time fully, categorically stopping all settlement activities it will be very, very difficult — impossible in fact — to restart the negotiating process with the Netanyahu government.
The Obama administration has been pressing Israel for at least a temporary freeze.
Netanyahu has said he wants a compromise that would allow Israel to continue with some West Bank settlement construction while at the same time restarting peace talks with the Palestinians.He is adamant, however, that he will accept no restrictions in east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967 and which the Palestinians see as their future capital. Israel claims all of Jerusalem.Solana said Monday that Israel and the U.S. were still trying to resolve the settlement issue.Solana was scheduled to visit Palestinian leaders in the West Bank later Monday, then fly on to Lebanon and Egypt.
The military option Sunday, 30 August 2009 06:59 News from Jerusalem
Dialogue or confrontation?
September 2009 will apparently see a major shake-up in the Middle East. If everything will go according to plan, it will be a month where almost all the players active in this arena will be reshuffling the deck and sitting at the table in order to formulate a simultaneous all-inclusive process – ranging from the release of Gilad Shalit to the handling of the Iranian nuclear program.The Obama Administration is indeed supposed to stimulate the process, yet the major roles are reserved for the regional players. These are supposed, in line with advance coordination with Washington, to show initiative and creativity on separate channels – all these developments coming together should break the dead-end currently in place in the Middle East.The phase of coordinating plans and expectations is being carried out at this time, and we are already seeing significant progress. The official launch will take place ahead of, during, and after the United Nations General Assembly, scheduled for September 23rd. The process will mostly start in three (and a half) channels.
Dialogue or confrontation?
In respect to the third channel – Iran – the US will reach a crossroads at the end of September; it will have to do decide whether to take the path of confrontation or continue its efforts to engage in diplomatic talks.This depends to a large extent on two developments: Firstly, Tehran’s response to the Obama administration’s offer to engage in dialogue; secondly, a report about to be published by the International Atomic Energy Agency.Officials in Israel and in the US estimate that Iran will not explicitly reject dialogue, but will continue to adopt diplomatic and media delay tactics, thus confusing the Americans and their allies, putting off the start of the dialogue, and at the same time enabling Iran to make progress on uranium enrichment and the building of new centrifuges.This will enable the regime in Tehran to set facts on the ground and reinforce its status as a state on the brink of acquiring nuclear weapons. Under such circumstances, the dialogue will be empty of all substance in the West’s view. In addition, the UN atomic watchdog is expected to finally confirm that its inspectors uncovered clear signs that Iran is indeed attempting to develop nuclear weapons.Should these estimates materialize, the Obama administration will reassess its policy, while engaging in intense contacts with other powers and with Arab Gulf states, in an effort to work out an agreement on grave sanctions. This will include an embargo on fuels and refined oil products, in addition to limits on the ability of Iranian banks and companies to raise funds and finalize deals in the global market.Such sanctions are expected to jeopardize the regime’s stability and are therefore believed to constitute effective pressure. The problem will be to convince Russia and China to cooperate.Diplomatic officials in the West say that the American reassessment will also include reexamination of what is known as the military option.These sources already see today growing understanding within the Obama administration that the military option must be on the table the moment sanctions are imposed.
Without genuine willingness on America’s part to consider the use of force in Iran (on its own or in cooperation with other allies,) the sanctions will also be doomed for failure, as Iran will attempt to annul them through the use of force. Even a superpower cannot secure its diplomatic objective if at the end of the day it is unwilling to use its military power, an influential Western official said.Finally, there is the Syrian half channel. Throughout September we will see the continuation of the patient and slow contacts between Washington and Damascus on the possibility of Syria changing its Iraq policy, disengaging from the alliance with Hezb'allah, Hamas and Iran, and the possibly resuming the talks with Israel.The September processes will put the Obama Administration’s conception that everything is related, and that success in each of the channel will assist in advancing the others, to the test. This holistic conception is also accepted by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak, who is one of the main ideologists behind it; it’s also endorsed by Egyptian President Mubarak.The question is whether the many other elements that need to play their part will not torpedo the conception and its aims. By the end of September we will know the answer, more or less.ynet
US may put missile shield in Israel, Turkey instead of E. Europe - Polish report Saturday, 29 August 2009 05:35 News from Jerusalem Defense Shield
According to the Warsaw newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, Washington plans to scrap its plans to deploy anti-missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic for defense against attacks from Iran.In deference to adamant opposition from Moscow, the Obama administration is looking at alternatives including Israel and Turkey. No immediate comment was available from US, Polish of Czech officials on this disclosure, but the Polish paper cited unnamed US officials on Aug. 27 as affirming that Washington was now considering deploying anti-missile interceptors on naval vessels and at bases in Israel and Turkey, as well as potentially in the Balkans.According to a Pentagon spokesman the missile shield plans were still being reviewed. No final decisions have been made regarding missile defense in Europe, he said. DEBKAfile's Washington sources do not view this statement as an out-and-out denial of the Polish news report.A pro-missile lobbyist Riki Ellison added: Signals from the Pentagon were absolutely clear,with the US scouting for alternative sites. A source in the US Congress confirmed that Washington had been testing the water among lawmakers for weeks after scrapping the eastern European part of the plan. During his Moscow visit on July 6-7, US president Barack Obama found Russian leaders still flatly opposed to the deployment of US missiles on its doorstep and promised to review the project.
DEBKAfile's military analysts report that basing parts of the missile shield in Israel would have far-reaching strategic effects:
1. Moscow would owe the Obama administration a quid pro quo for removing the planned missile interceptor and radar station from its borders and ought to be more amenable to lining up behind America for tough sanctions against Iran, including the sale of gasoline and refined petroleum products.
2. The longstanding close cooperation between the US Missile Defense Agency and the Israel Air Force's space and missile wings would be upgraded and acknowledged publicly.
3. Since the Arrow anti-missile system developed jointly by the US and Israel is already an integral part of American missile defenses in Europe and the Middle East, Jerusalem is unlikely to object to a US request in this regard.
4. Anyway, for almost a year now, a key element of the US missile defense array has been deployed on Israeli soil, namely the advanced US FBX-T radar system for which an off-limits compound accessible only to US personnel has been allotted at Israel's Negev Air Force base at Nevatim.Using the infrastructure already present in Israel would substantially cut down the financial and manpower costs of building a missile shield against Iran.
5. Israel would be integrated in the American missile umbrella guarding the Middle East and Persian Gulf nations against Iranian missile attack.
6. Since all US diplomatic overtures for thawing relations with the Assad regime in Damascus have come to naught, an American interceptor base in Israel would also be a shield against Syrian missiles and the missile batteries Moscow is planning to install for defending the Russian naval bases under construction in the Syrian ports of Latakia and Tartous.
7. The new US bases in Israel will not fundamentally change the nature of Israel-Russia relations. Moscow has always regarded the Jewish state anyway as a part of America's military and intelligence machinery in the Middle East.debka
It's open season on Israel Saturday, 29 August 2009 07:31 News from Jerusalem Avigdor Lieberman is a nuisance - a nuisance to those who hide their heads in the sand and deny that a storm is raging around us.
Lieberman broke official Israel's conspiracy of silence in the face of the worldwide smear campaign being waged by various media outlets and countless nonprofit organizations (including Israeli ones), which are preparing public opinion - and the governments that follow public opinion - to see the Jewish state as a virus that endangers world peace.Only due to the uproar that Lieberman fomented did the public become aware of the anti-Israel zealotry of many of these nongovernmental organizations, which are financed, inter alia, by donations from Arab oil powers, huge western foundations like the Ford Foundation, countries such as Britain, the Netherlands and Switzerland, and the European Union.The assault on the Israel Defense Forces by a Swedish newspaper is part of a worldwide blood libel campaign. When this campaign's participants include organizations that present themselves as global guardians of human rights, it stops being merely absurd (the IDF traffics in organs and kills women and children waving white flags), and becomes another link in the chain of depredation.Millions of people worldwide are deluged morning and evening with a flood of libelous op-eds and reports, broadcasts full of crude lies, and hate-filled caricatures. The language used to criticize the globe's worst tyrannies does not even come close to the hate-filled language used against Israel.
If a Swedish newspaper, albeit a tabloid, decided to publish this libel about organ trafficking, that means the author and the editor deem it conceivable that it really happened. If the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed by an Israeli who urged a total boycott of his own country, there is only one possible conclusion: A global boycott of Israel would be perfectly legitimate.Indeed, since the reports issued by Breaking the Silence (an Israeli organization) and Human Rights Watch (an international organization) include allegations of crimes against humanity committed by members of a nation that was itself a victim of such crimes just 70 years ago, it must be proper to impose a boycott. In the past, before the demonization had gained a foothold even in the serious press, no American paper would have dreamed of publishing an op-ed like this.Lieberman's response in the affair of the Swedish paper was not the opening shot of a comprehensive campaign against the dehumanization of Israel. It seems doubtful that his statements will succeed in breaking the conspiracy of denial about the gravity of the problem, even within his own ministry. The Foreign Ministry, even if the minister assigns it this task, is not built - primarily due to lack of motivation and deep faith in the justice of Israel's cause - to wage a multipronged strategic campaign against the numerous tentacles of organizations whose main goal, and perhaps even their only one, is to bring about Israel's collapse. Fact: It is not the Foreign Ministry, with its hundreds of employees, that has gathered most of the information we have about these organizations, but NGO Monitor, a small nonprofit headed by Prof. Gerald Steinberg, which obtained this information via patient, diligent footwork.
Words, screamed Peace Now earlier this week, can kill. That is true. And what about the millions of words denouncing Israel that this organization, and others like it, export overseas, where they serve as weapons of propaganda against Israel? (In 2007, to take one example, the British government donated more than NIS 4 million to radical leftist organizations like Peace Now and Breaking the Silence in order to fund these words. And that is on top of the money from private donors, the European Union and various foundations.) Can these words not also kill? As far as is known, Military Intelligence and the Mossad have not identified the globalization of anti-Israel hatred as a strategic threat. Nor has the sextet of key cabinet ministers ever dealt with this issue, even though each one of them personally understands that the delegitimization of Israel undermines the rest of the world's motivation to stand up to Iran's rulers over that country's nuclear program. Maybe now that the National Security Council, under Uzi Arad's leadership, is assuming both an authority and a strategic vision that it lacked before his arrival, there will be someone capable of correctly identifying the magnitude of the threat. But merely identifying it is not enough.This ongoing, organized, global and completely unbridled campaign of demonization is liable (and who should know better than we?) to end in a new license for genocide - against us.haaretz
Welcome to Camp Hamas Sunday, 30 August 2009 07:55 News from Jerusalem
Would you send your kids to Camp Hamas?
100 thousand kids and youth spent their summer vacation training in 700 Hamas training camps. The camp's curriculum includes firearm training and military drills in order to nurture the next generation of militants.700 summer camps, for children and teenagers, operated this summer by terror organizations along the Gaza Strip – operating under the slogan – A Victory for Gaza – The Glory of Jerusalem. The camps are operated by the Hamas in order to encourage the next generation of this organization. In the same area many summer camps are operated by UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) – the main competition of Hamas’s summer camps. The Hamas reacted by presenting the UNRWA camps as child corrupters, trying to discourage the parents from sending their kids to the foreign aid organization's camp.According to Arab and Palestinian media, 100 thousand children and teenagers participated in Hamas camps this year. The budget of these camps is estimated to be 2 Million Dollars. The youths were guided by 1,500 counselors that went through special training courses. A marketing campaign of the Al-Aqsa channel of the Hamas and a special internet site encouraged participation of children in these camps. The children and teenagers in the summer camps undergo semi military training. The pictures and commercials published this year and last summer showed that part of the curriculum included firearm practices and grenades dismantling as well as military drills for the children, while holding life-like weapons.
In addition to that, the camp participants undergo an intense process of political and Islamic indoctrination by counselors and Hamas operatives, which visit the camps. The camp goal is to train the movement’s next generation. According to Mahmud Abu Aeed, the purpose of the camps is to prepare the children for leadership of the organization through Victory and Freedom. According to Hamas commercials the camp goal is to Experience a soldier's life, serving Islam, locating excelling student groups that can operate in the preaching of Allah and Islam, in schools and central mosques.Moreover, the children are taught about the lives of martyrs and carry pictures of them during processions.by Arnon Ben-Dror-IDF
Former Israeli Prime Minister Olmert indicted By JOSEF FEDERMAN, Associated Press Writer – Sun Aug 30, 2:47 pm ET
JERUSALEM – Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was indicted on corruption charges Sunday, becoming the first Israeli premier to go on trial and highlighting a series of cases that have shaken the public's faith in the political system.The charges likely end the three-decade career of a man who just three years ago seemed poised to lead his nation to a bold withdrawal from the West Bank and an aggressive push for peace with the Palestinians.Olmert, who was forced to step down because of the case, was accused of illegally accepting funds from an American backer, double-billing for official trips abroad and pocketing the difference, concealing funds from a government watchdog and cronyism. All of the alleged crimes took place before Olmert was elected prime minister in 2006.Olmert, 63, issued a statement professing his innocence.Olmert is convinced that in court he will be able to prove his innocence once and for all,said a spokesman, Amir Dan.The formal charges in the indictment include fraud and breach of trust. The Justice Ministry did not say when the trial would begin or what penalties Olmert could face. But Moshe Negbi, a leading legal commentator, said the fraud charge alone could carry a prison term of up to five years.A rumored political comeback would be highly unlikely unless he is cleared.In the immediate future it doesn't seem possible, but it all depends on the court,Negbi said.Olmert, a lawyer by training, has repeatedly been linked to corruption scandals throughout a three-decade career that included a lengthy stint as Jerusalem mayor and a series of senior Cabinet posts. But until Sunday, he had never been charged. He is the first prime minister, sitting or retired, to be charged with a crime.
The indictment follows a string of high-profile trials that have soured an already cynical public toward the nation's leadership.Olmert's former finance minister was sentenced to five years for embezzlement in June, and another member of his Cabinet was sentenced to four years for taking bribes. Israel's former ceremonial president, Moshe Katsav, is being tried on rape and sexual harassment charges, and a longtime Olmert aide has been charged with illegal wiretapping, fraud and breach of trust.The most damaging allegations against Olmert accused him of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from an American businessman during trips abroad.The businessman, Moshe Talansky, testified last year that he delivered the cash in envelopes and painted Olmert as a greedy politician who enjoyed first-class travel, fancy hotels and expensive cigars. The testimony helped turn public opinion against Olmert and played a large part in forcing him from office.The indictment said Olmert used his connections to help Talansky's business, but did not charge Olmert with accepting bribes.In another case, Olmert was charged with double-billing nonprofit organizations and the government for trips he took abroad and then using the extra money to pay for private trips for his family.Olmert became prime minister in January 2006 after then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a debilitating stroke. He subsequently led their newly formed Kadima Party to victory in a parliamentary election.On the campaign trail, Olmert promised an aggressive push for peace with the Palestinians, and said in the absence of a deal, he would unilaterally withdraw from large parts of the occupied West Bank.A gifted orator, Olmert crossed a series of taboos while in office — warning that Israel could become like apartheid South Africa if it continued its occupation of the Palestinians and expressing readiness to relinquish control of parts of the holy city of Jerusalem as part of a peace deal. Olmert led his government to the Annapolis peace conference in November 2007 — launching more than a year of ambitious, but unsuccessful peace talks with the Palestinians.
Despite his ambitious agenda, Olmert's term was clouded by an inconclusive war against Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon that took place just over a month after he took office. A series of corruption investigations — most of which were dismissed — also followed him.The politically weakened Olmert announced his resignation last fall and stepped down in March after Benjamin Netanyahu won a parliamentary election. Olmert is currently out of politics and battling prostate cancer, but is widely rumored to be plotting a comeback. Resounding elections setbacks have not kept Israeli politicians down for long. Both Netanyahu Defense Minister Ehud Barak both rebounded quickly from landslide losses at the polls.Olmert's spokesman said his priority is to focus on his legal battle.Once this is over and he has proved he is innocent, then he will consider what to do next. All options are open,he said.
ISRAELS INHERITED LAND IN THE FUTURE
And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.
ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.
Israel ups settlement activity in east Jerusalem Sun Aug 30, 9:27 am ET
JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli settlement activity in annexed east Jerusalem accelerated in the first half of 2009 despite US calls for a freeze, an anti-settlement activist group said on Sunday in a report.Recent months have seen the acceleration of the process of Israeli settlement in Palestinian communities in east Jerusalem, the Israeli Ir Amim group said.These settlements... implant (a) Jewish population... precisely in the areas of the most intense dispute in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,it said.During the first six months of the year, plans were advanced to build an additional 150 housing units in east Jerusalem, which if completed would add some 750 settlers to the 2,000 who currently live in Palestinian neighbourhoods in the annexed part of the city, it said.The creation of an additional 150 residential units in the area that is the core of the Israeli-Palestinian disagreement is likely to thwart the possibility for a negotiated political resolution of the conflict,Ir Amim head Yudith Oppenheimer said in a statement.
Private groups such as the hardline Elad and Ateret Cohanim are behind most of the activity, but it is evident that individual settlements are part of a strategic move, coordinated and facilitated by national governmental units, as well as by the Jerusalem municipality,the report said.In addition to the Israelis living in Palestinian neighbourhoods, there are nearly 180,000 settlers in large blocks in east Jerusalem, according to another settlement watchdog group, Peace Now.Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move not recognised by the international community.The fate of the Holy City, sacred to the world's three main monotheistic faiths, is one of the most sensitive issues in the decades-old Middle East conflict.Israel views the city as its eternal, undivided capital, while the Palestinians want to make the eastern part the capital of their promised state.Since US President Barack Obama took office in January, his administration has pressed Israel, where hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assumed office on March 31, to freeze all settlement activity including in east Jerusalem.Israel has so far refused a complete freeze, but said it would not issue any new tenders until early 2010 -- a gesture that Washington called a step in the right direction, but that critics slammed as falling short of a full freeze.
Israel accepts German-mediated Shalit swap deal: report Sat Aug 29, 1:39 pm ET
BERLIN (AFP) – Israel has accepted a German-mediated prisoner swap deal for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to which Hamas has yet to respond, Germany weekly Der Spiegel said in its edition to appear Monday.The German secret services have recently been holding talks with the Israeli government and Hamas. The aim is to obtain the exchange of Gilad Shalit against several hundred Palestinian prisoners, Der Spiegel said.The Israeli government of right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted the proposal which would see 450 Palestinian prisoners released and Hamas has until early September to respond, Der Spiegel said, without citing sources.Shalit was captured by Palestinian militants including from Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, in a cross-border raid in June 2006. Successive Egyptian efforts to broker a prisoner exchange deal have floundered.
Egypt has accused Israel of altering its terms when on the verge of a deal.
The German deal resembles previous Egyptian proposals: Israel would release a first batch of prisoners, Shalit would be taken across the border from Gaza to Cairo, and then more Palestinians would be released.Israeli radio reported that a senior German official was recently in Israel and Egypt in the hope of sealing a deal.Germany in 2004 brokered a deal between Israel and the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah that saw an Israeli businessman and the remains of three Israeli soldiers swapped for more than 400 Arab prisoners.Then a 19-year-old corporal, Shalit was captured by militants from Hamas and two smaller groups who had tunnelled out of Gaza on June 25, 2006 and attacked an army post, killing two other soldiers.Shalit, who has since been promoted to staff sergeant, is believed to be held somewhere inside the Gaza Strip, under Hamas control since the Islamist movement seized power in the Palestinian enclave two years ago.
GENESIS 4:8-11 (THE FIRST MURDER)
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
GENESIS 6:11-13 (EARTH DESTROYED BECAUSE OF TERRORISM,MURDERS)
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
13 Thou shalt not kill.(Murder)
20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils,(OCCULT) and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries,(DRUG ADDICTIONS) nor of their fornication,(SEX OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE) nor of their thefts.(STEALING)
25 And there shall be signs in the sun,(OZONE DEPLETION) and in the moon,(FIRST MAN ON MOON) and in the stars;(JUPITER BOMBARDED ETC) and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Police: 8th person dead in Ga. mobile home attack By RUSS BYNUM, Associated Press Writer – AUG 31,09
BRUNSWICK, Ga. – An eighth person died Sunday from grievous wounds suffered in an attack at a Georgia mobile home, with police acknowledging they didn't know if the killer was on the loose.The latest casualty was one of two people hospitalized after they were discovered along with seven bodies in the same home Saturday morning in Brunswick, said Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering. Nineteen-year-old Michael Toler lived in the home and is the first and only victim police have named.Doering would not say how the eight were killed and would only say they ranged in age from teenagers to adults. A ninth victim was hospitalized Sunday in Savannah. Police are offering a $25,000 reward for information, with Doering saying, We need help.The person or persons responsible for this still remain unknown to us,said Doering, who added the killer could have fled to another county or even another state.I cannot tell you if they are at large. I simply do not know.Police have arrested one man — a family member who lived in the mobile home and called 911 to report the attack, police said. Guy Heinze Jr., 22, faces charges of tampering with evidence, lying to police and illegal possession of prescription drugs and marijuana. He was jailed Sunday.He ... came home and discovered (the victims), at least that's what he told us,Doering said.Asked if Heinze was involved in the slayings, Doering said: I'm not going to rule him out, but I'm not going to characterize him as a suspect.
The killer was not among the dead or the last survivor, according to Doering.
Earlier, Doering said it the worst murder case ever in the county. Brunswick is a port city of about 16,000 people between Savannah and Jacksonville, Fla., along Georgia's east coast.Police have released few details about the slayings in the mobile home on an old plantation, nestled among centuries-old, moss-draped oak trees in coastal southeast Georgia. Police have refused to say if the victims were related or give a possible motive.The lack of information has frustrated residents, said Mary Strickland, who owns The Georgia Pig, a popular local barbecue place.I think a lot of people who live in that area would feel a lot better if they had a little more information,Strickland said.If it is a murder-suicide then let people know so they don't think there's some lunatic out there. We got a lot of people who panic and the more information you put out there, the better you make them feel.Doering defended his vague statements about the case, saying he didn't want the public to know details that might compromise what he called a tedious investigation.The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was conducting autopsies Sunday on four of the victims. GBI spokesman John Bankhead said Glynn County police would be in charge of releasing any results, and Doering refused to comment on them.
He said medical examiners would begin autopsies on the remaining four victims Monday.
Sandra Gause, who lives in another mobile home park about a mile from the crime scene, said she's been paying extra attention since the slayings to cars and people she doesn't know coming into her neighborhood.It just makes you wonder how safe your community really is,said Gause, 36, after buying a pack of cigarettes at a nearby convenience store.What is going on? Two or three days later, we'd kind of like to know.Associated Press Writer Dionne Walker in Atlanta contributed to this report.
Workers' rights hot topic in Lisbon 2 campaign
LEIGH PHILLIPS Today AUG 31,09 @ 09:19 CET
Ireland's second biggest trade union on Monday encouraged its members to vote No in the country's upcoming referendum on the Irish Treaty, accusing the document of cementing restrictions on workers' rights delivered in a series of recent decisions by the European Court of Justice.Unite, a joint Anglo-Irish trade union, representing some 60,000 workers in Ireland, warned that the additional guarantees extracted by the government after the treaty was defeated in the country's first referendum last June covered moral issues but were insufficient in protecting employee protections and rights.We were told that workers' rights would be protected under Lisbon and that we were scaremongering,said the union's Irish regional secretary, Jimmy Kelly, according to a report in the Irish Times.When the Irish government went seeking legal guarantees they got them in areas of taxation, of morality, and in numbers of commissioners but not in relation to workers' rights.
Instead we got a solemn declaration that is worthless given the way in which the European Courts have interpreted workers' rights as being subservient to those of business,he added.The union, which opposed the the treaty during the last referendum as well, has also offered its building for use by the Vote No to Lisbon campaign, headed by the Socialist Party of Dublin MEP Joe Higgins and backed by Sinn Fein, the republican party.A number of trade unions back the treaty, however, with the pro-Treaty Charter Group last week issuing a report arguing that the European Union had been a force for worker protection for 35 years in Ireland.In the last referendum, Ireland's traditional neutrality and the loss of a commissioner were forefront amongst the issues that mobilised voters against the treaty last year.The government received guarantees on abortion, taxation and military neutrality while EU leaders agreed that each member state should continue to have a European commissioner. Additionally, the main group campaigning against the treaty on the basis of taxation concerns last year, the Libertas group of businessman Declan Ganley, is nowhere to be seen after a desultory showing during the European elections.This has meant that the issue of employee protections is shaping up to be one of the key debates in the campaign.
On Saturday, former president of the European Parliament Pat Cox and newly elected Socialist MEP Joe Higgins sparred bitterly in the pages of the Irish Times, which published an email exchange between the two, focussing almost exclusively on the issue of workers' rights.The issue has come to the forefront across the EU, with even very pro-EU trade unionists disquieted by four recent decisions by the European Court of Justice - the so-called Laval, Ruffert, Viking and Luxembourg cases - in which the court sided with employers on questions of honouring agreements, the right to picket, wage increase indexing and the cutting of wages.Mr Cox argued that the treaty endorses a social market economy and gives the Charter of Fundamental Rights, a list of the rights of European citizens including worker protections, a legal basis.The moral questions have not disappeared however, with Coir, the conservative Catholic group recently launched a fundraising drive, asking for €120,000 in donations to help them send out a planned one million leaflets and stick up 12,000 posters against the treaty.A letter from Coir sent to supporters from the organisation's Father John Brady, first seen by the Irish Independent newspaper, reads:We need to lead this battle against a treaty which would bring about a new empire, where the unborn child has no rights, and God himself is forgotten.
Separately, pro-Treaty civil society group We Belong launched its campaign on Sunday, and intends to focus on young people. A survey published by the group notes that while 36 percent of voters aged 24-40 intend to vote Yes and only 23 percent intend to vote No, four in ten voters in the age group remain undecided.
Merkel's CDU hits buffers in regional elections
HONOR MAHONY Today AUG 31,09 @ 09:27 CET
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), suffered an electoral blow on Sunday as it lost its absolute majority in two states.
Voters went to the polls in Saarland, near the French border, and in Thuringia and Saxony, in what was formerly the Communist east. All three states were governed by the CDU.But Sunday's results show that in Saarland, the CDU's share of the vote dropped to 34.5 percent from 47.5 percent five years ago. In Thuringia, the vote dropped to 31.2 percent from 43 percent. The slump meant that the CDU lost its majority in both states.In Saxony, the CDU fared better and is able to form a governing coalition with the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) - a political partnership Mrs Merkel is hoping to repeat a national level at the end of the month.
The results have led to nervousness in the ranks of the CDU ahead of the 27 September general elections, with some politicians blaming Mrs Merkel's campaign style for the erosion of the party's popularity.Several German newspapers carry articles by centre-right politicians in which the chancellor is asked to show more passion, as well as to be clear that the FDP would be the coalition partner in any CDU-led government after the elections.Alarm bells should be ringing at CDU headquarters,Hans-Juergen Hoffmann, managing director of Berlin-based polling company Psephos, told the Bloomberg news agency. Merkel has stood in the shadows during these elections. She's got four weeks to seize the reins of leadership and grab voters' attention.Although the CDU slipped in the voter rankings, the results were a strong disappointment to the Social Democrats, currently in the ruling coalition with Mrs Merkel and who failed to see much hoped-for gains at the ballot box.They have trailed in the polls to the CDU despite a lacklustre campaign by the chancellor, but Sunday's vote showed smaller parties - the FDP and the far left - gaining at the expense of the two major parties.Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the SPD's candidate for chancellor, put a brave face on the results.
Whoever wrote off the SPD in the last few weeks is in for a surprise,he said.
DOCTOR DOCTORIAN FROM ANGEL OF GOD
then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM
WORLD MARKET RESULTS
HALF HOUR DOW RESULTS MON AUGUST 31,2009
09:30 AM -3.24
10:00 AM -89.94
10:30 AM -94.51
11:00 AM -75.12
11:30 AM -89.71
12:00 PM -82.15
12:30 PM -82.09
01:00 PM -95.00
01:30 PM -91.45
02:00 PM -89.56
02:30 PM -89.03
03:00 PM -70.44
03:30 PM -76.26
04:00 PM -47.92 9496.28
S&P 500 1020.62 -8.31
NASDAQ 2009.06 -19.71
GOLD 952.40 -6.40
OIL 69.64 -3.10
TSE 300 10,863.73 -114.24
CDNX 1175.24 -13.47
S&P/TSX/60 652.58 -6.59
YEAR TO DATE PERFORMANCE
TSX Advances 863,declines 601,unchanged 251,Volume 433,247,574.
TSX Venture Exchange Advances 441,Declines 383,Unchanged 339,Volume 184,384,112.
Dow -65 points at 4 minutes of trading today.
Dow -106 points at low today.
Dow +1 points at high today so far.
GOLD opens at $949.30.OIL opens at $70.87 today.
Dow -106 points at low today so far.
Dow +1 points at high today so far.
DAY TODAY PERFORMANCE - 12:30PM STATS
NYSE Advances 749,declines 2,842,unchanged 82,New Highs 58,New Lows 29.
NASDAQ Advances 610,declines 2,001,unchanged 85,New highs 26,New Lows 15.
TSX Advances 382,declines 896,unchanged 227,Volume 193,797,657.
TSX Venture Exchange Advances 232,Declines 405,Unchanged 272,Volume 98,201,583.
Dow -106 points at low today.
Dow +1 points at high today.
Dow -0.50% today Volume 201,604,469.
Nasdaq -0.97% today Volume 2,193,922,542.
S&P 500 -0.81% today Volume N/A
DOW +3.6% IN AUGUST
S&P +1.5% IN AUGUST
NASDAQ +3.4% IN AUGUST
BANK ON GLOBAL RECOVERY
NY FED PRESIDENT
SHOULD US FOLLOW UK
WASTING MONEY ON GLOBAL WARMING
AUDIT THAT FED AMERICA.282 HOUSE MEMBERS HAVE SIGNED UP AND 23 SENATE MEMBERS WANT TTHAT FED AUDITED.
Betting Against the Fed Steve Hanke Campaign For Liberty
Sunday, August 30, 2009
The federal reserve is scrambling to convince the public that it is not a secretive institution that acts at the behest of Wall Street, but the public isn’t buying the Fed’s line. According to a Gallup Poll conducted in mid-July, the Fed received the lowest approval rating of the nine government agencies and departments evaluated–even lower than the Internal Revenue Service.Trying to show the softer side of the central bank, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke took us on a tour of his hometown of Dillon, S.C. on a 60 Minutes segment in March, and in July he fielded questions from newsman Jim Lehrer and an auditorium full of people for more than an hour in a televised town hall meeting.Both events were carefully choreographed–and unprecedented. During his face time Bernanke explained many things, including the Fed’s strategy for shrinking its balance sheet and withdrawing the ocean of excess reserves from the banking system. Unfortunately, he did not address my main beef with the bank: that it clings to a flawed inflation-targeting regime with a horrible history of monetary policy failures.
In pursuit of inflation targeting–the idea that monetary policy should be geared to keeping the annual core inflation rate in a range of, say, 0% to 2%–the Fed has been much more tolerant of inflation than it has of deflation. In November 2002 then governor Bernanke and then chairman Alan Greenspan misdiagnosed a benign cyclical dip in the price level. Fearing deflation, the Fed panicked, and by July 2003 pushed the Fed funds rate down to a then record low of 1%, where it stayed for a year, allowing a flood of liquidity to hit the economy and the housing bubble to inflate. The Fed ignored economic theory developed by Austrian economists such as Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek, who demonstrated that there was such a thing as a good deflation,which occurs during a productivity boom. It was just such a boom, coupled with an improvement in the U.S. terms of trade, that was putting downward pressure on the core inflation rate.More monetary blundering occurred after the Dubai G7 Summit in September 2003, when the U.S. got other Western nations on board to pressure China to allow its currency to appreciate against the dollar. The 2004 elections were approaching, and the outcome of key contests in the Rust Belt, according to President Bush’s advisors, hinged on whether China could be forced to alter its fixed yuan-dollar exchange rate of 8.28. Surprisingly, the Fed was drawn into what is normally the exclusive domain of the U.S. Treasury–the dollar’s exchange rate.The Bush Administration’s weak dollar policy, endorsed by the Fed, brought with it not only a dollar rout but also an explosion in commodity prices. Perhaps the commodity price surge explains why the Fed was behind the curve in lowering the Fed funds rate–something that pushed the economy into a steep recession well before the collapse of Lehman Brothers one year ago. By the start of 2007 weak aggregate demand was signaling a recession, but the Fed kept the funds rate at 5.25% until mid-September 2007. It’s not surprising that the economy tanked.Never mind these missteps. The Obama Administration has proposed rewarding the Fed for its failures by crowning it the nation’s systemic regulator–a sort of financial regulatory czar. But many in Congress demand a closer peek inside the central bank.
Congressman Ron Paul (R–Tex.), along with 282 cosponsors, has introduced a bill that would require the Government Accountability Office to audit the Fed. The Fed claims that auditing would imperil its independence.Milton Friedman weighed in on central bank independence in a 1962 essay, Should There Be an Independent Monetary Authority? Friedman’s conclusion: The case against a fully independent central bank is strong indeed.As for letting in some sunshine, the late senator Patrick Moynihan (D–N.Y.) had it right: Secrecy is for losers.As we await the outcome of the battle over Fed transparency, we should ponder a recent conclusion of Carnegie Mellon’s Allan Meltzer. As the author of the authoritative A History of the Federal Reserve, he has observed that the Fed responds decisively to the unemployment rate but not to the inflation rate.As long as unemployment remains elevated, expect loose monetary reins and more inflation.Protect yourself with some exchange-traded funds. Buy SPDR Gold Shares (GLD, 93; expense ratio, 0.4%), which tracks the metal. I also recommend diversified commodity ETFs like the iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust (GSG, 30; 0.75%) and PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (DBC, 23; 0.75%)
Fed's Profit from Crisis Loans Is $14 Billion: Report
Published: Monday, 31 Aug 2009 | 2:11 AM ET
Reuters-The Federal Reserve has made $14 billion in profits on loans made in the last two years, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing officials close to the matter.The U.S. central bank also earned about $19 billion from interest and fees charged to institutions that tapped liquidity facilities during the global financial crisis, the report said.If the Fed had invested the same amounted loaned out in three-month Treasury bills since August 2007, it would have earned $5 billion in interest, the FT said.This estimate excludes company bailouts and purchases of long-term assets as well as unrealised gains or losses on the Fed's portfolio of mortgage-backed securities and Treasuries purchased as part of the $1.75 trillion asset purchase programme.The Fed was not immediately available for comment on the report.
EU greenhouse gas output falls due to recession EU: Recession caused drop in European greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 On Monday August 31, 2009, 7:49 am EDT
BRUSSELS (AP) -- The EU's environment agency says European Union greenhouse gas emissions declined for a fourth year in a row in 2008 because the economic downturn curbed fumes from power plants, factories and transportation.The EEA says its estimates show a 1.5 percent drop in emissions for the entire 27-nation EU and a 1.3 percent fall for the richer 15 countries of the bloc.These 15 states -- including Germany, Britain and France -- have promised to cut emissions by 8 percent below 1990levels by 2012. So far, they have reduced output by 6.2 percent, the EEA says.The figures published Monday are an estimate. A more detailed official figure for the EU's 2008 emissions will be published in June 2010.
U.S. stock market ready for turn, one signal shows
By Kate Gibson On Monday August 31, 2009, 12:11 pm EDT
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- After spiking above the 50 mark two weeks ago, an index of investor sentiment has dropped sharply in what analysts say is a key signal currently forecasting a turn in the U.S. stock market. Signals are flashing that currencies, commodities and equities are all about to turn. There are too many signals across too many assets to ignore,said T.J. Marta, chief market strategist at Marta on the Markets, drawing attention to the American Association of Individual Investors survey's surge above 50 two weeks and subsequent fallback. On Monday, led by energy and materials shares, the major U.S. stock indexes all headed lower. Stocks, though, remained poised for monthly gains. At 11:45 a.m. Eastern time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI:^DJI - News) was down 77.09 points, or 0.8%, at 9,467.11. The S&P 500 Index had shed 10.78 points, or 1%, to 1,018.15, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - News) was off 23.68 points, or 1.2%, at 2,005.09. The AAII survey, which measures the percentage of individual investors who are bullish, bearish and neutral on the stock market over the coming six months, last week saw bullish sentiment falling to 34%, beneath the long-term average of 38.9%; neutral sentiment dropping to 17.5%, below the long-term average of 31.1%; and bearish sentiment climbing to 48.5%, above the long-term average of 30%.During the three previous occasions on which the index behaved in this fashion, the S&P 500 corrected, as it did in early 2007; peaked, as in October 2007; or saw a bear-market rally fail, as was the case in May 2008, Marta said.
Bears can find some solace in the fact that a strong August and ensuing strong September has not occurred since 1982, and two occassions -- 1970 and 1982 -- appear the only periods where a 4% or more gain in the S&P 500 for August led to positive return in September,said Nick Kalivas, an analyst at MF Global Research. On balance, the chart seems to argue for a weak September. This is one reason for the caution in the market,he added.Two things happen in September: the kids go back to school, and more often than not, the stock market heads down, said Ed Yardeni, chief investment strategist, Yardeni Research Inc.Going back to 1926, investors have, on average, lost nearly 1% during September, the only month with a negative average return, said Yardeni.He pointed to research, based on data for 18 developed stock markets around the world, that found that in 15 of those markets, September brought red ink for investors.But Yardeni believes enough power remains in the rally off March lows to buck the historical trend, in light of what he calls three turbochargers. First, the Federal Reserve's providing liquidity by pegging the federal funds rate at zero.
Second, the Fed and foreign central banks have been monetizing more than half of the record budget deficit of the U.S. government so far this year.And third, the Chinese, to keep their economy growing in the face of weak U.S. consumer demand for their exports, are likely to continue providing monetary and fiscal stimulus.
Physicists Untangle Complicated Webs to Reveal that the World’s Finances are Controlled by Just a Few Mutual Funds, Banks, and Corporations.
Washington’s Blog Saturday, August 29, 2009
Inside Science – a news service supported by the American Institute of Physics – is breaking an important story:A recent analysis of the 2007 financial markets of 48 countries has revealed that the world’s finances are in the hands of just a few mutual funds, banks, and corporations. This is the first clear picture of the global concentration of financial power, and point out the worldwide financial system’s vulnerability as it stood on the brink of the current economic crisis.A pair of physicists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich did a physics-based analysis of the world economy as it looked in early 2007. Stefano Battiston and James Glattfelder extracted the information from the tangled yarn that links 24,877 stocks and 106,141 shareholding entities in 48 countries, revealing what they called the backbone of each country’s financial market. These backbones represented the owners of 80 percent of a country’s market capital, yet consisted of remarkably few shareholders.You start off with these huge national networks that are really big, quite dense,Glattfelder said. From that you’re able to … unveil the important structure in this original big network. You then realize most of the network isn’t at all important.The most pared-down backbones exist in Anglo-Saxon countries, including the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. … But while each American company may link to many owners, Glattfelder and Battiston’s analysis found that the owners varied little from stock to stock, meaning that comparatively few hands are holding the reins of the entire market.
If you would look at this locally, it’s always distributed,Glattfelder said.If you then look at who is at the end of these links, you find that it’s the same guys, [which] is not something you’d expect from the local view.Matthew Jackson, an economist from Stanford University in Calif. who studies social and economic networks, said that Glattfelder and Battiston’s approach could be used to answer more pointed questions about corporate control and how companies interact.It’s clear, looking at financial contagion and recent crises, that understanding interrelations between companies and holdings is very important in the future, he said.Certainly people have some understanding of how large some of these financial institutions in the world are, there’s some feeling of how intertwined they are, but there’s a big difference between having an impression and actually having … more explicit numbers to put behind it.The results will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review E.
The physicists name names. As Inside Science notes:
Based on their analysis, Glattfelder and Battiston identified the ten investment entities who are big fish in the most countries. The biggest fish was the Capital Group Companies, with major stakes in 36 of the 48 countries studied.While it is true that the paper in the Physical Review E has not yet been published, I have found a draft version of their article from February which shows that the top 10 list of most powerful financial institutions (from most to least powerful) is as follows:
1. The Capital Group of Companies
2. Fidelity Management & Research
3. Barclays PLC
4. Franklin Resources
6. JP Morgan Chase
7. Dimensional Fund Advisors
8. Merrill Lynch
9. Wellington Management Company
Other tidbits:Non-American players Deutsche Bank, Brandes Investment Partners, Societe Generale, Credit Suisse, Schroders PLC and Allianz are also in the top 21 positions. The government of Singapore is number 25. The world’s largest banking group – HSBC Holdings PLC – only chimes in at number 26.The data analyzed in the study is from 2007, and the playing field may have changed substantially since then.
Further analysis using this new methodology may yield important information. For example, given the massive government intervention in the markets, it is important to ask who controls stock now.
JONES SHOWS AUG 28,27,26,09
Why Global Warming alarmists are losing their case
The Cobourg Skeptic Monday, August 31, 2009
Norman Rogers has written an excellent summary of the current situation with the arguments about climate change.You can have a look here or read my summary below. I rarely read the whole text of a long article on the internet so my summary/précis will help anyone else who just wants the meat. Besides, it needs to be distributed as much as possible.Global Warming Blues – summary of an article by Norman Rogers Aug 27, 2009 Most scientists don’t have a good grasp of the big picture because they are narrowly specialized and don’t think about much outside of their immediate interests. The scientists that do have a grasp of the big picture can be divided into global warming advocates, skeptics and the majority of passive observers who play it safe by not taking a position. The global warming advocates have the upper hand and the most power. The skeptics, including quite a few excellent scientists, are marginalized and frankly persecuted. They are whistle blowers.Global warming scare stories are good for global warming science because the scare stories promote research funding. If it weren’t for the scary predictions these scientists would be toiling in a poorly funded and obscure branch of academic science. As the distinguished climate scientist Richard Lindzen noted in an article, fear is more effective than gratitude for inducing financial support.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC is a branch of the United Nations and is very much under the control of climate doomsters. If climate doom were not impending the IPCC would not be necessary, thus it is a bureaucratic imperative that the IPCC predicts climate doom. The IPCC and Al Gore were jointly given the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. The peace prize is given by politicians for political reasons and the 2007 recipients have shown themselves to be accomplished politicians. The history of the Nobel Peace Prize does not inspire confidence. Some of the recipients have been crackpots (Linus Pauling ) and others fraudsters (Rigoberta Menchu). Gore seems to me to be a combination of both.The increase in temperature predicted by the global warming computer models is about 3 degrees Celsius. This isn’t very scary, so the promoters of global warming alarmism come up with additional scare stories. For example, there will be more hurricanes, the ice caps will melt, the polar bears will die, the oceans will become acid and kill the coral, and weather will become more extreme. These stories have much less scientific support than the warming theories, and each has been rebutted. Scare stories attract attention and it is much more difficult to refute scare stories than it is to create them. By the time one scare story becomes discredited a new scare story is spread.
Organized science has relinquished its traditional role as an objective advisor to policy makers and has instead become a lobbyist for its own interests. The interests of big science happen to coincide with the ideological goals of the green movement. The resulting coalition has impressive political power.The science behind the IPCC predictions and the scary claims is incredibly weak, really bordering on fantasy. Certainly great progress has been made in understanding how the climate works in the last 40 years. But that understanding has not reached the point where we can have any faith in future predictions of the effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Since vast efforts and billions of dollars have been invested in huge computer climate models the scientific organizations are forced to defend the usefulness of the models. The way in which the IPCC has utilized climate models to make predictions is really quite comical, although it takes a lot of study and wading through a molasses-like report to get to the point where it starts to seem funny. I have a 40 page article on my website if you would like to know the details.
Kevin Trenberth, no global warming skeptic, is one of the most prominent climate scientists in the world. He is a senior scientist and the Head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). He said this about climate models.None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate. In particular, the state of the oceans, sea ice, and soil moisture has no relationship to the observed state at any recent time in any of the IPCC models.He is confessing that climate models leave a lot to be desired.Clouds are very important, but it is generally accepted that the treatment of clouds by the computer models is very poor.The 20 or so climate models used by the IPCC don’t agree with each other as to how much warming would take place due to doubling CO2. The range is 2 to 4-1/2 degrees Celsius. There are perfectly plausible theories, based on observations, not models, that the warming would be far less, from scientists such as Richard Lindzen, Stephen Schwartz and Roy Spencer.A 3 C degree increase in global temperature is the difference between Chicago and St. Louis.The climate of the 20th century is inconsistent with the climate models and in fact can’t be explained within the IPCC framework. The climate of the 20th century is characterized by warming from 1910 to 1940 followed by cooling between 1940 and 1970 and then more warming from 1970 with an apparent cessation of the warming during the last decade. This is illustrated by the graph below.The attempts to make the 20th century climate consistent with the computer models simply don’t work.
Controlling our own carbon dioxide emissions accomplishes practically nothing if the Chinese and Indians don’t control theirs. They play along as long as it seems profitable. The Chinese and Indians are like the natives who happily attend church services as long as the missionaries are giving out free dinners.Green electric power from windmills and solar energy is impracticable.It’s expensive and due to the erratic nature of sunshine and wind, solar and wind power must be backed up by duplicate power plants or by energy storage systems that are as expensive as duplicate power plants. It sometimes seems that the advocates of solar power don’t realize that the sun does not shine at night. The much acclaimed Kyoto Treaty for the reduction of CO2 illogically does not give CO2 reduction credit for CO2-free nuclear power plants, something put in the treaty in response to green lobbying.The global warming skeptics should to be given some respect and a chance to make their case.
Optimism over EU economy increases
LUCIA KUBOSOVA Today AUG 31,09 @ 09:19 CET
European businesses and consumers expressed more optimism about the economy for the fifth month in a row in August, but their sentiments are still well below their average level from before the financial and economic crisis, an EU survey has shown.
The report, published by the European Commission on Friday (31 August), seems to confirm the prevailing view that the 27-strong bloc's economy has hit bottom and is now embarking on a slow path to recovery.The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) improved significantly both for the EU as a whole, by 5.9 points, and for the 16-member eurozone, by 4.6 points, to 80.9 and 80.6 respectively, marking the fifth consecutive increase since March.The more positive expectations from industry stemmed from manufacturers' check-up of their order books for the coming months, with encouraging signals coming from all sectors with only retail trade proving sluggish in the eurozone.More favourable trends were present in most EU member states, mainly in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany, followed by Poland, Italy and Spain, all among the top economies influencing the performance of the whole bloc.
However, Brussels experts point out that despite the improvements, stocks of finished goods and production expectations remained well below their long-term averages,which is 100 points in ESI calculations. The fresh commission data are due to be considered by the European Central Bank, gathering this week. Analysts predict that the Frankfurt-based bank will keep the interest rates at its current historic minimum of one percent.Central bankers will be facing a somewhat changed economic environment: the worst is over and the economy is stabilising, Carsten Brzeski at Global Economics told AFP agency, warning however: The labour market and a possible credit crunch are clear speed bumps on the road to recovery.Germany and France technically stepped out of recession last month and the same is expected for the whole euro area during the third quarter of this year, but the prospects for a more steady recovery are still weak, several economists suggest.
OBAMA WATCH CENTRAL Czar: Spread the wealth! Change the whole system Using White House position to push communist policies? August 30, 2009 7:09 pm Eastern
By Aaron Klein 2009 WorldNetDaily
JERUSALEM – Just days before his White House appointment, Van Jones, Obama's environmental adviser, used a forum at a major youth convention to push for what can easily be interpreted as a communist or socialist agenda. As WND previously reported, Van Jones, special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, is an admitted black nationalist and radical communist.Jones' appointment was announced on March 10.Two weeks before he started his White House job, however, Jones delivered the keynote address at Power Shift '09, which was billed as the largest youth summit on climate change in history. A reported 12,000 young people were at the D.C. Convention Center for the event.During his speech, available on YouTube, Jones threw around terms like eco-apartheid and green for some,and preached about spreading the wealth while positing a call to change the whole system.In one section of his twenty-minute speech, Jones referenced our Native American brothers and sisters who, he claimed, were pushed,bullied,mistreated and shoved into all the land that we didn't want.Guess what? Jones continued. Give them the wealth! Give them then wealth! No justice on stolen land ... we owe them a debt.We have to create a green economy, that's true, that's true. But we have to create a green economy that Dr. King would be proud of, he exclaimed.Jones spoke about using what he termed an environmental revolution to push for other policies, including anti-war activism.
If all you did was have a clean energy revolution, you wouldn't have done anything. ... You'll have bio-fueled bombers and we'll be fighting wars over lithium for the batteries instead of oil for the engines,he said to applause. This movement is deeper than solar power. ... Don't stop there! We are going to change the whole system! he exclaimed.The White House did not return multiple WND requests the past few weeks seeking comment on how Jones was screened for his position and whether the White House knew of his admitted radical past.
Jones on 9-11: Blame U.S.imperialism
Last week, WND reported one day after the 9/11 attacks, Jones led a vigil that expressed solidarity with Arab and Muslim Americans as well as what he called the victims of U.S. imperialism around the world. Jones was the leader and founder of a radical group, the communist revolutionary organization Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM. That group, together with Jones' Elle Baker Center for Human Rights, led a vigil Sept. 12, 2001, at Snow Park in Oakland, Calif.STORM's official manifesto, titled,Reclaiming Revolution,surfaced on the Internet.A WND review of the 97-page treatise found a description of a vigil that Jones' group held Sept. 12, 2001, at Snow Park in Oakland, Calif. The event drew hundreds and articulated an anti-imperialist line, according to STORM's own description.The radical group's manual boasted the 9/11 vigil was held to express solidarity with Arab and Muslim Americans and to mourn the civilians killed in the terrorist attacks as well as the victims of U.S. imperialism around the world. We honored those who lost their lives in the attack and those who would surely lose their lives in subsequent U.S. attacks overseas,STORM's manifesto recalls. Also, WND obtained a press release of Jones' vigil, dated Sept. 11, 2001, and titled, People Of Color Groups Gather to Stand In Solidarity With Arab Americans and to Mourn the East Coast Dead.Anti-Arab hostility is already reaching a fever pitch as pundits and common people alike rush to judgment that an Arab group is responsible for this tragedy,stated Jones in the release hours after the 9/11 attacks. We fear that an atmosphere is being created that will result in official and street violence against Arab men, women and children,he said.Last week, Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck drew attention to a section of STORM's manual that describes Jones' organization as having a commitment to the fundamental ideas of Marxism-Leninism.We agreed with Lenin's analysis of the state and the party,reads the manifesto.And we found inspiration in the revolutionary strategies developed by Third World revolutionaries like Mao Tse-tung and Amilcar Cabral.Cabral is the late Marxist revolutionary leader of Guinea-Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands.WND previously reported Jones named his son after Cabral and reportedly concludes every e-mail with a quote from the communist leader.
STORM's newsletter boasted we also saw our brand of Marxism as, in some ways, a reclamation.STORM worked with known communist leaders. It led the charge in black protests against various issues, including a local attempt to pass Proposition 21, a ballot initiative that sought to increase the penalties for violent crimes and require more juvenile offenders to be tried as adults.Speaking to the East Bay Express, Jones said he first became radicalized in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King riots, during which time he was arrested.I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th,he said.By August, I was a communist. I met all these young radical people of color – I mean really radical: communists and anarchists. And it was, like, This is what I need to be a part of. I spent the next 10 years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary,he said.Trevor Loudon, a researcher and opponent of communism who runs the New Zeal blog, identified several Bay Area communists who worked with STORM, including Elizabeth Martinez, who helped advise Jones' Ella Baker Human Rights Center, which Jones founded to advocate civil justice. Jones and Martinez also attended a Challenging White Supremacy workshop together.Martinez was a longtime Maoist who went on to join the Communist Party USA breakaway organization Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, or CCDS, in the early 1990s, according to Loudon. Martinez still serves on the CCDS council and is also a board member of the Movement for a Democratic Society, where she sits alongside former Weathermen radicals Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
STORM eventually fell apart amid bickering among its leaders.
Jones then moved on to environmentalism. He used his Ella Baker Center to advocate inclusive environmentalism and launch a Green-Collar Jobs Campaign, which led to the nation's first Green Jobs Corps in Oakland, Calif.At the Clinton Global Initiative in 2007, Jones announced the establishment of Green For All, which in 2008 held a national green conference in which most attendees were black. Jones also released a book, The Green Collar Economy,which debuted at No.12 on the New York Times' bestseller list – the first environmental book written by an African American to make the list.Jones, formerly a self-described rowdy black nationalist,boasted in a 2005 interview with the left-leaning East Bay Express that his environmental activism was a means to fight for racial and class justice.Jones was president and founder of Green For All, a nonprofit organization that advocates building a so-called inclusive green economy.Until recently, Jones was a longtime member of the board of Apollo Alliance, a coalition of labor, business, environmental and community leaders that claims on its website to be working to catalyze a clean energy revolution that will put millions of Americans to work in a new generation of high-quality, green-collar jobs.
Canada to urge G20 copy boring financial system By Allan Dowd – AUG 31,09
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) – Canada will keep pressuring other countries to follow its example of maintaining a boring financial system that promotes clarity and stability, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Sunday.Flaherty, speaking in advance of next week's meeting of G20 finance ministers, said Canada will stick to the message it has given at past international meetings about the need to improve global financial oversight.Flaherty and other Canadian officials who once winced at suggestions their banking system was boring now embrace the word to describe how its banks largely avoided the hammering that hit many international rivals during the current global economic storm.Whether it's fixing large banks in the US or Europe by moving toxic assets off the books, or improving securities regulation here at home, all countries must take a critical look at their own systems and do what it takes to prevent another financial meltdown,Flaherty said in remarks prepared for a presentation in Vancouver.The Canadian system clearly works, and works well, Flaherty told the opening ceremonies of the 63 Congress of the International Fiscal Association, which is meeting on Canada's Pacific coast.He noted Canada's financial system had not seen the proliferation of sub-prime mortgage products that triggered the U.S. meltdown and that no Canadian banks have required an injection of public funds.Nearly a year after the international financial system narrowly averted collapse, finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 rich and developing nations will gather in London on Sept 4-5 to discuss what happens next.
Economists have said that while the world economy is showing signs of improving, the G20 leaders will have to show that they can withdraw the stimulus used to spur that recovery in an orderly way without derailing it.Flaherty's prepared remarks for the Vancouver speech did not address that issue.Despite hailing the Canadian system as one for the world to follow, Flaherty reiterated his call for Canada to adopt a single securities regulator - replacing the current system that puts securities regulation in the hands of the country's provinces.Ottawa's plan has drawn some provincial resistance, especially in Quebec.Flaherty said the proposed Canadian securities regulator will have a financial stability mandate just as the country has for its existing regulatory systems.(Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)
UN meeting: help nations adapt to global warming By ELIANE ENGELER, Associated Press Writer – Sun Aug 30, 1:59 pm ET
GENEVA – As nations negotiate tough decisions on cutting greenhouse gases, the United Nations is holding a separate conference on coping with more floods, droughts and other effects of climate change already assured.The World Climate Conference — which avoids the political pitfall of discussing cuts to carbon emissions — aims to make sure poor countries have the same access to climate data as rich ones, and that the information is shared among scientists and governments worldwide.A large U.S. delegation is attending, eager to impress with the new Obama administration's commitment to combatting climate change.Climate change is real, said delegation leader Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.It is happening now, in our backyards and around the globe.Delegates to the five-day conference starting Monday in Geneva hope to set up a Global Framework for Climate Services to ensure that early warnings for tsunamis and hurricanes reach everybody and that farmers in remote African regions know about upcoming droughts and floods.Lubchenco said decision-makers would require reliable information about the current and projected impacts of climate change.Many countries, however, lack information about even their own climates.Hydrological networks in Africa are totally insufficient,said meeting host Michel Jarraud, head of the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization.Many water basins are managed without any information about precipitation and run-off amount of water in the underground water table.
Governments across the globe are facing a December deadline for separate U.N. talks aimed at forging a new accord to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gases blamed for global warming and climate change. Organizers of the Dec. 7-18 U.N. meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, hope to reach an agreement on limiting the warming of the Earth's temperature to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above levels 150 years ago.Even if Copenhagen is very successful in making decisions on the mitigation of greenhouse gases, there will still be a certain amount of warming to which the world will have to adapt, Jarraud said.Rising sea levels may prompt some countries to build more dikes, relocate inhabitants from low-lying islands and ensure health services can cope with diseases such as malaria that may spread, he said.This week's World Climate Conference brings together about 15 heads of state, including those from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tajikistan and Togo, as well as 80 ministers from various governments. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is to speak Wednesday.The conference, costing some 4.5 million Swiss francs ($4.2 million), was sponsored by several countries, including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Spain. The United States contributed $500,000, while Switzerland put in 1.8 million francs ($1.7 million).
Climate trouble may be bubbling up in far north By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent – Sun Aug 30, 6:57 pm ET
MACKENZIE RIVER DELTA, Northwest Territories – Only a squawk from a sandhill crane broke the Arctic silence — and a low gurgle of bubbles, a watery whisper of trouble repeated in countless spots around the polar world.On a calm day, you can see 20 or more `seeps' out across this lake,said Canadian researcher Rob Bowen, sidling his small rubber boat up beside one of them. A tossed match would have set it ablaze.
It's essentially pure methane.Pure methane, gas bubbling up from underwater vents, escaping into northern skies, adds to the global-warming gases accumulating in the atmosphere. And pure methane escaping in the massive amounts known to be locked in the Arctic permafrost and seabed would spell a climate catastrophe.Is such an unlocking under way? Researchers say air temperatures here in northwest Canada, in Siberia and elsewhere in the Arctic have risen more than 2.5 C (4.5 F) since 1970 — much faster than the global average. The summer thaw is reaching deeper into frozen soil, at a rate of 4 centimeters (1.5 inches) a year, and a further 7 C (13 F) temperature rise is possible this century, says the authoritative, U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).In 2007, air monitors detected a rise in methane concentrations in the atmosphere, apparently from far northern sources. Russian researchers in Siberia expressed alarm, warning of a potential surge in the powerful greenhouse gas, additional warming of several degrees, and unpredictable consequences for Earth's climate.
Others say massive seeps of methane might take centuries. But the Russian scenario is disturbing enough to have led six U.S. national laboratories last year to launch a joint investigation of rapid methane release. And IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri in July asked his scientific network to focus on abrupt, irreversible climate change from thawing permafrost.The data will come from teams like one led by Scott Dallimore, who with Bowen and others pitched tents here on the remote, boggy fringe of North America, 2,200 kilometers (1,400 miles) from the North Pole, to learn more about seeps in the 25,000 lakes of this vast river delta.
A puzzle,Dallimore calls it.
Many factors are poorly studied, so we're really doing frontier science here,the Geological Survey of Canada scientist said.There is a very large storehouse of greenhouse gases within the permafrost, and if that storehouse of greenhouse gases is fluxing to the surface, that's important to know. And it's important to know if that flux will change with time.Permafrost, tundra soil frozen year-round and covering almost one-fifth of Earth's land surface, runs anywhere from 50 to 600 meters (160 to 2,000 feet) deep in this region. Entombed in that freezer is carbon — plant and animal matter accumulated through millennia.As the soil thaws, these ancient deposits finally decompose, attacked by microbes, producing carbon dioxide and — if in water — methane. Both are greenhouse gases, but methane is many times more powerful in warming the atmosphere.Researchers led by the University of Florida's Ted Schuur last year calculated that the top 3 meters (10 feet) of permafrost alone contain more carbon than is currently in the atmosphere.It's safe to say the surface permafrost, 3 to 5 meters, is at risk of thawing in the next 100 years,Schuur said by telephone from an Alaska research site.It can't stay intact.
Methane also is present in another form, as hydrates — ice-like formations deep underground and under the seabed in which methane molecules are trapped within crystals of frozen water. If warmed, the methane will escape.Dallimore, who has long researched hydrates as energy sources, believes a breakdown of such huge undersea formations may have produced conical hills found offshore in the Beaufort Sea bed, some of them 40 meters (more than 100 feet) high.With underwater robots, he detected methane gas leaking from these seabed features, which resemble the strange hills ashore here that the Inuvialuit, or Eskimos, call pingos.And because the coastal plain is subsiding and seas are rising from warming, more permafrost is being inundated, exposed to water warmer than the air.The methane seeps that the Canadians were studying in the Mackenzie Delta, amid grassy islands, steel-gray lakes and summertime temperatures well above freezing, are saucer-like indentations just 10 meters (30 feet) or so down on the lake bed.The ultimate source of that gas — hydrates, decomposition or older natural gas deposits — is unclear, but Dallimore's immediate goal is quantifying the known emissions and finding the unknown.With tent-like, instrument-laden enclosures they positioned over two seeps, each several meters (yards) wide, the researchers have determined they are emitting methane at a rate of up to 0.6 cubic meters (almost 1 cubic yard) per minute.Dallimore's team is also monitoring the seeps with underwater listening devices, to assess whether seasonal change — warming — affects the emissions rate.Even if the lake seeps are centuries old, Bowen said, the question is, Will they be accelerated by recent changes?
A second question: Are more seeps developing?
To begin answering that, Dallimore is working with German and Canadian specialists in aerial surveying, teams that will fly over swaths of Arctic terrain to detect methane hot spots via spectrometric imagery, instruments identifying chemicals by their signatures on the light spectrum.Research crews are hard at work elsewhere, too, to get a handle on this possible planetary threat. I and others are trying to take field observations and get it scaled up to global models, said Alaska researcher Schuur. From some 400 boreholes drilled deep into the tundra worldwide, we see historic warming of permafrost. Much of it is now around 2 below zero (28 F), Schuur said.A Coast Guard C-130 aircraft is overflying Alaska this summer with instruments sampling the air for methane and carbon dioxide. In parts of Alaska, scientists believe the number of thermokarst lakes — formed when terrain collapses over thawing permafrost and fills with meltwater — may have doubled in the past three decades. Those lakes then expand, thawing more permafrost on their edges, exposing more carbon.Off Norway's Arctic archipelago of Svalbard last September, British scientists reported finding 250 methane plumes rising from the shallow seabed. They're probably old, scientists said, but only further research can assess whether they're stable. In March, Norwegian officials did say methane levels had risen on Svalbard.Afloat above the huge, shallow continental shelf north of Siberia, Russian researchers have detected seabed methane chimneys sending gas bubbling up to the surface, possibly from hydrates.Reporting to the European Geophysical Union last year, the scientists, affiliated with the University of Alaska and the Russian Academy of Sciences, cited extreme saturation of methane in surface waters and in the air above. They said up to 10 percent of the undersea permafrost area had melted, and it was highly possible that this would open the way to abrupt release of an estimated 50 billion tons of methane.
Depending on how much dissolved in the sea, that might multiply methane in the atmosphere several-fold, boosting temperatures enough to cause catastrophic greenhouse warming,as the Russians called it. It would be self-perpetuating, melting more permafrost, emitting more methane. Some might label that alarmism. And Stockholm University researcher Orjan Gustafsson, a partner in the Russians' field work, acknowledged that the scientific community is quite split on how fast the permafrost can thaw.But there's no doubt the north contains enough potential methane and carbon dioxide to cause abrupt climate change, Gustafsson said by telephone from Sweden.Canada's pre-eminent permafrost expert, Chris Burn, has trekked to lonely locations in these high latitudes for almost three decades, meticulously chronicling the changes in the tundra.On a stopover at the Aurora Research Institute in the Mackenzie Delta town of Inuvik, the Carleton University scientist agreed we need many, many more field observations.But his teams have found the frozen ground warming down to about 80 meters, and he believes the world is courting disaster in failing to curb warming by curbing greenhouse emissions. If we lost just 1 percent of the carbon in permafrost today, we'd be close to a year's contributions from industrial sources,he said.I don't think policymakers have woken up to this. It's not in their risk assessments.How likely is a major release? I don't think it's a case of likelihood,he said.I think we are playing with fire.
Chinese shares sink 5.4 pct on liquidity worries AUG 31,09
SHANGHAI – China's main share benchmark sank 5.4 percent in early trading Monday on heavy selling of market heavyweights triggered by renewed worries over a potential tightening of liquidity.The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 153.73 points by midday to 2,706.96.Investors were also selling heavily last week on concerns that banks will cut back on the lavish lending that helped push shares up more than 80 percent by early August.Reports in the state media forecasting that bank lending in August declined further following July's sharp fall from the previous month further dimmed buying enthusiasm.Investors believe it is impossible to make a profit from market trading in the short-term, said Zhai Peng, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities in Shanghai.Major refiner China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. dropped 8.7 percent to 11.30 yuan after the company said it does not expect to significantly boost production, while PetroChina, the Shanghai index's heaviest weighted share, fell 5.1 percent to 13.02 yuan.Baoshan Iron & Steel, a major steel maker, dropped 6.7 percent to 6.44 yuan after reporting that its first-half profit dropped 93 percent.
Concerns that a slew of initial public offerings might glut the market with new shares are also hurting prices, Zhai said.Fewer and fewer investors dare to step into the market,he said.
Investors welcome Japan's opposition landslide by Daniel Rook Daniel Rook – AUG 31,09
TOKYO (AFP) – Investors on Monday cheered the Japanese opposition's election landslide, chasing stocks up to the highest level of 2009 on hopes that a new government will get to work on reviving the ailing economy.The yen hit a seven-week high against the dollar after a crushing win by the Democratic Party of Japan that ends more than half a century of almost unbroken conservative rule and clears the way for an end to legislative deadlock.Investors drove the benchmark Nikkei-225 index up two percent in early deals to the highest intra-day level of the year but by lunch shares were down 0.35 percent amid worries about the stronger yen, which is bad for exports.The dollar dropped to 92.59 yen in Tokyo midday trade, down from 93.29 in New York late Friday.The initial rise in stocks appears to reflect the market's expectations for the new government, said Katsuhiro Kondo, a dealer at Tokai Tokyo Securities.But it is uncertain how positively the DPJ's policies would affect the Japanese economy. Some market participants say its policies are not friendly for big companies. It will take time to assess the new government's ability.
In particular, markets are waiting to see who will take the key cabinet posts.
We want to know about who will be appointed as the key ministers, including foreign and finance ministers,said Hirokazu Fujiki, a senior analyst at Okasan Securities.We also want to know about the strategy on diplomatic relations with the United States and China, which may affect the market.The DPJ is generally seen as less business-friendly than the outgoing Liberal Democratic Party and has pledged to shift the focus from big business to households to create a more equitable society.Fujio Mitarai, the head of Japan's top business lobby Nippon Keidanren, urged the DPJ to work with other political parties on economic reforms.What's most important as a short-term goal is to secure a recovery from the economic crisis, Mitarai, who is also chairman of high-tech Canon Inc., said in a statement.Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association expressed concern about the DPJ's ambitious plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions, which it said would have a large impact on economic activities and employment.The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) scored a crushing victory in Sunday's vote, winning more than 300 seats in the 480-seat lower house of parliament, according to media projections.The centre-left DPJ has promised to boost household incomes with measures including cash allowances for child-raising, free high-school education, a higher minimum wage, petrol tax cuts and an end to highway tolls.There is the prospect of a short-term boost to growth, but its basic economic policy stance is not particularly market-friendly,said Richard Jerram, chief Japan economist at Macquarie Securities.
The prospects of a stable DPJ-led government for the next three to four years should reduce political uncertainty and allow focus on policy implementation.The DPJ's victory comes as Japan slowly emerges from a year-long recession caused by a collapse in exports due to the global economic downturn. Its economy grew in April-June for the first time in five quarters.In a further sign of improvement, factory output rose by 1.9 percent in July from June, marking a fifth straight monthly gain.
But with unemployment at a record high of 5.7 percent and deflation deepening, the fear is that the recovery shoots may soon wilt.
Darling urges more reform of finance sector AUG 30,09
LONDON (AFP) – The Chancellor of the Exchequer on Monday urged European Union nations to boost IMF resources to aid the fragile world economy, saying Britain would pledge up to an extra 11 billion dollars.Chancellor Alistair Darling also said there should not be any let-up in the reform of the finance sector in the wake of the global crisis, including on the controversial issue of pay and bonus structures for executives.Darling's comments come ahead of a meeting of G20 finance ministers later this week in London, before a summit of the world's biggest economies in September in Pittsburgh, which will discuss the issue of bankers' bonuses.Writing in the Guardian, Darling said G20 world leaders agreed at the meet in London in April to boost the International Monetary Fund's available lending resources to 750 billion dollars (460 billion pounds, 524 billion euros).European Union countries have agreed to provide 100 billion dollars (to the IMF), Darling said in the newspaper.But Europe should set an example and do more to meet the target, by committing up to 175 billion dollars - with the UK ready to provide up to an additional 11 billion dollars, taking our total contribution to over 26 billion dollars.The Guardian said the extra funding from Britain, to help the IMF assist low-income countries recover from the crisis, would be announced Tuesday.Darling said he still expected Britain -- suffering one of the worst recessions in decades -- to return to growth round the turn of the year.But risks to the global economy remain, and Britain will continue to lead international action to help secure its recovery, he said.Nor can there be any let-up in the reform of the financial sector. Every country must continue to put their banks on a sound footing,he said.Restoring public confidence, as well as ensuring the future stability of the sector, requires us to go further on pay and bonuses.He added: Banks have to realise that the taxpayer came to their rescue for a purpose. That purpose was to get credit going again, not to fund rewards for excessive risk-taking which had such disastrous consequences.
Bankers forget that at their peril.Excessive risk-taking, resulting in massive bonuses for bankers, has been blamed for helping spark the global financial crisis that led to multi-billion dollar government bailouts of world banks.Although applauding a deal between Britain and Liechtenstein, Darling said more also needed to be done to clamp down on tax havens.Liechtenstein raised the gate on its tax-haven fortress earlier this month, making a deal enabling Britain to snare about 5,000 British accounts holders with up to 3.0 billion pounds in secret deposits.
Investors hunting for signs of economic growth By IEVA M. AUGSTUMS, AP Business Writer – Sun Aug 30, 3:11 pm ET
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – While investors go into the new week believing the economy is indeed emerging from recession, they still need to see more solid evidence of a rebound.The foundation for a recovery is there: Consumers are growing more confident and the housing market keeps showing signs of improvement. The latest reading on the nation's gross domestic product showed the economy was shrinking at a slower-than-expected pace during the second quarter.The market has also taken to heart Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's Aug. 21 assessment that the economy is on the verge of recovery.But with an almost six-month rally leaving the Dow Jones industrials less than 500 points away from 10,000, analysts say it will now take, if not actual economic growth, then strong momentum toward that growth to extend Wall Street's gains. And this week's economic reports, including the first readings on employment and manufacturing during August, have the power to sustain or stifle stocks' advance.
The market is at a point where if the news doesn't start becoming not just less bad, but become fairly positive, the market is going to start selling off,said Ben Halliburton, chief investment officer of Tradition Capital Management in Summit, N.J.
The most anxiously awaited piece of data his week is the government's employment report. Investors know it won't show signs of growth because job losses tend to continue even after a recovery has started. But they want to see more signs that employers are cutting fewer jobs. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect another 220,000 jobs were lost, down from 247,000 in July.Any disappointments when Friday's report comes out, and investors' faith in the economy — and in the bets they've placed since early March — may be shaken.Conversely, if data show a huge drop in job cuts, investors are likely to be buying.That's going to be a biggie. That could be a pivot point, said Maury Fertig, chief investment officer at Relative Value Partners in Northbrook, Ill.Of course, the employment report is a concern because consumers who have lost their jobs or who fear being fired have curtailed their spending dramatically. Investors are worried that Americans won't relax enough to help the economy recover.The week also brings a reading on consumer spending, in the form of major retailers' August sales reports. July's business was slow, raising concerns about the holiday shopping season, and there have been mixed readings on consumers' state of mind since then.Without people working, you don't have people buying,Tradition Capital Management's Halliburton said.We are definitely in a weak situation.All the major market indexes, including the Dow and the Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes, rose less than half a percent last week. The rally, at least for now, appears to be on hold as investors, uncertain about the economy's direction, await this next batch of data — a pattern that stocks have periodically fallen into.
The week's reports also include two from the Institute for Supply Management, which will be issuing its assessments of the manufacturing and service sectors during August. The ISM's manufacturing index, being released Tuesday, is forecast to come in at 50.1, up from 48.9 in July. If it meets that projection, it would be a significant change, as readings above 50 mean the sector is expanding.The manufacturing report includes key components such as production and new orders, which the market looks at for signs of how industrial companies are likely to fare in the near future.The service sector report, scheduled for release Thursday, covers retailers, financial services, transportation and health care. The service index is expected to have risen to 48 from 46.4.Investors will also get a read on housing, with the Commerce Department's report on construction spending and the National Association of Realtors' pending home sales numbers expected Tuesday.Analysts generally say that no matter what the data shows, big, sustained losses in the market are unlikely because there is still enough cash on the sidelines ready to buy up stocks if there's a dip.A lot of people have been afraid of this market and are afraid to jump in,said Ray Harrison, principal of Harrison Financial Group in Citrus Heights, Calif.Regardless of the news, they are going to have to get back in at some point.
Medvedev: blaming Soviets for WWII a cynical lie By STEVE GUTTERMAN, Associated Press Writer – Sun Aug 30, 9:11 am ET
MOSCOW – Russia's president defended Moscow's role in World War II before the 70th anniversary of its outbreak, saying in an interview broadcast Sunday that anyone who lays equal blame on the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany is telling a cynical lie.
Dmitry Medvedev's remarks were the latest salvo in Russia's bitter dispute with its neighbors over the war and its aftermath. The Kremlin has launched a campaign for universal acceptance of its portrayal of the Soviet Union as Europe's liberator.In Eastern Europe, however, gratitude for the Nazi defeat is diluted by bitterness over the decades of postwar Soviet dominance.Medvedev suggested in the interview with state-run Rossiya television that nobody can question who started the war, who killed people and who saved millions of lives — who, in the final analysis, saved Europe.You cannot label someone who defended himself an aggressor,Medvedev said.
Tuesday marks 70 years since the Nazis invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, shortly after Josef Stalin's Soviet Union reached a nonaggression pact with Germany that included a secret protocol dividing eastern Europe into spheres of influence.Weeks after the German invasion, the Soviet army entered Poland from the east. After claiming its part of Poland, the Soviet Union then annexed the Baltic states and parts of Finland and Romania.Germany is widely considered the chief culprit in the war, but many Western historians believe Hitler was encouraged to invade by the treaty with Moscow, called the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. The Kremlin recently has mounted a defense against suggestions that the Soviet Union shares responsibility for the outbreak of the war.Russians contend that the Soviet leadership saw a deal with Nazi Germany as the only alternative after failing to reach a military agreement with Britain and France, and that the pact bought time to prepare for war.
Medvedev lashed out at the parliamentary assembly of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe over a July resolution equating the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, saying: Excuse me, but this is a cynical lie.In the broadcast interview, Medvedev accused Western nations of turning a blind eye to what he said is the practice of Ukraine and the Baltic ex-Soviet republics of treating former Nazi disciples as national heroes.He suggested there was greater agreement between Moscow and the West about the moral aspects of World War II during the Cold War than there is now.Russian leaders accuse Western countries of rewriting history and understating the staggering sacrifices of the Soviet Union, which lost an estimated 27 million people in the war. In May, Medvedev created a commission to fight what he said were growing efforts to hurt Russia by falsifying history.Kremlin critics have accused Russia of doing the falsifying, saying its leadership glosses over the Soviet government's conduct at home and abroad.In recent months, Poland has expressed dismay over a program on state-run Russian television and a research paper posted on the Russian Defense Ministry's Web site that seemed to lay significant blame on Poland for the outbreak of WWII.
Digging up the Saudi past: some would rather not By DONNA ABU-NASR, Associated Press Writer – AUG 31,09
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Much of the world knows Petra, the ancient ruin in modern-day Jordan that is celebrated in poetry as the rose-red city, half as old as time,and which provided the climactic backdrop for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.But far fewer know Madain Saleh, a similarly spectacular treasure built by the same civilization, the Nabateans.That's because it's in Saudi Arabia, where conservatives are deeply hostile to pagan, Jewish and Christian sites that predate the founding of Islam in the 7th century.But now, in a quiet but notable change of course, the kingdom has opened up an archaeology boom by allowing Saudi and foreign archaeologists to explore cities and trade routes long lost in the desert.The sensitivities run deep. Archaeologists are cautioned not to talk about pre-Islamic finds outside scholarly literature. Few ancient treasures are on display, and no Christian or Jewish relics. A 4th or 5th century church in eastern Saudi Arabia has been fenced off ever since its accidental discovery 20 years ago and its exact whereabouts kept secret.In the eyes of conservatives, the land where Islam was founded and the Prophet Muhammad was born must remain purely Muslim. Saudi Arabia bans public displays of crosses and churches, and whenever non-Islamic artifacts are excavated, the news must be kept low-key lest hard-liners destroy the finds.They should be left in the ground, said Sheikh Mohammed al-Nujaimi, a well-known cleric, reflecting the views of many religious leaders.Any ruins belonging to non-Muslims should not be touched. Leave them in place, the way they have been for thousands of years.
In an interview, he said Christians and Jews might claim discoveries of relics, and that Muslims would be angered if ancient symbols of other religions went on show. How can crosses be displayed when Islam doesn't recognize that Christ was crucified? said al-Nujaimi.If we display them, it's as if we recognize the crucifixion.In the past, Saudi authorities restricted foreign archaeologists to giving technical help to Saudi teams. Starting in 2000, they began a gradual process of easing up that culminated last year with American, European and Saudi teams launching significant excavations on sites that have long gone lightly explored, if at all.At the same time, authorities are gradually trying to acquaint the Saudi public with the idea of exploring the past, in part to eventually develop tourism. After years of being closed off, 2,000-year-old Madain Saleh is Saudi Arabia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site and is open to tourists. State media now occasionally mention discoveries as well as the kingdom's little known antiquities museums.It's already a big change,said Christian Robin, a leading French archaeologist and a member of the College de France. He is working in the southwestern region of Najran, mentioned in the Bible by the name Raamah and once a center of Jewish and Christian kingdoms.
No Christian artifacts have been found in Najran, he said.
Spearheading the change is the royal family's Prince Sultan bin Salman, who was the first Saudi in space when he flew on the U.S. space shuttle Discovery in 1985. He is now secretary general of the governmental Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities.Dhaifallah Altalhi, head of the commission's research center at the governmental Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, said there are 4,000 recorded sites of different periods and types, and most of the excavations are on pre-Islamic sites.We treat all our sites equally, said Altalhi.This is part of the history and culture of the country and must be protected and developed.He said archaeologists are free to explore and discuss their findings in academic venues.
Still, archaeologists are cautious. Several declined to comment to The Associated Press on their work in the kingdom.The Arabian Peninsula is rich, nearly untouched territory for archaeologists. In pre-Islamic times it was dotted with small kingdoms and crisscrossed by caravan routes to the Mediterranean. Ancient Arab peoples — Nabateans, Lihyans, Thamud — interacted with Assyrians and Babylonians, Romans and Greeks.
Much about them is unknown.
Najran, discovered in the 1950s, was invaded nearly a century before Muhammad's birth by Dhu Nawas, a ruler of the Himyar kingdom in neighboring Yemen. A convert to Judaism, he massacred Christian tribes, leaving triumphant inscriptions carved on boulders.At nearby Jurash, a previously untouched site in the mountains overlooking the Red Sea, a team led by David Graf of the University of Miami is uncovering a city that dates at least to 500 B.C. The dig could fill out knowledge of the incense routes running through the area and the interactions of the region's kingdoms over a 1,000-year span.And a French-Saudi expedition is doing the most extensive excavation in decades at Madain Saleh. The city, also known as al-Hijr, features more than 130 tombs carved into mountainsides. Some 450 miles from Petra, it is thought to mark the southern extent of the Nabatean kingdom.In a significant 2000 find, Altalhi unearthed a Latin dedication of a restored city wall at Madain Saleh which honored the second century Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.So far, there has been no known friction with conservatives over the new excavations, in part because they are in the early stages, are not much discussed in Saudi Arabia, and haven't produced any announcements of overtly Christian or Jewish finds.But the call to keep the land purged of other religions runs deep among many Saudis. Even though Madain Saleh site is open for tourism, many Saudis refuse to visit on religious grounds because the Quran says God destroyed it for its sins.Excavations sometimes meet opposition from local residents who fear their region will become known as Christian or Jewish.And Islam being an iconoclastic religion, hard-liners have been known to raze even ancient Islamic sites to ensure that they do not become objects of veneration.
Saudi museums display few non-Islamic artifacts.
Riyadh's National Museum shows small pre-Islamic statues, a golden mask and a large model of a pagan temple. In some display cases, female figurines are listed, but not present — likely a nod to the kingdom's ban on depictions of the female form. A tiny exhibition at the King Saud University in Riyadh displays small nude statues of Hercules and Apollo in bronze, a startling sight in a country where nakedness in art is highly taboo.In 1986, picnickers accidentally discovered an ancient church in the eastern region of Jubeil. Pictures of the simple stone building show crosses in the door frame.It is fenced off — for its protection, authorities say — and archaeologists are barred from examining it.Faisal al-Zamil, a Saudi businessman and amateur archaeologist, says he has visited the church several times.He recalls offering a Saudi newspaper an article about the site and being turned down by an editor.He was shocked, al-Zamil said.He said he could not publish the piece.Associated Press Writer Lee Keath contributed from Cairo.
Madonna tours Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem Sun Aug 30, 5:47 pm ET
JERUSALEM – The Material Girl has opened a visit to the Holy Land with a spiritual touch.Madonna headed to Jerusalem's Old City late Sunday where she toured an ancient tunnel near the Western Wall — the holiest site where Jews can pray.The 51-year-old pop star arrived in a black Mercedes van and was escorted into the tunnel by police. She made no comment to reporters and was whisked away about a half hour later.
Madonna isn't Jewish, but she's a follower of Jewish mysticism and has even taken the Hebrew name Esther.She arrived early Sunday for a pair of concerts this week. It will be her first performance in Israel since 1993, though she came on private pilgrimages in 2004 and 2007.Madonna is also set to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday.THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Material Girl has opened a visit to the Holy Land with a spiritual touch.Madonna headed to Jerusalem's Old City late Sunday where she toured an ancient tunnel near the Western Wall — the holiest site where Jews can pray.The 50-year-old pop star arrived in a black Mercedes van and was escorted into the tunnel by police. She made no comment to reporters and was whisked away about a half hour later.Madonna isn't Jewish, but she's a follower of Jewish mysticism and has even taken the Hebrew name Esther.She arrived early Sunday for a pair of concerts this week. It will be her first performance in Israel since 1993, though she came on private pilgrimages in 2004 and 2007.Madonna is also set to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday.
The Corruption of Empire Philip Giraldi Campaign For Liberty
Monday, August 31, 2009
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz predicted in 2003 that the cost of the Iraq war would be covered by Iraqi oil revenue, which would also pay for reconstruction. The Iraq war has in fact cost the United States more than $900 billion, including more than $145 billion US and Iraqi dollars for rebuilding and local contracting to support US forces. Six years of reconstruction has been a failure, with most projects unfinished or so poorly built that they have been abandoned. Water and electricity has not been restored to the level enjoyed under Saddam Hussein. Even those inclined to look on the bright side acknowledge that at least $13 billion has been lost to fraud, theft, and waste. Most would put the number much higher, possibly as much as $125 billion if one includes both American and Iraqi money.Just as the United States is winding down its reconstruction of Iraq, the largest nation building project in history, President Obama wants to do the same for Afghanistan only do it better and bigger. Before he gets in too deep, he should listen to the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) which is sounding alarm bells over concerns that the White House is not sharing with it plans for the reconstruction. GAO envisions massive multi-billion dollar shortfalls bringing projects crippled by corruption and waste grinding to a halt. Government auditors note that more than $5 billion in reconstruction funds already cannot be accounted for in Afghanistan.
Obama is gambling that the pervasive corruption in Iraq can somehow be avoided. It is a risky bet, both because corruption is a genie that is hard to return to the bottle and because bribery in Afghanistan, like in Iraq, is a bedfellow of government. And, tragically, it has taken hold among the American occupiers. When American military officers ran the Iraqi Defense Ministry in 2004-5, an entire year’s procurement budget of $1.3 billion disappeared on contracts signed in Poland and Pakistan for materiel that was never delivered. As as the New York Times’ Frank Rich put it astutely, in Iraq corruption has been at the center of the entire mission,possibly even a primary factor in the failure of the reconstruction program, a calamity that has hitherto been blamed on inadequate planning and a high level of violence.The United States has never lacked for war profiteers aided and abetted by dishonest officials but the Iraq War has elevated corruption to a new level. In an environment in which many billions of unaccountable dollars were stacked in shrinkwrap pallets or floating around without any real oversight, it was perhaps inevitable that corruption would establish a new gold standard. Efforts to overcome fraud and waste might eventually become, as one observer has put it, the second war in that unhappy land. It was also inevitable that the corruption involving Iraqis would sooner or later ensnare the Americans involved, demonstrating once again that war produces blowback that damages the institutions of victor and vanquished alike.
The United States has spent $145 billion on reconstruction and military support projects in Iraq. The reconstruction money, which is twice what was spent on rebuilding post-World War II’s devastated much larger and more populous Japan, has mostly been wasted. Numerous American officials, particularly those involved in contracting, have been investigated for corruption. There have been twenty-nine convictions, several suicides, and the investigations and trials promise to drag on. It is reported that more than two dozen indictments of Americans are pending.
Army contracting officer Major Gloria Davis and Air Force procurement officer Charles Riechers both committed suicide over contracting fraud while Colonel Ted Westhusing shot himself after sending an accusatory letter to General David Petraeus concluding I cannot support a mission that leads to corruption, human rights abuse and liars.Some believe that Westhusing was murdered because he was about to turn whistle blower.Robert Stein, the former US Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) controller for South Central Iraq, was one of the first successful prosecutions for corruption. Stein diverted $8.6 million through a business run by Californian Philip Bloom. Bloom admitted paying more than $2 million in bribes to US officials including four Army Colonels—Curtis Whiteford, Bruce Hopfengardner, Debra Harrison, and Michael Wheeler. Army Major John Cockerham accepted nearly $10 million in bribes while in Kuwait and his successor Army Major James Momon received $5.8 million. Army Major Christopher Murray, Army Lt. Col. Levonda Selph, Army Major John Rivard, Captain Michael Dung Nguyen, and Captain Bryant Williams have all been imprisoned for taking bribes. In Iraq’s Anbar province, local Iraqis report that US officers routinely demand 15% of all reconstruction project funds.One corruption whistleblower might even have been killed. American businessman Dale Stoffel went to the US authorities in Baghdad to complain that US military officers had been taking bribes in pizza boxes stuffed with hundred dollar bills at the contracting offices to conceal the payments. The use of dead drop points for leaving cash in paper bags was common throughout the green zone. Stoffel was threatened and was murdered in December 2004. Two US military officers, Army Colonel Anthony Bell and Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Hirtle, were identified by Stoffel before his death and are currently reported to be under investigation.Particularly disturbing is the growing evidence of widespread involvement of senior US military officers and civil servants in the corruption, which was driven by windfall profits on contracts requiring little or no work. Apart from the Army and Air Force officers who have gone to prison, reports from Kuwait suggest that at least sixteen American flag officers, generals and admirals, are currently under investigation by the Justice Department, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (Sigir), or by the Department of Defense. Sigir alone has carried out 300 investigations and more than 250 audits. Government sources report that 154 criminal investigations are still open.
The assumption that Afghanistan will somehow be different than Iraq might actually mean that it will be worse. Where Iraq had a recent history of functioning governments Afghanistan does not. Where Iraq had a decent infrastructure of roads and tradition of the government providing services, Afghanistan does not. What Afghanistan does share with Iraq is pervasive corruption at all levels of government at all times. A total of $32 billion have already been largely wasted on reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, making potential donors nervous about further engagement where there is so little to show. The Europeans have already made it clear that they want out at the first opportunity.So as the US presence in Iraq winds down there is a lesson to be learned. Military occupation inevitably corrupts the occupier. Many US military officers involved in managing the billions of dollars spent on reconstruction and support of allied forces have succumbed to temptation. Afghanistan might well be different, but there is no reason to assume that to be the case. Indeed, given the harsh physical environment and pervasive corruption in Afghanistan itself everything might well be worse. If it is not too late to halt the march of the juggernaut, it might be wise for the Obama Administration to step back and consider what it is doing. The nation building exercise in Iraq was brought to its knees at least in part by corruption which has spread alarmingly among US government officials eager to take their share of the easy money and that experience will likely be repeated in Afghanistan. Is it worth repeated that experience in support of a war that makes no sense and that is surely being lost? Undoubtedly, no.