Saturday, July 10, 2010
NEW RULES-BIG CHANGES IN FINANCIAL WORLD
WATSONVILLE — Proposed rules to clean up Central Coast waters could damage agriculture and put thousands of farmworkers out of work, according to growers.But environmentalists say nitrate from fertilizers and pesticides is poisoning the region's water supplies, and without more regulation, public health is at risk.On Thursday, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Review Board heard hours of testimony from both sides. Nearly 200 people packed the City Council chamber to participate in the discussion.The board was to decide on new rules designed to protect drinking water supplies and aquatic habitat from agricultural runoff this month, but delayed a vote until February to give opposing sides time to hash out their differences.Everybody is in favor of clean water, said Julie Engell, a Monterey County environmentalist.The question is, what are we willing to do about it?
The water quality board staff proposes replacing voluntary programs with mandates to reduce, eliminate or treat agricultural runoff, to monitor individual farming operations, and to protect existing riparian buffers around crops or create new ones to act as natural filters.Growers say in the past two decades they've taken steps to reduce pollution. Strawberry growers, for instance, have moved away from water sprinklers to drip irrigation, which allows them to use less water and fertilizer since they can concentrate both on the plant's roots.But, they say, they're being asked to clean up legacy nitrates left over from earlier generations that weren't as sparing with water and fertilizer.I'm not doing the things my grandfather used to do,said Erik Jertberg, a Pajaro Valley strawberry grower.Nevertheless, Jertberg said though the amount is much smaller than in the past, the salts from fertilizers build up near the roots, and he worries the new rules will mean he won't be able to flush them farther away to protect the plants.This will stop strawberry production on the Central Coast,Jertberg said.Agricultural groups want more flexibility in the rules. A one-size-fits-all scheme won't work given diverse crops, operations and conditions on the ground, they said.
Their proposal calls for farm operations to have plans in place to protect water quality and confidential and voluntary monitoring designed to guide growers rather than penalize them.Environmentalists support the rules proposed by the board's staff. If anything, some would like to see them more stringent.Dipti Bhatragar, the Northern California program director for the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, told the board of the recent discovery of a contaminated well serving a farm labor camp in Pescadero.According to a Bay Area News Group article, a San Mateo County health official said nitrates in the Pescadero water were as high as 290 milligrams per liter, more than six times the federal standard.These are the people most vulnerable to contamination from nitrates,Bhatragar told the board.When you make your decision, I hope you will consider them.
Palestinian village to be encircled by barrier By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press Writer - JULY 10,10
WALAJEH, West Bank – Israel has started construction on a new section of its West Bank separation barrier that Palestinian residents say could sound a death knell for their hamlet.The barrier, running much of the length of the West Bank, has already disrupted lives in many Palestinian towns and villages in its path. But it threatens to outright smother Walajeh: The community of about 2,000 on the southwest edge of Jerusalem is to be completely encircled by a fence cutting it off from most of its open land, according to an Israeli Defense Ministry map.Walajeh old-timers are determined to stay, but doubt their children will feel the same way.We will cling to the village by our teeth,said Adel Atrash, a village council member.But we don't know how the next generation will look at things. Maybe they won't be able to live with all the difficulties and decide to leave.Israel began building the barrier in 2002, saying it would be a temporary bulwark against Palestinian suicide bombers and gunmen who have killed hundreds of Israelis. However, the barrier's zigzag through the West Bank brought allegations that Israel is unilaterally drawing a border and grabbing land by scooping up dozens of Jewish settlements.Six years ago Friday, the International Court of Justice said in a nonbinding ruling that the barrier's path through occupied territory violates international law and that Israel should tear down what it has built.
Israel rejected the decision, saying the barrier is crucial for keeping Israelis safe, and denies it is drawing a border.In future negotiations (on Palestinian statehood), the route of the security barrier will not constitute a political factor,Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.Construction of the barrier continues as Israel and the Palestinians hold indirect negotiations the U.S. hopes will eventually lead to face-to-face talks on a peace treaty establishing a Palestinian state. But the Palestinians have refused direct negotiations without a complete freeze on settlement building.Today, the barrier, almost two-thirds complete, runs for more than 250 miles (400 kilometers) through the West Bank and east Jerusalem, war-captured territories claimed by the Palestinians for a state. Once finished, the barrier would put 9.4 percent of the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, on the Israeli side, along with 85 percent of half a million Israeli settlers, according to a U.N. report.The barrier — walls of cement slabs in urban areas and wire fences in the countryside — has made it harder for tens of thousands of Palestinians to reach farm land, schools and medical care.Those who live in the seam zone between Israel and the barrier or have farm land there need special permits they can't always obtain and cross through gates that aren't always open, according to the U.N. report, issued on the anniversary of the world court ruling.
Walajeh's fate appears to be sealed because it is virtually surrounded by Israeli settlements.The barrier will make a large dip into the West Bank to keep the settlements, including Har Gilo and the Gush Etzion bloc, on the Israeli side. Within that pocket, an extra loop of barrier is to surround Walajeh on three sides, with a fenced settler road to Har Gilo closing off the fourth side, according to the Defense Ministry map of the projected route.Moreover, the loop runs tightly around Walajeh's built-up area, penning it within less than a square mile and isolating it from almost all its farmlands. Of 36 Palestinian villages that are or will be caught in the seam zone,none are as closely encircled as Walajeh, said Ray Dolphin, a U.N. barrier expert in Jerusalem.Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Shlomo Dror said Friday he could not comment on the details of construction around Walajeh, but noted the route withstood a challenge in an Israeli court four years ago.The Israeli military would not comment on how villagers are to get in and out of their enclave. Israel has raised the possibility of an access road with a checkpoint, Atrash said, as well as gates so farmers could reach their lands. Residents are skeptical, considering the difficulties farmers elsewhere have had.In recent weeks, bulldozers began leveling land and uprooting trees near Walajeh in the run-up to construction.
Ahmed Barghouti, 63, who lives close to the fence's path, says he lost 88 olive trees last month and now fears for a nearby family burial plot. The village's lawyer, Ghiath Nasser, says he won a temporary order to stop work on that section until Israel's Supreme Court decides what should be done with the graves of Barghouti's parents and grandmother.The house of a neighbor, Omar Hajajla, lies just outside Walajeh's barrier loop. Hajajla said Israeli officials last week informed him his home would be surrounded by its own electric fence.This is like putting my entire family in jail,the father of three young boys said. My children need to cross four gates to go school. We don't know how it will work out, but I'm sure it will be hell for my entire family.The barrier is just the latest blow for Walajeh, which has lost most of its land to Israel in decades of conflict. Israeli forces took control of the village in the 1948 Mideast War, and residents fled, some resettling on parts of its lands that ended up in the Jordanian-controlled West Bank.After 1967, Israel expanded east Jerusalem's boundaries and absorbed half of Walajeh. But residents were still classified as West Bankers, not Jerusalemites, limiting their rights and freedom of movement.Since then, Walajeh has lost more acres to expanding settlements and roads, said Matteo Benatti, a U.N. official. From its pre-1948 size of 4,400 acres, Walajeh now has around 1,100 acres, nearly half of which will be cut off by the barrier if built as projected, he said.
Plans have been floated to build more homes for Israeli settlers in the area. In November, Israel's government gave preliminary approval to expand the nearby east Jerusalem's Gilo settlement. Private developers propose building apartments for Israelis on the lands surrounding Walajeh and have been lobbying to include the village on the Israeli side of the barrier, so far to no avail. Dror, the Defense Ministry spokesman, said he did not believe the developers would get their plan approved.Also, more than two dozen houses in Walajeh have been demolished over the years and 41 out of about 200 remaining homes face Israeli demolition orders on grounds they were built without permits, said Meir Margalit, a Jerusalem city council member. Margalit, who supports the village, says permits are impossible to obtain.Walajeh faces an uphill battle for survival, said Margalit. In any scenario, my feeling is that Walajeh will disappear.Associated Press writer Dalia Nammari in Ramallah, West Bank, contributed to this report.
New rules, big changes coming for financial world By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer - JULY 10,10
WASHINGTON – Big changes are in store for the financial world from a government crackdown more than a year in the making. Democratic leaders in the Senate are trying to secure the final votes needed to pass legislation this coming week that would impose the most sweeping rules on banks and Wall Street since the Great Depression.The financial industry and consumers already are anticipating — in some cases bracing for — the impact.Banks might see their bottom lines suffer. Lenders will have to disclose more information. Borrowers will have to prove their ability to repay. The masters of high finance will find it harder to sidestep regulations. Government watchdogs will be under orders to look more suspiciously at risky behavior.Not all the changes will occur overnight once Congress gets the legislation to President Barack Obama. Throughout the 2,300-page bill, federal monitors are given one to two years to write the new rules of the road for Wall Street. In some instances, the timing isn't even specified.Diana Farrell, deputy director of the White House's National Economic Council, says some adjustments already are under way as big banks re-examine their trading business and prepare for a new oversight system that will require them to write their own funeral plans in the event of failure.
There is some immediate impact,said Scott Talbott, senior vice president at the Financial Services Roundtable, an industry group representing some of the bigger banks in the United States. But it will take about two years before the full impact is felt, before the uncertainty starts to dwindle.Overall,said Travis Plunkett, legislative director of the Consumer Federation of America, starting with the consumer regulations, this is landmark legislation.Votes on the bill have broken along highly partisan lines. The House passed it June 30 with only three Republicans voting in support.It needs 60 votes in the Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., delayed a final Senate vote until after the July Fourth holiday because of the death of Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., and hesitation from three Republicans who previously had supported the legislation. One of those Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, has since announced her endorsement.The other two Republicans — Sens. Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Olympia Snowe of Maine — said they wanted to study the bill over the holiday break. Both have indicated the bill is more to their liking after House and Senate negotiators dropped a plan to impose a $19 billion tax on large banks and hedge funds to pay for the bill.Also, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who had voted against a Senate version of the legislation in May, has said she will now vote for the bill.But a fourth Republican who supported the Senate version — Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa — has reservations about the alternative financing mechanism negotiated by Senate and House Democrats and the White House. The new method of covering the cost of the bill would use $11 billion generated by ending the unpopular Troubled Asset Relief Program — the $700 billion bank bailout created in the fall of 2008 at the height of the financial scare. Democrats also agreed to increase premium rates paid by commercial banks to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to insure bank deposits.Grassley's spokeswoman, Jill Kozeny, said the senator is concerned using the FDIC fees as a credit to the FDIC and as an offset, and prefers that the remaining bailout money help pay down the debt.
That leaves little room for error in the vote counting. Without Grassley and with the timing of seating a replacement for Byrd still uncertain, Cantwell, Collins, Snowe and Brown would give the bill exactly the 60 votes needed to overcome potentially fatal procedural delays.The finished legislation hews closely to the plan that Obama's administration released in June 2009.That's been one of the most pleasant surprises of this process,Farrell said in an interview.In some instances, the final bill is even tougher. The administration and Democrats in Congress squabbled over details on capital standards for banks and the breadth of restrictions on their derivatives business. Derivatives are financial instruments whose values change based on the price of some underlying investment. They were used for speculation, fueling the financial crisis.The most symbolic and high-profile defeat for the president was an exception in the bill carved out for auto dealers, who won't fall under the supervision of a new consumer protection bureau. Obama had looked upon consumer protections for home and auto buyers as features that would sell the bill to the public, but auto dealers proved to be a tough lobbying and political foe, pressing their case with lawmakers that they merely assembled loans and didn't administer them. While Obama would have preferred an earlier conclusion for the bill, its passage less than four months from the general election is as good as it can get politically.The partisan lines will lead Democrats to cast Republicans as the party of Wall Street, exploiting a populist, anti-big bank sentiment among voters. Republicans will portray it as big government overreach.The legislation is a blend of specific prescriptive remedies that regulators must undertake and broader regulatory guidance.For example, it spells out what the Federal Reserve must take into account in setting new limits on the fees that banks charge merchants who accept debit cards.At the same time, it gives regulators leeway in such areas as the definition of a commercial user of complex derivatives — typically large manufacturers and industries such as airlines that use derivatives as hedges against market fluctuations. Regulators also would decide how much money those users should put up to cover their bets.The bill directs regulators and other government agencies to undertake more than 60 studies that will determine if or how new rules will be put into place. Online: White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/wallstreetreform
House Financial Services Committee: http://tinyurl.com/37e65h8
Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee: http://banking.senate.gov/public/ Financial Services Roundtable: http://www.fsround.org/ Consumer Federation of America: http://www.consumerfed.org/
If it's June it must be warm, wet and windy By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer – Fri Jul 9, 1:27 pm ET
WASHINGTON – Warm, wet and windy! That was June, depending on where you lived in the United States.The month was exceptionally hot in the South and East, wetter than normal across a northern tier of states and may have had the second most tornadoes of any June on record, the National Climatic Data Center reported Friday.Nationally averaged, June was warmer than normal, a pattern that has been continuing in recent years as greenhouse warming caused by industrial and other emissions increases. June global climate data were not yet available.But the climate center said it was the hottest June on record for New Jersey, Delaware and North Carolina, as a high pressure area directed hot, sunny weather over the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.It was the second hottest June on record in Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana, the agency added.In the contiguous 48 states only Washington and Oregon were cooler than normal, and both were also wetter than unusual.That was thanks to conditions in the Pacific Northwest which directed storms across the northern and central states, bringing wetter than normal conditions.It was the wettest June on record for Michigan and near-record rainfall fell in Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska.In addition, the federal Storm Prediction Center said there were 387 preliminary tornado reports during June.If confirmed, this will be the second most active June on record — behind 1992.The center said there were 67 preliminary tornado reports in Minnesota, topping the previous record of 35 tornadoes during June 2005.The climate and storm centers are both agencies of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Online: http://www.noaa.gov
Weekend total solar eclipse visible to lucky few By ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer –Fri Jul 9, 12:23 pm ET
LOS ANGELES – A total eclipse of the sun occurs Sunday, but don't be so quick to take out your special viewing glasses.Unlike recent solar eclipses, this year's complete blotting out of the sun will be visible only in a narrow slice of the Southern Hemisphere.The spectacle begins at sunrise some 1,200 miles northeast of New Zealand. The moon's shadow will sweep across the South Pacific, darkening skies over the Cook Islands, Easter Island and parts of southern Chile and Argentina.The time of greatest eclipse will occur over open water, lasting 5 minutes and 20 seconds.Williams College astronomer Jay Pasachoff recently traveled to remote Easter Island with a small group of students to observe what would be his 51st eclipse. They planned to set up telescopes to image the sun's glowing corona — the usually invisible outer atmosphere of the sun — which appears as a pearly white crown during an eclipse.I am sad that so few people will be able to view this year's eclipse since it doesn't pass over major cities, Pasachoff said in an e-mail.A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth. The moon blocks the light from the sun and casts a shadow on Earth.Last year's total solar eclipse — the longest one of the 21st century — fell over a wide swath of Asia, but clouds and drizzle in some places prevented some revelers from getting the full experience. The key thing is to have good weather,Pasachoff said.
Some eclipse chasers who can't view the exotic sun show at home joined tours. Fifty people left on the Fourth of July for a nine-day trip to the South Pacific. The tour was led by the Planetary Society, a space advocacy group.Tourists island-hopped around Tahiti, the French Polynesian island of Moorea and will head to the Anaa atoll, where they will wake up early to view the eclipse expected to last three minutes. The price? $4,995 a person, not including airfare.Scientists recommend that people wear special viewing glasses during a total solar eclipse and avoid looking directly with the naked eye.The next total solar eclipse will occur in November 2012 and will be visible from northern Australia and the South Pacific.Online:
NASA eclipse page: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/solar.html
Gulf oil spill panel to look at root causes By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer – Fri Jul 9, 1:08 pm ET
WASHINGTON – The new presidential oil spill commission will focus on how safety, government oversight and the ability to clean up spills haven't kept up with advances in drilling technology, the panel's leaders say.The commission will also dig into what it calls the root causes of the April 20 BP oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, looking deeper than just equipment failures.Why were some of the decisions made with respect to both regulation and to immediate response? asked panel co-chairman William Reilly.They look irregular to the casual observer.Former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, panel co-chairman, also said in a Friday teleconference that the panel will focus mostly on how things can be improved for the future.The seven members of the panel hold their first meetings Monday and Tuesday in New Orleans. They will first hear from Gulf Coast victims of the oil spill and from state officials.The hearing itself is to give voice to the region, Reilly said. The commissioners also plan individual visits to the Gulf states to see the results of the disaster for themselves.Reilly, who headed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, said he's already seen enough to fault the way the spill is being cleaned up.He called current clean-up technology primitive.He suggested the panel may learn enough about the use of oil dispersants to change the way the spill is being addressed.Online:
Friday, July 09, 2010
Anxiety May Be at Root of Religious Extremism, Researchers Find
ScienceDaily (July 6, 2010) —
Anxiety and uncertainty can cause us to become more idealistic and more radical in our religious beliefs, according to new findings by York University researchers, published in this month's issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
In a series of studies, more than 600 participants were placed in anxiety-provoking or neutral situations and then asked to describe their personal goals and rate their degree of conviction for their religious ideals. This included asking participants whether they would give their lives for their faith or support a war in its defence.
Across all studies, anxious conditions caused participants to become more eagerly engaged in their ideals and extreme in their religious convictions. In one study, mulling over a personal dilemma caused a general surge toward more idealistic personal goals. In another, struggling with a confusing mathematical passage caused a spike in radical religious extremes. In yet another, reflecting on relationship uncertainties caused the same religious zeal reaction.Researchers found that religious zeal reactions were most pronounced among participants with bold personalities (defined as having high self-esteem and being action-oriented, eager and tenacious), who were already vulnerable to anxiety, and felt most hopeless about their daily goals in life.A basic motivational process called Reactive Approach Motivation (RAM) is responsible, according to lead researcher Ian McGregor, Associate Professor in York's Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health. Approach motivation is a tenacious state in which people become locked and loaded on whatever goal or ideal they are promoting. They feel powerful, and thoughts and feelings related to other issues recede,he says.
RAM is usually an adaptive goal regulation process that can re-orient people toward alternative avenues for effective goal pursuit when they hit a snag. Our research shows that humans can sometimes co-opt RAM for short term relief from anxiety, however. By simply promoting ideals and convictions in their own minds, people can activate approach motivation, narrow their motivational focus away from anxious problems, and feel serene as a result, says McGregor.Researchers also measured participants' superstitious beliefs and deference toward a controlling God in order to distinguish religious zeal from meeker forms of devotion. Anxiety-provoking threats sometimes also cause people to become paranoid and more submissive to externally-controlling forces, so we wanted to rule out that interpretation for our results, he says. Anxious uncertainty had no effect on either superstition or religious submission.Findings published last year in the journal Psychological Science by the same authors and collaborators at the University of Toronto found that strong religious beliefs are associated with low activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, the part of the brain that becomes active in anxious predicaments.
Taken together, the results of this research program suggest that bold but vulnerable people gravitate to idealistic and religious extremes for relief from anxiety,McGregor says.
HUMANITY IN TURMOL LAST CHANCE TO REPENT
ALEX JONES WEEKLY SHOWS-TODAY TO 1 WEEK SUNDAY AFTER 4PM EACH DAY
FALSE FLAGS (SET UP OR STAGED BY SOMEONE)
Nearly Half a Million Dollars Pledged by Americans to Fight DOJ Lawsuit Against Arizona Kurt Nimmo Infowars.com July 9, 2010
Americans from around the country are sending donations to Arizona in an effort to fend off a looming federal lawsuit against the state’s recently passed immigration law.The Arizona Star reported yesterday that a legal defense fund for SB 1070 has collected almost $500,000 as of Thursday morning, more than 60 percent of it coming in during the 48 hours after the Justice Department sued to invalidate the law. Money came from more than 9,000 contributors spread from coast to coast and border to border.Eighty-eight percent of the donations came via the internet and a majority of the donations were between $10 and $100.The federal lawsuit duplicates an earlier one filed by the ACLU and supported by the Mexican government. The Mexican government has provided support for lawsuits filed by U.S. organizations opposed to the law.Earlier in the week the Mexican Foreign Ministry issued a statement stating that it has an obligation to protect the rights and dignity of its citizens who are arrested for illegally entering the United States. In April, the Mexican government said it would provide consular protection and legal advice and assistance to illegal Mexican immigrants in Arizona through its five consulates in the state.A Gallup poll released today indicates most Americans oppose the federal lawsuit. Americans’ initial reactions to the U.S. Justice Department lawsuit against Arizona’s new illegal immigration law are more negative than positive, by a 50% to 33% margin, reports the polling organization. The fact that Americans are more likely to oppose than favor the federal government’s lawsuit against Arizona’s controversial immigration law is in line with previous polling showing that Americans generally favor the Arizona bill. This means the Obama administration is sailing against the tide of public opinion in its efforts to block the law, although members of Obama’s own party certainly support the administration.A Rasmussen poll released on Thursday reveals that voters by a two-to-one margin oppose the Justice Department’s decision to challenge the legality of Arizona’s new immigration law in federal court. “Sixty-one percent (61%), in fact, favor passage of a law like Arizona’s in their own state, up six points from two months ago,” reports Rasmussen.
Support for Arizona’s law is not divided along racial lines as the corporate media often claims. In Colorado, a recent Denver Post poll said 62 percent of Colorado Hispanics favor a law like Arizona’s. But Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper, the mayor of Denver, opposes it, putting himself at odds with those Colorado Latinos,notes Fox News.On immigration, the GOP accuses Democrats of ignoring a border crisis and selling out national security to cynically court Latino votes.Meanwhile, the state of Utah is pushing ahead with its own immigration law.I actually think the more states that pass legislation and get involved in the lawsuit, the better it’s going to be for defraying costs and fighting the federal government,Rep. Stephen Sandstrom told The Salt Lake Tribune. Sandstrom has introduced a Utah version of the Arizona law.Lawmakers and political candidates in as many as 18 states say they want to push similar measures when their legislative sessions start in 2011, according to the Star-Telegram. Legislation may pass in Oklahoma and gubernatorial candidates in Florida and Minnesota are discussing introducing laws in their states. Bills similar to the Arizona law have been introduced in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Minnesota, South Carolina and Michigan.
Mexican drug cartels have threatened to assassinate an Arizona law-enforcement officer who is outspoken about his support for the state’s legislation. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has received threats from the Mexican mafia and drug cartel members. Outside law enforcement teams brought in to investigate the threats found them credible, Fox News reported on July 6. I understand this threat, yet I will not run in fear or change my support for SB1070 and my demands for President Obama to secure our border with 3,000 armed soldiers in Arizona and start building the fence again,Babeu said.
Mark Of The Beast Rears Its Head In Pennsylvania
Paul Joseph Watson Prison Planet.com Friday, July 9, 2010
Since the scum public can’t be trusted to control themselves after drinking a glass of wine, the state government of Pennsylvania has begun trials for a system that could eventually be rolled out in grocery stores across the region, where consumers are forced to scan their ID, perform a breathalyzer test, and stare into a surveillance camera before a government employee approves their purchase.A customer chooses a wine on a touch-screen display, swipes an ID, blows into an alcohol sensor (no contact with the machine is required) and looks into a surveillance camera. A state employee in Harrisburg remotely approves the sale after verifying the buyer isn’t drunk and matches the photo ID, reports the Associated Press.The zombie public, completely unaware of how having to prove that they are a good citizen before obtaining government permission to buy something has no place in a free country and is a slippery slope to draconian measures of control over the individual, expressed their approval at this new level of serfdom.This is just convenient one-stop shopping, said Darby Golec, 28, of Enola. It’ll be nice to have it all in one area.Others called the system Big Brother and pointed out that it creates a dangerous imbalance between the state and the citizen.The process is cumbersome and assumes the worst in Pennsylvania’s wine consumers — that we are a bunch of conniving underage drunks, said Keith Wallace, president and founder of The Wine School of Philadelphia.For decades, those who feared the mark of the beast were derided as Christian nutjobs when they warned of a system being introduced that would mandate people to prove they were a loyal citizen before being allowed to purchase anything. Citing the Book of Revelation 13:17-18, the following passage has often been brought up in the context of government moves to regulate how people make purchases.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. 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.
While for the moment, the ID necessary to make a purchase in Pennsylvania remains a drivers license, in five or ten years it could well be the implantable microchip. Indeed, as we highlighted several years ago now, trendy nightclubs in places like Barcelona require patrons wishing to access the VIP area of the club to receive a Verichip implant which is also used to keep a database of their drinks purchases.
Similarly, in 2004, Mexico’s attorney general and 160 of his office staff were implanted with tracker chips to control access to to secure areas of their headquarters.When Alex Jones interviewed Baja Beach Club owner Conrad Chase, he related a story of how Verichip CEO Dr. Keith Bolton had told him that the Verichip was destined to become the global implantable identity system.The objective of this technology is to bring an ID system to a global level that will destroy the need to carry ID documents and credit cards,Chase said during a 2002 conference.In 2008, we learned that the Bilderberg Group, the quasi-secret organization of global power brokers that meets annually to plot the course of world affairs, had called for humans to be microchipped en masse in the name of weeding out terrorists.
Investigative journalist Jim Tucker’s source told him that Bilderberg discussed introducing the system under the pretext of fighting terrorism whereby the good guys would be allowed to travel freely from airports so long as their microchip could be scanned and the information stored in a database.Similarly, before his death Hollywood director and documentary filmmaker Aaron Russo told Alex Jones that Nick Rockefeller had who personally told him that the elite’s ultimate goal was to create a microchipped population.During one conversation, Rockefeller asked Russo if he was interested in joining the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) but Russo rejected the invitation, saying he had no interest in enslaving the people to which Rockefeller coldly questioned why he cared about the serfs.I used to say to him what’s the point of all this,said Russo,you have all the money in the world you need, you have all the power you need, what’s the point, what’s the end goal? to which Rockefeller replied (paraphrasing), The end goal is to get everybody chipped, to control the whole society, to have the bankers and the elite people control the world.So presumably those who refuse to take the mark or the microchip will eventually be ostracized from society and be forced to live on the fringes of existence.But for the rest of the general public, transfixed by the behavior of Lindsay Lohan and LeBron James as their freedoms crash and burn around them, the convenience of scanning their ID chip for every conceivable purpose will represent just another facet of their meaningless, prozac-hazed, slavish lives.
Banksters are Coming for Your Retirement Next Eric Blair
Activist Post July 9, 2010
As we near the End Game, the banksters and their government accomplices are coming for the last of your wealth — your retirement money. First, the banksters hoodwinked an angry public into bailing out their collateralized-debt obligations and derivative Ponzi scheme to the tune of what may turn out to be over $600 Trillion dollars. Derivatives are nothing more than bets on other bets, on other bets, that are all completely worthless. So, we can assume that the taxpayer will be victimized for at least that amount for derivatives alone. That’s about $2 million dollars for every man, woman, and child in America, or $100,000 for every person in the world.
They bet big with your investment money, got fat, then lost thousands of times more than everything real on Earth combined. Then, representatives of the people bailed gave them out (including bonuses) while they laughed all the way to their respective banks. Since government officials are doing their best to reject transparency, we can also only assume this number is much, much larger.Sadly, their derivative Ponzi scheme is the least of the public’s current problems regarding the banks. The international banks’ economic hit men have successfully enslaved-by-debt everything from nations, entire industries, state and local governments (who will need their bailout soon), and nearly every person on the planet. Even if an individual doesn’t have any bank financing or credit cards, they still pay the private Federal Reserve through inflation. As author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins, would say: the time has come for the banks to collect their pound of flesh from average citizens by way of your pensions. For an enlightening explanation of how economic hit men enslave entire countries please watch the video below:
Today, the word austerity is becoming commonplace in European countries, and America may indeed be next on the chopping block. The IMF is pushing economically-weak European countries into austerity measures that target average citizens for debts their government owes to banks, including slashing and looting pension guarantees. Incidentally, the U.S. national debt, plus unfunded liabilities and personal and private debt, puts America in far worse shape than all European countries combined.
As we near the End Game, the banksters and their government accomplices are coming for the last of your wealth — your retirement money. Recent headlines about the IMF pressing the U.S.to reduce its debt is the first sign of things to come. They have already methodically gutted the assets of most public pension funds by knowingly investing those funds in toxic junk. In late 2009, Mark Brenner wrote an excellent article titled Pensions: The Next Casualty for Wall Street which gave a breakdown of the dismal state of pensions:Nearly $4 trillion worth of retirement savings were wiped out in the first weeks of the 2008 financial freefall. Half of the drop was concentrated in traditional pension plans, also known as defined-benefit plans. While most workers in these plans haven’t had their monthly benefits cut, unlike the 46 million people riding the stock market with 401(k) defined-contribution plans, the storm clouds are gathering.Furthermore, we’ve also seen the captains of private industry pump their bottom line for years with their worker’s pension contributions (much like the federal government has done with Social Security receivables). When it comes time to pay the pensions they dump the obligation onto the taxpayer through the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation which was reported to be $12.9 in the red for 2009. Once again, the taxpayers are funding their own servitude while the ownership class pillages on the way up and on the way down.I can’t help but be reminded that warnings of this day went unheard. This George Carlin clip below sternly warned that the owners of this country will ultimately come for your retirement — but, hey, who was listening to a comedian?
That’s right, the day is rapidly approaching where they’ll come for your retirement. Screw your guarantees you thought you worked your whole life for. Apparently, contractual law does not apply to the servant class. However, we all remember Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner arguing that the reason they must use taxpayer money to pay 100-cents-on-the-dollar for AIG’s rancid obligations was because it would be wrong to break contractual laws. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that they only respect contractual law when they are taking from the poor and giving to their rich partners in crime.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast(THE EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADE BLOCKS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise:(10 NATIONS) and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(BE HEAD OF 3 KINGS OR NATIONS).
Parliament sets out demands on CAP reform
ANDREW WILLIS 08.07.2010 @ 17:31 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - MEPs have set out their list of demands regarding the future shape of the EU's common agricultural policy (CAP), insisting that EU farm payments should not be reduced. In adopting the non-legislative resolution in Strasbourg on Thursday (8 July), the euro deputies also rejected the idea of a partial re-nationalisation' of the CAP, under which national governments would co-finance farmers, together with the EU budget. Farming contributes a fraction to the EU's GDP, but provides jobs in many less-developed regions (Photo: European Commission)
The result allies the parliament with countries opposing a radicle reform of the CAP, such as France, but pits it against some in the European Commission and other member states, primarily the UK, which argue the money could be better spent elsewhere.Agricultural payments make up roughly 40 percent of the EU's €120 billion annual budget, with the current farming policy set to expire at the end of 2013. Since the CAP will have to confront many challenges and pursue broader objectives after 2013, it is essential that the budget ... is at least maintained at current levels,MEPs stressed in the resolution drawn up by British Liberal MEP George Lyon.
As a result of the Lisbon Treaty, the euro parliamentarians now have an equal say over CAP reform and the creation of the bloc's multi-annual budget for first time in the EU's history, adding greater importance to Thursday's statement of intent. EU agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos welcomed the result of the vote, saying the suggestions were a useful input into the commission's communication on the post-2013 CAP, expected this November.This own-initiative report raises important issues about the need to ensure a better balance at the heart of the CAP between food security and the efficient management of natural resources, said the Romanian commissioner, whose appointment was supported by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.Following the communication, the commission will come forward with legislative proposals by next June, roughly the same time it will make suggestions on the shape and size of the EU's overall budget for 2014-2020.Amongst other measures included in parliament's resolution, MEPs called for an EU funded top-up payment for farmers who reduce their carbon emissions and adopt methods that increase the level of CO2 stored in soil.
They also said the gap between farm payments to 'new' and 'old' member states should be reduced, with farmers in countries that that joined in 2004 or later currently receiving lower levels of direct support. The MEPs said the CAP's two pillars - direct payments to farmers and funding for rural development - should stay put.
The debate on the future of the CAP comes at the same time as the European Commission is restarting talks with the South American trade bloc Mercosur, an agri-power, causing alarm in EU states with large farming sectors, and causing several MEPs to voice strong criticism on Thursday.A deal with Mercosur while we debate the future of the CAP would be a disaster,Irish centre-right MEP Mairead McGuinness said.This will be extremely severe with job losses and a reduction in EU agriculture output with negative consequences for large parts of the EU.Spanish MEPs and those from business-orientated constituencies tend to support the reopening of the talks however, as they are likely to lead to a lowering of industrial trade barriers. Spanish firms are well represented in the area.
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,(WORLD SOCIALISM) 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 FRI JULY 09,2010
09:30 AM -1.07
10:00 AM +7.99
10:30 AM +19.79
11:00 AM +19.08
11:30 AM -2.42
12:00 PM +14.23
12:30 PM +11.58
01:00 PM +5.53
01:30 PM +5.94
02:00 PM +14.31
02:30 PM +8.48
03:00 PM +41.10
03:30 PM +28.84
04:00 PM +58.73 10,197.72
S&P 500 1077.93 +7.68
NASDAQ 2196.45 +21.05
GOLD 1,209.90 +13.80
OIL 76.25 +0.81
TSE 300 11,570.57 +137.10
CDNX 1369.45 +16.54
S&P/TSX/60 679.09 +8.34
YEAR TO DATE PERFORMANCE
Dow -15 points at 4 minutes of trading today.
Dow -19 points at low today.
Dow +46 points at high today so far.
GOLD opens at $1,209.70.OIL opens at $75.33 today.
Dow -19 points at low today so far.
Dow +46 points at high today so far.
Dow -19 points at low today.
Dow +46 points at high today.
GOLD ALLTIME HIGH $1,260.90 (NOT AT CLOSE)
Whatever happened to our right to privacy??? By Laurie Roth JULY 8,10
The control wagons continue to circle has many in the U.S. masses are distracted by the empathy words, crises responses, and manipulated national security and environmental needs.We see several deceitful and manipulated techniques, designed to direct what we do and know what we do.First of all we see the radical and progressive agenda as revealed in the push of smart grid.
What is smart grid?
It is a broad term that involves control of our electrical power, including gas and water usage. The Department of Energy has been charged with developing this whole system, naturally due to the ageing power system we have. This whole scheme of Government and environmental intrusion would involve sensors stuffed on in home products, at central locations, inter relating with each other. Our use of power and energy, whether in our private homes or businesses would be evaluated, controlled, regulated, taxed and possibly turned off if the powers on high thought we had exceeded a limit and needed to pay much more.The Smart Grid, as revealed by Pat Wood of www.augustreview.com masterfully shreds our 4th amendment rights and will attempt to lead our daily, lifestyle choices around by the nose.
Health ID Card
Another control scheme, hiding behind health of course is the forced national Health ID card coming with the Obama care plan. It says plainly, right in the body of the bill that we will all be issued a national health identification card. It talks about this on page 62 and says that the operating rules, effective not later than January 1, 2013 will use a machine readable identification card. So much for privacy with your health.I predict if this UN American and unaffordable health plan is not unfounded and trashed, all kinds of lifestyle information will be linked with health issues and tracked with regulations, taxation and draconian rules. Gun usage and mental health background will be linked to health care and costs. Accounts and payments will be tracked by the IRS who has been assigned to run this inspiring program. Imagine, your accounts being seized if your health payment was behind or being disputed. Could this kind of intrusion and no doubt linking everything to health and additional expense, be the final dictatorial control over the people? There is more.So, we hide the handcuffs and intrusions behind, the environmental needs and health care needs so far. Naturally, we must also hide behind the hackers and business security issues. Now our Government has plans for a Cyber Shield for utilities and companies. Due to all the hackers and danger to critical infrastructure, a new plan is a foot called the Perfect Citizen program. I think most of us already know that the Internet is glorious for communication and business but also a horror show for criminals and hackers. However, now, with this program they are talking about multibillions of dollars developing and placing sensors to try and stop Cyber security breaches. The goal as presented is to close the glaring holes with the cyber threat to our infrastructure. A recent Wall street Journal article by Siobhan Gorman talks about this aggressive push and the possibility of using all this information from intrusive sensors placed all over, other interesting ways. Won’t that help stop the bad guys and criminals…..or will it just create more crime against our privacy rights and constitution?
Gee, with the President’s new Internet kill switch powers for alleged emergencies, that he of course will define, one wonders if the Perfect Citizen program will be used to compliment this intrusion as well.We must stand for all our 4th amendment rights and not allow our Government and federal structures to hide behind environment, health, security, emergencies and needs to steal and shred our constitutional rights and freedoms. Stand against the insanity! Stand for our freedom.
1st Amendment and a body bag By Laurie Roth JULY 6,10
One of the most critical and preserving freedoms we have lies within the treasure of our 1st Amendment and freedom of speech yet it is viciously under attack by progressive liberals.Shockingly many don’t even have a real clue what this actually means and what freedoms this covers.McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that only 1% of adults who filled out a national poll had a clue about the 5 freedoms the 1st Amendment represents, freedom of speech,press, religion, assembly and right to petition our government. Most Americans can tell who the contestants are for American Idol, follow the details and gossip of the NFL stars and other absurd dribble. According to the McCormick survey, 52% of the responders could name several characters on the Simpson’s.Absurdly,21% thought this Amendment had to do with right to own a pet. Gee, do you think our priorities and knowledge is a tinge out of wack? How can we defend what we don’t even know we have??? We are seeing several dimensions of attack
Disclose act was narrowly passed in the House
This act is a Democrat/Progressive tantrum to counter the Supreme Court’s decision, back in January that said all kinds of groups, from Tea Party to Union groups could express themselves with their funds clear up to the November elections. Now, with the Disclose act, conservative groups will be buried in paperwork, receive demands for lists of members, and other regulations which will render them practically neutered with controls.The hope and plan by the progressives is that this will silence and slow down the growth of the Tea Party groups, Gun owners groups and other conservative, groups that have mega lists and influence, nationally. Shamefully, the NRA was offered exemption from the Disclose act for their promised support and agreement not to fight it. As a long standing NRA member, I am ashamed! This is not leadership, THIS IS SELL OUT! They need to stand for our 1st amendment rights, that includes the rights for other gun organizations such as Gun Owners of America and the 2nd Amendment foundation, not just their own backside!
Other assaults on speech
With all the gulf madness and lack of leadership with this emergency, now see reporters and photographers are not allowed any closer than 65 feet of any boom, response vessel or even on the beaches. I guess they might actually take a real photo and document what is really going on, the good, bad and ugly. Naturally, the Government strangle structures put in place hide behind safety needs. Most folks with only 10% of their brain working understand that this has nothing at all to do with safety but rather total media manipulation, editing and censoring. Especially, since this administration has been completely incompetent in handling it.Finally, we see the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) blocking certain websites from being seen at their agency’s computers. These naughty categories include: Chat/Messaging, Criminal activity, gaming, extreme violence and gruesome content, then the mother load of danger…….controversial opinion. I can certainly understand limiting your employees with games, extreme violence and criminal activity, but opinion controversial opinion??? Does that mean conservative journals, nasty articles and commentaries about our constitution, freedoms and concerns of this administration? I must be the anti Christ to TSA officials.It is time to stand for ALL our 1st amendment rights, not just the progressives when it suits them.
World’s leaders accept the demise of the global warming Agenda
By Jim Campbell Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Al Gore’s Church of Climatology has been abandoned by world leaders in their quest to maintain power and political position.Lawrence Solomon recently reported that G20 leaders in Toronto tried to avoid the fate of colleagues felled by warming advocacy by turning their backs on global warming legislation. Will the mainstream media in the U.S. report these findings? Not likely! Last week’s G8 and G20 meetings in Toronto and its environs confirmed that the world’s leaders accept the demise of global-warming alarmism. One year ago, the G8 talked tough about cutting global temperatures by two degrees. In Toronto, they neutered that tough talk, replacing it with a nebulous commitment to do their best on climate change.Not trying to outdo each other, the global-warming commitments of the G20, which now carries more clout than the G8, went from nebulous to non-existent: The G20’s draft promise going into the meetings of investing in green technologies faded into a mere commitment to a green economy and to sustainable global growth.These leaders’ collective decisions in Toronto reflect their individual experiences at home, and a desire to avoid the fate that met their true-believing colleagues, all of whom have been hurt by the economic and political consequences of their global-warming advocacy.
Kevin Rudd, Australia’s gung-ho global-warming prime minister, lost his job the day before he was set to fly to the G20 meetings; just months earlier Australia’s conservative opposition leader, also a major proponent of global warming legislation, lost his job in an anti-global-warming backbencher revolt.The Church of The Church of Climatology’s choir director, on global warming Gordon Brown, of the U.K. likewise lost his job.France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, who had vowed to save the human race from climate change by introducing a carbon tax by the time of the G8 and G20, was a changed man by the time the meetings occurred. He cancelled his carbon tax in March, two days after a crushing defeat in regional elections that saw his Gaullist party lose just about every region of France. He got the message: Two-thirds of the French public opposed carbon taxes.Spain? Days before the G20 meetings, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, his popularity and that of global warming in tatters, decided to gut his country’s renewable industry by unilaterally rescinding the government guarantees enshrined in legislation, knowing the rescinding would put most of his country’s 600 photovoltaic manufacturers out of business.Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi similarly scrapped government guarantees for its solar and wind companies prior to the G8 and G20, putting them into default, too.
The U.K may be making the biggest global-warming cuts of all, with an emergency budget that came down the week of the G20 meetings. The two government departments responsible for climate-change policies, previously immune to cuts, must now contract by an extraordinary 25%.Other U.K. departments are also ditching climate-change programs, the casualties include manufacturers of electric cars, the Low Carbon Buildings Program, and, as the minister in charge put it, every commitment made by the last government on renewable energy is under review.Some areas of U.K.’s economy not only survived but expanded, though: The government announced record offshore oil development in the North Sea, when it granted a record 356 exploration licenses in its most recent round.Support for global-warming programs is also in tatters in the U.S., where polls show as in Europe, that the vast majority of Americans reject the global-warming agenda. Americans resent repeated attempts to pass cap and trade legislation over their objections, contributing to the fall in popularity of President Barack Obama and Congress.Will progressive ideologues in the U.S. Congress change their tune quickly to save their jobs? Not likely, ignorance and stubbornness are frequently a fatal combination. In anticipation that cap and trade legislation would be stalled in the senate, the current administration tasked the Environmental Protection Agency with capping carbon emissions.Public opinion surveys now predict that this November’s elections will see sweeping change in the United States, with legislators who have signed on to the global warming hypothesis being replaced by those who don’t buy it.One country, Canada and one leader, Prime Minister Stephen Harper have stood out for avoiding the worst excesses associated with climate change. Called the Colossal Fossil three years running by some 500 environmental groups around the world, Canada and Stephen Harper are reviled among climate-change campaigners for failing to fall into line.Not coincidentally, Canada has also stood out for having best withstood the financial crisis that beset the world. Fittingly, Canada and its leader played host to the meetings.Random thoughts while observing the ongoing international charade, I’m J.C.
Climategate Investigations Are Arrogant Insults
By Dr. Tim Ball Thursday, July 8, 2010
There were two British investigations into the behavior of scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia (UEA) exposed in leaked emails. Both reports provide no answers, no explanations and are only telling for what they did not ask or do and how they were manipulated. The blatant level of cover up is frightening. These are acts by people who believe they are unaccountable because they have carried out the greatest scam in history with impunity. The degree of cover up in both cases is an arrogant in-your-face statement that we are the power and are not answerable to anyone. Their cover up almost belittles the ones they are investigating.Lord Oxburgh, a member of the House of Lords, chaired the first investigation. His bias and self-interest is barefaced and makes his appointment shameless in its temerity.He is chairman of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, which believes carbon capture is potentially a trillion dollar industry. As James Delingpole reports Oxburgh has paid directorships of two renewable energy companies, and is a paid advisor to Climate Change Capital, the Low Carbon Initiative, Evo-Electric, Fujitsu, and an environmental advisor to Deutsche Bank. Last month we revealed that Oxburgh had failed to declare his directorship of GLOBE, an international network of legislators with ties to the Club of Rome.It’s as if they said who stands to gain the most by whitewashing what happened. The Club of Rome connection is most telling, because I have documented their role in initiating, identifying, and pursuing CO2 as the basis of capitalist destruction of the planet.
Oxburgh was appointed by UEA whose Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Trevor Davies said he believed he would lead the investigation in an utterly objective way.We now know this means the objectivity was to ensure the false science claiming CO2 was causing global warming would be objectively maintained. UEA consulted the Royal Society in selecting Oxburgh. They blithely ignored the fact he is a Fellow of the Society and that it had a track record heavily biased to supporting the false science of the CRU and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (IPCC). The Society also recommended the eleven academic papers to be considered. When Steve McIntyre, who was instrumental in exposing some of the major scientific falsehoods and deceptions exposed by the emails, asked Oxburgh,a few simple questions about the terms of reference and documentation of this inquiry he received remarkable answers that he summarized as follows; The net result, as you will see, is that Oxburgh says that they have no documents evidencing the terms of reference of the inquiry or the selection of the eleven papers, no notes, transcripts or other documentation of the interviews with CRU employees and Oxburgh refused consent for panelists to directly provide me with any notes that they might have taken.
Brazenness of the entire exercise
Oxburgh brushes off the entire set of problems and in doing so exposes the brazenness of the entire exercise. Given the seriousness of the allegations they wanted our inquiry to be completed as quickly as possible both for the benefit of the individuals concerned and for the University’s internal concerns as well as for their wider concerns about the science. The intention was to supplement the wider and more formal Muir Russell review that was already underway and which I believe will report later this year.His report was simply to stanch the bleeding while the larger whitewash was underway. Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics, expressed the concern about the projected spring 2010 publication date. This is probably necessary to allow a thorough investigation, but it does mean that those who are using climategate as a propaganda tool for their own political ends might be able to enjoy many more weeks of mischief-making.Yes, they might start asking questions and putting doubt in the public’s mind.It might jeopardize the entire global climate scam that is designed to undermine capitalism and replace it with one-world government and total control over everyone in the world.Sir Muir Russell was chosen chief investigator of the second committee because as a career bureaucrat he had established a reputation of finding what was required. True, he had no connection to the university or the climate science community, but all that meant was he was easily manipulated and controlled. Evidence of his naiveté appeared quickly with the first people chosen to help the investigation? One was the editor of the journal Nature with disturbing connections to CRU and Climategate who sensibly withdrew. The other was Geoffrey Boulton who failed to disclose connections to the UEA. Despite this, Russell kept him on the committee. As Bishop Hill reports, Boulton said, in effect, that he had tricked poor Muir Russell. While Russell may have intended to select Team members on the basis they have no prejudicial interest in climate change and climate science, Boulton had a different idea.
It is no surprise the final report is a complete whitewash. As McIntyre notes,They adopted a unique inquiry process in which they interviewed only one side – CRU. As a result, the report is heavily weighted towards CRU apologia – a not unexpected result given that the writing team came from Geoffrey Boulton’s Royal Society of Edinburgh.There’s that Royal Society connection again. The report exploits lack of knowledge or understanding of climate science just like the CRU and IPCC. They couldn’t allow involvement of experts who knew the science and how it was manipulated.But the omissions are more basic and ones everyone can understand. For example, why didn’t they trace the source of the leaks? Why were only some of the emails leaked? Russell’s report chastises CRU for failing to provide data on request and for being secretive or refusing Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. What drove them to do this with information obtained and produced by public funding? It doesn’t matter how much climate science you understand, the level and extent of avoidance goes beyond laziness, time consumption as they tried to claim or any other excuse. Ironically, Phil Jones, Director of the CRU, provides the answer in his email response to Warwick Hughes request for information on how he produced the claim that global temperatures had risen 0.6°C since the end of the 19th century. This claim, with the falsified hockey stick, was central to the 2001 IPCC Report used as the scientific basis for global warming. Jones replied on 21st February 2005, We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.Jones never disclosed the information and then said it was lost. These actions were symptomatic of the entire activities at the CRU and then the IPCC. Those using human induced global warming for political and economic ends could not allow anyone to find there was something wrong with the data or the method. Instead they laugh in our faces with the most transparent, manipulated brazen cover up possible.
Barack Obama: Securing the border, one sign at a time
By Paul Ibbetson Thursday, July 8, 2010
No one likes to be opposed. As people, we pick a side of an argument we believe in and try our hardest to win. That’s life, but there are differing ways in which we oppose one another and some are much more inflammatory than others. See if you agree. Is it not more frustrating, more infuriating when someone attempts to trick you to win an argument? Is there not more respect given to those who say, You’re wrong, I’m right, and I will prove it! versus someone who attempts trickery and poorly devised schemes to win an argument while congratulating you on your hard-fought victory? I say it is better to be defeated than to be duped and defeated. When it comes to the issue of border security Barack Obama is attempting poorly crafted chicanery on the citizens of this country. Obama is not the first to fail the American people on this issue, but he is the first to fail them in such an insulting manner. Before we shine the light of accountability on Obama’s bamboozling bag of border tricks, we should look at the failures to secure the border that preceded his presidency.Through the time and effort of average Americans in the Minuteman Project the nation received video footage of the undeniably massive influx of illegal aliens crossing the border. If ever it was in question, the will of the American people to be safe and secure in their own nation has now been made clear. The U.S. border must be secured.
On Oct. 26, 2006, the Secure Fence Act was passed. It stated that within 18 months the government was to have secured the border through the use of physical barriers, border patrol agents, unmanned aerial vehicles, ground-based sensors, satellites, radar coverage, cameras and additional checkpoints. Just to make sure there was no question about the end goal, the term operational control, which is referenced throughout the law, was defined as the prevention of all unlawful U.S. entries, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics and other contraband.So why is the border still wide open? Here is where the trickery starts. Instead of going full bore to complete the project, funding became a political wedge issue as double fencing became single fencing, and by the time the Obama administration was faced with the border security issue, fencing at all was seen as impractical. As reported by the Associated Press back in 2005, then-Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano was already undermining the fence option with statements such as, You show me a 50-foot wall and I’ll show you a 51-foot ladder at the border. That’s the way the border works.In a very foreseeable progression in the government’s failure to secure the border, Arizona passes SB1070 to protect its state from an onslaught of illegal immigration. The current Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, once again with a majority of American support, forces the government’s hand to take action. Even with the self-proclaimed transparent Obama administration at the helm, like painful déjà vu, government trickery again replaced government action. In response to Brewer’s meeting with Barack Obama and the promise of government aid to secure the Arizona border, the president’s response was to post warning signs in the desert, 80 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border and about 30 miles from the state capital. The signs read, Smuggling and illegal immigration may be encountered in this area.No kidding, Sherlock! As reported by CBS news, Governor Brewer now stars in a new video showing the warning signs at her state’s border as she gives the president both barrels for his lackadaisical response to this growing threat.I can identify with her anger because it is not just opposition to securing the border that Obama is showing, it is opposition presented through an intelligence-insulting ruse. The Obama-border-sign fiasco is the biggest slap in the face to America on this issue so far and it will not be forgotten quickly. The economic and physical security of Americans is not a joke to be placed on signs at the nation’s edge. After what has been years of failed policy on border security, Barack Obama is redefining the concept of adding insult to injury.You can put that on a sign.
Bibi and King By Joy Tiz Thursday, July 8, 2010
After last night’s interview with Benjamin Netanyahu, Larry King’s interminable panel discussions about self destructive celebutards just won’t be mesmerizing anymore. Larry’s sixteen remaining viewers enjoyed not only a vital history lesson, but the satisfaction of watching a Jiu-Jitsu master in action.Foregoing his traditional journalistic styling—So tell me, do they have American Idol in your country?—King started out by trying to provoke Netanyahu into affirming that his relationship with Barack Obama is something less than optimal. Asking and re-asking the same question approximately thirty-seven times, Netanyahu held steady with his insistence that America and Israel are allies and have been for a long time and will continue to be in the future, irrespective of regime changes in either country. And Bibi didn’t get kicked out via the Dali Lama Door.Finally ditching this entirely futile line of questioning, King moved in for what he hoped would be the superlative gotcha: will you meet with the Palestinians?:That’s a very — that’s an excellent question that I’ve been asking for a year and a quarter, ever since I got into office. On day one that I got in, I said President Abbas, the Palestinian president, meet me and let’s talk peace.And I use this forum today, on the ‘Larry King’ show, to say, President Abbas, meet me, and let’s talk peace. We all have our grievances. We all have our, you know, our questions and things that we want answered. But the most important thing is to get together, sit down in a room and begin to negotiate peace. You cannot resolve a conflict, you cannot successfully complete a peace negotiation if you don’t start it.
And I say let’s start it right now, today, tomorrow, in Jerusalem, in Ramallah or anywhere else. I’m prepared to go to a warm city like New York or a cool city anywhere. Let’s get on with the business of talking peace and concluding the peace agreement.King wanted to know what’s holding up these urgent talks, as he campaigned for his own Nobel Prize:So, forgive me, what’s holding it up? He could watch this show. We did a show some years ago with Arafat, with Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein of Jordan, a historic show. I was in Washington. The three of them were in their homelands. It was terrific. Why can’t — would you do that, if we had you and Abbas and we had the king of Jordan on? Could we do that now? Netanyahu’s reply: call me, Mahmoud! Well, I’m just saying that you’re hitting the nail right on the head. I mean, what is there to prevent a meeting between the prime minister of Israel, in Jerusalem, and the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, who’s 10 minutes away in Ramallah, that’s when you have traffic. Without traffic, it’s seven minutes.Netanyahu went on to point out that it is the Palestinians who are dodging peace talks with unending delays and prerequisites. Israel, by contrast, has only one teensy precondition: recognize our existence. Frustrated with the manifest unreasonableness of Israel’s demand, King went after the settlement issue, only to be shot down yet again with facts:
Seven months ago, I did something quite extraordinary, that is, no other prime minister in Israel’s history did this. I put on a temporary freeze of 10 months of new construction in the settlements in order to encourage the Palestinians to get into the peace talks. Seven months have passed by. They don’t come in. They say, oh, we need now, another extension. And the answer is, right now, listen, we don’t need any pretext and preconditions. Let’s just get into the talks.Having blundered all attempts to goad Netanyahu, King predictably brought up the Bill Ayers Gaza Aid Flotilla giving the Prime Minister the chance to educate the handful of King viewers still engaged:I think that what people fail to recognize is that there were six ships. Five of them were totally peaceful and nothing of substance happened. Our navy checked these ships. And we didn’t have any incident. The sixth ship was very different. It had about 500 people on it, of which about 450 were peaceful people.
But several dozen were activists of a very radical group that had apparently amassed steel rods, knives, communication equipment. They boarded differently than the other passengers, the other 450 passengers, boarded in one port in Turkey. They went through security checks. These people boarded in another port in Istanbul. They didn’t go through any security checks. They had their own communication equipment. They had their own — their own steel pipes and things that they brought on board.And when our Coast Guard effectively wanted to check this ship and make sure that it behaved the way the other five did, they were brutally attacked. You can see that in the films that were released. Our soldiers, our navy people were fighting for their lives.What would you do if the Coast Guard boarded a ship and the Coast Guard was brutally attacked by people who were, you know, clubbing them, knifing them, taking weapons from them, shooting at them? What do you think would happen? How do you think the American people would respond? Evoking images of our own Coast Guard adroitly corrected the entire chronicle.Netanyahu also made a preemptive strike against Jimmy Carter long before King was able to remind the Prime Minister about Carter’s anti Semitic ravings. Bibi accurately pointed out that Israel once had a relationship with Iran.The true master stroke was Bibi’s tethering of any future attacks against Iran to Obama:KING: If you determined that they had nuclear capability, would you attack Iran? NETANYAHU: You know, I’ve taken note of President Obama’s statement that he’s determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.Thus, as long as Obama can use his fabled magnetism to keep Iran from getting nukes, there will be no reason for Israel to attack.It’s all on you, Mr. President.
Do Christians Who Voted for Obama Believe His Policies are Biblical?
By Kelly O'Connell Sunday, July 4, 2010
Do you consider yourself a Christian who also voted for Barack Obama? If not for such Bible-believing supporters, Barack would have had no prayer at gaining the presidency. Perhaps many Christians think their faith can’t influence casting votes in government elections. But what fruit has such political agnosticism borne? Are believing Barack-boosters now proud of themselves? All modern Americans have been programmed to unthinkingly support complete Separation of Church and State. But consider the results of this lazy theological notion, as applied to the following subjects.
I. 2008 Vote & American Spiritual Demographics
According to the US government website, there are currently about 310 million people living in the U.S. Of these, approximately 77% classify themselves as Christians, claims the Gallup research group. The NYTimes reported about 137 million Americans voted in the 2008 presidential election. Of this group, almost 70 million citizens cast votes for Barack Obama, claims the Seattle Post-Intelligencer election blog. Therefore, by a process of simple mathematical deduction, roughly 59 million Christians voted for Barack (if trends hold). But, was this vote a Christian decision?
II. Defining Christian
It’s inevitable a definition for the term Christian is needed for this analysis. But for a brief summary is end-noted the famed Nicene Creed1 (credo, ie I Believe), the most popularly used summary in churches, dating from the 4th century. If one can roundly assent to this creed, many would consider them a Christian.2 Now, let’s examine some of Obama’s most trenchant policies and consider whether they could be considered Christian.
III. Obama Policies & Christianity
Obama shows a lifelong passion for Abortion. His only known article while running Harvard Law Review was an anonymous piece touting abortion. Politico describes this:
The six-page summary, tucked into the third volume of the year’s Harvard Law Review, considers the charged, if peripheral, question of whether fetuses should be able to file lawsuits against their mothers. Obama’s answer, like most courts’: No. He wrote approvingly of an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that the unborn cannot sue their mothers for negligence, and he suggested that allowing fetuses to sue would violate the mother’s rights and could, perversely, cause her to take more risks with her pregnancy.Later, in the Illinois senate he famously supported partial-birth abortion. When he got into the White House, one of his first acts was to increase federal abortion by cutting restrictions.But is abortion a Christian activity? Many Believers insist no for the following reasons. First, God interacts with fetuses. Jeremiah says this, The word of the LORD came to me, saying, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.(Jeremiah 1:4-5) So the Bible does not describe the unborn as inert, but ascribes human qualities.
Second, abortion contradicts the Genesis1:27-28 mandate:So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it…People cannot both fruitfully multiply and also abort offspring.Third, abortion puts decisions of life and death in people’s hands, but the Bible teaches this is God’s authority. For example, 1 Samuel 2:6 says, The LORD puts to death and gives life,a theme repeated across the Bible.Fourth, abortion activists claim a Right to abortion. Nowhere in the New or Old Testaments is described such a right. Instead is condemnation for harming children. Likewise, one searches in vain for this right in the US Constitution. And this idea flies against the biblical notion children are a gift from God. For example, it says in Psalm 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.Beyond this, killing fetuses defies the Sixth Commandment’s, Thou Shalt Not Kill,where killing means murder.There is no doubt abortion is killing. The question then becomes: Is a fetus a human being? The upshot: If fetuses are humans, all abortions are wanton murder, and therefore outside the biblical tradition. How else do we then interpret the Bible believers opposing child sacrifices to Molech (a pagan god of the Ammonites)? Leviticus 20:1-5
The LORD said to Moses, Say to the Israelites: Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives [a] any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech.Let’s not forget Matthew 19:13-14, where it states:Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.So, according to the Bible, no one has a right to kill a fetal human, in the same way that no one has the right to murder an adult. Second, mankind is under a mandate to produce children, and so kids are a blessing. Third, killing of infants in the Bible is a sign of pagan worship.
B. Economics: Marxism, Socialism & Capitalism
Barack Obama has personally ratified using socialism for sharing the wealth, telling Joe The Plumber Wurzelbachers... I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.But is redistributing income biblical? Astute theologians oppose socialism for the following reasons. First, the Bible defends private property in the Ten Commandments, where in Exodus 20:15 it says, Thou shalt not steal. How can the government take legally earned property from one person and give it to another without stealing? And how can such actions not foment crisis and chaos? Further, the entire rule of law in the civil code is based upon the sanctity of private property.
Second, Jesus claimed he came to bring freedom: To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.(John 8:31-32) Capitalism is simply human freedom applied to the marketplace. And, in fact, our Puritan forebears believed in the biblical concept of Calling where people did in life what they were called to do by God, such as a career. But socialism and Marxism artificially constrict the marketplace and people’s right to work. Typically in socialism, the government enters into marketplaces to regulate them.Third, all communist countries had command economies. Brutally inefficient, such top-down decision making means permanent shortages since no army of geniuses could foretell future needs of a large and dynamic population. But such economies do steal opportunities and futures of those unfortunate enough to be trapped in them. In fact, the lack of choice and freedom, ie slavery, is the hallmark of an anti-Christian system.Finally, even bigger problems exist with socialism & Marxism. After all, in all socialist states the church is shunted aside or attacked as government grows in power. In leftist states, the government itself begins assuming a godlike role, making all important decisions as arbiter of right and wrong, and good and evil. This generally coincides with rank corruption, collapse of the command economy, and disappearance of human rights. Recall, Communist regimes killed perhaps 200 million souls last century.
C. Foreign Policy: Soft Power = Appeasement
Obama’s chief foreign policy seems Appeasement.Barack has outlined a strategy of soft power where his opponents are encouraged to understand that Obama is sympathetic with the world and not antagonistic against other countries and religions; that Barack does not have to bully others with war and threats to see his points, since he is exceedingly wise and infinitely persuasive; and that Obama is not an idiot like the war-mongering idiot George W. Bush.In other words, Obama believes in appeasement. He has refused to criticize or work against many rogue nations, including Iran, North Korea, Palestine, Honduras’ rogue president, Venezuela, while fighting against stalwart allies such as the UK and Israel.The problem is appeasement always fails in the end, which is especially true of the sociology of the Middle East, where giving concessions to an opponent is a sign of only weakness, not good will. Consider the classic example in Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s address to Parliament in 1939, ie the Appeasement Speech.Chamberlain believed Hitler would drop his war plans if only he were appeased. In fact, when Chamberlain signed the Munich agreement with Hitler, he was widely hailed as the Saviour of Europe.On September 30, 1938, Chamberlain made his famed Peace For Our Time speech after returning from Munich, where he and government leaders from France, Italy, and Germany had signed an agreement over the division of Czechoslovakia in the hope of averting war. He stated:We, the German führer and chancellor, and the British prime minister, have had a further meeting today and are agreed in recognising that the question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance for our two countries and for Europe.We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German naval agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again. We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe. My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British prime minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time ... Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.
Of course, Chamberlain’s Appeasement led directly into WWII because Hitler realized the UK and other European countries were so afraid they would do anything to avoid another war. Common sense and history show appeasement not only fails to stop bullies, but actually can help start wars.Unsurprisingly, Bible writers do not countenance appeasing enemies. Samson, David, Joshua, and many other Old Testament battled to protect Israel. Further, while Christ was mostly a pacifist in the New Testament, except perhaps for the cleansing of the Temple with cords, he was no appeaser. He died instead of compromising. And while almost all the Apostles died as martyrs, Paul wrote, The state does not bear the sword in vain,(Rom. 13:4) proving countries have a right to bear and use arms.The American military tradition is avoiding conflict until no other option remains. But Yankees did not appease King George when he tried to take away their British Bill of Rights. In fact, our country was born upon principled armed conflict. Therefore, there is no reason to insist the world’s strongest and most fair nation disarm and try to survive via flaccid verbal negotiations. There is a time to put fear aside and fight for principles. Or, as Admiral Farragut said when taking New Orleans in the Civil War, against a heavy naval attack, Damn the Torpedoes, Full Steam Ahead!!
D. Religion: Christianity & Islam
In terms of religion itself, do the beliefs of a president matter? Almost all presidents before Obama have claimed to be Christian, even if some might have pretended. This shouldn’t be surprising given America’s history, nor the fact that Barack claims Christianity. But is Obama Christian and does it matter if he’s not?The modern trend towards secularism and the notion beliefs of politicians are irrelevant to the quality of their work would have struck most Believers throughout history as nonsensical. We cannot know for sure what Obama believes. But the biblical standard for evaluating other’s beliefs is spiritual fruit. Does Obama produce the fruit of a Christian? First, consider Obama went to a Church for 20 years with a foundation in Black Liberation Theology. Rev Wright’s church was driven by Marxist demands for forced reparations and wholesale condemnation of White Americans. Obama has also hung out with many anti-American radicals like the Terrorist Bill Ayers, NOI Muslim, Louis Farrakhan, etc.Second, commentators describe big problems with Obama’s self-described Christian Conversion. First, Islam expert Daniel Pipes argues Obama was at least once a Muslim. Further, another finds large numbers of lies in Barack’s Conversion Experience deducing it’s highly unlikely his story is true.Third, Obama has gone out of his way to proclaim America is not a Christian nation. Why?!! Why would a sincere Christian do this, especially since almost 80% of Americans claim such status? Obama also has a fixation on Islam. For example, he claims the Muslim Call to Prayer is… One of the Prettiest Sounds on Earth.Obama is also appeasing Islam by not calling Muslim killers Jihadists, such as Fort Hood shooter who shouted Allah Akbar!!(God is great!) while murdering.
Now we find Obama’s White House meeting secretly with Muslims, according to the NYTimes: Muslim and Arab-American advocates’ have met with top White House officials, including Obama Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Atty. Gen. Eric Holder. They’ve discussed, among other things, counterterrorism strategy.How can a president lead a Christian nation if he himself is not only not a Believer, but to the contrary, is even goaded by non-Christian goals and aspirations?
Should tens of millions of American Christians support a politician seemingly opposed to most biblical ideals and practices? Contra, since bad leaders are described by the Bible as a curse upon God’s people, could Obama be a sign for Christians of worse things to come if they do not repent? Does Barack encourage any truly biblical reactions from Americans? On this July 4th, does Obama even care about the birthplace of religious freedom and human rights? Perhaps this is why rocker Ted Nugent claims, Did you know that the White House is currently spitting on the U.S. Constitution, the Bill Of Rights, the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule?
Some of Obama’s Fruit: Claiming America is not a Christian nation, appeasing radical Islam, stating there is nothing special about America, attacking Capitalism, bowing to foreign leaders, taking a hard line towards America’s ally Israel, extolling and instituting socialism, running a racist Department of Justice, supporting abortion, regularly lying, habitually blame-shifting, talking down our future, criticizing America in foreign countries, misusing and extending crises for political opportunity, etc Symbolically, Barack doesn’t bother to attend church.Does God care about fetuses, economics, religion, and America’s waning influence in the world? To say the least, Obama does not seem to have any love or knowledge of the Bible. His criticism of America includes almost every detail about our way of life. The real question from all this is—Does God really want his people to freely elect leaders who apparently oppose Him and do the exact opposite of what He Himself directed his people to do in His own Word?
1The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
2 Members of the Reformed tradition would also insist a Christian must assent to Calvin’s five point refutation of Arminus, being set in the acronym TULIP: Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin); Unconditional Election; Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement); Irresistible Grace; Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved).
EU takes historic step on new diplomatic service-Ashton (c): endured three months of personal attacks, now risks taking more flak over EEAS appointments (Photo: ec.europa.eu)ANDREW RETTMAN 08.07.2010 @ 13:58 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton will turn her attention to choosing the top officials and the main building for the European External Action Service (EEAS) after the EU Parliament approved the legal blueprint for the new body.MEPs in a landslide result in Strasbourg on Thursday (8 July) backed the final EEAS set-up by 549 votes against 78 with 17 abstentions.Some legal niceties remain to be cleared in July and September. But the parliament decision paves the way for the service to begin work on 1 December, 10 years after it was first mooted by EU leaders, in what Ms Ashton called a historic step in the development of the union in a debate in parliament on Wednesday.The EEAS today boils down to Ms Ashton and a team of 30-or-so officials in one corridor on the 12th floor of the European Commission building in the EU capital, struggling to work with experts in the commission's Charlemagne building next door, the EU Council building across the road and dozens of other bureaus. From 1 December, she will take command of some 1,500 officials housed under one roof in the heart of the EU quarter in Brussels, as well as 800 EU diplomats in the EEAS' 136 foreign embassies.Ms Ashton herself will concentrate on shuttle diplomacy and conflict resolution, supported on one side by seven-or-so EU Special Representatives and on the other by an in-house crisis response centre of up to 160 security analysts.A powerful secretary general or CEO will run the day-to-day EEAS administration. Two deputy secretary generals, a COO in charge of budgets and personnel, and five or six senior directors general will form the rest of the management. The EEAS will focus on boosting the EU's role and image as a world power. Apart from conflict resolution, it will tackle broader issues such as development aid, natural disasters, pandemics, energy security and migration.
Ms Ashton in a bold promise to parliament on Wednesday said: I will give a high priority to the promotion of human rights and good governance around the world, to make sure that this is a silver thread that runs through everything we do.In a delicate balance of power between the EU institutions, member states will still take EU foreign policy decisions by unanimity in the EU Council, but Ms Ashton will have control overseas crisis missions, even if they are paid for out of national budgets.
The commission will retain command of its €6 billion a year development aid budget. The aid, development, energy and enlargement commissioners will take the lead in decision-making in their portfolios. MEPs will have the right to say Yes or No to the EEAS annual budget, to informally vet appointments for prominent foreign embassies and to have access to some EEAS classified documents.In a sign of tension, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos defended member states' prerogatives in Strasbourg on Tuesday. Mr Fillon reportedly said it is a red line for Paris that member states will take foreign policy decisions and Ms Ashton will simply implement them. Mr Moratinos said that in some cases, such as human rights in Cuba, bilateral diplomacy is more effective than EU-level action.For his part, the leader of the Liberal group in the parliament, Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt, on Wednesday attacked the 19th century mentality of nation states.What century are we living in? Terrorism, does that stop at borders? Climate change? Migration? he said.
Ms Ashton has already begun in earnest the sensitive task of choosing the 15-or-so top EEAS appointments. What is absolutely clear to me is that we are going to make appointments on merit. I am already beginning to hold the interviews, that is already happening, and they are coming from different parts of the union,she told MEPs on Wednesday. Women will have a prominent place in the EEAS leadership, she added. The relatively speedy launch of the service is a triumph for Ms Ashton, who endured three months of personal criticism after taking the job last year. But the appointments round could see Brussels once again get nasty.A rumour in EU diplomatic circles that Ms Ashton at an internal meeting on 25 June chose French diplomat Pierre Vimont, German EU official Helga Schmid and Polish politician Mikolaj Dowgielewicz for the top three EEAS posts has put smaller member states on the defensive.Sources in Ms Ashton's circle declined to confirm or deny that the meeting took place. A diplomat from one mid-sized EU country said: I understand why Poland needs to be there [for the sake of geographic balance]. But if this is true, it gives the message that the EEAS is a stitch-up between the Brits, the French and the Germans.
Sighs of relief as EU parliament approves Swift deal
VALENTINA POP 08.07.2010 @ 15:35 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – Top EU and US officials have breathed a collective sigh of relief after the European Parliament approved a new Swift deal on terrorism and bank data, closing a six-month security gap after it struck down an initial agreement in February.After squeezing in last-minute concessions from the US side last week, MEPs, as expected, endorsed the new agreement by a large majority in Strasbourg on Thursday (8 July), with 484 votes in favour, 109 against and 12 abstentions.Under the new deal, which comes into force on 1 August, the EU will appoint an independent person to oversee the way personal data on bank transactions from the Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift) is searched by US authorities when looking for terrorist funding.US President Barack Obama personally welcomed the vote in a press statement, signaling relief that the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program could resume its operations based on Swift data after a months-long security gap.The threat of terrorism faced by the United States and the European Union continues and, with this agreement, all of our citizens will be safer,Mr Obama said, noting that the TFTP program has so far channeled over 1,550 investigative leads to EU member states.This new, legally binding agreement reflects significant additional data privacy safeguards but still retains the effectiveness and integrity of this indispensable counterterrorism program ...We are determined to protect citizens of all nations while also upholding fundamental rights.
European Parliament chief Jerzy Buzek said the vote hopefully brings the Swift affair to an end.He pointed to the institutional lessons learned from the rejection of the initial deal, which was signed off by member states just one day before the Lisbon Treaty came into force, granting the parliament a veto over the issue, in what looked like an attempt to keep MEPs' noses out.To avoid mishaps in the future, the council [of EU ministers] and commission must treat the European Parliament as an equal player at all stages of negotiations, keeping it fully informed and taking its views seriously into account, Mr Buzek said.The parliament's veto in February had strained EU-US relations in an unpleasant surprise to the Obama administration. EU commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Thursday said he was very delighted that MEPs backed the new deal, which helps reinforce the transatlantic relationship.
In reaction to the vote, Swift CEO Lazaro Campos said that protection of our customer data remains his company's top priority. Swift will continue to maintain its own long-standing state-of-the-art protections. They include limiting the scope of data requests to anti-terrorism purposes only, segregating data to a secure environment and auditing every justification for data searches.The company has had its own representative present in the data-extracting room since the beginning of the program. He will now be seconded by an independent EU-appointed person, on whose nomination the EU parliament wants to be consulted.
The new agreement also foresees the possibility of creating an EU-level Terrorism Finance Tracking Program similar to the one set up in the US in the aftermath of 9/11. The EU commission will come up with a technical assessment of an EU system in the second half of 2011.Initially a covert operation tapping into a secret Swift database located on US soil, the program was disclosed in 2006 on the front page of the New York Times. Following the trans-Atlantic scandal, Swift decided to reconfigure its database structure so that it would no longer keep European data on US soil.The change became operational on 1 January, prompting the US, in a bid to keep data flow uninterrupted, to negotiate the initial deal struck down by the parliament.Another novelty of the final deal is that it grants a supervisory role to EU's police agency, Europol. The Hague-based agency can block data transfers if the requests are not in compliance with the agreement. It cannot, however, look at the specific cases, only at broad categories of data requested.The agreement prohibits the US from engaging in data mining or any other type of speculative algorithmic or automated profiling or computer filtering. Any searches of Swift data will have to be based on existing information showing that the object of the search relates to terrorism or terrorism finance.
EU to seek temporary ban on deep-water oil permits
ANDREW RETTMAN 08.07.2010 @ 09:25 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger has indicated that member states should stop giving out fresh permits for deep-water oil drilling in the light of the BP oil catastrophe.I am considering discussing this with member states, so that when new permits are issued, especially in extreme cases, they will consider deferring this, he told MEPs at a debate in Strasbourg on Wednesday (8 July).The BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April, rupturing a well, which is still leaking 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil a day as the calendar approaches mid-July (Photo: SkyTruth)I am actually considering suggesting a moratorium at this moment ... And I think it is really not justifiable to be issuing licences or permits for further drilling operations at this moment.
The commissioner underlined that decisions on oil permits are made exclusively by national capitals. But he said member states should consider giving away some powers in future.National supervision will certainly remain in place but it would be a good idea to have overarching European standards and a European supervisory authority, he said.Mr Oettinger has launched talks with oil firms and member state authorities with a view to future proposals on supervision, emergency planning, clean-up operations, environmental liability and compulsory oil spill insurance.On the pro-industry side, he noted that BP and Shell are major European employers.He also pointed out that despite EU plans to move toward renewable energy, Europe, and in particular its aviation and road transport sectors, is going to be dependent on oil for decades to come.Mr Oettinger said he would be happy if just 10 percent of the 200 million petrol-powered cars on the road in the EU today could be retired by 2020.
Over the next few decades if we accept individual mobility, if we want to keep on manufacturing cars, then oil will have a role to play, he explained.There is no standard definition of deepwater. The US designates wells below 305 metres as deepwater, but its largest private oil company, Exxonmobil, says only wells below 400metres qualify. The vast majority of sub-400-metre oil fields are off the eastern coasts of Brazil and the US and the west coast of Africa. There is just one, north of the UK, in the EU region. Two deep-water development operations are also ongoing in the Adriatic and Mediterranean seas. Norway, a major oil producer, in June became the first country outside the US to announce a temporary ban on new deep-water oil and gas drilling.BP at the time urged governments not to make knee-jerk reactions to the US disaster, which happened at 1,500 metres depth. Companies have been drilling in deep water in the Gulf Of Mexico for 20 years and until now have had a good safety record,its global chief of staff, Steve Westwell, said.
US AWED BY PA PARAMILITARY
SHALIT MARCH TO JERUSALEM
Counter-Terrorism Bureau: Very High Risk for Israelis Abroad
by Gil Ronen JULY 9,10
The Counter Terrorism Bureau of the National Security Council issued a renewed travel warning for Israelis abroad throughout the world Thursday, citing a very high concrete threat.Hizbullah continues to blame Israel for the death of Imad Mughniyeh, it said on its website, and Iran blames Israel for the death of the nuclear scientist in Teheran.According to information in our possession,the CTB explained, there continue to be threats of revenge through terrorist killing or abduction against Israelis abroad, with emphasis on businessmen, former senior state establishment officials.The CTB advises Israelis abroad to maintain high levels of sensitivity and alertness; to completely avoid staying in countries that come under specific travel warnings; to reject any tempting and unexpected offer, whether in business or pleasure; to reject unexpected invitations to meetings, especially in remote places and in hours of darkness, and to avoid allowing suspicious or unexpected visitors into their hotel room or living quarters.On extended visits abroad, the CTB recommends breaking one's routine as concerns transportation routes, restaurants, entertainment spots and hotels. (IsraelNationalNews.com)
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.
Rio Grande rises as new storm hits US-Texas border By MICHELLE ROBERTS and CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN, Associated Press Writers - JULY 8,10
LAREDO, Texas – The gentle stream that usually marks the Rio Grande bulged into a mighty river along much of its southern reach Thursday as a rain-packed tropical depression dumped on a Texas-Mexico border region already struggling with flooded homes and evacuations after last week's hurricane.Authorities in Laredo evacuated several neighborhoods close to the river and a 16-story hotel on the banks as the river grew to 42-feet deep and water began to creep into some homes. The tropical depression-driven rains in Laredo and upstream were expected to keep the water level high for several days, said city spokeswoman Xochitl Mora Garcia.It's difficult to describe, said Jerry W. Archer, manager of Rio Grande Plaza Hotel. He estimated the river was about 15 times its usual size.I was born and raised on the Mississippi River, but people here are used to just a small stream.The muddy waters — driven by dam releases upstream and rain-swollen tributaries following last week's Hurricane Alex — submerged light poles and towering palm trees, leaving only a few fronds waving above the water line.National Guard troops arrived Thursday to help with evacuations, and people in low-lying areas gathered sandbags to protect their homes before being forced to leave. But no major injuries had been reported in Laredo.
Nancy Castillo, 35, picked up sandbags while her sister prepared to evacuate from her home near a dry creek bed overflowing with water that normally would head into the Rio Grande.It's typically dry everywhere in Laredo — except now,she said.Tens of thousands of people already had been forced from their homes in Mexican towns earlier in the week as dam releases dumped torrents of water into flood-swollen rivers to avoid the risk of out-of-control releases following Alex.Humberto Moreira, governor of the border state of Coahuila, said more than 20,000 homes had been flooded in his state alone, and about 80,000 people had lost all of their furniture. A similar number of people had their homes damaged in Nuevo Leon, said that state's Gov. Rodrigo Medina.Access to the Coahuila city of Sabinas was largely blocked Thursday after several bridges on two main highways collapsed when the Rio Sabinas overflowed, said state interior minister Armando Luna.This has made it difficult to get help to the area, Luna said.Gov. Eugenio Hernandez of the border state of Tamaulipas reported the first fatality there; telling an emergency evaluation meeting attended by President Felipe Calderon in the border city of Matamoros that the victim tried to cross a flooded road.The tropical depression made landfall at South Padre Island late Thursday morning and was expected to dump four to eight inches of rain across the area, with as much as 10 inches in some parts, said the National Weather Service. That rain comes on top of the five to seven inches Alex already had deposited.The rain, saturated ground, swollen rivers and releases from dams upstream have experts watching the Rio Grande closely.
In Laredo, where roughly half of all U.S.-Mexico trade crosses, authorities closed two bridges and severely limited traffic on a third. They also restricted traffic on the World Trade International Bridge to keep the weight load on the bridge at a minimum, but they did not have to close the connection.The World Trade bridge carries roughly 8,000 18-wheelers a day, and closing it would have crippled the nation's busiest inland port.City officials planned to reopen one bridge on the far northwestern edge of the city Friday morning.But officials continued to worry about a half-dozen tractor trailers bobbing down river near downtown after being left too close to the rising water, said City Manager Carlos Villarreal. It's like a missile headed for a target,he said of the trailers' potential to damage the bridge structures. Downstream in Rio Grande City, water from dam releases and the tropical depression were converging to create a serious flood threat. The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the area after the river more than doubled its normal size. Flooding would damage farmland and could push water from a creek along the eastern side of town into neighborhoods.At the Retama Manor nursing home in Rio Grande City, administrators waited for local emergency officials to advise them of any risk posed by the Rio Grande. The facility sits next to the international bridge on the banks of the river, just feet from the swift-moving river.Facility spokeswoman Nan Impink said there is a plan to move residents if there is a danger of flooding.For us that's an option of last choice because it's very disruptive to patients,she said.
Farther south, part of the Rio Grande flow was being diverted into miles of wide channels that will eventually send some of the flow to the Gulf of Mexico. The International Boundary and Water Commission said the last similar diversion happened after 1988's Hurricane Gilbert.Crews broke a 200-meter hole in the pavement of a highway linking Reynosa and Matamoros to allow water to flow through a long-dormant channel, said Pedro Garza, who heads the water commission's Rio Bravo Basin agency.
Garza said he was confident the combination of U.S. and Mexican emergency channels would siphon off enough water to avert the threat to Matamoros downstream. But some questioned why dam levels along the river and its tributaries were kept so high before the rains hit.The problem is, we had rainfall beyond historic levels, Garza said. The IBWC has had to release water from the binational Amistad Dam at its fastest rate in a quarter century after the reservoir reached its highest level since 1974. Water also was being released at Falcon Dam downstream Thursday.
Christopher Sherman reported from Rio Grande City. Associated Press writers Jorge Vargas in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico; and Oscar Villalba in Piedras Negras, Mexico; Mark Stevenson in Mexico City; and Jeff Carlton in Dallas contributed to this report.
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,(7X OR 7-DEGREES) as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people,(ISRAEL) 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.
Heat wave eases in Northeast, but misery persists By EVA DOU, Associated Press Writer – Thu Jul 8, 6:18 pm ET
NEW YORK – A four-day heat wave in the Northeast eased Thursday, but high temperatures and humidity persisted and the death toll rose.Temperatures in New York topped at 89 degrees — still sticky and uncomfortable but a far cry from the triple-digit highs recorded from New York City to Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday. An official heat wave in the Northeast requires prolonged temperatures of 90 degrees or above.New Jersey's high temperature also came in below 90, and the National Weather Service canceled an excessive heat warning for the Philadelphia area.Still rising humidity kept things uncomfortable. And in New Jersey, smoke from brush fires added to the misery.The National Weather Service said the humidity won't drop until a cold front pushes through the region Saturday. The front will bring the best chance for much-needed rain.Thursday, the hot weather was blamed for the deaths of 89-year-old Edward Pilch in Whitehall, Pa., and a 46-year-old woman in Queens. Officials previously reported the heat-related deaths of a 92-year-old Philadelphia woman, a Baltimore resident who was found at home where the indoor temperature was over 90 degrees and a homeless woman discovered lying next to a car in suburban Detroit.
In New York, Consolidated Edison distributed dry ice to customers without electricity in parts of Brooklyn and scrambled to keep up with power demands. New Jersey's largest utility, Public Service Electric & Gas, said service was restored to all its customers who lost power during the heat wave.Elsewhere Thursday, stifling heat continued in Washington, D.C., with temperatures in the mid-90s.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:(ETHNIC GROUP AGAINST ETHNIC GROUP) and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Why Sumatra Quake Unleashed Giant Tsunami, Others Don't
LiveScience.com brett Israel ouramazingplanet Staff Writer
livescience.com – Thu Jul 8, 2:55 pm ET
In late 2004 and early 2005, disastrous earthquakes shook Sumatra, an island in western Indonesia. The two earthquakes, both among the biggest on record, struck just months apart along the same fault, yet the first quake produced the deadliest tsunami in modern history, while the second quake's tsunami was far less dramatic. A new study reveals why.On Dec. 26, 2004 a 9.1-magnitude undersea earthquake rumbled near Sumatra and stretched 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) to the north. The resulting tsunami devastated coastlines along the Indian Ocean, with tsunami waves up to 100 feet (30 meters) high. More than 230,000 people died and millions were left homeless.
Three months later in 2005, an 8.7-magnitude earthquake hit immediately to the south and triggered a smaller tsunami that killed 1,300 people. Scientists were unsure why the quakes produced tsunamis that were so different since the ruptures were on adjacent segments of the same fault - a fracture in the Earth's crust.The new study, detailed in the July 9 issue of the journal Science, has revealed that the part of the fault that ruptured in 2004 was able to move much more of the seafloor than the quake that followed it. Because tsunami waves are generated by the motion of the seafloor - acting much like a giant underwater paddle - a quake that moves more seafloor creates a larger tsunami.Both earthquakes occurred on the same fault system, initiating 19 to 25 miles (30 to 40 km) below the seabed,said geologist and study co-author Simon Dean of the University of Southampton in England. Our results will help us understand why different parts of the fault behave differently during earthquake slip which then influences tsunami generation. This is critical for adequate hazard assessment and mitigation.
Sounding the seafloor
Working aboard the research vessel Sonne, the scientists used seismic instruments to probe layers of sediment beneath the seafloor with sound waves. The probes revealed that the 2004 fault is a lower density fault zone than the surrounding rocks. This helped the fault move closer to the seafloor during the first earthquake.In the segment of the fault that moved in 2005, there was no evidence for such a low-density fault zone, which explains why its tsunami was smaller.The researchers discovered a number of other unusual features at the rupture zone of the 2004 earthquake such as the seabed topography, deformed sediments and the locations of small earthquakes (aftershocks) following the main earthquake.
Higher tsunami threat
Sumatra experiences frequent seismic activity because it is located near the boundary of two of Earth's tectonic plates - the rocky plates floating on the scorching, molten rock inside the Earth, known as the mantle. Earthquakes occur at what's known as subduction zones, such as the one west of Indonesia, when one tectonic plate is forced under another. Instead of sliding across one another smoothly, the plates stick, and energy builds up until they finally slip or rupture, releasing that stored energy as an earthquake.By comparing the subduction zone west of Indonesia with other subduction zones around the world, the research team believes the region of the 2004 Sumatra earthquake is very unusual, suggesting that tsunami hazards may be particularly high in this region.By understanding parameters that make a particular region more hazardous in terms of earthquakes and tsunami we can speak to potential hazards of other margins,said study co-author Sean Gulick of the University of Texas at Austin.We need to examine what limits the size of earthquakes and what properties contribute to tsunami formation.
Companies brace for end of cheap made-in-China era By ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer - JULY 8,10
SHANGHAI – Factory workers demanding better wages and working conditions are hastening the eventual end of an era of cheap costs that helped make southern coastal China the world's factory floor.A series of strikes over the past two months have been a rude wakeup call for the many foreign companies that depend on China's low costs to compete overseas, from makers of Christmas trees to manufacturers of gadgets like the iPad.Where once low-tech factories and scant wages were welcomed in a China eager to escape isolation and poverty, workers are now demanding a bigger share of the profits. The government, meanwhile, is pushing foreign companies to make investments in areas it believes will create greater wealth for China, like high technology.Many companies are striving to stay profitable by shifting factories to cheaper areas farther inland or to other developing countries, and a few are even resuming production in the West.China is going to go through a very dramatic period. The big companies are starting to exit. We all see the writing on the wall, said Rick Goodwin, a China trade veteran of 22 years, whose company links foreign buyers with Chinese suppliers.I have 15 major clients. My job is to give the best advice I can give. I tell it like it is. I tell them, put your helmet on, it's going to get ugly, said Goodwin, who says dissatisfied workers and hard-to-predict exchange rates are his top worries.Beijing's decision to stop tethering the Chinese currency to the U.S. dollar, allowing it to appreciate and thus boosting costs in yuan, has multiplied the uncertainty for companies already struggling with meager profit margins.
In an about-face mocked on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Wham-O, the company that created the Hula-Hoop and Slip'n Slide, decided to bring half of its Frisbee production and some production of its other products back to the U.S.At the other end of the scale, some in research-intensive sectors such as pharmaceutical, biotech and other life sciences companies are also reconsidering China for a range of reasons, including costs and incentives being offered in other countries.Life sciences companies have shifted some production back to the U.S. from China. In some cases, the U.S. was becoming cheaper, said Sean Correll, director of consulting services for Burlington, Mass.-based Emptoris.That may soon become true for publishers, too. Printing a 9-by-9-inch, 334-page hardcover book in China costs about 44 to 45 cents now, with another 3 cents for shipping, says Goodwin. The same book costs 65 to 68 cents to make in the U.S.If costs go up by half, it's about the same price as in the U.S. And you don't have 30 days on the water in shipping, he says.Even with recent increases, wages for Chinese workers are still a fraction of those for Americans. But studies do show China's overall cost advantage is shrinking.
Labor costs have been climbing about 15 percent a year since a 2008 labor contract law that made workers more aware of their rights. Tax preferences for foreign companies ended in 2007. Land, water, energy and shipping costs are on the rise.In its most recent survey, issued in February, restructuring firm Alix Partners found that overall China was more expensive than Mexico, India, Vietnam, Russia and Romania.Mexico, in particular, has gained an edge thanks to the North American Free Trade Agreement and fast, inexpensive trucking, says Mike Romeri, an executive with Emptoris, the consulting firm.Makers of toys and trinkets, Christmas trees and cheap shoes already have folded by the thousands or moved away, some to Vietnam, Indonesia or Cambodia. But those countries lack the huge work force, infrastructure and markets China can offer, and most face the same labor issues as China.So far, the biggest impact appears to be in and around Shenzhen, a former fishing village in Guangdong province, bordering Hong Kong, that is home to thousands of export manufacturers.That includes Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology, a supplier of iPhones and iPads to Apple Inc. Foxconn responded to a spate of suicides at its 400,000-worker Shenzhen complex with pay hikes that more than doubled basic monthly worker salaries to $290. Strike-stricken suppliers to Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp., among many others, also have hiked wages. Foxconn refused repeated requests for comment on plans to move much of its manufacturing capacity to central China's impoverished Henan province, where a local government website has advertised for tens of thousands of workers on its behalf.But among other projects farther inland, Foxconn is teaming up with some of the biggest global computer makers to build what may be the world's largest laptop production hub in Chongqing, a western China city of 32 million where labor costs are estimated to be 20 to 40 percent lower than in coastal cities.Given the intricate supply chains and logistics systems that have helped make southern China an export manufacturing powerhouse, such changes won't be easy.
But for manufacturers looking to boost sales inside fast-growing China, shifting production to the inland areas where many migrant workers come from, and costs are lower, offers the most realistic alternative.The new game is to find a way to do the domestic market,says Goodwin.Many factories in Foshan, another city in Guangdong that saw strikes at auto parts plants supplying Japan's Honda, have left in the past few months, mostly moving inland to Henan, Hunan and Jiangxi, said Lin Liyuan, dean at the privately run Institute of Territorial Economics in Guangzhou.Massive investments in roads, railways and other infrastructure are reducing the isolation of the inland cities, part of a decade-old Develop the West strategy aimed at shrinking the huge, politically volatile gap in wealth between city dwellers and the country's 600 million farmers.Gambling that the unrest will not spill over from foreign-owned factories, China's leaders are using the chance to push investment in regions that have lagged the country's industrial boom.They have little choice. Many of today's factory workers have higher ambitions than their parents, who generally saved their earnings from assembling toys and television sets for retirement in their rural hometowns. They are also choosier about wages and working conditions. The conflicts are challenging the current set-up of low-wage, low-tech manufacturing, and may catalyze the transformation of China's industrial sector, said Yu Hai, a sociology professor at Shanghai's Fudan University.Associated Press researcher Ji Chen contributed to this report.
Dollar falls against euro as IMF raises forecast
Thu Jul 8, 4:50 pm ET
NEW YORK – The dollar fell to a two-month low against the euro Thursday after the International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for global economic growth this year.
The U.S. currency rose against the Japanese yen and the British pound but gave ground against most other major currencies as traders reassured by the IMF's report and a drop in first-time unemployment claims bought riskier assets.The euro rose even as the European Central Bank chief warned that GDP in the 16 countries using the common currency will grow at a moderate and still uneven pace.The IMF said the economy worldwide is recovering faster than expected, even though Europe must still deal with its debt crisis and keep it from infecting other regions of the world.In late trading in New York, the euro rose to $1.2681 from $1.2650 late Wednesday. It earlier peaked at $1.2700, its strongest level since May 12.Fear of surging public debt and slowing growth in Europe have hurt the euro this year, dragging it down more than 15 percent versus the dollar, but it has been helped recently by hopeful signs on banks' health. Bank regulators will make stress tests of European financial institutions public on July 23 to try to relieve fears of a hit to balance sheets from deteriorating economic conditions.The ECB on Thursday held interest rates at 1 percent, while the Bank of England maintained a 0.5 percent rate. Both decisions were expected.
Increasing interest rates can help attract investors to a country's currency, boosting its value.U.S. indicators were mixed Thursday. The U.S. government said that initial claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to their lowest levels since early May. Claims fell to 454,000, better than the 465,000 forecast by economists polled by Thomson Reuters. But the total number of people requesting unemployment benefits remains above the level found in a healthy economy.Many retailers also said revenue growth in June was modest as consumers remain wary of spending heavily.In other trading Thursday, the British pound fell to $1.5152 from $1.5205, while the dollar rose to 88.35 Japanese yen from 87.40 yen.But the U.S. currency was mostly lower across the world. The dollar fell to 1.0495 Swiss francs from 1.0514 francs and to 1.0448 Canadian dollars from 1.0490 Canadian dollars.The dollar also dropped against the Australian and New Zealand dollars, the Scandinavian currencies, the Korean won and the Brazilian real and Mexican peso.