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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Video of rooftop helicopter rescue in Japan's tsunami-hit town

9500 People Missing In ONE Japanese Coastal Town

Tent cities in America - here's one of them, complete with photos

While Americans argue amongst themselves over wages, union bargaining rights, government spending, monetary easing, and a host of other issues, including who’s to blame for the country’s malaise, Minister Brigham and his community trudge on, despite what’s happening outside of their neighborhood microcosm. As millions struggle to hold on to the American Dream, the residents of this New Jersey “Tent City” have already experienced loss, and the emotional roller coaster that inevitably follows. They’ve gone through the first four stages of loss – denial, anger, bargaining, depression. In a situation where everything has been lost, and hope seemingly doesn’t exist, only the fifth stage, acceptance, becomes applicable. These individuals and families have accepted what has happened, and understand that they have a choice. Either give up and wallow in regret and blame. Or, empower oneself, and those around you, and move forward by whatever means are available.

A Visit to an American Tent City
Mac Slavo, March 11, 2011

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Jared Loughner: new charges

A federal grand jury handed up a lengthy superseding indictment against shooting suspect Jared Loughner, accusing him of a variety of federal crimes in the Jan. 8 melee outside a Tucson-area supermarket that left six dead and 13 wounded, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

In an unexpected development, the new indictment includes 49 counts stemming from crimes against all of the victims, rather than solely those five victims who were federal employees.

Feds' new indictment charges Loughner with 49 counts
Michael Kiefer, The Arizona Republic, March 5, 2011

Sounds like a clear case of federal overreach. Mr Loughner stands accused of commiting multiple counts of Murder One which is a capital offense in Arizona. Yet the Feds want to take control right from the get-go.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Jobs may be out there but they don't pay

But to get to the most important trend you have to dig under the job numbers and look at what kind of new jobs are being created. That’s where the big problem lies.

The National Employment Law Project did just that. Its new data brief shows that most of the new jobs created since February 2010 (about 1.26 million) pay significantly lower wages than the jobs lost (8.4 million) between January 2008 and February 2010.

While the biggest losses were higher-wage jobs paying an average of $19.05 to $31.40 an hour, the biggest gains have been lower-wage jobs paying an average of $9.03 to $12.91 an hour.

In other words, the big news isn’t jobs. It’s wages.

For several years now, conservative economists have blamed high unemployment on the purported fact that many Americans have priced themselves out of the global/high-tech jobs market.

So if we want more jobs, they say, we’ll need to take pay and benefit cuts.

And that’s exactly what Americans have been doing.

Employers have demanded wage and benefit concessions from their unionized workers and often got them. Detroit is creating auto jobs again — but new hires are getting about half the pay that auto workers were getting before. Airline workers are taking home 30 to 50 percent less than they did years ago. And so on.

The Real News on Jobs
Robert Reich, Truthout, March 4, 2011

This matches perfectly with this author's everyday impressions. There seems to be an awful lot of service jobs around which pay wages at around $10 per hour. Quite laughable especially in large metropolitan areas. And by "laughable" I certainly don't mean "funny".

For now what we seems to be doing is just watching the people lose their faith in honest work, lose their hope, their work ethics... What's next? A crime wave? Riots in the streets? Police oppression? All of the above?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hiding Details of Dubious Deal, U.S. Invokes National Security

“Dennis would always say, ‘My technology is real, and it’s worth a fortune,’ ” recounted Steve Crisman, a filmmaker who oversaw business operations for Mr. Montgomery and a partner until a few years ago. “In the end, I’m convinced it wasn’t real.”

Government officials, with billions of dollars in new counterterrorism financing after Sept. 11, eagerly embraced the promise of new tools against militants.

C.I.A. officials, though, came to believe that Mr. Montgomery’s technology was fake in 2003, but their conclusions apparently were not relayed to the military’s Special Operations Command, which had contracted with his firm. In 2006, F.B.I. investigators were told by co-workers of Mr. Montgomery that he had repeatedly doctored test results at presentations for government officials. But Mr. Montgomery still landed more business.

In 2009, the Air Force approved a $3 million deal for his technology, even though a contracting officer acknowledged that other agencies were skeptical about the software, according to e-mails obtained by The New York Times.

Hiding Details of Dubious Deal, U.S. Invokes National Security
Eric Lichtblau and James Risen, New York Times, February 19, 2011

Now this is a real gem. What were Mr Montgomery's technology credentials? How was the effort overseen and supervised? I obviously wouldn't know but as someone who spent close to 3 years as a government parasite I wouldn't be surprised if no one in the government ever read a line of computer code this supposed "security expert" wrote.

So that joker collected millions off Joe The Taxpayer? Good for him - that's what suckers are for! What he did wrong was gamble it away - he should've just stashed it in some safe offshore haven and he would've now been looking at lounging on the beach as opposed to facing charges and dealing with all those legal problems.

Also note the government officials' ubiquitous use of national security as a way to keep things out of public scrutiny. Things being what they are, I am surprised we ever learned of the Deepwater Horizon disaster among other things. So perhaps I should keep quiet about this sort of thing lest our servants and protectors get some funny ideas.

Doctors engaged in widespread medical fraud at Madison protests with fake doctor's notes

If you're an eighth grader and you show up to school with a fake doctor's note excusing your suspicious absence the day before, you would probably face detention or some other punishment, including a possible investigation for truancy. But if you're a teacher and you call in "sick" with a fake doctor's note handed to you at a protest in Madison, Wisconsin, then that's apparently okay... because that's what countless public school teachers have been doing the past week.

Masterminding the effort are rogue medical doctors committing medical fraud by carrying out obviously contrived conversations with protestors then writing them doctors' notes to excuse them from work for such things as "fatigue" or "emotional stress."

What we have, then, is a tag team of fraud: The teachers who have abandoned their public duties and abandoned their students by calling in "sick," and the medical doctors who are promoting the whole charade by pretending to diagnose these teachers with some sort of ailment that gets them off the hook.

This sends a really powerful message back home to all the students in the Madison public school system: "Do as we say, not as we do."

Doctors engaged in widespread medical fraud at Madison protests with fake doctor's notes
Mike Adams, Natural News, February 20, 2011

545 vs. 300,000,000 People - By Charlie Reese

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

545 vs. 300,000,000 People - By Charlie Reese
This is billed as Charlie Reese's final column. I don't know whether it is or not - but it certainly is an all-time classic. Few people can match Reese in clarity of thought.

And yes, do check out this poem, allegedly also penned by Reese:
Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he's fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid...

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me
to my doom...'

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

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