Big Pistol

by JASON | 7:48 AM in | comments (0)



Good thing they show it in slow motion....watch the gun...

FYI...

600 Nitro Express - elephant stopper


1/30/09 More News

by JASON | 5:45 PM in | comments (0)

TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- Sony blamed the global economic slowdown, increased competition and an appreciating yen for a 95 percent drop in third-quarter profits, as the company announced its results Thursday.
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/BUSINESS/01/29/sony.loss/index.html

Did they say a 95% drop in profit?

The crisis facing banks was sharply underlined today when Russia's second-biggest bank admitted in Davos that it was seeking a bailout and Germany indicated that it was coming round to the idea of "bad banks" to hive off toxic debt.

Russian banks have been badly hit by the global economic crisis, which has hammered the country’s stock, bond and currency markets. A number of its smaller banks have already failed, and some of its biggest lenders may need capital injections.
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/wef/article5610807.ece

The banking crisis is the fault of capitalism?

"The NSA never alerted any other agency that the terrorists were in the United States and moving across the country towards Washington," Bamford told PBS.

PBS also found that "the 9/11 Commission never looked closely into NSA's role in the broad intelligence breakdown behind the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. If they had, they would have understood the full extent to which the agency had major pieces of the puzzle but never put them together or disclosed their entire body of knowledge to the CIA and the FBI."

Former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer told PBS, "None of this information that we're speaking about this evening's in the 9/11 Commission report. They simply ignored all of it."

Not only was then-Director Michael Hayden never held accountable for the NSA's alleged failure, but he went on to oversee the Bush administration's vast expansion of domestic surveillance. In 2006, he was appointed as director of the CIA.
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/PBS_NSA_tracked_911_hijackers_but_0127.html

Promoted for screwing up?

Highlights of the $819 billion economic recovery plan approved by the House and drafted by House Democrats and President Barack Obama's economic team. Additional debt costs would add $347 billion over 10 years. Many provisions expire in two years.
http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/politics&id=6629872

How's that for a return? Cost us $347 billion in interest to get $819 billion stimulus...or total cost of $1,166 billion! Too bad its only a dent in the problem.

"The contract is finished and will be not be renewed by order of the minister of the interior," interior ministry spokesman Major General Abdel Karim Khalaf told AFP.

Blackwater, a major State Department contractor in Iraq, is being expelled over the deaths of the Iraqi civilians at a busy Baghdad intersection on September 16, 2007, in a case that infuriated Iraqis, Khalaf said.

"It is because of the shooting incident in 2007," he said.

An Iraqi investigation found that 17 civilians were killed and 20 injured in the incident, in which Blackwater guards opened fire while escorting an American diplomatic convoy through Baghdad. The firm says its guards were acting in self-defence.
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/18/20090129/twl-iraq-ends-licence-of-us-security-fir-2802f3e.html

Its Blackwater...you can't kick them out. They are spooks...they'll just come back under another guise.

The short, eye-opening eBook linked below is titled Aluminum in Vaccines -- a Neurological Gamble, by Neil Miller, director of the Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute. It documents the hazards associated with aluminum-laden vaccines. Children are receiving high concentrations of aluminum in their shots. This well-documented neurotoxin may be more dangerous than mercury.

Vaccines containing high concentrations of neurotoxic aluminum were added to the child immunization schedule when several vaccines containing mercury were removed. Two-month old babies now receive 1,225 mcg of aluminum from their vaccines -- 50 times higher than safety levels! Although the FDA, CDC and World Health Organization are aware of the dangers, they expect parents to play Russian roulette with their children.
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/01/27/mercury-in-vaccines-was-replaced-with-something-even-more-toxic.aspx

Out with the mercury and in with the aluminum!

Jan 26 (Reuters) - Lending at many of the largest U.S. banks fell in recent months, the Wall Street Journal said, citing an analysis of banks that recently announced their quarterly results.

Ten of the 13 big beneficiaries of the U.S. Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), saw their outstanding loan balances decline by a total of about $46 billion, or 1.4 percent, between the third and fourth quarters of 2008, according to the paper.

Those 13 banks have collected the lion's share of the roughly $200 billion the government has doled out since TARP was launched last October to stabilize financial institutions, the paper said.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/marketsNewsUS/idUKBNG15229820090126

So the banks getting bail out money are curbing spending while the ones who didn't continue to walk off the cliff?

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Halliburton Co will pay a $559 million fine to end an investigation of its former KBR Inc unit if the U.S. government approves the settlement, the largest penalty against a U.S. company for charges of bribery under federal law.

Under the settlement, Halliburton would pay $382 million to the Department of Justice and $177 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission in "disgorgement."
http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE50P5ZE20090126

More bribery to pay for the bribery?

ANOTHER RUSSIAN fighting for human rights and the rule of law has been murdered in Vladimir Putin's Moscow. Stanislav Markelov, a lawyer who defended Chechens brutalized by Russian troops and journalists who wrote about the abuses, was shot in the head yesterday by a masked man carrying a silencer-equipped pistol. An opposition journalist who tried to intervene, Anastasia Baburova, was also fatally shot in the head. This occurred in broad daylight, on a busy street in central Moscow less than half a mile from the Kremlin. It was another demonstration that assassinations are a dominating feature of political life under Mr. Putin's regime.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/19/AR2009011902604.html

So much for the cover of darkness!

China News Infiltration

by JASON | 5:39 PM in | comments (0)

During the week before the 2009 Chinese New Year, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Political Bureau Central Committee held a meeting to discuss propaganda campaigns outside China for the upcoming year.

During the meeting’s concluding speech, the Standing Committee member who is in charge of “ideology” pointed out that due to the joint efforts of the Propaganda Department, the “United Front” and the Foreign Affairs departments over the past decade, most overseas Chinese media companies very much carry the identity of the CCP’s policies and practices.

The official felt that major Chinese newspapers in Western countries are all able of having a strong interaction with the local government, except for several small newspapers controlled by the so-called “three anti-China forces.” The CCP thus decided to continue their heavy investment in propaganda campaigns overseas.

During the Propaganda Minister’s speech, he said that after the fund was allocated, several overseas Chinese media outlet owners have contacted the Propaganda Department and said that they were willing to cooperate with the CCP to promote “China’s international image.”

However, leaders from the “United Front” and the CCP’s Intelligence Agency warned that discretion should be exercised when appropriating the budget to overseas Chinese newspapers because advertising revenue from CCP-funded companies should be enough to keep them cooperating with the regime, and as such, there is no longer need to give them special funding.

Instead, a special report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggested that the CCP begin to focus their attention on Western mainstream media outlets. They cited the UK publication Evening Standard’s acquisition by former KGB agent Lebedev as an example to follow and urged that the CCP begin training overseas Chinese agents to begin to acquire Western mainstream media.

They continued in their meeting to cite examples such as CNN’s so-called “distorted” remark on the Chinese regime in 2008, claiming that it sounded a warning bell showing that that simply manipulating overseas Chinese media is not enough.

Some foreign affairs experts believe that the CCP’s current perceived strength on the international stage and their subsequent influence on world affairs lead them to be fully capable of gaining full control over several mainstream Western media outlets.
http://en.epochtimes.com/n2/content/view/11137/

Peanut Butter

by JASON | 5:26 PM in | comments (0)

(NaturalNews) It has just been released by federal officials that the Georgia peanut plant linked to a salmonella outbreak shipped out contaminated peanut butter knowingly twelve times in the past two years. This current outbreak has killed eight people and affected over 500 others.

Because of a 2007 outbreak at a facility in Georgia that makes Peter Pan peanut butter, food safety experts learned that salmonella bacteria can lie dormant in peanut butter and become active when ingested.

The FDA and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention have been investigating this most recent salmonella outbreak and have recently found that the Peanut Corporation of America detected salmonella in internal tests twelve times in 2007 and 2008. Sometimes they received positive salmonella results from different laboratories. Despite these positive detections, however, their products were sold.

The peanut products made at the company's Georgia plant are not sold directly to the public. They are utilized by other food manufacturers for making cookies, crackers, bars, cereal, candy, ice cream, and dog food. Some of the largest food manufacturers have now recalled over 100 products believed to be made with tainted ingredients.

Federal investigators have also now stated that four strains of salmonella have been detected at the Georgia plant. One strain was found from the floor near a restroom. The outbreak has now spread to 43 states and Canada and is ongoing. Approximately half the people sickened have been children.

Though Peanut Corporation of America was not required to inform regulators about its internal salmonella tests, it appears that the company violated federal law because foods are required to be produced under conditions that do not harm health.

Whether the company will face criminal charges has not yet been determined. Stewart Parnell, the company's owner and president, has not issued any statements. The company has e-mailed a statement, however, stating that it "has cooperated fully with FDA from day one during the course of this investigation. We have shared with them every record that they have asked for that is in our possession and we will continue to do so."

The company halted production at the plant involved when the FDA confirmed it was the source of the current outbreak. FDA officials have given the company the freedom to restart production, but first the company will have to address a list of manufacturing deficiencies. This list will be released to the public as well.

FDA officials have not determined how the plant was contaminated or how the bacteria contaminated the peanut products. State inspection records have shown a pattern of unsanitary conditions over several years, however. Inspectors flagged the situations, but every time it was only determined that routine follow-up was warranted. Peanut Corporation of America was never closed by the state or penalized in any way.

The FDA never actually inspected this plant. This duty fell to the Georgia Department of Agriculture under a contract because the FDA says it does not have the staff necessary to visit every domestic food production facility in the US.

The last inspected of the Georgia plants by state inspectors occurred in October, 2008. This was during the time that the contaminated products were being produced, according to inspection records. No tests were performed to test the factory or the products for salmonella during this inspection.
http://www.naturalnews.com/025474.html

The federal agency has said it does not have enough inspectors to visit the country's 65,520 domestic food production facilities. In fiscal 2008, it inspected 5,930 plants.

But they did not test either the factory or the peanut products for salmonella. "We do pull product samples from time to time, but we can only run 4,500 samples in a year, and we have 16,000 food-processing and food-sales stores in the state," said Oscar Garrison, Georgia's assistant agriculture commissioner for consumer protection.

The average plant is inspected once every 10 years," Halloran said. "This one was getting inspected a couple of times a year by Georgia, but neither they nor the FDA were taking enough enforcement action."

Salmonella bacteria can cause an infection that often produces diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours. The illness usually lasts four to seven days. While most people recover without treatment, infants, elderly people and those with compromised immune systems can develop severe illness that can be fatal if not promptly treated with antibiotics.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/27/AR2009012702992.html?wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Lynchburg, Va. (January 28, 2009) – Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) is voluntarily recalling all peanuts and peanut products processed in its Blakely, Georgia facility since Jan. 1, 2007. Previously, PCA announced a recall of peanut butter and peanut paste. PCA sells its products to institutional and industrial users for service in large institutions or for sale and further processing by other companies. PCA does not sell peanuts or peanut products directly to consumers in stores.

The expanded recall includes all peanuts (dry and oil roasted), granulated peanuts, peanut meal, peanut butter and peanut paste. All of the recalled peanuts and peanut products were made only at the company’s Blakely, Georgia facility; the lot numbers and a description of the products being recalled are listed at the end of this release. The Blakely, Georgia facility has stopped producing all peanut products.

Because some of our peanut products have been used by manufacturers of pet food, we are also alerting the public that Salmonella is an organism that can potentially be transferred to people handling pet treats exposed to Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products. Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Well animals can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The recalled peanuts and peanut products were distributed nationwide to institutions, food service industries, and private label food companies as well as and in Canada, Haiti, Korea and Trinidad.
http://www.fda.gov/oc/po/firmrecalls/peanutcorp401_09.html

http://www.peanutcorp.com/

Executive Order 11110

by JASON | 5:18 PM in | comments (0)

AMENDMENT OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10289
AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE PERFORMANCE OF
CERTAIN FUNCTIONS AFFECTING THE DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

By virtue of the authority vested in me by section 301 of title 3 of the United States Code, it is ordered as follows:

SECTION 1. Executive Order No. 10289 of September 19, 1951, as amended, is hereby further amended --

(a) By adding at the end of paragraph 1 thereof the following subparagraph (j):

"(j) The authority vested in the President by paragraph (b) of section 43 of the Act of May 12, 1933, as amended (31 U.S.C. 821 (b)), to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury not then held for redemption of any outstanding silver certificates, to prescribe the denominations of such silver certificates, and to coin standard silver dollars and subsidiary silver currency for their redemption," and

(b) By revoking subparagraphs (b) and (c) of paragraph 2 thereof.

SEC. 2. The amendment made by this Order shall not affect any act done, or any right accruing or accrued or any suit or proceeding had or commenced in any civil or criminal cause prior to the date of this Order but all such liabilities shall continue and may be enforced as if said amendments had not been made.

JOHN F. KENNEDY

THE WHITE HOUSE,
June 4, 1963.

http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/jfkeo/eo/11110.htm

Allegations and controversy...

On June 4, 1963, a little known attempt was made to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the government at interest. On that day President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order No. 11110 that returned to the U.S. government the power to issue currency, without going through the Federal Reserve. Mr. Kennedy's order gave the Treasury the power "to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury." This meant that for every ounce of silver in the U.S. Treasury's vault, the government could introduce new money into circulation. In all, Kennedy brought nearly $4.3 billion in U.S. notes into circulation. The ramifications of this bill are enormous.

With the stroke of a pen, Mr. Kennedy was on his way to putting the Federal Reserve Bank of New York out of business. If enough of these silver certificats were to come into circulation they would have eliminated the demand for Federal Reserve notes. This is because the silver certificates are backed by silver and the Federal Reserve notes are not backed by anything. Executive Order 11110 could have prevented the national debt from reaching its current level, because it would have given the gevernment the ability to repay its debt without going to the Federal Reserve and being charged interest in order to create the new money. Executive Order 11110 gave the U.S. the ability to create its own money backed by silver.
http://www.john-f-kennedy.net/executiveorder11110.htm

http://hubpages.com/hub/Kennedy_Executive_Order_11110

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=59049&st=&st1=

1/30/09 News Radar

by JASON | 9:15 AM in | comments (0)

Daily layoff numbers from the big guys...

http://www.layoffdaily.com/

Consumers are dramatically scaling back how much of their credit card balances they pay each month.

Data released this month show that the credit card payment rate — the percentage of outstanding card debt paid — fell by 2.5 percentage points to 16.1%. The drop in November, the latest month available, is among the largest on record, according to CardTrak.com, a credit card research firm.

"It's kind of shocking," says Robert McKinley, founder of CardTrak.com. "It indicates that there are fundamental changes in the way that consumers view and use credit."

The credit card payment rate is a widely watched indicator of consumers' financial health. Its plunge comes as consumers have become more reluctant — and less able — to take on debt. Revolving debt, much of it on credit cards, dipped at a 3.4% annual rate in November to $973.5 billion, after flattening in October, preliminary numbers from the Federal Reserve show.

Even with less debt, consumers are struggling to pay their card bills. The average household with at least one credit card owed $10,728 in 2008, nearly the same amount as in 2007, according to CardTrak.com.
http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/credit/2009-01-29-consumer-credit-delinquincies_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Japan headed for its worst postwar recession as factory production slumped an unprecedented 9.6 percent, NEC Corp. said it will cut more than 20,000 workers and Hitachi Ltd. forecast a record loss.

The December drop in output eclipsed the previous record of 8.5 percent set only a month earlier, the Trade Ministry said today in Tokyo. NEC, Japan’s biggest personal-computer maker, forecast its first loss in three years.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aQboi41NmpiE&refer=worldwide

So much for Japan being the success model - now the big political push for nationalization is exemplified by Sweden

Jean-Claude Trichet gave a stark warning to financial markets on Thursday to stop putting pressure on banks to hold more capital, insisting that such views were exacerbating the global recession.

The president of the European Central Bank criticised the prevailing view among investors that banks should hoard funds, insisting that the view was contrary to those of the European authorities. Such ideas did nothing to contain the deepening recession, he said, and also provided non-financial companies with incentives to postpone investment.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1624f4f2-ee38-11dd-b791-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

LONDON (Reuters) - Japan sank deeper into recession with industrial output tumbling at a record pace and inflation near zero, while data was expected to show the U.S. economy contracting at its fastest rate in 26 years.

As the world global economic crisis deepened, Euro zone unemployment hit 8.0 percent in December while inflation fell to a near 10-year low of 1.1 percent, Eurostat said on Friday, heightening expectations the European Central Bank, will slash interest rates in March.
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Grim-Japan-US-figures-show-rb-14204286.html

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- James “Jes” Staley, head of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s investment unit, said the $4 trillion money-market fund industry is the “greatest systemic risk” to the financial system that hasn’t been adequately addressed.

“What keeps me up at night most of anything we do at JPMorgan Asset Management is the money-market fund space,” Staley said at a lunch discussion hosted today by Credit Suisse Group AG in Davos, Switzerland. “One of the things that has to come out and get a lot more attention and discussion is how do we take the systemic risk posed by money funds out of the system?”

JPMorgan Asset Management oversees about $500 billion of money-market funds, Staley said. The funds aren’t allowed to set aside capital to protect for investment losses, leaving no “margin for error” against a potential collapse, he said.

“If you’re running a money-fund and all of a sudden you think there may be a slight run or a problem in the credit markets you have to liquefy your portfolio as fast as you possibly can,” he said. “Your margin of error is zero because there’s no shock absorber or capital insurance protecting that.”
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aMEFKwZEDCVs&refer=worldwide

"The one reserve currency has become a danger to the world economy: that is now obvious to everybody," he said in a speech at the World Economic Forum.

It is the first time that a Russian leader has set foot in the sanctum sanctorum of global capitalism at Davos.

Mr Putin said the leading powers should ensure an "irreversible" move towards a system of multiple reserve currencies, questioning the "reliability" of the US dollar as a safe store of value. "The pride of Wall Street investment banks don't exist any more," he said.

For all his bluster, Mr Putin's bargaining power is weakening by the day. Russia's foreign reserves have fallen by 34pc since August to $396bn (£277bn) after months of capital flight and the collapse in the price of Urals crude oil to $45 a barrel. The rouble also fell to a record low yesterday after sliding for weeks in a controlled devaluation.

Mr Putin said: "We are witnessing a truly global crisis. The speed of developments beats every record, and the strategic difference from the Great Depression is that under globalisation this touches everyone. This has multiplied the destructive force. It looks exactly like the perfect storm."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/davos/4376315/Russian-prime-minister-Vladimir-Putin-calls-for-end-of-dollar-stranglehold.html

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Police Department is warning residents not to panic if they see helicopters flying around the city after dark. The department will be hosting military training in and around the city between Jan. 27 and Feb. 8. The training includes the use of military helicopters flying after dark throughout the city. Police say they want residents of New Orleans and outlying areas to know it's a training event. The activities, authorities say, have been carefully planned and are safe.
http://www.katc.com/Global/story.asp?S=9752120

There's your "black" helicopters in action...LOL! Wonder what the training is for???

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Tata Motors Ltd., the Indian truck maker that owns Jaguar and Land Rover, posted its first quarterly loss in seven years as tighter credit and slower economic growth hurt vehicle sales and it had a foreign exchange loss.

The company had a net loss off 2.63 billion rupees ($54 million) in the quarter ended Dec. 31 from a profit of 4.99 billion rupees a year ago, Mumbai-based Tata Motors said in a statement today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of nine analysts was for a net income of 142 million rupees. The loss doesn’t include financials of Jaguar and Land Rover.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=at5YxBLvE5Tc&refer=worldwide

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- The steepest decline in Mexico’s peso in 13 years blindsided everyone from UBS AG economists to Gustavo Huitron, the local marketing manager for Mercedes-Benz.

After weakening 20 percent last year, the currency fell to a record closing low of 14.2431 per dollar this week. RBS Greenwich Capital Markets in Greenwich, Connecticut, now predicts another 4.3 percent drop by June 30. The peso’s worst performance since 1995’s so-called Tequila Crisis is being driven by the U.S. recession and falling oil prices, which are cutting Mexican exports and government revenues.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ajoA1xjAV9Ko&refer=worldwide

Mexico is in a death spiral...keep your eye on that one!

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Admiral Michael Mullen, the most senior American military officer, said the U.S. will probably deploy close to 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to shore up deteriorating security there.

In an interview, Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, also said he is hopeful that other NATO nations will contribute additional military and civilian resources this year to the fight against a resurgent Taliban. The Islamist militia, which once ruled Afghanistan and sheltered al-Qaeda, is threatening large areas of the country with mounting attacks.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=afll.9YZiyUY&refer=worldwide

The growth in drug production must be slowing...can't keep up with demand

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp.’s family of parts makers was a source of profit for Japan’s largest carmaker as their sales grew alongside demand for its vehicles. Now, their plunging revenue is inflicting added losses.

“The suppliers’ earnings are collapsing as quickly as the carmaker’s,” said Andrew Phillips, an auto analyst at KBC Securities Japan in Tokyo. “That will be reflected in Toyota’s associated income.”
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aP1XVLlS4vOU&refer=exclusive

The income of Russian oil enterprises began to decline in the third quarter. Rosneft’s net profit dropped by 18.6 percent to $3.5 billion. The export to foreign countries had dropped by almost 16 percent by November 2008.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that the export of each ton of the Russian oil resulted in the loss of 68 dollars. The current price increased the losses to $140 from each exported ton.

The prices fall so fast that the government becomes unable to handle the situation. The Russian government decided to cut the export calculation term to one month, but the decision had not improved the situation. The January duty will be calculated on the base of $45 per barrel.

The export duty makes up about 20 percent of the budget income. The reduction of the export duty will cut budgetary income by about ten percent in January of 2009. Russia’s budget loses $2.2 billion a year when one barrel of oil becomes one dollar cheaper, experts calculated.

The average price of $30 per barrel will deprive the nation’s budget of 3.5 trillion rubles, which is comparable to the reserve fund – 3.7 trillion rubles as of December 1. Therefore, the reserve fund will be used to fund the budgetary spending.
http://english.pravda.ru/business/finance/08-12-2008/106803-russia_oil-0

Puts a little pressure on them to in turn put pressure on middle east problems to get the price back up. If the price declines keep up...which they will...expect to see some serious saber rattling.

Obama is holding out an olive branch to Islam: "My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy," Obama is quoted as saying, adding "We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect." Coincidentally, across the board US-muslim relations are quite good. Most Middle Eastern regimes are somehow or other supported by the US. Saudi Arabia is a close ally and so are the Gulf States. Egypt's regime can only survive thanks to regular wheat shipments from the US. Arab (Muslim) bankers and businessmen have invested heavily in the US economy and have been buying plenty of bonds over the past decades.

On the other hand, Obama has announced he will step up military efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, while the recently inaugurated US embassy in Iraq indicates the US is planning to stay indefinitely and continue to run the country like a colony or protectorate.
http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/29-01-2009/107030-Europe_Obama_tongues-0

Again the left vs right is a facade....full speed ahead captain!

“According to Mexico’s attorney general, 6,616 people died in drug-trafficking violence in Mexico last year,” the Wall Street Journal reported this week. That’s in one year. “A high percentage of those killed were themselves criminal, but many law enforcement agents battling organized crime were also murdered. The carnage continues. For the first 22 days of this year the body count is 354″ (emphasis mine throughout). The number of deaths in 2008 was double the figure for 2007.
http://www.thetrumpet.com/index.php?q=5887.4259.0.0

Repeat from yesterday I know....its that important!!!

Communist North Korea has said it is scrapping all military and political agreements signed with the South, accusing Seoul of hostile intent. South Korea's government had pushed relations "to the brink of a war", the North's cross-border relations body said on state media. Seoul expressed regret at the move, while the US called it "unhelpful". Relations have deteriorated since South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak took a harder line approach to the North.

The two Korean states are still technically at war because their three-year conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, in 1953. The peninsula remains divided by a heavily fortified Demilitarised Zone, with thousands of troops stationed on both sides of the border.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7859671.stm

BEIJING — The potential for a naval clash off the Korean Peninsula grew Friday after North Korea scrapped a nonaggression pact with South Korea and declared as void a western sea border, warning in shrill language that the region has "reached the brink of war."

North Korea is prone to strident outbursts to gain attention, and its actions Friday may be aimed not only at Seoul but at Washington, where it fears it won't be a diplomatic priority for the new Barack Obama administration in its early days as the Middle East seizes attention. North Korea may also seek to intimidate the South into offering more financial support.
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/61075.html

The former commander of the USS Cole, the American war ship that was struck by a suicide boat in Yemeni waters more than eight years ago, on Thursday slammed President Barack Obama's orders to close the Guantanamo detention center and reassess the prisoners being held there.

''We shouldn't make policy decisions based on human rights and legal advocacy groups,'' retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kurt Lippold said in a telephone interview. "We should consider what is best for the American people, which is not to jeopardize those who are fighting the war on terror — or even more adversely impact the families who have already suffered loses as a result of the war."

Lippold was responding to the decision by a U.S. military judge in Guantanamo to reject a request by Pentagon lawyers to delay next week's scheduled arraignment of Abd el Rahim al Nashiri, a Saudi Arabian who's charged with helping orchestrate the October 2000 suicide bombing of the Cole. The bombing killed 17 U.S. sailors.

In his ruling, the judge, Army Col. James Pohl, said a delay in Nashiri's arraignment would deny the public's interest in a speedy trial. He also said nothing that took place at the arraignment would prevent the Obama administration from deciding to deal with Nashiri in a forum other than the military commission now set to hear his case.

The decision, however, stunned officials at the Department of Defense and White House, which had just begun to grapple with Obama's order to freeze the war court and empty the detention center within a year.

''The Department of Defense is currently reviewing Judge Pohl's ruling,'' said Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon. "We will be in compliance with the president's orders regarding Guantanamo.''
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/61061.html

Hat's off to Judge Pohl to have the cojones to do what he feels is right!

President Obama’s executive orders closing the Guantánamo detention facility and outlawing torture were interpreted in some circles as closing the door on the Bush administration’s global war on terror.

But Mr. Obama – who used the word “war” in his inaugural address to describe the fight with Islamic extremists who would do America harm – is not so much ending the war on terror as he is redefining it and narrowing its focus.

The president is signaling a desire to home in on the Al Qaeda organization and its leadership, as well as on those Taliban leaders who have created a haven in Afghanistan and Pakistan from which to plot against US interests, say counterterrorism experts.

But just a day after Obama also named a special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Jan 22, the US launched two missile attacks from CIA-operated unmanned drone aircraft at targets in Pakistan’s tribal areas where Al Qaeda’s top leaders are thought to enjoy refuge.

The strikes reportedly killed at least 20 people, including foreign fighters and a high-level militant.

Obama “is already making it clear he is focusing on a war on Al Qaeda instead of a broad war on terrorism,” says Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow in terrorism and South Asia studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington and a former CIA analyst and adviser to three US administrations.

“He’s going after the organization that attacked the US on 9/11, and before and since, rather than pursuing a vague and murky war on terrorism everywhere.”

As part of that narrowing of focus, Obama is signaling that the strategy for Afghanistan – which he considers the “central front” in the war on terror – will be scaled back from the Bush administration’s aim of building a democracy to a more realistic goal of denying sanctuary to Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
http://features.csmonitor.com/politics/2009/01/29/obama-redefines-war-on-terror/

Yep better keep those drug shipments going. That dang Al Qaeda and Taliban. Still need to get them back for 911 which of course they pulled off themselves. No help from the ISI, Saudi, CIA, etc. The good ol' Safari Club gang!

US President Barack Obama is not ruling out military strikes against Iran to stop its nuclear program, the White House said Thursday. Asked if the military option was still on the table, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said: "The president hasn't changed his viewpoint that he should preserve all his options."

Gibbs told reporters that Obama believes "we must use all elements of our national power to protect our interests as it relates to Iran," he said.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233050214567&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

...and this differs from Bush's viewpoint how???

The Palestinian Authority on Thursday accused Iran and Syria of encouraging Hamas and other radical groups to establish a new leadership that would challenge the PLO's claim to be the "sole and legitimate" representative of the Palestinians.

The PA is an organ of the PLO.

The PA fears that the potential new leadership, which would be headed by Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, would be recognized by several Islamic governments that are unhappy with President Mahmoud Abbas.

The PA is also worried because the idea of replacing the PLO is being backed by prominent Arab political analysts, newspaper editors and even veteran Fatah leader Farouk Kaddoumi.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233050212626&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Hundreds of middle-class people unemployed as a result of the economic crisis could end up falling through the government's social welfare net and find themselves ineligible for welfare benefits despite having paid National Insurance for their entire working life, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

"Even though I paid National Insurance for the past 16 years, it doesn't seem to count for anything," former hi-tech employee Ronnie Dan, who has not had a job for the past three months, told the Post this week.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233050211818&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Sounds like a Social Security problem...we are next!

Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – With production falling, unemployment rising, consumption lower and most economic indicators showing storm ahead, Japan’s economy is reeling from the full weight of the world’s economic crisis, much more than expected anyway.
http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=14355&size=A

The key words are - "storm ahead".

TEHRAN (Press TV) -- The U.S. defense secretary says Iran’s close alliance with certain Latin American countries concerns him more than Russia’s recent naval maneuvers in the region.

“I’m concerned about the level of frankly subversive activity that the Iranians are carrying on in a number of places in Latin America,” Robert Gates told a Senate committee on Tuesday.

A number of leftist states in the region, namely Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, have all become allies of Iran in recent years and supported the Islamic Republic’s stance in the international arena. He also accused Iran of “opening a lot of offices” in the region to meddle in the internal affairs of Latin American countries. However, Gates gave no specifics to prove his allegations about Iranian interference.

The administration of former U.S. president George W. Bush spearheaded efforts to isolate Iran over its civilian nuclear program by adopting punitive measures against the country as well as pushing for UN sanctions against Tehran.

But seven Latin American countries that are members of ALBA (the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas) -- Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Cuba, Bolivia, Honduras, and Nicaragua -- held a trade fair in Tehran in December in a symbolic rejection of the sanctions imposed on Iran.
http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=188036

1/29/08 News Radar

by JASON | 6:31 AM in | comments (0)

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. will inject $1 billion of new capital into corporate credit unions and back the lenders’ assets amid “unprecedented strains” from mounting losses in a bid to shore up public confidence, a federal regulator said.

The U.S. Central Corporate Federal Credit Union will get a $1 billion federal injection that will boost “the public’s confidence” in credit unions, the lender said.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601208&sid=aoEv8mwPj5AA&refer=finance

Hundreds of thousands of French workers held a one-day national strike on Thursday in a protest at job cuts, temporary lay-offs, the government’s economic and welfare reforms and the lack of fiscal stimulus measures aimed directly at helping households.

Union leaders said 200 demonstrations across France amounted to the biggest protest by employees for 20 years. But the strike caused less disruption to public transport, public services and businesses than anticipated. Schools, however, were badly affected with half of teachers not turning up for work. Traffic was unusually quiet on the streets of Paris with many workers choosing to stay at home.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/369978fc-ed5c-11dd-88f3-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Indian exporters have shed as many as 1 million jobs, more than 15 times a December estimate, amid the most protracted decline in overseas sales in a decade, the commerce ministry said.

“The job losses are very substantial and are likely to be of the order of 700,000 to 1 million, including temporary staff,” Commerce Secretary G.K. Pillai told Bloomberg News in an interview in New Delhi yesterday. Exports fell 1 percent in December and any recovery “is likely only by June,” he said.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601013&sid=anyinXhfS6fA&refer=emergingmarkets

Hate to bust their hopes but next June is very optimistic!

DAVOS, Switzerland — The leaders of the former bastions of the Communist bloc took the stage here on Wednesday to rebuke their capitalist brothers for dragging the world into crisis but also to assure them that, working together, they can rapidly restore the global economy to health.

In the official opening address of the World Economic Forum, Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin of Russia spoke of a financial “perfect storm” that has decimated the old system, rendering it obsolete.

“A year ago, American delegates speaking from this rostrum emphasized the U.S. economy’s fundamental stability and its cloudless prospects,” he said, speaking through a translator. “Today, investment banks, the pride of Wall Street, have virtually ceased to exist.”

But the damage goes beyond Wall Street, he said. “The entire economic growth system, where one regional center prints money without respite and consumes material wealth, while another regional center manufactures inexpensive goods and saves money printed by other governments, has suffered a major setback.”

The Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, left little doubt that Beijing blamed the United States for the economic breakdown. “Inappropriate macroeconomic policies,” an “unsustainable model of development characterized by prolonged low savings and high consumption,” the “blind pursuit of profit” and “the failure of financial supervision” all contributed, he said.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/29/world/europe/29davos.html?_r=1&ref=business

Yeah China and Russia are such perfect models....not! If it wasn't for oil Russia would still be begging for IMF loans to feed its people. The same could be said for China concerning currency manipulation.

The bursting of bubbles causes credit contraction, the forced liquidation of assets, deflation and wealth destruction that may reach catastrophic proportions. In a deflationary environment, the weight of accumulated debt can sink the banking system and push the economy into depression. That is what needs to be prevented at all costs.

It can be done – by creating money to offset the contraction of credit, recapitalising the banking system and writing off or down the accumulated debt in an orderly manner. They require radical and unorthodox policy measures. For best results, the three processes should be combined.

If these measures were successful and credit started to expand, deflationary pressures would be replaced by the spectre of inflation and the authorities would have to drain the excess money supply from the economy almost as fast as they had pumped it in. There is no way to escape from a far-from-equilibrium situation – global deflation and depression – except by first inducing its opposite and then reducing it.

To prevent the US economy from sliding into a depression, Mr Obama must implement a radical and comprehensive set of policies. Alongside the well-advanced fiscal stimulus package, these should include a system-wide and compulsory recapitalisation of the banking system and a thorough overhaul of the mortgage system – reducing the cost of mortgages and foreclosures.

Energy policy could also play an important role in counteracting both depression and deflation. The American consumer can no longer act as the motor of the global economy. Alternative energy and developments that produce energy savings could serve as a new motor, but only if the price of conventional fuels is kept high enough to justify investing in those activities. That would involve putting a floor under the price of fossil fuels by imposing a price on carbon emissions and import duties on oil to keep the domestic price above, say, $70 per barrel.

Finally, the international financial system must be reformed. Far from providing a level playing field, the current system favours the countries in control of the international financial institutions, notably the US, to the detriment of nations at the periphery. The periphery countries have been subject to the market discipline dictated by the Washington consensus but the US was exempt from it.

How unfair the system is has been revealed by a crisis that originated in the US yet is doing more damage to the periphery. Assistance is needed to protect the financial systems of periphery countries, including trade finance, something that will require large contingency funds available at little notice for brief periods of time. Periphery governments will also need long-term financing to enable them to engage in counter-cyclical fiscal policies.

In addition, banking regulations need to be internationally co-ordinated. Market regulations should be global as well. National governments also need to co-ordinate their macroeconomic policies in order to avoid wide currency swings and other disruption.

This is a condensed, almost shorthand account of what needs to be done to turn the global economy around. It should give a sense of how difficult a task it is.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/49b1654a-ed60-11dd-bd60-0000779fd2ac.html

This is the George Soros solution to our problems. Key words in last paragraph - "internationally co-ordinated, global market regulations, co-ordinate national governments". Globalist. Yep, that's the solution - make us all one big happy family...under his control of course!

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The world is facing an “enormous” challenge to feed a growing population because climate change is altering rainfall patterns and fresh water is becoming scarcer, the U.K. government’s top scientist said.

Governments need to boost spending on agricultural research and reconsider options such as genetically-modified foods, which have been historically rejected by consumers in Europe, John Beddington told the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

“We have at the global level a genuine issue of world food shortage,” Beddington told lawmakers. “Can you feed 9 billion people by 2050 in some form of equitable and sustainable way?”
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aoKSTKyrvcjI

Notice that they used the words "climate change" rather than global warning. Dingle berries(aka Al Gore) is giving a speech about global warming in DC today...as it snows! ROFLMAO

The economy will recover. It won’t recover anytime soon. It is likely to get significantly worse over the course of 2009, no matter what President Obama and Congress do.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/01/magazine/01Economy-t.html?ref=business

More idiocracy from the Times...opens with a statement like that and then goes on to state how the government ought to address the future and create high growth.

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co., insisting it can survive without federal loans, said it burned $5.5 billion in cash in the fourth quarter and will tap a revolving credit line after the worst annual performance in its 105-year history.

The credit line will give Ford access to $10.1 billion in cash this quarter. Ford also said the United Auto Workers union had agreed to end the so-called jobs bank, in which employees are paid even when there is no work, following similar steps for GM and Chrysler. Ford has about 1,500 workers in the program.

Ford’s quarterly revenue plunged 34 percent to $29.2 billion as the recession dragged down the company’s U.S. vehicle sales by 30 percent, hastening the cash drain. Total liquidity at year’s end was $24 billion, Ford said.

The company has managed to forgo the federal loans doled out to GM and Chrysler because Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally decided to borrow $23 billion in 2006, securitizing all of Ford’s assets, including its trademark blue oval logo.

Still, Ford’s cash burn in the past two quarters totals $13.2 billion. The company reported having $18.9 billion on Sept. 30. Ford won’t specify its minimum cash needs to stay in business.

GM, the largest U.S. automaker, has said it needs at least $11 billion in cash on hand to pay bills, while No. 3 Chrysler has put its threshold at $2 billion to $2.5 billion. Both said they would have been out of operating funds as soon as this month without the emergency aid they received in December.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aRwX199MH0SU&refer=us

This should be called - "Tucker's Revenge". The sooner these old rotten dinosaurs disintegrate the better off we will be! When a 2008 model only gets 1 mpg better than the 1988 version you know either the engineers are completely ignorant...or their hands are tied!

The world economy will this year suffer its worst performance for more than 60 years with a serious risk that 50m people will lose their jobs, international organisations warned on Wednesday.

The warnings came as the Federal Reserve expressed fresh concern about deflation, noting that the US economy had “weakened further” since its last policy meeting in December.

The US central bank made no immediate move to purchase Treasury securities – disappointing some in the markets – and signalled that its preference is to expand targeted credit operations instead. The Fed said it would “assess whether expansions of or modifications to lending facilities would serve to further support credit markets”.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4b1f235e-ed6f-11dd-bd60-0000779fd2ac.html

Deflation is good for those who have "real" money (i.e. not credit). They buy up all the assets for a song and a dance...well maybe just a song this time around. Then they pump credit back into the system and pump the prices back up. Sell everything off. Wash, rinse, repeat cycle!

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve officials warned of a prolonged global economic slowdown that may push the U.S. to the brink of deflation.

For the first time during the credit crisis, the Federal Open Market Committee’s statement yesterday indicated concern about the worldwide economy weakening “significantly,” with “some risk” that inflation would remain below ideal rates. The Fed signaled it’s moving closer to buying long-term Treasuries and expanding its $600 billion program to buy home-finance debt.

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his colleagues are focused on reducing a range of long-term borrowing costs to stem the longest recession since 1982. Policy makers, concluding a two-day meeting yesterday, left their target range for the main interest rate unchanged at close to zero and reiterated rates will be “exceptionally low” for “some time.”

“It’s just clear that the Fed is hoping to keep those long- term interest rates coming in a downward trend,” David M. Jones, president of DMJ Advisors LLC in Denver and a former Fed economist, said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio. “That’s the only way they can give aggregate demand a boost and help this economy at least start to get out of recession.”
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a4KPs.0wymUo&refer=us

Um yeah that method is highly successful...shoot Japan went...what...like close to 10 years with zero percent rates and look how successful they were?

Israeli air raids struck a Hamas target in Khan Younes, inflicting at least 10 Palestinian casualties Thursday, Jan. 29, after two missiles aimed at Sderot from Gaza early that morning landed in the Shear Hanegev region.

The first pair was fired Wednesday. Overnight, the Israeli Air force struck a missile workshop in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. DEBKAfile's military circles report that in the 48 hours since a roadside bomb from Gaza killed an Israeli soldier and injured three, Hamas has reverted to its tit-for-tat cycle in an effort to demonstrate who makes the rules.

Earlier, we reported that the approach of a fresh Gaza flare-up caused defense minister Ehud Barak to cancel his trip this week to Washington for talks with US defense secretary Robert Gates. Wednesday, as Barack Obama's Middle East envoy George Mitchell met with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem, Hamas fired its first two Qassam missiles and several mortar rounds into southern Israel since the 22-day conflict was halted by ceasefires. In Damascus, meanwhile Hamas and other radical Palestinian leaders rejected Cairo's plan for a long-term truce, demanding the reopening of all the Gaza crossings first.

This rejection was backed by the fresh round of missiles and mortar shells from Gaza.

Hamas was signaling its intention to revert to pummeling southern Israel again with rockets and missiles if its armed forces resorted to major retaliation for the fatal roadside bomb.

Until Hamas-Damascus slapped down its veto, Egypt had hoped for a long-term truce to begin on Feb. 5, followed by a power-sharing conference between the warring Palestinian factions on Feb. 22. The timeline was announced by Egyptian foreign minister Aboul Gheit.

But Hamas' rejection has taken Cairo back to square one. The Egyptians believe that a good military hiding by Israel will bring the Palestinian Islamist extremists back to the negotiation table in a more reasonable frame of mind. This situation prompted Barak's remark that another Hamas attack or two is to be expected soon.

Israeli and Egyptian leaders updated Mitchell Wednesday and explained why the ceasefire which he sought to consolidate during his Middle East tour had become untenable. Cairo and Jerusalem were equally resigned to another round of hostilities before diplomacy could take off.

Our military sources stress that the Israeli air strike which killed a Hamas member of the bomb squad in Khan Younis Tuesday night and its bombardment of three Philadelphi Corridor smuggling tunnels early Wednesday were but a foretaste of the reprisals the Israel military has in store for curbing further Hamas aggression.
http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5879

So much for the cease fire.

NEW YORK – A call to utilize the current global economic crisis as a panic in which governments worldwide can move to nationalize banks is emerging from the 2009 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The forum's founder, Klaus Schwab, told CNN yesterday the current global economic slowdown is a "transformational crisis" that should be utilized to shape a "new world."

"Above all else this is a crisis of confidence," Schwab said. "To restore confidence you have to establish signposts that the world after the crisis will be different. We have to create a new world and that is what Davos 2009 will be all about – serving society."

Roubini called on the Obama administration to employ the "Swedish solution," in which the U.S. government would nationalize troubled banks, not just investing bailout cash but also taking over and giving management control to U.S. government bureaucrats.

Stiglitz reasoned economic incentives dictated that private bank managers – if left in place after injecting TARP funds without government control – would "have incentives to pay themselves bonuses, to pay shareholders dividends and to use bailout funds to make acquisitions."

"We need to run these banks for our interest," Stiglitz said, arguing the Obama administration should move to nationalize banks.

"The government could not do worse than the banks themselves have done," he observed, insisting TARP bailouts made no sense unless the government ended up controlling the banks.
http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=87405

By all means yes let's shape a whole new world because it is a crisis of confidence. Guess what though its confidence in honesty and integrity - both from business and government leaders. I don't see anything being done to address that!

Another magnificent fallacy - "giving management control to U.S. government bureaucrats". This is the height of ignorance. Since when has a government bureaucrat been a good banker? The government is How Deep in Debt? Been running Deficits for How Long? Hello - Wake up and smell the roses! Or in this case turds!

Here's some news today about how well our government bureaucrat's do with what they have been entrusted with...after reading make your own decision on whether they should be entrusted with the banking system.


Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Senator Kit Bond shifted in his chair at a 2005 congressional hearing, poised with a question on national security. He turned to Treasury Secretary John Snow, who was seated at a witness table.

Was Snow sure, asked Bond, a Missouri Republican, that a Treasury Department computer on order for $8.9 million would help detect terrorist money laundering?

“Yes, absolutely,” Snow said.

A year later, in July 2006, the U.S. Treasury Department abandoned the project. The computer didn’t work. The department had spent $14.7 million -- a 65 percent increase above the original budget -- for nothing.

There was a final ignominy: Under the terms of the contract, Electronic Data Systems Corp., the vendor, collected a bonus of $638,126.

As the federal government’s $700 billion bailout of banks sputters, there’s an object lesson for the new administration of President Barack Obama: Federal departments, including Treasury itself, routinely squander tens of billions of dollars a year in taxpayer money as they farm out public business to private corporations.

When compared with all federal contracting, just a fraction of U.S. spending waste comes from so-called earmarks, which elected officials often criticize as the unnecessary pet projects of politicians.

The “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska, for example, had a price tag of $398 million. By contrast, the government spent $368.4 billion on all contracts in 2008, and Republican Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn estimates that about $100 billion of that was wasted.

U.S. spending on 3.7 million contracts in 2008 represented an increase of 76 percent over 2000 levels.

“We have a broken, broken system that rewards incompetence,” says Coburn, 60.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aYYHKPn4DOe8&refer=exclusive

Abed Rabbo said he gathered his wife, their three daughters and his mother, Souad. Souad Abed Rabbo said that she tied a white robe around a mop handle and two of her granddaughters waved white headscarves as they walked outside.

When they opened the door, they saw an Israeli tank parked in their garden about 10 yards away.

"We were waiting for them to give us an order," Khaled said last week as he stood in the ruins of his home. "Then one came out of the tank and started to shoot."

Souad Abed Rabbo said she was shot as she pushed her son back inside and her granddaughters fell on the stairs. When the shooting was over, she said, 2-year-old Amal and 7-year-old Souad were dead.

The allegation is one of at least five such white flag incidents that human rights investigators are looking into across the Gaza Strip. It's part of a growing pattern of alleged abuses that have raised concerns that some Israeli soldiers may have committed war crimes during their 22-day military campaign in Gaza.

"The evidence we've gathered in two of the cases so far is exceedingly strong," said Fred Abrahams, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch working in the Gaza Strip. "All the research so far suggests they shot civilians that were leaving their homes with white flags."
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/226/story/60853.html

(IsraelNN.com) Italian journalist Lorenzo Cremonesi, who works with the Corriere della serra newspaper, reported Thursday that Hamas had vastly overstated the number of civilian deaths in Gaza. While Hamas claims that 1,330 residents of Gaza were killed in the operation and approximately 5,000 wounded, the real number of casualties was far lower, Cremonesi says.

Cremonesi's report was based on his own findings after touring hospitals in Gaza and talking to families of those killed or wounded. “It is sufficient to visit several [Gaza] hospitals to understand that the numbers don't add up,” he explained.

Cremonesi estimated that between 500 to 600 people were killed in the fighting. Most were young men between the ages of 17 and 23 who were members of Hamas, he said.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/129569

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that police officers have leeway to frisk a passenger in a car stopped for a traffic violation even if nothing indicates the passenger has committed a crime or is about to do so.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i0f9zHVHrRQMg0ssuar_7KsJsy9wD95UTGSG1

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Treasury agreed to commit as much as $60 billion to shore up the market for student loans and help reduce the illiquid assets clogging banks’ balance sheets, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The department will use its Federal Financing Bank to provide a backstop for an initiative put together by Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley, the people said. The so-called conduit will purchase existing and new student loans from banks, and issue asset-backed commercial paper to finance itself.

The program, which is outside of the $700 billion financial-rescue fund and doesn’t need new congressional action, comes as officials and lawmakers seek to broaden the government’s help beyond bailouts for Wall Street. Premiums on bonds backed by student loans more than tripled in the past year amid an exodus of investors from all but the safest assets.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aTirMHvhiujY&refer=worldwide

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. House passed President Barack Obama’s $819 billion stimulus package without any Republican votes as lawmakers remained divided over whether the plan would do enough to pull the economy out of recession.

The 244 to 188 vote yesterday sends the measure to the Senate, where Republicans will have more power to demand changes. They are calling for more tax cuts, less spending and a bigger focus on housing in the measure. The chamber is likely to begin work on the plan on Feb. 2. The stimulus measure is separate from the administration’s plan to shore up the banking system, which may cost in excess of $1 trillion.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=abMCMQN27R5w&refer=worldwide

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits soared to a record, as companies slash jobs to lower costs in a deepening recession.

Continuing claims for benefits rose to 4.776 million in the week ended Jan. 17, the highest since record-keeping started in 1967, the Labor Department said today in Washington. First-time filings increased 3,000 to 588,000 in the week ended Jan. 24.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=aqc_bpAZTgqE&refer=economy

Eighty-one people have been detained and nearly 6,000 questioned in the past 11 days, Chinese state media reported.

The Tibetan Daily said the campaign in Lhasa was targeting criminals.

But the leaders-in-exile say they are concerned that China's "hardline policies" may lead to a repeat of last year's deadly anti-Chinese riots.

The centre of Lhasa has been under heavy security since last March, after peaceful protests turned violent following a military crackdown.

China said at least 18 people were killed during the unrest. Independent rights groups say about 200 people were killed and at least 1,000 are still missing.

Tibet independence campaigners say China's anti-crime operation appears to be aimed at intimidating Tibetans two months ahead of the 50th anniversary of the failed uprising against Chinese rule, which led to the Dalai Lama's flight into exile.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7857896.stm

On Sunday, it was revealed that two men released from the U.S. terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay in 2007 had reemerged as top-level al Qaeda operatives. Three days later, other former Guantanamo prisoners were arrested. Is closing Guantanamo really such a good idea?

Appearing on a jihadist website, terrorist Abu Sufyan al-Azdi al-Shahri taunted the U.S. Identifying himself by his Guantanamo number, 372, he said: “By Allah, imprisonment only increased our persistence in our principles for which we went out, did jihad for, and were imprisoned for.”

Al-Shahri is now considered the number-two al Qaeda man in Yemen. Shown in a video seated next to al-Shahri is prisoner 333, also known as Abu al-Hareth Muhammad al-Oufi, who is now a ranking al Qaeda field commander.

Then on Tuesday, more bad news emerged. Saudi Arabia announced that it had rearrested nine Islamist terrorists, including at least two former Guantanamo inmates.

These latest Guantanamo catch-and-release resurfacings couldn’t have come at much worse of a time for President Barack Obama, who recently issued an executive order to close the Guantanamo facility and is looking for a home for the remaining 245 terrorists.
http://www.thetrumpet.com/index.php?q=5888.4255.0.0

President Obama yesterday eliminated the most controversial tools employed by his predecessor against terrorism suspects. With the stroke of his pen, he effectively declared an end to the "war on terror," as President George W. Bush had defined it, signaling to the world that the reach of the U.S. government in battling its enemies will not be limitless.

While Obama says he has no plans to diminish counterterrorism operations abroad, the notion that a president can circumvent long-standing U.S. laws simply by declaring war was halted by executive order in the Oval Office.

During his campaign and again in his inaugural address Tuesday, Obama used a different lexicon to describe operations to defeat terrorists. "As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals," he said. ". . . And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/22/AR2009012203929.html?wprss=rss_politics

Listen to the actual verbage. This whole left vs right thing is such a facade. Quotes: "no plans to diminish counterterrorism operations abroad", "for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents...we will defeat you". Doesn't really sound like the "war on terror" is over does it?

Islamic terrorists are not the only ones with a liking for decapitation. In the Mexican town of Praxedis last week, police commander Martin Castro’s severed head appeared in front of the local police station, left in an ice cooler.

A calling card from the Sinoloa drug cartel accompanied the bloodied gift.

Beheading is a tool worn with use in the macabre profession of Mexican drug cartels. Last month, eight soldiers and a state police officer were found beheaded in the state of Guerero. Along with the corpses was the message, “For every one of us you kill, we’ll kill 10 of you.” And if you think that’s sadistic, consider the former occupation of Santiago Meza Lopez. Last week, Lopez admitted to helping a drug cartel dispose of more than 300 bodies by dissolving them in sodium hydroxide.

“According to Mexico’s attorney general, 6,616 people died in drug-trafficking violence last year,” the Wall Street Journal reported this week. That’s in one year. “A high percentage of those killed were themselves criminal, but many law enforcement agents battling organized crime were also murdered. The carnage continues. For the first 22 days of this year the body count is 354″ (emphasis mine throughout). The number of deaths in 2008 was double the figure for 2007.

This trend is indicative of a major crisis. Mexico is coming unhinged.

Drug cartels have stepped up their war against the Mexican government since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderón was elected and began a campaign to destroy organized crime. As soon as Calderón began confronting the cartels, observed the Journal, it became “apparent that the cartels would stop at nothing to preserve their operations, and that a state commitment to confrontation meant that violence would escalate.”

Escalate it did. Emboldened by billion-dollar bank accounts, vast recruitment pools of countless unemployed, desperate Mexicans, friendship with international crime organizations, support from major-league weapons suppliers, and, above all, an insatiable American demand for their supply, Mexico’s drug cartels in recent years have transformed into well-equipped, well-organized, technologically advanced, highly mobile, powerful armies!

Retired U.S. Army general and former drug czar Barry McCaffrey, who recently visited Mexico, assessed the struggle between the government and the drug kingdoms thus:

"The outgunned Mexican law enforcement authorities face armed criminal attacks from platoon-sized units employing night vision goggles, electronic intercept collection, encrypted communications, fairly sophisticated information operations, seagoing submersibles, helicopters and modern transport aviation, automatic weapons, rpgs, Anti-Tank 66mm rockets, mines and booby traps, heavy machine guns, 50-cal sniper rifles, massive use of military hand grenades, and the most modern models of 40mm grenade machine guns."


These illegal drug cartels are better-financed, better-equipped and better-organized than some national armies!

There’s a term for a state that is incapable of enforcing law. It’s a failed state!

And that is what many are saying Mexico is on the road to becoming. In America, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the National Security Council have all, in one way or another, recently expressed alarm that Mexico could collapse under the strain of drug cartel violence.

In its “2009 National Drug Threat Assessment,” released on December 15, the U.S. Department of Justice stated that Mexican drug traffickers “represent the greatest organized crime threat to the United States.” With that statement, said Stratfor, “the Justice Department is acknowledging that Mexican drug cartels are the number-one criminal enemy of the U.S. government—a position held in the past by Irish, Italian, Russian and Colombian criminal enterprises”—a reality that has been extant for some time (Dec. 17, 2008).

The U.S. Joint Forces Command released a similar warning recently. “In terms of worst-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world,” warned the command’s “Joint Operating Environment (joe 2008)” report, “two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico. … In particular, the growing assault by the drug cartels and their thugs on the Mexican government over the past several years reminds one that an unstable Mexico could represent a homeland security problem of immense proportions to the United States.”

Pause for a moment and think about that: American military officials believe Mexico is at risk of a “rapid and sudden collapse” in the same way that Pakistan is!

That may sound preposterous to some. But it’s not so hard to believe if you consider that other major crises are converging on Mexico in addition to the chaos being caused by the rapidly deteriorating security situation.

First, Mexico’s economy, which is tied closely to the American economy, is being hit hard by the global economic crisis. Economic growth is slowing, the peso appears unstable and has devalued by about 20 percent since the beginning of 2008, less cash is flowing from America into Mexico, and, perhaps most dangerously, unemployment is rising, which ultimately leads to a disgruntled, restless society. In addition to those economic woes, oil revenues, which comprise 40 percent of the federal budget, will soon begin to plummet.

In short, the Mexican economy verges on collapse!

Second, Mexico’s political landscape is shifting and steadily growing more unstable. “Mexico has seen a massive spike in crime and drug-related violence coincide with the first eight years of rule by Calderón’s National Action Party (pan),” Stratfor reported. “To make things worse, the global financial crisis has begun to impact Mexico … and the impact on employment could be devastating. Given the confluence of events, it is almost guaranteed that Calderón and the pan will suffer political losses going forward, weakening the party’s ability to move forward with decisive action” (Dec. 9, 2008).

Stratfor concluded its analysis with a warning similar to the one issued by the American government:

Mexico’s most critical challenge is the convergence of events it now faces. The downturn in the economy, the political dynamics or the deteriorating security situation, each on its own, might not pose an insurmountable problem for Mexico. What could prove insurmountable is the confluence of all three, which now appears to be in the making.

Perhaps it’s difficult for Americans to replace the images of Mexico’s white, sandy beaches, deluxe hotels and bright, cheap tropical fruit with images of a failed state.

Try this.

Think about Pakistan. Nestled between the Middle East and Asia, it can be much easier to consider Pakistan in those terms. Its economy is tanking and unemployment is growing. Infrastructure is crumbling, and social unrest and dissatisfaction are seething. Handicapped by political gridlock, Pakistan’s central government is weak and ineffective. It has lost control over large swaths of territory, and is now unable to make major decisions, enact legislation and implement a united foreign policy. In short, the nation cannot set itself back on the path to success.

Worse still, Pakistan’s government has been deeply infiltrated by radical Islamists who wield significant influence over the nation’s military and intelligence departments. Entire regions of Pakistan are now controlled by radical Islamic groups, which, blinded by their religious aspirations, have little desire to ensure people are fed, create jobs, stimulate an economy or guarantee social stability, thereby exacerbating the nation’s spiral toward disaster.

Now take it one step further. Pakistan’s internal chaos makes it a national security threat to adjacent states, and even the world. The terrorist attacks last November in Mumbai, India, you might remember, were traced back to radical Islamists operating out of Pakistan.

In Pakistan, chaos reigns supreme.

Finally, imagine if Pakistan was situated on America’s southern border!
http://www.thetrumpet.com/index.php?q=5887.4259.0.0

This is the major story that should be front page on every newspaper and news website in the United States. These cartels are crossing the border at will.

The UK financial sector is in collapse. Rather than let the banks fail, the government is risking it all in one giant high-stakes gamble to prop up the system. It is really a no-win situation, however: Even if the bet pays off, the best the economy can expect is a slow grind-down. If the bet doesn’t pay off, the UK faces national bankruptcy. The fate of Britain’s whole economy may hang on this gamble.

The UK banking system has reached a breaking point. “The country stands on the precipice,” wrote the Telegraph. “We are at risk of utter humiliation, of London becoming a Reykjavik on Thames and Britain going under. … [T]he possibility of national bankruptcy is not unrealistic.”

Without government intervention, Britain’s biggest names in high finance would experience a short but exciting end to life. So, for the second time in three months, the government has felt compelled to act.

And act it has—in a dramatic and risky fashion. The new bailout plan will provide an additional £100 billion in capital and a £250 billion bank credit line to endangered banks. The government will also purchase more shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland.

But most dramatic—and risky—is the government’s intentions to blanket guarantee the banking sector’s hemorrhaging balance sheets. The Telegraph’s Iain Martin described the plan as the creation of a “giant insurance scheme for bad debt, [and a] pledge to honor liabilities without limit.”

And therein lies the danger for Britain: Private banking risk has now become national taxpayer risk.

The money involved is astounding. Britain’s four big banks have leveraged themselves to the hilt with borrowed money. British banks have liabilities so vast they completely eclipse the entire UK economy.

The Royal Bank of Scotland alone has £1.8 trillion worth of liabilities—three times the annual UK government spending budget. The bank asserts that it has assets worth in excess of that amount, but as write-downs, surprise revelations and forced government nationalizations continue to rock the market, few seem to believe any British bank claims anymore.
http://www.thetrumpet.com/index.php?q=5872.4237.0.0

Sound familiar? Let's look at the banking risk at little more closely...

I’ve been asked by some friends about why banks have not stabilized despite all of the money poured into them. The main reason is to simply understand that banks can maintain $8-$12 in assets against $1 in equity. To make things simple, if a bank has $10 in assets and $1 in equity and $1 of those assets are bad, the bank is in major trouble. Some of these banks maintained far more leverage than that, meaning it takes even fewer bad apples to wipe out a bank.
http://seekingalpha.com/article/117338-the-state-of-financial-markets-and-u-s-dollar-in-2009-part-ii?source=article_lb_articles

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Draft legislation that would change how over-the-counter derivatives are regulated might prohibit most trading in the $29 trillion credit-default swap market.

As much as 80 percent of the credit-default swap market is traded by investors who don’t own the underlying bonds, according to Eric Dinallo, superintendent of the New York Department of Insurance. Dinallo last year proposed outlawing so-called “naked” credit-default swap trading. He shelved the proposal in November because of progress by federal regulators on broader oversight of the market.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. held $87.7 trillion of derivatives as of Sept. 30, more than twice as much as the next largest holder, Bank of America Corp., which had $38.7 trillion, according to data from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Of the holdings at New York-based JPMorgan, 96 percent were in the OTC market, compared with 94 percent for Bank of America.

The largest positions at JPMorgan and Bank of America, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, were in interest-rate swaps. Banks enter into interest-rate swaps with clients such as cities or hospitals that sold bonds and seek protection against adverse moves in interest rates. They also hedge their exposure to rates in the inter-dealer market.

The OCC data only included U.S. commercial banks, so Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. weren’t listed at the time. Both New York-based investment banks converted to banks regulated by the Federal Reserve on Sept. 21.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=alJeSkFOeGXk&refer=home

How's that for risk? Nearly $88 Trillion in one bank. Makes the numbers in the UK article (Royal Bank of Scotland) look very small in comparison.

It is noteworthy that JP Morgan is a dealer for the US Federal Reserve/US Treasury, and it is troubling that it is responsible for over half of all derivatives, as revealed by Stephen Lendman who relates: "The derivatives problem is especially ominous. At extreme levels and very dangerous. An estimated $180 trillion held by commercial banks alone meaning those with most of it are technically insolvent. JP Morgan Chase holds half of it. An "unprecedented concentration of risk in modern US history." The large counterparty default risk in this market isn't understood. Currently the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) reports credit derivatives exposure (or risk of trading partner default) at $465 billion. Up 159% from 2007. Failure to address the derivatives time bomb "leaves a gaping hole through which financial panic can spread."
http://my.opera.com/richardinbellingham/blog/show.dml/2679689

BIS report highlighting traded derivatives...
http://www.bis.org/publ/qtrpdf/r_qa0809.pdf#page=108

1/28/08 News Radar

by JASON | 6:50 AM in | comments (0)

Israeli towns and communities within rocket and missile range of the Gaza Strip were on tense alert after the Israeli air force struck the Philadekphi corridor border tunnels before dawn Wednesday, Jan. 28. Punishment was promised Hamas after a large roadside bomb blew up an Israel border patrol jeep outside Gaza early Tuesday, killing one Israel soldier and injuring three, one seriously, one week into the Gaza ceasefire.

Several smuggling tunnels caved in under the aerial bombardment. This may not be the end of Israel's response. Barack Obama's Middle East envoy George Mitchell is due in Jerusalem later Wednesday for his first visit. If Hamas goes back to firing rockets, he will land in the middle of another Gaza war.
http://www.debka.com/index1.php

A little-discussed provision in President Obama's economic stimulus plan would demand that every American submit to a government program for electronic medical records
without a choice to opt out, and it has privacy advocates more than a little alarmed.

Patients might be alarmed, too, privacy advocates said, if they realized information such as documentation on abortions, mental health problems, impotence, being labeled as a non-compliant patient, lawsuits against doctors and sexual problems could be shared electronically with, perhaps, millions of people.
http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=87322

A lawyer
whose case challenging Barack Obama's eligibility to occupy the Oval Office was denied a hearing in the U.S. Supreme Court says she will demand records of a meeting between the justices and the president.

California lawyer Orly Taitz, who has several cases pending over the issue of Obama's status as a "natural born" citizen, told WND she will take action soon.

Her case was the most recent on which the Supreme Court held a "conference," an off-the-record discussion at which justices discuss whether to take a case. Taitz told WND the justices decided Jan. 23 to deny her case a hearing on its merits.

The result was the same for previous cases brought by Philip Berg, whose information is on his ObamaCrimes.com website, as well as Cort Wrotnowski.

Like Berg's cases, Taitz said hers now reverts to the lower court, where it was pending when her emergency appeals were submitted to the Supreme Court.

But of the Supreme Court's actions now may become the subject of further questions, because Obama visited with the justices in their private chambers in a meeting closed to the public just before his inauguration. Taitz said a defendant in a legal action meeting with the judges who are deciding the case without have a representative from the other side is unprecedented – and unacceptable.

"I will file a motion to the chief justice to compel the records of this private meeting, that was held only a few days before my case was supposed to be heard," Taitz said in a posting on her website.

"I would like to get information about what was discussed," she told WND in an interview. "It's unheard of for the Supreme Court to meet with [one] party when a case is pending."
http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=87270

The state of California has run out of money.

Facing a $42 billion budget deficit, State Controller John Chiang told the Sacramento Bee he has already borrowed $21.5 billion to try to cover the state's checks, but by Feb. 1, there will be no more options left but to simply stop paying some of the bills – including tax refunds, welfare checks, student grants and other payments owned to California citizens.

"It pains me to pull this trigger," Chiang said at a news conference held in his office. "But it is an action that is critically necessary."

Federal law requires that many school and healthcare programs – a total of about $6.6 billion in California – must be paid, the Los Angeles Times reports, so Chiang has announced an expected payment freeze on $3.7 billion worth of the state's bills, most of it refunds owed to taxpayers.

But even with the freeze beginning next week, the Times reports, California will still fall $346 million short for the month of February, forcing Chiang to consider something only done once since the Great Depression: issuing IOUs.

Formally called "registered warrants," the state's IOUs consist of little more than a piece of paper that says the state owes a payee money, plus interest, to be paid at some point in the future.

The last time California issued registered warrants was in 1992, during two-month budget battle between then-Gov. Pete Wilson and the state's legislators. But after the state issued almost $4 billion worth of IOUs, many banks stopped accepting them as deposits, claiming the five percent interest didn't pay for the hassle of processing them.

The Times reports that state officials have already designed an IOU template for February and begun negotiating with banks to avoid a repeat of 1992's problems.
http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=87175

California, like most, if not all, of the big banks, is insolvent.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Financial documents filed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton show that her husband earned nearly $6 million in speaking fees last year, nearly all of it from foreign companies.

The documents obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press indicate that $5 million of the former president's reported $5.7 million in 2008 honoraria came from foreign sources. They included Kuwait's National Bank, a Hong Kong-based company, and other firms and groups in Canada, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico and Portugal.
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D95VK2BG0&show_article=1

Interesting isn't it. Wonder what he speaks about? Wouldn't happen to be anything along the lines of global agendas and intelligence interest would it?

NEW YORK (Reuters) - While many U.S. cities worry that their economies are deteriorating to the level of the 1930s Great Depression, New York City fears reliving a more recent decade that features strongly in city lore.

The 1970s were a low point in city history as a fiscal crisis almost pushed it into bankruptcy, crime rates soared, and homeless people crowded sidewalks as public services crumbled.

Almost a million people fled New York's Mean Streets during the decade for the safer, more stable suburbs, a population decline that took more than 20 years to reverse.

When discussing the current crisis, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, now seeking a third term, promises that he will not allow the city to return to the darkness of those days, although he stresses that it faces "giant financial problems."

"I know some are concerned that city services will erode," he recently told reporters. "Let me remind you that the city went down that road in the 1970s ... I can just tell you that we are not going to make that mistake again."

But behind the rhetoric, there are signs of a city under growing stress, including a rise in homelessness that's driving more families to shelters and last year's 57 percent spike in bank robberies.

There were 444 bank robberies in 2008 compared with 283 in 2007, according to the city Police Department.

Many individuals lost confidence in municipal bond insurers after their top ratings were slashed and were stung by last year's collapse of the auction-rate securities market.

New York City is one of the nation's premier issuers of municipal bonds and although capital markets have not temporarily locked it out as they have California, the city has slashed its average bond sales by a third. So instead of selling $1 billion at once, it now sells just $300 million.

The budget plan drawn up by New York State Governor David Paterson will cost the city $1.6 billion in cuts and force it to lay off thousands of police officers, firefighters and teachers, Bloomberg warned last week.
http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE50Q6IH20090127?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews&rpc=22&sp=true

Author James Bamford looked into the performance of the NSA in his 2008 book, The Shadow Factory, and found that it had been closely monitoring the 9/11 hijackers as they moved freely around the United States and communicated with Osama bin Laden's operations center in Yemen. The NSA had even tapped bin Laden's satellite phone, starting in 1996.

"The NSA never alerted any other agency that the terrorists were in the United States and moving across the country towards Washington," Bamford told PBS.

Former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer told PBS, "None of this information that we're speaking about this evening's in the 9/11 Commission report. They simply ignored all of it."

Not only was then-Director Michael Hayden never held accountable for the NSA's alleged failure, but he went on to oversee the Bush administration's vast expansion of domestic surveillance. In 2006, he was appointed as director of the CIA.

The Spy Factory will be shown over most PBS stations on February 3, 2009 at 8 pm.
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/PBS_NSA_tracked_911_hijackers_but_0127.html

A new bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives called the National Emergency Centers Act or HR 645. This bill if passed into law will direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers otherwise known as FEMA camp facilities on military installations. This is an incredibly disturbing piece of legislation considering that the powers that be have already set in motion an agenda to setup a nationwide marital law apparatus through U.S. Northern Command and the Department of Homeland Security.

Even though we already know that detention facilities are already in place, they now want to legalize the construction of FEMA camps on military installations using the ever popular excuse that the facilities are for the purposes of a national emergency. With the phony debt based economy getting worse and worse by the day, the possibility of civil unrest is becoming a greater threat to the establishment. One need only look at Iceland, Greece and other nations for what might happen in the United States next. With this in mind, it appears as if these so called national emergency centers will be used in a national emergency but only if the national emergency requires large groups of people to be rounded up and detained. If that isn’t the case, than why have these national emergency facilities built in military installations?
http://www.roguegovernment.com/Congress_Seeks_To_Authorize_%26_Legalize_FEMA_Camp_Facilities/14007/0/13/13/Y/M.html

The bill
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-645

More background information as the construction and development of national emergency facilities has been in process for some time

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- KBR, the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton Co. (HAL:Halliburton Company), said Tuesday it has been awarded a contingency contract from the Department of Homeland Security to supports its Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities in the event of an emergency. The maximum total value of the contract is $385 million and consists of a 1-year base period with four 1-year options. KBR held the previous ICE contract from 2000 through 2005. The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to expand existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs, KBR said. The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster, the company said.
http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid={62C8724D-AE8A-4B5C-94C7-70171315C0A0}&dateid=38741.5136277662-858254656

ARLINGTON – Jan. 24, 2006 - KBR announced today that its Government and Infrastructure division has been awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to support the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities in the event of an emergency. KBR is the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton (NYSE:HAL).

With a maximum total value of $385 million over a five-year term, consisting of a one-year based period and four one-year options, the competitively awarded contract will be executed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District. KBR held the previous ICE contract from 2000 through 2005.

“We are especially gratified to be awarded this contract because it builds on our extremely strong track record in the arena of emergency operations support,” said Bruce Stanski, executive vice president, KBR Government and Infrastructure. “We look forward to continuing the good work we have been doing to support our customer whenever and wherever we are needed.”

The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs. The contingency support contract provides for planning and, if required, initiation of specific engineering, construction and logistics support tasks to establish, operate and maintain one or more expansion facilities.

ICE was established in March 2003 as the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE is comprised of four integrated divisions that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities.
http://www.kbr.com/news/2006/govnews_060124.aspx

Why exactly are prisons being built for "the rapid development of new programs". Halliburton's company site confirms that the government is engaged in a massive construction and preparation exercise to build concentration camps and prisoner processing facilities in the United States. This is particularity astonishing and disturbing considering that the U.S. already incarcerates more orders of magnitude more people than any other nation, about on-par with U.S.S.R. at the height of Stalin's era.

The contract of the Halliburton subsidiary KBR to build immigrant detention facilities is part of a longer-term Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of “all removable aliens” and “potential terrorists.” In the 1980s Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld discussed similar emergency detention powers as part of a super-secret program of planning for what was euphemistically called “Continuity of Government” (COG). These men planned for suspension of the Constitution, not just after nuclear attack, but for any “national security emergency,” which they vaguely defined in Executive Order 12656 of 1988.

Over 800 concentration camps are reported throughout the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive U.S. Prisoners who disagree with the government. The concentration camps are all staffed and manned by full-time guards, however, they are all empty. These camps are to be operated by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) when Martial Law is implemented in the United States (at the stroke of a Presidential pen and the Attorney General's signature on a warrant).
http://www.libertyforlife.com/jail-police/us_concentration_camps.htm

(July 4, 2008) Ex-US Intelligence operative Al Martin exposed the Shadow Government’s plan to arrest all those that opposed them in his book "The Conspirators." That CIA Operation Sledgehammer started under Reagan with Bush, Sr. as Vice President.
http://www.conspiracyplanet.com/channel.cfm?channelid=137&contentid=5287

In the spring of 1997, Senior Editor, Professor Ian Stewart, met with "Mr. Sea" (real name known but withheld) to discuss what he has learned first-hand about the coming persecution at the hands of the New World Order operatives. With a seven-inch thick portfolio filled with photographs, news articles, correspondence, etc., Mr. Sea revealed disturbing information about New World Order efforts to destroy and enslave America. The following are some of Mr. Sea‘s comments. But first, let's take a look at the man who made the comments.

Mr. Sea, a committed Christian, is a former inspector for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Department of Defense, with 31 years of federal service in the military, nine with the Department of Defense, including two years with the Air Staff. He’s a holder of the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three awards of the Joint Service Medal, all of the Vietnamese awards, as well as the Joint Meritorious Unit Medal. When he retired a few years ago, he was awarded the Secretary of Defense Civilian Service Medal. He’s been around the world, to 31 countries on four continents, and speaks five languages. Mr. Sea spoke of the coming American Holocaust of the Government’s plans for dealing with the non-New World Orderites. He spoke of the infrastructure that has already been set up to incarcerate and execute Americans, and the locations of the facilities that will be used for these purposes, all with photographs, leaving little to the imagination.

"The infrastructure is set up. There are at least 130 concentration camps — quietly modified facilities which have sprung up and continue to spring up across the country, seemingly devoid of activity, yet requiring strange accoutrements such as barbed wire-topped fencing (with the tops turned inward) and helicopter wind socks. Most have good logistical supportability, with major highways and railroad transport facilities adjacent to the sites.

"These facilities, many in remote areas across our country, are set up to become concentration/detention camps, complete with gas chambers, for resisters and dissidents. Generally speaking, they’re set up for dissenters who will not go along with the New World Order. The ‘resisters’ are gun owners who refuse to give up their weapons; the ‘dissidents’ are Christians, Patriots and Constitutionalists. These camps are set up. I’ve seen many of them.

"On August 6, 1994, I toured the Amtrak Railcar Repair Facility at Beech Grove, Indianapolis, Indiana. There are at least ten maintenance barns at this facility, covering 129 acres, with two separate fences with the tops leaning inward. The windows of several buildings have been bricked up. Hence, you have three levels of security for Amtrak repair barns! There are three helicopter 25-knot aviation wind socks (which aren’t the correct ones to use for chemical spills which require 10-knot wind socks). There are high security NSA-style people turnstiles, and high intensity/security lighting for 24-hour operation. The box car (gas chamber) building fence is marked with special ‘RED/BLUE Zone’ signs [visible in the photo ]. This corresponds to the ‘mission’ of the RED/BLUE Lists which surfaced in June and July of 1996. Under martial law, this will become a death camp. They’re only going to handle category one and two (RED and BLUE) people there. This box car facility will be used for execution.

One of the barns is large enough to put four box cars into. There are powered vents on the top of the barn to vent the gas out of the building after the box cars have been fumigated. All of the buildings have newly installed six-inch gas pipes and furnaces installed in all ‘railroad barns.’ Since the photo [below] was taken in August 1994, FEMA has allocated $6 million to make the walls and roofs of the buildings ‘airtight’ (see article below). Under martial law, this facility could be immediately used as an SS-style ‘termination’ gas chamber.
http://www.prolognet.qc.ca/clyde/camp.htm

http://www.prolognet.qc.ca/clyde/eng.htm

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist." - Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943

Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies," gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to "a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order."

The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of "terrorist" organizations, or who speaks out against the government's policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike.

Also in 2007, the White House quietly issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), to ensure "continuity of government" in the event of what the document vaguely calls a "catastrophic emergency." Should the president determine that such an emergency has occurred, he and he alone is empowered to do whatever he deems necessary to ensure "continuity of government." This could include everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. Congress has yet to hold a single hearing on NSPD-51.

Other than Ron Paul, most of congress just signs off on the bills despite never even seeing/reading them.


Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Nicholas Cosmo, founder of Agape World Inc. in Hauppauge, New York, swindled investors out of more than $370 million and used the money to pay for limousines, fund a baseball league and pay off a restitution order from an earlier fraud, U.S. authorities said.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aD69KX5PUmyI&refer=us

Some Forrest Gump sayings come to mind - key words are "earlier fraud". No pity for greedy buggers that ignore due diligence

Germany is this year set to record its largest post-war deficit, Angela Merkel, chancellor, said on Tuesday after an emergency meeting of her cabinet approved the government’s €50bn fiscal stimulus and amended the federal budget for 2009.

The admission comes amid mounting concern in ­Germany about the rapid deterioration of the public finances in the wake of the fiscal package and a brutal economic downturn.

A finance ministry official said political concerns – Germany holds a general election in September – were one reason why Peer Steinbrück, finance minister, had refused to set up a “bad bank” that would spend several hundred billion euros to acquire illiquid assets, something for which the financial sector has lobbied hard.

Instead of a bad bank, the government is considering a temporary acquisition of toxic assets. This would let the banks shoulder the risk associated with these assets, although it would allow them to stretch write-downs over many years.

The crisis has caused tension between industry and the banks, with the former accusing financial institutions of no longer playing their role as lenders to the economy.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f5d75d7e-ec99-11dd-a534-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

Sound familar?

More than a quarter of the nation’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Leaky pipes lose an estimated seven billion gallons of clean drinking water every day. And aging sewage systems send billions of gallons of untreated wastewater cascading into the nation’s waterways each year.

These are among the findings of a report to be released Wednesday by the American Society of Civil Engineers, which assigned an overall D grade to the nation’s infrastructure and estimated that it would take a $2.2 trillion investment from all levels of government over the next five years to bring it into a state of good repair.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/28/us/politics/28projects.html?_r=2&ref=us

By the time you add up all the taxes - city, county, state, federal, etc. We pay over 50% of our income, on average, to government institution of one form or another. What is our return on investment???

Valero Energy said it would close an entire US refinery this quarter as it slashes petrol production and sharply reduces capital spending to manage the economic slowdown.

The biggest US refiner has 15 refineries across the country. It said that in addition to shutting its large Texas City refinery, it would close the fluid catalytic cracking unit, which primarily produces petrol, at its Corpus Christi East Plant.

Valero has cut the average useage rate at such petrol-producing units to 70-75 per cent capacity, down from the near full capacity at which the whole US system was running just a few years ago.

“The sluggish economy is clearly a headwind against demand growth for refined products,’’ said Bill Klesse, Valero’s chairman and chief executive.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9d781cc8-ec93-11dd-a534-0000779fd2ac.html

There's your yardstick for how much the economy is slowing down - vastly reduced need for energy. If you don't have a job to go to every day - rapidly cuts down on your gasoline usage.

The week-to-week drop in applications was primarily due to a decline in refinance activity: Refinancing applications sank 48% for the week ended Jan. 23, compared with the previous week.

The four-week moving average for all mortgages was down 10.5%.
Refinancings accounted for 72.8% of all applications, down from 83.3% the previous week.

Despite...

According to the survey, rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.22% last week, down from 5.24% the week before.
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/mortgage-applications-dropped-388-last/story.aspx?guid={BB2D3886-4886-4323-8A25-2CB875E76194}&siteid=yhoof

U.S. companies slashed nearly 60,000 jobs Monday, adding impetus to the Obama administration's efforts to reach agreement on a plan to pump $825 billion into the economy over a two-year period.

The cuts by firms including Caterpillar, General Motors, Texas Instruments, Home Depot, Sprint Nextel and Pfizer brought the total of jobs shed so far this month to 187,550, more than November or December and well over double the number of January 2008, according to employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/washingtondc/la-fi-layoffs27-2009jan27,0,6782601.story

Small business accounts for 80% of the jobs.

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. may manage the so-called bad bank that the Obama administration is likely to set up as it tries to break the back of the credit crisis, two people familiar with the matter said.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aV_cdCMgc.pk&refer=worldwide

I could very well be ignorant...but how does a "bad bank" help the situation? What exactly constitutes a bad bank? Who's money is on the line for a "bad bank"? Again, Forrest Gump sayings come to mind like stupid is as stupid does. Or in other words, they must think the American people are pretty flippin' stupid to buy into this shenanigan!