The End Of All Crossroads

Where the TAXI makes a stop, to ponder upon which road mayhap be true

Month: November, 2012

Doug Casey: The US Is Now the United (Police) State of America Doug Casey, Chairman

“”National security” essentially amounts to nothing more than government security, which amounts to cover for the individuals in the government. Nazi Germany and the USSR were national-security states. As I’ve tried to explain in the past, once a critical mass is reached, it’s impossible to reform a government. I believe we’ve reached that state in the US.”

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November 29, 2012 8:35pm GMT

Louis: Doug, after conversations like the one we had last week, we often get letters from angry readers who accuse you of hating America, disloyalty, and perhaps even treason. These people don’t know or understand what I do about you – that you love the idea that was America. It’s the United State it has become for which you have nothing but contempt. Perhaps we should try to explain this to them?

Doug: I doubt it would work; it’s a tough row to hoe, trying to explain things to people who are so set in their thinking that they truly and literally don’t want to hear anything that might threaten their notions. A person who feels threatened by ideas and who responds with emotion is acting irrationally. How can we have a discussion with someone whose emotion trumps their reason? How do we even begin to untangle the thinking of people who will gather this week to give thanks for the bounty produced by freedom and hard work – the famous puritan work ethic – by eating a turkey bought with food stamps?

But we can outline the ideas, for the record.

Louis: I’ll bring a copy if they ever do put you on trial for thoughtcrime – which is frighteningly close to being real these days and called treason to boot.

Doug: It’s not just close; it’s here. Just try telling an unapproved joke in a security line in an airport these days.

Louis: True enough. Where to begin?

Doug: At the beginning. America was founded as a confederation of independent countries – that’s what a state is. Or was, in our language. The original United States of America was a confederation of countries that banded together for protection against larger and more powerful countries they feared might be hostile. This is not a disputed interpretation of history, but as solid a fact as the study of history produces – and yet a largely neglected one.

Louis: We did cover this ground briefly in our conversations on the Civil War and the Constitution.

Doug: So we did… the short version being that the US Constitution was essentially a coup; the delegates to what we now call the Constitutional Convention were not empowered to replace the existing government – only to improve upon the Articles of Confederation between the then-independent states. The framers of the Constitution drafted it with the notion of a national government already in place, but calmed fears of loss of state sovereignty by calling the new government the “United States of America” – a verbal sleight of hand that worked for over half a century. Then the southern states decided to exercise what these words imply, their right to leave the union. While slavery was and is a wholesale criminal activity I object to in every way possible, the southern states did have the right to secede, both legally and ethically. But the question was settled by force, not reason, and the wrong side won.

Louis: Another coup?

Doug: More like an exposure of the first one for the whole world to see. But by then it was way too late. Despite this, the relative freedom of the US – because it was for many years far freer than other countries – made it possible for artists, engineers, inventors, and businesspeople to flourish and create a society more wealthy and powerful than any the world had ever seen. This is what I call the idea of America – the America That Was.

But the seeds of destruction were already sown at the very beginning – with the Alien and Sedition Acts being perhaps the first highly visible step in the wrong direction. Then came the forceful assertion of one national government, with states reduced to administrative regions via the War of Southern Secession, from 1861-’65. I’m no fan of state governments, incidentally, but at least they’re smaller and closer to their subjects than the federal government. Another major step in the wrong direction occurred with the Spanish-American War of 1898, where the US acquired an overseas empire by force. The next major step downhill was the creation of the Federal Reserve and the income tax, both in 1913, just in time for World War I. It took time for these things to make the system crash, because it was still a fairly free economy.

Louis: But crash it did in 1929…

Doug: Yes. And it led to the Great Depression of 1929-’46, which lasted so long entirely because of the unmitigated disaster of the New Deal (which we discussed recently). The New Deal injected socialist-fascist ideas into mainstream American thought like a poisonous acid, corrupting the heart of the idea of America that once made the place great. The process was completed with Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, which really established the basis of the welfare-warfare state. It truly set the stage for the total ethical, economic, social, political, and even military disaster now unfolding before our eyes.

Still, the beating heart of the idea of America – which is to say both social and economic freedom – took time to corrupt. Like a strong man who doesn’t know he’s headed for a heart attack, American culture didn’t really peak until the 1950s. The bullet-finned 1959 Cadillac is a symbol of this peak, in my mind.

Louis: Then we had Johnson and his “guns and butter” policy – War in Vietnam and War on Poverty at the same time – followed by tricky Dick kicking the last leg out of under the stool by taking the dollar off an even theoretical gold standard.

Doug: Yes. Nixon was arguably even a worse president than Johnson, with the devaluation of the dollar in 1971 and his creation of the War on Drugs. Things have spiraled out of control since then. In The Casey Report, we’ve written reams about these last decades and how they led to and shaped what’s happening now. But I have to say, the focus has been largely financial.

Louis: Which is as it should be, in a publication designed to help investors navigate these turbulent times.

Doug: Yes, but the corruption goes way beyond that, beyond even the senseless wars and idiotic foreign policy we discussed last week. America, once the land of the brave and the home of the free, is well on its way to becoming a police state – worse than any we’ve seen in the past, including the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

Louis: How could it get worse than that?

Doug: Because Big Brother has better technology now, allowing possible manipulation and control of the population that Stalin and Hitler never dreamed of. And because the US used to be such a great place, a lot of people have been tricked into believing it’s the same as it was. But there’s no more resemblance between the America of old and the US of today than there was between the Rome of the Republic and the Rome of the later emperors. Furthermore, most Americans have conflated the government with society. They’re not only different things, but often antithetical.

Louis: I thought you said you’re an optimist!

Doug: I am. But that’s for the survivors who make it through the wringer the global economy – and every person on this planet – is about to go through. I keep telling you that the coming Greater Depression is going to be even worse than I think it is. You may think I’m joking, but I’m not. I do think that, primarily for reasons we discussed in our conversation on technology, what comes next will not only be even better than I imagine, it will be better than I can imagine… but first we have to go through the wringer. I see no way around it. I truly don’t.

Louis: Okay, I know you believe that. Can you substantiate the police-state claim?

Doug: Well, rather than give you anecdotal evidence – of which there are masses more each day – let me refer to a rather perceptive blog post by a George Washington law professor named Jonathan Turley, titled 10 Reasons Why the US Is No Longer the Land of the Free. I’m sure I don’t see everything the way the professor does, but the list struck me as quite accurate and very important for people to understand.

Louis: I’m sure I don’t want to hear this, but okay, shoot.

Doug: [Chuckles] Maybe you don’t, but I know you value the truth. These points underline something I’ve said for years: the Bill of Rights is a completely dead letter. It’s essentially meaningless and rarely even gets the benefit of lip service. Quoting it will result in derision, if not arrest as a dangerous radical.

Frankly, I didn’t think the civil liberties situation could get worse than it was under Cheney-Bush, but it has. Obama has repealed none of what they did – and added more. So, let’s go through the list. First:

Assassination of US citizens: “President Obama has claimed, as President George W. Bush did before him, the right to order the killing of any citizen considered a terrorist or an abettor of terrorism.”

Of course the very concept of terrorism is highly malleable, with over 100 definitions floating about – as we’ve discussed. But apart from that, it’s now accepted that the president and his minions have the right to kill almost anyone. This conceit will get completely out of control after the next real or imagined major terrorist incident.

Louis: This reminds me of the extraordinary powers given to government agents to battle the War On Some Drugs – like the RICO statutes – which have now been turned against ordinary citizens who have nothing to do with the drug trade.

Doug: Exactly. Once you give the state a power – for whatever good reason you imagine it needs it – it will use that power for whatever those in charge feel is in their interests. And those in charge are never saints.

Next:

Indefinite detention: “Under the law signed last month, terrorism suspects are to be held by the military; the president also has the authority to indefinitely detain citizens accused of terrorism.”

This was a precedent set by Guantánamo, where scores of the accused continue to rot without even a kangaroo-court trial.

Arbitrary justice: “The president now decides whether a person will receive a trial in the federal courts or in a military tribunal, a system that has been ridiculed around the world for lacking basic due process protections. Bush claimed this authority in 2001, and Obama has continued the practice.”

As the government becomes more powerful, it’s completely predictable that everything – including the justice system – will become ever more politicized. And government very rarely relinquishes a power it’s gained. I particularly like the Supreme Court ruling in April 2012 that allows anyone who’s arrested for anything – including littering or jaywalking – to be strip-searched.

Louis: Note to readers: you can’t hear Doug’s voice, but I assure you that his use of the word “like” is sarcastic.

Doug: Just so. Moving right along:

Warrantless searches: “The president may now order warrantless surveillance, including a new capability to force companies and organizations to turn over information on citizens’ finances, communications and associations. Bush acquired this sweeping power under the Patriot Act in 2001, and in 2011, Obama extended the power, including searches of everything from business documents to library records.”

Privacy is now a completely dead concept, from both a legal and a practical point of view. If you want to retain privacy, you now have no alternative to relocating outside the US.

Louis: Or any advanced Western country. I’ve read that there are more surveillance cameras per square mile in London than anywhere else.

Doug: I’ve heard that too. The opposite being true in rural Argentina is one of the things I like about it. Back to the list:

Secret evidence: “The government now routinely uses secret evidence to detain individuals and employs secret evidence in federal and military courts. It also forces the dismissal of cases against the United States by simply filing declarations that the cases would make the government reveal classified information that would harm national security…”

“National security” essentially amounts to nothing more than government security, which amounts to cover for the individuals in the government. Nazi Germany and the USSR were national-security states. As I’ve tried to explain in the past, once a critical mass is reached, it’s impossible to reform a government. I believe we’ve reached that state in the US.

War crimes: “The world clamored for prosecutions of those responsible for waterboarding terrorism suspects during the Bush administration, but the Obama administration said in 2009 that it would not allow CIA employees to be investigated or prosecuted for such actions. This gutted not just treaty obligations but the Nuremberg principles of international law.”

Torture by field operatives under the stress of combat is one thing; torture as official policy is something else again. But torture is now accepted in the US. Worse, there are far more serious war crimes than torture being committed in the name of the US that are going unpunished.

Louis: This is, after all, a far darker version of the same US government that deliberately infected black US citizens with syphilis just to see what would happen, and sent US citizens of Japanese descent to concentration camps during WWII.

Doug: Exactly. The next point is:

Secret court: “The government has increased its use of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has expanded its secret warrants to include individuals deemed to be aiding or abetting hostile foreign governments or organizations. In 2011, Obama renewed these powers, including allowing secret searches of individuals who are not part of an identifiable terrorist group.”

You no longer live in a free country when there’s zero privacy for citizens, but 100% secrecy for the government and those it employs.

Immunity from judicial review: “Like the Bush administration, the Obama administration has successfully pushed for immunity for companies that assist in warrantless surveillance of citizens, blocking the ability of citizens to challenge the violation of privacy.”

The government has outsourced some of its functions – not least the use of contractors in war zones. Increasingly, being associated with the government gives you a “get out of jail free” card. In the USSR they called this a “krisha” – a roof.

Continual monitoring of citizens: “The Obama administration has successfully defended its claim that it can use GPS devices to monitor every move of targeted citizens without securing any court order or review.”

Bad as this is, it’s just one example. There’s also the use of domestic drones, and hundreds of thousands of cameras that take pictures of everyone everywhere.

Extraordinary renditions: “The government now has the ability to transfer both citizens and noncitizens to another country under a system known as extraordinary rendition, which has been denounced as using other countries, such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, to torture suspects.”

Yes, if someone is kidnapped, there’s plausible deniability if the torturing is done abroad by a third party. And they’re likely to have even fewer compunctions.

Louis: That’s a pretty depressing list, Doug.

Doug: And this is just the beginning. As I’ve said before, I don’t call the shots – just try to tell the truth as I see it. The point is that you couldn’t assemble a list like this even 15 years ago. But now it’s part of the firmament. Worse, it’s going to grow. As the economy turns down over the next few years, the people – acting like scared chimpanzees – will ask the government to “do something.” And it will. The trend is going hyperbolic.

Louis: I can’t argue… and I agree it is not likely to be stopped. So if this is a sure trend, are there investment implications?

Doug: This just goes to reinforce what I’ve been saying for some time. As great as a US citizen’s risk is in the marketplace these days, the greatest single risk to their wealth and health is the government. People simply must internationalize to diversify their political risk. I can’t stress that strongly enough.

Louis: Would you go so far as to say that being a taxpayer in the US now is like being a Jew in Germany in the mid-1930s?

Doug: That’s a good analogy. It’s costly and upsetting to uproot, but the risk if you don’t is unimaginably worse. And I would warn people in other countries to take the same precautions. All of these nation-states are dying dinosaurs that will cause a lot of damage as they thrash about in their death throes. No place is completely safe, but you improve your odds by not putting your eggs all in one basket.

Louis: Okay, I guess we’ve covered that plenty of times. Is there a “police-state play” – any investments one could make before the new Iron Curtain slams down? Handcuff manufacturers?

Doug: Nah – they have those plastic zip-binder things now; they’re so cheap that I doubt the manufacturer can even make big money in volume. But I do remember a speech I attended in the ’90s given by William Bennett, the ex-Drug Czar, who recommended investing in prisons. I excoriated him as a sociopath at that meeting – but he was right. However, that ship has sailed; it’s hard to believe the US can incarcerate more than the current 2.3 million people. Besides, I find it morally offensive to capitalize on what I consider to be criminal enterprises. No, for now the only absolutely crystal-clear imperative is as above: You’ve got to have a Plan B ready in case you need to get out of Dodge – and you need it pronto.

And to those who celebrate Thanksgiving, I urge you to remember that it was hard work and the freedom to profit from it that created the bounty the pilgrims celebrated. It was this enterprising spirit and the liberty to exercise it that was the heart of the idea of the America That Was – the idea that made America great. Those corrupt politicians who have been undermining these values for so long and the willfully ignorant ideologues who support them are responsible for turning this country into the United (Police) State of America. They should be criticized and opposed at every opportunity.

Louis: Okay, Doug. Thanks for another challenging but enlightening conversation.

Doug: My pleasure.

Govt. Documents Link Global Warming to Advanced Military Climate Modification Technology

Govt. Documents Link Global Warming to Advanced Military Climate Modification Technology.

Mississippi River could become impassable in two weeks

“”There are long-term consequences to letting the Missouri get too low” Casseau said. “There are several states involved in this situation and the Corps of Engineers is responsible for serving the nation as a whole.”

Scott Wuerz | Belleville News-Democrat

The Mississippi River could be too shallow for barge traffic between St. Louis and Cairo in two weeks due to decreasing water levels.

According to the American Waterways Operators and Waterways Council, the country’s busiest inland waterway is nearly too low already for barges loaded with coal, steel and other commerce.

And it is expected to dry up considerably in the next couple of week due to the summer drought and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s move to hold back water from the Missouri River.

“Of particular concern are hazardous rock formations near Thebes and Grand Tower which threaten navigation when water levels drop to anticipated, near historic lows,” the agencies said in a joint release. “The rock formations, combined with the reduced flows from the Missouri River, will prohibit the transport of essential goods along this critical point in the river, effectively stopping barge transportation on the middle Mississippi River around Dec. 10.”

U.S Coast Guard Lt. Colin Fogarty said the river is about two feet below normal water levels. He expects it to threaten the all-time low of 6.2 feet below normal in December. The previous low water mark was set in 1940.The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in a controversial move, last week started to reduce to flow of water from the Missouri River into the Mississippi to make sure areas to the north have adequate water. “Congress and the Administration need to understand the immediate severity of this situation,” American Waterways Operators President and CEO Tom Allegrett said. “The Mississippi River is an economic superhighway that efficiently carries hundreds of millions of tons of essential goods for domestic use as well as national export.

“We need to address this situation swiftly, cut through bureaucratic red tape, and prevent the closure of the Mississippi.”Fogarty said the Coast Guard and Corps of Engineers are already working to try to keep the Mississippi River traffic flowing.”At this point in time the Missouri River has been cut off as we have been expecting since early July,” Fogarty said. “The Army Corps of Engineers has begun heavy dredging and the Coast Guard has been moving assets to St. Louis to help in any way it can.”

Fogarty said he is not resigned to the idea that the Mississippi will be shut down by low water.”We will not speculate when or if the river will be closed,” Fogarty said. “We’re doing everything we can to ensure river traffic will continue to flow. Despite the fact that we have these low water conditions, we’re hopeful to keep traffic moving.”

Corps of Engineers spokesperson Sue Casseau said the restrictions on the Missouri are something that happen every year to prevent it from becoming too low over the winter and spring. She said usually it isn’t a problem because the Mississippi doesn’t often suffer from too little water.

“There are long-term consequences to letting the Missouri get too low” Casseau said. “There are several states involved in this situation and the Corps of Engineers is responsible for serving the nation as a whole.

“Despite the Corps of Engineer’s dredging efforts, there is little that can be done to deepen the channel at Thebes, where the bottom of the Mississippi is rock, not clay like it in most of the channel. The river is nine feet deep at Thebes, a town on the Illinois side of the river south of Cape Girardeau.

“Most barges need at least a 9 foot draft,” Fogarty said. But oil barges and ones that carry things like anhydrous ammonia don’t need as deep of a draft to get through.”Fogarty said while some old wrecks have been exposed by the low water, none of them are in the channel or otherwise a threat to navigation. He predicted the low water mark record will be broken about Dec. 15.

SOURCE:
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/11/28/175790/mississippi-river-could-become.html#emlnl=Daily_News_Update#storylink=cpy

Traveling Soon? Top 10 U.S. States Plagued by Exotic Diseases

“A number of diseases once thought to be unknown or eradicated in the U.S. are becoming prevalent again. I’m talking about rare and deadly diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, and leprosy.”

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Dear Valued Reader,

Political correctness can be deadly.

Especially when it comes to Third World diseases slipping through and around America’s borders. And even more worrisome given the political bottlenecks that prevent new and effective antibiotics from entering the market.

A number of diseases once thought to be unknown or eradicated in the U.S. are becoming prevalent again. I’m talking about rare and deadly diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, and leprosy.

We’re also beginning to see outbreaks of diseases common in Third World countries, but never before seen here – diseases like West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever.

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Third World Diseases Making Comeback in America

Often it’s illegal immigrants who bring these diseases into the country. Illegal immigrants obviously don’t undergo an initial health screening required of permanent residents who are entering the country legally.
In fact, many cross the border because they are ill, so they can latch onto free healthcare services. Once here, illegal immigrants may pass on these deadly diseases to people they work with, healthcare workers, and lawful citizens.

Currently, many of these diseases are most prevalent in the states along the border with Mexico. For example, in El Paso, tuberculosis cases are twice as high as the national average. You may think if you don’t live near the border that you don’t have to worry about rare or exotic disease outbreaks, but you might be surprised to read some of the states that top the list for exotic disease.
Identified: Ten States with Unusual Outbreaks

Don’t wait around for these states’ Chambers of Commerce to give you this heads up. Here is a list of ten states that have experienced at least one outbreak of a rare or exotic disease. The list includes the five most populous states in the nation and accounts for better than 42% of the U.S. population.

Arizona: No surprise here. Despite Arizona’s efforts to crack down on illegal border crossings, there’s still a steady influx of undocumented immigrants in this state. West Nile Virus entered the United States in 1999 and quickly spread across the nation. In recent years, Arizona has been hard hit with a virulent strain of this once-exotic-but-now-commonplace virus, and patients have been affected with seizures and nerve damage in some cases. Arizona citizens will pay a high cost in personal health consequences for the federal government’s hostile and aggressive opposition to the state’s commonsense attempts to curb illegal immigration.

California: It’s also no surprise that California is home to exotic diseases, but even I didn’t realize that typhoid was making a comeback. In 2009, an outbreak of typhoid fever affected 90 Californians. And, they weren’t the only ones… there were 400 cases reported during the year nationwide. Historically, tens of thousands of Americans have died of typhoid fever, including some 81,000 Union soldiers and two First Ladies, Abigail Adams and Mary Todd Lincoln. The truly scary part is that typhoid has repeatedly evolved to become resistant to more and more antibiotics. There’s no reason to believe that this evolution will not continue, enabling typhoid to reassert its historic role as a major public health threat. Globally, the disease still kills over 200,000 people annually.

Colorado: In Colorado, people are at a higher risk of contracting hantavirus than in other states. Hantavirus can lead to a deadly respiratory infection. It’s spread through rodent waste. Most people get it by drinking from contaminated containers or by inhaling dust in buildings with rodent infestations.

Delaware: Delaware tops the list for Lyme Disease cases, but you may come in contact with infected ticks throughout New England, down through Maryland and as far west as Minnesota.

Florida: In 2010, more than 66 cases of Dengue fever were reported in the Sunshine State. Dengue is transmitted by mosquitoes and until very recently was found most often in more tropical regions like India and the South Pacific.

Illinois: Certain insects typically found in South and Central America transmit Chagas disease. It infects you with a parasite that attacks your organs. It’s difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms mimic heart disease, and because most U.S. doctors have never seen it. Several confirmed cases of Chagas disease have been diagnosed in Illinois as well as California, Texas, Florida, New York, and many other states.

New Mexico: If you thought the plague was a disease of bygone days, think again. While the U.S. only sees a handful of Bubonic Plague cases a year, it is still around… and more often than not, it’s in New Mexico. In 2009, 75% of all reported cases were there.

New York: When was the last time you heard of someone having the measles? How about mumps? Both diseases are on the rise in New York.
Oklahoma: You may have thought that Rocky Mountain spotted fever was a thing of the past – a disease you hear about in old Western movies. But, nearly 2000 people contract this bacterial infection every year. A third of the cases happen in Oklahoma, making it the biggest hot spot for this disease of yore.

Texas: Last, but not least… another border state. In Texas, approximately 150 new cases of leprosy – yes, leprosy – are diagnosed each year. Travelers and illegal immigrants bring in some cases, but in Texas the armadillos also carry the bacteria that triggers the disease. So, if you ever go to Texas, don’t wrestle the wildlife!
Keeping Safe from Exotic Diseases
Statistically speaking, the chances of you ever contracting one of these rare or exotic diseases are slim. But, statistics provide cold comfort when you end up being among the unlucky few. Unfortunately, the chance that you will come in contact with one of these exotic diseases is trending upward.

First, let me just say that I’m not suggesting you flee your home state because a handful of people have come down with a strange ailment. But, knowing the risks is important.

And, knowing what you can do to protect yourself is even more important.

When It Comes to Rare Diseases, Prevention Is Your Best Defense
In most cases, using insect repellent and practicing good hygiene habits will keep you safe. In areas where West Nile Virus is prevalent, for example, it’s prudent to wear bug spray and to keep your window and door screens in good repair.

If you live in Colorado, give a little extra attention to how thoroughly you wash your hands and your dishes, especially if you hear reports that the rodent population is high.

To avoid infectious diseases like tuberculosis, try to avoid places where you’re likely to come in contact with those carrying the disease. Public transportation, crowded shopping centers, and hospital emergency rooms are all good places to steer clear of if at all possible.

If you must venture out among the crowds, remember to wash you hands before you eat next and don’t touch your nose or mouth with your hands. By all means take advantage of the hand-washing stations (using gel or pre-moistened towelettes) now posted at the entrances to most major retail centers. Wipe down not only your hands, but the handle of the shopping cart you are using.

Finally, if you do come down with odd symptoms that don’t go away after 72 hours, check in with your doctor. Again, though, visit your regular doctor or an urgent care center. Try to avoid hospital emergency rooms if you can.

Yes, we live in interesting times. The resurgence of many diseases we thought were a thing of the past is just one symptom of the disturbing trends we’re seeing in many different sectors of society, and it serves as one more reminder that it pays to be ready for anything.
Yours in Savvy Preparation,

SOURCE:
http://www.independentlivingnews.com/2012/08/12/top-10-u-s-states-infested-by-third-world-diseases/#ixzz2Dj67IkeI

Medical Tyranny is Here, and we can’t say we weren’t warned

“The Constitution of this Republic should make special provision for medical freedom. To restrict the art of healing to one class will constitute the Bastille of medical science.”

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Old-Thinker News | Nov 27, 2012

By Daniel Taylor

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Health care reform is a hot topic today, as it has been for much of America’s history. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, warned in 1787 that medical freedom needed to be included in the American Constitution. Without this protection, Rush warned that the medical establishment would naturally progress – as many of mankind’s institutions do – into an oppressive dictatorship. His words, echoing from over 200 years ago, ring strikingly true today:

“The Constitution of this Republic should make special provision for medical freedom. To restrict the art of healing to one class will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic. … Unless we put medical freedom into the constitution the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship and force people who wish doctors and treatment of their own choice to submit to only what the dictating outfit offers.”

The spirit of managerial scientific control that drives this beast is summarized in the words of Frederick Taylor, a pioneer in “scientific management.” As Taylor stated in 1907, ”Too great liberty results in a large number of people going wrong who would be right if they had been forced into good habits.” This spirit of quasi-altruistic scientific control begins to fade away towards the higher ranks of the system, however.

The potential for medical tyranny that Benjamin Rush perceived over 200 years ago crystallized when the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations transformed the American medical establishment in the early 20th Century. They strove to create a system of schooling to manufacture a predictable, rule following group of professionals to enforce the establishment regulations. Additionally, tax exempt foundations – through their grant making power – are able to mold the idea-sphere from which medical research emerges, or is suppressed.

The dictatorial health care model as expressed by “obamacare” is being implemented as part of a larger global program. The World Health Organization announced recently that it hopes to implement – via a U.N. resolution – “universal health coverage” across the globe in fulfillment of its Millennium Development Goals. The Rockefeller Foundation is working with WHO in the project. “There is a global movement towards UHC (Universal Health Care) and it is gathering momentum,” said Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation.

If you don’t want the kind of care that the allopathic establishment prescribes, be prepared to face the consequences.

A Minnesota mother was recently brought to court over refusing chemotherapy for her 8 year old daughter. A doctor apparently reported her to CPS. She was “…ordered into court and told if they did not work with them on a treatment plan, they would lose custody of Sarah.”

Another case involved a Pennsylvania mother who declined to vaccinate her child, resulting in a visit from CPS.

A 2009 case in which a 13 year old boy’s parents refused chemo resulted in a judgement of “medical neglect,” denying the right of his parents to refuse treatment on religious grounds.

The bottom line is this: Even if the medical establishment had our best interests at heart, what happens when their science is wrong? What happens when it is skewed in favor of the corporations that are closely aligned with them? What kind of damage is done when it is universally enforced? Benjamin Rush foresaw this danger, and it is time to face it for the reality it has become.

SOURCE:
http://www.oldthinkernews.com/2012/11/benjamin-rush-medical-freedom/

UK banks face £60bn black hole

“Britain’s banks face a financial black hole of up to £60bn from regulatory demands, hidden losses, and potential mis-selling costs that threaten to jeopardise future growth, the Bank of England has warned.”

By Philip Aldrick, Economics Editor
6:46PM GMT 29 Nov 2012

In its Financial Stability Report (FSR), the Bank revealed that the big four lenders – RBS, Lloyds, Barclays and HSBC – may need to take £15bn of extra provisions on consumer loans and European debt, “a further £4bn-£10bn” to cover fines and customer compensation, and “between £5bn and £35bn” to meet regulatory risk standards.

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The Bank of England has just crossed the line into straight government financing (Click for Article)

 

Sir Mervyn King, the Bank’s Governor, said the potential losses distorted the “picture of banks’ health” and that lenders may have to “raise capital or take steps to restructure”. He added: “The danger to be avoided is that of inadequately capitalised banks holding back our recovery.”

However, he stressed that no more taxpayer money would be put on the line. “It was made very clear that the Treasury did not want to put more into the state-owned banks,” he said.

Markets have lost confidence in the banks due to their “complex and opaque” numbers and, to recover investors’ trust, lenders need to set aside capital for “expected losses” and for potential compensation and fines over customer mis-selling and Libor rigging, the Bank said. Risk levels also need to be calculated more prudently.

The decision was taken after last week’s meeting of the Financial Policy Committee. In the most dramatic intervention since the £67bn bail-out of lenders from RBS to Lloyds, the proposal will see regulators from the Financial Services Authority sent into banks and building societies to ensures losses are properly declared by March next year.

However, the Bank declined to put a single number on the scale of potential recapitalisations, stressing that it would depend on the FSA judgement on each individual bank. Sir Mervyn added: “The problem is manageable, and is already understood at least in part by markets.”

Bank shares reacted favourably as fears of a worse outcome proved unfounded. Barclays shares closed up 1pc at 244.6p, RBS was 1.5pc higher at 299p, and Lloyds rose 1.5pc to 46.64p. Jason Napier, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, said: “Overall, the FSR is in line with our expectation, and in areas the report is better than we had feared.”

The plan could lead to a shake-up of the industry with rights issues, asset sales, and disposals – so long as they “do not hinder lending to the real economy”.

Barclays has already raised $3bn (£1.8bn) in contingent capital, Royal Bank of Scotland has previously been asked by the regulators to consider selling its US operation Citizens, and Lloyds Banking Group is rumoured to be looking at the disposal of its stake in wealth manager St James’s Place.

Sir Mervyn said: “The recommendation we have made will soon get the banks back to a position where they can support our economic recovery.”

The Bank also released separate data yesterday showing that write-offs by UK banks fell to £3.5bn in the third quarter from £4bn in the previous three months – well below the peak of £6.3bn in 2011 and the lowest since 2009. Citi’s economist Michael Saunders said: “The drop may be a symptom of increased banking forbearance and reluctance to face losses .”

 

SOURCE:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9712722/UK-banks-face-60bn-black-hole.html

Gold could be the panacea for global banking woes: Sprott

SPOILER: DO-NOT-FALL-FOR-THAT!! This all-coming ‘goldrush’ is artificially supported in order to actually KEEP the US Dollar’s status-quo in tradings – that is, until it finally collapses.

I repeat: BEWARE. Do not fall for that trick, as it’s what banks would like the most. That’s exactly why they pay people like this to write essays like these.

I warned ye.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

Marc Howe | November 30, 2012

On the eve of the implementation of the Basel III capital rules governing the world’s largest financial institutions veteran investor Eric Sprott points to gold as the most convenient and over-looked solution to the global banking system’s woes.

https://i2.wp.com/lookingglassreview.com/assets/images/John_Sutter_and_the_California_Gold_Rush.jpg

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, responsible for devising guidelines for the world’s leading financial institutions, has spent the past four years since the Great Financial Crisis drafting a new set of international banking regulations to prevent the recurrence of similar catastrophes.

The new rules are slated to take effect on 1 January 2013, yet only months prior to their scheduled implementation they have already triggered refractory responses – particularly in the United States, due to their complexity and adverse impact on profits.

In a trenchant essay on the new regulations Sprott highlights what he believes to be one of their chief defects – their treatment of gold as an asset class.

Sprott notes that Basel III regulators cling to the notion that AAA-government securities should comprise the preponderance of high quality liquid assets which banks are required to hold.

Such securities are no longer esteemed by the financial community as safe harbor holdings due to the sovereign risk issues blighting a number of indebted nation-states, as well as the propensity of governments to issue blithely issue debt.

According to Sprott, precious metals such as gold could be the solution to the instability of the global banking system were they conferred with a heightened liquidity profile under the new Basel III framework.

Sprott writes that this would “open the door for gold to compete with cash and government bonds on bank balance sheets – and provide banks with an asset that actually has the chance to appreciate.”

Non-Western central banks have already cottoned on to this and included gold as a key component of their foreign exchange reserves, while two banking jurisdictions in particular – Turkey and China – “have openly incorporated gold into their capital structures.”

The People’s Bank of China recently made remarks which would imply that the government wishes to capitalize on their growing gold stockpile by integrating the domestic market with the international market, and Sprott speculates that China “may have already cornered most of the world’s physical gold supply” in anticipation of the day that Western banks realize that the precious metal is preferable to Treasuries.

 

SOURCE:
http://www.mining.com/gold-is-the-panacea-for-global-banking-woes-sprott-53227/

[video + transcript] Ron Paul: How to End the Tragedy in Gaza


As of late Friday the ceasefire in Gaza seems to be holding, if tentatively. While we should be pleased that this round of fighting appears temporarily on hold, we must realize that without changes in US foreign policy it is only a matter of time before the killing begins again.

It feels like 2009 all over again, which is the last time this kind of violence broke out in Gaza. At that time over 1,400 Palestinians were killed, of which just 235 were combatants. The Israelis lost 13 of which 10 were combatants. At that time I said of then-President Bush’s role in the conflict:

“It’s our money and our weapons. But I think we encouraged it. Certainly, the president has said nothing to diminish it. As a matter of fact, he justifies it on moral grounds, saying, oh, they have a right to do this, without ever mentioning the tragedy of Gaza…. To me, I look at it like a concentration camp.”

The US role has not changed under the Obama administration. The same mistakes continue. As journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote last week:

“For years now, US financial, military and diplomatic support of Israel has been the central enabling force driving this endless conflict. The bombs Israel drops on Gazans, and the planes they use to drop them, and the weapons they use to occupy the West Bank and protect settlements are paid for, in substantial part, by the US taxpayer…”

Last week, as the fighting raged, President Obama raced to express US support for the Israeli side, in a statement that perfectly exemplifies the tragic-comedy of US foreign policy. The US supported the Israeli side because, he said, “No country on Earth would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.” Considering that this president rains down missiles on Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and numerous other countries on a daily basis, the statement was so hypocritical that it didn’t pass the laugh test. But it wasn’t funny.

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton traveled to Tel Aviv to meet with Israeli prime minister Netanyahu, but she refused to meet with elected Palestinian leaders. Clintonsaid upon arrival in Israel, “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is rock-solid and unwavering.” Does this sound like an honest broker?

At the same time Congress acted with similar ignobility when an unannounced resolution was brought to the House floor after the business of the week had been finished; and in less than 30 seconds the resolution was passed by unanimous consent, without debate and without most Representatives even having heard of it. The resolution, H Res 813, was so one-sided it is not surprising they didn’t want anyone to have the chance to read and vote on it. Surely at least a handful of my colleagues would have objected to language like, “The House of Representatives expresses unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders…”

US foreign policy being so one-sided actually results in more loss of life and of security on both sides. Surely Israelis do not enjoy the threat of missiles from Gaza nor do the Palestinians enjoy their Israel-imposed inhuman conditions in Gaza. But as long as Israel can count on its destructive policies being underwritten by the US taxpayer it can continue to engage in reckless behavior. And as long as the Palestinians feel the one-sided US presence lined up against them they will continue to resort to more and more deadly and desperate measures.

Continuing to rain down missiles on so many increasingly resentful nations, the US is undermining rather than furthering its security. We are on a collision course with much of the rest of the world if we do not right our foreign policy. Ending interventionism in the Middle East and replacing it with friendship and even-handedness would be a welcome first step.

 

SOURCE:
http://paul.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2030&Itemid=69

UNGA votes in favor of Palestinian statehood upgrade

By HERB KEINON
LAST UPDATED: 11/29/2012 23:56
PA UN status upgrade approvedl US, Israel oppose Palestinian statehood bid; Abbas at the UN: The Palestinians are in desperate need of peace, but window of opportunity is closing.

Sixty five years to the day after the UN voted for the partition of Mandatory Palestine – a move the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected — the same body overwhelmingly voted Thursday to grant the Palestinian delegation there the upgraded status of non-member observer state.

The moment has arrived for the world to say clearly “enough of aggression, settlements and occupation,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said to the packed UN General Assembly on Thursday, ahead of the vote to upgrade the Palestinians’ status to non-member observer state.

Carlos Latuff

“We did not come here seeking to delegitimize a State established years ago, and that is Israel; rather we came to affirm the legitimacy of the State that must now achieve its independence, and that is Palestine,” he said.

“We did not come here to add further complications to the peace process, which Israel’s policies have thrown into the intensive care unit; rather we came to launch a final serious attempt to achieve peace,” he said. “Our endeavor is not aimed at terminating what remains of the negotiations process, which has lost its objective and credibility, but rather aimed at trying to breathe new life into the negotiations and at setting a solid foundation for it based on the terms of reference of the relevant international resolutions in order for the negotiations to succeed.”

Abbas said that the Palestinians will accept no less than “the independence of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, to live in peace and security alongside the State of Israel, and a solution for the refugee issue on the basis of resolution 194.”

Abbas said nothing about immediately resuming negotiations with Israel without preconditions, though he did pledge to “act responsibly and positively in our next steps, and we will to work to strengthen cooperation with the countries and peoples of the world for the sake of a just peace.”

Abbas, who called the resolution a “birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine,” used the recent fighting in Gaza to frame his request for the statehood upgrade and painted both Israel and its birth in demonic colors.

“Palestine comes today to the United Nations General Assembly at a time when it is still tending to its wounds and still burying its beloved martyrs of children, women and men who have fallen victim to the latest Israeli aggression, still searching for remnants of life amid the ruins of homes destroyed by Israeli bombs on the Gaza Strip, wiping out entire families, their men, women and children murdered along with their dreams, their hopes, their future and their longing to live an ordinary life and to live in freedom and peace,” he said.

“The Israeli aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip has confirmed once again the urgent and pressing need to end the Israeli occupation and for our people to gain their freedom and independence,” Abbas continued, obviously not mentioning the rocket and missile bombardment of Israeli cities from Gaza.

“This aggression also confirms the Israeli government’s adherence to the policy of occupation, brute force and war, which in turn obliges the international community to shoulder its responsibilities towards the Palestinian people and towards peace,” he said.

The Palestinian people, Abbas said, “miraculously recovered from the ashes of Al-Nakba of 1948, which was intended to extinguish their being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence, which was rooted in the depths of their land and depths of history.”

In Abbas’ telling of history, “hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were torn from their homes and displaced within and outside of their homeland, thrown from their beautiful, embracing, prosperous country to refugee camps in one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history.”

Israel’s ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, dismissed the move as empty symbolic posturing, that will change nothing tangible on the ground, but push the chances of securing a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians into the distant future.

The vote was not expected until after midnight, but Israel only expected that a few countries — the US, Canada, the Czech Republic, Micronesia, and the Solomon Islands – would vote against the move.

The resolution was presented to the General Assembly by the representative of Sudan, who called this a victory for the “values of truth.”

Staunch European allies such as Germany and the Netherlands, who opposed Palestinian admission into UNESCO last year as a state, were among those who this time only abstained. And other friendly countries, such as Italy, voted for the move.
The vote took place on the annual “Observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Senior diplomatic officials voiced deep disappointment at the EU vote. Up until a few days ago, when France declared that it would support the move, senior officials held out hope that the EU might abstain as a bloc, something that would have deprived the Palestinian Authority of a moral victory.

One senior official said that the recent fighting in Gaza tipped the European scales, with the Europeans worrying that if PA Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would not gain some kind of diplomatic victory, he would loses all stature and authority.

“Had the vote taken place before the Gaza operation, the EU would have voted differently,” one official said.

Israel’s immediate reaction is expected to be the deduction from tax transfers it makes to the PA each moth of some NIS 800 million the PA owes to the Israel Electric Corporation.

Hours before the vote, Netanyahu – realizing that Israel was facing a stinging diplomatic defeat — said that regardless of how many vote against Israel, “no force in the world will get me to compromise on Israel’s security.”

He also said no force in the world could sever the thousands-year-old tie between the Jewish people and the land of Israel.

Netanyahu said that the decision will “Not change anything on the ground. It will not further the establishment of a Palestinian state, but will make it more distant.”

Netanyahu’s comments came while touring an exhibit of recently declassified documents marking the upcoming 35th anniversary of Anwar Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem at the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem.

“Israel’s hand is always extended in peace, but a Palestinian state will not be established without recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, without an end-of-conflict declaration, and without true security arrangements that will protect Israel and its citizens.”

Netanyahu, who said that none of the conditions he reiterated are even mentioned in the Palestinian’s UN resolution, said that peace is only achieved through negotiations and not by unilateral declarations “which do not take into consideration Israel’s vital security and national interests.”

Netanyahu recommended not being impressed by the applause that will likely be heard later at the UN.

“I remember the international community’s applause that the government of Israel received when it decided to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza,” he said. “We got applause and then rocket fire. We left Gaza, and Iran entered, exactly like what happened in Lebanon.”

Netanyahu said he would not enable another Iranian base to be established, this time in Judea and Samaria, a kilometer away from Jerusalem.

“It does not matter how many will vote against us, there is no force in the world that will cause me to compromise on Israeli security and there is no force in the world able to sever the thousands year connection between the people of Israel and the Land of Israel,” he said.

.

“We did not come here seeking to delegitimize a State established years ago, and that is Israel; rather we came to affirm the legitimacy of the State that must now achieve its independence, and that is Palestine,” he said.

“We did not come here to add further complications to the peace process, which Israel’s policies have thrown into the intensive care unit; rather we came to launch a final serious attempt to achieve peace,” he said. “Our endeavor is not aimed at terminating what remains of the negotiations process, which has lost its objective and credibility, but rather aimed at trying to breathe new life into the negotiations and at setting a solid foundation for it based on the terms of reference of the relevant international resolutions in order for the negotiations to succeed.”

Abbas said that the Palestinians will accept no less than “the independence of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, to live in peace and security alongside the State of Israel, and a solution for the refugee issue on the basis of resolution 194.”

Abbas said nothing about immediately resuming negotiations with Israel without preconditions, though he did pledge to “act responsibly and positively in our next steps, and we will to work to strengthen cooperation with the countries and peoples of the world for the sake of a just peace.”

Abbas, who called the resolution a “birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine,” used the recent fighting in Gaza to frame his request for the statehood upgrade and painted both Israel and its birth in demonic colors.

“Palestine comes today to the United Nations General Assembly at a time when it is still tending to its wounds and still burying its beloved martyrs of children, women and men who have fallen victim to the latest Israeli aggression, still searching for remnants of life amid the ruins of homes destroyed by Israeli bombs on the Gaza Strip, wiping out entire families, their men, women and children murdered along with their dreams, their hopes, their future and their longing to live an ordinary life and to live in freedom and peace,” he said.

“The Israeli aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip has confirmed once again the urgent and pressing need to end the Israeli occupation and for our people to gain their freedom and independence.” Abbas continued, obviously not mentioning the rocket and missile bombardment of Israeli cities from Gaza.

“This aggression also confirms the Israeli Government’s adherence to the policy of occupation, brute force and war, which in turn obliges the international community to shoulder its responsibilities towards the Palestinian people and towards peace.

The Palestinian people, Abbas said, “miraculously recovered from the ashes of Al-Nakba of 1948, which was intended to extinguish their being and to expel them in order to uproot and erase their presence, which was rooted in the depths of their land and depths of history.”

In Abbas’ telling of history, “hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were torn from their homes and displaced within and outside of their homeland, thrown from their beautiful, embracing, prosperous country to refugee camps in one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history.”

Israel’s ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, dismissed the move as empty symbolic posturing, that will change nothing tangible on the ground, but push the chances of securing a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians into the distant future.

The vote was not expected until after midnight, but Israel only expected that a few countries — the US, Canada, the Czech Republic, Micronesia, and the Solomon Islands – voted against the move.

The resolution was presented to the General Assembly by the representative of Sudan, who called this a victory for the “values of truth.”

Staunch European allies such as Germany and the Netherlands, who opposed Palestinian admission into UNESCO last year as a state, were among those who this time only abstained. And other friendly countries, such as Italy, voted for the move.
The vote took place on the annual “Observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Senior diplomatic officials voiced deep disappointment at the EU vote. Up until a few days ago, when France declared that it would support the move, senior officials held out hope that the EU might abstain as a bloc, something that would have deprived the Palestinian Authority of a moral victory.

One senior official said that the recent fighting in Gaza tipped the European scales, with the Europeans worrying that if PA Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would not gain some kind of diplomatic victory, he would loses all stature and authority.

“Had the vote taken place before the Gaza operation, the EU would have voted differently,” one official said.

The Prime Minister’s Office had no immediate reaction after the vote, but has made clear in recent days that it would free Israel of its obligations under the Oslo accord since Jerusalem views the move as a blatant violation of the underlying principle of those agreements: that all outstanding issues be resolved through negotiations, not through unilateral actions.

Israel’s immediate reaction is expected to be the deduction from tax transfers it makes to the PA each moth of some NIS 800 million the PA owes to the Israel Electric Corporation. Further steps are expected if the Palestinians use this new status and try to join other UN bodies or, as a result of their enhanced status, attempt to haul Israel or Israelis before the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court on war crime charges.

Hours before the vote, Netanyahu – realizing that Israel was facing a stinging diplomatic defeat — said that regardless of how many vote against Israel, “no force in the world will get me to compromise on Israel’s security.”

He also said no force in the world could sever the thousands-year-old tie between the Jewish people and the land of Israel.

Netanyahu said that the decision will “Not change anything on the ground. It will not further the establishment of a Palestinian state, but will make it more distant.”

Netanyahu’s comments came while touring an exhibit of recently declassified documents marking the upcoming 35th anniversary of Anwar Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem at the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem.

“Israel’s hand is always extended in peace, but a Palestinian state will not be established without recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, without an end-of-conflict declaration, and without true security arrangements that will protect Israel and its citizens.”

Netanyahu, who said that none of the conditions he reiterated are even mentioned in the Palestinian’s UN resolution, said that peace is only achieved through negotiations and not by unilateral declarations “which do not take into consideration Israel’s vital security and national interests.”

Netanyahu recommended not being impressed by the applause that will likely be heard later at the UN.

“I remember the international community’s applause that the government of Israel received when it decided to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza,” he said. “We got applause and then rocket fire. We left Gaza, and Iran entered, exactly like what happened in Lebanon.”

Netanyahu said he would not enable another Iranian base to be established, this time in Judea and Samaria, a kilometer away from Jerusalem.

“It does not matter how many will vote against us, there is no force in the world that will cause me to compromise on Israeli security and there is no force in the world able to sever the thousands year connection between the people of Israel and the Land of Israel,” he said.

 

SOURCE:
http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=294029

Sinkhole Nearly Swallows Truck on Waller Street

by Andrew Dudley • Mon. Nov 26, 2012, 4:57 pm

A truck got stuck in a sinkhole on Waller Street between Scott and Divisadero this afternoon, and the street is now closed to traffic.

As of 4:30pm, the rear section of the Vac-Con truck was submerged under street level, while a giant crane worked to free the truck from its predicament. It didn’t appear that anyone was hurt in the incident.

No word on what caused the sinkhole, nor how long repairing the street might take, but if/when we hear from SFDPW we’ll update accordingly.

SOURCE:
http://haighteration.com/2012/11/sinkhole-nearly-swallows-truck-on-waller-street.html