Tag Archive: America


For  too long  has  this symbol of  our  country been  cut  short  and rendered  to be  only  a  semblance  of itself. 

How  many  actually  know  the full anthem and  all  that  is revealed  within  its verses?

This is  something  not  taught  in  school.  At  least  not  in  any  school  I  have  attended  nor  my  child  for that  matter.

I  have  included  the  entire  Anthem here  for  all those  who care  to  see  may   know  and  understand  what  was  written by  Francis  Scott  Key  in   1814.  An  Anthem  that has  represented  our  country and  our people  for  almost  200  years who’s full meaning has  lain  hidden in  obscurity for much  too long…….

 

Desert Rose

 

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the National Anthem

The Star-Spangled Banner

 


Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight’
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? 

On the shore dimly seen, thro’ the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream;
‘Tis the star-spangled banner: oh, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave. 

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave. 

Oh, thus be it ever when free men shall stand,
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Power that has made and preserved us as a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave. 

Tune: Anacreon in Heaven 

Written by Francis Scott Key on September 14th,1814. 

Politics and Legislation

Few Minds Are Changed by Arguments in Court

By Susan Saulny, The New York Times News Service | Report

The morning arguments before the Supreme Court had grown tense just as the lunch crowd was packing into the food court at a downtown Atlanta office complex to watch news coverage of the hearing.

Over a meal of fast food, Bebee Dillard, a cleaning business owner, could not have been more pleased with the conservative justices, who were asking tough questions about the constitutionality of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the law intended to overhaul the nation’s health system. Ms. Dillard objected to the individual mandate — the central provision of the law that requires most Americans to obtain health insurance — and was pleased by the adversarial nature of the arguments.

“It’s the idea of being forced to do anything,” Ms. Dillard, 47, told a reporter……

Read Full Article Here

District Court Permanently Blocks Oklahoma Ultrasound Law, Expect A Supreme Court Battle

By Robin Marty, RH Reality Check | Report

The 10th Circuit Federal Court has just issued a permanent injunction on a 2010 Oklahoma law that would require all women terminating their pregnancies to first undergo a mandatory ultrasound. The news, which is no doubt welcome to the women in and around Oklahoma who will no longer have to endure the added financial stress and emotional pressure of an unwanted, medically-unnecessary ultrasound, also sets up what is likely to be the next big battle — this time, before the Supreme Court……

Read Full Article Here

Can the Brics create a new world order?

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa seek a multipolar world – but some argue they’re bound by anti-Americanism

Today’s one-day annual summit of the so-called Brics countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – has received scant attention in the west. That may be because the grouping has achieved little in concrete terms since its inception in 2009. Critics deride it as a photo-op and talking shop.

But this neglect, or disdain, may also reflect the fact that the Brics, representing almost half the world’s population and about one-fifth of global economic output, pose an unwelcome challenge to the established world order as defined by the US-dominated UN security council, the IMF and the World Bank. The truth of the matter probably lies somewhere in-between. The five national leaders – presidents Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Dmitri Medvedev of Russia, Hu Jintao of China and Jacob Zuma of South Africa and their host in Delhi, India’s prime minister Manmohan Singh – are not noted for iconoclastic radicalism.

Rousseff has been the most outspoken, insisting that developing countries must be protected from the global “tsunami” of cheap money, unleashed by the US and the EU in the wake of the financial crisis, that was rendering their exports less competitive. “We will defend our industry and prevent the methods developed countries use to escape from crisis resulting in the cannibalisation of emerging markets,” she said this month…..

Read Full Article Here

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Economy

UK fuel-tanker drivers won’t strike over Easter

LONDON (AP) — A union representing British fuel tanker drivers on Friday ruled out the threat of strikes over Easter which had led to some panic-buying in parts of the country.

Unite, which represents around 2,000 tanker drivers, said it retains the right to call a strike if talks due to start next week break down.

The move came after the government had warned consumers to stock up at the pump ahead of any threatened strike, sending gasoline sales soaring as lines formed at gas stations.

In some parts of England the lines were so long that police ordered stations to close to ease congestion.

Britain’s Petrol Retailers Association said that gasoline sales were up more than 170 percent on Thursday, while diesel sales were up almost 80 percent…….

Read Full Article Here

Amidst the Deepest Slump since the Great Depression, Obama is Touting an “Economic Recovery”

by Barry Grey

While the United States remains mired in the deepest slump since the Great Depression, President Barack Obama is touting a modest improvement in employment over the past several months to boost his electoral prospects in November.

The three-month period from December through February has, according to the Labor Department, seen a net gain of 744,000 jobs, the largest for any three-month stretch since 2006. The official jobless rate has fallen from 9.1 percent in September to 8.3 percent in February.

It is necessary to place these gains within the context of the catastrophic collapse in employment that followed the Wall Street crash of 2008, which has left the US economy with 5 million fewer jobs than at the official start of the recession in December 2007. At the height of the crash, US businesses were cutting more than 744,000 jobs every month.

While the US economy added 335,000 net new manufacturing jobs in 2010 and 2011 combined, it lost 1.6 million manufacturing jobs between January 2008 and March 2009, a reduction of 10 percent. The current level of 12 million manufacturing jobs is down 7.5 million from its peak in 1979.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking Monday at a business conference in Washington DC, was notably cautious about the recent upturn in employment figures. He suggested that the improvement in the labor market could not be sustained at the current rate of economic growth.

“A significant portion of the improvement in the labor market has reflected a decline in layoffs rather than an increase in hiring,” he said, adding, “Conditions remain far from normal, as shown, for example, by the high level of long-term unemployment and the fact that jobs and hours remain well below pre-crisis peaks, even without adjusting for growth in the labor force.”

What Obama and his supporters in the trade union apparatus conceal is the basis for the modest growth in jobs in general, and manufacturing jobs in particular. The president hinted at the question when he spoke last month at the Master Lock factory in Milwaukee. “Our job as a nation,” he declared, “is to do everything we can to make the decision to insource more attractive for more companies.”….

Read Full Article Here

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Wars and Rumors of War

USS Enterprise Prepares To Cross Suez Canal, Days Away From Anchor In Arabian Sea

Much noise has been emanating out of Israel vis-a-vis its Iranian intentions, with some opinions suggesting an attack is imminent, while others claiming that Israel will ultimately defer to D.C., and postpone an attack, and the eventual gasoline price shock, until after the election. The truth is nobody but a few select generals, knows: in warfare surprise is the key factor, so outright flashing invasion intentions is usually an indicator of just the opposite. That said, the most recent update that Azerbaijan has granted Israel access to its airbases along the Iran border is hardly encouraging for Nobel peace prize winners and other pacifists. Yet as we have been claiming for the past two weeks, ever since the launch of CVN-65 on its last tour of duty, the true catalyst, if any, will be the arrival of the USS Enterprise at what may well be its last place of anchor – somewhere in the Arabian Sea, just off the side of CVN 70 and CVN 72 both of which are patrolling the Straits of Hormuz. And as the map from Stratfor below shows, the Enterprise is about to cross the Suez Canal, from which point it will be at most days from entering its catalyst location, namely supporting the Israel air force. Just because the US has never had 3 concurrent aircraft carriers in proximity to Iran before…….

Read Full Article Here

Drone strikes in Yemen soar as U.S. stokes ‘secret war’

America has dramatically stepped up its “secret war” in Yemen with the U.S. ordering dozens of drone attacks on al-Qaida hotspots, which have also killed scores of civilians.

With the backing of Yemen’s fragile government, President Barack Obama has authorized a rapid increase in attacks since last May, with 26 incidents recorded.

The pace appears to be accelerating, with nine attacks so far this year and at least five this month, including a strike last week near the terrorist hotbed of Zinjibar. Up to 30 militants were killed in three separate missile strikes on the town, witnesses said.

Nationwide the figures are comparable to those in Pakistan, where America has struck on 10 occasions this year, despite a fierce public reaction.

Research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism at London’s City University has found that as many as 516 people have been killed in the Yemen attacks – mostly suspected members of al-Qaida’s local ally al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). As many as 104 were civilians……

Read Full Article Here

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Cyber Space

Microsoft censoring Windows Live Messenger chats under guise of fighting piracy

By Madison Ruppert

Piracy seems to be the favorite excuse nowadays when it comes to censorship, destroying internet freedom, and even absurdly large domestic digital surveillance operations.

Now Microsoft, one of the world’s largest corporations in the technology sector, has been actively monitoring and censoring conversations on their Windows Live Messenger program.

Even more disturbing, Microsoft now admits that they have been censoring conversations between users on Windows Live Messenger for quite a while now.

They are blocking certain links from being shared between users, one of which includes the Pirate Bay, one of the most popular and well-known file sharing websites on earth.

Interestingly, they are not only blocking the torrent tracker section of the website which enables peer-to-peer file sharing, they are also blocking a page which is devoted to completely legal file sharing.

Recently popular file sharing news site Torrent Freak discovered the block lists being used by Windows Live Messenger. Interestingly, they found that the Pirate Bay was blocked by the messenger service while other torrent tracking websites which offer the exact same copyrighted content were not.

Today Raw Story discovered that in addition to the Pirate Bay’s main page, Microsoft is also blocking something called “The Promo Bay.”

Read Full Article Here

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Articles of Interest

Patent awarded for “behavioral recognition” surveillance software system

Madison Ruppert, Contributor
Activist Post

The American surveillance state is becoming increasingly advanced, expansive and capable of processing huge amounts of data at blinding speeds.

Now Behavioral Recognition Systems, Inc., also known as BRS Labs, has developed an artificial intelligence-based system which supposedly can automatically recognize human behavior.

Technology which seems similar on the surface already exists and is being used on surveillance platforms like the “Intellistreets” street lights. These street lights, which are outfitted with a great deal of surveillance equipment, are reportedly capable of monitoring activity and telling the difference between certain behaviors while also being able to tell the difference between humans and animals. This technology could be used to enforce curfews, track the movement of individuals, and supposedly spot fights and other crimes…..

Read Full Article Here

Robotic Sand Flea Jumps 30 Feet

Analysis by Jesse Emspak

……The Sand Flea — along with the throwable Scout XT robot — is headed to Afghanistan, where it will be tested in real-world conditions.

Afghanistan is becoming a hotbed of robotic soldiering, as thousands have already been deployed there. The numbers are even higher when one considers the unmanned aerial vehicles used. Land-bound robots do things like bomb disposal and reconnaissance, reducing the risk to the troops in the field.

Read Full Article Here

Read the FBI Memo: Agents Can ‘Suspend the Law’

By Spencer Ackerman and Noah Shachtman

The FBI once taught its agents that they can “bend or suspend the law” as they wiretap suspects. But the bureau says it didn’t really mean it, and has now removed the document from its counterterrorism training curriculum, calling it an “imprecise” instruction. Which is a good thing, national security attorneys say, because the FBI’s contention that it can twist the law in pursuit of suspected terrorists is just wrong.

“Dismissing this statement as ‘imprecise’ is a rather unsatisfying response given the very precise lines Congress and the courts have repeatedly drawn between what is and is not permissible, even in counterterrorism cases, over the past decade,” Steve Vladeck, a national-security law professor at American University, says. “It might technically be true that the FBI has certain authorities when conducting counterterrorism investigations that the Constitution otherwise forbids, but that’s good only so far as it goes.”….

Read Full Article Here

See Image of Memo Here

The Return of Gladio And The Rebirth of Terror Under French Tyrant Nicolas Sarkrazy

 

by Saman Mohammadi

http://disquietreservations.blogspot.com/2012/03/return-of-gladio-and-rebirth-of-terror.html

What is wrong with this picture? One of them still hasn’t faced justice.

Another day, another false-flag terror event in another advanced Western democracy. This time, the people of France are the target of Western state-sponsored terrorism and the strategy of tension. The patsy’s name is Mohammed Merah. The names of the people who were murdered by the French state are Jonathan (Yonatan) Sandler, plus two of his young children named Aryeh and Gabriel, and another child named Myriam Monsonego.

This is an ordinary state-run terrorist operation to increase tension, fear, and hatred in Western society. This is what the fascist State does when it is free to write history on the spot and blow stuff up. It kills innocent children to make the submerged public gasp for air, hate the scapegoat, and demand security and steel nerve from the leaders of the State.

Vincenzo Vinciguerra, an Italian neo-fascist and terrorist, described in 1984 the existence of a shadow network of military officials and political leaders in Italy who frequently organized terror attacks to keep the country within the sphere of right-wing politics. This network was part of a larger structure known as Gladio that included government fascists in Europe, America, and NATO. Vinciguerra, who was a mercenary of this secret state-terror network until the day he raised awareness of its existence, said in the famous documentary, “Operation Gladio”:

“You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security.”

Patrick Henningsen offers a better history of Gladio in his article, written in December 2011, called, “Is Operation GLADIO on the rebound in Europe?”  “Readers should note,” said Henningsen, “that GLADIO was officially active only 20 years ago, not a long time in terms of politics and the military.” He ended his article by writing, “GLADIO 2.0 is in motion.” It’s hard to argue with that, especially in light of this latest tragedy in France.

Pofessor and historian Daniele Ganser, author of, “NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe,” said back in September 2006 in an interview with Norway’s Le Monde Diplo:

“With the concrete data that we have, for instance from Italy, we know that the activities [of] the secret army called Gladio [were] directed by the military secret service [and with training and support from] the CIA. We also know that the CIA wanted Gladio to attack and weaken the strong Italian Communist party. Gladio linked up with right-wing extremist Catholics who were strongly opposed to atheist Communism, and they planted bombs in Italy. The blame was unjustly put on the Communists. That is what is called false flag terrorism. Some members of the Italian military secret service claimed the CIA had ordered them to do this. When some Italian judges found out that the secret armies existed within the state, they reported it to the senators, who were surprised and said: “We did not know that this existed”. In 1990, the Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti stepped forward and said: “Yes, this is a fact, the secret army existed, but it was to protect the state and to fight the Russians if ever they attacked Italy, it was nothing illegal, it was a good thing.” If you have a secret armed organization in a democratic society, then it is very difficult to guarantee that it [will] never attack the citizens. We can of course have armed organizations in a democracy, but they should not be secret. The whole basis of a democratic system is that you control power through accountability and through transparency. Once this is gone, the danger of abuse of power will be imminent. And we can show that in some cases, not only in Italy, but also in Greece, Turkey, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and other countries, secret armies abused their power.”

Why is this information relevant? Because many people believe that the secret Gladio fascists in America and Western Europe never went away, they just changed the face of the “Enemy to the West” from Communist to Islamist. For them, the Cold War never ended, instead, they turned it into a Hot War with political Islam.

Former European MP Richard Cottrell recently wrote in an article at EndtheLie.com called, “The Belgian ‘Years of Lead’ return with a vengeance: Gladio rides again”:

“I am sure that the latest re-tooling of Gladio to promote the ‘enemy within’, the menace of Islamic radicals, fits the purpose of a state unifying force.

In days of yore, the former years of lead, communist subversives filled the same role.”

The fascists in Israel couldn’t have been more excited and happy at the thought of the West joining its war against Palestinians, and one billion people throughout the Muslim world. When 9/11 happened they got their war, and it’s been a huge government killing fest since then.
The killing fest has been going on in the Middle East and in the West. The author of the blog aangirfan believes the Ozar Hatorah Toulouse shooting is an inside job, and says that, “Gladio-style terrorist activity in France could work to the advantage of President Sarkozy.” He also speculates that Sarkrazy is the Mossad’s inside man, and provides evidence of his connections to the 2004 Madrid train bombings. He points out that, at the time of the bombings, Sarkrazy was France’s Interior Minister.

At Infowars.com, Kurt Nimmo writes that, “Mohammed Merah, the suspect in the killing of seven people outside a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, fits the pattern of an al-Qaeda intelligence asset.”

Why would French president Nicolas Sarkrazy do such a horrible thing? To secure votes during election season. Nimmo says that the terror attack in France has “provided Nicholas Sarkozy with a pretext to put the southern part of the nation on high alert and cancel the campaigns of presidential contenders. Sarkozy stands to benefit from the terror attacks and play the role of a strong leader during a national crisis.”

Why would the French secret service do such a horrible thing? To keep the French people mentally occupied on the Islamist threat. There is no morality in war, and the West is at war, though not with Islam, but with its own people, its own way of life, and its own democratic system of government. Islam is the civilizational scapegoat.

I’m not defending Islam, just stating facts. Organized religion is bad enough as it is, there is no need to demonize Islam any further and lay all of the West’s internal problems at the feet of the Iranian Mullahs and Afghan warlords. They will go the way of history without Western intervention. In fact, they wouldn’t even exist if the CIA, MI6, and Mossad didn’t train and arm Islamic terrorists like Al-Qaeda, and support radical Islamic organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood.

The people of the Middle East have enough problems to deal with because of their own crazy leaders, so it makes it that much more cruel and unforgivable that they have to constantly worry about crazy Western leaders like Nicolas Sarkrazy who are calling for their destruction. I’m not a military expert, but declaring war on one billion people is not a very bright idea.

But Western governments will continue the facade of the war on terror because the Western public is not aware and angry enough yet to overthrow them. Apparently, the false-flag terrorism trick never gets old. So why stop? Governments and rulers will keep relying on the false-flag terrorism trick for another millennium if they are sufficiently confident that they can get away with it.

Modern politicians and secret intelligence agencies live off of public fear of the Outsider. They are political vampires who only know how to suck blood out of the public. Every once and a while, especially before an election or a war, they make deep cuts inside the veins of the body politic, like staging a terrorist attack, and then let the blood slowly squeeze out drip by drip. After such a tragedy, the power and money flows to the State like honey, and the public begs for more security and stronger leadership.

The only solution is public education and public awareness. Damn the Western press. Western journalists will sit on the sidelines of history and watch state-terror events as they unfold one after the other, producing a long stream of terror.

This stream of terror, which has so far been directed and guided by the governments of America, Israel, and the West, will over time form into an ocean of blood and war in which the whole world will be drowned in. That is the dark future that is being created.

Politics and Legislation

Mayor’s office buys 8,513 more face shields for NATO summit

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration is buying 8,513 more face shields for Chicago Police officers at a cost of $757,657 — and demanding delivery in time for the May 20-21 NATO summit — to give every officer on the street a shield that fits over a gas mask and prevents them from being blinded by liquids thrown by protesters.

The supplemental purchase from Colorado-based Super Seer Corp. brings to $954,118 the amount of money spent to purchase 11,570 face shields twice as thick as the old ones with a larger surface and air-tight seal to keep liquids out.

The new contract was piggybacked onto an existing Fairfax County, Va. award with a third-distributor to expedite delivery. It makes it clear the Chicago Police Department is not scaling back its protest preparations even though President Barack Obama has shifted the G-8 summit from Chicago to Camp David.

“It’s an urgent thing. They want ’em by May 15th. Their intent is to outfit all of the officers Chicago Police have with the new face shield for the NATO summit,” said Super Seer President Steve Smith, who is hiring a dozen employees to “ramp up” production.

http://www.suntimes.com/11443023-418/mayors-office-buys-8513-more-face-shields-for-nato-summit.html

An Administration Gone Rogue

By Rep. Ron Paul

March 23, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — Have certain parts of the Constitution become irrelevant, as a former Republican leader once told me at a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing? At the time, I was told that demanding a Congressional declaration of war before invading Iraq, as Article I Section 8 of the Constitution requires, was unnecessary and anachronistic. Congress and the president then proceeded without a Constitutional declaration and the disastrous Iraq invasion was the result.

Last week, Obama administration officials made it clear that even the fig leaf of Congressional participation provided by the 2003 “authorization” to use force in Iraq was to be ignored as well. In a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stated clearly and repeatedly that the administration felt it was legally justified to use military force against Syria solely with “international permission”. Such “international permission” could come by way of the United Nations, NATO, or some other international body. Secretary Panetta then told Senator Sessions that depending on the situation, the administration would consider informing Congress of its decision and might even seek authorization after the fact.

While Senator Sessions expressed surprise at the casual audacity of Panetta in making this statement, in reality his was just a bluntly stated explanation of what has been, de facto, the case for many years. When President Obama committed the US military to a pre-emptive war against Libya last year, for example, Congress was kept completely out of the process. Likewise, military action in Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and so on, proceed without a Congressional declaration. In fact, we haven’t had a proper, constitutional declaration of war since 1942, yet the US military has been engaged in Korea, Lebanon, Iraq, Bosnia, Liberia, Haiti, and Libya with only UN resolutions as the authority. Congress’s only role has been authorizing funds, which it always does without question, because one must “support the troops”.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30894.htm

‘Big Government’ Isn’t the Problem, Big Money Is

By Robert Reich

March 23, 2012 “The Nation” — Conservatives love to rail against “big government.” But the surge of cynicism engulfing the nation isn’t about government’s size. It flows from a growing perception that government doesn’t work for average people but for big business, Wall Street and the very rich—who, in effect, have bought it. In a recent Pew poll, 77 percent of respondents said too much power is in the hands of a few rich people and corporations.

That view is understandable. Wall Street got bailed out by taxpayers, but one out of every three homeowners with a mortgage is underwater, caught in the tsunami caused by the Street’s excesses. The bailout wasn’t conditioned on the banks helping these homeowners, and subsequent help has been meager. The recent settlement of claims against the banks is tiny compared with how much homeowners have lost. Millions of people are losing their homes or simply walking away from mortgage payments they can no longer afford.

Homeowners can’t use bankruptcy to reorganize their mortgage loans because the banks have engineered laws to prohibit this. Banks have also made it extremely difficult for young people to use bankruptcy to reorganize their student loans. Yet corporations routinely use bankruptcy to renege on contracts. American Airlines, which is in bankruptcy, plans to fire 13,000 people—
16 percent of its workforce—while cutting back health benefits for current employees. It also intended to terminate its underfunded pension plans, until the government agency charged with picking up the tab screamed so loudly that American backed off and proposed to freeze the plans.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30903.htm

Paul Ryan’s Focus on Dignity

By Greg Kaufmann

March 24, 2012 “The Nation” –“Promoting the natural rights and the inherent dignity of the individual must be the central focus of all government.”

That’s what Congressman Paul Ryan wrote earlier this month in an exclusive commentary for Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity. This week, he revealed exactly where his laser-like focus on dignity would lead this nation. He released his budget proposal, as clear a statement of one’s principles and priorities as there is in politics.

Here are the results, and they’re not pretty. Nation readers with young children should probably ask them to leave the room before reading onward.

Mr. Ryan’s focus on dignity… means a cut in food stamps of $133 billion over ten years, even though 76 percent of participating households include a child, senior or disabled person, nearly half of all recipients are children and 40 percent of single mothers use food stamps to help feed their families. It translates to as many as 2.2 trillion meals lost for low-income people, more kids at risk of being underweight or developmentally delayed, worse educational outcomes and more stressed-out parents.

The congressman would also block-grant the program so it would no longer be able to respond to rising need during times like these—in 2010 alone food stamps kept 3.9 million people out of poverty. If you liked the cash assistance for poor families (TANF) block grant—which resulted in a free-fall from 68 of every 100 poor families receiving help to 27 of every 100—then you will absolutely love the Don’t Worry Ryan Will Feed You block grant.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30904.htm

French President Sarkozy Sees Opportunity for Censorship, Seizes It

In the wake of a horrific rampage, in which Mohamed Merah (now dead after a 32-hour standoff with police) reportedly murdered three French soldiers, three young Jewish schoolchildren, and a rabbi, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has begun calling for criminal penalties for citizens who visit web sites that advocate for terror or hate. “From now on, any person who habitually consults Web sites that advocate terrorism or that call for hatred and violence will be criminally punished,” Sarkozy was reported as saying.

Apart from the obvious flaws in Sarkozy’s plan–users, can, of course, use anonymizing tools to view the material or simply access it from a variety of locations to avoid appearing as “habitual” viewers–there are numerous other reasons to be concerned about criminalizing access to information.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/03/french-president-sarkozy-sees-opportunity-censorship-seizes-it

Economy

Greece is Now Irrelevant. Watch Spain and Germany

Submitted by Phoenix Capital Research

Earlier this month, Spain began “rocking” the EU boat by telling the EU it wasn’t going to meet the new EU fiscal requirements.

Spain’s sovereign thunderclap and the end of Merkel’s Europe

As many readers will already have seen, Premier Mariano Rajoy has refused point blank to comply with the austerity demands of the European Commission and the European Council (hijacked by Merkozy).

Taking what he called a “sovereign decision”, he simply announced that he intends to ignore the EU deficit target of 4.4pc of GDP for this year, setting his own target of 5.8pc instead (down from 8.5pc in 2011)……

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-12-21/greece-now-irrelevant-watch-spain-and-germany

Bank of America Getting Into the Landlord Business

Bank of America, the nation’s second-largest lender, is launching a pilot program this week that will offer a limited number of customers behind on their mortgages to transition from owner to renter.

The bank, which was saddled with thousands of delinquent loans when it took over mortgage giant Countrywide, says that beginning this week “in targeted hard-hit markets,” it will offer a limited number of mortgage customers who are facing foreclosure an opportunity to remain in their homes, and transition to tenant status. The program is called “Mortgage to Lease.”

“This pilot will help determine whether conversion from homeownership to rental is something our customers, the community and investors will support,” said Ron Sturzenegger, Legacy Asset Servicing executive at Bank of America in a statement. “This program may have the potential to further round out the broad set of solutions we offer our customers in need of assistance.”…….

http://www.cnbc.com/id/46829774

Wars and Rumors of War

JOSEPH KONY, AMERICA’S PRETEXT TO INVADE AFRICA: US Marines Dispatched to Five African Countries

by Michel Chossudovsky

The hidden agenda in Uganda, Central Africa and the Horn of Africa is the conquest of oil and strategic mineral resources. Going after Joseph Kony and protecting Ugandan children is a cynical smokescreen, a pretext for a “humanitarian intervention” in a region where US sponsored “civil wars” (Sudan, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Ethiopia) have in the course of the last 20 years resulted in more than eight million deaths:

“Through AFRICOM, the United States is seeking a foothold in the incredibly resource rich central African block in a further maneuver to aggregate regional hegemony over China. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the world’s largest regions without an effectively functioning government. It contains vast deposits of diamonds, cobalt, copper, uranium, magnesium, and tin while producing over $1 billion in gold each year. It is entirely feasible that the US can considerably increase its presence in the DRC under the pretext of capturing Joseph Kony.” (Nile Bowie, Merchandising and Branding Support for US Military Intervention in Central Africa, Global research, March 14, 2012)

In a recent decision, the Pentagon confirms the sending in of Marine Special Forces to train Ugandan troops in the fight not only against Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) but also against Al Shabab in Somalia. Joseph Kony is being used as a pretext for outright military intervention in five African countries.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29800

New Samsung TVs Have Built-In HD Camera, Microphones, Face and Speech Recognition

Here’s a bit of context that most people won’t consider when purchasing these quasi telescreens:

Avi Rubin – All Your Devices Can Be Hacked:

http://cryptogon.com/?p=28177

Massive EU Weapons Sales to Saudi Arabia Contribute to Fuelling International Aggression and Terrorism in the Middle East

By Julie Lévesque

According to the German magazine Der Spiegel, the European Union is the most important weapons exporter to Saudi Arabia. Of all EU member states, France comes first with Euro2168.6 million of exports in 2010. Italy is in second place with Euro435.3 million, before Great Britain, with Euro328.8 million.

By arming the Saudi kingdom, the member states of the European Union are breaking prevailing EU rules regulating the exports of weapons, notes Der Spiegel. The magazine quotes the relevant section of the legislation on Non-Proliferation and Disarmament titled Security-related export controls II – Military equipment, which states:…….

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Massive_EU_Weapons_Sales_to_Saudi_Arabia_Contribute_to_Fuelling_International_Aggression_and_Terrorism_in_the_Middle_East/18580/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Former Mossad chief: Israel will know before Iran begins producing nuclear weapons

Nuclear talks between Iran, Western powers to begin next month; officials in Jerusalem estimate Israel will allow at least three months for discussions, until oil embargo on Iran comes into full effect in July.
By Barak Ravid, Natasha Mozgovaya and Haim Handwerker

Discussions between Iran and the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program will begin on April 13, senior U.S. and EU officials informed Israel on Tuesday. The talks are likely to take place in Geneva.

Officials in Jerusalem estimate that Israel will allow at least three months for discussions, until the oil embargo on Iran comes into full effect in the beginning of July……

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/former-mossad-chief-israel-will-know-before-iran-begins-producing-nuclear-weapons-1.419978

Japan Prepares to Intercept Possibly Errant N. Korean Missile

The Japanese parliament has approved a resolution condemning North Korea’s planned missile launch, and the country is also preparing contingencies should the missile veer off course and pose a threat to Japan.

Speaking in Tokyo Friday, Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka said the Japanese military will be prepared for any eventuality.

Tanaka says he is ordering officials to prepare deployment of PAC-3 surface-to-air missiles and Aegis destroyers carrying a state-of-the-art anti-missile system that could attempt to shoot down the rocket…..

http://www.voanews.com/tibetan-english/news/Japan-Prepares-to-Intercept-Possibly-Errant-N-Korean-Missile-143976466.html

Palestinian on Hunger Strike “in Mortal Danger”

Uploaded by TheRealNews on Mar 23, 2012

Hanaa Shalabi, a Palestinian prisoner under Administrative Detention without charge or trial enters 36th day of her hunger strike
====
After more than a month on hunger strike, Hanaa Shalabi is in “immediate

mortal danger” and at “risk of coma” according to a Physicians for Human Rights doctor. Shalabi’s strike came at the heels of another high profile campaign by Khader Adnan who survived a 66 day hunger strike before the Israeli authorities decided to release him. Both were arrested under Administrative Detention, a military order that allows Israeli authorities to arrest anyone and hold them indefinitely, without charge or trial. The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky met with the families of the two prisoners and spoke to lawyers Shawan Jabarin for Al Haq and Sahar Francis of Addameer about the mass imprisonment of Palestinians

Inside Story – A coup underway in the West African state of Mali

Uploaded by AlJazeeraEnglish on Mar 23, 2012

Rebel soldiers in the West African state of Mali claim to control the country, ousted the president and suspended the constitution. How powerful are they and can the government sustain its grip on power? Guests: Akli Sh’kka, Baz Lecocq, Adam Thiam.

Terror Management: ‘US losing last credibility in Syria’

Uploaded by RussiaToday on Mar 23, 2012

The EU continues to pursue its strategy of pressure on the Syrian regime to force it out of power. Foreign ministers have agreed to impose a travel ban and asset freeze on the British-born wife of the country’s leader. Asma al-Assad is among 12 officials or family members to be added to a number of figures, including the president, who are already subject to sanctions.

Washington has also threatened to tighten the screws on the Syrian government and isolate it even more if President Assad doesn’t comply with the UN statement appealing for a ceasefire. With violence still raging in the country, the opposition has dismissed international calls on both sides to implement Kofi Annan’s peace plan – as not meeting the needs of the people.

Government consultant Christoph Hoerstel, who’s recently returned from Syria, says he’s deeply concerned that the sanctions may have been a response to recently leaked emails between the Assad family.

Worrisome Security Council Presidential Statement on Syria

By Stephen Lendman

March 23, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — After months of internal wrangling, Security Council members unanimously endorsed efforts to end Syrian violence. Or did they? More on that below.

Presidential statements are non-binding. However, with vague language, they risk potential slippery slope trouble. More on that below as well.

Media reports called unanimity a setback for Assad. The statement’s also characterized as “Western.”

Hillary Clinton called it “a positive step. The council has now spoken with one voice.” She also said Washington is working with Syria’s opposition “to strengthen its preparation to participate in the Syrian-led transition process that the Council has endorsed.” By any other name, she means regime change.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30898.htm

Israel and US Disagree on Timetable for Iran Attack

By Associated Press

March 24, 2012 “Washington Post” — JERUSALEM — Israel and the U.S. disagree on what would be a realistic timetable for stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, Israel’s defense minister said Thursday, but he stopped short of threatening unilateral Israeli action.

Ehud Barak reiterated concerns that Iran is trying to make its suspected nuclear weapons program immune from attack before taking a decision on assembling atomic bombs, and said Israel “cannot afford” to wait in such a situation.

However, Barak told Israel Radio that the Jewish state could hold off for several more months to allow sanctions and negotiations to work. During this period, it would become clear “if the Iranians intend or don’t intend to stop their nuclear weapons program.”

In the interview, Barak argued that superior U.S. military capabilities and Washington’s position as a world power account for its different stance toward perceived Iranian nuclear threats. The U.S. has urged Israel to give sanctions time to work.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30905.htm

Special Report – Intel Shows Iran Not Nuclear “Threat”

By Reuters

March 23, 2012 “Reuters” – The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran’s nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.

Those conclusions, drawn from extensive interviews with current and former U.S. and European officials with access to intelligence on Iran, contrast starkly with the heated debate surrounding a possible Israeli strike on Tehran’s nuclear facilities.

“They’re keeping the soup warm but they are not cooking it,” a U.S. administration official said.

Reuters has learned that in late 2006 or early 2007, U.S. intelligence intercepted telephone and email communications in which Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a leading figure in Iran’s nuclear program, and other scientists complained that the weaponization program had been stopped.

That led to a bombshell conclusion in a controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate: American spy agencies had “high confidence” that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003.

Current and former U.S. officials say they are confident that Iran has no secret uranium-enrichment site outside the purview of U.N. nuclear inspections.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30900.htm

Nuclear Watchdog Chief Accused of Pro-western Bias Over Iran

Former officials warn of parallels between IAEA approach to Iran and mistakes over Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction

By Julian Borger

March 23, 2012 “The Guardian” – -The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the nuclear watchdog at the heart of the growing Iranian crisis, has been accused by several former senior officials of pro-western bias, over-reliance on unverified intelligence and of sidelining sceptics.

Yukiya Amano, a veteran Japanese diplomat, took command of the IAEA in July 2009. Since then, the west’s confrontation with Iran over its nuclear programme has deepened and threats of military action by Israel and the US have become more frequent.

At the same time, the IAEA’s reports on Iranian behaviour have become steadily more critical. In November, it published an unprecedented volume of intelligence pointing towards past Iranian work on developing a nuclear weapon, deeming it credible.

However, some former IAEA officials are saying that the agency has gone too far. Robert Kelley, a former US weapons scientists who ran the IAEA action team on Iraq at the time of the US-led invasion, said there were worrying parallels between the west’s mistakes over Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction then and the IAEA’s assessment of Iran now.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30899.htm

Kurd militants threaten Turkey if it enters Syria

By Jon Hemming

ANKARA

(Reuters) – Turkish Kurd militants threatened on Thursday to turn all Kurdish populated areas into a “war zone” if Turkish troops entered Syria, a sign the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has allies in Syria may be taking sides in the conflict there.

A renewed alliance between Damascus and the PKK would anger Turkey and could prompt it to take an even stronger line against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over his brutal repression of anti-government protesters.

PKK field commander Murat Karayilan said Turkey was preparing the ground for an intervention in Syria.

“The Turkish state is planning an intervention against our people,” the Europe-based Firat news agency, close to the militants, quoted him as saying.

“Let me state clearly, if the Turkish state intervenes against our people in western Kurdistan, all of Kurdistan will turn into a war zone,” he said.

Western Kurdistan is the term Kurdish nationalists use to describe Kurdish areas of northeast Syria, while by Kurdistan they mean the Kurdish areas of Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said last week that setting up a “safe zone” or a “buffer zone” along the border with Syria to protect civilians from Assad’s forces was among the options being considered should the stream of refugees turn into a flood.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/22/us-syria-turkey-kurds-idUSBRE82L0UH20120322

Environmental

Monsanto ‘Biotechnology Book for Kids’ Caught Brainwashing Children

By Anthony Gucciardi
BlacklistedNews.com

Facing direct opposition from the public, biotechnology giants like Monsanto and Dow are now making a disturbing attempt to brainwash developing minds into accepting their genetically modified foods using blatant lies and propaganda.

In a last ditch effort to potentially sway public opinion, the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) has launched the “Biotechnology Basics Activity Book” for kids.

With the intent to be used by ‘agriculture and science teachers’, the activity book spreads absurd lies about GMO crops — even going as far as to say that they ‘improve our health’ and ‘help the environment’.

The book can be seen on the organization’s website, and makes it extremely apparent that it is full of misinformation and propaganda that completely ignores scientific research surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

In fact, let’s examine some claims made by this book that serves as an ‘educational’ tool to be used by teachers.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Monsanto_%E2%80%98Biotechnology_Book_for_Kids%E2%80%99_Caught_Brainwashing_Children_/18585/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Cyber Space

Trapped In The Grid: How Net-Centric Devices And Appliances Provide Voluminous Information To Intelligence Agencies And Their Business Partners

“The patent discusses the technology to analyze the background noise during your phone call and serve up ads for you based on the environmental conditions Google picks up on. Yeah, that’s creepy.” –Google wants to serve you ads based on the background noise of your phone calls…..

In addition to this patent including the background noises of phone calls, it also talks about the backgrounds of photos and videos you’ve taken as well. So if you took a picture in the snow, you might be shown ads for snow shovels.”–Google wants to serve you ads based on the background noise of your phone calls……

Petraeus allowed that these household spy devices “change our notions of secrecy” and prompt a rethink of “our notions of identity and secrecy.” All of which is true — if convenient for a CIA director.”–CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher…….

http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/4827

Inside the Ring: Beijing coup rumors

U.S. intelligence agencies monitoring China’s Internet say that from March 14 to Wednesday bloggers circulated alarming reports of tanks ent
ering Beijing and shots being fired in the city as part of what is said to have been a high-level political battle among party leaders – and even a possible military coup.

The Internet discussions included photos posted online of tanks and other military vehicles moving around Beijing.

The reports followed the ouster last week of senior Politburo member and Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, who was linked to corruption, but who is said to remain close to China’s increasingly nationalistic military.

Chinese microblogging sites Sina Weibo, QQ Weibo, and the bulletin board of the search engine Baidu all reported “abnormalities” in Beijing on the night of March 19.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/21/inside-the-ring-436080940/

Activism

Activist Outrage Causes Major Supermarkets to Drop ‘Pink Slime’ Meat

Activist Post

We have been reporting on the staggering amount of “pink slime” used in the U.S. food industry over the last few months. Pink slime is a meat filler made from “ammoniated boneless lean beef trimmings or similar products, which are considered unfit for human consumption until ammonia has been added.”

In early March, it was reported by ABC that a shocking 70% of ground beef at supermarkets contained this pink slime. Since this disgusting food additive has been exposed, natural health activists rallied to demand its removal from McDonald’s and school lunches. Now major grocery chains are falling to the pressure of activism.

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/activist-outrage-causes-major.html

Radiation

Escobar on Fukushima email leak: ‘Deleting data a cover-up’

Uploaded by RussiaToday on Mar 23, 2012

It’s emerged that at the height of Japan’s nuclear crisis last March, the authorities in Fukushima concealed radiation data vital to safely evacuate people from that area. Japan has a computer system designed to predict the spread of radioactive releases. But local media reports say the prefecture’s government deleted the e-mails detailing it. RT talks to Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar.

Psy – Ops

Scientists Warn of Ethical Battle Concerning Military Mind Control

Advances in neuroscience are closer than ever to becoming a reality, but scientists are warning the military – along with their peers – that with great power comes great responsibility
A future of brain-controlled tanks, automated attack drones and mind-reading interrogation techniques may arrive sooner than later, but advances in neuroscience that will usher in a new era of combat come with tough ethical implications for both the military and scientists responsible for the technology, according to one of the country’s leading bioethicists.

“Everybody agrees that conflict will be changed as new technologies are coming on,” says Jonathan Moreno, author of Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military in the 21st Century. “But nobody knows where that technology is going.”

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/03/20/scientists-warn-of-ethical-battle-concerning-military-mind-control

French Terror Attack: All the Hallmarks of an Intelligence Psy-op and False Flag

by Kurt Nimmo

Mohammed Merah, the suspect in the killing of seven people outside a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, fits the pattern of an al-Qaeda intelligence asset. According to the BBC, he was on the radar of French authorities because of visits he made to Afghanistan and the “militant stronghold” of Waziristan in Pakistan.
More specifically, Merah was handled by France’s DCRI intelligence service “for years,” according to Claude Gueant, the interior minister.

Merah, a French citizen of Algerian origin, was arrested on December 19, 2007, and was sentenced to three years in jail for planting bombs in the southern province of Kandahar in Afghanistan.
In April of 2011, the United States admitted it has operated secret military prisons in Afghanistan where suspected terrorists are held and interrogated without charges.

The notorious Bagram airbase detention center is operated by the Joint Special Operations Command and the DIA’s Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC)………

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29899

Politics and Legislation

Republicans shift from McCain on war

By Jeremy Herb and Carlo Munoz

Many Republicans are hesitant to align with Sen. John McCain’s aggressive stances on Afghanistan and Syria.

Facing a public that’s become increasingly war weary after a decade of conflict, most Republicans have not backed McCain’s call for action in Syria.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/216525-republicans-shift-away-from-mccain-on-war-policy-in-afghanistan-syria

Schumer bill would create ‘passenger advocates’ to help with TSA disputes

By Pete Kasperowicz

Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Friday that they would soon introduce legislation to create “passenger advocates” to help people who may be “inappropriately treated” by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers.

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/216539-schumer-bill-would-create-airport-passenger-advocates-to-help-with-tsa-disputes

Obama Executive Order: Peacetime Martial Law!

CONTRIBUTOR: Chris Kitze. Hattip: A BIN reader.

This article may be freely reproduced in its entirety provided a link is provided back to the original BIN story. This Executive Order was posted on the WhiteHouse.gov web site on Friday, March 16, 2012, under the name National Defense Resources Preparedness. In a nutshell, it’s the…

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1906/406/Obama_Executive_Order:_Peacetime_Martial_Law.html

RFID Chip Implants – Hidden Secret In Obamacare – Coming 3/23/13

CONTRIBUTOR: John Rolls.

Polidics.com Reporting News the Main Media Refuses to Touch… by Mr. Carrington – May 26, 2011 On Sunday March 21, 2010 the Senate Healthcare bill HR3200 was passed and signed into law the following Tuesday. Like I said before, there are a legion of horrible and just plain evil aspects to this bill…

http://polidics.com/news/another-hidden-secret-in-obamacare-rfid-chip-implants.html

Economy

Spanish town plans to pay debts by growing marijuana

RASQUERA, Spain (Reuters) – A small town in northeastern Spain, believes it has found a novel way to pay of its debt: cultivating cannabis.

Tucked in the hills of one of Spain’s most picturesque regions, the Catalonian village of Rasquera has agreed to rent out land to grow marijuana, an enterprise the local authorities say will allow them to pay off their 1.3 million euro (1 million pound) debt in two years.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/spanish-town-wants-grow-cannabis-pay-off-debt-131654270.html

Dems see ‘ammunition’ against Wall Street in Goldman resignation

By Peter Schroeder

Democrats have co-opted a fiery resignation letter from a Goldman Sachs employee to argue for rigid rules on the financial sector.

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/banking-financial-institutions/216545–dems-see-ammunition-against-wall-street-in-goldman-resignation-

Prediction: Crisis From Food Prices And Social Unrest In 2013

CONTRIBUTOR: BARRACUDA.

Via www.economonitor.com

The people at NECSI sent me the following interesting blurb on the relationship between the rise in food prices and social unrest:

necsi.edu/research/social/foodvideos.html.

These videos illustrate the correlation between increasing costs of food and worldwide food riots, especially from 2000 until the present day. Both prices and riots peaked in 2008 and 2011 after a brief drop in 2009. This month, NECSI is publishing the results of its food prices update, in which the institute extends its food price model to January 2012, entering no modifications to the model and continuing to use its dynamics.

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1907/053/Prediction:_Crisis_From_Food_Prices_And_Social_Unrest_In_2013.html

Defiant North Korea says rocket launch to go ahead

(Reuters) – North Korea on Sunday rejected criticism of its planned long-range missile launch which threatens to upset its only major benefactor, China, and put relations with the United States back in the freezer just as they seemed to be starting to thaw.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/18/us-korea-north-missile-idUSBRE82H02U20120318

Wars and Rumors of War

Report: US sent detainees to Afghan prisons known for torture despite moratorium

A report released Saturday by two rights groups says the U.S. sent some detainees to Afghan prisons where torture was found despite an announced moratorium on such moves. The report by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the New York-based Open Society Institute suggests that Afghanistan’s international allies are still failing to ensure that people captured on the battlefield are treated humanely despite a massive reform program in recent months.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/report-us-sent-detainees-afghan-prisons-known-torture-185849142.html

Syrian Rebels are Foreign-backed Terrorists

Latest terrorist attack in Damascus illustrates illegitimacy of both Syria’s rebels & the UN/NATO backing them.

By Tony Cartalucci

A twin terrorist bombing in the Syrian capital of Damascus, allegedly targeting government buildings, ripped through a Christian neighborhood killing an estimated 27, mostly civilians. A third bomb exploded, killing only the driver of the car it was placed in, in what was apparently an attempted triple suicide bombing. CBS News reports (1) that after other similar attacks, U.S. officials suggest Al Qaeda terrorists “may be” amongst the Syrian rebels.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Syrian_Rebels_are_Foreign-backed_Terrorists/18499/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Panetta Confirms US Involvement in Potential Israeli War on Iran ‘Obviously’ the US Would Take Action

Confirming what has always been the implicit way in which the US is going to get sucked into its next major war, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta confirmed that the US would definitely involve itself in a war on Iran if Israel decided to launch one.

http://news.antiwar.com/2012/03/16/panetta-confirms-us-involvement-in-potential-israeli-war-on-iran/

Banking group pressured to cut Iran ties

By Kevin Bogardus

Lawmakers will push forward with legislation targeting a worldwide banking cooperative despite its decision to stop doing business with some Iranian banks.

http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/216547-banking-group-pressured-to-cut-iran-ties

Tensions over Syria could slow legislation to normalize Russia, U.S. trade relations

By Vicki Needham

Rising tensions between the United States and Russia over the violence in Syria could slow legislation to expand trade relations between the two nations.

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/1005-trade/216549-tensions-over-syria-could-slow-legislation-to-normalize-russia-us-trade-relations

Gulf widens between US and a more volatile Karzai

By Rod Nordland, Alissa J. Rubin and Matthew Rosenberg

Ever since the Koran-burning episode on Feb. 20, the relationship between the United States and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has lurched from one crisis to another.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/world/asia/gulf-widens-between-us-and-an-increasingly-hostile-karzai.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

Lieberman: War with Iran a global nightmare

During official visit to China, foreign minister says ‘united international front’ can convince Tehran to abandon nuclear ambitions

“If, god forbid, a war with breaks out with Iran, it will be a nightmare. Everyone will be involved, including the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia,” Avigdor Lieberman told the Yedioth Ahronoth daily during an official visit to China.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4204402,00.html

Environmental

Honeybee die-offs linked to insecticide, study says

A newly published study draws a stronger link between mass die-offs of honeybees and an insecticide widely used on corn. The study sheds more light on the worrisome phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Bees play a critical role in the pollination of crops, and thus a threat to bee colonies can potentially affect entire ecosystems. The latest study, conducted by Italian researchers at the University of Padova and published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, focuses on a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids.

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/17/10735129-honeybee-die-offs-linked-to-insecticide-study-says

Activism

Scores Arrested as the Police Clear Zuccotti Park

Scores of Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested on Saturday night as police officers swept Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan and closed it. Dozens of demonstrators sat down and locked arms as officers moved in about 11:30 p.m. The operation occurred after hundreds of people had gathered in the financial district to observe the founding of Occupy Wall Street six months ago… At one point, a woman who appeared to be suffering from seizures flopped on the ground in handcuffs as bystanders shouted for the police to remove the cuffs and provide medical attention.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/arrests-made-as-protesters-mark-occupy-wall-streets-six-month-anniversary/

Occupy protest anniversary ends with police sweep

Protesters chanted and cheered down Wall Street to mark six months of the Occupy movement, ending the day with a police confrontation and numerous arrests at the park where the demonstrations against economic inequality began. Police declared Zuccotti Park closed Saturday night, and more than 100 officers swept through the excited crowd. At least one person was injured during the sweep, police said.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-03-17/occupy-wall-street/53595282/1

Cyber Space

UK teenager arrested for anti-war Facebook post

A British teenager has been arrested and is expected to appear in a UK court after he posted about the injustice of the occupation of Afghanistan on his Facebook page. Following the deaths of six UK soldiers in Afghanistan earlier this month, Azhar Ahmed from Ravensthorpe left his comment on the social networking site in order to indicate the hypocrisy of praising the UK soldiers, while thousands of Afghan civilians killed at the hand of Western troops who have occupied the country for over ten years claiming to protect the civilians.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/232192.html

 

State department seeking to turn social media users into global government spies

By J. D. Heyes,
(NaturalNews) In an ongoing effort to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons in these unstable times, a top State Department official has proposed using social media as a way to keep track of the world’s most destructive devices. Rose Gottemoeller, acting Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, sees the concept as just another way to keep atomic bombs out of the hands of terrorists and under the control of responsible governments and regimes. As such, Gottmoeller says she wants ordinary…

 

 

Misc

Government takes 92-year-old woman’s money after believing she died

A 92-year-old woman from Port Angeles, Washington revealed Friday afternoon that she had lost thousands of dollars due to her bank and the government believing she was dead, according to KOMO-TV.?

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Govt-mistakenly-declares-woman-dead-takes-her-money-142949255.html?tab=video&c=y

Exposed: Lobbyist Who Helped Kill California Pot Legalization Ballot Measure is Getting Rich Off Drug War

Ethan A. Huff, News Report:

After the Obama Administration enacted its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Lovell reportedly got busy sending notices to police agencies alerting them about “important opportunities” to generate more federal grants. These opportunities included $2.2 million in funding for implementing a “Marijuana Suppression Program,” and more than $7.5 million for a “Campaign Against Marijuana Planting” program.

http://www.naturalnews.com/035277_John_Lovell_California_marijuana_legalization.html

http://www.nationofchange.org/exposed-lobbyist-who-helped-kill-california-pot-legalization-ballot-measure-getting-rich-drug-war-13

Federal Regulator is Using Seriously Flawed Study to Deny Homeowners Mortgage Aid

Pat Garofalo, News Report:

Goodman cited several problems with the study, including that it did not factor in bank incentives from the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and underestimated the number of homeowners severely underwater by not using city level housing data. She said that it the study was done correctly, “it will be clear that forgiveness is the better solution for the bulk of the two-thirds of their book of business without mortgage insurance.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/federal-regulator-using-seriously-flawed-study-deny-homeowners-mortgage-aid-1332086225

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to run for Australian Senate

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is planning to run for election to the Australian Senate. Mr Assange, an Australian citizen, is on bail awaiting a British court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations. He strongly denies the claims, saying they are politically motivated and linked to the activities of WikiLeaks, which has published thousands of confidential documents on the internet. The whistle-blowing website said it appeared that Mr Assange’s current legal situation did not rule him out of running for Australia’s upper house.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/9150013/WikiLeaks-founder-Julian-Assange-to-run-for-Australian-Senate.html

Is America preparing for an unprecedented crisis reminiscent of WWII?

by The Extinction Protocol

March 19, 2012 – WASHINGTON – The following excerpt is from a Executive Order signed by U.S. President Obama on March 16, 2012. The Executive Order coordinates and mobilizes all national resources, technological and industrial, under Federal auspicies in the event of a national emergency. This sounds like a major preparatory step before a crisis eerily reminiscent of WWII. An excerpt from the document reads: “The United States must have an industrial and technological base capable of meeting national defense requirements and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its national defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency. The domestic industrial and technological base is the foundation for national defense preparedness. The authorities provided in the Act shall be used to strengthen this base and to ensure it is capable of responding to the national defense needs of the United States. Each resource department shall act, as necessary and appropriate, upon requests for special priorities assistance, as defined by section 801(l) of this order, in a time frame consistent with the urgency of the need at hand. This is to help foster cooperation between the defense and commercial sectors for research and development and for acquisition of materials, services, components, and equipment to enhance industrial base efficiency and responsiveness.  In situations where there are competing program requirements for limited resources, the resource department shall consult with the Secretary who made the required determination under section 202 of this order. Such Secretary shall coordinate with and identify for the resource department which program requirements to prioritize on the basis of operational urgency. In situations involving more than one Secretary making such a required determination under section 202 of this order, the Secretaries shall coordinate with and identify for the resource department which program requirements should receive priority on the basis of operational urgency.” –The White House

http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/is-america-preparing-for-an-unprecedented-crisis-reminiscent-of-wwii/

Politics and Legislation

Britain pushes for mass surveillance society

Uploaded by RTAmerica on Mar 15, 2012

Soon you can be watched everywhere you go in the UK. All your emails, texts and phone calls will be monitored and you can even be seen where cameras can’t. This could all be possible with a new anti-terrorism spy plan. Security companies will have real time access to all your personal happenings at the click of a button. Here is our report.

N.Y. Passes DNA Requirement For Convicted Criminals

Early on Thursday, lawmakers in New York approved a bill that will make the state the first to require DNA samples from almost all convicted criminals — and make its DNA database one of the largest in the nation.

http://www.nhpr.org/post/ny-passes-dna-requirement-convicted-criminals

GOP: Obama, Dems need to do more to fight high gas prices

By Molly K. Hooper

Republicans attacked President Obama’s energy policies as the cause of high gas prices in Saturday’s weekly address.

http://thehill.com/video/house/216505-gop-obama-needs-to-do-more-to-fight-high-gas-prices

White House looks to change the optics in debate over rising gas prices

By Amie Parnes

The White House is shifting its optics on gas prices after struggling in recent days to win the public debate over the issue.

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/216499-white-house-changes-optics-in-debate-over-rising-gas-prices

Obama: Fight high gas prices by ending subsidies, fraud

By Jamie Klatell

While saying there is no “silver bullet,” President Obama said Saturday that regulating energy markets and cutting government subsidies to big oil firms will help control spikes in the prices of gas.

http://thehill.com/video/administration/216507-obama-fight-high-gas-prices-by-ending-subsidies-fraud

White House: Colleges must cover birth control for students

By Sam Baker

Most universities will have to cover birth control in their students’ health plans, the Obama administration said Friday.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216485-white-house-says-colleges-must-cover-birth-control-for-students

GOP split on health-law repeal strategy

By Julian Pecquet

Two conservative Republicans on Friday blasted House leaders for scheduling a vote to repeal an unpopular provision of the healthcare reform law.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216487-republicans-at-odds-over-health-law-repeal-strategy

If You Took the Greed Out of Wall Street, All You’d Have Left Is Pavement

Robert Reich, Op-Ed:

The Street has only itself to blame. It should have welcomed new financial regulation as a means of restoring public trust. Instead, it lobbied intensely against the new Dodd-Frank Act and refused to resurrect Glass-Steagall. The cost of such cynicism has leached deep into America, finding expression in Tea Partiers and Occupiers and millions of others who think the Street has sold us out.

http://www.nationofchange.org/if-you-took-greed-out-wall-street-all-you-d-have-left-pavement-why-greg-smith-s-critique-way-too-nar

The Power of Recalls in Wisconsin

John Nichols, Op-Ed:

With Wisconsin recall elections looming against four Republican state Senators — as well as Governor Scott Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch — the state’s politics was thrown for another loop Friday when a targeted senator up and quit. State Senator Pam Galloway, a Tea Party favorite and one of Walker’s steadiest backers in the legislature, announced her immediate resignation from the legislature and her decision not to contest the recall election.

http://www.nationofchange.org/power-recalls-wisconsin-1331997712

Economy

Five Charts That Prove We’re in a Depression and That the Federal Reserve and Washington Are Wasting Money

By Graham Summers

Wall Street and mainstream economists are abuzz that we’re seeing a recovery in the US due to the latest jobs data. These folks are not only missing the big picture, but they’re not even reading the fine print (more on this in a moment).

The reality is that what’s happening in the US today is not a cyclical recession, but a one in 100 year, secular economic shift.

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1331571258.php

 

Gas prices still climbing, top $4 in 6 states
Pump prices click higher to national average of $3.83 a gallon, with 6 states above $4.00

Gasoline prices rose again Friday and are now averaging more than $4 in six states and Washington, D.C. Oil had its biggest gain in three weeks and natural gas prices also rose.

Retail gasoline prices were up a penny on Friday to a national average of $3.831 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/gas-prices-still-climbing-top-165457157.html;_ylt=Ao1Q5Ln8g6oB0Kdt8qRBnJSiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0dnFmNjdlBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIFRvcCBTdG9yeSBSaWdodARwa2cDYzVlMDc2YjMtNWRmNS0zMmUzLWE5YzgtNjI0NzA1ZWRhOGNiBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzI3NGFjZTk5LTZmYTAtMTFlMS1iZjdhLWM0YTZhNDQyZTAyZA–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

Oil hits $107 after US denial of crude release
Oil rises past $107 a day after US denies plan to release crude supplies

NEW YORK (AP) — Crude oil prices rose Friday, a day after the government denied reports that the U.S. and the U.K. plan to release some of their strategic crude reserves.

In New York trading, benchmark oil for April delivery rose $1.95 a barrel, or about 2 percent, to finish at $107.06, the biggest gain since Feb. 24.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/oil-hits-107-us-denial-203308690.html;_ylt=Aomo5PjMW6oZV0lJwGXaEKSiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTN0bzllaW1tBG1pdANOZXdzIFRvcGljIDIEcGtnA2E1NDFjNTU0LTdlNGQtMzc0NC1iMjk1LWZkMjYxZWZmZWQzMwRwb3MDNQRzZWMDTWVkaWFTZWN0aW9uTGlzdAR2ZXIDYzA0MmI5NjAtNmZhOS0xMWUxLWJhZGEtNmQ5MmYzZWE2NjFk;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

Doomsday Survey: 51% of Americans Believe a Financial Collapse Is Imminent; 85% Say Country Is Overwhelmingly Under-Prepared

A recent survey of 1,007 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over suggests that most of us believe a doomsday scenario of some kind will occur in the next twenty five years.

With three million preppers in the U.S. getting ready for widespread disaster, gun sales sky rocketing, and retail precious metals purchases at unprecedented levels, the results of the survey performed by Kelton Research on behalf of National Geographic shouldn’t be surprising.

http://learnhowtobeprepared.com/2012/03/doomsday-survey-51-of-americans-believe-a-financial-collapse-is-imminent-85-say-country-is-overwhelmingly-under-prepared/#.T2VkYLRZfe8

 

The Fed Isn’t Providing Monetary Morphine; Its Spreading Financial Cancer That Is Killing the Markets And Democratic Capitalism In General

CONTRIBUTOR: Graham Summers.

~ Phoenix Capital Research While the vast majority of commentators look at the market action of the last three months and celebrate, I cannot help but shudder. The reason is that the stock market has been propped up solely by Central Bank and/or Federal Government intervention or the hope…

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1903/390/The_Fed_Isnt_Providing_Monetary_Morphine;_Its_Spreading_Financial_Cancer_That_Is_Killing_the_Markets_And_Democratic_Capitalism_In_General.html

Preventing the Fall of Rome

Gar Alperovitz, Op-Ed:

How far continuing financial and political pressures may lead other officials to attempt to secure revenues by selling off public assets is an open question. Public resistance to such strategies, although less widely publicized, has been surprisingly strong in many areas. Toll road sales have been held up in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and newly elected Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently voiced his opposition to an attempt to privatize Midway Airport as previously attempted by Daley.

http://www.nationofchange.org/preventing-fall-rome-1331994900

 

Senate Bill Could Roll Back Consumers’ Health Insurance Savings

Lena Groeger, News Report:

This is the first year that companies are required to send out rebates. According to a report by state insurance commissioners, if rebates had been handed out last year, insurers would have had to pay consumers almost $2 billion. If they had carved out the broker fees, as proposed in the two current bills, consumers would have gotten only about $800 million. The rebates have gotten relatively modest attention. Only 38 percent of the public is even aware of the rule’s existence, according to a Kaiser poll.

http://www.nationofchange.org/senate-bill-could-roll-back-consumers-health-insurance-savings-1331996903

 

Wars and Rumors of War

Panetta Disarms Marines in Afghanistan Amid Fears of Possible Rogue Marine Shooting

Uploaded by ObamaBC on Mar 14, 2012

It has been denied that Secretary of Defense Panetta’s disarming of Marines in Afghanistan March 14 had anything to do with a rogue Army sniper’s killing of sixteen Afghan civilians earlier in the week, but many are calling the move highly unusual, and one source states disarming Marines in a combat zone is contrary to military protocol. Approximately two hundred Marines were told to leave their weapons outside a tent while listening to Panetta’s speech, but many state disarming the Marines will lead to a morale problem due to a high official distrusting his own troops. Sources state the Marines felt uncomfortable being without their weapons in what is essentially a war zone. What many considered a rush to judgement given the the rogue U.S. sniper’s history of PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury), Leon Panetta had stated almost immediately that the soldier could face the death penalty. This was odd and hypocritical to many, given that many feel the Obama administration ostensibly armed drug cartels with Fast and Furious weapons that were used to kill hundreds of Mexican citizens, and at least two U.S. citizens, Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata, and no one has called for the death penalty in these cases, let alone actual charges being filed.
3/14/12 By Kris Zane

 

How Mossad Justified Its Murder of an Innocent Iranian Electrical Engineer

By Gareth Porter

On July 23, 2011, a 35-year-old Iranian electrical engineering student named Darioush Rezaeinejad was gunned down as he and his wife, who was also wounded in the attack, waited for their child in front of a kindergarten in Tehran.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30850.htm

 

America and the Middle East:
Psycho Warriors Who Deceive Humanity

By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD

Global peace, humanity and security of the Middle East region are the net causality of Obama’s egomaniac rhetoric.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30849.htm

 

Top diplomat: Saudi Arabia is smuggling arms to Syria:

Arab diplomat says Saudi Arabia is delivering military equipment to Free Syrian Army ‘to stop bloodshed by Assad’s regime’.

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=51267

U.S. ‘Concerned’ About Iranian Flights to Syria:

The United States has expressed concern that Iranian cargo planes overflying Iraq may be shipping weapons to Syria.

http://en.rian.ru/world/20120317/172223863.html

 

Turkey urges citizens to leave Syria, set to cut consular services:

Move comes as reports indicate 4 members of the Gulf Cooperation Council will close their embassies in Syria over the ongoing political crisis.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/turkey-urges-citizens-to-leave-syria-set-to-cut-consular-services-1.419083

 

Environmental

 

The Department of Homeland Security Plans to Build a High-Risk Virus Research Center in the Heart of America

J. D. Heyes, News Report:

“The United States works on the frontline of livestock animal health research to defend against foreign animal, emerging, and zoonotic diseases that could threaten the U.S. livestock industry, food supply, and public health,” says Homeland Security Under Secretary for Science and Technology Tara O’Toole, in a departmental risk assessment posted online. “To address congressional requirements, this detailed, updated risk assessment reaffirms that we can build a safe and secure facility to meet this important mission.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/department-homeland-security-plans-build-high-risk-virus-research-center-heart-america-1331990145

 

The True Cost of the Tar Sands

Video Report:

“Garth Lenz is an award winning conservation photographer whose work has been seen in shows around the globe. Recently he appeared at a TEDx event in Victoria, BC Canada with his exhibition, The True Cost of Oil. Through Lenz’s photography, this exhibit showcases the beauty of some of Canada’s pristine environments—and the dire impact that tar sands oil extraction has on them.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/photos-true-cost-tar-sands-1331993923

 

 

Misc

‘Kony 2012’ director hospitalized

Published on Mar 16, 2012 by CNN

CNN’s Erin Burnett reports that one of the men behind the “Kony 2012” video was found in the street in his underwear.

 

US soldier accused of shooting Afghan civilians identified

By Carlo Munoz

The U.S. soldier accused of going on a shooting rampage that left 16 Afghan civilians dead on Sunday has been identified as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, a U.S. official confirmed to The Hill.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/army/216503-us-soldier-accused-in-afghan-shootings-identified

 

Big Pharma’s Evil Motives Exposed (video)

CONTRIBUTOR: BARRACUDA.

Former Scientist, and Pharma Executive Speaks Out On The True Motives of Big Pharma Dr. John Virapen has worked more than three decades in the pharmaceutical industry. As an insider, former scientist and whistleblower, he is now dedicated to expose and create awareness on how the pharmaceutical industry is operating with…

 

Democrats Push New Obama US Flag: Here Is A Picture Of It (Shocking?) (Shocking?)

 

CONTRIBUTOR: RidgeRunner.

Some Democrats are flying, selling and proposing an Obama faced American Flag. How do you feel about this? What feeling does this picture evoke in you as an American? …

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1892/295/Democrats_Push_New_Obama_US_Flag:_Here_Is_A_Picture_Of_It_Shocking.html

 

Foreclosure Victim Wins $18 Million as Part of Federal Mortgage Settlement

Travis Waldron, News Report:

“Fraudulent foreclosures have reached near-pandemic levels since the collapse of the housing market. At banks like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America, fraudulent practices like robo-signing were approved by upper-level management, and employees with no banking experience were given vice-president level titles so they could sign foreclosure documents (one Wells Fargo ‘Vice President’ came to the bank from a pizza restaurant).”

http://www.nationofchange.org/foreclosure-victim-wins-18-million-part-federal-mortgage-settlement-1331996983

 

Earthquakes

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D     INFORMATION

USGS Bangladesh Mar 18 02:56 AM   4.6   15.7   MAP

EMSC Bangladesh Mar 18 02:56 AM   4.6   16.0   MAP

EMSC Eastern Turkey Mar 18 02:46 AM   3.4   5.0   MAP

USGS Northern Iran Mar 18 02:38 AM   4.4   25.9   MAP

EMSC Northern Iran Mar 18 02:38 AM   4.6   5.0   MAP

EMSC Simeulue, Indonesia Mar 18 02:01 AM  4.6   35.0   MAP

USGS Simeulue, Indonesia Mar 18 02:01 AM  4.6   35.0   MAP

USGS Southern E Pacific Rise Mar 18 01:59 AM  4.7   10.1   MAP

EMSC Southern E Pacific Ris Mar 18 01:59 AM  4.7   10.0  MAP

EMSC Central Turkey Mar 18 01:32 AM    2.6   6.0    MAP

EMSC S.western Siberia, Russia Mar 18 01:29 AM   3.9   10.0  MAP

USGS S. Alaska Mar 18 00:53 AM  2.7   6.5    MAP

USGS Off E Coast Of Honshu, Japan Mar 18 00:36 AM  4.9   49.7  MAP

EMSC Off E Coast Of Honshu, Japan Mar 18 00:36 AM  5.0   40.0  MAP

GEOFON Off E Coast Of Honshu, Japan Mar 18 00:36 AM   5.0   10.0  MAP

Philippines –

The number of people who were injured in a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in the southern Philippines rose to 45. Dozens of mall goers got injured when the strong quake caused a stampede at Gaisano Capital duriing its grand opening at around 4pm Friday afternoon. Some government buildings were damaged.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=788157&publicationSubCategoryId=200

New Zealand – Quake damage at Canterbury hospitals could see patient services disrupted for several years to come. The region’s hospitals have suffered considerable damage as a result of the ongoing quakes and many key facilities need extensive repair work.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/6593845/Canterbury-hospitals-set-back-years-by-quake

Storms and Flooding

Tropical Cyclone Lua (17S) Set to Make Landfall Over Australia – March 17th, 2012

approximately 150 nm north of Port Hedland, Australia, has tracked southeastward at 13 knots over the past six hours. Port Hedland radar imagery indicates the LLCC passed over Rowley Shoals at approximately 01:00am local time.

Animated infrared satellite imagery indicates that the system has increased its horizontal extent while maintaining tightly-curved bands wrapping into a well-defined low-level circulation center (LLCC). Recent microwave satellite imagery reveals the deepest convection is location along the western semi-circle of the LLCC, which is due to light to moderate (10-20 knots) easterly vertical wind shear. The current intensity is assessed at 90 knots. Maximum significant wave height is 32 feet. Sustained 10-minute winds were reported at 73 knots.

TC 17S is forecast to continue tracking southeastward, making landfall east of Port Hedland in approximately 12 hours. The system is forecast to reach a peak intensity of 95 knots prior to landfall and then rapidly weaken with dissipation over land forecast by TAU 36.

http://www.eosnap.com/image-of-the-day/tropical-cyclone-lua-17s-set-to-make-landfall-over-australia-march-17th-2012/

UPDATE –

There have been reports of extensive damage on the Pilbara coast but so far no casualties. Cyclone Lua crossed the coast as a category four storm but has weakened to category one as it moves inland. Australia’s meteorology bureau says gusts of up 100km/h (60mph) are still possible near the cyclone centre. It has issued warnings for the eastern Gascoyne, western Interior and northern Goldfields areas for today. Early on Saturday, Lua crossed the coast between Port Hedland and Broome and caused extensive damage to some remote Pilbara towns, uprooting trees and damaging buildings. Recovery teams were on their way to assess the damage.As the cyclone gathered intensity and swept in off the Indian Ocean, Australia’s main iron ore mines – which are some of the biggest in the world – shut down. (map)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-17405085

Stormy weather results in power outages, more fallen trees

KTVU.com

BAY AREA —

Friday night’s stormy weather resulted in power outages for hundreds of Walnut Creek residents and the closure of a state highway for hours.

On Highway 13 in Oakland, just south of the Park Ave. Exit, a large tree came down around 10 p.m. Friday night and blocked the southbound lanes of the highway.

http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/stormy-weather-results-power-outages-more-fallen-t/nLWmc/

Extreme Temperatures/Weather

Britain’s heritage buildings feel the extreme weather

: heat and cold. Experts fear they are fighting a losing battle as increasingly erratic conditions take their toll. The curators responsible for preserving Britain’s historic sites already have to cope with falling subsidies and the effect of the economic gloom on visitor numbers. Now they have another problem: our increasingly extreme and erratic weather. Freezing temperatures, drought and torrential rain are all proving increasingly damaging to sites that, in some cases, are almost 1,000 years old.
Earlier this month, parts of the roof of St John the Baptist Church in Woodhurst, Cambridgeshire, collapsed, with masonry falling from the chancel, causing damage that will cost up to £40,000 to repair. Experts said the problems were caused by the drought’s effect on soil that is found particularly in the east of England. The trees close to the walls of the building sucked up too much water from the ground after two years of low rainfall, causing the clay to contract. This moved the foundations, and the walls cracked. Finding funding for the necessary repairs is becoming increasingly difficult.
Other churches have been affected in similar fashion. St Mary’s, in the village of Mundon, Essex, had to undergo significant repairs as a result of clay shrinkage, which led the building’s foundations to start “falling apart”. In the Church of St Andrew, at Abbots Ripton, also in Cambridgeshire, the arcades were found to be moving on the foundations, causing cracks. Without repair work, it is likely that the whole building will collapse.
St Andrew’s Church at nearby Wood Walton, which was recorded in the Domesday Book, is also facing serious problems. “We think it is due to the climate. It may be just two or three years aberration, but the climate has definitely had an impact.”
The most recent Heritage At Risk register was published in August. There were 5,828 entries. Although the effect of increasingly extreme weather is difficult to quantify, many list erosion and weathering as a problem. The cold winters of 2009 and 2010 also caused serious problems at several sites, including Castle Acre Priory in Norfolk, a monastic site dating back to 1090, and the 12th century Framlingham Castle in Suffolk. “The frost is a real issue. In the past two severe winters, hard frost caused huge damage to standing ruins in the east of England. The chalk in the stonework deteriorates. We understand the process and know we can’t stop it.”
In Norwich, the medieval city walls have suffered damage as a result of the salt used on the roads in cold weather. The National Trust has also pointed to a rise in threats from extreme weather – specifically torrential rainfall. “The weather is much more extreme in the UK than it used to be. Between 1985 and 2007 I have never had to turn out due to emergency flooding. It has been four times since then.” Severe flooding in Tewkesbury affected several National Trust properties, including Basildon Park. The 12th century Tewkesbury Abbey also had water come in through the doors. In 2009, the devastating floods in Cockermouth, in the Lake District, hit the birthplace of William Wordsworth. National Trust employees had to wade through waist deep water to salvage the collection of furniture, artworks and documents. “Our emphasis must now be on prevention. We are trying to put aside more [money] than we ever have before to deal with this issue.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/extreme-weather-warning-britains-heritage-buildings-feel-the-heat–and-cold-7575925.html

America’s weather is stuck on extreme. –

Nearly 11 feet of snow has fallen on Anchorage, Alaska, this winter. That’s almost a record, and it’s forcing the city to haul away at least 250,000 tons of snow. Not much snow has dropped on the Lower 48 states this year.
The first three months of 2012 have seen twice the normal number of tornadoes. And 36 states set DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORDS Thursday. So far this month, the U.S. has set 1,757 DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORDS. That’s similar to the number during last summer’s heat wave. Six RARE, but not unprecedented, March tornadoes struck Thursday in Michigan, which also set 26 HEAT RECORDS. Temperatures were in the 80s in some parts of the state. Nationwide, there have been 132 tornadoes confirmed in January and February, with preliminary reports of more than 150 already in March.

http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/view/story/a96422cf19244af6ade0a56a2353994a/US-SCI–Extreme-Weather/

Climate Change

Europe’s chief scientist warns against climate delays

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union cannot use the economic slowdown as an excuse to delay action on fighting climate change, the bloc’s first-ever chief scientific adviser has warned.

Molecular biologist Anne Glover took on the newly created role reporting to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at the start of this year, having previously served as chief scientific adviser to Scotland’s devolved government.

http://news.yahoo.com/europes-chief-scientist-warns-against-climate-delays-191308281.html

Solar Activity

Asteroid 2012 EG5 Close Call 04/02/2012 – Condition Code 9

Misc

Weird weather: heat, twisters, 250K tons of snow

WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s weather is stuck on extreme.

Nearly 11 feet of snow has fallen on Anchorage, Alaska, this winter. That’s almost a record, and it’s forcing the city to haul away at least 250,000 tons of snow. Yet not much snow has dropped on the Lower 48 this year.

http://news.yahoo.com/weird-weather-heat-twisters-250k-tons-snow-205518988.html

Born Again American
is committed to the rebirth and re-expression of citizenship through informed and thoughtful activism. It is an initiative of Declare Yourself, a national non-partisan, non-profit (501(c)3) organization dedicated to increasing young voter participation and civic involvement. Declare Yourself’s on-line voter registration tool has been used by almost four million people since 2004. Declare Yourself grew out of the 2003’s Declaration of Independence Road Trip that toured an original 1776 copy of the Declaration to schools, town halls, and other locations all over the country.

About the Video
Our founder, TV producer and philanthropist Norman Lear, was talking with Academy Award-winning songwriter Keith Carradine one night, and the Born Again American video was, well, born. It took the efforts of Director Mark Johnson of Playing for Change, Producer Brent Miller, and 16 performers and two choruses to bring Keith’s song to life in 14 iconic locations around the USA. The singers and musicians, non-professionals all, were chosen because they are living the lyrics in these troubled times, not just performing them.

http://www.bornagainamerican.org/

 

 

BORN AGAIN AMERICAN
By Keith Carradine

Just a workin’ man without a job
It got shipped off to China via Washington, D.C.
And I know I’m nothin’ special, there are plenty more like me
Just the same
I thought I knew the rules of the game

I stood up for this country that I love
I came back from the desert to a wife and kids to feed
I’m not sayin’ Uncle Sam should give me what I need
My offer stands
I’ll pull my weight you give me half a chance

I went up to a congressman and said to him “you know
Our government is letting people down”
He said he’d need a lot of help to buck the status-quo
I said there was a bunch of us around

I’m a Born Again American, conceived in Liberty
My Bible and the Bill of Rights, my creed’s equality
I’m a Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream from sea to shining sea

My brother’s welding chassis at the plant
He’s earning what our granddad did in 1948
While CEOs count bonuses behind the castle gates
How can they see
When all they care about’s the do re mi

It’s getting where there’s nowhere left to turn
Not since the crash of twenty-nine have things been so unfair
So many of our citizens are living in despair
The time has come
To reaffirm that hope’s not just for some

The promise of America’s surrendering to greed
The rule is just look out for number one
But brace yourself ‘cause some of us have sown a different seed
A harvest of the spirit has begun

I’m a Born Again American conceived in liberty
My Bible and The Bill Of Rights
My creed’s equality
A Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream from sea to shining sea

It’s clear my country’s soul is on the line
She’s hungering for something that she lost along the way
The principle the framers called upon us to obey
That in this land
The people’s will must have the upper hand

I felt the calling once before and took a sacred vow
And faithful to that vow I have remained
I hear the calling once again, my country needs me now
And to her cause I have been re-ordained

I’m a Born Again American conceived in liberty
My Bible and the Bill Of Rights, all people living free
A Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream
From sea to shining sea
And everyone who shares the dream
From sea to shining sea
A M E R I C A