[Don't you just love it, when a really sneaky plan comes together? The disappearance of Baitullah Mehsud is a very complicated psychological warfare operation on a par with the 911 attacks. Bravo, ISI! Nothing could have brought things together so satisfactorily for Pakistan at this time, as the alleged killing of Mehsud has. Well done.]
* SSG chief says army short of right kind of equipment
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will need months to prepare for a ground offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan, said a senior army commander on Tuesday, citing equipment shortages.
After briefing US special envoy Richard Holbrooke on operations against the Taliban, Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed told reporters the Pakistan Army was trying to create the “right” conditions for a full-blown offensive in South Waziristan by imposing a tight blockade on entry and exit points and by pounding Taliban targets from the air. “It’s going to take months”, and possibly beyond the coming winter, said Ahmed, adding that military leaders would decide on the timing. Ahmed said the Pakistani army was now focused on “choking” off supplies to Taliban in South Waziristan.
He said Pakistan was attacking Taliban with planes, helicopters and artillery with the goal of “wearing them out” before ground forces go in. “Once you feel that the conditions are right … you go in for a ground offensive,” said Ahmed. He said the army was also short of “the right kind of equipment” to mount a large-scale ground operation. reuters
The map shows groundwater changes in India during 2002-08, with losses in red and gains in blue, based on GRACE satellite observations. The estimated rate of depletion of groundwater in northwestern India is 4.0 centimeters of water per year, equivalent to a water table decline of 33 centimeters per year. Increases in groundwater in southern India are due to recent above-average rainfall, whereas rain in northwestern India was close to normal during the study period.(Credit: I. Velicogna/UC Irvine)
ScienceDaily (Aug. 19, 2009) — Using satellite data, UC Irvine and NASA hydrologists have found that groundwater beneath northern India has been receding by as much as 1 foot per year over the past decade – and they believe human consumption is almost entirely to blame.
More than 109 cubic kilometers (26 cubic miles) of groundwater disappeared from the region’s aquifers between 2002 and 2008 – double the capacity of India’s largest surface-water reservoir, the Upper Wainganga, and triple that of Lake Mead, the largest manmade reservoir in the U.S.
People are pumping northern India’s underground water, mostly to irrigate cropland, faster than natural processes can replenish it, said Jay Famiglietti and Isabella Velicogna, UCI Earth system scientists, and Matt Rodell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
“If measures are not soon taken to ensure sustainable groundwater usage, consequences for the 114 million residents of the region may include a collapse of agricultural output, severe shortages of potable water, conflict and suffering,” said Rodell, lead author of the study and former doctoral student of Famiglietti’s at the University of Texas at Austin.
Study results will be published online Aug. 12 in the journal Nature.
Groundwater comes from the percolation of precipitation and other surface waters down through Earth’s soil and rock, accumulating in aquifers – cavities and layers of porous rock, gravel, sand or clay. In some subterranean reservoirs, the water may be thousands to millions of years old; in others, water levels decline and rise again naturally each year.
Groundwater levels do not respond to changes in weather as rapidly as lakes, streams and rivers do. So when groundwater is pumped for irrigation or other uses, restoration of original levels can take months or years.
“Groundwater mining – that is when withdrawals exceed replenishment rates – is a rapidly growing problem in many of the world’s large aquifers,” Famiglietti said. “Since groundwater provides nearly 80 percent of the water required for irrigated agriculture, diminishing groundwater reserves pose a serious threat to global food security.”
Data provided by India’s Ministry of Water Resources had suggested that groundwater use across the nation was exceeding natural replenishment, but the regional rate of depletion had been unknown.
In the new study, the hydrologists analyzed six years of monthly data for northern India from twin satellites called GRACE – NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment – to produce a chronology of underground water storage changes.
GRACE detects differences in gravity brought about by fluctuations in water mass, including water below the Earth’s surface. As the satellites orbit 300 miles above Earth, their positions change – relative to each other – in response to variations in the pull of gravity. They fly about 137 miles apart, and microwave ranging systems measure every microscopic variance in the distance between the two.
“With GRACE, we can monitor water storage changes everywhere in the world from our desk,” said Velicogna, also with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “The satellites allow us to observe how water storage evolves from one month to the next in critical areas of the world.”
Groundwater loss in northern India is particularly alarming because there were no unusual trends in rainfall – in fact, it was slightly above normal during the study period. The researchers also examined data on soil moisture, lake and surface reservoir storage, vegetation and glaciers in the nearby Himalayas to confirm that the apparent groundwater trend was real. The only influence they couldn’t rule out was human.
“For the first time, we can observe water use on land with no additional ground-based data collection,” Famiglietti said. “This is critical because in many developing countries, where hydrological data are both sparse and hard to access, space-based methods provide perhaps the only opportunity to assess changes in freshwater availability across large regions.”
About GRACE: The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment is a partnership between NASA and the German Aerospace Center. The University of Texas Center for Space Research, Austin, has overall mission responsibility. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory developed the twin satellites. The German Aerospace Center provided the launch, and GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Germany, operates GRACE.
Is it possible to conceal the essence of the problem in turbulent waves of the imaginary argument?
Late July – early August was marked by powerful publicity wave in the mass media of Azerbaijan, comparable, if not to tsunami, then to the rough sea tide. A part of this wave also swept over adjacent territories, triggering a lively debate in the mass media of Turkmenistan and Russia.
A statement of the Turkmen Foreign Ministry published in Ashgabat press regarding the state of affairs in the Turkmen-Azerbaijani talks on resolving the Caspian Sea problem gave rise to the waterfall of statements and comments from Azerbaijan.
If you get this information firsthand and trust only the contents of a secondary wave of comments that bedeviled the Azeri coast, your head will spin because of a loud mixture of selfless arrogance of commentators with recondite fantasticality of their own assumptions.
“Ashgabat regards part of Absheron peninsula as its territory!” “Turkmenistan dances to Russia’s tune!” “Tehran secretly influences Ashgabat in its geopolitical game!” “Navy forces of Azerbaijan ready to defend its territorial waters!” These are just a few press cuttings of the most odious tirades that appeared in Azerbaijani press. Judging by splashes of information waves raging at the coast of Baku, the situation is quite critical, and Ashgabat, either because of its exorbitant ambition or being a puppet in the hands of light-fingered geographic neighbors, is taking this case to almost a serious confrontation in the Caspian area.
A variety of noisy political comments, as well as the magnitude of the troubled wave leave no doubt in some social order of the fresh promotional company. What has really disturbed the political beau monde on the western shore of the Caspian Sea that they indiscriminately employed the most controversial arguments that got under their hand?
Initially, it was a statement by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at a regular meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan that caused divergent interpretations. This meeting, among others issues, discussed the results of the regular round of the Turkmen-Azerbaijani talks on the delimitation of the seabed and subsoil of the Caspian Sea. The results of these talks, held in Baku, were inconclusive owing to the different positions of the sides on the ownership of oil and gas fields in the central part of the Caspian Sea in the disputed territory between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.
Summing up the discussions, the Turkmen president noted that the process of searching and agreeing on mutually acceptable solutions in determining the legal status of the Caspian Sea is largely hampered by the special position of Azerbaijan who unilaterally started the development of disputed oil and gas fields “Omar” and “Osman” and by Azerbaijan’s claims on “Serdar” field, formerly known as “Intermediate.” Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov stressed that Turkmenistan does not accept the practice of unilateral actions in the Caspian Sea and, first of all, the development of those areas on which the states concerned did not reach any agreement. Proceeding from the fundamental principles of international cooperation, the Turkmen side sixteen times included the issue of disputed territories in the agenda of the Turkmen-Azerbaijani talks, but the sides failed to reach an agreement.
This situation hinders the full development of natural resources of the Turkmen shelf of the Caspian Sea, hinders the implementation of important programmes for economic development of the region, preservation of ecological well-being of the sea and coast, Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov said. He instructed Vice Premier, Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov to invite international experts – qualified jurists to study the legality of Azerbaijan’s claims on the disputed offshore fields, as well as the legality of foreign oil companies’ participation in exploration and development of these fields. The results of the legal assessment should be sent to the International Court of Arbitration.
In the line of what was said, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized that Turkmenistan has no claims on anyone’s territory, and has always been a supporter of fair territorial delimitation of a unique water reservoir, coordinating the interests of all littoral states on the basis of universally recognized norms of international law and international experience for determining maritime boundaries.
This is the official version of the Turkmen side that was explained in detail and argued in a statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan published in local press the following day. The summary of the Turkmen position sounds simple: if long bilateral talks do not bear fruits, let’s pass the issue to an independent international arbitration and accept its final decision, no matter how it turned out.
Not being a lawyer or a specialist in international law in maritime delimitation, the author of these lines would not like to follow the example of his Baku colleagues who attempt to withstand the pragmatic logic by a loud noise. Let’s leave aside the legal side of the issue for a moment and let specialists untangle the intricacies of international legal norms. However, judging by the statements that bedeviled the Azerbaijani mass media, Baku flatly rejects not only the consistency of the Turkmen argument in the boundary dispute in the Caspian Sea, but the very idea of taking a bilateral dispute to the International Court of Arbitration.
One might as well try to find an answer to a simple question: why the Azerbaijani side vehemently opposes an idea of an independent assessment of the situation? There is a well-known faultless rhetorical method. When reasoning is weak, an orator must make his speech very emotional so that its heat conceals the factual weakness of an argument.
It seems that Baku’s political scientists still use the same faultless method in the current situation of the rise of the Caspian tide. At the same time, the absurdity of arguments is in direct proportional to the desire to get away as far as possible from the essence of the problem.
Here is one of the most amusing arguments. The deposits in the disputed territory can not ever be considered belonging to Turkmenistan because they were discovered and developed by the Azerbaijani oilmen. Of course, one can not dispute the fact that during the Soviet era there worked a lot of excellent specialists in Azerbaijan. But if one thinks hard, one can recall that Azerbaijani oilmen not only took part in the development of offshore deposits of the Caspian Sea, but also helped to open fields in Tyumen region, Bashkortostan, Tatarstan and other Russian territories. Should I now take this fact as Azerbaijan’s legitimate claims on the Russian oil-bearing areas?
The apogee of peremptory rhetoric aired on the west coast of the Caspian Sea can be the following deadly argument. Even if the international arbitration decides in favor of Turkmenistan, it would still be unacceptable for Azerbaijan, as Baku will simply never recognize the jurisdiction of any international court. What an argument! This can not be because this can not be ever! This quite “heavy” argument was once used in the history of mankind…
It is clear that the complexity of problems of the Caspian Sea largely depends on the weight of private interests of financial and logistical nature: big oil – big money. But the global geopolitical issues such as the international legal status of the Caspian Sea can not be solved without a consensus approach, without respect for the right of partners for a reasoned alternative position.
Moreover, the Caspian Sea problems will never be solved by artificially causing muddy and rhetorical high and low tides of as much loud and categorical as unconvincing statements that can only cause mutual distrust and never produce solutions that would satisfy all sides.
Dr. Khurrum Shaukat Yusafzai.
In the media, there is talk of Black water, Mania that is Security agency, which is established to protect, the CA -11, an NGO, which belongs to USA established at Chinar Road University town Peshawar.
This issue became known, after PC Peshawar was demolished in Suicide car bomb, which clearly missed the corps Commander Peshawar which was wall to wall with pearl Continental Hotel, right next to it, deliberately or Planned I am not sure as this is may be , another controversial issue.
Although the next day Guards of Corps commander, Peshawar shot a innocent motorcyclist and good citizen of Peshawar who happened to pass in front of the house while the cameras where rolling of Local Pakistani channels conveniently present and Informed before hand, just to prove some Silly point that Terrorists spared him by Coincidence only .
The Western Media reported that Black water Guards had died in the PC Blast two or three in number, who were staying at the, Pearl Continental Hotel (PC Hotel), which was Previously Intercontinental Hotel. This Fact was hidden by Pakistani Media and from Pakistanis.
There was news true or False I don’t Know that PC Peshawar was sold to US for next Bigger Embassy as , current one in Peshawar is smaller for their activities . If our Establishment is so nervous about this, why don’t they stop the US Embassy in Islamabad too ? .
It is OK in Islamabad and Balochistan , for US and US Marines, to do what it want to do and not in Peshawar . This puzzling argument is beyond me. How can for a moment think that a Jumbo embassy in Islamabad is OK , while relatively bigger one in Peshawar is not OK
This Argument is puzzling for me and for many Pakistanis too. I do not get the Logic of these Feet Kissers of America be it the Army, or the politicians. While the whole Balauchistan is conveniently rented, out to them in the form Military bases for CIA and its Drones.
As the Black Water, reputation is famous as the Dirty mercenaries, and dirty Players who had massacred many people in Iraq and Afghanistan. it may be noted , President Karazai also keeps Black water Guards too . Now to save Face they have changed its Name to XE after Bad publicity.
President Karzai was also EX- employee/ Advisor of this Halliburton and Unocal Oil Pipe line company, which was making A CIS to Pakistan oil pipeline and so was Advisor Zalmay Kharazad the Blue eyed boy of US administration and US ambassador to UN .
After that, the Media Blitz, and by some Curious Pro- Establishment Web sites started maligning, and Blackening the faces of ruling PPP coalition for this matter . Although these agreements were signed right after 11 September 2001, to allow such horrific organizations work in Pakistan and is credited, to the Government of Gen Musharaff, and the Army.
Those agreements were hidden from us the common Pakistanis, to this time and being followed religiously by PPP led coalition Government to our shame, even we are having sham democracy here.
XE or, Black water is also involved in Prostitution Scandals in Bosnia when many Muslim Bosnian women were, smuggled by their employees and cases are pending in many global courts against them. Although they, have diplomatic immunity status, while they are not even the US government. This is mystery of greatest proportions to many people.
In Iraq they are wanted by their courts, for many murders, unprovoked and of innocent bystanders. In Iraq and Afghanistan where, it has done many massacres too, unprovoked .
XE, Black water Security is USA based, security organization I may add and is a subsidiary of Halliburton Organization which belongs to Dick Cheney the Criminal US Vice President as he is one of its Directors and beneficiary .
Halliburton is a Logistic Supply of US Army, which supplied it in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of Local Branch office of Halliburton is located in Islamabad, in the Evacuee Trust Building, which was right next to Suicide Blasted Marriot Hotel in Islamabad. These facts are hidden by Media and, these Pseudo Patriotic Web sites , too.
In fact the TAPI ( Turkmenistan Afghanistan , Pakistan and India ) Oil Pipe Line Deal of the Century , from Dalautabad Oil field one of Biggest in the world , to Afghanistan to Helmand to Pashin Balauchistan and then to Gawadar was done by same Halliburton.
Halliburton belongs to Vice President Dick Cheney; later this deal was shared with Texaco Oil, or Union Caltex Company of USA.
Patriotic Pashtuns of Peshawar, and residents of University town in took no time locate CA-11 NGO, and its associated Security Firm Black Water XE guards in no time at Chinar road.
The local University Town Resident Association, filed complaint to Relevant authorities and Interior ministry too, as it was reported by local Journalist Aqeel Khan Yousafzai reporting to Free radio of Germany Douche ,Wella .
It seems the Establishment of Army and Political Government of PPP and PML-N has a visible, tug of war on the issue that, who will be more faithful to America and who can kiss the feet of America more ? . IT seems the political Government has won hands down, from the Champion of Decades the Pakistan Army this time in Kissing America Feet and is winner in this Game.
While the common Pakistani, is being killed and Humiliated by them , on the roads and everywhere both by Terrorist and these Americans and the Pakistan Establishment as well too , who fails to follow the SOP,s and Local laws to safeguard lives of its citizens.
As Fuel dumps of NATO, are stored near residences in Peshawar, on Ring Road and Jet Fuel tanker are passing through Residential Streets of Haytabad, Peshawar and is being blown apart right in middle of their homes and in Between Schools.
Even the Jet Fuel Oil is being supplied to USA NATO and ISAF is by a company called Attock Oil, Company of Pakistan Registered in Islamabad which is another controversial matter , as it owned by Al-Qaeda sympathizer . Ghiat Pharaon wanted by FBI.
Hence Halliburton and USA is buying oil from Al-Qaeda Supporter and Fugitive Financier, wanted by FBI , as After the events of September 11th, he re-emerged as a subject of public interest, due in part to having been a former classmate of US President George W. Bush at Harvard Business School.
He was a prominent investor in Bush’s short-lived Fraudulent, oil venture Arbusto Energy and almost Financed George bush to white house.
According to a 70-page French parliamentary report released in October 2002, Pharaon has been identified as a recent player in the informal money- and value-transferring (or hawala) networks of al Qaeda head Osama bin Laden. So USA is doing Business with Osama bin Laden Financier. Instead of Buying from PSO, Pakistani Government Oil company.
The Propaganda , web sites like that of Ahmed Qureshi, a Geo English Anchor, and Zaid Hameed , the Brass-tacks fame and official spokes man of ISI and Sympathizer of Yusaf Kazab, the Atheist killed by fellow Prisoner in Adiala jail after a case was filed in Courts of Pakistan against him for Blasphemy .
These Sites are most vocal against the political Government understandably for their links with Establishment ? While these same web sites praise Musharaff to the Hilt as a just and intelligent ruler showering him with praises. But Mushraf was the Coward of greatest proportions and Mir Jaffer of new Century, as had given USA military bases, In Pakistan according to Global Security Organsitan like the:
1. Jacoabad Shamshi Airbase ( Head Quarters )
2. Dalbandin Balauchistan Airbase
3. The Pasni Airbase
4. The Chitral Airbase
5. The Peshawar airbase
6. Tarbella Base
7. The Gawadar Airbase
8. Chaklalla Airbase,
9. The Halliburton Head quarters at Evacuee trust Building Islamabad.
10. Apart from agreement to make US embassy, the Biggest in the world , with 1 billion dollar worth of Infrastructure being Built.
These bases have hundred of US Marines stationed there, on Pakistani soil and these bases are used for Drone attacks, on FATA, and NWFP and we are Fed with Lies that it is done from Afghanistan. Another Horrific fact is that the bases are in Use of CIA, not the US government directly.
Why Target this CA-11, NGO in Peshawar, which is working with FATA secretariat controlled by Islamabad Bureaucracy? , why not mention the dozens of other sites and even CIA prisons which Time magazine claims exists in Pakistan.
Although the people of NWFP Balauchistan and FATA hate the Taliban as much as they hate the Army now, for the same reasons. OK if drone are doing good work and Killed Baitullah, please accept the Responsibility, and do not lie to us as you will be judged by your deeds anyway. Why should America take the credit for it?. Maybe the Establishment doest have the guts to do that.
How these facts are ignored conveniently by these Pseudo Patriotic, web sites, and their Authors when Gen Patreus and Mc Mullen visits US bases in Pakistan and meet the US Marines stationed there in Bases , every month or so . Everybody is mum while crying Horse on Peshawar small tiny miny NGO.
The Fact that When Bush the last President had to visit Islamabad, not a single Political Party apart from PTI ( Pakistan Tehrik Insaf ) , of Imran khan was demonstrating against his visit.
Not even the Pious Islamic parties, which formed MMA, like JUI and JI participated, although they were breaking Public infrastructure of Pakistan a day earlier when Bush was not around on Cartoon Issue.
That was the reason MMA Islamic Parties got Plots worth Billions from GHQ, as reported by Ansar Abbasi of The News for their Mir jaffer (Traitor) attitude, who, s report of this Corruption matter is conveniently hushed up now and to date nobody is punished yet and will not be even by the Pious Chief Justice of Pakistan .
On the MMA watch 2002-2007 , and in their Government the US Bases were established, in Balauchistan, and the petrol and Dry Depots for US army on NWFP Peshawar Ring road area, were established in their Jurisdiction area very quietly .
Although in Gross Violation of the SOP,s of Health and Safety. As explosive material cannot be stored, among, residential Areas.
These American Stooges, and the Islamic Parties had been Partners of CIA and ISI in Breaking up of Russia in Operation Cyclone / Afghan Jihad run by weapons Supplied by the Israel and the Massod of Russian make to absolve US of any responsibility of Interference.
Even now they may be partners, too as s Taliban and Al- Qaeda too are creating justification for US presence here along with this Political arm of Taliban and Al-Qaeda, the MMA and Islamic Parties.
IN past when MMA types were handling the weapons in Rawalpindi, not by Professional Soldiers or even the ISI , but bunch of Civilians of these Islamic Parties, along with NLC would be responsible to transport weapons to Afghanistan .
The Ojhri Camp Incident happened when SOP, s and Proper Procedure were not followed as alleged by Gen , KM Arif in his book and by Joan Herring US , Special Ambassador to Pakistan. (See Charlie Wilson’s War Movie ) , She was very close to Gen Zia Ul Haq and the ISI who, clearly said that weapons were handled by these Islamic parties, and then Transported to Afghanistan on Donkeys.
Innocent Pakistani People lost their lives, and are Loosing Live and Limbs now especially the Pashtuns of NWFP ; this is happening again for the Love of US Dollars and greed by both Military Establishment and Political Government Both. Who are in Competition who can kiss the American Feet better?
Maybe they allow, US basses in Punjab for this reason, like in Tarbella and Chaklalla, but they are sensitive to Bases in Peshawar. This is another Mysterious dimension, that is Mind boggling, and I cannot explain this Dilemma on Logic and common sense basis. Even US military Dry Port are now shifted to Punjab like in Attock and Musa Khan Village Mianwali.
If they are so dependant on America and are kissing its Feet , and why we don’t want to leave Pakistan to US and sign a agreement and declare Pakistan as 56th state of USA so It be ruled by Obama directly for Next 50 Years .
Why create useless blood shed of innocents, on Strategic depth Policy , when we don’t have guts to tell the Truth to Pakistanis and the world that we are stooges of America and have been for last 63 years .
From the time a CIA base in 1959, in Badabeer Peshawar when Garry Powers used to Flt U2, from here towards Russian and we in Peshawar were threatened with nuclear strike , under an American Stooge Gen Ayub Khan when Garry Powers was shot over Russia while spying and discovered. The American ran away leaving us to Consequences.
Next we, fought war with Russian in 80,s for Americans and the Russian bombed NWFP, many times its schools and its people killed as token of Revenge Killing Millions . What we did America could not do for centuries itself.
In Reward America kicked us in the Butt with Pressler Amendment and Economic Sanctions, we were at par with Arch Enemy of US, Islamic republic of Iran in the 90, S who threaten USA and Israel everyday and is supporter of Hamas which makes Lives of Israeli living Hell , as Iran has some brave and sincere leaders unlike us.
Gen Zia Ul Haq killed thousand of Palestinians in Black September revolution in Jordon to be Rewarded chief of Army staff Job in Pakistan Army after he made Zionist happy after the massacre crushing PLO in Jordon.
He was dumb officer and in Fact had failed in Staff and Command Courses in Quetta, which is mandatory for Promotion as Red tape General and still was, made COAS twisting the rules.
This happened to him who served Americans and Israelis so well all his Life. As a Cadet, he passed at the Bottom most slot as there was nobody more dumber then him in his class, when he passed out as Cadet. He was never a competent officer of Army.
This was the reason he was sent to Civilian Armed forces FC in Khyber Riffles Peshawar , as a Superseded major to spend his retirement peacefully . However, Inspite of this he was picked up for the Job by CIA, that made him the one who broke Russian down and helped Unite Europe after Berlin wall broke down while destroying Pakistan down with Drugs Culture , Criminal Kalashnikov culture and Secretarian Killings.
Even the deeds Mushraf has been for American and Israeli good , which they cannot have dreamed about without him, while he has set fire to Balochistan, FATA, and NWFP. He has given America a Basis and Countless US Bases for Policing Iran, China, CIS countries and Russia creating conflict for next 100 years to come.
He gave America hold over Natural Resources of OIL for next 100 years and billions of Dollars worth of advantage and boost to its economy for free while Pakistanis will be a slave to their US Corporations and Big Mega Corporations as cheap labors.
This while US have committed just 60 Thousand troops for huge and Difficult area of 30 provinces of Afghanistan and we are committing 100,000 troops and that for Cheap Price 1/ 1000 of what US troops are getting in Afghanistan. The Fight has been Brought to tiny area of FATA from Afghanistan .
The fight is dragged to FATA to benefit USA and it Troops and Inflicting 50 billion worth of Loss of infrastructure to NWFP and FATA to fight enemies of America, who may not be necessarily enemies of Pakistan. While saving lives of American troops.
With what Gratitude we were paid back, to Pakistanis, Dishonor and Loss of Dignity, of common Pakistanis as we are humiliated by Both Our Military, Political Establishment and the USA too at the same time.
While we are strip-searched and Cavity Searched Naked and without shoes, if our name matches to some Idiotic Data base of Muslim Names which has no security value at all.
Our Bright Pashtun and Pakistani Student are languishing in Maximum-security UK jail belonging to NWFP, when they are not even charged with any crime and are innocent. What kind of partnership we have with USA and what is going on with us, it is time for change.
By Emily Spence
30 July, 2007
John James, one of the writers for Crisis Coalition, Incorporated (http://www.planetextinction.com/) suggests, “It may be that declining oil may save us from climate change. As you know from my Proof article [http://planetextinction.com/documents/Proof.pdf], 1.5 degrees is inevitable, and in another four years — two degrees. Were oil to decline in that time span, we may yet survive. Just as emissions are rising three times faster than a decade ago, so oil consumption is increasing.”
Indeed, it does seem that the Earth will run out of oil, natural gas and coal much more quickly than was, originally, anticipated by researchers keeping track of overall expenditure of these resources . At the same time, others warn that any expectation of nuclear power taking over as an effective substitute is both unrealistic and, potentially, ruinous .
On other grounds, ethanol can’t work either . Meanwhile, wind, solar and hydro provisions won’t be sufficient in and by themselves. In addition, what sort of work will people – the billions making their livings in industries related to airlines, cruise lines, mechanized workshops and factories producing oil based products such as plastic items and fertilizers — do since their jobs are dependent on the use of huge amounts of petroleum? Yes, what will they all do once it all but disappears?
In the same vein, our high rate of agricultural yield, medical care, transportation of the basic goods needed to sustain life, home heating and cooling, travel related to school and work, as well as so much more constituting “our way of life” are all, directly and indirectly, reliant on fossil fuels. Likewise, many diverse industries require huge energy inputs for the production of a voluminous and diverse assortment of wares on which most people have come to depend. Therefore, it is ill-fated that most of our electricity derives from coal, gas and oil. For example, 68 % of the electricity in the US is provided by these power sources  and nothing yet found by scientists can adequately replace them without disastrous results.
Meanwhile, imagine any vast city, with its dense population, trying to survive without all of the diesel guzzling trucks, trains, ships and jets constantly bringing in an endless stream of food, drugs, clothes, etc., to various points accessible to the millions of occupants living within the metropolitan confines. Imagine manufacturers trying to provide enough necessary (as opposed to frivolous) products, such as cans for preserved food, without the inordinate amount of energy that is, currently, being used in their creation. Imagine police, fire, school and hospital departments trying to run without electrical power. Imagine the seemingly endless miles and miles of farms across the globe trying to operate without the provision of manmade herbicides and pesticides (developed out of oil), as well as devoid of their gargantuan planting and culling machinery.
If we had small self-sustaining communities across the world fulfilling most basic needs locally, our dependence on fossil fuels would not be such a daunting issue. Needed adjustment (weaning away from our heavy addiction) could transpire more easily. However, our complex lifestyles and ever booming population necessitate increasing amounts of energy to be sustained.
Especially this is so with the ways that our capitalistic system and transnational economics are configured so as to obtain cheap raw materials in one location, low wage labor in a second and high paying purchasers in a third with the goal in mind to always provide ever more consumables to ensure ever great profit for corporate heads and stock holders. In other words, our customs and standards of living are, literally, bringing us ever closer to a pending downfall.
This in mind, what a horrible mess that our species has gotten itself into and without a really good way out! All the same, “Mother Nature,” ultimately, does have a solution to our predicament, albeit a devastating one.
In this vein, it will, likely, lead to the most rapacious members of humankind (the ones who’ve always garnered the most power, resources and money for themselves) making out just fine, as always. Their kind — comprising of corporate moguls, certain government leaders appropriating benefits from war mongering activities and others of their ilk — nearly always find a way to flourish in spite of surrounding adversity.
From an evolutionary standpoint, this sort of outcome always is the case regardless of whether we find this pattern morally repugnant and outrageous or not. Survival of the fittest always has meant that those most successful at taking “the lion’s share” most often thrive regardless of whatever happens to everything and everyone else.
Yet despite the many severe daunting problems that the rest of us will, obviously, face due to the decreasing supply of fossil fuels, the benefits from running out of them, certainly, could include curtailment of global warming effects. All the same, it does not seem that their disappearance will provide any welcomed panacea for humanity’s collective and looming woes .
In part, this is because many diverse environments across the globe are staggering under the influence of weather changes already having taken place from the rising heat. Our species and other ones are already at risk from the nearly universal threat of drought, crop reduction , ever more powerful hurricanes, wild floods, spreading fires, vastly expanding desert regions, rising oceans and other awful impacts. Meanwhile, they’re slated to get worse.
Even the outcomes that are not so thoroughly daunting are bad. As Jean-Louis Robert Turcot, a naturalist in Canada, notes, “In terms of the global warming scenarios that are becoming more and more evident as time goes on, I witnessed a small part of it just yesterday in a remote fishing lake which I, occasionally, visit. The Pine Beetle [Dendroctonus ponderosae], which is usually controlled by spells of cold winter weather, are devastating forests of British Columbia and about twenty-five percent of the trees that line the lake are now red, killed by the insect infestation, with predictions of a ninety percent kill ratio. I felt for the time in my heart that nature was truly being affected, even though these trees were far removed from humanity and I did feel a moment of deep sadness…”
Indeed, one can notice lots of changes in many locales in terms of a variety of destabilizing factors. Perhaps if these came only singularly to individual species, the results, in some instances, wouldn’t be so severe. However, they, en masse, create far-reaching problems. As such, there is just too much with which to simultaneously deal.
For example, Eurasian Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), a non-indigenous plant life with no easy local means for curtailment, thrives in acidic, carbon rich waterways (such as US lakes have become due to their containing acid rain and serving as carbon sinks). With such favorable growth conditions provided, it is, literally, choking the life out of many water systems across America.
Combined with further negatives, such as higher water temperatures and other factors, many aquatic species are shrinking in numbers or altogether perishing. In short, the noxious Milfoil, co-joined with other impingements, is destroying much submerged life on which many other life forms depend. Hence, whole interactive systems are vanishing underwater AND around shores. Moreover, further organisms, ones reliant on the shore life for their sustenance, are similarly being decimated and so on down the line.
Summed up, the resultant changes, in turn, punch holes in the food web, which creates further problems due to natural environments being largely interdependent in complex ways. As a result, whole immense bionetworks are falling like intersecting arrays of dominoes wherein each bar pushes another one or two down, which does the same to further ones in a branching system. In this manner, many eco-niches are, slowly, failing across the planet.
Another example, this one on land, concerns the white birch. Due to ozone layer thinness, they have grown spindly and are not developing thick trunks. (I was told that this was the reason when I asked a forest ranger to whom I mentioned that I’d noticed the change.) As a result, many of them have tall spaghetti-like branches that, when they get top heavy with leaves, snap in half. Losing a few branches this way, in and of itself, might not pose a problem. Yet, with the huge openings in the surface of the birch due to breakage, all sorts of organisms have easy entrance and finish the trees off in combination with their weakened state due to drought and delimited sustenance from photosynthesis caused by the massive leaf loss. As such, I have seen huge stands, covering many acres, with approximately ninety percent dead birch resultant from this ugly occurrence.
While these accounts involve observation and are merely anecdotal, one can be sure that many other species are experiencing similar difficulties due to a variety of intersecting causes, that, both directly and indirectly, create problems for yet further species one after another in a cascading array.
All considered, how much will have to be missing from the overall complex matrix before a tipping point is reached so that many environments become unable to foster much life, including human existence? Where would people go when all the good places left have already been overrun by everyone else having the same idea of migrating to the last locations capable of supporting survival?
As John Muir, the environmentalist, suggested around a hundred years ago, “Tug on anything at all and you’ll find it connected to everything else in the universe.” He, also, predicted, “Brought into right relationships with the wilderness, man would see that his appropriation of Earth’s resources beyond his personal needs would only bring imbalance and begat ultimate loss and poverty by all.” How unfortunate that his peers — our forebears — never earnestly heeded his words. However, it may not be too late for us to do so. Accordingly, we must, with greatest determination, try!
 Please refer to: http://www.powerswitch.org.uk/
portal/index.php, Oil and gas may run short by 2015, say industry experts … (http://environment.independent.co.uk/
climate_change/article2790960.ece), A Crude Awakening:
The Oil Crash (2006) ( www.imdb.com/title/tt0776794/)
and Crude (www.crudemovie.net/).
[2} Accounts of the non-viability are provided at: SteveLendmanBlog: Resource Wars – Can We Survive Them? (sjlendman.blogspot.com/2007/06/resource-wars-can…), Nuclear Power is Not the Answer to Global Warming or Anythin… (www.mup.unimelb.edu.au/catalogue/0-522-85251-3.h), Why Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer (www.commondreams.org/views05/0509-22.htm) and Friends of the Earth: Press Releases: Why nuclear power is n… (www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/why_nuclea ).
 Excellent analyses is offered at:
objectid=10450519&pnum=0 and The Coming Biofuels Disaster – CommonDreams.org (www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/06/28/2153/).
 An overview is located at: Where Does Electricity Come From? – Environmental Defense (http://www.environmentaldefense.org/
 Two different types of summaries of the most pressing global difficulties can be found at: World Revolution : The State of the World (BriefVersion) (http://www.worldrevolution.org/projects/
globalissuesoverview/overview2/BriefOverview.htm) and Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential Project: … (www.uia.org/encyclop/15sign.htm).
 The problem is well described at: globeandmail.com: How global warming goes against the grain (www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.2007), Environmental Degradation and Hunger – Social and Economic P… (www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/hunger/environment/) and Cornell News: Climate-change disease (www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Feb00/AAAS.Pimente).
Emily Spence lives in Massachusetts and deeply cares about the future of our world.
In Afghanistan And Pakistan
By Tom Eley
18 August , 2009
In a speech delivered Monday to the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Arizona, President Barack Obama promised to intensify the US military engagement in Afghanistan and Pakistan, wind down the war in Iraq, and create a new military that would be better-equipped to wage unconventional warfare.
The speech’s central purpose was to prepare public opinion for an escalation and prolongation of the US war in Afghanistan and its further expansion into neighboring Pakistan.
The president warned that the war in Afghanistan would be long and bloody, predicting “more difficult days ahead.”
“The insurgency in Afghanistan didn’t just happen overnight,” Obama said. “And we won’t defeat it overnight. This will not be quick. This will not be easy.”
Obama said that diminution of the conflict in Iraq would allow the US “to refocus on the war against Al Qaida and its extremist allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” In other words, there will be no lessening of US military violence. Whatever can be freed up from Iraq will simply be transferred to the “Af-Pak” theater.
“That’s why I announced a new, comprehensive strategy in March, a strategy that recognizes that Al Qaida and its allies had moved their base from the remote tribal areas—to the remote tribal areas of Pakistan,” Obama continued. This casual declaration demonstrates Obama’s indifference toward international law and the US constitution. Pakistan is technically a sovereign state, and no formal declaration of war has ever been made against it.
To defend the intensification of the war in Afghanistan, Obama used fear-mongering language that could just as easily have been uttered by his predecessor, George W. Bush. “[W]e must never forget,” Obama declared, “This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which Al Qaida would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting; this is a—this is fundamental to the defense of our people.”
The 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US—for which no credible official explanation has ever been given—provided the pretext for the US invasion of Afghanistan, which corresponded to longstanding US geo-strategic aims that held Afghanistan as critical for its proximity to essential oil and gas resources and for its key central position in the Eurasian land mass.
The choice of the VFW convention to signal an escalation of the Afghanistan war provided another echo of the Bush administration. Using much the same rhetoric, Vice President Dick Cheney used the same venue to deliver a speech in August 2002 that inaugurated the campaign that led to the invasion of Iraq, also under false pretexts, in March 2003.
Obama’s campaign to intensify the US military intervention in Central Asia comes under conditions in which the populations in the US, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are increasingly opposed to the war.
A recent poll by CNN/Opinion Research Corp of the US populations found that 54 percent of respondents are now opposed to the war in Afghanistan, with only 41 percent in favor, a dramatic reversal from May when 50 percent expressed support for the war. In Pakistan, a new Pew Global Attitudes survey found that about two thirds of the population, 64 per cent, view the US as “an enemy,” with only 9 percent describing it as a “partner.” And in Afghanistan, it is anticipated that national elections to be held Thursday will lack credibility due to fraud and voter abstentionism. There is a widespread understanding in the population that the election results will not end the US occupation.
In early October the war in Afghanistan will have entered its ninth year, making it the second-longest continuous military action in US history after the Vietnam War. At least 1,316 coalition soldiers have been killed, but the pace of the violence has steadily quickened, with July the bloodiest month for coalition forces since the war began. Beginning in 2005, each new year has outstripped the last as the war’s deadliest, with 2008 setting a record of 294 coalition deaths. The current year will far surpass that total, with 271 deaths having already taken place.
On Sunday and Monday, three British and two US soldiers, as well as an American civilian, died in gun battles and bombings in Afghanistan.
The war has killed tens of thousands in Afghanistan and the border regions of Pakistan, although no accurate count is available. The vast majority of these have been innocent civilians, with a far larger proportion than in Iraq slain in US aerial bombardments or through attacks from the unmanned Predator drones that terrorize the region’s villages on a daily basis.
As for Iraq, Obama asserted he would “remove all our troops from Iraq by the end of 2011,” a promise that has already been nullified by both the US military command and the Iraqi regime.
After six years and four months of war, there remain 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq. In the interim, more than one million Iraqis have been killed as a result of the invasion, according to the most credible estimate. About a fifth of the population, nearly five million people, have been displaced—two million as refugees in neighboring countries. Iraq has been destroyed as a functioning society; unemployment is widespread and basic social services, including education, transportation, water, sewerage, and electricity, are decimated. Oil production has scarcely reached pre-invasion levels.
Over 4,331 US soldiers have been killed in the conflict, and over 31,100 have been wounded. The cost of the Iraq war will surpass the US war in Vietnam, adjusted for inflation, by the year’s end, when it will reach nearly $700 billion.
Nonetheless, politicians of both parties have joined hands with the media to celebrate the supposed success of the Bush administration’s “surge” in Iraq, whose strategy combined overwhelming violence, assassinations, bribery, and the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad and other areas that previously contained mixed Shiite and Sunni populations.
This barbaric policy has temporarily diminished attacks on US soldiers. But hundreds of Iraqis continue to die every month through bombings and assassinations, and the nation remains a tinderbox, with tense ethnic, religious, and regional tensions set to reignite.
Further undermining Obama’s claim of an imminent withdrawal, the top US commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, on Monday said that he would request more US forces be stationed in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region, where ethnic violence among Arabs and Kurds has intensified in recent weeks.
Obama’s claims that he intends to “wind down” the military involvement in Iraq notwithstanding, it is an article of faith in Washington as well as Baghdad that a large-scale military presence must and will remain. The US has announced its real intentions through the construction of a series of “enduring” military bases and what will be the largest US embassy in the world in Baghdad’s Green Zone. There is agreement within the US ruling elite that the US must dominate Iraq and its oil wealth, the world’s second largest proven reserves.
Yet there is a growing consensus in the ruling class that Afghanistan is even more crucial to long-term US interests. This perspective last year coalesced behind the Obama campaign, and his ultimate ascension to the presidency represented, in no small measure, its triumph.
In his speech to the VFW, the president joined his bellicose statements on Afghanistan and Pakistan with a promise to maintain increased military spending and revamp the US military.
Obama boasted that his administration intends to increase the cost, size, and global superiority of the military, in spite of the economic crisis. “We need to keep our military the best trained, the best led, the best equipped fighting force in the world,” Obama said. “And that’s why, even with our current economic challenges, my budget increases defense spending …why we’ve increased the size of the Army and the Marines Corps two years ahead of schedule and have approved another temporary increase in the Army.”
Obama offered a vision of a new military that could respond to multiple conflicts simultaneously, suggesting the armed forces have “yet to fully adapt to the post-Cold War world, with doctrine and weapons better suited to fight the Soviets on the plains of Europe than insurgents in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan.”
This would entail, the president said, “an Army that’s more mobile and expeditionary and missile defenses that protect our troops in the field; a Navy that not only projects power across the oceans, but operates nimbly in shallow, coastal waters; an Air Force that dominates the airspace with next-generation aircraft, both manned and unmanned; [and] a Marine Corps that can move ashore more rapidly in more places.”
Obama’s proposals for a lighter and more high-tech army ready to deploy quickly all over the world are entirely in line with the views of Bush administration holdover Defense Secretary Gates, and, for that matter, his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld.
American Dream Gasps For Breath
By Robert S. Becker
18 August, 2009
Despite recession, Americans continue to believe progress is sustainable, even if resources aren’t – and that growth of total wealth generates prosperity for all. Heck, we’ve chiseled these mythical linkages into fabled founding documents. Doesn’t our Declaration affirm “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” for the first time dangling “happiness” as political carrot? Don’t we boldly link happiness to life, which logically forecasts universal healthcare to sustain it? More pie in the sky opens our Constitution, promoting “the general welfare” by which we secure “the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Not just the greatest good for the greatest number, but for offspring, too. Lucky devils.
Thus, we enlist majority rule: this goofy nation officially broadcasts the welfare of the majority matters. Yet, what if that hallowed majority shoots itself in the foot, elevating one minority of schemers above all others? What if voters, prone to error and demagoguery, misplace their economic self-interest, and an invisible plutocracy sabotages the “general welfare” for the welfare of corporate generals?
By the way, “welfare” shares word roots with the following: well, will, (common)weal, and wealth, itself a linguistic cousin to health. Wealth still fosters health, underpinning hidden Social Darwinism at work, literal survival of the fittest fatcats. One federal researcher showed “most affluent” oldsters outlive poorer brethren by four years.
The U.S. of Plutocracy: Wealth Rules!
What would happen were the plutocracy to become less invisible? Unsettling research from UC Berkeley Professor Saez reinforces the three-decade trend that divides rich from everyone else, across all key measures. First, this stunner: by 2007 the top .01% population captured 6% of America’s total earned income, the highest ratio since the Roaring Twenties. The super-rich are not only much richer, but the rich have captured almost all national productivity gains since the early ‘90s. Second, the top 1% of families take home 23% of all income – after CEO-friendly deductions. In shock yet?
Do you still believe the correlation of total national wealth with majority prosperity? Superficially, it’s true: all boats rise when the top tier thrives. From ‘93 through ’07, total income increased 2.2% per year. But income for the top 1% surged 5.9% each year, leaving 99% of us averaging up 1.3% annually. Let’s not forget that 14 years of inflation, at 3% a year, totaled 46% – wiping out phantom improvements. Average middle-class families with only one income thus suffered a double whammy – less cash plus less purchasing power. What has been and remains “just around the corner” isn’t prosperity but paucity and loss – unemployment, foreclosures and tarnished golden years.
Big spenders, especially Reagan Republicans, worship this correlation not just to defend their present affluence but the limitless abundance dreams are made of. Paul Krugman verifies the magnitude of this gap is an American phenomenon, paralleling three decades of union-busting, resulting in reduced group bargaining power. Union workers are now only 11% of the workforce vs. 30% two decades ago; Canada, by comparison, is still 30% unionized. Wealth disparity reflects not only weaker unions but corporate welfare (farm, mining and energy subsidies, lax or no regulations, or no-bid defense contracts) and sustained tax policy (income and estate loopholes) that act as the great “unequalizer.” This is not about low economic growth, but political leverage that favors the ruling oligarchy (so powerful liberals struggle to distinguish Obama’s Wall Street policies from Bush’s). Despite a shift leftward in opinion polls, wealthy ultra-conservatives in power favored the upper crust with cake and everyone else with crumbs. Forget majority rule: rightwingers like Cheney glory in abysmal approval rankings because they reject majority opinion, whether about taxation, leaving Iraq or ending abusive, secret prisons.
Cream Rushes to the Top
Even more telling than income flow are overall capital asset gaps: American capitalism has concentrated more wealth in fewer households than any place but Switzerland (a special case, with 1/50th our population). Thanks to FDR, from the ‘30’s through the mid-‘70’s, family asset parity actually improved: the top 1% “bottomed” out in ’76, owning but 20% of everything (back lately to 40%). Worse still, 10% today own 70% of American assets. 70%! In the UK, the top 10% owns 55%; in Canada, 53%; in Germany, only 44%. This “richest” nation on earth spreads wealth like a robber baron skinflint: if 10% own 70%, that means 90% of us own 30%, with gapping trends intact.
So much for fictions we are one, indivisible nation: many are no longer on the same cruise ship, let alone 3rd class. The American Dream is less available than in the 1970s, with mammoth inheritances reifying concentrations. This growing plutocracy undermines the ultimate, if fading American right: Freedom of Opportunity. Unfair taxation (including sales tax, the most onerous) is the key, and many rich view paying taxes as a sucker’s game. Further, if government is the ideological “problem,” the enemy of personal freedom, then more power to those who shrink public coffers.
Impeaching the Constitution
The inequality of income and asset ownership is not only the effect, but prime cause for less prosperity, especially promised “our posterity.” If what passes for majority rule fixes rigid class structures in place, what happens to our immigrant nation? Where is fabled economic mobility and subsequent innovations? Ironically, electing our first non-white president, with humble origins, reinforces a myth LESS true now than during Carter’s presidency: Obama is today’s statistical fluke, hardly proof we are economically a fairer, more open, or more equal culture. Sure, some poor person will again be president; some will win the lottery, too.
Short of a second New Deal to offset today’s Second Gilded Age, our vast majority is well within rights to sue prominent defenders of the sacred Constitution as welchers. If the Founders pledged a direct link between life, happiness and general welfare, let us hold responsible all those who have violated the spirit and letter of enduring covenants. How long will we sustain the fiction of equal opportunity, or that the majority still rules its destiny, or that everyone benefits, when an entrenched plutocracy owns 70% – lock, stock, and barrel. With the top 10% still earning 50% of all income, “lock, stock and barrel” fits all too well, however at odds with fostering a healthier democracy.
By Bill Noxid
18 August, 2009
It’s a full time occupation trying to unravel the reasons Americans remain in the dark. What seems ( to any intelligent outside observer ) like sheer stupidity and arrogance is in reality an almost inescapable indoctrination process that begins before you are born, and ends some time after your dead. It is a system so complex and all encompassing that few can recognize any reality outside of it at all, and that of course is its intended purpose.
The astonishing amount of rage demonstrated during the course of this fallacious healthcare debate has exposed a great many unfortunate realities about the United States. This country’s inherent ability to avoid the truth about its own origins and behaviors has become increasingly apparent during the first six months of this presidency, and ( as a result of the continued collective denial ) there’s no chance of it ending any time soon.
It’s generally not hard to find examples of the totality of mind control in this country, but last week produced a couple of rare examples. Arlen Specter’s Town Hall meeting was evidently an important “test case” for the organizers of disingenuous dissent, and we got to see a variety of the false arguments. Just look at the two most obvious incidents.
First there was Craig Miller. Aside from the hypocrisy of the fact that in eight years of Bush, I don’t recall one “protester” causing that kind of disruption, wagging their finger in the face of a senator, calling down the wrath of God on him, while the police stand around and wait for him to run out of breath – but the really astonishing event was the interview the next morning. Truly, it must be seen to be believed . In eight minutes of interview, the man could not produce a single, solitary, intelligible reason for his rage. It was so embarrassing, that he eventually had to refer to his crib notes just to eek out some nonsensical fear of Czars, before Dylan had to mercifully end the non-conversation.
However the textbook example of why people in this country have no concept of reality was delivered by Specter’s other heckler, Katy Abram. Certainly you all remember her… She was the one who announced that the “sleeping giant had awakened.”
“I don’t believe this is just about healthcare, it’s not about TARP, it’s not about left and right, this is about the systematic dismantling of this country. I’m only thirty-five years old, I’ve never been interested in politics. You have awakened the sleeping giant. We are tired of this. This is why everybody in this room is so ticked off. I don’t want this country turning into Russia – turning into a socialized country. My question for you is what are you going to do to restore this country back to what our founders created according to the constitution.”
First of all, what a meaningless statement and question that has no possible rational answer – and only serves to give the people like Craig Miller something generic to cheer for. The all-encompassing, non-specific, return to the “glory days” of the founding fathers. This is the kind of reaction these “phrases” are supposed to elicit, and that is what they are designed for. Not that Katy herself came up with any of it of course… She is merely parroting whatever and whoever she is listening to.
Evidence of that reality became painfully obvious when she was interviewed the next day by Laurence O’Donnell. From the onset, she flashed her doe in the headlights look ( that would be charming if this was a game show ), and proceeded to demonstrate her lack of knowledge about virtually everything that has occurred ( in this country and on this planet ) in the last ten years.
O’Donnell: “What made you want to go”
Abram: “Umm, just sheer frustration, umm, I see all these things being pushed through very quickly, umm, TARP, this healthcare bill, umm, cash for clunkers, and the frustrating thing to me is these programs are being funded by me, my friends, my family, umm, we have a small business and the amount of taxes we pay out of that is ridiculous. And yet they want us to pay more – I, or, it sounds like they want us to pay more, so that, that is the root of my frustration. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
O’Donnell: “In the plans discussed so far, the increase in taxation would occur only on families with incomes of over $250,000. Would that include you and your family?”
Abram: “Honestly it ( nervous laugh ), I’d rather, I’d rather not say… I don’t even know ( another nervous laugh ). Umm, my husband takes care of the bills and everything, I, you know, he takes care of us, and that’s all that matters, umm.”
Are you serious? After that ridiculous rant about her, her husband, her friends, and her family having to fund these programs ( like it’s the first time she’s seen a government ), we find she has no idea how much her husband makes, how much they pay in taxes, or even what tax bracket they are in?!? The only thing ridiculous about the amount of taxes “she” pays is that she doesn’t know the amount of taxes “she” pays, and has the nerve to portend outrage about it. Not to mention it is quite a testament to the woman’s equality movement in this country – and particularly in her household.
O’Donnell: “Do you and your family have health insurance?”
Abram: “Yeah we do have health insurance, umm, we have a heath savings account that we pay for ourselves. We, we have a $5,000+ deductable, umm, that basically in the course of a normal year we will pay for all of our medical out, our medical needs out-of-pocket – doctors visits – and this year’s been a little more difficult cuz my son’s had surgery and it looks like we’re looking for his, at a second one, umm, we’re almost at our deductable so that’s a good thing ( chuckle ), but that was a choice that we made, and that’s what we wanted to do. Umm, and I want to be able to keep that choice, I don’t want to be forced or slowly coaxed into a single payer program… I want to have my choice.”
Truly, it’s hard to believe how stupefied the people in this country are. Certainly that’s nothing new ( in fact it’s the crux of keeping these feeble minds enslaved ), but look at the depth of her confusion. Here we have a woman that after explaining that ( for all intents and purposes ) her family has no insurance, she claims to be afraid that someone will take that “choice” away from her. Her ( and her husband who obviously made this ridiculous arrangement ) pay the entire cost of their healthcare every year, plus whatever they pay to the insurance company that is laughing at them, and they are afraid someone is going to forcibly take that choice away from them? Force them to what? Not pay for Non -healthcare?
I’m fairly sure they have nothing to worry about. I can’t imagine that in the good-ol’ USA, someone is going to deprive you of your right to be an idiot and get screwed out of money you never see any return from – unless you “get lucky” and your child has to undergo two major surgeries in a year. These nitwits think they are defending their “free choice as Americans,” when in reality they are defending the corporation’s right to keep them poor, sick, and stupid – and forcing the rest of the populous to have no choice either.
But even more distressing and telling about the lack of awareness in this country is this next exchange, after explaining that her and her parents “don’t talk politics” ( Who would have ever guessed ).
O’Donnell: “ You said in your statement that you are thirty-five years old, and that nothing has gotten you interested in politics before, and what’s interesting to me about that is that means you – as an adult – lived through 9-11, lived through the invasion of Afghanistan, the war in Afghanistan, the first chapter of what became two wars in the middle east – including the Iraq war. You lived through all of that, and were not – as you put it – “awakened” into an interest in politics. How could those things pass through your life like this and not spark any interest in politics prior to Washington saying “we think we want to help out some people who can’t afford health insurance the way you can.” Why would this be the thing that wakes you up after you were willing to just ignore politics as we went past 9-11, into Afghanistan, into Iraq?”
Abram: “Sure, I, I always seemed to have faith in the government and honestly, I didn’t really care ( laugh ). Umm, I had other things going on – ya know, getting married, having children – it just, it wasn’t a priority in my life, and, ya know I really didn’t start even watching the news at all I think until maybe 1991 I guess it was, when, umm, we first went to the Gulf War – I remember watching CNN with my dad and watching the infra-red missiles going across that you could see, umm, and, I think it, to me, I mean maybe I’m just not that smart, but you know, it seems like we’ve kind of been at war for, since then, I mean – or maybe even before, I don’t know – it just always seem like we’re having some kind of conflict so, that, you know, whether, about wars – umm, I don’t know, that just seems common place now… Umm, I think everybody’s just so used to it.
What an atrociously callous and ignorant statement that surely could only come from an American. Ten years of genocidal crusader conquest for corporate profit, leaving untold millions dead, dying, and diseased, and this woman has the temerity to say “everyone is just used to it.” If white phosphorous and depleted uranium weapons were raining down on her family and her healthcare needs included raising a child without any eyes, or scull, or arms, or legs as a result of the poisoned environment, I suspect she might be a little less flippant and a little less “used to it.” What this country did in the last ten years, the whole world is going to have to deal with for the next hundred, and people like this are unaware anything has happened at all. This pathetic culture and its inability and unwillingness to recognize the continuous crimes committed against the lands and peoples of the world, is why people like this woman can tra-la-la through life without a clue of the horrendous damage her ignorance allows.
In part two, I’ll examine how American’s in general ( but these people in particular ) develop these false realities, and where they get their “information” from.
Bill Noxid http://billnoxid.wordpress.com/
Litany of Threats and Racist incidents – over healthcare http://ow.ly/jW9l
The Obama Problem: Black, and Unaware of it http://ow.ly/ix52
Specter’s Heckler: Interview with the mindless http://ow.ly/jPo0
Anatomy of American Ignorance ( Youtube Interview ) http://ow.ly/kmOL
N.M. Rothschild Group -the hidden hand behind the world economy
| What is colonialism? It is when some countries are made to slaves and dependent to a few private persons.
They sign agreements and become dependent, because they think they would benefit from it, or because they were already at a disadvantage. Those who are Land lords and plant owners sets the terms and conditions for those who do not have power.
These men also corrupts the country’s leaders as they provide them with benefits and money to keep them loyal.
The economic crisis in the U.S. should make people realize that banks in the end not have a free market as the final goal. They have deliberately lent too much money, knowing it will ultimately lead to chaos. Some individual owners at the top wants to sit in international financial kommitées to monitor the world economy as some kind of legislative and regulatory officers. But first they will create currency crashes, instability and a global downturn. Perhaps a third world war. Then people will prefer a regulated market, not a competetive. It will surely give the impression to be the same free market as before.
China is now used as a test country for how the whole world will work in a few years. Communism and ruthless capitalism, fascism cooperates and controls the country.
Right now we see the consequence of the fraudulent Federal Reserve System, which started in the U.S. in 1913. Maybe they get the system ended before people knows which banks in nearly 100 years has managed and improperly exploited the value of the American people’s currency, the dollar.
All the world’s currencies and economies is now under the influence of a few. It is the result of centuries of colonialism, British imperialism and trade of war. Do not forget that the U.S. began as a British colony. The latest centuries Great Britain has dominated oceans and trade. Rothschild, a German family has dominated banking and finance in Europe the last two hundred years. Today it is called globalization. Since they have control over so many banks one can say that the world today works as a colony for them. As long as we have loans and assets invested in the bank, it is ultimately them that we are giving our confidence to. If we were to pay back the loan and take out our money from banks and funds and invest them in self-sufficient farms and households with solar or wind energy and start driving electric cars powered by our own electricity Rothschild would lose power.
Their family biographies give the illusion that their wealth has decreased. But researchers estimate their wealth into something more than half of all the world’s wealth. Their name is not on the lists of the world’s richest. They are very rarely on TV. All governments, transnational corporations, the top layers of the financial community and media are loyal to them. Just because of this they can remain hidden but still have a major influence.
The hidden hand behind the world economy
For a long time, they have married their cousins to retain control over their assets. The global downturn in 2008 was designed by them. After World War that they will soon trigger, then the other half will be under their control. But they want more. They want to bring a chip inside you and own you. They own so much media, so that they can make chip implants trendy.
|Baron David de Rothschild, the head of the Rothschild bank:Economic Crisis Will Bring New World Order, Global Governance. The Rothschilds have helped the British government since financing Wellington.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10855The ultimate parent company of the Rothschild dynasty is a private Swiss company, Rothschilds Continuation Holdings AG (RCH)
Rothschilds Continuation Holdings AG is a bank holding company. The company, through its subsidiaries, provides banking, treasury, investment banking, fund management, private banking and trust management services to governments, corporations and individuals worldwide. Rothschilds Continuation Holdings AG operates as a subsidiary of Concordia B.V. Baarerstrasse 95 Postfach 735 Zug, 6301 Switzerland Phone: 41 41 720 0680 Fax: 41 41 720 0683
Concordia B.V. provides banking services through its subsidiary Rothschild Concordia AG. Concordia B.V. was founded in 2003 and is based in Gent, the Netherlands.
In January 2008, Paris Orléans acquired 100% of Concordia BV
The French and English branches of the Rothschild banking dynasty are to unify ownership.
Rothschilds Continuation Holdings is the ultimate parent company of the Rothschilds.
http://www.us.rothschild.com/investmentbanking check the links down on the right
Rothschild archive loan contracts to governments 1818-1937
Rothschild Bank AG Zurich Annual Report 2007/2008
There are now only 5 nations on the world left without a Rothschild controlled central bank: Iran; North Korea; Sudan; Cuba; and Libya.
How can you know if the Rothschilds really owns more or less all banks?
|The Credit crunch
-Who is the creditor?
|Credit crunchDefined as “a severe shortage of money or credit”Timeline: Credit crunch to downturn
The best way to rob a bank is to own one. Or many.
The banks who knowingly created the credit crisis are those who now receive subsidies, from the state in the U.S. and money from taxpayers.
American banks had lent too much money. And suddenly the costs for credit were on a higher level. Why? The strange thing is that it was not only everyday persons who could not afford to pay back their loans or the interest fee. The biggest banks that are professionals didn´t have enough money either.
What if those who offers the solution are secretly behind the problems?
Sir Evelyn de Rothschild knows exactly how and when the economic crisis started. Rothschilds have been on top of banking industry for 200 years. They have been lending money to states that have built armies. Theese governments has been in debt because of these wars. He rather not talk about which people are to blame for the economic crisis. Simply because his actions is the cause behind it.
Can a whole world be short of money at the same time?
Moreover, the U.S. government allowes that many new U.S. dollars are created out of thin air. Among other things at the International Monetary Funds “save the world” meetings. They say that this liquidity is injected into the world economy. But what happens to the value of the dollars that already was before the IMF with a single click create 900 000 new? Every single dollar in itself may be in fact get a lower value when many new valid dollars are created. And this is what IMF, Rothschild, China, Kazakhstan, Russia wants to make the dollar instable, and then useless. But it sounds so nice when the International Monetary Fund’s lending capacity was “increased” by $ 900 000. This is a way to actually destroy the value of the currency. Trading Capital Holdings N.V. etc are earning big time on the world wide crisis. Accumulated wealth since world war 2 is theirs. They also own media, Reuters and Associated Press. When seen on TV they appears to be normal rich people wearing an average grey suit which makes the illusion perfect.
Sir Evelyn de Rothschild on CNCB news about what went wrong, what needs to change.
|Rothschilds owns half the world
http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-list/2007-November/636748.html“None of the Rothschild enterprises have been banks in the sense as understood by the man or woman in the street”.
There are links between Rothschilds and the kommunist dictator Stalin.
When a Rothschild Falls in the Forest, Does Anyone Hear It?
More of Rothschild´s friends
Rothschild Agents Take 10 Key Posts in president Obamas administration
The Swedish model -by Rothschild design
Nationalize the Banks! We’re all Swedes Now
washington mutual bank sold to JPMorgan Chase (Rothschild agent)
The Government in UK put £17 billion into the banks and owns 43 per cent of the enlarged Lloyds
The Rothschilds controls the gold market and the price of gold
China to add 800 t of gold deposits in 2009, official
“Rothschild to pull out of gold market after 200 years” They still controls the gold market.
Baron Guy de Rothschild, Leader of French Arm of Bank Dynasty, Dies at 98
Rothschild and Rabobank establish global food and agri co-operation
Rothschild starts new investment fund in India with Axis bank
NM Rothschild attracted by India’s love for bullion
Rothschild investing in India, Mumbai that are transforming into an International Financial Centre
Two important names: Lord Jacob Rothschild Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.
Jacob Rothschild has invested in the public stock offerings of Kazakhstan’s leading oil company and biggest commercial banks. Last year he helped raise $250 million from a public offering of his Tau Capital fund, which invests in Kazakhstan as well as Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan
Lots of information about Rothschild
Rothschild -their history, background art and wine
1744 or 43 Mayer Amschel Bauer, is born in Frankfurt, Germany. Mayer Amschel Bauer later changes his name from Bauer to Rothschild, after the red sign hanging over the entrance door (“Rot,” is German for, “Red,” “Schild,” is German for, “Sign”).
Baron Meyer Amschel de ROTHSCHILD
Rothschild their history and symbolism
The Rothschilds history
Rothschild and University of Chicago
The Rothschild Manifesto (swedish)
The collapse of civilisation will bring us a saner world, says Paul Kingsnorth. No, counters George Monbiot. We can’t let billions perish.
Paul Kingsnorth and George Monbiot
Tuesday August 18 2009
On the desk in front of me is a set of graphs. The horizontal axis of each represents the years 1750 to 2000. The graphs show, variously, population levels, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, exploitation of fisheries, destruction of tropical forests, paper consumption, number of motor vehicles, water use, the rate of species extinction and the totality of the human economy’s gross domestic product.
What grips me about these graphs (and graphs don’t usually grip me) is that though they all show very different things, they have an almost identical shape. A line begins on the left of the page, rising gradually as it moves to the right. Then, in the last inch or so ? around 1950 ? it veers steeply upwards, like a pilot banking after a cliff has suddenly appeared from what he thought was an empty bank of cloud.
The root cause of all these trends is the same: a rapacious human economy bringing the world swiftly to the brink of chaos. We know this; some of us even attempt to stop it happening. Yet all of these trends continue to get rapidly worse, and there is no sign of that changing soon. What these graphs make clear better than anything else is the cold reality: there is a serious crash on the way.
Yet very few of us are prepared to look honestly at the message this reality is screaming at us: that the civilisation we are a part of is hitting the buffers at full speed, and it is too late to stop it. Instead, most of us ? and I include in this generalisation much of the mainstream environmental movement ? are still wedded to a vision of the future as an upgraded version of the present. We still believe in “progress”, as lazily defined by western liberalism. We still believe that we will be able to continue living more or less the same comfortable lives (albeit with more windfarms and better lightbulbs) if we can only embrace “sustainable development” rapidly enough; and that we can then extend it to the extra 3 billion people who will shortly join us on this already gasping planet.
I think this is simply denial. The writing is on the wall for industrial society, and no amount of ethical shopping or determined protesting is going to change that now. Take a civilisation built on the myth of human exceptionalism and a deeply embedded cultural attitude to “nature”; add a blind belief in technological and material progress; then fuel the whole thing with a power source that is discovered to be disastrously destructive only after we have used it to inflate our numbers and appetites beyond the point of no return. What do you get? We are starting to find out.
We need to get real. Climate change is teetering on the point of no return while our leaders bang the drum for more growth. The economic system we rely upon cannot be tamed without collapsing, for it relies upon that growth to function. And who wants it tamed anyway? Most people in the rich world won’t be giving up their cars or holidays without a fight.
Some people—perhaps you—believe that these things should not be said, even if true, because saying them will deprive people of “hope”, and without hope there will be no chance of “saving the planet”. But false hope is worse than no hope at all. As for saving the planet ? what we are really trying to save, as we scrabble around planting turbines on mountains and shouting at ministers, is not the planet but our attachment to the western material culture, which we cannot imagine living without.
The challenge is not how to shore up a crumbling empire with wave machines and global summits, but to start thinking about how we are going to live through its fall, and what we can learn from its collapse.
All the best, Paul
Like you I have become ever gloomier about our chances of avoiding the crash you predict. For the past few years I have been almost professionally optimistic, exhorting people to keep fighting, knowing that to say there is no hope is to make it so. I still have some faith in our ability to make rational decisions based on evidence. But it is waning.
If it has taken governments this long even to start discussing reform of the common fisheries policy—if they refuse even to make contingency plans for peak oil—what hope is there of working towards a steady-state economy, let alone the voluntary economic contraction ultimately required to avoid either the climate crash or the depletion of crucial resources?
The interesting question, and the one that probably divides us, is this: to what extent should we welcome the likely collapse of industrial civilisation? Or more precisely: to what extent do we believe that some good may come of it?
I detect in your writings, and in the conversations we have had, an attraction towards—almost a yearning for—this apocalypse, a sense that you see it as a cleansing fire that will rid the world of a diseased society. If this is your view, I do not share it. I’m sure we can agree that the immediate consequences of collapse would be hideous: the breakdown of the systems that keep most of us alive; mass starvation; war. These alone surely give us sufficient reason to fight on, however faint our chances appear. But even if we were somehow able to put this out of our minds, I believe that what is likely to come out on the other side will be worse than our current settlement.
Here are three observations: 1 Our species (unlike most of its members) is tough and resilient; 2 When civilisations collapse, psychopaths take over; 3 We seldom learn from others’ mistakes.
From the first observation, this follows: even if you are hardened to the fate of humans, you can surely see that our species will not become extinct without causing the extinction of almost all others. However hard we fall, we will recover sufficiently to land another hammer blow on the biosphere. We will continue to do so until there is so little left that even Homo sapiens can no longer survive. This is the ecological destiny of a species possessed of outstanding intelligence, opposable thumbs and an ability to interpret and exploit almost every possible resource—in the absence of political restraint.
From the second and third observations, this follows: instead of gathering as free collectives of happy householders, survivors of this collapse will be subject to the will of people seeking to monopolize remaining resources. This will is likely to be imposed through violence. Political accountability will be a distant memory. The chances of conserving any resource in these circumstances are approximately zero. The human and ecological consequences of the first global collapse are likely to persist for many generations, perhaps for our species’ remaining time on earth. To imagine that good could come of the involuntary failure of industrial civilisation is also to succumb to denial. The answer to your question, What will we learn from this collapse?, is nothing.
This is why, despite everything, I fight on. I am not fighting to sustain economic growth. I am fighting to prevent both initial collapse and the repeated catastrophe that follows. However faint the hopes of engineering a soft landing—an ordered and structured downsizing of the global economy—-might be, we must keep this possibility alive. Perhaps we are both in denial: I, because I think the fight is still worth having; you, because you think it isn’t.
With my best wishes, George
You say that you detect in my writing a yearning for apocalypse. I detect in yours a paralysing fear.
You have convinced yourself that there are only two possible futures available to humanity. One we might call Liberal Capitalist Democracy 2.0. Clearly your preferred option, this is much like the world we live in now, only with fossil fuels replaced by solar panels; governments and corporations held to account by active citizens; and growth somehow cast aside in favour of a “steady state economy”.
The other we might call McCarthy world, from Cormac McCarthy’s novel, The Road, which is set in an impossibly hideous post-apocalyptic world, where everything is dead but humans, who are reduced to eating children. Not long ago you suggested in a column that such a future could await us if we didn’t continue “the fight.”
Your letter continues mining this Hobbesian vein. We have to “fight on” because without modern industrial civilisation the psychopaths will take over, and there will be “mass starvation and war.” Leaving aside the fact that psychopaths seem to be running the show already, and millions are suffering today from starvation and war, I think this is a false choice. We both come from a western, Christian culture with a deep apocalyptic tradition. You seem to find it hard to see beyond it. But I am not “yearning” for some archetypal End of Days, because that’s not what we face.
We face what John Michael Greer, in his book of the same name, calls a “long descent”: a series of ongoing crises brought about by the factors I talked of in my first letter that will bring an end to the all-consuming culture we have imposed upon the Earth. I’m sure “some good will come” from this, for that culture is a weapon of planetary mass destruction.
Our civilisation will not survive in anything like its present form, but we can at least aim for a managed retreat to a saner world. Your alternative—to hold on to nurse for fear of finding something worse—is in any case a century too late. When empires begin to fall, they build their own momentum. But what comes next doesn’t have to be McCarthyworld. Fear is a poor guide to the future.
All the best, Paul
If I have understood you correctly, you are proposing to do nothing to prevent the likely collapse of industrial civilisation. You believe that instead of trying to replace fossil fuels with other energy sources, we should let the system slide. You go on to say that we should not fear this outcome.
How many people do you believe the world could support without either fossil fuels or an equivalent investment in alternative energy? How many would survive without modern industrial civilisation? Two billion? One billion? Under your vision several billion perish. And you tell me we have nothing to fear.
I find it hard to understand how you could be unaffected by this prospect. I accused you of denial before; this looks more like disavowal. I hear a perverse echo in your writing of the philosophies that most offend you: your macho assertion that we have nothing to fear from collapse mirrors the macho assertion that we have nothing to fear from endless growth. Both positions betray a refusal to engage with physical reality.
Your disavowal is informed by a misunderstanding. You maintain that modern industrial civilisation “is a weapon of planetary mass destruction”. Anyone apprised of the palaeolithic massacre of the African and Eurasian megafauna, or the extermination of the great beasts of the Americas, or the massive carbon pulse produced by deforestation in the Neolithic must be able to see that the weapon of planetary mass destruction is not the current culture, but humankind.
You would purge the planet of industrial civilisation, at the cost of billions of lives, only to discover that you have not invoked “a saner world” but just another phase of destruction.
Strange as it seems, a de-fanged, steady-state version of the current settlement might offer the best prospect humankind has ever had of avoiding collapse. For the first time in our history we are well-informed about the extent and causes of our ecological crises, know what should be done to avert them, and have the global means—if only the political will were present ? of preventing them. Faced with your alternative—sit back and watch billions die ? Liberal Democracy 2.0 looks like a pretty good option.
With my best wishes, George
Macho, moi? You’ve been using the word “fight” at a Dick Cheney-like rate. Now my lack of fighting spirit sees me accused of complicity in mass death. This seems a fairly macho accusation.
Perhaps the heart of our disagreement can be found in a single sentence in your last letter: “You are proposing to do nothing to prevent the likely collapse of industrial civilisation.” This invites a question: what do you think I could do? What do you think you can do?
You’ve suggested several times that the hideous death of billions is the only alternative to a retooled status quo. Even if I accepted this loaded claim, which seems designed to make me look like a heartless fascist, it would get us nowhere because a retooled status quo is a fantasy and even you are close to admitting it. Rather than “do nothing” in response, I’d suggest we get some perspective on the root cause of this crisis—not human beings but the cultures within which they operate.
Civilisations live and die by their founding myths. Our myths tell us that humanity is separate from something called “nature”, which is a “resource” for our use. They tell us there are no limits to human abilities, and that technology, science and our ineffable wisdom can fix everything. Above all, they tell us that we are in control. This craving for control underpins your approach. If we can just persaude the politicians to do A, B and C swiftly enough, then we will be saved. But what climate change shows us is that we are not in control, either of the biosphere or of the machine which is destroying it. Accepting that fact is our biggest challenge.
I think our task is to negotiate the coming descent as best we can, while creating new myths that put humanity in its proper place. Recently I co-founded a new initiative, the Dark Mountain Project, which aims to help do that. It won’t save the world, but it might help us think about how to live through a hard century. You’d be welcome to join us.
Very best, Paul
Yes, the words I use are fierce, but yours are strangely neutral. I note that you have failed to answer my question about how many people the world could support without modern forms of energy and the systems they sustain, but 2 billion is surely the optimistic extreme. You describe this mass cull as “a long descent” or a “retreat to a saner world.” Have you ever considered a job in the Ministry of Defence press office?
I draw the trifling issue of a few billion fatalities to your attention not to make you look like a heartless fascist but because it’s a reality with which you refuse to engage. You don’t see it because to do so would be to accept the need for action. But of course you aren’t doing nothing. You propose to stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, and, er “get some perspective on the root cause of this crisis”. Fine: we could all do with some perspective. But without action ? informed, focused and immediate ? the crisis will happen. I agree that the chances of success are small. But they are non-existent if we give up before we have started. You mock this impulse as a “craving for control”. I see it as an attempt at survival.
What could you do? You know the answer as well as I do. Join up, protest, propose, create. It’s messy, endless and uncertain of success. Perhaps you see yourself as above this futility, but it’s all we’ve got and all we’ve ever had. And sometimes it works.
The curious outcome of this debate is that while I began as the optimist and you the pessimist, our roles have reversed. You appear to believe that though it is impossible to tame the global economy, it is possible to change our founding myths, some of which predate industrial civilisation by several thousand years. You also believe that good can come of a collapse that deprives most of the population of its means of survival. This strikes me as something more than optimism: a millenarian fantasy, perhaps, of Redemption after the Fall. Perhaps it is the perfect foil to my apocalyptic vision.
With my best wishes, George
guardian.co.uk Copyright (c) Guardian News and Media Limited. 2009
BAGHDAD – A series of explosions targeting government and commercial buildings struck Baghdad Wednesday, killing at least 75 people and wounding more than 300, Iraqi police and medical officials said.
The blasts in the capital followed a string of attacks in Iraq this month that have claimed hundreds of lives and raised concerns about the ability of Iraqi security forces to keep the lid on violence in advance of an American withdrawal.
The deadliest was a car bomb near the foreign ministry, which killed at least 59 people and wounded 250. Officials said the toll may climb as rescue workers continue to search through rubble and debris. The ministry is close to the fortified Green Zone. The officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.
The force of the explosion blew concrete slabs off the front of the 10-story building, shattering windows and crushing cars parked outside. Dozens of cars were burned.
The blast was so strong it also damaged nearby buildings. A large area outside the ministry was covered by debris and broken glass and it damage windows in the parliament building, inside the Green Zone.
The midmorning attacks hit first near the finance ministry in northern Baghdad and then minutes later near the foreign ministry. Around the same time as the explosion near the foreign ministry, mortars struck inside the Green Zone. It was not immediately known what damage the mortars caused or whether there were causalities.
Another car bomb targeted a joint Iraqi police and army patrol just outside the finance ministry, killing at least eight people and wounding 22, a police official said. Twenty-two were wounded, said the official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.
Another blast in the commercial area of western Baghdad’s Baiyaa district killed two people and wounded 16, while a bombing in the commercial district of Bab al-Muadham killed six people and wounded 24, authorities said.
A recent rise in bombings has dealt a blow to Iraqi government efforts
to restore a sense of normalcy in the capital as the overall level of violence remains low compared with recent years. Iraqi security forces have begun removing concrete blast walls, which have been credited with helping reducing violence. The walls have been coming down in residential and commercial areas with the aim of improving appearance and easing traffic congestion.
Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Monday that he wanted to deploy U.S. soldiers alongside Iraqi and Kurdish troops in northern Iraq where some of the worst attacks in recent weeks have been carried out.
U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq’s cities on June 30 under a security pact that outlines the American withdrawal by the end of 2011. President Barack Obama has ordered all U.S. combat troops out of Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010, leaving a contingency of up to 50,000 U.S. troops in training and advising roles.
Odierno said Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been receptive to the idea, though has not approved it.
Associated Press writers Hamid Ahmed, Sameer N. Yacoub and Chelsea J. Carter contributed to this report.
MOSCOW, June 22 (Reuters) – The leader of Russia’s Ingushetia region was in a serious condition and being treated in intensive care after an assassination attempt, RIA news agency quoted a source in local law enforcement agencies as saying.
President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov of the Republic of Ingushetia was injured when a blast rocked his car.
The president of the Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, says Moscow has ordered him to help fight insurgents in neighbouring Ingushetia.
The president of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, was wounded in an apparent assassination attempt on Monday.
Speaking to the Reuters news agency, Mr Kadyrov said the Russian leadership had told him to intensify operations in both Chechnya and Ingushetia.
Both republics have experienced an upsurge in violence over recent months.
Given the recent assassination attempt against the President of Ingushetia, I decided to post what I consider to be some vital information for understanding the soon to be ‘Crisis’ in the Caucasus.
first up a post from Justin raimondo of Antiwar.com
Making Excuses for Obama
The mythology of good intentions
“Obama lied – people died!” How long before we see that slogan emblazoned on a placard at a rather sparsely-attended antiwar rally?
But of course he didn’t lie, and isn’t lying now. He’s telling us he wants to confront Russia and Iran. He’s telling us he wants to increase a military budget already larger than the total military expenditures of all other nations combined. He says he won’t hesitate to invade Pakistan – and, presumably, any nation anywhere – if we have some reason to believe Osama bin Laden and his cohorts are in the vicinity. I think he’s telling the truth – and I challenge the Obamaoids, especially the ones who claim to be sick of eight years of constant warfare, to prove otherwise. If Obama is indeed giving us the real story, and if he actually implements his foreign policy proposals, we are in a world of trouble.
He’s telling us he wants to confront Russia [ Zbiggy Smalls Bug-bear ] and Iran. [ Rahm-Bam Emanuel’s Bug-Bear ]
Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?
Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?
Brzezinski: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?
Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.
Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.
Now remember that the Prez of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, was targetted by a suicide bomber. Now who do we know uses suicide bombers as their preffered method of assination? Step forward those dastardly demons, at Al Quaida. Now what do we know about Al Quaida? Well one time Foreign Secretary of Great Britain, The Right Honuourable Mr Robin Cook,
wrote this article exactly one month before he died:
Al-Qaida, literally “the database”, was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians.
Exactly 30 days after making that statement Robin Cook died, reportedly of a heartattack, on a Scottish mountainside, on British Ministry of Defence land.
In other words, the US did some “outsourcing” and secretly “hired” some “mercenaries” to fight a “proxy war” for the US (my own choice of terms). It seems that Pakistan’s CIA, the ISI, was also involved and that some amount of the financing/support came from the Saudis, the UK, and China. Pakistan also received massive amounts of US military aid. The number of Muslim men who became US mercenaries according to Robin Cook was “thousands.”
The fact the Cook appeared to believe that Bin Laden did not provide the name for his own organistaion, and that the name apparently was provided by the Security Services that ran the organisation, indicates that Bin Laden was merely a figurehead without much power – others set-up and ran the organisation. In much the same way that Bush appears to be a mere front-man for other more capable and more dangerous individuals, so too is/was Bin Laden.
Wouldn’t it be kinda spooky if in both cases the individuals behind the frontmen were the same people?
If the people running the Org were picked and trained by the Security Services (ISI, MI5 and CIA and others) then in effect the organisation was being run by agents of the security services, and if the funding and weaponry were provided by the Security Services, then to maintain that the Security Services were not running the Org is, at best, naive.
If Cook is to believed, and I see no reason not to believe him, the Big Bad Wolf (Osama) didn’t even provide the name for the Organisation he apparently was mastermind of. That name was provided by the security services.
US reporter Ron Suskind provided us with this quote waaaaay back in October 17, 2004
The aide said that guys like me were in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’‘ he continued. ‘‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’‘
- Ingushetia is at present a part of Russia.
- Someone recently tried to assassinate the President of Ingushetia using a suicide bomber
- “Al Qaida” is known to frequently use suicide bombers
- “Al Qaida” is, according to British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, a creation of the US&UK Intelligence services, brainchild of one Zbigniew Brzezinski, advisor to the Carter Administration
- Before becoming Prez of the U.S., Barack Obama pledged to “going to “curb Russian aggression”
- Zbigniew Brzezinski is a trusted advisor to the US President Barack Obama
- Zbiggy likes to spend a lot of his time thinking about way to destroy Russia
Monday, August 17 2009 @ 11:52 PM CDT
Five weeks to go till the G20 summit rocks Pittsburgh and we like where things are at. Yes, there are, and will be, the usual attempts to intimidate, the government psychological operations, the further unfolding of the Miami Model, anything they can think up legal or not to divert attention from organizing against the G20 and expanding our confrontation with those institutions and relations that make our lives unlivable. Weekly Updates:
Five weeks to go and we like where things are at. Yes, there are, and will be, the usual attempts to intimidate, the government psychological operations, the further unfolding of the Miami Model, anything they can think up legal or not to divert attention from organizing against the G20 and confronting those institutions and relations that make our lives unlivable. But locals are making a serious effort for this mobilization and the pieces have one by one fallen into place. Now is the time to get involved in organizing efforts.
Confirmed Closures/Rescheduled Events During The Summit: West Mifflin Area School District, City Charter High School, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, The First Lutheran Church, Duquesne University, Robert Morris University Downtown, Point Park University, The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management, Community College of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Penguins, and a whole slew of small businesses and large corporate businesses. On Wednesday the Pittsburgh school board will discuss whether to close down ALL public schools in the district.
Perhaps most importantly for those who may be coming from out of town Amtrak is suspending service in Pittsburgh starting Sept 24 through the end of the summit. Expected Security Perimeter
Based on publicly announced info we expect the perimeter to extend as a two-staged bubble outside the David Lawrence Convention Center from 6th Ave to 16th St, and from the river to Liberty Ave. During the Thursday events we believe they’ll attempt a complete shutdown of Liberty Ave and the 16th Street Bridge.
.::September 22-25: Resist the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh::.
“The human mind is incapable of rendering appropriate judgments as a result of its inability to grasp truths, goals, and purposes.”
[This Wahabbi judgment call, in effect, says that ignorance is acceptable for good Muslims, and that they should not strive to do anything other than that recommended by the religious authorities.]
By Nina Shea and Ali al-Ahmed
National Review Online
For nearly 25 years, the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA), the Virginia school founded by royal decree of Saudi King Fahd in 1984, immersed students of its Islamic-studies curriculum in the same Wahhabi interpretation of Islam that is taught in Saudi Arabia and in Saudi-funded madrassas around the world. That curriculum includes praise for militant jihad to “spread the faith” and permission for the killing of various categories of “unbelievers,” as well as other endorsements of religious intolerance.
Now, as it seeks permission from Fairfax County to expand its operations, ISA claims that, over the last school year, it replaced the Saudi religious curriculum with a more moderate one.
Through private channels, we were able to acquire ISA’s Islamic-studies textbooks, all marked for use in the first semester of the 2008-09 school year. Compared to the original Saudi Education Ministry versions, these new Arabic-language textbooks — one slim, single volume for each grade — are indeed redacted and condensed.
We wish we could celebrate the deletions we helped catalyze, but we are not persuaded that the problem is solved. The books contain no significant discussion of jihad and make few references to the religious “other.” The silence is deafening. It raises the question — a question ISA has yet to answer — of what supplemental material the academy is using.
Jihad is a central tenet of Islam and is raised multiple times in the Koran. Saudi textbooks describe jihad as “the summit of Islam” and “one of the most magnificent acts of obedience to God,” and endorse its militant form for both defensive and aggressive purposes.
ISA’s new texts, however, make no mention of militant jihad, not even as a defensive measure. And they make only a single passing reference to the alternative view of jihad. (Buried toward the end of a twelfth-grade text is a two-line reference to the “greater jihad” — the obligation “to do jihad against Satan, selfish desire and capriciousness.”) At a time when many Muslim radicals proclaim the merits of militant jihad, ignoring the issue almost completely will not suffice to orient students toward the peaceful interpretation. One must wonder whether the books were even intended to do such a thing.
When it comes to relating to other people, ISA’s new texts reject critical thinking. “The human mind is incapable of rendering appropriate judgments as a result of its inability to grasp truths, goals, and purposes,” states one book. Based on this assumption, the books provide exhaustive guidance for public and private behavior, detailing, for example, how to entertain other Muslims: Hospitality is obligatory for “one day and one night,” food should be placed on “a sheet on the ground,” and so forth.
This dogmatic approach makes it more than unusual that ISA’s books omit all instruction on relating to non-Muslims. While the new texts raise the Koranic injunction against religious coercion, they are silent on how Muslims should treat Jews, “apostates,” “polytheists,” “adulterers,” and “homosexuals” — all of whom ISA’s old texts taught it was permissible to kill. Nor do the books indicate how one should view Shiites, non-Wahhabi Sunnis, Baha’is, and Ahmadiya, all of whom ISA’s former curriculum cast as enemies within; or Jews and Christians, who, it had taught, were to be hated; or Americans, who, it stated, were continuing the Crusades by promoting women’s rights and sponsoring universities in Beirut and Cairo.
The question is not whether ISA supplements these new textbooks with other material, but what these other materials contain. There is evidence that the school, over the past school year, did in fact continue to use some extremist supplemental resources.
ISA’s website for 2008-09 stated that the school “follows the Islamic Studies curriculum which has been set forth by the Kingdom.” As the first resource on its “Useful Links” webpage, ISA linked to the Saudi Education Ministry site, where the noxious curriculum is posted in full. Those books, according to the Ministry, are electronically formatted to facilitate copying, cutting, and pasting. This underscores the problem of a piecemeal approach to Saudi educational reform.
Even the new texts themselves reference several extreme Islamic authorities. For example, the new twelfth-grade book directs students to Ibn Taymiyyah for resolving moral questions. A 14th-century author, Ibn Taymiyyah extolled the militant jihad we call “terror.” His fatwas were found in a recent study by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center to be “by far the most popular texts for modern Jihadis.” Renowned religion scholar Philip Jenkins wrote that Osama bin Laden cites Ibn Taymiyyah as a “special hero.”
In addition, it’s important to note that on matters besides jihad, the books still largely reflect Wahhabi orthodoxy. For example, ISA’s new texts endorse marriages between adults and pre-pubescent children, teach that women should not be judges or exercise “greater governorship,” and starkly divide the world into believers and unbelievers.
Since 9/11, ISA officials — including the various Saudi ambassadors who have served as ISA chairmen — have annually given assurances of curriculum reform and annually broken their promises. They’ve had help: The school’s accreditation by the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools was seriously flawed, since the association’s “volunteer” evaluators did not know Arabic and therefore never read the Islamic-studies curriculum. ISA’s brandishing of a recent letter by two American academic consultants to the school, giving their approval for the sanitized Wahhabi textbooks, only deepens the school’s reputation for deception.
The State Department reached an understanding with Riyadh in 2006 that, within two years, Saudi Arabia would remove intolerant passages from all its educational materials both within the Kingdom and abroad, including in its network of 20 international schools of which ISA is a part. Under new legislation initiated by Virginia congressman Frank Wolf, State must now follow up. It should do so with an informed assessment of what ISA teaches, especially about jihad and the religious other — in both semesters, in Arabic as well as English, and in all educational and resource material. And until an independent, professional, and thorough process verifies reform, Fairfax County should reject the Academy’s request to expand.
Nina Shea is director of the Center for Religious Freedom of the Hudson Institute and serves on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Ali al-Ahmed is a Saudi expert and directs the Gulf Institute, a Washington-based policy research center. Views expressed herein are their own.
Recovery Act Allocates $1.1 Billion for Comparative Effectiveness Research
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today announced the members of the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. Authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the new Council will help coordinate research and guide investments in comparative effectiveness research funded by the Recovery Act.
“Comparative effectiveness research can improve care for all Americans and is an important element of President Obama’s health reform plan,” said HHS Spokeswoman Jenny Backus. “President Obama is committed to openness and transparency and the Coordinating Council will host open meetings and a listening session as it begins its important work.”
Comparative effectiveness research provides information on the relative strengths and weakness of various medical interventions. Such research will give clinicians and patients valid information to make decisions that will improve the performance of the U.S. health care system
The 15 member Council, named today in accordance with a Congressionally-mandate timeline, will assist the agencies of the Federal government, including HHS and the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, as well as others, to coordinate comparative effectiveness and related health services research. The Recovery Act authorized $300 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, $400 million for the National Institutes of Health, and $400 million for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to support comparative effectiveness research.
The Council will not recommend clinical guidelines for payment, coverage or treatment. The Council will consider the needs of populations served by federal programs and opportunities to build and expand on current investments and priorities. It will also provide input on priorities for the $400 million fund in the Recovery Act that the Secretary will allocate to advance this type of research.
Council members represent a diverse set of individuals and agencies; most of its members are clinicians. Representatives on the Council will address the impact on subpopulations. To ensure that all voices are heard, the Council will hold a public listening session on April 14, 2009. Its deliberations and recommendations will be public and transparent, consistent with all Recovery Act investments as well as the President’s commitment to open government.
Comparative Effectiveness Research Funding
Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research to coordinate comparative effectiveness research across the Federal government. The Council will specifically make recommendations for the $400 million allocated to the Office of the Secretary for CER.
As part of its initial work, the Council is conducting Listening Sessions to hear public comments regarding comparative effectiveness research. Individuals interested in addressing the council may nominate themselves to deliver a three minute oral presentation before the council. Individuals and organizations may also submit written comments for the council’s consideration. The public may also attend the session, listen live via audio conference or watch the session online at www.hhs.gov/recovery.
Review and comment on the Draft Definition, Prioritization Criteria, and Strategic Framework for Public Comment
CER listening sessions:
- FCC Listening session comments April 1, 2009 – June 15, 2009
- Webcast of the June 10 Listening Session
- Transcript of 6/10/2009 listening session (DOC – 249 KB)
- Summary of the 6/10/2009 Listening Session
- Transcript of the 5/13/2009 listening Session (DOC – 245 KB)
- Summary of the 5/13/2009 Listening Session
- Summary of April 14 Listening Session
- Transcript of the 4/14/2009 Listening Session
Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD
Special Advisor for Health Policy
Office of Management and Budget
Ezekiel J. Emanuel, the Chair of the Clinical Center Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health, is currently serving as a Special Advisor on Health Policy to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. After completing Amherst College, he received his M.Sc. from Oxford University in Biochemistry. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in political philosophy from Harvard University. His dissertation received the Toppan Award for the finest political science dissertation of the year. After completing his internship and residency in internal medicine at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital and his oncology fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, he joined the faculty at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Emanuel was an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School before joining the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Emanuel has authored 3 books and co-edited 4. He developed The Medical Directive, a comprehensive living will that has been endorsed by Consumer Reports on Health, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. He has published widely on the ethics of clinical research, health care reform, international research ethics, end of life care issues, euthanasia, the ethics of managed care, and the physician-patient relationship in the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, JAMA, and many other medical journals.
The "listening sessions" are the key to making Obama's heartless health care cuts palatable to the general public, by hoisting part of the blame for the sorry outcome onto the shoulders of the people, instead of just the bureaucrats. According to the judging criteria set-out by Mr. Emanuel, a patient's capacity to participate in the "open forums" is the determining factor in awarding or denying high-cost, low-value treatments.]
Human Beings, do not.
I feel the same way about extraterrestrial aliens visiting Earth as I do about angels and gods. If they exist and are good guys, they would be helping us. If they exist and are bad guys they would be screwing with us.
It could be that they are just observing us, in which case, screw them, they are bad guys. If they are paying attention to what’s going on on planet earth, they are a sorry race for not helping. Come on, give us a bone here.
It could be that they are screwing with us on a monstrous scale and we are not aware of it. If this were true, there would not be such an anarchistic society and Earth society would be living by their plan. If they could control the planet, they would control the planet.
It could be that we are some sort of grand planetary societal experiment, in which case, screw them, they are bad guys. Their experiment sucks and is putting unnecessary and cruel hardship on sapient creatures. It is not possible for an advanced society to let a planet exist in such misery, sheesh, even some lowly humans have recognized the ethical treatment of creatures of lesser intelligence.
Of course it could be that there are no angels, aliens or gods. This would go a long way explaining the situation we find ourselves in, here on planet Earth.
As you can see, the inaction in every scenario significantly indicates that angels, aliens and gods do not exist.
Unfortunately, this also means that if there are angels, aliens and gods, they are the bad guys.
[What a bunch of Nazis! Obama is doing the impossible--making Republicans seem like the sane party!]
Wall St. Journal
Although administration officials are eager to deny it, rationing health care is central to President Barack Obama’s health plan. The Obama strategy is to reduce health costs by rationing the services that we and future generations of patients will receive.
The White House Council of Economic Advisers issued a report in June explaining the Obama administration’s goal of reducing projected health spending by 30% over the next two decades. That reduction would be achieved by eliminating “high cost, low-value treatments,” by “implementing a set of performance measures that all providers would adopt,” and by “directly targeting individual providers . . . (and other) high-end outliers.”
The president has emphasized the importance of limiting services to “health care that works.” To identify such care, he provided more than $1 billion in the fiscal stimulus package to jump-start Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) and to finance a federal CER advisory council to implement that idea. That could morph over time into a cost-control mechanism of the sort proposed by former Sen. Tom Daschle, Mr. Obama’s original choice for White House health czar. Comparative effectiveness could become the vehicle for deciding whether each method of treatment provides enough of an improvement in health care to justify its cost.
In the British national health service, a government agency approves only those expensive treatments that add at least one Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) per £30,000 (about $49,685) of additional health-care spending. If a treatment costs more per QALY, the health service will not pay for it. The existence of such a program in the United States would not only deny lifesaving care but would also cast a pall over medical researchers who would fear that government experts might reject their discoveries as “too expensive.”
One reason the Obama administration is prepared to use rationing to limit health care is to rein in the government’s exploding health-care budget. Government now pays for nearly half of all health care in the U.S., primarily through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The White House predicts that the aging of the population and the current trend in health-care spending per beneficiary would cause government outlays for Medicare and Medicaid to rise to 15% of GDP by 2040 from 6% now. Paying those bills without raising taxes would require cutting other existing social spending programs and shelving the administration’s plans for new government transfers and spending programs.
The rising cost of medical treatments would not be such a large burden on future budgets if the government reduced its share in the financing of health services. Raising the existing Medicare and Medicaid deductibles and coinsurance would slow the growth of these programs without resorting to rationing. Physicians and their patients would continue to decide which tests and other services they believe are worth the cost.
There is, of course, no reason why limiting outlays on Medicare and Medicaid requires cutting health services for the rest of the population. The idea that they must be cut in parallel is just an example of misplaced medical egalitarianism.
But budget considerations aside, health-economics experts agree that private health spending is too high because our tax rules lead to the wrong kind of insurance. Under existing law, employer payments for health insurance are deductible by the employer but are not included in the taxable income of the employee. While an extra $100 paid to someone who earns $45,000 a year will provide only about $60 of after-tax spendable cash, the employer could instead use that $100 to pay $100 of health-insurance premiums for that same individual. It is therefore not surprising that employers and employees have opted for very generous health insurance with very low copayment rates.
Since a typical 20% copayment rate means that an extra dollar of health services costs the patient only 20 cents at the time of care, patients and their doctors opt for excessive tests and other inappropriately expensive forms of care. The evidence on health-care demand implies that the current tax rules raise private health-care spending by as much as 35%.
The best solution to this problem of private overconsumption of health services would be to eliminate the tax rule that is causing the excessive insurance and the resulting rise in health spending. Alternatively, Congress could strengthen the incentives in the existing law for health savings accounts with high insurance copayments. Either way, the result would be more cost-conscious behavior that would lower health-care spending.
But unlike reductions in care achieved by government rationing, individuals with different preferences about health and about risk could buy the care that best suits their preferences. While we all want better health, the different choices that people make about such things as smoking, weight and exercise show that there are substantial differences in the priority that different people attach to health.
Although there has been some talk in Congress about limiting the current health-insurance exclusion, the administration has not supported the idea. The unions are particularly vehement in their opposition to any reduction in the tax subsidy for health insurance, since they regard their ability to negotiate comprehensive health insurance for their members as a major part of their raison d’être.
If changing the tax rule that leads to excessive health insurance is not going to happen, the relevant political choice is between government rationing and continued high levels of health-care spending. Rationing is bad policy. It forces individuals with different preferences to accept the same care. It also imposes an arbitrary cap on the future growth of spending instead of letting it evolve in response to changes in technology, tastes and income. In my judgment, rationing would be much worse than excessive care.
Those who worry about too much health care cite the Congressional Budget Office’s prediction that health-care spending could rise to 30% of GDP in 2035 from 16% now. But during that 25-year period, GDP will rise to about $24 trillion from $14 trillion, implying that the GDP not spent on health will rise to $17 billion in 2035 from $12 billion now. So even if nothing else comes along to slow the growth of health spending during the next 25 years, there would still be a nearly 50% rise in income to spend on other things.
Like virtually every economist I know, I believe the right approach to limiting health spending is by reforming the tax rules. But if that is not going to happen, let’s not destroy the high quality of the best of American health care by government rationing and misplaced egalitarianism.
—Mr. Feldstein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan, is a professor at Harvard and a member of The Wall Street Journal’s board of contributors.
PAY MY ELECTRICITY BILL AND I WILL BE YOUR SECURITY GUARD
I am very much amused by the Establishment formula for the Pashtuns of FATA, they are always assumed them as Security Guards of Border, the Durand line. This Theory is given fancy names as Strategic Depth Theory.
“The Pukhtoons serve as Pakistan ‘s first line of defense along the Durand Line.”–Ministry of Finance
This theory was promulgated as an official policy at the GHQ at the Time of Gen Aslam Beg and Gen Hameed Gul at ISI. This Theory ensured that every Pashtun in Fata is assumed as Security Guards defending the International Border with Afghanistan. As the Establishments Imagination, has been full of this image, as Pashtuns Chowkidar,s Guarding and really nothing else for them.
They show it as official dramas, in official PTV channel and in even in TV Adds (Telenor), as Pashtun as Security Guard or a Truck Driver.
Even recently, after flushing out Taliban, they have formed Lashkers by giving them dangerous Automatic weapons so that we get rid of Taliban but are left with other armed Lashker of people/ Criminals to deal with later. As what is Guarantee, is that they will behave later.
Free Electricity is provided to FATA residents by TESCO (Tribal Electricity Supply company), which is subsidiary of PESCO (Peshawar Electricity Supply Company), burdening it with Line losses for not fault of its and being paid by NWFP residents for no fault of theirs as surcharges.
The Electricity which is supplied free to FATA, is used in Factories especially the Mommand agency and Khyber agency ones as well, while it provides electricity for their homes too. In many cases, it is misused in Tanurs for cooking Bread as well.
In Current budget, the government gladly put 10 billion rupees as budget for the Electricity bills to pay the Bills for theses FATA residents, while shirking away from Real development in Health and Education. Thus, keeping up with Vision for these people by Establishment is an Illiterate and Armed Pashtun Chowkidar (Watchmen) of Borders.
While the Army men are, busy with Building defense estates and doing Business in Canteen stores in Air-conditioned offices and the Fauji Foundations but not security. It has rather out sourced its security Jobs to these FATA Pashtuns.
Email : Khurrumuk@gmail.com
By: Peter Chamberlin
Have we really become “We the sheeple,” or are we still human beings? The planet is dying under the thrall of a small minority of men who think of the rest of the human race as “cattle,” livestock for them to buy and sell.
The ruling class behaves much like a spoiled child, if they don’t get to have everything their way all of the time, they throw this massive temper tantrum and threaten to upset the whole game. They have gotten their way in everything for so long that they have fallen under the spell of their own propaganda. They believe that we are sub-human animals, who should be herded into the best outcome possible. But, have the rest of us begun to accept this as well?
As members of the human herd, most of us recoil at the “bovinian” suggestion, but consider just how much we do behave like a herd. We willingly accept being treated like a herd, trusting our lives to politicians because we appreciate not having to make hard decisions for ourselves, being contented as cows, as our leaders and their hired hands drive us down a path to destruction, for the sake of them making a few dollars more in profit.
Preserving profits for the ruling elite is the only motivation (other than media-manipulated patriotism and nationalism) compelling us to fight our resource wars in Asia and Africa. The leaders of the entire world pretend that we are there to fight against terrorism, even though they know that the terrorism comes with us, their hope being their own little “piece of the action.” The American way is to wage war with dollars, as well as bombs.
What the hell is the matter with people? Has everyone so bought-in to the propaganda that leads them to their own deaths that they believe the lies that control us? Willfully following sell-out leaders, who are leading their own countries to death and slavery is more than merely suicidal, it’s something a dumb animal would do.
Does the herd even think of itself as human anymore? Would it really matter what the herd thought about anything, anyway? Nothing will change as long as we willingly accept this idiocy. We have not changed. We are still human beings. Our feelings and concerns for ourselves, our families and our friends are legitimate, and just as real and as valid as those shared by the ruling class elitists who send our sons and daughters into battle to control the gas and oil, just like everyone who is being targeted by our government as it sends forth Special Forces and their “Islamist” counterparts to kill, not in the name of freedom, but to seize unfair economic advantage!
The entire “conflict” within the “arc of crisis” that is schemed over by Brzezinski and friends is manufactured for our entertainment and distraction. It is foolishness to look at “militant Islamists” and the CIA Special Forces teams who are sent in to fight them as two separate entities, without realizing that they are one and the same.
In Central Asia, the scary “Islamists” appear, as if by magic, wherever the oil companies have an interest. Theories are floated that the sudden rush of militant extremists in western China and the former countries of the Soviet Union is explained as an unfortunate by-product of Pakistan’s anti-Taliban offensive, as militants trained in Pakistan’s FATA Region return to their native countries.
From Russia to China and southwards, attacks begin in targeted nations and then someone appears in the national media to warn of the “Islamist” threat. News stories begin to appear of running gun battles and explosions, linking all of them to the “militant” threat. Attacks are made upon adversaries of the United States and those countries then become blacklisted as unstable for development and the subservient, media dutifully reports that our enemies have been attacked our other enemies.
Whose interests does this serve—crazy militants, with their warped dreams of a “caliphate,” or American oil companies, who are trying to undermine China, Iran and Russia? The “powers that be” are playing a very dangerous game with all of our lives.
How long will the countries targeted by American/Islamist limited warfare continue to tolerate this bold assault? China, in particular, is presently bound by the economic chains that have been forged with the United States. How much longer will it continue to abide provocations in Xinjiang and other Chinese interests from Central Asia, to Pakistan, to Africa? It would be extremely unprofitable right now for China to haul the United States before the UN Security Council or to take military actions in retaliation for this low-intensity war that has been waged upon them. But that will not always be true. When the American house of cards finishes collapsing all bets will be off.
Our new administration in Washington has been empowered with as mandate for change, yet the only change that they have opted for is to accelerate the plans for world conquest in Central Asia. The only real impediment to that plan is the American people. Will the people continue to tolerate Obama’s impersonation of Bush and allow this obscene escalation of the neocon wars?
The ruling class fears an aware, vigilant majority. They know the people’s power and they tremble before it. It is only the people themselves, the “sheeple,” who fail to realize the awesome powers delegated into our hands. It upsets the self-appointed whenever anyone begins to regain any measure of that control back, depriving the secret rulers of their illegitimate power to dictate the terms of our lives. The worst thing of all for them would be if all people everywhere were suddenly allowed to start thinking for themselves, with everyone making their own decisions.
The human race finds itself in an extremely unusual dilemma; if the best-laid plans of mankind’s finest minds succeed, then humanity may cease to exist. If the plan that has been crafted by the finest minds, financed by the world’s greatest “benefactors” and supported by nearly every government on the face of the planet, succeeds, then “humankind” may cease to exist, to be replaced by a new master-race parasitic species and its new sub-human host species (the living remainder of the “useless eaters”).
A great moment of crisis has been manufactured for us. The decisions that have been made have maneuvered us into a kill box, so that the harvesting of the “useless eaters” may begin.
If mankind as a whole cannot embrace a new benevolent identity and move forward together, then, thanks to our enslavement to technological advancements, our old malevolent identities are positioned to destroy all life on this planet. A decision to change must be made on a societal level. The world cannot change, humanity cannot evolve to the next level, until someone leads the way. The self-appointed leadership of the “free world” has to either lead the way or get out of the path of others who understand the path to mankind’s salvation.
The way of force must be replaced by the path of cooperation. This is not a direction that is presently coming from the United States; it is entirely an Asian phenomenon. The Western Darwinian world of domination by the strongest has brought us to the point of economic collapse and unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe. The rulers of this old order have one solution to all problems—more force, the closed fist. There is a better way.
Wherever the models of supply and governance are breaking-down, force is the immediate solution, the only solution offered. If all the people cannot be fed, then obviously (only to inhuman thinkers) there must be too many people, therefore, we must thin-out the herd of “useless eaters” (non-productive members of society). Simply helping the people in need would not be “profitable.” The United States, as the leader of the developing world, must have more energy and other strategic resources available to it than the rest of the world, therefore, we are justified in moving those resources out of the Middle East and Central Asia into our hands, whatever is required to do so (taking by force).
Likewise, in domestic policies such as health care and education reform, it is “wasteful” of limited resources to supply high-dollar medical treatments to those patients whose health will never improve, or expensive educations to students who are less than “exceptional.” The way of force embraces such cost-cutting ideas, depicting them as moral choices, since limited funds are not “wasted” on life-supporting treatments for the terminally ill, or on educational opportunities for mediocre students ( those should be wasted the ignorant cousins of the elite).
This is the thinking of the old order that has put us in our current dilemma. The “selfish man” having his way when he really shouldn’t, has created a real threat to all mankind. The selfish must give way to the needs of the entire community.
A new generation of selfless leaders is arising to meet the challenge posed by the dying order. Where “selfish man” cannot conceive of anything but a profit-based international order, “new man” cannot accept thinking that does not contain a human element, a compassionate direction. The old malevolent thinking is violence based, whereas new man cannot conceive of killing his fellow man. Selfless leaders of the humanity movement have great difficulty in understanding the thinking of the heartless corporate extortionists. There is a basic disconnect between the thinking of the old man and the “new man” who is rising-up amongst them. This gives the new man the advantage, if he can only take advantage of it.
This brings the situation down to where we witness a rising minority of “new men” facing-off against a persevering minority of the super-wealthy, who are perhaps even more dedicated to preserving their old selfish order of mankind, whatever the potential costs. The leadership of the rising humanitarian order is trying every reasonable means at its disposal to overturn the old order, while the leadership of the house of profit is using every means in its limitless bag of tricks to destroy the threat.
Through economic and military coercion the United States has persuaded the world into allowing it almost free rein in shaping international institutions and the ideas that are acceptable to world opinion. We have created an illusory image of ourselves which hides American war crimes and crimes against humanity behind a hypocritical mask of humanitarianism and “foreign aid.”
Membership in America’s club requires a sell-out of their countrymen from the leaders of the nations that are seeking our “aid packages” or entrance into our economic system. The sell-out is to embrace our manufactured image, blinding themselves to the reality that our leaders create. The real image of America, one of double-dealings and secret wars, is hidden from the world by common consent. The pay-off for these leaders is the personal fortunes that each of them has acquired and gained notoriety for in their home countries.
By letting Americans determine which words and opinions are “politically correct” in acceptable discussion in the media, crimes are hidden and false realities become the foundation of public debate. In this way, internal debate bends to accommodate the false American reality. This American power to simultaneously bully and seduce their way in the world, extending into the basic rights of the Nations involved, has allowed our inept leaders to force upon the world the situation we face today. Further bullying and super-scheming by Obama and Brzezinski will not achieve American objectives of total power. Another way must be found.
It is only a matter of time before America is taken out of the world’s way. It is inevitable that the world will embrace the way of international cooperation, over the American way of secret and open conquests. The only alternative to a world centered on meeting its own needs is the present course we are trapped on, one wherein the victor claims all the spoils of war. That world cannot be attained within our technological environment (do the math). Nature will continue, either with us, or in spite of us.
The world needs a life-changing moment, one that will force all thinking humans to make life-changing decisions, so that we can all emerge from it as a different people, new men and women.
Everything is now black and white, not black or white as it should be. The way forward is for each of us to begin to see both sides, or all sides, of contentious issues. Life has conditioned us to divide everything new into categories, based on determinants of fear, greed, or other motivators. We have to understand that these are the motivators of children, or animals, not adult human beings. There are so many simple solutions to be found by those without blinders, with two eyes to see.
The world will solve its problems and go on, as long as we don’t prevent that from happening. The question of whether we will continue to seek to force the world to accept American domination, or if we will learn to play well with others, will determine whether or not we are accepted into the new order that is now emerging in Asia and beyond.
The energy supplies and other natural resources that are being fought over will be moved to markets, no matter what. Fighting to claim them, or to keep others from obtaining them, is a backwards policy, meant to enrich the few at the sake of the many. All of this will change.
Whether or not this Nation will be part of the new world alliance is a question that each of us must answer. Will we passively allow the United States to perish from the face of the earth or develop into the full-blown pariah nation that have been becoming, that we will deserve for impeding the advancement of the human race, or will we stop the madness and deception by altering our leaders’ commitment to their present path? Or, will we interfere with their petty plans?
Barack Obama has a very clear choice to make, whether he is going to be remembered as humanity’s emancipator from war or as history’s last tyrant? Obama has to decide what means more to him, pursuing a path that will engender hope in the entire human race, or pursuing his own ambition. Will he take a stand for freedom and human decency by ending all of our wars right now with the stroke of a pen, or will he continue to drag us down the path of total war in Central Asia, the path that we were bound to by the former tyrants, Bush and Cheney?