XIAM007

Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Thursday, 18 November 2010

China sentences woman to labor camp for Twitter post -

China sentences woman to labor camp for Twitter post - 





A Chinese woman has been sentenced to a year in a labor camp for retweeting a Twitter post that mocked Chinese protesters who smashed Japanese products during a recent demonstration, her fiance said Thursday.


On October 17, Cheng Jianping, under the username wangyi09, added a few words to a message written by her fiance, before resending it on Twitter.


Eleven days later on the day the couple had planned to marry, Cheng's fiance, Hua Chunhui was taken away by the police from his office in the southeastern city of Wuxi.


Although he was released 5 days later, Hua hasn't seen Cheng since. He learned from her family that she was taken away by the police from in front of the couple's apartment on the same day as his arrest.


Cheng, 46, was sentenced to one year in a Henan Province labor camp for disturbing social stability.
Cheng also has supported imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo on Twitter.
Hua said that the tweet was simply meant to be satire, with no intention of inciting anti-Japan sentiment. The Twitter message mocked young protesters who smashed Japanese products during a recent demonstration and suggested they smash the Japan Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo.


"This is ridiculous and a typical case of censorship jail," Cheng's lawyer Lan Zhixue said. "People should not be put in jail due to their sarcastic words."


Lan Zhixue and Hua have appealed Cheng's case to the Henan Provincial Department of Justice and People's Court, asking for medical parole for Cheng, who suffers from high blood pressure. The appeal also asks that she be removed from the labor camp.


Cops bust seven men playing chess in upper Manhattan park - squad of cops in bulletproof vests swooped in -

Cops bust seven men playing chess in upper Manhattan park - squad of cops in bulletproof vests swooped in - 




Drop that bishop and come out with your hands up!
A squad of cops in bulletproof vests swooped into an upper Manhattan park and charged seven men with the "crime" of playing chess in an area off-limits to adults unaccompanied by kids -- even though no youngsters were there.
"Is chess really something that should be considered a threat to the neighborhood?" Inwood resident and mom Joanne Johnson wrote Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly after the raid.
"This incident is an embarrassment to the officers from the 34th Precinct who felt that it was necessary to use their badge and authority to issue such a random summons."




The knights in Kevlar armor gave all seven suspects desk-appearance tickets.
The chess tables where they were ticketed for "failure to comply with signs" are in a fenced-in area where posted notices read: "Adults allowed in playground areas only when accompanied by a child under the age of 12."
Police said the rule protects kids from pedophiles or others who might want to harm them.
A police source added, "It’s the broken windows theory . . . small things can turn into bigger things. Some citizens may see it as police harassment, but God forbid something happens to a child, people would be complaining, Why didn’t the police enforce these rules? That’s what they would be griping about."
Yacahuda "Y.A." Harrison, 49, one of those chess aficionados, said he saw those signs months ago and "asked the [Parks] ranger if we had permission to be there."
"The ranger said, 'Oh no, that's fine, that's only written for pedophiles.' "
Since then, he said, parents have welcomed him and the other players -- and even had their kids take chess lessons from them.


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/kiddie_pawn_shock_KnKyQ0JfMITAIqGawRJf8J#ixzz15gkNziYA

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Greek Church takes on 'antichrist' in ID card row - In no way should the 'citizen card' contain the number 666" -

Greek Church takes on 'antichrist' in ID card row - In no way should the 'citizen card' contain the number 666" - 

Senior clerics in Greece have told the state in no uncertain terms that vigilance is required to prevent the antichrist from making a manifestation on new ID cards to be issued next year.
The authorities must ensure that the cards contain no mention of the number 666, which in Greek Orthodox tradition is associated with the antichrist, the Church of Greece said in a statement.
"In no way should the 'citizen card' contain the number 666, either in visible or invisible manner," the Holy Synod, governing council of the Church of Greece,said after a meeting between canon scholars, legal experts, computer specialists and government officials.
"The Church is obliged to protect personal freedom and defend the integrity of the faith," the Holy Synod added.
State planners have pledged to take the observation on board, it said.
The new cards are to be finalised early next year.
The Church is officially part of the state in Greece.
Frequently criticised as backward and superstitious by liberal circles, Orthodox custodians strongly adhere to tradition surrounding the number 666, which appears in the biblical Book of Revelation, believed to have been written by the Apostle John in the first century AD.
Also known as the figure of the Beast, the number has led ultra orthodox clerics to oppose the use of bar codes on goods, as well as electronic checks carried out under the border-free Schengen Area of which Greece is a member.
A decade ago, the Church of Greece had fought tooth and nail to prevent the removal of religious affiliation from the previous batch of identity cards issued to Greeks, even organising a referendum on the issue.

At the time, religious minorities such as Catholics and Jews had successfully argued that the inclusion of faith on the cards could expose the bearer to discrimination.

Debt collectors utilize Facebook to embarrass those who owe - Now Facebook does debt collectors work for them -

Debt collectors utilize Facebook to embarrass those who owe - Now Facebook does debt collectors work for them - 


Debt collectors can be relentless and downright rude on the phone, but now a St. Petersburg woman is filing suit alleging the company that financed her car loan began harassing family members over the social networking website Facebook.
Melanie Beacham says she fell behind on her car payment after getting sick and taking a medical leave from work. She contacted MarkOne Financial to explain the situation but says the harassing phone calls, as many as 20 per day, kept coming. Then one day she got a call from her sister saying the company contacted her in Georgia.
"I was telling her, 'No way, because you're not even a reference,'" said Beacham, who later found out MarkOne contacted her sister and other relatives via Facebook.
Beacham says the company claimed they were doing nothing wrong but, upset over what happened, she contacted Tampa based consumer attorney Billy Howard of Morgan & Morgan.
"Now Facebook does a debt collectors work for them. Now it's not only family members, it's all of your associates. It's a very powerful tool for debt collectors to use," says Howard.
He believes Facebook will soon become a regular method for contact if nothing is done.
"It's getting the desired result, and that is to start a domino effect of panic and embarrassment among family and friends, and people will do anything to stop that."
Howard has now filed a first of its kind lawsuit against MarkOne asking a judge to ban the company from using Facebook and other social networking websites to contact friends and family members over a debt.
10 News was unable to reach MarkOne Financial for comment Monday regarding the suit filed in Pinellas County.
Beacham hopes the lawsuit will keep debt collectors from exploiting consumers on Facebook.
"Nobody should have to go through what I went through," said Beacham. "I was hurt because I just felt I didn't need my family going through that."

Facebook bug disables member - site's system to detect fake accounts lead to inadvertently disable legitimate ones -

Facebook bug disables member - site's system to detect fake accounts lead to inadvertently disable legitimate ones - 






A number of Facebook users found themselves abruptly cut off from the site Tuesday after a glitch in site's system to detect fake accounts lead Facebook to inadvertently disable legitimate ones.
"The bug, which was live for a short period of time, caused a very small percentage of Facebook accounts to be mistakenly disabled," a Facebook spokesman said in a prepared statement. "Upon discovering the bug, we immediately worked to resolve it. It's now been fixed, and we're in the process of reactivating and notifying the people who were affected."


Anecdotal reports suggest that the bug exclusively affected female Facebook users.
Facebook representatives declined to comment on how many of the site's 500 million accounts were affected, or on the specifics of the glitch. Complaints began pouring into Twitter early Tuesday from users denied access. More than a dozen CNNMoney readers reported that their accounts had been deactivated.
Marie Parker in Richmond, Va., was frustrated to find her access blocked Tuesday morning.

Cougar Cruise gets ready to roar again - women in 40s and 50s, who are interested in dating "cubs" in 20s and 30s --

Cougar Cruise gets ready to roar again - women in 40s and 50s, who are interested in dating "cubs" in 20s and 30s -- 




A modern twist on the shipboard romance is making waves again.
The third International Cougar Cruise sets sail next month to the Bahamas -- a three-night trip that organizers are billing as "a weekend of fun, dining, dancing and partying!" for "younger men/older women!"
More than 100 people have signed up so far for the cruise, which aims to bring together "cougars" -- or women in their 40s and 50s -- who are interested in dating "cubs" -- or men in their 20s and 30s -- said Rich Gosse, who came up with the Cougar Cruise concept.
"It's just a lot of cougars and cubs who get together and party 'til you drop," Gosse said.
Co-sponsored by the Singles Travel Company and The Society of Single Professionals, the cruise -- hosted by the Norwegian Sky -- departs from Miami, Florida, on December 3.
Organizers don't have the money to buy out the entire ship, which can accommodate 2,000 passengers, so they take over part of a regular cruise, Gosse said. Singles who are part of the Cougar Cruise get special bracelets so they can recognize each other on board.
(Passengers must be 21 or older to take part, but ages are not otherwise enforced. In fact, several older men showed up on the first Cougar Cruise "to compete with the young bucks," Gosse said.)
Social phenomenon or myth?
Amy Luna Manderino, 44, will be one of those attending the nightly dancing and socializing on the trip. Crowned "Miss Cougar East Bay" in San Francisco, California, in September, she won the cruise as part of the event.
"I'm just going to have fun with a bunch of people who are there for the same reason. I don't have an agenda for the cruise, just have a good time and meet people," said Manderino, a professional dancer who lives in Berkeley, California.
Read more - http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/11/16/cougar.cruise/index.html?hpt=T2

Saturday, 13 November 2010

U.S. Postal Service more than doubled its losses in fiscal year 2010 - loss totaled $8.5B compares to $3.8B last year -

U.S. Postal Service more than doubled its losses in fiscal year 2010 - loss totaled $8.5B compares to $3.8B last year - 


The U.S. Postal Service more than doubled its losses in fiscal year 2010, despite cutting billions of dollars in expenses and trimming its staff.
The Postal Service said its net loss totaled $8.5 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. That compares to a loss of $3.8 billion the prior year.The Postal Service blamed the deeper losses on the recession and on the continuing growth of e-mail. A change in the interest rates affecting the Postal Service's workers' compensation liability also played a role, the organization said.


Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett said the losses were worsening despite cuts that generated cost savings of $9 billion over the past two years. Those savings came primarily from the elimination of 105,000 full-time positions -- "more than any other organization, anywhere," Corbett said.
As more communications go electronic, mail volume keeps dropping. The Postal Service delivered 170.6 billion pieces in its 2010 fiscal year, compared to 176.7 billion pieces the prior year. That decline cost the service around $1 billion in lost revenue.
"We will continue our relentless efforts to innovate and improve efficiency," Corbett said. "However, the need for changes to legislation, regulations and labor contracts has never been more obvious."

KC police fire at backfiring van - Two Kansas City police officers thought they were being shot at returned fire -

KC police fire at backfiring van - Two Kansas City police officers thought they were being shot at returned fire - 




Two Kansas City police officers who thought they were being shot at from inside a van returned fire Thursday night.
Only later did police realize that the van was actually backfiring and the man inside was not armed. He was not injured by the shots fired by police.
Windows of the police car were apparently shot out by the officers as they exited the patrol car.
The officers were dispatched on a report of shots being fired from a white van just before 6 p.m. Thursday on Gregory Boulevard near Interstate 435.
When the officers got to the area they saw a white van parked on Gregory and pulled up near it. As they were getting out of the patrol car they heard the backfiring and fired their weapons. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.
Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/11/12/2425221/kc-police-fire-at-backfiring-van.html#ixzz15DqfEzhG

Saudi Arabia's has blocked Facebook because it doesn't conform with the kingdom's conservative values -

Saudi Arabia's has blocked Facebook because it doesn't conform with the kingdom's conservative values - 




An official with Saudi Arabia's communications authority says it has blocked Facebook because the popular social networking website doesn't conform with the kingdom's conservative values.
The official says Saudi's Communications and Information Technology Commission blocked the site Saturday and an error message shows up when Internet users try to access it.
He says Facebook's content had "crossed a line" with the kingdom's conservative morals, but that blocking the site is a temporary measure.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.
Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam and religious leaders have strong influence over policy making and social mores.

Burma's military government freed its archrival, democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi -

Burma's military government freed its archrival, democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi - 


 Burma's military government freed its archrival, democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, on Saturday after her latest term of detention expired. Several thousand jubilant supporters streamed to her residence.
A smiling Suu Kyi, wearing a traditional jacket and a flower in her hair, appeared at the gate of her compound as the crowd chanted, cheered and sang the national anthem.
"If we work in unity, we will achieve our goal. We have a lot of things to do," she told the well-wishers, who quickly swelled to as many as 5,000. Speaking briefly in Burmese, she said they would see each other again Sunday at the headquarters of her political party.
The 65-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate, whose latest period of detention spanned 7 1/2 years, has come to symbolize the struggle for democracy in the Southeast Asian nation ruled by the military since 1962.
The release from house arrest of one of the world's most prominent political prisoners came a week after an election that was swept by the military's proxy political party and decried by Western nations as a sham designed to perpetuate authoritarian control.


Supporters had been waiting most of the day near her residence and the headquarters of her party. Suu Kyi has been jailed or under house arrest for more than 15 of the last 21 years.
As her release was under way, riot police stationed in the area left the scene and a barbed-wire barricade near her residence was removed, allowing the waiting supporters to surge forward.
Her release was immediately welcomed by world leaders and human rights organizations.
President Obama called Suu Kyi "a hero of mine" said the United States "welcomes her long overdue release."
"Whether Aung San Suu Kyi is living in the prison of her house, or the prison of her country, does not change the fact that she, and the political opposition she represents, has been systematically silenced, incarcerated, and deprived of any opportunity to engage in political processes," he said in a statement.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also said the release was long overdue.
"Aung San Suu Kyi is an inspiration for all of us who believe in freedom of speech, democracy and human rights," he said in a statement.
"It is now crucial that Aung San Suu Kyi has unrestricted freedom of movement and speech and can participate fully in her country's political process," European Commissioner Jose Manuel Barroso said.
Critics allege the Nov. 7 elections were manipulated to give the pro-military party a sweeping victory. Results have been released piecemeal and already have given the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party a majority in both houses of Parliament.

United Nations disgraces itself - again - No Joke: Saudi Arabia Wins Seat on on UN Women Board -

United Nations disgraces itself - again - No Joke: Saudi Arabia Wins Seat on on UN Women Board - 


The UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women -commonly called UN Women -was created this year as a super-agency to promote women's rights and interests. Four UN bureaucracies were brought together to form a single more powerful agency. It is a promising sign that UN Women will be headed by Michelle Bachelet, a former president of Chile and a forceful advocate for women's rights.
The new body's governing council will have 41 members, six from donor countries and 35 named from regional blocs. Iran was one of 10 countries seeking the 10 Asian seats, but at the last minute East Timor bid for a seat, at Australia's urging, and Iran's bid was defeated. Canada did well in joining the U.S. and the European Union in lobbying against Iran.
We regret that there was no such last-minute rebuke to Saudi Arabia, a country where sexism knows no bounds. Women don't have rights. Male relatives take all significant decisions in a Saudi woman's life. Women are not even allowed to drive a car.
The culprit in this madness is the UN's bloc voting system, which rewards regional influence or donations rather than actual respect for rights. The Saudis got a seat as one of the donor countries putting money into certain UN projects; in effect they bought their spot. (Canada did not seek a seat.)
We wish UN Women luck as it tries to "forge partnerships with civil society" -part of the agency's mandate -in Saudi Arabia, and in some of the other unconvincing champions of women's rights given seats alongside the Saudis: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, Nigeria ...
At least Iran was kept off. Only sustained international protest this fall deferred -not cancelled -the death by stoning of a woman accused of adultery there. Protest within Iran is less rewarding: Iran not only has a "dismal record on women's rights" but is also "aggressively going after women's-rights advocates who dare to speak out against their discriminatory laws," Human Rights Watch told Associated Press this week. Post-election protests last year were brutally suppressed. The UN General Assembly has "expressed concern," in the inconsequential UN way, over Iran's use of executions, stoning, torture, and amputations, and its discrimination against minorities.
Even without Iran, this executive board is a mockery. There is now a grave danger that UN Women will find itself having to refight old battles, instead of moving ahead.
The world's women can't afford this nonsense. By allowing regimes like Saudi Arabia's anywhere near the new agency for women, the UN is frittering away still more of its dwindling stock of moral authority. This is a tragedy for the UN, and a disaster for women.


Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/United+Nations+disgraces+itself+again/3816259/story.html#ixzz15CgSIiO7

Bernanke’s worst nightmare: Ron Paul - I’m going to deal with monetary policy,” he said -

Bernanke’s worst nightmare: Ron Paul -  I’m going to deal with monetary policy,” he said - 






Ben Bernanke has had his hands full since his first day on the job as Federal Reserve chairman nearly five years ago. It's about to get even tougher.
His harshest critic on Capitol Hill, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, is about to become one of his overseers.


With the Republicans coming to power, Paul, who would like to abolish the Fed and the nation's current monetary system, will become the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy.
If you've never heard of the committee before, you're not alone. But Paul promises you'll be hearing a lot more from it.
"It's basically been a committee that's dealt with commemorative coins. I'm going to deal with monetary policy," he said.
Paul doesn't think he'll be able to move his proposal to eliminate the Fed, or to allow Americans to use gold instead of paper money as currency. But he said he does intend to use his new position as "a mini-bully pulpit" to criticize Fed policy and call more attention to what he sees as its negative consequences. And he's confident that American voters are ready to delve into those monetary policy questions.
"Five years ago they wouldn't have listened. Now they will," he said. "We've gained a lot of credibility in making the Federal Reserve an issue since the market collapse."

Friday, 12 November 2010

15 Reasons Why Obama’s Debt Commission Is An Exercise In Futility and U.S. Will Never Have A Balanced Budget Ever Again -

15 Reasons Why Obama’s Debt Commission Is An Exercise In Futility and U.S. Will Never Have A Balanced Budget Ever Again - 





In a surprise move, the co-chairs of Barack Obama’s national debt commission released their preliminary proposals to the media on Wednesday.  The proposals are actually quite modest – they recommend that nothing be implemented until 2012 because of the weak economy, and their plan would not balance the federal budget until 2037 – but almost as soon as it was released Democrats and Republicans both started screaming bloody murder about how they would not support it.  The truth is that virtually none of our politicians are willing to make the hard choices that would be necessary to get the national debt under control.  Today, the U.S. national debt is rapidly approaching 14 trillion dollars and it is growing at an exponential rate. It is the single largest debt in the history of the world, and it has increased in size for 53 years in a row.  It would be very difficult to understate the true horror of the debt that the U.S. federal government has accumulated.  So what is the solution?  As you will see below, there isn’t one.  In fact, it will be an absolute miracle if our leaders are able to even slow down the rate at which the debt is growing in the years ahead.
The deficit reduction plan put forward by Erskine Bowles, a former White House chief of staff under Bill Clinton, and Alan Simpson, a former Republican Senator from Wyoming does not even have support from the rest of Barack Obama’s national debt commission.  There is no way that either most Democrats or most Republicans in Congress will ever accept it.  But at least the Bowles-Simpson plan is making headlines around the world and has brought the national debt back to the center of the political debate in this country.
In some ways, the Bowles-Simpson plan is a complete and total fantasy.  For example, it assumes that the U.S. economy is going to fully recover and will experience solid growth for many years to come.  That simply is not going to happen.  The prosperity of the last couple of decades has been fueled by the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world, and there is no way that is going to continue.  At some point the U.S. economy is going to fall apart like a house of cards.
But even if the U.S. economy could magically meet the projections contained in the Bowles-Simpson plan, it still contains a whole host of “poison pills” which make it completely and totally unacceptable to both political parties….
*The plan calls for deep cuts to U.S. military spending.  The Republicans will never go for that.
*The plan reduces Social Security benefits to most retirees in future decades.  The Democrats will never go for that.
*The plan raises the Social Security payroll tax cap to $190,000.  The Republicans will never go for that.
*The plan envisions a very slow rise in the retirement age from 67 to 68 by 2050 and finally to 69 by 2075.  The Democrats will never go for that.
*The plan includes a “less generous” annual cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits.  Considering the fact that Social Security benefits are already not going to see an increase this upcoming year, this proposal is likely to upset a large number of seniors.
*The plan calls for the federal tax on gasoline to approximately double by 2015.  The Republicans would never go for that, and if that was ever implemented it would have a very serious negative impact on the economy.
*The plan would eliminate the deductibility of mortgage interest payments.  Millions upon millions of homeowners would be absolutely furious.
*The plan would tax health benefits provided by employers.  That would make millions of people very angry.
*The plan also calls for huge cuts in farm subsidies.  There are a lot less farmers than there used to be, but that would still be extremely unpopular.
But the truth is that hard choices need to be made.  The national debt is spinning wildly out of control.  The U.S. government is essentially bankrupt.Unfortunately, the majority of the federal budget is made up of entitlement programs.  Entitlement programs are not subject to budget freezes or budget cuts – unless Congress changes the underlying laws.  But any change to major entitlement programs would potentially upset millions of voters.
Not that there are not other areas that could be cut.  Today, the average federal worker earns far more than the average private sector worker.  In fact, wages for federal workers have been escalating at a frightening pace.  In 2005, 7420 federal employees were making $150,000 or more per year.  Today, 82,034 federal employees are making $150,000 or more per year.  That is more than a tenfold increase in just five years.
15 Reasons Why Barack Obama’s Debt Commission Is An Exercise In Futility – The U.S. Government Will Never Have A Balanced Budget Ever Again The National Debt
But any major cuts to federal spending are going to really upset a lot of voters, and our politicians really, really like to get re-elected.  The kinds of cuts that are really needed will never get through the Democrats in Congress and the Republicans in Congress and signed into law by Barack Obama.  There are just way too many things that both major political parties consider to be “untouchable”.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government debt continues to explode.  The debt is already so big, interest on that debt is scheduled to escalate so dramatically, and we have made so many unsustainable promises regarding Social Security and Medicare that it is basically impossible to balance the federal budget at this point.  If serious attempts were actually made to balance the budget in 2011, it would likely create a financial panic, and suddenly sucking over a trillion dollars in federal spending out of the system would crash the economy.
The following are 15 facts that reveal just how obscene the U.S. national debt has become, and why it is now basically impossible to balance the budget of the U.S. government at this point….
#1 On average, the U.S. government accumulates about 4 billion dollars more debteach day.
#2 In just the last 30 years the U.S. government has accumulated 12 trillion dollars more debt.
#3 According to a U.S. Treasury Department report to Congress, the U.S. national debt will climb to an estimated $19.6 trillion by 2015.
#4 The U.S. government has to borrow 41 cents of every dollar that it currently spends.
#5 If the U.S. government was forced to use GAAP accounting principles (like all publicly-traded corporations must), the annual U.S. government budget deficit would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 trillion to $5 trillion.
#6 The Congressional Budget Office projects that the health care bill recently passed by Congress will add an additional trillion dollars to our debt over the next ten years.
#7 Approximately 57 percent of Barack Obama’s 3.8 trillion dollar budget for 2011 consists of direct payments to individual Americans or is money that is spent on their behalf.  Any attempt to reduce those payments will make a lot of people very angry.
#8 According to the Congressional Budget Office, in 2010 the Social Security systemwill pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes.  That was not supposed to happen until at least 2016.
#9 Back in 1950, each retiree’s Social Security benefit was paid for by approximately 16 workers.  Today, each retiree’s Social Security benefit is paid for by approximately 3.3 workers.  By 2025 it is projected that there will be approximately two workers for each retiree.
#10 According to an official U.S. government report, rapidly growing interest costs on the U.S. national debt together with spending on major entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare will absorb approximately 92 cents of every dollar of federal revenue by the year 2019.  That is before a single penny is spent on anything else.
#11 Right now, interest on the U.S. national debt and spending on entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare falls somewhere between 10 percent and 15 percent of GDP each year.  By 2080, they are projected to eat up approximately 50 percent of GDP.
#12 The present value of projected scheduled benefits exceeds earmarked revenues for entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare by about 46 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.
#13 After analyzing Congressional Budget Office data, Boston University economics professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff concluded that the U.S. government is facing a “fiscal gap” of $202 trillion dollars.
#14 At our current pace, the Congressional Budget Office is projecting that U.S. government public debt will hit 716 percent of GDP by the year 2080.
#15 Sometimes we forget just how big a trillion dollars is.  If right this moment you went out and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars.  The U.S. national debt increased by more than a trillion dollars last year, it will increase by more than a trillion dollars this year and it is being projected to increase by more than a trillion dollars the following year.
We are literally drowning in debt.  We have been living beyond our means for decades, and most Americans do not understand that eventually that is really, really going to start catching up with us.
Already, the United States is fading as an economic power.  According to the Conference Board, China will surpass the United States and will become the biggest economy in the world by the year 2012.
That is just two years away.
So how did we get into such a mess?  Well, it all goes back to the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913.  The Federal Reserve was created to enslave the United States government in an endlessly growing spiral of debt from which it would never be able to escape.
That is exactly what has happened.  Our money is actually debt-based.  That is why they are called “Federal Reserve notes”.  When the Federal Reserve creates more money for the U.S. government to borrow, it does not also create money for the interest to be paid on that debt.  Eventually the U.S. government is forced to borrow even more money just to keep up with the game.
Today, if you gathered up all of the physical currency from every bank, every business and every individual in the United States, you would not even put much of a dent in the national debt.  That is how bad things have gotten.
A lot of people got elected to Congress by promising to balance the federal budget and by promising to start reducing the U.S. national debt.  But those ships have sailed.  The U.S. government will always have a national debt under the Federal Reserve system, and things have gotten so bad financially for our government that it is now virtually impossible to even balance the budget for a single year.
In the 90s, the Clinton administration and the Republican Congress briefly balanced the federal budget by “borrowing” massive amounts of money from the Social Security surplus.  Using GAAP accounting, the budget was not even close to balanced at that point, but many point to that time as a moment when the U.S. government was at least somewhat fiscally responsible.
Well, the Social Security surplus is gone forever.  Now we have a Social Security deficit which is only going to explode in size in future years.
In addition, the financial condition of the U.S. government has deteriorated enormously over the past 10 years, and things only look worse the further you look into the future.
Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is falling to pieces all around us.  We are experiencing our longest bout of serious long-term unemployment since the Great Depression, 42 million Americans are on food stamps and the United States is being deindustrialized at a pace that is mind blowing.
As America continues to get poorer, the U.S. government is going to really struggle to raise revenue.  But interest payments and financial obligations are projected to escalate wildly.  At this point it is really hard to envision a scenario that does not lead to the eventual financial collapse of the U.S. government.


Read more - http://blacklistednews.com/15-Reasons-Why-Barack-Obama%E2%80%99s-Debt-Commission-Is-An-Exercise-In-Futility-%E2%80%93-The-U.S.-Government-Will-Never-Have-A-Balanced-Budget-Ever-Again-/11437/0/13/13/Y/M.html