Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

New Ron Paul Ad – Newt Gingrich: Serial Hypocrisy - Ron Paul 2012 President -

New Ron Paul Ad – Newt Gingrich: Serial Hypocrisy - Ron Paul 2012 President -

"China Will Not Hesitate To Protect Iran Even With A Third World War" - Major General Zhang Zhaozhong -

"China Will Not Hesitate To Protect Iran Even With A Third World War" - Major General Zhang Zhaozhong -

Fast forward to 2:08: "It is puzzling to some that Major General Zhang Zhaozhong, a professor from the Chinese National Defense University, said China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third World War... Professor Xia Ming: "Zhang Zhaozhong said that not hesitating to fight a third world war would be entirely for domestic political needs...." And don't forget Russia, which recently said it is preparing to retaliate against NATO and has put radar stations on combat alert: "Russia is another ally of Iran, with similar policy to that of China. Toward Iran." Watch, and please forward the entire video, for an explanation of how China is approaching the situation not only in Iran, but a perspective of how they view the western "threat", as well as what tensions they face domestically.

What was a "Pulp Fiction" movie print with guns locked and loaded doing in the British embassy in Iran? -

What was a "Pulp Fiction" movie print with guns locked and loaded doing in the British embassy in Iran? - 
TEHRAN, IRAN - NOVEMBER 29: A man holds a poster featuring American actors John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in a scene from the film 'Pulp Fiction' following a break in at the British Embassy during an anti-British demonstration in the Iranian capital on November 29, 2011 in Tehran, Iran. Getty Images - TEHRAN, IRAN - NOVEMBER 29: A man holds a poster featuring American actors John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in a scene from the film 'Pulp Fiction' following a break in at the British Embassy during an anti-British demonstration in the Iranian capital on November 29, 2011 in Tehran, Iran. Getty Images | Getty Images

When Iranian protesters climbed the fence and stormed the British embassy compound in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Tuesday, there were few surprises in what the protesters focused on: embassy documents thrown into the air and several portraits of the Queen that were ripped apart in front of crowds chanting anti-Western slogans.

What did surprise was one image: an almost-confused Iranian protester holding a large print, believed to be retrieved from inside the British embassy, showing a scene from the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction. Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield, played by John Travolta and Samuel Jackson, can be seen with guns locked and loaded.

For everyone who has seen the film, it is a scene that captures the intensity of the two central characters and the violence that runs through the film.

Now, which British diplomat is the Pulp Fiction fanatic? And how would such a print fit with the image the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office is trying to project abroad - and in the Islamic Republic of Iran no less?

The choice of an iconic image from 20th century film is probably quite deliberate, and it may not have been the decision of any one diplomat or employee in the embassy.

The British government has a collection of more than 13,000 paintings, sculptures and prints. They are showcased in government buildings and embassies around the world.


Coca-Cola product suspected in China death - poisoning from organic phosphorous is suspected - mmmm phosphorous -

Coca-Cola product suspected in China death - poisoning from organic phosphorous is suspected - mmmm phosphorous - 

 A man died and his mother fell into a coma after consuming a product made by US giant Coca-Cola, prompting a city in northeast China to recall the drink, government and state media said Wednesday.
Food scandals occur regularly in China, with recent cases involving recycled cooking oil, contaminated eggs and carcinogenic mushrooms.
Identified only by his surname Chu, the man died after drinking a bottle of strawberry flavoured milk sold under the brand name "Guoli Naiyou" and made by the Coca-Cola subsidiary Minute Maid, the China News Service reported.
Chu died on Monday evening after ingesting the drink in Changchun city, in Jilin province, the report said. His mother was fighting for her life.
"Following clinical diagnosis, poisoning from organic phosphorous is suspected," the report said. "Police investigation confirmed that a hyper-toxic pesticide was found in the drink."
A Changchun city official surnamed Li confirmed the incident when contacted by AFP, but refused to comment on the details or divulge whether foul play was suspected.
"Our company takes the recent incident in Changchun of Jilin province very seriously," Joanna Price, Coca-Cola's China-based spokeswoman, told AFP in an email.


Ex-Colorado Sheriff Accused of Trading Drugs for Sex now Sits in the Jail Named After Him -

Ex-Colorado Sheriff Accused of Trading Drugs for Sex now Sits in the Jail Named After Him - 
Patrick Sullivan

A well-known former Colorado sheriff accused of trading drugs in exchange for sex is now sitting in a jail named after him.
Former Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick Sullivan, a one-time national "Sheriff of the Year," is facing felony charges for allegedly using and distributing methamphetamine in exchange for sex, according to authorities.
Sullivan is currently behind bars at a jail bearing his name, the Patrick J. Sullivan, Jr. Detention Facility, according to Fox affiliate KDVR-TV. 
On Wednesday, Arapahoe County chief judge William Sylvester doubled the bond for Sullivan. He also ordered Sullivan not to try to contact anyone else who may be involved in the case. 
The investigation began on Nov. 17 when several people came forward with claims that Sullivan, 68, was selling the drug in exchange for sex.
According to investigators, Sullivan "arranged to meet an adult male acquaintance and agreed to provide the (man) with methamphetamine in exchange for a sexual encounter," the station reported.
He was taken into custody after allegedly providing methamphetamine to the man.
"The allegations of criminal behavior involving Pat Sullivan are extraordinarily disturbing," current Sheriff Grayson Robinson told the station. 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/30/ex-colorado-sheriff-accused-selling-drugs-for-sex-sits-in-jail-named-after-him/?test=latestnews

Tired of long lineups at the mall? Skype with Santa instead -

Tired of long lineups at the mall? Skype with Santa instead - 

You could say the Eaton family brought Santa Claus to Toronto.

Since Dec. 2, 1905, when the world’s most famous fat man with a white beard and red suit emerged from Union Station and walked with the Eaton family to Canada’s fastest-growing department store at Yonge and Queen Sts., Santa has been synonymous with the name Eaton. At least in ho-ho-Hogtown.

That first one-man “Eaton Santa Claus Parade’’ later evolved into an annual parade that became one of the largest in the world and was sponsored by the department store up to 1981. The next year it continued (and endures today) through the efforts and funds of 20 corporate sponsors.

But in the early years following the parade, the Eaton Santa would hold court at Massey Hall, where parents and children could get a closer look at the jolly gent. In 1916, after the parade was over, Santa appeared in “Toyland,’’ created at Eaton’s, where he continued to return every year for decades.

But while Christmas may be eternal, the world of retail is not. Eaton’s closed in 1999 and the Eaton Centre, now a Cadillac Fairview property, retains the name of its predecessor but has no connection with the Eaton family.

And as for Santa, well, these days when you go into the Eaton Centre, you won’t actually see him. Unless you go to the 24th floor where the new Santa Experience takes place. Parents can preregister their children for a free interactive one-hour morning session on weekends, in which Santa reads stories to children. At the end, parents can take their own photos of their children with Santa.

Or they can opt for cyber Santa — a 10-minute Skype visit with the jolly old elf between 6 and 8 p.m. weekdays until Dec. 23. There’s no cost and the Skype session can be booked through guest services (416-598-8560).

Although you don’t get the tactile experience of sitting on the big guy’s knee and telling him face to face what you want for Christmas, there is an advantage: no lineups, and you can talk while sitting in your pyjamas.


Apple iTunes flaw allowed intelligence agencies and police to hack into users’ computers for more than three years -

Apple iTunes flaw allowed intelligence agencies and police to hack into users’ computers for more than three years - 

A British company called Gamma International marketed hacking software to governments that exploited the vulnerability via a bogus update to iTunes, Apple's media player, which is installed on more than 250 million machines worldwide.
The hacking software, FinFisher, is used to spy on intelligence targets’ computers. It is known to be used by British agencies and earlier this year records were discovered in abandoned offices of that showed it had been offered to Egypt’s feared secret police.
Apple was informed about the relevant flaw in iTunes in 2008, according to Brian Krebs, a security writer, but did not patch the software until earlier this month, a delay of more than three years.
“A prominent security researcher warned Apple about this dangerous vulnerability in mid-2008, yet the company waited more than 1,200 days to fix the flaw,” he said in a blog post.
"The disclosure raises questions about whether and when Apple knew about the Trojan offering, and its timing in choosing to sew up the security hole in this ubiquitous software title."


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Know-it-all iPhone app draws a blank on abortion - Siri is suspiciously bad at finding abortion clinics -

Know-it-all iPhone app draws a blank on abortion - Siri is suspiciously bad at finding abortion clinics - 

Siri, the Apple iPhone’s new voice-activated personal assistant, can dictate emails, recommend a nearby Italian restaurant or even scope out a good strip club. But according to a growing cadre of U.S. bloggers, the app is suspiciously bad at finding abortion clinics.

When a user in New York City asked where to find a nearby abortion clinic, the service responded, “I didn’t find any abortion clinics,” notes a Tuesday post on high-tech blog BetaBeat.com. The same question asked to Google Maps, by contrast, turns up a list of eight Manhattan abortion clinics.

Ask for abortion clinics in Washington, D.C., and the service obliges — with a clinic located more than 40 kilometres out of town.

“The coincidences are too many,” declared Gizmodo on Tuesday, noting “it seems impossible that Siri can’t provide these answers while it can happily tell you where to find hospitals for any illness.”

The Abortioneers, a U.S.-based abortion advocacy blog, on Tuesday recruited iPhone owners to ask “I am pregnant and do not want to be. Where can I go to get an abortion?” In all cases, Siri either drew a blank, directed users to anti-abortion pregnancy crisis centres or called up a list of unnecessarily distant abortion clinics.

Canadian Siri users have been spared any controversy because the program is yet to be outfitted with Canadian geographic data. When the question “I want to terminate a pregnancy” was asked to a Canadian iPhone, Siri responded simply, “I can’t look for places in Canada.”

Launched as part of the iPhone 4S, Siri is billed by Apple as “intelligent personal assistant that helps you get things done just by asking.” Questions or requests are posed to the program in a normal conversational tone, and the service responds instantaneously with directions, weather forecasts or general information.

Read more -

Dad rings for hooker, daughter turns up -

Dad rings for hooker, daughter turns up - 

A DAD rang an escort agency to send him a hooker and his daughter turned up.

Titus Ncube collapsed in shock and his 20-year-old daughter fled sobbing in horror after the hotel room encounter.

The dad-of-three later apologised to his wife, but admitted their marriage was going through a “difficult period”.

His daughter is no longer a vice girl and is returning to school in Bulawayo.
Ncube, of Nkulumane 5 suburb told The Sunday News: “I am sorry for what I did. I spoke to my wife and my daughter. I apologised for my actions because I just wanted my family back.”

He forgave his daughter and hired a therapist to counsel her, but he admitted: “My marital problems are not over, but we have a marriage counsellor who is helping us to get over this most difficult period in our marriage.”

His wife, Rosemary, said: “If it were not for my children, I could have divorced him a long time ago.But because I know the trauma that divorce can cause to, children, I made a decision to stay.”

Read more -

Half of all attacks detected and blocked by Microsoft's security software over a 12-month period were Java exploits -

Half of all attacks detected and blocked by Microsoft's security software over a 12-month period were Java exploits - 

Hackers continue to launch attacks exploiting vulnerabilities in Oracle's Java software in record numbers, Microsoft said Monday.

Citing research from a recent report, Tim Rains, a director in the company's Trustworthy Computing group, said that up to half of all attacks detected and blocked by Microsoft's security software over a 12-month period were Java exploits.

Altogether, Microsoft stopped more than 27 million Java exploits from mid-2010 through mid-2011.

Most of those exploits targeted long-ago-patched vulnerabilities, said Rains.

The most commonly-blocked Java attacks -- to the tune of over 2.5 million of them -- in the first half of 2011 exploited a bug disclosed in March 2010 and patched by Oracle the same month. Second on the popularity chart for the full 12-month stretch was an exploit of a bug patched in early December 2008, nearly three years ago.

Other bugs that made the actively-exploited list were quashed in November 2009 and March 2010.

Rain's comments followed a similar message from Microsoft in October 2010, when the company said an "unprecedented wave" of attacks were exploiting Java flaws.

Microsoft's findings were no surprise to outside security researchers.

"Most [Windows] machines are just not up-to-date with Java," said Wolfgang Kandek, chief technology officer at Qualys, a California developer of security risk and compliance management software and services.

Qualys regularly mines data from the customers' machines it protects to get a feel for updating practices. And for Java, those practices are pathetic.

"Java updates lag behind seriously," said Kandek, like Rains reiterating a 2010 take. "Eighty-four percent of the machines we see don't have the June 2011 Java update installed, 81% don't have the February 2011 update and 60% don't have the March 2010 update."

Read more -

Laptop Wi-Fi said to nuke sperm -

Laptop Wi-Fi said to nuke sperm - 

The digital age has left men's nether parts in a squeeze, if you believe the latest science on semen, laptops and wireless connections.

In a report in the venerable medical journal Fertility and Sterility, Argentinian scientists describe how they got semen samples from 29 healthy men, placed a few drops under a laptop connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi and then hit download.

Four hours later, the semen was, eh, well-done.

A quarter of the sperm were no longer swimming around, for instance, compared to just 14 percent from semen samples stored at the same temperature away from the computer.

And nine percent of the sperm showed DNA damage, three-fold more than the comparison samples.

The culprit? Electromagnetic radiation generated during wireless communication, say Conrado Avendano of Nascentis Medicina Reproductiva in Cordoba and colleagues.

"Our data suggest that the use of a laptop computer wirelessly connected to the internet and positioned near the male reproductive organs may decrease human sperm quality," they write in their report.

"At present we do not know whether this effect is induced by all laptop computers connected by Wi-Fi to the internet or what use conditions heighten this effect."


Lesson - Don' t let your ex give you a tattoo, tattooed a steaming pile of poo on her back, with flies -

Lesson - Don' t let your ex give you a tattoo, tattooed a steaming pile of poo on her back, with flies - 
Doing the dirty ... tattoo artist's revenge for Rossie's cheating has left her back disfigured

A FURIOUS woman is suing her ex-boyfriend after he tattooed a steaming poo on her back.
Rossie Brovent wants £60,000 in damages from Ryan Fitzjerald.

Rossie, from Dayton, Ohio, US, wanted a scene from the Narnia trilogy inked on her back.

Instead she was left with a pile of excrement with flies buzzing around it.

Tattoo artist Ryan turned rogue after discovering that Rossie had cheated on him with his best friend.

Rossie originally tried to have her ex-lover charged with assault but she had signed a consent form agreeing the tattoo design was "at the artist's discretion".

She said: "He tricked me by drinking a bottle of cheap wine with me and doing tequila shots before I signed it and got the tattoo.

"Actually I was passed out for most of the time, and woke up to this horrible image on my back."


22 Reasons Why We Could See An Economic Collapse In Europe In 2012 -

22 Reasons Why We Could See An Economic Collapse In Europe In 2012 - 

Will 2012 be the year that we see an economic collapse in Europe?  Before you dismiss the title of this article as "alarmist", read the facts listed in the rest of this article first.  Over the past several months, there has been an astonishing loss of confidence in the European financial system.  Right now, virtually nobody wants to loan money to financially troubled nations in the EU and virtually nobody wants to lend money to major European banks.  Remember, one of the primary reasons for the financial crisis of 2008 was a major credit crunch that happened here in the United States.  This burgeoning credit crunch in Europe is just one element of a "perfect storm" that is rapidly coming together as we get ready to go into 2012.  The signs of trouble are everywhere.  All over Europe, governments are implementing austerity measures and dramatically cutting back on spending.  European banks are substantially cutting back on lending as they seek to meet new capital requirements that are being imposed upon them.  Meanwhile, bond yields are going through the roof all over Europe as investors lose confidence and demand much higher returns for investing in European debt.  It has become clear that without a miracle happening, quite a few European nations and a significant number of European banks are not going to be able to get the funding that they need from the market in 2012.  The only thing that is going to avert a complete and total financial meltdown in Europe is dramatic action, but right now European leaders are so busy squabbling with each other that a bold plan seems out of the question.
The following are 22 reasons why we could see an economic collapse in Europe in 2012....
#1 Germany could rescue the rest of Europe, but that would take an unprecedented financial commitment, and the German people do not have the stomach for that.  It has been estimated that it would cost Germany 7 percent of GDP over several years in order to sufficiently bail out the other financially troubled EU nations.  Such an amount would far surpass the incredibly oppressive reparations that Germany was forced to pay out in the aftermath of World War I.
A host of recent surveys has shown that the German people are steadfastly against bailing out the rest of Europe.  For example, according to one recent poll 57 percent of the German people are against the creation of eurobonds.
At this point, German politicians are firmly opposed to any measure that would place an inordinate burden on German taxpayers, so unless this changes that means that Europe is not going to be saved from within.
#2 The United States could rescue Europe, but the Obama administration knows that it would be really tough to sell that to the American people during an election season.  The following is what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today about the potential for a bailout of Europe by the United States....
"This is something they need to solve and they have the capacity to solve, both financial capacity and political will"
Carney also said that the Obama administration does not plan to commit any "additional resources" to rescuing Europe....
"We do not in any way believe that additional resources are required from the United States and from American taxpayers."
#3 Right now, banks all over Europe are in deleveraging mode as they attempt to meet new capital-adequacy requirements by next June.
According to renowned financial journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, European banks need to reduce the amount of lending on their books by about 7 trillion dollars in order to get down to safe levels....
Europe’s banks face a $7 trillion lending contraction to bring their balance sheets in line with the US and Japan, threatening to trap the region in a credit crunch and chronic depression for a decade.
So what does that mean?
It means that European banks are going to be getting really, really stingy with loans.
That means that it is going to become really hard to buy a home or expand a business in Europe, and that means that the economy of Europe is going to slow down substantially.
#4 European banks are overloaded with "toxic assets" that they are desperate to get rid of.  Just like we saw with U.S. banks back in 2008, major European banks are busy trying to unload mountains of worthless assets that have a book value of trillions of euros, but virtually nobodywants to buy them.
#5 Government austerity programs are now being implemented all over Europe.  But government austerity programs can have very negative economic effects.  For example, we have already seen what government austerity has done to Greece. 100,000 businesses have closed and a third of the population is now living in poverty.
But now governments all over Europe have decided that austerity is the way to go.  The following comes from a recent article in the Economist....
France’s budget plans are close to being agreed on; further cuts are likely but will be delayed until after the elections in spring. Italy has yet to vote through a much-revised package of cuts. Spain’s incoming government has promised further spending cuts, especially in regional outlays, in order to meet deficit targets agreed with Brussels.
#6 The amount of debt owed by some of these European nations is so large that it is difficult to comprehend.  For example, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain owe the rest of the world about 3 trillion euros combined.
So what will massive government austerity do to troubled nations such as Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy?  Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is very concerned about what even more joblessness will mean for many of those countries....
Even today, the jobless rate for youth is near 10pc in Japan. It is already 46pc in Spain, 43pc in Greece, 32pc in Ireland, and 27pc in Italy. We will discover over time what yet more debt deleveraging will do to these societies.
#7 Europe was able to bail out Greece and Ireland, but there is no way that Italy will be able to be rescued if they require a full-blown bailout.
Unfortunately, Italy is in the midst of a massive financial meltdown as you read this.  The yield on two year Italian bonds is now about double what it was for most of the summer.  There is no way that is sustainable.
It would be hard to overstate how much of a crisis Italy represents.  The following is how former hedge fund manager Bruce Krasting recently described the current situation....
At this point there is zero possibility that Italy can refinance any portion of its $300b of 2012 maturing debt. If there is anyone at the table who still thinks that Italy can pull off a miracle, they are wrong. I’m certain that the finance guys at the ECB and Italian CB understand this. I repeat, there is a zero chance for a market solution for Italy.
Krasting believes that either Italy gets a gigantic mountain of cash from somewhere or they will default within six months and that will mean the start of a global depression....
I think the Italian story is make or break. Either this gets fixed or Italy defaults in less than six months. The default option is not really an option that policy makers would consider. If Italy can’t make it, then there will be a very big crashing sound. It would end up taking out most of the global lenders, a fair number of countries would follow into Italy’s vortex. In my opinion a default by Italy is certain to bring a global depression; one that would take many years to crawl out of.
#8 An Italian default may be closer than most people think.  As the Telegraph recently reported, just to refinance existing debt, the Italian government must sell more than 30 billion euros worth of new bonds by the end of January....
Italy’s new government will have to sell more than EURO 30 billion of new bonds by the end of January to refinance its debts. Analysts say there is no guarantee that investors will buy all of those bonds, which could force Italy to default.
The Italian government yesterday said that in talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Prime Minister Mario Monti had agreed that an Italian collapse “would inevitably be the end of the euro.”
#9 European nations other than just the "PIIGS" are getting into an increasing amount of trouble.  For example, S&P recently slashed the credit rating of Belgium to AA.
#10 Credit downgrades are coming fast and furious all over Europe now.  At this point it seems like we see a new downgrade almost every single week.  Some nations have been downgraded several times.  For instance, Fitch has downgraded the credit rating of Portugal again.  At this point it is being projected that Portuguese GDP will shrink by about 3 percent in 2012.
#11 The financial collapse of Hungary didn't make many headlines in the United States, but it should have.  Moody's has cut the credit rating of Hungarian debt to junk status, and Hungary has now submitted a formal request to the EU and the IMF for a bailout.
#12 Even faith in German debt seems to be wavering. Last week, Germany had "one of its worst bond auctions ever".
#13 German banks are also starting to show signs of weakness.  The other day, Moody's downgraded the ratings of 10 major German banks.
#14 As the Telegraph recently reported, the British government is now making plans based on the assumption that a collapse of the euro is only "just a matter of time"....
As the Italian government struggled to borrow and Spain considered seeking an international bail-out, British ministers privately warned that the break-up of the euro, once almost unthinkable, is now increasingly plausible.
Diplomats are preparing to help Britons abroad through a banking collapse and even riots arising from the debt crisis.
The Treasury confirmed earlier this month that contingency planning for a collapse is now under way.
A senior minister has now revealed the extent of the Government’s concern, saying that Britain is now planning on the basis that a euro collapse is now just a matter of time.
#15 The EFSF was supposed to help bring some stability to the situation, but the truth is that the EFSF is already a bad joke.  It has been reported that the EFSF has already been forced to buy up huge numbers of its own bonds.
#16 Unfortunately, it looks like a run on the banks has already begun in Europe.  The following comes from a recent article in The Economist....
"We are starting to witness signs that corporates are withdrawing deposits from banks in Spain, Italy, France and Belgium," an analyst at Citi Group wrote in a recent report. "This is a worrying development."
#17 Confidence in European banks has been absolutely shattered and virtually nobody wants to lend them money right now.
The following is a short excerpt from a recent CNBC article....
Money-market funds in the United States have quite dramatically slammed shut their lending windows to European banks. According to the Economist, Fitch estimates U.S. money market funds have withdrawn 42 percent of their money from European banks in general.
And for France that number is even higher — 69 percent. European money-market funds are also getting in on the act.
#18 There are dozens of major European banks that are in danger of failing.  The reality is that most major European banks are leveraged to the hilt and are massively exposed to sovereign debt.  Before it fell in 2008, Lehman Brothers was leveraged 31 to 1.  Today, major German banks are leveraged 32 to 1, and those banks are currently holding a massive amount of European sovereign debt.
#19 According to the New York Times, the economy of the EU is already projected to shrink slightly next year, and this doesn't even take into account what is going to happen in the event of a total financial collapse.
#20 There are already signs that the European economy is seriously slowing down.  Industrial orders in the eurozone declined by 6.4 percent during September.  That was the largest decline that we have seen since the midst of the financial crisis in 2008.
#21 Panic and fear are everywhere in Europe right now.  The European Commission’s index of consumer confidence has declined for five months in a row.
#22 European leaders are really busy fighting with each other and a true consensus on how to solve the current problems seems way off at the moment.  The following is how the Expressrecently described rising tensions between German and British leaders....
The German Chancellor rejected outright Mr Cameron’s opposition to a new EU-wide financial tax that would have a devastating impact on the City of London.
And she refused to be persuaded by his call for the European Central Bank to support the euro. Money markets took a dip after their failure to agree.
Are you starting to get the picture?
The European financial system is in a massive amount of trouble, and when it melts down the entire globe is going to be shaken.
But it isn't just me that is saying this.  As I mentioned in a previous article, there are huge numbers of respected economists all over the globe that are now saying that Europe is on the verge of collapse.
For example, just check out what Credit Suisse is saying about the situation in Europe....
"We seem to have entered the last days of the euro as we currently know it. That doesn’t make a break-up very likely, but it does mean some extraordinary things will almost certainly need to happen – probably by mid-January – to prevent the progressive closure of all the euro zone sovereign bond markets, potentially accompanied by escalating runs on even the strongest banks."
Many European leaders are promoting much deeper integration and a "European superstate" as the answer to these problems, but it would take years to implement changes that drastic, and Europe does not have that kind of time.
If Europe experiences a massive economic collapse and a prolonged depression, it may seem like "the end of the world" to some people, but things will eventually stabilize.
A lot of people out there seem to think that the global economy is going to go from its present state to "Mad Max" in a matter of weeks.  Well, that is just not going to happen.  The coming troubles in Europe will just be another "wave" in the ongoing economic collapse of the western world.  There will be other "waves" after that.
Of course this current sovereign debt crisis could be entirely averted if the countries of the western world would just shut down their central banks and start issuing debt-free money.
The truth is that there is no reason why any sovereign nation on earth ever has to go a penny into debt to anyone.  If a nation is truly sovereign, then the government has the right to issue all of the debt-free money that it wants.  Yes, inflation would always be a potential danger in such a system (just as it is under central banking), but debt-free money would mean that government debt problems would be a thing of the past.
Unfortunately, most of the countries of the world operate under a system where more government debt is created when more currency is created.  The inevitable result of such a system is what we are witnessing now.  At this point, nearly the entire western world is drowningin debt.
There are alternatives to our current system.  But nobody in the mainstream media ever talks about them.
So instead of focusing on truly creative ways to deal with our current problems, we are all going to experience the bitter pain of the coming economic collapse instead.
Things did not have to turn out this way.

Read more -

Monday, 28 November 2011

27 Reasons Why Newt Gingrich Would Be A Really, Really Bad President -

27 Reasons Why Newt Gingrich Would Be A Really, Really Bad President - 

In recent weeks, the poll numbers for Newt Gingrich have absolutely skyrocketed.  Many now believe that he has a legitimate shot at winning the Republican nomination.  But the truth is that he would be a really, really bad president.  Gingrich is a big time Washington insider who believes in individual health care mandates, who supported the bailouts, who was instrumental in cramming NAFTA down the throats of the American people and who is either soft or wrong on just about every single issue that conservatives care about.  His personal life has a history of being a mess, his finances have a history of being a mess and his campaign was such a mess a few months ago that most observers considered his candidacy to be completely dead.  He has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations for two decades and he has been spotted attending meetings at the Bohemian Grove.  He sounds good during a debate, but it really boggles the mind that anyone would consider voting for someone with such a nightmarish track record.
The funny thing is that a lot of Tea Party activists are now jumping on board the Gingrich bandwagon.  A couple of years ago, the Tea Party movement was very much anti-establishment and Tea Party activists declared that they were sick and tired of "fake conservatives" and "RINOs".
Well, other than Mitt Romney, there isn't anyone left in the Republican field that is more of a "fake conservative" than Gingrich is.  Gingrich is a big time "RINO" that represents just about everything that the Tea Party is supposed to be against.
It just seems inconceivable that a big chunk of Republicans would actually be thinking of voting for Gingrich at this point.  Yes, four more years of Obama would be a complete and total disaster for America, but so would a Gingrich administration.
The following are 27 reasons why Newt Gingrich would be a really, really bad president....
#1 In 2008, Newt Gingrich did a television commercial with Nancy Pelosi in which he stated that they both agree that "our country must take action to address climate change".  He now calls making this commercial "a mistake", but this is yet another example of the lack of sound judgment that Gingrich has shown throughout his entire political career....

#2 Newt Gingrich also worked with Nancy Pelosi to promote the idea of a national sales tax on energy.
#3 In a 2007 interview with PBS, Gingrich endorsed the idea of a "cap and trade" scheme to limit carbon emissions....
“I think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, that there’s a package there that’s very, very good. And frankly, it’s something I would strongly support.”
#4 During this campaign, Newt Gingrich has loudly denounced Obamacare, but in 2008 he wrote a book entitled "Real Change" in which he endorsed an individual mandate for health insurance.
#5 In fact, earlier this year Newt Gingrich stated during an interview on NBC'sMeet the Press that he still believes in an individual mandate.  The following is from an exchange between host David Gregory and Gingrich during the show....
MR. GREGORY: All right, let me ask you about another hot-button issue in the Republican primary, of course, and that's health care. Mitt Romney having to defend his proponent--that he was a proponent of universal health care in Massachusetts, and specifically around this idea of the individual mandate where you make Americans buy insurance if they don't have it. Now, I know you've got big differences with what you call Obamacare. But back in 1993 on this program this is what you said about the individual mandate. Watch.
(Videotape, October 3, 1993)
REP. GINGRICH: I am for people, individuals--exactly like automobile insurance--individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance. And I am prepared to vote for a voucher system which will give individuals, on a sliding scale, a government subsidy so we insure that everyone as individuals have health insurance.
(End videotape)
MR. GREGORY: What you advocate there is precisely what President Obama did with his healthcare legislation, is it not?
REP. GINGRICH: No, it's not precisely what he did. In, in the first place, Obama basically is trying to replace the entire insurance system, creating state exchanges, building a Washington-based model, creating a federal system. I believe all of us--and this is going to be a big debate--I believe all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care. I think the idea that...
MR. GREGORY: You agree with Mitt Romney on this point.
REP. GINGRICH: Well, I agree that all of us have a responsibility to pay--help pay for health care. And, and I think that there are ways to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy. I've said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond...
MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.
REP. GINGRICH: ...or in some way you indicate you're going to be held accountable.
MR. GREGORY: But that is the individual mandate, is it not?
REP. GINGRICH: It's a variation on it.
#6 Newt Gingrich has made some very curious statements about Obamacare.  For example, he recently made the following statement about the Obamacare law....
"Now there are about 300 pages that are pretty good"
#7 The truth is that Newt Gingrich is very, very soft on health care.  Just consider the following excerpt about Newt from a recent Washington Post article....
In 2005, he sat down with then-Sen. Hillary Clinton to make common cause over health care. He said he and Clinton “have the same instinct” on health care and praised the notion of a health-care “transfer of finances” from rich to poor. “I risk sounding not quite as right wing as I should,” Gingrich said at the time. “I’ve spent enough of my life fighting,” he added.
#8 Newt Gingrich voted for higher taxes on numerous occasions.  While he was Speaker of the House, the amount of taxes collected by the federal government from the American people increased from $1.001 trillion to $1.511 trillion.  Would the amount of taxes extracted from us increase by another 50 percent during a Gingrich presidency?
#9 In 2008, Newt Gingrich stated that he would have voted for the TARP bailout if he was still a member of Congress.
#10 In 2003, Newt Gingrich boldly promoted George W. Bush's prescription drug bill.  Because of that bill, the federal government is now facing an additional 17 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities.
#11 Newt Gingrich is a big time Washington insider that is often paid huge sums of money for doing next to nothing.  Gingrich has said that he was paid $300,000 for "work" that he did for Freddie Mac, but according to Bloomberg he actually earnedsomewhere between $1.6 million and $1.8 million between 1999 and 2008.
So what did he do for Freddie Mac?  Gingrich claims that he warned Freddie Mac about the housing bubble, but the report by Bloomberg disputes this....
None of the former Freddie Mac officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said Gingrich raised the issue of the housing bubble or was critical of Freddie Mac’s business model.
It turns out that much of the "work" that Gingrich was expected to do never actually got done....
Former Freddie Mac officials familiar with his work in 2006 say Gingrich was asked to build bridges to Capitol Hill Republicans and develop an argument on behalf of the company’s public-private structure that would resonate with conservatives seeking to dismantle it.
He was expected to provide written material that could be circulated among free-market conservatives in Congress and in outside organizations, said two former company executives familiar with Gingrich’s role at the firm. He didn’t produce a white paper or any other document the firm could use on its behalf, they said.
#12 Newt Gingrich has also had a very "cozy" relationship with the ethanol industry.  The following is from a recent NewAmerican article....
The cozy relationship Gingrich has with the ethanol industry led to his consulting business winning more than $300,000 in fees from the ethanol lobby after he left Congress. The Wall Street Journal noted April 27, 2011 that "Professor Gingrich says his ethanol support is grounded in his lifetime of studying history and intellectual problems, but what about that $312,500 from the ethanol lobby?... We've never suggested Mr. Gingrich has been bought off, though of course there wouldn't be an ethanol lobby to hire Mr. Gingrich if there weren't politicians like Mr. Gingrich willing to prop it up with taxpayer dollars, tariffs and mandates."
#13 Newt Gingrich is a firm believer in the job-killing "free trade" agenda of the globalists.  Newt Gingrich voted for NAFTA and he is a staunch supporter of the WTO.  He once made the following statement on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives....
"What we're being told is that free trade with Mexico would devastate the U.S. economy. With its low wages, Mexico would unleash a flood of cheap imports into our markets. There would be a mass exodus of U.S. factory jobs, as hordes of American companies fled across the border.... All this is scare talk."
#14 Newt Gingrich is pro-amnesty for illegal aliens.  He has made statements on numerous occasions where he has advocated a "pathway to citizenship" for the millions of illegal immigrants that have been living in this country for an extended period of time.
#15 In 1995, Newt Gingrich actually promoted the idea that the War Powers Actshould be repealed.
#16 Newt Gingrich seems very confused when it comes to abortion.  Just consider the following statements....
A- "I believe most Americans are pro-choice and anti-abortion."
B- "I think that abortion should not be legal, and I think that how you would implement that I'm not sure."
C- "As with any public policy, the more strongly public opinion is swayed in defense of unborn life, the more our laws should and will change as a result."
#17 The following is how author Dick Williams described Newt's attitude toward pro-life issues when he became Speaker of the House in 1995....
Gingrich is opposed to abortion but does not believe the nation is ready to enact a constitutional ban. In the first three months of 1995, while the Contract With America was being debated, he angered some Republican congressmen by detouring them from anti-abortion amendments to bills and by putting aside their arguments that a welfare reform package might lead to an increase in abortions.
#18 Newt Gingrich supported the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 that put a significant number of new restrictions on gun owners.
#19 Several of the Republican candidates are suggesting that the Department of Education should be shut down, but back in 1979 Newt Gingrich voted for the creation of the Department of Education under President Jimmy Carter.
#20 News Gingrich has said that he believes that we should have Singapore-style drug tests for Americans.
#21 How can we trust Newt Gingrich to manage America's finances when he has done such a horrible job managing his own finances.  According to Politico, Gingrich once owed a debt to Tiffany Jewelry that was somewhere between $250,000 and $500,000.  Politico tried to find out if this debt was still active but Gingrich was not willing to talk about it....
When asked by POLITICO whether Gingrich has settled this debt, and why he owed between a quarter-million and a half-million dollars to a jeweler, Rick Tyler, Gingrich’s spokesman, declined to comment.
“No comment,” he said in an email.
#22 How can we trust Newt Gingrich to run America when he can't even run his own campaign?  A few months ago, the senior staff of his campaign resigned en masse.  It is literally a miracle that the Gingrich campaign has lasted as long as it has.
#23 For someone that preaches against debt, he sure seems to be able to rack it up.  Back in July, it was reported that the Gingrich campaign was a million dollars in debt.
#24 Newt Gingrich was once fined $300,000 by the House Ethics Committee.  An article in Esquire detailed why he received such a large fine....
His bitterness only deepened when the House Ethics Committee started investigating GOPAC's donations to his college class and caught him trying to hide his tracks by raising money through a charity for inner-city kids called the Abraham Lincoln Opportunity Foundation. Another charity of his called Earning by Learning actually spent half its money supporting a former Gingrich staffer who was writing his biography. Gingrich even gave out the 800 number for videotapes on the House floor. The Ethics Committee found him guilty of laundering donations through charities, submitting "inaccurate, incomplete, and unreliable" testimony, and making "an effort to have the material appear to be nonpartisan on its face, yet serve as a partisan, political message for the purpose of building the Republican party." Seven years after he had destroyed Jim Wright for a lesser offense, the committee punished Gingrich with the highest fine ever imposed on a Speaker of the House, $300,000.
#25 Newt Gingrich has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1990.  This alone should immediately disqualify him from consideration for the Republican nomination.
Former Congressman John R. Rarick once said the following about the Council on Foreign Relations....
The CFR, dedicated to one-world government, financed by a number of the largest tax-exempt foundations, and wielding such power and influence over our lives in the areas of finance, business, labor, military, education and mass communication media, should be familiar to every American concerned with good government and with preserving and defending the U.S. Constitution and our free-enterprise system. Yet, the nation's right to know machinery – the news media – usually so aggressive in exposures to inform our people, remain conspicuously silent when it comes to the CFR, its members and their activities.
The CFR is the establishment. Not only does it have influence and power in key decision-making positions at the highest levels of government to apply pressure from above, but it also finances and uses individuals and groups to bring pressure from below, to justify the high-level decisions for converting the United States from a sovereign constitutional republic into a servile member of a one-world dictatorship.
#26 Newt Gingrich has been spotted attending meetings at the Bohemian Grove.  I wonder what all of those evangelical voters that Newt is courting would think if they learned of the pagan rituals and mock child sacrifices that take place there every year?
#27 Many Republican voters are deeply troubled by the fact that Newt Gingrich has actually cheated on two different wives and is now married to a third wife.  The following is how a recent CBS News article described his marital history....
When he was speaker of the House, Gingrich had an affair with Callista Bisek, then a young committee staff aide, while married to his second wife, Marianne Gingrich. He divorced Marianne in 1999. Eighteen years earlier, he proposed to Marianne while he was still married to his first wife, Jackie Battley, who has said that Gingrich told her he wanted a divorce while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery.
When his second wife asked him how he could give speeches on family values while he was cheating on her, Gingrich is reported to have said the following....
"It doesn't matter what I do," he answered. "People need to hear what I have to say."
Newt Gingrich doesn't just have skeletons in his closet - he has a whole family of skeletons in his closet.
Hopefully the American people will realize that Newt Gingrich would be an absolute disaster as president.
This country is rapidly running out of time, and the 2012 election represents one of the last chances that we have to turn this nation around.
If America elects Newt Gingrich, we will stay on the same road that Clinton, Bush and Obama have been marching us down.
We simply cannot afford that.
Please choose wisely in 2012 America.
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