(NaturalNews) Environmental damage and an increase in toxins caused by human activity are believed to be responsible for a dramatic uptick in dolphin deaths along the East Coast this year, experts say. In Maryland, seven bottlenose dolphins have recently washed ashore, "part of a larger mystery along the Mid-Atlantic coast, where alarmed scientists are working to find the cause of more than 120 dolphin deaths since June," the Baltimore Sun reports. All seven dolphins were discovered in the Chesapeake Bay and on beaches along Maryland's Atlantic cost during the month of July, the paper said. Normally, say marine biologists, only a single dolphin might be found dead and washed up on shore during July. Increase in dolphin deaths up and down East Coast Cindy Driscoll, veterinarian and fish and wildlife health program director for the state Department of Natural Resources, said several of the carcasses that have washed ashore were "very decomposed" when they were found, which made it difficult to figure out why they died. State officials, however, have sent several tissue samples to labs in a bid to gather more information. Thus far, scientists believe large toxic algae blooms or some sort of virus might be responsible. Per the Sun: Dolphin deaths have been reported this summer from New Jersey to Virginia, with the greatest numbers in those two states. The total count troubles scientists, who are waiting on lab results to determine whether it is, indeed, a crisis. "It is alarming since it's much higher than normal and in such a short amount of time," Jennifer Dittmar, the stranding coordinator for the National Aquarium in Baltimore, told the Sun. "As far as an overall effect it's having on the population, it's hard to tell right now." Driscoll said that in Maryland, 15 dead dolphins have been discovered ashore since January. Normally, in a year, only about 10 or so wash up. Down the coast in Virginia, the numbers of dolphins washing ashore is also much higher. So far, 87 of the mammals have been found since June; in a normal year, some 50 dolphins wash ashore, most of them grouped around Virginia's portion of the Chesapeake. Further north, in New Jersey, 21 dolphins have washed ashore, up from about a dozen or so in a regular year.
"Bottlenose dolphins live in pods and can be found along the East Coast from New Jersey to Florida. The mammals spend the winter in the temperate waters off the Southern states, then come north to the bays, sounds and open waters off the Mid-Atlantic coast from May to October," the Sun reported.
Dittmer said that, in Maryland, pods of as many as 30 dolphins follow schools of fish far up the Chesapeake. She also said her job is to rescue stranded dolphins, but so far this year, none that have washed ashore have been found alive. A virus linked to biotoxins?
What's more, it could be months before scientists and marine biologists have any answers. Necropsies - the veterinary equivalent of autopsies - are currently underway on mammals that have been found. But finding a cause of death takes a great deal of time. And it could be even longer to find out if there is a link between them.
Susan Barco, the research coordinator for the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center Foundation, told the paper that early findings indicate some sort of sickness. If that turns out to be the cause of death, she says it would be significant.
"This is really frightening because these animals are sentinels of ocean health," she said. "Strandings have been much more common in the past few decades, and we think it's an indication of the health of our ecosystem."
It's also likely that environmental factors are in play, scientists say. Specifically, the accumulation of heavy metals or exposure to biotoxins through the food dolphins consume could be causing widespread mortality. Sources: http://www.baltimoresun.com http://www.wired.com http://www.wavy.com
Mysterious Mass Animals Deaths in Review
(NaturalNews) Shoppers at a local Target store in Wilsonville, Oregon, just outside of Portland were shocked recently to step outside the big box depot into a sea of already dead and dying bumblebees. As reported by KATU.com news, more than 25,000 dead bumblebees were found littered around the store's parking lot during National Pollinator Week, a direct result of European Linden trees located in planters throughout the same parking lot having been sprayed with a highly toxic insecticide known as Safari.European Linden trees produce luscious flowers that are rich in both nectar and pollen, which is a major draw for bumblebees and other pollinating bees during bloom season. And these same trees, which are plenteous in the Wilsonville Target's parking lot, are a major destination for local bumblebees who feed on their nutrients and help pollinate other plants. But the property manager of the strip mall where the Wilsonville Target is located apparently had other plans for these bees, as he or she reportedly ordered that all the trees be sprayed with an insecticide chemical known as Safari, even though it is currently bloom season. According to the information page created for Safari by its manufacturer, Valent Professional Products, Safari is a broad-spectrum insecticide that kills all sorts of insects, including bees. "To our knowledge, this is one of the largest documented bumblebee deaths in the Western U.S.," Rich Hatfield, a conservation biologist at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation (XSIC), is quoted as saying in a recent press release. "It was heartbreaking to watch. They were literally falling out of the trees." European Linden trees improperly sprayed with chemicals during pollination season Hatfield and his colleagues collected bee samples from the Target parking lot on June 19, and later analyzed them to determine their cause of death. According to XSIC Executive Director Scott Hoffan Black, indiscriminate use of Safari was clearly to blame, as the chemical is never supposed to be sprayed during pollination season. "It seems a landscape company did not follow label directions as [Safari] is not supposed to be sprayed during bloom," Dan Hilburn, Director of Plant Programs at the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is quoted as saying by RT.com. "We now assume this is the cause of the massive bee die-offs. Lots of bees still dying -- almost all bumblebees." Reports indicate that ODA has also collected its own bee samples to test for pesticide exposure. ODA officials have since stated that they have never seen anything like this as far as bee deaths are concerned, and that the event is particularly ominous as it occurred during National Pollinator Week, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiative that takes place annually from June 17-23. "I've never encountered anything quite like [this] in 30 years in the business," added Hilburn. Some local residents claim bees were deliberately murdered
Meanwhile, many local residents are outraged about the incident. Even though ODA is in the process of determining the next appropriate course of action to protect the remaining bees, which may include covering the trees with nets or applying bee repellant, some in the community are demanding answers, including an explanation from the property manager about the sprayings."This was not a 'die-off'; it was a mass murder," commented Rozzell Medina on the KATU.com article. "If anyone is interested in helping others to organize an onsite memorial for these murdered bees in the next couple of weeks, please join the Facebook group Wilsonville Bees Memorial." You can access this Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/508224285917370/ Sources for this article include: http://www.katu.com
(NaturalNews) It is the responsibility of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to collect the taxes which fund the government, but increasingly, the agency appears to be one of the worst abusers of the money it collects from hard-pressed taxpayers. Recent reports have documented the spendthrift habits of many mid-level and senior IRS supervisors. Now comes news that the agency is sending tax refunds to tens of thousands of "unauthorized" alien workers all using the same Atlanta, Ga., address. In 2011, the IRS sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to the address in question, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has discovered. Per CNSNews.com: That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically used by thousands of "unauthorized" alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011. In fact, according to a TIGTA audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to "unauthorized" aliens were in Atlanta. How many millions to 'unauthorized' aliens?
Maybe now it is easier to understand why Georgia lawmakers recently passed and Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation cracking down on illegal immigrants in the state, much to the chagrin of "civil rights activists" who obviously believe American taxpayers should be fleeced by those who snuck into our country, in violation of our laws.
According to the TIGTA, the IRS sent 11,284 refunds totaling $2,164,976 to illegal alien workers at a second Atlanta address; 3,608 worth $2,691,448 to a third; and 2,386 worth $1,232,943 to a fourth.
But there is much more. Per CNSNews.com:
Other locations on the IG's Top Ten list for singular addresses that were theoretically used simultaneously by thousands of unauthorized alien workers, included an address in Oxnard, Calif, where the IRS sent 2,507 refunds worth $10,395,874; an address in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the IRS sent 2,408 refunds worth $7,284,212; an address in Phoenix, Ariz., where the IRS sent 2,047 refunds worth $5,558,608; an address in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the IRS sent 1,972 refunds worth $2,256,302; an address in San Jose, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,942 refunds worth $5,091,027; and an address in Arvin, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,846 refunds worth $3,298,877.
And this is just the TIGTA's top 10 locations; the IRS is literally sending who knows how many hundreds of millions of dollars in "refunds" to workers who aren't even supposed to be in the country.
What's more, officials at the agency know full well the legal (or, more correctly, the illegal) status of those receiving these refunds. Beginning in 1996 during the Clinton Administration, the taxagency began issuing ITINs - Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers - to two classes of people. They are 1) aliens who do not have resident status but who otherwise have a tax liability in the U.S.; and 2) aliens living in the U.S. who are "not authorized to work in the United States."
By giving illegal aliens official taxpayer ID numbers the IRS - and by permitting the agency to issue them, Congress is acting as an enabler, fomenting more illegal immigration. Indeed, the Treasury IG's Semiannual Report to Congress, which was published in October 1999, specifically pointed this out:
"The IRS issues Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to undocumented aliens to improve nonresident alien compliance with tax laws. This IRS practice seems counter-productive to the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) mission to identify undocumented aliens and prevent unlawful alien entry," TIGTA warned in the report, some 14 years ago (http://cnsnews.com).
The most recent IG report regarding the handling of ITINs was triggered by a pair of IRS employees who contacted members of Congress "alleging that IRS management was requiring employees to assign Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) even when the applications were fraudulent."
In an August 2012 press release, TIGTA said those complaints had been "validated." 38 percent of a single city's population
"TIGTA's audit found that IRS management has not established adequate internal controls to detect and prevent the assignment of an ITIN to individuals submitting questionable applications," said J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for Tax Administration. "Even more troubling, TIGTA found an environment which discourages employees from detecting fraudulent applications."
What is utterly remarkable, however, is the agency's incompetence when it comes to safeguarding your tax dollars. According to the IG's report, the agency assigned 6,411 ITINs to unauthorized aliens who presumably were using a single address in Morganton, N.C. But according to the 2010 census, only 16,681 people lived in that city - meaning that "for the IRS to have been correct in issuing 6,411 ITINS to unauthorized aliens at a single address in Morganton it would have meant that 38 percent of the town's total population were unauthorized alien workers using a single address," CNSNews.com reported.
Elaborate parties. Wasteful spending on ridiculous "training videos." Thousands of dollars apiece for lavish hotel rooms. All while Americans are struggling more and more to pay their taxes and keep their heads above water.
Congress isn't just absent in its oversight role. It is criminally negligent.
Investigation finds IRS official helped friend win $500 million in contracts.
An IRS official helped funnel work to a friend whose technology company received some $500 million in agency contracts, according to a new congressional investigation.
The House Oversight Committee found that Greg Roseman, the IRS’s deputy director for IT acquisition, “helped steer contracts” to Braulio Castillo, the chief executive of Strong Castle, “through back channels.”
According to the report, Roseman did not tell other IRS officials about his close relationship with Castillo, and didn’t recuse himself from the contract process when Strong Castle made a bid.
Strong Castle grew from a company with about $250,000 in annual revenues to an outfit with potentially a half billion dollars in IRS contracts, in the six months after Castillo purchased the company with his wife in January 2012 House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and his panel’s report try to directly tie the Strong Castle contracts to the broader controversies that have enveloped the IRS in recent weeks, including the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.
Issa and other lawmakers, from both sides of the aisle, also sharply criticized the IRS for spending millions of dollars on conferences in recent years, and GOP lawmakers have repeatedly raised questions about whether the IRS is capable of implementing the Democratic healthcare law.
“Further scrutiny of waste and abuse at the IRS is needed for the American people to have confidence that the agency charged with collecting their hard-earned tax dollars can responsibly manage a new infusion of staff and funds,” the Oversight report said.
Castillo and Roseman are among the witnesses scheduled to appear at a Wednesday hearing on the report held by House Oversight. The IRS did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday, while Castillo said in a statement that he had worked closely with the IRS and other agencies as Strong Castle sought contracts.
“Throughout our work with the IRS, we have never received any improper preferential treatment, and have competed fairly for every contract that we have received. We are confident that the record will ultimately show that our company has committed no wrongdoing," Castillo said.
Roseman’s attorney has told the committee that his client will invoke his Fifth Amendment, according to a memo circulated by Democrats on the panel. The memo also said that Roseman had been reassigned pending a review of the situation by a Treasury inspector general.
Lois Lerner, an IRS official central to the targeting controversy, also cited the Fifth Amendment in declining to answer questions before Oversight last month. Congress is continuing to investigate the IRS’s treatment of groups seeking-tax exempt status, with a top Democrat stressing Monday that liberal organizations were singled out as well.
The Oversight report found that Castillo and Roseman became friends in 2003, after which they called or texted each other hundreds of times. Many of Roseman’s text messages, the report found, contained raunchy or homophobic language.
Strong Castle, named Signet Computer when purchased by the Castillos, had not won a federal contract before 2012, and has received under a $500,000 in contracts from other agencies since January of that year.
Meanwhile, between August 2012 and December 2012, the IRS sent almost $50 million to Strong Castle, with the potential for much more. The Treasury Department also gave Strong Castle an award for being a top small contractor in 2012.
The Oversight report also criticizes IRS brass for having yet to cancel a contract with Strong Castle. The agency’s Beth Tucker is scheduled to testify on Wednesday as well.
According to the panel, Castillo also took advantage of a provision to help businesses in less prosperous areas, and another for service-disabled veterans.
Oversight says that Strong Castle recently lost its Historically Underutilized Business Zone certification, after hiring full-time students at Catholic University and renting an office in the Gallery Place section of Washington. Castillo and his wife, meanwhile, worked in Virginia.
Castillo got the grant for disabled veterans, the report says, because of a foot injury he suffered in 1984 at the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School, where he went to play football. The Strong Castle chief executive later played college football at the University of San Diego, and softball as an adult.
"By inappropriately using a personal relationship and abusing a provision designed to help disadvantaged businesses, the IRS and Strong Castle have made a mockery of fair and open competition for government contracts," Issa said in a Tuesday statement.
Castillo said in a statement that he had worked closely with the IRS and other agencies as it sought contracts.
“Throughout our work with the IRS, we have never received any improper preferential treatment, and have competed fairly for every contract that we have received. We are confident that the record will ultimately show that our company has committed no wrongdoing," Castillo said in a statement.
Why are IRS agents carrying shotguns? Isn't the power to tax threatening enough?
(NaturalNews) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has not been a favorite of American taxpayers for decades, and the recent revelations that the agency improperly targeted specific political groups opposed to President Obama who were seeking tax-exempt status will only further erode the public's trust. But what is even more disturbing is the fact that the IRS is arming its growing number of "special agents," many with shotguns in addition to side arms. The question is why, considering there has been no rash of armed incidents involving IRS agents and taxpayers? The agency's move to acquire shotguns began in with a request by the IRS posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website in 2010. The shotguns were being requested for the agency's "Criminal Investigation Division." Bigger IRS, more armed agents, and Obamacare
At the time the IRS was seeking to purchase 60 Remington Model 870 Police 12-gauge pump-action shotguns, "the only weapons authorized for IRS duty," WorldNetDaily reported. "The IRS Criminal Division includes roughly 2,700 special agents who are required to carry a firearm," the news site added. What's more, the IRS is about get bigger - a lot bigger - thanks to Obamacare. Consider that, in 2010, Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee issued a report saying the IRS may need as many as 16,500 additional auditors, agents and other employees "to investigate and collect billions in new taxes from Americans." No doubt many of these new hires will be armed. In addition, Obamacare contains 21 new taxes (in addition to the mandate requiring Americans to purchase insurance - remember, the Supreme Court ruled that was a tax), and IRS agents will be granted many new powers. Per The Associated Press: Under the law, the IRS will provide tax breaks and incentives to help pay for health insurance and impose penalties on some people who don't buy coverage and on some businesses that don't offer it to employees. The changes will require new regulations, forms and publications, new computer programs and a big new outreach program to explain it all to taxpayers and tax professionals. And this, from Fox Nation, which reported in March 2010: Top IRS officials have been working with Democrats on Capitol Hill to determine how the agency will enforce President Obama's new health care law. Republican lawmakers estimate the legislation will require the hiring of many thousands of new (and armed) tax enforcement agents. It's still unclear just how many new IRS agents will have to be hired, but what is very clear is that, under Obamacare, the IRS will be required to fine taxpayers (yet another retaliatory action charged to the hated IRS) thousands of dollars if they don't conform with the requirement to buy health insurance. '16,500 armed thugs'
"In order for the government to enforce compliance, tax authorities will need information, for the first time, about people's health care. Collecting that data will require more IRS personnel," Fox Nation noted. Before he retired from office, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas - long an opponent of the IRS and the nation's byzantine, punitive tax code - warned us all about the coming IRS army. Paul, himself a physician, wondered aloud why - if Obamacare was simply a "reform" measure that was supposed to be "good for the country" - did the IRS need so many more armed agents. "This is a command society now and medicine is right at the forefront of this....16,500 armed bureaucrats coming to make this program work - if it was a good program and everybody liked it, you wouldn't need 16,500 thugs coming with their guns and putting you in jail if you didn't follow all the rules," he said. Sources for this article include: http://www.wnd.com http://news.investors.com http://www.infowars.com/dnc-chair-irs-easiest-enforcer-of-obamacare/
IRS scandal revives talk of abolishing the IRS, shifting to simple, fair flat tax
(NaturalNews) The recent spate of scandals involving abuse by the Internal Revenue Service of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status has once again revived talk of repealing most of the current byzantine tax code and replacing it with a tax that is much simpler and fairer - a move that would necessarily take away much of the tax agency's power and reduce its size dramatically.
None other than Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is leading the charge, having tweeted out his desire to fundamentally reform the IRS shortly before the House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on politically targeting the agency. Cruz's solution, actually, is to get rid of the agency altogether.
"Mr. President, if your #1 priority is fixing the problem, let's abolish the #IRS and ensure it NEVER happens again!" Cruz tweeted.
Later, in an interview with Fox News, Cruz clarified his position somewhat.
"I think we ought to abolish the IRS and instead move to a simple flat tax where the average American can fill out taxes on postcard," he said. "Put down how much you earn, put down a deduction for charitable contributions, home mortgage and how much you owe. It ought to be a simple one-page postcard, and take the agents, the bureaucracy out of Washington and limit the power of government." IRS has too much power - period
During the 2012 election cycle, Cruz proposed a flat tax, but he said he would keep a standard deduction for lower-income earners and the deductions for mortgage interest and charitable donations, one because it rewards home ownership and the other because it encourages charitable giving.
"My obsessive focus would be using the levers of government to spur growth," he said in a candidate forum sponsored by the Dallas Morning News.
Cruz is just the latest in a small group of politicians who have called for either elimination of the IRSor dramatically downsizing it by greatly simplifying the U.S. tax code. The most recent advocate was former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. He even advocated elimination of the income tax altogether, which would have required a repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment.
In most instances, Paul's position was ripped by both Democrats and Republicans alternately as impractical, silly, "extreme" or unreasonable, but looking back at why Paul felt the way he did makes him seem like a prophet, given all of the current scandals surrounding the IRS.
"The bipartisan tradition of using the IRS as a tool to harass political opponents suggests that the problem is deeper than just a few 'rogue' IRS agents - or even corruption within one, two, three or many administrations," Paul wrote recently in his weekly column, Texas Straight Talk. He should know: Paul spent decades in Congress watching his fellow lawmakers tinker with the tax code as a means of either rewarding key constituencies or punishing them, along with certain industries and businesses. Plenty of hypocrisy
In fact, what Paul has warned about and what Cruz seeks to curb in the future are exactly the kinds of abuses the IRS heaped on conservative political action groups over the past few years, during the reign of imperial President Obama - all in an effort to limit their ability to criticize the president and challenge his policies.
And while he bears responsibility for the actions of all Executive Branch agencies (as head of the Executive Branch), what has been far less discussed during congressional hearings examining the scope of the IRS abuse is the fact that top Democrats in the House and Senateasked the IRS to single out the conservative organizations, a fact admitted by one of the Senate's senior Democratic members, Dick Durbin of Illinois. Retiring Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., though he is "leading an investigation" into the IRS targeting, himself requested the tax agency examine GOP-friendly groups in 2010. So there is no shortage of hypocrisy here.
Take all of this into account and add in the fact that under Obamacare, the IRS will become the chief enforcement agency regarding who has and has not purchased the mandated coverage and you can begin to really appreciate the position of those in Congress who want to take this mammoth, ill-conceived and out-of-control agency down several notches.
Whether you support a "fair tax" or a "flat tax" or some variation hybrid thereof, the fact is the U.S. tax code is far too complex and far too politicized and it needs to go away. Sources for this article include: http://www.washingtonpost.com http://www.dallasnews.com http://www.washingtontimes.com http://www.the-free-foundation.org/tst5-20-2013.html
Presidential Rule by Deception: Obama, the Master Con-man
By Prof. James Petras
Global Research, June 24, 2013
Url of this article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/presidential-rule-by-deception-obama-the-master-con-man/5340235 Introduction
In an electoral system, run by and for a corporate oligarchy, deception and demagoguery are essential elements – entertaining the people while working for the wealthy.
Every US President has engaged, in one fashion or another, in ‘play acting’ to secure popular approval, neutralize hostility and distract voters from the reactionary substance of their foreign and domestic policies.
Every substantive policy is accompanied by a ‘down home’ folksy message to win public approval. This happened with President ‘Jimmy’ Carter’s revival of large-scale proxy wars in Afghanistan in the post-Viet Nam War period; Ronald Reagan’s genocidal wars in Central America, George Bush Sr.’s savaging of Iraq in the First Gulf War; ‘Bill’ Clinton’s decimation of social welfare in the US while bombing civilians in Yugoslavia and deregulating Wall Street; George Bush Jr.’s invasion and partition of Iraq and Afghanistan, the attempted coup in Venezuela and massive tax cuts for the rich; and Barack Obama’s staggering bailout of the biggest Wall Street speculators, unprecedented launching of five consecutive wars, and arrest and deportation of millions of immigrant workers. Each President has elaborated a style in order to ingratiate himself with the public while pursuing his reactionary agenda.
In rhetoric, appearance and in public persona, it is ‘de rigueur’ for US Presidents to present themselves as an ‘everyman’ while committing political actions – including war crimes worthy of prosecution.
Each President, in his ‘play acting’, develops a style suitable to the times. They constantly strive to overcome the public’s suspicion and potential hostility to their overt and covert policies designed to build empire as domestic conditions deteriorate. However, not all play acting is the same: each President’s ‘populist’ style in defense of oligarchic interests has its characteristic nuances. The Carter Feint: ‘Human Rights’ Wars in the Post-Viet Nam War Era
‘Jimmy’ Carter was elected President at a time of the greatest mass anti-war upheaval in US history. His campaign projected a soft-spoken, conciliatory President from humble roots reaching out to the anti-war electorate and solemnly pledging to uphold human rights against domestic militarists and their overseas despotic allies. To that end, he appointed a liberal human rights advocate Pat Derian to the State Department and a veteran Cold Warrior, Zbigniew (Zbig) Brzezinski, as National Security Advisor and foreign policy strategist.
Duplicity reared its head immediately: Carter openly criticized the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua – while privately telling the dictator to ignore the public criticisms and assuring him of continuing US support. As the Sandinista revolution advanced toward victory, Carter convoked a meeting of Latin American leaders urging them to join in a joint military intervention with the US to ‘save lives’ and to prevent the popular Nicaraguan revolution from taking power and dismantling the dictator’s army. It soon became clear to the leaders of Latin America that Carter’s mission was a thinly- veiled ‘humanitarian’ version of ‘gunboat diplomacy’ and they declined. When Carter realized that, without the fig leaf of Latin American participation, a US-led invasion would arouse universal opposition, he abandoned the project. The political climate would not support a unilateral US invasion so soon after the end of the war in Indochina .
However, Carter soon re-launched the Cold War, reviving military spending and pouring billions of dollars into funding, arming and training tens of thousands of fundamentalist Jihadists from around the world to invade Afghanistan and overthrow its leftist, secular government.
Carter’s policy of re-militarization and launching of large-scale and long-term secret CIA operations in alliance with the most brutal dictators and monarchs of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan was accompanied by sanctimonious speeches about human rights and token appeals to protect ‘civilians’. In this regard, Carter became our founding father of the double discourse: a con man that publically condemned the jailing and torture by Pinochet of political opponents in Chile while orchestrating what would become a decade-long blood bath in Afghanistan with millions of victims. Reagan: Geniality with Genocide
Up until the ascendancy of Barack Obama, the avuncular President, Ronald Reagan, was acknowledged as the ‘master con-man’, by virtue of his Hollywood acting experience. Reagan was and remained a disciplined and hardened backer of policies designed to concentrate wealth while smashing unions, even as he entertained the flag-waving hard hat construction workers with his jokes about ‘limousine liberals’ and Cadillac welfare queens. The knowing wink and clever two-liners were matched by an adaptation of morality tales from his cowboy films. Reagan, in his role as ‘the righteous sheriff’, backed the mercenary contras as they invaded Nicaragua and destroyed schools and clinics and the genocidal military dictators in El Salvador and Guatemala who murdered hundreds of thousands of Indians and peasants.
Uncle Reagan’s friendly chats would describe how he had stopped the communist ‘outlaws’ (peasants, workers and Indians) of Central America from flooding across the Rio Grande and invading California and Texas. His tales resonated with mass audiences familiar with the racist Hollywood cowboy film version of unshaven Mexican bandits crossing the ‘ US ’ border. The clean-shaven, straight-talking, ‘stand-up for America’ President Ronald Reagan was elected and re-elected by a resounding majority in the midst of CIA-backed mujahedeen victories over the government and secular civil structure of Afghanistan, Pentagon- supported Israeli slaughter of Palestinian refugees in their camps in Lebanon and the mass genocide of scores of thousands of indigenous villagers in Guatemala.
When news reports seeped out about the mass graves of poor villagers in Guatemala , Reagan resorted to colloquial language right out of a Hollywood film to defend General Rios Mont : “He’s getting a bum rap”. In defending the brutal dictator of Guatemala , Reagan replaced Carter’s sanctimonious phrasing in favor of down-to-earth macho talk of a no-nonsense sheriff.
In substance, both Carter and Reagan were rebuilding the US war machine after the debacle of Viet Nam ; they were setting up a global network of client dictators, Muslim fundamentalists and hypocritical Anglo-American humanitarians interventionists. Bush Senior: Uni-Polarity and the Ticket to Uncontested Imperial Conquests
Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, the US and Western Europe re-conquered, pillaged and neo-colonized Eastern Europe . West Germany annexed East Germany . And a predator-gangster oligarchy in Russia seized over a trillion dollars of public assets, impoverishing millions and laundered the illicit funds via elaborate banking operations on Wall Street and in London and Tel Aviv.
President George Bush Sr. embraced the doctrine of a unipolar world – free from rival super-power constraints and independent Third World resistance. ‘Poppy’ Bush believed the US could impose its will by force anywhere and at any time without fear of retaliation. He believed he was heir to a new imperial order of free markets, free elections and unrestrained plunder. The first war he would launch would be in the Middle East – the invasion, massive bombing and destruction of Iraq . It was followed by an unprecedented expansion of NATO bases in the countries of Eastern Europe . The spread of neo-liberalism led to the naked pillage of public assets throughout Latin American and Eastern Europe . The Empire ruled the Muslim world through an arc of client dictators from Tunisia , Egypt , and Saudi Arabia to Pakistan .
Bush adopted the persona of the ‘happy warrior’ – the invincible American President who had triumphed over the Evil Empire. Meanwhile, the domestic economy deteriorated under the enormous costs of the massive military build-up and gave rise to a crisis that hurt the electorate. Bush’s personal rigidity and lack of theatricality prevented him from playing the con-man – unlike his predecessor, the actor Reagan. Even as he extolled the prowess of the US military, his career as an ‘insider’ corporate operative and CIA director did not provide him with the demagogic skills necessary for a successful re-election.
While Bush celebrated his overseas victories, he failed to attract a popular following: His pinched face and wooden upper-crust smile was no match for ‘Cowboy’ Reagan’s street corner geniality or even ‘Jimmy’ Carter’s pious intonations of human rights and Christian values ... Deception and demagoguery are crucial elements in a re-election campaign – and so Bush, Sr. gave way for the next Presidential con-man-in-chief, Bill Clinton. The Clinton-Con: Black Churches, Welfare Cuts and the Wall Street Warrior
Bill Clinton, like Ronald Reagan, turned out to be a Wall Street populist .With his folksy Arkansas intonations he preached messages of hope in black churches while diligently applying the free-market lessons he had learned from his Wall Street mentors. Tooting the saxophone and oozing compassion, Clinton told the poor that he could ‘feel their pain’, while inflicting misery on single mothers forced to leave their children and take minimum-wage jobs in order to retain any public assistance. He joined hands with labor union bosses at Labor Day festivities, while fast-tracking job-killing free-trade treaties (like NAFTA) that devastated the American working class. Bill Clinton enthusiastically sent bombers over Belgrade and other Yugoslav cities for several weeks, destroying its factories, hospitals, schools, power plants, radio and TV stations and bridges, as well as the Chinese Embassy, in support of the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army and its separatist war against Belgrade . Clinton bombed civilians and their vital infrastructure, a war crime in the name of ‘humanitarian intervention’, to the ecstatic cheers of many Western liberals, progressives, social democrats and not a few Marxists as well as many Jihadists. On the home front, this self-proclaimed ‘people’s candidate’ ripped to shreds all restraints on banking speculation by repealing the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, New Deal legislation enacted to protect against massive banking swindles. This opened the floodgates to massive financial manipulation, which destroyed the pensions of many millions of workers.
Clinton’s policies laid the groundwork for the information technology and Stock Market crash of 2000-01. His appointee, Alan Greenspan, created the conditions leading to speculative financial frenzy and subsequent economic crash of 2008. Bill Clinton’s stand-up comic performances in black churches, his back slapping encounters with labor bureaucrats and his embrace of feminists and others just raised the rhetorical bar for future aspiring Wall Street warlords in the White House. It would take eight years and the election of Barack Hussein Obama to finally surpass Bill Clinton as Con-Man-In Chief. Bush Junior: A Yale Man with a Texas Drawl
President George Bush, Junior’s regime launched two major wars and backed two Israeli assaults on Palestinian civilians trapped in Gaza – the world’s largest open-air prison. He virtually eliminated taxes on billionaires while overseeing the geometrical growth of the domestic police state apparatus; and he unleashed the biggest speculative bubble and crash since the Great Depression. He lowered the living standards for all Americans except the top 10% of the population – and despite these disasters and despite his lack-luster performance as a con-man, he was re-elected.
His handlers and backers did their best to market their boy: his Ivy League credentials and New England background was replaced by a transparently phony Texas accent; tinny, whiney sound bites, reminiscent of his father’s, were replaced by a Texas ‘ranchers’ homely drawl. His ‘just-folks’ grammatical mistakes may have been mocked by the liberals but they resonated deeply with fundamentalist Christians – who would never have recognized the Phillips Exeter Academy-Yale Skull and Bones boy in their Commander-in Chief.
President Bush, Jr. was decked out in the uniform of a ‘Top Gun’ fighter pilot to polish his military credentials tarnished by revelations that the millionaire-playboy had gone AWOL during his service in the National Guard. His silly ‘Mission Accomplished’ claim that the Iraq war had been won in the first months after the invasion was rudely corrected by the huge outbreak of Iraqi resistance against the occupier. Bush handed over foreign policymaking, especially pertaining to the Middle East , to a small army of Jewish Zionists, aided and abetted by notorious militarists, like Cheney and Rumsfeld. Most major political events were handled by his Cabinet thugs – Secretary of State Colin Powell shamelessly fabricated the ‘evidence’ of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction in his performance before the United Nations. Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz invented Afghanistan ’s ties to the planners of 9/11.
Cheney and his Zionist troika of Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and ‘Scooter’ Libby trumpeted the ‘global war on terror’ while Michael Chertoff, Michael Mukasey and Stuart Levey conducted a domestic war against the Bill of Rights and US Constitutional freedoms, defending torture, jailing thousands of Muslims, punishing businesses trading with Iran and labeling US opponents of Israel’s war crimes as ‘security threats’. Bush, Jr. just nodded his approval, letting the “big fellas have a piece of the action”. With Junior, there was no peace demagoguery just plain talk to plain folks and- “Let the bombs fall and the Capital flow”. Bush did not have to go preaching to black churches (he had a black Secretary of State and National Security Adviser to do his dirty work without the cant); Bush never claimed that Israel got the ‘bum rap’ when it was charged with genocidal crimes. Under Bush, Jr., war criminals did not have to ‘sugar-coat’ their crimes. While occupying the White House, Bush signed off on the multi-trillion-dollar bailout for Wall Street and then just went off to tend his cows and chop wood at the Texas ranch.
Bush’s ‘style’ was a combination of ‘laid back’ and ‘straight forward’: he simply committed war crimes, protected Wall Street swindles and expanded the police state, without claiming otherwise. As the endless wars dragged on, as the stock market flopped under its own fraud and manipulation and the increasingly repressive legislation provoked debate, Bush just shrugged his shoulders and finished out his term in office without flourish or fanfare: “Y’all can’t win ‘em all. Let the next guy try his hand”. Barack Obama: The Master of Deceit
It is sad day in America when a rodeo clown can no longer perform at a state fair. We are now living in a country that is suffocating from the deadly grip of political correctness.
Last week, a video of the Missouri State Fair surfaced on YouTube. It showed a rodeo clown wearing an Obama mask, having fun. The announcer asked the crowd if they wanted to see the President “run down by a bull.” This is not racism; this is typical of the harmless entertainment provided by rodeo clowns.
Of course, the professional agitators in the NAACP and the liberal media did not see the antics as harmless, they complained and yelled racism. In fact, the complaints were so intense the clown was banned for life in Missouri. In addition, the rodeo association President and announcer resigned from their positions. To add insult to injury, in the future, all rodeo clowns must undergo sensitivity training. Will Missouri hire Reverend Al Sharpton, the king of racial grievance, to teach Obama mask sensitivity? Ironically, Barack Obama once donned a mask of his likeness for an episode of Saturday Night Live. No one called for the President to submit to sensitivity training.
Truly, this whole story is ridiculous. It is quite sad that comedians or clowns are not allowed to make jokes about President Obama or have fun at his expense. Because the President is half Black, it seems his defenders believe he is off limits to all comedy. For the past five years, late night comedians have been very reluctant to lampoon Obama; yet, many of these same comedians had a field day with Republican Presidents such as Reagan, G. H. W. Bush and G. W. Bush.
Republican Presidents were also the target of rodeo clowns. For example, in 1994, at a Pennsylvania rodeo, a George H. W. Bush dummy was torn to shreds by a rampaging bull. In response, there was no outcry from the media or from the race hustlers in the NAACP.
In this case, the NAACP has called for the Secret Service and the Justice Department to investigate the clown for his antics. If the Secret Service has nothing better to do than investigate a clown, our country is in serious trouble.
At least one politician is not cowering in fear of the NAACP. U.S. Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX) invited the clown to perform in Texas. He called the NAACP demands “silly” and recommended that the Justice Department and Secret Service ignore the calls for an investigation. As Stockman noted, “We can’t get the Justice Department to look at Benghazi, so it would be ironic that the Justice Department would investigate a clown.”
All Americans should remember we have a First Amendment right of free speech. This amendment protects all sorts of speech, even comedy. Thankfully, the United States of America is a constitutional republic, not a monarchy or a dictatorship. Our Presidents are public servants and work for us. If we want to make fun of them, it is not an act of racism; it is our right as an American.
By the way, political parodies are as old as our country. Our first President, George Washington, was mocked by the satirists of his era.
Barack Obama should not be given any special treatment because he is an African American. He should be treated like every other President, no better or worse. He should receive praise from his supporters, and criticism and ridicule from his opponents. It is a tradition as old as our republic and it should not be sacrificed just because some liberals are upset with the innocuous antics of a rodeo clown.
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at Ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at email@example.com.
Think your arteries are clogged? 15-ton glob of rotting fat clogs London sewer
(NaturalNews) A south London neighborhood was struck by a giant berg recently -- no, not an iceberg, but a massive "fatberg" composed of congealed cooking fat, baby wipes, and other festering waste that will remain unnamed. The grotesque blob was recently discovered stuck in a sewer line below London Road in Kingston, Surrey, and is said to be the largest waste clog ever identified in Great Britain.
The find occurred after area residents reported that they were unable to flush their toilets without the water backing up, prompting sewer engineers to have a closer look. After sending in a motorized rover to check for buildup, crews stumbled upon a 15-ton mass roughly the size of a London double-decker bus, which was affixed to the roof of the pipe.
"We've never seen a single, congealed lump of lard this big clogging our sewers before," said Gordon Hailwood, waste contracts supervisor at the Thames Water utility, to the U.K.'s Daily Mail. "Given we've got the biggest sewers and this is the biggest fatberg we've encountered, we reckon it has to be the biggest such 'berg' in British history."
Crews from Thames Water routinely have to remove fat buildups from sewer lines, many of which are the result of people pouring grease and other types of fat down the drain rather than disposing of it properly. But this latest clog is the icing on the cake -- or perhaps the fat on the steak? -- as its sheer mass and volume was reportedly unlike anything ever before seen in a London sewer line.
"The sewer was almost completely clogged with over 15 tons of fat," added Hailwood. "If we hadn't discovered it in time, raw sewage could have started spurting out of manholes across the whole of Kingston."
Video footage of the blob captured by the rover can be viewed here:
London has about 67,000 miles of sewer pipes, according to The Globe and Mail, which sometimes makes it tough to keep a close eye on accumulating fat and other debris. But officials say they constantly monitor sewage flow to make sure, as best they can, to prevent blob formations from developing on sewer walls or corners.
In this case, the 15-ton blob had reportedly developed over the course of about six months, reducing the throughput of waste to a mere five percent of normal capacity. According to the Daily Mail, workmen had to blast high-pressure jets of water every day into the pipe over the course of 10 days just to dislodge the blob. Full removal of the fatberg took about six weeks, according to other reports. "Homes and businesses need to change their ways when it comes to fat and wipes," said Hailwood to reporters. "Bin it -- don't block it." Sources for this article include: http://www.dailymail.co.uk http://news.nationalpost.com http://www.theglobeandmail.com http://www.usatoday.com
Very dangerous stunt : Indians Enjoy Playing Chicken With Trains
Criminal charge against 8th grade student arrested after NRA T-shirt confrontation dropped
Criminal charges against her 14-year-old son, Jared Marcum, have been withdrawn
Jared Marcum’s mother, Tanya Lardieri, was overcome with emotion after signing a dismissal order and cementing the fact that the criminal charges against her 14-year-old son, Jared Marcum, have been withdrawn.
“It should have come sooner but it’s done and we don’t have to have that concern anymore about him having a criminal record” Jared’s father Allen Lardieri tells WOWK. “I’m just glad that it’s over. His mother is glad it’s over.”
Jared's attorney Ben White calls this a win for common sense. White says he's heard too many stories of children being penalized for seemingly harmless behavior, just because each of these incidents included gun imagery of one sort or another.
"I think, with the gun issue, with what is going on, this is a victory for common sense," White said.
The dismissal, signed by judge Eric O'Briant comes 70 days after, then 8th grader, Jared Marcum's pro-Second Amendment shirt, sparked what many are calling the fight over his First Amendment rights.
"I didn't think it would go this far because honestly, I don't see a problem with [the shirt], there shouldn't be a problem with this," Jared told WOWK on April 18, the day he was arrested.
While Jared didn't see a problem with the shirt, neither did the Logan County School District, as it has publicly stated that Jared's shirt did not violate the district's dress code.
Yet, Jared's refusal to change his shirt as demanded by Logan Middle School band teacher David Burroway and his refusal to stop talking landed him in handcuffs facing an obstruction charge.
That is, until today.
With Jared's criminal charges taken care of, Lardieri and White say they plan on moving forward with a civil suit against the Logan County School District.
White wants to stress that today's outcome should be considered a win for both the prosecution and the defense. He says he hopes what happened today will show that the justice system and its integrity are alive and well in Logan, West Virginia.
A bill that bans the wearing of masks during a riot or unlawful assembly and carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence with a conviction of the offence became law today.
Bill C-309, a private member's bill introduced by Conservative MP Blake Richards in 2011, passed third reading in the Senate on May 23 and was proclaimed law during a royal assent ceremony in the Senate this afternoon.
Richards, MP for Wild Rose, Alta., said the bill is meant to give police an added tool to prevent lawful protests from becoming violent riots, and that it will help police identify people who engage in vandalism or other illegal acts. The bill is something that police, municipal authorities and businesses hit hard by riots in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and other cities in recent years, were asking for, according to Richards.
"The provisions of my bill are effective immediately, which means police officers across Canada now have access to these tools to protect the public from masked rioters," Richards said in a statement being released today.
The bill creates a new Criminal Code offence that makes it illegal to wear a mask or otherwise conceal your identity during a riot or unlawful assembly. Exceptions can be made if someone can prove they have a "lawful excuse" for covering their face such as religious or medical reasons.
The bill originally proposed a penalty of up to five years, but the House of Commons justice committee amended it and doubled the penalty to up to 10 years in prison for committing the offence.
Richards noted in his statement how rare it is for a private member's bill to become law and said that its final passage is the culmination of two years of work and a lot of consultation with police and business owners.
Bill comes into force immediately upon royal assent
"We can all rest easier tonight knowing our communities have been made safer with its passage," said Richards.
The bill didn't have unanimous support, and was opposed by some who are concerned about its effect on freedom of expression and privacy. Critics said the measures are unnecessary because the Criminal Code already includes a section about wearing disguises while committing a crime.
Civil liberties advocates argued the measures could create a chilling effect on free speech and that peaceful protesters can unintentionally find themselves involved in an unlawful assembly. They also noted that there are legitimate reasons for wearing masks at protests; some may be worried about reprisals at work, for example, if sighted at a political protest.
"Any law that infringes upon civil liberties needs to be held to a test of absolute necessity, and I don't think that test has been met in this instance," said Michael Byers, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia and a board member of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, in an interview. Byers testified at the Commons justice committee that studied the bill.
Byers said freedom of expression was not properly factored into the design of the bill and that its measures could deter acts of political expression.
Richards argues that his bill will actually help protect the legitimate right to protest because it will help prevent illegitimate protesters from infiltrating a peaceful event and causing trouble. He also said police told him the existing Criminal Code provision about disguises is more geared toward armed robbery offences and is difficult to apply in protest situations.
In a recent interview, Richards said there is a lot of misunderstanding about his bill and that there will always be people who disagree with it.
He said he is proud to have identified a problem and created a solution. The bill becomes law when it receives royal assent.
14-year-old wears NRA t-shirt to school, winds up facing a year in jail
If you live in scenic Logan County West Virginia, you should know that your out-of-control police and judges are willing to arrest and prosecute 14-year-olds if they’re wearing the wrong t-shirt. That’s the lesson being learned by middle-schooler Jared Marcum, who was suspended, and subsequently arrested, after refusing to remove the NRA t-shirt he wore to class.
Back in April, Jared was in line for lunch when a teacher spotted his shirt. It read “NRA - Protect Your Rights” and featured a drawing of a .308 caliber semi-automatic rifle. The outraged “educator” gave him three options.
Since it’s just a t-shirt, all three of Jared’s choices were ridiculous:
A: Turn the shirt inside out
B: Change his clothes
C: Go to the principal’s office where he’d be suspended
Mr. Marcum refused to remove the violent, deeply offensive, piece of cotton and that’s when the cops were summoned. According to the student they were called solely “Because I would not take this shirt off. Because I believe that I should have a right to wear this.”Before anyone starts claiming that the shirt must have violated some dress code, be aware that the school only forbids shirts featuring depictions of violence, profanity, and discrimination. The last time we checked, a belief in the Second Amendment didn’t fall into any of those categories.
According to Logan County court documents, when police arrived, Jared refused to be silent. His talking supposedly interfered with the officer’s ability to do his very important t-shirt investigation, so the boy was arrested for “disturbing the education process” and obstruction. Normally, this is the kind of thing you might expect would have been done to scare the kid into shutting his trap. Surely there would be no need to file actual charges. Besides, even if the cops got a little zealous a judge would drop any complaints once Jared learned a valuable lesson about standing up his right to bear arms. ...right?
Sorry, not in Logan County West Virginia. They take random acts of “t-shirt wearing” seriously.
Friday, Judge Eric O’Brien decided that Jared Marcum should own up to the repercussions of his unspeakable crime and allowed the prosecution to move forward with the case. The boy now faces trial and possible penalties ranging from $500 in fines to a year in jail. If you think that’s outrageous, you should just be grateful that the police have backed away from their initial, evidently unfounded, claims that Marcum made “terroristic threats.”
Can anyone remember when schools taught kids to stand up for their rights, rather than persecuting them for doing so?
We’ll keep an eye on this case. In the meantime, here’s a local CBS news report on the matter.