The Constitution states that Congress and the federal government shall not infringe upon the right to bear arms. However, we know in the past the federal government has trampled this liberty. Remember the assault weapons ban that banned AR-15s and other rifles?
It appears the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is preparing to pass its own law leaving Congress out of the equation and clearly ignoring the Constitution. This time its shotguns that are under attack.
The Greeley Gazette notes of the ATF’s coming ban:
The ATF completed a study regarding the importability of certain shotguns. The basis for a possible ban is based on a loosely defined “Sporting Purpose” test. Using the vague definition almost all pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns could be banned as they are all capable of accepting a magazine, box or tube capable of holding more than 5 rounds. Other characteristics determined to be “military” by the ATF can also be used as a basis for a ban.
Ironically, many shotguns with “military” features are currently being used in shooting competitions held by the USPSA, IDPA and IPSC. The rules could also result in obscure regulations where an individual would be unsure if he is violating them or not.
Dudley Brown, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, said if the ATF succeeds with the banning of tactical shotguns it “will be the most dangerous interpretation of the 1968 Gun Control Act ever envisioned and will outlaw thousands of perfectly legitimate home defense shotguns.”
The ATF is currently allowing public comments on the study until the end of the month. Those wishing to express concerns about the study can send an email to [email protected]
Could Your Shotgun Soon be Outlawed? Maybe, If the ATF Has Its Way
by Jonathon M. Seidl Jonathon M. Seidl
What’s the definition of a “shotgun?” According to Dictionary.com it’s “a smoothbore gun for firing small shot to kill birds and small quadrupeds, though often used with buckshot to kill larger animals.” For the gun enthusiasts, that’s only partly true, as there is also the option of using slugs. But what if there’s another addition that will soon be added to the definition? How about, illegal.
Could Your Shotgun Soon be Outlawed? Maybe, If the ATF Has Its Way
In a series of fascinating, and eerie, posts over at the blog Beregond’s Bar (and linked on Redstate.com), author “Tom” pens a four-part series on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and their new campaign to change the definition of the term “shotgun.” A change, based on a recent study,* that could soon make some of them illegal. But as Tom points out, the implications for all guns are chilling.
Could Your Shotgun Soon be Outlawed? Maybe, If the ATF Has Its Way
Below are excerpts from the series. Click on the appropriate link to read more.
Part 1, which focuses on changing the term “sporting use” in order to ban certain shotguns:
The Obama administration is seeking once again to do via regulation what they would never be able to do via legislation. This time shotguns are in the crosshairs, specifically certain popular imported weapons.
Sporting use is one of the three main thrusts of gun control efforts in America. The other two are racism and those who openly advocate complete bans except for military and police. (The complete ban advocates often hide under cover of sporting use, but that and the racist history of gun control are topics for another day.
Click here to find out more!
Sporting use was how the original distinction was made about what weapons would be subject to a special tax in the National Firearms Act (NFA) in 1934, and again in Title II of the Gun Control Act of 1968. The congressional power to tax was used selectively to make ownership of weapons the government didn’t like burdensome and expensive. This was gun control via the back door, as even the ATF admits. As would become the pattern, politicians found that actually dealing with crime and criminals was difficult and expensive. Blaming guns and passing a law to look like they were doing something about it was much simpler.
Part 2, which notes that the administration and the ATF’s definition of “sporting use” includes a list of things that cannot apply to such use. Things that are common in hunting and self-defense:
In this case the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is seeking to master the definition of the term “sporting use” to “traditional” sports, things similar to what might have been found in 1934 when the Treasury Department first began regulating firearms. The ATF “Study on the Importability of Certain Shotguns” (PDF) limits “sporting purpose.”
However, consistent with past court decisions and Congressional intent, the working group recognized hunting and other more generally recognized or formalized competitive events similar to the traditional shooting sports of trap, skeet, and clays.
In order to decide what shotguns fit the “sporting purpose” definition the study comes up with a list of characteristics that aren’t sporting. Nobody has yet taken to bayoneting deer or skeet as far as I know, so I’m not going to raise a big stink about bayonet lugs being on the list of features that aren’t particularly suited for sporting purposes. (Please stop shouting that the Constitution of the United States says nothing about “sporting purpose.” We’ll look at why the “sporting purpose” rule violates the constitution in Part 3.)
One major problem (aside from the constitution) is that many of the features the ATF study group settled on make a shotgun particularly useful for self defense, especially home defense. Here are the characteristics that the study has decided are unsuitable for sporting use:
(1) Folding, telescoping, or collapsible stocks;
(2) bayonet lugs;
(3) flash suppressors;
(4) magazines over 5 rounds, or a drum magazine;
(5) grenade-launcher mounts;
(6) integrated rail systems (other than on top of the receiver or barrel);
(7) light enhancing devices;
(8) excessive weight (greater than 10 pounds for 12 gauge or smaller);
(9) excessive bulk (greater than 3 inches in width and/or greater than 4 inches in depth);
(10) forward pistol grips or other protruding parts designed or used for gripping the shotgun with the shooter’s extended hand.
Some of these features, such as folding stocks and larger capacity magazines clearly are useful in sports if you include practical shooting sports.
Part 3, which looks at how “sporting use” stacks up to the Constitution and how it came into use:
But there is a far more basic objection that must be raised to this new attempt at regulatory gun ban- Nowhere in the constitution of the United States is there anything about a “sporting purpose.” The second amendment says:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Like all rights of Americans, the rights exist because you are a person. The Constitution is a contract we have with the central government to protect those rights against all enemies, foreign and domestic. One of the enumerated rights is the right to keep and bear arms. Nary a “sporting purpose” in sight in the entire document. So where did it come from?
And finally, Part 4, which shows that the ATF’s “sporting use” definition puts all guns, not just certain shotguns, at risk of being outlawed:
One factor that jumps out from the current ATF study is that it differs from the Clinton gun ban in a critical way. The Clinton ban looked at guns and said if it could accept a high capacity magazine and had any 2 other characteristics then it was banned. Thus you could have a magazine and a pistol grip, or a magazine and night sights, and still be legal. Few people missed having a bayonet lug, and grenade launchers and grenades had essentially been banned from civilian hands since the NFA became law in 1934. The current study says that any ONE item on a list, including a magazine that holds more than five rounds or a place to attach a flashlight so you can see the burglar in your home, and the gun is banned.
So the problem doesn’t end with shotguns. The current study refers to the conclusions drawn in prior ATF studies of rifles in 1989 and 1998, and handguns in 1968. It also draws on the NFA and the GCA (Gun Control Act of 1968) to justify the “sporting purpose” test, and the narrow interpretation that the ATF places on the test. The justifications are all linked together, like a knitted sweater. Pull on the piece of yarn called “imported shotguns” and you find when it’s unraveled enough that you’re tugging on the “domestic shotguns” yarn. Only now the “imported rifle” bit of yarn is hanging loose, just begging for someone to tug on it. Unravel that a bit and you reach “domestic rifles.” A similar bit of unraveling is likely to happen with the piece of yarn labelled “handgun.”
Each piece is well worth the time it takes to read it. Meanwhile, the ATF is taking comments on its study. Tom lets you know how here.
But here’s the catch: in order to let the ATF know what you think, you have to give it your mailing address.
*According to Tom, the study “spends a lot of time showing that hunting, trap and skeet, and target shooting are sports, but plinking and practical shooting sports are not REALLY sports, and therefore guns that are particularly suitable for, or readily adaptable to those sports shouldn’t be allowed into the country.
Jack Minor of the Greeley Gazette covered the ATF’s study, too. He puts in terms of “military”-style shotguns vs. others. But, he notes, according to the specifications used, “military” could apply to so many shotguns:
The ATF completed a study regarding the importability of certain shotguns. The basis for a possible ban is based on a loosely defined “Sporting Purpose” test. Using the vague definition almost all pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns could be banned as they are all capable of accepting a magazine, box or tube capable of holding more than 5 rounds. Other characteristics determined to be “military” by the ATF can also be used as a basis for a ban.
Ironically, many shotguns with “military” features are currently being used in shooting competitions held by the USPSA, IDPA and IPSC. The rules could also result in obscure regulations where an individual would be unsure if he is violating them or not.
Dudley Brown, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, said if the ATF succeeds with the banning of tactical shotguns it “will be the most dangerous interpretation of the 1968 Gun Control Act ever envisioned and will outlaw thousands of perfectly legitimate home defense shotguns.”
The Most Powerful Man in the World: The Black Pope
Black Pope Adolfo Nicolas, Superior General of the Society of Jesus Diabolical Plan for a New World Order.
1. The Superior General of the Jesuits The Black Pope, Adolfo Nicolas and his 6 generals control the “White Pope” Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican.
2. The Illuminati, Zionists, globalist Elites, Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg group, Freemasons, Council of 300 and the evil Council of Trent.
3. The Jesuits control the Knights Templar, Knights of Columbus and the Knights of Malta.
4. The CIA, FBI, NSA, ASIO, MI5, MI6, NCIS, FSB, DGSE, Mossad and every intelligence agency in the world are masonic and controlled by the Jesuits.
5. The Jesuits have infiltrated all governments & Leaders like Obama, Rudd, Blair, Jintao, Sarkozy, Peres are only puppets that carry out Jesuit orders.
The”NEW WORLD ORDER” is the GLOBAL TOTALITARIANISM dream that a BANKER called Mayer Amschel Rothschild, helped revive in 1760?s to protect his private bank from global government regulation. His grand blue print is best described by his paid social engineer called Dr. Adam [Spartacus] Weishaupt, Professor of Canon Law in the university of Ingolstadt. Weishaupt adopted the term “Illuminati.” This nightmare is still sought after today by their family’s decedents. Below is the ‘outline’ Weishaupt set out for his banker financier master! Carefully notice the similarities between Karl Marx’s 10 Plank’s of his Communist Manifesto and Weishaupt’s outline. Also, please read Communism & The New World Order.
The blue print for the NWO is:
* Abolition of all ordered governments
* Abolition of private property
* Abolition of inheritance
* Abolition of patriotism
* Abolition of the family
* Abolition of religion
* A global population of 500 million
* Creation of a world government
Mayer Amschel Rothschild 1828 “Allow me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who writes the laws.” [Even a 4 year old can understand that people with control of money…write the laws!]
“Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” – Woodrow Wilson
So who is this subtle, complete organized power that Wilson is talking about? The answer to that my friends is the Jesuits.
Who are the Jesuits you may ask? Arent they just missionaries, priests and general do-gooders who establish schools, universities and pride themselves in being pillars in the community? If so, then why was The Jesuit Order abolished in over 80 countries in 1773? J.E.C. Shepherd states that “Between 1555 and 1931 the Society of Jesus [i.e., the Jesuit Order] was expelled from at least 83 countries, city states and cities, for engaging in political intrigue and subversion plots against the welfare of the State, according to the records of a Jesuit priest of repute [Thomas J. Campbell]. Practically every instance of expulsion was for political intrigue, political infiltration, political subversion, and inciting to political insurrection.” They are overlords of chaos. In a nut shell the Jesuits are Warlords, Assassins, Teachers, Infiltrators, Tyrants. They tried their hand at global domination with the “League of Nations” but it failed, now they are trying again, under a new name…The United Nations, and its about to work!
What people are not understanding is that the Jesuits command the White Pope and the Vatican City, Obama /Bush’s/ Clinton’s / Blair’s / Peres/ Rudd / Jintao / Sarkozy / Medvedev (and frankly every government on earth) including the the evil Council of Trent, CFR, Illuminati, the Zionists, the Bilderberg group, the Freemasons, the Knights of Malta, the Knights of Columbus, the Knights Templar, Council of 300, and every intelligence organization in the world all have ties to the Jesuit Order and more specifically, the Superior General of the Jesuits known as The Black Pope Adolfo Nicolas who as of January the 19th, 2008 succeeded Peter-Hans Kolvenbach as the 30th Superior General of the Jesuit Order.
An American soldier dies every day and a half, on average, in Iraq or Afghanistan. Veterans kill themselves at a rate of one every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year — more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began.
These unnoticed killing fields are places like New Middletown, Ohio, where Cheryl DeBow raised two sons, Michael and Ryan Yurchison, and saw them depart for Iraq. Michael, then 22, signed up soon after the 9/11 attacks.
“I can’t just sit back and do nothing,” he told his mom. Two years later, Ryan followed his beloved older brother to the Army.
When Michael was discharged, DeBow picked him up at the airport — and was staggered. “When he got off the plane and I picked him up, it was like he was an empty shell,” she told me. “His body was shaking.” Michael began drinking and abusing drugs, his mother says, and he terrified her by buying the same kind of gun he had carried in Iraq. “He said he slept with his gun over there, and he needed it here,” she recalls.
Then Ryan returned home in 2007, and he too began to show signs of severe strain. He couldn’t sleep, abused drugs and alcohol, and suffered extreme jitters.
“He was so anxious, he couldn’t stand to sit next to you and hear you breathe,” DeBow remembers. A talented filmmaker, Ryan turned the lens on himself to record heartbreaking video of his own sleeplessness, his own irrational behavior — even his own mock suicide.
One reason for veteran suicides (and crimes, which get far more attention) may be post-traumatic stress disorder, along with a related condition, traumatic brain injury. Ryan suffered a concussion in an explosion in Iraq, and Michael finally had traumatic brain injury diagnosed two months ago.
Estimates of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury vary widely, but a ballpark figure is that the problems afflict at least one in five veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq. One study found that by their third or fourth tours in Iraq or Afghanistan, more than one-quarter of soldiers had such mental health problems.
Preliminary figures suggest that being a veteran now roughly doubles one’s risk of suicide. For young men ages 17 to 24, being a veteran almost quadruples the risk of suicide, according to a study in The American Journal of Public Health.
Michael and Ryan, like so many other veterans, sought help from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Eric Shinseki, the secretary of veterans affairs, declined to speak to me, but the most common view among those I interviewed was that the V.A. has improved but still doesn’t do nearly enough about the suicide problem.
“It’s an epidemic that is not being addressed fully,” said Bob Filner, a Democratic congressman from San Diego and the senior Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs Committee. “We could be doing so much more.”
To its credit, the V.A. has established a suicide hotline and appointed suicide-prevention coordinators. It is also chipping away at a warrior culture in which mental health concerns are considered sissy. Still, veterans routinely slip through the cracks. Last year, the United States Court of Appeals in San Francisco excoriated the V.A. for “unchecked incompetence” in dealing with veterans’ mental health.
Patrick Bellon, head of Veterans for Common Sense, which filed the suit in that case, says the V.A. has genuinely improved but is still struggling. “There are going to be one million new veterans in the next five years,” he said. “They’re already having trouble coping with the population they have now, so I don’t know what they’re going to do.”
Last month, the V.A.’s own inspector general reported on a 26-year-old veteran who was found wandering naked through traffic in California. The police tried to get care for him, but a V.A. hospital reportedly said it couldn’t accept him until morning. The young man didn’t go in, and after a series of other missed opportunities to get treatment, he stepped in front of a train and killed himself.
Likewise, neither Michael nor Ryan received much help from V.A. hospitals. In early 2010, Ryan began to talk more about suicide, and DeBow rushed him to emergency rooms and pleaded with the V.A. for help. She says she was told that an inpatient treatment program had a six-month waiting list. (The V.A. says it has no record of a request for hospitalization for Ryan.)
“Ryan was hurting, saying he was going to end it all, stuff like that,” recalls his best friend, Steve Schaeffer, who served with him in Iraq and says he has likewise struggled with the V.A. to get mental health services. “Getting an appointment is like pulling teeth,” he said. “You get an appointment in six weeks when you need it today.”
While Ryan was waiting for a spot in the addiction program, in May 2010, he died of a drug overdose. It was listed as an accidental death, but family and friends are convinced it was suicide.
The heartbreak of Ryan’s death added to his brother’s despair, but DeBow says Michael is now making slow progress. “He is able to get out of bed most mornings,” she told me. “That is a huge improvement.” Michael asked not to be interviewed: he wants to look forward, not back.
As for DeBow, every day is a struggle. She sent two strong, healthy men to serve her country, and now her family has been hollowed in ways that aren’t as tidy, as honored, or as easy to explain as when the battle wounds are physical. I wanted to make sure that her family would be comfortable with the spotlight this article would bring, so I asked her why she was speaking out.
“When Ryan joined the Army, he was willing to sacrifice his life for his country,” she said. “And he did, just in a different way, without the glory. He would want it this way.”
“My home has been a nightmare,” DeBow added through tears, recounting how three of Ryan’s friends in the military have killed themselves since their return. “You hear my story, but it’s happening everywhere.”
We refurbish tanks after time in combat, but don’t much help men and women exorcise the demons of war. Presidents commit troops to distant battlefields, but don’t commit enough dollars to veterans’ services afterward. We enlist soldiers to protect us, but when they come home we don’t protect them.
“Things need to change,” DeBow said, and her voice broke as she added: “These are guys who went through so much. If anybody deserves help, it’s them.”
The Department Of Homeland Security Is Buying 450 Million New Bullets
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office is getting an “indefinite delivery” of an “indefinite quantity” of .40 caliber ammunition from defense contractor ATK.
U.S. agents will receive a maximum of 450 million rounds over five years, according to a press release on the deal.
The high performance HST bullets are designed for law enforcement and ATK says they offer “optimum penetration for terminal performance.”
This refers to the the bullet’s hollow-point tip that passes through barriers and expands for a bigger impact without the rest of the bullet getting warped out of shape: “this bullet holds its jacket in the toughest conditions.”
We’ve also learned that the Department has an open bid for a stockpile of rifle ammo. Listed on the federal business opportunities network, they’re looking for up to 175 million rounds of .223 caliber ammo to be exact. The .223 is almost exactly the same round used by NATO forces, the 5.56 x 45mm.
The deadline for earlier this month was extended because the right contractor just hadn’t come along.
Looks like the Department of Homeland Security means business.
A part of the fortune of the Queen of England comes from drug trafficking.”
Jacques Cheminade, candidate for the 2012 French presidential election
Britain’s financial regulator has fined the British queen’s bank for money laundering failures as a French presidential candidate has said part of the queen’s fortune “comes from drug trafficking.”
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined the British queen’s bank, Coutts Bank, 8.75 million pounds for failing to carry out correct checks on “politically exposed persons” and prevent money laundering.
“The failings at Coutts were serious, systemic and were allowed to persist for almost three years. They resulted in an unacceptable risk of Coutts handling the proceeds of crime,” the FSA said in a statement posted on its official website.
The news comes less than a week after a fringe candidate for April’s French presidential election said the British queen owed her fortune to drugs money laundered by “Jewish bankers in The City.”
On 21 March, Jacques Cheminade, an independent presidential candidate running in the French election, said, “a part of the fortune of the Queen of England comes from drug trafficking.”
“No, not any property, there are several other sources. But it is a series of trafficking in which, yes, there is trafficking drugs,” Cheminade said on television LCP French National Assembly.
Known as the British queen’s banker, Coutts was criticised for “significant, widespread and unacceptable” failures, as described by Tracey McDermott, acting director of enforcement and financial crime.
“The size of the financial penalty demonstrates how seriously we view its failures,” McDermott said.
Supreme irony? Top court poised to throw out Obamacare in echo of case Obama made against Hillary Clinton
It is a tad unfortunate that just days after the White House embraced the term “Obamacare” – previously regarded on the Left as a pejorative label – a majority of the nine Supreme Court justices have given strong indications they will rule it unconstitutional.
Even more ironic is that the justices, or five of them at least, look like they might force President Barack Obama back to the drawing board partly on the basis of the argument one Senator Obama made against then Senator Hillary Clinton in 2008.
At issue today was the so-called ‘individual mandate” – the federal government’s act of compelling Americans to buy health insurance. It is the centrepiece of the Affordable Health Care Act – aka Obamacare – which is the signature achievement of Obama’s presidency thus far.
But back during the 2008 campaign, Obama argued strenuously against the individual mandate. In a debate in South Carolina, he said: “A mandate means that in some fashion, everybody will be forced to buy health insurance. … But I believe the problem is not that folks are trying to avoid getting health care. The problem is they can’t afford it. And that’s why my plan emphasises lowering costs.”
In February 2008, he said that you could no more solve the issue of the uninsured with an individual mandate than you could cure homelessness by ordering people to buy a home:
This was one of the policies that allowed him to differentiate himself from Clinton and John Edwards, the serial sleazeball who (believe it or not given what we now know he was up to) had a pretty good shot at winning the Democratic nomination.
Obama felt so strongly about the issue that he even cut an ad attacking Clinton for her support of the individual mandate. “Hillary Clinton’s attacking, but what’s she not telling you about her health care plan?” the April 2008 ad asked. “It forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can’t afford it, and you pay a penalty if you don’t.”
Once in office, Obama changed his mind, telling CBS in July 2009: “During the campaign I was opposed to this idea because my general attitude was the reason people don’t have health insurance is not because they don’t want it, it’s because they can’t afford it. And if you make it affordable, then they’ll come. I am now in favour of some sort of individual mandate as long as there’s a hardship exemption.” This volte face merited a “full flop” rating from Politifact.
Fast forward to today and there were five justices who appeared to be dead set against the idea of an individual mandate. Justice Clarence Thomas hasn’t asked a question in the court for six years but as the most conservative lawyer on the court is a safe “no”. You can find a transcript of the oral arguments here and audio can be downloaded here.
Justice Antonin Scalia asked the flailing Solicitor General Donald Verrillii: “Could you define the market? Everybody has to buy food sooner or later, so you define the market as food, therefore, everybody is in the market; therefore, you can make people buy broccoli.”
Chief Justice John Roberts queried: “So can the government require you to buy a cell phone because that would facilitate responding when you need emergency services?”
Justice Samuel Alito jabbed: “All right, suppose that you and I walked around downtown Washington at lunch hour and we found a couple of healthy young people and we stopped them and we said, ‘You know what you’re doing? You are financing your burial services right now because eventually you’re going to die, and somebody is going to have to pay for it, and if you don’t have burial insurance and you haven’t saved money for it, you’re going to shift the cost to somebody else’. Isn’t that a very artificial way of talking about what somebody is doing?”
Worst of all for Obamacare supporters, Justice Anthony Kennedy, always viewed as the swing vote on the court, sounded like one of the most sceptical of all. “The reason this is concerning, is because it requires the individual to do an affirmative act,” he said at one point. “In the law of torts our tradition, our law, has been that you don’t have the duty to rescue someone if that person is in danger.
At other junctures he asked “Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?” and “So the Federal government says everybody has to join an exercise club?”
Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor seemed on the side of upholding the mandate – though in the case of Sotomayor there was, surprisingly, some doubt. The only hope for liberals appears to be that Roberts, who is known to be leery of the court being seen as overly political, comes down on their side after some of his questions gave them a modicum of encouragement.
If Obamacare is thrown out it is likely to be a political disaster for Obama, and could very well be a nail in the coffin of his re-election hopes. Some Democrats believe such an outcome could allow Obama to run against a right-wing Supreme Court as well as a right-win, do-nothing Congress.
But it would be difficult to portray Justice Kennedy is an obstructionist Republican, just as it will be hard to run against a Congress that is controlled in one chamber by the Democrats. And running as an outsider while living at 1600 Pennsylvania? Good luck with that.
Given Obama’s open mic gaffe – “After my election, I have more flexibility” – yesterday, the potential for creating a narrative that the President is a slippery, disingenuous campaigner is very real. American Crossroads, the Republican super PAC, has already been quick off the mark with this web ad on Obama as a health care flip flopper:
But the most fundamental problem for the President is that if the heart of Obamacare is ruled unconstitutional then he will be left empty-handed after spending two years and virtually all his political capital on jamming through the bill without a single Republican vote.
In short, it will make him look like a loser – not a quality Americans value in their presidents. And the fact that the Republican nominee will be able to quote Obama’s own criticisms of the individual mandate against him will be the icing on the cake
Passengers subdue ‘screaming’ JetBlue captain as mid-air rant diverts flight
By BILL SANDERSON and PEDRO OLIVEIRA Jr.
A JetBlue flight captain had to be tackled by passengers today after he ran up and down a packed flight screaming about “terrorism” and “al Qaeda” in a terrifying mid-air outburst.
“Say your prayers!” the crazed pilot screamed as he ran up and down the aisle, a passenger told The Post.
“Someone next to me said he was saying something about bombs,” recounted the passenger, Tiffany Lee, a 26-year-old Las Vegas resident.
The Amarillo Globe-News also quoted passengers on board saying the pilot was screaming about al Qaeda.
“Iraq, al Qaeda, terrorism — we’re all going down,” he yelled, according to witnesses.
Laurie Dhue, a former FOX News Channel anchor who was on board the flight, told the network passengers could hear the pilot using the words “Afghanistan” and “Israel” during the tirade.
The crazed captain’s outburst came after he was booted from the cockpit, passengers said.
He banged on the cockpit door asking to be let back in before passengers subdued him, said authorities.
Four passengers, including a retired NYPD sergeant jumped up and held the man down, Fox 5 reported.
“It was so scary,” said Lee. “People around me were freaking out a little bit. The girl next to me was saying, ‘Oh my god, what If I never talk to my fiancé again?’ ”
JetBlue Flight 191 — an Airbus A320 that can hold 150 people — made its emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas at 10:11 a.m. local time.
The flight had departed from JFK at 7:28 a.m.
Grainy YouTube footage purportedly taken by one passenger aboard the flight after its landing showed a scrum at the front of the plane as an attendant reminded them to stay seated and scolded people for taking video, saying, “We don’t need pictures of this, please.”
JetBlue said in a statement that the captain had a “medical situation” and was taken to an Amarillo hospital.
He was replaced on the flight deck by an off-duty captain who happened to be on the plane, the airline said.
The FBI is investigating the incident.
In August 2010, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater gained national attention when he grabbed some beers, deployed his JetBlue plane’s emergency chute on the JFK tarmac and slid right off his job after an argument with a testy passenger.
‘I’ve had it! To the passenger who called me a motherf—-r, f–k you! . . . I’m done!” Slater bellowed into the plane intercom before taking the slide.
Two weeks ago, an American Airlines flight attendant had to be restrained after a “mental episode” where she began ranting over the public-speaker system that the plane was going to crash.
Science Baffling Illness Strikes Africa, Turns Children Into Mindless “Zombies”
World Health Organization is on high alert about new Ugandan outbreak, cause is not fully known
Added commentary from Jason Oh, a Johns Hopkins Univ. public health studies student who is currently in Uganda studying the disease post-conflict transformation. Mr. Oh described some of the symptoms in more detail, and offered different perspective from the CNN reporters’ experience.
CNN has also reworded their report to tone down the suggestion of violent behavior.
It’s called the “nodding disease” and it’s a baffling illness that has struck thousands of children in northern Uganda. The illness brings on seizures, violent behavior in some (debated), personality changes, and a host of other unusual symptoms.
I. Mental Degradation: Child Victims Have no Cure, no Future
Grace Lagat, a northern Uganda native, is mother of two children — Pauline Oto and Thomas — both of whom are victims of the disease. For their safety, when she leaves the house, she now ties them up, using fabric like handcuffs. She recalls, “When I am going to the garden, I tie them with cloth. If I don’t tie them I come back and find that they have disappeared.”
Reportedly the children gnaw at their fabric restraints, like a rabid animals — or “zombies” of popular fiction — in an attempt to escape. (This is based on CNN’s commentary.)
(Jason Oh points out that the restraints are intended to protect the chidlren from harm, and from starting fires.)
The effort to restrain the children is not unwarranted. In one of the most bizarre symptoms of this tragic illness, children with the disease are reportedly setting fire to buildings in their communities. Coupled with the aimless wandering this disease provokes in victims, this is a deadly combination. More than 200 people have been killed in fires believed to be set by the zombified children.
(According to Jason Oh, there have been few reports of violent behavior. It is unclear where our primary source CNN received this information, though a reader suggested that a CDC report indicated that 10 to 15 percent of children were found to exhibit increased aggression. We were unable to locate this report.)
Nodding disease zombie child
The disease leaves child victims in an often-violent “zombiefied” state. [Image Source: CNN]
The disease is not new. It popped up in the 1960s in Sudan. From there it slowly spread to Libya and Tanzania.
The Uganda infections, though, are a new outbreak — a troubling sign. The jump into a new region could be pure coincidence, or it could indicate the disease has become more virulent or found a new transmissions vector.
Uganda is located in central Africa [Image Source: U of Tex., Modifications: Jason Mick]
Infected children typically have regular seizures, which are proceeded by a repetitive nodding of the head. This characteristic symptom has given rise to the unofficial title for the malady.
II. World Medical Organizations Racing for a Cure
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have been tracking the spread of this frightening ailment. Dr. Joaquin Saweka says the scene in Uganda is horrific, stating, “It was quite desperate, I can tell you. Imagine being surrounded by 26 children and 12 of them showing signs of this. The attitude was to quickly find a solution to the problem.”
Yet the WHO and CDC are not fully sure what is causing the illness, which cripples children and turns them into mindless, violence-prone zombies. The best clue they have is that most of the cases occur in regions inhabited by “Black flies”, which carry the parasitic worm Onchocerca Volvulus. That worm is responsible for another dangerous disease dubbed “river blindness”, the world’s second leading cause of infectious blindness.
(Jason Oh states that CNN misunderstood this reference. While it’s true the cause of the disease is unknown and the literature papers on the topic indicate an overlap with part of the river blindness afflicted regions, but he feels this reference was only intended to “state the obvious”, not hypothesize causation.)
Black Fly and worm
The illness may have something to do with Black flies (left, center) and their parasitic worm (right). [Image Source: WHO (left), Wikimedia Commons (center), Human Healths (right)]
However 7 percent of infected children live in regions not inhabited by the Black fly, so a link is speculative at best.
Children with the disease also frequently exhibit vitamin B6 deficiency, leading medical experts to believe that the disease may be nutrition related. However, infections by microbes, parasites, fungi, or even fungi/microbes carried by a parasitic host, can all lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Dr. Scott Dowell, director of global disease detection and emergency response at CDC, says the race is on to determine the cause and a cure. He states, “At first we cast the net wide. We ruled out three dozen potential causes and we are working on a handful of probabilities. We know from past experience an unknown disease could end up having more global implications.”
In the current cases children as old as 19 have been found to be stricken, with the majority of the worst symptoms being spread over the 3-11 age range.
One mystery surrounding the disease is the seizures themselves. While typically seizures are either randomly occurring or follow some singular cue/pattern, the nodding disease seems to have multiple triggers, including eating new foods, changing weather, and other changes.
(Jason Oh says CNN reporters messed up and that it’s familiar foods trigger the seizures, not unfamiliar ones like bars of chocolate.)
Seizure often leave the children soiled with urine and drooling. Local nurses are afraid to touch the infected. States local nurse Elupe Petua, “I feel, because I don’t know what causes it, I don’t even know how it transmits, when I touch them I feel that I can also get the infection because I don’t know what causes it.”
III. Medication is Ineffective
Anti-epileptic medication slows the onset of symptoms, but is unable to stop the progression of the disease. The seizures eventually leave many children unable to walk, only able to drag their bodies along the ground as flies tried to attack them.
The current treatment approach of anti-epileptics has done little to halt the illness.
[Image Souce: CNN]
(Jason Oh says that the diseases offers a tragic, slow mental degradation, taking years to develop. Affected children, embarassed about the nodding and afraid of infecting classmates often drop out of school, while still mentally capable. Eventually the seizures lead to the more severe symptoms mentioned in the intro — loss of speech, partial paralysis, personality changes, and — according to CNN — violence.)
The government of Uganda has come under criticism for not being vocal enough in addressing the tragedy and demanding foreign aid/research expertise. Local politicians have taken to transporting victims from affected villages by bus to city hospitals in order to force the issue into the eyes of the more affluent city-dwellers.
(Jason Oh adds some perspective writing, “Uganda had asked the CDC to investigate in 2009. Most of the backlash against the government is because the Ministry of Health has been slow to use emergency funds that the Parliament made available. They’ve established many local centers for Nodding Syndrome, but they are under-staffed and under-equipped. The kids are being referred to and transported to Mulago Hospital (famous for being in The Last King of Scotland) so the top doctors at Makerere University and in Kampala can monitor them.”)
The issue is yet another woe for a nation in which the impoverished majority was terrorized for years by warlord Jospeph Kony’s militia, dubbed the “Lord’s Resistance Army.”
Mr. Kony is currently wanted by the International Criminal Court on multiple counts of violent war crimes, including rape and murder. These offenses are punishable by death (life in prison), if he is ever brought to trial. (Jason Oh clarified that under the new Rome Statute of 2002, the ICC is not allowed to seek the death penalty, even in murder cases.)
IV. What if the “Nodding Disease” Found a Way to Reach the U.S.?
Dr. Saweka says that for all the hand-waving by the government about using better anti-epileptics and offering more funding, he appreciates and shares in the villagers frustration. He states, “People complain that it looks like the lives in developing countries have less value than the lives in the western countries. When you know the root cause, you address the cure. Now you are just relieving the symptoms. We don’t expect to cure anybody.”
Ugandans, grief stricken, feel somewhat abandoned by the government and the wealthy developed “First World”. [Image Source: CNN]
While the “First World” may not be focused on — or even aware of — the zombification that is leaving children in these African nations violent (debated), crippled shells of their former selves — tied like dogs — it is an issue that must be addressed. After all, viruses, bacteria, parasites thanks to the wonders of evolution can mutate and adapt to new environments and new transmission vectors.
Thus this zombie virus While reports of violence or strange behavior — like biting — are disputed, the disease is very serious. It may seem like a foreign issue to regions like the U.S. and EU who are struggling with their own financial crisises. But if the illness finds a way to broaden its spread, this outbreak could cripple children across the globe.
(A word of clarification… CNN has reworded their report slightly to tone down the suggestion of violent behavior. The reports of fire starting stand, but in the new context it’s possible these were just innocent accidents triggered by the childrens’ loss of coordination.
What Is Causing The Strange Noises In The Sky That Are Being Heard All Over The World?
During the second half of 2011, a lot of people all over the planet started reporting hearing really strange noises coming from the sky. In some instances the noises produced a loud rumbling such as a train, a thunderstorm or the slamming of a heavy door would make. In other instances, the noises sounded more like “groaning”. In yet other instances the noises sounded almost as if a trumpet was playing. Dozens of videos went up on YouTube purporting to document this phenomenon, but the truth is that you can fake almost anything on a YouTube video and many dismissed these strange “strange sounds” as an Internet hoax. However, now entire towns in the northern part of the United States are hearing strange noises in the sky and the mainstream media is reporting on it. In fact, one U.S. town is planning to spend thousands of dollars to hire an engineering firm to investigate where these strange sounds are coming from. At this point a lot of theories about these strange noises are being floated, but so far scientists have not been able to give us a definitive explanation for the source of these strange noises. So exactly what in the world is going on?
This phenomenon made national news again this week because of what has been going on in Clintonville, Wisconsin. Hundreds of residents of Clintonville reported hearing incredibly loud noises coming from the sky for several nights in a row. Even CBS News is reporting on what is happening in Clintonville….
Since Sunday, the residents have been disturbed by “booming” noises loud enough to wake them from their sleep.
Last night, hundreds of people attended a public meeting to get to the bottom of booms. But they aren’t any closer to the truth.
One resident told CBS News, “The last few days we’ve been having (a) booming shaking noise.”
Another resident said, “(For) a lot of people the house is rattling, you can feel the ground rattling, and it’s booming all the time. It’s kind of like, what’s going on? You don’t know what’s happening.”
So what is causing these noises that are so loud that even the ground is shaking?
According to Fox News, the town has investigated every possible explanation that they can think of for these strange noises….
City officials say they have investigated every possible human cause. They checked water, sewer and gas lines, contacted the military about any exercises in the area, reviewed permits for mining explosives and inspected a dam next to City Hall. They even tested methane levels at the landfill in case the gas was spontaneously exploding.
So far no explanation has been found. So Clintonville has decided to spend $7,000 to hire an engineering firm to investigate the cause of these strange noises.
According to geologists, the town does not sit on any fault lines and the ground beneath the town is very solid. Some geologists are claiming that “micro-quakes” could have been responsible, but others find this explanation to be very unsatisfying.
For many town residents, solving the mystery is not as important as getting these strange noises to stop so that they can get some sleep.
The following comes from the recent Fox News article mentioned above….
“My husband thought it was cool, but I don’t think so. This is not a joke,” said Jolene Van Beek, who awoke early Sunday to a loud boom that shook her house. “I don’t know what it is, but I just want it to stop.”
But Clintonville is not the only town in Wisconsin where strange sounds are being reported.
Mysterious noises are also being reported in a town called Montello which is 80 miles away from Clintonville.
Posted below is a local news report that discusses the strange noises that are being reported in Clintonville and Montello….
These strange sounds have made the mainstream news up in Canada as well.
Recently, strange noises caused such a violent shaking that they actually brought down a barn on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
Geologists say that no earthquake occurred at the time that the barn collapsed.
So what caused the barn to collapse?
That is a very good question.
And this is not just a North American phenomenon.
If you go on to YouTube and you do a search for “strange sounds” or “strange noises” you will find dozens of videos from all over the world. Yes, there are definitely a few videos that appear to be hoaxes, but is that true with all of them?
The evidence for this phenomenon is mounting and it is getting really hard to deny that there really are large numbers people all over the globe that swear that they are hearing really strange sounds coming from the sky.
So exactly what in the world is going on?
Well, there are a lot of theories floating around on the Internet. The following are some of the most prominent theories about what is causing these strange noises: electromagnetic noise, earthquakes, “fracking”, rock bursts, venting of high-pressure gas that has been trapped underground, meteor showers, HAARP or directed energy weapons, and some believe that all of this is just a giant publicity stunt.
Perhaps the biggest reason why these strange noises have so many people alarmed is because humans generally have a great fear of the unknown.
If the cause of these strange noises is revealed, the hysteria will die down.
But if these strange noises continue (or even become more intense) and there continues to be no scientific explanation for them, then the hysteria may turn into full-blown panic.
What is clear is that our planet is becoming increasingly unstable. As I have documented previously, earthquakes are becoming more frequent and more powerful. The “Ring of Fire” is becoming a lot more active and we have been seeing a disturbing amount of volcanic activity lately.
So could earth changes have anything to do with these strange noises?
We just don’t know at this point.
Most of the time when I write an article I like to have some answers. But I do not know what is causing these strange sounds.
So what do you think about these strange noises?
Do you believe that you know why they are happening?
Have you heard strange sounds coming from the sky where you live?
Please feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below….
Turner to Obama:
House leader challenges Obama on missile defense ‘flexibility’ promise
BY: Bill Gertz –
A senior House Republican on Monday accused President Obama of going back on promises he would not weaken U.S. missile defenses through negotiations with Russia after the president was overheard promising more concessions after his reelection.
Rep. Michael R. Turner (R., Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces, sought an explanation for the overheard comments made by the president Monday in a discussion in Seoul with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.
Obama told the outgoing Russian president that “this is my last election and after my election I’ll have more flexibility” regarding contentious missile defense talks with Moscow that have been underway for the past three years.
“Congress has made exquisitely clear to your administration and to other nations that it will block all attempts to weaken U.S. missile defense,” Turner stated in the letter. “As the chairman of the strategic forces subcommittee, which authorizes U.S. missile defense and nuclear weapons policy, I want to make perfectly clear that my colleagues and I will not allow any attempts to trade missile defense of the United States to Russia or any other country.”
Turner noted that during the December 2010 ratification debate over the New START arms treaty with Russia the president made specific promises that Russia’s opposition to U.S. missile defenses would not impact U.S. plans to deploy both short- and medium-range missile defenses in Europe and elsewhere.
Additionally, the president promised to make both “qualitative and quantitative improvements in its missile defenses,” Turner said.
“You have already walked away from detailed promises to modernize the U.S. nuclear deterrent; are you now planning to walk away from your promises regarding U.S. missile defense as well?” Turner asked.
Amid concerns that the administration planned to share highly classified missile defense secrets with Russia in an effort to assuage Moscow’s fears that U.S. defenses will target its missiles, the defense authorization bill signed into law by the president contains a provision that limits the president’s ability to share classified data with Russia.
“Congress took this step because it was clear based on official testimony and administration comments in the press that classified information about U.S. missile defenses, including hit-to-kill technology and velocity at burnout information, may be on the table as negotiating leverage for your reset with Russia,” Turner said, noting that the president said he may treat the limit as nonbinding when he signed the defense bill into law.
The comments in Seoul, in addition to the signing statement, “suggests that you and your administration have plans for U.S. missile defenses that you believe will not stand up to electoral scrutiny,” Turner said.
Turner said Congress has made clear to the administration and to other nations that it will block all efforts by the administration to weaken missile defenses.
The subcommittee chairman added that as the chairman in charge of overseeing missile defenses and nuclear weapons policy, “I want to make perfectly clear that my colleagues and I will not allow any attempts to trade missile defense of the United States to Russia or any other country.”
The revealing comments by Obama followed a 90-minute meeting with Medvedev at the end of the nuclear security summit.
“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space,” Obama said, referring to newly elected Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama said.
A White House National Security Council spokesman had no immediate comment.
Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl criticized the president for promising concessions on missile defense.
In a statement, Kyl said that the president canceled plans for anti-ballistic missile systems in Poland and Czech Republic and supported langauge in the New START arms treaty that links missile defense to nuclear reductions.
“We know the administration is sharing information with Russia, including plans to deploy missile defenses in Europe,” Kyl said. “We know the president has significantly reduced funding and curtailed development of the U.S. national missile defense system, undermining our ability to effectively intercept long-range ballistic missiles. And we know the president has doubled-down on efforts to reduce our nuclear arsenal while failing to honor his promises to modernize the aging nuclear weapons complex.”
However, Kyl said what is unknown is what Obama has planned for after the election after gaining the reported “flexibility” in dealing with Moscow.
“Perhaps the Russians, in whom President Obama recently confided, could shed some light on his missile defense plans for the American people who otherwise have been left in the dark by this president,” Kyl said.
Deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes told ABC News after the comments that the president was referring to reaching an accommodation with Moscow and that “there is a lot of rhetoric around this issue — there always is — in both countries.”
Putin told reporters last month prior to his election as president that lengthy talks with the United States on European missile defense had failed because U.S. negotiators were unwilling to codify oral proposals made in the talks as part of a formal agreement.
“They made some proposals to us which we virtually agreed to and asked them to get them down on paper,” Putin told foreign news editors Feb. 2.
“They made a proposal to us just during the talks, they told us: we would offer you this, this and that. We did not expect this, but I said: we agree. Please put it down on paper. We were waiting for their answer for two months. We did not get it, and then our American partners withdrew their own proposals, saying: no, it’s impossible.”
The proposals included guarantees that U.S. and NATO missile defenses would not be directed at Russia’s missiles.
Additionally, U.S. negotiators, according to Putin, offered the ability to conduct round-the-clock monitoring of anti-missile systems and radar to make sure they were fixed toward Iran and unable to target Russia.
“This would not change the situation dramatically, but we said: okay, it’s already something, we agree. Put it down on paper. But they refused,” Putin said.
The comments contradict the statements of Ellen Tauscher, former undersecretary of state for international security, who denied that she and other U.S. officials had offered concessions to Moscow on missile defenses that would legally constrain U.S. defenses.
Tauscher, who has since stepped down, drafted a missile defense agreement that was to be signed at the May 2011 summit of G-8 leaders in Deauville, France. However, White House lawyers pulled the draft agreement before it could be signed over concerns it would be interpreted by Moscow as containing provisions on U.S. systems that would be legally binding.
The Obama administration in 2009 rejected a plan by the George W. Bush administration to deploy long-range interceptor missiles in Eastern Europe that would be used to protect the United States from missile attacks from Iran.
Instead, the administration has developed what it calls a Phased Adaptive Approach for Europe that involves less-capable SM-3 missile defense interceptors that will not be capable of protecting the U.S. homeland from missile attack for at least a decade from now.
The concession was designed to coax Russia into an agreement on missile defense. Instead, Russia has responded by threatening to deploy advanced short-range nuclear-capable missiles in western Russia.
A senior Republican aide told the Free Beacon that Obama’s comments were distressing.
“If there was any doubt how dangerous Barack Obama would be for America’s security in a second term, the president put all uncertainty to rest today,” said the source, who closely tracks foreign policy matters. “The president just told us that he is itching to hand over America’s most secret missile defense data to a country that is arming Syria and fueling Iran’s Bushehr reactor—and he would do it today but for his re-election concerns. With no political constraints in a second term, who knows what Obama will do.”
The adviser also said Obama’s remarks should cause concern among pro-Israel forces in America.
“If this is what the president’s promising the Russians on missile defense, God only knows what he’s promising Arab leaders about Israel,” noted the souce. “If you think Barack Obama was bad for Israel in term one, put your seatbelt on and get ready for term two.”
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A growing number of scientists are starting to worry that it is the magnetic pole shift that seems to be underway that is the real culprit behind climate change. Not man made air pollution, not the sun, not the underground volcanic activity heating up the oceans, but the slow beginning of a pole shift that has been thought to destroy entire civilizations in the past and be one major factor in mass extinctions. NASA recently discovered and released information about a major breach in the earth’s magnetic field.
This breach in the earth/s magnetic field alone, in that it is allowing solar winds to enter the earths atmosphere, is sufficient to really mess up the weather. Not only is this accelerating magnetic pole shift messing up the weather it is having major effects on geopolitics. These magnetic shifts are not only capable of causing massive global super storms, but can cause certain societies, cultures and whole countries to collapse, even go to war with one another.
All yet remains to be seen, but the magnetic reversal of the earth’s poles seems to be rapidly increasing and IS affecting world weather patterns. The real question is how bad will things get before it all settles backdown to a “new normal?” At one time in history it was thought the North Pole was in the area that is now known as Hudson Bay. If the Hudson Bay area was the last locatoin of the North Pole, where will it go next? And how bad will global super storms and climate change get before it is over? And can we stop blaming each other for causing this and work together to survive it and keep civilization in tact? (Suite101)
The NOAA National Geophysical Data Center maintains a data set of annual magnetic north pole coordinates going back to the year 1590, derived from early measurements from ships logs to modern day techniques. Noting that there has been lots of reporting of pole shift lately, to the point where the phenomenon is actually causing real-world issues such as temporary airport closures, a deeper investigation was in order. After transferring 420 years of north pole position data from the NOAA Geo Data Center, configuring it to fit in an Excel spreadsheet, adding a complicated formula to determine exact distance between 2 sets of latitude-longitude coordinates, applying the formula to each data point in the series, and then finally plotting it all in a visual graph, it is alarming to discover the amount of pole shift just over the past 10 to 20 years. (GlobalRumbling)
Graph of annual magnetic north pole shift during the past 420 years
Since 1860, the magnetic pole shift has more than doubled every 50 years. That is pretty significant. During the past 150 years, the pole shift has been in the same direction. During the past 10 years, the magnetic north pole has shifted nearly half of the total distance of the past 50 years! In other words, the pole shift has apparently sped up substantially. It is not known if the shift will speed up or slow down in the years ahead. Some say that a pole reversal is overdue, and this phenomenon may be indicators of the beginnings of that process. (ModernSurvivalist)
The Pole shift hypothesis is not to be confused with geomagnetic reversal, the periodic reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field (effectively switching the north and south magnetic poles). Geomagnetic reversal has more acceptance in the scientific community than pole shift hypotheses. The Pole shift hypothesis is almost always discussed in the context of Earth, but other bodies in the Solar System may have experienced axial reorientation during their existences. The theory says that the outer crust of the Earth has moved several times in the past and would move in the future.
A geomagnetic reversal is a change in the orientation of Earth’s magnetic field such that the positions of magnetic north and magnetic south become interchanged. The Earth’s magnetic north pole is drifting from northern Canada towards Siberia with a presently accelerating rate. It is also unknown if this drift will continue to accelerate. Present society with its reliance of electricity and electromagnetic effects (e.g. radio, satellite communications) may be vulnerable to technological diruptions in the event of a full field reversal.
The Earth’s geomagnetic field is currently undergoing a reversal. It is not known when it will be completed, but it is already well underway, will continue into 2012 and beyond. The field is weakening with consequences of irradiation from the sun and deep space. But the reversal also means deep seated changes inside the earth with consequences of earthquakes in places not familiar with them and new volcanoes. During the reversal, we can experience increased earthquake activity, even an earthquake storm. Three new volcanoes are being born in the various undersea locations of the Pacific Ocean at this time. The reversal is a product of the changes that go on inside the Earth. The core is spinning slightly faster than the crust that has been slowed by the effect of the moon by tidal dragging. The differential rotation is what generates the magnetic field. As the core rotates, the magnetic field lines behave like what happens on the surface of the sun as the sun has differential rotation from equator to pole. The differential rotation in both cases stretches the magnetic field lines so that they get wound round and round the sun or Earth. At a certain moment in each case, the magnetic field lines snap and the field reverses and rebuilds. The differential flow of the sun occurs much faster than in the earth, so the magnetic cycle occurs in the sun cycles around 22 years on average. The Earth takes longer and is aperiodic due to the slower winding and the interaction of the moon, sun and planets. Typical field reversals can take hundreds of thousands or millions of years.
The current state of the geomagnetosphere is very chaotic with no definitive north-south orientation of poles. Instead there is a patchwork of poles all over the place. It is analogous to the surface of the sun during a sunspot maximum period where there are many fields coupled by sunspot pairs. The remains of the main field still exist, but is weakening, with the south magnetic pole closer to the equator than the north magnetic pole. Satellite imaging shows that the overall field has broken into many local regions with plenty of neutral zones between them where solar and cosmic radiation can get to the earth’s surface unimpeded except by the atmosphere. As of March 2010, NASA space weather tells us two things. The first is that the Earth’s magnetic field is almost at zero strength overall, broken into hundreds of small coupled fields. The sun for the moment is relatively quiet according to what is observed by aural activity on earth. These magnetic zonesare shifting continually and presage change. It appears that the field will be globally neutral on or about 2012.
Right now, the earth is open to penetration by ionizing radiation from all sources, but the local solar weather and cosmos is relatively quiet. It will not remain so and it is hard to know in advance when a radiation event will come from the cosmos at large. With the sun, we may have a day or two concerning a proton event, but not for gamma rays as it will hit us the moment we see signs like a coronal mass ejection. Where the chaotic fields are at their weakest, is exactly where auras will show and warn us of oncoming radiation. Ionizing radiation means an increase in radiation driven evolutionary change and radiation related illness.
A sign of the times is increase in earthquake activity, including in regions that are considered geologically stable and not subject to earthquakes. (Newsolio)
The Earth’s magnetosphere is what generates the Earth’s magnetic poles. It also protects us from harmful solar wind emanating from the Sun and radiation from outside our solar system. It sheathes the Earth and extends outside the atmosphere. This is why missions to the moon and other planets are plagued by radiation but orbiting missions less so.
Scientists know that reversals have occurred many times in the past. The direction of magnetic grains laid down successively in the Earth’s crust, particularly the sea floor are a primary piece of evidence. When the rock is new and molten the grains are free to align themselves with the prevailing magnetic field. As the rock cools, the grains are frozen in time. As the sea floor expands outward (in the Atlantic), it is regularly striped with rock oriented in different directions. This indicates that the magnetic poles have reversed many times throughout the Earth’s history.
The South Atlantic Anomaly (or SAA) is the region where Earth’s inner van Allen radiation belt makes its closest approach to the planet’s surface. Thus, for a given altitude, the radiation intensity is greater within this region than elsewhere. The van Allen radiation belts are symmetric with the Earth’s magnetic axis, which is tilted with respect to the Earth’s rotational axis by an angle of ~11 degrees. Additionally, the magnetic axis is offset from the rotational axis by ~450 kilometers (280 miles). Because of the tilt and offset, the inner van Allen belt is closest to the Earth’s surface over the south Atlantic ocean, and furthest from the Earth’s surface over the north Pacific ocean.
Some believe that the anomaly is a side effect of geomagnetic reversal. This may result from a misunderstanding of the extant literature, which mentions a slow weakening of the geomagnetic field as one of several causes for the changes in the borders of the SAA since its discovery. What is true is that as the geomagnetic field continues to weaken, the inner van Allen belt will get closer to the Earth, with a commensurate enlargement of the SAA at given altitudes. The highest intensity portion of the SAA drifts to the west at a speed of about 0.3 degrees per year, and is noticeable in the references listed below. The drift rate of the SAA is very close to the rotation differential between the Earth’s core and its surface, estimated to be between 0.3 and 0.5 degrees per year. (MaritimeConnector)
The South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) is known to be growing in extent and spreading westwards from South Africa, as the Earth’s internal magnetic field rapidly weakens in this region. This may be early evidence of a forthcoming reversal in the direction of the Earth’s internal magnetic field. We do not know in detail precisely what occurs during such reversals, including the changes observed in the magnetic field and the time a reversal takes to complete. However these factors are important in knowing where the radiation risk may be increased and how the atmosphere might respond. Earth’s magnetic field has had many highs, lows and reversals in its past. The last reversal was around 800,000 years ago. So the Earth is known to be able to re-generate its field and has done so during human pre-history. Understanding the development of the SAA may therefore be significant in understanding the reversal process and its impact on life and the natural environment. (BrittishGeologicalSurvey)
Polar Shift and Earthquakes
The increase in the number of strong earthquakes today may be related to the phenomenon of polar shift, and are both byproducts of Earth’s turbulent and boiling liquid Iron outer core, roiling around a solid Iron inner core as hot as the Sun and spinning faster than the rotation of the planet itself.
The Earth’s mantle and crust are floating on top of a stormy sea of electrically conducting molten Iron which produces the planet’s magnetic field by something called the Dynamo effect. The north magnetic pole was first located in 1831 and has been regularly tracked up until the most recent measurement taken some time ago in 2001. During that time the pole has moved an amazing 1,100 km. In fact, since 1970 the pole has been moving much faster, from 10 km to 40 km annually, an incredible four fold increase.
Polar shift is caused by substantial changes in movement of the molten Iron outer core.
Dr. Tony Phillips of Science News – NASA has stated the following details… About 400 polar shift reversals have occurred during the past 330 million years while the average interval between reversals during recent geological times has been about 200 thousand years. The Earth’s last field reversal occurred 780 thousand years ago and we are apparently way overdue. Most evidence gathered from analyzing certain types of rock indicates that a polar shift reversal process may take 1,000 or up to 8,000 years to complete. However there have also been reports of the process completing itself much, much faster than that, the most famous account being from measurements taken of lava rock at Steens Mountain, Oregon which indicate that the magnetic field had been shifting up to 6 degrees per day during one particular polar shift nearly 16 million years ago. Everything we are seeing here lately regarding magnetic polar shift and earthquakes today may all be related and may be reflections of changes that are occurring deep beneath our feet. (Modern Survivalist)
As massive earthquakes rip the earth’s crust, destroy cities and kill many thousands, scientists that have warned of the relationship between the ongoing magnetic polar shift, the planet’s molten cores and tectonic plates are scrambling to recheck their calculations.
Japan’s 9.1 superquake that destroyed much of northeastern land is a symptom of the growing devastation reverberating around the globe as the geomagnetic field continues to relentlessly warp, fluctuate and mutate. Both the superquake and super-tsunami were generated by a gigantic tear in the earth’s crust: the North American plate snapped upward. The mammoth fissure—150 miles long and 50 miles wide—gapes like a deadly wound in the seabed, plunging downwards into the depths of the crumbling, unstable mantle.
Most people are unaware that magnetic field fluctuations can precipitate earthquakes and initiate strange mass animal behavior—bizarre behavior like that reported since the final months of 2010. Yet it’s been demonstrated that changes in the geomagnetosphere affect the Earth’s plate tectonics. The reason why tectonics are affected has to do with how the Earth is built geologically. The planet’s primarily a core of superheated, dense viscous liquid with a relatively thin crust floating on the surface. That segmented crust—like a cracked pie crust—is what comprises the tectonic plates. They are in constant movement chiefly due to massive currents deep within the planet’s mantle and molten core.
The edges where two plates meet are called faults. Faults relieve the titanic internal pressure of the planet. The faults buckle and create mountains, rifts, and volcanic conduits. Some faults are structured different than others and exhibit different qualities.
The mighty currents of molten rock, under intense pressure, boil beneath the crust creating earthquakes, volcanoes and continental drift. It is also the geodynamo that creates the earth’s magnetic field and the interaction with the solar magnetosphere can initiate plate drift, tensions and the massive buckling and shearing between the plates called faults. The movement along the fault lines is called an earthquake.
Geomagnetic flux, often a precursor to mighty quakes, is sometimes accompanied by strange harmonics: people see colors dancing in the sky or hear what sounds like discordant music. The growing abberations of the magnetic field—and the increasing level activity of the sun—is symptomatic of the change in the earth’s core. A dangerous change. An uncontrollable change. A change that is leading to the possibility of greater and greater disasters. Volcanic activity will also increase. The evidence is there.
Japan’s superquake was followed by dozens of severe aftershocks and then an entirely new quake on a separate fault in central Japan measuring 6.6 magnitude. Hours later a volcano in Indonesia along the famous Pacific Rim ‘ring of fire” exploded into an intense eruption. The twisting field creates a perfect harmony of catastrophe, death and destruction.
As the flux in the Earth’s dynamic magnetic field becomes more erratic and the intensity of the field fluctuates to a greater degree, the formation of energetic torsion fields withing the electrical matrix can increase. A torsion field, as defined by A. Akimov, can manifest within an electrical field in a state of flux. They are distinct energy fields that can interact and affect both energy and matter. Some experimenters have found evidence that their emanations sometimes appear to exceed the speed of light. Torsion fields can change the light frequency of laser beams, affect electrical components, modify gravity waves, and impact biological processes.
Beyond that, torsion fields can go rogue, create escalating feedback by looping upon themselves and generate massive, uncontrollable forces upon the spinning molten core through permutations and episodes of erratic spin and pressure. It can be measured and deduced by the magnetic flux using supercomputers. But the data produced is always after the fact and is useless as a tool for prediction. It serves only as a means to determine exactly what it was that killed or displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
As the field effects intensify and the geomagnetic field becomes ever more erratic, more superstorms can erupt into global titans of fury; more superquakes can occur shifting coastlines, submerging islands, and destroying whole regions; and more volcanoes can reignite bringing superheated death and destruction to the surface from the very bowels of the earth. (Earth-Issues)
“What is so surprising is that rapid, almost sudden, changes take place in the Earth’s magnetic field. This suggests that similar sudden changes take place in the movement of the liquid metal deep inside the Earth which is the reason for the Earth’s magnetic field” said Nils Olsen, Senior Scientist with DTU Space.
The Earth’s core consists of an inner solid core which is surrounded by an outer liquid core approx. 3,000 km below our feet. Both the liquid core and the solid core consist primarily of iron and nickel, and it is the movements in the outer liquid part of the Earth’s core which create the Earth’s magnetic field. Changes in these movements are seen as changes in the magnetic field, and scientists can therefore use satellite measurements of the magnetic field to find out what is going on in the liquid core deep inside the Earth.
Crust field: magnetic minerals produce sharp fluctuations in the magnetic field, making iron deposits in Russia (top right) and diamond-bearing rocks in the west Sahara (middle) clearly visible
The magnetic field surrounds the planet in a cocoon of force that forms a barrier against the solar wind – the constant but fluctuating stream of charged particles emitted from the Sun. If the field weren’t there, the solar wind would strip away almost all of the atmosphere, the oceans would boil away into space and the planet would be left unable to support life. Mars, whose magnetic field faded away unknown aeons ago, suffered this fate. The magnetic fields of the core and the crust are fixed to the Earth, so they are in a rotating frame. The magnetic fields coming from the ionosphere are driven by the Sun, so they sit still with respect to the terrestrial fields.
The Earth’s magnetic field is mainly produced by a self-sustaining dynamo in the fluid outer-core. Credits: GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ)
But the field is complex, and although we’ve known about it since 1600 -an English doctor, William Gilbert, was the first to describe it – we don’t understand how it works. The field is made up from several components. There’s the contribution of the molten core, but how the movement of the liquid iron generates the field is a complete mystery. Another contribution comes from naturally magnetic minerals in the Earth’s crust, such as ores of iron and nickel, and certain magnetic volcanic rocks. The ionosphere – the layer of ionised gases in the atmosphere from about 60km to 500km above the planet’s surface – also generates a magnetic field that contributes to the whole. Lastly, and rather surprisingly, the oceans, made from conductive salt water, generate a magnetic field as their currents move the water across the surface of the planet.
It’s becoming increasingly important that we understand more about the magnetic field; primarily, it’s responsible for our ongoing existence, but also because more and more of the technology we rely on depends upon it. The field protects communications, global positioning and Earth observation satellites from the solar wind. It may also be responsible for aspects of the climate. (TheEngineer)
There’s evidence it happened in the past and this theory could explain a lot of things that remained mysterious. There’s a couple of theories about how it could happen next:
Important mass building at the poles
An asteroid hitting Earth
A large object/Planet not from the Solar system approaching Earth
Something like a super sized volcano formed far from the equator
It’s a process that we can see happening. The only drastic way it could happen is with an asteroid striking Earth or a large object/planet getting near Earth. For the asteroid, NASA is monitoring near Earth objects and I’m sure they do a good job with that. For the planet approaching it’s clear people are making reference to Elenin/Planet X/Nibiru. There’s no clear link between 2012 and that physical pole shift. It’s most likely linked with Planet X approaching Earth and then causing a pole shift due to the change in gravity which holds our Solar system the way it is. There’s also a possibility for an asteroid to hit Earth. There’s a slight possibility for a pole shift and a magnetic reversal everyday but life goes on
Global ‘water war’ threat by 2030 – US intelligence
The Mekong river. One of the predicted sources of international conflict and site for controversial dam.
Nations will cut off rivers to prevent their enemies having access to water downstream, terrorists will blow up dams, and states that cannot provide water for their citizens will collapse. This is the future – as painted by a top US security report.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the organization that oversees US intelligence agencies such as the CIA and FBI, was commissioned by President Barack Obama to examine the impact of water scarcity worldwide on US security.
And while the prospect of “water wars” has been touted for decades, it may start to become reality within a decade. The ODNI predicts that by 2040 water demand will outstrip current supply by 40 per cent.
Impoverished volatile states will be worst off
Water shortages “will hinder the ability of key countries to produce food and generate energy, posing a risk to global food markets and hobbling economic growth.” North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia will be hit the hardest, the report states.
And while the coming shortage is a manageable problem for richer countries, it is a deadly “destabilizing factor” in poorer ones. As a rule, economically disadvantaged countries are already prone to political, social and religious turmoil, and failure to provide water for farmers and city dwellers can be the spark for wider “state failure.”
Among those most vulnerable to this scenario are Sudan, Pakistan and Iraq, which are all locked in debilitating civil conflicts, and Somalia, which has effectively ceased to function as a state. ODNI envisages countries restricting water for its own citizens to “pressure populations and suppress separatist elements.” The report predicts many ordinary citizens will have to resort to the kind of purification tablets currently used by soldiers and hikers to obtain clean water.
Most dangerously, there are whole clusters of unstable countries fighting for the same waterways.
The report lists the Nile, which runs through Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, the Jordan, which runs through Israel and several Arab countries, and the Indus, which is shared by Pakistan and India.
These areas are managed by special commissions, and the report states that “historically, water tensions have led to more water-sharing agreements than violent conflicts.” But once there is not enough water to go around, these fragile pacts may collapse, with “more powerful upstream nations impeding or cutting off downstream flow.”
Even without outright fighting, the ODNI says countries will use water as a tool of political leverage, similar to how gas and oil are used today.
Infrastructure projects will become increasingly politicized: “States will also use their inherent ability to construct and support major water projects to obtain regional influence or preserve their water interests,” the report claims.
Laos’ proposed $3.5 billion Mekong Dam has already been the subject of an international dispute with Cambodia and Vietnam, who say the dam will obliterate their fisheries and agriculture.
Water terrorism threat
And even international compromise is not likely to be enough to ensure water safety.
“Physical infrastructure, including dams, has been used as a convenient and high-publicity target by extremists, terrorists, and rogue states, threatening substantial harm and this will become more likely beyond the next 10 years.”
The report states that an attack on a single point in a water supply, such as a canal or desalinization plant is sufficient to deprive hundreds of thousands of clean water. In return, governments will have to implement costly safety measures that are likely to be of limited use, due to the extensive length of rivers that have to be protected.
The ODNI says there is a decade to tackle the problems before they spiral out of control. It suggests revising international water treaties and investing in superior water purification technologies that will make the increasingly scarce resource plentiful again.
Massive U.S. Military Buildup Reported Around Iran; Up to 100,000 Troops Ready By March
While President Obama’s supporters hailed his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq as the end of the war in the middle east, behind the scenes the Pentagon has been quietly massing troops and armaments on two islands located just south of the Strait of Hormuz, and within easy striking distance of Iran.
In addition to some 50,000 U.S. troops currently in the region waiting for orders (apparently they won’t be home by this past Christmas as was originally promised), Nobel Peace Prize winner President Barack Obama is deploying an additional 50,000 soldiers to be ready for ‘any contingency’ by March:
President Barack Obama is reported exclusively by DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military and Washington sources to have secretly ordered US air, naval and marine forces to build up heavy concentrations on two strategic islands – Socotra, which is part of a Yemeni archipelago in the Indian Ocean, and the Omani island of Masirah at the southern exit of the Strait of Hormuz.
Since 2010, the US has been quietly building giant air force and naval bases on Socotra with facilities for submarines, intelligence command centers and take-off pads for flying stealth drones, as part of a linked chain of strategic US military facilities in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.
The Socotra facilities are so secret that they are never mentioned in any catalogue listing US military facilities in this part of the world, which include Jebel Ali and Al Dahfra in the United Arab Emirates; Arifjan in Kuwait; and Al Udeid in Qatar – all within short flying distances from Iran.
Additional US forces are also being poured into Camp Justice on the barren, 70-kilometer long Omani island of Masirah, just south of the Hormuz entry point to the Gulf of Oman from the Arabian Sea.
Western military sources familiar with the American buildup on the two strategic islands tell DEBKA-Net-Weekly that, although they cannot cite precise figures, they are witnessing the heaviest American concentration of might in the region since the US invaded Iraq in 2003.
Then, 100,000 American troops were massed in Kuwait ahead of the invasion. Today, those sources estimate from the current pace of arrivals on the two island bases, that 50,000 US troops will have accumulated on Socotra and Masirah by mid-February. They will top up the 50,000 military already present in the Persian Gulf region, so that in less than a month, Washington will have some 100,000 military personnel on the spot and available for any contingency.
US air transports are described as making almost daily landings on Socotra and Masirah. They fly in from the US naval base of Diego Garcia, one of America’s biggest military facilities, just over 3,000 kilometers away. The US military presence in the region will further expand in the first week of March when three US aircraft carriers and their strike groups plus a French carrier arrive in the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea: They are theUSS Abraham Lincoln, USS Carl Vinson, USS Enterprise and the Charles de Gaulle nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
A fourth US carrier will be standing by in the Pacific Ocean, a few days’ sailing time from the water off Iran’s coast.
Still holding out hope that we won’t go to war with Iran?
There’s already reason enough for the powers-to-be to invade Iran based on the accusations that they are in the process of manufacturing nuclear weapons. Whether true or not makes no difference, as we saw with weapons of mass destruction that have yet to be found in Iraq.
Similarly, like Saddam Hussein before them, Iran’s leadership is attempting to trade their oil without going through the proper channels – in essence attempting to bypass the United States and Europe by striking deals with China, India, and Russia that will not require the exchange of oil for US dollars, but rather, Yuan, Rupees and Gold.
It may very well be that nuclear weapons, like WMD in Iraq, are simply the pretext, rather than the real reason, that will be used to crush those who oppose the financiers, politicians and influencers behind the new world order paradigm.
Make no mistake: this is serious business. They will kill as many as is needed (on our side and theirs) in order to push the agenda forward.
This is what happens when you mess with the men behind the curtains:
*Warning Graphic Video*
Hat tip Steve Quayle, Stan Deyo
Author: Mac Slavo
Date: January 30th, 2012
Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.shtfplan.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.
The joke that was old when Moses was around: Tablet full of crude gags and riddles about beer is found – dating back to Exodus
By Rob Waugh
A newly translated tablet from the area of present-day Iraq runs through a series of riddles which show that even in 1,500BC, people liked a puzzle.
Modern audiences, though, should not expect to have their sides split – or indeed to solve any of the riddles, which are rather tricky (the riddles and their solutions are below).
Cuneiform script as seen in a clay tablet, found at Tell-El-Amarna, Egypt: The location of the tablet of riddles is not known, and the study authors worked from a transcription from 1976. The museum it was in was looted during the 2003 Iraq war
CAN YOU THINK LIKE A MESOPOTAMIAN? THE RIDDLES – AND THE ANSWERS
‘In your mouth and your teeth (or urine). Constantly stared at you. The measuring vessel of your lord. What is it?’
‘The tower is high, but it has no shade.’
Answer: Light. The riddle refers to a shaft of light hitting the ground.
He gouged out the eye. It is not the fate of a dead man. He cut the throat: A dead man – who is it?’
Answer: A governor – the joke here could be that a governor is portrayed as executioner.
The two rudest riddles have missing answers – or ones that don’t make sense.
‘The deflowered girl did not become pregnant. The undeflowered girl became pregnant. What is it?’
Answer: Auxiliary forces. The term for a group of soldiers is puzzling here, says Wasserman.
‘… of your mother, is by the one who has intercourse with her. Who is it?’
Answer: Perhaps thankfully, this answer has been lost.
Few riddles in the Akkadian language survive.
It was commonly used by the ancient Babylonians and other civilisations around the area of present-day Iraq.
The tablet dates to the time of the Biblical Exodus, and is thought to have been written near the Persian Gulf.
It was written in cuneiform script.
The text has large parts missing, and also appears to have been carved by an inexperienced scribe.
The text was translated by Michael Streck of the University of Leipzig and Nathan Wasserman of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The authors suspect that the scribe might have lived near the Persian Gulf.
The find is all the more remarkable because the tablet itself might well be lost.
The museum the tablet was housed in was pillaged during the 2003 invasion.
The tablet was transcribed and published in 1976 by J J Van Dijk. The researchers used his transcript for their translation.
The location of the tablet is currently unknown – although the researchers say that it is small and does not look valuable, so they have not given up hope that looters might simply have ignored it.
‘We tried to figure out where the tablet is now,’ Wasserman said, in an interview with LiveScience.
‘But I don’t know. I very much hope that it is still there.’
Obama Raises The Military Stakes
Confrontation On The Frontiers Of China And Russia
By James Petras
I See Your Missile Shipment and Raise you an Air Base
After suffering major military and political defeats in bloody ground wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, failing to buttress long-standing clients in Yemen, Egypt and Tunisia and witnessing the disintegration of puppet regimes in Somalia and South Sudan, the Obama regime has learned nothing: Instead he has turned toward greater military confrontation with global powers, namely Russia and China. Obama has adopted a provocative offensive military strategy right on the frontiers of both China and Russia.
After going from defeat to defeat on the periphery of world power and not satisfied with running treasury-busting deficits in pursuit of empire building against economically weak countries, Obama has embraced a policy of encirclement and provocations against China, the world’s second largest economy and the US’s most important creditor, and Russia, the European Union’s principle oil and gas provider and the world’s second most powerful nuclear weapons power.
This paper addresses the Obama regime’s highly irrational and world-threatening escalation of imperial militarism. We examine the global military, economic and domestic political context that gives rise to these policies. We then examine the multiple points of conflict and intervention in which Washington is engaged, from Pakistan, Iran, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba and beyond. We will then analyze the rationale for military escalation against Russia and China as part of a new offensive moving beyond the Arab world (Syria, Libya) and in the face of the declining economic position of the EU and the US in the global economy. We will then outline the strategies of a declining empire, nurtured on perpetual wars, facing global economic decline, domestic discredit and a working population reeling from the long-term, large-scale dismantling of its basic social programs.
The Turn from Militarism in the Periphery to Global Military Confrontation
November 2011 is a moment of great historical import: Obama declared two major policy positions, both having tremendous strategic consequences affecting competing world powers.
Obama pronounced a policy of military encirclement of China based on stationing a maritime and aerial armada facing the Chinese coast an overt policy designed to weaken and disrupt China’s access to raw materials and commercial and financial ties in Asia. Obama’s declaration that Asia is the priority region for US military expansion, base-building and economic alliances was directed against China, challenging Beijing in its own backyard. Obama’s iron fist policy statement, addressed to the Australian Parliament, was crystal clear in defining US imperial goals.
“Our enduring interests in the region [Asia Pacific] demands our enduring presence in this region The United States is a Pacific power and we are here to stay As we end today’s wars [i.e. the defeats and retreats from Iraq and Afghanistan]… I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia Pacific a top priority As a result, reduction in US defense spending will not come at the expense of the Asia Pacific” (CNN.com, Nov. 16, 2011).
The precise nature of what Obama called our “presence and mission” was underlined by the new military agreement with Australia to dispatch warships, warplanes and 2500 marines to the northern most city of Australia (Darwin) directed at China. Secretary of State Clinton has spent the better part of 2011 making highly provocative overtures to Asian countries that have maritime border conflicts with China. Clinton has forcibly injected the US into these disputes, encouraging and exacerbating the demands of Vietnam, Philippines, and Brunei in the South China Sea. Even more seriously, Washington is bolstering its military ties and sales with Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea, as well as increasing the presence of battleships, nuclear submarines and over flights of war planes along China’s coastal waters. In line with the policy of military encirclement and provocation, the Obama-Clinton regime is promoting Asian multi-lateral trade agreements that exclude China and privilege US multi-national corporations, bankers and exporters, dubbed the “Trans-Pacific Partnership”. It currently includes mostly smaller countries, but Obama has hopes of enticing Japan and Canada to join
Obama’s presence at the APEC meeting of East Asian leader and his visit to Indonesia in November 2011 all revolve around efforts to secure US hegemony. Obama-Clinton hope to counter the relative decline of US economic links in the face of the geometrical growth of trade and investment ties between East Asia and China.
A most recent example of Obama-Clinton’s delusional, but destructive, efforts to deliberately disrupt China’s economic ties in Asia, is taking place in Myanmar (Burma). Clinton’s December 2011 visit to Myanmar was preceded by a decision by the Thein Sein regime to suspend a China Power Investment-funded dam project in the north of the country. According to official confidential documents released by WilkiLeaks the “Burmese NGO’s, which organized and led the campaign against the dam, were heavily funded by the US government”(Financial Times, Dec. 2, 2011, p. 2). This and other provocative activity and Clinton’s speeches condemning Chinese “tied aid” pale in comparison with the long-term, large-scale interests which link Myanmar with China. China is Myanmar’s biggest trading partner and investor, including six other dam projects.
Chinese companies are building new highways and rail lines across the country, opening southwestern China up for Burmese products and China is constructing oil pipelines and ports. There is a powerful dynamic of mutual economic interests that will not be disturbed by one dispute (FT, December 2, 2011, p.2). Clinton’s critique of China’s billion-dollar investments in Myanmar’s infrastructure is one of the most bizarre in world history, coming in the aftermath of Washington’s brutal eight-year military presence in Iraq which destroyed $500 billion dollars of Iraqi infrastructure, according to Baghdad official estimates. Only a delusional administration could imagine that rhetorical flourishes, a three day visit and the bankrolling of an NGO is an adequate counter-weight to deep economic ties linking Myanmar to China. The same delusional posture underlies the entire repertoire of policies informing the Obama regime’s efforts to displace China’s predominant role in Asia.
While any one policy adopted by the Obama regime does not, in itself, present an immediate threat to peace, the cumulative impact of all these policy pronouncements and the projections of military power add up to an all out comprehensive effort to isolate, intimidate and degrade China’s rise as a regional and global power. Military encirclement and alliances, exclusion of China in proposed regional economic associations, partisan intervention in regional maritime disputes and positioning technologically advanced warplanes, are all aimed to undermine China’s competitiveness and to compensate for US economic inferiority via closed political and economic networks.
Clearly White House military and economic moves and US Congressional anti-China demagogy are aimed at weakening China’s trading position and forcing its business-minded leaders into privileging US banking and business interests over and above their own enterprises. Pushed to its limits, Obama’s prioritizing a big military push could lead to a catastrophic rupture in US-Chinese economic relations. This would result in dire consequences, especially but not exclusively, on the US economy and particularly its financial system. China holds over $1.5 trillion dollars in US debt, mainly Treasury Notes, and each year purchases from $200 to $300 billion in new issues, a vital source in financing the US deficit.
If Obama provokes a serious threat to China’s security interests and Beijing is forced to respond, it will not be military but economic retaliation: the sell-off of a few hundred billion dollars in T-notes and the curtailment of new purchases of US debt. The US deficit will skyrocket, its credit ratings will descend to ‘junk‘, and the financial system will ‘tremble onto collapse’. Interest rates to attract new buyers of US debt will approach double digits. Chinese exports to the US will suffer and losses will incur due to the devaluation of the T-notes in Chinese hands. China has been diversifying its markets around the world and its huge domestic market could probably absorb most of what China loses abroad in the course of a pull-back from the US market.
While Obama strays across the Pacific to announce his military threats to China and strives to economically isolate China from the rest of Asia, the US economic presence is fast fading in what used to be its “backyard”: Quoting one Financial Times journalist, “China is the only show [in town] for Latin America” (Financial Times, Nov. 23, 2011, p.6). China has displaced the US and the EU as Latin America’s principle trading partner; Beijing has poured billions in new investments and provides low interest loans.
China’s trade with India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan and Vietnam is increasing at a far faster rate than that of the US. The US effort to build an imperial-centered security alliance in Asia is based on fragile economic foundations. Even Australia, the anchor and linchpin of the US military thrust in Asia, is heavily dependent on mineral exports to China. Any military interruption would send the Australian economy into a tailspin.
The US economy is in no condition to replace China as a market for Asian or Australian commodity and manufacturing exports. The Asian countries must be acutely aware that there is no future advantage in tying themselves to a declining, highly militarized, empire. Obama and Clinton deceive themselves if they think they can entice Asia into a long-term alliance. The Asian’s are simply using the Obama regime’s friendly overtures as a ‘tactical device’, a negotiating ploy, to leverage better terms in securing maritime and territorial boundaries with China.
Washington is delusional if it believes that it can convince Asia to break long-term large-scale lucrative economic ties to China in order to join an exclusive economic association with such dubious prospects. Any ‘reorientation’ of Asia, from China to the US, would require more than the presence of an American naval and airborne armada pointed at China. It would require the total restructuring of the Asian countries’ economies, class structure and political and military elite. The most powerful economic entrepreneurial groups in Asia have deep and growing ties with China/Hong Kong, especially among the dynamic transnational Chinese business elites in the region. A turn toward Washington entails a massive counter-revolution, which substitutes colonial ‘traders’ (compradors) for established entrepreneurs. A turn to the US would require a dictatorial elite willing to cut strategic trading and investment linkages, displacing millions of workers and professionals. As much as some US-trained Asian military officers , economists and former Wall Street financiers and billionaires might seek to ‘balance’ a US military presence with Chinese economic power, they must realize that ultimately advantage resides in working out an Asian solution.
The age of Asian “comprador capitalists”, willing to sell out national industry and sovereignty in exchange for privileged access to US markets, is ancient history. Whatever the boundless enthusiasm for conspicuous consumerism and Western lifestyles, which Asia and China’s new rich mindlessly celebrate, whatever the embrace of inequalities and savage capitalist exploitation of labor, there is recognition that the past history of US and European dominance precluded the growth and enrichment of an indigenous bourgeoisie and middle class. The speeches and pronouncements of Obama and Clinton reek of nostalgia for a past of neo-colonial overseers and comprador collaborators a mindless delusion. Their attempts at political realism, in finally recognizing Asia as the economic pivot of the present world order, takes a bizarre turn in imagining that military posturing and projections of armed force will reduce China to a marginal player in the region.
Obama’s Escalation of Confrontation with Russia
The Obama regime has launched a major frontal military thrust on Russia’s borders. The US has moved forward missile sites and Air Force bases in Poland, Rumania, Turkey, Spain, Czech Republic and Bulgaria: Patriot PAC-3 anti-aircraft missile complexes in Poland; advanced radar AN/TPY-2 in Turkey; and several missile (SM-3 IA) loaded warships in Spain are among the prominent weapons encircling Russia, most only minutes away from it strategic heartland. Secondly, the Obama regime has mounted an all-out effort to secure and expand US military bases in Central Asia among former Soviet republics. Thirdly, Washington, via NATO, has launched major economic and military operations against Russia’s major trading partners in North Africa and the Middle East. The NATO war against Libya, which ousted the Gadhafi regime, has paralyzed or nullified multi-billion dollar Russian oil and gas investments, arms sales and substituted a NATO puppet for the former Russia-friendly regime.
The UN-NATO economic sanctions and US-Israeli clandestine terrorist activity aimed at Iran has undermined Russia’s lucrative billion-dollar nuclear trade and joint oil ventures. NATO, including Turkey, backed by the Gulf monarchical dictatorships, has implemented harsh sanctions and funded terrorist assaults on Syria, Russia’s last remaining ally in the region and where it has a sole naval facility (Tartus) on the Mediterranean Sea. Russia’s previous collaboration with NATO in weakening its own economic and security position is a product of the monumental misreading of NATO and especially Obama’s imperial policies. Russian President Medvedev and his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov mistakenly assumed (like Gorbachev and Yeltsin before them) that backing US-NATO policies against Russia’s trading partners would result in some sort of “reciprocity”: US dismantling its offensive “missile shield” on its frontiers and support for Russia’s admission into the World Trade Organization.
Medvedev, following his liberal pro-western illusions, fell into line and backed US-Israeli sanctions against Iran, believing the tales of a “nuclear weapons programs”. Then Lavrov fell for the NATO line of “no fly zones to protect Libyan civilian lives” and voted in favor, only to feebly “protest“, much too late, that NATO was “exceeding its mandate” by bombing Libya into the Middle Ages and installing a pro-NATO puppet regime of rogues and fundamentalists. Finally when the US aimed a cleaver at Russia’s heartland by pushing ahead with an all-out effort to install missile launch sites 5 minutes by air from Moscow while organizing mass and armed assaults on Syria, did the Medvedev-Lavrov duet awake from its stupor and oppose UN sanctions. Medvedev threatened to abandon the nuclear missile reduction treaty (START) and to place medium-range missiles with 5 minute launch-time from Berlin, Paris and London.
Medvedev-Lavrov’s policy of consolidation and co-operation based on Obama’s rhetoric of “resetting relations” invited aggressive empire building: Each capitulation led to a further aggression. As a result, Russia is surrounded by missiles on its western frontier; it has suffered losses among its major trading partners in the Middle East and faces US bases in southwest and Central Asia.
Belatedly Russian officials have moved to replace the delusional Medvedev for the realist Putin, as next President. This shift to a political realist has predictably evoked a wave of hostility toward Putin in all the Western media. Obama’s aggressive policy to isolate Russia by undermining independent regimes has, however, not affected Russia’s status as a nuclear weapons power. It has only heightened tensions in Europe and perhaps ended any future chance of peaceful nuclear weapons reduction or efforts to secure a UN Security Council consensus on issues of peaceful conflict resolution. Washington, under Obama-Clinton, has turned Russia from a pliant client to a major adversary.
Putin looks to deepening and expanding ties with the East, namely China, in the face of threats from the West. The combination of Russian advanced weapons technology and energy resources and Chinese dynamic manufacturing and industrial growth are more than a match for crisis-ridden EU-USA economies wallowing in stagnation.
Obama’s military confrontation toward Russia will greatly prejudice access to Russian raw materials and definitively foreclose any long-term strategic security agreement, which would be useful in lowering the deficit and reviving the US economy.
Between Realism and Delusion: Obama’s Strategic Realignment
Obama’s recognition that the present and future center of political and economic power is moving inexorably to Asia, was a flash of political realism. After a lost decade of pouring hundreds of billions of dollars in military adventures on the margins and periphery of world politics, Washington has finally discovered that is not where the fate of nations, especially Great Powers, will be decided, except in a negative sense of bleeding resources over lost causes. Obama’s new realism and priorities apparently are now focused on Southeast and Northeast Asia, where dynamic economies flourish, markets are growing at a double digit rate, investors are ploughing tens of billions in productive activity and trade is expanding at three times the rate of the US and the EU.
But Obama’s ‘New Realism’ is blighted by entirely delusional assumptions, which undermine any serious effort to realign US policy.
In the first place Obama’s effort to ‘enter‘ into Asia is via a military build-up and not through a sharpening and upgrading of US economic competitiveness. What does the US produce for the Asian countries that will enhance its market share? Apart from arms, airplanes and agriculture, the US has few competitive industries. The US would have to comprehensively re-orient its economy, upgrade skilled labor, and transfer billions from “security” and militarism to applied innovations. But Obama works within the current military-Zionist-financial complex: He knows no other and is incapable of breaking with it.
Secondly, Obama-Clinton operate under the delusion that the US can exclude China or minimize its role in Asia, a policy that is undercut by the huge and growing investment and presence of all the major US multi-national corporations in China , who use it as an export platform to Asia and the rest of the world.
The US military build-up and policy of intimidation will only force China to downgrade its role as creditor financing the US debt, a policy China can pursue because the US market, while still important, is declining, as China expands its presence in its domestic, Asian, Latin American and European markets.
What once appeared to be New Realism is now revealed to be the recycling of Old Delusions: The notion that the US can return to being the supreme Pacific Power it was after World War Two. The US attempts to return to Pacific dominance under Obama-Clinton with a crippled economy, with the overhang of an over-militarized economy, and with major strategic handicaps: Over the past decade the United States foreign policy has been at the beck and call of Israel’s fifth column (the Israel “lobby”). The entire US political class is devoid of common, practical sense and national purpose. They are immersed in troglodyte debates over “indefinite detentions” and “mass immigrant expulsions”. Worse, all are on the payrolls of private corporations who sell in the US and invest in China.
Why would Obama abjure costly wars in the unprofitable periphery and then promote the same military metaphysics at the dynamic center of the world economic universe? Does Barack Obama and his advisers believe he is the Second Coming of Admiral Commodore Perry, whose 19th century warships and blockades forced Asia open to Western trade? Does he believe that military alliances will be the first stage to a subsequent period of privileged economic entry?
Does Obama believe that his regime can blockade China, as Washington did to Japan in the lead up to World War Two? It’s too late. China is much more central to the world economy, too vital even to the financing of the US debt, too bonded up with the Forbes Five Hundred multi-national corporations. To provoke China, to even fantasize about economic “exclusion” to bring down China, is to pursue policies that will totally disrupt the world economy, first and foremost the US economy!
Obama’s ‘crackpot realism‘, his shift from wars in the Muslim world to military confrontation in Asia, has no intrinsic worth and poses extraordinary extrinsic costs. The military methods and economic goals are totally incompatible and beyond the capacity of the US, as it is currently constituted. Washington’s policies will not ‘weaken’ Russia or China, even less intimidate them. Instead it will encourage both to adopt more adversarial positions, making it less likely that they lend a hand to Obama’s sequential wars on behalf of Israel. Already Russia has sent warships to its Syrian port, refused to support an arms embargo against Syria and Iran and (in retrospect) criticized the NATO war against Libya. China and Russia have far too many strategic ties with the world economy to suffer any great losses from a series of US military outposts and “exclusive” alliances. Russia can aim just as many deadly nuclear missiles at the West as the US can mount from its bases in Eastern Europe.
In other words, Obama’s military escalation will not change the nuclear balance of power, but will bring Russia and China into a closer and deeper alliance. Gone are the days of Kissinger-Nixon’s “divide and conquer” strategy pitting US-Chinese trade agreements against Russian arms. Washington has a totally exaggerated significance of the current maritime spats between China and its neighbors. What unites them in economic terms is far more important in the medium and long-run. China’s Asian economic ties will erode any tenuous military links to the US.
Obama’s “crackpot realism”, views the world market through military lenses. Military arrogance toward Asia has led to a rupture with Pakistan, its most compliant client regime in South Asia. NATO deliberately slaughtered 24 Pakistani soldiers and thumbed their nose at the Pakistani generals, while China and Russia condemned the attack and gained influence.
In the end, the military and exclusionary posture to China will fail. Washington will overplay its hand and frighten its business-oriented erstwhile Asian partners, who only want to play-off a US military presence to gain tactical economic advantage. They certainly do not want a new US instigated ‘Cold War’ dividing and weakening the dynamic intra-Asian trade and investment. Obama and his minions will quickly learn that Asia’s current leaders do not have permanent allies – only permanent interests. In the final analysis, China figures prominently in configuring a new Asia-centric world economy. Washington may claim to have a ‘permanent Pacific presence’ but until it demonstrates it can take care of its “basic business at home”, like arranging its own finances and balancing its current account deficits, the US Naval command may end up renting its naval facilities to Asian exporters and shippers, transporting goods for them, and protecting them by pursuing pirates, contrabandists and narco-traffickers. Come to think about it, Obama might reduce the US trade deficit with Asia by renting out the Seventh Fleet to patrol the Straits, instead of wasting US taxpayer money bullying successful Asian economic powers.
James Petras latest book is: “The Arab Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack”