Democratic Rep: Amend Constitution To Allow Control Of Speech
– A Democratic representative is calling for an amendment to the United States Constitution that would allow for some legislative restriction of freedom of speech.
“We need a constitutional amendment that would allow the legislature to control the so-called free speech rights of corporations,” Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) was quoted as saying by CNS News.
He reportedly made these comments while speaking at the Annesbrooks HOA candidate Forum held last month.
In a video obtained by the website, Johnson asserts that “corporations control … patterns of thinking.”
“They control the media. They control the messages that you get,” he added. “And these folks … are setting up a scenario where they’re privatizing every aspect of our lives as we know it. So, wake up! Wake up! Let’s look at what’s happening.”
Corporations and unions are protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution because of the ruling in “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission,” which found that a state law prohibiting corporations from making political campaign contributions using their treasury funds was unconstitutional.
The ruling additionally stated that the spending was a form of political speech that is protected by the First Amendment, according to the official blog of the Supreme Court of the United States.
“These corporations, along with the people they support, other millionaires who they’re putting into office, are stealing your government,” Johnson was quoted as saying by CNS News. “They’re stealing the government and the U.S. Supreme Court was a big enabler with the Citizens United case.”
Will The Peak Of The Solar Cycle In 2013 Produce Technology Crippling Solar Super Storms?
Our sun is becoming increasingly unstable, and most people have no idea the complete and utter devastation that a massive solar storm could potentially cause. A giant solar storm could potentially take out satellites, GPS systems, electrical grids, communication networks and pretty much anything else that runs on electricity or that relies upon electronics. And considering how dependent our society has become on technology, we are talking about an event that could possibly bring about the end of the world as we know it. Right now, solar activity is increasing as we approach the peak of Solar Cycle 24. But the worst is yet to come. Scientists are expecting a significant increase in coronal mass ejections and geomagnetic disturbances as we approach the peak of this solar cycle in 2013. A number of scientists are warning that there is a chance that we could even see an event similar to the solar storm of 1859 that fried telegraph machines all over Europe and North America. Other scientists are warning that our sun is starting to behave so unusually that it is becoming very difficult to predict what may be coming next. If our sun starts to behave even more erratically, that could mean big trouble for all of us. If our sun fails, there is no backup plan. We only have one sun. Most of us take the stability of the gigantic ball of fire that our very small planet is circling for granted, but what if it becomes apparent that we can’t take that for granted any longer? That can be very frightening to think about.
Just a few years ago, there was very little activity on the sun. Normally, activity on the sun does slow down during non-peak times, but the years of 2008 and 2009 were unusually slow. At the time, David Hathaway of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center said that we were “witnessing something unlike anything we’ve seen in 100 years“.
But now solar activity is becoming dangerously intense as we approach the peak of the solar cycle in 2013. One group of sunspots was measured to be 118,681 miles wide earlier this year. According to NASA, that would be “more than 15 Earths set end to end“.
But what we have seen this year is only the beginning. Scientists expect solar activity to really kick into high gear once we get into 2013. Just check out what Dr. Matthew Penn of the National Solar Observatory in Arizona saidearlier this year…
“Because the sun is becoming more active, it will have an impact on millions of people. Sunspots can cause the biggest and most damaging space storms that occur.
During the next two years, we are expecting the number of sunspots visible on the sun to reach a maximum. We know that sunspots are the source of a lot of space weather and solar storms, so we expect a larger number of solar storms here at the Earth.”
Solar activity runs in cycles, and some scientists are concerned that since solar activity got so quiet back in 2008 and 2009 that it might mean that the coming solar peak might be particularly intense.
The shift in solar activity that we have witnessed over the last couple of years has definitely been dramatic. Back in 2009, there were 260 days without any sunspots. In 2012, there have been zero days without any sunspots.
The following chart from spaceweather.com shows the number of days without any sunspots that we have seen since 2009…
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
But it isn’t just that we are seeing a lot of sunspots. We are also seeing some truly breathtaking explosions on the sun. Just check out this example from earlier this month…
A truly gigantic explosion happened on the sun yesterday. On Nov. 16th, magnetic fields snaking halfway across the sun’s southern hemisphere erupted in tandem, producing a prominence so big, it doesn’t fit inside this image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO): “The red-glowing looped material is plasma, a hot gas made of electrically charged hydrogen and helium,” officials with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, which oversees the SDO mission, explained in a description. “The prominence plasma flows along a tangled and twisted structure of magnetic fields generated by the sun’s internal dynamo. An erupting prominence occurs when such a structure becomes unstable and bursts outward, releasing the plasma.” The blast hurled a CME into space, but the cloud does not appear to be heading for Earth.
If our sun becomes even more unstable, that could dramatically affect the lives of every man, woman and child living on the planet.
The number one thing that causes changes in our weather patterns is the sun, and the United States is just coming out of one of the worst summers of drought in U.S. history.
If solar instability plays havoc with our weather patterns and we see dramatic crop failures all over the globe, what would that do to our ability to feed ourselves?
And if people cannot feed themselves, would that cause societal instability all over the planet?
Perhaps an even greater concern is what would happen if a giant solar super storm caused a massive EMP burst took out our electrical grids.
Remember, we have seen such an event before in 1859. Many scientists warn that if a similar event happened today that it would be absolutely catastrophic.
Even a relatively minor event could have devastating consequences for our very vulnerable communications systems. The following is from a National Geographic article…
Of particular concern are disruptions to global positioning systems (GPS), which have become ubiquitous in cell phones, airplanes, and automobiles, Baker said. A $13 billion business in 2003, the GPS industry is predicted to grow to nearly $1 trillion by 2017.
In addition, Baker said, satellite communications—also essential to many daily activities—would be at risk from solar storms.
“Every time you purchase a gallon of gas with your credit card, that’s a satellite transaction,” he said.
But the big fear is what might happen to the electrical grid, since power surges caused by solar particles could blow out giant transformers. Such transformers can take a long time to replace, especially if hundreds are destroyed at once, said Baker, who is a co-author of a National Research Council report on solar-storm risks.
The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Cliver agrees: “They don’t have a lot of these on the shelf,” he said.
If a very large EMP burst did take out our electrical grids, it would be a natural disaster unprecedented in U.S. history and it would potentially take many years to recover from such an event. The following is from a recent New York Times article…
A powerful solar (or “geomagnetic”) storm has the potential to simultaneously damage multiple transformers in the electricity grid and perhaps even bring down large sections of it, affecting upwards of a hundred million people in the United States for many months, if not years.
These huge transformers are expensive and difficult to replace, and not many are stockpiled in the United States for an emergency. In the worst case, the impact would be devastating: An outage could cost a few trillion dollars, with full recovery taking years. Not only would parts of the grid be compromised, but telephone networks, undersea cables, satellites and railroads also would be affected.
A 2008 National Academy of Sciences study warned that “because of the interconnectedness of critical infrastructures in modern society,” the “collateral effects of a longer-term outage” would likely include “disruption of the transportation, communication, banking and finance systems, and government services; the breakdown of the distribution of potable water owing to pump failure; and the loss of perishable foods and medications because of lack of refrigeration.”
Solar storms are just like regular storms – they can range from the totally harmless to the totally catastrophic.
But if we did experience a totally catastrophic solar storm, what would that mean for all of us?
In a previous article, I asked some questions that most people have not considered…
What would you do if an EMP attack happened in the middle of the winter and you suddenly were not able to heat your home any longer?
What would you do if all the electronics in your car got fried and you simply could not drive anywhere?
What would you do if all the supermarkets in your area shut down because food could not be transported across the country anymore?
What would you do if you were suddenly unable to call your family and friends for help?
What would you do if you were suddenly unable to get the medicine that you needed?
What would you do if your debit cards and credit cards simply did not work any longer and you could not get any of your money out of the bank?
What would you do if all of these things happened all at once?
Most people just assume that nothing like this will ever happen.
But what if it did?
Would your family be prepared?
Over the next couple of years, conditions are going to be ideal for solar super storms to develop which could potentially change life as we know it in a single day.
So keep an eye on news reports about the sun.
Hopefully nothing will happen.
But if something does happen, those that have made preparations in advance will be in the best position to survive the aftermath.
There is no electricity bill in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.
There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at zero percent interest by law.
Having a home considered a human right in Libya.
All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 dinar (U.S.$50,000) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.
Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25 percent of Libyans were literate. Today, the figure is 83 percent.
Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kickstart their farms are all for free.
If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need, the government funds them to go abroad, for it is not only paid for, but they get a U.S.$2,300/month for accommodation and car allowance.
If a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidizes 50 percent of the price.
The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter.
Libya has no external debt and its reserves amounting to $150 billion are now frozen globally.
If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession, as if he or she is employed, until employment is found.
A portion of every Libyan oil sale is credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
A mother who gives birth to a child receive U.S.$5,000.
40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $0.15.
25 percent of Libyans have a university degree.
Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Manmade River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.
After last week’s GOP debate in Ames, Iowa we received many questions about Ron Paul’s stance on Israel and Iran. And while as grassroots supporters we do not speak for Ron Paul himself in any way, here’s how we understand his position.
Ron Paul: The Most Pro-Israel Candidate
First of all, it may come as a surprise to many that Ron Paul is actually the most pro-Israel candidate in the presidential race.
With hundreds of nuclear weapons in her possession, Israel has become the most powerful state in the Middle East. She could easily take on her neighbors and eliminate any and all threats to her existence.
Ron Paul would not stop Israel from defending her interests in any way she saw fit. When Israel attacked a nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981, almost the entire U.S. Congress voted to condemn the act. Ron Paul was one of the few dissenters: he voted against the condemnation and in favor of Israel’s right to self-determination.
Ending Foreign Aid Sets Israel Free
Ron Paul has also been criticized for wanting to “end foreign aid to Israel.” He had in fact called for an end to all foreign aid in general. Foreign aid is like an entitlement: eventually the recipient grows dependent on it and will do everything in his power to continue the flow of funds. This might even involve spending some of the already-received payments to “lobby” for more money.
Ron Paul believes this is a bad thing. Not only does foreign aid lead to corruption on both sides; it is inherently immoral. Ron Paul said that “foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country and giving it to the rich people of a poor country.”
If foreign aid to all countries were stopped immediately, Israel would be the biggest net beneficiary. This is because the U.S. pays much more foreign aid to Israel’s enemies combined than to Israel.
Like a discouraged unemployed person whose welfare payments are about to run out, Israel would finally have the motivation to take care of herself, for example by ending socialist domestic policies within Israel. This in turn would make Israel much stronger and more independent. Ending all foreign aid would indeed set Israel free.
Iran Is a Big Nobody
Iran is a large country, but from a military point of view they are a big nobody. They are surrounded by nuclear powers, they have no air force, no navy, and they are even incapable of producing as much gasoline as they need. Iranian officials are relegated to grudgingly hoping that “the Zionist regime will collapse”, which is the real meaning of Ahmadinejad’s infamous phrase frequently mistranslated as “we will wipe Israel off the map”.
Is is understandable that Iran wants to gain the international respect they deserve as a country of 75 million people. But according to U.S. intelligence reports there are no indications whatsoever that Iran is actively working on creating or obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Israel Can Do What She Wants – But Leave America Out of It
If Israel believes that Iran might one day become a nuclear power and that such a development would be against her interests, Ron Paul would not stop Israel from doing whatever she deemed necessary to defend herself. Israeli assassination squads are already operating within Iran, and several Iranian nuclear scientists found themselves torn apart by mysterious explosions over the past few years. Ron Paul did not interfere. In fact, he would not even prohibit Israel from initiating a devastating nuclear attack on Iran.
However, neither would Ron Paul allow American lives to be sacrificed for Israeli interests. If Israeli officials knew that American kids will not throw themselves into the line of fire whenever Israel feels threatened by the boastful words of some wannabe dictator, Israel will act more responsibly when dealing with her neighbors – and grow much stronger for it.
Ron Paul Will Allow Israel to Blossom
Like it or not, Ron Paul is the most pro-Israel candidate out there. His wise policies – not by design, but by pure logical consequence – will permit Israel to blossom as a truly free, independent and powerful state.
This article does not claim to represent Ron Paul’s official position on Israel and Iran. It’s just a summary of how we – as his grassroots supporters – interpret his statements on the issue. Please post a comment if you believe we misinterpreted Ron Paul’s position
Shaken: 10 Economic Disasters Which Threaten To Rip World Financial Markets To Shreds
Yes, things really are that bad. The mainstream media has been really busy downplaying the economic impact of the disaster in Japan and the chaos in the Middle East, but the truth is that these events have huge implications for the global economy. Today our world is more interconnected than ever, so economic pain in one area of the planet is going to have a significant effect on other areas of the globe.
The following are 10 economic disasters which could potentially rip world financial markets to shreds….
#1 War In Libya
Do you think that the “international community” would be intervening in Libya if they did not have a lot of oil? If you actually believe that, you might want to review the last few decades of African history. Millions upon millions of Africans have been slaughtered by incredibly repressive regimes and the “international community” did next to nothing about it.
But Libya is different.
Libya is the largest producer of oil in Africa.
Apparently the revolution in Libya was not going the way it was supposed to, so the U.S. and Europe are stepping in.
Moammar Gadhafi is vowing that this will be a “long war”, but the truth is that his forces don’t stand a chance against NATO.
Initially we were told that NATO would just be setting up a “no fly zone”, but there have already been reports of Libyan tank columns being assaulted and there has even been an air strike on Moammar Gadhafi’s personal compound in Tripoli.
So since when did a “no fly zone” include an attempt to kill a foreign head of state?
Let there be no mistake – the moment that the first Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched the United States declared war on Libya.
Already the Arab League, India, China and Russia have all objected to how this operation is being carried out and they are alarmed about the reports of civilian casualties.
Tensions around the globe are rising once again, and that is not a good thing for the world economy.
On a side note, does anyone recall anyone in the Obama administration even stopping for a moment to consider whether or not they should consult the U.S. Congress before starting another war?
The U.S. Constitution specifically requires the approval of the Congress before we go to war.
But very few people seem to care too much about what the U.S. Constitution says these days.
In any event, the flow of oil out of Libya is likely to be reduced for an extended period of time now, and that is not going to be good for a deeply struggling global economy.
#2 Revolutions In The Middle East
Protests just seem to keep spreading to more countries in the Middle East. On Friday, five Syrian protesters were killed by government forces in the city of Daraa. Subsequently, over the weekend thousands of protesters reportedly stormed government buildings in that city and set them on fire.
Things in the region just seem to get wilder and wilder.
Even in countries where the revolutions are supposed to be “over” there is still a lot of chaos.
Have you seen what has been going on in Egypt lately?
The truth is that all of North Africa and nearly the entire Middle East is aflame with revolutionary fervor.
About the only place where revolution has not broken out is in Saudi Arabia. Of course it probably helps that the United States and Europe don’t really want a revolution in Saudi Arabia and the Saudis have a brutally effective secret police force.
In any event, as long as the chaos in the Middle East continues the price of oil is likely to remain very high, and that is not good news for the world economy.
#3 The Japanese Earthquake And Tsunami
Japan is the third largest economy in the world. When a major disaster happens in that nation it has global implications.
The tsunami that just hit Japan was absolutely unprecedented. Vast stretches of Japan have been more thoroughly destroyed than if they had been bombed by a foreign military power. It really was a nation changing event.
The Japanese economy is going to be crippled for an extended period of time. But it is not just Japan’s economy that has been deeply affected by this tragedy.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the recent disaster in Japan has caused supply chain disruptions all over the globe….
A shortage of Japanese-built electronic parts will force GM to close a plant in Zaragoza, Spain, on Monday and cancel shifts at a factory in Eisenach, Germany, on Monday and Tuesday, the company said Friday.
Not only that, GM has also suspended all “nonessential” spending globally as it evaluates the impact of this crisis.
The truth is that there are a whole host of industries that rely on parts from Japan. Supply chains all over the world are going to have to be changed as a result of this crisis. There are going to be some shortages of certain classes of products.
Japan is a nation that imports and exports tremendous quantities of goods. At least for a while both imports and exports will be significantly down, and that is not good news for a world economy that was already having a really hard time recovering from the recent economic downturn.
#4 The Japan Nuclear Crisis
Even if the worst case scenario does not play out, the reality is that the crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant is going to have a long lasting impact on the global economy.
Already, nuclear power projects all over the world are being rethought. The nuclear power industry was really starting to gain some momentum in many areas of the globe, but now that has totally changed.
But of much greater concern is the potential effect that all of this radiation will have on the Japanese people. Radiation from the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant is now showing up in food and tap water in Japan as an article on the website of USA Today recently described….
The government halted shipments of spinach from one area and raw milk from another near the nuclear plant after tests found iodine exceeded safety limits. But the contamination spread to spinach in three other prefectures and to more vegetables — canola and chrysanthemum greens. Tokyo’s tap water, where iodine turned up Friday, now has cesium.
Hopefully the authorities in Japan will be able to get this situation under control before Tokyo is affected too much. The truth is that Tokyo is one of the most economically important cities on the planet.
But right now there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding Tokyo. For example, one very large German real estate fund says that their holdings in Tokyo are now “impossible to value” and they have suspended all customer withdrawals from the fund.
Once again, let us hope that a worst case scenario does not happen. But if we do get to the point where most of the population had to be evacuated from Tokyo for an extended period of time it would be absolutely devastating for the global economy.
#5 The Price Of Oil
Most people believe that the U.S. dollar is the currency of the world, but really it is oil. Without oil, the global economy that we have constructed simply could not function.
That is why it was so alarming when the price of oil went above $100 a barrel earlier this year for the first time since 2008. Virtually everyone agrees that if the price of oil stays high for an extended period of time it will have a highly negative impact on the world economy.
In particular, the U.S. economy is highly, highly dependent on cheap oil. This country is really spread out and we transport goods and services over vast distances. That is why the following facts are so alarming….
*The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States is now 75 cents higher than it was a year ago.
*In San Francisco, California, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is now $3.97.
*According to the Oil Price Information Service, U.S. drivers spent an average of $347 on gasoline during the month of February, which was 30 percent more than a year earlier.
*According to the U.S. Energy Department, the average U.S. household will spend approximately $700 more on gasoline in 2011 than it did during 2010.
#6 Food Inflation
Many people believe that the rapidly rising price of food has been a major factor in sparking the revolutions that we have seen in Africa and the Middle East. When people cannot feed themselves or their families they tend to lose it.
According to the United Nations, the global price of food hit a new all-time high earlier this year, and the UN is expecting the price of food to continue to go up throughout the rest of this year. Food supplies were already tight around the globe and this is certainly not going to help things.
The price of food has also been going up rapidly inside the United States. Last month the price of food in the United States rose at the fastest rate in 36 years.
American families are really starting to feel their budgets stretched. According to the U.S. Labor Department, the cost of living in the United States hit a brand new all-time record high in the month of February.
What this means is that U.S. families are going to have less discretionary income to spend at the stores and that is bad news for the world economy.
#7 The European Sovereign Debt Crisis
Several European governments have had their debt downgraded in the past several months. Portugal, Spain, Greece and Ireland are all in big time trouble. Several other European nations are not far behind them.
Right now Germany seems content to bail the “weak sisters” in Europe out, but if that changes at some point it is going to be an absolute nightmare for world financial markets.
#8 The Dying U.S. Dollar
Right now there is a lot of anxiety about the U.S. dollar. Prior to the tsunami, Japan was one of the primary purchasers of U.S. government debt. In fact, Japan was the second-largest foreign buyer of U.S. Treasuries last year.
But now as Japan rebuilds from this nightmare it is not going to have capital to invest overseas. Someone else is going to have to step in and buy up all of the debt that the Japanese were buying.
Not only that, but big bond funds such as PIMCO have announced that they are stepping away from U.S. Treasuries at least for now.
So if Japan is not buying U.S. Treasuries and bond funds such as PIMCO are not buying U.S. Treasuries, then who is going to be buying them?
The U.S. government needs to borrow trillions of dollars this year alone to roll over existing debt and to finance new debt. All of that borrowing has got to come from somewhere.
#9 The U.S. Housing Market
The U.S. housing market could potentially be on the verge of another major crisis. Just consider the following facts….
*In February, U.S. housing starts experienced their largest decline in 27 years.
*Deutsche Bank is projecting that 48 percent of all U.S. mortgages could have negative equity by the end of 2011.
*Two years ago, the average U.S. homeowner that was being foreclosed upon had not made a mortgage payment in 11 months. Today, the average U.S. homeowner that is being foreclosed upon has not made a mortgage payment in 17 months.
*In September 2008, 33 percent of Americans knew someone who had been foreclosed upon or who was facing the threat of foreclosure. Today that number has risen to 48 percent.
#10 The Derivatives Bubble
Most Americans do not even understand what derivatives are, but the truth is that they are one of the biggest threats to our financial system. Some experts estimate that the worldwide derivatives bubble is somewhere in the neighborhood of a quadrillion dollars. This bubble could burst at any time. Right now we are watching the greatest financial casino in the history of the globe spin around and around and around and everyone is hoping that at some point it doesn’t stop. Today, most money on Wall Street is not made by investing in good business ideas. Rather, most money on Wall Street is now made by making shrewd bets. Unfortunately, at some point the casino is going to come crashing down and the game will be over.
Most people simply do not realize how fragile the global economy is at this point.
The financial crash of 2008 was a devastating blow. The next wave of the economic crisis could be even worse.
So what will the rest of 2011 bring?
Well, nobody knows for sure, but a lot of experts are not optimistic.
David Rosenberg, the chief economist at Gluskin Sheff and Associates, is warning that the second half of the year could be very rough for the global economy….
“A sharp slowing in global GDP in the second half of the year cannot be ruled out.”
Let us hope that the world economy can hold together and that we can get through the rest of 2011 okay. The last thing we need is a repeat of 2008. The world could use some peace and some time to recover.
But unfortunately, we live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable. With the way that the world has been lately, perhaps we should all just start to expect the unexpected.
But world financial markets do not respond well to instability and unpredictability. In fact, investors tend to start fleeing to safety at the first signs of danger these days.
Most Americans simply have no idea how vulnerable the world financial system is at this point. Nothing really got “fixed” after 2008. If anything, global financial markets are even more fragile than they were back then.
So what do all of you think about the state of the global economy? Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….