Saturday, March 12, 2011

Inflation in Asia is Worse than Thought and Here to Stay
By Forrest Jones
Friday, 11 Mar 2011

Inflation in many Asian economies is stronger than once thought, extending beyond food and energy, and is likely here to stay, analysts say.

Across the continent, core inflation rates, which exclude volatile energy and food items, are on the rise not just because of issues like weather and oil prices but due to overall demand as well.

"There's not much slack left" in Asia, says Robert Subbaraman, an economist at Nomura in Hong Kong, according to The Wall Street Journal, adding inflation "is going to be long-lasting in Asia."

On top of robust economic growth, demand for labor is so strong in Asia that workers have enough leverage to demand higher salaries and wages.

Pedestrians pass before a share prices board in Tokyo
With more money in their pockets, workers will pay more for consumer goods.

"It's a job-seeker's market," says Chris Lee, a manager at SG Recruiters Group, a recruiting firm in Singapore.

"The job market will definitely be getting tighter over time and there will be shortages of workers in most industries in the years ahead."

While the U.S. says it's comfortable with inflation rates and will keep monetary policy loose for now, European officials say they're ready to raise interest rates to check rising consumer prices.

"The economic analysis indicates that risks to the outlook for price developments are on the upside," the European Central Bank says in its monthly bulletin for March, according to Reuters.

"Strong vigilance is warranted with a view to containing upside risks to price stability. Overall, the Governing Council remains prepared to act in a firm and timely manner to ensure that upside risks to price stability over the medium term do not materialize."

© Moneynews. All rights reserved.

Read more: Inflation in Asia is Worse than Thought and Here to Stay

Giffords makes 'leaps and bounds' in recovery

HOUSTON (AP) -- Doctors helping Rep. Gabrielle Giffords recover from a gunshot wound to the head talk enthusiastically about her progress, saying some of the greatest moments come when her personality shines through with big grins and excitement over her rehabilitation milestones.

"That's Gabby. It's a constant, wonderful thing," said Dr. Dong Kim, a neuroscientist.

Doctors provided the new details about Giffords' condition Friday, saying she now can talk in short sentences, and can walk with some help. She also knows that she was shot.

Previously, tidbits of information came from friends and family, but the doctors, those with the understanding and knowledge of what each setback and step forward means for long-term recovery, remained tight-lipped.
They gave their first official update since she began intensive rehabilitation in Houston on Jan. 26.

Read the entire article

Justice Department: TSA Has Authority To Literally Strip Search People

Naked body scanners court case underway, throws up disturbing precedents

Justice Department: TSA Has Authority To Literally Strip Search People 071210TSA
Steve Watson
March 11, 2011

A government attorney has told federal appeals court judges that the Department of Homeland Security has the authority to literally strip search Americans inside airports if it determines that is the correct course of action to deal with “ever-evolving threats”.

The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) “should not have to stop every five minutes for comment and rulemaking” said Justice Department lawyer Beth Brinkmann in oral testimony before the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In a hypothetical scenario, a three-judge panel, hearing testimony both for and against the use of body scanning technology within airports, questioned whether the TSA would be required to seek public input before initiating mandatory strip search procedures.

Judge David Tatel directly asked if the TSA would need to take public “notice and comment” before implementing such rules if “a terrorist gets through and blows up the airport.”
“No,” Brinkmann answered.

The government attorney added that Congress requires the TSA to use the scanners or any other “effective technology” to protect the airlines, so no public input is necessary.
“You may well be right,” Tatel responded.

Though she conceded that there would be “an overwhelming Fourth Amendment claim” against such an eventuality, Brinkmann added “You can’t hamstring the agency.”

The scenario was discussed in order to determine whether the TSA violated federal rules by not allowing a public comment period before Homeland Security instituted a full scale roll out of radiation firing body scanners in 2009.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Euro Zone Debt Crisis Intensifies Ahead of Summit

Moody's cut Spain's debt rating on Thursday, pushing the euro lower and deepening the sense of crisis in the 17-nation currency bloc on the eve of a crucial summit.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled to lawmakers in a closed-door meeting that she was prepared to agree an increase in Europe's rescue fund later this month, participants said, but only under conditions that other states may find difficult to accept.

Investors pushed the single currency to a one-week low under $1.38, the risk premium on Spanish bonds widened and the cost of insuring Spanish, Greek and Portuguese debt against default rose as a fresh wave of euro zone jitters hit financial markets.

Leaders from the currency area are expected to back a watered-down version of a German-French plan to boost economic competitiveness at Friday's Brussels summit but are unlikely to overcome sharp differences over whether the rescue fund should be given new powers that would help it ease the burden on highly-indebted euro states.

A German official lowered any expectation of a breakthrough, saying no decisions would be taken on strengthening the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) on Friday.

The question of raising the fund's lending capacity would be decided in a package at the end of March, he said, and Berlin opposed giving the EFSF or its successor any direct or indirect role in buying troubled states' bonds on the secondary market.

Merkel told members of the Bundestag's European affairs committee, according to the participants, that boosting the fund would depend on countries that do not have a triple-A rating injecting capital, a step some of them have already signaled they will resist.

EU diplomats said France and several other countries want at least an outline agreement on Friday on the remit of a planned permanent financial rescue mechanism for the euro zone.

"The quicker we get a deal the quicker we calm the markets," one senior diplomat said.

Traders said the euro could fall further due to market concerns that Friday's 17-nation meeting and a summit of the full 27-nation European Union on March 24-25 may fail to agree on decisive action to tackle the debt crisis.

"If officials make no progress and Germans remain unwavering in their demands, the likelihood of a capitulation (in the euro) will be significantly higher," said Jessica Hoversen, currency strategist at MF Global in Chicago.

Read more: Euro Zone Debt Crisis Intensifies Ahead of Summit

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Defeating the New World Order!!!!!

Mark Matheny
March 9, 2011

This article will not be full of quotes from the Bastard Elite who are trying with every resourse to bring in a totalitarian regime - which they proudly call a "NEW WORLD ORDER"!

This article is about the very survival and prosperity of the human Species!!!!!

Not human race, but the species called Homosapian!

I have sat here, day after day, and watched the charade of politcal correctness, and the power of the vote, - neither of which amount to much in our time.

I have watched the media doctor - shills tell us everything but the truth!!!!!!!!!!!

I am not here to pull up documents today, in order to show you the proof of a conspiracy in our midst - for you already sense, and feel, and taste the treachery within your bones!!!

I am instead calling upon all Patriots to prepare for the Final reckoning!

We don't have time to waste!

As we sit, and vote, (whatever that means anymore), the walls of global enslavement surround us!!!

Each and every voice must be heard!!

Every able-bodied soldier in the fight for liberty must be prepared in this final hour of decision to pay the price!!!!.... the price for freedom!!!

the tyrants are many.... and the defenders of truth are few!!!!

But numbers do not matter in this fight, ....... in this final struggle between the forces of good and evil!

Choose your side now, and live with that decision for Eternity!!!

As for me and My House- we will choose freedom!!! - and if that cup of freedom also holds death - I will gladly drink!!!!

The Final Steps in Achieving Global Totalitarianism

Richard Posner

"The ultimate tyranny in a society is not control by martial law. It is control by the psychological manipulation of consciousness, through which reality is defined so that those who exist within it do not even realize that they are in prison. They do not even realize that there is something outside of where they exist."  -- Barbara Marciniak,Content of Bringers of the Dawn, pg. 87, Chapter Eight. 
For several years now, I've been watching the evolution of the virtual community. At first I had rather naïve, high hopes for its possibilities. I imagined it might spawn a viable counterculture that could become a global phenomenon bringing the People of Earth together in a way never possible before.

I have studied innumerable forums, social networks, blogs and news and information sites. On virtually every venue that allows reader comment or contribution I have found only one common factor: Conflict

My early optimism has been replaced by the realisation that, with a few notable exceptions, the much vaunted World Wide Web is becoming just another weapon in the arsenal of oppression. 

If you can't beat 'em, absorb 'em."To take advantage of sentiments, not wasting one's energies in futile efforts to destroy them". -- Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto.

Dick Morris calls Congressman Ron Paul ‘horrific’

The Raw Story
By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, March 7th, 2011

During a brief radio interview on Monday, conservative political commentator and frequent Fox News guest Dick Morris said he strongly opposed Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul due to the congressman's stance against the drug war and war on terrorism.

"I think he’s horrific," Morris told Peter Schiff, who was an economic adviser to Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign. "He wants us to end the war on drugs. He wants us to end the war on terror."

Rep Paul, who describes himself as a libertarian, drew thunderous applause for bashing the Patriot Act, US aid to foreign nations, and US military bases overseas during his speech at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference in February.

Unlike the vast majority of his Republican colleagues, Rep. Paul has been a vocal opponent of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well a supporter of drug legalization.

"We should drug test every high school student," Morris continued. "We should drug test everybody that gets a student loan. Anybody that’s using drugs should not get a government student loan."

After Schiff questioned drug testing students and began talking about eliminating student loans, Morris told him to "talk to yourself for the next 15 minutes" and hung up.

"What kind of police state does Dick Morris want to turn this country into?" Schiff pondered after Morris hung up on him. "It's really not a war on drugs, it's war on civil liberties."

Read the entire article

A million dead fish clog California marina

Fish and Game officials said they think the sardines depleted oxygen levels and suffocated, but remain unsure

AP/Alex Gallardo
A Los Angeles County lifeguard scoops up dead fish in the King Harbor area of Redondo Beach, south of Los Angeles. An estimated million fish turned up dead on Tuesday, puzzling authorities and triggering a cleanup effort.
Associated Press

An estimated 1 million fish turned up dead Tuesday in a Southern California marina, creating a floating feast for pelicans, gulls and other sea life and a stinky mess for harbor authorities.
Boaters awakened to find a carpet of small silvery fish surrounding their vessels, said Staci Gabrielli, marine coordinator for King Harbor Marina on the Los Angeles County coast. Authorities said there was also a 12- to 18-inch layer of dead fish on the bottom of the marina.
California Fish and Game officials said the fish were sardines that apparently depleted the water of oxygen and suffocated.
"All indications are it's a naturally occurring event," said Andrew Hughan, a Fish and Game spokesman at the scene.
The die-off was unusual but not unprecedented, he said.
"In the world of fishing this is an afternoon's catch," he noted.
Nonetheless, the scale was impressive to locals at King Harbor, which shelters about 1,400 boats on south Santa Monica Bay.
"The fishermen say they've never seen anything this bad that wasn't red tide," Hughan said, referring to the natural blooms of toxic algae that can kill fish.
Hughan said water samples showed no oils or chemicals that could have contributed to the deaths. He said some of the fish were being shipped to a Fish and Game laboratory for study but the cause was likely to be uncomplicated.

Read the entire article

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Obama Must Obey the Court on Obamacare

Judge Roger Vinson took the president to the woodshed last week for a lesson on which branch of government has the final word on the Constitution.

Twenty six states brought a lawsuit to a Florida district court challenging the constitutionality of the Obama healthcare reform law. On January 31, Vinson ruled the mandatory insurance provision unconstitutional and, going further, declared the entire law void. The White House brushed off Vinson’s ruling as “extreme” and an “outlier” and told the nation “implementation would proceed apace.”

Vinson clarified his ruling on March 3, warning the president’s lawyers that it was “not just a bit of friendly advice.” The administration suggests “that a single federal judge” cannot halt an entire regulatory scheme. Wrong, said Vinson. A court’s judgment is binding.

President Obama’s conduct is reminiscent of President Richard Nixon’s defiance of a district court order on the grounds that he interpreted the Constitution differently. In 1974, a federal district court had ordered Nixon to surrender recordings of conversations about the Watergate break-in. The president refused.

Chief Justice Warren Burger held firm, ordering the president to surrender the tapes, and repeating the words set down by Chief Justice John Marshall in Marbury v. Madison (1803): "it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is," including meaning of the Constitution. Burger explained that although "each branch of government must initially interpret the Constitution" to perform its duties, the Court has the final say in any legal controversy.

Nixon waited eight hours, then announced he would comply. Obama waited two and a half weeks before even requesting a clarification.

The delay may have been calculated, Vinson said. "It could be argued that the executive branch seeks to continue the implementation, in part, for the very reason that the implemented provisions will be hard to undo once they are fully in place."

Obamacare’s provisions — tax credits to businesses, grants to states, rule changes for insurers — will be hard to undo. For that reason, some state lawmakers have tried to block implementation of the law while it is in legal limbo. “If we wait,” explained Idaho state representative Vito Barbieri, ”the tentacles of federal money, federal rules, federal agencies will be impossible to eradicate.”

Last week ,Vinson side stepped a confrontation with the president by issuing a “stay” to delay the practical effects of overturning the healthcare law. He allowed seven days for the administration to request an expedited appeal. “The sooner this issue is finally decided by the Supreme Court, the better off the entire nation will be,” he said, repeating what Marshall had said two centuries ago: The court is the final interpreter of the law, and Congress and the president must obey.

Presidents often wrestle with conflicting views of the Constitution and let their own views guide them, unless they are litigants subject to the court’s ruling. That is the difference between legitimate disagreement and improper defiance.

President Andrew Jackson disagreed with the Supreme Court’s 1819 ruling that Congress had the authority to create a Bank of the United States, and when Congress tried to recharter the bank in 1832, Jackson vetoed it on constitutional grounds.

With anguish, President Abraham Lincoln acquiesced in the court’s decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) . In his first inaugural address (1861), Lincoln lamented that he could not defy the court’s ruling and free Scott. But the evil effect of the ruling applied only to the parties in court. He urged the public and Congress to dismantle slavery in the territories by political means.

Last week, President Obama said that he believes the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and it may be within his prerogative to act accordingly. But when a president’s administration is hauled into court and loses, as the Obama administration did on January 31, it must obey the court.

© Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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Buying Friends Creates More Enemies

Ron Paul
March 8, 2011
Last week Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and I had the opportunity to raise some of my concerns regarding US foreign policy and the costs of our interventionism around the world.

Many observers claim that the recent overthrow of governments in northern Africa and the Middle East will result in more liberty for individuals across those regions. I sincerely hope this proves to be true, but history is replete with revolutions that began as a cry for freedom against oppressive governments but ended badly. There are no guarantees that Egyptians, Tunisians, or others will be better off after these heralded regime changes.

We do know, however, that these conflicts in Africa and the Middle East can be made worse if the U.S. government attempts to intervene and support certain candidates or factions. Such intervention would not further US interests or win us new friends, but in fact would undermine the legitimacy of any government that may emerge after the end of old regimes. Just as we would resent and reject any political force that came to power here with the sponsorship of a foreign government, Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, and others are not likely to take kindly to what they view as one US puppet being replaced by another US puppet. It is ironic, but the US government’s endless promotion of “democracy” overseas actually distorts and undermines democracy in targeted nations. The involvement of a foreign power often undermines true self-determination.

Read the entire article

Monday, March 7, 2011

In Search Of The Internet Kill Switch
March 7, 2011

The complete internet shutdown this week in Libya involved a new way to turn off web access for an entire country. Earlier this year, the total internet blockade in Egypt backfired and emboldened the protesters. China is well known for blocking internet services, but it’s not just China. Of course, having the government turn off the internet could never happen in the United States. We couldn’t condemn the action in other countries while at the same time plan it here. No one would even suggest such a thing, right?

Wrong. The topic came up last June when Senators Joseph Lieberman, Susan Collins and Thomas Carper introduced the controversial “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010″. [PDF] One vague provision in the bill gave the President the power to “authorize emergency measures to protect the nation’s most critical infrastructure if a cyber vulnerability is being exploited or is about to be exploited.” It became known as the internet “kill switch” bill even though the words ‘kill’ and ‘switch’ are not found in the bill.
When talking about an internet kill switch, an image of a giant switch in the Oval Office, perhaps next to the “red telephone,” used to shut down the entire internet comes to mind. But that’s fiction and gives the bill’s sponsors cover to deny the bill contains a total kill switch.

The internet was originally designed as a distributed network exactly to survive an attack. Egypt was able to turn off the internet by forcing its relatively few Internet Service Providers to shut down their servers. In Libya, the servers are answering, and the route is open but the traffic is being throttled down to zero. If the U.S government told the major Tier 1 ISPs to close, that’s technically not a single “kill switch” but it would cause a shutdown. In fact, one report claims, in the event of a cyberwar, an internet shutdown would cause more problems that it would prevent.

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US Department of Imperial Expansion

Tony Cartalucci
March 6, 2011

Believe it or not, the US State Department’s mission statement actually says the following:

“Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.”

A far and treasonous cry from the original purpose of the State Department – which was to maintain communications and formal relations with foreign countries – and a radical departure from historical norms that have defined foreign ministries throughout the world, it could just as well now be called the “Department of Imperial Expansion.” Because indeed, that is its primary purpose now, the expansion of Anglo-American corporate hegemony worldwide under the guise of “democracy” and “human rights.” That a US government department should state its goal as to build a world of “well-governed states” within the “international system” betrays not only America’s sovereignty but the sovereignty of all nations entangled by this offensive mission statement and its execution.

The illegitimacy of the current US State Department fits in well with the overall Constitution-circumventing empire that the American Republic has degenerated into. The current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, gives a daily affirmation of this illegitimacy every time she bellies up to the podium and further makes a mockery of America, its people and its destiny.

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“Necessary” Bank Bailouts Harm the Economy, Wreck the Banks

Mar. 6 2011
Image via Wikipedia

The bank bailouts of 2008 continue to bring the broad economy harm, all the while restraining the ability of the banking system to get back on its feet. This shouldn’t surprise anyone.

To put it simply, while business failure of any kind is always painful for investors and employees alike, it’s a happy sign of economic revival for revealing in living color that capitalism is working. Business failure hardly constitutes business disappearance, and the beauty of failure is that it ensures that poorly managed assets are released at frequently low prices to managers with a stated objective to develop those human, mechanical and financial inputs more effectively on the way to growth.

To make basic what already is, failure signals an economy on the mend simply because the bad business ideas, investments and labor misuses are cleansed from the economy. Failure means that bad ideas won’t be perpetuated, that an ineffective status quo won’t be maintained, and that’s why Silicon Valley’s rather ruthless approach to failed concepts means that it thrives, while Michigan languishes for propping up concepts that rational investors and workers long ago left behind as yesterday’s news.

Looking at banking itself, bailouts and the presumption of same hardly enhance the industry’s health; instead too many marginal producers are allowed to stay in the game and destroy capital thanks to a government willing to cushion their every mistake (think Citigroup). In a banking system characterized by the freedom to fail, we’d have long ago rid ourselves of Citi and myriad other financial institutions, and their bankruptcies would have coincided with enhanced market share for the successful in our midst such as Frost Bank (having avoided risky banking practices, the San Antonio-based bank refursed TARP funds), not to mention that the successful would be overseeing the very capital that the ineffective continue to deploy unwisely.

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Obama declares state governors will enforce health care bill whether they like it or not

Obama chided states for even questioning the bill, despite the fact that it will likely plunge every one of them into irreparable bankruptcy.
(NaturalNews) At a recent meeting with US state governors in Washington, DC, President Obama made clear his intent to force the individual states to comply with his unconstitutional health care overhaul. Twenty-six states have already filed federal lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the bill -- and some judges have already declared it to be null and void -- prior to the announcement.

Clearly overstepping his constitutional bounds, Obama chided states for even questioning the bill, despite the fact that it will likely plunge every one of them into irreparable bankruptcy. He also declared a refusal to allow states to "weaken" the bill in any way, even though two federal judges have already ruled it to be unconstitutional (

In eerily dictator-style fashion, Obama stated to the governors that they are free to come up with modifications to the bill that will help make it enforceable more quickly, but that any attempts to dismantle it will not be tolerated. Such a proposition, of course, is a gross violation of the law, as a president cannot arbitrarily oppose the will of the judicial branch and demand that unconstitutional provisions be enforced.

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My Other Passions

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Aikido and Iaido