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Archive for January 6th, 2010

Harassed War Reporter: “We Must Stand Up Against The TSA Thugs!”

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Paul Joseph Watson / Prison Planet – January 6, 2010

A war reporter who was detained, interrogated and handcuffed at Seattle airport for refusing to answer personal questions about his income has warned that Americans need to start standing up to TSA thugs because entering the country is now a more stifling experience than some of the worst police states on the planet.

“No country has ever treated me so badly,” Michael Yon wrote in a Facebook message. “Not China. Not Vietnam. Not Afghanistan. Definitely not Singapore or India or Nepal or Germany, not Brunei, not Indonesia, or Malaysia, or Kuwait or Qatar or United Arab Emirates. No county has treated me with the disrespect can that can be expected from our border bullies.”

“Yon was taken aside by the TSA and asked a series of questions, many of which seemed to have no bearing on national security. Finally when asked what his personal income was, he refused to answer because he felt it was none of their business. At this point they handcuffed and detained him until he was eventually released by Port Authority police because the TSA had no legitimate grounds to hold him,” reports Blog Critics.

Yon said that his experience was par for the course when entering America and not a manifestation of the Christmas Day attack. He told about a similar experience endured by his friend who was forced to give TSA agents her email password, who then proceeded to read her emails while she was in security.

Yon said he decided to stand up for his rights and “stare down” the TSA thugs. “I was like, let’s go to jail. I’m ready, because I’m not going to answer these questions, nobody’s getting my passwords,” he said, adding that he “hoped an adult would enter the room” so that he could be released.

Yon said that it was a nonsense that Americans were putting up with this kind of harassment. “We only have to deal with this because we put up with it….it’s incredible what we will allow our government to put us through,” he said, adding that harassment at American airports was even worse than that he had encountered in Israel.

“If we don’t stand up to them they will continue to infringe on our rights,” Yon warned.

Link to entire article below…

Economy USA 2010: From A Scandalous Past To An Uncertain Future

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Professor Rodrigue Tremblay / Global Research – January 6, 2010

“Homes rose markedly in value, especially in hot markets like Florida and New York City. Borrowers  believed that home purchases were no-risk ventures certain to escalade, and they went out on a limb to buy. Lenders who had once required large down payments now permitted home purchasers to combine two and three loans to buy a home. People took out what were called “buffet” loans, which were interest-only loans that buyers were told they should refinance in three years or five years. Lenders told home buyers not to worry; homes were rising so fast in value that it would always be easy to refinance into another loan. Developers built larger houses. Why not? Borrowers wanted larger homes. They needed the space to hold all the things they were buying.” —U. S. Housing market in 1928-29, in Kristin Downey, The Woman Behind the New Deal (Frances Perkins), 2009, p. 106, from Gail Radford, Modern Housing for America: Policy Struggles in the New Deal, 1996, pp.10-22

I place economy (saving) among the first and most important virtues, and debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared.”Thomas Jefferson: 3rd US President (1801-09)

“America is more communist than China is right now. You can see that this is welfare of the rich, it is socialism for the rich — it’s just bailing out financial institutions. This is madness; this is insanity; they have more than doubled the American national debt in one weekend for a bunch of crooks and incompetents.” – Jim Rogers, American investor

After a decade plus of unchecked greed by money-changers, of the political dismantling of financial regulation, of large “too-big-to-fail” banks made larger, of artificial easy money by the central bank, of the risky securitization of all kinds of debt instruments and of leveraged buy-outs of scores of companies with their own debts by financial operators, it was no surprise that the financial house of cards came crashing down in 2007-2008. It was like a pre-programmed financial crisis. A perfect financial storm.

What lessons can be drawn from the recent unhealthy and unpalatable past? And, what is in store for the near future, considering that hardly anything in the financial environment has changed? A crisis caused by a near total absence of financial regulation, by a too easy monetary policy and by too much debt, has been met with no additional financial regulation, by an even easier monetary policy and by even more debt. In fact, the U.S. ratio of total debt ($57 trillion) to the economy (GDP: $14.5 trillion in 2009) is even higher today at 3.9, then it was before the onset of the crisis in 2007-08, when it stood at 3.4.

That is why we will argue here that the problems of U.S. financial dysfunction have not been solved. On the contrary, they have been swept under the large rug of even easier money and of even larger debts, which is only postponing the day of reckoning. For sure, the large Wall Street banks’ bad debts have been transferred to the public sector (the Treasury and the Fed) and to the quasi public sector (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), but the overall debt load of the U.S. economy has not been reduced; it has been increased. That is why the U.S. is condemned to continue its foreign borrowing binge for some time to come.

In general, too much foreign borrowing is bad for an economy, especially if it is done to finance an excessive level of domestic consumption. When this happens, it is a sign that total domestic expenditures (government, corporations, consumers) exceed total incomes. The country lives beyond its means and the gap has to be filled with net foreign borrowings.

The principal indicator of this situation is the current account (a broader measure than the external trade balance) of the country. When a country’s current account turns negative, more money for imports and interest payments is flowing out of the country than is coming in through exports and investment income. Like any individual, of course, a country can borrow abroad if its credit rating is good. The question is how much and for how long. For countries that have fully convertible currencies or, better, for countries like the United States whose national currency also serves as an international key-currency, the situation can endure for a longer period, but there is always a day of reckoning.

In general, for a normal economy, a negative current account that exceeds six (6) percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), especially if this is due to a negative trade balance, usually indicates a non sustainable situation of foreign borrowing and foreign indebtedness that can lead to a financial crisis. Countries like Mexico (1994-95) and Thailand (1997-98) experienced such a financial crisis in the 1990’s. Such was the case also with Argentina at the turn of the century.

Since 2000, and coinciding with the arrival of the George W. Bush Republican administration, the United States has also embarked upon a policy of excessive domestic spending, resulting in larger and larger and persistent current account deficits and huge foreign borrowings. Indeed, the adoption of an imperial foreign policy of permanent war throughout the world, financed on credit, and an ideological preference for large fiscal deficits, have translated into large American current account deficits.

Link to entire article below…

Over 1200 Cold And Snow Records Set In The Last Week In The USA!

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Watts Up With That? – January 6, 2010

From the “weather is not” department, cold and snow hits hard. Meanwhile, Hot Weather Convinces Media of Climate Change; Cold Weather Ignored.


And it heads far south too. A hard freeze warning has been issued for the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area:

And lest somebody say that this cold event isn’t significant, I’ll let the NWS do the talking here:

Longest Stretch of Cold Weather in 15 to 25 Years Possible This Week

…Longest Stretch of Much Below Normal Temperatures in 15 to 25 Years Possible…

Temperatures are expected to remain much below normal over all of south Florida this week, with the possibility of even colder temperatures this upcoming weekend. For detailed information on expected temperatures, please follow the indicated links for our textual and graphical forecasts. For freeze/wind chill watches and warnings, please check our hazards page.

It is not unheard of to have freezing or near-freezing temperatures in south Florida each winter. In fact, inland areas south and west of Lake Okeechobee experience freezing temperatures at least once a year on average. Over the metro and coastal areas of south Florida, freezing temperatures are less frequent, but even in these areas freezing temperatures have occurred about every 5 to 10 years on average. Temperatures drop to at least 35 about every 1 to 2 years in the Naples area, and about every 2 years in the outlying areas of southeast Florida. For the urban areas of Miami/Fort Lauderdale, temperatures drop to at least 35 degrees about 2 to 3 times a decade, At West Palm Beach, the average is about every 1 to 2 years.

What is more noteworthy about the current cold snap is the duration of the event. Typical south Florida cold snaps last about 2-3 days before winds switch to an easterly direction and blow warmer Atlantic air across the region. However, our current weather pattern is what is referred to as a “blocking pattern”. This means that weather systems that typically move from west to east at fairly regular intervals are instead remaining in place for several days. A strong low pressure system over northern New England and eastern Canada is being “blocked” by a large high pressure system near Greenland. This in turn is creating a stationary high pressure system over the western U.S. and Canada. The result of this blocked flow is an uninterrupted and prolonged flow of air from the Arctic region of Canada southward over the eastern two-thirds of the country, including Florida.

Temperatures have dropped to below 50 degrees for three consecutive mornings over almost all of south Florida, with temperatures dropping to 45 or lower from Collier County east to Palm Beach County and points north. The latest forecast calls for lows to drop below 45 degrees over all of south Florida through Thursday morning. This would give 6 consecutive days of sub-50 and/or 45 degree-or-lower temperatures.

Following are the dates of the last time we had at least 6 consecutive days of low temperatures below 50 degrees in southeast Florida:

Miami and Fort Lauderdale: January 2001

Record is 13 days in Miami (January – February 1940) and 12 days in Fort Lauderdale in January 1956

West Palm Beach: January 2003

Record for West Palm Beach is 12 days set in December 2000-January 2001 and January 1956.

Following are the dates of the last time we had 6 consecutive days of low temperatures of 45 degrees or lower in Naples;

Naples: December 1989

Record for Naples is 8 days in January 1977.

Following are the dates of the last time we had 5 consecutive days of low temperatures of 40 degrees or lower in Moore Haven;

Moore Haven: January 24-28, 2001.

Record for Moore Haven is 9 days from December 31, 2000 to January 8, 2001.

Therefore, it’s been at least 7 years since we’ve had a prolonged stretch of temperatures in the 40s and 30s, with some areas going back as far as 21 years! Taking into account the daily average temperature, it’s possible that we’ll have up to 5 consecutive days of temperatures averaging at least 10-15 degrees below normal. For most of south Florida, the last time we had a stretch that cold was in 1995, with some areas going back to the mid to late 1980s.

Here’s a sampling of headlines around the world:

Temps Plunge to Record as Cold Snap Freezes North, East States
Seoul buried in heaviest snowfall in 70 years
Vermont sets ‘all-time record for one snowstorm’

Iowa temps ‘a solid 30 degrees below normal’
Power goes out at Reagan National outside DC
Seoul buried in heaviest snowfall in 70 years
Peru’s mountain people ‘face extinction because of cold conditions’…

Beijing – coldest in 40 years

World copes with Arctic weather
Winter Could Be Worst in 25 Years for USA
Britain braced for heaviest snowfall in 50-years

Miami shivers from coldest weather in decade
Northern Sweden on the way to 50 degrees below zero

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: “Say it isn’t so… Dammit!”Al the Goracle

Link to original article below…

Written by Steven John Hibbs

January 6, 2010 at 10:22 am