Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Whos fault: Burning Quran Dove church is endangering troops
Mood:  accident prone
Now Playing: USA crusade in middle East whips up freenzy and hate in the states
Topic: WAR

The USA crusade in Middle East whips up frenzy and hate here in the states, as the Quran is planned on being burned in a bonfire. As this hate event ramps up in the US press, I can’t help but think how all this "Muslim hate" is being stirred up by our occupation, attack, and murder spree we have openly and gleefully waged on our Muslim brothers and sisters.

Look no further than our own national policy to see why this is in flames (pun intended) and this type of outward public display of pure hate is proudly waged, at the same time as the US flag is being waved.Look no further than our ongoing military presence and blood letting, torture, and desecration of their lands, mosques, library's, utilities, water supplies, museum, and homes.

The military should not be shocked or surprised in the slightest way. This is what killing does. This is the ramifications of the US occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and is done in spirit of the hate and killing we wage, now to be displayed in our (sic) civil society. The burning(s) should be welcomed as "one more straw" as we continue to fuck over a country and a whole race of people.

Let the witch hunts begin that the USA government started. America has opened Pandora’s Box. The devil is in the air. Wave your flag. Teach your children to resist. Educate yourself and loved ones on how we brought this upon our selves, by waging world wide hate and using our military against innocent people/civillians from all over the world.  .... Peace!

~joe anybody 9.7.10   Cry

Top US commander: Burning Quran endangers troops




Afghan protesters step on a U.S. flag during a demonstration against the Uni...

KABUL, Afghanistan — The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan warned Tuesday an American church's threat to burn copies of the Muslim holy book could endanger U.S. troops in the country and Americans worldwide.

Meanwhile, NATO reported the death of an American service member in an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday.

The comments from Gen. David Petraeus followed a protest Monday by hundreds of Afghans over the plans by Gainesville, Florida-based Dove World Outreach Center — a small, evangelical Christian church that espouses anti-Islam philosophy — to burn copies of the Quran on church grounds to mark the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States that provoked the Afghan war.

"Images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence," Petraeus said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Muslims consider the Quran to be the word of God and insist it be treated with the utmost respect, along with any printed material containing its verses or the name of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad. Any intentional damage or show of disrespect to the Quran is deeply offensive.

In 2005, 15 people died and scores were wounded in riots in Afghanistan sparked by a story in Newsweek magazine alleging interrogators at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay placed copies of the Quran in washrooms and flushed one down the toilet to get inmates to talk. Newsweek later retracted the story.

Responding to Petraeus' comments, Dove World Outreach Center's senior pastor Terry Jones acknowledged Petraeus' concerns as legitimate.

"Still, we feel that it is time for America to quit apologizing for our actions and bowing to kings," Jones said in a statement released by his church. "We must send a clear message to the radical element of Islam. We will no longer be controlled and dominated by their fears and threats. It is time for America to return to being America."

The church, which made headlines last year after distributing T-shirts that said "Islam is of the Devil," has been denied a permit to set a bonfire but has vowed to proceed with the burning. The congregation's website estimates it has about 50 members, but the church has leveraged the Internet with a Facebook page and blog devoted to its Quran-burning plans.

The American's death brings to at least six the number of U.S. forces killed in Afghanistan this month, along with at least four other non-American members of the international coalition.

Engagements with insurgents are rising along with the addition of another 30,000 U.S. troops, bringing the total number of international forces in the country to more than 140,000.

At least 322 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan so far this year, exceeding the previous annual record of 304 for all of 2009, according to an AP count.

Petraeus is asking for 2,000 more trainers and field troops for the international force, NATO officials said Monday. It was unclear how many would be Americans.

Also Tuesday, authorities confirmed the ambush killing of a district chief by suspected insurgents in the northern province of Baghlan on Monday afternoon. Nahrin district chief Rahmad Sror Joshan Pool was on his way home after a memorial service for slain anti-Soviet guerrilla leader Ahmad Shah Massoud when rocket-propelled grenades hit his vehicle, setting it on fire, said provincial spokesman Mahmood Haqmal.

Pool's bodyguard was also killed in the attack, and one militant died and two were wounded in the ensuing fire fight with police, Haqmal said.

Five children were killed and five wounded in Yaya Khil district in the southern province of Paktika when an insurgent rocket fired at an Afghan army base hit a home Monday evening, provincial government spokesman Mokhlais Afghan said.

Kidnappers also seized two electoral workers and their two drivers in the western province of Ghor, according to deputy provincial police chief Ahmad Khan Bashir. Insurgents have waged a campaign of violence and intimidation to prevent Afghans from voting, especially in rural areas, while some pre-election violence has also been blamed on rivalries among the candidates.


Associated Press writers Slobodan Lekic in Brussels, Travis Reed in Miami, and Amir Shah in Kabul contributed to this report.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 6:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 7 September 2010 10:08 AM PDT
San Francisco, it is time for the 9/th Annual 9/11 Truth Rally
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: 12th Annual Power to the Peaceful Festival.
Topic: 911 TRUTH

 911 TRUTH  rally

12th Annual Power to the Peaceful Festival

In San Francisco,  the 9/th Annual 9/11 Truth Rally will begin at 10 am in the Panhandle at Ashbury on Saturday, September 11, 2010, parading at 11 am to the 12th Annual Power to the Peaceful Festival. followed at 6 pm in the evening by poetry and music at the Gandhi Statue, at the foot of Market Street behind the San Francisco Ferry Building, to take back 9/11 as "a worldwide celebration of peace and love," instead of endless American war readiness. On September 11th the 6th Annual 9/11 Truth Film Festival will run from the afternoon to through the evening in San Francisco and San Leandro, with filmmakers and speakers, premiering Hypothesis and War Promises, and including Satyagraha ? One Hundred Years of Nonviolence.

Satyagraha - Truth Force was born when people gathered together, in their struggle against empire and racism in South Africa. On September 11, 1906, at a public meeting attended by 3000 people where Gandhi spoke, Sheth haji Habib, an old Muslim resident of South Africa, was inspired to consciously speak out and state his decision to act in defiance of an unjust law that targeted the Indian population of South Africa. Habib declared his willingness to suffer the consequences in a spiritually-endowed fight for justice in the name of God. The theory of satyagraha sees means and ends as inseparable. The means used to obtain an end are wrapped up in and attached to that end. Therefore, it is contradictory to try to use unjust means to obtain justice or to try to use violence to obtain peace. Satyagraha is a synthesis of the Sanskrit words satya (meaning "truth") and Agraha ("pursuit of"). Gandhi believed that life itself is a pursuit of truth. For Gandhi, satyagraha became strength in practicing non-violent methods, or in his words "the Force which is born of Truth and Love or non-violence." Martin Luther King Jr. defined it as "Love in Action."

The Power to the Peaceful Festival celebrates satyagraha bringing together over 50,000 people annually to sing, dance, organize, speak, and raise consciousness. This September 11th in London, "Brussels, Canada, Australia, New York City,Washington DC, Jersey City, Los Angeles, Ames, and Flagstaff people are using music, art, film, and speeches, at symposiums and rallies, to challenge the 9/11 lies that have been used to justify 9/11 wars.

The Bay Area is home to many of the 9/11 Truth groups that have catalyzed the growing global truth movement. This includesArchitects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth who are pushing for a new investigation of 9/11, particularly of the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings, citing the hard evidence of explosive material in the dust, amongst other evidence, that the 9/11 Commission and NIST has ignored.

Professor Steven Jones, physicist, whose research on the WTC dust is threatening to the 9/11 cover-up, is featured in two of the films, including Hypothesis. Filmmaker Brett Smith captured a damning interview of C. Martin Hinckley in his documentary; Hinckley first threatened Jones and then tried to bribe him to redirect his research. The film shows one method used to corrupt scientists to serve political ends at the expense of principles and higher purpose. Professor Jones has heroically persisted in his pursuit of truth, despite media attacks and the loss of his teaching position; he and other scientists co-authored Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe, which was published in the peer-reviewed Bentham Open Chemical Physics Journal and received media attention outside the US, particularly in Denmark where co-author Chemistry Professor Niels Harrit resides. David Chandler, a high school physics teacher, whose videos and talks, simply refute and challenge NIST, will also speak at the film festivals and the 9/11 Truth Rally.






PO Box 60511, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Please see my (Joe Anybody)  911 Truth Page for Sept. 11 info

Posted by Joe Anybody at 5:59 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 7 September 2010 10:04 AM PDT
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
Zen - three tips to practice the art of Zen
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: Relax - Unwind - Think Zen



With increasing stress in today's society, it is becoming increasingly important to find ways to relax and unwind.

One of the best ways to go about managing your stress is to live a zen lifestyle. Here are three easy steps to live a zen lifetstyle!





1.) Posture Your posture is the expression of your self. It is where everything begins. You should not seek to master posture as a means to attain a particular state of mind. Your posture is the purpose itself of practice of zen living. One of the most important aspects of zen posture is a straight spine. Relax your shoulders, push up towards the ceiling with the back of your head. Press your diaphragm down towards your lower abdomen - this will help you breathe deeply.

Deeper breathing creates more oxygen in your blood stream, thereby increasing your brains alertness. Do not tilt sideways, backwards, or frontwards. Accessing your true nature through your posture is the key here. If you own your own physical body, you would be able to create presence effortlessly. Being present in their body is how athletes & performers create miracles. Enlightenment is not some good feeling or some particular state of mind.

The state of mind that exists when you sit in the right posture is, in and of itself, enlightenment.

2.) Focus On Your Breathing Breathing is synonymous to swinging the door - the door that connects the outer world with your inner world. There is no limit to your inner world, neither is the outer world limited.

The air comes in and goes out like someone passing through a swinging door. When you practice Zen, the idea of time and space melts away, just the way there difference between inside and outside air disappears when you breathe. Focusing your mind on your breathing is one of the key zen activities. Breathing is a fundamental activity of the universal being.

When we focus on our breathing, we become the swinging door, and create instant presence...

3.) Give Up The Control "The greatest meditation is the mind that lets go" - Zen Philosopher. Whatever we see changes with every passing moment. Whatever we see is changing, loosing its balance. Although everything is going out of balance, the background is in perfect harmony. That's the essence of zen nature - keeping the perfect balance in background while in midst of constantly changing foreground.

One of the best ways to control your cow or sheep is to give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow. To find perfect balance of your mind, to find the calmness that you are constantly seeking, you should learn to ignore the various thoughts and images you find in your mind. The true purpose of zen practice and living so to open up our small minds so we can see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes.

Be like water, not the rock. When water flows through a bamboo fountain in traditional Japanese gardens, the zen practitioners are reminded of how water is free to acquire any form. This is where true zen'ism exists.  


Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:44 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 1 September 2010 11:46 AM PDT
More than 1,100 servicemen and women killed themselves between 05 and 09
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Army post says suicide rate is falling - reported on 9.1.10
Topic: WAR
Colorado Army post says suicide rate is falling
FORT CARSON, Colo. – The suicide rate among soldiers at Fort Carson is on track to drop by about 45 percent this year compared with 2008, as the U.S. military takes steps to ease what has been an increasing problem.

Commanders at the Colorado Army post said Wednesday they were trying to determine reasons for the decline and cautioned the rate could climb in the months ahead.

"There is not a silver bullet," post commander Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins told a meeting of military and civilian mental health experts. "I can't point to one single thing."

However, a campaign to make mental health experts more accessible to soldiers and to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help might be among the factors behind the drop, said Brig. Gen. Jim Pasquarette, deputy commanding general for support at the base.

Most of the Fort Carson soldiers who recently took their own lives were considered good soldiers, Perkins said. Few had problems with drugs or alcohol. Three-quarters had no criminal record in the Army, and 85 percent had no financial problems.

"It's the ones who have done everything right .... They're the good guys," he said.

Suicide rates are measured in deaths per 100,000 people.

Fort Carson's rate was 44 per 100,000 in 2008, and this year is on track to total 25 per 100,000, Pasquarette said. The figures include all soldiers assigned to the post, whether they commit suicide overseas or at home.

The Army's overall suicide rate is about 22 per 100,000.

The Defense Department has been rushing to combat rising numbers of suicides. More than 1,100 servicemen and women killed themselves between 2005 and 2009, and the overall numbers are rising this year.

A report commissioned by Congress and released last week said the Pentagon should create a high-level office to establish strategy and coordinate suicide prevention efforts across the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force.

Another report issued by the Army in July said commanders need to address a broad range of risk-taking behavior to reduce the suicide rate.

In El Paso County, which includes most of the offices and housing at Fort Carson, the suicide rate is about 26 per 100,000, Perkins said.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 10:36 AM PDT
Saturday, 28 August 2010
The Secret Governement ....USA post 911 secrecy
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: Inside Top Secret America

Inside Top Secret America


A major investigation reveals the extent of America's vast and heavily privatized military-corporate-intelligence establishment.
In July, the Washington Post published the Top Secret America project -- a sweeping portrait of America’s heavily privatized military-corporate-intelligence establishment. Lead reporter Dana Priest calls it the “vast and hidden apparatus of the war on terror.”

Priest, who has won two Pulitzer Prizes, described the project as the most challenging investigation of her career. She teamed up with national security journalist William Arkin and a team of about 20 Post staffers to create an “alternative geography” of a hidden world that has exploded since the attacks of 9/11. At last count, the official U.S. intelligence budget stood at $75 billion -- more than two and a half times what it was on September 10, 2001.

The remarkable three-part series (I, II, III) and its intricate multimedia Web site attracted some initial praise, but just as quickly seemed to drop off the map. This article is an attempt to revisit some of the Priest and Arkin’s most shocking discoveries.

Top Secret America is based on hundreds of interviews with government officials, contractors and independent experts; satellite imagery; government contracts; property records; promotional materials from contractors; photo reconnaissance of suspected intelligence facilities, and more.

To give a sense of the physical layout of Top Secret America, Priest and Arkin plotted government and corporate secret locations on a map.

The reporters also compiled their data in the searchable Top Secret America database (TSA). They found 1,931 intelligence contracting firms doing work classified as “top secret,” for 1,271 government organizations at over 10,000 sites around the country. 533 of the contracting firms were founded after the 9/11 attacks.

About 110 contractors do about 90 percent of the top-secret work. The biggest of the big are household words: Booz Allen Hamilton, L-3 Communications, CSC, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, and SAIC.

The TSA database doesn’t include firms that only do merely “secret” work because the reporters found too many to count.

Contractors make up nearly 30 percent of the workforce of America’s intelligence agencies. At the Department of Homeland Security the ratio of contractors to staffers is 50-50. The Post estimates that of the 854,000 people with top-secret clearances, 265,000 are contractors

The U.S. has become utterly dependent on contractors for basic national security and intelligence functions. The National Reconnaissance Office literally couldn’t launch satellites without contractors. Contractors do everything from recruiting spies to interrogating detainees to processing civil forfeitures in the war on drugs.

CIA director Leon Panetta admitted to the Post that dependence on contractors is a liability because the main duty of corporations "is to their shareholders, and that does present an inherent conflict." As Jeremy Scahill pointed out in the Nation, these reservations didn’t stop Panetta from approving a new $100 million contract with the scandal-plagued private security contractor formerly known as Blackwater.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:14 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 1 September 2010 11:47 AM PDT
Thursday, 26 August 2010
police can track you by GPS and no warrant is needed
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: Court allows agents to secretly put GPS trackers on cars

Court allows agents to secretly put GPS trackers on cars



(Note: there is a video on this topic on the CNN website)


By Dugald McConnell, CNN
August 27, 2010 9:26 a.m. EDT

(CNN) -- Law enforcement officers may secretly place a GPS device on a person's car without seeking a warrant from a judge, according to a recent federal appeals court ruling in California.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Oregon in 2007 surreptitiously attached a GPS to the silver Jeep owned by Juan Pineda-Moreno, whom they suspected of growing marijuana, according to court papers.

When Pineda-Moreno was arrested and charged, one piece of evidence was the GPS data, including the longitude and latitude of where the Jeep was driven, and how long it stayed. Prosecutors asserted the Jeep had been driven several times to remote rural locations where agents discovered marijuana being grown, court documents show.

Pineda-Moreno eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy to grow marijuana, and is serving a 51-month sentence, according to his lawyer.

But he appealed on the grounds that sneaking onto a person's driveway and secretly tracking their car violates a person's reasonable expectation of privacy.

"They went onto the property several times in the middle of the night without his knowledge and without his permission," said his lawyer, Harrison Latto.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal twice -- in January of this year by a three-judge panel, and then again by the full court earlier this month. The judges who affirmed Pineda-Moreno's conviction did so without comment.

Latto says the Ninth Circuit decision means law enforcement can place trackers on cars, without seeking a court's permission, in the nine western states the California-based circuit covers.

The ruling likely won't be the end of the matter. A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., arrived at a different conclusion in similar case, saying officers who attached a GPS to the car of a suspected drug dealer should have sought a warrant.

Experts say the issue could eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

One of the dissenting judges in Pineda-Moreno's case, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, said the defendant's driveway was private and that the decision would allow police to use tactics he called "creepy" and "underhanded."

"The vast majority of the 60 million people living in the Ninth Circuit will see their privacy materially diminished by the panel's ruling," Kozinksi wrote in his dissent.

"I think it is Orwellian," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which advocates for privacy rights.

"If the courts allow the police to gather up this information without a warrant," he said, "the police could place a tracking device on any individual's car -- without having to ever justify the reason they did that."

But supporters of the decision see the GPS trackers as a law enforcement tool that is no more intrusive than other means of surveillance, such as visually following a person, that do not require a court's approval.

"You left place A, at this time, you went to place B, you took this street -- that information can be gleaned in a variety of ways," said David Rivkin, a former Justice Department attorney. "It can be old surveillance, by tailing you unbeknownst to you; it could be a GPS."

He says that a person cannot automatically expect privacy just because something is on private property.

"You have to take measures -- to build a fence, to put the car in the garage" or post a no-trespassing sign, he said. "If you don't do that, you're not going to get the privacy."

Original article found here:


Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PDT
Saturday, 21 August 2010
Proxy Paradox - The better the proxy the harder it is to make popular.
Now Playing: How to use a proxy the right way - and - Just what is a Proxy?


Original Website

Welcome to Proxy Project


This site contains information about free web proxies, free proxy lists and places to download Proxy scripts. It has helpful hints for proxy users, proxy developers and proxy webmasters.

The blog also contains useful information about how proxies work. Their security, anonymity and access. It also discusses proxy lists and their usefulness. If you would like to learn how to use, develop, create and program such proxies, you have come to the right place.

Free web proxies are used to bypass blocked sites and get around firewalls. These proxies are most commonly used to access social networking sites such as facebook, myspace and other sites such as youtube and adult content.

Step By Step tutorials in C/C++, Java, javascript, PHP and Perl
Free CodeDiaries Proxy Server

What Can I use a Proxy For?

There are a few scenarios where people use proxies. Most of them are genuine, but unfortunately there are a few that aren't. They scenarios are explained below.

In this scenario a user want’s to remain anonymous to the website he or she is visiting. When a user visits a site, details such as your IP, what browser you are using etc are available to the site. Using this information the site is usually able to keep track of you. Using a proxy prevents this as the site you are visiting sees the proxy as the end user, effectively hiding your IP.

If users are afraid that somebody is keeping a track of the sites they are visiting via routers and firewalls, then a proxy will go some way to stopping that. These web proxies usually encode the URLs so firewalls and routers have no idea what site the user is visiting.

The most common use of web proxies is to get around firewalls and blocks. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace etc are usually considered detrimental to productivity and are banned from work and school networks. These firewall rules are usually based on IPs and hostnames and are easily overcome by
web proxies that rewrite these URLs.

This is related to anonymity and usually the has the largest amount of traffic on unprotected servers. A user will use proxies to spam other sites with comments. Change their IPs so they can access sites that have blocked them because of illegal activity. Hide their IPs when they try denial of service attacks on other sites. IP:Port proxies are also vulnerable to 'HTTP CONNECT" attaches where a person will try and gain access to internal machines and smtp relays via the CONNECT method.

Adbrite on Proxified pages.

There are many affiliate programs out there. King of which is of course adsense. But the biggest problem with adsense is that you cannot use them on proxified pages (or can you?). So what about adbrite? How good are they? In truth, not much good at all, but then again something is better than nothing. In my experience and comparing with other people, adbrite do not pay much for CPM or CPC for that matter. On average we have found that 150,000 page views will yield about 75 clicks and will earn you about 10$. If you got 150,000 views in adsense you'd be looking at well over 100$. The only reason to use adbrite is because adsense is not a good idea on proxified pages.

There are some other affiliates such as infolinks and bidvertiser that may be worth trying on proxies, but infolinks is very picky about the site and you need to submit a pretty good site to get approved. I will let you know about these once I have collected some results from friends.

Our aim is to do a comparison between all these adsense alternatives and come to a definite conclusion as to which affiliate is the best to use on proxies.

New Updated list of IP:Port Proxies

We now have a new and updated list of codediaries Ip:Port proxies. The proxies on this list are checked regularly to make sure they are alive and they are offer a certain level of fitness for purpose. These proxies are fast, reliable and have a good level of customer satisfaction. Fresh proxies will be added to the list as they become available

Better the Proxy, the Less Popular It is Paradox

This is one of the famous free web proxy paradoxes. The better, faster and more reliable your proxy is, the more undiscovered and unpopular it remains. Strange? Not really. A good, fast and reliable proxy that has not been blocked is hard to come by these days. So if a user finds one that say unblocks myspace or facebook, then that user is not going to share that proxy with anyone. If he shares it then everyone else will start using the proxy and network admins will see traffic increasing to that proxy and block it. So a good proxy is like gold you treasure it and don't share it with anyone. Whereas if you had a useless proxy you wouldn't mind sharing it because you're not really using it and you wouldn't care if it got blocked.

Your proxy will get a lot of repeat users and you will build up a good base but you wont see many new users. The more perfect the proxy, the more loathe a user will be to share it. Think of it as a delicious chocolate cake. You might want to share it with a few close friends, but that's about it. Because the more you share the less of it you will have for yourself.

So here is the paradox. The better the proxy the harder it is to make popular.





Proxy Surfing Habits and Useage Data

Ever wonder what web sites proxy users visit? What sites do these users surf to? Facebook? Myspace? Here we have real-time data on what sites proxy users are visiting. Find out surfing habits and web site breakdowns of proxies. Use this data to customize your proxy to work with the most popular sites.

Below is the rating breakdown of the content ratings of the sites visited. G general, M Mature, R Restricted, U Unrated.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 1:30 PM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 21 August 2010 1:36 PM PDT
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Conspiracy 10 Theories
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: 'Patriot' Paranoia: A Look at the Top Ten Conspiracy Theories

'Patriot' Paranoia: A Look at the Top Ten Conspiracy Theories


Illustration by Paul Rogers

Conspiracy theorizing has flourished as a virtual art form in all nations and across all political persuasions. But the American radical right has to be considered a strong contender for the title of modern conspiracy champion. A vast body of academic literature exists exploring this history, of which Richard Hofstadter's 1964 essay, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" is the most famous. Hundreds of books and articles have chronicled the rise (and fall) of an unceasing march of disparate conspiracy-based movements that, at different points in American history, have trembled before and warned against imaginary threats posed by Catholics, Mormons, Jews, American Communists, Freemasons, bankers, and U.S. government officials and agencies.

Scholars continue to debate the psychological and sociological origins of conspiracy theories, but there is no arguing that these theories have seen a revival on the extreme right in recent years. Over the last two decades, a far-right conspiracy culture of self-proclaimed "Patriots" has emerged in which the United States government itself is viewed as a mortal threat to everything from constitutional democracy to the survival of the human race. This conspiracy revival — which has been accompanied by the explosive growth of Patriot groups over the last year and a half — kicked into overdrive with the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, who is seen by Patriots as a foreign-born Manchurian candidate sent by forces of the so-called "New World Order" to destroy American sovereignty and institute one-world socialist government.

Since Obama's election, the constituent theories within the overarching narrative of the New World Order have increasingly made inroads into the mainstream national discourse. Thanks to conservative cable news hosts like Glenn Beck (of Fox News) and Lou Dobbs (formerly of CNN), conspiratorial rants about FEMA concentration camps and the "North American Union" have been beamed directly into the living rooms of millions of Americans. Websites popular with Tea Party conservatives, meanwhile, have further stoked fears of a socialistic one-world government takeover by "un-American" forces. Joseph Farah's WorldNetDaily.com, for example, has grown its influence by peddling paranoia about the president's birth certificate and AmeriCorps' "domestic armies." Earlier this year, the John Birch Society, a group with a long history of hatching and promoting wild conspiracy theories (including the idea that President Eisenhower was a communist agent), co-sponsored the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual powwow of leading conservatives and Republican Party figures. Speakers at this year's conference included such mainstream names as Washington Post columnist George Will, former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner. 

Here is a compilation of 10 of the most popular conspiracy theories currently circulating on the radical right and, increasingly, on points of the political spectrum much too close to the center for comfort. 

01 Chemtrails
In the world of Patriot antigovernment paranoia, New World Order forces attempt to manipulate and control the unwitting population from every conceivable source and direction — from the images on your television screen to the very water that comes out of your kitchen tap. In recent years, the New World Order has been meddling most nefariously from above, high among the clouds.

Few Internet-age antigovernment conspiracies have spread as quickly or as widely as the idea of "chemtrails": the belief that air and water vapor contrails that form in the wake of high-altitude aircraft are really clouds of toxic soup being deliberately sprayed by hundreds, if not thousands, of secret government planes executing the designs of the New World Order. What is the insidious purpose of the chemtrails program? It depends which paranoid Patriot you ask. The most popular theories include population control, weather manipulation, and outright human extermination. If, as some cultural historians suggest, the UFO sightings of the 1940s and 50s were the skyward projection of early atomic-age fears, chemtrails are the climate-change-age corollary, with cultural panic over pollution and strange weather mixing with deeper traditions of Patriot antigovernment animus.

Hundreds of websites currently peddle chemtrails theories, along with books, DVDs and all manner of survivalist gear. They maintain that toxic clouds in the sky are easily distinguished from normal contrails by their longer duration and expansive dissipation patterns. Most of the spraying is believed to take place at night over the population centers of the NATO countries, especially the United States.

Who, exactly, is responsible for the program? There are conflicting schools of thought here as well. But among Patriot groups it is generally agreed that some alignment of New World Order lords — sometimes referred to as the Illuminati — is busy spraying cities and towns with pathogens. In the grimmest of the scenarios, the spraying represents the first of a two-stage depopulation program. Stage one involves spreading pathogens to weaken humanity's collective immune system; once general T-cell weakness is attained, goes the theory, we can expect aerial dispersal of smallpox or anthrax to finish us off.

Fear over chemtrails long ago spread beyond the Patriot fringe. Twenty years ago, the buzz surrounding chemtrails had grown to the extent that the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration felt compelled to issue a joint "Aircraft Contrails Factsheet." The six-page illustrated report patiently explained the science of contrails, such as the role humidity plays in the variance between how long contrails linger and spread, sometimes forming cirrus cloud cover, and pointed out that they have zero impact on human health.

But as these things go, official efforts to confront the conspiracy only fueled its growth. It is today bigger than ever, commanding adherents across the globe.

02 Martial Law
If Patriot groups fear anything more than the water vapor in the sky, it is the imminent imposition of martial law. A longstanding and central plank of the Patriot catechism is the belief that one day — very soon! — federal forces, in league with the states, will suspend constitutional government and institute a police state. 

During the first few years after the 9/11 attacks, this fear was also discussed on the left. But what was a temporary concern there has long been an absolute certainty on the far right. Today, hundreds of Patriot groups around the country are actively preparing for the declaration of martial law, some of them by mapping wilderness areas, learning how to set booby traps, studying and practicing guerrilla warfare tactics, and setting up short-wave radio communications systems. The question is not if, but when, the New World Order will come crashing down.

Patriot groups believe the legal groundwork for the inevitable imposition of martial law is being laid in Washington, within the pages of a steady stream of classified National Security documents and directives. At the local level, meanwhile, they suspect town and city governments are also in on the plan, as evidenced by their passing of emergency powers ordinances.

Once the legal mechanisms are in place, all that's needed is a "crisis trigger," for which Patriots are constantly on the lookout. Whether this trigger is real or manufactured matters less than the fact that it will succeed in frightening the population into submission and be used to justify suspension of the Constitution. This crisis trigger could take any form. Common scenarios suggested on Patriot discussion boards include economic collapse, followed by massive social unrest; a global (and likely government-created) pandemic; multiple acts of mega-terrorism (again, featuring government collusion); or possibly a fraudulent presidential election, resulting in rioting in major cities around the country.

Patriot groups often refer to the unelected junta that will rule the coming police state as a "metropolitan government." This language, like the martial law scenario, has a long pedigree. As Patriot/survivalist Don Harkin explains in the Idaho Observer, a conspiracy rag popular among militia groups: "Metropolitan government was exposed in the late 1950s by Jo Hindman. … [Today] this unconstitutional form of government is being implemented all over the country — particularly in the nation's more densely populated areas such as Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle."

Once the "metropolitan government" is instituted, most Patriots are certain they will immediately be rounded up and sent to internment camps — which takes us to our next conspiracy. 

03 FEMA Concentration Camps
Following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Domestic Terrorism held hearings on the Patriot/militia subculture that bred and nurtured the bombers. Throughout the hearings, a running theme expressed by Patriots was a fear that "urban gangs," directed by Washington and possibly acting in concert with U.N. and foreign troops, would sweep in from the coasts, confiscate their guns, and round them up. This home-invasion force would hold down the streets during the imposition of martial law, then send the members of Patriot militias to internment camps run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which most Patriot groups consider to be "the executive arm of the coming police state."

This conspiracy has recently surged in popularity, especially after the Senate in March 2009 passed the Serve America Act, the meat of which was a multi-billion-dollar expansion of AmeriCorps, a federal program that employs many inner-city youths in community service jobs. For the Patriot fringe (and media enablers like Glenn Beck), the thought of billions of dollars going to employ inner-city youth evoked images of "domestic armies." Soon, the far-right media was full of warnings about "Obama's brown shirts" and "slavery."

The renewed chatter about "FEMA concentration camps" took many forms. Glenn Beck promised to "look into it." Films such as "Camp FEMA: American Lockdown," featuring conspiracy-monger Alex Jones, have been wildly popular on conspiracy-driven websites like martiallawsurvival.com, outselling all previous conspiracy-driven pseudo-documentaries. Aerial photographs, each supposedly showing secret government holding facilities, went viral on the Web.

Of course, the photos showed nothing of the sort. A careful review of some of the photographs carried out by Popular Mechanics editor James Meigs made clear that the visual "evidence" was bogus in every instance. For example, a photograph of an alleged secret prison was actually a North Korean work camp. Other photographs showed nothing more sinister than well-known National Guard training centers and Amtrak rail yards.

Just as the agencies responsible for air travel and air quality have tried to respond to the chemtrails conspiracy allegations, so, too, has FEMA gone on record reassuring Americans that it has no intention of abrogating the Constitution or rounding up citizens. An internal FEMA memo, however, made clear that agency brass understands the losing-battle nature of trying to quell the conspiracies. "Most people know us as the agency that responds to natural disasters," the memo read. "Others believe we have a somewhat sinister role. For the latter, it is not realistic to think that we can convince them otherwise and it is advisable not to enter into debate on the subject."

04 Foreign Troops on U.S. Soil
While "urban gangs" are considered a leading candidate to enforce a New World Order (NWO) lockdown, they are not the only threatening force clouding the Patriot mind. There is also a belief on the radical right that treasonous government officials are colluding with other governments to suppress Americans with the use of foreign troops. Patriots believe this foreign assistance will be necessary due to the patriotism of America's own troops. As explained on the Patriot website libertyforlife.com, many U.S. active military personnel and veterans would likely refuse orders to suppress the rights of their fellow citizens, and so "the US/NWO/UN government is importing foreign troops into the USA to do what US soldiers did to Iraq." Among the many Patriot groups dedicated to resisting this is the Oath Keepers, made up of veteran and active-duty U.S. military personnel.

Whose troops, exactly, would be deployed here? Those of whichever allies the U.S. is partnering with at any given moment. For example, Patriot sites were atwitter with news that, in July 2009, FEMA organized a terrorist-response exercise in conjunction with troops from 14 allied countries, including Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

After the 2009 exercise, the Web burst with YouTube clips attempting to alert people to the sinister presence of foreign troops. Like other popular conspiracies to see a revival in recent years, this one is hardly new. In 1997, one Patriot blogger warned that Red Chinese troops would be allowed to take over America. The fevered language of this Clinton-era theorist nicely captures the frantic energy that has always defined Patriot conspiracy culture, as well as the racial dimension never far from the surface of so many conspiracies:

"During the 1950's, the elitists planning for world government made plans to use occupation forces in every country that did not submit to their greedy, arrogant ambitions. Their plan called for using Chinese troops in America… . Now that American soldiers have been used in Kuwait, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo, a precedent has been set to bring the red Chinese troops here. The UN could justify such an action if the Black Muslims instigate a race war. I expect this scenario if the Democrats loose [sic] the White House and Congress in the 2000 elections. Comrade Clinton could not be slicker in making himself Commandant of Gulag America."

05 'Door-to-Door' Gun Confiscations
One of the defining features of Patriot/militia subculture is an obsession with firearms. Patriot groups stockpile them, train using them, and, perhaps most of all, worry about losing them. Any attempt to restrain their gun rights is viewed as the thin-edge-wedge of a New World Order crackdown. Patriots believe it inevitable that NWO forces in black masks and jackboots — and possibly UN blue helmets — will one day be sent door to door to take away their weapons by force. This fear is also stoked by mainstream figures within the conservative movement. Wayne LaPierre, the president of the National Rifle Association, a major player in the Republican Party coalition, is the author of a book entitled, The Global War on Your Guns: Inside the UN Plan To Destroy the Bill of Rights. In 2006, Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter attached an amendment to a domestic-security spending bill that prohibited the confiscation of legally owned guns during an emergency. The measure passed by a vote of 84-16.

Within Patriot subculture, the gun-confiscation fear sometimes dovetails with other conspiracies of an anti-Semitic flavor. Proponents of gun control in these instances are seen as representing a New World Order cabal run by Jews. At the website Real Zionist News, for example, a New York State gun control law aimed at protecting police officers was described as "the first step toward confiscation." According to the site, "The real agenda is to disarm law-abiding GENTILES, whom Zionist Jews fear will soon discover Jewry's anti-American, freedom-hating mission." 

06 9/11 as Government Plot
The Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., were seen by both the far left and far right as fitting the bill for an intentional "crisis trigger." In the weeks and months after the attacks, a subculture of "9/11 Truthism" emerged in which the attacks were seen as anything but a simple case of well-trained Al Qaeda operatives flying planes into landmark buildings. Instead, "truthers" argued that the World Trade Center buildings were destroyed by controlled demolitions, that a missile brought down United Airlines 93, and that a missile — and not an airliner at all — struck the Pentagon. Who was responsible? The U.S. government, of course. On the far left, the reason seen for attacking the American people was to justify a perpetual state of war; on the far right, it provided an excuse for the government to, at long last, institute a police state.

On both extremes, a distinct current of anti-Semitism runs through 9/11 conspiracies. Especially in the right-wing variants associated with Patriot groups — and in a number of radical-right black separatist group as well — the central agents are often very pointedly described as either high officials of Jewish descent or outright Israeli agents. Another feature of anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracies is the popular claim that 4,000 Israelis and Jews did not show up for work at the World Trade Center on the morning of the attacks. The origins of that conspiracy theory appear to have come from a statement by the Israeli Foreign Ministry that some "4,000 Israelis" were in the New York and Washington areas the day of the attacks. Here again, we see how a misread or misconstrued fact can be distorted through paranoia and multiplied by the power of the Internet, allowing totally unfounded rumors to travel the globe at warp speed. 

For many Patriot groups dedicated to the fight against the New World Order — often referred to as "American Revolution II" — the American people have been denied the truth about the 2001 attacks by "the New World Order-controlled corporatist-Jewish media."

Of course, when this media does mention 9/11 truther claims, this, too, is seen as evidence of a conspiracy within a conspiracy. For example, when former White House official Van Jones was found to have signed a petition calling for an investigation into truther-related allegations, Patriots saw the subsequent media attention as a ruse. "Our patriot movements are totally being hijacked," said Jeffrey Grupp of the popular conspiracy website AntiMatterRadio.com, "not by infiltrators, but by a takeover of our patriot discussions." 

That's typical of most conspiracies in the Patriot pantheon: When the mainstream media does not address the conspiracists' allegations, it is proof of their propaganda role. And when they do, it is a sign of an even more sophisticated and perfidious manipulation. 

07 Population Control  
For the conspiracy-minded, there is no such thing as an accidental tragedy or historical caprice. Each epidemic, mass industrial poisoning and medical advance (vaccinations, in particular) is just another highly suspicious example of the latest technologies being employed to further the agenda of hidden New World Order forces.

When the fluoridation of the U.S. water supply began in the middle of the last century, proto-Patriot groups screamed of a poisonous plot by communists in high places. A half century later, when the Food and Drug Administration approved aspartame as an ingredient in numerous food items, the descendents of the anti-fluoride conspiracists sounded yet another poison-ingredient alarm. But even aspartame paled in comparison to the threat supposedly posed by the avian flu virus, which many Patriots, from the late 1990s to the present, believe to be the result of research conducted at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Maryland's Fort Detrick.

In the Patriot mind, population control is often intimately linked to gun rights. After all, they say, it was gun control that led to large-scale slaughters in nations as diverse at Idi Amin's Uganda, Josef Stalin's Russia, Adolf Hitler's Germany and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's Turkey. American citizens, they believe, once deprived of their guns, will be next in line for a slaughter worthy of the history books.

What is the point of limiting — or even intentionally decimating — the U.S. population? One Patriot theory says the United Nations wants to create a "biosphere" out of most of the United States, and that eliminating the humans who put pressure on the environment will be a necessary first step. 

Increasingly, devastating weather events are considered the result of government-engineered efforts to depopulate the country. In Patriot circles, Hurricane Katrina was not only seen as a pretext to begin confiscating guns, but is sometimes viewed as a man-made disaster orchestrated in secret government command centers where sophisticated high-altitude weapons control both the weather and the minds of men.

Chief among these weapons is one allegedly operating high above the earth, appropriately enough named after the instrument traditionally favored by mythological angels. 

This is the "Death Star" of the Patriot conspiracy galaxy, around which so many other conspiracies orbit and often intersect.

According to the U.S. government, the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program is a joint scientific research project of the Air Force and Navy, based in Gakona, Ala., whose stated purpose is "studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere, with particular emphasis on being able to understand and use it to enhance communications and surveillance systems for both civilian and defense purposes."

Few true-blue Patriots believe that — and they aren't alone in their skepticism. Earlier this year, former Minnesota governor and tele-conspiracist Jesse Ventura visited the HAARP site for his TV show in an attempt to probe the official claims and find out "what's really going on." For those enthralled to a Patriot view of the world, the government's description of HAARP only scratches the surface. To the conspiracy-minded, HAARP is a government program tasked with creating secret directed-energy weapons, instruments for weather and mind control, and even potent new methods to cause earthquakes. Predictably, after January's devastating earthquake in Haiti, some Patriot sites noted that the neighboring Dominican Republic was undamaged, leading them to speculate that the U.S. government was responsible and had targeted Haiti alone — ignoring the more relevant explanation that the Republic's capital and major population center, Santo Domingo, was 160 miles from the quake's epicenter.

Discussions of HAARP often overlap with the chemtrails conspiracy. Many Patriot sites argue that NATO aircraft are spraying the toxic soup as part of a top-secret HAARP-related weather-modification program, or are refining a new-generation of high-frequency atmospheric weapons developed at the HAARP research center. Any number of wild-eyed (and self-published) introductions to the subject of HAARP are circulating on the web; one example is HAARP: The Ultimate Weapon of the Conspiracy, by Jerry E. Smith.

09 The Federal Reserve Conspiracy
It wasn't long after its creation under Woodrow Wilson that the Federal Reserve System became a central fixture in the world of right-wing conspiracy. It was seen, rightly, as introducing European-style central banking into the United States. It was also seen, this time wrongly, as the latest form of spreading Jewish and banker control over every aspect of American life. No one did more to promote anti-Fed hysteria in the early years than automobile magnate Henry Ford, who in the 1920s penned a multi-volume, anti-Semitic conspiracy opus called The International Jew, in which the Fed plays a starring role.

Ford's modern-day ideological descendants in the Patriot movement continue to view the Fed — without question, an opaque institution to most — through a lens colored by deep suspicion, paranoia, and hatred. For many, it remains the ultimate symbol of New Word Order power, in both Jewish and non-Jewish variants. Nor is anti-Fed paranoia limited to the Patriot fringe. Both the Idaho-based neo-Nazi group Aryan Nations and the black separatist Nation of Islam have claimed significance for the fact that the Federal Reserve System and the Anti-Defamation League both were founded in 1913.

In May 2009, a group of leading radical rightists convened on the South Georgia key known as Jekyll Island, where 100 years earlier bankers and government officials first hashed out plans for what became the Federal Reserve System. This meeting played a key role in launching the current resurgence of militias. Less than five months into the Obama Administration, the Jekyll Island conclave warned of "increasing national instability," worried about the coming New World Order, denounced secret schemes to merge Canada, Mexico and the United States, and furiously attacked the President Barack Obama's "socialized" policies.

Which leads, appropriately, to our final top conspiracy.

10 The North American Union 
Since the passage of NAFTA in 1993, fears of economic dislocation and loss of sovereignty have animated both sides of the political spectrum. On the left, these fears are centered on the growth of transnational corporate power at the expense of U.S. labor and national policy. In some circles on the right, the trade bill is seen as the beginning of the so-called "North American Union" (NAU), the goal of a secret plan to merge the United States with Mexico and Canada and, in the process, eliminate sovereign government for each country. It is also a dominant conspiracy theory animating the hard-line anti-immigration movement, which overlaps heavily with Patriot territory.

As proof of the NAU plot, left- and right-wing conspiracy theorists typically point to the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), a series of working groups between the countries of North America to study regulatory cooperation in transportation, energy, aviation, the environment and more. To many adherents, participants at these meetings plot how best to send millions of Mexico's citizens to the United States, erect international courts designed to overrule and undermine American law, and pass continental hate crime laws that will send anti-gay Christian preachers to prison, and more.

In recent years, the paranoia about the SPP process has become so intense that a proposed highway project linking Canada, Mexico and the United States — the NAFTA-inspired Canamex Corridor concept which has managed only 85% completion after 15 years of planning — is seen as part of an evil design that will end with the Mexican government seizing control of Kansas City's Missouri River port. Other conspiracy theorists fear that a new currency, the "Amero," will displace American dollars — though no U.S. official of even marginal influence has ever proposed such a thing. (This last fear is odd coming from Patriot circles that otherwise have no love for Federal Reserve-issued greenbacks.) 

As with so many conspiracies, the NAU plot is often inflamed by real news items that are seen as vastly more significant than they really are. This is especially true when the news items involve traditional New World Order bogeymen. In 2005, for example, when the Council on Foreign Relations released a document entitled "Building a North American Community" — calling for exploring the idea of further integration of Canada, the United States and Mexico — Patriot sites responded as if the report were a New World Order directive, spelling the imminent end of national sovereignty. 

Alexander Zaitchik is a former Intelligence Report staff writer and free-lance journalist based in New York. His first book, Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance, has just been published by John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:29 PM PDT
Monday, 16 August 2010
USA (America) is rotting (right now)
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: 18 Signs That America Is Rotting Right In Front Of Our Eyes


18 Signs That America Is Rotting Right In Front Of Our Eyes
Published on 08-17-2010

By Michael Snyder - BLN Contributing Writer

Sometimes it isn’t necessary to quote facts and figures about government debt, unemployment and the trade deficit in order to convey how badly America is decaying.  The truth is that millions of Americans can watch America rotting right in front of their eyes by stepping out on their front porches.  Record numbers of homes have been foreclosed on and in some of the most run down cities as many as a third of all houses have been abandoned.  Unemployment remains at depressingly high levels and the number of Americans on food stamps continues to set new records month after month.  Due to severe budget cuts, class sizes are exploding and school programs are being eliminated.  In some areas of the U.S. schools are even going to four day weeks.  With little to no funding available, bridges are crumbling and street lights are being turned off in many communities.  In some areas, asphalt roads are actually being ground up and turned back into gravel roads because they are less expensive to maintain.  There aren’t even as many police available to patrol America’s decaying cities because budget problems have forced local communities across the U.S. to lay off tens of thousands of officers.

Once upon a time, the American people worked feverishly to construct beautiful, shining communities from coast to coast.  But now we get to watch those communities literally crumble and decay in slow motion.  Nothing lasts forever, but for those of us who truly love America it is an incredibly sad thing to witness what is now happening to the great nation that our forefathers built.

The following are 18 signs that America is rotting right in front of our eyes….

1 – Due to extreme budget cuts, school systems across the United States are requiring their students to bring more supplies with them than ever this year.  In Moody, Alabama elementary school students are being told to bring paper towels, garbage bags and liquid soap with them to school.  At Pauoa Elementary School in Honolulu, Hawaii all students are being required to show up with a four-pack of toilet paper.

2 – According to the American Association of School Administrators, 48 percent of all U.S. school districts are reporting budget cuts of 10 percent or less for the upcoming school year, and 30 percent of all U.S. school districts are reporting cuts of 11 to 25 percent.

3 – In Chicago, drastic budget cuts could result in an average class size of 37 students

4 – The governor of Hawaii has completely shut down that state’s schools on Fridays - moving teachers and students to a four day week.

5 – According to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately a third of America’s major roadways are already in substandard condition.

6 – All over the United States, asphalt roads are being ground up and are being replaced with gravel because it is cheaper to maintain.  The state of South Dakota has transformed over 100 miles of asphalt road into gravel over the past year, and 38 out of the 83 counties in the state of Michigan have now turned some of their asphalt roads into gravel roads.

7 – According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 25 percent of America’s nearly 600,000 bridges need significant repairs or are burdened with more traffic than they were designed to carry.

8 – In a desperate attempt to save money, the city of Colorado Springs turned off a third of its streetlights and put its police helicopters up for auction.

9 – The state of Arizona has eliminated funding for full-day kindergarten and has shut down a number of state parks.

10 – Over the past year, approximately 100 of New York’s state parks and historic sites have had to cut services and reduce hours.

11 - In Georgia, the county of Clayton recently eliminated its entire public bus system in order to save 8 million dollars.

12 – Elsewhere in Georgia, 30,000 people recently turned out to pick up only 13,000 applications for government-subsidized housing.   A near-riot ensued and 62 people were left injured.  The amazing thing is that all of this commotion was just to get on a waiting list.  There are no aid vouchers even available at this time.

13- In the city of Philadelphia, rolling fire station “brown outs” recently cost a 12 year old autistic boy named Frank Marasco his life.

14- Oakland, California Police Chief Anthony Batts says that due to severe budget cuts there are a number of crimes that his department will simply not be able to respond to any longer.  The crimes that the Oakland police will no longer be responding to include grand theft, burglary, car wrecks, identity theft and vandalism.

15- The sheriff’s department in Ashtabula County, Ohio has been slashed from 112 to 49 deputies, and there is now just one vehicle remaining to patrol all 720 square miles of the county.

16 – Of 315 municipalities the New Jersey State Policemen’s union recently canvassed, more than half indicated that they were planning to lay off police officers.

17 – Not that the criminals are doing that much better.  Things have gotten so bad in Camden, New Jersey that not even the drug dealers are spending their money anymore.

18 – Almost everyone knows someone who has been severely impacted by this economic downturn.  A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey has found that 81 percent of American adults know someone who is out of work and looking for a job.

So can’t the states just step up and start spending more money and fix these things? 

Well, no.  The truth is that the states are absolutely broke.  Quite a few of the states are actually on the verge of default, and there is no getting around the fact that budget cuts that are much more severe are going to be required in the years ahead. 

So can’t the U.S. government step in and bail out the states?  

Well, yes, but as we have detailed previously, the U.S. government is literally drowning in a sea of red ink.  The U.S. government is already spending an amount of money equivalent to approximately 25.4 percent of GDP this year.

How much more money can the U.S. government possibly spend?

To get an idea of just how bad things are already, the IMF says that in order to fix the U.S. government budget deficit, taxes need to be doubled on every single U.S. citizen.

Are you ready to pay double the taxes?

No matter how you slice it, the U.S. is in a massive amount of financial trouble and the American people are starting to realize this fact.  In fact, one new poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that the U.S. economy will get worse before it gets better.

But unfortunately things are not going to get “better” – at least in the long-term.  The decay and the rot that have already set in are only going to get worse. 

These problems did not appear overnight and they are not going to be solved overnight.  Our leaders have been making very bad decisions for decades, and all of those bad decisions are starting to catch up with us.

But perhaps you disagree.  Feel free to tell us what you think in the comments section below….

Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PDT
This is backward thinking (Pro capitalist rip-off) disinformation / Spin / Bullshit and Deception
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: Screw this concept! To hell with oil! Tax em and then lets all stop using. More Media Lies & Spin!
Topic: MEDIA

August 12, 2010http://detnews.com/article/20100812/OPINION01/8120340

Gary Wolfram: Oil tax will hurt national economy



There should be no doubt that our nation's flagging economic recovery has been disappointing.

Nationally, unemployment was supposed to be held to less than 8 percent by the stimulus bill, but a year and a half after the measure's passage, joblessness is above 9.5 percent. Michigan's unemployment rate is at 13.2 percent, with a loss of 400,000 jobs since the beginning of 2008.

So it would make little sense to address the unemployment problem by increasing the cost of producing many of our goods and services. Yet that would be the effect of the Obama administration's proposed $80 billion tax increase on the oil and natural gas industry over the next decade.

Elementary economics tells us that if the marginal cost of production is increased, supply is reduced, resulting in decreased output and higher prices. In this case, the tax increases will result in less oil production in the United States, and increased costs of shipping and transporting oil from other countries. An additional $80 billion in taxes on oil and gas must result in an increase in the price of oil and gas, along with reduced employment in the industry and also in ancillary industries.

Despite the very large incentives that taxpayers have given to renewable resources, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that four-fifths of our energy needs will come from fossil fuels in 2030. It clearly is not possible that the reduced employment in the oil and gas industry can even in small part be made up by increased employment in such areas as wind turbines and solar photovoltaics.

This, however, is but the tip of the iceberg. Since oil is an input into the production of such disparate industries as fertilizer, plastic syringes, synthetic fibers, and detergents, there will be an increased cost in the production of these goods, resulting in a reduction in employment in each of these industries. In addition, the cost of delivering the mail, flowers, packages, packaged goods -- everything that is shipped by road or by rail, will also increase, affecting employment.

The 19th-century political economist, Fredric Bastiat wrote that the difference between a good economist and a bad economist is that the bad economist sees the "seen," but the good economist sees the "unforeseen."

In other words, the good economist is aware of the unintended consequences of a policy action.

If we follow the unintended consequences of this tax further we notice that millions of Americans own stock in oil companies directly through 410(k)s, or because they are owners of mutual funds that own oil company stocks, or indirectly through the ownership of these stocks by their pension funds. These Americans will all see a decline in their wealth as the return to holding oil company stocks falls.

But the consequences do not stop there.

Suppose your pension fund holds stock in FedEx. The increase in the price of oil due to the tax will increase the price of gasoline and jet fuel, driving up costs of FedEx, reducing its earnings, lowering the value of the stock, and reducing the assets of your pension fund. It is important that Congress understands that voting for this tax is a vote for the unintended consequences of the tax as well.

We should also understand that companies in the oil and gas industry already pay about half of their earnings in taxes, nearly double the tax rate of the rest of the Standard and Poor's Industrials -- 48 percent to 28 percent.

So, rather than equalizing the tax burden across industries as some have claimed, the oil tax would further exacerbate the tax differential that already exists.

In the Sherlock Holmes story, "A Scandal in Bohemia," Sherlock admonishes Watson: "The problem with you Watson is you see but you do not observe."

Whether Congress enacts a tax on oil and gas production depends upon whether your congressmen and senators follow Holmes's advice or act like Watson. Those who think they are merely taxing oil companies are like Watson -- failing to observe that the jobs of many Michigan workers will be sacrificed though the unintended consequences of their actions.

Gary Wolfram is the William Simon Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Hillsdale College. E-mail comments to letters@detnews.com">letters@detnews.com.

© Copyright 2010 The Detroit News. All rights reserved.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PDT

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