A top military official who heads the Defense Intelligence Agency told journalists at the Aspen Security Forum last week that the United States is no safer than it was before the World Trade Center attacks that set the Nation’s perpetual war machine into motion. In fact, the Nation is likely far less safe than it was in 2001.
“We have a whole gang of new actors out there that are far more extreme than al-Qaida,” Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
Of course, Flynn’s remarks certainly don’t come as a surprise to anyone paying attention to the current state of global affairs.
Hawks intent on keeping U.S. military action alive in the Mideast have commonly argued that the U.S. must fight them (whoever they are) over there (wherever that is) to prevent bloodshed in the homeland. Other times, those hawks have warned Americans of depraved despots in possession of dangerous weapons.
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In the past decade, the wealth of the median household in the United States has dropped by an average of one-third, according to a recent study published by the Russell Sage Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit research organization.
The group concluded that the median worth of American households has declined from a high of $98,972 in 2007 to $56,335 in 2013. For the 10-year period between 2003 and 2013, that figure dropped from $87,992 to $56,335 — about a one-third decrease.
The brunt of the loss has occurred since 2007, and it’s hit the bottom economic demographic the hardest.
From the study summary:
Through at least 2013, there are very few signs of significant recovery from the losses in wealth experienced by American families during the Great Recession. Declines in net worth from 2007 to 2009 were large, and the declines continued through 2013. These wealth losses, however, were not distributed equally. While large absolute amounts of wealth were destroyed at the top of the wealth distribution, households at the bottom of the wealth distribution lost the largest share of their total wealth.
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David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star
The post Amotivational Congress appeared first on Personal Liberty.
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans took advantage of his time before the city’s public radio audience last week to explain his support for a State legislative measure that would allow local police to decide who can or cannot be licensed to own long guns. As his quoted remarks make clear, it all boils down to a simple feature: control.
The Democratic-tilted State Senate voted 28-10 last week to strip language in a gun bill already approved by the House that would have granted local police forces the discretionary power to determine who can obtain long guns. It’s a power local police already have over those who choose to inform the State of their desire to obtain a handgun.
Police issue firearms identification cards (FIDs) to people who’ve passed a background check. In the case of handguns, Massachusetts law currently allows local police to deny a carry permit to someone who’s been issued an FID — if the police indicate a concern for how that person might use the gun. The Senate rejected a provision that would have included long guns in the police dragnet.
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Did you know that 77 million Americans have unpaid debts that are “in collections” and that Congress is actually thinking about letting post offices offer payday loans? We live in a country where almost everyone is drowning in debt and where most people are either flat broke or very close to flat broke. Years ago, “your Mama is so broke” jokes were all the rage, and at the rate we are going they could make a big comeback. Some of my favorites were “your Mama is so broke she went to McDonald’s and put a milkshake on layaway” and “your Mama is so broke your family ate cereal with a fork to save milk”. Unfortunately, the facts that I am about to share with you are not funny at all. In fact, they are quite sobering. Yes, things are going fairly well for the elitists that live in the good areas of New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco right now, but most of the country is deeply struggling as our economic fundamentals continue to crumble. Please share these numbers with as many people as you can, because we need people to understand that there has not been an “economic recovery” for most of America. In fact, in many ways things just continue to get even worse. The following are 21 ways to end the phrase “Americans are so broke”…
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““You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest started talking to reporters about the possibility that the Republican-majority House of Representatives would get serious about bringing articles of impeachment against President Barack Obama.
That same weekend, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched an email-based fundraising blitz, sending out eleven iterations of messages to donors all based on one central theme: rallying against the GOP’s impeachment threat.
The timing was serendipitous, and the alarmist effort reportedly has been more successful than the DCCC’s other moneymaking tactics so far in this midterm election cycle.
ABC News’ Jonathan Karl followed up on that coincidence Tuesday, asking Earnest whether he had coordinated with the White House to make sure the words he spoke in his official capacity on Friday would serve the party’s fundraising efforts.
Earnest had a hard time with the question, telling Karl he hadn’t collaborated with the DCCC to craft a partisan message – at least “not that I’m aware of.”
“You mean you don’t know if you’ve coordinated, or if you didn’t?” Karl pressed. “…Within hours [of your comments] the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is putting out fundraising emails quoting what you said – with a red alert: the White House says impeachment’s a real possibility…”
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Never before have we seen so much death along the west coast of North America. Massive numbers of sea stars, bluefin tuna, sardines, anchovies, herring, oysters, salmon, marine mammals and marine birds are dying, and experts are puzzled. We are being told that we could even see “local extinctions” of some of these sea creatures. So are all of these deaths related? If so, what in the world could be causing this to happen? What has changed so dramatically that it would cause massive numbers of sea creatures to die along the west coast?
The following are 15 examples of this phenomenon. Most scientists do not believe that these incidents are related. But when you put them all together, it paints quite a disturbing picture…
#1 A “mystery plague” is turning sea stars all along the west coast of the United States and Canada into piles of goo…
Sea stars, commonly referred to as starfish, have been dying off in alarming numbers along the entire West Coast, from Baja, Mexico, to Alaska. According to reports from the Seattle Aquarium, some parts of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands have seen population declines of up to 80 percent.
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A Democrat-led attempt to weave anthropogenic climate change into the political backdrop for future Congressional legislation failed to achieve a vote Monday, after Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) blocked the measure.
Inhofe objected to the resolution, which – according to the Democratic Senate web page – expresses “the sense of the Senate regarding global climate change.”
That sense, of course, is that climate change poses a risk to the Nation. “All we wanted to say in this resolution is climate change is happening,” said Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) “We can’t afford to sit around here debating whether climate change is real.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who submitted the resolution, said the goal was to establish a common assumption about the reality and the effects of global warming, from which the Senate could proceed as it takes up future climate change-related measures. “We know we have a problem,” said Klobuchar.
But Inhofe, who has a history of questioning the policy significance of climate change, maintained that “we” do not know that we have a problem, and that there’s not as much global political consensus on the matter as the measure’s supporters wanted to reach in the Senate.
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U.S. Border Patrol officials recently detained and allegedly pulled a weapon on a busload of minors at the Nation’s border. Unfortunately, the bus wasn’t full of illegal aliens from the south sneaking into the country but a group of Iowa Boy Scouts en route to Alaska via the northern U.S. border with Canada.
According to Boy Scout Troop 111 Leader Jim Fox, the incident occurred when one of the scouts photographed a border official as the youngsters made their way across the border. The Federal employee promptly freaked out and claimed that it is a Federal offense to photograph a Federal agent, the scout leader said.
For the record, it certainly is not.
“The agent immediately confiscated his camera, informed him he would be arrested, fined possibly $10,000 and 10 years in prison,” Fox said.
Fox told local reporters that he didn’t want the situation to escalate and that he and the scouts complied with the official’s demands without protest.
As a search of the scouts’ van ensued, a border agent allegedly became spooked by the actions of one of the uniformed scouts and pulled his weapon.
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What on Earth is so wrong with the mainstream media in the United States that it can somehow find “equivalency” between the terroristic assaults Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip have ordered against Israel and what that beleaguered country is doing to defend itself?
And in many cases, the hand-wringing, condescending blowhards in our media don’t just blame both sides equally. No, they’ve somehow decided that Israel is the real culprit in the case.
But it is not Israel that is using its civilians, including children, as a human shield for waging war. It is not Israel that has hidden its rockets and mortars in schools, hospitals and civilian homes — and then ordered civilians not to leave the area.
It is not Israel that uses ambulances to disguise its armed combatants, as it moves them from place to place.
It is not Israel that has built dozens of tunnels under the border between the two areas and that uses them to transport weapons of war. Israeli forces have even captured Hamas infiltrators emerging from a tunnel carrying tranquilizers and handcuffs. Apparently, they were hoping to kidnap some Israeli civilians or soldiers, so they could demand another prisoner exchange. (Back in 2011, Israel agreed to trade 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who had been kidnapped by Hamas.)
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In another indication that Hillary Clinton is laying the groundwork for a 2016 Presidential run, the former first lady made an affirmative connection with the Administration of President George W. Bush Sunday — further distancing herself, in the process, from the festering public perception of fellow Democrat, former employer and current President Barack Obama.
Appearing on CNN, Clinton insinuated she doesn’t think much of the way Obama advocates his idea of American exceptionalism to the rest of the world, telling Fareed Zakaria that American ideals, under Obama, are being “taken for granted.”
Democracy has triumphed. This is the end of history. That was so short-sighted. And now we are in this period where we have to go back out and sell ourselves. It’s not to be taken for granted. What do we stand for and how do we intend to lead and manage? How do we try to enlist the rest of the world in this struggle between cooperation and order and conflict and disorder, which is really at the root of so much that’s going on today. And I don’t think we’ve done a very good job of that.
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A group of U.S. policy professors wrote an opinion piece that appeared Sunday in USA Today, taking on Silicon Valley’s corporate leadership for propagating the false argument that America needs more liberal immigration laws to supplement a severely understaffed tech-sector economy.
The group, which includes economics, public policy, computer science and planning professors from major U.S. universities, challenged the claims of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and even President Barack Obama — all of whom have justified the need to relax immigration standards by outlining the dearth of homegrown workers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector.
“This claim is echoed by everyone from President Obama and Rupert Murdoch to Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates,” the professors wrote. “Yet within the past month, two odd things occurred: Census reported that only one in four STEM degree holders is in a STEM job, and Microsoft announced plans to downsize its workforce by 18,000 jobs.”
That observation makes for a logical, if anecdotal, counterargument to the likes of Zuckerberg and Obama. But the authors press further, offering a step-by-step deconstruction of the Silicon Valley position — one that is now pressuring Congress and the White House to expand the guest worker and green card programs for STEM-qualified foreign nationals.
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President Barack Obama could find himself in trouble if he attempts to make unilateral changes to the Nation’s immigration policy, as new polling data shows that a hefty majority of Americans disagree with the Administration on the issue.
According to the numbers out in an Economist/YouGov.com survey, 81 percent of Americans believe that the unaccompanied children flowing across the southern border are a matter of serious concern to the Nation.
Fifty-seven percent of those polled said that they believe the current immigration crisis has resulted from U.S. policies that perpetuate the belief that the Nation’s government “is or will be granting amnesty to undocumented illegal immigrant children.” Just 29 percent attributed the immigration surge to increased South and Central American violence.
Only 11 percent support allowing the illegal immigrants to remain in the country, and fewer (10 percent) believe that the U.S. should drop them off in Mexico. Thirty-five percent said that government should work to return the young immigrants to their home countries if conditions are safe, compared to 32 percent who said the immigrants must be returned regardless of conditions.
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If you were to write a movie about evil scientists plotting to insert secret ingredients into the food supply in order to make humans sick, you’d have a hard time coming up with something more inventive and potentially more dangerous than genetically modified (GMO) food.
Even though GMO ingredients are not listed on food labels, they have already infiltrated our dinner plates. And this technological change to our food has the potential for sabotaging the world’s food supply. Sadly, most Americans don’t even realize they eat GMO food at just about every meal. In particular, the soy and corn ingredients of our favorite dishes almost always contain GMO ingredients.
U.S. farmers and farmers around the world plant vast amounts of these laboratory-created crops. In particular, soy, corn and cotton (processed food frequently has cottonseed oil added to it) have been genetically engineered to contain toxic pesticides and to withstand massive amounts of herbicides that are applied to farm fields. This allows GMO crops to survive and be harvested while weeds in the fields are supposed to wither and die.
Of course, other beneficial living things like honeybees, other pollinators and a wide collection of wildlife also perish from massive pesticide exposure. And the pesticides often persist long enough to poison our water and air.
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One of the vast misconceptions of modern medicine — and there are many — is that if you are sick, you need a doctor or a drug. The most a drug can do is mask symptoms. But people falsely believe that if symptoms are gone, the sickness or malady is gone. This makes modern medicine a world-class hoax.
There are many factors that govern metabolism: race, age, sex, previous food conditions, individual idiosyncrasies, variability of basal metabolism in individuals, rate of metabolism, imperfect balance of ones’ food, fatigue, cold, damp, panic fear, mental depression and imperfect hygiene. Most important of all, infection may influence the onset or modify the course and character of a malady due primarily to dietetic defects.
It should be emphasized that these factors all involve metabolic variations in individual subjects, impose additional burdens on the metabolic resources of the body or depress the functional capacity of the endocrine regulators of metabolism. It is especially important to realize that people receiving too little vitamins or nutrition are living in a state of potential morbidity that may be converted into disease by a variety of factors that further exhaust metabolism.
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“I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.”
Late last year, we told you about the ordeal of David Eckert, the New Mexico man who endured a hellish night of anal probing and forced anesthesia because the Deming, N.M. police officers who stopped him really, really wanted to believe he was concealing drugs (he wasn’t). His story was similar to that of another New Mexico man, Timothy Young, who had needlessly endured the same treatment – at the same hospital.
Reason TV has released a brief video edit of Young’s ordeal, cobbled together from police camera footage and a sit-down interview with Young after the fact.
“The dog’s not gonna hit on your vehicle?” one officer asks Young early in the search.
“I don’t know what the dog is gonna do – If you want it to, I guess it could,” Young – evidently aware that police dog searches sometime have a way of going wrong – replied.
Even though Young was not in possession of any drugs, Gila Medical Center – which conducted the forced anal probe (and had also conducted a forced colonoscopy in the Eckert case) – sent him a bill for the service. Young sued everyone involved, and is now (so far) $925,000 richer after receiving a judgment from Hidalgo County, N.M.
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A Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit has discovered a city’s worth of Pentagon employees who have two things in common: they’re all eligible for high-level security clearances, and, during the period for which the report was conducted, they all owed the government a combined $730 million in back taxes.
The GAO audit found that, from among the 5 million government employees and non-government contractors cleared to access sensitive information, approximately 83,000 Pentagon workers eligible for such a clearance also owed the government delinquent tax money. The report covered a five-year period between 2006 and 2011.
According to a breakdown of the report published Monday at The Hill, 26,000 of the Pentagon employees recognized by the audit actually held security clearances. Their delinquency amounted to $229 million.
“About 4,800 of the 83,000 employees had IRS liens against their property, and 23,000 were subject to wage garnishment and other IRS collection tactics,” The Hill observed.
It’s not currently against the law for the government to retain employees – even employees entrusted with sensitive and confidential information – who can’t be trusted to render unto Caesar. The GAO advised, though, that awarding security clearances to people who’ve skipped out on their Federal tax bill “poses a potential vulnerability.”
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“To put it mildly, the world is a mess,” former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said as the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East took center stage on Sunday’s political talk shows.
Albright’s comment was directed specifically at the conflict between Russia and Ukraine during her appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” The former diplomat said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is living “in his own world.”
“He has made up an awful lot of lies in terms of who is responsible for the fact that the Soviet Union disintegrated,” she said.
Albright, who served as Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, also said that the Ukrainian crisis, along with those unfolding in the Middle East, are less important to Americans than past foreign problems.
“I think the thing that has changed is we don’t want to be the world’s policemen, the American people don’t,” she said. “What has to happen is we need to really work harder on partnerships.”
The former official went on to criticize other governments for not getting more involved in fixing the international problems.
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