It has been said that children are our future, and right now the vast majority of our children are being “educated” in public schools that are rapidly being turned into indoctrination centers and prison camps.Â Our children desperately need to focus on the basics such as reading, writing and math, but instead a whole host of politicians, “education officials” and teachers are constantly injecting as much propaganda as they possibly can into classroom instruction.Â Instead of learning how to think, our children are continually being told what to think.Â Not only that, our children are also being trained how to live as subservient slaves in a Big Brother police state.Â Today, nearly everything that children do in public schools is watched, monitored, recorded and tracked.Â Independent thought and free expression are greatly discouraged and are often cracked down upon harshly.Â If students get “out of line”, instead of being sent to see the principal they are often handcuffed, arrested and taken to the police station.Â In addition, law enforcement authorities are using weapons such as pepper spray and tasers against young students in our public schools more than ever before.Â Children in U.S. public schools are not learning how to live as strong individuals in the “land of the free and the home of the brave”.Â Rather, they are being trained how to serve a Big Brother police state where control freaks run their entire lives.Â If we continue to allow all of the liberty and freedom to be systematically drained out of our school children, then there is not going to be much hope for the future of this nation.
The following are 28 signs that U.S public schools are being turned into indoctrination centers and prison camps….
#1 All 50 U.S. states are now constructing federally-mandated databases that will track the behavior and performance of all public school students in America throughout their entire school careers.Â According to the New York Post, the Obama administration wants to use the information that is gathered for a wide array of purposes….
The administration wants this data to include much more than name, address and test scores. According to the National Data Collection Model, the government should collect information on health-care history, family income and family voting status. In its view, public schools offer a golden opportunity to mine reams of data from a captive audience.
#2 All over America, school children are being immersed in the radical green agenda.Â In fact, in many areas of the country children are actively trained to watch how their parents behave and to correct them when they are being “environmentally unfriendly”.Â The following is from a recent New York Times article about this phenomenon….
âI have very, very environmentally conscious children â more so than me, Iâm embarrassed to say,â said Ms. Ross, a social worker in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. âTheyâre on my case about getting a hybrid car. They want me to replace all the light bulbs in the house with energy-saving bulbs.â
Ms. Rossâs children are part of what experts say is a growing army of âeco-kidsâ â steeped in environmentalism at school, in houses of worship, through scouting and even via popular culture â who try to hold their parents accountable at home. Amid their pride in their childrenâs zeal for all things green, the grown-ups sometimes end up feeling like scofflaws under the watchful eye of the pint-size eco-police, whose demands grow ever greater, and more expensive.
Later on in that same article, a district superintendent is quoted as saying that they try to inject the green agenda wherever they can into the curriculum….
âWeâre trying to integrate it into anything where it naturally fits,â said Jackie Taylor, the districtâs superintendent. âIt might be in a math lesson. How much water are you really using? How can you tell? Teachers look for avenues in almost everything they teach.â
#3 One 13-year-old student down in New Mexico was recently handcuffed and forcibly removed from a classroom just because he burped in class.Â In all, over 200 students in Bernalillo County “have been handcuffed and arrested in the last three years for non-violent misdemeanors”.
#4 All over America, students are being taught that the First Amendment does not apply in public schools.Â Expressions of free speech in school are often cracked down upon very hard.Â For example, one group of high school athletes was recently suspended for “Tebowing” in the hallways of their school.
#5 Many public school sex education classes have totally crossed the line.Â Instead of just “educating” children about sex, many sex ed courses are now “indoctrinating” children about sex.Â One recent example of this was detailed in the New York Times….
IMAGINE you have a 10- or 11-year-old child, just entering a public middle school. How would you feel if, as part of a class ostensibly about the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, he and his classmates were given ârisk cardsâ that graphically named a variety of solitary and mutual sex acts? Or if, in another lesson, he was encouraged to disregard what you told him about sex, and to rely instead on teachers and health clinic staff members?
That prospect would horrify most parents. But such lessons are part of a middle-school curriculum that Dennis M. Walcott, the New York City schools chancellor, has recommended for his systemâs newly mandated sex-education classes. There is a parental âopt out,â but it is very limited, covering classes on contraception and birth control.
#6 Sadly, this “sexual indoctrination” appears to be working.Â According to one recent study, sexual conduct between teen girls in the United States is now at the highest level ever recorded.
#8 In some U.S. schools, RFID chips are now being used to monitor the attendance and movements of children while they are at school.Â The following is how one article recently described a program that has just been instituted at a preschool in California….
Upon arriving in the morning, according to the Associated Press, each student at the CCC-George Miller preschool will don a jersey with a stitched in RFID chip. As the kids go about the business of learning, sensors in the school will record their movements, collecting attendance for both classes and meals. Officials from the school have claimed they’re only recording information they’re required to provide while receivingÂ federal funds for their Headstart program.
#9 Increasingly, incidents of misbehavior at many U.S. schools are being treated as very serious crimes.Â For example, when a little girl kissed a little boy at one Florida elementary school recently, it was considered to be a “possible sex crime” and the police were called out.
#10 Even 5-year-old children are now being handcuffed and arrested by police in public schools.Â The following is from a recent article that described what happened to one very young student in Stockton, California earlier this year….
Earlier this year, a Stockton student was handcuffed with zip ties on his hands and feet, forced to go to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and was charged with battery on a police officer. That student was 5 years old.
#11 A teenager in suburban Dallas was recently forced to take on a part-time job after being ticketed for using bad language in one high school classroom.Â The original ticket was for $340, but additional fees have raised the total bill to $637.
#12 It is not just high school kids that are being ticketed by police.Â In Texas the crackdown extends all the way down to elementary school students.Â In fact, it has been reported that Texas police gave “1,000 tickets” to elementary school kids over a recent six year period.
#13 Our children are being programmed to accept the fact that they will be watched and monitored constantly.Â For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is spending large amounts of money to install surveillance cameras in the cafeterias of public schools all across the nation so that government control freaks can closely monitor what our children are eating.
#14 If you can believe it, a “certified TSA official” was recently brought in to oversee student searches at the Santa Fe High School prom.
#15 Last year, a 17 year-old honor student in North Carolina named Ashley Smithwick accidentally took her father’s lunch with her to school.Â It contained a small paring knife which he would use to slice up apples.Â So what happened to this standout student when the school discovered this?Â The school suspended her for the rest of the year and the police charged her with a misdemeanor.
#16 According to blogger Alexander Higgins, students in kindergarten and the 1st grade in the state of New Jersey are now required by law to participate “in monthly anti-terrorism drills”.Â The following is an excerpt from a letter that he recently received from the school where his child attends….
Each month a school must conduct one fire drill and one security drill which may be a lockdown, bomb threat, evacuation, active shooter, or shelter-in place drill. All schools are now required by law to implement this procedure.
So who in the world ever decided that it would be a good idea for 1st grade students to endure “lockdown” and “active shooter” drills?Â To get an idea of what these kinds of drills are like, just check out this video.
#17 In some U.S. schools, armed cops accompanied by police dogs actually conduct surprise raids with their guns drawn.Â In this video, you can actually see police officers aiming their guns at school children as the students are lined up facing the wall.
#18 The U.S. government is now encouraging children to spy on their parents as part of the “war on terror”.Â If a school official hears that a parent has said the “wrong thing” at home, that parent could potentially get labeled as a “potential terrorist”.
#19 The U.S. government has also been increasingly using “polls” and “surveys” as tools to gather information about all of us.Â In previous articles, I have noted how government authorities seems particularly interested in our children.Â According to Mike Adams of Natural News, the CDC is starting to call parents all over the U.S. to question them about the vaccination status of their children….
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which has been comprehensively exposed as a vaccine propaganda organization promoting the interests of drug companies, is now engaged in a household surveillance program that involves calling U.S. households and intimidating parents into producing child immunization records. As part of what it deems a National Immunization Survey(NIS), the CDC is sending letters to U.S. households, alerting them that they will be called by “NORC at the University of Chicago” and that households should “have your child’s immunization records handy when answering our questions.”
You can see a copy of the letter that the CDC has been sending out to selected parents right here.
#20 Last year, a high school student in Southern California was suspended for two days because he had private conversations with his classmates during which he discussed Christianity.Â He was also banned from bringing his Bible to school ever again.
#21 In early 2010, a 12 year old girl in New York was arrested by police andÂ marched out of her school in handcuffs just because she doodled on her desk. “I love my friends Abby and Faith” was what she reportedly wrote on her desk.
#24 Other students in Florida have actually been arrested for bringing a plastic butter knife to school, for throwing an eraser, and for drawing a picture of a gun.
#25 Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has announced that school officials can search the cell phones and laptops of public school students if there are “reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school.”
#26 Increasingly, authorities are using “pre-crime” technology on our children in order to identify potential problem individuals.Â For example, the Florida State Department of Juvenile Justice has announced that it willÂ begin using analysis software to predict crime by young delinquents and will place “potential offenders”Â in specific prevention and education programs.
#27 At one public high school in McAllen, Texas earlier this year, students were ordered to stand up and recite the Mexican national anthem and Mexican pledge of allegiance.Â School authorities have failed to explain how reciting a pledge of allegiance to a foreign nation has any educational value whatsoever.
#28 All over the United States, tasers are increasingly being used to “subdue” high school students.Â The following are two very shocking examples of this that were cited in a recent Alternet article….
On September 29, Keshana Wilson, 14, was shocked in the groin with a Taser while shoved against a parked car by Allentown, Pennsylvania police officer Jason Ammary, just outside her high school. The incident was captured on surveillance footage. Allentown police argue that the officerâs behavior was justified because âWilson was cursing and inciting a group of peopleâ as well as resisting arrest. While defending his fellow officer, Allentown Assistant Police Chief Joseph Hanna argued, âofficers are trained to use the justified amount of force dictated by the actions of the resister, not their age or gender.â
Zahrod Jackson, a 17-year-old student, âwas eligible to receive free lunchâ at Middletown High School in Connecticut, according to a June report in the Middletown Press. Last September, Jackson exited the cafeteria line with a slice of pizza, but returned for a beef patty after spotting both pizza and a beef patty on the tray of a student who also receives free lunch. A screaming match ensued between Jackson and a cafeteria worker who accused the teen of stealing. The commotion quickly caught the eyes of SROs Kurt Scrivo, who âthrew Jackson onto the cafeteria floor,â and Alex Rodriguez, who Tasered him five times.
So is all of this brutal repression helping our children get a better education?
Of course not.
The truth is that the American population is rapidly being “dumbed-down”.
Not only that, our public schools are also producing kids that are woefully unprepared for college.Â The United States once had the highest proportion of young adults with post-secondary degrees in the world.Â Today, the U.S. has fallen to 12th.
Our public education system absolutely stinks and it is getting worse all the time.
I went to public schools all of my life, but I would never want to send my children to public schools now.Â They are going downhill really, really fast.
Just sending different politicians to Washington D.C. is not going to change the course of this nation.Â We need a complete political, economic, educational, moral, spiritual and philosophical renewal.Â Right now America is becoming a little more like North Korea every day.Â If we continue on this path there will be absolutely no future for our children and our grandchildren.
It is absolutely disgusting that our public schools are being transformed into indoctrination centers and prison camps.Â This is not what America is supposed to be about.
If we do not choose to stand up and fight for the future of this country, then we are going to get the future that we deserve.
Prosecutors in the U.S. are preparing what would be the first criminal charges against BP Plc (ADR) (NYSE: BP) employees for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico, which killed 11 workers and led to worst offshore oil spill in the U.S. history.
According to people familiar with the matter, prosecutors are preparing the criminal charges against several Houston-based engineers and at least one of their supervisors at the U.K.-based oil major. However, the scope of the investigation is not yet known. Prosecutors are investigating whether the employees provided false information to regulators about the risk related with the Gulf of Mexico well while drilling was in progress, people with knowledge of the situation said.
The charges are expected to be disclosed in 2012. A conviction on such charges carries a penalty of up to five years in prison as well as a fine.
People familiar with the situation said that the Department of Justice still could decide not to bring charges against the individuals as it is not uncommon for prosecutors to use the threat of charges to put pressure on people to cooperate in investigations.
According to legal experts, BP itself is likely to face broader criminal charges. A spokesman for BP declined to comment on the possibility for charges against its employees or the company. The company maintains that the accident was caused by a combination of events that involved multiple parties and not just BP.
A New Orleans-based federal task force has spent the last 18 months investigating the April 2010 accident. According to people familiar with the investigations, prosecutors have so far gone through thousands of documents and conducted dozen of interviews.
The worth of a college degree has now come into question because of theÂ massive student loan bubble.Â An education is vital yet the monopoly on knowledge has been turned upside down with readily accessible information through technological changes.Â What is odd however is during a time of knowledge access ubiquity you have a field sprouting up of institutions that simply target the unknowing with promises of degrees that yield worthlessÂ marketable prospects.Â ManyÂ for-profit collegesÂ fit in perfectly with theÂ financializationÂ of our nation.Â The main goal is to draw in a large unsuspecting audience and saddling millions with unsustainable amounts of debt for a piece of paper that has little worth in regards to career aspirations.Â Like theÂ subprime mortgagesÂ pushed by lower levels of the financial industry only for quick profits, many of the for-profit colleges have done very similar things to the prestige of a college diploma.Â When a list of cats and dogs with college degrees is listed on Wikipedia we know there are serious issues in how some for-profits operate.
The for-profit college model
Although for-profit institutions make up a small segment of the college going population, they make up a large portion of the private loan market:
Source:Â Project on Student Debt
Â âStudents attendingÂ for-profitÂ schools composed about 9% of all undergraduates, but 27% of those with private loans.â
The pieces and policies for potential conflict in the Persian Gulf are seemingly drawing inexorably together.
Since 24 December the Iranian Navy has been holding its ten-day Velayat 90 naval exercises, covering an area in the Arabian Sea stretching from east of the Strait of Hormuz entrance to the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden. The day the maneuvers opened Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told a press conference that the exercises were intended to show “Iran’s military prowess and defense capabilities in international waters, convey a message of peace and friendship to regional countries, and test the newest military equipment.” The exercise is Iran’s first naval training drill since May 2010, when the country held its Velayat 89 naval maneuvers in the same area. Velayat 90 is the largest naval exercise the country has ever held.
The participating Iranian forces have been divided into two groups, blue and orange, with the blue group representing Iranian forces and orange the enemy. Velayat 90 is involving the full panoply of Iranian naval force, with destroyers, missile boats, logistical support ships, hovercraft, aircraft, drones and advanced coastal missiles and torpedoes all being deployed. Tactics include mine-laying exercises and preparations for chemical attack. Iranian naval commandos, marines and divers are also participating.
The exercises have put Iranian warships in close proximity to vessels of the United States Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, which patrols some of the same waters, including the Strait of Hormuz, a 21 mile-wide waterway at its narrowest point. Roughly 40 percent of the world’s oil tanker shipments transit the strait daily, carrying 15.5 million barrels of Saudi, Iraqi, Iranian, Kuwaiti, Bahraini, Qatari and United Arab Emirates crude oil, leading the United States Energy Information Administration to label the Strait of Hormuz “the world’s most important oil chokepoint.”
In light of Iranâs recent capture of an advanced CIA RQ-170 Sentinel drone earlier this month, Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Seyed Mahmoud Moussavi noted that the Iranian Velayat 90 forces also conducted electronic warfare tests, using modern Iranian-made electronic jamming equipment to disrupt enemy radar and contact systems. Further tweaking Uncle Samâs nose, Moussavi added that Iranian Navy drones involved in Velayat 90 conducted successful patrolling and surveillance operations.
Thousands of miles to the west, adding oil to the fire, President Obama is preparing to sign legislation that, if fully enforced, could impose harsh penalties on all customers for Iranian oil, with the explicit aim of severely impeding Iranâs ability to sell it.
How serious are the Iranians about the proposed sanctions and possible attack over its civilian nuclear program and what can they deploy if push comes to shove? According to the International Institute for Strategic Studiesâ The Military Balance 2011, Iran has 23 submarines, 100+ âcoastal and combatâ patrol craft, 5 mine warfare and anti-mine craft, 13 amphibious landing vessels and 26 âlogistics and supportâ ships. Add to that the fact that Iran has emphasized that it has developed indigenous âasymmetrical warfareâ naval doctrines, and it is anything but clear what form Iranâs naval response to sanctions or attack could take. The only certainty is that it is unlikely to resemble anything taught at the U.S. Naval Academy.
The proposed Obama administration energy sanctions heighten the risk of confrontation and carry the possibility of immense economic disruption from soaring oil prices, given the unpredictability of the Iranian response. Addressing the possibility of tightened oil sanctions Iranâs first vice president Mohammad-Reza Rahimi on 27 December said, âIf they impose sanctions on Iranâs oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz.â
Iran has earlier warned that if either the U.S. or Israel attack, it will target 32 American bases in the Middle East and close the Strait of Hormuz. On 28 December Iranian Navy commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari observed, “Closing the Strait of Hormuz for the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran is very easy. It is a capability that has been built from the outset into our naval forces’ abilities.”
But adding an apparent olive branch Sayyari added, “But today we are not in the Hormuz Strait. We are in the Sea of Oman and we do not need to close the Hormuz Strait. Today we are just dealing with the Sea of Oman. Therefore, we can control it from right here and this is one of our prime abilities for such vital straits and our abilities are far, far more than they think.”
There are dim lights at the end of the seemingly darker and darker tunnel. The proposed sanctions legislation allows Obama to waive sanctions if they cause the price of oil to rise or threaten national security.
Furthermore, there is the wild card of Iranâs oil customers, the most prominent of which is China, which would hardly be inclined to go along with increased sanctions.
But one thing should be clear in Washington â however odious the U.S. government might find Iranâs mullahcracy, it is most unlikely to cave in to either economic or military intimidation that would threaten the nationâs existence, and if backed up against the wall with no way out, would just as likely go for broke and use every weapon at its disposal to defend itself. Given their evident cyber abilities in hacking the RQ-170 Sentinel drone and their announcement of an indigenous naval doctrine, a âcakewalkâ victory with âmission accomplishedâ declared within a few short weeks seems anything but assured, particularly as it would extend the military arc of crisis from Iraq through Iran to Afghanistan, a potential shambolic military quagmire beyond Washingtonâs, NATOâs and Tel Avivâs resources to quell.
It is worth remembering that chess was played in Sassanid Iran 1,400 years ago, where it was known as âchatrang.â What is occurring now off the Persian Gulf is a diplomatic and military game of chess, with global implications.
Washingtonâs concept of squeezing a countryâs government by interfering with its energy policies has a dolorous history seven decades old.
When Japan invaded Vichy French-ruled southern Indo-China in July 1941 the U.S. demanded Japan withdraw. In addition, on 1 August the U.S., Japanâs biggest oil supplier at the time, imposed an oil embargo on the country.
Pearl Harbor occurred less than four months later.
Get ready for more high food prices going into 2012 â- the USDA is projecting that next year will bring an overall spike of 2.5% to 3.5%.
Thatâs less than the 3.25% to 3.75% boost that the Department of Agriculture is projecting for 2011. High commodity and energy prices along with soaring demand for food pushed up the value of items including ice cream, lettuce and bread.
Grocery store shoppers this year watched prices rise as much as 4.75% while diners in restaurants saw menu prices go up as much as 2.5%, with a surge near the end of the year.
As of last month, beef prices were up 9.8% comparedÂ with the same month last year. Pork prices were up 6.9% and poultry was 3% higher. With fewer fertile hens around, egg prices were 10.2% higher; dairy was up 8.7%.
Last week, a U.S. special operations team was seen crossing the border from Brownsville, Texas into Matamoros, Mexico. Eyewitness reports mention that the U.S. convoy consisted of two or perhaps three SUVâs with what appeared to be armed military personnel onboard.
The Mexican military waited on the Matamoros side of the border, and once the U.S. team crossed into Mexico, they escorted them to a nearby military base. The Mexican military and the local police in Matamoros apparently established a route to escort the Americans because traffic cops were placed ahead of time in order to quickly get the convoy through Avenida Sexta (Sixth Avenue).
A helicopter followed the convoy from the U.S. side of the border until it reached the Mexican military base. A video showing the convoy in Matamoros was broadcasted by Univision.
When asked by the Mexican media, Brigadier General Gonzales Cruz, Commander of the 8th Military Regiment in Northern Mexico, declined to comment about the incident. The Mayor of Matamoros, Alfonso Sanchez, said that the men were not military personnel but U.S. Federal Agents. However, the local press maintained that the men were military members.
Both in Matamoros and in the nearby city of Reynosa, there have been numerous reports of people seeing âplain clothesâ military personnel gathering in key strategic areas. These groups of about 12 to 18 men carrying M4 automatic rifles have been seen meeting in public, using military courtesies such as hand salutes.
In a recent hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Al Franken reminded his fellow Americans, âPeople have a fundamental right to control their private information.â At the hearing, Franken raised an alarm about Carrier IQâs software, CIQ.
Few people have ever heard about CIQ. Running under the app functions, CIQ doesn’t require the userâs consent (or knowledge) to operate. On Android phones, it can track a userâs keystrokes, record telephone calls, store text messages, track location and more. Most troubling, it is difficult to impossible to disable.
Carrier IQ, located in Mountain View, CA, was founded in 2005 and is backed by a group of venture capitalists. Its software is installed on about 150 million wireless devices offered through AT&T, HTC, Nokia, RIM (BlackBerry), Samsung, Sprint and Verizon Wireless. It runs on a variety of operating systems, including the Apple OS and Googleâs Android (but not on Microsoft Windows).
At the hearing, Sen. Franken questioned FBI director Robert Muller about the FBIâs use of CIQ software. Muller assured the senator that FBI agents âneither sought nor obtained any informationâ from Carrier IQ.
Following Mullerâs Senate testimony, Andrew Coward, Carrier IQâs VP of marketing, told the Associated Press that the FBI is the only law enforcement agency to contact them for data. The FBI has yet to issue a follow-up âclarification.â
CIQ is emblematic of a growing number of ongoing battles that delineate the boundary of what, in the digital age, is personal, private life and information. In this era of 0s and 1s, of globalization and instantaneous communications, what it means to be a person seems to be both expanding and contracting. The battle over personal privacy is as old as the nation and as contemporary as the latest tech innovation. Eight fronts in this battle delineate personal privacy in the digital age.
TAMPA â No doubt youâve heard the adage:Â a picture is worth a thousand words.Â A picture of 62-year-old Nick Christie could be worth thousands of dollars when a jury sees it.
The photo shows the Ohio man restrained inside the Lee County Jail with his body covered in pepper spray.
âThis photo is a picture of a man who is strapped to a chair naked inside a jail for hours with a hood over his face. That evokes thoughts of being tortured,â says Cleveland-based lawyer Nick DiCello who represents the Christie family.
The photo, which was obtained by FOX 13â˛s investigative unit, was taken in the final hours of Christieâs life.
The District 21 Medical Examiner ruled his death was a homicide because he had been restrained and sprayed with pepper sprayed by law enforcement officers. But to this day, nobody has ever been charged with a crime, and the Lee County State Attorney cleared the sheriffâs office of any wrong doing.
The hard times that most Americans continue to experience don’t seem to be making an impact on their representatives in Washington. Now a new report might shed some light on why.Â According to a Washington Post story this week, âBetween 1984 and 2009, the median net worth of a member of the House more than doubled, according to the analysis of financial disclosures, from $280,000 to $725,000 in inflation-adjusted 2009 dollars, excluding home equity.â
Members of Congress have only been getting richer over the last 25 years.
âOver the same period,â the Post continued, âthe wealth of an American family has declined slightly, with the comparable median figure sliding from $20,600 to $20,500.â
Nearly half of all members of Congress are millionaires, the New York Times pointed out, and yet many of them don’t see themselves as rich. âI donât see myself as a man of great wealth,â Representative Ed Pastor, Democrat from Arizona, told the Times. âTo say that Iâm enjoying a millionaireâs lifestyle â well, I can tell you, I guess a millionaireâs income doesnât go very far these days.â
And though most Americans would probably be happy to have a net worth, like Pastor’s, over $1 milion, it’s true that compared to some of his colleagues in Washington, Pastor is merely doing all right. Compared to Sen. John Kerry, whose average net worth the Post calculated to be $231,722,794, or Rep. Darrell Issa, the richest person in Congress with an average net worth of $448,125,017, Pastor looks like a regular working stiff.
But the real comparison isn’t between members of Congress. It’s looking at these ultra-wealthy politicians in comparison to the folks they represent.
So here, we present 10 of the richest members of Congress, men and women whose wealth utterly dwarfs that of their constituents. While these aren’t the 10 richest according to the raw numbers, they’re the ones whose districts are largely still suffering the consequences of the slow economy.
2011 was the year in which many conspiracy “theories” became conspiracy FACTS. Articles that used to earn you a tinfoil hat designation suddenly were front-page news stories across the country. The world is stranger than we can imagine, it seems, and 2011 proved it yet again.
Here are the top ten conspiracy facts that emerged over the last year:
#1 – Obama admits U.S. government used Guatemalan prisoners for illegal medical experiments
When we exposed the U.S. government’s long list of medical crimes against humanity back in 2006, the mainstream media was silent (http://www.naturalnews.com/019187.html). People insisted the government was ethical and honest, and it could never be involved in crimes against humanity. (ROFL!) When the truth came out about Guatemalan prisoner experiments, however, it went viral so quickly the mainstream media couldn’t whitewash the story.
So now, the whole world knows the U.S. government and its National Institutes of Health (NIH) are medical criminals that murder innocent human beings in order to study new drugs for Big Pharma: http://www.naturalnews.com/033483_G…
#2 – FDA caught using KGB-style infiltration and spying techniques to entrap raw milk distribution hub
It’s legal to sell unpasteurized orange juice in America as long as you put a label on it, but selling unpasteurized milk earns you the “KGB treatment” from the FDA and the California Dept. of Agriculture, both of which have become criminal gangs running vindictive vengeance campaigns against target innocents. NaturalNews broke the story of how the FDA used spy cameras, secret infiltration techniques and other traps to gather evidence before raiding Rawesome Foods at gunpoint, then destroying $50,000+ in food in front of astonished witnesses. http://www.naturalnews.com/033428_F…
#3 – Institute of Medicine’s links with military industrial complex exposed by NaturalNews
In yet another investigative story that NaturalNews broke in 2011, we dug into the funding sources of the Institute of Medicine and discovered it receives enormous financial support from the Pentagon, military defense contractors and numerous globalist organizations that profit from war. No wonder the IOM promotes vaccines so aggressively — it’s a war against humanity, waged one syringe at a time. Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/033455_I…
#4 – USDA caught running animal mass murder programs to kill birds and mammals
To the shock of many, the USDA was exposed this year for operating mass-murder programs that target animals such as birds, foxes, wild pigs and other creatures. This is primarily accomplished with mass poisoning chemicals that also end up killing other animals such as Bald Eagles. http://www.naturalnews.com/031076_U…
#5 – Weather control technology confirmed and functional near Abu Dhabi
Mention “weather control technology” to your average fluoride head, and they think you’re some kind of “wingnut” conspiracy theorist. Yet weather control technology is in full operation just outside Abu Dhabi, where a huge array of negative ion generators produce artificial rain storms that dump millions of gallons of fresh water on the desert landscape: http://www.naturalnews.com/030998_w…
#6 – InfoWars releases hidden camera water fluoridation video
Let there be no doubt about how dangerous, corrosive and even deadly those toxic fluoride chemicals really are. Alex Jones and the InfoWars team grabbed undercover water fluoridation video in Austin, Texas, and posted it on the internet. What’s admitted on the video should be shocking to everyone: http://www.naturalnews.com/033753_w…
#7 – Documents prove Dr. Wakefield was innocent, BMJ conspired to discredit him
In a turn of events that has yet to be acknowledged by the mainstream media, Dr. Andrew Wakefield was proven innocent of the spurious charges leveled against him. Documents prove that he did not fabricate his research as was claimed by the medical journals and the mainstream media, including CNN. In fact, the accusation itself was the real criminal fabrication. http://www.naturalnews.com/031116_D…
#8 – USDA conspires with Monsanto to de-regulate GE alfalfa
There’s nothing quite like GMOs to slow-kill an entire nation. You get increased infertility, organ toxicity and runaway environmental contamination, too. In 2011, the USDA went all out on attacking the world with GMOs, unleashing both GE alfalfa and GE corn on the U.S. public: http://www.naturalnews.com/031139_G…
#9 – FDA admits factory-produced chicken meat contains arsenic
In 2011, the mainstream media went crazy reporting trace levels of arsenic in apple juice, but it never bothered to report on the much higher concentrations of arsenic found in chicken meat. Our NaturalNews story on arsenic found in chicken meat received a whopping 78,000 Facebook shares in 2011, making it one of our highest-shared stories of the year: http://www.naturalnews.com/032659_a…
#10 – Merck vaccine scientist Dr. Maurice Hilleman admits vaccines contain cancer-causing viruses
Dr. Maurice Hilleman’s secret vaccine recording emerged in 2011, causing shockwaves of disbelief to spread across the internet as people heard this Merck scientist laughing it up with other scientists as they joked about all the people who would die from cancer tumors after taking vaccine shots. You can hear the recording yourself on NaturalNews.TV. Click this link for details: http://www.naturalnews.com/033584_D…
The economic, political and social outlook for 2012 is profoundly negative. The almost universal consensus, even among mainstream orthodox economists is pessimistic regarding the world economy. Although, even here, their predictions understate the scope and depth of the crises, there are powerful reasons to believe that beginning in 2012, we are heading toward a steeper decline than what was experienced during the Great Recession of 2008 â 2009. With fewer resources, greater debt and increasing popular resistance to shouldering the burden of saving the capitalist system, the governments cannot bail out the system.
Many of the major institutions and economic relations which were cause and consequence of world and regional capitalist expansion over the past three decades are in the process of disintegration and disarray. The previous economic engines of global expansion, the US and the European Union, have exhausted their potentialities and are in open decline. The new centers of growth, China, India, Brazil, Russia, which for a âshort decadeâ provided a new impetus for world growth have run their course and are de-accelerating rapidly and will continue to do so throughout the new year.
The Collapse of the European Union
Specifically, the crises wracked European Union will break up and the de facto multi-tiered structure will turn into a series of bilateral/multi-lateral trade and investment agreements. Germany , France , the Low and Nordic countries will attempt to weather the downturn. England – namely the City of London, in splendid isolation, will sink into negative growth, its financiers scrambling to find new speculative opportunities among the Gulf petrol-states and other ânichesâ. Eastern and Central Europe, particularly Poland and the Czech Republic , will deepen their ties to Germany but will suffer the consequences of the general decline of world markets. Southern Europe ( Greece , Spain , Portugal and Italy ) will enter into a deep depression as the massive debt payments fueled by savage assaults on wages and social benefits will severely reduce consumer demand.
Depression level unemployment and under-employment running to one-third of the labor force will detonate year-long social conflicts, intensifying into popular uprisings. Eventually a break-up of the European Union is almost inevitable. The euro as a currency of choice will be replaced by or return to national issues accompanied by devaluations and protectionism. Nationalism will be the order of the day. Banks in Germany , France and Switzerland will suffer huge losses on their loans to the South. Major bailouts will become necessary, polarizing German and French societies, between the tax-paying majorities and the bankers. Trade union militancy and rightwing pseudo âpopulismâ (neo-fascism) will intensify the class and national struggles
A depressed, fragmented and polarized Europe will be less likely to join in any Zionist inspired US-Israeli military adventure against Iran (or even Syria ). Crises ridden Europe will oppose Washington âs confrontationalist approach to Russia and China .
The US : The Recession Returns with a Vengeance
The US economy will suffer the consequences of its ballooning fiscal deficit and will not be able to spend its way out of the world recession of 2012. Nor can it count on âexportingâ its way out of negative growth by turning to previously dynamic Asia, as China, India and the rest of Asia are losing economic steam. China will grow far below its 9% moving average. India will decline from 8% to 5% or lower. Moreover, the Obama regimeâs military policy of âencirclementâ, its economic policy of exclusion and protectionism will preclude any new stimulus from China .
Militarism Exacerbates the Economic Downturn
The US and England will be the biggest losers from the Iraqi post war economic reconstruction. Of $186 billion dollars in infrastructure projects, US and UK corporations will gain less than 5% (Financial Times, 12/16/11, p 1 and 3). A similar outcome is likely in Libya and elsewhere. US imperial militarism destroys an adversary, plunging into debt to do so, and non-belligerents reap the lucrative post-war economic reconstruction contracts.
The US economy will fall into recession in 2012 and the âjobless recovery of 2011â will be replaced by a steep increase of unemployment in 2012. In fact, the entire labor force will shrink as people losing their unemployment benefits will fail to register.
Labor exploitation (âproductivityâ) will intensify as capitalists force workers to produce more, for less pay, thus widening the income gap between wages and profits.
The economic downturn and growth of unemployment will be accompanied by savage cuts in social programs to subsidize financially troubled banks and industries. The debates among the parties will be over how large the cuts to workers and retirees will be to secure the âconfidenceâ of the bondholders. Faced with equally limited political choices, the electorate will react by voting out incumbents, abstaining and via spontaneous and organized mass movements, such as the âoccupy Wall Streetâ protest. Dissatisfaction, hostility and frustration will pervade the culture. Democratic Party demagogues will scapegoat China ; the Republican Party demagogues will blame the immigrants. Both will fulminate against âthe Islamo-fascistsâ and especially against Iran .
New Wars in the Midst of Crises: Zionists Pull the Trigger
The â52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizationsâ and their âIsrael Firstâ followers in the US Congress, State Department, Treasury and the Pentagon will push for war with Iran . If they are successful it will result in a regional conflagration and world depression. Given the extremist Israeli regimeâs success in securing blind obedience to its war policies from the US Congress and White House, any doubts about the real possibility of a major catastrophic outcome can be set aside.
China: Compensatory Mechanisms in 2012
China will face the global recession of 2012 with several possibilities of ameliorating its impact. Beijing can shift toward producing goods and services for the 700 million domestic consumers currently out of the economic loop. By increasing wages, social services and environmental safety, China can compensate for the loss of overseas markets. China âs economic growth, which is largely dependent on real estate speculation, will be adversely affected when the bubble is burst. A sharp downturn will result, leading to job losses, municipal bankruptcies and increased social and class conflicts. This can result in either greater repression or gradual democratization. The outcome will profoundly affect China âs market – state relations. The economic crisis will likely strengthen state control over the market.
Russia Faces the Crises
Russia âs election of President Putin will lead to less collaboration in backing US promoted uprisings and sanctions against Russian allies and trading partners. Putin will turn toward greater ties with China and will benefit from the break-up of the EU and the weakening of NATO.
The western media backed opposition will use its financial clout to erode Putinâs image and encourage investment boycotts though they will lose the Presidential elections by a big margin. The world recession will weaken the Russian economy and will force it to choose between greater public ownership or greater dependency on state funds to bail out prominent oligarchs.
The Transition 2011 â 2012: From Regional Stagnation and Recession to World Crises
The year 2011 laid the groundwork for the breakdown of the European Union. The crises began with the demise of the Euro, stagnation in the US and the outbreak of mass protests against the obscene inequalities on a world scale. The events of 2011 were a dress rehearsal for a new year of full scale trade wars between major powers, sharpening inter-imperialist struggles and the likelihood of popular rebellions turning into revolutions. Moreover, the escalation of Zionist orchestrated war fever against Iran in 2011 promises the biggest regional war since the US-Indo-Chinese conflict. The electoral campaigns and outcomes of Presidential elections in the US , Russia and France will deepen the global conflicts and economic crises.
During 2011 the Obama regime announced a policy of military confrontation with Russia and China and policies designed to undermine and degrade China âs rise as a world economic power. In the face of a deepening economic recession and with the decline of overseas markets, especially in Europe , a major trade war will unfold. Washington will aggressively pursue policies limiting Chinese exports and investments. The White House will escalate its efforts to disrupt China âs trade and investments in Asia, Africa and elsewhere. We can expect greater US efforts to exploit China âs internal ethnic and popular conflicts and to increase its military presence off China âs coastline. A major provocation or fabricated incident in this context is not to be excluded. The result in 2012 could lead to rabid chauvinist calls for a costly new âCold Warâ. Obama has provided the framework and justification for a large-scale, long-term confrontation with China . This will be seen as a desperate effort to prop up US influence and strategic positions in Asia . The US military âquadrangle of powerâ â US-Japan-Australia-South Korea â with satellite support from the Philippines , will pit China âs market ties against Washington âs military build-up.
Europe: Deeper Austerity and Intensified Class Struggle
The austerity programs imposed in Europe, from England to Latvia to southern Europe will really take hold in 2012. Massive public sector firings and reduced private sector salaries and job opportunities will lead to a year of permanent class warfare and regime challenges. The âausterity policiesâ in the South, will be accompanied by debt defaults resulting in bank failures in France and Germany . England âs financial ruling class, isolated from Europe, but dominant in England , will insist that the Conservatives ârepressâ labor and popular unrest. A new tough neo-Thatcherite style of autocratic rule will emerge; the Labor-trade union opposition will issue empty protests and tighten the leash on the rebellious populace. In a word, the regressive socio-economic policies put in place in 2011 have set the stage for new police-state regimes and more acute and possibly bloody confrontations with workers and unemployed youth with no future.
The Coming Wars that Ends America âAs We Know Itâ
Within the US , Obama has laid the groundwork for a new and bigger war in the Middle East by relocating troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and concentrating them against Iran . To undermine Iran , Washington is expanding clandestine military and civilian operations against Iranian allies in Syria , Pakistan , Venezuela and China . The key to the US and Israeli bellicose strategy toward Iran is a series of wars in neighboring states, world- wide economic sanctions , cyber-attacks aimed at disabling vital industries and clandestine terrorist assassinations of scientists and military officials. The entire push, planning and execution of the US policies leading up to war with Iran can be empirically and without a doubt attributed to the Zionist power configuration occupying strategic positions in the US Administration, mass media and âcivil societyâ.
A systematic analysis of American policymakers designing and implementing economic sanctions policy in Congress finds prominent roles for such mega-Zionists (Israel-Firsters) as Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Howard Berman; in the White House, Dennis Ross in the White House, Jeffrey Feltman in the State Department, and Stuart Levy, and his replacement David Cohen, in the Treasury. The White House is totally beholden to Zionist fund raisers and takes its cue from the â52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organization. The Israeli-Zionist strategy is to encircle Iran , weaken it economically and attack its military. The Iraq invasion was the US âs first war for Israel ; the Libyan war the second; the current proxy war against Syria is the third. These wars have destroyed Israel âs adversaries or are in the process of doing so.
During 2011, economic sanctions, which were designed to create domestic discontent in Iran , were the principle weapon of choice. The global sanctions campaign engaged the entire energies of the major Jewish-Zionist lobbies. They have faced no opposition from the mass media, Congress or the White Office. The Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC) has been virtually exempt from criticism by any of the progressive, leftist and socialist journals, movements or grouplets â with a few notable exceptions. The past yearâs re-positioning of US troops from Iraq to the borders of Iran , the sanctions and the rising Big Push from Israel âs Fifth Column in the US means expanded war in the Middle East . This likely means a âsurpriseâ aerial and maritime missile attack by US forces. This will be based on a concocted pretext of an âimminent nuclear attackâ concocted by Israeli Mossad and faithfully transmitted by the ZPC to their lackeys US Congress and White House for consumption and transmission to the world. It will be a destructive, bloody, prolonged war for Israel ; the US will bear the direct military cost by itself and the rest of the world will pay a dear economic price. The Zionist-promoted US war will convert the recession of early 2012 into a major depression by the end of the year and probably provoke mass upheavals.
All indications point to 2012 being a turning point year of unrelenting economic crisis spreading outward from Europe and the US to Asia and its dependencies in Africa and Latin America . The crisis will be truly global. Inter-imperial confrontations and colonial wars will undermine any efforts to ameliorate this crisis. In response, mass movements will emerge moving over time from protests and rebellions, and hopefully to social revolutions and political power.
Russia may well improve its standing in the list of the world’s most powerful economies in the next eight years, says the UK-based Center for Economics and Business Research.
ÂAccording to the Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), Russia would rise to fourth spot from its current position of ninth. With India and Brazil also forecast to climb the ratings, the BRIC economies will take four out of the six top positions in the list. The USA, China and Japan are expected to hold their respective first, second and third places.
The agency says the eurozone crisis is going to be the major contributor to Russiaâs ascent. The European Unionâs economy is expected to contract by 0.6 per cent in 2012 at best, but by as much as to 2 per cent âif the euro problem is not solved.â The other factor is Russiaâs economical slant to the export of natural resources.
The recent massive demand for ECB’s LTRO (Long Term Refinancing Operation)–nearly 490 billion euro in three-year 1% loans from 523 banks–only confirmed the suspicion of some market participants that European banks are having financing issues, and that the LTRO is unlikely to flow into the Euro Zone supporting the troubled sovereign debt and economy.
In addition to the current Euro crisis which we discussed here and here, Japan, the world’s third largest economy, could have its own debt crisis as early as 2012 bigger than the Euro Zone. (see graph below)
Japan has long been mired by an aging population, sluggish growth and deflation since an asset bubble popped in the early 1990s. The country already has the highest debt-to-GDP ratio in the world–about 220% according to the OECD — and a debt load projected at a record 1 quadrillion yen this fiscal year.
Based on a plan approved by the Cabinet in Tokyo on 23 Dec, the country is now looking to sell 44.2 trillion yen ($566 billion) of new bonds to fund 90.3 trillion yen ($1.16 trillion) of spending in fiscal year 2012 starting 1 April. That will raise Japan budgetâs dependence on debt to an unprecedented 49%.
According to Bloomberg, the government projects new bond issuance will surpass tax revenue for a fourth year. Receipts from levies have shrunk about a third this yearafter peaking at 60.1 trillion yen in 1990. Non-tax revenues including surplus from foreign exchange reserves also halved to 3.7 trillion yen. Social-security expenses, now at 250% of the level two decades ago, will account for 52% of general spending next year
Moreover, an April 2011 analysis by CQCA Business Research showed that “Japan has an extremely near-future tilted debt maturity timeline” (see chart below). CQCA estimated that in 2010, Japan was able to push 105 trillion yen into the future, but concluded it is doubtful that Japan will be able to continue this.
Indeed, as one of the major and relatively stable economies in the world, and since almost all of its debt are held internally by the Japanese citizens or business, Japan has been able to still borrow at low rates (10-year bond yield at 0.98% as of Dec. 26, 2011), partly thanks to the Euro debt crisis going on for more than two years.
So as long as Japan could keep financing a majority of its debt internally without going through the real test of the brutal bond market, the country most likely would not experience a debt crisis like the one currently festering in Europe.
But the chips seem to have stacked against Japan now. On top of the new and re-financing needs, the Japanese government estimated that the economy will shrink 0.1% this fiscal year citing supply-chain disruptions from the earthquake and tsunami disaster in March, the strengthening of the yen and the European debt crisis. Moreover, S&P said in November that Japan might be close to a downgrade. After a sovereign debt downgrade to Aa3 by Moody’s in August, 2011, it’d be hard pressed to think Japanese bond buyers would shrug off yet another credit downgrade.
Burgeoning debt, coupled with the global and domestic economic slowdown, and continuing political turmoil (Japan has had three Prime Ministers in the last two years, and the current PM Nodaâs popularity has fallen since he took office in September), would suggest it is unlikely that Japan could continue to self-contain its debt.
It looks like its massive debt could finally catch up with Japan in the midst the sovereign debt crisis that’s making a world tour right now. While some investors might see Japan as a bargain, it remains to be seen whether the country will continue beating the odds of a debt crisis.
In yet another example of the ridiculousness of the US security apparatus known as theÂ TranspirationÂ Security Administration, we bring you the latest in a long string of incidents that highlight the attack on civil liberties in America:
Cupcake Suspect Rebecca Haynes:
TSA in Boston said “these look delicious,” but TSA in Las Vegas thought they looked dangerous.
It’s the cupcake terror threat.
He seems to have some concerns about the frosting being a gel-like substance.
They stole my cupcake. Maybe he was hungry. It’s not really about safety. It’s about making people follow rules that really, to the averageÂ traveler, seem arbitrary and are encroaching on our civil liberties.
Do you own flashlights? Or pay with cash instead of a credit card? And do grocery shopping for the week? I do. You probably do â and guess what, according to the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, that could make both of us terrorists.
Recently, a Department of Homeland Security video has been making its way around the Internet; it tells people in no mixed terms that âpaying cash is suspicious and weird.â In an assertive, yet calm voice, the narrator tells viewers that, âif a patron appears nervous or anxious, or insists on paying cash, contact security personnel. This IS suspicious behavior.â
So basically, if youâve had a stressful day and donât have a credit card, you’re done for.
This suggestion, and many others, has been sent out to hotels across the United States as part of the DHSâ ongoing âSee something, Say somethingâ program. It even includes an 84-page manual, grandly titled, âProtective Measures Guide for the US Lodging Industryâ â which points out that asking for privacy, among other things, is a red flag.
And thatâs really what this boils down to: a war on privacy. A potential terrorist, argue the US security agencies, is much easier to track if he uses a credit card. Credit card use provides Big Brother instant access to the buyer’s contact information, purchase history â and, if need be, the ability to cut off his financial supply in an instant.