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- Ignore TheRumpledOne
|9/8/2011 10:00:55 AM
In my inbox today:
10 Years After 9/11, Is America a Better Place?
End of the American Dream
What is the true legacy of 9/11? Unfortunately, it may be how the American people have responded to that event. 10 years after 9/11, is America a better place? Sadly, the answer clearly is no. In the ten years that have passed, a fundamental shift in our culture has occurred. The American people have eagerly given up large amounts of liberty and freedom in exchange for vague promises of increased security. We were once the land of the free and the home of the brave, but now we are the land of the scared and the home of the slave and we seem to like it that way. Most of us don't even remember how to act like Americans anymore. American culture has moved so far in the direction of communist China, the USSR and Nazi Germany that it is absolutely frightening. When most of us were growing up, we were taught that the enemies of America were "totalitarian police states" that did not give liberties and freedoms to their people. Well, today nearly everything that we do is watched, monitored, tracked and tightly controlled. 10 years after 9/11, the American people are living in fear, the federal government is run by control freaks and paranoia has become standard operating procedure. What we have allowed to happen to this nation is absolutely shameful.
Do you enjoy living in a police state?
Once upon a time, the police were generally friendly and trustworthy. You actually wanted to know police officers and be friends with them.
But today, police in most areas of the country are deeply feared, and for good reason. They are actually taught to be brutal and authoritarian.
All of this comes from the very top. Prior to 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security, "VIPR teams", the Patriot Act, body scanners, "enhanced pat-downs" and "fusion centers" didn't even exist.
A fundamental shift has taken place in America, and it is almost as if a severe mental illness has infected nearly the entire law enforcement community in this country.
The "big black boot" that was supposedly going to keep us all safe is actually destroying this country and everything that it means to be an American.
The following are some questions that you should ask anyone who believes that America has responded to 9/11 in a positive way....
Is America a better place when all of us (including grandmothers and young children) must either go through a body scanner that reveals the intimate details of our naked bodies or endure an "enhanced pat-down" during which our genitals will be touched in order to get on an airplane?
Is America a better place now that TSA "VIPR teams" conduct approximately 8,000 "unannounced security screenings" a year at subway stations, bus terminals, seaports and highway rest stops? Should "out-of-nowhere" security sweeps by thugs in black uniforms at transportation centers and public events just be accepted as "the new normal" in America?
Is America a better place now that the FBI can demand to see your cellphone data whenever it wants?
Is America a better place now that the Patriot Act allows the federal government to secretly conduct surveillance on innocent American citizens, monitor the electronic communications of innocent American citizens and conduct warrantless searches of the homes of innocent American citizens?
Is America a better place now that the federal government has a "secret interpretation" of the Patriot Act that they won't even release to the general public? How can we possibly follow their rules if they won't even tell us what they are expecting of us?
Is America a better place when the federal government is so paranoid that it feels that it must issue "talking points" instructing government officials what to say about the 10th anniversary of 9/11?
Is America a better place when young schoolchildren in New Jersey are being taught to snitch on their classmates and police are being used to crack down on "bullying activity" in public schools?
Is America a better place when the federal government is so paranoid that they spend millions of dollars encouraging us all to spy on one another? The "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign looks like it could have been pulled right out of an East German security handbook.
Is America a better place when you must submit a "crop plan" and have your garden inspected by bureaucrats before you can participate in certain farmers markets?
Is America a better place when people living in this country can be labeled "enemy combatants" just for uploading videos to YouTube?
Is America a better place now that invisible "pain ray" weapons are being used in American prisons?
Is America a better place now that state police in some areas of the country are using "extraction devices" to download data from the cellphones of motorists that they pull over?
Is America a better place now that LRAD sound cannons are being used to break up college block parties?
Is America a better place now that local police forces all over the country have been federalized and militarized?
Is America a better place now that local police feel empowered to beat people until they are unrecognizable all in the name of maintaining "law and order"?
Is America a better place now that police officers are patrolling the halls of our public schools and are beating up our kids?
Is America a better place now that little children all over the country are being publicly arrested by police in their own classrooms and are being marched out of their schools in handcuffs?
Is America a better place now that children are being herded like cattle into mass vaccination centers?
Is America a better place now that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is spending huge amounts of money to install surveillance cameras in the cafeterias of public schools all over the nation so that government control freaks can closely monitor what our children are eating?
Is America a better place now that lemonade stands run by young children all over the nation are being shut down by police?
Is America a better place now that large numbers of security cameras have gone up in nearly every major U.S. city?
Is America a better place now that authorities will pull you over for having the "wrong" political bumper sticker on your car?
Is America a better place now that the FDA is employing elaborate entrapment schemes against producers of raw milk?
Is America a better place now that FBI surveillance teams regularly employ warrantless GPS tracking to monitor the movements of peaceful activists – even if they are not suspected of ever committing a crime?
Is America a better place now that the NSA gathers an amount of information on all of us equivalent to the entire Library of Congress every six hours?
Is America a better place now that the FBI definition of "suspicious activity" includes making "extreme religious statements" and believing in "radical theology"?
The sad truth is that America is not a better place after 9/11. We have betrayed our founding fathers and we have cast aside many of our liberties and freedoms because we are so afraid that we can't even see straight.
Fortunately, a growing number of Americans is actually waking up. More Americans than ever are tired of being treated like garbage and this is starting to be reflected in recent polling. For example, according to a new Gallup poll an all-time record 63 percent of Americans have a negative view of the federal government.
Hopefully we will start to see a cultural shift back in the direction of increased liberty and freedom.
If not, we are in for a total nightmare. If we continue on the path that we are on, this nation is going to become an absolutely horrific place in which to live.
A totalitarian police state is not going to keep you safe.
But it will make your life a living hell.
Reprinted with permission from End of the American Dream.
- Ignore kahern1014
|9/8/2011 12:51:36 PM
Looking Back on 9/11 a Decade Later
We are approaching the 10th anniversary of the horrendous atrocities of September 11, 2001, which, it is commonly held, changed the world. On May 1st, the presumed mastermind of the crime, Osama bin Laden, was assassinated in Pakistan by a team of elite US commandos, Navy SEALs, after he was captured, unarmed and undefended, in Operation Geronimo.
A number of analysts have observed that although bin Laden was finally killed, he won some major successes in his war against the U.S. "He repeatedly asserted that the only way to drive the U.S. from the Muslim world and defeat its satraps was by drawing Americans into a series of small but expensive wars that would ultimately bankrupt them," Eric Margolis writes. "'Bleeding the U.S.,' in his words." The United States, first under George W. Bush and then Barack Obama, rushed right into bin Laden’s trap... Grotesquely overblown military outlays and debt addiction... may be the most pernicious legacy of the man who thought he could defeat the United States” -- particularly when the debt is being cynically exploited by the far right, with the collusion of the Democrat establishment, to undermine what remains of social programs, public education, unions, and, in general, remaining barriers to corporate tyranny.
That Washington was bent on fulfilling bin Laden’s fervent wishes was evident at once. As discussed in my book 9-11, written shortly after those attacks occurred, anyone with knowledge of the region could recognize “that a massive assault on a Muslim population would be the answer to the prayers of bin Laden and his associates, and would lead the U.S. and its allies into a ‘diabolical trap,’ as the French foreign minister put it.”
The senior CIA analyst responsible for tracking Osama bin Laden from 1996, Michael Scheuer, wrote shortly after that “bin Laden has been precise in telling America the reasons he is waging war on us. [He] is out to drastically alter U.S. and Western policies toward the Islamic world,” and largely succeeded: “U.S. forces and policies are completing the radicalization of the Islamic world, something Osama bin Laden has been trying to do with substantial but incomplete success since the early 1990s. As a result, I think it is fair to conclude that the United States of America remains bin Laden’s only indispensable ally.” And arguably remains so, even after his death.
The First 9/11
Was there an alternative? There is every likelihood that the Jihadi movement, much of it highly critical of bin Laden, could have been split and undermined after 9/11. The “crime against humanity,” as it was rightly called, could have been approached as a crime, with an international operation to apprehend the likely suspects. That was recognized at the time, but no such idea was even considered.
In 9-11, I quoted Robert Fisk’s conclusion that the “horrendous crime” of 9/11 was committed with “wickedness and awesome cruelty,” an accurate judgment. It is useful to bear in mind that the crimes could have been even worse. Suppose, for example, that the attack had gone as far as bombing the White House, killing the president, imposing a brutal military dictatorship that killed thousands and tortured tens of thousands while establishing an international terror center that helped impose similar torture-and-terror states elsewhere and carried out an international assassination campaign; and as an extra fillip, brought in a team of economists -- call them “the Kandahar boys” -- who quickly drove the economy into one of the worst depressions in its history. That, plainly, would have been a lot worse than 9/11.
Unfortunately, it is not a thought experiment. It happened. The only inaccuracy in this brief account is that the numbers should be multiplied by 25 to yield per capita equivalents, the appropriate measure. I am, of course, referring to what in Latin America is often called “the first 9/11”: September 11, 1973, when the U.S. succeeded in its intensive efforts to overthrow the democratic government of Salvador Allende in Chile with a military coup that placed General Pinochet’s brutal regime in office. The goal, in the words of the Nixon administration, was to kill the “virus” that might encourage all those “foreigners [who] are out to screw us” to take over their own resources and in other ways to pursue an intolerable policy of independent development. In the background was the conclusion of the National Security Council that, if the US could not control Latin America, it could not expect “to achieve a successful order elsewhere in the world.”
The first 9/11, unlike the second, did not change the world. It was “nothing of very great consequence,” as Henry Kissinger assured his boss a few days later.
These events of little consequence were not limited to the military coup that destroyed Chilean democracy and set in motion the horror story that followed. The first 9/11 was just one act in a drama which began in 1962, when John F. Kennedy shifted the mission of the Latin American military from “hemispheric defense” -- an anachronistic holdover from World War II -- to “internal security,” a concept with a chilling interpretation in U.S.-dominated Latin American circles.
In the recently published Cambridge University History of the Cold War, Latin American scholar John Coatsworth writes that from that time to “the Soviet collapse in 1990, the numbers of political prisoners, torture victims, and executions of non-violent political dissenters in Latin America vastly exceeded those in the Soviet Union and its East European satellites,” including many religious martyrs and mass slaughter as well, always supported or initiated in Washington. The last major violent act was the brutal murder of six leading Latin American intellectuals, Jesuit priests, a few days after the Berlin Wall fell. The perpetrators were an elite Salvadorean battalion, which had already left a shocking trail of blood, fresh from renewed training at the JFK School of Special Warfare, acting on direct orders of the high command of the U.S. client state.
The consequences of this hemispheric plague still, of course, reverberate.
From Kidnapping and Torture to Assassination
All of this, and much more like it, is dismissed as of little consequence, and forgotten. Those whose mission is to rule the world enjoy a more comforting picture, articulated well enough in the current issue of the prestigious (and valuable) journal of the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London. The lead article discusses “the visionary international order” of the “second half of the twentieth century” marked by “the universalization of an American vision of commercial prosperity.” There is something to that account, but it does not quite convey the perception of those at the wrong end of the guns.
The same is true of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, which brings to an end at least a phase in the “war on terror” re-declared by President George W. Bush on the second 9/11. Let us turn to a few thoughts on that event and its significance.
On May 1, 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed in his virtually unprotected compound by a raiding mission of 79 Navy SEALs, who entered Pakistan by helicopter. After many lurid stories were provided by the government and withdrawn, official reports made it increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law, beginning with the invasion itself.
There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 79 commandos facing no opposition -- except, they report, from his wife, also unarmed, whom they shot in self-defense when she “lunged” at them, according to the White House.
A plausible reconstruction of the events is provided by veteran Middle East correspondent Yochi Dreazen and colleagues in the Atlantic. Dreazen, formerly the military correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, is senior correspondent for the National Journal Group covering military affairs and national security. According to their investigation, White House planning appears not to have considered the option of capturing bin Laden alive: “The administration had made clear to the military's clandestine Joint Special Operations Command that it wanted bin Laden dead, according to a senior U.S. official with knowledge of the discussions. A high-ranking military officer briefed on the assault said the SEALs knew their mission was not to take him alive.”
The authors add: “For many at the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency who had spent nearly a decade hunting bin Laden, killing the militant was a necessary and justified act of vengeance.” Furthermore, “capturing bin Laden alive would have also presented the administration with an array of nettlesome legal and political challenges.” Better, then, to assassinate him, dumping his body into the sea without the autopsy considered essential after a killing -- an act that predictably provoked both anger and skepticism in much of the Muslim world.
As the Atlantic inquiry observes, “The decision to kill bin Laden outright was the clearest illustration to date of a little-noticed aspect of the Obama administration's counterterror policy. The Bush administration captured thousands of suspected militants and sent them to detention camps in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay. The Obama administration, by contrast, has focused on eliminating individual terrorists rather than attempting to take them alive.” That is one significant difference between Bush and Obama. The authors quote former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who “told German TV that the U.S. raid was ‘quite clearly a violation of international law’ and that bin Laden should have been detained and put on trial,” contrasting Schmidt with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who “defended the decision to kill bin Laden although he didn't pose an immediate threat to the Navy SEALs, telling a House panel... that the assault had been ‘lawful, legitimate and appropriate in every way.’"
The disposal of the body without autopsy was also criticized by allies. The highly regarded British barrister Geoffrey Robertson, who supported the intervention and opposed the execution largely on pragmatic grounds, nevertheless described Obama’s claim that “justice was done” as an “absurdity” that should have been obvious to a former professor of constitutional law. Pakistan law “requires a colonial inquest on violent death, and international human rights law insists that the ‘right to life’ mandates an inquiry whenever violent death occurs from government or police action. The U.S. is therefore under a duty to hold an inquiry that will satisfy the world as to the true circumstances of this killing.”
Robertson usefully reminds us that “[i]t was not always thus. When the time came to consider the fate of men much more steeped in wickedness than Osama bin Laden -- the Nazi leadership -- the British government wanted them hanged within six hours of capture. President Truman demurred, citing the conclusion of Justice Robert Jackson that summary execution ‘would not sit easily on the American conscience or be remembered by our children with pride... the only course is to determine the innocence or guilt of the accused after a hearing as dispassionate as the times will permit and upon a record that will leave our reasons and motives clear.’”
Eric Margolis comments that “Washington has never made public the evidence of its claim that Osama bin Laden was behind the 9/11 attacks,” presumably one reason why “polls show that fully a third of American respondents believe that the U.S. government and/or Israel were behind 9/11,” while in the Muslim world skepticism is much higher. “An open trial in the U.S. or at the Hague would have exposed these claims to the light of day,” he continues, a practical reason why Washington should have followed the law.
In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. I stress “suspects.” In June 2002, FBI head Robert Mueller, in what the Washington Post described as “among his most detailed public comments on the origins of the attacks,” could say only that “investigators believe the idea of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon came from al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan, the actual plotting was done in Germany, and the financing came through the United Arab Emirates from sources in Afghanistan.”
What the FBI believed and thought in June 2002 they didn’t know eight months earlier, when Washington dismissed tentative offers by the Taliban (how serious, we do not know) to permit a trial of bin Laden if they were presented with evidence. Thus, it is not true, as President Obama claimed in his White House statement after bin Laden’s death, that “[w]e quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda.”
There has never been any reason to doubt what the FBI believed in mid-2002, but that leaves us far from the proof of guilt required in civilized societies -- and whatever the evidence might be, it does not warrant murdering a suspect who could, it seems, have been easily apprehended and brought to trial. Much the same is true of evidence provided since. Thus, the 9/11 Commission provided extensive circumstantial evidence of bin Laden’s role in 9/11, based primarily on what it had been told about confessions by prisoners in Guantanamo. It is doubtful that much of that would hold up in an independent court, considering the ways confessions were elicited. But in any event, the conclusions of a congressionally authorized investigation, however convincing one finds them, plainly fall short of a sentence by a credible court, which is what shifts the category of the accused from suspect to convicted.
There is much talk of bin Laden's “confession,” but that was a boast, not a confession, with as much credibility as my “confession” that I won the Boston marathon. The boast tells us a lot about his character, but nothing about his responsibility for what he regarded as a great achievement, for which he wanted to take credit.
Again, all of this is, transparently, quite independent of one’s judgments about his responsibility, which seemed clear immediately, even before the FBI inquiry, and still does.
Crimes of Aggression
It is worth adding that bin Laden’s responsibility was recognized in much of the Muslim world, and condemned. One significant example is the distinguished Lebanese cleric Sheikh Fadlallah, greatly respected by Hizbollah and Shia groups generally, outside Lebanon as well. He had some experience with assassinations. He had been targeted for assassination: by a truck bomb outside a mosque, in a CIA-organized operation in 1985. He escaped, but 80 others were killed, mostly women and girls as they left the mosque -- one of those innumerable crimes that do not enter the annals of terror because of the fallacy of “wrong agency.” Sheikh Fadlallah sharply condemned the 9/11 attacks.
One of the leading specialists on the Jihadi movement, Fawaz Gerges, suggests that the movement might have been split at that time had the U.S. exploited the opportunity instead of mobilizing the movement, particularly by the attack on Iraq, a great boon to bin Laden, which led to a sharp increase in terror, as intelligence agencies had anticipated. At the Chilcot hearings investigating the background to the invasion of Iraq, for example, the former head of Britain’s domestic intelligence agency MI5 testified that both British and U.S. intelligence were aware that Saddam posed no serious threat, that the invasion was likely to increase terror, and that the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan had radicalized parts of a generation of Muslims who saw the military actions as an “attack on Islam.” As is often the case, security was not a high priority for state action.
It might be instructive to ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos had landed at George W. Bush's compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic (after proper burial rites, of course). Uncontroversially, he was not a “suspect” but the “decider” who gave the orders to invade Iraq -- that is, to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country and its national heritage, and the murderous sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region. Equally uncontroversially, these crimes vastly exceed anything attributed to bin Laden.
To say that all of this is uncontroversial, as it is, is not to imply that it is not denied. The existence of flat earthers does not change the fact that, uncontroversially, the earth is not flat. Similarly, it is uncontroversial that Stalin and Hitler were responsible for horrendous crimes, though loyalists deny it. All of this should, again, be too obvious for comment, and would be, except in an atmosphere of hysteria so extreme that it blocks rational thought.
Similarly, it is uncontroversial that Bush and associates did commit the “supreme international crime” -- the crime of aggression. That crime was defined clearly enough by Justice Robert Jackson, Chief of Counsel for the United States at Nuremberg. An “aggressor,” Jackson proposed to the Tribunal in his opening statement, is a state that is the first to commit such actions as “[i]nvasion of its armed forces, with or without a declaration of war, of the territory of another State ….” No one, even the most extreme supporter of the aggression, denies that Bush and associates did just that.
We might also do well to recall Jackson’s eloquent words at Nuremberg on the principle of universality: “If certain acts in violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.”
It is also clear that announced intentions are irrelevant, even if they are truly believed. Internal records reveal that Japanese fascists apparently did believe that, by ravaging China, they were laboring to turn it into an “earthly paradise.” And although it may be difficult to imagine, it is conceivable that Bush and company believed they were protecting the world from destruction by Saddam’s nuclear weapons. All irrelevant, though ardent loyalists on all sides may try to convince themselves otherwise.
We are left with two choices: either Bush and associates are guilty of the “supreme international crime” including all the evils that follow, or else we declare that the Nuremberg proceedings were a farce and the allies were guilty of judicial murder.
The Imperial Mentality and 9/11
A few days before the bin Laden assassination, Orlando Bosch died peacefully in Florida, where he resided along with his accomplice Luis Posada Carriles and many other associates in international terrorism. After he was accused of dozens of terrorist crimes by the FBI, Bosch was granted a presidential pardon by Bush I over the objections of the Justice Department, which found the conclusion “inescapable that it would be prejudicial to the public interest for the United States to provide a safe haven for Bosch.” The coincidence of these deaths at once calls to mind the Bush II doctrine -- “already… a de facto rule of international relations,” according to the noted Harvard international relations specialist Graham Allison -- which revokes “the sovereignty of states that provide sanctuary to terrorists.”
Allison refers to the pronouncement of Bush II, directed at the Taliban, that “those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves.” Such states, therefore, have lost their sovereignty and are fit targets for bombing and terror -- for example, the state that harbored Bosch and his associate. When Bush issued this new “de facto rule of international relations,” no one seemed to notice that he was calling for invasion and destruction of the U.S. and the murder of its criminal presidents.
None of this is problematic, of course, if we reject Justice Jackson’s principle of universality, and adopt instead the principle that the U.S. is self-immunized against international law and conventions -- as, in fact, the government has frequently made very clear.
It is also worth thinking about the name given to the bin Laden operation: Operation Geronimo. The imperial mentality is so profound that few seem able to perceive that the White House is glorifying bin Laden by calling him “Geronimo” -- the Apache Indian chief who led the courageous resistance to the invaders of Apache lands.
The casual choice of the name is reminiscent of the ease with which we name our murder weapons after victims of our crimes: Apache, Blackhawk… We might react differently if the Luftwaffe had called its fighter planes “Jew” and “Gypsy.”
The examples mentioned would fall under the category of “American exceptionalism,” were it not for the fact that easy suppression of one’s own crimes is virtually ubiquitous among powerful states, at least those that are not defeated and forced to acknowledge reality.
Perhaps the assassination was perceived by the administration as an “act of vengeance,” as Robertson concludes. And perhaps the rejection of the legal option of a trial reflects a difference between the moral culture of 1945 and today, as he suggests. Whatever the motive was, it could hardly have been security. As in the case of the “supreme international crime” in Iraq, the bin Laden assassination is another illustration of the important fact that security is often not a high priority for state action, contrary to received doctrine.
- Ignore TheRumpledOne
|9/28/2011 9:32:24 AM
The 14 Most Corrupt Members of Congress:
10 Revelations The White House Doesn't Want You To Read In This Book:
- Ignore TheRumpledOne
|10/4/2011 3:38:18 PM
Gas For $1.75 A Gallon & Depression Level Unemployment: The USA After A Euro Collapse
- Ignore TheRumpledOne
|10/7/2011 12:59:40 PM
In my inbox:
The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why?
Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.
I'm asking each addressee to forward this email to at least twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
In three days, most people in The United States of America
will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
Congressional Reform Act of 2011
1. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote for themselves, a pay raise.
Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people , it will only take thre e days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the m essage. Maybe it is time. But, oh wait, who's gonna write the law????
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!!
- Ignore skareem
|10/7/2011 6:49:38 PM
Why don't you say, "No more Congress?" coz. this job will not be as cushy and these morons will run away from it :)
- Ignore Eman93
|10/15/2011 3:00:35 PM
- Ignore four
|10/15/2011 5:21:42 PM
Gold and Ron Paul
- Ignore TheRumpledOne
|10/17/2011 11:50:37 AM
THE Top 100 Statistics About the Collapse of the Economy that Every Voter Should Know
Posted by Wealth Wire - Friday, October 7th, 2011
The U.S. economy is dying and most American voters have no idea why it is happening.
Unfortunately, the mainstream media and most of our politicians are not telling the truth about the collapse of the economy. This generation was handed the keys to the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen, and we have completely wrecked it.
Decades of incredibly foolish decisions have left us drowning in an ocean of corruption, greed and bad debt. Thousands of businesses and millions of jobs have left the country and poverty is exploding from coast to coast. We are literally becoming a joke to the rest of the world. It is absolutely imperative that we educate America about what is happening. Until the American people truly understand the problems that we are facing, they will not be willing to implement the solutions that are necessary.
The following are the top 100 statistics about the collapse of the economy that every American voter should know...
#100 A staggering 48.5% of all Americans live in a household that receives some form of government benefits. Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.
#99 During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.
#98 Since Barack Obama was sworn in, the share of the national debt per household has increased by $35,835.
#97 The U.S. national debt has been increasing by an average of more than 4 billion dollars per day since the beginning of the Obama administration.
#96 It is being projected that the U.S. national debt will hit 344% of GDP by the year 2050 if we continue on our current course.
#95 The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that U.S. government debt held by the public will reach a staggering 716 percent of GDP by the year 2080.
#94 In 2010, the U.S. government paid $413 billion in interest on the national debt. That is projected to at least double over the next decade.
#93 According to one new survey, one out of every three Americans would not be able to make a mortgage or rent payment next month if they suddenly lost their current job.
#92 State and local government debt has reached an all-time high of 22 percent of U.S. GDP.
#91 In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7% of all income. Today, government transfer payments account for 18.4% of all income.
#90 U.S. households are now receiving more income from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes.
#89 According to a new study conducted by the BlackRock Investment Institute, the ratio of household debt to personal income in the United States is now 154 percent.
#88 If you can believe it, one out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards.
#87 According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5% of all personal consumption back in 1980. Today they account for approximately 16.3%.
#86 The cost of a health insurance policy for the average American family rose by a whopping 9 percent last year, and according to a report put out by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, the average family health insurance policy now costs over $15,000 a year.
#85 One study found that approximately 41 percent of working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.
#84 An all-time record 49.9 million Americans do not have any health insurance at all at this point, and the percentage of Americans covered by employer-based health plans has fallen for 11 years in a row.
#83 According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States. Of those bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, approximately 75 percent of them involved individuals that actually did have health insurance.
#82 Average yearly tuition at U.S. private universities is now up to $27,293.
#81 The cost of college tuition in the United States has gone up by over 900 percent since 1978.
#80 In America today, approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loans.
#79 In 2010, the average college graduate had accumulated approximately $25,000 in student loan debt by graduation day.
#78 The total amount of student loan debt in the United States now exceeds the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.
#77 One-third of all college graduates end up taking jobs that don't even require college degrees.
#76 In the United States today, there are more than 100,000 janitors that have college degrees.
#75 In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.
#74 In the United States today, approximately 365,000 cashiers have college degrees.
#73 It is being projected that for the first time ever, the OPEC nations are going to bring in over a trillion dollars from exporting oil this year. Their biggest customer is the United States.
#72 U.S. oil companies will bring in about $200 billion in pre-tax profits this year. They will also receive about $4.4 billion in specialized tax breaks from the U.S. government.
#71 The United States has had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976, and since that time the United States has run a total trade deficit of more than 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the world.
#70 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
#69 The U.S. trade deficit with China is now 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.
#68 Today, the United States spends more than 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.
#67 China has surpassed the United States and is now the largest PC market in the entire world.
#66 In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in "advanced technology products" of $16 billion with the rest of the world. In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.
#65 In 2010, the number one U.S. export to China was "scrap and trash".
#64 Do you remember when the United States was the dominant manufacturer of automobiles and trucks on the globe? Well, in 2010 the U.S. ran a trade deficit in automobiles, trucks and parts of $110 billion.
#63 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
#62 If you can believe it, more than 42,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been closed down since 2001.
#61 Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.
#60 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.
#59 According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades.
#58 If you gathered together all of the workers that are "officially" unemployed in the United States today, they would constitute the 68th largest country in the world.
#57 There are fewer payroll jobs in the United States right now than there were back in 2000 even though we have added 30 million extra people to the population since then.
#56 Back in 1969, 95 percent of all men between the ages of 25 and 54 had a job. In July, only 81.2 percent of men in that age group had a job.
#55 Only 55.3% of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 were employed last year. That was the lowest level that we have seen since World War II.
#54 Today, there are 5.9 million Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 that are living with their parents.
#53 The economic downturn has been particularly tough on men. According to Census data, men are twice as likely to live with their parents as women are.
#52 According to one recent survey, only 14 percent of all Americans that are 28 or 29 years old are optimistic about their financial futures.
#51 Incredibly, less than 30 percent of all U.S. teens had a job this summer.
#50 According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.
#49 Since the year 2000, we have lost approximately 10% of our middle class jobs. In the year 2000 there were about 72 million middle class jobs in the United States but today there are only about 65 million middle class jobs.
#48 In 1980, 52 percent of all jobs in the United States were middle income jobs. Today, only 42 percent of all jobs are middle income jobs.
#47 Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs. Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.
#46 According to Paul Osterman, a professor of economics at MIT, approximately 20 percent of all employed Americans are making $10.65 an hour or less.
#45 Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.
#44 Since December 2007, median household income in the United States has declined by a total of 6.8% once you account for inflation.
#43 New home sales in the United States are now down 80% from the peak in July 2005.
#42 The all-time record for fewest number of new homes sold in the United States was broken in 2009. Then it was broken again in 2010. It is on pace to be broken once again in 2011.
#41 At one point this year, U.S. home prices had fallen a whopping 33% from where they were at during the peak of the housing bubble.
#40 U.S. home values have fallen approximately 6 trillion dollars since the housing crisis first began.
#39 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18 percent of all homes in the state of Florida are sitting vacant. That figure is 63 percent larger than it was just ten years ago.
#38 Historically, the percentage of residential mortgages in foreclosure in the United States has tended to hover between 1 and 1.5 percent. Today, it is up around 4.5 percent.
#37 According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, at least 8 million Americans are currently at least one month behind on their mortgage payments.
#36 According to a Harris Interactive survey taken near the end of last year, 77 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. In 2007, the same survey found that only 43 percent of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck.
#35 Starting on January 1st, 2011 the Baby Boomers began to hit retirement age. From now on, every single day more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach the age of 65. That is going to keep happening every single day for the next 19 years.
#34 According to a new poll by Americans for Secure Retirement, 88 percent of all Americans are worried about "maintaining a comfortable standard of living in retirement". Last year, that figure was at 73 percent.
#33 One out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the federal poverty line.
#32 In 1950, each retiree's Social Security benefit was paid for by 16 U.S. workers. According to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are now only 1.75 full-time private sector workers for each person that is receiving Social Security benefits in the United States.
#31 According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Social Security system paid out more in benefits than it received in payroll taxes in 2010. That was not supposed to happen until at least 2016.
#30 The U.S. government now says that the Medicare trust fund will run out five years faster than they were projecting just last year.
#29 According to one study, the 50 U.S. state governments are collectively 3.2 trillion dollars short of what they need to meet their pension obligations.
#28 A different study has shown that individual Americans are $6.6 trillion short of what they need to retire comfortably.
#27 Between 1991 and 2007 the number of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 that filed for bankruptcy rose by a staggering 178 percent.
#26 According to a shocking AARP survey of Baby Boomers that are still in the workforce, 40 percent of them plan to work "until they drop".
#25 Last year, 2.6 million more Americans dropped into poverty. That was the largest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959.
#24 Back in the year 2000, 11.3% of all Americans were living in poverty. Today, 15.1% of all Americans are living in poverty.
#23 More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid. Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, approximately one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.
#22 More than 45 million Americans are now on food stamps.
#21 The number of Americans on food stamps has increased 74% since 2007.
#20 Approximately one-third of the entire population of the state of Alabama is now on food stamps.
#19 Right now, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.
#18 It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.
#17 The poverty rate for children living in the United States increased to 22% in 2010.
#16 There are 314 counties in the United States where at least 30% of the children are facing food insecurity.
#15 In Washington D.C., the "child food insecurity rate" is 32.3%.
#14 More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.
#13 It is estimated that up to half a million children may currently be homeless in the United States.
#12 The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.
#11 According to a recent report from the AFL-CIO, the average CEO made 343 times more money than the average American did last year.
#10 The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now own more than a third of all the wealth in the United States.
#9 The poorest 50% of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.
#8 The percentage of millionaires in Congress is more than 50 times higher than the percentage of millionaires in the general population.
#7 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006. Today, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million.
#6 According to one recent poll, 90 percent of the American people believe that economic conditions in the United States are "poor". To put this in perspective, only 11 percent of Americans rated economic conditions in the U.S. as "poor" back in January of 1999.
#5 According to another recent poll, 80 percent of the American people believe that we are actually in a recession right now.
#4 Our dollar is being systematically destroyed by the Federal Reserve. An item that cost $20.00 in 1970 will cost you $116.78 today. An item that cost $20.00 in 1913 will cost you $457.67 today.
#3 The Federal Reserve made $16.1 trillion in secret loans to their friends during the last financial crisis.
#2 The Federal Reserve is a perpetual debt machine. Today, the U.S. national debt is more than 4700 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was created back in 1913.
#1 According to a new CNN/ORC International Poll, 27 percent of all Americans have never even heard of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
We need to educate America.
Please share this with as many people as you can. Time is running out for America, and 2012 is going to be an absolutely pivotal year in the history of this nation.
We are in the midst of a long-term economic decline that is rapidly accelerating. If dramatic changes are not made very quickly, we will soon witness a full-blown collapse of the economy.
Wake up as many people as you can.
We are running out of time.
*Post courtesy of the Economic Collapse Blog.
- Ignore rharmelink
|10/17/2011 10:04:06 PM
>> #100 A staggering 48.5% of all Americans live in a household that receives some form of government benefits. Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.
And that number will continue to get larger as more and more baby boomers retire and get SS benefits. Baby boomers that have paid into the plan for decades. Heck, FICA got more of my earned income than my 401K. That's not to say SS and Medicare aren't Ponzi scheme. :(
I found this interesting ("Who Pays Americaâ€™s Tax Burden, and Who Gets the Most Government Spending?":
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