Yes, sport fans, it's finally happened: Our Central Banks Promise To Save our World On Monday, if Greece Elects a Crazy Person This Weekend. A senior US official cautioned that the Greek election will not provide "the definitive signal on what happens next" in the euro zone debt crisis, but if severe market strains emerge after an unusual confluence of three elections this weekend, there are important polls in Egypt and France as well: "The central banks are preparing for coordinated action to provide liquidity," said a senior G20 aide familiar with discussions among international financial diplomats. His statement was confirmed by several other G20 officials. Wall Street stocks jumped sharply on the news, with the S&P 500 and the Dow Industrials both up more than 1 percent. The Euro added to gains and US government debt prices fell, boosting yields. A move to boost liquidity could mark a dramatic backdrop to the G20 summit of world leaders, who will gather in Los Cabos, Mexico, on Monday and Tuesday, where Europe's escalating crisis tops the agenda. Leaders will be accompanied by finance ministers playing an advisory role. The ministers, who usually keep a low profile at these summits, have scheduled a working dinner on Monday and lunch on Tuesday. Depending on the severity of the market response, an emergency meeting of ministers from the Group of Seven developed nations could be held on Monday or Tuesday in Los Cabos, with central bankers joining by phone, a second G20 official said. Their first line of defense probably would be a statement that policymakers are ready to take whatever steps are needed to assure market stability.
A political deal will be struck to save the Democrat Party from total collapse, and protecting the Republican Party from revelations of complicity in the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people: A growing number of Americans are now learning that Barack Obama, according to Article II, Section 1, Clause5 of the US Constitution, is an illegal President. The law requires a candidate for the Presidency to be a "natural born citizen," that is, a second generation American, a US citizen, whose parents were also US citizens at the time of the candidate's birth. Obama's father was a citizen of Kenya and a British subject at the time of his birth, which made him forever ineligible for the Presidency. Practically speaking, that issue is not a problem for Obama, because the Republican Party also wants to violate the Constitution. Many Republicans are aggressively advocating Florida Senator Marco Rubio as Mitt Romney's Vice Presidential candidate. Rubio is ineligible because, even though he was born in the United States, his parents were Cuban citizens at the time of his birth. Since 1975, both Democrat and Republican politicians have been trying unsuccessfully to amend Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the US Constitution. The election of Obama has allowed them to do so, not legally, but by "fait accompli." According to the wishes of Democrat and Republican politicians, Anwar al-Awlaki, killed by a drone strike on September 30, 2011, was eligible to be President, because he was born in New Mexico of Yemeni parents. Al- Awlaki was the "spiritual leader" of al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsular, whose sermons at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia were attended by two hijackers who carried out the 9/11 attacks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in China on Tuesday, for a two-day official visit. Putin plans to sign more than a dozen bilateral documents during his meetings with Chinese officials. On June 6-7, he will take part in the Beijing summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, RIA Novosti reports. During his visit to China, Putin will coordinate positions of the two countries on Syria and Iran. As for the SCO, the sides will discuss the questions related to the penetration of extremists to Central Asia. Putin is making the trip to China against the background of the surging crisis on the financial market, and the increasing pressure that the West has been putting on Russia and China in terms of the Syrian and Iranian problem. To crown it all, the withdrawal of NATO's troops from Afghanistan may put the national security of the two countries at risk. The discussion of the most serious problems of international politics will show to which extent Russia and China are close to each other. The two powers do not accept the policies of the West! The main goal is to change "non-democratic" regimes. China and Russia share similar views on Syria and Iran. The same can be said about the role of the United Nations in international affairs. Moscow and Beijing stand against the interventions in Arab countries bypassing the UN. However, Russia promotes integration via the Eurasian alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization. China is less interested in these organizations According to Chinese experts, Putin wants to get Russia involved in integration processes in Europe in the first place. Asia comes second for the Russian administration, they say!
The United States' war in Afghanistan reached a new milestone this week, when the death toll of Americans killed in the decade-long Operation Enduring Freedom reached 2,000. The US Department of Defense reports this week that Cpl Taylor J. Baune, 21, of Andover, Minnesota lost his life in Helmand province, Afghanistan on Wednesday. The marine wed his high-school sweetheart earlier this rear, only to be deployed overseas by the military and killed just three months later. The Pentagon has not released information about the cause of death. The Star Tribune reports that Baune's commitment with the Marines was slated to expire this year, at which point he was expected to retire from the Armed Services, because he did not intend on spending his life in the military. Now, however, he will live forever as a statistic in America's longest on-going war by becoming the two-thousandths US soldier to die during the post-9/11 response to al-Qaeda and Taliban-affiliated insurgents. The death of Cpl. Baune comes only weeks after the Defense Department revealed another shocking statistic: According to the Pentagon's latest research, the rate of suicide among active duty American soldiers is currently at around one-per-day. "It's a sign in general of the stress the Army has been under over the 10 years of war," Dr. Stephen N Xenakis, a retired Army brigadier general and a practicing psychiatrist, tells the Associated Press. "We've seen before that these signs show up even more dramatically when the fighting seems to go down and the Army is returning to garrison." US President Barack Obama flew to Afghanistan last month to finalize plans with that country's president, Hamid Karzai, that would expedite America's exit from the war. Operation Enduring Freedom has so far killed 2,000 US troops in roughly 3,900 days, but is expected to continue through 2014.
The United States is awaiting the arrival of debris three times its own size from Japan, but despite new objects washing up daily on the West Coast, Washington is "hoping" the problem will literally just disappear. Earlier this week, a 70-foot metal dock turned up on the Oregon shore. Japanese officials immediately identified its original home: The Japanese city of Misawa, which had been devastated by the tsunami in March 2011. The dock is only the forerunner of a much more dangerous wave of flotsam, Chris Pallister, who heads Gulf of Alaska Keeper, a coastal clean-up organization, told AP. "There are going to be a lot of drums full of chemicals that we won't be able to identify. I think this is far worse than any oil spill that we've ever faced on the West Coast or any other environmental disaster we've faced on the West Coast," continued Pallister, comparing the debris to the Exxon Valdez spill that devastated the region in 1989. West Coast politicians echoed the concerns of environmentalists, with Alaskan Democratic Senator Mark Begich calling the drift a "national emergency." He said the cleanup could cost $45 million. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Ocean Service (NOAA), the organization responsible for such emergencies, only has $618,000 dedicated to tsunami debris removal. In fact, NOAA's entire budget is less than a tenth of the amount of necessary funds. It has said that it will be up to individual states to save their own beaches. In turn, considering the unpredictability of here the flotsam will land, individual states are hoping that the national government will create a central program from which resources can be allocated as needed. So, why hasn't the US government created such a program?
A critical document from President Barack Obama's free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations was leaked online early Wednesday morning, revealing that the administration intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations, contradicting prior promises: The leaked document has been posted on the website of Public Citizen, a long-time critic of the administration's trade objectives. The new leak follows substantial controversy surrounding the secrecy of the talks, in which some members of Congress have complained they are not being given the same access to trade documents that corporate officials receive. "The outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why US trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of trade negotiations," said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch in a written statement. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has been so incensed by the lack of access as to introduce legislation requiring further disclosure. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has gone so far as to leak a separate document from the talks on his website. Other Senators are considering writing a letter to Ron Kirk, the top trade negotiator under Obama, demanding more disclosure. The newly leaked document is one of the most controversial of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. It addresses a broad sweep of regulations governing international investment and reveals the Obama administration's advocacy for policies that environmental activists, financial reform advocates and labor unions have long rejected, for eroding key protections currently in domestic laws!
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently unveiled a northern border strategy. which seeks to address security concerns, while at the same time facilitating the flow of lawful travel and trade. The new plan promotes enhanced shared intelligence and joint law enforcement integration with Canada. It further builds on initiatives included in the Beyond the Border agreement and is part of ongoing efforts to lay the foundation for a North American security perimeter. On June 5, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the "Northern Border Strategy" (NBS) aimed at deterring and preventing terrorism, smuggling, trafficking and illegal immigration. In a press release, she explained how the new plan, provides a unifying framework for the Departments work, focused on enhancing the security and resiliency along our northern border while expediting legitimate travel and trade with Canada. In order to accomplish these objectives, the NBS seeks to improve information sharing and analysis within within DHS, as well as with key partners. The Department will also enhance coordination of US-Canada joint intradictions and investigations, deploy technologies to aid joint security efforts along the border, and continue to update infrastructure. The NBS parallels the National Northern Border Counter-narcotics Strategy issued in January. It also supports goals outlined in the US-Canada Beyond the Border action plan, which focuses on addressing security threats early, facilitating trade, economic growth and jobs, integrating cross-border law enforcement, as well as improving infrastructure and cyber-security.
When it comes to the World Trade Center towers and Building 7's collapse on that dreadful day in September of 2001, one thing is for sure, the actual impact from the planes DID NOT CAUSE the collapse of the massive steel structures that stood above the New York skyline, nor did the jet fuel or fires. It is also a fact that micro-nukes do exist, and have since the 50's. The Special Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM) was a family of man-portable nuclear weapons fielded by the US military in the 1960's, but was never used in actual combat. The US Army planned to use the weapons in Europe in the event of a Soviet invasion: US Army Engineers would use the weapon to irradiate, destroy, and deny key routes of communication through limited terrain such as the Fulda Gap. Troops were trained to parachute into Soviet occupied western Europe with the SADM and destroy power plants, bridges, and dams. The project, which involved a small nuclear weapon, was designed to allow one person to parachute from any type of aircraft carrying the weapon package and place it in a harbor or other strategic location that could be accessed from the sea. Another parachutist without a weapon package would follow the first to provide support as needed. The two-person team would place the weapon package in the target location, set the timer, and swim into the ocean, where they would be retrieved by a submarine or a high-speed surface water craft. In the 1950's and 1960's, the United States developed several different types of lightweight nuclear devices. The main one was the W54, a cylinder 40 by 60 cm (about 16 by 24 inches) that weighed 68 kg (150 lbs). It was fired by a mechanical timer and had a variable yield equivalent to between 10 tons and 1 kiloton of TNT. On 9/11, there is little doubt that multiple bombs were detonated in the WTC complex. This fact can not be disputed, and is clearly documented by hundreds of videos and backed up by many eye witness testimonies!
With the war there officially "ended" and most of our troops back home, Iraq isn't getting much ink these days, but the story is far from over: Iraq's closest partnership is no longer with the US, but with its Shiite neighbor, Iran. I point this out not to add to the fear-mongering and saber-rattling currently fashionable in DC, but to highlight the absurdity of rattling those sabers at Iran without acknowledging the role our disastrous war in Iraq played in making Iran more powerful. "The war in Iraq will soon belong to history," proclaimed President Obama as he marked the occasion of bringing the last troops home, but while the military chapter of that disastrous undertaking might belong to history, its consequences belong very much to the present: Obama Trade Document Leaked, Reveals New Corporate Powers And Broken Campaign Promises. Wave of Bomb Attacks Kills 53 in Iraq! DOJ Takes Big Action Against Florida Voter Purge! Mitt Romney Wrong By Billions On Federal Spending! Greeks Withdrawing Cash, Stocking Up On Food Ahead Of Election! Marlo Thomas: You can't judge a book by its cover. But you can absolutely judge a magazine that way, because the cover is a good indication of what the magazine cares about. And that is precisely, why 40 yearsago, women everywhere began grabbing Ms. magazine with both hands. From the start, and continuing today, those covers have instantly told you that Ms cared about what women care about!
In the wake of the Houla massacre and the flow of disinformation aimed at blaming the Syrian government for the atrocities, Global Research brings to the attention of its readers a selection of key articles, which demonstrate unequivocally that the massacre was committed by the US-NATO supported Free Syrian Army (FSA). According to Prof. Chandra Muzaffar, There is no credible, independent entity that can help reveal the entire truth about the Houla massacre. The United Nations Human Rights Council, which has passed a resolution condemning the massacre hastily targeted the Syrian government as the culprit without waiting for reports from the UN-Arab League Observer Mission in Syria. This is one of the reasons why China, Cuba and Russia voted against the resolution. The Council has since the outbreak of the conflict in Syria 14 months ago adopted an antagonistic attitude towards the government. In all its submissions to the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, it has ignored or downplayed the views of the Syrian government. According to Ronda Hauben, in an article entitled "The United Nations and the Houla Massacre: The Houla Massacre: The Information Battlefield: The narrative that is being spread by much of the mainstream western and Arab satellite media is a narrative that blames the Assad government for the Houla massacre. At first that media claimed that the people killed, including women and children, had been killed by shelling from Syrian troops attacking the town. In examining the videos and photos put on- line or provided by the opposition making these claims. However, it became evident that many of the victims, particularly the women and children, had been killed at close range by bullets and knives, and not by the shelling of heavy weapons by the Syrian military.
The turbulent ramifications of last week's New York Times story detailing the operations of Barack Obama's White House death squad continue to reverberate across the country today, sending shock waves through Washington and bringing crowds of outraged protesters. Just kidding! As we all know, there have been no "ramifications" at all from this shocking story, no scandal whatsoever surrounding the fact that the President of the United States and his aides meet every week to draw up lists of people to be killed all over the world, even people who are completely unknown, who might simply be "behaving" in unspecified ways that some desk jockey somewhere has decided might possibly be indicative of malign intent. No scandal, no consequences, no imbroglio, no brouhaha. The caravan moved on, and the dogs didn't even bark. But wait, that's not quite true. There was one minor scandal issuing, in part, from the story. Republicans seized the opportunity to accuse Obama, again, of leaking classified matters for his own political gain. Obama was forced to deny authorizing the leaks from his closest advisers and friends happened to leak this top-secret information without his knowledge. This was followed by bipartisan Congressional calls to cloak the government's atrocities in even thicker clouds of murk. Thus the only consequence from the revelation that the US government not only asserts the arbitrary right to kill anyone on earth, but actually has a formal process to carry out this serial murder, is that it will now be harder than ever to expose any of the crimes and corruption and sinister follies of the vast national security "apparat". But as for the moral content of the murder program, there has been no scandal at all.
A pair of suicide bombers struck outside NATO's biggest base in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing 20 civilians and wounding 50, officials said, in one of the bloodiest attacks in recent weeks. Officials and villagers in Logar province, about 30 km south of Kabul, said a NATO air strike killed 18 civilians, including women and children, along with six Taliban insurgents. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said there was an air strike in the area during a raid on a Taliban commander, but there were no civilian deaths. It said two women received non-life threatening injuries and that a number of insurgents were killed. Four provincial governors from the south were at a meeting at the sprawling NATO base in Kandahar when the twin suicide attacks took place. General Abdul Hameed, Afghan army commander for the southern region, told Reuters. A bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up in a parking lot near the base, packed with truck drivers and other civilians waiting to get into the facility. A few minutes later, as people gathered at the site of the blast, another bomber on foot walked into the crowd and detonated his explosives, said Ahmad Faisal, a spokesman for the provincial governor. A spokesman for the NATO-led force said the coalition was aware of the incident, but directed all questions to civilian authorities. Violence has surged across Afghanistan since the Taliban began a spring offensive in April, vowing to target the Afghan government and security forces, as well as the 130,000 foreign troops in the country. Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, has seen some of the worst attacks. The violence has stoked concern that Afghan forces may struggle against a Taliban insurgency at its deadliest once most Western combat troops leave by the end of 2014.
At my father's funeral, the presiding minister, Ebb Munden, was a man who had been one of my dad's closest friends. Ebb talked about how the last time he had gone to see my dad before he lost consciousness, he had been very emotional, but that my dad had comforted him by gripping his hand and telling him it would be all right, that he was at peace and Ebb should be, too. The lesson was that even at our physically weakest, we could still help other people and make things better in the world. I was thinking of that this past weekend, when I went to see my brother Kevin back home in Lincoln, Nebraska. Kevin is one of those people whom followers of Ayn Rand's philosophy would call a leech on society. Rand believed that people with disabilities were leeches and parasites on society, and that the "parasites should perish." Kevin's birth father broke a chair over his head and gave him brain damage, so he is developmentally disabled and has difficulty speaking clearly. He came to my family when we were both 11 years old, and has been not only my brother, but one of my closest friends ever since. As an adult in recent years, his body has continued to betray him as he is hard of hearing, can't see well, and has muscular dystrophy. Recently, he had to go into a hospital for major surgery, and then developed pneumonia. His muscular dystrophy makes it especially tough to recover from all this. For all of that, though, Kevin still contributes to the world around him, just as he always has. He has always shown great tenderness to the people around him, and still does.
One could be forgiven for thinking there's anything honorable or honest about Colin Powell. For more than two decades now, the Washington media has portrayed the former Secretary of State as something of a real life action hero, a reluctant warrior whose greatest fault, should they deign to mention any, was just being too darn loyal to a guy named George and his buddy Dick. What you might have missed is that Powell is a war criminal in his own right, one who in more than four decades of "public service" helped kill people from Vietnam to Panama to Iraq, who never posed a threat to America. But don't just take some anti-war activists' word for it: Powell will proudly tell you as much, so long as he can make a buck from doing it in a book. Powell's latest $27.99 account of his legendary life is billed as a "powerful portrait of a leader who is reflective, self-effacing, and grateful for the contributions of everyone he works with." But the title, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership, could very well refer to Powell's own careerist ambitions: saying and doing whatever served the interests of power, as a young officer in Vietnam, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the illegal invasion of Panama, as Secretary of State under George W. Bush, has worked out tremendously well for the man, if not so much for those unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of his public service. Though billed as a self-effacing, humble leader prepared to admit mistakes, the real Colin Powell is not the one advertised by the PR department at HarperCollins. His book makes that clear enough, when he discusses his now infamous 2003 presentation before the United Nations on Iraq's alleged stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction.
US to Russia: "Give Up" or Swim in a Sea of Syrian Blood! As revelations emerge that the violence in Syria has been premeditated by Western planners years before the Arab Spring unfolded, and as the facade of "democratic aspirations" collapsed in the face of sectarian-driven bloodbath, US officials and Western think-tank policy makers speaking with Bloomberg have stated that their final message to Russia in order to begin regime change is essentially this: The violence will continue to be purposefully escalated until regime change is accomplished. Russia can capitulate now and have a say in how transition occurs, or capitulate later and suffer exclusion, as was the case in Libya. Bloomberg cites "US officials" who claim they are meeting wih Russia to seek an "orderly transition." Just how close the US is, or believes it is to actually overthrowing the Syrian government is a matter of varied opinion. What is not opinion is the fact that the US has openly conspired to "bleed" Syria to death, to perpetually limit its geopolitical influence throughout the Middle East, or to eventually precipitate the fall of the government: This was stated very clearly in Brookings Institution's "Middle East Memo #21, "Assessing Options for Regime Change". "An alternative is for diplomatic efforts to focus first on how to end the violence and how to gain humanitarian access, as is being done under Annans leadership. This may lead to the creation of safe-havens and humanitarian corridors, which would have to be backed by limited military power. This would, of course,fall short of US goals for Syria, and could preserve Asad in power.
The recently declared plan by the members of Persian Gulf Cooperation Council to annex the soil of Bahrein to Saudi Arabia and form a greater Arab union has attested to the fact that the tyrannical and merciless rulers of Arab sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf are still obliviously living in the colonial era, dating back to the early 1550s, when the world's major colonial powers relied on the power of arms and ammunition to conquer and attain new territories and put the rivals' nose out of joint in a conspicuous show-off of muscle-flexing. It's more than a year that the spirited, courageous youths of Bahrain have refused to leave the streets of capital Manama and other major cities of the country, continuously demanding the downfall of the dictatorial regime of Al Khalifa which is unconditionally financed, armed and backed by the United States and its puppet allies Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. The Witness Bahrain website associated with the opposition groups puts the number of civilian deaths resulting from Al Khalifa crackdown on the peaceful protesters in the past 15 months at 65, but it is not certain that the number of protesters killed at the hands of the mercenaries of Al Khalifa regime is far greater than this: Over the past year, the Bahraini officials resorted to every means at their disposal to distract the public attention from their bloody crackdown on the peaceful protestors demanding the ouster of the King and the dissolution of his despotic government. They even refused to cancel the Grand Prix 2012 race in April 2012, amid growing international protests by the mass media, human rights groups, academicians and politicians who had felt and recognized the depth of the catastrophe taking place in the tiny Persian Gulf country.
Ever since the beginning of the financial crisis and Quantitative Easing, the question has been before us: How can the Federal Reserve maintain zero interest rates for banks and negative real interest interest rates for savers and bond bond holders when the US government is adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt every year via its budget deficits? Not long ago, the Fed announced that it was going to continue this policy for another 2 or 3 years. Indeed, the Fed is locked into the policy for another 2or 3 years. Indeed, he Fed is locked into the policy. Without the artificially low interest rates, the debt service on the national debt would be so large that it would raise questions about the US Treasury's credit rating and the viability of the dollar, and the trillions of dollars in Interest Rate Swaps and other derivatives would come unglued. In other words, financial deregulation leading to Wall Street gambles, the US governments decision to bail out the banks and keep them afloat, and the Federal Reserves zero interest rate policy have put the economic future of the US and its currency in an untenable and dangerous position. It will not be possible to continue to flood the bond markets with $1.5 trillion in new issues each year, when the interest rate on the bonds is less than the rate of inflation. Everyone who purchases a Treasury bond is purchasing a depreciated asset. Moreover, the capital risk of investing in Treasuries is very high. A rise in interest rates, which must come sooner or later, will collapse the price of the bonds and inflict capital losses on bond holders, both domestic and foreign. The question is: When is sooner or later? The purpose of this article is to examine that question. Let us begin by answering the question: How has such an untenable policy managed to last this long?
Argentine banks have seen a third of their US dollar deposits withdrawn since November, as savers chase greenbacks in response to stiffening foreign exchange restrictions, local banking sources said n Friday. Depositors withdrew a total of about $100 million per day over the last month in a safe-haven bid fueled by uncertainty over policies that might be adopted as pressure grows to keep US currency in the country. The chase for dollars is motivated by fear that the government may further toughen its clamp down on access to the US currency, as high inflation and lack of faith in government policy erode the local peso. "Deposits keep going down," said one foreign exchange broker who asked not to be named. "There is a disparity among banks, but in total it's about $80 million to $120 million per day." US dollar deposits of Argentina banks fell 11.2 percent in the preceding three weeks to $11.5 billion, according to central bank data released on Friday. The run on the greenback has waxed and waned since November, after President Cristina Fernandez won a second term on promises of deepening the state's role in the economy. From May 11 until Friday, data compiled by Reuters from private banks showed $1.9 billion in US currency had been withdrawn, or about 15 percent of all greenbacks deposited in the country. Feisty populist leader Fernandez was re-elected in October, vowing to "deepen the model" of the interventionist policies associated with her predecessor, Nestor Kirchner, who is also her late husband. Since then she has limited imports, imposed capital controls and seized a majority stake in top energy company YPF.
"With respect to the Sudeten German problem my patience is now exhausted! I have made Mr Benes an offer, which contains nothing but the realization of what he himself assured as would be done. The decision is in his hands! Peace or war! Adolf Hitler, Berlin, September 26, 1938. "We are reaching the limits of our patience here, and for that reason it is extremely important that Pakistan take action to prevent this kind of safe haven from taking place, and allowing terrorists to use their country as a safety net in order to conduct their attacks on our forces." Leon Panetta, Kabul, June 7, 2012. So what is Leon Panetta going to do if militant attacks on US forces in Afghanistan continue? Of course it's easy to blame Pakistan for the outcome of the war begun by America in Afghanistan. After all, somebody has to take the blame for the shambles, ans it can't possibly be Washington. But Mr Panetta and the rest of the blame-shifters had better take care, because if they try to do to Pakistan what Hitler did to Czechoslovakia in 1939, they will find rather stiffer opposition than that offered by the poor bullied Czechs. Mr Panetta and the rest of the blame-shifters had better take care, because if they try to do to Pakistan what Hitler did to Czechoslovakia in 1939, they will find rather stiffer opposition than that offered by the poor bullied Czechs. Mr Panetta's complaint is that militants based in Pakistan , mainly tribal Afghans, Arabs of various weird persuasions, and gangs of thugs from the Central Asian Republics cross into Afghanistan and join their comrades there to conduct attacks on foreign and Afghan forces. But before the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001-2002, there were no Afghan Taliban or other foreign extremists in Pakistan. There were no militant bases in Pakistan's tribal areas. The region was hardly tranquil, simply because the tribes continued to be as hot-blooded as they have been for centuries!
Carl Jung: As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being. Knowledge does not always prevail or even endure. When the Empire fell, the Justinian Code was replaced by Canon Law. The augustness of knowledge was transformed into heresy and mankind's curiosity was virtually extinguished. The age became dark. In the 11th century, people began to study rediscovered Greek and Roman texts. The darkness of the age had begun to lift, but the lifting took seven hundred years and was never completed. Today, nothing ensures the light's endurance despite our pious accolades to learning and science. But anti-intellectualism never died. It continued to live in the dark alcoves of the religious institutions of the Middle Ages. That darkness came to America when its first universities were established. These universities were established as fundamentalist vocational training institutions. They were not established to further knowledge. They are madrassas, Sunday Schools, one and all. Now even this conservative educational system is under attack by ideological fundamentalists. Professors throughout the Western world, stock up on lanterns. The darkness is returning! During the Golden Age of Greece, Athens was populated by enough curious people to cause Aristotle to write, "all men by nature desire to know." He was wrong, of course, but his compatriots certainly had an intellectual bent. Athens experienced a period during which the Parthenon was built, and the city became the artistic, cultural, intellectual, and commercial center of what was then known as the civilized world. Among its inhabitants were Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Euripides, Meander, Sophocles, the sculptor Praxiteles, the orator Demosthenes, Herodotus, Thucydides, and others. A love of learning was prevalent. The Socratic method, consisting of asking questions until the essence of a subject is found by eliminating the hypotheses that lead to contradictions, was developed, and mathematics was expanded by Pythagoras.
US Secretary of War Leon Panetta is making a tour of the Asia-Pacific, where he is pumping up the next military conflict. Yesterday I hear he was in Vietnam, trying to close a deal to allow the US Navy to once again have access to the base at Cam Ranh Bay. Before leaving on his trip, Panetta made the speaking rounds back home to consolidate US media and build public support for Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific. "One of the key projects that our generation will have to face is sustaining and enhancing American strength across the great maritime region of the Pacific," he told graduates of the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland last week. "China's military is growing and modernizing. We must be vigilant. We must be strong. We must be prepared to confront any challenge," Panetta said. While in Singapore Panetta stated, "By 2020, the Navy will re-posture its forces from today's roughly 50/50 percent split between the Pacific and the Atlantic to about a 60/40 split between those oceans. That will include six aircraft carriers in this region, a majority of our cruisers, destroyers, littoral combat ships, and submarines, to project power and operate in the Asia-Pacific." He told an audience of Asian military officials that the US planned new investments in capabilities needed "to project power and operate in the Asia-Pacific," including radar-evading fighter jets, a new long-distance bomber, electronic warfare and missile defenses. The message to them is essentially, play along with us, and we will share a piece of the action with you. The Pentagon has a name for this new strategy - its called the Air-Sea Battle fighting "concept".
The suicide rate among US troops has spiked, and military officials studying the spike have found no apparent reason for this developing trend. There were 154 suicides in the first 155 days of the year, nearly one a day. The Army convened its suicide prevention group this week to study the alarming numbers, but could not pinpoint a cause. "There's obvious concern, but we've seen the numbers spike and fall before," a senior military official told NBC News, particularly during the past three years, when the number of suicides among active and reserve forces skyrocketed. Army data suggest soldiers with multiple combat tours are at greater risk of committing suicide, although a substantial proportion of Army suicides are committed by soldiers who never deployed, the Associated Press reported. A joint military-civilian task force, including some of the nation's top mental health experts has been investigating military suicides for a couple of years, military officials said. The group will unveil its findings in 2014, and has yet to pinpoint a specific catalyst. For the previous three years, the number of suicides among active duty and reserve forces has hovered around 300. The unpopular war in Afghanistan is winding down, with the last combat troops scheduled to leave at the end of 2014. But this year has seen record numbers of soldiers being killed by Afghan troops, and there also have been several scandals involving US troop misconduct. The 2012 active-duty suicide total of 154 through June 3 compares to 130 in the same period last year, an 18 percent increase, and it's more than the 136.2 suicides that the Pentagon had projected for this period based on the trend from 2001-2011. This year's January-May total is up 25 percent from two years ago, and is 16 percent ahead of the pace for 2009.
Last week, the country was riveted by the story of young Diane Tran, a high school junior age 17,who was tossed in jail for a night because she was missing too much school. The reason her case attracted so much attention. She worked two jobs to help support her siblings. Her parents had split and moved out of town. She became, in essence, a poster-girl for both the recession and for the criminalization of youth. Even those local newscasters expected to be dispassionate were moved to say their "hearts went out" to this girl. One of Tran's employers is a wedding planning business, which she assists and whose owners house her with her parents out of town. The other is a full-time job at a dry cleaning store. Her third job, then, is going to school, where she is enrolled in several AP and honors classes, but missed 18 days. After a previous warning, a judge decided that a night in jail would teach her a lesson. He didn't see why people were kicking up such a fuss. "A little stay in the jail for one night is not a death sentence," the judge told the same local news channel. But then thousands of people around the world read the headline variations on "honors student goes to jail" and began expressing their support , with their voices and their wallets, signing a petition and contributing to a fund for Tran. At last, the judge in the case agreed to dismiss the contempt charges he had leveled at Tran. News sources reported that with paperwork, she can have her record expunged. But none of these reprieves happened until Tran had already spent the night in jail. Tran is an "honors student" with an obviously compelling story. But the question lingers: Is jail the answer for a kid under 18, even those who don't have her excuse for offenses like truancy, or worse? Our incarceration system, after all, designed for adults, has deep, perhaps unfixable defects: Why send those we deem too young for a college campus into a cell?