Worsening Drought Threatens Australia’s “Food Bowl”


An agricultural region that produces over 40 percent of Australia‘s fruit, vegetables, and grain is seriously threatened by the country’s ongoing drought, which has been developing into a crisis over the last decade. Scientists say that the two mighty rivers that irrigate the Murray-Darling Basin (an area the size of France and Germany combined) received the lowest amount of replenishing autumn rain since record-keeping began over a century ago.

Neil Plummer, acting head of the National Climate Centre, described rainfall during the southern hemisphere autumn as “an absolute shocker”, and said: “I’m gasping for good news”. Wendy Craik, chief executive of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, said the river system’s condition was “critical… tending towards flatlining”. She added: “We have got it on life support” [The Independent].

Related articles:
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Floods may boost world food prices for years
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The Best Farmland in the U.S. Is Flooded; Most Americans Are Too Stupid to Panic
The Price Of Food: 2007 – 2008
The U.S. Has No Remaining Grain Reserves
Nine meals from anarchy – how Britain is facing a very real food crisis
Time to Stockpile Food?
Food Riots are Coming to the U.S.
UN alert: One-fourth of world’s wheat at risk from new fungus
THE FOUR HORSEMEN APPROACH – FAMINE IS IN THE AIR
Philippines: Food Shortage Looms – Arroyo Adviser

The degrading ecosystem may cause strife between farmers and environmentalists, as the government has said it might be forced to compulsorily acquire water from irrigators, a move that would anger and devastate farm families [The Daily Telegraph]. Conservationists say the mandatory water buy-backs are necessary to protect the wetland habitat of native birds, turtles and fish.

Read moreWorsening Drought Threatens Australia’s “Food Bowl”

David Icke – Big Brother, the Big Picture (July 6th 2008)

David Icke speaks to the constituents of Haltemprice and Howden about the ‘Big Brother’ election, forced by the resignation of David Davis, and the move towards the global Big Brother enslavement we are all facing. (Official Full Version)

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…there will not be any choice about wearing one.

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This video contains a lot of very important information.
I disagree with David Icke on his view of the ancient civilizations.
The elite is abusing the knowledge of these ancient civilizations.
The elite is abusing the universal powerful symbols
, that our subconscious mind understands directly, because it is the universal language.
These ancient civilizations have fallen into darkness several thousand years ago and so has their knowledge.
– The Infinite Unknown

Source: Google Video

Bankers Use Secret Clinics, Nurses to Beat Breakdowns

July 11 (Bloomberg) — On a private island 20 minutes by helicopter from central London, a hovercraft sits on the lawn of a turreted Edwardian manor house as swallows swoop around.

Trees and wildflowers line a lane that leads to a cluster of buildings that house a pool table, a 12-seat movie theater and an art studio. A yacht is moored nearby.

The island isn’t a country hideaway. It’s the Causeway Retreat, a mental health and addiction center that charges as much as 10,000 pounds ($20,000) a week for treatment away from the prying eyes of colleagues and the media. There is a waiting list for the facility’s 15 rooms.

“We get lots of CEOs of companies, traders, high-end business guys,” says Managing Director Brendan Quinn. “They want treatment, but they want it to be discreet.”

Read moreBankers Use Secret Clinics, Nurses to Beat Breakdowns

China to urgently boost GM crop development

China has said it must urgently step up the development of genetically modified crops as it faces mounting challenges to feed its 1.3 billion people due to shrinking arable land and climate change.

Newly-approved plans aim to cultivate high-yielding and pest-resistant genetically modified species, the State Council, or cabinet, said in a statement posted on its website late Wednesday

At a meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, Chinese leaders said the plans were “of strategic significance” in the country’s drive to make its agricultural sector more efficient and competitive internationally, the statement said.

“Departments must fully understand the importance and urgency of this significant project, further improve the programme and waste no time to carry it out,” it said.

It gave no details on which crops should be developed, but analysts said the plans were likely to focus on developing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, including corn and rice.

China has become a major producer of genetically modified cotton and vegetables such as peppers and tomatoes, but it has yet to begin large-scale production of genetically modified rice, corn and soybeans.

Read moreChina to urgently boost GM crop development

Iran does not intend to wipe out Israel, says Ahmadinejad


Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Israel is disintegrating on its own and Iran will not take any act of aggression against it.

“Israel is an illegal regime,” said President Ahmadinejad in a Tuesday press conference after a D8 summit in Kuala Lumpur.

“The regime will disintegrate on its own. Since Zionists can no longer sustain themselves, they have been forced to draw attention away from their present situation by blaming Iran,” he added.

President Ahmadinejad said that the Islamic Republic has never waged war against any nation and does not intend to do so, adding that Israel is not an exception to this policy.

“Iran has no plans to attack Israel,” he said in response to a question about whether the Islamic Republic intended to destroy Israel and to wipe out the Jewish people.

The Iranian president expounded that Jewish people amicably live in the Islamic Republic, are free to practice their religion, and despite being a small minority have a representative in the Iranian Parliament.

President Ahmadinejad asserted that the Israeli regime thrives on ‘invading and threatening’ regional countries. He reaffirmed that Iranians are fully prepared to defend their territorial integrity and will deliver a crushing response to invaders.

Read moreIran does not intend to wipe out Israel, says Ahmadinejad

Weak dollar sends Vatican into the red

The Vatican has blamed a weak dollar for pushing it into its first loss in four years by undermining the value of dollar-denominated donations by the faithful.

Annual accounts published this week show the Holy See fell into the red last year, recording a loss of €9.1m (£7.25m).

The US currency has fallen sharply against the euro since the start of last year, hitting the Holy See in the pocket as its expenses are incurred in euros. Much of the Vatican’s income comes from donations by Catholics around the world. The US was the largest single contributor to Peter’s Pence – the collection used by the Pope for charitable donations – sending almost $19m (£9.5m).

But the shortfall attributed mainly to the weak dollar was mitigated by a rise of €4m in property income. The Holy See is a major owner of property all over Rome and was criticised last year for raising rents and threatening to evict tenants.

Earlier this year, the Vatican released a new list of mortal sins which included “accumulating excessive wealth”. (Then the Catholic Church will go to hell for sure. Maybe the Holy See needs a divine bailout one day. – The Infinite Unknown)

Read moreWeak dollar sends Vatican into the red

Drought devastates Iraq’s wheat crops

Power outages disrupt irrigation

BAGHDAD – It’s been a year of drought and sand storms across Iraq – a dry spell that has devastated the country’s crucial wheat crop and created new worries about the safety of drinking water.

U.S. officials warn that Iraq will need to increase wheat imports sharply this winter to make up for the lost crop – a sobering proposition with world food prices high and some internal refugees already struggling to afford basics.

“Planting … is totally destroyed,” said Daham Mohammed Salim, 40, who farms 120 acres in the al-Jazeera area near Tikrit, 130 kilometres north of Baghdad. “Even the ground water in wells is lower than before.”

The Tikrit area, where Saddam Hussein was born, normally is flush with green meadows in the spring and early summer – but this year has only thistles, said 30-year-old farmer Ziyad Sano. He’s resorted to collecting bread scraps from homes to feed his 70 sheep, but 20 have died.

Related articles:
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Floods wipe out US crops
The Best Farmland in the U.S. Is Flooded; Most Americans Are Too Stupid to Panic
The Price Of Food: 2007 – 2008
The U.S. Has No Remaining Grain Reserves
Nine meals from anarchy – how Britain is facing a very real food crisis
Time to Stockpile Food?
Food Riots are Coming to the U.S.
UN alert: One-fourth of world’s wheat at risk from new fungus
THE FOUR HORSEMEN APPROACH – FAMINE IS IN THE AIR
Philippines: Food Shortage Looms – Arroyo Adviser

The dry weather has hurt areas from Kurdistan’s wheat fields in northern Iraq to pomegranate orchards, orange groves and wheat fields just north of Baghdad.

Read moreDrought devastates Iraq’s wheat crops

US: New regulation for tourists requires online registration

From January 2009, short-term visitors will only be granted entry to the US once they have registered on the website of the Electronic System Travel Authorization. This replaces the current procedure of filling out a green form handed out during the flight.

The move is meant to place greater emphasis on defending the country’s borders against the threat of terrorism. The new system is also seen as a response to the perceived growth of religious extremism in European countries, whose citizens are able to enter the US more easily.

It is hoped the new requirements will highlight people with questionable backgrounds before they leave their home country. Currently, they are able to fly to America, only to be sent back straight away by customs officials if deemed not suitable for entry.

The revamped system will affect the 27 nations covered by the visa waiver program, which includes Great Britain, and gives citizens the right to remain in the US for short periods of time without a visa. All the information filled in on the website will be held by US authorities for 15 years.

Those who fly regularly across the Atlantic stand to benefit as an approved application remains valid for up to two years, or until the traveller’s passport has run out. It also entitles the holder to multiple entries to the US during this period.

Read moreUS: New regulation for tourists requires online registration

6,700 Tons of Radioactive Debris Shipped From Kuwait to Idaho

6700 Tons of Radioactive Debris Shipped From Kuwait to Idaho
The shipment across the ocean, unloading at Longview, Washington State port, transport by rail, and burial in Idaho endangers not only the residents of these areas but poses a significant agricultural threat through introduction of pests, microbes, etc. foreign to our nation.

Doug Rokke, Ph.D. – BLN Contributing Writer

(Note: Dr. Doug Rokke is the former Director of the U.S. Army’s Depleted Uranium Project. It was his task to clean up the radioactive battlefields of the Gulf War. Today, this leading opponent of nuclear warfare is vitally concerned that sand contaminated by radioactive munitions exploded in the Middle East has been shipped to Idaho for burial. And more, much more. He asked me to call his warning to public attention.)

During the summer of 1991, the United States military had collected artillery, tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, conventional and unconventional munitions, trucks, etc. at Camp Doha in Kuwait.

As result of carelessness this weapons depot caught fire with consequent catastrophic explosion resulting in death, injury, illness and extensive environmental contamination from depleted uranium and conventional explosives.

Recently the emirate of Kuwait required the United States Department of Defense to remove the contamination. Consequently, over 6,700 tons of contaminated soil sand and other residue was collected and has been shipped back to the United States for burial by American Ecology at Boise Idaho.

When Bob Nichols, an investigative journalist, and I contacted American Ecology we found out that they had absolutely no knowledge of U.S. Army Regulation 700-48, U.S. Army PAM 700-48, U.S. Army Technical Bulletin 9-1300-278, and all of the medical orders dealing with depleted uranium contamination, environmental remediation procedures, safety, and medical care .

They had never heard of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for dealing with mixed – hazardous waste such as radioactive materials and conventional explosives byproducts. (reference “Approaches for the Remediation of Federal Facility Sites Contaminated with Explosives or Radioactive Wastes”, EPA/625/R-93/013, September 1993).

The shipment across the ocean, unloading at Longview, Washington State port, transport by rail, and burial in Idaho endangers not only the residents of these areas but poses a significant agricultural threat through introduction of pests, microbes, etc. foreign to our nation.

Sadly the known adverse health and environmental hazards from uranium weapons contamination are in our own backyard. The EPA has listed the former Nuclear Metals- Starmet uranium weapons manufacturing site in Concord Ma. On EPA’s Superfund National Priority List because it poses a significant risk to public health and the environment.

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Read more6,700 Tons of Radioactive Debris Shipped From Kuwait to Idaho

Bank Failure: IndyMac Bank seized by federal regulators

The Pasadena-based thrift’s failure is the second-biggest by a U.S. bank. Doors will reopen Monday.

The federal government took control of Pasadena-based IndyMac Bank on Friday in what regulators called the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history.

Citing a massive run on deposits, regulators shut its main branch three hours early, leaving customers stunned and upset. One woman leaned on the locked doors, pleading with an employee inside: “Please, please, I want to take out a portion.” All she could do was read a two-page notice taped to the door.

The bank’s 33 branches will be closed over the weekend, but the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will reopen the bank on Monday as IndyMac Federal Bank, said the Office of Thrift Supervision in Washington. Customers will not be able to bank by phone or Internet over the weekend, regulators said, but can continue to use ATMs, debit cards and checks. Normal branch hours, online banking and phone banking services are to resume Monday.

Federal authorities estimated that the takeover of IndyMac, which had $32 billion in assets, would cost the FDIC $4 billion to $8 billion. Regulators said deposits of up to $100,000 were safe and insured by the FDIC. The agency’s insurance fund has assets of about $52 billion.

Related article: US: Total Crash of the Entire Financial System Expected, Say Experts

IndyMac’s failure had been widely expected in recent days. As the bank was shuttering offices and laying off employees to cope with huge losses from defaulted mortgages made at the height of the housing boom, nervous depositors were pulling out $100 million a day. The bank’s stock price had plummeted to less than $1 as analysts predicted the company’s imminent demise.

The takeover of IndyMac came amid rampant speculation that the federal government would also have to take over lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together stand behind almost half of the nation’s mortgage debt.

Shares of the two mortgage giants have nose-dived this week and fell again Friday, helping to drag down the Dow Jones industrial average 128.48 points, or 1.1%, to close at 11,100.54. Investors and analysts are concerned that the two government-chartered companies need to raise billions of dollars to offset expected losses stemming from mortgage defaults, but will be unable to do so in the private market. Officials in Washington spent most of Friday trying to knock down rumors of a government bailout.

Read moreBank Failure: IndyMac Bank seized by federal regulators

Hepatitis B Vaccine: Good for ‘Newborn’, Prostitutes and Drug Users?

(NaturalNews) The Hepatitis B (Hep B) vaccine is considered one of the most controversial vaccines in the pediatric vaccination schedule. Why are we giving it to newborns and what are the adverse reactions associated with such an early vaccination?

What is Hep B?

Read moreHepatitis B Vaccine: Good for ‘Newborn’, Prostitutes and Drug Users?

Chimpanzees Beat Humans in Memory Test

(NaturalNews) Juvenile chimpanzees beat adult humans in two different short-term memory tests, according to a study conducted by researchers at Kyoto University in Japan and published in the journal Current Biology.

The research was carried out on three five-year-old chimpanzees that had been taught the order of the Arabic numerals 1 through 9, and 12 human adult volunteers. In the first test, researchers displayed the numerals in nine squares on a computer screen, and the task was to touch the squares in the proper order. But when the first square was touched, the other squares went blank, and the participant had to remember the original order.

All three chimpanzees performed faster than the human volunteers, although they did not score any higher in accuracy. Even after six months of training, three of the human volunteers were still unable to match the speed of the juvenile chimps.

In the second test, researchers included only the chimpanzee, named Ayumu, that had been the most accurate in the first test, and nine human college students. This time, five numbers were flashed on a screen briefly before disappearing, and then the participants had to touch the squares in the right order.

When the numbers were displayed for approximately seven-tenths of a second, both Ayumu and the college students scored about 80 percent accuracy in this test. When the numbers were displayed for four-tenths or two-tenths of a second, however the humans’ accuracy dropped to 40 percent and Ayumu’s remained steady at 80 percent.

Read moreChimpanzees Beat Humans in Memory Test

12 Babies die during vaccine trials in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Jul 10, 2008 — At least 12 babies who were part of a clinical study to test the effectiveness of a vaccine against pneumonia have died over the past year in Argentina, the local press reported Thursday.

The study was sponsored by global drug giant GlaxoSmithKline and uses children from poor families, who are “pressured and forced into signing consent forms,” the Argentine Federation of Health Professionals, or Fesprosa, said.

“This occurs without any type of state control” and “does not comply with minimum ethical requirements,” Fesprosa said.

The vaccine trial is still ongoing despite the denunciations, and those in charge of the study were cited by the Critica newspaper as saying that the procedures are being carried out in a lawful manner.

Colombian and Panama were also chosen by GSK as staging grounds for trials of the vaccine against the pneumococcal bacteria.

Since 2007, 15,000 children under the age of one from the Argentine provinces of Mendoza, San Juan and Santiago del Estero have been included in the research protocol, a statement of what the study is trying to achieve.

“Only 12 have died throughout the country, which is a very low figure if we compare it with the deaths produced by respiratory illnesses caused by the pneumococcal bacteria,” pediatrician Enrique Smith, one of the lead investigators, said.

Read more12 Babies die during vaccine trials in Argentina

U.S. defends laptop searches at the border


Border check: A Customs and Border Protection officer searched a truck at a border crossing in Blaine, Wash., in 2006. For the past 18 months, officials at border entries have been searching some citizens’ laptops. (Andy Nelson – Staff/File)

Courts have upheld routine checks of Americans’ hard drives at the border. Critics say they’re anything but routine.

New York – Is a laptop searchable in the same way as a piece of luggage? The Department of Homeland Security believes it is.

For the past 18 months, immigration officials at border entries have been searching and seizing some citizens’ laptops, cellphones, and BlackBerry devices when they return from international trips.

In some cases, the officers go through the files while the traveler is standing there. In others, they take the device for several hours and download the hard drive’s content. After that, it’s unclear what happens to the data.

The Department of Homeland Security contends these searches and seizures of electronic files are vital to detecting terrorists and child pornographers. It also says it has the constitutional authority to do them without a warrant or probable cause.

But many people in the business community disagree, saying DHS is overstepping the Fourth Amendment bounds of permissible routine searches. Some are fighting for Congress to put limits on what can be searched and seized and what happens to the information that’s taken. The civil rights community says the laptop seizures are simply unconstitutional. They want DHS to stop the practice unless there’s at least reasonable suspicion.

Legal scholars say the issue raises the compelling and sometimes clashing interests of privacy rights and the need to protect the US from terrorists and child pornographers. The courts have long held that routine searches at the border are permissible, simply because they take place at the border. Opponents of the current policy say a laptop search is far from “routine.”

“A laptop can hold [the equivalent of] a major university’s library: It can contain your full life,” says Peter Swire, a professor of law at Ohio State University in Columbus. “The government’s never gotten to search your entire life, so this is unprecedented in scale what the government can get.”

Read moreU.S. defends laptop searches at the border

Afghan Warlords, Formerly Backed By the CIA, Now Turn Their Guns On U.S. Troops

They defeated the Soviets with Washington’s help, but now they attack Americans as the new occupiers

KABUL – The war in Afghanistan reached a wrenching milestone this summer: For the second month in a row, U.S. and coalition troop deaths in the country surpassed casualties in Iraq. This is driven in large part, U.S. officials point out, by simple cause and effect. Marines flowed into southern Afghanistan earlier this year to rout firmly entrenched Taliban fighters, prompting a spike in combat in territory where NATO forces previously didn’t have the manpower to send troops. “We’re doing something we haven’t done in seven years, which is go after the Taliban where they’re living,” says a U.S. official.

But amid a well-coordinated assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai and large-scale bombings last week in the capitals of both Afghanistan and Pakistan, U.S. forces are keenly aware that they are facing an increasingly complex enemy here-what U.S. military officials now call a syndicate-composed not only of Taliban fighters but also powerful warlords who were once on the payroll of the Central Intelligence Agency. “You could almost describe the insurgency as having two branches,” says a senior U.S. military official here. “It’s the Taliban in the south and a ‘rainbow coalition’ in the east.”

Indeed, along with a smattering of Afghan tribal groups, Pakistani extremists, and drug kingpins, two of the most dangerous players are violent Afghan Islamists named Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalaluddin Haqqani, according to U.S. officials. In recent weeks, Hekmatyar has called upon Pakistani militants to attack U.S. targets, while the Haqqani network is blamed for three large vehicle bombings, along with the attempted assassination of Karzai in April.

Ironically, these two warlords-currently at the top of America’s list of most wanted men in Afghanistan-were once among America’s most valued allies. In the 1980s, the CIA funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons and ammunition to help them battle the Soviet Army during its occupation of Afghanistan. Hekmatyar, then widely considered by Washington to be a reliable anti-Soviet rebel, was even flown to the United States by the CIA in 1985.

Read moreAfghan Warlords, Formerly Backed By the CIA, Now Turn Their Guns On U.S. Troops

Gold Heads for Fourth Weekly Gain, Dollar Weakens, Oil Hits Record

July 11 (Bloomberg) — Gold headed for its fourth weekly gain in London, as a weaker dollar and record energy prices spurred investors to buy the metal as a haven from inflation.

Gold often moves in line with the euro, with bullion gaining 15 percent this year and the euro advancing about 8 percent. The dollar is heading for a weekly loss against the euro on speculation a report today will show U.S. consumer confidence dropped to a 28-year low, signaling the Federal Reserve will refrain from raising interest rates this year.

“Given the mixture of worsening economic signals from the U.S. and western Europe, rising inflationary pressures and renewed geo-political tensions, we retain our bullish outlook,” said James Moore, an analyst at TheBullionDesk.com in London, in a report today.

Gold for immediate delivery rose $17.54, or 1.9 percent, to $965.20 an ounce by 2:32 p.m. in London. The metal is heading for a 3.4 percent gain on the week. Futures for August delivery climbed $23.80, or 2.5 percent, to $965.80 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude oil rallied to a record of $147.27 a barrel on concern Israel may be preparing to attack Iran, while a workers’ strike in Brazil and renewed militant activity in Nigeria is threatening to cut supplies.

Read moreGold Heads for Fourth Weekly Gain, Dollar Weakens, Oil Hits Record

Israeli jets using Iraq’s airspace?


The US has allowed Israeli jets to use US airbases in Iraq and fly over Iraqi airspace for a likely attack against Iran, Iraqi media say.

It is more than a month that some Israeli planes belonging to Israeli air force use the US military bases in Iraq to land and take off, Iraqi Nahrainnet news network said Wednesday, quoting informed sources close to Iraq’s Defense Ministry.

The activities and traffic of warplanes- especially at nights- has lately increased in the US air bases in Nasiriya southeast of Baghdad and Haditha a city in the western Iraq province of Al Anbar, the Iraqi residents and sources said.

They said the US fighters, cargo planes, helicopters and unmanned planes have intensified their flights in the last three weeks.

The US military officials have imposed severe security measures around the bases, they said.

They said some aircraft suspected to be Israeli warplanes coming from Jordan, have landed in the US controlled al-Assad airbase near Haditha.

It is believed that these activities are parts of a joint Israeli-US training, preparation and coordination to launch an air raid against Iran’s nuclear plants.

Israel has conducted a military drill under the supervision of top US military commanders over the Mediterranean Sea from May 28 to June 12, using more than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters, along with helicopters and refueling tanks which many consider as a possible rehearsal for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Read moreIsraeli jets using Iraq’s airspace?

Whistleblower says Pentagon putting KBR over soldiers

‘Irregular’ oversight of KBR work alleged

Ex-Army official faults Pentagon on contract in Iraq and Afghanistan

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon’s oversight of Houston-based KBR’s work in Iraq and Afghanistan has been “irregular and highly out of the ordinary,” a former Army contracting official told Senate Democrats Wednesday.

Charles Smith, the former chief of the Army Field Support Command with responsibility for overseeing KBR’s massive contract with the Army, contends he was forced out of his job in 2004 for objecting to the Pentagon’s treatment of KBR.

“The interest of a corporation, KBR, not the interests of American soldiers or American taxpayers, seemed to be paramount,” Smith told the Democratic Policy Committee, a Democrats-only panel.

Read moreWhistleblower says Pentagon putting KBR over soldiers

Game Over: Thirty-Six Sure-Fire Signs That Your Empire Is Crumbling

So. You’ve built yourself an empire, eh?

Well, bully for you!

What’s next, you ask? Well, now you’ve got to do what everybody does when they have an empire, of course. You’ve got to worry about it falling apart, mate!

But how to tell for sure? Let me see if I can be helpful. Here are some rules of thumb to keep in mind, thirty-six sure-fire indicators that your empire is falling apart:

You know your empire’s crumbling when the folks who are gearing up their empire to replace yours start blowing up satellites in space. And then they don’t bother to return your phone calls when you ring up to ask why.

You know your empire’s crumbling when those same folks are cutting deals left, right and center across Asia, Latin America and Africa, while you, your lousy terms, and your arrogant attitude are no longer welcome.

You know your empire’s crumbling when you’re spending your grandchildren’s money like a drunken sailor, and letting your soon-to-be rivals finance your little splurge (i.e., letting them own your country).

You know your empire’s crumbling when it’s considered an achievement to pretend that you’ve halved the rate at which you’re adding to the massive mountain of debt you’ve already accumulated.

You know your empire’s crumbling when you weaken your currency until it looks as anemic as a Paris runway model, and you’re still setting record trade deficits. (Hint: Because you’re not making anything anymore.)

You know your empire’s crumbling when “the little brown ones” (thank you George H.W. Bush – certainly not me – for that lovely expression) in country after country of “your backyard” blow you off and proudly elect anti-imperialist leftist governments.

You know your empire’s crumbling when you can’t topple those governments and replace them with nice puppet regimes – like in the good old days – even if you wanted to. And you badly want to.

You know your empire’s crumbling when one of their leaders comes to the United Nations and makes fun of your emperor, calling him the devil, and joking about smelling sulphur where he just stood. And though a few folks cringe, everybody laughs.

You know your empire’s crumbling when just about your entire military land force is tied up in a worse-than-useless war launched on the basis of complete fabrications, that every day is actually making you less – not more – secure from external threat.

You know your empire’s crumbling when almost half the soldiers in that war are high-paid mercenaries, and you don’t dare institute a draft.

You know your empire’s crumbling when you send soldiers into war with two weeks training and a lack of armor, and then you keep them there for three, four and five rotations.

You know your empire’s crumbling when a member of the Axis of Evil can test missiles and explode nuclear warheads, and all you can do about it is mumble some pathetic warnings about how they better not do that again or there will be consequences.

You know your empire’s crumbling when you even think that there is an Axis of Evil.

Read moreGame Over: Thirty-Six Sure-Fire Signs That Your Empire Is Crumbling

ACLU Sues Over Unconstitutional Dragnet Wiretapping Law

Group Also Asks Secret Intelligence Court Not To Exclude Public From Any Proceedings On New Law’s Constitutionality

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union filed a landmark lawsuit today to stop the government from conducting surveillance under a new wiretapping law that gives the Bush administration virtually unchecked power to intercept Americans’ international e-mails and telephone calls. The case was filed on behalf of a broad coalition of attorneys and human rights, labor, legal and media organizations whose ability to perform their work – which relies on confidential communications – will be greatly compromised by the new law.

The FISA Amendments Act of 2008, passed by Congress on Wednesday and signed by President Bush today, not only legalizes the secret warrantless surveillance program the president approved in late 2001, it gives the government new spying powers, including the power to conduct dragnet surveillance of Americans’ international communications.

“Spying on Americans without warrants or judicial approval is an abuse of government power – and that’s exactly what this law allows. The ACLU will not sit by and let this evisceration of the Fourth Amendment go unchallenged,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “Electronic surveillance must be conducted in a constitutional manner that affords the greatest possible protection for individual privacy and free speech rights. The new wiretapping law fails to provide fundamental safeguards that the Constitution unambiguously requires.”

Read moreACLU Sues Over Unconstitutional Dragnet Wiretapping Law

Bank of Israel Will Purchase $ 100 Million a Day

(IsraelNN.com) The Bank of Israel put the brakes on the shekel’s upward climb, and announced it would purchase $100 million a day. The shekel reacted with a sharp plunge against the dollar.

With the dollar dropping on Wednesday to a 12-year-low rate of 3.23 shekels, Bank of Israel and its chief, Stanley Fischer, announced an unprecedented plan to begin purchasing dollars at the rate of 100 million per day. The bank had been buying a quarter of this amount, 25 million of the greenbacks, each business day for over three months, when the dollar was in the midst of its plunge from 3.85 shekels at the beginning of the year.

“We are increasing our daily purchases,” a senior Bank of Israel official said, “and we will test how this will affect the exchange rate.”

(To the elite all of this is a game of chess.  – The Infinite  Unknown)

Read moreBank of Israel Will Purchase $ 100 Million a Day

Israel hints at readiness to strike Iran

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel’s defense minister has hinted at readiness to attack Iran, saying his country “proved in the past that it won’t hesitate to act when its vital security interests are at stake.”

But Ehud Barak added “the reactions of (Israel’s) enemies need to be taken into consideration as well.”

Related articles and videos:
Ron Paul on Iran and Energy June 26, 2008
Ron Paul: I hear members of Congress saying “if we could only nuke Iran”
Ron Paul: Nancy Pelosi pulled Iran bill on orders of Israel
Ex-weapons inspector says Iran not pursuing nukes, but U.S. will attack before ‘09
Senate report exposes key role of the Israel lobby in fomenting war with Iran
A Declaration of U.S. Independence from Israel
And the winner is … the Israel lobby
America Is the Rogue Nation
Ron Paul: This coming crisis is bigger than the world has ever experienced
US Congress approves Israel aid increase

Tensions with Iran intensified after Tehran launched war games and long-range missile tests this week, warning Tel Aviv would be “set on fire” if Israel attacks Iran over its nuclear program.

Israel suspects Iran is building nuclear weapons. Iran denies that, but its president has often said Israel should be “wiped off the map.”

In 1981, Israel bombed an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor. Israel also hit a suspected nuclear facility in Syria in September.

July 10, 2008

Source: Breitbart.com

US outbreak of salmonella spreads


Officials have warned against Roma, round and plum tomatoes from some sources

More than 1,000 people in more than 40 US states are now confirmed to have become ill with salmonella since April, officials say.

The US health authorities suspect the bacteria to be present in some raw tomatoes, chilli peppers and the coriander used in salsa.

The outbreak is deemed to be the worst one of a food-borne illness in the US for more than a decade.

Two people are said to have died, and 200 people have been taken to hospital.

There have also been several cases in Canada.

Investigators say they think there are several sources for the outbreak as many of those ill say they did not eat hot peppers or foods like salsa that contain them, Dr Robert Tauxe, food safety chief at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are quite sure that neither tomatoes nor jalapenos explain the entire outbreak at this point… We’re presuming that both of them have caused illness,” he told the Associated Press.

“We really are working as hard and as fast as we can to sort out this complicated situation and protect the health of the American people.”

(“Suspect”, “They Think”,“Quite Sure”, “Really Working Hard”, “As Fast As We Can”, that says it all.
They have not the foggiest idea. – The Infinite Unknown)

High-risk population

Read moreUS outbreak of salmonella spreads

Fannie, Freddie insolvent, Poole tells Bloomberg

(Reuters) – Mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are “insolvent” and may need a U.S. government bailout, former St. Louis Federal Reserve President William Poole was quoted as saying in an interview with Bloomberg.

“Congress ought to recognize that these firms are insolvent, that it is allowing these firms to continue to exist as bastions of privilege, financed by the taxpayer,” Poole was quoted as saying in an interview held on Wednesday.

Chances are increasing that the government may need to bail out the two mortgage companies, Poole was quoted as saying.

Shares of the two companies have taken a beating recently on worries about whether they can withstand more losses and support housing as well as concerns that they may need to raise massive amounts of new capital.

Freddie Mac shares tumbled 23.8 percent to $10.26 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, while Fannie Mae shares sank 13.1 percent to $15.31.

Related article: US: Total Crash of the Entire Financial System Expected, Say Experts

Read moreFannie, Freddie insolvent, Poole tells Bloomberg