March 6, 2012
By Tony Cartalucci
The corporate media has recently portrayed a narrative where we see the West apparently warning Israel against a unilateral attack on Iran. It appears that Israel is intent on “going it alone” despite the wishes of its “more rational” Western sponsors. Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported in their article, “U.S., Israel Pull Closer on Iran,” that, “Israeli officials, meanwhile, said that President Barack Obama’s public and private acknowledgment of the Jewish state’s sovereign right to defend itself was a crucial gain as the two countries seek to deter Tehran,” in regards to Iran’s alleged nuclear program.
To the average reader, it would seem that both the US and Israel agree that Iran is an imminent threat against which Israel and the United States simply have differing views on how to counter. In reality, this is a premeditated, deceitful act, already clearly articulated since 2009 in a signed document, on how both nations plan on duping the world into accepting an unnecessary war.
February 16, 2012
By Henry I. Miller
A counterfeit version of Avastin, a widely used and expensive intravenous cancer drug. has according to the FDA been found in the U.S. It is unclear whether any of the bogus drug, which lacks any of the active ingredient, has been administered to patients.
It’s about time that drug counterfeiting received attention from the media; it is a significant public health menace. In 2010 during the H1N1 flu epidemic, the FDA warned consumers about a potentially harmful counterfeit anti-flu drug that could be a killer in two respects: It lacked any of the flu-preventing medicine it purported to be while it did contain an antibiotic similar to penicillin that can be lethal to certain people.
In that same year, counterfeits of the weight-loss drug Alli sold over the Internet contained none of the active ingredient in the real drug but did contain sibutramine, the prescription-strength weight-loss drug Meridia, which has since been removed from the U.S. market because of concerns about cardiac side effects.
These are not isolated incidents. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but you can no longer be sure what will actually be in your next medicine vial. According to the World Health Organization’s estimates, it is thought that 10-15 percent of the world’s drug supply (and approximately half that much in the United States) is counterfeit.
Some products, such as the fake “generic Tamiflu,” are completely bogus. In dozens of drugs in the United States — including anti-HIV medicines, cholesterol-lowering agents, and anti-arthritis medications — dangerous substances have been substituted for the active ingredient.
February 3, 2012
It has been proven to drastically decrease the chances of contracting HIV before one is even exposed to the virus: Truvada is considered a medical breakthrough by some, yet others fear the once-a-day prevention pill could spur a deadly AIDS epidemic.
The drug — a small, blue pill ingested orally — is currently awaiting FDA approval. Its manufacturer, Gilead, argues that Truvada would reduce the risk of risk of contracting HIV in as many as three-quarters of cases and has been proven so in tests already. AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein is weary of how people will use the pill, however, and warns, “I believe that this could be catastrophic in terms of HIV prevention.”
The argument against approving the pill, says Weinstein, is that it will encourage partners to engage in unprotected sex. While the pill is proven to work in many cases, it is not 100-percent guaranteed. The result, he says, could only make things worse for AIDS and HIV.
It’s a “fabulous drug – it’s one pill once a day, and it has a low side-effect burden,” says Weinstein. Unless the user is aware that the success rate of Truvada is limited and takes extra precautions such as traditional prophylactics though, that ignorance might trigger an AIDS epidemic that could destroy America.
When tested on gay men in four countries, the success rate for the drug was only around 44 percent. When tested by heterosexual couples in two African nations, Truvada proved to be 73 percent successful. Weinstein and other critics are concerned that unless users know the facts, they will learn to rely on the drug and only spread the virus.
“There’s a whole issue of people who aren’t educated on the biology of HIV, who will think that because they’d be taking the pill, they will not become infected,” Cynthia Davis of the College of Medicine and College of Science and Health at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles tells The Final Call.
“You will have groups of people who think, because they’re on this pill and it has this protective factor, that they don’t have to practice safer sex anymore … Because they’re on this medication, they’ll have this false sense of security,” Davis adds.
“Although some of the trial results have been very impressive, the protection with pre-exposure prophylaxis is unlikely to be 100 percent,” writes British medical journal The Lancet. “And making drugs available as prophylaxis could encourage high-risk sexual behavior among those who believe themselves to be protected.”
In America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that men and women might abstain from using condoms if taking Truvada, based on “the false belief that they are protected” by the pill. Currently all medical options in dealing with HIV are available only after contracting the virus. Truvada, on the other hand, is administered as a precautionary measure — what physicians consider a “pre-exposure prophylaxis.” While test trials have shown substantial success in the effectiveness of Truvada, there is still plenty of room for the pill to go awry.
January 11, 2012
By Jillian Rayfield
A secret air show in Houston. An unmanned blimp in Utah. A sovereign citizen arrested in North Dakota.
Each of these is just one small part of the bigger story of the proliferation of unmanned aircraft use within the U.S., and each is likely to become smaller still if the FAA goes through with plans to loosen regulations governing domestic use of drones.
News reports about Predator attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan are common if not always complete, but what’s gotten much less attention is the increase in unarmed drones that are buzzing around within the U.S. itself. Primarily, unarmed Predator B drones are only used by government agents to patrol the borders for illegal immigrants, but there are a (very large) handful of other agencies and companies that use smaller, unarmed drones for a slew of other purposes. And that number is only expected to grow.
The FAA says that as of September 13, 2011, there were 285 active Certificates of Authorization (COA) for 85 different users, covering 82 different unmanned unarmed aircraft types.
Though the exact breakdown of the organizations who have authorization is unclear — and the FAA would not elaborate for “privacy” and “security” reasons — in January the Washington Post reported that as of December 1, 2010, 35% of the permissions were held by the Department of Defense, 11% by NASA, and 5% by the Department of Homeland Security. The FBI and law enforcement agencies also hold some, as do manufacturers and even academic institutions.
Between pressure from trade groups (like the drone manufacturers group the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International), proposed legislation from Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) to expand the number of drone testing sites in the U.S., and petitioning from states like Oklahoma for an approved 80-mile air corridor reserved exclusively for drone development and testing, there is great potential for drone use to expand within the U.S. in the next few years.
January 11, 2012
By Anthony Gucciardi
Biotech giant Monsanto has been genetically modifying the world’s food supply and subsequently breeding environmental devastation for years, but leaked documents now reveal that Monsanto has also deeply infiltrated the United States government. With leaked reports revealing how U.S. diplomats are actually working for Monsanto to push their agenda along with other key government officials, Monsanto’s grasp on international politics has never been clearer.
Amazingly, the information reveals that the massive corporation is also intensely involved in the passing and regulations concerning the very GM ingredients they are responsible for. In fact, the information released by WikiLeaks reveals just how much power Monsanto has thanks to key positions within the United States government and elsewhere. Not only was it exposed that the U.S. is threatening nations who oppose Monsanto with military-style trade wars, but that many U.S. diplomats actually work directly for Monsanto.
In 2007 it was requested that specific nations inside the European Union be punished for not supporting the expansion of Monsanto’s GMO crops. The request for such measures to be taken was made by Craig Stapleton, the United States ambassador to France and partner to George W. Bush. Despite mounting evidence linking Monsanto’s GM corn to organ damage and environmental devastation, the ambassador plainly calls for ‘target retaliation’ against those not supporting the GM crop. In the leaked documents, Stapleton states:
“Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits. The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices.”
The undying support of key players within the U.S. towards Monsanto is undeniably made clear not only in this release, but in the legislative decisions taken by organizations such as the FDA and USDA. Legislative decisions such as allowing Monsanto’s synthetic hormone Posilac (rBGH) to be injected into U.S. cows despite being banned in 27 countries. How did Monsanto pull this off?
January 9th, 2012
During the Sept. 12, 2011, Republican presidential debate in Tampa, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas — a staunch advocate of limited government and a more modest military footprint — offered a surprising statistic about the reach of the U.S. armed forces.
“We’re under great threat, because we occupy so many countries,” Paul said. “We’re in 130 countries. We have 900 bases around the world. We’re going broke. The purpose of al-Qaida was to attack us, invite us over there, where they can target us. And they have been doing it. They have more attacks against us and the American interests per month than occurred in all the years before 9/11, but we’re there occupying their land. And if we think that we can do that and not have retaliation, we’re kidding ourselves. We have to be honest with ourselves. What would we do if another country, say, China, did to us what we do to all those countries over there?”
November 18, 2011
The American Dream
The United States is drowning in a sea of red ink from coast to coast and most Americans have absolutely no idea what is about to happen. Hopefully you have started to prepare for the coming U.S. financial crisis. If not, hopefully this article will be a wake up call for you. Right now, governments all over Europe are on the verge of financial implosion. Most Americans aren’t paying much attention to that, but they should be, because what is happening to Greece and Italy right now will eventually be happening here. Just recently, the U.S. national debt passed the 15 trillion dollar mark. State and local government debt is also at record levels. Tens of millions of American families are in debt up to their eyeballs, and millions more Americans fell into poverty last year. Meanwhile, the “too big to fail” banks just keep getting larger and the Federal Reserve continues to inflate the debt bubble. At some point this debt bubble is going to burst, and when it does it is going to unleash financial hell all over America.
Below you will find a list of numbers – 1 through 30. For each number, a statistic has been chosen that demonstrates the financial nightmare that the United States is facing. It is simply not possible to rack up debt at staggering rates forever. At some point the debt spiral is going to stop.
A lot of politicians are claiming that they can stop the coming financial crisis from happening. But the truth is that unless our entire financial system is fundamentally transformed, nothing is going to be able to stop the financial nightmare that is headed our way.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of our politicians still believe that the current financial system can be fixed and the vast majority of them still fully support the Federal Reserve.
That is going to prove to be a gigantic mistake. The following are 30 facts that show that the United States is heading directly for a massive financial crisis….
1 – For fiscal year 2011, the U.S. federal government had a budget deficit of nearly 1.3 trillion dollars. That was the third year in a row that our budget deficit has topped one trillion dollars.
2 – The balance sheet of the Federal Reserve has been ballooning like crazy. At this point, the Federal Reserve has very little capital backing a balance sheet that is well over 2 trillion dollars.
The following is how Michael Pento of Euro Pacific Capital describes the situation that the Fed is in….
Today, the Fed has $52.5 billion of capital backing a $2.7 trillion balance sheet.
Prior to the bursting of the credit bubble, the public was shocked to learn that our biggest investment banks were levered 30-to-1. When asset values fell, those banks were quickly wiped out. But now the Fed is holding many of the same types of assets and is levered 51-to-1! If the value of their portfolio were to fall by just 2%, the Fed itself would be wiped out.
3 – It is being estimated that it would take a total of 3 trillion euros to bail out all of the countries in Europe that are in imminent danger of financial implosion. Europe is heading for a gigantic financial crisis, and when it happens the United States is going to be dragged down as well.
4 – As the U.S. economy continues to decline, millions of American families are having a very hard time feeding themselves. Today, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.
5 – The U.S. Postal Service has lost more than 5 billion dollars over the past year. It looks like the federal government is going to have to help the U.S. Postal Service out financially.
6 – Freddie Mac says that it is going to need another $6 billion bailout from the federal government.
7 – Fannie Mae says that it is going to need another $7.8 billion bailout from the federal government.
8 – We are told that the economy is recovering, but the number of Americans on food stamps has grown by another 8 percent over the past year.
9 – The U.S. unemployment rate has been hovering around 9 percent for 30 straight months. It is currently sitting at 9.0 percent.
10 – The total cost of just three federal government programs – the Department of Defense, Social Security and Medicare – exceeded the total amount of taxes brought in during fiscal 2010 by 10 billion dollars.
11 – Back in the year 2000, 11.3% of all Americans were living in poverty. Today, 15.1% of all Americans are living in poverty.
12 – The “free trade” agenda being pushed by our globalist politicians is absolutely killing us. Even in industries that we were once dominant in we are now getting wiped out. For instance, in 2010 South Korea exported 12 times as many automobiles, trucks and parts to us as we exported to them. Hundreds of billions of dollars that should be going to support American jobs and businesses is going overseas instead.
13 – Since 1985, the federal government has added 13 trillion dollars to the national debt.
14 – The U.S. Treasury Department says that instead of $14.3 billion, the total losses from the auto industry bailouts will actually be $23.6 billion.
15 – Amazingly, the U.S. federal government is now 15 trillion dollars in debt. When Obama first took office the debt was just 10.6 trillion dollars.
October 10, 2011
By: Greg Keller
Stocks rose sharply in the U.S. and Europe Monday after French and German leaders promised to strengthen European banks. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 275 points, led by Bank of America. The euro rose against the dollar.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said they would finalize a “comprehensive response” to the debt crisis by the end of the month, including a plan to make sure banks have adequate capital.
“The more we can put our arms around the problem with a little more detail, the better, and time frames usually help,” said Michael Sansoterra, a portfolio manager at Silvant Capital Management in Atlanta.
Bank of America stock (BAC) rose nearly 5%, the most of the 30 companies that make up the Dow index. JPMorgan Chase stock (JPM) rose 4.5%.
The Dow gained 468 points Tuesday through Thursday last week after Europe’s central bank moved to shore up the region’s lenders. It dipped 20 points Friday and is still down 1.7% for the year.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose almost 3% Monday. The Nasdaq composite index rose 3.7%.
European stock markets rose and the euro strengthened against the dollar on the latest indication that European leaders were making progress on containing the region’s debt crisis. Germany’s DAX rose 3% and France’s CAC-40 rose 2%.
Investors were also relieved that troubled Franco-Belgian bank Dexia would be partially nationalized. Dexia needed rescue because owns large amounts of government bonds of indebted countries like Greece and Italy.
European banks have become more reluctant to lend to each other, putting overextended banks like Dexia in danger. That prompted the European Central Bank last week to offer unlimited one-year loans to the banks through 2013 to help give them access to credit.
Investors have been worried that a default by Greece could cause the value of Greek bonds held by those banks to plunge, hurting their balance sheets. U.S. banks could also be affected if Greece goes through a messy default, since they own Greek bonds and also have close ties to European banks.
Apple stock (AAPL) rose 4% to $384.71 after reporting that first-day orders for its new iPhone topped 1 million. The phone goes on sale Friday.
Netflix stock (NFLX) rose 3.7% after the company abandoned its widely panned decision to separate its DVD-by-mail and Internet streaming services. Subscribers will still be able to use both services under one account and one password.
Yahoo stock (YHOO) jumped 2.6% to $15.87 following reports that founder Jerry Yang may organize a buyout of the company with private equity investors.
Oil and gas driller Nabors Industries jumped 11%, the most of any company in the S&P, after oil rose above $85 a barrel. It hit a 12-month low of $75 a barrel last week.
Alcoa will become the first major U.S. company to report third-quarter results after the closing bell Tuesday. The aluminum maker’s stock was up 3.5% to $10.05.
Bond trading is closed for the Columbus Day holiday.
October 6, 2011
New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week, according to a government report on Thursday that hinted at an improvement in labor market conditions.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 401,000, the Labor Department said, from a revised 395,000 the prior week.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 410,000 from the previously reported 391,000.
The data falls outside the survey period for the government’s closely watched employment report for September, which will be released on Friday.
Nonfarm payrolls likely increased 60,000 last month, according to a Reuters survey, after being flat in August. The anticipated gain in nonfarm employment will mostly reflect the return of 45,000 striking Verizon Communications workers to payrolls.
The jobless rate is seen steady at 9.1 percent.
A Labor Department official said there were no special factors influencing the claims report and there was nothing unusual in the state level data.
Difficulties adjusting first-time applications for seasonal fluctuations had resulted in a big drop the previous week. Despite the rise in claims last week, they remained close to the 400,000 mark, which economists usually associate with some improvement in the labor market.
The weak labor market is the Achilles heel of the recovery, which is under threat from the debt crisis in Europe. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday the economy was “close to faltering” and reiterated the U.S. central bank’s commitment to take additional steps to aid growth.
Last week, the four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, fell 4,000 to 414,000.
The number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid dropped 52,000 to 3.70 million in the week ended Sept. 24. That was the lowest level since July.
Economists had expected so-called continuing claims to dip to 3.72 million from 3.73 million the previous week.
The number of Americans on emergency unemployment benefits fell 9,188 to 3.03 million in the week ended Sept. 17, the latest week for which data is available.
A total of 6.86 million people were claiming unemployment benefits during that period under all programs, down 123,009 from the prior week.
October 5, 2011
Los Angeles Times
U.S. employers announced plans in September to shed more than 115,000 workers — the highest total in more than two years, according to a new jobs report.
That’s more than double the 51,000 cuts announced in August and more than three times the 37,000 cuts planned a year earlier. The previous record was in April 2009, when employers planned to slash nearly 133,000 jobs, according to employment consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
According to another report, from payrolls processor ADP, private-sector employment rose by 91,000 jobs in September. The “modest” increase was led by 60,000 additional positions in small businesses, which have been averaging 73,000 new jobs a month for the last year.
Medium-sized companies also did well, tacking on 36,000 more employees, while large businesses shed 5,000 workers, according to ADP.
Layoffs in the bank and military sector spiked, according to the Challenger report.
Government employers attempting to slash spending were responsible for a third of the job losses. The U.S. Army revealed a five-year goal to thin its troops by 50,000.
The financial industry also said it needed to scale back jobs, with Bank of America attempting to save $5 billion a year by cutting 30,000 workers over several years.
“Bank of America is not the only bank still struggling in the wake of the housing collapse,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive of the consultancy. “And, the military cutbacks are probably just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to federal spending cuts and layoffs.”
But the reductions were tempered by retailers’ seasonal hiring plans, Challenger said. Toys R Us said it would hire 40,000 people to handle the holiday shopping rush, while Halloween City and Party City said they would hire a combined 26,000 workers.