Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Former President George H.W. Bush condition "worsening" while in hospital


A spokesman says the fever that kept former President George H.W. Bush in a Houston hospital over Christmas has worsened, and doctors have put him on a liquids-only diet.

Jim McGrath had said earlier Wednesday that the fever had gone away. He later corrected himself and said the fever "elevated" in recent days. McGrath says doctors also put the 88-year-old former president on a liquid diet, though he could not say why.

McGrath says doctors have been treating the "stubborn" fever with Tylenol but still haven't nailed down a cause.

http://www.foxsanantonio.com/template/inews_wire/wires.regional.tx/28c7778b-www.foxsanantonio.com.shtml

December UFO Activity "Off the Charts"

The following videos display UFO activity in December from around the world. You'll notice that many of the objects, and their formations, look remarkably the same.































6 of the Greatest Men on Earth and Their Stories of Peaceful Victory (If you read anything from our site, read this)

Here at Cracked, we take pride in our quest to chronicle the history of human badassery, from soldiers who make movie heroes look like cowards to people with the ability to survive pretty much whatever the world throws at them.

But there's a special kind of badass that doesn't get as much attention, and that's the kind that overcomes horrific violence with nothing but willpower, skill, bravery, and (to be totally fair) a somewhat stupid disregard for personal safety.

http://www.cracked.com/article_20157_the-6-most-aggressively-badass-things-done-by-pacifists.html#ixzz2GDRZqaqQ

District traffic cameras to more than double amid record revenues

Traffic camera fines are poised to dip in the District, but one aspect of the controversial program is set to surge in 2013: the number of the devices that generate tickets for common traffic offenses like speeding and running stoplights.

Over the course of 2013, the District government will add 134 traffic cameras to its network, more than doubling the size of a system that generated $85 million in revenues for the city in its last fiscal year.

Police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump told The Washington Examiner that the city will intensify its camera-based efforts to cite motorists for speeding and stoplight violations while also adding cameras to detect other moving violations.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/district-traffic-cameras-to-more-than-double-amid-record-revenues/article/2516807#.UNusPLbA_aZ

'Brighter than a full moon': The biggest star of 2013... could be the comet of the century

At the moment it is a faint object, visible only in sophisticated telescopes as a point of light moving slowly against the background stars. It doesn't seem much – a frozen chunk of rock and ice – one of many moving in the depths of space. But this one is being tracked with eager anticipation by astronomers from around the world, and in a year everyone could know its name.

Comet Ison could draw millions out into the dark to witness what could be the brightest comet seen in many generations – brighter even than the full Moon.

It was found as a blur on an electronic image of the night sky taken through a telescope at the Kislovodsk Observatory in Russia as part of a project to survey the sky looking for comets and asteroids – chunks of rock and ice that litter space. Astronomers Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok were expecting to use the International Scientific Optical Network's (Ison) 40cm telescope on the night of 20 September but clouds halted their plans.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/brighter-than-a-full-moon-the-biggest-star-of-2013-could-be-the-comet-of-the-century-8431443.html

Social Security Ran $47.8B Deficit in FY 2012; Disabled Workers Hit New Record in December: 8,827,795

The Social Security program ran a $47.8 billion deficit in fiscal 2012 as the program brought in $725.429 billion in cash and paid $773.247 for benefits and overhead expenses, according to official data published by Social Security Administration.

The Social Security Administration also released new data revealing that the number of workers collecting disability benefits hit a record 8,827,795 in December--up from 8,805,353 in November.

The overall number of Social Security program beneficiaries—including retired workers, dependent family members and survivors and disabled workers and their dependent family members—also hit a record in December, climbing from 56,658,978 in November to 56,758,185 in December.

cnsnews.com/news/article/social-security-ran-478b-deficit-fy-2012-disabled-workers-hit-new-record-december

The internet is leaving children brain-dead: Inventor warns 'Google generation who spend life in front of screens are losing creativity and skills'

One of Britain's leading inventors has warned that a 'Google generation' who rely on the internet for everything are in danger of becoming 'brain-dead'.

Trevor Baylis, who invented the wind-up radio, said children are losing creativity and practical skills because they spend too much time in front of screens.

The 75-year-old said he fears that the next generation of inventors is being lost, with young people often unable to make anything with their hands.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2253170/Inventor-warns-Google-generation-spend-life-screens-losing-creativity-skills.html

Unemployment Is Not Going Down: The Employment Rate Has Been Under 59 Percent For 39 Months In A Row

The mainstream media is heralding the decline of the official unemployment rate to 7.7 percent as evidence that the U.S. economy is improving. But it is a giant lie. The truth is that unemployment in America is not actually going down. The percentage of working age Americans with a job actually dropped slightly in November. During the last recession, the percentage of working age Americans with a job fell from about 63 percent to under 59 percent and it has stayed there for 39 months in a row. In September 2009, during the depths of the last economic crisis, 58.7 percent of all working age Americans were employed. In November 2012, 58.7 percent of all working age Americans were employed. It is more then 3 years later, and we are in the exact same place! So how in the world are they able to pretend that the "unemployment rate" is going down steadily? Well, they get there by pretending that hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers "leave the labor force" each month. According to the government, another 350,000 Americans left the labor force during November, and when you keep pretending that huge chunks of workers "disappear" each month it is easy to get the "unemployment rate" to go down. But any idiot can see that there is something really funny about these numbers. Barack Obama has been president for less than four years, and during that time the number of Americans "not in the labor force" has increased by nearly 8.5 million. Something seems really "off" about that number, because during the entire decade of the 1980s the number of Americans "not in the labor force" only rose by about 2.5 million. At this point the official unemployment rate is so manipulated that it is of very little value at all.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/unemployment-is-not-going-down-the-employment-rate-has-been-under-59-percent-for-39-months-in-a-row

15 Signs That The Economy Is Rapidly Getting Worse As We Head Into 2013

The following are 15 signs that the economy is rapidly getting worse as we head into 2013...

#1 According to numbers that were just released, the number of Americans on food stamps has risen to a new all-time record of 47.71 million. That is a huge increase of more than 600,000 over the previous reading of 47.10 million. After about a year of slow growth, it looks like the number of Americans on food stamps is starting to skyrocket once again. Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps. Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.

#2 Youth unemployment in the United States is now at the highest level that we have seen since World War II.

#3 According to Gallup, unemployment in the United States shot up very sharply during the month of November.

#4 It looks like the unemployment numbers are likely to get even worse. Since the election, dozens of large companies have announced major layoffs. Overall, large companies have announced the elimination of more than 100,000 jobs since November 6th.

#5 According to the Wall Street Journal, of the 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders, half of them plan to reduce capital expenditures over the coming months.

#6 Small business owners all over America are declaring that Obamacare is going to force them to start replacing full-time workers with part-time workers during 2013.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/15-signs-that-the-economy-is-rapidly-getting-worse-as-we-head-into-2013

Obama Gives OK For Black Box Data Recorders to Be Installed in All Cars

With complete disregard for driver privacy, the Obama administration gave their consent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to mandate black box event data recorders (EDR) be installed in all new cars in the US.

The NHTSA says that by September 2014 all car and light trucks will be equipped with EDRs that will silently “record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop.”

The information recorded by EDRs includes:

• vehicle speed
• whether the brake was activated in the moments before a crash
• crash forces at the moment of impact
• information about the state of the engine throttle
• air bag deployment timing and air bag readiness prior to the crash
• whether the vehicle occupant’s seat belt was buckled

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33265.htm

Prison Labor Booms in US as Low-cost Inmates Bring Billions

More Phony Employment Numbers

Statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) calls the government’s latest jobs and unemployment reports “nonsense numbers.”

There are a number of ongoing problems with the released numbers. For example, the concurrent-seasonal factor adjustments are unstable. The birth-death model adds non-existent jobs each month that are then taken out in the annual downward benchmark revisions. Williams calculates that the job overstatement through November averages 45,000 monthly. In other words, employment gains during 2012 have been overstated by about 500,000 jobs. Another problem is that each month’s jobs number is boosted by downside revision of the previous month’s jobs number. Williams reports that the 146,000 new jobs reported for November “was after a significant downside revision to October’s reporting. Net of prior-period revisions, November’s seasonally-adjusted monthly gain was 97,000.”

Even if we believe the government that 146,000 new jobs materialized during November, that is the amount necessary to stay even with population growth and therefore could not be responsible for reducing the unemployment rate from 7.9% to 7.7%. The reduction is due to how the unemployed are counted.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33268.htm

Jewish Anti Zionism is a Myth Not The Wisest Phil Around

God bless Philip Weiss, the progressive Jewish blogger brave enough to admit in public those things other Jewish ethnic activists prefer to shove under the carpet. A year ago, Weiss was brave enough to confess to me that it is ‘Jewish self interests’ that stands at the core of his pro Palestinian activism. Also, a few weeks ago, the same Weiss was honest enough to announce that his Jewish ‘progressive’ internet journal, Mondowiess, changed its comment policy and “will no longer serve as a forum to pillory Jewish culture and religion as the driving factors in Israeli and US policy.”

But this week, the very same Weiss published a new polemic on his website. He now thinks that “it’s time for the media to talk about Zionism.” So, now Weiss is happy to join with the rest of us in talking about Zionism – so long as we avoid discussing ‘Jewishness’. Well, I’m afraid that Philip Weiss may have missed the train since, by now, many of us have already grasped that the time is ripe to talk about Jewishness and the role of ‘Jewish culture as the driving factor in Israeli and US policy.’

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33264.htm

The American Worship of Empire

My dear activist friend Edward Dunphy likes to use the expression ‘The Christian Right is NEITHER” whenever he debates those folks. Amazing, how we are living in a time when, as with the Inquisition, God is placed on a pedestal of violence and terror…. all in the name of Peace! Let me also say that this type of mindset transcends politics. After all, we know about the one party that carries Jesus around in its pocket like some good luck charm. The Republicans who subscribe to Christianity actually think that the man called the Prince of Peace would condone all that they stand for. Duh, like the worship of greed at the expense of 99.5% of us. Yet, when it comes to other foreign policy issues, both of those political parties think they own the cross and the memory of the Christ. Mr. Obama and his party of hypocrites keep on funding the Military Industrial Complex to the tune of over 50% of our federal tax dollars. Walking lockstep with the Republicans, they continue to maintain over 800 bases worldwide, with over hundreds of thousands of our young military personnel occupying two countries that we have no right being in. Now, when Mr. Obama and his other Christian cohorts leave church each Sunday, do they really think that Jesus would agree with the savage drone attacks? I guess that is what the media likes to call bipartisanship.

Fracking Seen Robbing OPEC’s Power to Set U.S. Gasoline Prices

The success of American drillers in coaxing fossil fuels from shale rock has the potential to boost production so much that it may deny OPEC the power to set global oil and gasoline prices, an intelligence advisory panel concluded.

Rising domestic production from hydraulic fracturing is expanding U.S. supplies, which would shift the balance of power in global energy markets, according to the report by the National Intelligence Council released today. The council, an adviser to the director of national intelligence, publishes a report every four years to aid policymakers’ long-term planning.

http://www.sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/Fracking-Seen-Robbing-OPEC-s-Power-to-Set-U-S-4105123.php

Israel not concerned Assad will use chemical weapons against it, top minister says

Israel does not believe embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad will use chemical weapons against the Jewish state, a senior minister said Sunday, amid reports that the depots in the war-torn country are being readied for use.

Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon told Israel Radio that he saw no indication Assad was going to use the country’s large stores of weapons on Israel.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-not-concerned-assad-will-use-chemical-weapons-against-it-top-official-says/

Grisly video allegedly shows Syrian rebels forcing child to behead unarmed prisoner

A graphic video recently posted to YouTube allegedly shows Syrian rebels forcing a child to behead an unarmed prisoner. A recent series of similarly brutal incidents has done little to dampen foreign calls to arm the Syrian opposition.

The video shows a child hacking an alleged prisoner’s head off with a machete.

Militants then hold up a severed head while chanting "Allahu Akbar," or “God is great.”
It is the latest in a string of especially grisly incidents which have become more common in recent months.

http://rt.com/news/syria-weapons-opposition-us-746/

The threat of drones ushering in ‘invisible wars’

Obama’s end to the war in Iraq and promises to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan have prevented him from seeming war-hungry. But the increased use of drone strikes during his presidency raises the question among critics that Obama has sidestepped congressional approval for declaration of war.

This criticism also points to what some see as an overreliance on technology, which Obama has admitted is tempting. “There’s a remoteness to it that makes it tempting to think that somehow we can, without any mess on our hands, solve vexing security problems,” Obama has stated.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2012/12/10/the-threat-of-drones-ushering-in-invisible-wars/

Raiding Consciousness: Why the War on Drugs Is a War on Human Nature

The question that tempts mankind to the use of substances controlled and uncontrolled is next of kin to Hamlet’s: to be, or not to be, someone or somewhere else. Escape from a grievous circumstance or the shambles of an unwanted self, the hope of finding at a higher altitude a new beginning or a better deal. Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars; give me leave to drown my sorrow in a quart of gin; wine, dear boy, and truth.

That the consummations of the wish to shuffle off the mortal coil are as old as the world itself was the message brought by Abraham Lincoln to an Illinois temperance society in 1842. “I have not inquired at what period of time the use of intoxicating liquors commenced,” he said, “nor is it important to know.” It is sufficient to know that on first opening our eyes “upon the stage of existence,” we found “intoxicating liquor recognized by everybody, used by everybody, repudiated by nobody.”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33280.htm

Billionaires Warn Higher Taxes Could Prevent Them From Buying Politicians

Introducing a new wrinkle into the already fraught fiscal cliff showdown, a consortium of billionaires today warned that if their taxes are raised they will no longer have enough money to buy politicians.

The group, led by casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, commissioned a new study showing that the cost of an average politician has soared exponentially over the past decade.

While the American family has seen increases in the cost of food, health care and education, Mr. Adelson says, “those costs don’t compare with the cost of buying a politician, which has gone through the roof.”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33276.htm

46 Trillion Reasons To Evolve Society Right Now

Due to technological advancements, over the past 35 years there has been an explosion in production, distribution, profits and wealth creation. Most of that wealth increase has gone to only one-hundredth of one percent of the population, to the modern day aristocracy. In the United States, the 400 richest people now have as much wealth as 185 million people combined, nearly 60% of the entire population. US millionaire households have at least $46 trillion in wealth, yet only one-tenth of one percent of the population makes one million dollars a year.

$46 trillion. Can you comprehend how much money that is and what could be done with that stunning amount of wealth, the implications, the possibilities? Especially given the capabilities of modern technology. Think about how we could evolve society with that astonishing amount of wealth, and how much better off we would ALL be if we did.

It’s hard to comprehend how much wealth $46 trillion represents. One trillion is equal to 1000 billion, or $1,000,000,000,000. People cannot comprehend that much wealth because there is no frame of reference, no comparison of scale or historical precedent. An entire generation of stratospheric wealth has been systemically denied to the people and hoarded into the hands of a few. It’s the greatest theft of wealth in history, a crime against humanity.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33274.htm

A Capitalist System Gone Awry

Creating wars to feed the blood-thirsty and greedy beast of the military industry complex has been a common practice in an allegedly democratic nation. Taxpayers’ have flipped this bill for decades under the guise of self-preservation and protection. As always government has used fear to fashion people’s consent and obedience. Meanwhile, corruption is prevalent, our national debt is skyrocketing, and our parasitic superpower is broke. Parasitic it is, because you can’t become super-rich or super-powerful unless you suck the blood and the life out of someone else. In this case, it is the taxpayers (the proles).

Under the guise of the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) phenomenon, the Military Industrial Complex has solidified its ties and deeply inserted his long horns into the arteries of the American taxpayers. Citizens for responsibility and ethics in Washington (CREW) has recently issued a scathing and disturbing report exposing this unethical and frightening phenomenon where high-ranking generals and admirals earn their stars, their stripes, and then, they earn their the big cash.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33273.htm

American Militarism Threatening To Set Off World War III

Historically this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898. Then the Republican administration of President William McKinley stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting the Native Hawaiian people (who call themselves the Kanaka Maoli) to near genocidal conditions. Additionally, McKinley’s military and colonial expansion into the Pacific was also designed to secure America’s economic exploitation of China pursuant to the euphemistic rubric of the “open door” policy. But over the next four decades America’s aggressive presence, policies, and practices in the so-called “Pacific” Ocean would ineluctably pave the way for Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 194l, and thus America’s precipitation into the ongoing Second World War. Today a century later the serial imperial aggressions launched and menaced by the neoconservative Republican Bush Junior administration and the neoliberal Democratic Obama administration are now threatening to set off World War III.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33272.htm

Fact or Propaganda? Russia Arms Syria With Powerful Ballistic Missiles

Hours after NATO agreed on Tuesday to send Patriot missiles to Turkey because of the crisis in Syria, Russia delivered its first shipment of Iskander missiles to Syria.

The superior Iskander can travel at hypersonic speed of over 1.3 miles per second (Mach 6-7) and has a range of over 280 miles with pinpoint accuracy of destroying targets with its 1,500-pound warhead, a nightmare for any missile defense system.

According to Mashregh, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard media outlet, Russia had warned Turkey not to escalate the situation, but with Turkey’s request for Patriot missiles, it delivered its first shipment of Iskanders to Syria.

Reporting today, Mashregh said the handover occurred when Russian naval logistic vessels docked at Tartus in Syria.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33277.htm

US Seen as 'First Among Equals' in 2030: Intel Report

The United States will likely be the "first among equals" in 2030 in an increasingly chaotic world where China is the top economy and demand soars for resources, a US intelligence report said Monday.

The National Intelligence Council, in its first assessment in four years aimed at shaping US strategic thinking, said that China will surpass the United States as the largest economy in the 2020s, in line with independent forecasts.

But the study said that the United States, while weaker, will probably stay the top player in two decades thanks to its role in resolving global crises, its technological prowess and its "soft power" that attracts outsiders.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33279.htm

Iraq Deaths

The estimate that over a million Iraqis have died received independent confirmation from a prestigious British polling agency in January 2008. Opinion Research Business estimated that the death toll between March 2003 and August 2007 was 1,033,000.

This devastating human toll demands greater recognition. It eclipses the Rwandan genocide and our leaders are directly responsible. Little wonder they do not publicly cite it. You can use the simple HTML code above to post the counter to your website to help spread the word.

Add your name to the petition telling Congress that about a million Iraqis have likely been killed since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq

Sea Levels Rising Faster Than Projected

New satellite measurements suggest that global sea levels are rising faster than the most recent projections by the United Nations' climate change panel.

The new report found that sea levels are rising at an annual rate of 0.12 inches (3.2 millimeters) — 60 percent faster than the best estimate of 0.08 inches (2 millimeters) per year, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calculated in 2007.

"This study shows once again that the IPCC is far from alarmist, but in fact has underestimated the problem of climate change," German oceanographer and climatologist Stefan Rahmstorf, who led the study, said in a statement. "That applies not just for sea-level rise, but also to extreme events and the Arctic sea-ice loss."

http://news.yahoo.com/sea-levels-rising-faster-projected-201440601.html

Siberia's pesticide dumps may prove a bigger hazard than nuclear waste

At Tegul'det (population 3,000), a village in the south-east corner of Tomsk oblast, it takes a lot to upset the residents, busy hunting, fishing and preening their vegetable patches, except during the six long winter months, when their only distraction is cutting holes in the ice on the river and fishing.

Nothing really bothers Alexei, a retired FSB (former KGB secret police) major. Not even the mound of earth that looms just next to his home. Yet 20 tonnes of DDT are buried there, between the settlement and the river Chulym.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/27/siberia-pesticides-toxic-waste-pollution

Judge orders tobacco companies to admit deception

Major tobacco companies that spent decades denying they lied to the U.S. public about the dangers of cigarettes must spend their own money on a public advertising campaign saying they did lie, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

The ruling sets out what might be the harshest sanction to come out of a historic case that the Justice Department brought in 1999 accusing the tobacco companies of racketeering.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/27/us-usa-tobacco-idUSBRE8AQ18A20121127

At the edge of disaster

THE world is on the cusp of a "tipping point" into dangerous climate change, according to new data gathered by scientists measuring methane leaking from the Arctic permafrost and a report presented to the United Nations on Tuesday.

"The permafrost carbon feedback is irreversible on human time scales," says the report, Policy Implications of Warming Permafrost. "Overall, these observations indicate that large-scale thawing of permafrost may already have started."

http://www.smh.com.au/national/at-the-edge-of-disaster-20121127-2a5xe.html

Obama's 2nd inauguration to draw smaller crowds: 4 more years of Dope and Pain?

Visitors coming to the nation's capital for President Barack Obama's second inauguration can't stay in the one place President Ronald Reagan's family once called an eight-star hotel. That spot is the White House, and it's booked for the next four years.

Still, inauguration-goers have a range of lodging options - from crashing on a friend's couch to reasonably priced rooms to ones that cost thousands of dollars a night.

With second inaugurations tending to draw fewer spectators, finding a place to stay in Washington won't be nearly as difficult as in 2009.

City officials are expecting 600,000 to 800,000 visitors for the Jan. 21 inauguration, far less than the 1.8 million people who flooded the National Mall four years ago to witness the inauguration of America's first black president. Back then, some hotels sold out months in advance and city residents rented out their homes for hundreds of dollars a night. This time, hotels say they're filling up more slowly, with rooms still available and prices at or slightly below where they were four years ago.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20121226/DA3DBKE00.html

Fathers disappear from households across America

Nicole Hawkins‘ three daughters have matching glittery boots, but none has the same father. Each has uniquely colored ties in her hair, but none has a dad present in her life.

As another single mother on Sumner Road decked her row-house stoop with Christmas lights and a plastic Santa, Ms. Hawkins recalled that her middle child’s father has never spent a holiday or birthday with her. In her neighborhood in Southeast Washington, 1 in 10 children live with both parents, and 84 percent live with only their mother.

In every state, the portion of families where children have two parents, rather than one, has dropped significantly over the past decade. Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million. Fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father, and nearly 5 million live without a mother. In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/dec/25/fathers-disappear-from-households-across-america/