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Monday, May 23, 2011

ZOA strongly condemned President Obama’s Mideast speech

May 20, 2011
Contact: Morton A. Klein
Phone: 212-481-1500

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States, yesterday strongly condemned President Obama’s Mideast speech promoting and supporting the establishment of a Hamas/Fatah/Iran terrorist state on the indefensible 1949 armistice lines (often inaccurately described as the 1967 borders). The ZOA believes that President’s Obama’s call for the establishment of such a Palestinian state under existing conditions and particularly in light of the Fatah/Hamas unity government agreement, utterly compromises his stated commitment to Israel’s security and points to either extreme hostility to Israel or naivety about the Palestinians.

Furthering reflecting on this deeply flawed speech, the ZOA has pointed out that President Obama’s speech represents a negation of UN Security Council Resolution 242, passed in the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, which called for Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in the course of self-defense but only in the context of negotiation and agreement with the Arab belligerents. Now, with his call for a return to the 1949 armistice lines (with mutually agreed upon territory swaps), President Obama has discarded the legal, internationally-accepted principle governing Arab-Israeli negotiations and substituted his own vision of a virtually complete Israel withdrawal. This wrongly, unnecessarily and dangerously undercuts Israel’s legitimate position in any future negotiation.

It also shows that President Obama has adopted the Palestinian stance, adhering closely to the stated Palestinian position of total Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines. Even President Clinton, in outlining his peace parameters in 2000, did not refer to the 1949 armistice lines as a necessary basis for drawing up border. Here, President Obama goes well beyond Resolution 242 with his implication that Israel is not rightfully anywhere beyond the 1949 armistice lines but that its continuing presence in some very small areas beyond these lines will be tolerated only if Israel swaps portions of its own sovereign territory in compensation.

President Obama’s clear tilt to the Palestinians at a time that the terror-promoting PA has now become a PA/Fatah/Hamas regime is a stunning error that harms the U.S. and Israel by boosting an unreconstructed terror regime and its further radicalization via its incorporation of Hamas, a listed terrorist group in both the U.S. and E.U. and whose leaders have called for the mass murder of Americans, the destruction of America, expressed support for Al Qaeda and mourned the killing by U.S. forces of leading Al-Qaeda figures like Osama Bin Laden and Abu Musab al Zarqawi. The President’s tilt towards the Palestinians is alarming in itself, not to mention at a time of increasing PA radicalization. In this context, it is deeply troubling that President Obama did not even refer to his predecessor’s June 2002 democracy benchmarks for the PA, but has rather ignored them in favor of further talks and concessions to what is now an even more extreme, terror-supporting regime.

President Obama’s words are also disingenuous for, in the same speech, he emphasized that he was committed to Israel’s security and did not come to impose a solution, yet he then proceeded to lay down in firm detail a plan which adopted the Palestinian position ahead of any negotiations. Not only that, but in speaking of the need for near-total Israeli withdrawal, President Obama referred to the “full and phased” Israeli withdrawal. President Obama implies American opposition to any open-ended Israeli presence inside the future Palestinian state. For example, it takes no account of the vital security needs of Israel in the Jordan Valley, quite apart from the issue of the thriving Jewish communities located there. This differs from the Clinton Parameters, which envisioned three Israeli “facilities” inside the West Bank, with no time limit on their presence. For having rejected peace with Israel in 2000 and commenced a decade-long terrorist war, the PA has now been rewarded by President Obama with further envisaged Israeli concessions beyond that already the highly concessionary policy outlined by President Clinton.

To maintain his position advocating virtually complete Israeli withdrawal to the highly perilous 1949 armistice lines, President Obama has also simply ignored the letter of then-President George W. Bush 2004 letter to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in which President Bush supported the view that the setting of future borders should reflect the realities on the ground and that large Israeli townships in Judea and Samaria should come within the new borders of Israel when those borders come to be negotiated.

In contrast, President Obama – and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who, as senator from New York, was one of 95 senators to endorse President Bush’s letter at the time – ignores his predecessor’s official letter and has outlined a plan which would leave even the largest Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria within a future Palestinian state. As Palestinian leaders like Mahmoud Abbas, Salaam Fayyad and other senior PA officials have made clear in recent years that no Jews will be permitted to reside inside a future Palestinian state, it is clear that President Obama’s call for a contiguous Palestinian state throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza envisions a Jew-free Palestinian state. This becomes even clearer when one considers that he has previously said on more than one occasion that Jewish “settlements must stop.” It is also clear from the fact that, in outlining in this speech his “expectations” in peace-making that had not as yet been met, the first thing President Obama referred to was, not ongoing Palestinian terror attacks, not the Fatah/Hamas unity agreement, not the continuing incitement to hatred and murder against Israel and Jews in the PA media, mosques, schools and youth camps that render any prospect of genuine peace impossible, but “settlement-building.”

In his speech, President Obama did note that “Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent [Palestinian] state.” Remarkably, however, he did not take the opportunity to back up that correct observation with a meaningful policy statement to the effect that the U.S. would veto any such resolution if it came before the U.N. Security Council. Such a statement could have had a dramatic impact and induced second thoughts among the Arab states which are seeking to introduce just such a resolution in the UN during its September session.

President Obama failed to repeat earlier U.S. statements to the effect that that the Palestinians will never see their so-called ‘right of return’ implemented through a return of Palestinian refugees of the 1948-9 war and their millions of descendants to Israel. This will raise Palestinian expectations and demands, not tamp them down.

Lastly, in this detailed speech looking at the whole Middle East, President Obama told us exactly nothing regarding what he intends to do about the transcendent threat to the U.S. and Israel emanating from the region – Iran’s continuing, unhindered drive towards obtaining a nuclear weapons capacity.

Once again, the ZOA urges friends of Israel and enemies of Islamist terrorism to contact your Members of Congress to fight against Obama’s anti-Israel policy.

More than a thousand words......

Monster Tornado trail of destruction Minneapolis aftermath

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Keiser: please stand by for financial repression

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Broken Piggy Bank: 'Leaky' 401(k)s Worry Congress

PHOTO: A senior checks his retirement plans on his computer.

Americans in record numbers are raiding their 401(k)s, depleting their retirement savings to compensate for paychecks and mortgage equity lost to the recession. As employers and savings plan providers struggle to stem the outflow of money, two senators have introduced legislation that would make it both harder for employees to dip into company-sponsored retirement savings and easier to repay their borrowings.

The SEAL Act (Savings Enhancement by Alleviating leakage in 401(k) Savings) introduced by Sens. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., would reduce to three the number of loans an employee could take against a 401(k). Savers currently can take as many loans as they think they can handle -- or as many as their employer may permit.

The bill would ban products that promote savings depletion, such as debit cards linked to 401(k)s, and it would make it easier for consumers to repay monies borrowed. According to a new study by consultants Aon Hewitt, some 28 percent of active participants in 401(k) plans had an outstanding loan in 2010, up from 22 percent in 2005.

"Loans are at an all-time high," says Pam Hess, director of Retirement Research for Aon. Withdrawal of money for reasons of hardship has been "up significantly, since the downturn," she reports. She thinks savers "are permanently impairing their retirement."

Persons who borrow against their 401(k) and manage to return the money, she says, aren't doing themselves any long-term harm. But those who default, after taking a cashout or making a withdrawal, pay penalties and taxes that can amount to 30 percent.

Kohl, in a statement accompanying his legislation, says that as the frequency of retirement fund loans has gone up, the amount of money people are saving for their retirement has gone down.

"The gap between what Americans will need in retirement and what they will actually have saved is estimated to be a staggering $6.6 trillion," he says. While acknowledging that having the ability to borrow against a 401(k) in an emergency is "an important feature," he stresses that such accounts were never intended to be used "as a piggy bank."

The Aon report found that 7 percent of plan participants had withdrawn money in 2010 (versus 5 percent in 2005). The percentage who, after losing a job, cashed out entirely was 42 percent. These depletions, taken together, are referred to by the savings industry as "leakage."

Hess calls cashouts the "most disturbing" part of the problem. They're "long-term scary," she says, in the case of younger workers, who won't be able to rely on pensions. Employers, she thinks, have been doing a good job getting these workers to participate in 401(k)s. "But cashouts are undoing all that good behavior, unwinding all that positive momentum."

ABC News
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Yellowstone National Park is moving

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyoming (ABC 4 News) - The nation's oldest park is also one of the most studied. The interest is not just in it's amazing vistas and wildlife, but in the volcanic beast below the park.

Yellowstone sits atop one of the world's biggest, active volcanoes, one capable of laying waste to much of north America.

Scientists keep an eye on it using a network of seismic and GPS sensors.

Professor Emeritus Robert Smith of the University of Utah is one of those scientists. A geophysicist, Smith a leading expert on the Yellowstone super volcano. "We monitor it in real time for earthquake swarms and ground deformation."

He says the park is in constant motion. Visitors can't see it, but the ground at their feet is moving up and down as magma pushes against the thin crust and powers the park's many geysers.

The changes are most evident at the Norris Geyser Basin. Henry Heasler, the Yellowstone Park geologist said, "It changes daily. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with the change near boardwalks because that impacts visitor and employee safety."

"Why are all the hydrothermal features here?" Heasler continued, "The geysers? The mud pots? The steam vents? The hot springs? It's because of the heat beneath our feet."

The heat from the volcano.

And beginning in 2004, volcanic pressure caused an amazing rise at the park: Three-inches a year for five-years.

Professor Smith said, "That's a lot of uplift and it's over an area that's over the entire Yellowstone caldera -- 50-miles long of uplift."

"If you went under a rubber sheet," Heasler said describing the uplift, "And pushed your thumb up, it's not just sticking up where your thumb is, there's like a slope to it."

In fact, as the land has bulged, Yellowstone lake has tilted enough that its water has flooded out trees on the south arms.

And now, the ground is sinking.

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Iran's military gets new missile system

Iran's military received a new ballistic missile system on Sunday, which it said demonstrated the country's self-sufficiency in mass producing weaponry.

"The new surface-to-surface missiles, Qiyam (Resurrection) 1, were successfully tested and delivered to the armed forces today," Iran's Arabic-language state television channel Al Alam said. (Reuters)

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What happens when Greece defaults

It is when, not if. Financial markets merely aren’t sure whether it’ll be tomorrow, a month’s time, a year’s time, or two years’ time (it won’t be longer than that). Given that the ECB has played the “final card” it employed to force a bailout upon the Irish – threatening to bankrupt the country’s banking sector – presumably we will now see either another Greek bailout or default within days.

What happens when Greece defaults. Here are a few things:

- Every bank in Greece will instantly go insolvent.

- The Greek government will nationalise every bank in Greece.

- The Greek government will forbid withdrawals from Greek banks.

- To prevent Greek depositors from rioting on the streets, Argentina-2002-style (when the Argentinian president had to flee by helicopter from the roof of the presidential palace to evade a mob of such depositors), the Greek government will declare a curfew, perhaps even general martial law.

- Greece will redenominate all its debts into “New Drachmas” or whatever it calls the new currency (this is a classic ploy of countries defaulting)

- The New Drachma will devalue by some 30-70 per cent (probably around 50 per cent, though perhaps more), effectively defaulting 0n 50 per cent or more of all Greek euro-denominated debts.

- The Irish will, within a few days, walk away from the debts of its banking system.

- The Portuguese government will wait to see whether there is chaos in Greece before deciding whether to default in turn.

- A number of French and German banks will make sufficient losses that they no longer meet regulatory capital adequacy requirements.

- The European Central Bank will become insolvent, given its very high exposure to Greek government debt, and to Greek banking sector and Irish banking sector debt.

- The French and German governments will meet to decide whether (a) to recapitalise the ECB, or (b) to allow the ECB to print money to restore its solvency. (Because the ECB has relatively little foreign currency-denominated exposure, it could in principle print its way out, but this is forbidden by its founding charter. On the other hand, the EU Treaty explicitly, and in terms, forbids the form of bailouts used for Greece, Portugal and Ireland, but a little thing like their being blatantly illegal hasn’t prevented that from happening, so it’s not intrinsically obvious that its being illegal for the ECB to print its way out will prove much of a hurdle.)

- They will recapitalise, and recapitalise their own banks, but declare an end to all bailouts.

- There will be carnage in the market for Spanish banking sector bonds, as bondholders anticipate imposed debt-equity swaps.

- This assumption will prove justified, as the Spaniards choose to over-ride the structure of current bond contracts in the Spanish banking sector, recapitalising a number of banks via debt-equity swaps.

- Bondholders will take the Spanish Banking Sector to the European Court of Human Rights (and probably other courts, also), claiming violations of property rights. These cases won’t be heard for years. By the time they are finally heard, no-one will care.

- Attention will turn to the British banks. Then we shall see…

The Telegraph
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Utah making gold and silver coins legal currency, pushing debate about national gold standard

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah legislators want to see the dollar regain its former glory, back to the days when one could
literally bank on it being “as good as gold.”

To make that point, they’ve turned it around, and made gold as good as cash. Utah became the first state in the country this month to legalize gold and silver coins as currency. The law also will exempt the sale of the coins from state capital gains taxes.

Craig Franco hopes to cash in on it with his Utah Gold and Silver Depository, and he thinks others will soon follow.

The idea is simple: Store your gold and silver coins in a vault, and Franco issues a debit-like card to make purchases backed by your holdings.

He plans to open for business June 1, likely the first of its kind in the country.

“Because we’re dealing with something so forward thinking, I expect a wait-and-see attitude,” Franco said. “Once the depository is executed and transactions can occur, then I think people will move into the marketplace.”

The idea was spawned by Republican state Rep. Brad Galvez, who sponsored the bill largely to serve as a protest against Federal Reserve monetary policy. Galvez says Americans are losing faith in the dollar. If you’re mad about government debt, ditch the cash. Spend your gold and silver, he says.

His idea isn’t to return to the gold standard, when the dollar was backed by gold instead of 
government goodwill. Instead, he just wanted to create options for consumers.
“We’re too far down the road to go back to the gold standard,” Galvez said. “This will move us toward an alternative currency.”

Earlier this month, Minnesota took a step closer to joining Utah in making gold and silver legal tender. A Republican lawmaker there introduced a bill that sets up a special committee to explore the option. North Carolina, Idaho and at least nine other states also have similar bills drafted.

Washington Post


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10 new Jupiter-sized planets floating in interstellar space

member the second sun in asia or the second moon on United States...
They can´t covered any longer....

Astronomers have discovered 10 new Jupiter-sized planets floating in interstellar space - far from the light of any nearby parent star.

The discovery was made by an international team of EU-funded researchers conducting a planetary microlensing survey of the Milky Way galaxy.

The study, carried out by astronomers from Chile, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States, was funded in part by the OGLEIV (Optical gravitational lensing experiment: new frontiers in observational astronomy ') project, which received a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant worth EUR 2.5 million under the 'Ideas' Thematic area of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Writing in the journal Nature, the team suggests that these lonesome planets were probably ejected from developing planetary systems. Although scientists had always had a hunch that free-floating planets existed, due to their distant location - 10,000 to 20,000 light-years away from Earth in the direction of the central bulge of the Milky Way - the planets had gone undetected until now.

This discovery implies that there could be billions more free-floating Jupiter-style planets that can't be seen in the Milky Way galaxy alone; according to the team's estimates, there could be twice as many of them as there are stars and they could be just as common as planets that orbit stars.

'Our survey is like a population census,' said David Bennett, one of the study's authors from the University of Notre Dame in the United States. 'We sampled a portion of the galaxy, and based on these data, can estimate overall numbers in the galaxy.'

The scientists were able to finally see these free-floating planets thanks to gravitational microlensing, which occurs when an object bends the light of a more distant star. According to Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, when large objects pass in front of a more distant star, the objects can act as a lens by bending and contorting the light of the star so that it appears brighter, thereby making it visible to astronomers on Earth.

Over two years, the team analysed the central area of the Milky Way, or 'Galactic Bulge', and gathered data using the 1.8-metre-wide Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics (MOA) telescope in New Zealand, which scanned the stars at the centre of our Galaxy for gravitational microlensing events every hour. Without this special microlensing telescope, the research would have been impossible as this part of space is only visible using this technique.

Although previous observations have uncovered more than 500 planets since 1995, these were mostly bound to host stars, and any free-floating mass objects found were usually masses over 3 times the size of Jupiter; scientists believe that these huge gaseous bodies form more like stars than planets. Named 'brown dwarfs', these star-like balls of gas grow from collapsing balls of gas and dust, but lack the mass to ignite their nuclear fuel and shine with starlight.

Equally, scientists believe it is likely some planets are ejected from their early, turbulent solar systems due to gravitational encounters with other planets or stars. Without a host star to orbit, these planets would move through the Galaxy as our Sun and other stars do, in stable orbits around the Galaxy's centre.

David Bennett explains how the discovery of 10 free-floating Jupiter-sized planets backs up this ejection theory: 'If free-floating planets formed like stars, then we would have expected to see only one or two of them in our survey instead of 10. Our results suggest that planetary systems often become unstable, with planets being kicked out from their places of birth.'

This study is the fourth phase of the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) project - one of the largest scale sky-surveys worldwide, which has been on the go since 1992.

So far, OGLE has contributed to many fields of modern astrophysics including gravitational microlensing, extrasolar planets searches, stellar astrophysics, and Galactic structure. The OGLE-IV survey also contributes to the search for Pluto-size dwarf planets from the Kuiper Belt, the search for free-floating black holes, and microlensing in the Magellanic Clouds and Galactic disk. Source; European Union


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