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Friday, March 23, 2012

Babylon Rising Legal Tender Not Much Longer


Revelation 13:11, 16-17
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon... And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

In the book The Mark of the Beast I wrote of the spiritual substance of this subject. The church has almost universally focused on a physical fulfillment, while ignoring the more important spiritual understanding of what it is to bear the mark of the beast. I encourage those who are unfamiliar with the spiritual meaning to read the book.

I do want to spend a little space speaking of a physical fulfillment of the words of Revelation that are quoted above. I do believe an hour is coming soon when a worldwide monetary system will be in place. All transactions will be electronic. There will be a global cashless society. All transactions will be recorded on computers. These transactions will be tracked, and by this means society will be strictly controlled.

The Scriptures speak of a time when no one will be able to buy or sell without having received the mark of the beast. It matters not whether you are rich or poor, slave or free, this system will be all encompassing. If one does not embrace Babylon and its rulers they will be prevented from buying and selling. It would surprise many Christians to know how near the world is to having a global, electronic, cashless, financial system in place. The following article caught my attention yesterday.

Sweden moving towards cashless economy
(AP) STOCKHOLM - Sweden was the first European country to introduce bank notes in 1661. Now it's come farther than most on the path toward getting rid of them.

"I can't see why we should be printing bank notes at all anymore," says Bjoern Ulvaeus, former member of 1970's pop group ABBA, and a vocal proponent for a world without cash.

The contours of such a society are starting to take shape in this high-tech nation, frustrating those who prefer coins and bills over digital money.

In most Swedish cities, public buses don't accept cash; tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cell phone text message. A small but growing number of businesses only take cards, and some bank offices — which make money on electronic transactions — have stopped handling cash altogether.

"There are towns where it isn't at all possible anymore to enter a bank and use cash," complains Curt Persson, chairman of Sweden's National Pensioners' Organization.

He says that's a problem for elderly people in rural areas who don't have credit cards or don't know how to use them to withdraw cash.

The decline of cash is noticeable even in houses of worship, like the Carl Gustaf Church in Karlshamn, southern Sweden, where Vicar Johan Tyrberg recently installed a card reader to make it easier for worshipers to make offerings.

"People came up to me several times and said they didn't have cash but would still like to donate money," Tyrberg says.

Bills and coins represent only 3 percent of Sweden's economy, compared to an average of 9 percent in the eurozone and 7 percent in the U.S., according to the Bank for International Settlements, an umbrella organization for the world's central banks...

The Swedish Bankers' Association says the shrinkage of the cash economy is already making an impact in crime statistics.

The number of bank robberies in Sweden plunged from 110 in 2008 to 16 in 2011 — the lowest level since it started keeping records 30 years ago. It says robberies of security transports are also down...

The prevalence of electronic transactions — and the digital trail they generate — also helps explain why Sweden has less of a problem with graft than countries with a stronger cash culture, such as Italy or Greece, says economics professor Friedrich Schneider of the Johannes Kepler University in Austria.

"If people use more cards, they are less involved in shadow economy activities," says Schneider, an expert on underground economies...
[Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57399610/sweden-moving-towards-cashless-economy/?tag=pop;stories]

The banks, and those who control them, also control the governments of this world system. The world has become one large global marketplace. It is the goal of the ruler of this fallen world system to control all commerce, and thereby to control all people.

What is considered the “shadow economy” today will be expanded to include any transaction that is not processed by the global financial system. If it cannot be tracked, taxed, and controlled, a transaction will be declared illegal. Already in America we are seeing great progress in establishing a controlled marketplace. The stated impetus behind such moves is most often declared to be benevolent. Untracked cash transactions are being cast into a unfavorable light. The association is continually made between crime and cash transactions. Pretty soon all who seek to avoid electronic sales and purchases will be considered criminals. Recently Louisiana passed a law limiting the use of cash in second hand and junk sales.

If you buy or sell secondhand goods and live in the state of Louisiana, you can no longer use legal tender to complete such transactions. Ackel & Associates LLC (A&A), a professional law firm, explains that House Bill 195 of the 2011 Regular Session (Act 389), which was recently passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Bobby Jindal, prohibits anyone who "buys, sells, trades or otherwise acquires or disposes of junk or used or secondhand property [from entering] into any cash transactions in payment for the purchase of [such items]."

Besides prohibiting the use of cash, the law also requires such "dealers" to collect personal information like name, address, driver's license number, and license plate number from every single customer, and submit it to authorities. And the only acceptable form of payment in such situations is a personal check, money order, or electronic transfer, all of which must be carefully documented...
[Source: http://www.naturalnews.com/033882_Louisiana_cash.html]

As far back as 2006 National Public Radio ran a story about a restaurant in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington D.C. that has stopped accepting cash.

Plastic Only: Cafe Refuses to Accept Cash
by Nazanin Rafsanjani

These days, you can buy almost anything with a credit or debit card. But Snap, a cafe in Washington, D.C.,'s Georgetown neighborhood is taking it one step further. Snap's owner has decided to stop accepting cash.
[Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6246139]
(To read whole story click on link.)

No Cash

The policy of accepting no cash has since spread to many more businesses. Some readers may wonder whether it is legal for a business to refuse to accept cash for transactions. In most cases a business has the right to accept, or refuse, whatever form of payment they choose. You can read the legalese on this subject at the following link.


You may also find the comments at the above link interesting. One reader posted the following.

In Maryland there is a new toll road called the Intercounty Connector (ICC). Cash is not accepted. in fact, there are no toll booths. The only way to pay is through the E-ZPass system. If you travel the road without an E-ZPass transponder, it will cost you the amount of the toll, plus a $3.00 "Notice of Toll Due" service charge. In order to use a transponder, you must "buy" it for $25.00 and Maryland charges a $1.50 per month account maintenance fee. So... If I use the ICC 4 times a year, it will cost me $25 for the transponder, plus $18.00 per year, plus the toll charges. To avoid paying the $18,00, it would cost me $12.00 a year in penalties, plus the cost of the toll...

In my travels across the nation the past few years I saw many toll roads that utilize the EZ Pass system. It is not difficult to imagine the control the government would have over people through a wider implementation of a digital toll system. Vehicles would be tracked and passage down roads could be restricted to government approved traffic.

EZ Pass
Civil liberties and privacy rights advocates have expressed concern about how the position data gathered through E-ZPass is used. As of August 2007, several states that employ E-ZPass have provided electronic toll information in response to court orders in civil cases, including divorces and other non-criminal matters.
Position data is collected by antennas at locations in addition to fee collection locations.

A generation or two ago these developments would have been viewed as science fiction. The world is rapidly changing, and it is morphing into a form that is amenable to strict control over all financial transactions and movement of people. Over four years ago Apple Computer began refusing cash for iPhone purchases. This pattern is growing and will continue until no cash will be accepted at all.

Apple Will No Longer Accept Cash for iPhones
By Julie Kent. Published on 10/27/2007

Apple has decided to tighten up the requirements to purchase an iPhone following the news that 250,000 of the 1.4 million iPhones sold in Q4 were never activated and likely went to unlockers. Apple has decided that they will "no longer accept cash for iPhone purchases", and individuals will only be allowed to buy two, paid for with a credit or debit card. Supposedly this is in an effort to "stop people from reselling them."

Natalie Kerris, a spokeswoman for Apple, said that they are "requiring a credit or debit card for payment to discourage unauthorized resellers..."

Furthermore, one has to wonder what kind of company would refuse cold, hard cash. And, it also begs the question, how exactly are they going to be tracking the purchases? Will they be keeping credit card numbers on file, along with it a tally of iPhones purchased? Would one be able to buy two on one credit card, and then come back another day and buy two more on another card? Or, do they have technology that will pull you up by a Social Security number and reject you based on that and your purchase history?

You've been warned: Steve Jobs and Big Brother Apple are watching you.

As Christians see this trend toward a cashless, strictly controlled society, they should spend time considering the direction of their own lives. Are you becoming more enmeshed with this global system? Are you acquiring more of this world’s goods, with associated demands for insurance, taxes, licenses, etc.? Or are you coming out of Babylon according to the leading of the Spirit? Are you trying to serve God and mammon?

A look at the life of Christ revealed that He owned nothing more than the clothes on His back. The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of God had nowhere to lay His head. A meal for Christ and the disciples often came from God the Father multiplying a few fish and loaves of bread to feed multitudes, or threshing grain in their hands as they walked through a wheat field. Undoubtedly, Christians will be led to accept a much humbler existence in coming days, but Yahweh will have a provision for those who trust and obey.

I have found the Father to be simplifying my life for years. I have had no debt since 1999. I do not own a home, other than the bus/RV the Father provided. There are no bills for water, electric, trash, or the myriad of things that go along with home ownership. There is a simplicity in surrendering to follow in the footsteps of the Lord.

I Corinthians 7:29-31
But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none..., those who buy, as though they did not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.

The form of this world is certainly changing. Christians will have to choose to let go of this world and its possessions in order to take hold of the kingdom of God. It is the will of the Father that an hour should come when only those who bear the mark of the beast should be able to traffic in the things of this world. This will purify the church of Christ. Only those who put Christ before the love of the world and the things in it will continue to walk by the Spirit in that hour. A great separation will occur between the carnal Christians and those who are true disciples. The end result will be a purified Bride ready for the Bridegroom’s return.

Come Quickly Lord Yahshua!

Joseph Herrin

The Dimensionality of Time - Chuck Missler

Surveillance camera searches 36 million faces in a second

You know how the CIA’s surveillance system is second to none according to what Hollywood had served up all this while? I really wonder whether modern day technology used in intelligence agencies are up to par, and can even enhance blurry images to high resolution photos in an instant. Well, one thing is for sure – Hitachi Kokusai Electric has developed a surveillance camera system par excellence, where it is able to go through data on 36 million faces in just a single second.

This would mean it can detect a face from surveillance footage or a regular photo in a search, where results will be displayed nearly instantaneously, serving up thumbnail images of potential candidates. Should you pick on a thumbnail, then the associated recorded surveillance footage can be viewed thereafter, allowing you to know what said person was doing beforehand.

This system runs on assumptions to make it as efficient as possible, where it will assume that faces are turning within around 30 degrees in the horizontal and vertical directions from the camera, and they need to be at least 40 x 40 pixels in size. It would be interesting to see just how this system’s performance will be like when it comes to combating crime in crowded areas.


Tehran forces Iranian Jews to join anti-Israel Global March

The Islamic regime in Tehran was not satisfied with the public support the Iranian Jewish community’s was forced to confer on the Global March to Jerusalem for which Iran is recruiting Islamists worldwide. Now, the event’s organizers, Majlis Speaker Hossein Sheikh-ol-Eslam and Salim Ghafouri, have ordered the community to send a Jewish delegation to march with the Islamist groups in Lebanon,DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources disclose.

The delegations are scheduled to mass on the Lebanese and Jordanian borders with Israel and at West Bank and Gaza checkpoints on March 30, when Israeli Arabs mark Earth Day every year.

Iran’s ancient Jewish community of around 15,000 souls (9,000 in Tehran, 4,000 in Shiraz and 1,300 in Isfahan) has been living in fear of reprisals should Israel or the United States carry out a military operation against the country’s nuclear facilities. Now, they face a fresh danger of murder and abduction by Hizballah and Palestinian gunmen and terrorists in Lebanon.

Jewish communal leaders were instructed by the Iranian authorities this week to have at least 10 young men aged 18 to 22 ready for the march. They were to be given “the honor” of acting as vanguard for breaking through the Lebanese-Israeli border fence and leading a mass incursion across the border.

They suspect that this ploy is meant to prevent Israeli soldiers from firing on the trespassers for fear of killing the Jewish contingent, while at the same time, exposing them to violence when the event is over at the hands of al-Qaeda linked Palestinian groups under Hizballah protection.

The Salafi doctrine held by the al Qaeda killer Muhammad Merah who murdered four Jews, including three children, in Toulouse Monday, is rife in the south Lebanese Palestinian Ain Hilwa refugee camp. The most active are two Palestinian jihadist groups, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which now and then shoots rockets into northern Israel, and Jund al-Sham, which is closely tied to al Qaeda branches in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, where they call themselves Osbat al-Ansar.

The two terrorist groups are the bosses of the Safouri Quarter of the camp.
Our sources report an Iranian scheme to send the Jewish marchers on a visit to Ain Hilwa to show their solidarity with the most radical Palestinian cause.

Last week, Jewish leaders were obliged to sign a declaration of solidarity with the Global March and condemnation of Israel. The text put before them for signing was as follows: We the Jews of Iran strongly condemn the barbaric crimes of the occupation regime in Palestinian and declare the Zionist state in violation of the principles of Our Teacher Moses and the Will of God. We are totally at one with the aspirations of the heroic Palestinian people.”
Signed: Dr. Syamak Mare Dedeq, Jewish Member of Parliament, and Rabbi Mashallah Golestani-Nejad, described as the Chief Rabbi of Iran.
DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources add: Tehran is the main bankroller and live wire of the Global March against Israel’s borders and claims to have rounded up Islamist delegations from five continents to support the Palestinians. Seventy sympathizers are on their way to Lebanon, Syria and Jordan from India, Malaysia, Pakistan and other Asian countries.

To mark the event, Tehran staged a cartoon contest. The winner drew around the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem a wall modeled on the fences of Auschwitz.
Both the organizers are members of the Ministry of Intelligence MOIS with long experience of managing Iranian activities on behalf of Arab and Palestinian terrorist groups. Sheikh-ol-Islam, while holding the post of Deputy Speaker of Parliament, also coordinates Tehran’s relations with the Lebanese Hizballah.
On Feb. 26, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei proclaimed the launching of the Global March to Jerusalem an expression of Iran’s policy for strengthening “resistance operations” against Israel and guarding Palestinian interests.

Debka File

Secret Nuclear Drone Plan....

Sandia National Laboratories cooks up some of the craziest new technologies you’ll ever see—and some you’ll never see. That’s the fate of a secret method for driving unmanned aerial vehicles with nuclear power, abandoned by its creators.

The plan was outlined in a document acquired by the Federation of American Scientists, which outlines a study Sandia conducted. The results? A new way, potentially, of powering military drones.

“As a result of this effort, UAVs were to be able to provide far more surveillance time and intelligence information per mission while reducing the high cost of support activities,” the report noted. “This technology was intended to create unmatched global capabilities to observe and preempt terrorist and weapon of mass destruction (WMD) activities.”

Essentially, the tech allowed for “ultra-persistent” drone flight that didn’t require traditional fuels. As the FAS points out, the study doesn’t ever say “nuclear,” but all of the giveaways are there: “decommissioning and disposal” wouldn’t be issues otherwise.

So what happened? “It was disappointing to all that the political realities would not allow use of the results,” Sandia laments. The lab gave up on nuclear drones due to political pressures, perceived or otherwise. “No near-term benefit to industry or the taxpayer will be encountered as a result of these studies.”

Drones crash. Compared to conventional airplanes, they crash a lot. Rough weather, communications errors, software glitches—sometimes we don’t even know what brings down a drone. But they go down, and because there’s no human inside, it’s never considered much of a loss. They’re (relatively) cheap! They’re (relatively) disposable! But with nuclear fuel inside, they’d be categorically dangerous. Even across bombed out Afghanistan, a Predator crash with nuclear consequences would be a diplomatic crisis. Suddenly, you don’t just have debris—you have a contamination zone. That wouldn’t go over well in downtown Islamabad.

And then there’s the inexorable reality of drones flying above the U.S. — above our homes. Although the propulsion tech Sandia seemed so keen on was ostensibly meant for military craft, the Homeland Security fantasy of “ultra-persistent” can’t be ignored. Domestic spies would drool and throb over this ever-watching eye as much as the Air Force or CIA.

Whatever “political conditions” grounded Sandia’s shadowy drones likely reflected the obvious: we don’t need unmanned nukes orbiting the world, whether over our own heads or the Taliban’s. But political conditions have a tendency of changing unannounced—and contrary to reason. And if weapon wonks are so in love with this technology now, let’s not pretend they’re going to give up forever just because it’s unpopular today


Banker-buster bomb: Irish light the fuse!

U.S. student loan debt reaches US$1-trillion

U.S. student-loan debt reached the US$1-trillion mark, as young borrowers struggle to keep up with soaring tuition costs, according to the initial findings of a government study.

The figure, which is higher than the country’s credit-card debt, was probably reached “several months ago,” Rohit Chopra of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said in a posting Wednesday, excerpted from a speech he made at the Consumer Bankers Association meeting in Austin, Texas.

“Young consumers are shouldering much of the punishment in the form of substantial student-loan bills for doing exactly what they were told would be the key to a better life,” Mr. Chopra, the bureau’s student-loan ombudsman, said in the posting.

More students are taking out loans to pay for college. Undergraduates are limited by the amount they can borrow in federally backed loans. Students also take private loans, which lack the income-based repayment and deferment options of federal ones, Mr. Chopra said.

Excessive student debt could slow the recovery of the housing market, as young people repay money for their education rather than buying homes, said Mr. Chopra, who called the results “sobering.”

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York last month said debt from educational loans in the U.S. rose to US$867-billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, based on figures from a sample of data provided by the Equifax Inc. credit bureau. The New York Fed also said this month about 10% of the outstanding student loan balance was delinquent in the third quarter.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act to help consumers understand financial products including student loans, mortgages and credit cards. It plans to release its full report this summer.

Financial Post

Imminent Threat of Global Thermonuclear War with Lyndon LaRouche

You consent to a search if a camera sees you

When you go outside or go to other public places such as a bank or a mall, have you automatically given up your Fourth Amendment rights and consented to a search? When it comes to tracking you via facial recognition technology, what if the government or other law enforcement were to use that argument, that by simply being in a place where there are security cameras, you waived your Fourth Amendment rights and consented to a search?

The FBI and DOD sponsored a legal series about the U.S. government using facial recognition; the latest forum was titled "Striking the Balance - A Government Approach to Facial Recognition Privacy and Civil Liberties." Whenever the word 'balance' is used, privacy and civil liberties are usually about to be kicked in the name of 'security.' When it comes to surveillance via facial recognition technology, federal law enforcement, intelligence personnel and national security agencies are looking into the "gaps in legal/policy authority that may result in privacy and civil liberties vulnerabilities if left unaddressed."

The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) Senior Fellow Peter Swire, also a law professor at Ohio State University, spoke about "Facial Recognition by the Government: Privacy and Civil Liberties Issues." Since using "one's facial image, with or without knowledge or consent," can identify and be used to track a person "an inherent tension exists between privacy and facial recognition." The forum was to "examine where the appropriate balance lies between crime and terrorism prevention using facial recognition and robust privacy safeguards." Swire started with two different perspectives about facial recognition

1) It has always been legal to observe people in public, and facial recognition technology is simply making this easier.

2) Facial recognition technology allows an unprecedented ability to surveil and track people, and this information could be stored indefinitely and correlated with other personal information.

Although "observing a person in public has traditionally not required a warrant," Professor Swire pointed out Fourth Amendment rights figure heavily into the constitutional issues impacting facial recognition tracking. Swire said the Supreme Court's GPS tracking decision "may dramatically impact privacy by requiring law enforcement agents to obtain a warrant to conduct surveillance on suspects in public, something law enforcement has never had to do. However, the fourth amendment contains a consent exception; if an individual consents to a search, a warrant is not required. Professor Swire pointed out that some might argue that individuals consent to going outside or to other public places (i.e. a bank or mall) where security cameras are present."

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on U.S. vs. Jones GPS tracking, Justice Sotomayor made a strong case for updating our Fourth Amendment laws to protect privacy in this digital age. Sotomayor, in discussing GPS tracking, wrote, "by making available at a relatively low cost such a substantial quantum of intimate information about any person whom the Government, in its unfettered discretion, chooses to track-may 'alter the relationship between citizen and government in a way that is inimical to democratic society'."

Professor Swire referenced Justice Sotomayor's worries "that constant surveillance by the government could chill free speech and free association." Constant biometric surveillance such as facial recognition technology may also "lead to discrimination." Just because something is legal doesnot mean it should be done, he advised the government. How should intelligence agencies "determine whether or not a surveillance program is a good idea?" Swire suggested using the New York Timestest: "if the program was detailed on the front page of the New York Times, would the public reaction be negative or positive?"

Other government agencies who spoke about facial recognition surveillance and privacy included the FBI, OMB, DoD, and DHS. "They are all in the same boat," one government official said. "A big facial recognition privacy mishap by one government agency would tarnish legitimate facial recognition programs in every other agency."

The idea that anyone who goes out in public has, by default, given up all Fourth Amendment privacy protection and "consented" to a search is as ludicrous as suggesting that everyone who has a cell phone has automatically consented to law enforcement accessing cell phone location data without a warrant. The EFF, ACLU, and CDT recently submitted court papers arguing that the government needs to prove probable cause and obtain a warrant before being granted cell site location information.

On a warrantless surveillance side note, the FBI claims the Supreme Court ruling has caused a hardship for the agency. The U.S. v. Jones decision "will inhibit our ability to use this in a number of surveillances where it has been tremendously beneficial," FBI Director Robert Mueller testified before the House Appropriations Committee. "We have a number of people in the United States whom we could not indict, there is not probable cause to indict them or to arrest them who present a threat of terrorism. ... [They] may be up on the Internet, may have purchased a gun, but have taken no particular steps to take a terrorist act."

When the government bemoans the need to heed constitutional rights, no matter the type of tracking, if there is no probable cause for a warrant then that's too boo hoo bad.

Network world

China 'warns' India with border drill

NEW DELHI\BEIJING: China is back to flexing its muscles close to the Indian border. ThePeople's Liberation Army has conducted a major "live fire" exercise, testing its multi-role J-10 fighters armed with laser-guided and other bombs, in the high-altitude Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Chinese official media on Thursday described the exercise as "the first operation of its kind" on the 3,500-metre high plateau, which saw the fighter jets being fuelled and loaded with bombs for ground attack missions during sub-zero temperatures.

The rare publicity given to the exercise comes at a time when China is getting ready for a change of guard, including the election of a new president and secretary general of the Communist Party.

It's also meant as a strong signal to India, which has belatedly taken to strategically counter China's massive build-up of military infrastructure all along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control over the last two decades.

This is, of course, not the first time PLA has undertaken combat exercises in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), having tested its Sukhoi-27UBK and Sukhoi-30MKK fighters as well as rapid reaction forces and airborne corps there over the last two-three years.

But China-watchers in the Indian defence establishment say the latest exercise, with fighters conducting both day and night sorties, seems to be "several rungs higher" than the ones conducted in the past. It comes barely five months after another major PLA exercise, involving air force, tanks and artillery, was held in the region.

"China usually deploys fighters in TAR only during summers from March onwards because of the thin air and tough operating conditions there. But last year for the first time, PLA kept the J-10 jets deployed at Gongar (Lhasa) throughout the winter," said a senior officer.

China, apart from nuclear missile bases in Qinghai province that unmistakably target India, has built five fully operational airbases at Gongar, Pangta, Linchi, Hoping and Gar Gunsa, an extensive rail network and over 58,000-km of roads in TAR.

This makes it possible for PLA to move around 30 divisions (each with over 15,000 soldiers) to the LAC within 30 days to outnumber Indian forces by at least three-is-to-one. The Chengdu military region and the PLA airbases in TAR are mainly tasked for an anti-India role, as earlier reported by TOI.

India, in turn, has based its most potent fighters Sukhoi-30MKIs, which can go deep into China, at Tezpur and Chabua in Assam, apart from planning to deploy six C-130J "Super Hercules" strategic airlift aircraft in the eastern sector.

"We have a slight advantage over China in the sense that its TAR airbases are located at an average height of 10,000 to 12,000-feet. This restricts the weapon loads their Sukhois and J-10s can carry. PLA Air Force, of course, is almost triple our size" said an IAF officer.

India is also now upgrading eastern sector ALGs (advanced landing grounds) like Pasighat, Mechuka, Walong, Tuting, Ziro and Vijaynagar as well as several helipads in Arunachal Pradesh. This comes after the reactivation of western sector ALGs like Daulat Beg Oldi, Fukche and Nyama in eastern Ladakh.

Moreover, Army is now planning a mountain strike corps (70,000 soldiers) after raising two new mountain infantry divisions, with 1,260 officers and 35,011 soldiers, in Assam and Nagaland. There are also plans to base Akash and BrahMos missile regiments in the North-East for conventional deterrence against China.

The Times of India

Ben Bernanke Tries To Convince America That The Federal Reserve Is Good And The Gold Standard Is Bad

Ben Bernanke has decided that he needs to teach all of us why the Federal Reserve is good for America and about why the gold standard is bad.  On Tuesday, Bernanke delivered the first of four planned lectures to a group of students at George Washington University.  But that lecture was not just for the benefit of those students.  Officials at the Fed have long planned for this lecture series to be an opportunity for Bernanke to "educate" the American people about the Federal Reserve.  The classroom was absolutely packed with reporters and just about every major news organization is running a story about this first lecture.  So the Federal Reserve is definitely getting the publicity that it was hoping for.  You can see the slides from the presentation that Bernanke gave to the students right here.  It is pretty obvious that one of the primary goals of this first lecture was to attack those that have been critical of the Fed over the past few years.  In doing so, Bernanke "stretched" the truth on more than one occasion.

The entire event was staged to make Bernanke and the Federal Reserve look as good as possible.  Prior to his arrival, the students gathered for the lecture were actually instructed to applaud Bernanke....
The 30 undergraduates at George Washington University sent up a round of applause. It was, they'd been told beforehand, "appropriate, even encouraged, to politely applaud" Tuesday's guest lecturer.
But as noted above, this lecture was not for the benefit of those students.  AUSA Today article even admitted that "addressing the public directly" was one of the real goals of this lecture....
For Bernanke, the GW lectures serve a dual function:
They give him a chance to reprise the role of professor he played for more than two decades, first at Stanford and then at Princeton, where he eventually chaired the economics department.
And they give him a way to expand his mission of demystifying the Fed. As part of that campaign, Bernanke became the first Fed chief to hold regular news conferences and conduct town-hall meetings.
In addressing the public directly, Bernanke has also sought to neutralize attacks on the Fed, some of them from Republican presidential candidates.
So what did Bernanke actually say during the lecture?
Well, you can read all of the slides right here, but the following are some of the highlights....
On page 6 of the presentation, Bernanke makes the following claim....
"A central bank is not an ordinary commercial bank, but a government agency."
Well, that is quite interesting considering the fact that the Federal Reserve hasargued in court that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is not an agency of the federal government and that the various Federal Reserve banks around the country are private corporations with private funding.
So did the Federal Reserve lie to the court or is Ben Bernanke lying to us?
And what other "agency" of the federal government is owned by private banks?
It is even admitted that the individual member banks own shares of stock in the various Federal Reserve banks on the Federal Reserve website....
The twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, which were established by Congress as the operating arms of the nation's central banking system, are organized much like private corporations--possibly leading to some confusion about "ownership." For example, the Reserve Banks issue shares of stock to member banks. However, owning Reserve Bank stock is quite different from owning stock in a private company. The Reserve Banks are not operated for profit, and ownership of a certain amount of stock is, by law, a condition of membership in the System. The stock may not be sold, traded, or pledged as security for a loan; dividends are, by law, 6 percent per year.
The Federal Reserve always talks about how it must be "independent" and "above politics", but when they start getting criticized they always want to seek shelter under the wing of the federal government.
It really is disgusting.
On page 7 of the presentation, the following statement is made....
"All central banks strive for low and stable inflation; most also try to promote stable growth in output and employment."
Well, on both counts the Federal Reserve has failed miserably.
Right now, if inflation was measured the same way that it was back in 1980, the annual rate of inflation would be more than 10 percent.
And when you take a longer view of things, the inflation that the Federal Reserve has manufactured has been absolutely horrific.
Even using the doctored inflation numbers that the Federal Reserve gives us, the U.S. dollar has still lost 83 percent of its value since 1970.
The truth is that inflation is a "hidden tax" that is constantly destroying the value of every single dollar that you and I hold.  Those that attempt to save money for the future or for retirement are deeply penalized under such a system.
As far as employment goes, the total number of workers that are "officially" unemployed in the United States is larger than the entire population of Portugal.
The average duration of unemployment is hovering near an all-time record high and almost every measure of government dependence is at an all-time record high.
So the Federal Reserve is failing at the exact things that Bernanke claims that it is supposed to be doing.
But instead of directly addressing many of the specific criticisms that have been leveled at the Fed, Bernanke instead chose to spend much of his lecture talking about the problems with adopting a gold standard.  The following are statements that were pulled directly off of the slides he used during his speech....
-"The gold standard sets the money supply and price level generally with limited central bank intervention."
-"The strength of a gold standard is its greatest weakness too: Because the money supply is determined by the supply of gold, it cannot be adjusted in response to changing economic conditions."
-"All countries on the gold standard are forced to maintain fixed exchange rates. As a result, the effects of bad policies in one country can be transmitted to other countries if both are on the gold standard."
-"If not perfectly credible, a gold standard is subject to speculative attack and ultimate collapse as people try to exchange paper money for gold."
-"The gold standard did not prevent frequent financial panics."
-"Although the gold standard promoted price stability over the very long run, over the medium run it sometimes caused periods of inflation and deflation."
-"In the second half of the 19th century, a global shortage of gold reduced the U.S. money supply and caused deflation (falling prices). Farmers were squeezed between declining prices for crops and the fixed dollar payments for their mortgages and other debts."
Bernanke spent more time on the gold standard during his speech than on anything else.  At one point during the lecture, Bernanke made the following statement....
"To have a gold standard, you have to go to South Africa or someplace and dig up tons of gold and move  it to New York and put it in the basement of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and that's a lot of effort and work"
Bernanke even blamed the gold standard for the Great Depression.  On a slide entitled "Monetary Policy in the Great Depression", Bernanke made the following claims....
•The Fed’s tight monetary policy led to sharply falling prices and steep declines in output and employment.
•The effects of policy errors here and abroad were transmitted globally through the gold standard.
•The Fed kept money tight in part because it wanted to preserve the gold standard. When FDR abandoned the gold standard in 1933, monetary policy became less tight and deflation stopped.
Bernanke seems to want to frame the debate over monetary policy is such a way that the American people are given only two alternative systems to consider: the Federal Reserve and a gold standard.
But the truth is that there are a vast array of both "hard money" and "soft money" systems that would not include a central bank or a gold standard at all.
So the truth is that the American people would have many different systems to choose from if they wanted to shut down the Federal Reserve and set up something new.
In the past the U.S. government has issued debt-free money and it could certainly do so again.
But in his lecture, Bernanke did not even mention how the Federal Reserve creates money or how whenever new money is created more debt is created.
Under the Federal Reserve system, the money supply is designed to continually increase, and whenever more money is created more debt is also created.
In a previous article I discussed how more money is created on the federal level....
For example, whenever the U.S. government wants to spend more money than it takes in (which happens constantly), it has to go ask the Federal Reserve for it.  The federal government gives U.S. Treasury bonds to the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Reserve gives the U.S. government "Federal Reserve Notes" in return.  Usually this is just done electronically.
So where does the Federal Reserve get the Federal Reserve Notes?
It just creates them out of thin air.
Wouldn't you like to be able to create money out of thin air?
Instead of issuing money directly, the U.S. government lets the Federal Reserve create it out of thin air and then the U.S. government borrows it.
Talk about stupid.
The designers of the Federal Reserve system intended to trap the U.S. government in a debt spiral that would expand perpetually.
So has their design worked?
Well, just look at the chart below....
Today, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was first created.
So I guess you could say that the results have been spectacular.
The Federal Reserve system also greatly favors the big Wall Street banks that it is designed to serve.
When those big banks get into trouble, the Federal Reserve snaps into action.
According to a limited GAO audit of Fed transactions during the last financial crisis, $16.1 trillion in secret loans were made by the Federal Reserve to the big Wall Street banks between December 1, 2007 and July 21, 2010.
The following list is taken directly from page 131 of the GAO audit report and it shows which banks received money from the Fed....
Citigroup - $2.513 trillion
Morgan Stanley - $2.041 trillion
Merrill Lynch - $1.949 trillion
Bank of America - $1.344 trillion
Barclays PLC - $868 billion
Bear Sterns - $853 billion
Goldman Sachs - $814 billion
Royal Bank of Scotland - $541 billion
JP Morgan Chase - $391 billion
Deutsche Bank - $354 billion
UBS - $287 billion
Credit Suisse - $262 billion
Lehman Brothers - $183 billion
Bank of Scotland - $181 billion
BNP Paribas - $175 billion
Wells Fargo - $159 billion
Dexia - $159 billion
Wachovia - $142 billion
Dresdner Bank - $135 billion
Societe Generale - $124 billion
"All Other Borrowers" - $2.639 trillion
What about all the rest of us?
Did we get bailed out?
No, we were told that if Wall Street was rescued that the benefits would trickle down to the rest of us.
Unfortunately, that has not exactly worked out.  In article, after article, afterarticle I have detailed the horrible economic suffering that the American people are still going through.
But what Bernanke and the Fed have done is create inflation in commodities such as oil which is affecting the household finances of nearly everyone in America.
The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States is now up to $3.87.  That is an all-time record high for the month of March.
So far in 2012, the price of gasoline in the United States has risen by 17 percent.
Thanks Bernanke.
Over the past several decades, every time there has been a major spike in gasoline prices in the United States, a recession has always followed.  If you doubt this, just check out this amazing chart.
So will we soon see another recession?
If we are lucky.  Hopefully the next downturn will not be a full-blown depression.
The truth is that the Federal Reserve does not help us avoid booms and busts.  Rather, it creates them.  The Fed was at the heart of the housing bubble which helped bring on the last financial crisis when it crashed, and the current ultra-low interest rate policies of the Fed are creating more bubbles which will have devastating long-term consequences.
So Bernanke does not have anything to be proud of, and his track record has been absolutely nightmarish.
Hopefully the American people will not believe the propaganda and will take an honest look at the Federal Reserve.
When you take an honest look at the Federal Reserve, there is only one rational conclusion: Congress should shut it down, lock the doors and throw away the key.
Economic Collapse