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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Russian bombers disrupted planes in Irish airspace

One plane was diverted and another delayed to avoid two Russian bombers that flew through Irish-controlled airspace without warning in February, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said on Tuesday.

The disruption is believed to have occurred during the same February 18 incident in which British RAF Typhoon fighters were scrambled to escort two Russian bear bombers identified flying close to British airspace.

The move was seen as a show of strength by Russia amid tensions over the conflict in Ukraine, where Prime Minister David Cameron has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of challenging the territorial integrity of Kiev.

The Irish authority said that the two Russian aircraft were flying with their transponders switched off - devices that help aircraft to be identified by air traffic control radars.

"One aircraft's departure from Dublin was delayed due to the activity of the Russian military aircraft in UK controlled airspace," the IAA said in a statement.

"The routing of one en route aircraft was changed to ensure that its track was sufficiently separated from the track of the two Russian military aircraft," it added.

The diverted and delayed planes were commercial jets "carrying hundreds of people", newspaper the Irish Examiner reported.

However, the IAA sad there had been "no safety impact to civilian traffic in Irish controlled airspace".

The aircraft did not enter Irish sovereign airspace, but flew in Irish controlled airspace within 25 nautical miles (46.3 km) of the Irish coast between 1500 GMT and 1900 GMT, according to the authority.

British Defence Minister Michael Fallon warned that NATO need to be ready for "any kind of aggression from Russia" following the incident, which came after London summoned the Russian ambassador over a similar episode in January.

Credit to The Telegraph

Massive Winter Storm Bringing Snow, Ice and Wind Hits 30 States

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A massive and slow-moving winter storm continued to grip the U.S. today, dumping snow, ice and rain from Utah and Louisiana to Maine.

At least 30 states were under winter weather alerts today, and it was affecting 120 million Americans.

Snow Expected Today Across the Midwest and East Coast

Major Winter Storm to Slam the Midwest Then Move East

In Minnesota, treacherous ice and slick conditions brought traffic on Interstate 94 to a complete standstill after more than a dozen crashes in the area.

Near St. Paul, Minnesota, a car slammed a police vehicle as the officer investigated another crash.

Strong winds gusting at 40 mph were a problem in Watertown, South Dakota.

In the Midwest, blinding snow and slippery roads in parts of Michigan and Indiana caused spinout after spinout.

"I just completely turned all the way around and slid off the road," said one driver. "How scary is that? I mean, I'm just happy there weren't any cars coming."

In hard-hit Boston, which, according to The Associated Press, could break its all-time record for snowfall today with 5.7 more inches of snow, state police had to be called to help free a 65-foot Coast Guard cutter that got stuck in the harbor.

Beantown might fall short today of that record snowfall -- 107.6 inches, set in 1995-1996, according to the AP. But even so, it could break the record with additional snowfall Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Although one to three inches was possible along the I-95 corridor today, some areas, such as New York City, could receive 6-8 inches with Wednesday night’s snowfall.

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Creditto ABC

Stealing Children for Profit

Many societal interests are geared towards profiting from stealing children from their parents and ultimately directing these children into prison where they perform slave labor for many corporations in one of the most hideous practices in human history, the privatized, for profit, prison.

Schools and Their Contribution to Private Prison Profits

Zero-tolerance” policies criminalize minor infractions of school rules, while cops in school lead to students being criminalized for behavior that should be handled inside the school. Students of color are especially vulnerable to push-out trends and the discriminatory application of discipline in many of our public schools. Children should be educated, not incarcerated, but to the lobbyists for the privatized prison for profit system, they are writing legislation for your state in which the end goal is designed to put your child in prison for profit.
In part one, I pointed out how the privatized prison lobby is responsible for longer mandatory sentences and passing laws which maximize the amount of people in prison and now they are in the schools criminalizing what used to be called juvenile delinquency.
These unholy lobbyists have secured guarantees from most states which they are guaranteed that 100% of all prison beds are occupied. Since the advent of privatized prisons our collective prison population has risen from 300,000 to over 2 million prisoners and the current rates are skyrocketing.

School to Prison Pipeline: Go to School and End Up In Prison

prison 666
The above graphic now applies to our children as our kids are increasingly becoming victim to what is called the School to Prison Pipeline.
Every good major league baseball team has a successful farm system of minor league teams in smaller towns and cities. This is where the majority of baseball talent develops their skills prior to coming to the parent club. The Prison Industrial Complex is run like a major league baseball team’s farm system in which young talent is developed to replace the aging veterans.
Your child this fall?
It used to be a given that unless one committed murder, juveniles under the age of 18 did not go to jail or prison. That is no longer the case. The incarceration of our youth is big business. There are almost 75,000 juveniles in prison and the rates are skyrocketing because of the school to prison pipeline in which schools are increasingly refusing to deal with even minor discipline issues and are placing juveniles in police custody.

Zero Tolerance Policies Are Responsible

As I have previously documented, the Chicago Police Department runs and maintains a FEMA camp facility in which due process is on permanent vacation. So, should it be surprising that Chicago is leading the way in pushing our children from school to prison? In Chicago, in 2010, there were 5,574 school-based arrests of juveniles in the Chicago Public School. The juvenile arrests accounted for about one of every five juvenile arrests in the entire city of Chicago for all of 2010. The incarceration rates for Chicago’s juveniles are above the national average, but they are generally in line with most other metropolitan areas in the country. There is also a general trend of disproportionate rates of minority contact within the juvenile justice system, Black youth accounted for 74% of school-based arrests, and 22.5% of youth arrested were Latino. The enrollment of Chicago schools in was 45% Black and 41% Latino. These high arrest rates for so many of our minority youth, create potential slave laborers for the Prison Industrial Complex. Once a child is adjudicated in the justice system, society usually witnesses a straight line right to prison. These precious children are having their futures robbed from them before they can even get started. What are they being arrested for? The number one reason is for fighting on school grounds.
As a child, I had fights on school grounds, but nobody tried to send me to prison. The number two reason why children end up in the justice system is for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
As a former mental health counselor, I am all too familiar with the devastation brought on by use of drugs. However, marijuana is not one of these drugs. If legalizing marijuana runs against everything you believe in, how about decriminalizing? In other words, we still make the drug illegal but nobody goes to prison for simple possession.
The federal authorities, controlled by the private corporations of the CCA and GEO, will never allow such a common sense, liberalized approach to drug enforcement. The feds even arrest medical marijuana dispensers and users. Why? Because Wall Street wants prisoners to fill its increasingly privatized and for-profit prison system. This is the major reason why America is home to 25% of the world’s prison population, despite only having 5% of the world’s population. Again, see part one for the corporations who participate and profit in the buisiness of prison slave labor which is increasingly being filled by children.
Our minority youth, in the inner cities, are being conditioned by the system that going to prison is part of the life experience. And with extremely high recidivism rates, prison slave labor will never have any shortage of participants.
The Prison Industrial Complex and their lobbyists are responsible for zero tolerance policies, mandatory sentencing and the three strikes life sentencing that is so prominent in many of our states and unless we identify these abuses and stop them, it is only going to get worse.
Remember that term, School to Prison Pipeline, because they are actively recruiting our children for the prison slave labor force.
In addition to the two primary ways (i.e. fighting and marijuana) that children end up getting trapped in this prison for profit system, there is another significant contributor to this problem, and it is brought to by your state’s version of Child Protective Services.

From Foster Care to Prison

It is often said that a nation should be judged by how it treats its must vulnerable members. From that perspective, America is a despicable nation. Please consider the following graphic which encapsulates the process on how our children are traded as commodities in order for Wall Street CEO, stockholders and friends are able to maximize their personal profits on the backs of our children. The following graphic is a story unto itself.
school to prison to pipeline stats
 Of all the sources of where inmates come from, the most telling statistic that 70% of inmates were former foster children.

The CPS Factor

cps 2On The Common Sense Show, I interviewed Kristi Wills, a former Virginia CPS agent. Wills detailed how the Virginia CPS would literally steal children, without any justification, from their parents, and then these children would struggle mightily with their foster parents. Some foster parents would simply disappear with several foster children and the authorities were unconcerned as to where these children were taken. The late Georgia State Senator, Nancy Schaefer, detailed that this was how many of these children would be sex trafficked from this pool of missing kids. And we see from the above graphic, many foster children end up in prison. Wills and others report that the FBI and/or local authorities are never called to look for foster children who just disappear.
CPS is paid and average of $6,000 per child, per month, by a combination of state and local authorities as well as the Department of Human Health Services for every child removed from the home. If the child is a minority and/or has a disability, the child is worthy even more money to CPS who uses these stolen children to supplement their department budgets. And now we have clear and convincing evidence that many of these children end up in prison.
CPS profits from abducting children, the privatized prison system is a recipient of this windfall when these children eventually go to prison. When we combine the CPS pipeline to prison with the school to prison to pipeline, it is easy to conclude that our entire society is moving in the direction of preying on its children for profit.
I asked Wills to estimate the percentage of children that actually should have been removed from the home when she was part of an investigative team and she responded, “Less than 10% should have been removed from the home for their protection”. Wills went on to describe about how the CPS agents, following the removal of a child from the home, would go out to a bar and celebrate the victory. In other words, the goal of CPS is not to protect your children, but to seize your children for the profit that the HHS offers. Ultimately, many of these children are sex trafficked and/or end up in prison. Wills was ultimately fired by the Virginia CPS because she refused to lie on documents about the so-called facts which led to the unjust removal of a child from their home.

The Hunger Games

Before the tributes are selected, Effie Trinket utters the catch phrase of the movie "May the odds be ever in your favor".
Before the tributes are selected, Effie Trinket utters the catch phrase of the movie “May the odds be ever in your favor”.
Doesn’t this system remind one of the hunger games in which two children are chosen to fight to the death in Capitol City as part of the tribute that all must pay to the elite?
If by the grace of God your children grow up and are untouched by this corrupt system which has bought its way into every statehouse and federal welfare agency with campaign contributions, we are still left with one dilemma, our conscience.

Please allow me to ask a question to those of us who see this evil and do nothing, WHO ARE WE?

Credit to Common Sense

Rob Kirby- Crackup Boom & Hyperinflation Guaranteed

Financial Collapse Leads To War

Scanning the headlines in the western mainstream press, and then peering behind the one-way mirror to compare that to the actual goings-on, one can't but get the impression that America's propagandists, and all those who follow in their wake, are struggling with all their might to concoct rationales for military action of one sort or another, be it supplying weapons to the largely defunct Ukrainian military, or staging parades of US military hardware and troops in the almost completely Russian town of Narva, in Estonia, a few hundred meters away from the Russian border, or putting US “advisers” in harm's way in parts of Iraq mostly controlled by Islamic militants.
The strenuous efforts to whip up Cold War-like hysteria in the face of an otherwise preoccupied and essentially passive Russia seems out of all proportion to the actual military threat Russia poses. (Yes, volunteers and ammo do filter into Ukraine across the Russian border, but that's about it.) Further south, the efforts to topple the government of Syria by aiding and arming Islamist radicals seem to be backfiring nicely. But that's the pattern, isn't it? What US military involvement in recent memory hasn't resulted in a fiasco? Maybe failure is not just an option, but more of a requirement?
Let's review. Afghanistan, after the longest military campaign in US history, is being handed back to the Taliban. Iraq no longer exists as a sovereign nation, but has fractured into three pieces, one of them controlled by radical Islamists. Egypt has been democratically reformed into a military dictatorship. Libya is a defunct state in the middle of a civil war. The Ukraine will soon be in a similar state; it has been reduced to pauper status in record time—less than a year. A recent government overthrow has caused Yemen to stop being US-friendly. Closer to home, things are going so well in the US-dominated Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador that they have produced a flood of refugees, all trying to get into the US in the hopes of finding any sort of sanctuary.
Looking at this broad landscape of failure, there are two ways to interpret it. One is that the US officialdom is the most incompetent one imaginable, and can't ever get anything right. But another is that they do not succeed for a distinctly different reason: they don't succeed because results don't matter. You see, if failure were a problem, then there would be some sort of pressure coming from somewhere or other within the establishment, and that pressure to succeed might sporadically give rise to improved performance, leading to at least a few instances of success. But if in fact failure is no problem at all, and if instead there was some sort of pressure to fail, then we would see exactly what we do see.
In fact, a point can be made that it is the limited scope of failure that is the problem. This would explain the recent saber-rattling in the direction of Russia, accusing it of imperial ambitions (Russia is not interested in territorial gains), demonizing Vladimir Putin (who is effective and popular) and behaving provocatively along Russia's various borders (leaving Russia vaguely insulted but generally unconcerned). It can be argued that all the previous victims of US foreign policy—Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, even the Ukraine—are too small to produce failure writ large enough to satisfy America's appetite for failure. Russia, on the other hand, especially when incentivized by thinking that it is standing up to some sort of new, American-style fascism, has the ability to deliver to the US a foreign policy failure that will dwarf all the previous ones.
Analysts have proposed a variety of explanations for America's hyperactive, oversized militarism. Here are the top three:
1. The US government has been captured by the military-industrial complex, which demands to be financed lavishly. Rationales are created artificially to achieve that result. But there does seem to be some sort of pressure to actually make weapons and field armies, because wouldn't it be far more cost-effective to achieve full-spectrum failure simply by stealing all the money and skip building the weapons systems altogether? So something else must be going on.

2. The US military posture is designed to insure America's full spectrum dominance over the entire planet. But “full-spectrum dominance” sounds a little bit like “success,” whereas what we see is full-spectrum failure. Again, this story doesn't fit the facts.

3. The US acts militarily to defend the status of the US dollar as the global reserve currency. But the US dollar is slowly but surely losing its attractiveness as a reserve currency, as witnessed by China and Russia acting as swiftly as they can to unload their US dollar reserves, and to stockpile gold instead. Numerous other nations have entered into arrangements with each other to stop using the US dollar in international trade. The fact of the matter is, it doesn't take a huge military to flush one's national currency down the toilet, so, once again, something else must be going on.
There are many other explanations on offer as well, but none of them explain the fact that the goal of all this militarism seems to be to achieve failure.
Perhaps a simpler explanation would suffice? How about this one:
The US has surrendered its sovereignty to a clique of financial oligarchs. Having nobody at all to answer to, this American (and to some extent international) oligarchy has been ruining the financial condition of the country, running up staggering levels of debt, destroying savings and retirements, debasing the currency and so on. The inevitable end-game is that the Federal Reserve (along with the central banks of other “developed economies”) will end up buying up all the sovereign debt issuance with money they print for that purpose, and in the end this inevitably leads to hyperinflation and national bankruptcy. A very special set of conditions has prevented these two events from taking place thus far, but that doesn't mean that they won't, because that's what always happens, sooner or later.
Now, let's suppose a financial oligarchy has seized control of the country, and, since it can't control its own appetites, is running it into the ground. Then it would make sense for it to have some sort of back-up plan for when the whole financial house of cards falls apart. Ideally, this plan would effectively put down any chance of revolt of the downtrodden masses, and allow the oligarchy to maintain security and hold onto its wealth. Peacetime is fine for as long as it can placate the populace with bread and circuses, but when a financial calamity causes the economy to crater and bread and circuses turn scarce, a handy fallback is war.
Any rationale for war will do, be it terrorists foreign and domestic, Big Bad Russia, or hallucinated space aliens. Military success is unimportant, because failure is even better than success for maintaining order because it makes it possible to force through various emergency security measures. Various training runs, such as the military occupation of Boston following the staged bombings at the Boston Marathon, have already taken place. The surveillance infrastructure and the partially privatized prison-industrial complex are already in place for locking up the undesirables. A really huge failure would provide the best rationale for putting the economy on a war footing, imposing martial law, suppressing dissent, outlawing “extremist” political activity and so on.
And so perhaps that is what we should expect.
Financial collapse is already baked in, and it's only a matter of time before it happens, and precipitates commercial collapse when global supply chains stop functioning. Political collapse will be resisted, and the way it will be resisted is by starting as many wars as possible, to produce a vast backdrop of failure to serve as a rationale for all sorts of “emergency measures,” all of which will have just one aim: to suppress rebellion and to keep the oligarchy in power. Outside the US, it will look like Americans blowing things up: countries, things, innocent bystanders, even themselves (because, you know, apparently that works too). From the outside looking into America's hall of one-way mirrors, it will look like a country gone mad; but then it already looks that way. And inside the hall of one-way mirrors it will look like valiant defenders of liberty battling implacable foes around the world. Most people will remain docile and just wave their little flags.
But I would venture to guess that at some point failure will translate into meta-failure: America will fail even at failing. I hope that there is something we can do to help this meta-failure of failure happen sooner rather than later.
Credit to Zero Hedge

North Korea says it could make "pre-emptive strike" on US

North Korea has sent a defiant message to Washington warning it has the power to conduct a "pre-emptive strike" on the US. Pyongyang made the comment in response to joint US-South Korea military drills.

North Korea's foreign minister Ri Su Yong (pictured above) told the UN in Geneva that Pyongyang had the power to carry out a "pre-emptive strike" on the US.

Ri made the comment ahead of the UN Disarmament Conference held in the Swiss city on Tuesday.

He said joint US-South Korea military exercises, which started on Monday, were "unprecedentedly provocative in nature" and could spark a war.

"The DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) cannot but bolster its nuclear deterrent capability to cope with the ever-increasing nuclear threat of the US," Ri told the Geneva delegation. "Now the DPRK has the power of deterring the US and conducting a pre-emptive strike as well if necessary."

His rare speech sparked a swift rebuke from the US ambassador Robert Wood who urged Pyongyang to stop making threats and "rid itself of nuclear weapons."

"We call on the DPRK to immediately cease all threats, reduce tensions and take the necessary steps towards denuclearisation needed to resume credible negotiations," Wood said, referring to six-party talks that collapsed in 2008.

The US envoy also said the exercises with South Korea, which have been held for almost 40 years, were "transparent and defence-oriented" and in full compliance with the armistice ending the 1950-1953 Korean War.

The annual joint exercises had triggered military tensions in recent years between the Koreas.

Rhetorical threat amid further missile testing

North Korea fired two short-range Scud missiles into the sea off its east coast on Monday, according to South Korean officials

Credit to DW

The Breakdown Of U.S.-Israeli Relations Brings Us Several Steps Closer To World War III

World War III - Public DomainIn the past 40 years, we have never been closer to World War III than we are today.  If you ask Americans to name what area of the globe they believe World War III will begin, the number one choice by a landslide would probably be the Middle East.  And thanks to the stunning breakdown of U.S.-Israeli relations, we are now closer to that war than we have been in decades.  Since the 1970s, the United States has served as the major buffer between Israel and her Islamic neighbors.  Israel has trusted the United States to protect it, and Israel’s enemies have known that an all-out assault on Israel would be fruitless because the U.S. military would step in.  When a minor conflict has erupted in the region, the United States has always rushed in diplomatically to settle things down.  But now the relationship between the Israeli government and the Obama administration is near a breaking point, and tensions in the Middle East just continue to intensify.  At this moment, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu no longer trusts Barack Obama to do what is right for Israel, and it is an open secret that Obama pretty much despises Netanyahu.  And during his speech to Congress on Tuesday, Netanyahu once again made it abundantly clear that his government will never, ever allow Iran to get nuclear weapons.  If Israel believes that Iran is even getting close, Israel will attack.  But instead of trying to prevent this from happening, Barack Obama is negotiating a deal with Iran that would give the Iranianspretty much everything that they want and would allow them to build all the nukes they desire in about ten years.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that this is a “bad deal”, and he is right.
The U.S. relationship with Israel is one of the most touchy political topics in the country today, and it is going to become even more of a hot button issue as time goes by.  There are millions of Americans that passionately love the nation of Israel, and there are also millions of Americans that are vehemently anti-Israel.  It is amazing that a nation that is about the size of New Jersey and that only has a little bit more than one-tenth of one percent of the global population can perpetually be at the center of global controversy.  Of course those of us that are Christians know that the Bible said that this would happen in the last days, so the truth is that none of us should be surprised.  No matter how much effort global leaders put into achieving “peace in the Middle East”, it never seems to happen, and now things are poised to go to a dangerous new level.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid out his case to Congress during a very forceful 40 minute speech
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday that a proposed agreement between world powers and Iran was “a bad deal” that would not stop Tehran from getting nuclear weapons — but would rather pave its way to getting lots of them and leave the Jewish State in grave peril.
In a dramatic address to the U.S. Congress at what he said was a “fateful” crossroads of history, Netanyahu openly sided with President Barack Obama’s Republican critics and sparked an immediate and furious reaction from the White House, as relations between Washington and Israel spun into their deepest chasm for many years.
If Israel has lost all trust in the Obama administration, that makes it much more likely that it will choose to take unilateral military action against Iran.
With that in mind, consider the following quotes from Netanyahu’s speech…
-“The greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons.”
-“That is exactly what could happen if the deal being negotiated is accepted by Iran. That deal would not prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them.”
-“I know this won’t come as a shock to many of you, but Iran not only defies inspectors, but it also plays a pretty good game of ‘hide and cheat’ with them.”
-“The ideology of Iran’s revolutionary regime is deeply rooted in militant Islam, and that’s why this regime will always be an enemy of America.”
-“If anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road we’ll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs, and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.”
-“We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation, and terror.”
-“Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”
-“That’s why this deal is so bad. It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, it paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”
-“I can guarantee you this: The days when the Jewish people remain passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over.”
And near the end of his speech, Netanyahu referred to the Holocaust when he spoke to Elie Wiesel who happened to be sitting in the audience…
Praising the presence in the audience of concentration camp survivor, author, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Nazi-hunter Elie Wiesel, the prime minister told him, “Your life and work gives meaning to the words, ‘Never again.’”
Does that sound like a man that is just going to sit by and watch Iran build nuclear weapons?
Reaction by members of Congress was mixed.  Many Republicans were thrilled by Netanyahu’s address.  But many Democrats were outraged, and Nancy Pelosi was nearly brought to tears
“I was near tears throughout the prime minister’s speech — saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations,” said Nancy Pelosi, the leader of Democrats in the House, referring to the group of world powers negotiation with Tehran, “and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.”
Most Americans don’t realize this, but an Israeli attack against Iranian nuclear facilities could be closer than almost any of us would dare to imagine.
In fact, just a few days ago there was a report that a planned strike in 2014 was aborted at the last minute after Barack Obama threatened to shoot down Israeli jets…
According to Al-Jarida, the Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel’s back.
The report claimed that an unnamed Israeli minister who has good ties with the US administration revealed the attack plan to Secretary of State John Kerry, and that Obama then threatened to shoot down the Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.
But next time, it might be different.  As I discussed in a previous article, there are reports coming out of the Middle East that indicate that Saudi Arabia plans to allow Israel to use their airspace to strike Iran.
In addition, new evidence of a secret nuclear facility near Tehran that Iran had not told anyone about has been revealed in recent days.  If it turns out that Iran’s nuclear program is actually far more advanced that they have been admitting, that will send the probability of an Israeli strike absolutely soaring.
For years, Iran and Israel have been on a collision course, and now time is running out.
And when war does erupt in the Middle East, the death and destruction could be on a scale that is absolutely unimaginable.
So let us pray that peace prevails for as long as possible.  Unfortunately, thanks to the foolishness of the Obama administration, the period of peace that we have been enjoying does not look like it is going to last too much longer.
Credit to Economic Collapse

Iran Rejects Obama's Demands on Nuclear Program as ‘Unacceptable’

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Iran on Tuesday refused to halt its nuclear work for at least 10 years – a condition which President Barack Obama said was non-negotiable if the two sides are to reach a deal on the country’s nuclear program.

The refusal came after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and United States Secretary of State John Kerry met for a second day of negotiations in the Swiss lakeside town of Montreaux.

On Monday, Obama told Reuters that Iran must commit to a verifiable halt of at least 10 years on sensitive nuclear work for a landmark atomic deal to be reached.

"Iran will not accept excessive and illogical demands," Zarif was quoted as saying by Iran's semi-official Fars news agency following Tuesday’s meeting with Kerry.
"Obama’s stance… is expressed in unacceptable and threatening phrases…," he said, adding that talks with Kerry in Switzerland would nonetheless carry on.

The US hopes Iran will restrain its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy, thereby reducing the risk of war over the protracted stand-off

In Washington, Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday delivered his much-anticipated speech to Congress, which heard the Israeli Prime Minister accuse Iran of using its nuclear program to develop a weapon.

Netanyahu warned against accepting a nuclear deal with Iran that would be a “countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare” by a country that "will always be an enemy of America.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry, right, walks to a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for a new round of nuclear negotiations Tuesday in Montreux, Switzerland.

"If the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran, that deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons; it will all but guarantee that Iran will get those nuclear weapons – lots of them,” Netanyahu said in a point-by-point critique of Obama's Iran diplomacy.

Credit to Sputnik

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/news/20150304/1019022131.html#ixzz3TNChUzTT

The Water Wars Are Coming

Image result for water war
Does a warning mean anything if nobody listens?
With the precarious case of Lake Mead, doomsayers never seem to break the surface. For years, reports of the lake’s declining levels have popped up in the news. Yet residents of the surrounding area still refuse to listen. The latest report from the Interior Department is very troublesome: there is a 20% chance of water shortages for Nevada and Arizona in 2016 if the lake maintains current levels.
Lake Mead, if you are unaware, provides 90% of the water to Las Vegas. It is also a crucial water source for Los Angeles and major cities in Arizona. Thus, it’s easy to see why residents of Nevada and surrounding states have an interest in the viability of the lake to sustain itself. News of drought or weakening levels should be cause for alarm. Often times, attention is roused with reports that water may become scarce in the immediate future. But that scare usually dissipates when rain comes, essentially washing away the fear of future paucity.
There is an assumption by people living in the southwestern United States that water shortages are a naturally-caused phenomenon.A coworker of mine who hails from the region recently informed me that most Nevada citizens don’t understand the underlying forces driving the water crisis. They ignore the fact that the present situation is unsustainable. Worse yet, they don’t see the real culprit behind a continual lack of H2O: the government.
Contrary to popular belief, the current state of the American southwest isn’t the norm. Rather, it’s an artificial creation that likely wouldn’t exist without government planning. What do I mean?
Without Lake Mead, Las Vegas wouldn’t have enough of a water supply to be the country’s leading tourist trap. The same goes for cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, and Austin. An artificial lake created by the construction of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead has the government’s fingertips all over it. And that means its filled with the hubris of a thousand engineers who thought they could thwart nature.
Lake Mead was created almost a century ago with the creation of the Hoover Dam. The dam was originally a make-work program pushed by President Hoover and later completed by Franklin Roosevelt. It was part of many economic recovery programs meant to mitigate the spike in unemployment brought on by the Great Depression. At the time of its completion, F.D.R.called the structure (then named the Boulder Dam) a “great feat of mankind” and “the greatest dam in the world.”
Little did he anticipate. Like all government projects, the unintended consequences wrought by the Hoover Dam are legion. According tohistorian Michael Hiltzik, the population of the southwest swelled upon completion of the dam. “Since that dedication year, the population of the seven states of the basin has swelled by about 45 million. Much of this growth has been fueled by the dam and its precious bounties of water and electrical power.”
The promise of water attracted farmers and developers from across the nation. The phony supply of water created an insatiable demand that was never viable over the long term. As Doug French writes,“government’s damming of the Colorado River attempted to cheat Mother Nature by bringing water to the desert southwest — water that just isn’t and never was there.”
The Hoover Dam boondoggle sprung to mindwhen I recently watched the classic film noir Chinatown. Starring a young Jack Nicholson, Chinatown is based on the seedy dealings of water rights in Los Angeles during the 1970s. Access to water, it turns out, has always been a topic of contention in the southern California area.
The film begins with private investigator J.J. Gittes being hired to investigate the husband of Evelyn Mulwray. Said husband is the owner of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. During his investigation, Gittes stumbles upon a nefarious scheme to rob the city of much-needed water and transfer it to a newly-cultivated valley. Mulwray ends up dead for discovering the plan. Gittes struggles to put the pieces together while protecting Mulwray’s widow from danger.
Chinatown is considered a classic of American cinema because it portrays the unsavory underbelly of black market activity. Government corruption is a prominent theme, but the state is also portrayed as a positive mechanism for distributing water rights. Mulwray is regarded as a hero for transferring the responsibility of water allocation “to the people” rather than keep it in private hands. The idea that government arrogance is to blame for water misappropriation is not an explored theme of the film.
Gittes finds out the hard way that passing the ownership of water from private to public doesn’t weed out the tendency for corruption of the former. Rather, it incentivizes misuse of the public trust by putting bureaucrats in charge of one of life’s necessity. A shady deal is hatched to annex a neighboring valley into Los Angeles, while using this insider knowledge to scoop up the land at discount prices.
This scheme, while fictional, is loosely based on the California water wars of the early 20th century. A century of government meddling has turned the issue of water rights on its head, and further centralized control of waterways in local, state, and federal governments. Just as the residents of Los Angeles fought over water with local farmers, theresidents of Las Vegas will soon find themselves fighting with surrounding states over what’s left of Lake Mead. None of the power players seem to care that the current population settlements of the southwestern United States cannot last. One day the water will run out. The sooner this reality is confronted, the better.
Admittedly, the ownership of water and its various bodies is a difficult topic. Rivers and tributaries don’t flow by man’s commands. They can be directed, but never fully controlled. Privatization of water rights would be a good start for restoring sane usage of natural resources. Don’t expect as much to happen though. Government control is far too entrenched in the process to be removed easily.
Forget it Jake, it’s socialism.

Credit to Zero Hedge