Defense Industry: Keep Paying Us or the Economy Dies

Via: Wired

By Spencer Ackerman

Defense giant Lockheed Martin had a totally sweet quarter, raking in $700 million and looking forward to the same this time next year. So it raises eyebrows when Lockheed’s anointed mouthpieces predict mass economic disaster if Congress touches the defense budget.

On Tuesday, the aerospace industry put out a report saying that chopping the defense budget would put over a million Americans out of work. Cuts that could total up to a trillion dollars over 10 years would “devastate the economy and the defense industrial base and undermine the national security of our country,” said Marion Blakeley, president of the Aerospace Industries Association, which sponsored the report.

But while Blakeley’s group paid for research to draw that dire conclusion, some of her members reported a sunnier economic outlook to their shareholders. In its third-quarter earnings report, also released Tuesday, Lockheed – manufacturers of the F-22 and F-35 jets — told investors to expect that as long as Congress passes President Obama’s next defense budget, ”the Corporation expects 2012 net sales to be flattish as compared to 2011 levels, and that consolidated 2012 segment operating profit margin will remain at approximately 11 percent.” Boom: another $700 million in earnings, on its way.

While there’s no doubt that defense cuts will mean job losses, there’s also no doubt that a report prepared for an industry so reliant on defense cash will paint a stark picture of what happens if that cash is threatened. Congressmembers looking to get reelected pay attention, since fighting for defense money as a jobs program is easier than making a case for what a sensible, appropriately funded defense strategy ought to be. That’s the problem with reports like these: They make it easy to ignore structural economic and defense problems and imply that all will be well if the cash keeps flowing.

Read more: here

Advertisements

Top 20 Airports for TSA Theft

Via: TSA Watch

April 8th, 2013 by Lady Liberty

We all hear the news reports – laptops, tablets, jewelry, cash, and more… stolen from passengers by sticky-fingered TSA agents. Thefts became such a problem that even the TSA had to step up to the plate and take action.

In recent years, the TSA has fired over 400 agents for allegedly stealing from passengers in our nation’s airports.

Thanks to ABC News and a Freedom of Information Act request, the TSA is releasing the names of the airports where those employees worked. Predictably, many of our nation’s busiest airports also rank at the top of the list for the number of TSA agents fired for theft.

Interestingly, however, the number one airport for TSA theft firings only ranks twelfth in number of passengers. Miami International Airport (MIA) tops our list with 29 TSA agents fired for theft between 2002 and 2011.

Read more: here

Terrorizing and Stealing from Americans
-Moose

The Eroding Premium on Truth and Trust

Via: Of Two Minds

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The premium in America has shifted from truth to self-serving distortion, and from trust to manipulation.

The premium we place on truth and trustworthiness is self-evident. Truth is uniquely productive feedback from the real world. Truth (including factual data) is indispensable, for it alone enables us to correct errors, learn from mistakes and improve our effectiveness and communication.

We pay a premium for trust because the cost of dishonesty and artifice is steep.Would you pay more to buy a used car from someone you trust? If you place no premium on trustworthiness, then you buy the “great deal” used car you found online: oops, the “new” battery was spray-painted black, the crankcase leaks, the engine is shot and doesn’t pass smog, and the certificate of ownership is forged.

The premium on truth and trust is eroding under the constant onslaught of officially manipulated data and markets, and a vast array of distortions and propaganda designed to serve the interests of ruling Elites and key constituencies.

We all know the negative premium placed on fact: telling the truth will get you fired. And not just in the corporate world: politicians from the President on down all worship at the altar of the carefully distorted unemployment rate.

The officially sanctioned lying and manipulation are now shameless. Never mind that millions of people have become statistical phantoms (i.e. not in the workforce) to generate that low rate, and college graduates working 3 hours a day (if they’re called in at all) are gleefully counted as employed, as if there is no difference between a full-time job and a marginal one.

President Obama is touting rising auto sales as proof of the “recovery” (and implicitly, of his wise stewardship), studiously avoiding the fact that these stupendous auto sales are the result of offering low-interest rate auto loans to marginal borrowers with near-zero collateral (i.e. skin in the game).

How did blowing a credit bubble and securitizing the debt turn out last time?

Read more: here

Aspartame in Milk Without a Label? Big Dairy Petitions FDA For Approval

Via: The Daily Sheeple

February 23rd, 2013

Two powerful dairy organizations, The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to allow aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to be added milk and other dairy products without a label.

The FDA currently allows the dairy industry to use “nutritive sweeteners” including sugar and high fructose corn syrup in many of their products. Nutritive sweeteners are defined as sweeteners with calories.

This petition officially seeks to amend the standard of identification for milk, cream, and 17 other dairy products like yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, and others to provide for the use of any “safe and suitable sweetener” on the market

They claim that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners would promote healthy eating and is good for school children.

Read more: here

Why should they have to tell us what’s in the food?
I mean, C’mon man…

-Moose

Chiquita Sues to Block Release of Files on Colombia Terrorist Payments

Via: National Security Archive

Washington, D.C., April 8, 2013 – Chiquita Brands International last week filed a “reverse” Freedom of Information lawsuit to block the release of records to the National Security Archive on the company’s illegal payments to Colombian terrorist groups, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court. At issue are thousands of documents the company turned over to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 1998-2004 as part of an investigation of the company’s illegal transactions with leftist insurgents and right-wing paramilitaries from the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC).

Two years ago, the Archive published “The Chiquita Papers,” a declassified collection of more than 5,000 pages of internal Chiquita documents turned over to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of a criminal investigation of more than $1.7 million in payments to the AUC over six years, and for nearly three years after the group was formally designated as a terrorist organization. That case resulted in a 2007 sentencing agreement in which Chiquita admitted to more than ten years of payments to a variety of Colombian guerrilla and paramilitary groups.

The Chiquita Papers included evidence that Chiquita and its Colombian subsidiary had received tangible benefits from those transactions, undermining one of the key aspects of the company’s defense: that it had never received “any actual security services or actual security equipment in exchange for the payments.” Chiquita’s “reverse” FOIA complaint now claims that the news headlines based on the documents were part of “a media campaign to publicize biased mischaracterizations of the documents.”

Read more: here

Not surprised a bit…
-Moose

US Teargas Arrives in Egypt for Muslim Brotherhood Use

Via: The Commentator

Teargas canisters from the United States have been sold to Egypt, arriving on Sunday in the Abadeya port in Suez

9 April 2013 10:39

A shipment of teargas canisters from the United States arrived at the Egyptian Abadeya Port in Suez on Sunday, according to official documents obtained by the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper.

Five containers carrying around 140,000 teargas canisters were apparently shipped to the Egyptian Interior Ministry by the Aramex International courier service.

The Egypt Independent reports that the shipping documents state that only the Egyptian government may use the canisters, and that they are forbidden to re-export the shipment or sell it to third parties.

Read more: here

Apply vigorously for most effective creation of freedom and democracy…
-Moose

Navy Deploying Laser Weapon Prototype Near Iran

Via: The New York Times

By THOM SHANKER
Published: April 8, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Navy is going to sea for the first time with a laser attack weapon that has been shown in tests to disable patrol boats and blind or destroy surveillance drones.

A prototype shipboard laser will be deployed on a converted amphibious transport and docking ship in the Persian Gulf, where Iranian fast-attack boats have harassed American warships and where the government in Tehran is building remotely piloted aircraft carrying surveillance pods and, someday potentially, rockets.

The laser will not be operational until next year, but the announcement on Monday by Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, the chief of naval operations, seemed meant as a warning to Iran not to step up activity in the gulf in the next few months if tensions increase because of sanctions and the impasse in negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program. The Navy released video and still images of the laser weapon burning through a drone during a test firing.

The laser is designed to carry out a graduated scale of missions, from burning through a fast-attack boat or a drone to producing a nonlethal burst to “dazzle” an adversary’s sensors and render them useless without causing any other physical damage.

The Pentagon has a long history of grossly inflating claims for its experimental weapons, but a nonpartisan study for Congress said the weapon offered the Navy historic opportunities.

“Equipping Navy surface ships with lasers could lead to changes in naval tactics, ship design and procurement plans for ship-based weapons, bringing about a technological shift for the Navy — a ‘game changer’ — comparable to the advent of shipboard missiles in the 1950s,” said the assessment, by the Congressional Research Service, a branch of the Library of Congress.

The study found that the new high-energy laser “could provide Navy surface ships with a more cost-effective means of countering certain surface, air and ballistic missile targets.”

Read more: here

And it only hurts the people we determine are evil!
-Moose

Open the Slaughterhouses

Via: The NY Times

By JEDEDIAH PURDY
Published: April 8, 2013

“How could ag-gag laws possibly pass the 1st Amendment test?”Jay Casey, Arkansas

 IN 1999, as a writer for The American Prospect, I went into a slaughterhouse undercover, with the help of some rebellious employees. The floor was slick with the residue of blood and suet, and the air smelled like iron. A part of my brain spent the whole time trying to remember which of Dante’s circles this scene most resembled.

Today, under legislation being pushed by business interests, that bit of journalistic adventure could earn me a criminal conviction and land me on a registry of “animal and ecological terrorists.” So-called ag-gag laws, proposed or enacted in about a dozen states, make, or would make, criminals of animal-rights activists who take covert pictures and videos of conditions on industrial farms and slaughterhouses. Some would even classify the activists as terrorists.

Read more: here

If people would only be this concerned about the treatment of people…
-Moose

Here Are 163 Examples of Barack Obama’s Lying, Lawbreaking, Corruption, Cronyism, Hypocrisy, Government Waste, and Other Misdeeds

Via: Dan from Squirrel Hill

In the 2008 United States election, I wrote in Ron Paul for President. In the 2012 election, I voted for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Those who are of a more leftist persuasion than myself might want to consider voting for the Green Party in future elections.

Some of the things on this list are major events that should scare the daylights out of any true liberal who cares about civil liberties.

Other things on this list are medium things that some Obama supporters may dislike, but would be willing to overlook in light of the things that Obama has done which they like.

And some of the things on this list may seem trivial, but I still think they are an interesting reflection of the kinds of policies that Obama supports.

Read more: here

Yo….Dope means good?
It looks bad when you put it in a list like that…
-Moose

David Stockman: We’ve Been Lied To, Robbed, And Misled

Via: PeakProsperity

And we’re still at risk of it happening all over again

by Adam Taggart
Saturday, March 30, 2013, 12:42 PM

Then, when the Fed’s fire hoses started spraying an elephant soup of liquidity injections in every direction and its balance sheet grew by $1.3 trillion in just thirteen weeks compared to $850 billion during its first ninety-four years, I became convinced that the Fed was flying by the seat of its pants, making it up as it went along. It was evident that its aim was to stop the hissy fit on Wall Street and that the thread of a Great Depression 2.0 was just a cover story for a panicked spree of money printing that exceeded any other episode in recorded human history.
-David Stockman, The Great Deformation

David Stockman, former director of the OMB under President Reagan, former US Representative, and veteran financier is an insider’s insider. Few people understand the ways in which both Washington DC and Wall Street work and intersect better than he does.

In his upcoming book, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America, Stockman lays out how we have devolved from a free market economy into a managed one that operates for the benefit of a privileged few. And when trouble arises, these few are bailed out at the expense of the public good.

By manipulating the price of money through sustained and historically low interest rates, Greenspan and Bernanke created an era of asset mis-pricing that inevitably would need to correct. And when market forces attempted to do so in 2008, Paulson et al hoodwinked the world into believing the repercussions would be so calamitous for all that the institutions responsible for the bad actions that instigated the problem needed to be rescued — in full — at all costs.

Read more: here

Some truth spoken….good read…
-Moose

Here’s Why You Hate Your Cable Company

Via: All Things D

March 30, 2013 at 4:00 am PT

Hate your cable TV (or satellite TV, or telco TV) company? Here’s why — and why it’s not going to change anytime soon — explained in 98 concise seconds.

Hard to believe no one has done this before, but kudos to Extremely Decent Films for nailing it.

Warning: If your workplace or home isn’t cool with some well-placed profanity, then this video isn’t safe for your workplace or home.

Read more: here

Risk – It’s Not Just A Board Game

Via: ZeroHedge

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/30/2013

“The world is a very risky place right now for an investor,” is the cautious manner in which Grant Williams (of Things That Make You Go Hhmm infamy) begins this excellent presentation, even though he notes that “the general perception is that there is very little risk,” as all markets from equities to bonds (and even risk itself) are priced as though 2007/8 never happened. It appears, Williams notes, given the market’s perceptions that, “all the problems are behind us.” He chides, “Nothing could be further from the truth.” Williams focuses on the corruption of traditional price signals by Central Banks’ ZIRP (and LSAP) policies, financial repression, and the possibility that the gold leasing market is about to fall apart – because one of these days, someone is going to ask for their gold back and be told they can’t have it.

“By definition, risk-takers often fail. So do morons. In practice it’s difficult to sort them out.”

Scott Adams – The Dilbert Principle

See more: here

It’s long but worth it….
-Moose

Cyber Nuclear Hokum

Via: Sandia

Sandia was doing cyber before the term cyberspace existed. Today cybersecurity is a daunting national security problem, and we’re applying decades of expertise to the task. As the most networked nation on earth, the United States is extremely vulnerable. To keep systems safe and foil attacks, we develop protective technologies, conduct threat assessments, and analyze government, military, and civilian computer networks.

Read more: here

Unbelievable…Let’s create the threat, and then create a revenue stream out of it..This is pure evil!
People, I know you need a job, but stop helping this!
-Moose

Deep State: Cut Throats of Secretkeepers

Via: Cryptome

Your latest review has just gone live on Amazon.

Raise the Black Flag, Commence Cutting Throats of Secretkeepers, March 30, 2013

By John Young “Cryptome” (New York, NY)

This review is from: Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry (Kindle Edition)

The least protected, most Wall Street billboarded, secret is that war is immensely profitable to those shrewd enough to avoid the carnage while being generously rewarded by wartime picking of citizen wallets, aided by ridiculously paid safe-at-home shills celebrating valor and sacrifice (market boom, Zero Dark Thirty ilk, ex-SEAL chest-beaters).

The open-dirty-secret secrecy industry exposed in Deep State is as rouged as war harlotry, as venal as political campaigns, as crass as high-brass military coins, as formulaicly vulgar as thanking troops for service, as duplicitous as veterans’ filthy hospitals and always delayed, cropped and denied benefits.
Top leaders lust for secretly sharing means and methods to exploit the bottom, so gather to swap kisses with PR whores in Aspen, Bilderberg and Davos. They serve on secrecy-slathered advisory boards of governments, rotate through government offices, eroticize military contracting officers with promises of future triple-dipping benefits.

Read Deep State to be informed, galvanized and bold-heartened to raise the black flag, commence cutting throats of secretkeepers. 

Very good read!
-Moose

A Sane Person Ought to Consider These Important Lessons

Via: Sovereign Man

by Simon Black on March 27, 2013
Reporting from Santiago, Chile

 

One would think that certain truths are obvious by now.

It should be obvious, for example, that there are consequences to living beyond your means.

It should be obvious that there are consequences to a long history of spending unsustainably and accumulating mountains of debt.

And it should be obvious that there are consequences to dealing with such problems by spending more and accumulating even more debt.

It should be obvious. But it’s not.

In Europe, politicians are hailing their responses to the Cyprus crisis as a success. They pretend like everything is OK, notwithstanding the capital controls now imposed.

Read more: here

Genetically Modified Crops Protected By New Budget Bill

Via: Last Resistance

by Dave Jolly

Genetically modified crops are not just those that have been selectively bred, but they have had their DNA modified in some way as to make them more pest resistant and produce better yields. In many cases genes from other plants or even bacteria have been added to the DNA of a specific plant.

This process has caused great concern among some that question whether the plants with modified genes are safe for human consumption or if there may be any long-term effects from the continual eating of these plants. There have been numerous challenges to the use of genetically modified crops in the marketplace.

Companies such as Monsanto often control the patents on these genetically modified crops, but like pharmaceutical companies do on their name brand drugs. In 2011, the genetically modified seed also known as biotech seeds business generated over $13 billion. Needless to say it has become a major player in the agricultural world, and these companies are starting to exert their influence in Washington DC.

Political Action Committees working on behalf of biotech seed companies have been making significant contributions to politicians in the last few years. According to one report, the contributions since 2009 have been:

7.5 million for current members of Congress

$372,000 to members of this Senate Appropriations Committee

$71,000 to Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Appropriations Committee member received more than any other member, and the second-most received by any senator.

Monsanto alone has contributed $540,000 towards campaign funds. American Crystal Sugar reportedly has contributed $3.3 million. Other biotech companies contributing to PAC’s include: Archer Daniels Midland, American Farm Bureau, Cargill, Minn-Dak Farmers Coop, National Cotton Council, Scott’s Miracle-Gro, Southern Minnesota Beat Sugar Coop, and Syngenta Corp.

That influence is so great that in the newly passed 2013 Continuing Resolution, which funds the federal government through the end of September, there contained a rider to protect companies like Monsanto. The rider known as the Monsanto Rider protects all genetically modified crops from any court order issued against their use. In other words if legal challenge to the safety of the use of any biotech seeds were to be raised in court, companies like Monsanto would be automatically issued a permit from the USDA allowing them to continue selling, cultivating, and planting the genetically modified crops in question.

Basically that means there is nothing that can legally be done to stop the biotech companies from producing, cultivating, and selling genetically modified crops that could be harmful to humans.

Read more: here

The best system money can buy…
Does this bother anyone else?
-Moose

Income Growth for Bottom 90% in America Since 1966 is…59 Dollars

Via: Liberty Blitzkrieg

Posted on March 26, 2013

We’ve all seen these statistics before in one form or another, but David Cay Johnston does an excellent job going into more detail for us in an article he published late last month. As he correctly notes, when things get extreme like this you ultimately end up with serious social unrest. Furthermore, as I have pointed out for years and years, this kind of disparity does not happen under free markets with rules and regulations applied equally to all. It happens under totalitarian societies, whether fascism, communism or crony capitalist corporatism (which is the model in the USA). It only happens when a very small oligarch class takes over the political process of a nation and then uses it to game the system.

However, I would take exception to Mr. Johnston’s conclusion that the root problem is the tax system. While I do not for one moment deny that the oligarchs game the tax system to provide loopholes for themselves, this is not why the 1% of 1% has taken all the wealth of the nation. This is much more related to the Federal Reserve and its policies of printing trillions of money out of thin air and distributing it to the oligarchs, either directly or through low interest loans. If you tax the rich more, they will still make more because they will still have the access to the cheap money. The Federal Reserve is the core cancer of the entire thing and they must be stopped. Some excerpts below:

The average increase in real income reported by the bottom 90 percent of earners in 2011, compared with 1966, if measured at one inch, would extend almost five miles for the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent.

Read more: here

Lockheed Martin: First in Federal Funding, First in Government Fraud

Via: Corporate Greed Chronicles

November 25, 2011

Part 1 of 4: Lockheed Martin, First in Federal Funding

Lockheed Martin is by many measures the U.S. government’s top contractor, raking in $16.7 billion in new contracts related to “IT products and services, systems integration, telecommunications, professional services and engineering services” in 2010 alone.

And that is only a fraction of what they bank as the top defense contractor at the Pentagon, where on any given day they announce billions in new contracts awarded to Lockheed Martin and other members of the Military Industrial Complex.

“True, Lockheed Martin doesn’t actually run the U.S. government, but sometimes it seems as if it might as well. After all, it received $36 billion in government contracts in 2008 alone, more than any company in history. It now does work for more than two dozen government agencies from the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy to the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s involved in surveillance and information processing for the CIA, the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Pentagon, the Census Bureau, and the Postal Service.”

“Oh, and Lockheed Martin has even helped train those friendly Transportation Security Administration agents who pat you down at the airport. Naturally, the company produces cluster bombs, designs nuclear weapons, and makes the F-35 Lightning (an overpriced, behind-schedule, underperforming combat aircraft that is slated to be bought by customers in more than a dozen countries) – and when it comes to weaponry, that’s just the start of a long list. In recent times, though, it’s moved beyond anything usually associated with a weapons corporation and has been virtually running its own foreign policy, doing everything from hiring interrogators for U.S. overseas prisons (including at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and Abu Ghraib in Iraq) to managing a private intelligence network in Pakistan and helping write the Afghan constitution.”

Read more: here