Obama’s schedule for Monday, Oct. 31

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 (UPI) — President Obama meets with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair Monday, the White House said.

The daily schedule also indicates Obama will:

Receive the daily briefing.

Sign an executive order as part of his “We Can’t Wait” program of taking executive action without congressional approval since Congress failed to pass his jobs bill.

World’s population reaches 7 billion

LUCKNOW, India, Oct. 31 (UPI) — India Monday marked the arrival of girl named Nargis as the world’s symbolic seven billionth citizen, the Plan India child rights group said.

The United Nations had estimated that Oct. 31 would mark the day when the world population reached 7 billion.

Nargis was born as the first child to Ajay and Vinita Yadav in Mall village near Lucknow, capital of the northern Uttar Pradesh State, the Times of India reported.

The state is the most populous state in India, which has the world’s second highest population after China. The baby weighed 6.6 pounds, the Times of India reported.

The BBC reported Nargis was born at 7:25 local time.

Bhagyashri Dengle, executive director of Plan India, said: “Nargis’ birth as the symbolic seventh billion baby attempts to draw attention to the serious issue of declining child sex ratio in India,” the Times report said.

Other girls born in the state Monday also earned the symbolic seven billionth title.

Nargis’ father was quoted as saying he and his wife would ensure their girl gets good education and does well in life.

Plan International in Britain, which had identified Uttar Pradesh as the place of birth of the seven billionth person, said Nargis was chosen symbolically because it was not possible to know where exactly the seven billionth baby would be born, the BBC reported.

Earlier on Monday, a girl born in a hospital in Manila, the Philippines, also was declared a symbolic seven billionth baby, the report said.

Explosion kills four Afghans

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Oct. 31 (UPI) — An explosives-laden truck blew up outside the U.S. International Relief and Development office in Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing four Afghans, authorities said.

Afghan security forces shot and killed two attackers in a gunfight after the Monday explosion, CNN reported, quoting Gen. Hamid Wardag, a commander of the local Afghan National Army.

Three security guards and a civilian were killed in the blast, the report said. Five more people were injured.

It was not clear how many insurgents were involved in the gunfight but at least two were killed.

The U.N. refugee agency is also located near the blast site.

The IRD is involved in helping rehabilitate areas hit by the war.

The Kandahar region has had an escalation of violence lately.

On Oct. 22, three U.S. troops died in an explosion set off by an improvised explosive device.

On Saturday, a suicide car bomber rammed the vehicle into a NATO armored bus in Kabul, killing 17 people including 13 foreigners, most of them Americans, and four Afghans.

Oregon, Texas activists defy city requests

PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 31 (UPI) — Occupy activists in Portland, Ore., vowed to expand where they protest after the mayor told them to focus on their goals instead of the real estate they occupy.

“I hope in its next phase of growth it gets back to its core mission. The Occupy movement is not about expanding the takeover of local parks in cities like Portland where the mayor and the City Council are very supportive of the founding purpose of Occupy Wall Street,” Mayor Sam Adams was quoted in The (Portland) Oregonian as saying.

“If this becomes about picking fights with local governments that are generally supportive of its founding purpose, I think it will lose its way,” he said.

Cameron Whitten, 20 — among 27 Occupy Portland activists arrested in a heated encounter with police early Sunday for refusing to leave a city park after a midnight curfew — said protesters intended to expand their efforts beyond their downtown encampment in the wealthy Pearl District’s Jamison Square park.

“Now we realize this is not just that park,” Whitten told The Oregonian. “You’ve got Colonel Summers, you’ve got Holladay Park, you’ve got Piccolo Park, you’ve got Overlook Park.

“Each one of those has their own crowd” to which the movement can direct its message, he said.

City officials had no immediate response.

Meanwhile, Austin, Texas, officials asked activists to appoint leaders to work out new rules for the occupation after police arrested 30 men and seven women early Sunday for violating new rules forbidding a food-distribution table at the encampment from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The food table does not violate city ordinances, but officials thought prohibiting it would weed out troublemakers who have infiltrated the protest, Assistant City Manager Michael McDonald was quoted in the Austin American-Statesman as saying.

Authorities have received complaints about public urination, drug use and public sex in the City Hall encampment, Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

City leaders said they wanted Occupy Austin protesters to appoint leaders because negotiating with the amorphous group has been difficult, Acevedo said.

Working with a steering committee of occupiers would allow for more consistent, efficient decision making, he said.

The Occupy Austin activists had no immediate response.

In Tennessee, Occupy Nashville protesters arrested this weekend for refusing to leave a public park after curfew were freed by a judge who said the state had no authority to impose the curfew.

Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration imposed a curfew in the encampment park citing safety concerns, and police took 29 activists into custody early Friday and then 26 more early Saturday.

But Night Court Magistrate Thomas Nelson let the activists go both times, refusing to sign arrest warrants for which he found no legal basis.

Nelson said the state changed the rules midstream, without giving the protesters time to apply for permits.

“For three weeks they’ve sat up there and protested, under no admonition whatsoever that they are violating state policy with regard to camping out … or that they are committing a crime,” WKRN-TV, Nashville, said Nelson told a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer. The highway patrol made the arrests.

“When the state issued its memorandum imposing a curfew and changing the rules, right in the middle of a protest, they can do that, but they have to give them adequate time to comply with those rules,” he said.

The highway patrol issued a statement Sunday saying “the curfew remains in effect.”

The ACLU of Tennessee said it would file a lawsuit challenging the curfew, The Tennessean reported.

UNESCO to vote on Palestinian membership

PARIS, Oct. 31 (UPI) — The Palestinian Authority has a right to join UNESCO because Palestinian heritage needs protection, a PA official said as the agency mulled its membership.

“It is the right of the Palestinians to become members of UNESCO,” authority Foreign Ministry official Omar Awadallah told the Financial Times ahead of a likely Monday membership vote.

“Palestine has its own heritage and its own culture that need to be protected,” said Awadallah, who heads the authority’s Foreign Ministry section dealing with U.N. bodies.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki was to address the 193-nation general assembly of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris Monday.

The authority, which submitted a bid for full recognition to the U.N. Security Council Sept. 24 as a path toward recognized statehood, will also seek membership in other international bodies, including the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization, Awadallah told the newspaper.

If the general assembly votes in favor of Palestinian membership, UNESCO could lose U.S. financial support, amounting to $70 million, or 22 percent of the UNESCO annual budget, the State Department said.

U.S. legislation dating from more than 15 years ago mandates a complete cutoff of U.S. financing to any U.N. agency that accepts the Palestinians as a full member.

“There are consequences if UNESCO votes in this direction,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said last week.

U.S. and European officials have appealed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to call off or postpone the vote.

The United States cannot veto Palestinian UNESCO membership, as it can motions brought to the U.N. Security Council.

Officials and diplomats predicted a UNESCO vote would overwhelmingly favor Palestinian membership. An initial vote by UNESCO’s 58-nation executive board early this month passed 40-4, with 14 abstentions.

“I am very much worried about the future of this organization,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova told the Financial Times.

She appealed to Washington not to disengage from the agency, arguing UNESCO supported “core U.S. interests,” including the management and funding of large-scale Iraqi and Afghan education projects.

European diplomats, meanwhile, fear the vote would reveal deep divisions among European Union countries on the issue of Palestinian statehood.

UNESCO is a major global development agency whose missions include promoting literacy, science, clean water and education, including sex education and equal treatment for girls and young women.

Steve Jobs: ‘Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow’

NEW YORK, Oct. 31 (UPI) — Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ last words were “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow,” his sister says.

In her eulogy for her brother she delivered at an Oct. 16 memorial service at Stanford University and printed as an opinion piece in Sunday’s New York Times, Mona Simpson explained what she knew about Jobs.

“Steve worked at what he loved. He worked really hard. Every day,” said Simpson, a novelist and a professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. “He was the opposite of absent-minded.

“He was never embarrassed about working hard, even if the results were failures.

“Novelty was not Steve’s highest value. Beauty was. For an innovator, Steve was remarkably loyal. He didn’t favor trends or gimmicks.

“His philosophy of aesthetics reminds me of a quote that went something like this: ‘Fashion is what seems beautiful now but looks ugly later; art can be ugly at first but it becomes beautiful later.

“Steve always aspired to make beautiful later.

Love was important to Jobs, she said.

“Steve was like a girl in the amount of time he spent talking about love. Love was his supreme virtue, his god of gods,” Simpson said. “He tracked and worried about the romantic lives of the people working with him.”

She also said Jobs was “willing to be misunderstood,” was “humble,” “cultivated whimsy” and “liked to keep learning.”

She recounted how he battled his illnesses, pushing himself to walked further each day after his liver transplant.

Even in his hospital bed, he was an innovator, sketching devices for medical equipment, she said.

Later, when his cancer overtook him and he was slipping away, he still battled for each breath, she said.

“Death didn’t happen to Steve,” she said, “he achieved it.”

But just before he did, there were those final words he spoke just hours earlier: “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”

World’s 7 billionth baby to be born

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 31 (UPI) — The baby bringing the world population to 7 billion enters a “world of contradiction,” with luxury and extreme poverty, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

“Seven billion will clearly be a serious challenge,” Ban told Time magazine. “But depending on how we address this, in a comprehensive manner it can be both an opportunity and challenge.

“I suspect that the 7 billionth citizen, a child, will be born into a world of contradiction — plenty of food, but still a billion people going to bed hungry every night. Many people enjoy luxurious lifestyles, but still many people are impoverished.”

Ban said the milestone was “clearly a clarion call to action,” not just for the United Nations and national governments, but also for “local communities, civil community leaders, non-governmental organizations, faith leaders — we have to have a combined solidarity to address this issue.”

Ban planned to hold a news conference Monday to mark the 7 billionth birth — out of an estimated 382,000 births during the day. He also planned to talk about challenges ahead, including poverty and sustainable development, his office said.

Food production, for instance, will need to jump 70 percent in two generations to feed the planet by 2050, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization says.

With more than two babies born every second, the global population is forecast to hit 8 billion in about 14 years and 10 billion by the end of the century, says the U.N. Population Division, part of the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The global population was 6 billion in 1999.

The world population was 1.6 billion in 1900, a total that took an estimated 50,000 years to reach, Washington’s private Population Reference Bureau says.

Ban also planned to take his message to the Group of 20 summit in in Cannes, France, Thursday and Friday, his office said.

Monday’s date is symbolic, the U.N. Population Division says, acknowledging it is impossible to know for sure the specific time or day when the 7 billionth person is born.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the 7 billion threshold will be reached next March. The private Population Reference Bureau, also based in Washington, says the 7 billion figure was passed several weeks ago.

Officials in India predicted the baby bringing the population to 7 billion would be born Monday in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, with an estimated 200 million people.

Nearly all the projected growth this century is expected to occur in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, while the populations in Europe, North America and other industrialized nations will remain relatively flat, the U.N. Population Division says.

2 million in Northeast still without power

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Oct. 31 (UPI) — Many of the 2 million U.S. Northeast residences and businesses with no power Monday after a deadly snowstorm will likely stay that way for days, officials said.

At least 11 deaths were blamed on Saturday and Sunday’s historic nor’easter, and states of emergency remained in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and parts of New York, police said..

The dead included a 77-year-old grandmother in New York City who relied on an oxygen machine that shut down when her house lost power, her family told reporters, and a 20-year-old man in Springfield, Mass., electrocuted when he touched a guardrail electrified by a downed wire, Springfield Police Lt. Robert Moynihan told The Boston Globe.

At least eight people were killed in car accidents, police told several newspapers and TV stations, and an 84-year-old man in Temple, Pa., was killed instantly while napping in a recliner when a tree covered with snow crashed through the roof of his home, WTXF-TV, Philadelphia, reported.

“Unprecedented damage from this storm. Please prepare for worst case scenario — a week or more without power,” Connecticut Light and Power Co., the state’s major utility, posted on Twitter Sunday.

Similar predictions were made by utilities and officials in other states, where the number of customers without power from Virginia to Maine originally topped 3.2 million.

Utilities calls for crews from other states to help restore power. CL&P said more than 600 crews were joining its 300-plus “from as far away as Tennessee and Missouri.”

The storm was exceptionally damaging because leaves still on the trees caught the wet and heavy snow, overloading branches that snapped and wreaked havoc. The storm included strong winds, especially on the tail end.

Western Massachusetts was hit the hardest, the National Weather Service said, with Peru, a town of 821 in the Berkshires 40 miles northwest of Springfield, accumulating 32 inches.

Millbrook, N.Y., in the Hudson Valley 85 miles north of New York City, got 21.6 inches.

Commuter trains, intercity railroads and airlines expected to resume near-normal service Monday, as temperatures returned to the 50s, after a luckless weekend that included widespread delays and cancellations.

A JetBlue Airways flight with 126 passengers was stuck on the tarmac at Bradley International Airport near Hartford, Conn., for more than 7 hours Saturday, where more than 12 inches fell. An Amtrak train with 48 passengers was stuck for 12 hours overnight in Palmer, Mass., due to a rock slide.

Many roads were treacherous if not impassable. AT&T reported 164 cellphone towers out in Connecticut.

The Red Cross and other agencies set up shelters in several states.

Some 700 National Guard members were mobilized throughout Massachusetts Sunday, Gov. Deval Patrick said.

In New York City, Central Park lost an estimated 1,000 trees to the heavy snow, Central Park Conservancy President Douglas Blonsky told The New York Times.

Workers had only recently completed cleanup work from Tropical Storm Irene, which cost the 843-acre park 125 trees, he said.

Saturday’s storm marked just the fourth October day with measurable snowfall in Central Park since record-keeping began 135 years ago, the National Weather Service said.

Dense fog blankets north, east China

BEIJING, Oct. 31 (UPI) — Dense fog covered China’s northern and eastern regions Monday, including parts of Beijing, forcing authorities to issue safety warnings.

Pictures carried by Xinhua news agency showed the tops of several multi-story buildings hidden by the thick fog.

The National Meteorological Center issued safety warnings covering roads and docks, and airports. It was not known if any flights had been canceled.

Residents were urged to be aware of worsening air quality because of the fog as visibility was getting reduced.

The affected regions included some parts of Beijing, and the provinces of Tianjin, Liaoning, Hebei, Henan, Shanxi, Shandong, Anhui, Hunan, Hubei, Zhejiang and Jiangsu. Visibility in some of those cities had been reduced to less than 660 feet.

In northeast China’s Liaoning province, 41 toll gates on provincial expressways were closed Monday morning, transportation officials said.

In the worst-hit city of Dalian in Liaoning province, visibility had been reduced to less than 165 feet.

The fog was expected to clear Tuesday with the onset of rains, forecasters said.

Pakistani cooperation sought

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 (UPI) — A new U.S. strategy appears aimed at convincing Pakistan’s spy agency to cooperate in reconciliation talks to end the war in Afghanistan, experts said.

Such cooperation under the “fight, talk, build” strategy would require the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence, recently described as being secretly linked with the brutal Haqqani network, to bring the group and the Taliban to the peace talks, The New York Times reported Sunday.

The new approach was taken up by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her high-powered delegation during their recent visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Under this strategy, the United States would continue its strikes against the Haqqanis and the Taliban while at the same time insisting the Pakistani ISI get the insurgents to the negotiations.

However, the Times said some within the ISI, who feel the insurgents are the key to maintaining Pakistan’s influence in Afghanistan after the foreign forces leave, don’t see much benefit in going along with the U.S. demands.

The Times said as the new U.S. strategy comes into force, there has also been an escalation in attacks against Americans in Kabul, including the suicide attack Saturday on a NATO bus in which 13 foreigners died. The Haqqanis, who have havens in Pakistan’s North Waziristan along with other insurgents, are again suspected in that attack.

The Times said even within the administration of President Barack Obama, some are skeptical about the new strategy. One senior U.S. official described the Pakistani response to the U.S. strategy as “cease-fire, talk, wait for the Americans to leave.”

“The big question for the administration is, what can the Pakistanis actually deliver? Pakistan is holding its cards very closely,” Shamila Chaudhary, a former top Obama White House aide on Pakistan and Afghanistan, was quoted as saying.

—[

When asked during her testimony before the U.S. House Foreign Relations Committee as to whether the new strategy whether it was negotiating with the Haqqanis, cracking down on them or both, Clinton was quoted as saying it was both.

“We want to fight, talk and build all at the same time. Part of the reason for that is to test whether these organizations have any willingness to negotiate in good faith,” she said.

Body of missing girl, 10, found in Texas

CARROLLTON, Texas, Oct. 31 (UPI) — The body of a missing 10-year-old girl was found just 2 blocks from the apartment in Carrollton, Texas, where she was visiting relatives, police said Sunday.

Jasmen Gonzalez of Oklahoma City was last seen alive about 11:45 p.m. Saturday and her body was found outside another residence about 3:35 p.m. Sunday, WFAA-TV, Dallas, reported.

Police said she had been kidnapped and were interviewing a man they called “a person of interest” Sunday night, the TV station said. No one was under arrest, police said.

An autopsy was to be performed Monday to determine how the girl died.

“There was no trauma on the body,” said Carrollton police Lt. Doug Mitchell said.

Jasmen and her parents had traveled from Oklahoma City to visit relatives, WFAA-TV said.

Hunter attacked by bear in national park

MOOSE, Wyo., Oct. 31 (UPI) — An elk hunter was attacked by a bear Sunday in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, park officials said.

The 32-year-old Jackson man was injured in an 11:30 a.m. encounter with an undetermined species of bear along the Snake River, KIDK-TV in Idaho Falls, Idaho, reported.

He was transported to a Jackson hospital. His condition was not known.

The hunter told rangers when he spotted the bear he dropped to the ground and covered his head. He did not fire any shots at the bruin.

Staring Into The Abyss

It’s the beginning of the end of the system as we know it.

There are alarms sounding all around us. Some people hear them. Most people don’t.

Certainly the political class — the statist warriors championing the “isms” (progressivism, socialism, Marxism, totalitarianism) that infest Washington — don’t hear them. Like the hear-no-evil and see-no-evil monkeys, their hands cover their ears and eyes. Not their mouths, though. Evil pours out in everything they say.

The Tea Party protests were about changing the system, but they were just early warning signs. In the beginning, before they were co-opted — some, not all — behind the scenes by the Republican establishment, they were strictly a grassroots movement that sprang up from a growing disgust at the players in Washington. This was in 2008, when Ron Paul supporters were chanting “End the Fed,” and in the first half of 2009, when they were occupying Washington, D.C., and shouting “Kill the Bill.”

As the slave masters in Washington pushed America toward a European-style socialism model of governance — particularly with the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Obamacare and talks of cap-and-trade legislation — the proles rose up and their numbers swelled.

Article continued below…

Uncle Sam Has Been Lying to You

President Obama says the economy is improving—but take a look around. Unemployment is still at record highs… real estate is still at record lows… and banks are still failing across the country. What’s really going on?Don’t expect Uncle Sam to give you any answers. The government has been distorting—and in many cases deliberately covering up—the seriousness of the situation to protect its own interests.

To get the truth about the financial crisis—and discover the simple steps you need to take in order to survive it—click here now.

 

The elites and their corporate media propaganda arm, mainstream media, used all of the dirty tricks they knew to cast the proles, also known as the American middle class — small business owners, farmers, retirees, retired military, housewives, blue collar workers — Tea Party participants, as ignorant, racist hatemongers.

It wasn’t true. Of course, there were some of those there, as there are in any crowd. But by far, the vast majority were simply salt-of-the-earth Americans — content to earn a living, run their businesses, raise their kids, tend their yards and give scarcely a thought about Washington, D.C., except as a possible vacation destination or every two to four years at election time. They rose up in protest only because they had finally had enough.

But the elites didn’t hear them, didn’t see them, didn’t heed them. When the issues were settled in Congress over their objections, Tea Partiers went home. They didn’t trash their capital. They didn’t destroy police cars. They didn’t clash with the police. They cleaned up behind themselves and left. They were content they had done all they could by protesting. It was time for step No. 2.

They got to work behind the scenes. Some decided to run for office. Some decided to back like-minded individuals who wanted to run. For more than a year, they worked; and the fruits of their labor ripened on November 2010.

A few ism-pushers from both parties were swept from office. Democrat, Republican, it didn’t matter. Tea Partiers suffered some losses, to be sure, but more victories.

There is still much to be done. The Federal Reserve — that illegal entity that is not Federal (owned or operated by the government) and doesn’t hold reserves — continues to benefit the banking cartel and the elected class to the detriment of the American citizen.

There are still many ism-pushers in Congress, on both sides of the aisle, and in the Judicial Branch. And, oh yes, the Marxist inhabiting the White House is in full campaign mode. He’ll say and do anything to get re-elected in order to continue his drive to “fundamentally transform” America.

And then there’s the Republican beauty contest. The proles are watching it with growing interest. The field is less stable than fluid — more like vaporous.

The proles, also known as the electorate, are desperate to find a candidate who represents their values. They tried Michele Bachmann for a time. Rick Perry was next. Now, it’s Herman Cain. They know it’s not Mitt Romney, the big government, Romneycare flip-flopper representing the Northeast liberal Republican establishment. But the bigwig banksters and party elites are backing him. No surprise there. He’s one of them.

The MSM continue to denigrate, dismiss and black out Ron Paul. Paul is the guy who shares their values, though most can’t get past their ingrained prejudices to see it. The elites know his message of liberty, small government and sound monetary policy will resonate with those who pay more than passing attention. That is, people who can turn off “American Idol,” “Survivor” and “Monday Night Football” long enough to actually study who the candidates are and what they stand for beyond a 30-second sound bite.

The Occupy movement — whether it’s Wall Street, Chicago, Oakland or Atlanta — is another sign of what’s coming. Though most seem to be a misguided lot of misfits – seeking a system of strong socialism or even Marxism — their message of class warfare is resonating with many people.

But just as the Republican establishment tried to take over the Tea Party movement, the Democratic establishment is seeking to co-opt the Occupy movement. George Soros, the big unions, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama all see it as way to push their class-warfare agenda and achieve their socialist/Marxist utopia. The Obama State Department has also injected one of its activists into the movement. Ahmed Maher, who was funded by the State Department to coordinate the Egypt uprising, is now giving advice to the Occupy Wall Street group.

The right continues to cast aspersions at the Occupy movement, telling the Occupiers to “get a job.” If only it were that simple.

True unemployment stands between 16 percent and 20 percent. For blacks it’s even higher. Almost half of all black youths are unemployed. Government regulation, tax breaks encouraging businesses to move facilities and money out of the country and the uncertainties created by Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and other government overreach are keeping those numbers high.

The Tea Party groups were on to something in 2008 and 2009. They wanted to reign in government spending and government overreach. They are trying to do it through the system by influencing elections. There has been moderate success in that arena. The rank-and-file Tea Partiers are those who still believe in the system and will work within the rules to try and change it through elections. It’s almost too late for that… maybe it is too late.

The Occupy movement is on to something as well. They blame Wall Street for their troubles. Wall Street and the banksters share the blame, but, in truth, corporatocracy and the Federal Reserve are the roots of the problem and the problem must be dealt with root and branch. But the Occupy bunch remain trapped in the left/right paradigm and attack only those they view as on the right of the political spectrum and give a pass to those on the left.

In my book, Robbed Blind! Who’s Really to Blame for America’s Economic Crisis?, I explained how the Federal government stepped in and stopped State investigations seeking to reign in the fraudulent loan practices before the collapse in the Fall of 2008:

Instead of helping the States pursue those who were making fraudulent loans, both the OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision] and the OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] put out new rules that prohibited the States from enforcing rules that would slow down the fraudulent deals being made by the nationally chartered thrifts and banks. As a matter of fact, Julie Williams, who was chief counsel of the OCC, attended a meeting where she lectured States’ attorneys general against trying to control the fraud. She said the OCC would “quash” them if they kept on trying to go after the banks and thrifts.

When the FCIC [Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission] looked into these allegations, two former OCC comptrollers, John Hawke and John Dugan defended their actions by claiming they were, “defending the agency’s constitutional obligation to block state efforts to impinge on federally-created entities.”

But [Illinois Attorney General Lisa] Madigan told the FCIC that the OCC was, “particularly zealous in its efforts to thwart state authority over national lenders, and lax in its effort to protect consumers from the coming crisis.”

Even the U.S. Supreme Court got into the act of enabling the banksters. In 2003, the now-defunct Wachovia Bank told Michigan regulators it would not obey State laws because, as a national bank under the supervision of the OCC, it didn’t have to. When Michigan objected, Wachovia sued.

When the case finally wound its way to the Supreme Court four years later, the Court ruled 5-3 in favor of Wachovia. It turned out to be a hollow victory. Wachovia was soon swallowed up by Wells Fargo and the “too-big-to-fails” grew bigger.

The system, geared as it is to benefit the top 1 percent, is on an unsustainable path. The price of gold is one chapter of the story. The rise of the Tea Party is another chapter. The rise of the Occupy movement is another.

High unemployment, unprecedented government spending and money creation, the growing disparity between the haves and have-nots, class warfare angst ginned up by the political class, inflation: These are the danger signals.

In a few years, the system will be different. Just exactly what it will look like depends on who wins: the Tea Party, the Occupiers, the banksters or some other as-yet unseen entity. We are staring into an abyss of chaos and destruction. Beware and be wary!

Haqqani network suspected in Kabul attack

KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 31 (UPI) — Afghan and U.S. officials say they think the Haqqani group was behind the deadly weekend suicide bombing of a NATO armored bus, rather than the Taliban.

Seventeen people died in the attack, including 13 foreigners, most of them Americans, and four Afghans. The attacker rammed his car packed with explosives into the NATO vehicle.

Although the Taliban claimed responsibility, The New York Times reported Afghan and U.S. officials said they suspect the attack was the work of the brutal Haqqani faction whose members seem better trained and organized than other Taliban members.

The Haqqanis, based in Pakistan, have lately been involved in such attacks as if to tell the Afghans and rest of the world they are able to target foreign troops, the Times reported.

One Western diplomat told the Times if the Haqqanis were responsible for the latest attack, it would be in response to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who, in her recent visit to Pakistan, pressed on with the demand the government go after the Haqqanis, who have havens in the North Waziristan area.

“No one goes to this much trouble if they don’t think you’ll get the message,” the diplomat told the Times.

Agreeing, Afghan political analyst Haroun Mir said such attacks are planned to respond to the pressure from the United States on Pakistan. Mir said the Pakistanis also are sending a message that they “are not willing to abandon their support of the Taliban.”

Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson, spokesman for the NATO forces in Afghanistan, told the Times many of the recent high-profile attacks in Kabul had been clearly linked to the Haqqanis.

Afghan intelligence service spokesman Lutfullah Mashal said:”Kabul is their area of operation, and all the signs and indications point to the Haqqani network.”

GOP Rallies Against Labor Board

House Republicans have again moved forward with legislation that would limit the power of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), The Hill reported.

Representative John Kline (R-Minn.) sponsored the legislation, dubbed the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, which would negate several of the actions that were taken by the NLRB, according to the news outlet.

“Congress cannot allow an activist NLRB to trample on the rights of workers and employers,” Kline said in a statement. “The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act is desperately needed to rein in the Obama board and reaffirm workforce protections that have been in place for decades.”

The Republican opposition to the NLRB has grown in the past year, as the GOP-controlled House and several business groups have denounced the organization for its alleged favoritism to the unions, reported The Hill.

According to Big Government, the NLRB is under fire from Republicans for its actions concerning a lawsuit filed by the organization to stop the Boeing Co. from opening a non-union manufacturing line.

Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) took issue with the actions of the NLRB. He noted that the organization ignored a subpoena from the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the news outlet reported.

Federal Jobs Site Doesn’t Work

It may be just the evidence opponents of vast Federal bureaucracy need. A website set up to help jobseekers find Federal positions is wrought with technical errors and simply doesn’t work correctly, jobseekers say.

The website, which is run by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), is full of bugs because officials say there is a massive amount of traffic on the site, according to The Washington Post.

“If a private contractor was delivering this, the government would have terminated them for cause immediately,” Adam Davidson, general manager for human capital management at Oracle, a company that provides payroll and other systems to Federal agencies, said.

The site was originally run by Monster, a private job search site, but was taken over by the Federal government in 2009 to be reworked by the OPM at a cost of about $20 million, according to budget figures.

Some opponents of the government setting up an in-house job site believe that the move locks out private job search companies from being able to post Federal jobs as the government requires agencies to use the system.

Buy From A Trusted Dealer

Economic Crisis Alert: Protect your money now or kiss it goodbyeBob,

Just finished reading your book, “Surviving a Global Financial Crisis and Currency Collapse.”

Absolutely great information much of which I read before elsewhere.

One question comes to mind in your comments on buying gold bullion. You never mentioned “salted gold” and how prevalent it is in the open market?

Curious about your response.

Clayton L. Egeness

Dear Clayton,

There is uncertainty as to exactly how prevalent this is. That is why I recommend you buy from a trusted dealer and you stick to American Eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs, African Krugerrands and Australian Kangaroos.

Best wishes,

Bob

GOP Looks For Waiver Of Environmental Laws At Border

Federal agents who are patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border have said that their efforts are hampered by laws that prevent them from driving through huge swaths of land that are protected for environmental reasons, The Associated Press reported.

According to the news outlet, a growing number of lawmakers have noted that the protections for the environment that are in place have turned the wilderness areas into highways for criminals.

Three Congressional panels have moved to give the Border Patrol complete access to all Federally managed lands within 100 miles of the border with Mexico. Two of these groups expanded the reach of the legislation to include the Canadian border, reported the AP.

Zach Taylor, a retired Border Patrol agent, told the news outlet that the smugglers have learned the areas where agents are least likely to be.

“The (smuggling) route stays on public lands from the border to Maricopa County,” Taylor said. “The smugglers have free rein. It has become a lawless area.”

 

Emergency Preparedness Tips For Winter Weather

The coming of winter each year can bring extreme cold weather, large amounts of snowfall and an increased risk of danger when traveling outside of the home or driving. There are some ways to prepare for these months to avoid disastrous consequences.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although periods of extreme cold cannot always be predicted, individuals need to stay aware of the weather forecasts each day. Stockpiles of firewood, food and emergency supplies should be assembled prior to the advent of winter.

Older individuals need to realize that it becomes harder to gauge the change in temperature once a certain age is reached, and this necessitates having an easy-to-read thermometer in a home so that the heat can be adjusted accordingly, the government organization reported.

The CDC reported that people should also try to insulate their doors and windows to prevent heat loss and the entry of cold air into a residence.

According to Ready.gov, individuals should remain in contact with their neighbors, shovels should be readily available, and sand and rock salt should be constantly used on walkways and driveways.

Stay Safe When Order Breaks Down

So far, the Occupy events around the country have been relatively benign. Don’t get me wrong: They’ve been horrible for local businesses, a pain in the butt for sanitation workers, irritating for law enforcement and expensive for cities, but they haven’t been anything like what we saw in the Mideast earlier this year.

The people organizing the Occupy events are using advanced psychology and manipulation practices.

People might be dying in their cars in random accidents on their way to or from the protests or dying of drug overdoses after leaving the protests, but none have died at the protests that I know of so far. (Lest you think that the overdose comment is an unfounded low blow, there are about 100 Occupy events across the country, and cases of overdose have been reported at Occupy Wall Street.)

This week, things got a little more interesting. Until this week, for the most part, the worst “violence” has been when sanitation workers have tried to clean up the places where the protesters have been squatting.

Protesters in Oakland upped the ante this week, mostly vandalizing and throwing rocks, glass and paint cans at law enforcement — all the while blaming the police for their actions. The end result is that one protester — whose status I won’t mention out of respect to his 203,000 “brothers” — got a skull fracture because he was hit in the head with what the protesters claim was a tear gas canister but that could have just as easily been something thrown by the protesters.

After more than a month of putting up with the smells, sounds and expense of the Occupy events around the country, cities are getting tired of it and starting to be more active in arresting protesters who are breaking the law. This is causing an increase in arrests, but very little real violence.

Even so, the media love this. They are throwing around words like “riots,” “mobs,” “clash with police” and “violence erupts.” In Atlanta, news crews couldn’t get enough of one protester who walked around with a loaded AK-47. He thought it was his duty to be ready to protect the protesters from police.

But this brings to mind a serious question: How do you protect yourself in a true riot or mob situation? Mob mentality has been causing riotous behavior for thousands of years. Although it’s chaotic, there are things about mob mentality that we can recognize and use in order to keep ourselves safe. One of the most direct ways to do so is to look at and dissect mob behavior. Here’s a quick example that I shared last Christmas and want to share again:

 

You might have to click on the video twice, depending on your browser

 

 

In this video, we have some great examples of mob behavior. I wouldn’t really call this a “riot,” but it is a good example of a minor breakdown in civil order. I’ve set the video to start 40 seconds in… it’s 44 seconds of “boring and peaceful.” But a few seconds after that, you see someone reach in from the left hand side and take a box before he is supposed to. What happens next is that everyone starts grabbing at boxes. And this is important.

In a riot/mob/breakdown in civil order, there are some key components:

An agitator: Someone who’s increasing the intensity of emotions in the crowd. In this case, both the Wal-Mart employee is agitating the crowd and the crowd is agitating itself with pushing, facial expressions and talking. With the Occupy crowds, it’s usually some of the more intense participants.

An instigator: This is the person who takes the first non-civil action. It could be breaking a window, knocking over a barricade, damaging police property, hitting police, throwing something at police, shooting a weapon, picking out an “outsider” to attack or any other “kinetic” action that affects visual/physical antisocial change on the environment around him.

A trigger: If the crowd isn’t sufficiently worked up, the instigator will be a loner and looked at as an oddball by the crowd. If the crowd is sufficiently worked up, the actions of the instigator will trigger a common response by the parts of the crowd that are most worked up. It’s important to note that the trigger won’t do much unless it’s attached to a bomb. In the case of mobs, that bomb is primal tension, pain and/or rage. In Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria this past spring, people were worked up because of a lack of affordable food. We don’t have that with the Occupy movement at this time.

Aggressive follower: These are the people who won’t start the trouble, but are looking for any opportunity to cause trouble once they think they have immunity for their actions by being part of a mass of people who are breaking the law. This is the antisocial version of several cars speeding together on the interstate in the hopes of not getting stopped. Another example is when a group of pedestrians refuses to cross an empty street when the light is red; yet when a single person starts walking, the crowd quickly follows.

Sheep/Lemmings: These are the people who, once they see the instigator and aggressive followers breaking the rules/laws, will jump in because “everyone else was doing it.” This is when the unacceptable quickly becomes seen as acceptable, and people get caught up in the moment. People who normally obey authority figures suddenly ignore them with reckless abandon.

One example of this occurred at an intense outdoor concert I attended. There was lots of alcohol, a couple of mosh pits, stage diving and crowd surfing, fights, loud bass, screaming guitars, intense singing, etc. It was fun in the way that being on the edge of a little danger can be fun; it gets the adrenaline going. Two aspects of this concert weren’t so fun and are applicable to this conversation.

First, a girl was crowd surfing, having fun, and the crowd was being respectful with how they were passing her around. Then, when she was about 10 feet away from me, a turd-punk who might have been 18 started violating her. Some other people saw it, but nobody did anything. I pushed through the crowd, grabbed his arm and twisted it violently and was getting ready to strike him. At that minute, one of the biggest humans I’ve ever seen grabbed my hand, shook his head at me, grabbed the punk and threw him through the air like a kid’s rag doll. The kid never would have done something like that in a crowd at a mall or a football game. It was only because he thought he had cover for his actions that he acted so antisocially. The other point to note is that I was lucky that the big guy agreed with my actions and wasn’t a friend of the punk, coming to his aid. The fact is that you never know who’s alone and who’s got friends in a mob.

Second, a while later, I was at the front of the concert with the crowd behind me and a 4-foot-tall wooden “fence” in front of me. As the main band came on stage, the crowd started surging forward, but there wasn’t anywhere to go and people on the front row were getting crushed — screaming and passing out crushed. I had my arms outstretched against the fence to give my body some room, and the force of the crowd broke the wood in my hands and slammed me against the fence. People were getting pulled over the fence by security, and I eventually went over the fence to get some air, too.

The thing to keep in mind about these two instances is that they were from a fun event. People paid to go to dance, hear bands they liked and get a little crazy. It wasn’t a “protest,” “occupation” or “riot.” It was a concert. The punk-turd-kid was an anomaly and the surging crowd wasn’t malicious, but the results are the same if you happen to be on the wrong end of mob behavior, regardless of what the general intent of the crowd is. A crowd of friends trying to escape a fire in a church can trample you just as quickly as a mob gone crazy.

This next video gets a little more ridiculous, with a headbutt 20 seconds in by a guy in a striped shirt and pushing/pulling that escalates to punching after 30 more seconds:

 

 

So, we’ve seen how Americans treat each other when luxury items are up for grabs. How does it look when survival is really on the line?

 

 

This next video is a perfect example of why decentralized solutions, in the form of individual preparedness, are the only effective ways to survive disasters.

 

 

And one more food riot. This one occurred in Somalia when merchants suddenly stopped taking the country’s official currency. Residents holding Somali shilins that had value the day before were just stuck not being able to buy food for their families. Could this be what things look like here if the dollar collapses?

 

 

How do you avoid getting caught up in riots and mobs of people trying to get food after a disaster? One of the core fundamentals is to do everything you can now to make sure that you never have to become a refugee and depend on governments or aid organizations to provide food, water, shelter and protection. In short, you want to have the ability to hunker down wherever you happen to be and Survive In Place when disaster strikes. This will give you the luxury of being able to choose to time your escape to a retreat location, or ride out the disaster right where you are when it happens.

And if you do get caught up on the wrong side of a mob/riot?

First, breathe. Take a series of three to five or more deep breaths, belly breaths where your gut extends and your diaphragm gets to expand fully to get as much oxygen in your body as possible. It will calm you down, keep your vision wide and help you make better decisions.

Second, to the extent that you can, join the crowd. I’m not saying to hurt people, but join in their yelling and pumping your fist in the air as you move out of the crowd. It’s similar to what you’d do if you got thrown from a boat in a rapid river: swim with and perpendicular to the current, because a single person going against it doesn’t have a chance.

Third, look for natural seams in the crowd that you can slip through. If you have to push, push with the back of your hand/arm rather than the palm of your hand (it’s seen as being less offensive). If you’ve got someone with you, grab onto them tightly and say something like “We’ve got a bathroom emergency” or “We need to find medical!” to buy some grace as you’re pushing through the crowd.

Fourth, stay on your feet and keep moving. Don’t roll up in a ball on the ground or try to stop. Again, it’s like fighting a raging river. If you’re with other people from whom you don’t want to get separated, hold on hard and tight. If possible, have both people hold onto each other.

The biggest thing to remember is to keep your cool, keep moving and to make a safe exit as quickly as possible.

Do you have any experiences with mobs, riots, etc.? How about with the Occupy events? If you’ve been to them, what different groups did you see represented? (I’ve been to a few, and it’s amazing how drastically the makeup of the crowd changes from city to city, hour to hour and day to day.) If you have, please share your thoughts by commenting below:

–David Morris

 

Diplomat says attack killed 9 Americans

KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 31 (UPI) — Nine, not 13, Americans were among the 17 people killed in a weekend suicide attack on a NATO armored bus in Kabul, Afghanistan, a Western diplomat said.

The unidentified diplomat told CNN the nine Americans killed included four U.S. troops. Others killed in the attack included two British civilians believed to be civilian contractors, a Kosovo national and a Canadian soldier. Afghan officials said four Afghans, including two students, also died in the incident, bringing the total death toll to 17.

It was earlier reported 13 Americans died in the Saturday attack when a car loaded with explosives rammed into the bus. But the diplomat told CNN that some of those in the bus were not on the passenger list, which led to confusion over the casualties.

“Afghan people are grieved by the NATO loss of lives and share the pain and sorrow with the families and friends of the troops killed,” Afghan President Hamid Karzai said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The U.S.news network quoted an Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman as saying it was not clear how many people were wounded.

In other incidents Saturday, the International Security Assistance Force said NATO and Afghan troops killed 20 suspected Taliban insurgents following clashes in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul.

3 dead in 3-car crash in Canada

KENT JUNCTION, New Brunswick, Oct. 30 (UPI) — Three cars crashed on a snow-slickened highway in Canada’s New Brunswick province Sunday afternoon, killing three people, police said.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the victims were a 57-year-old man, a 50-year-old woman and a 47-year-old woman, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. They were all in the same vehicle.

The accident occurred on Highway 126 near Kent Junction, the CBC said.

“At this point, I can tell you the road conditions were very slippery and snow-packed,” Sgt. Jeff Johnston told CBC News.

The lone occupants of the other two cars were hospitalized non-life-threatening injuries, he said.