Mortgage Activity Down Slightly In Week

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The Mortgage Bankers Association said U.S. mortgage activity dropped in the week ending Friday, despite dropping interest rates.

Mortgage activity fell 3.8 percent in the week. The trade group’s Refinancing Index also fell 2.1 percent from the previous week.

Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages fell from 4.05 percent to 4.04 percent with average points dropping from 0.45 to 0.4.

Rates for 15-year, fixed-rate contracts fell from 3.33 percent to 3.32 percent. Points for 15-year loans were unchanged at 0.41.

The average interest rates for both the 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate loans are the lowest on record, the MBA said.

Retail Receipts Rise In Week

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. retail sales were up modestly in the week ending Saturday with increased traffic at department stores, a trade group said.

The International Council of Shopping Centers said sales rose 0.8 percent compared to the previous week and 3.6 percent compared to the same week of 2011.

Traffic at department stores, “perk[ed] up nicely relative to the same week of last year,” the report said.

The trade group said unseasonably warm weather returned to the Northeast, the North Central and the West, which stood in contrast last year, when the third week of April was the coldest in 20 years.

With warm weather encouraging trips to stores, gasoline prices headed lower for the third consecutive week.

Gasoline prices averaged $3.87 per gallon on April 23, a drop of 5.2 cents from a week earlier, the Energy Information Administration said.

Fed Expects Low Rates Through 2014

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The U.S. Federal Reserve Wednesday said the economy was growing “moderately,” but it was still a long way off from changing its monetary policy.

The central bank said its Open Market Committee “expects to maintain a highly accommodative stance for monetary policy … at least through late 2014,” referring to the federal fund rate, which has stood at zero to 0.25 percent since the financial crisis hit.”

The announcement continues two experiments. The first is the “accommodative” stance of making funds available so cheaply, at historically low interest rates, for so long. Secondly, the Fed is continuing its policy of being explicit in describing its intentions so far in advance.

Before the financial crisis — and while under the directorship of Chairman Ben Bernanke — the Fed has reduced its use of coded hints in its communications. Although it can change its stance at any time, it is not like the Fed to commit itself to a particular policy for this long.

The Fed said it would also continue to roll over short-term securities in its portfolio to longer-term notes to convince the business community borrowing would remain cheap for a long time.

The Fed said information “received since March suggests that the economy has been expanding moderately.”

Price inflation picked up the pace recently, but was expected to subside in the coming months. The unemployment rate “has declined, but remains elevated,” the bank said in a statement.

“Despite some signs of improvement, the housing sector remains depressed,” the statement said.

The policy was approved by a 9-1 vote. Committee member Jeffrey Lacker “does not anticipate that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate through late 2014,” the Fed noted.

Bernanke Says QE3 Is Possible

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke asserted Wednesday that a third round of quantitative easing was an option policy makers would use if necessary.

“We remain prepared to do more as needed to make sure that this recovery continues and that inflation stays close to target,” Bernanke said at a news conference following the Fed’s policy decision announcement.

The Fed said it would continue with a federal funds rate of zero to 0.25 percent and a program of rolling over its portfolio to exchange short-term notes to longer-term securities.

However, Bernanke was asked “Some of your critics … think you’re still being too cautious … is the committee now any closer to QE3 than it was at its last meeting?”

Bernanke said the Federal Open Market Committee “certainly has been bold and aggressive in terms of easing monetary policy.”

Regarding a new round of securities purchases, “Those tools remain very much on the table and we will not hesitate to use them, should the economy require that additional support,” he said.

Quantitative easing involves the central bank buying assets, which keeps demand for securities high and interest rates low. The last round was widely criticized by the international community as a side effect of the move is that it weakens the value of the dollar, which can be viewed as manipulating currency rates to favor U.S. exporters.

 

Marine Booted For Obama Remarks

A Marine Corps sergeant who criticized Dear Leader Barack Obama has earned himself an other-than-honorable discharge.

Gary Stein is the U.S. Marine sergeant whose Facebook group, Armed Forces Tea Party, was in the news last month because remarks on the page were found to be “contemptuous.”

The nine-year Marine veteran said he started the page to encourage fellow service members to exercise their free speech rights. Stein was first cautioned by his superiors at Camp Pendleton in 2010, after he launched the Facebook page and criticized Obama’s healthcare overhaul. He volunteered to take down the page while he reviewed the rules at the request of his superiors. Upon determining that he was not in violation of the rules, Stein re-launched the page.

“I love the Marine Corps, I love my job. I wish it wouldn’t have gone this way. I’m having a hard time seeing how 15 words on Facebook could have ruined my nine-year career,” he told The Associated Press.

The Marines say Stein failed to follow Pentagon directives that say military personnel in uniform cannot sponsor a political club; participate in any TV or radio program or group discussion that advocates for or against a political party, candidate or cause; or speak at any event promoting a political movement. Officers also are not allowed to use contemptuous words against senior officials, including the defense secretary or the President.

Man Arrested In Beating Of Matthew Owens

Terry Rawls, 44, has been arrested in the mob beating of Matthew Owens in Mobile, Ala.

Owens was beaten viciously and is in critical care. After the assault, one of the attackers reportedly said, “Now that’s justice for Trayvon.”

After being contacted by police, Rawls turned himself in.

This is not Rawls’ first run-in with the law. In 2000, he pleaded guilty to criminal assault. In 2004, he was arrested on two third-degree burglary charges.

Police believe that a large number of the 20 or so blacks involved in the attack on Owens only watched the assault take place. So far, no other warrants have been issued, but police say two or three more arrests may take place.

According to police, Rawls and Owens have a history of confrontation.

N. Korea Says Weapons Could Defeat U.S.

PYONGYANG, North Korea, (UPI) — North Korea said Wednesday it had weapons that could defeat the United States in a single blow and renewed its threat against South Korea.

The comments from Ri Yong Ho, the North Korean military’s chief of general staff, came as the country marked the 80th anniversary of the founding of its army, Voice of America reported.

Ri said the country had “powerful, modern weapons” that could defeat the United States in a single blow but did not elaborate on the weapons.

White House spokesman Jay Carney urged the North to avoid hostile or provocative acts, saying they would do nothing to advance peace on the Korean peninsula or in northeast Asia.

In a televised speech from Pyongyang’s House of Culture, Ri said the North would not tolerate violation of its territory by South Korea or the United States, Yonhap reported.

Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader, was in the audience but did not speak.

Ri also again threatened a “sacred war” over what it called South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s insulting the North’s Kim.

Lee has urged Kim to abandon the collective farm system and devote more attention to human rights and defector issues.

The South Korean president also said the North had wasted about $850 million on its failed rocket launch April 13 and said the country could have spent that money for food for its 24 million people.

Rubio Gets Police Protection After Threat

WASHINGTON, (UPI) — Police protection has been provided to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., after officials determined a threat against him was credible, the senator’s office said.

The protective detail was provided the freshmen senator for when he is in Washington and at his home in West Miami, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

Rubio has been in the spotlight for weeks after speculation surfaced that he was on a short list of potential running mates for presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Rubio’s office said no further information about the threat, such as when it was made or its nature, would be released.

The U.S. Capitol Police and the West Miami Police Department were providing security and investigating the threat, the Herald said.

Obama Cracks Wise After Yogurt Spill

BOULDER, Colo., (UPI) — President Barack Obama told a woman she has “a story to tell” after she spilled yogurt on him Tuesday at a bar and restaurant in Boulder, Colo.

The president was in Boulder as part of a tour of college campuses intended to pressure Congress to take action to prevent an automatic increase in higher education loan rates this summer.

During an unannounced stop at The Sink at about 6:25 MDT, Obama shook hands, posed for pictures, ordered a large pizza and bought a stack of T-shirts. As the president greeted a cluster of people outside the restaurant, a young woman spilled yogurt on him.

Obama wiped up the spill with a towel and told the woman, “Getting yogurt on the president, you’ve got a story to tell.”

“I’m very embarrassed,” the young woman said.

Web Site: 6A The Perfect Plane Seat

EDINBURGH, Scotland, (UPI) — Scotland-based flight comparison site Skyscanner said its poll indicates airline passengers consider 6A to be the best seat on a standard aircraft.

The Web site said its poll of more than 1,000 airline passengers found many riders valued being able to sit near the front of the plane while others preferred the middle of the aircraft, making Row 6 the perfect compromise. The site said passengers also liked having window seats, making 6A the most sought-after location on the aircraft.

“Frequent flyers have also reported that the left-hand side of the plane is best as the windows are off center, allowing for wall space to lean on,” said Sam Baldwin, travel editor for Skyscanner. “I just hope that the low-cost carriers don’t find out that there is such demand for seat 6A and start charging a premium for it!”

Troopers Suspended Over High-Speed Caravan

TRENTON, N.J., (UPI) — A pair of New Jersey state troopers have been suspended after allegedly providing escort to a caravan of 30 exotic cars traveling in excess of 110 mph.

Officials said Sgt. 1st Class Nadir Nassry, 47, of Phillipsburg, and Trooper Joseph Ventrella, 28, of Bloomingdale, have been suspended. They are alleged to have been involved in escorting former New York Giant Brandon Jacobs and 29 other drivers of exotic vehicles, including at least two Lamborghinis, on three major expressways en route to Atlantic City, The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger reported Tuesday.

Witnesses said the March 30 convoy traveled at speeds of more than 110 mph and some of the vehicles weaved dangerously around other cars traveling at normal speeds on the roads.

“We will not tolerate any conduct by a member of the State Police that puts the public in jeopardy, as this unauthorized caravan had the potential to do,” New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said in a statement. He said those responsible “will face serious discipline.”

Company Offers Concealed Weapon Fashions

WOOLRICH, Pa., (UPI) — A 182-year-old clothing company in Pennsylvania has added a new feature to its latest chino pants — a hidden pocket for a handgun.

Woolrich, a company with headquarters in the Pennsylvania town of the same name, introduced its $65 chino pants recently for “the fashion-aware gun owner.”

“This pant is ideal for situations where discretion is important,” the Woolrich Web site states. “The Elite Concealed Carry Chino has the clean profile of a standard pair of pants with no external cargo or utility pocketing but offers the added advantage of a hidden chamber pocket strategically constructed to reduce printing.”

That would be a pocket hidden behind the traditional front pocket for easy and stealthy handgun storage.

The chinos are the latest addition to the Woolrich Elite Concealed Carry line, which includes both pants and shirts. The clothing items were inspired by the 7 million people who held concealed carry permits last year, a rise from the 5 million in 2008 partially attributable to the loosening of state laws.

The shirts offered by Woolrich feature side slits with Velcro that allow the wearer quick access to a waistband holster.

Versailles-Inspired Mansion Irks Neighbors

GREAT FALLS, Va.,(UPI) — Neighbors in a suburban Washington neighborhood said they are concerned about a businesswoman’s plans to construct a Versailles-inspired mansion in their area.

The house, dubbed “Le Chateau de Lumiere” by owner Young Yi, 38, chief executive of the 1st Class Sleep Diagnostics Center, is planned to span 25,424 square feet on a 5-acre plot in affluent Great Falls, Va., The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Former Gannett chief executive Craig Dubow and his wife, Denise, filed a lawsuit this month against Yi and her builder, alleging the mansion would not fit with the “sylvan character” of the neighborhood, the plans violate neighborhood covenants and the home could cause local property values to plummet. The Dubows said they want the plans to fit in with the “conservative” aesthetics of the neighborhood.

The Dubows and their attorney declined to comment to the Post.

Romney Aces Primary Tests With 5 Wins

Mitt Romney went a long way toward wiping out any lingering doubts he will be the Republican U.S. presidential nominee Tuesday with a five-state primary sweep.

The former Massachusetts governor was polling at least 56 percent in each of his victories in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, while election returns showed. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who has left the race April 10, split the remaining votes.

In a victory speech he delivered while in Manchester, N.H., Romney made it clear his campaign is now against the Democratic incumbent, President Barack Obama.

“Thank you America. I can say with confidence and gratitude that you have given me a great honor and solemn responsibility and together we are going to win on Nov. 6,” Romney said.

Romney, in advance remarks provided reporters, indicated his campaign will focus on showing voters he is the candidate best-suited to grow the United States’ middle class, CNN reported.

“I see an America with a growing middle class, with rising standards of living,” Romney said in the prepared remarks. “I see children even more successful than their parents — some successful even beyond their wildest dreams — and others congratulating them for their achievement, not attacking them for it.”

Romney went into the day’s elections with an estimated 695 of the 1,144 delegates he needs to cinch the nomination, with Gingrich at 141 and Paul at 72, CNN said. There were 224 delegates up for grabs in the five states Tuesday.

Tuesday was the first primary day since Romney’s closest challenger, Santorum, announced he was suspending his campaign.

Gingrich and Paul have stubbornly refused to bow out of the race despite the widening gap between them and Romney. Gingrich still wasn’t quite ready to call it quits when he talked to Fox News commentator Sean Hannity earlier Tuesday.

“We’re going to be in Tampa [Fla.] whether it’s as an active candidate or as a leader in the party,” Gingrich said. “I’ve said all along, the morning [Romney] gets to 1,144 delegates then he’s the nominee, but he’s not there yet.”

Delaware was the best chance the cash-strapped Gingrich had of picking up a win. He invested a lot of time campaigning to try to collect the state’s 17 delegates.

Gingrich is trying to add another state to his win column after picking up only his home state of Georgia and South Carolina. He needs five wins to appear on the Republican National Convention ballot in Tampa.

Pennsylvania had 72 delegates at state, while New York had 95, Connecticut 28, Rhode Island 19 and Delaware 17.

One pollster had said Romney should be prepared for a sympathy vote in Pennsylvania for Santorum, who represented the Keystone State in the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2007, the Albany, N.Y., Times Union reported. But Romney was taking more than 50 percent of the vote in Pennsylvania, early returns showed.

BP Engineer Charged For Deleting Texts

BATON ROUGE, La., (UPI) — A former BP engineer was arrested for allegedly destroying evidence during an investigation into the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Kurt Mix, 50, was arrested Tuesday in Louisiana and charged with two counts of obstruction of justice in a criminal complaint, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a release.

“The department has filed initial charges in its investigation into the Deepwater Horizon disaster against an individual for allegedly deleting records relating to the amount of oil flowing from the Macondo well after the explosion that led to the devastating tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. “The Deepwater Horizon Task Force is continuing its investigation into the explosion and will hold accountable those who violated the law in connection with the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.”

Court documents indicate Mix was a drilling and completions project engineer for BP. Following the explosion — which killed 11 men — and resulting oil spill, Mix worked on BP efforts to estimate the amount of oil leaking from the well and was involved in various efforts to stop the leak, including Top Kill, a failed BP effort to pump mud into the blown out wellhead to try to stop the oil flow.

After being notified by BP that he had to turn over all information concerning the explosion and oil spill, court documents allege Mix deleted a string of more than 200 text messages between him and a superior about the failure of Top Kill, as well as more than 100 text messages with a BP contractor with whom Mix discussed various issues concerning how much oil was flowing from the Macondo well.

If convicted, Mix faces as much as 20 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000 on each count.‪

‘Now That’s Justice For Trayvon,’ White Man In Critical Care After Black Mob Beating

An attacker who brutally beat a man on his front porch was heard to say “Now that’s justice for Trayvon” as he was walking away from the victim.

Matthew Owens, a white man from Mobile, Ala., is in critical condition after being severely beaten by a violent mob that included the Trayvon Martin supporter.

According to police, Owens was upset with a group of kids because they were playing basketball in the middle of the street. Owens confronted the kids, and they left. But then a larger group came back to the scene.

Ashley Parker, Owens’ sister, said they attacked her brother with “brass buckles, paint cans and anything they could get their hands on.”

Parker says there were about 20 attackers, all of whom were black.

Police have no suspects in the crime, and according to News 5 in Mobile, police are downplaying the comment about Martin.

Virginia, We Love You!

Virginia has been my home for 55 years: the mountains of the Southwest, the beaches of the Southeast and Northern Virginia where I raised the family.

Driving along the highways and enjoying the beauty always brings a rush of joy and thankfulness!

The family has lived on land once owned by George Washington and near land owned by George Mason’s family. Mount Vernon was just “down the parkway” from the family home of 36 years. But my sense of pride in Virginia has never been greater than today, because the Virginia Legislature and Governor Bob McDonnell have worked together to protect the State from the juggernaut of tyranny unleashed on America with the National Defense Authorization Act (sections 1021 and 1022.)

The new law, to take effect on July 1, states:

“Prevents any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a United States citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”

Delegate Bob Marshall from Manassas wrote HB 1160 and shepherded it through the process. Bless him!

It took much prayer and work, and there’s no doubt that jigs are being danced in heaven.

The 10th Amendment Center has been educating and encouraging Americans to be active in Constitutional advocacy. This author (soon to be 80 years old) spent much time in prayer, phone calls and email communication with legislators and with the Governor’s office. Many others have done the same. Let’s celebrate now and encourage all other American States to follow our example.

“We’ve only just begun” can be a motto for us.

There’s a long way yet to go, but we’ve got momentum now and, after all, we believe along with Winston Churchill: “Never give in–never, never, never, never!”

–Raylyn Terrell

Ron Paul Has No Intention Of Quitting

While many people are convinced that Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul should throw in the towel, Paul still believes he can clean house come November.

“You don’t quit because you happen to be behind,” Paul said during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“It doesn’t get the attention we think it deserves,” Paul said about his campaign. “I think the campaign is going very well. A lot of people like to write us off. We’re making in-roads in the structure of the Republican Party.”

Paul was asked if his campaign was more about bringing up issues then actually winning, and he answered with his own question: “Why can’t it be both?”

Paul is fed up with the Feds — Republicans and Democrats alike. He said that Republicans want to balance the budget in 30 years, but it could be done in three. Paul believes that Mitt Romney is a part of a crowd of Republicans and Democrats who are, “much closer than people realize. There’s not that much difference when you come to policy.”

When asked if he could get enough delegates for the Republican nomination, he responded: “Theoretically I can. …You can’t ever tell. …A little over half the votes have been counted.” He was quick to point out that another third of the votes come from California and Texas, the latter being the State he represents.

The Texas Representative still likes his chances and believes that he could get enough of the Democrat and independent vote to win in November.

“When you put my name up against Obama, I can do better than Romney,” he said.

Obama’s Incompetence May Fuel Racial Violence

The election of Barack Obama was seen as a pivotal moment of the 21st century: an opportunity for America to be healed by a black President who embraced the ideals needed for a new America.

There was a comedy about ancient Rome titled “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” More recently, a funny thing happened on the way to the Oval Office. After the new President was anointed by the mass media and leading celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, America’s emperor was shown to be naked. Everyone on both sides of the racial divide has an opinion about why Obama is being attacked.

A great many African-Americans represented by the likes of the Reverend Jesse Jackson preach that white Americans refuse to show Obama the proper respect and go along with his programs simply because he is black. However, a great many white Americans, and maybe even right-minded people of all races, are angry at the President after he demonstrated his incompetence over the past three years. Tens of millions of Americans don’t like Obama not because he is black but because he has pushed America into the red.

Like the Elton John song, “I’ve Seen That Movie Too,” I saw it begin with the election of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, a francophone and constitutional lawyer who became a rock star north of America’s border in 1968.

Trudeau was Canada’s Prime Minister from 1968 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1984. Trudeau changed Canada with a radical new socialism. And the weapon used against his English Canadian critics was that they were simply prejudiced, that they refused to see all the good that Trudeau was doing for Canada. In fact, if you were bold enough to oppose Trudeau’s Official Languages Act (1969) you were downright anti-French.

Regardless of the onslaught that Trudeau orchestrated over 16 years, his liberal supporters and the Liberal Party met all such claims that critics were anti-French.

It took Canada’s economy 20 years to recover from Trudeau, who not only imposed his ideals on a nation but divided French and English more than any Canadian Prime Minister.

Trudeau almost broke up the confederation.

  • One year after Trudeau took office, French and English were both declared the official languages of Canada.
  • In 1970, terrorist separatists kidnapped and murdered Quebec’s minister of labor and immigration, Pierre Laporte. The federal government ordered in troops and suspended civil liberties.
  • The party that pledged Quebec separatism won the 1976 provincial election and passed several measures to strengthen the movement.
  • Quebec voters narrowly rejected secession from Canada in a 1995 referendum, but many in the province are still pushing for separation.

If you think that I am not giving Trudeau a fair shake or that I am critical of him because he was French Canadian, consider that as Prime Minister he spoke openly of the superiority of a socialist planned economy over a free enterprise one — so much so that Trudeau was close friends with Cuban President Fidel Castro. Castro attended Trudeau’s funeral in October 2000 and stood before the former Prime Minister’s casket. He even ordered flags to fly at half-staff in Cuba for three days.

Obamamania Could Turn Violent

A generation later, America has its own Trudeau, a minority and charismatic leader. And the same social disarray that happened in Canada has begun in the United States, from the George Zimmerman case to race-baiting by the likes of Al Sharpton.

Despite all of Obama’s failings as President, a great many African-Americans think that attacks made against him are mostly due to his skin color.

I can’t accept such nonsense. Obama has proven that he is unfit for the highest office. At the same time, he has made race relations worse, not better.

A recent Newsweek poll came to the same conclusion. Four years ago, 52 percent of Americans told Pew Research Center that they expected race relations to get better as a result of Obama’s election; just 9 percent anticipated a decline. Today, that 43-point gap has vanished. The survey shows that fewer than one-third of Americans believe race relations have improved since the President’s inauguration, while an equal number believe they have gotten worse. If you consider those who say nothing has changed, then you are left with this staggering fact: Six out of 10 Americans believe that race relations have either deteriorated or stagnated under Obama.

Newsweek reported this month that: “Whites are especially critical of Obama’s approach: a majority (51 percent) actually believe he’s been unhelpful in bridging the country’s racial divide. Even blacks have concluded, by a 20-point margin, that race relations have not improved on Obama’s watch.”

The article concludes: “(T)he election of an African-American president now seems to be deepening our divisions rather than diminishing them.”

This divide has grown since the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida. According to CNN, blacks are more than twice as likely as whites to say Martin’s death was racially motivated. African-Americans seem convinced that Martin was targeted because he was black, while whites are not so sure.

In fact, blacks overwhelmingly approve of how Obama has handled the controversy, while a majority of whites disapprove.

I don’t know what happened that night between Martin and George Zimmerman because I wasn’t there. You know who else was not there? Obama. But that didn’t stop him from chiming in, just the latest example of Obama using his Presidential podium to inflame race relations.

My expectation is that race-baiting is only going to worsen. In fact, the United States is headed for a no-win situation.

If the President is defeated in November as I hope, I expect millions of blacks to be angry and declare that America couldn’t accept a black President. Violence may even erupt.

And if Obama wins a second term, he will have four more years to continue his socialist programs. As for us critics, we will continue to be branded as “racists” rather than realists.

I saw it happen during the Trudeau years. America can suffer a similar fate or something worse.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

American Terrorism

While pontificating ad nauseam about the need to make the world safe from radical Islam, President George W. Bush’s regime was training Islamist terrorists. The training went on from 2005 until 2007, while America was supposedly knee-deep in the so-called “War on Terror.”

Writing for The New Yorker, journalist Seymour M. Hersh says a group of Iranians associated with Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK, were being trained in terror operations by the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at the Department of Energy’s Nevada National Security Site. MEK, a Marxist-Islamist group listed by the U.S. State Department as a terror organization, is linked to the assassination of six Americans in the 1970s. It also participated in the revolution that led to the overthrow of the American puppet Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, in 1979 (who was placed in power by the CIA).

So what are these American-trained MEK terrorists up to now? They are carrying out terror attacks in Iran, killing Iranians and destroying Iranian oil pipelines. Five Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated since 2007.

MEK denies its involvement, but last month NBC News quoted two senior Barack Obama Administration officials as confirming the assassinations were carried out by MEK with assistance from Mossad, the Israeli secret service organization. MEK, with United States and Mossad assistance, has also disrupted Iranian oil pipelines, Hersh reported.

“The M.E.K. was a total joke,” a senior Pentagon consultant told Hersh, “and now it’s a real network inside Iran. How did the M.E.K. get so much more efficient?” he asked rhetorically. “Part of it is the training in Nevada. Part of it is logistical support in Kurdistan, and part of it is inside Iran. M.E.K. now has a capacity for efficient operations that it never had before.”

How long before this comes back to bite us? Remember that Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida terror network were created and trained by the CIA.

The so-called war on terror is not what it seems. America and America-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are arming and providing assistance to terrorists in Iran. America, NATO and NGOs are doing the same with al-Qaida terrorists in Syria. And they armed and provided air cover to al-Qaida terrorists in Libya.

Why shouldn’t the U.S. State Department place the United States on its list of state sponsors of terror alongside Cuba, Iran, Syria and North Korea?

Supreme Court Hearing Immigration Arguments

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments today regarding the United States’ inefficient immigration system  as it considers Arizona’s controversial 2010 immigration reform law.

With nearly 11 million illegal aliens in the country and conflicting views about what to do with them, the arguments will focus on whether the Federal government is the only authority over immigration issues or if States like Arizona have roles to play as well.

“It’s Arizona’s right to protect its citizens,” said former Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce (R), who was the author and main force behind Arizona’s law, in an interview with Fox News Latino. “States have inherent police powers. This law takes the political handcuffs off law enforcement in cracking down on undocumented immigrants.”

Some States, like Alabama, have moved forward with Arizona-type immigration reforms despite making changes to clear legal hurdles; others will likely wait until the Court makes a decision about the Constitutionality of such laws this summer. According to Pearce, there are 34 States waiting for the decision to move forward with similar legislation.

A Pew report released on Monday says that in recent years, illegal immigration to the United States from Mexico has decreased sharply for the first time in two decades.

The report says:

The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill. After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants—more than half of whom came illegally—the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped—and may have reversed, according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of multiple government data sets from both countries.

The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and changing economic conditions in Mexico.

More information about the Supreme Court and the Arizona Immigration law can be found here.

Social Security Cannot Go Broke

If you have looked at a news site in the past two days, you know that Social Security and Medicare are set to go broke in the next two decades, which is earlier than previously expected.

The unsurprising revelation comes from the Social Security Trustees’ annual report on the state of the government retirement and Medicare trust funds. Social Security is expected to exhaust its trust funds by the year 2033, three years earlier than last year’s projection. Medicare, while stable at the moment, will see its hospital insurance fund go broke by 2024. Social Security disability insurance, according to the report, is in the most trouble; its trust fund will be exhausted by 2016.

From the report:

Social Security and Medicare are the two largest federal programs, accounting for 36 percent of federal expenditures in fiscal year 2011. Both programs will experience cost growth substantially in excess of GDP growth in the coming decades due to aging of the population and, in the case of Medicare, growth in expenditures per beneficiary exceeding growth in per capita GDP. Through the mid-2030s, population aging caused by the large baby-boom generation entering retirement and lower-birth-rate generations entering employment will be the largest single factor causing costs to grow more rapidly than GDP. Thereafter, the primary factors will be population aging caused by increasing longevity and health care cost growth somewhat more rapid than GDP growth.

This is not breaking news. The social welfare program has long been in trouble. The increased number of retirees and decreasing number of working Americans are rendering the “pay-as-you-go” social welfare mammoth unsustainable. However, even when the fund runs dry, about three-quarters of currently scheduled benefits could be carried by the taxpayer for about 50 years, according to analysis.

Some people have called the Social Security program a Ponzi scheme for workers who will be nowhere near retirement age by 2033 and call for an “opt out” option that would allow working individuals to invest elsewhere the money taken from their checks for Social Security.

But, how then would the government fund the program?

The Federal government can print fiat money to infinity; it will always be able to pay Social Security no matter what the balance sheets say. By keeping the presses rolling, Federal officials could take the advice of one Forbes contributor who says he can fix the program for $49.99:

We’ll buy a really nice pen (that’s what costs $49.99), have one of those federal workers write “44 quadrillion dollars” on it [the Trust Fund balance], and put it in the drawer. By my calculations, this will keep Social Security solvent through 3575, plus granny will get a free lifetime supply of Werther’s Original. Entitlement crisis solved!

Or, we could just admit that the Trust Fund balance is arbitrary and bears no meaningful relationship to the government’s ability to pay Social Security benefits.

The Forbes writer’s plan essentially removes any initiative for Americans to work and save in an attempt to retire with more than just monthly government bread, because in the end they will have had their savings taxed through inflation.

Social Security is not going to go broke, despite the mainstream media’s effort to make the Nation believe it will; and whatever the “plans” to repair the social welfare system, they will quit working, saving Americans in the same place: the pocketbook.