Blowback Against TSA Grows

The blowback against the increasingly invasive Transportation Security Administration porn show/grope fest at airports is growing — finally.

First it was a lone pilot who objected. ExpressJet Airlines pilot Michael Roberts chose to go home rather than be subjected to a full body scan or TSA sexual assault-like “enhanced body pat-down.”

Now the president of the Allied Pilots Association, which represents 11,500 pilots, has urged members of the union to revolt against the use of backscatter radiation machines. In a letter published in the Atlantic, Association President Captain Dave Bates writes that “…the practice of airport security screening of airline pilots has spun out of control and does nothing to improve national security. It’s long past time that policymakers take the steps necessary to exempt commercial pilots from airport security screening…”

Bates noted health risks that pilots face from increased radiation exposure. He wrote that a typical Atlantic crossing during a solar flare can expose pilots to the radiation equivalent of 100 chest X-rays per hour and that requiring pilots to pass through the backscatter radiation devices exposes them to even more radiation.

He also addressed the enhanced pat-down procedure that pilots and passengers are subjected to if they choose not to have a naked body image made of them for leering TSA perverts. With the new procedure, TSA agents are cupping women’s breasts and sliding their hands inside the crotch area. And it’s no longer restricted to males searching males and females searching females. Even children are subjected to the search, which if done by anyone other than a person wearing a uniform would be considered sexual assault that would result in jail time for the offender.

“There is absolutely no denying that the enhanced pat-down is a demeaning experience. In my view, it is unacceptable to submit to one in public while wearing the uniform of a professional airline pilot. I recommend that all pilots insist that such screening is performed in an out-of-view area to protect their privacy and dignity,” he wrote.

Others are joining in. The International Air Transport Association, the U.S. Travel Association and British Airways are complaining about the procedures. It’s estimated that so many foreign travelers have chosen to avoid flying to the United States because of the security procedures that the U.S. travel industry is losing about $60 million a year.

There is no question that any exposure to radiation is harmful. But, thanks to the TSA’s new enhanced pat-down, your choices are limited to radiation exposure and nude photos, or sexual assault — for you and your children.

Hat Tip:

For Added Nutrition, Cook Your Carrots Whole

To help retain more flavor and possibly more health benefits, researchers from Newcastle University in Great Britain advocate cooking carrots whole rather than chopped in pieces. This method will help lock in nutrients and the natural sugars. Besides vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamins A, B1, B6, C, D, E and K, carrots contain the cancer-fighting nutrient falcarinol.

QE2 And The Death Of A Nation

Check those green slips of paper in your wallet. If they look a little smaller today, it’s because they are.

Helicopter Ben Bernanke announced last week he’s throwing more money out of the sky — $75 billion a month — as he tries to spur inflation to “save” the economy. It’s called QE2, for the second round of quantitative easing.

That’s a fancy term for printing more money… or, to be more factual, pushing a computer button that says the Federal Reserve has $600 billion more to buy “government debt.” This government debt is in the form of U.S. Treasuries that the Fed will buy over the next eight months. This is akin to your paying off one credit card with another.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “The Fed’s first $1.75 trillion bond-buying program, which ran from Dec. 2008 to March 2010, is credited with helping the economy when the U.S. was hit by a financial crisis and a deep recession…

“By buying government bonds, the Fed aims to keep long-term interest rates low, hoping it will lead consumers to spend and companies to invest more, thus helping to propel the economy forward… The Fed said it expects to buy between $850 billion to $950 billion Treasuries through the end of the second quarter of 2011,” The Journal writes.

The Fed says the current inflation rate is at 1.2 percent for the year, but would like to see inflation near 2 percent, and Helicopter Ben believes he can manipulate the currency just enough to raise inflation to a manageable level then cut it off when it gets just right.

Not everyone is on board. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker told The Associated Press the U.S. central bank’s plan to buy hundreds of billions of dollars in government bonds probably won’t do much to boost the economic recovery. It will boost the portfolios of Bernanke’s bankster buddies, however.

Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig believes the risks outweigh any potential benefits.

"Hoenig also was concerned that this continued high level of monetary accommodation increased the risks of future financial imbalances and, over time, would cause an increase in long-term inflation expectations that could destabilize the economy," according to the Fed’s statement.

Higher inflation drives down the value of the dollar which makes our exports more competitive. However, it makes our imports more expensive. What do we import? Just about everything.

It also makes China, the holder of much of our debt, angry.

“China’s commerce ministry fired an irate broadside against Washington on Monday (Nov. 1). ‘The continued and drastic US dollar depreciation recently has led countries including Japan, South Korea, and Thailand to intervene in the currency market, intensifying a ‘currency war’. In the mid-term, the US dollar will continue to weaken and gaming between major currencies will escalate,’ it said,” writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, in The London Daily Telegraph.

Inflation also lowers the amount of interest that savings earn, hurting savers and those on a fixed income. It drives up prices, further hurting those on fixed incomes — and all consumers. Already, inflation exceeds the amount that “safe” investments earn, meaning if you have your money in a bank, money market or certificate of deposit, you are losing money — quickly.

Inflation is a transfer of wealth from the producers and savers to the government. It is theft and a crime just as much as if by the point of a gun.

Anyone who shops knows inflation is real… and it’s higher than 1.2 percent — or 2 percent. The price of gasoline at the pump is up about 20 cents since the beginning of September. Groceries have become incredibly expensive. But Government hedges its figures and makes them say what it wants them to say. It conveniently excludes food and energy — the things that Americans consume most — from the equation.

Inflation affects prices across the board, not just those in the Fed’s “basket of goods.”

In the past 60 days alone, cotton prices are up 54 percent, corn prices are up 29 percent, soybean prices are up 22 percent, orange juice prices are up 17 percent and sugar prices are up 51 percent, reports the National Inflation Association. In the last month crude oil is up more than $4 a barrel, and it’s projected to climb another $15 by year’s end. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones has only gained 10 percent.

According to the N.I.A., “When our government creates inflation with the goal of generating higher incomes, the real incomes of Americans always decline dramatically. Inflation never creates wealth, but instead misallocates resources that would have went (sic) towards productive purposes if the free market was allowed to operate.”

Few Americans realize that American finance is nothing more than a double Ponzi scheme. It is already widely known that the U.S. is creating debt and “financing” this debt with newly created debt. But can you believe that debtors (Governments) are now simultaneously creditors with so-called “intragovernmental bonds?” This is the extreme opposite of intrinsic value. It is without value and only pretense or Ponzi. This is no joke, folks. It is the world that Americans live in.

A Ponzi scheme goes on as long as its growing fragility does not prick public trust. As we know, Bernie Madoff’s scheme only collapsed when individual creditors had liquidity problems and needed to withdraw funds. Of course Madoff didn’t have a printing press to keep the Ponzi scam going. But the printing press makes the U.S. financial system at far greater risk and deception because economic collapse may be extended into a later holocaust of Biblical proportions.

Helicopter Ben’s quiver is out of arrows. He’s learned nothing from history and obviously doesn’t really understand economics. However, Obama thinks he’s found a way out. His eyes are on the billions of dollars in Americans’ individual retirement accounts and 401(k)s. His National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is eyeing a European-style valued-added tax (VAT). It’s European, so Obama is bound to like it.

And then there is the Debt Free America Act (HR 4646). It’s a bill that would put a tax on all transactions involving a payment instrument — check, cash, credit card, bank transfer, stock, bond or other financial instrument. This bill is in committee, and would be one of the means a lame duck Congress could use to try and cut the deficit.

To add insult to injury, two days after Bernanke and the Fed announced they’re further devaluing the dollar — on Nov. 5-6 — we learned that there was a Fed celebration happening on Jekyll Island, where the Fed was spawned 100 years ago. Bernanke, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, Goldman Sachs manager director E. Gerald Corrigan and the heads of the regional Federal Reserves attended a conference called, “A Return to Jekyll Island: The Origins, History, and Future of the Federal Reserve.”

It’s like the criminals going back to the scene on the crime’s anniversary date.

Formed to better manage our nation’s economy and prevent boom and bust cycles — at least that’s what Americans were told at the time — the Fed is responsible for every boom and bust cycle since.

So Helicopter Ben is trying to start a new boom cycle, hoping through inflation to artificially generate more spending by businesses and drive money into the stock market. He wants a new bubble — like the one Greenspan created in housing when he first lowered interest rates in an effort to paper over the Fed-induced recession.

The U.S. middle class is being impoverished by dollar depreciation. This will have to end one day. It will not end well.

Beginning Of The End Of The Fed?

Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) has a new partner in his battle against the Federal Reserve — his son Rand, the newly elected Senator from Kentucky.

In an interview on Fox Business Wednesday, Ron says he and Rand plan to offer a bill to end the Federal Reserve on their first day of the new Congress. Ron Paul expects to have even more influence over the country’s monetary policy if he is named the new chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy. This will give him subpoena power, and he could then subpoena Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Fox contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano believes the subpoena is the best way to battle the Fed considering that President Barack Obama would probably veto any bill to end or audit the Fed.

For the uninitiated, the interview by Fox Business’ David Asman of Ron Paul and Napolitano does a great job of clarifying the danger posed by the private banking cartel — known as the Federal Reserve — on our nation’s monetary policy.

Obama’s Wars by Bob Woodward

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Obama’s Wars is the newest installment on Presidents and politics by Bob Woodward.

True to his reputation, Woodward gives a fly-on-the-wall perspective to the wars that President Barack Obama is waging. Woodward gives an inside view into combat operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as the ongoing war within the Obama administration itself.

Woodward earned fame and wealth for his investigative reporting which helped bring down President Richard Nixon and lead to a best-seller he co-wrote with Carl Bernstein, All the President’s Men. That book shocked America.

Obama’s Wars is not as surprising as it is dismaying. It is a 428-page partial indictment of the Obama administration that is losing — yes losing — the war in Afghanistan and more importantly, it shows a President that may not be able to protect us.

According to the book, the Obama administration believes that Osama bin Laden is not only alive and well but he remains the principal architect engineering a Jihad that is of a greater threat to America now than it has been at any time since 9/11.

This comes to light after the newly formed Obama administration commissions top secret reports, one by CIA analyst Bruce Riedel. According to Woodward, the Riedel review states that key elements of the enemy reside in Pakistan; a superpower with 100 nuclear weapons that is fearful of India, paranoid about America and has an inept leader in President Asif Ali Zardari.

Woodward reveals that Pakistan’s intelligence services and members of its military are not only providing safe havens for Jihadists to train but, “that at least 20 al-Qaida converts with American, Canadian or European passports were being trained in Pakistani safe havens to return to their homelands to commit high-profile acts of terrorism.”

Woodward collected his information from insiders within the Obama administration and oftentimes provides too much detail, along the lines of a Tom Clancy novel.

Still some passages jump out, including interviews with the important players in administration even the President. We see in the President a man much more in tune with the political intrigues of a city like Chicago than he is with Pentagon planning for military strikes near Kabul.

In the book Obama spoke on the record:

“What you’ve seen is a metastasizing of al-Qaida, where a range of loosely affiliated groups now have the capacity and the ambition to recruit and train for attacks that may not be on the scale of a 9/11,” said the President, adding, “one man, one bomb… which could still have, obviously, an extraordinary traumatizing effect on the homeland.”

Tribal Warfare (Inside the Administration)
Woodward reports on infighting within the Obama administration. Senior military leaders describe the politics of the administration — politics for the Democratic Party and even personal politics.

Obama’s Wars includes insights from members of the administration like Lt. General Douglas Lute, President George W. Bush’s “war czar” and senior military advisor to Obama.

Lute spelled out the disharmony in Afghan terms:

“The Hillary Tribe lived at the State Department. The Chicago Tribe occupied (Senior Political Advisor David) Axelrod’s and (White House Chief of Staff Rahm) Emanuel’s offices. The campaign tribe was at NSC offices and included former Obama campaign aids, who flaunted their relationship with the President.”

Playing a leading role in this soap opera is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Many questions continue to swirl around Washington as to whether she is a team player after her bitter defeat to candidate Obama in the 2008 Primary. Her actions, even in the face of a national crisis, have done little to quiet such speculation.

In Chapter 19 in Obama’s Wars we see Secretary Clinton’s true colors:

“It was a crisis meeting on October 9, 2009 which Ms. Clinton opened with these words: ‘Mr. President, the dilemma you face…’

“On the back bench, press secretary (Robert) Gibbs noted that she said ‘you’ as if there was only one person in the boat and she and the others were at a pleasant distance…

“Clinton’s use of ‘you” also floored (Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard) Holbrooke, since she should have said ‘we’… It was a ‘Freudian giveaway,’ Holbrooke later told others. He thought Clinton felt detached from both the policy and the process.”

There are no White Knights in the book, not even Holbrooke who Woodward tells us is petty about such things as whether the President addresses him as Richard rather than Dick in front of Mrs. Holbrooke.

Holbrooke has other issues as well and they call into question the competency of the administration. According to Woodward, Holbrooke astounded members of the administration who were in the midst of a crisis meeting on Pakistan and India:

“Holbrooke introduced a new angle. ‘There’s a global warming dimension of this struggle, Mr. President,’ he said.

To a baffled room he continued:

“There are tens of thousands of Indian and Pakistani troops encamped on the glaciers in the Himalayas that feed the rivers into Pakistan and India, he said. Their encampments are melting the glaciers very quickly. There’s a chance that river valleys in Pakistan and perhaps even India could be flooded.”

After the meeting a lot of important people wanted to know if Holbrooke was kidding. To their shock it turned out he wasn’t.

Woodward also provides insights into a Federal government that is simply falling short.

We learn that Emanuel is shocked when he learns the latest intelligence on bin Laden. “What do you mean we don’t know where he is?” Emanuel explains to Bruce Riedel that some $50 billion a year is spent on intelligence. Then he repeats the question: “And you don’t have a clue where the most wanted man in the history of the world is?”

Woodward is somewhat critical of America’s intelligence services as well as the Bush administration. He points out we let the trail (on bin Laden) go cold back after 9/11 when the Bush administration turned to Iraq.

With Friends Like Pakistan Who Needs Enemies?
After reading Obama’s Wars you get an understanding that the political situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India is close to chaos. Little has changed with regard to that region in more than a century.

In the 19th Century, alliances were clouded and identifying the enemy was next to impossible. So too were strategic solutions which were sought unsuccessfully by the best and the brightest of that age.

Woodward takes us into the 21st Century and raises the stakes by including two explosive new elements: Global jihad and nuclear weapons. We learn that terrorists have come dangerously close to occupying areas near some of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

And we also learn that America’s most strategically important alliance is with Afghanistan; a country whose President, Hamid Karzai, is a corrupt and paranoid manic-depressive. We also find out he may be a drug addict. Still, Obama continues to pour money and men into Afghanistan; to fight a war that many within the administration now admit can’t be won.

As a writer Woodward has come full circle. His career began when he became a reporter for The Washington Post in 1971. Early on he covered the events surrounding the Vietnam War; a conflict which the press revealed was unwinnable.

Almost 40 years later Woodward has written Obama’s Wars, a book about another untenable war with no clear objectives being waged by an incompetent commander in chief.