A harshly critical new report by congressional investigators says that despite spending close to $60 billion on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), screening is based on “theatrics” that has failed to catch any terrorists, while passengers and crew are still the most effective line of defense. Air travel, meanwhile, is no safer than it was before September 11, 2001. Instead of focusing on security, the agency has become “an enormous, inflexible and distracted bureaucracy, more concerned with human resource management and consolidating power,” according to the investigation released on November 16. “Today, TSA's screening policies are based in theatrics. They are typical, bureaucratic responses to failed security policies meant to assuage the concerns of the traveling public.” The Joint Majority Staff Report entitled "A Decade Later: A Call for TSA Reform" sharply criticized the widespread waste and inefficiency that is rife throughout the “bloated bureaucracy.” The agency also suffers from a lack of administrative competency, investigators found. According to the report, TSA has more than 65,000 employees. That means it has more personnel than the Departments of Labor, Energy, Education, Housing and Urban Development, and State — combined. And its own “classified” performance results “do not reflect a good return on this taxpayer investment,” investigators said.
When the police department from the municipality of Ahome in the Mexican state of Sinaloa were summoned to meet with the director of state police, they thought they were going to discuss routine operations. Instead, they were disarmed and the 32 officers and commanders who make up the entire department were arrested for their connection with Los Zetas and the Beltran Leyva cartels.
At a joint briefing on Wednesday with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the next step towards the creation of the supra-national European state: “Germany sees the need…to show the markets and the world public that the euro will remain together, that the euro must be defended, but also that we are prepared to give up a little bit of national sovereignty…” It must be done, she said, so that the euro is “strong and inspires confidence on international markets.” This could be done through changes in the Lisbon Treaty that comprises the basis for the European Union, or more likely through the signing into law the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) by December 31, 2012. Merkel explained that, either way, this would allow for “an intervention and oversight role in respect of the preparation of national budgets…” among the member states. This would represent the culmination of more than 60 years of efforts by the Bilderberg Group with the help of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), David Rockefeller, and funding of the effort by the Ford and Rockefeller foundations. Joseph Retinger, one of the founders of the Bilderberg Group in 1954, was also one of the principal architects of the European Common Market. As early as 1946, in a speech to the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), the British counterpart of the CFR, Retinger said that Europe needed to create a federal union and that it would be necessary for the European countries to “relinquish part of their national sovereignty” to secure it. As noted by Andrew Gavin Marshall, research associate for the Centre for Research on Globalization, the effort to create the dictatorship of Europe goes back many years and is the creation of many hands:
The ACLU’s Nebraska franchise is demanding that a school district in that state put a stop to prayer at its high school graduation, even though the ceremony is sponsored and run privately by parents. Ten years ago the ACLU targeted Lakeview High School in Columbus, Nebraska, for its graduation prayer, arguing that the practice violates the U.S. Constitution’s supposed separation of church and state. To appease the secular watchdog group, the school district spun off the graduation ceremony to parents, making the ceremony a private event at which they believed prayers would be beyond the ACLU’s self-commissioned purview. But the ACLU called the move a sham, reported the Associated Press, and sent a letter of protest to the district charging that the private ceremony carries the implied endorsement of the district, and that the prayers are still illegal. “The current ceremony coercively subjects students to religious messages as the price of attending high school commencement,” said ACLU spokesperson Amy Miller. “This leaves some students and their families feeling like second-class participants at their own graduation.”
As NASA prepares for the November 25 launch of America’s next mission to Mars, the recent experience of the joint Russian-Chinese Phobos-Grunt probe is a poignant reminder of how many missions to the Red Planet have ended in failure.
An Iowa baker who declined to bake a wedding cake ordered by two women after she discovered it was meant for their lesbian “wedding” is being boycotted by homosexual activists, and may face legal action for discrimination. As reported by FOX News, “Victoria Childress, the owner of Victoria’s Cake Cottage in Des Moines, has been accused of being anti-gay, homophobic, and a bigot after she refused to make a cake for Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers.” Childress said that she baked five sample cakes for the couple to try before discovering that they were homosexual partners. “She introduced herself, and I said, ‘Is this your sister?’” Childress recalled of an encounter with one of the women. “She said, ‘No. This is my partner.’ ” When Childress realized that the cake was meant for a same-sex “wedding” celebration, she graciously told the women she would not be able to serve them, citing her Christian faith. “I was straight-forward with them and explained that I’m a Christian and that I have very strong convictions,” she told FOX. “I chose to be honest about it. They said they appreciated it and left. That was all that was said.” However, instead of dropping the matter, the two women apparently alerted their homosexual activist network, which quickly organized a boycott of Childress’ business. The conflict also attracted the attention of Des Moines television station KCCI, which gave Trina Vodraska a platform to voice her anger at being snubbed by Childress. “It was degrading,” she told the television station. “It was like she chastised us for wanting to do business with her. I know Jesus loves me. I didn’t need her to tell me that. I didn’t go there for that. I just wanted to go there for a cake.”
Critics are assailing the new European Central Bank boss Mario Draghi — an ex-Goldman Sachs chief and a regular attendee at secretive Bilderberg meetings — as he continues to buy up more government bonds with newly created money. But Draghi is merely one important figure in what is being called a wide-ranging banker “coup d’etat” in the European Union, according to analysts. Draghi took over the ECB from Jean-Claude Trichet on November 1, becoming arguably the most important man in Europe — at least on the surface. He promptly called a press conference and lowered interest rates. Perhaps more important, however, Draghi also reportedly decreased the central bank’s government bond purchases by almost half during his first week at the helm. The move almost certainly contributed to the soaring yields on Italian debt that forced Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to step down early this week. With Berlusconi out of the way, the new unelected regime of Bilderberg and Trilateral Commission leader Mario Monti seized power in what critics referred to as an undemocratic “coup d‘etat” orchestrated by the European Union and powerful banking interests. Monti is also a key Goldman Sachs figure with a long track record of promoting the EU, more “integration,” and the power of banks inside and outside of government.
Just weeks after the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) professed its support for Occupy Wall Street, the 2.1-million-member organization disclosed an early endorsement of President Obama’s reelection. "We believe in a country that invests in good jobs here at home, where everyone pays their fair share," SEIU President Mary Kay Henry averred in a conference call to reporters. "Do we want leaders who side with the needs of rich corporations and the 1 percent, where they are prospering at the expense of everyone else? Or do we want leaders who will side with the rest of us, the 99 percent?" In early October, the organization issued a union-wide endorsement of Occupy Wall Street, and championed the movement’s ideology of income inequality and its political rally cry for hiking taxes on America’s wealthy. "The brave students, workers, and unemployed Americans occupying Wall Street have shaken the conscience of our nation," Ms. Henry avowed in an October 4 press release. "The crowds and demonstrations will only get larger and louder as more Americans find the courage inside themselves to stand up and demand Wall Street CEOs and millionaires pay their fair share to create good jobs now." SEIU officials have employed measures to drive higher turnout numbers to Occupy Wall Street solidarity events throughout the United States and Canada. On October 15, SEIU members and other unions, such as the AFL-CIO, joined an OWS march in Minneapolis to demand that banks end foreclosures, and members have participated in similar OWS protests in Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and dozens of other cities across the country.
To celebrate America Recycles Day, the Tellus Institute published a study showing the benefits of increased recycling, by force if necessary. The Tellus Institute’s mission is “to advance the transition to a sustainable, equitable, and humane global civilization,” and has published 3,500 studies, analyses, and reports on everything from energy, water, sustainable communities, corporate social responsibility, and climate change.
One should always be prepared for the worst. Considering that we have a dumbed-down public who votes emotionally rather than rationally, it is quite possible that Barack Obama can win a second term by simply scaring Americans into believing that they will lose their Social Security, their Medicare, their Medicaid, their food stamps, and all other federal goodies, if a Republican is elected president. Those who remember the 1964 presidential election may recall the scare tactics used by the Lyndon Johnson campaign to frighten Americans into thinking that should Republican candidate Barry Goldwater be elected president, it would be the same as "tearing up" their Social Security card. Americans are now so addicted to government entitlements, that the idea of limited government probably frightens them. They actually want unlimited government. The more the better, they think, and by November 2012 most Americans may decide that Obamacare is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Thomas Sowell, in a recent column, noted that liberal Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt won four elections for the presidency (1932, ’36, ’40, and ’44) despite the fact that the economy was in a depression, unemployment was high, and money was tight. The Democrats blamed it all on the Republicans, naming the shanty towns built by the jobless "Hoovervilles." In 1935, they enacted Social Security, which has become the most sacred entitlement in American history, saving millions of the poor from starvation. What kind of a heartless Republican can be against that.