"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Comics

FDA Official: "Just Eat A Goddamn Vegetable"

Housing Bubble - A rigged 37% price increase will burst

Ka Boom Goes the Housing Market

  • Endless 0% interest rates have created yet another housing bubble.
  • With reelection their #1 priority, both Democrats and Republicans eagerly support pumping up the economy and then printing money to get ourselves out of the resulting bursting bubble. 

(From Burning Platform)  -  We know for a fact that real median household income is still 7% below 2007 levels and sits at the same level as 1989. We know for a fact that wages have been stagnant since 2007. We know for a fact GDP has barely broken 2% since 2009. We know for a fact the price of healthcare, food, energy, tuition, rent, and a myriad of other daily living expenses are dramatically higher since 2009. We know mortgage originations are at 1997 levels. We know housing starts are 60% below the 2005 highs and at levels seen during the 1991 and 1981 recessions. Existing home sales are 30% below the 2005 high, only up 10% from 2012 levels, and sitting at levels reached in 1999 before the boom.

A critical thinking person might wonder how median single family home prices could possibly skyrocket by 37% in the last three years when household incomes are falling, living expenses rising, and the number of houses being sold are at recessionary levels. The stinking rotting fish again sits in the hallways of the Eccles Building in Washington D.C. Janet “Yellowfish” Yellen has inherited the bubble blowing machine from Ben “Blowfish” Bernanke and has continued to inflate a new housing bubble, because one housing bubble just isn’t enough.

There is nothing free market about the 37% increase in home prices. It has absolutely nothing to do with supply and demand. It has nothing to do with normal families looking for a home. It has everything to do with the Federal Reserve’s 0% interest rates, the $3.5 trillion of QE injected into the economic gambling system, Wall Street banks withholding foreclosures from the market, hedge funds buying up tens of thousands of foreclosed homes and renting them out to the former middle class, Fannie and Freddie guaranteeing 70% of all sales, the government encouraging 3.5% subprime loans again, Chinese and Russian billionaires parking their ill gotten wealth in US real estate, and flippers reappearing in the same old places (Las Vegas, Phoenix, Florida, California).

The Federal Reserve created the last housing bubble and they’ve created the new housing bubble, along with stock and bond bubbles, with their easy money policies designed to enrich their Wall Street owners and the parasites who feed off the financial industry. Their entire plan smells to high heaven. They have thrown young people and most of the middle class overboard, while the bankers, billionaires, politicians, and connected cronies party like it was 2005 on their $250 million yachts.

Now what? The Fed says they are going to raise rates. The QE spigot has been turned off. The hedge funds are selling their buy and rent hovel investments, cash buyers are dwindling, the flippers who appeared in 2005 are back, Boomers are looking to sell and downsize, young people are already in debt up to their eyeballs thanks to the government doling out student loans like candy, the number of full-time good paying jobs continue to dwindle, and the rigged 37% price increase has priced millions of people out of the market.

The good news is the Wall Street banks have inflated their balance sheets and celebrated by giving themselves $20 billion in bonuses for a job well done. If mortgage rates rise to 4% or God forbid 5%, the entire housing complex would implode faster than a blowfish out of water. If you’ve bought in the last two years you will be underwater sleeping with the fishes like Luca Brasi in the not too distant future.

Read More . . . .

Spending and More Spending
FDR helped create the modern economy by making gold and silver illegal as currency so the politicians could borrow or print all the money needed to buy votes . . . I mean "stimulate" the economy.
The "Conservative" Republican Party no longer exists. Today we have two Democrat Parties both of which have fully embraced FDR's borrow, print money and spend policies.

Drunk Senators get free car rides from taxpayers

And the Sheeple Keep Re-Electing Them

(Breitbart News)  -  As a result of too many high profile drunken driver arrests involving California legislators, state senate officials have hired designated driving employees to drive home inebriated lawmakers.

Democrat Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León refused to discuss details of the program.  “We’re not going to provide comment, because it’s a security issue,” his spokesman, Anthony Reyes, said.
The Sacramento Bee reported that four lawmakers in the past five years have been accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Known as “special services assistants,” the designated drivers work in the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Office and are responsible for providing “ground transportation for Senate members.”
The Bee reported that the two employees—a retired Assembly sergeant-at-arms and a retiree from the Department of General Services—are paid $2,532 per month, of course at taxpayer expense.
A man who turned down the position said that the job description mandated that he work from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. to drive senators home “just if they were drinking too much…  and to pick them up and take them home.”
One legislative chief of staff told the Bee that the service is intended to prevent drunken driving by legislators.
State senators are given a small plastic card showing the “Sacramento 24 hr transportation” phone number. The card offers a stylish picture displaying a “California State Senate” banner across the top and a photo of the Capitol dome in the background. “In case of an emergency”—read extra loaded and designated drivers are already occupied with their esteemed colleagues—senators can call Senate’s Chief Sergeant-at-Arms Debbie Manning, who’s direct number appears on the card.
The Sacramento Bee reported the following list of lawmakers that did not call for driving assistance after drinking excessively, but wish that they had:
State Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, arrested last August near the Capitol on suspicion of driving under the influence. Stopped by police around 2:30 a.m. for driving the wrong way down a one-way street, he blew a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent. He ultimately pleaded guilty to a “wet reckless” charge.
Assemblyman Roger Hernández, D-West Covina, was found not guilty of driving under the influence after a 2012 trial in Contra Costa County ended in a hung jury.
Then-Assemblyman Martin Garrick, R-Solana Beach, pleaded no contest to drunken driving charges in 2011 after he was spotted driving erratically in his state-issued vehicle in Sacramento.
Then-Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, pleaded no contest to drunken driving charges in 2010 and was sentenced to two days in jail and three years’ probation.
Read More . . . .

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Hezbollah Brigades lead Iraqi counteroffensive to retake Ramadi

Hezbollah brigade on the way to join ISF forces in
the battle for Anbar against ISIS

It's not like the U.S. is helping

(Long War Journal)  -  Iranian-backed Shiite militias, including Hezbollah Brigades, a US-listed Foreign Terrorist Organization, are leading the Iraqi government’s counteroffensive to regain control of Ramadi, which was lost to the Islamic State last week. The militias are now eclipsing Iraq’s security forces in the fight against the Islamic State.

Thousands of fighters from Shiite militias operating under the aegis of the Popular Mobilization Committee, backed by units from the Iraqi Army’s Golden Division and more than a thousand policemen, launched the counteroffensive from the city of Habbaniyah, one of the last government-controlled areas in eastern Anbar yesterday.

The militias and Iraqi forces blunted an Islamic State offensive, which was designed to take Habbaniyah and deprive the government of a launch pad to execute its counterattack on Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar which fell to the Islamic State on May 17. Islamic State forces broke through hastily erected defensive lines west of Habbaniyah and advanced into Husaybah and as far east as Al Madeeq on May 22.

Hezbollah Battalions in Iraq

Hezbollah Brigades confirmed on its website that it was involved in the fighting in Ramadi. The group blamed the fall of Ramadi on Iraqi politicians who held the militias back from the fight in Anbar.

“The security breach that took place in Ramadi was the result of some politicians trusting the Americans,” Hezbollah Brigades quoted one of its commanders deployed near Ramadi. The statement is a swipe at Prime Minister Haider al Abadi, who has been advised by the US not to deploy Shiite militias to Anbar.

Iraq relies on Iranian-supported militias for Anbar offensive

The Iraqi government’s reliance on the militias to lead the offensive in Ramadi highlights the deteriorating state of Iraq’s security forces as well as Iran’s growing influence in the country. Other militias thought to be operating near Ramadi include the Imam Ali Brigade, the Sayyed al Shuhada Brigade, and Harakat Nujaba; all three militias, which are backed by Iran, put out a call for their forces to organize for the Ramadi offensives.

After the fall of Ramadi, Prime Minister Abadi requested that the Iraqi government-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Committee, or Hashid Shaabi, deploy to Anbar province to battle the Islamic State.

The Popular Mobilization Committee is led by Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, a former commander in the Badr Organization who was listed by the US government as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in July 2009.

In addition to leading the Popular Mobilization Committee, Muhandis is also said to direct the operations of Kata’ib Imam Ali (Imam Ali Brigade) as well as command the Hezbollah Brigades. Top leaders in the Sayyed al Shuhada Brigade and Harakat Nujaba are listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorists or are known to have targeted US forces in Iraq during the US occupation from 2003 to 2011.

Read More . . . .

The Hezbollah-Brigades (Iraq) in
the Battle of Tikrit

Kurdish YPG Special Forces Firefight During Storm On IS Compound In Mabroukah - Syria War 2015

Members of the Iraqi Shiite militia, Kataib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Brigades)

Local residents and Sunni tribal fighters welcome newly-arriving Iraqi Shiite Hezbollah Brigade militiamen, brandishing their flag, who are joining the fight against Islamic State group militants in Khalidiya, 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo)

North Korea’s Hacker Army ‘could kill people and destroy cities’

It's just a matter of time

  • Are you ready when that Internet trigger is pulled and the power grid is shut down?  No power to pump water or gasoline, no gas means no food deliveries etc.
  • One thing that is 100% guaranteed is millions of people have guns, and they will find ways to get food. 

(London Independent)  -  Thousands of military hackers in North Korea could launch cyber attacks that could “kill people and destroy cities”, a defector has warned.

Professor Kim Heung-Kwang saw his brightest computing students picked for Bureau 121 to become “cyber warriors” for Kim Jong-un before he fled the country in 2004.

“The size of the cyber-attack agency has increased significantly, and now has approximately 6,000 people,” he told BBC Click. 
Kim Heung-Kwang

“The reason North Korea has been harassing other countries is to demonstrate that North Korea has cyber war capacity.

“Their cyber-attacks could have similar impacts as military attacks, killing people and destroying cities.”

Professor Kim, who taught at Hamheung Computer Technology University, believes hackers are building malware based on the “Stuxnet” attack on Iranian nuclear centrifuges, which was attributed to the US and Israel.

Although the threat is theoretical, up to 20 per cent of North Korea’s military budget is believed to go into online operations.

Known attacks have targeted South Korean infrastructure and Seoul blames its northern neighbour for a hack on a hydro and nuclear power plant earlier this year.

The warning came as an American research institute said satellite imagery showed significant new construction at North Korea's main rocket launch site for a possible space programme.

The secretive state has been banned from launching rockets or technology that could launch ballistic missiles by the UN Security Council but Kim declared this month that its space programme “can never be abandoned”.

Read More . . . .

How Cyber Attacks Threaten To Destroy Our Infrastructure   

Edward Snowden on Cyber Attacks

Maybe the Luddites were right - The Robots are coming for our jobs

Robots deliver food orders to customers at the Robot Restaurant in Harbin, China.

Prepare for Economic Armageddon

  • As jobs vanish expect a massive re-distribution of the wealth to keep the permanently unemployed supplied with the most basic level of food, clothing and shelter.

(Los Angeles Times)  -  The prospect of machines stealing our jobs has perturbed and enraged humans for at least 200 years. The Luddites hit the alarm bell, and not without reason: The automation of weaving and spinning technology displaced an entire class of skilled artisans. 

But ever since, economists and historians have dismissed the Luddites as jokes, because the forces of industrialization they decried ended up making the world a far richer and more comfortable place. Technological progress has created far more jobs than it has destroyed.

So far. But this time might be different. This time, writes Martin Ford in "Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future," the robots are coming for (almost) all the jobs. They're getting too smart, too flexible and too convenient. And that's a problem, because if robots take all the jobs, our long march of progress may well go into reverse.

"We are running up against a fundamental limit both in terms of the capabilities of the people being herded into colleges and the number of high-skill jobs that will be available for them if they manage to graduate," writes Ford. "The problem is that the skills ladder is not really a ladder at all: it is a pyramid, and there is only so much room at the top."

That's a bleak view. Even bleaker, however, are the prospects for success of Ford's preferred "dramatic policy response" — a redistribution of wealth from the winners to everybody else, in the form of a "guaranteed basic income" that ensures displaced workers have enough income to keep the consumer economy chugging along.

Ford is not wrong when he declares that "a fundamental restructuring of our economic rules will be required." But it's hard to see how this will happen. Which leaves us in a pickle. Economic inequality is growing. Robots are gobbling up more and more jobs. A broken political system is unable to fix the problem. Call it the Luddites' revenge. The Industrial Revolution's chickens are finally coming home to roost.

Read More . . . .

Are Sex Robots The Future?

And they are better than you in bed too.

Rand Paul's money problem

The Mother's Milk of Politics

  • Behind the Kentucky Senator’s NSA ‘filibuster’ lies a desperate quest for cash.
  • My opinion is Rand is going nowhere in the Presidential campaign.  He needs to seek re-election to the Senate where he can have a major impact on policy.

(Politico)  -  In a presidential campaign defined by billionaire sugar daddy donors, Rand Paul has a problem: He doesn’t seem to have one.

While his rivals cultivate wealthy backers who will pump millions of dollars into their candidacies, Paul has struggled to find a similar lifeline. It’s led to considerable frustration in his campaign, which, amid rising concerns that it will not be able to compete financially, finds itself leaning heavily on the network of small donors who powered his father’s insurgent White House bids.

It hasn’t been for lack of trying. In recent months, Paul has sought to woo a string of powerful Republican megadonors — from Silicon Valley executives to a Kentucky coal mogul to the billionaire Koch brothers — who, it was believed, would be philosophically aligned with his free-market views. In each case, he met disappointment.

At the top of the list was Peter Thiel, the eccentric Northern California venture capitalist who funneled $2.6 million to Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. But Thiel is being far less generous this time around, leaving Paul’s crestfallen advisers with the distinct impression that he won’t give them a dime. 

They’ve been left guessing as to why. One speculated that Thiel, who didn’t respond to requests for comment, was unhappy with the rollout of Paul’s policy platform. Another surmised he was skeptical of Paul’s 2016 prospects or that he’d become tired of political giving and would sit out 2016 entirely.

Others contend that Paul’s unpolished style might be working against him as he seeks out the support of wealthy Republican benefactors, While attending a California donor conference sponsored by Charles and David Koch, two of the nation’s most powerful Republican donors, Paul was criticized for dressing casually in jeans, slouching in his chair and giving rambling answers to questions. 

One person briefed on the Kochs’ thinking said Paul’s star has faded in their eyes, and that it’s now hard to see them providing substantial financial support to the Kentucky senator.

Liberal cartoonists like David Horsey make a good point, but they are blinded by partisanship.  The Billionaire Corporate Elites totally own both of our open borders political parties.
The Elites keep that money flowing deep and heavy to make sure those borders stay wide, wide open so the wages of American citizens will be forced down.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Army Terminators will leave humans 'utterly defenceless'

Russian Terminators
Russia has also been ramping up tests. Uran battle robots, wielding machine guns and anti-tank guided missiles 
passed through a battery of drills at a training ground in Southern Russia last week, attended by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. A state-owned company, Rostec, is also deep into the development of a tracked robot platform capable of conducting military strikes, clearing mines, and venturing into areas impacted by radiation.  (The Diplomat.com)

Yes, we are that fucking stupid

  • The same mental midgets who thought it was a good idea to run guns to Syrian Islamists also have approved government programs to build Terminators.
  • We are within one or two generations of extinction. . . . maybe it is for the best.

(London Telegraph)  -  Killer robots which are being developed by the US military ‘will leave humans utterly defenceless‘, an academic has warned.

Two programmes commissioned by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are seeking to create drones which can track and kill targets even when out of contact with their handlers.

Writing in the journal Nature, Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkley, said the research could breach the Geneva Convention and leave humanity in the hands of amoral machines.

“Autonomous weapons systems select and engage targets without human intervention; they become lethal when those targets include humans,” he said.

“Existing AI and robotics components can provide physical platforms, perception, motor control, navigation, mapping, tactical decision-making and long-term planning. They just need to be combined.

“In my view, the overriding concern should be the probable endpoint of this technological trajectory

“Despite the limits imposed by physics, one can expect platforms deployed in the millions, the agility and lethality of which will leave humans utterly defenceless. This is not a desirable future.”

 The robots, called LAWS – lethal autonomous weapons systems – are likely to be armed quadcopters of mini-tanks that can decided without human intervention who should live or die.

DARPA is currently working on two projects which could lead to killer bots. One is Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) which is designing a tiny rotorcraft to manoeuvre unaided at high speed in urban areas and inside buildings. The other and Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE), is aiming to develop teams of autonomous aerial vehicles carrying out “all steps of a strike mission — find, fix, track, target, engage, assess” in situations in which enemy signal-jamming makes communication with a human commander impossible.

Last year Angela Kane, the UN’s high representative for disarmament, said killer robots were just a 'small step' away and called for a worldwide ban. But the Foreign Office has said while the technology had potentially "terrifying" implications, Britain "reserves the right" to develop it to protect troops.

Professor Russell said: "LAWS could violate fundamental principles of human dignity by allowing machines to choose whom to kill — for example, they might be tasked to eliminate anyone exhibiting ‘threatening behaviour’ 

Read More . . . .

The Dawn of Killer Robots

Super Fast Hunter Killer Robots
Imagine a pack of 50 super fast Hunter Killers all installed with mounted 
machine guns.  The government will not only use them in war, but also to 
maintain "law and order" on American city streets.

U.S. Army "Big Dog" Hunter Killer Robots

Because we can.

Carly Fiorina and other joke candidates for President

Captain Briggs: Don't you lecture me, you son of a bitch! Do you know who I am? Do you know my record?
Harry Callahan: Yeah... you're a legend in your own mind.

By Gary;

Dirty Harry is right yet again.  We are being subjected to a parade of candidates for President who are legends in their own minds.

The insane 24-7 Internet and cable TV news cycle is massively hungry for "info-tainment".  To feed their viewers and generate ratings (it is all about ratings) we are force fed a diet of fringe and loser candidates for President.

Does anyone seriously think Ben Carson could run the Federal Government? or George Pataki get the nomination? or Rick Santorum?

The list people who think they are great goes on and on to reach the point of being a national joke.  But the media machine will shove this parade of clown car candidates at us with a straight face and demand we watch them.

Many of these "candidates" are just auditioning for possible cabinet posts in a future GOP administration.  Others are on an ego trip and want to hear themselves talk.

This is 100% pure narcissism.

Other "candidates" bring nothing to the GOP electoral college table.  In 2012 a Romney-Ryan ticket failed to carry either of their home states.  The same would be true for many of the current crop of pretend candidates.  Some come from states the GOP would carry in any election or from states the GOP cannot win.

This herd needs to be rapidly and humanely thinned by the voters.  Let Darwinism bring us its magic as fast as possible.

Losing in a Landslide
Like Mitt Romney before her, Carly brings a big fat nothing to the GOP electoral college table.  2010 was a strong Republican year that saw the rise of the Tea Party and the GOP take over of the House.  With a GOP wave in full force Carly lost her Senate election by ten percentage points.  If she cannot bring California into the GOP column then she fails as a candidate.  

United States Senate election in California, 2010
DemocraticBarbara Boxer (Incumbent)5,218,44152.2
RepublicanCarly Fiorina4,217,36642.2
LibertarianGail Lightfoot175,2421.8
Peace and FreedomMarsha Feinland135,0931.4
GreenDuane Roberts128,5101.2
American IndependentEdward Noonan125,4411.2
N/AJames E. Harris (Write-in)410.0
N/AConnor Vlakancic (Write-in)110.0
N/AJerry Leon Carroll (Write-in)100.0
N/AHans J. Kugler (Write-in)50.0
Invalid or blank votes %
Total votes10,000,160100
Voter turnout %

Armed Bikers do "Draw Muhammed" contest outside of Phoenix mosque

Making a Point The Hard Way

  • Wow. The 1st and 2nd Amendments combine with an anti-Islam meeting at a mosque.  I have not decided yet if the organizers should be awarded the Medal of Freedom or be rounded up and put in padded cells.

(Phoenix Sun Times)  -  A group of bikers — who have been encouraged to bring guns — is planning on hosting a Muhammed cartoon drawing contest outside of a Phoenix mosque.

What could possibly go wrong?

Jon Ritzheimer, a former Marine and current anti-Islam activist, is the force behind the event, which will be held Friday outside of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix at 6:15 p.m. local time. Friday just happens to be the Muslim day of communal prayer.

A Facebook page has been created for the event, which is being called “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II.” In the event’s description it says that contest is a “response to the recent attack in Texas.”

That attack happened when anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller hosted a “Draw Muhammed” contest and two men opened fire on the event. Both were killed by officers at the scene.

The post also says “people are encouraged to exercise their second amendment [sic] right at this event just in case our first amendment [sic] right comes under the much anticipated attack.”

But don’t get the wrong idea about this event; it explicitly says that they won’t have any food vendors “because we don’t want this to turn into a carnival.”

Read More . . . .