America has become paranoid after Obama’s re-election

Marijuana, states leaving the USA, and Star wars phobia!

Marijuana, states leaving the USA, and Star wars phobia!

Marijuana, secession and now ‘Star Wars’: Thousands of Americans have signed yet another bizarre online White House petition, this one to “secure funding and resources” to build the ‘Death Star’ space station from the popular sci-fi film.

­“By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense,” the petition on the White House website reads.

The document, created on November 14 by a resident of Colorado, has already collected over 5,000 signatures. The petition needs around 20,000 more by December 14 for it to be formally reviewed by the White House staff.

The Death Star is the planet-destroying space station built by the Galactic Empire in the wildly popular sci-fi movie saga ‘Star Wars,’ directed by George Lucas. The franchise is adored by millions of fans around the world.

Earlier this year, students at Lehigh University in the US calculated the hypothetical cost of building a Death Star at $8.52 quadrillion – roughly 13,000 times the world’s GDP.

The White House’s petition platform, which allows anyone to offer suggestions to the government, is relatively new and was created to provide citizens with “new way to create or join the petition encouraging government to take action on the range of issues.”

The move has resulted in a cornucopia of bizarre petitions: Adopting the Gray Wolf to join the Bald Eagle as the national mascot; legalizing the use of magic mushrooms and mescaline; even to “shut down White House petitions, since they never get a sincere response… and are ultimately worthless.

The most popular petition on the website so far calls for the peaceful secession of Texas, which has collected over 110,000 signatures.

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USA-Unemployment statistics for America!

U.S. map with counties labeled by FIPS code ac...
Image via Wikipedia

Unemployment statistics for America remained at 9.1 percent for the month of August, and while that tally was all to be expected, a surprise came as, despite predictions that new jobs were created last month, economists’ expectations of 75,000 new jobs were not met.

The latest reports from the Labor Department reveal that only 17,000 jobs were added to the private sector in August while the government shed more and more positions. Payroll figures in the manufacturing sector were down, as were the hours in an average work week and the average hourly wage earning among American workers.

The White House announced on Thursday that they predict an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent in 2012, but the country will need to add 200,000 jobs per month in the meantime in order to bring the unemployment statistic down a full percentage point in 12 months’ time. With zero job growth for the month of August and the Labor Department now revising statistics for June and July to show fewer jobs created than calculated earlier, the pickup necessary to push the unemployment rate down seems more unlikely than ever.

Taking into account the three summer months, an average of 35,000 jobs were created in June, July and August.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to give a speech next week to address the dire jobs situation as the country grows wearier of the administration’s failure to keep the country from an economic slump.

Economist Patrick O’Keefe from the accounting firm JH Cohn says a slump isn’t likely, but instead expects the economy “to slouch and stagger,” reports Reuters. Other economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond released a paper recently in which they write, “After a long period of unemployment, affected workers may become effectively unemployable,” suggesting that the actual rate of unemployment is only accelerating. Nearly 43 percent of unemployment Americans have been without jobs for more than six months.

A strike of around 45,000 employees at Verizon Communications contributed in part to the sad statistics for August, which overall saw a drop of around 48,000 workers in the information industry. The 17,000 jobs added in the private sector shows the smallest increase in over a year and a half and fell short of the prediction of 95,000 that Bloomberg expected. Little to no job growth across the board was displayed for August, with healthcare services being the only notable exception.

Whole sectors of this whole economy have just gone. You have whole sectors which are gone, sectors which are at risk and a few sectors that are still there. According to one person who previously worked as a director for World Bank, the whole picture of manufacturing is changing before our very eyes.

There was another figure that managed to go up for the month of August, however: the measure of Americas who have stopped looking for work and those that have settled for part-time employment.

Israel will bomb Iran in the fall? What!

A longtime CIA officer who spent 21 years in the Middle East is predicting that Israel will bomb Iran in the fall, dragging the United States into another major war and endangering US military and civilian personnel (and other interests) throughout the Middle East and beyond.
 
Earlier this week, Robert Baer appeared on the provocative KPFK Los Angeles show Background Briefing, hosted by Ian Masters. It was there that he predicted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to ignite a war with Iran in the very near future.Robert Baer has had a storied career, including a stint in Iraq in the 1990s where he organised opposition to Saddam Hussein. (He was recalled after being accused of trying to organise Saddam’s assassination.) Upon his retirement, he received a top decoration for meritorious service.

He obviously won’t name many of his sources in Israel, the United States, and elsewhere, but the few he has named are all Israeli security figures who have publicly warned that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are hell-bent on war.

Most former Mossad chiefs wary of Netanyahu

Baer was especially impressed by the unprecedented warning about Netanyahu’s plans by former Mossad chief Meir Dagan. Dagan left the Israeli intelligence agency in September 2010. Two months ago, he predicted that Israel would attack and said that doing so would be “the stupidest thing” he could imagine. According to Haaretz:

When asked about what would happen in the aftermath of an Israeli attack Dagan said that: “It will be followed by a war with Iran. It is the kind of thing where we know how it starts, but not how it will end. “The Iranians have the capability to fire rockets at Israel for a period of months, and Hezbollah could fire tens of thousands of grad rockets and hundreds of long-range missiles, he said. 

According to Ben Caspit of the Israeli daily Maariv, Dagan’s blasts at Israel’s political leadership are significant not only because Mossad chiefs, in office or retired, traditionally have kept their lips sealed, but also because Dagan is very conservative on security matters.

Caspit writes that Dagan is “one of the most right-wing militant people ever born here. … When this man says that the leadership has no vision and is irresponsible, we should stop sleeping soundly at night”.

Dagan describes the current Israeli government as “dangerous and irresponsible” and views speaking out against Netanyahu as his patriotic duty.

And his abhorrence of Netanyahu is not uncommon in the Israeli security establishment. Accordingto Think Progress, citing the Forward newspaper, 12 of the 18 living ex-chiefs of Israel’s two security agencies (Mossad and Shin Bet), are “either actively opposing Netanyahu’s stances or have spoken out against them”. Of the remaining six, two are current ministers in Netanyahu government, leaving a grand total of four out of 18 who independently support the prime minister.

In short, while Congress dutifully gives Netanyahu 29 standing ovations, the Israelis who know the most about both Netanyahu and Israel’s strategic situation think he is a dangerous disaster.

But according to Baer, we ain’t seen nothing yet. There is almost “near certainty” that Netanyahu is “planning an attack [on Iran] … and it will probably be in September before the vote on a Palestinian state. And he’s also hoping to draw the United States into the conflict”, Baer explained.

The Israeli air force would attack “Natanz and other nuclear facilities to degrade their capabilities. The Iranians will strike back where they can: Basra, Baghdad”, he said, and even Afghanistan. Then the United States would jump into the fight with attacks on Iranian targets. “Our special forces are already looking at Iranian targets in Iraq and across the border [in Iran] which we would strike. What we’re facing here is an escalation, rather than a planned out-and-out war. It’s a nightmare scenario. We don’t have enough troops in the Middle East to fight a war like that.” Baer added, “I think we are looking into the abyss”.

Another US war?

Masters asked Baer why the US military is not mobilising to stop this war from happening. Baer responded that the military is opposed, as is former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who used his influence to thwart an Israeli attack during the Bush and Obama administrations. But he’s gone now and “there is a warning order inside the Pentagon” to prepare for war.

It should be noted that the Iranian regime is quite capable of triggering a war with the United States through some combination of colossal stupidity and sheer hatred. In fact, as Baer explained, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard would welcome a war. They are “paranoid”. They are “worried about … what’s happening to their country economically, in terms of the oil embargo and other sanctions”. And they are worried about a population that increasingly despises the regime.

They need an external enemy. Because we are leaving Iraq, it’s Israel. But in order to make this threat believable, they would love an attack on their nuclear facilities, love to go to war in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and Iraq and hit us where they could. Their defense is asymmetrical. We can take out all of their armored units. It’s of little difference to them, same with their surface-to-air missile sites. It would make little difference because they would use terrorism. They would do serious damage to our fleet in the Gulf.

Given all that, is it possible that the United States would allow Israel to attack when the president knows we would be forced to join the war on Israel’s side?

“The president is up for re-election next year,” Blair pointed out, and Israel is “truly out of control”.

What happens when you see 100 F-16’s approaching Iraq and there is a call to the White House [from Netanyahu] that says “We’re going in, we’re at war with Iran”? What does the President of the United States do? He has little influence over Bibi Netanyahu. … We can’t stop him. And he knows it. 

It’s a pretty frightening scenario, made infinitely more so by the fact that top Israelis (who have heard Netanyahu’s thinking from Netanyahu himself) also see the future the same way. Those Israelis deserve a world of credit for sounding the warning bell loudly enough that we would hear it and do something about it – although it’s impossible to know if the people who matter are paying attention.

Actually, only one person matters: the US president. If Israel bombed Iran tomorrow, Congress would forget all about their partisan differences and run, not walk, to the House and Senate floors to endorse the attack and call for unstinting support for Israel. That is what Congress always does, and will always do so long as the lobby (and the donors it directs) are the key players in making our Middle East policies.

And who knows what Obama would do? So far, he has not exactly distinguished himself when it comes to standing up to Netanyahu.

But an Israeli attack on Iran would be different. It would endanger countless Americans (in the region and here at home, too). It would kill off any economic recovery by causing oil prices to skyrocket. It would engulf us in another Middle East war. And it would threaten the existence of the state of Israel.

This is something the president needs to focus on instead of being forced to nickel and dime with the likes of Representative Eric Cantor and Senator Mitch McConnell. How incredible that these two, and their right-wing allies, have our government tied in knots in their incessant effort to elevate themselves by destroying the President of the United States.