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The UK government has announced its plans to prepare for the selling of rights for the next generation of wireless networks, heralding the start of the fourth generation mobile spectrum...
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Nile Bowie is an independent journalist and political analyst based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His articles have appeared in numerous international publications, including regular columns with Russia Today (RT) and newspapers such as the Global Times, the Malaysian Reserve and the New Straits Times. He is a research assistant with the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), a Malaysian NGO promoting social justice and anti-hegemony politics. He can be reached at [email protected].
On May 15, 2014, Newsweek published a piece about conspiracy theories and how they "cripple basic governance," also that they "divert attention from real issues," and "distort the debate that is crucial to democracy."
First and foremost, as much as some would like it to be different, America is NOT a Democracy, it is a Republic that holds democratic elections, but despite the MSM's attempts to distort that very basic fact, that is not the point of this article.
Key Quotes from the Newsweek article:
.....“One of the most common ways of introducing a conspiracy theory is to ‘just ask questions’ about an official account,’’ says Karen Douglas, co-editor of the British Journal of Social Psychology and a senior academic who has researched conspiracy theories at Britain’s University of Kent. “It’s quite a powerful rhetorical tool because it doesn’t require any content, just the introduction of doubt about the official story.”....
But accusing political opponents of serious wrongdoing based on unsubstantiated nonsense plays havoc with social discourse. When each side attacks the other based on wild theories—calling them terrorists, anti-American, murderers, racists and the like—the tribal divisions cripple basic governance.
“The reason we should worry about conspiracy theories and misinformation is that they distort the debate that is crucial to democracy,’’ says Brendan Nyhan, an assistant professor in Dartmouth’s government department who has conducted research on conspiracy theories. “They divert attention from the real issue and issues of concern that public officials should be debating.”
It is a long article, make sure to read it before listening to the video below, where Mark Dice discusses 18 "crazy" conspiracy theories............. all that were proven true over time, from either declassification of government secrets (years after the fact and AFTER insisting that those that believed those theories were crazy) or leaked information proving them true, again, usually years later.
The point is the MSM is doing everything they can to label those that "ask questions" about an "official" story as loons that are disrupting the process, yet no mention in this hit piece about conspiracy theories that are true, those "loons" were right, the official story nothing but a pack of lies.
Sure there are some theories that are over-the-top and out there, so to speak, but when "we the people" have been lied to over and over again by the very government we elected to represent us, then every single official story becomes suspect....... and they should be!
Cross posted at Before It's News
"The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay," declared President Obama during his speech to the Australian parliament in 2011, following his announcement to deploy 2,500 marines to northern Australia to help protect American interests across Asia.
As Washington remains embroiled in domestic economic issues and conflicts throughout the Middle East and elsewhere, the Obama administration has come under great scrutiny for not living up to the promise of rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific, the world’s most economically-dynamic region. The US president’s recent trip to the region was the most significant and tangible development to occur since the rebalancing policy was unveiled.
Obama’s trip had two primary dimensions: deepening the role of the US military throughout the Asia-Pacific, and shoring up support for the faltering Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, an all-encompassing trade deal led by Washington that would embolden transnational corporate power at great public expense.
As the Obama administration moves ahead on plans to relocate some 60 percent of its navy into the region, Washington's current Asia doctrine is grounded in the notion that no other power can be allowed to reach parity with the United States. Washington’s strategy to pivot toward the Asia-Pacific is adorned with the language of pragmatism and neutrality, and despite repeated denials, the Obama administration’s actions are quite transparently aimed at capping the influence of a rapidly developing China.
Washington has inserted itself into complicated, long-standing historical and territorial disputes under the guise of neutrality, which risks potentially setting the stage for an irreparable strategic blunder: antagonizing two major world powers simultaneously at a time when relations between the US and Russia are already deteriorating over the crisis in Ukraine.
President Obama’s milestone four-nation tour of the Asia-Pacific may have laid the foundations for the region’s local territorial disputes to grow into an increasing tense superpower stand-off.
Israel gears up to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day
The theme of this year's opening ceremony at Yad Vashem is “Jews On the Edge 1944: Between Annihilation and Liberation,” where 6 survivors will light torches.
"In this place I have said many times that we must identify an existential threat in time and act against it in time and tonight I ask 'why in the years before the Holocaust did most of the world's leaders not see the danger ahead of time?' In hindsight, all the signs were there," he said."Has the world learned a lesson from the mistakes of the past? Today we are again faced with clear facts and before a real danger. Iran calls for our destruction, it develops nuclear weapons."
The enormous power and destructive influence of financial markets became apparent after the global economic collapse of 2008. This event revealed a need for bringing the sector under democratic public ownership; failing that, stronger regulations for financial markets at the very least. But political will has been lacking on both counts. The sector enjoys massive financial resources and successfully translates them into political influence.
“Reform has proved difficult, and these numbers are an important part of the explanation. The financial lobby's fire power to resist reform has been evident in all significant battles over financial regulation since the collapse of Lehman Brothers.”
“This situation represents a severe democratic problem that politicians must act on swiftly. A first step is to adopt effective rules on lobbying transparency and strong ethics rules against undue influence.”
“The fact that the financial lobby is so dominant in advisory groups reveals that the European Commission feels that people representing the financial industry should be allowed to set the agenda. An arms-length principle should be applied immediately.”
“The stench emanating from the financial system is a product of the decay of the entire profit system. That system must be replaced by a higher socio-economic order in which the vast wealth created by the collective labour of the world working class is deployed to meet human need. The expropriation of the banks and finance houses, placing them under public ownership and democratic control, is the first step in implementing such a program.” Nick Beams (1)
- Next: Facing the Factions
By Susan Duclos
Via his backup video channel, Mark Dice comes out with a hard hitting response to his YouTube channel's termination after 7 years of producing videos, and reveals that this happened just days after an announcement that YouTube was enlisting "Trusted Flaggers."
Via Wall Street Journal, we see that Dice is correct in calling some of these "flaggers" government agents:
Google has given roughly 200 people and organizations, including a British police unit, the ability to “flag” up to 20 YouTube videos at once to be reviewed for violating the site’s guidelines.
The Financial Times last week reported that the U.K. Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit has been using its “super flagger” authority to seek reviews – and removal – of videos it considers extremist.
Looks like YouTube aka Google has decided to do the government's bidding now using censorship to stifle the free speech of users.
While YouTube denies that it allows these government flaggers to dictate what is and is not removed, the last paragraph of the WSJ article pretty much tells the story and it contradicts their assertions.
More than 90% of the videos identified by super flaggers are either removed for violating guidelines, or restricted as not appropriate for younger users, the person familiar with the program said. That’s a far higher percentage than regular users who occasionally flag dubious content, the person said.
[Update] Should Dice's backup channel be terminated, this video below is saved and will be uploaded to Liveleak and replaced.
[Updated] YouTube contact page found here.
[UPDATE] YouTube aka Google terminated Dice's backup channel also, so as promised I uploaded it to LiveLeak and it is embedded below the video now missing due to YouTube's censorship!
Cross posted at Before It's News
By Susan Duclos
Russia has countered the Obama administrations attempt to interfere, once again, in the Ukraine. The US decided to move guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun into the Black Sea, and Russia has made their next move by deploying a Bastion anti-ship missile system in Sevastopol, according to Joseph Watson at InfoWars.
“The system is designed for the destruction of various surface ships from an enemy’s landing squadrons, convoys, carrier strike groups, as well as single vessels and land-based radiocontrast targets in conditions of intensive fire and electronic countermeasures. The system uses the P-800 Yakhont (SS-N-26) anti-ship cruise missile and has a maximum range of 300 km,” states a separate report on a Vietnamese military website.
Tensions are high and with the buildup of military force and world leaders with nuclear weapons, pound their chests and counter move after move, threats issued and battle lines being drawn, one wrong move, one over-the-top insult or sanction or even an accident could be construed as a declaration of war and BOOM, world war III begins.
Via the video details from Paul Begley "Russia seems to 2 steps ahead of every American Military move."
Yes, that is what happens when you pit a community organizer (Obama) against a KGB war expert (Putin).
Cross posted at Before It's News
By James F. Tracy
An integral and by now much-anticipated element of a spectacle such as the Boston Mass Casualty Event (BMCE) of April 15, 2013 involves establishment of charities through which the incident may gain legitimacy in the public mind. Such entities provide fiscal channels by which event participants may be compensated and are also vital for public participation via charitable offerings.
Here, perhaps predictably, one find the unusually swift development of “The One Fund Boston,” a now celebrated aid organization whose very name oddly resonates with the new agey themes of “resilience” and “unity” promoted by mass grief and woe maven John Woodall. “We are one Boston. We are one community,” Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is quoted as saying on “One Fund’s” website. “As always, we will come together to help those most in need. And in the end, we will all be better for it.”
One Fund is in fact the sole creation of the 2013 Boston Marathon’s chief corporate sponsors—the John Hancock corporation and the Hill Holliday advertising firm. Website captures from the Internet Archive indicate the entity was up-and-running with a logo and web presence on April 16, less than twenty four hours after the incident, just as the dreaded Tsarnaev brothers still roamed free and long before the professed bombing’s fatalities could be laid to rest.
The rapid-fire creation of the relief fund is an example of how individuals, politicians and businesses in Boston unite in a crisis,” Advertising Age gushed, referencing an interview with Michael Sheehan, Chairman of Hill Holliday. “Communicating mostly by text-message, about a dozen key players at Hill Holliday, Hancock and the Mayor’s Office managed to create the foundation from scratch. Within a week One Fund had raised over $23 million from corporate and individual donors  including John Hancock, Bank of America, and Bain Capital. The charity has to date raised a total $71.3 million.
On April 17 at 9:29AM One Fund filed its articles of organization  with the Massachusetts Secretary of State. Yet One Fund’s quickly-drafted articles list only two individuals fulfilling the roles of president, treasurer, clerk, and board members—James D. Gallagher, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of John Hancock, the US subsidiary of Canadian-based Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (“ManuLife”), and Hill Holliday’s Sheehan. “If you can think it,” one of Hill Holliday’s mottoes reads, “we can make it real.”
Sheehan recently left Hill Holliday to become a consultant to the Boston Globe. Examination of existing photographic and video evidence of the bombing’s aftermath combined with amateur videos taken from the scene now suggest how the Globe was likely given exclusive rights to photograph and videotape the BCME, as the video below tends to demonstrate. The paper has also been direct role in propagating inflated injury tallies following the event.
The One Fund even proffers a referral service to BMCE martyrs, many of whom sustained grievous “hearing issues,” needing advice on how to manage their newfound wealth. Because of The One Fund contributors’ “unprecedented generosity,” a document on the charity’s site reads,
many victims and families may be receiving very large monetary gifts. To help address the management of the gifts that you may receive, the One Fund is happy to connect you with financial advisory firms that have volunteered to consult with you at no cost. If you are interested in learning more about this free consultation, please contact One Fund Boston at …
John Hancock and the broader insurance industry’s benefit from the BCME and its influence in the intertwined public opinion and policy-making processes shouldn’t be underestimated. Both stand to profit greatly from the enhanced risk environment brought about by the renewed specter of international terrorism, the supposed cause of the BCME itself.
In light of the manifestly dubious nature of the Boston Marathon bombings  the active and multi-faceted solicitation of contributions to address the event’s aftermath suggests a fraud of extravagant proportions, even by today’s threadbare standards.
The true beneficiaries of the BMCE include not only the American police state that has grown by leaps and bounds since September 11, 2001, but more importantly the global corporatist class that likewise benefits from the quickening demise of a critical citizenry. Those select few with the control to shape public consciousness now recognize more than ever that the masses will accept as genuine almost any tragic domestic event, provided it is presented within the infotainment formulas to which the population has grown so accustomed.
 James F. Tracy, “New World Order Religion,” memoryholeblog.com, April 14, 2013.
 The One Fund Boston, “About,” n.d. Accessed January 16, 2014.
 “How Hill Holliday Created Relief Effort One Fund Boston in Seven Hours,” Advertising Age, April 19, 2013.
 Lindsey Tanner, “One Fund Boston Raises More Than $2o Million, But Will It Be Enough For Injured Marathon Victims?” Huffington Post, April 25, 2013.
 “Thank You,” The One Fund Boston, n.d. Accessed January 16, 2014.
 “Articles of Organization,” The One Fund Boston, n.d. Accessed January 16, 2014. Accessed January 16, 2014.
 Beth Healy, “Globe Hires Former Hill Holliday CEO as Consultant,” Boston Globe, January 3, 2014.
 James F. Tracy, “The Boston Marathon Bombing’s Inflated Injury Tallies,” memoryholeblog.com, May 11, 2013.
 “Memo re Financial Advisory Services,” The One Fund Boston, n.d. Accessed January 16, 2014.
 James F. Tracy, “Witnessing Boston’s Mass Casualty Event,” memoryholeblog.com, April 22, 2013.
Republished at GlobalResearch.ca on January 17, 2014.
By James F. Tracy
One year ago a national media frenzy ensued over my analysis and observations of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre event of December 14, 2012. Evidence that has since emerged since, including the State of Connecticut’s curiously expurgated official report released December 27, has overall tended to confirm such observations. My initial series of articles was circulated widely in alternative news outlets in late December 2012 and early January 2013. Yet not until the South Florida Sun-Sentinel interviewed me and published a rather inflammatory story on January 7 did a select set of my remarks subsequently “go viral” in major news media via the Drudge Report.
I was initially startled with the fervent backlash exhibited in corporate media outlets (below), as well as the progressive-left blogosphere. As far as I can gather, the outrage centered around 1) the conclusion upon considerable analysis that what the media publicized about a profoundly tragic event was at best only partially true, 2) my purportedly bizarre and speculative belief that a swell guy like President Barack Obama and his well-meaning administration would ever, well, act like politicians and seek to hoodwink the public, especially in such a brazen fashion, and 3) the fact that such remarks were being voiced publicly by a “tenured university [censored].”
While at times personally unnerving, the experience was instructive in that it strongly confirmed much of what I continue to study and teach—the powerful influence exerted by the government-corporate media nexus in terms of pushing certain emotional buttons to channel, manipulate and, where necessary, stifle debate on extremely important issues and events.
In my view, it was not surprising or unusual that something like Sandy Hook had transpired in the US, particularly given historical precedents in Dunblane, Scotland and Port Arthur, Australia. Still, I found it unsettling that a large majority of the public—including friends and colleagues—allowed for themselves to be swayed by their blasé reliance on headlines and sound-bites versus taking the time to actually read and engage with what I had written.
Further, while a handful came forward to point out the contradiction that I was being publicly excoriated and my livelihood threatened for essentially doing what I was trained and hired to do—media analysis and criticism—my employer’s response was not to defend academic freedom and free speech, but rather to disavow my remarks, hold a breakfast fundraiser for one of Newtown’s multitude of charities, and eventually reprimand me for using the professional salutation “[censored]” on my personal blog and elsewhere.
While my tenure was ultimately upheld, one is left to seriously ponder the informal yet persuasive constraints placed in intellectuals today who concretely address certain controversial issues and topics. Only a brief survey of today’s lamentably somber and often inane public discourse is necessary to conclude that tenure is far too infrequently used in the fashion originally intended—to allow academics to research with impunity the topics of their choosing that may prove inflammatory, particularly to some who may wield enough political influence to have them disciplined or fired.
There is in fact room for academics to engage in controversial topics, yet one must know how to strike the appropriate chord between axe grinding and well-mannered career advancement. For example, it was recently high-fives all around at my institution when a colleague secured a fellowship with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a neoconservative think tank that has vigorously advocated the disastrous and criminal “Bush Doctrine” against Iraq and urges similarly brutal military action against Iran. Another social scientist is affiliated with the AIPAC-controlled Washington Institute for Near East Policy. No conspiracy mongering here, only implicit acknowledgement of which way the political winds blow, however tainted they may be.
KABC-AM (Radio)1/8/2013 10:58:40 AM
Los Angeles, CA
there are radio station that are allowing people on the air to say that the whole new down master never have right now to Florida Atlantic University professor saying it never happened it was a Obama push to push gun control advocate the day of wagging the dog , and said Finnigan Ladino music made the marathon for roughly the size of everything before her fourth really ` don’t go away with a lot of thought about a two percent tax on everyone on ABC’s Richard Davies with today’s text it for the past couple of years workers of enjoying a two percent reduction in Social Security tax they pay the debts into and on December thirty first Imperial holiday
WTVJ-MIA (NBC)1/8/2013 11:15:38 AM
NBC 6 South Florida Today at 11am
the grammy winning singer was found dead at her london home in july of 2011. >>> a communication professor known for conspiracy theories is now stirring up controversy at florida atlantic university. 47-year-old james tracy claims last month’s newtown, connecticut, shootings didn’t happen as reported. goes onto say even perhaps it didn’t happen at all. tracy says there’s not enough evidence to support that one gunman killed 20 students and six staff members. the professor says he knows he sparked all kinds of controversy on campus, but he would like his students to look at events in a more critical way. fau, by the way, distancing
WFLA-AM (Radio)1/8/2013 3:14:32 PM
there and then not before sunset both covering the story of four kilometers dear here … from mother Sun Sentinel they publish this late last night for inclusion in the paper today and the online last night FAA you professor stirs controversy by disputing the new town Connecticut master are you are you kidding me of a lesson of Looney Tunes stuff you a piece written by Mike Larry Sun Sentinel a communication professor known for conspiracy theories has stirred controversy at Florida Atlantic
WPEC (CBS)1/8/2013 5:07:07 PM
West Palm Beach, FL
CBS 12 News—5:00
claiming that the newton massacre leaving 26 people dead – including several kids… was a hoax. (2shot) the florida atlantic university professor making the bizarre comments on his personal blog. john cbs 12′s lynn gordon spoke to students who say the professor’s claims are not only outrageous, they’re giving the school a black eye. trt 1:53 5:27:49 that fau ( look live intro) professor creating quite a controversy with a blog that suggests the sandy hook massacre may not have happened as reported or maybe didnt happen at all 5:27:58 ( newtown file) its one of the worst mass shootings in our nation’s history. the massacre at sandy hook elementary in newtown connecticut where 20 children and six adults were murdered in cold blood last month 5:25:10 i think its kind of craxzy that a professor would say somethng lke that it def happened ( photo of tracy) students are referring to
WPLG-MIA (ABC)1/8/2013 5:36:32 PM
Local 10 News @ 5PM
a professor at florida atlantic university is raising questions about what happened at sandy hook elementary school in connecticut last month. in a blog post james tracy asked in the if the shooting was a conspiracy and if the media are asking the right questions. tracy says it’s worth asking if the shooting was politically motivated. f.a.u. is distancing itself from those comments. >>> 20-year-old adam lanza you will remember won’t a shooting rampage at the elementary school, killing 26 people, including 20 children on december 14th. lanza also shot and killed his mom and then turned the gun on himself. >> now to the subject of home here. hope is on the horizon for haiti.
WPBF (ABC)1/8/2013 6:14:47 PM
WPBF 25 News at 6:00
now to wpbf 25 news exclusive a professor at florida atlantic university in boca raton is creating controversy with the conspiracy theory involving the sandy hook school shooting. professor james tracy questions what really happened the day the 20 children and 6 teacher were gunned down in newtown connecticut. on his personal blog he questions whether the shooting was somehow politically motivated to get more gun control. he claims that the lot of missing information. >> there’s just a lot of conflicting information. we don’t have the autopsy on lanza either. it seems like a real stretch
WFLX (FOX)1/8/2013 11:01:39 PM
his bizarre conspiracy theory that suggests the newtown, connecticut school massacre may have been a government plan. dan corcoran is live on the fau campus in boca raton. dan. his three hour class – called ‘communication and social power’ – just wrapped up a few minutes ago.until now professor james tracy has remained silent about his blog, which has gone viral, over the last couple of days. tracy is not apologizing for his words that he wrote this week on his blog on ‘memory hole dot com’.it was in that writing that he questioned if there were what he refers to
WPEC (CBS)1/8/2013 11:09:50 PM
CBS 12 News—11:00
an FAU professor strikes a nerve here and across the country over his claim that the newtown massacre was a hoax. tonight, “cbs 12″ confronts him and his conspiracy theory. tonight, florida atlantic university is distancing itself from its media professor and his controversial comments but the professor himself is defending his comments. peter schaller spoke with james tracy. peter? >> the professor spoke with us after his communications class tonight. he’s worked here at fau for 10 years and he’s no stranger to controversy. in the past he questioned the
WPBF (ABC)1/9/2013 4:33:57 AM
WPBF 25 News Mornings
morning of a growing controversy… comments made by a florida atlantic university professor. as erin guy shows us.. he suggests the school shooting in newtown, connecticut could have been a government conspiracy. newtown connecticut… december 14th… police say adam lanza walked into sandy hook elementry school… armed with semi automatic weapons and opened fire… killing 20 children and 6 adults… but now a florida atlantic university professor james tracey … is questioning what really happened… saying on his blog quote: “while it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the sandy hook shooting ever took place-at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described.” on his blog he askes. how did lanza fire so many shots in a short amount
WDBO-FM (Radio)1/9/2013 5:31:47 AM
after he claimed a personal blog that he said he hoped elementary school shooting made a massive conspiracy W. DBO’s Ken Kendall and Marcia Taylor began our life can coverage of Prof. James Tracy a lighted the conspiracy involving law enforcement and federal government and the mass media to leave your country Johnson digging through those blogs this morning and an interview the professor did just couple days ago that Dr. Tricia question how Atlanta was able to fire off so many shots in such a little amount of time he also
WFLX (FOX)1/9/2013 6:12:07 AM
West Palm Beach, FL
“florida atlantic university” professor. james tracy says he won’t apologize for what he wrote on his blog on “memory-hole-dot-com.” his conspiracy theory suggests the newtown, connecticut school massacre may have been a government plan. on his blog, he questioned if there were what he refers to as “crisis actors” hired by the government during the massacre. now, he’s speaking out– saying why he wrote it and what he wants every american to think about.”in terms of saything that sandy hook, the newtown massacre, did not take place is really a simplification – an oversimplification – of what i said. i said that there may very well be elements of that event that are synthetic to some degree, that are somewhat contrived. i think that
WRTV-IN (ABC)1/9/2013 6:37:51 AM
RTV 6 Good Morning Indiana
and defending his bizarre conspiracy theory that suggests the newtown, connecticut school massacre may have been a government plan. florida atlantic university professor james tracy talked to our scripps station in west palm beach about his blog. tracy writes that there were ‘crisis actors’ hired during the massacre…and the shooting was a ‘set up’ by the obama administration/’85to prompt more strict gun control regulations. but he now says his ideas were over-simplified. > >”in terms of saything that sandy hook, the newtown massacre, did not take place is really a simplification – an
KSHB-KC (NBC)1/9/2013 6:33:27 AM
Kansas City, MO
newtown, connecticut school massacre may have been a government plan. florida atlantic professor james tracy wrote on his blog this week that he questioned if there were what he refers to as ‘crisis actors’ hired during the massacre in newtown. he also claims the shooting was a ‘set up’ by the obama administrationa to prompt stricter gun control regulations. (curtis) new this morning– a man wanted in monday’s quadruple murder in tulsa– was arrested in kansas. our scripps station in tulsa has learned joseph tillman was arrested in independence, kansas– near the oklahoma border. he was wanted in connection with a separate assault. police believe he may also know something about the
WJXT-JAX1/9/2013 7:40:22 AM
The Morning Show
shooting. he says it may not have happened. these new claims — by a professor at florida atlantic university — are really causing a stir. james tracy is basing them on the early reports filed during the incident. he says the timeline confusion shows a coordinated effort to hide the so-called “real” story. for example, at one point it was thought there were two shooters. florida atlantic university is distancing itself — saying the conspiracy professor does not speak for the university and tracy was writing on his personal blog page. how much do you like cockroaches? if you’re
KTRS-AM (Radio)1/9/2013 7:39:27 AM
St. Louis, MO
and I believe for Atlanta Gazette not the site of where the Cardinals of his returning that right there is right yet it’s close all floors like right altogether but not elapsed on the of America Abaco was a right afforded when it is not women’s I can’t believe that town were formulaic is to Ezra’s Roto-Rooter area within this professor from their is making some claims about this in the book of school shootings in Newtown Connecticut he’s saying that it really didn’t happen and that it was just the Obama administration’s effort to sway public opinion in favor of gun control up professor is saying this professor
FAU Professor Makes Surprising Comment (WIOD NewsRadio 610 (Miami) © 01/08/2013) Indexed Jan 8 2013 9:23PM
FAU Professor Makes Surprising Comment An FAU professor under fire for saying the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut may …
FAU professor says Newtown school massacre might have been faked to push gun control (WPEC News 12 Palm Beach County © 01/08/2013) **Also ran in Daily KOS , Indexed Jan 8 2013 1:24PM
FAU professor says Newtown school massacre might have been faked to push gun …control Posted by Scott T. Smith / CBS12 News BOCA RATON, Fla. –
A Florida Atlantic University assistant professor says the Sandy Hook school massacre may never have happened, …to impose gun control. James Tracy, who has taught media studies at FAU
FAU students react to professor’s conspiracy theory (Palm Beach Gardens-WPBF (ABC) © 01/09/2013) Indexed Jan 9 2013 3:42AM
FAU students react to professors conspiracy theory Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy raised questions about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary …law enforcement authorities and the nations news media have described.”Students on Florida Atlantic University reacted after hearing about Tracys comments.Kenson Delva said his comments are …a real debate on gun control.” Alex Jeanty is a senior at FAUand said its too soon…
(Fox News © 01/08/2013) **Also ran in WOLF Orlando, Indexed Jan 8 2013 2:24PM
…Connecticut really happened. James Tracy, an associate professor of media history at Florida Atlantic University , made the bizarre claim on his personal blog memoryholeblog.com, writing that …for himself. “James Tracy does not speak for the university,” Lisa Metcalf, FAU ’s director of media relations, told FoxNews.com in an email. “The website on which his post appeared is not affiliated with FAU in any way. As for any previous disciplinary actions …
Newtown leader condemns professor who suggested school massacre was ‘drill’ (Fox News © 01/08/2013) **Also ran in KBND News Radio, Indexed Jan 8 2013 10:24PM
…community really happened. James Tracy, an associate professor of media history at Florida Atlantic University , made the bizarre claim on his personal blog memoryholeblog.com, writing that …for himself. “James Tracy does not speak for the university,” Lisa Metcalf, FAU ’s director of media relations, told FoxNews.com in an email. “The website on which his post appeared is not affiliated with FAU in any way. As for any previous disciplinary actions at…
NUTTY PROFESSOR? FAU Prof Suggests Obama Behind Sandy Hook (Boca News Now © 01/08/2013) **Also ran in Bayoubuzz Indexed Jan 8 2013 9:44PM
NUTTY PROFESSOR? FAU Prof Suggests Obama Behind Sandy Hook BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Florida Atlantic University (FAU ) officials are distancing themselves from communications professor James Tracy who on his …
Obama staged Newtown shooting with ‘crisis actors,’ says professor who is totally not a crackpot (Daily KOS © 01/08/2013) Indexed Jan 8 2013 5:44PM
…all: A communication professor known for conspiracy theories has stirred controversary at Florida Atlantic University with claims that last months Newtown, Conn., school shootings did not happen …not speak for the university” and his website is “not affiliated with FAU in any way.” But lest you think that this lunatic is, you …
Professor makes no apologies for calling Conn. massacre a hoax (WPEC News 12 Palm Beach County © 01/09/2013) Indexed Jan 9 2013 3:34AM
…School massacre are creating a national controversy. Its not so much that FAU professor James Tracy doesnt believe the tragedy happened, but that he believes …could have done a better job,” Tracy said. Tracy has taught at FAU for ten years and is no stranger to controversy. Hes questioned the …reading the media stories about his blog than the blog itself. FAU Media Relations Director Lisa Metcalf says that Tracys views do not reflect …those of the universi…
Professor’s Ridiculous Newtown Theory Gets Internet Wings (Associated Content © 01/08/2013) Indexed Jan 8 2013 5:24PM
…use “whippersnapper” these days, but nonetheless, the words of a professor at Florida Atlantic Universityhave escaped their little corner of the South. Before the grand scheme …
1/9/2013 – New York Daily News – Florida conspiracy professor suggests Sand Hook massacre didn’t occur, was cooked up by Obama to promote gun control
1/9/2013 – Web Pro News – Prof: Newtown Didn’t Happen The Way We Think It Did
1/9/2013 – WBDO Orlando – FAU professor under fire for blog comments on Newtown shooting
1/8/2013 – Fox 8 Cleveland – Prof: Newtown Didn’t Happen
1/8/2013 – DesMoines Register – Florida professor, a U of I grad, stirs up controversy by disputing Newtown shooting
1/8/2013 – KSEE News 24 – College Professor Creates Controversy with Claims Connecticut School Shooting Never Happened
1/8/2013 – The Inquisitr – Florida Professor James Tracy Claims Sandy Hook Might Be A Hoax
1/8/2013 – Christian Post – Professor Claims Newtown Shooting Was Likely Staged
1/8/2013 – Radar Online – Whacko Professor Says Sandy Hook School Shooting Didn’t Happen, Was Hoax By Obama Administration
1/8/2013 – Opposing Views – Professor James Tracy Claims Sandy Hook Shooting May Not Have Happened
1/8/2013 – International Business Times – Professor Claims Sandy Hook Shooting Did Not Happen As Believed, Sees Political Agenda
1/8/2013 – Human Events – Florida Professor Questions the Newtown Massacre
1/8/2013 – Orlando Sentinel – Daughter of Eustis coach has dreams of becoming Olympic speedskater
1/9/2013 – Broward Palm Beach New Times – James Tracy, FAU Professor, Says Sandy Didn’t Happen; Revels In Notoriety
1/9/2013 – Miami New Times – FAU Professor Thinks Sandy Hook Massacre May Have Been A Media Conspiracy
1/9/2013 – The Holiday Gossip – Newtown Didn’t Happen, Professor Claims
Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – A major economic crisis is looming in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico, a US Commonwealth will be the center of attention in the world of finance in the coming months ahead. Puerto Rico’s economy has been in a recession since 2006 and its bonds are close to junk status. Puerto Rico is facing an alarming economic downturn that is clearly unsustainable. The economy is headed for a major collapse, one not seen since the great depression, this time it could be far worse. Puerto Rico has $70 billion in debt and an underfunded government pension system that will be eventually face cuts which only adds to more economic uncertainties for the population. Unemployment levels are at 14.7 percent and a mass migration of the Puerto Rican people to the United States in search of better opportunities has taking hold. Puerto Rico’s economy is dependent upon the United States government and its corporations, which many are pharmaceutical conglomerates. It is politically and socially a “Colonial Possession” of the United States since the Spanish-American war of 1898. However, Puerto Rico is not alone. The United States has other colonial possessions namely Guam, American Samoa in the Pacific and the U.S. Virgin Islands. France and Great Britain also has “Colonial Possessions” or “Overseas Territories” in a number of regions throughout the world. Puerto Rico is no exception to the rule; it is a colony that has been exploited politically and economically for more than a century under US rule.
Puerto Rico’s economy is in a dire situation. As of October 2013, the official number of people who are unemployed is at 14.7 percent, perhaps a lot higher if you count those that have dropped out of the labor force because they are no longer looking for employment opportunities. The Public debt is currently at $70 Billion and increasing daily. Early this month an article written by Justin Velez-Hagan who is executive director of The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce for Forbes magazine titled ‘Default: Puerto Rico’s Inevitable Option’ describes what lead to Puerto Rico’s debt crises:
With triple tax exemption (federal, state, and local), combined with higher-than-average yields, Puerto Rican bonds became so popular in recent years that it was able to rack up $70 billion of debt now held by institutional investors and mutual funds alike. The debt-to-GDP ratio is now nearly 70% and growing, not including pension obligations, which raises the ratio to over 90%. With a per capita debt load of $19,000 and growing, Puerto Ricans shoulder almost 4 times the burden of U.S. leader Massachusetts which carries a deficit of $5,077 per citizen
Puerto Rico’s debt is 4 times larger than Massachusetts who Velez-Hagan acknowledges as the most indebted state per citizen with $19,000. The Washington Post also sounded alarm bells concerning Puerto Rico’s economic crises. In ‘Puerto Rico, with at least $70 billion in debt, confronts a rising economic misery’ Michael A. Fletcher describes what the commonwealth faces with cuts to pensions and government jobs and a rise in taxes all across the board including small and big businesses causing a migration of Puerto Ricans to major US cities:
The economy here has been in recession for nearly eight years, crimping tax revenue and pushing the jobless rate to nearly 15 percent. Meanwhile, the government is burdened by staggering debt, spawning comparisons to bankrupt Detroit and forcing lawmakers to severely slash pensions, cut government jobs and raise taxes in a furious effort to avert default.
The implications are serious for Americans outside Puerto Rico both because a taxpayer bailout would be expensive and a default would be far more disruptive than Detroit’s record bankruptcy filing in July. Officials in San Juan and Washington are adamant that a federal bailout is not on the table, but the situation is being closely monitored by the White House, which recently named an advisory team to help Puerto Rican officials navigate the crisis.
The island’s problems have ignited an exodus not seen here since the 1950s, when 500,000 people left for jobs on the mainland. Now Puerto Ricans, who are U.S. citizens, are again leaving in droves. They are choosing the uncertainty of the job market in Orlando or New York City or Philadelphia over what they view as the certainty that their dreams would be crushed by the U.S. territory’s grinding economic problems.
Bloomberg Businessweek also published an article with concerns affecting the “Muni-Bond Market” that can rattle Wall Street’s Mutual Fund companies. ‘Puerto Rico’s Borrowing Binge Could Rock the Muni-Bond Market’ stated the facts:
The island’s plight affects almost anyone with a mutual fund invested in the municipal-bond market. Exempt from local, state, and federal taxes in the U.S., Puerto Rican bonds are held by 77 percent of muni funds, according to research firm Morningstar (MORN). About 180 funds, including ones run by OppenheimerFunds, Franklin Templeton Investments (BEN), and Dreyfus (BK), have 5 percent of their assets or more in Puerto Rican bonds.
General-obligation bonds, or GOs, which account for about 15 percent of the commonwealth’s public debt, carry the lowest investment-grade rating from Moody’s Investors Service (MCO) and S&P. A downgrade could force many mutual funds to sell part of their Puerto Rican holdings, flooding the market. “Puerto Rico could represent a systemic issue for the municipal-bond market,” says Carlos Colón de Armas, an economist and former official of the Government Development Bank, which conducts the island’s capital-markets transactions. “We are now in a situation where the bonds are trading like junk. I think the ratings agencies have been careful not to lower the GOs further, to avoid creating havoc in the muni-bond market.”
The Obama administration is sending a team of economic advisors according to Bloomberg News last month “With a $70 billion debt load and a substantially underfunded government pension system, the island has fueled market speculation it may need a bailout from Washington.” The report also stated what was on the agenda:
Most of the group’s work will focus on improving Puerto Rico’s management of federal funds to ensure officials are getting the amounts they are entitled to and putting them to effective use, according to the officials. “There is less here than some people think,” said Jeffrey Farrow, who served as the Clinton White House’s liaison on Puerto Rican affairs. “This is pretty straightforward and an extension of what they have been doing in the past, but more intense, formalized and public.”
The first team of officials was scheduled to be from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Health, Education and Housing and Urban Development departments, officials said. Puerto Rico’s education, health and housing departments are among of the biggest recipients of federal funding and have also been responsible for past Puerto Rico budget shortfalls.
The EPA’s intervention may stem from concerns regarding the ability of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to comply with new federal air quality regulations that take effect in 2015.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is one of the agencies participating under Washington’s request. Washington has required that the Puerto Rico government and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) comply with new federal air quality regulations by 2015. The online news source Caribbean Business reported back on July 11th, 2013 ‘PREPA falling behind on 2015 EPA Deadline’ that Puerto Rico is in a race to meet Washington’s air-quality standards by 2015:
A high-ranking regulatory official is concerned that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) isn’t moving fast enough to comply with strict federal air-quality standards taking effect in two years, as industry sources told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS that key decisions on the compliance process won’t be taken until next spring. Prepa plans to either close or convert most of its oil-firing units to natural gas to comply with the new air-quality standards, but it won’t select a liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier and decide on a method to deliver the gas to north-coast plants until March 2014, according to industry sources. That means the final contracts would probably not be enacted and finalized until the fourth quarter of 2014, they added.
Meanwhile, Prepa has an agreement with Texas-based Excelerate Energy to construct an offshore LNG terminal to feed the massive Aguirre powerplant in Guayama. A formal application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was filed in April and the project remains in the permitting phase. Excelerate officials have said they expect the facility to be in service in early 2015, but that outlook depends on getting timely federal approval on its environmental impact statement and several permits.
Puerto Rico’s plan to convert most of its oil-firing units to natural gas will have an impact on its economy. Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) does not have the economic capacity to invest in the construction of new plants that would supply natural gas. “While the cash-strapped public utility can’t afford to build its own plants, there is interest from large energy companies to construct new generation units through public-private partnerships (P3s)” the report stated. “That is especially the case because the move to natural gas isn’t just about compliance, but about bringing down power costs.” Caribbean Business said that Edgardo Fábregas, a former member of PREPA’s board confirmed that the public utility is considering a plan to construct a gas-fired plant “The former Prepa board member said the public utility was considering a longer-term plan to construct, through a P3 initiative, a massive natural gas-fired plant, probably on the site of Arecibo’s Cambalache plant, which is rarely used.” The report also said that Fábregas admitted to the costs associated with the project:
To do a project right, building a plant that could “flex up or down” rapidly and would have the capacity to power the entire north coast, would cost $7 billion, and take six years to build. The project would allow for the elimination of the Palo Seco and San Juan plants, Fábregas said. “We have to move to natural gas as soon as we can, but at the end of the day, you have to renew your system. I understand the cost and time implications involved, but if we don’t start, we will never finish,” he added.
According to Robert Bryce, a senior fellow with the Center for Energy Policy and the Environment at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a conservative think tank based in New York City produced a report called ‘The High Cost of Renewable-Electricity Mandates’. He wrote about the effects of Washington’s new air-quality proposal:
Motivated by a desire to reduce carbon emissions, and in the absence of federal action to do so, 29 states (and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) have required utility companies to deliver specified minimum amounts of electricity from “renewable” sources, including wind and solar power. California recently adopted the most stringent of these so-called renewable portfolio standards (RPS), requiring 33 percent of its electricity to be renewable by 2020. Proponents of the RPS plans say that the mandated restrictions will reduce harmful emissions and spur job growth, by stimulating investment in green technologies.
But this patchwork of state rules—which now affects the electricity bills of about two-thirds of the U.S. population as well as countless businesses and industrial users—has sprung up in recent years without the benefit of the states fully calculating their costs. There is growing evidence that the costs may be too high—that the price tag for purchasing renewable energy, and for building new transmission lines to deliver it, may not only outweigh any environmental benefits but may also be detrimental to the economy, costing jobs rather than adding them. The mandates amount to a “back-end way to put a price on carbon,” says one former federal regulator. Put another way, the higher cost of electricity is essentially a de facto carbon-reduction tax, one that is putting a strain on a struggling economy and is falling most heavily, in the way that regressive taxes do, on the least well-off among residential users.
To be sure, the mandates aren’t the only reason that electricity costs are rising—increased regulation of coal-fired power plants is also a major factor—and it is difficult to isolate the cost of the renewable mandates without rigorous cost-benefit analysis by the states.
The new mandate is called Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that automatically “require electricity providers to supply a specified minimum amount of power to their customers from sources that qualify as “renewable,” a category that includes wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal.” The report clarified what the results of the new energy plan would bring:
The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is similarly bullish on the state programs. The RPS rules are designed “to stimulate market and technology development,” the agency says, “so that, ultimately renewable energy will be economically competitive with conventional forms of electric power. States create RPS programs because of the energy, environmental, and economic benefits of renewable energy.”
Although supporters of renewable energy claim that the RPS mandates will bring benefits, their contribution to the economy is problematic because they also impose costs that must be incorporated into the utility bills paid by homeowners, commercial businesses, and industrial users. And those costs are or will be substantial. Electricity generated from renewable sources generally costs more—often much more—than that produced by conventional fuels such as coal and natural gas. In addition, large-scale renewable energy projects often require the construction of many miles of high-voltage transmission lines. The cost of those lines must also be incorporated into the bills paid by consumers.
What Edgardo Fábregas forgets to mention is that Bryce’s analysis on the price of producing electricity through renewable energy sources can be astronomical. It is an amazing prediction given by the EPA under the Obama administration’s directives. It is important to note that the major players in the RPS programs are connected to Wall Street and major banks that includes Goldman Sachs who is one of President Obama’s major campaign contributors. Author and journalist Matt Taibbi wrote an article on the history of Goldman Sachs and the US government’s relationship for Rolling Stone magazine called ‘The Great American Bubble Machine’. Taibbi explains how Goldman Sachs would benefit from Washington’s air-quality mandates:
The new carbon credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that’s been kind to Goldman, except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won’t even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance.
Here’s how it works: If the bill passes, there will be limits for coal plants, utilities, natural-gas distributors and numerous other industries on the amount of carbon emissions (a.k.a. greenhouse gases) they can produce per year. If the companies go over their allotment, they will be able to buy “allocations” or credits from other companies that have managed to produce fewer emissions. President Obama conservatively estimates that about $646 billion worth of carbon credits will be auctioned in the first seven years; one of his top economic aides speculates that the real number might be twice or even three times that amount.
The feature of this plan that has special appeal to speculators is that the “cap” on carbon will be continually lowered by the government, which means that carbon credits will become more and more scarce with each passing year. Which means that this is a brand new commodities market where the main commodity to be traded is guaranteed to rise in price over time. The volume of this new market will be upwards of a trillion dollars annually; for comparison’s sake, the annual combined revenues of all electricity suppliers in the U.S. total $320 billion.
One other important factor to consider regarding Puerto Rico’s energy demands in the future is the supply of natural gas. Puerto Rico is hoping to secure a steady supply of natural gas from the United States for the next 100 years. “A key part of the plan is to secure a long-term LNG contract with the U.S., which has the most economical prices in the world, the result of a boon in U.S. natural gas exploration, which has unearthed a supply that experts say will last a century” according to the Caribbean Business report. In the 2012 State of the Union Address, US President Barack Obama said “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years, and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy.” F. William Endahl, a research associate at Global Research wrote a ground breaking report, ‘The Fracked-up USA Shale Gas Bubble’ wrote that the 100 year supply of natural gas is in fact an inaccurate prediction:
In a sobering report, Arthur Berman, a veteran petroleum geologist specialized in well assessment, using existing well extraction data for major shale gas regions in the US since the boom started, reached sobering conclusions. His findings point to a new Ponzi scheme which well might play out in a colossal gas bust over the next months or at best, the next two or three years. Shale gas is anything but the “energy revolution” that will give US consumers or the world gas for 100 years as President Obama was told.
Berman wrote already in 2011, “Facts indicate that most wells are not commercial at current gas prices and require prices at least in the range of $8.00 to $9.00/mcf to break even on full-cycle prices, and $5.00 to $6.00/mcf on point-forward prices. Our price forecasts ($4.00-4.55/mcf average through 2012) are below $8.00/mcf for the next 18 months. It is, therefore, possible that some producers will be unable to maintain present drilling levels from cash flow, joint ventures, asset sales and stock offerings.” 
Berman continued, “Decline rates indicate that a decrease in drilling by any of the major producers in the shale gas plays would reveal the insecurity of supply. This is especially true in the case of the Haynesville Shale play where initial rates are about three times higher than in the Barnett or Fayetteville. Already, rig rates are dropping in the Haynesville as operators shift emphasis to more liquid-prone objectives that have even lower gas rates. This might create doubt about the paradigm of cheap and abundant shale gas supply and have a cascading effect on confidence and capital availability.” 
What Berman and others have also concluded is that the gas industry key players and their Wall Street bankers backing the shale boom have grossly inflated the volumes of recoverable shale gas reserves and hence its expected supply duration. He notes, “Reserves and economics depend on estimated ultimate recoveries (EUR) based on hyperbolic, or increasingly flattening, decline profiles that predict decades of commercial production. With only a few years of production history in most of these plays, this model has not been shown to be correct, and may be overly optimistic….Our analysis of shale gas well decline trends indicates that the Estimated Ultimate Recovery per well is approximately one-half the values commonly presented by operators.”  In brief, the gas producers have built the illusion that their unconventional and increasingly costly shale gas will last for decades.
However, Caribbean Business says that “Prepa has invited several suppliers to bid on a project to supply the north-coast plants with natural gas. It is spelling out its gas needs at its Palo Seco and San Juan plants, letting the energy companies decide the best way to supply the natural gas” and that “Prepa has made some progress on its natural gas conversion plan, which energy experts say is the only way to bring down the high cost of electricity.” Allowing energy companies decide how to supply gas would add to the price in the long run. Russia Today recently reported that “fracking technology” is causing major environmental problems within the United States. Since 2008, the state of Texas has been experiencing more earthquakes than ever before:
Between 1970 and 2007, the area around the Texas town of Azle (pop. 10,000) experienced just two earthquakes. The peace and quiet began to change, however, at the start of 2008, when 74 minor quakes were reported in the region. Now an increasing number of people, including scientists, are speculating that natural gas production by fracking – a process that forces high pressure water and chemicals into rock in order to extract natural gas reserves – is the culprit. The problem, however, is proving the claims.
Cliff Frolich, earthquake researcher at the University of Texas, said waste water injection wells from fracking could be responsible for the recent spate of earthquake activity. “I’d say it certainly looks very possible that the earthquakes are related to injection wells,” he said in an interview with KHOU television.
Frolich left room for doubt when he said thousands of such wells have operated in Texas for decades with no quakes anywhere near them. Frolich co-authored a 2009 study on earthquake activity near Cleburne, just south of Azle, which concluded: “The possibility exists that earthquakes may be related to fluid injection.” A recent government study lent credence to Frolich’s findings.
There have been Anti-fracking protests around the world. Fracking or “hydraulic fracturing” is a water-intensive process where millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals combined are injected underground with intensive pressure to fracture rocks that surround an oil or gas well. This process then releases extra oil and gas from the rock which flows into the well. “Fracking Technology” is proving to be environmentally dangerous for the health and safety of communities located in close proximity to these well sites. It causes many problems for the air we breathe and long-term environmental damage. For example, water can become contaminated from the toxins fracking has caused. It is an environmental hazard.
EPA rules and regulations also have the potential to impose a “carbon tax option” for states according to The Hill, A Washington D.C. based daily newspaper reported last month that Brookings Institution economist Adele Morris said that a carbon excise tax can be imposed on states:
Morris, a carbon tax supporter, argues that a carbon excise tax could be part of the “menu of specific approaches” that the agency gives states that will craft plans to meet the federal guidelines. Morris suggests that the EPA could “allow states to adopt a specific state-level excise tax or fee on the carbon content of fuels combusted by the power plants regulated under this rule.”
In other words, an excise tax associated with renewable energy supplies can be added only leading to higher energy costs for households, businesses and major industries. It would also allow Puerto Rico to contribute to the environmental degradation because of its future demands of natural gas which has no guarantee of supplies for the next 100 years. It is a recipe for disaster for both the economy and the environment.
Will new EPA rules bankrupt farmers?
It is estimated that Puerto Rico imports at least 85% of the food supply from the United States according to the Latin American Herald Tribune. ‘Puerto Rico Imports 85 Percent of Its Food’ stated that “Puerto Rico imports 85 percent of the food its residents consume due to the lack of competitiveness among companies in this U.S. commonwealth, Agriculture Secretary Javier Rivera told Efe.” Agriculture Secretary Rivera admits that the majority of food is imported from the United States even though Puerto Rico has the capability to produce its own food, but cannot compete with US food suppliers. Rivera continued “Although we have the technical capacity, we’re not able to produce competitively” Why? “The secretary attributed the drop in production to the high operating costs of growing food on the island, which are, in turn, a result of high labor costs, as well as rising energy and fertilizer prices. Rivera acknowledged that therefore many farmers – of which there are fewer than 2,000 on the island, according to recent statistics – have come to depend on government subsidies to stay in business.” With new EPA regulations, remaining farmers will bear higher-energy costs because of the EPA’s new federal air quality regulations that will start in 2015. Agriculture on the island would be affected and farmers would be economically bankrupt when energy prices begin to rise.
From the 1929 Great Depression to the Recession of 2014
Looking back to the 1930’s, Puerto Rico was in economic despair due to the effects of the Great Depression. In 1940, the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) under the leadership of Washington’s puppet governor Luis Munoz Marin came to power with 37.9% of the vote compared to 39.2% of the Republican-Socialist coalition. The PPD also won the 1944 elections with 64.8% of the vote. The PPD was determined to transform Puerto Rico’s economy from an Agricultural farm-based to an export-driven modern industrial economy.
The US and Puerto Rico governments wanted to fast track the urbanization in many areas from a rural society to a modern, industrial urban center that would resemble New York City’s economy. For a short period of time, the project did increase living wages, improved housing conditions, health care and education. It also led to equitable land reforms,. At the same time the plan increased unemployment rates because many Puerto Ricans were unqualified for the types of jobs the new Industrial economy provided. It increased the migration levels to the United States, namely New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Puerto Rico became more dependent on U.S. markets and created more public and private debts. The most important aspect of US economic and political control of Puerto Rico was the cultural transformation of the population. It became what sociologist call “Americanization”. They were subjected to American culture, media, laws, and even its foods under Washington’s economic and social plan. In ‘Economic History of Puerto Rico: Institutional Change and Capitalist Development’ by James L. Dietz, professor of economics and Latin American studies at California State University wrote:
Industrialization and the accompanying decline of agriculture after the late 1940s did nothing to expand and make permanent the relative autonomy of the early 1940s. Instead, the PPD program had just the opposite result: it laid the foundation for increased dominance by U.S. capital from the 1950s to the present. The PPD’s goal of eventual political independence, after the attainment of social justice and a solution to the island’s economic problems, faded further into the future and eventually disappeared altogether. It may be that Munoz and the PPD never really were committed to independence, as many have suggested, but it is more likely that, as the PPD’s redirection of the economy under Munoz’s leadership tied its destiny ever closer to that of the United States, what they had became what they wanted as what they had wanted slipped further and further from their grasp
In ‘How an Economy Grows and why it Crashes’ author and economist Peter Schiff stated that “The evidence supporting these claims is largely emotional. What is far more certain is that the government’s monopoly control of public projects and services almost always leads to inefficiency, corruption, graft, and decay.” Puerto Rico’s economy was under US control then as it is now. Dietz says that “From 1941 to 1949, the government followed a program of land reform, control over and development of infrastructure and institutions, administrative organization, and limited industrialization through factories owned and operated by the government.” Comparing to what Peter Schiff said the Puerto Rican government’s control of certain economic sectors led to numerous “inefficiencies” and “Decay.” The bleak economic growth of Puerto Rico did not improve through a program called ‘Operacion Manos a la Obra’ or ‘Operation Bootstrap’ in English. It was known as “Industrialization by Invitation” to attract foreign investment. It failed in the long-run. Dietz further wrote:
“Yet Operation Bootstrap made it difficult for Puerto Ricans to improve their standard of living through their own efforts, since it put control over that process in the hands of U.S. firms, whose interests did not necessarily coincide with those of the majority on the island. It is likely that no one consciously intended such results from a development program that seemed so promising, but Puerto Rico’s colonial relation with the United States prevented, or at a minimum made more difficult, a more independent existence for the economy and society”
Puerto Rico’s dependence on the US mainland became evident as the years went by, but right from the beginning of World War II, Puerto Rico’s economy suffered. “The war shut Puerto Rico off from its primary export market and source of imported goods, and meanwhile, there were no war industries to absorb surplus labor; consequently, unemployment increased” according to Dietz. Today, Puerto Rico is suffering from a recession that started in 2006. In another report by Caribbean Business ‘PR reverses growth forecast, now predicts another year of recession’ and stated the dire predictions by the government of Puerto Rico, “The Puerto Rico government has dropped expectations for economic growth this fiscal year as the island struggles to pull out of a marathon downturn dating back to 2006. The Planning Board said Friday it is now projecting that the economy will shrink by 0.8 percent in fiscal 2014, dropping its previous forecast for razor-thin growth of 0.2 percent.” Puerto Rico’s economy will continue to decline as the US economy continues with its own economic problems. It will become more difficult as time progresses for Puerto Rico.
The Collapsing US Dollar and the Fall of Rome
The US Dollar as a the world’s reserve currency is in its last stages because the US owes trillions of dollars in household, corporate and financial debt and future underfunded welfare liabilities. The demand for U.S. dollars kept prices and interest rates low. It allowed the U.S. government to acquire the economic power it needed to dominate the world economically. It allowed the Federal Reserve Bank to print dollars unconditionally. Although the US dollar is still dominate with more the 50% of foreign currency reserves in the world, a gradual transition for other currencies is coming in the near future. The dollar will eventually lose its value. Interest rates on every loan and credit card will rise.
This is a recipe for disaster, because if a country such as Puerto Rico cannot produce its own food and is dependent on a foreign source that is the most indebted nation in world history with more than $17 trillion dollars in debt which continues to increase each passing day is a serious problem for Puerto Rico’s future. Tyler Durden of zerohedge.com provided a chart in 2012 to show the fiscal danger the United States faces in the near future. Durden explains:
We present the following chart showing total US Federal debt/GDP as well as Deficit/(Surplus)/GDP since inception, or in this case as close as feasible, or 1792, which appears to be the first recorded year of historical fiscal data. We can see why readers have been so eager to see the “real big picture” – the chart is nothing short of stunning.
Confronting Neo-liberal Capitalism: SIGTUR’s tenth Congress in Perth/Australia, 2 to 6 December 2013.
|Delegates at the SIGTUR Congress in Perth.|
|Discussions at the SIGTUR Congress in Perth|
And the potential is there. A new structure with four regional co-ordinators has been established and several targets for joint activities identified. The unique Global South dimension, the fact that SIGTUR members perhaps with the exception of the ACTU are not affected by the ideology of social partnership still puts it in a unique place for class struggle against capitalism. The presence of three trade unionists from Myanmar, where it has just recently become possible to form openly trade unions, and SIGTUR’s signing up to the initiative of Trade unions for energy democracyindicates that it remains cutting edge as an international labour organisation. The decisive task will be to translate this potential into concrete actions so that SIGTUR becomes more known internationally and its more militant outlook can provide a guiding example for others.
The American government – like the Japanese and Canadian governments – are covering up the extent of the Fukushima crisis. Someone launched a White House petition saying: Tell the truth to the American people about radiation emitted by Fukushima Dai-Chi … Continue reading →