Obama’s Private Army Comes To Life
Obama is building a massive army of drones that carry amazingly-lethal chemical weapons and strike from the sky at a moment’s notice. In 2014, the beginnings of as many as 30,000 of these ‘swarming drones’ will be flying over America.
Remember that ‘private army’ he promised he would build when he ran for president in 2008? He is about to fulfill that promise.
Daily Mail UK: The U.S. Department of Defense revealed its Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap, setting out its technology aims for the next 25 years. Its plans include drone-bombs that can hunt in ‘swarms’ from a mother-ship.
Unmanned aircraft carrying stronger chemical weapons could also be on the horizon, the U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) revealed in its Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap.
While the document sets out plans for unmanned maritime, land and air vehicles, there is a lot of focus on the future capability of controversial drones, which, if the plans come to fruition, could deviate from mission commands set by humans if they spot a better target. Current drones require intensive manpower on the ground to fly, which is expensive and the DoD plans on cutting costs by letting the machines make more decisions themselves, Live Science reported.
The DoD’s roadmap also features plans for deadly ‘swarms’ of drone-bombs that are launched from an unmanned ‘mothership’ to circle the skies while a human operator searches for targets for the drones to crash into, guided by the bots’ on-board cameras. source – Daily Mail UK
JERUSALEM — Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, comatose since a 2006 stroke, slipped closer to death Thursday after a sharp decline in the condition of the ex-general who long symbolized Israel’s military might.
Reviled by Arabs over his hardline policies and viewed with a mixture of respect and suspicion by many Israelis, 85-year-old Sharon has been on life support at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv for the past eight years, far from the public gaze.
“I am no prophet, but the feeling of his doctors and his sons . . . is that there has been a change for the worse,” Sheba director Zeev Rotstein told reporters.
Rotstein, in the first official medical statement on Sharon’s condition after reports on Wednesday that he had suffered a kidney malfunction, said doctors expect a deterioration in several life-sustaining organs.
“We are defining his condition as critical, and there is definitely a threat to his life,” he said. “The feeling of everyone . . . is that this decline is very serious.”
Sharon’s two sons were at his bedside, doctors said, and a state funeral was planned.
One of Israel’s most famous generals, Sharon left his mark on the region through military invasion, Jewish settlement building on captured land and a shock, unilateral decision to pull Israeli troops and settlers out of the Gaza Strip in 2005.
In 1983, an Israeli state inquiry found Sharon, then the defense minister, indirectly responsible for the killing of hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children at Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. He was forced to resign his post.
The slaughter took place after the Israeli army, which invaded Lebanon in 1982, allowed Israeli-backed Christian Phalangist militiamen to enter the camps, ostensibly to search for Palestinian gunmen.
“He’ll be remembered as the last of his generation of Israeli fighters and founders,” Dedi Cohen, a 38-year-old lawyer, told Reuters in Tel Aviv.
“He was a bulldozer who got things done. I know he was controversial, but he had values. He stood for something. That’s missing today,” Cohen said.
Raanan Gissin, a former senior aide to Sharon, said that doctors believe death could come within days or even hours.
“It’s a very sad moment . . . for people in Israel because Ariel Sharon was an icon in Israel,” Gissin said.
WAR AND PEACE
Sharon’s devastating illness began shortly after he quit the right-wing Likud party, where he had promoted Jewish settlement in territory captured in the 1967 Middle East war, and founded a centrist faction with the declared aim of advancing peace with his long-standing foe, the Palestinians.
Battling a Palestinian uprising that began in 2000 after peace talks collapsed, Sharon initiated the building of a contentious barrier across the occupied West Bank and presented a plan to “disengage” from the Gaza Strip.
“As a prime minister he took a very brave step in leaving the [Gaza] settlements. He did something unexpected that was very surprising for a right-wing prime minister, for the better,” said Anat Harel, 25, a computer science student in the southern town of Ashkelon.
Critics of Sharon’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza point to the territory’s seizure two years later by Hamas Islamists opposed to Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and repeated rocket fire from the enclave.
“We worked together but it is no secret that our ways parted at the moment he started talking about the [Gaza] disengagement,” Yuli Edelstein, the speaker of the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, said on Israel Radio.
“But even these things do not cancel out his military past, his contribution to the country, or my memories of him,” Edelstein said.
In the Gaza Strip, a Hamas leader spoke bitterly of a man the movement sees as one of the Palestinians’ worst enemies.
“Ariel Sharon is going the same direction as other tyrants and criminals whose hands were covered in Palestinian blood,” said the leader, Khalil al-Hayya.
There was no sympathy either in the occupied West Bank. “God willing he dies,” said Rauf Ramia, a laborer from the Qalandia refugee camp. “He’s a terrible person.” source – News Max
Perhaps it is possible — and how nice it would be to believe this — that war between the greatest nations on earth has been abolished.
The cost and the threat of nuclear escalation is so horrendous that reason argues that nothing remotely resembling the 20th century’s vast global clashes can ever happen again.
Assuredly, there can be no more Dunkirks or D-Days, because no Western nation — even the United States — can deploy a mass army.
If conflict does come, it will be waged with the high-tech weapons of our own time: warplanes manned and unmanned, missiles, cyber-attack weapons and the many instruments of destruction guided from space satellites.
But this would not make a great power conflict any less catastrophic.
And this is why a shiver will have run through the leaderships of Asia and of the Western powers this week when China’s ambassador to London argued that Japan risks ‘a serious threat to global peace’ by ‘rekindling’ the bellicose attitude that hastened the expansion of World War II into a global conflict.
He even compared Japan today to Lord Voldemort, the arch villain in the Harry Potter novels.
This comes just a few weeks after China — with absolutely no warning — declared hundreds of thousands of square miles of airspace above the East China Sea as its own Air Defence Zone.
This includes the eight tiny uninhabited pimples, called the Senkaku Islands by Japan and Diaoyu by China. Taiwan also has a claim to the islands — nationalised by Japan from private sellers in 2012, much to the anger of China.
The United States responded to this bitter dispute between Tokyo and Beijing by dispatching two USAAF B-52s bombers to overfly the islands, emphasising its commitment to the right of free navigation.
Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, declared gravely that China had started ‘a whole new game’. His government threatened to shoot down any Chinese drones that appeared over the Senkakus. Beijing responded that this would be an act of war.
Nobody, including the Chinese, wants armed conflict. Indeed, an analyst for the International Institute Of Strategic Studies has said that China ‘aims to push rather than break limits’.
Yet the tensions between Tokyo, Washington and Beijing have been increasing for years.
For the moment, China, the U.S. and Japan still maintain courtesies between governments. Most crucially, Beijing holds trillions of dollars of U.S. debt.
But many of history’s wars have been triggered by miscalculations while nations have been testing each other’s strengths.
Indeed, there is a profound fear in Washington, in Tokyo, and maybe also in Beijing, that one day something unspeakably ghastly could happen by mistake.
Remember that in 1914 before the outbreak of World War I, Britain and Germany were each other’s largest trading partners. Professor Peter Dutton, of the U.S. Naval War College, has warned of the growing tensions, saying: ‘China’s challenge to existing maritime norms is creating hairline fractures in the global order.’
This comment followed an authoritative Washington defence guru who said that, whatever short-term bother terror groups such as Al Qaeda might cause, ‘in the middle-long term, there will only be one main concern of the U.S. armed forces, and that is China. China is reshaping the military order in Asia, and is doing so at our expense’.
China has an ever-growing fleet of missile-armed warships — thought to number around 80, as well as nearly 300 amphibious assault ships — including fast-attack craft specifically designed as ‘carrier-killers’, to engage the U.S. Navy’s behemoths.
In response, the huge U.S. Andersen air force base on the Pacific Ocean island of Guam has become host to a £10 billion reinforcement programme.
As a result, its hangars now hold B-2 and B-52 bombers, air-to-surface and cruise missiles, Global Hawk drones, F-15 and F-22 fighters, the latter just a 20-minute flight from the Taiwan Strait.
Amitai Etzioni, professor of international relations at George Washington University, declares bleakly: ‘There are increasing signs that the United States and China are on a collision course.’
What is not disputed is that China is determined to assert its new status as a major regional power, while the U.S. is equally bent upon deterring or deflecting Chinese expansionism, and especially aggressiveness.
This was the reason behind President Obama’s 2010 decision to rebalance American strategic assets towards the Pacific.
The American case is as readily made as was the British one, for resisting quite similar German posturing before 1914. Washington’s attitude is: ‘We and our allies are democracies, while China is an autocracy which denies respect for human rights or international law.’
I believe that unless the Washington administration makes plain its determination to support any country (such as Japan) that is threatened with aggression by Beijing, China will go ahead and impose its ruthless will upon the entire Pacific region.
As for the contrary view from Beijing itself, China’s leaders cherish a profound grievance about the Tokyo government’s persistent refusal to confront the reality of Japan’s mid-20th century war crimes in Asia.
For the Tokyo government asserts that the time has passed for any Japanese apologies or even discussion of its historical record.
An example of this defiance is the military museum that is situated next door to Tokyo’s Yasakuni shrine, where so many Japanese war criminals’ ashes lie and to which many Japanese politicians visit to pay homage.
I have been to the place myself, and find it as repugnant as do the Chinese. Which is why they found such offence a few days ago when the Japanese premier arrived there to pay his respects. (Its choice of exhibits is intended to prove that during the middle of the last century, Japan entered China — where at least 15 million people fell victim to its occupation — and other Asian countries in order to ‘protect’ them from European exploitation.) In the same vein, Japan describes its half-century occupation of Korea as a ‘partnership’. source – Daily Mail UK
Obamacare Glitch Delaying Medicare Payments
The contractor building the financial management system for Healthcare.gov is being blamed by a Houston hospital for delayed Medicare reimbursements that have caused the hospital to miss payrolls for weeks. Novitas Solutions is the federal government’s new Medicare payment processor for the south-central region of the country hired by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS.)
ABC-KTRK in Houston reports:
According to the CEO Jason Leday, more than 150 employees haven’t been paid in nearly a month.
“I understand that they have children and a house payment, bills. Not getting paid is wow,” nearby resident Theresa Gutierrez said.
The hospital is strapped for cash not because its not making money, but because Leday says a new Medicare payment facilitator named Novitas Solutions is taking too way long to pay out Medicare claims to the hospital.
Leday says he’s owed nearly $3 million in payments from Medicare and can’t make payroll…
The Texas Medical Association says they are familiar with complaints like this one regarding the medicare payment facilitator- and a representative told us smaller community hospitals like this one are in similar situations.
Novitas also runs the south-central region’s Medicare website which was launched just two days before the October 1 launch of Healthcare.gov. As THE WEEKLY STANDARD reported on December 19, that site has experienced problems reminiscent of Healthcare.gov’s troubles, and the site will not be fully operational until well into 2014.
Novitas’s direct connection to Healthcare.gov stems from an emergency, no-bid contract for “financial management services” awarded in August and first reported by THE WEEKLY STANDARD in September. The services required included accounting, tracking of accounts receivable and accounts payable, documenting funds collected by CMS, and data validation, among other things. CMS justified the no-bid award because the “prospect of a delay in implementing the Marketplace by the operational date of January 1, 2014, even for a few days, would result in severe consequences, financial and other” and that the services required were “beyond what was initially anticipated and beyond CMS’ currently available resources.”
Novitas did not respond to KTRK for its story, and so far has not responded to a request for comment since the story ran. In the past, Novitas has referred requests for comment to HHS.
Despite initially promising more information about the August contract, HHS/CMS has ignored repeated requests for clarification about the nature of the work and how it relates to the mission of Healthcare.gov. HHS has not responded to a request for comment about the reports of slow payments to hospitals either. source – Weekly Standard
“And here’s what you need to know. First, I will not sign a health care plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future. I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period” – Barack Obama, September 9, 2009
The hard, cold reality of Obamacare is that it adds $6,200,000,000,000.00 to our national deficit. One of the largest, most impactful laws ever to be passed in American history, and it is 100% based upon a lie.
The Week: ObamaCare has delivered another sucker punch to the middle class. This time it’s sticker shock. Now that most people can get past the tech problems of HealthCare.gov and actually see the real cost of insurance plans available, they are finding that Affordable Care is a big hit to the family budget. And when the family budget gets hit in the solar plexus, guess what happens to consumer spending and the economy?
In California, policies for about 900,000 Californians are being canceled because of ObamaCare’s mandates, and about two-thirds of these do not qualify for subsidies, according to The Chicago Tribune. The result: These folks will be paying higher premiums.
In Alabama, premiums have doubled for some middle-class families, like that of Courtney Long, a stay-at-home mother of four. She told WHNT News, “It’s devastating. I started crying.”
“I mean, we have worked so hard to get out of credit card debt, get ahead on the car loan, transfer our mortgage to a 15- from a 30-year mortgage… and for what?”
In Tennessee, GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander issued an analysis of a White House report and found the following:
- Today, a 27-year-old man in Memphis can buy a plan for as low as $41 a month. On the exchange, the lowest state average is $119 a month — a 190 percent increase.
- Today, a 27-year-old woman in Nashville can also buy a plan for as low as $58 a month. On the exchange, the lowest-priced plan in Nashville is $114 a month — a 97 percent increase. Even with a tax subsidy, that plan is $104 a month, almost twice what she could pay today.
- Today, women in Nashville can choose from 30 insurance plans that cost less than the administration says insurance plans on the exchange will cost, even with the new tax subsidy.
- In Nashville, 105 insurance plans offered today will not be available in the exchange.
In Washington state, ObamaCare will increase the underlying cost of individually purchased health insurance by 34 to 80 percent on average, according to Forbes.
The list goes on and on and includes Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Georgia, and North Carolina. But premiums are just the beginning. The deductibles are outrageous, too.
A recent article in The New York Times tells the story of Doug and Ginger Chapman, ages 55 and 54, a middle-class couple “sitting on the health care cliff.” Their annual income of around $100,000 a year makes them ineligible for a subsidy in New Hampshire (if they earned under $94,000, it would cut their costs by half). They have to replace their family insurance which includes the two of them and their two sons. The premium cost alone, not including any deductible, is $1,000 a month, or 12 percent of their income.
The Times‘ analysis found the following:
The cost of premiums for people who just miss qualifying for subsidies rises rapidly for people in their 50s and 60s. In some places, prices can quickly approach 20 percent of a person’s income. Experts consider health insurance unaffordable once it exceeds 10 percent of annual income. By that measure, a 50-year-old making $50,000 a year, or just above the qualifying limit for assistance, would find the cheapest available plan to be unaffordable in more than 170 counties around the country, ranging from Anchorage to Jackson, Miss. [The New York Times]
The other group that gets disproportionately hit is the young, according to Forbes. For a 40-year-old, the 2013 average deductible was $4,045, and the monthly cost increased 29 percent to $309. For a 64-year-old man, the monthly cost of a plan with a $3,494 deductible increased 64 percent to $806.
If even a fraction of the middle class and upper middle income earners divert some of their discretionary dollars to pay for health care, it will have a significant impact on consumer spending. What will that mean for the economy? Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the nation’s GDP, although experts say that number is likely to decline.
The top 20 percent of income earners account for about 40 percent of all spending in the U.S. When you increase the costs of health care and the new taxes associated with ObamaCare, you can hear the wallets closing. source – The Week
RELATED STORY: The Mark of the Beast and the Implantable RFID Chip
The onslaught of technological coolness is dazzling, mind-boggling even. Everywhere you look there are apps and wearable devices that sync up to the cloud, and everyone is adopting them like crazy. George Orwell, in all his 1984 glory, could not have envisioned the One World Government curve ball that this would engender.
We no longer have to worry about the government creating a file on us, we are making our own with every post, pic and #hashtag we launch out into the cybersphere. And when the Mark of the Beast arrives, people will jump to adopt that one as well.
Good thing that we won’t be here for that!
CS Monitor: Apple’s new iPhone 5S comes with the company’s first fingerprint scanner. A simple stamp of your thumb can now unlock the phone or confirm online purchases. No passwords are required.
While Apple fans have long awaited this big update, so has another group: the biometrics industry. Sensor companies have been wishing for a major player to swoop in, show how far the technology has advanced, and persuade shoppers that biometrics can be cool.
“Many think that the iPhone 5S is a tipping point for consumers,” says Adam Vrankulj, editor of the industry news outlet Biometric Update. After Apple purchased fingerprint-sensor company AuthenTec for $350 million in 2012, the stock price of several similar firms more than doubled.
Fingerprint sensors have come a long way since 2002, when researchers found a way to trick high-end scanners with fake gelatin fingers. Today’s technology not only reads the tiny ridge patterns, but some can also look at blood flow and vein patterns underneath the skin.
Plus, we now know that fingerprints and irises are not people’s only unique features. Scientists have devised ways to identify humans by the shape of their ears, kneecaps, and even their bottoms. A team at the Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology in Tokyo designed its rump sensor as an anti-theft measure for cars. The group claims that these prototype seats can recognize the owner’s posterior with 98 percent accuracy.
Canadian firm Bionym listens to people’s heart rhythms. While a human heart pounds at different tempos throughout the day, each person has a unique overall pattern, one based on the size and position of the heart within the body. The company’s Nymi bracelet uses electrocardiogram technology to read this heart rhythm and confirm the wearer’s identity.
Of course, biometric scanners are still far from perfect. The iPhone reportedly stumbles when it comes to wet or sweaty fingers. Mr. Vrankulj says the facial recognition software in his Android phone has a hard time with glasses and his newly grown beard – not to mention the false positives from simply holding up an image of the owner’s face.
Some have also voiced concerns about government agencies demanding the fingerprints of certain customers. Apple says such seizures would be impossible. The encrypted data stays locked up within the device, not on any of Apple’s servers. source – CS Monitor
The Department of Health and Human Services has ordered 14 million doses of potassium iodide, the compound that protects the body from radioactive poisoning in the aftermath of severe nuclear accidents, to be delivered before the beginning of February.
According to a solicitation posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the DHHS asks contractors to supply, “potassium iodide tablet, 65mg, unit dose package of 20s; 700,000 packages (of 20s),” a total of 14 million tablets. The packages must be delivered on or before February 1, 2014.
Potassium iodide helps block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland and is used by victims of severe nuclear accidents or emergencies. Under current regulations, states with populations living within 10 miles of a nuclear plant are encouraged, but not required, to maintain a supply of potassium iodide.
A search of the FedBizOpps website returns no other results regarding the purchase of potassium iodide from any government agency, suggesting that the DHHS bulk buy of the tablets is unprecedented in recent times.
The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant has prompted concerns that the purchase is connected to the threat posed by radioactive debris washing up on the shores of the west coast or the potential for another natural disaster occurring in Japan which could impact the U.S.
“Governments usually respond to disasters very similarly; first move is to avoid panic,” writes The West Wire. “The Japanese didn’t want to panic the world, or tarnish their honor and now, as a consequence of their reluctance, Japanese citizens and international aid personal find themselves in a horrible state of being.”
“Panic is usually avoided by keeping their citizens as blind to the truth as possible, until confrontation with the truth becomes inevitable. The crucial question at this juncture; “would our government be reluctant about warning us of potential disaster, in an attempt to avoid panic?” 14 million doses of Potassium Iodide say that might just be the case.”
Last month it was revealed that 71 U.S. sailors who helped during the initial Fukushima relief efforts are suing the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) after they returned with thyroid cancer, Leukemia, and brain tumors as a result of being exposed to radiation at 300 times the safe level.
TEPCO has repeatedly been caught lying in their efforts to downplay the scale of the disaster. In September it was confirmed that radiation readings around the power plant were 18 times higher than previously reported by TEPCO. After a tank leaked 300 tonnes of toxic water in August, groundwater radiation readings at the plant soared to 400,000 becquerels per litre, the highest reading since the nuclear accident occurred in March 2011.
Top scientists have warned that if another major earthquake hits Fukushima, which is almost inevitable, it would mean “bye bye Japan” and the complete evacuation of the west coast of North America.
Now that radioactive debris is hitting the West Coast of North America, numerous different animals and sea life are suffering from mysterious diseases, including 20 bald eagles that have died in Utah over the last few weeks alone. source – InfoWars