Thursday, February 13, 2014

Retail Apocalypse? Major Chains Closing Hundreds Of Stores

(Daniel Jennings) Hundreds of stores across the nation are closing as some of America’s most famous retailers struggle to stay in business.

The country is facing what CNBC has labeled a tsunami of store closings and blogger Michael Snyder has called a retail apocalypse.

Sears, K-Mart, Best Buy and JC Penney are among the big names in American retail that could disappear in the coming years, according to investment analysts. If or when these chains collapse, thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in sales tax revenue will disappear.

Major retailers are posed to close 300 stores in the United States this year and that is only the beginning, CNBC reported. Up to half of the retail stores in the United States could disappear in the next 10 years, analyst Michael Burden told CNBC.

- See more at:

Hello! With the demise of labor unions, fair wages and decent benefits - what the hell did these idiots expect

The reason that retail stores are folding is because wages have been stagnant or declining for DECADES. There are many people who cannot afford anything but the basics of life these days. Henry Ford figured out a long time ago that if he did not pay his workers a living wage, they could not afford to buy his product - and that is exactly what is happening now.

This is just amazing, and shows to what length these anti-union communist fanatics will go to!

U.S. senator drops bombshell during VW plant union vote

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee said on Wednesday he has been "assured" that if workers at the Volkswagen AG plant in his hometown of Chattanooga reject United Auto Worker representation, the company will reward the plant with a new product to build.

Corker's bombshell, which runs counter to public statements by Volkswagen, was dropped on the first of a three-day secret ballot election of blue-collar workers at the Chattanooga plant whether to allow the UAW to represent them.

Corker has long been an opponent of the union which he says hurts economic and job growth in Tennessee, a charge that UAW officials say is untrue.

"I've had conversations today and based on those am assured that should the workers vote against the UAW, Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new mid-size SUV here in Chattanooga," said Corker, without saying with whom he had the conversations.

In the past few weeks, Volkswagen officials have made several statements that the vote will have no bearing on whether the SUV will be made at the Chattanooga plant or at a plant in Puebla, Mexico.
National Labor Relations Board expert Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt, who is professor of labor at the
University of Indiana-Bloomington, said Corker was trying to intimidate workers into voting against the union.

"I'm really kind of shocked at Corker's statement," said Dau-Schmidt. "It's so inconsistent with what VW has been saying and VW's labor relations policy in general."

The Indiana professor also said Corker's comments "would be grounds to set the election aside and have to run it all over again at a later date" because it could be ruled to be interfering to the point that it is against federal labor law.

A spokeswoman for Corker did not respond when asked whether the senator also meant that a vote for the UAW would mean that the plant would not get the new product, which could create an estimated 1,500 new jobs.

Volkswagen officials did not return calls and emails for comment on Corker's statement.
Mike Burton of Southern Momentum, an anti-UAW group of plant workers, said Corker's statement makes sense.

"We are in a battle with Mexico on where this new product goes," said Burton, "and it stands to reason that the union will add costs. We need to keep costs down to fight for that new product."

Another labor expert, Harley Shaiken of the University of California-Berkeley, said, "The senator's comments amount to economic intimidation that undermines the whole nature of union representation elections."

Shaiken often advises UAW officials.

"If the senator's statement doesn't violate the letter of the law, it certainly violates the spirit of the law," Shaiken said.


Gary Casteel, UAW regional director for a 12-state area that includes Tennessee, said on Wednesday night, "Corker's statement is in direct contradiction to Volkswagen's statements.

"They have specifically said that this vote will have no bearing on the decision of where to place the new product."

In the past, Casteel has said that Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant, opened in 2011, needs a second product to survive. It has built the compact Passat sedan since it opened.

The plant has about 1,550 Volkswagen workers eligible to vote in the election, which is supervised by the National Labor Relations Board.

Pro- and anti-UAW workers said they were not sure if snowy weather will affect turnout for the vote, which ends on Friday when the plant does not produce cars.

On Wednesday - day one of the vote - the night shift was canceled after only one car was produced because snow prevented workers reaching the plant, said two VW employees who wished to remain anonymous.

A source familiar with the plans of the Volkswagen supervisory board which makes decisions on product placement said that the board has not yet made a decision on the issue, and that it will take it up in a meeting on February 22.

Corker on Tuesday returned from Washington to hold a Tuesday press conference at his downtown Chattanooga senate office in order to speak against the UAW in time for the worker vote at the plant.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This is just unbelievable. Both the company and the workers are fine with a union, but because of this, the government is going to punish VW. This shows you how fanatical and anti-freedom the anti-union movement is.

Here is a CEO that has figured it out. If you treat your workers like human beings, not resources, if you pay them a good wage and give them good benefits - the company will benefit and EVERYONE will be better off, not just the top level management and shareholders!

VW union vote could halt state incentives

A crusade by anti-union forces in Tennessee, including the state's governor and a senior senator, now is as much a fight with Volkswagen management as with the United Auto Workers union.

Volkswagen's neutrality has been challenged by opposition groups. They charge that the German automaker is, in fact, carefully orchestrating a plan to help the UAW win the election.

Some 1,500 VW workers at the plant vote Wednesday through Friday on UAW representation. The secret balloting will be overseen by the National Labor Relations Board.

On Monday, state Republican leaders accused Volkswagen of supporting the UAW and they threatened to withhold any tax incentives for future expansion of the three-year-old assembly plant in Chattanooga if workers vote to join the UAW.

"Should the workers at Volkswagen choose to be represented by the United Auto Workers, then I believe any additional incentives from the citizens of the State of Tennessee for expansion or otherwise will have a very tough time passing the Tennessee Senate," State Sen. Bo Watson, R-Chattanooga, said in a statement sent to the Free Press.

A worker opposition group called Southern Momentum echoed that position in a statement.

"Further financial incentives — which are absolutely necessary for the expansion of the VW facility here in Chattanooga — simply will not exist if the UAW wins this election," Maury Nicely, a
Chattanooga labor lawyer representing Southern Momentum said.

Today's threat comes less than 48 hours after Volkswagen said it favors a German-style works council with union representation.

"Outside political groups won't divert us from the work at hand: innovating, creating jobs, growing, and producing great automobiles," said Sebastian Patta, Volkswagen Chattanooga vice president of human resources.

The anti-union forces now are countering that VW isn't neutral, it is pro-union.

Volkswagen said workers in favor of and opposed to UAW representation have had opportunities to distribute information and talk to other workers.

"U.S. labor law requires VW to have a union in order for the works councils to be legal. If Volkswagen workers vote for the union it is expected to have a ripple effect on other auto manufacturers in the southern United States and their suppliers," according to Art Wheaton, automotive industry expert and senior extension associate at Cornell University.

"UAW International President Bob King has staked his legacy and reputation on the ability to organize a foreign automaker in the South. Volkswagen's global corporate philosophy and strategic advantage is having 'works councils' represent the plant workers and management in major decisions including locating new vehicle production," Wheaton noted.

In January, Volkswagen said it will invest $7 billion in North America over the next five years in its quest to sell more than 1 million Volkswagen and Audi vehicles in the U.S. by 2018.

A new SUV is seen as key to reaching that goal.

Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen's global CEO, would not say where the SUV would be built, but Chattanooga is a likely site. Winterkorn said the decision would not be influenced by whether workers vote to join the UAW.

Volkswagen also has a plant in Puebla, Mex.

If workers at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee vote for UAW representation the union and
company will form a German-style works council at the plant.

A 20-page legal agreement for a union election between the UAW and Volkswagen says that the UAW has agreed to delegate to the works council many of the functions and responsibilities ordinarily performed by unions.

"Our works councils are key to our success and productivity. It is a business model that helped to make Volkswagen the second largest car company in the world," Frank Fischer, chairman and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga said in a statement.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Mass sea star deaths off US west coast puzzle scientists

Washington (AFP) - Starfish have been mysteriously dying by the millions in recent months along the US west coast, worrying biologists who say the sea creatures are key to the marine ecosystem.

Scientists first started noticing the mass deaths in June 2013. Different types of starfish, also known as sea stars, were affected, from wild ones along the coast to those in captivity, according to Jonathan Sleeman, director of the US Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center.

"The two species affected most are Pisaster ochraceus (purple sea star or ochre starfish) and Pycnopodia helianthoides (sunflower sea star)," he wrote in a statement in December.

The sunflower sea star is considered among the largest starfish and can span more than a meter in diameter.

The most commonly observed symptoms are white lesions on the arms of the sea star. The lesions spread rapidly, resulting in the loss of the arm. Within days, the infection consumes the creature's entire body, and it dies.

Entire populations have been wiped out in Puget Sound off the coast of Washington state, in the Salish Sea off Canada's British Columbia as well as along the coast of California. The mortality rate is estimated at 95 percent.

Scientists who have spent decades studying the local ecosystem have yet to identify the cause.
"What we currently think is likely happening is that there is a pathogen, like a parasite or a virus or a bacteria, that is infecting the sea stars and that compromises in some way their immune system," Pete Raimondi, chair of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology, at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told AFP.

Then, the creatures become more susceptible to bacteria which is "causing a secondary infection that causes most of the damages that you see."

A barometer of sea health

The 2013 phenomenon has not been observed solely along the West Coast; a smaller outbreak also killed East Coast sea stars last year.

Previous cases were believed to be associated with warmer waters -- sea stars have sensitive skin and prefer cooler water -- but this was not the case in 2013.

And when the die-offs happened previously, the geographic span of the infections was much smaller, and far fewer sea stars were affected.

In 1983, an epidemic nearly wiped out the Pisaster ochraceus from tidal pools along the southern coast of California.

Another, smaller die-off in 1997 may have been caused by warmer waters in an El Nino year, scientists said.

Sea stars are important because "they play a key role in this ecosystem on the West Coast," Raimondi said.

Sea stars eat mussels, barnacles, snails, mollusks and other smaller sea life, so their health is
considered a measure of marine life on the whole in a given area.

When sea stars decline in number, "the mussel population has the potential to dramatically increase, which could significantly alter the rocky intertidal zone," according to Sleeman.

While sea stars make up an important component of the base of the ocean food chain and are considered a top predator, they are in turn eaten by other starfish, shorebirds, gulls, and sometimes sea otters.

In an effort to find out what is causing the mass deaths, scientists are collecting reports from the public, taking specimens to the lab for analysis and doing genetic sequencing to find out whether a toxin or an infection may be to blame.

Note how there is no mention of the radiation from Fukushima!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

This article is amazing and really deserves close attention and thought.

Outsiders, Not Auto Plant, Battle U.A.W. in Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — At the Volkswagen plant nestled in Tennessee’s rolling hills, a unionization drive has drawn national attention as business groups worry about organized labor’s efforts to gain its first foothold at a foreign-owned automobile plant in the South. In a region known as anti-union, many view VW’s response as unusual, if not topsy-turvy.

Unlike most companies that confront unionization efforts, Volkswagen — facing a drive by the United Automobile Workers — has not mounted a vigorous campaign to beat back the union; instead VW officials have hinted they might even prefer having a union. And while unions that seek to organize factories often complain that the playing field is tilted because they do not have access to workers in the plant, here the union opponents are the ones protesting what they say is an uneven field.

The anti-U.A.W. forces are making themselves heard, warning that if the U.A.W. succeeds here, that will lend momentum to unionize two other prestigious German-owned plants: the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama and the BMW plant in South Carolina.

Two of Tennessee’s most prominent Republicans, Gov. Bill Haslam and Senator Bob Corker, a former mayor of Chattanooga, have repeatedly voiced concerns that a U.A.W. victory would hurt the plant’s competitiveness and the state’s business climate.

A business-backed group put up a billboard declaring, “Auto Unions Ate Detroit. Next Meal: Chattanooga,” while a prominent anti-union group, the National Right to Work Committee, has brought legal challenges against the U.A.W.’s effort, asserting that VW officials improperly pressured workers to back a union.

In addition, Grover Norquist, the anti-tax crusader, has set up a group, the Center for Worker Freedom, that has fought the U.A.W. on several fronts, partly to prevent the election of labor’s Democratic allies who might increase government spending.

“It’s unusual how national groups have really gotten interested in this,” said Daniel B. Cornfield, a labor expert at Vanderbilt University. “It seems that both the business community and labor are seeing what’s happening at VW as a pivotal moment in the Southern automotive business and labor history.”

The billion-dollar Volkswagen assembly plant opened in 2011, aided by $577 million in state subsidies, there to great fanfare. It was expected to buoy Chattanooga’s image as a place to do business. There was no whiff of unionization.

But Chattanooga’s business community grew alarmed last September when the U.A.W. asked VW for union recognition, saying a majority of the plant’s 1,600 assembly workers had signed cards seeking union representation.

The business community reacted with further dismay when several Volkswagen officials from Germany visited the plant and hinted that it would be good to have a labor union because that would help establish a German-style works council. Such councils, comprising managers and representatives of white-collar and blue-collar workers, seek to foster collaboration within a factory as they forge policies on plant rules, work hours, vacations and other matters.

Michael Cantrell, 56, an assembly line worker, said it would be great to have a works council because it would give the workers more of a voice and help VW by fostering a smoother-running plant.

“It gives them a great competitive advantage if they do this,” said Mr. Cantrell, who has an M.B.A. and ran a tax preparation company before joining Volkswagen. “They have this standardized across the world. We feel we’re not as competitive if we don’t have this collaboration. This would be a paradigm shift.”

The U.A.W. and many legal experts say it would be illegal for an American company to set up a works council without first having a union, asserting that otherwise the works council might be an illegal, employer-dominated workers group.

Scott Wilson, a VW spokesman, said: “Volkswagen values the rights of its employees in all locations to representation of their interests.  In the United States, it is only possible to realize this in conjunction with a union.  This is a decision that ultimately lies in the hands of the employees. For this reason, we have begun a dialogue with the U.A.W.” Last Thursday, National Labor Relations Board officials said VW had not improperly pressured workers to support the union.

In another twist, Mr. Cantrell and many workers want a union even though they say Volkswagen treats them well. In their view, a union would give them a greater voice and job security and help ensure that management communicated better and was more sensitive on scheduling. Mr. Cantrell said his pay, $19.50 an hour, is fine, but “it’s not anything exorbitant.”

Don Jackson, who was Volkswagen of America’s president of manufacturing before retiring in 2012, has become an outspoken opponent of unionization and a works council. Last year, he laid into the U.A.W. at a public forum with 150 attendees.

“Volkswagen wants the works council so badly they don’t care how they get it,” Mr. Jackson said in an interview. “Quite frankly I don’t see why we need a works council.”

Mr. Jackson said he did not think the U.A.W. had majority backing. “If they truly had the support they would have already asked for a vote,” he said.

Gary Casteel, the U.A.W.’s Southern director, voiced confidence that the union would win an election. “I don’t know how Don Jackson does his math.” he said. “Volkswagen knows we have a majority, and we know we have a majority.”

Governor Haslam and Senator Corker have argued that VW should not recognize the U.A.W. based on card signings, but rather on a secret-ballot election. Senator Corker said he had been told that VW would insist on an election. “While I care about Volkswagen, what I care most about is our community and about our households being able to progress and have a great standard of living,” he said. “I’m concerned about the impact of the U.A.W. on the future efforts to recruit business to our community.”

He added, “The work rules and other things that typically come with the UA.W. would drive up costs. It would make the facility less competitive.”

Mike Burton, 56, a quality assurance worker who has set up an elaborate anti-union website,, said he thought the union would lose an election. He said that in two weeks he persuaded 30 percent of the plant’s workers to sign an anti-U.A.W. petition. “When you see what the
U.A.W. did in Detroit, you have to worry about what it will do here,” he said.

Matt Patterson, who heads the new Center for Worker Freedom, an arm of Mr. Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, has promoted an anti-union agenda here, writing opinion articles and forming an anti-union coalition. “When the cost of government goes up, Americans for Tax Reform isn’t happy about it,” he said. “Unions are a big driver of government. Unions are very political, the U.A.W. is one of the most political. If they help elect politicians who pass huge government programs, that requires taxes.”

Like many pro-union workers, Mr. Cantrell objects to Mr. Patterson’s presence. “He’s making money by coming into our community from Washington and telling me and my co-workers what’s best for us,” he said. “What does he know about the auto industry?”

Eric DeLacy, 33, works in the plant’s paint shop and backs the U.A.W. “The union will do everything to make this succeed,” he said. “They want this plant to succeed. The union wants this to be the first domino falling that will create a chain reaction.”

Mr. Corker predicted the U.A.W. would be “on its best behavior for three to five years,” before reverting to its traditional militancy. “They will do that to get their nose under the tent of other auto manufacturers in the South,” he said.

The bottom line is that VW and the workers are fine with, and want a Union.

This should be all that matters. 

All these anti-union communist fanatics are in reality against freedom.

They are stepping on the freedoms of the workers and the management of VW. 

It is not the concern of anyone other than VW and it's workers. 

What these creeps are worried about is that if VW gets a union and things work well with the workers paid a fair wage and good benefits they might be forced to provide the same!

My next car may just be a VW!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mexican Citizens Topple Cartels And Are Rewarded With Government Retaliation

There is one rule to citizen defiance that, in my opinion, surpasses all others in strategic importance; and it is a rule that I have tried to drive home for many years. I would call it the “non-participation principle” and would summarize it as follows:

When facing a corrupt system, provide for yourself and your community those necessities that the system cannot or will not. Become independent from establishment-controlled paradigms. If you and your community do this, the system will have one of two choices:

1)  Admit that you do not need them anymore and fade into the fog of history, OR...

2)  Reveal its tyrannical nature in full and attempt to force you back into dependence.

In either case, the citizenry gains the upper hand. Even in the event of government retaliation or a full-blown shooting war, dissenting movements maintain the moral high ground, which is absolutely vital to legitimate victory. No revolutionary movement for freedom can succeed without honoring this rule. All independent solutions to social destabilization and despotism rely on it. Any solutions that ignore it are destined for failure.

I am hard-pressed to think of a better recent example of the non-participation principle in action than the rise of Mexican citizen militias in the Western state of Michoacan.
Michoacan, like most of Mexico, has long been overrun with violent drug cartels that terrorized private citizens while Mexican authorities did little to nothing in response. I could easily cite the abject corruption of the Mexican government as the primary culprit in the continued dominance of cartel culture. I could also point out the longtime involvement of the CIA in drug trafficking in

Mexico and its negative effects on the overall social development of the nation. This is not conspiracy theory, but openly recognized fact.

The Mexican people have nowhere to turn; and this, in my view, has always been by design.

Disarmed and suppressed while government-aided cartels bleed the public dry, it is no wonder that many Mexicans have turned to illegal immigration as a means of escape. The Mexican government, in turn, has always fought for a more porous border with the U.S. exactly because it WANTS dissenting and dissatisfied citizens to run to the United States instead of staying and fighting back.

My personal distaste for illegal immigration has always been predicated on the fact that it allows the criminal oligarchy within Mexico to continue unabated without opposition. Unhappy Mexicans can simply run away from their problems to America and feed off our wide-open welfare system. They are not forced to confront the tyranny within their own country. Under this paradigm, Mexico would never change for the better.

Some in the Mexican public, however, have been courageous enough to stay and fight back against rampant theft, kidnapping and murder.

The people of Michoacan, fed up with the fear and subjugation of the cartels and the inaction of the government, have taken a page from the American Revolution, organizing citizen militias that have now driven cartels from the region almost entirely. These militias have decided to no longer rely upon government intervention and have taken independent action outside of the forced authoritarian structure.

The fantastic measure of this accomplishment is not appreciated by many people in America. Though many cartels are populated by well-trained former Mexican military special ops and even covert operations agents, the citizens of Michoacan have proven that the cartels are a paper tiger. They can be defeated through guerrilla tactics and force of will, which many nihilists often deny is even possible.

NPR reported:
Joel Gutierrez, a militia member of the Michoacan region, says residents were “sick of the cartel kidnapping, murdering and stealing.” “That’s why we took up arms,” says Gutierrez, 19. “The local and state police did nothing to protect us.”
The militia men have been patrolling their towns and inspecting cars at checkpoints like this one for nearly a year. All that time, federal police did little to stop them, and at times seemed to encourage the movement.
But that tacit approval appeared to end last weekend, when the number of the militias mushroomed and surrounded Apatzingan, a town of 100,000 people and the Knights Templar’s stronghold. A major battle between the militias and the cartel seemed imminent.
The federal government sent in thousands of police and troops to disarm the civilian patrols. A deadly confrontation ensued. Federal soldiers fired into a crowd of civilian militia supporters, killing two.
Militia leader Estanislao Beltran says the government should have gone after the real criminals, the Knights Templar, and not those defending themselves. He vehemently denies rumors that he takes funds from a rival group.
“The cartels have been terrorizing us for more than a decade,” Beltran says. “Why would we side with any of them?”
Initially, local authorities encouraged the militias, or stayed out of their way. The citizens armed themselves with semi-automatic weapons, risking government reprisal, in order to defend their homes; and so far, they have been victorious. One would think that the federal government of Mexico would be enthusiastic about such victories against the cartels they claim to have been fighting against for decades; but when common citizens take control of their own destinies, this often incurs the wrath of the establishment as well.

The Mexican government has decided to reward the brave people of Michoacan with the threat of military invasion and disarmament.

In some cases, government forces have indeed fired upon militia supporters, killing innocents while exposing the true intentions of the Mexican political structure.

Mainstream media coverage of the situation in the western states of Mexico has been minimal at best; and I find the more I learn about the movement in the region, the more I find a kinship with them. Whether we realize it or not, we are fighting the same fight. We are working toward the same goal of liberty, though we speak different languages and herald from different cultures. Recent government propaganda accusing Michoacan militias of “working with rival cartels” should ring familiar with those of us in the American liberty movement. We are the new “terrorists,” the new bogeymen of the faltering American epoch. We are painted as the villains; and in this, strangely, I find a considerable amount of solace.

If the liberty movement were not effective in its activism, if we did not present a legitimate threat to the criminal establishment, they would simply ignore us rather than seek to vilify us.

The militias of Michoacan have taken a stand. They have drawn their line in the sand, and I wish I could fight alongside them. Of course, we have our own fight and our own enemies to contend with here in the United States. As this fight develops, we have much to learn from the events in Western Mexico. Government retaliation has been met with widespread anger from coast to coast. And despite the general mainstream media mitigation of coverage, the American public is beginning to rally around the people of Michoacan as well. The non-participation principle prevails yet again.

The liberty movement in the U.S. must begin providing mutual aid and self-defense measures in a localized fashion if we have any hope of supplanting the effects of globalization and centralized Federal totalitarianism. We must begin constructing our own neighborhood watches, our own emergency response teams, our own food and medical supply stores, and our own alternative economies and trade markets that do not rely on controlled networks. We must break from the system and, in the process, break the system entirely.

Even now, we are beginning to understand the subversive transformation of our own law enforcement structure, and find a system designed to protect the criminal establishment, not the people.  The FBI, for example, has recently changed the language of its primary mission statement, claiming that their goal is "national security", not law enforcement.

Police department across the U.S. are also changing how they interpret their mandate.  U.S. courts have ruled that police departments do not have a constitutional duty to protect citizens from harm, rather, they simply exist to enforce legal code after a crime has already been perpetrated.  This means that local police are no longer considered "peace officers", but agents of bureaucracy who are not necessarily required to defend the citizenry from violent action.  The terrors Mexican citizens face in Michoacan are coming to America, and if disarmament proponents have their way, we will have no means to stop it.

I am growing increasingly exhausted with the incessant rationalizations of frightened activists posing as non-aggression proponents; the same kinds of people who refuse to even entertain the probability that physical self defense will be needed against corrupt government. The pungent smog of cowardice that follows them curls the nostrils, and the obvious transparency of their fear is a bit sickening. I wish I could convey how refreshing it is to witness a group of common people, regardless of nationality, with a set of brass ball bearings large enough to face off against government supported drug cartels notorious for mass murder and decapitation.

If you want see into the future, into the destiny of America, I suggest you examine carefully the developments of the Michoacan region. It is no mistake that good men and women are being disarmed around the world, and America is certainly not exempt. Look at what happens when we are not helpless! We can crush cold and calculating drug cartels as easily as we can crush psychopathic government entities. We are capable of superhuman feats. We are capable of globalist overthrow. We are capable of unthinkable greatness, as long as we are not distracted by false solutions and false leaders who lure us away from localized action towards centralized non-events.

The rise of Mexican non-participation groups gives me much hope for the future. For if the most corrupt and criminally saturated of societies can find it within themselves to fight, to truly fight, regardless of the obstacles and regardless of the supposed consequences, then there is a chance for us all. We must look beyond the odds of success and become men — real men — once again. We must face down evil, without reservation and without apprehension first by separating from the system, and then by standing our ground. We must be willing to risk everything; otherwise, there is
absolutely nothing to gain.

N.Y. mayor at closed AIPAC gala: Part of my job is to defend Israel

Mayor Bill de Blasio says 'there is no greater ally on earth' than Israel, in speech to Israel lobby that did not appear on public schedule.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio Photo by Reuters

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio gave a heartfelt speech praising Israel at a private gala event hosted by AIPAC at the Hilton hotel in midtown Manhattan Thursday night, the local website Capital New York reported.

According to an edited audio recording obtained by the site (below), de Blasio said that "part of his job description is to defend Israel" and that it is "elemental to being an
American, because there is no greater ally on earth, and that's something we can say proudly."

The Israel lobby's event was closed to journalists and the speech did not appear on the mayor's public schedule, arousing suspicion and making the event all the more intriguing. A reporter with Capital who tried to get into the event was escorted out by security.

De Blasio said in his speech that he had visited Israel three times, most recently with his wife and son, and that he was especially moved by visiting Sderot, on the border with the Gaza Strip and often the target of rocket attacks.

“You can’t have an experience like that and not feel solidarity with the people of Israel and know that they’re on the front line of fighting against so many challenges.”

He closed the speech by announcing that "City Hall will always be open to AIPAC," adding that it is his job to stand by the lobby in Washington.

Monday, January 20, 2014

'Pope wants to open Holocaust archives'

Pope Francis wants to open the Vatican archives on Pope Pius XII's reign during the Second World War, to determine whether the Catholic Church could have done more to stop the Holocaust, a rabbi and friend of the pontiff has said.

Abraham Skorka, a biophysicist and rabbi who held inter-religious talks with the Pope when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, said he discussed the issue with the pontiff when staying at the Vatican in September.

“What we said to each other was between us, but I believe that, yes, he will open the archives...The issue is a very sensitive one and we must continue analyzing it,” Skorka told The Sunday Times.

Pope Pius XII led the Catholic Church from 1939 until 1958 and has been widely criticized for staying silent over the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were killed.

The former pontiff is on the path to sainthood, although Pope Francis may open up the archives before a final decision on Pope Pius XII’s canonization is made.

“The Pope is consistent with all he said as a cardinal, and as pope he will undoubtedly make happen what he said he would do when he was a cardinal," added 63-year-old Skorka, referring to a book the pair published together in 2010.
In the book, On Heaven and Earth, the future pope said: “Opening the archives of the Shoah [Holocaust] seems reasonable”.

“Let it be seen if they could have done something [to help] and until what point they could have helped...the truth has to be the goal,” he wrote, quoted in The Sunday Times.

The revelation comes ahead of Pope Francis’ expected trip to Israel in May and three months after the Italian government said it was considering making Holocaust denial a crime.

The Senate’s Justice Committee in October approved a bill to criminalize Holocaust denial, Italian media reported...

This anti-pope, apostate, heretic, Satanist is going to attack the last valid and legitimate Pope - Pope Pius XII. There is a reason that this Pope who reigned from 1939 until 1958 never mentioned a "holocaust" - BECAUSE IT NEVER HAPPENED!

This is what happens in a society that allows abortion. A woman brutally tortured and murdered a toddler and is sentenced to only 5 years in prison! The courts basically said that this child's life was worth nothing!

Mike Nealey Speaks Out On Short Sentencing For Babysitter Who Killed His Toddler Son

mike nealey 5 years
Mike Nealey
In the weeks leading up to his second birthday, Elijah Nealey's fascination with Spider-Man -- a superhero the tot fondly called "Piderman" -- had just become an obsession. He and his dad wore matching dinosaur shirts, and they hung pictures in his room as the big day drew near.

But that birthday never came.

The Virginia boy was killed by his babysitter, 22-year-old Jessica Fraraccio, two years ago. And while that pain will never go away, it was only magnified on Monday, when the woman sentenced for the felony murder got slapped with a five-year sentence.

Mike Nealey, 40, of Prince William County, spoke to The Huffington Post just days after the sentencing. He and his family had hoped for a 50-year sentence, and expected at least 40 years. Charges also included child abuse.

What they got, instead, left Nealey dizzy with disbelief.

"Once the verdict was read, I didn’t even fully comprehend it until after I’d left the courtroom and it all started sinking in," Nealey said. "The anger has started to really build up since Monday. It still doesn't make sense."

Fraraccio was entrusted to take care of the 23-month-old toddler. For seven months, she came over and spent time with Elijah. Nealey described her as a very nice person, who was mostly introverted and quiet.

In August 2012, Fraraccio killed the boy. Fourteen months later, she pleaded guilty, after initially saying the toddler had slipped in a bathtub and hit his head.
Jessica Fraraccio

Fraraccio later admitted that while Elijah was eating lunch, she kicked the chair out from under him because he wouldn't stop crying. The boy hit his head on the table, then the floor.

As Elijah wailed harder, Fraraccio became frustrated, then enraged, and picked the boy up with one arm as if he were a football. She covered his mouth with her hand and slammed his head on the stair railing.

When she finally put the boy down, his body was limp. Fraraccio had smothered the child to death.

When Judge J. Howe Brown sentenced Fraraccio, audible gasps were heard in the courtroom, The Washington Post reports.

“Nothing I can do brings back Elijah or makes [his parents] feel better,” Brown said in open court. “Likewise, nothing I can do to punish [Fraraccio] is more important than her memory of what she did.”

Nealey said he just can't comprehend why Brown made the decision he did.

"His decision shows no respect whatsoever for me, my family, or the life of my son," Nealey said.
Defense attorney Sandra Drewniak told The Huffington Post that Fraraccio had a mental health break and "just kind of snapped."

"Ms. Fraraccio in my opinion had what is very similar to shaken baby syndrome," Drewniak said. "It was a terrible accident and she had no intention of hurting Elijah."

But Nealey, who is still grasping for justice, called the defense attorney a liar and said he didn't believe a word she said.

"They keep saying 'accident'," he said. "It was no accident."

Despite that, Drewniak said Brown agreed with her assessment.

"[Brown's] exact words were that Ms. Fraraccio is not a monster, that's exactly why he went that way," she said.

Fraraccio, who Drewniak said is a devout Catholic with a "submissive personality," had no prior criminal history. Drewniak said her client never had so much as a traffic ticket, was a great student, and very active in her church and in the community, all possible reasons why she received a shorter sentence.

Along with her five-year sentence, Fraraccio will be required to donate one dollar to any charity of her choice every year on the anniversary of Elijah's death upon her release.

"I know no punishment is going to bring my son back," Nealey said. "I know that. I definitely know that. But five years? That is not a punishment. And it will be even less time, because she’s already been in jail for nine months."

The day of Elijah's death, Nealey said he was planning the boy's upcoming birthday party. He had called the local Chick-fil-A where he and his family had often visited. They had become good friends with the owners who were receptive to throwing Elijah a party.

Instead of a party, the restaurant posted a photo of the little boy up on the playroom wall in memory of him. Instead of celebrating, employees were stopping by the Nealey's home to deliver them food while the family grieved.
elijah nealey

"Elijah was just really becoming a little boy," he said. "He was slowly starting to come into his own. Everybody he met was his best friend. He was tough, he didn’t fear anybody. He was coming into his's really hard."

One of Nealey's best memories of his son was taking him to a dinosaur-themed park. It bored Nealey at first, until he saw the wonder in Elijah's eyes as he gazed up on the life-size statues made of shining fiberglass.

"I was really happy to be able to take him there because I went there when I was his age," he said.
That day, father and son bought dinosaur shirts to remember the experience. Nealey wore his shirt to his son's funeral.

When Fraraccio eventually gets out of prison, Nealey will one day be tasked with explaining to his two daughters, ages 6 and 7, the truth of what happened. For now, the two girls believe their brother died after slipping in the tub.

"That’s the story we’ve told them and we haven’t changed it," he said. "They’re not old enough to really comprehend it yet. We’ll tell them one day, but not anytime soon."

Nealey said the continued anguish he and his family feel lies on Brown.

"I want to get the word out to as many people that will listen, what kind of injustice [Elijah] received from the courts. To me, it’s a total failure of our justice system. I want everyone to know what the judge thought my son’s life was worth...which is pretty much nothing, according to him."

In 2011, Brown overruled a jury's recommendation in a 2009 malicious wounding case. While the jury wanted to give 23-year-old Anthony Lee Perry Jr. five years in prison, Brown instead gave him just two.

“[He deserved] five years," stabbing victim Aragon Olievar told the Loudoun Times at the time of the sentencing. "I don’t know why the judge made that decision.”

An online petition has started in an effort to permanently remove Brown from the bench.

As Nealey searches for answers and some kind of retribution, his son's toys that still litter their house are a constant reminder of what he and his family have lost.

"We think about him every day, every moment."

The father of two said he will never forgive Fraraccio.

"There’s no forgiveness," he said. "I don’t care what other people say, there’s no forgiving something like that."

Sunday, January 19, 2014

But the government, media, and leaders of both groups have the people convinced that each is opposed to the other. 

Classic divide and conquer! 

The unthinking masses will never get it.

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