14 Nov 2012

First Twitter war declaration? Israel announces Gaza operation on social media site

The days of declaring way with a lengthy proclamation signed by a prime minister or president are in the past. Israel announced on Tuesday that it was launching a strike on the Gaza Strip with a single tweet. Image from Twitter/@IDFSpokespersonRT: A message sent from the official Twitter account for the Israeli Defense Forces’ press department confirmed that the Jewish state has started a new round of action against their adversaries in what is believed to be the first time that a military campaign has been issued through the social media site.

“The IDF has begun a widespread campaign on terror sites & operatives in the #Gaza Strip, chief among them #Hamas & Islamic Jihad targets,” reads the message from the @IDFSpokesperson account. The IDF then confirmed over Twitter that additional strikes had seriously damaged Hamas' long-range missile capabilities and an underground weapons storage facilities.
Moments later, the account confirmed that their first target, Ahmed Al-Jabari of the Ezzidine Al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas’ military wing, had been hit in the attack. In a follow-up tweet, the IDF account says they have “embarked on an operation against Hamas, an Iranian proxy responsible for terror attacks on Israel.” They then warned that Hamas operatives should “show their faces” above ground in the coming days.

General Strike Portugal: Today Anti-trioka Manifestations Became Violent

Western Central Banks Have No More Gold…Only Gold Receivables! - Eric Sprott

By The Doc: Bloomberg has released a MUST WATCH interview with our good friend Eric Sprott of Sprott Asset Management discussing his thoughts on gold.  While unable to specifically discuss silver due to the current PSLV follow-on, Sprott simply destroyed the MSM pundits’ anti-gold arguments, stating that gold has beat the Dickens out of every other asset class over the last 12 years, and questioned whether the Western Central Banks have any physical gold left in the vaults, as the gold listed on their balance sheets includes gold receivables, which has been leased out and is gone for good.
The legendary Eric Sprott’s full MUST WATCH interview below:
Bloomberg kicked the interview off by asking Sprott whether he is as much a fan of precious metals today as he once was, ”given the fact that they’ve treated you so poorly over the past 18 months?”  Sprott replied:
A little history is probably important here.  Gold has gone from $250 to over $1700.  It’s beat the Dickens out of every other asset class over the last 12 years…To specifically answer your question, am I more optimistic today than I might otherwise be?  Absolutely.   I wrote an article recently questioning whether the Western Central Banks had any gold left.  We simply did a physical analysis of the people that are coming into the gold market and the changes that have happened since 2000, (and the supply of gold has not changed since 2000 on an annual basis, it’s still 4,000 tons).   When you look at the fact that the central banks used to sell 400 tons annually, now they buy 500 tons.  The ETF didn’t even exist in 2000, now they buy 300 tons a year.

Ron Paul: Secession Is an American Principle

700,000 Americans petition the White House to secede from the US

The White House (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)
In the one week since US President Barack Obama won his bid for re-election, representatives from all 50 states have filed petitions with the White House asking to secede from the United States.
RT: Just seven days after a citizen of Louisiana asked for the state’s peaceful secession from the rest of the country, hundreds of thousands of electronic signatures from around the United States have been submitted to WhiteHouse.gov for review as Americans from all corners of the country ask the president to grant them amicable separation from the union.
According to the White House’s own rules on the ‘We the People’ portal of the Executive Branch’s official website, a staffer from within the walls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will respond in a timely manner to any petition that can garner more than 25,000 signatures. As of the morning of Nov. 14, pleads out of Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee have all crossed that threshold, with petitions from the rest of the country quickly accumulating enough signatures to soon require a reply as well.
In almost every case, signees say that the time has come to do something about the state of the union.
Using bureaucratic means to “bypass the will of the people” is a complaint that 1,758 people as of this writing say is reason enough to separate Virginia from the current rule of the US in one petition; elsewhere on the site, a separate petition also calling for that state’s secession has received more than triple the signatures, with residents agreeing with an interpretation of the Declaration of Independence that decries, “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another.”

Israel threatens to 'topple' Abbas if Palestinians win statehood!??? - report

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (AFP Photo / Abbas Momani)
RT: Israel’s Foreign Ministry has reportedly proposedtopplingPalestinian President Mahmoud Abbas if a Palestinian bid for state observer status is approved by the UN later this month. It is also allegedly considering annulling the Oslo Peace Accords.
Toppling Abbas’s regime would be the only option in this case. Any other option would mean waving a white flag and admitting the failure of the Israeli leadership to deal with the challenge, the Foreign Ministry position paper obtained by AFP says.
The document warns of "grave consequences," including unspecified "unilateral Israeli responses.” It also says that Israel "must extract a high price from Abbas," and that receiving state status at the UN "would be considered a crossing of a red line."
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is reportedly expected to endorse the position paper and would then present it to the Israeli officials charged with formulating Israel’s response to the Palestinian bid.
A senior Israeli official on Wednesday told AFP that Israel is also considering annulling part or all of the 1993 Oslo Accords in response to the UN bid.
"The claim is that the Palestinians' appeal to the UN is such a fundamental breach of the Oslo Accords that it nullifies them. And if they are nullified, we are not committed to them either. The Oslo agreement specifically says that every dispute will be resolved through direct negotiations, not by going to a third party," the official said on condition of anonymity.

Fascism Today / Copyright terror: Man sentenced to 15 years in jail for selling 6 copied discs

AFP Photo / Gabriel Bouys
The Justice Department isn’t exactly winnings its fascist war on so called "intellectual property theft" — the attorney general says so himself. Until then, though, that doesn’t mean they are going to start going soft.
RT: A Mississippi man was sentenced to 15 years behind bars and another three under supervised release this week after pleading guilty to selling five counterfeit DVDs and one bootleg music CD to an undercover agent.
Patrick Lashun King, 37, was sentenced by Judge Lamar Pickard of Copiah County Circuit Court after he pleaded guilty to six counts of selling pirated material, charges that he was lobbed with after an undercover agent attempted to purchase just a half-dozen homemade copies of music and movies the defendant wasn’t authorized to have up for sale.
When investigators searched King’s home and businesses, they eventually turned up 10,510 counterfeit discs and the computer equipment they believe he used to manufacture the bootlegs. The Clarion Ledger notes that authorities also uncovered a number of weapons, including an assault rifle, from King’s Hazlehurst, MS home, but it was only the six counts of piracy that will put him away until 2027.

The deliciousness of Rolling Jubilee

By Felix Salmon: What to make of Rolling Jubilee, the latest bright idea from Occupy? The idea is simple:
Banks sell debt for pennies on the dollar on a shadowy speculative market of debt buyers who then turn around and try to collect the full amount from debtors. The Rolling Jubilee intervenes by buying debt, keeping it out of the hands of collectors, and then abolishing it.
Rolling Jubilee has already raised $115,000 — which they say is enough money to buy and cancel more than $2.3 million of debt. After Thursday’s variety show and telethon, both sums will surely rise substantially.
The reaction from the financial press has been mixed. Tim Worstall somehow contrives to admire the idea while bashing everything else associated with Occupy at the same time; Nick Summers, on the other hand, thinks it’s fundamentally misguided.

Benghazi Scandal Exposes Obama's Secret Wars and More!

By Government insider Steve Pieczenik will blow the lid off what he says is the truth behind the tragedy in Benghazi and the General Petraeus mega-scandal. Source

CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton on HFT Regulations, Silver Manipulation Probe & MF Global

Yesterday the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading in 216 companies for most of the day, according to the FT. The trading suspension was due to a technical problem with a server; this is just one more report of an electronic trading glitch in the era of the Flash Crash, Knight Capital, and the botched Facebook IPO. We talk to CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton about what should be done about algorithmic and high frequency trading, and why it has taken so long. We mention the work of Eric Hunsader and his team at Nanex, who saw significant improvements on the data side of markets following the Knight Capital debacle and a decline in HFT manipulation, that he attributes to a rare enforcement of regulations. We ask Bart Chilton if ENFORCEMENT is the issue, and not the creating of new regulations.

Ron Paul: "0% Chance Of 'Grand Bargain' Over Fiscal Cliff"

Shining a little reality light on the otherwise pollyanna-like dearth of pragmatism that is the mainstream media's guest-list, Ron Paul provided Bloomberg TV's Trish Regan a little more than we suspect she bargained for when asked if he had any hope that we avoid the fiscal cliff. The constant "delaying-of-the-inevitable" enables our politicians to avoid facing up to the serious consequences of our reality and as Representative Paul notes the chances of a grand bargain are "probably zero... that's why I think we're over the cliff [already]." Just like the handling of the debt ceiling debacle, Paul notes they will "pretend they are going to do it" until we get a total crash of the dollar and the entire financial system (which he notes is what will occur if we continue the status quo). "We are at a point of no return" unless certain things change, since "we are not the productive nation we used to be."

Paul on the fiscal cliff and whether politicians are under more pressure to just do what they need to do to get votes:

World Food Crisis Again

By MARTIN WALKER: Driven by bad wheat and a serious collapse the Siberian harvest, world wheat prices have risen more than 40 percent since January and are once more flirting with the panic prices of 2007 and 2008.
Those price peaks, along with surging oil prices, were critical factors in the world economy's plunge in recession. The bread shortages and riots that followed the food crisis destabilized countries dependent on food imports like Egypt and helped trigger the Arab Spring. (Angelo: We told you it was an Arab Winter!)
Oil prices can hurt but they don't kill. Food shortages, however, are lethal to poor people and to governments. Either one eats or one starves.
It is too soon to say how bad this will get but last year saw the harvest in the United States savagely cut by the worst drought in 50 years. And most of the main wheat producing regions around the world are hitting trouble at the same time.
In Siberia and Central Asia, a combination of drought, forest fires and heat waves have slashed the Russian harvest 33 percent. For Russia, this is the worst crop since the disasters of the 1960s forced them to start spending scarce foreign currency on buying U.S. wheat. The Kazakhstan crop has been halved. This means very little wheat is available for export.
But the European Union, which might otherwise supply those export market, has seen its own wheat production fall 4 percent. Argentina and Australia have also been hit by bad weather and so it looks certain that the world will this year consume more wheat than it grows. Matters would be worse except that the U.S. wheat crop increased, mainly because farmers gave up on corn and hurriedly planted wheat instead.