BATTLEFIELD USA: De Facto State of Martial Law Declared In Boston *Pics From the War Zone*

As news of last night’s incident in Watertown, Massachusetts spread, police from all over the North East converged, once again, on Boston. Along with them were elements of the National Guard and U.S. military.

Though an official announcement has not been made, and likely will not be made, the entire Boston metropolitan area is now in complete lock-down in what can only be described as a de facto state of martial law.

By all accounts, law enforcement and military personnel have classified  Boston and surrounding towns a war-zone, especially after a gunfight yesterday evening that left one of the Boston Marathon Bombers dead and the other still at large. In a video of the early morning engagement, rapid gunfire and explosive detonations, believed to be more ‘pressure cooker’ bombs, can be heard as police and residents scrambled.

This is what America looks like under martial law:

ShelterinPlacesigninBostoncourtesyjconline.com_

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US Debt – Visualized in physical $100 bills

China Bashing and the US Election [acting-man]

Protectionism is Back in Fashion

 

Of course protectionism is always fashionable, so it is perhaps not entirely correct to state that it is ‘back in fashion’. However, there are occasionally  stretches of time when politicians at least give lip service to supporting free trade. As soon as they begin talking about ‘fair trade‘ it is time to hold on to one’s wallet however. We will never understand why the policy has so much popular support (protectionism is widely held to be a ‘populist’ policy), given that the population at large is bound to be the major loser when protectionist barriers to trade are erected. After all, they merely serve to protect a select few producers to the vast detriment of all consumers.

Consider in this context the currently highly popular ‘China bashing’, which has  become the modern-day replacement of the ‘Japan bashing’ of yore (which was equally moronic). In essence, US politicians are demanding from China to raise its prices. How stupid is that? It is the functional equivalent of Wal Mart customers complaining to the retail chain’s management that it isn’t charging them enough. No-one would ever get such an absurd idea – and yet, it is the declared policy of the US to get China to do just that.

Given that a presidential election is imminent, China bashing has gone into high gear. Mitt Romney, in another desperate attempt to differentiate himself from his  opponent, promises to declare China a ‘currency manipulator’ the very moment he comes into power. Of course it is true that China is a ‘currency manipulator’, but so is everybody else.  Moreover, contrary to conventional wisdom, the  party that is disadvantaged by this is China, not its customers. Its customers get to buy things more cheaply than would otherwise be the case, which is an unalloyed  boon for them. As they save money by purchasing cheap goods from China, they have funds available that can be used for other purposes (either for saving and investment or additional consumption). Lastly, the idea that the Chinese yuan is ‘undervalued’ is highly questionable given the amount of money printing that has taken place in China over the past decade.

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Congress Tries to Force U.S. Army to Accept New Tanks [warisacrime]

More than 2,000 M-1 Abrams tanks are sitting in a parking lot in Herlong, California because of a disagreement between the U.S. Army, Congress and the military industrial complex.

The U.S. Army’s chief of staff General Raymond T. Odierno told Congress, earlier this year, that the U.S. has more than enough combat tanks and the U.S. Army can save taxpayers as much as $3 billion if they do not off repair, or make new tanks, for three years when new technologies are expected, reports CNN (video below).

However, 173 House Democrats and Republicans are urging Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, to support their decision to produce more unwanted tanks.

The 173 members of Congress claim that if the U.S. Army stops tank production and repair, the actions will damage the nation’s economy.

 

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Confirmed: Pentagon deploys military forces to Jordan-Syria border [RT]

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has confirmed that US troops have been dispatched to the Jordan-Syrian border to help bolster the former’s military capabilities in case violence escalates in the volatile region.

“We have been working with Jordan for a period of time now…on a number of issues that have developed as a result of what’s happening in Syria,” Panetta said. He said chief among those issues were the “humanitarian needs” that has developed as a result of the refugee influx into Jordan.

“We have also been working with them in the effort to monitor the CBW (Chemical-Biological Weapons) sites to determine how best to respond to any concerns in that area,” Panetta continued.

“And we’ve also been working with them to help them develop their own military and operational capabilities in the event of any contingency there, and that’s the reason we have a group of our forces there. They’re working to help them build a headquarters there and to ensure that we make the relationship between the United States and Jordan a strong one so that we can deal with all of the possible consequences of what is happening in Syria,” he added.

Panetta’s comments came during a NATO conference of defense ministers in Brussels on Wednesday, where he said the US had been working with Jordan to monitor chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria and help the country deal with Syrian refugees crossing over the border.

Earlier in the day Jordan’s military had denied the US military was helping the kingdom deal with the influx of Syrian refugees and other security related issues.

“News reports that the United States is helping Jordan deal with the Syrian refugees or face dangers related to chemical weapons are not true,” state-run Petra news agency cited a Jordan Armed Forces spokesperson as saying.

The US has previously used Jordan as a base for other Syria-related military activities. In May of this year, Washington held military drills in Jordan dubbed ‘Operation Eager Lion,’ which saw around 12,000 troops from several nations participate in undisclosed training exercises.

 

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Heroes?

Not From the Onion: Army Says ‘Social Network’ Use Is a Sign of Radicalism [Wired]

These are some warning signs that that you have turned into a terrorist who will soon kill your co-workers, according to the U.S. military. You’ve recently changed your “choices in entertainment.” You have “peculiar discussions.” You “complain about bias,” you’re “socially withdrawn” and you’re frustrated with “mainstream ideologies.” Your “Risk Factors for Radicalization” include “Social Networks” and “Youth.”

These are some other signs that one of your co-workers has become a terrorist, according to the U.S. military. He “shows a sudden shift from radical to ‘normal’ behavior to conceal radical behavior.” He “inquires about weapons of mass effects.” He “stores or collects mass weapons or hazardous materials.”

That was the assessment of a terrorism advisory organization inside the U.S. Army called the Asymmetric Warfare Group in 2011, acquired by Danger Room. Its concern about the warning signs of internal radicalization reflects how urgent the Army considers that threat after Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan shot and killed 13 people at Ford Hood in 2009. But its “indicators” of radicalization are vague enough to include both benign behaviors that lots of people safely exhibit and, on the other end of the spectrum, signs that someone is so obviously a terrorist they shouldn’t need to be pointed out. It’s hard to tell if the group is being politically correct or euphemistic.

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