Can it really be called a “shutdown” when you look at the evidence below?  And if that be the case, then what are the politicians bickering about on Capitol Hill?  Is this all smoke and mirrors?

Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse

October 3, 2013

All of this whining and crying about a “government shutdown” is a total joke.  You see, there really is very little reason why this “government shutdown” cannot continue indefinitely because almost everything is still running.

63 percent of all federal workers are still working, and 85 percent of all government activities are still being funded during this “shutdown”.  Yes, the Obama administration has been making a big show of taking down government websites and blocking off the World War II Memorial, but overall business in Washington D.C. is being conducted pretty much as usual.  It turns out that the definition of “essential personnel” has expanded so much over the years that almost everyone is considered “essential” at this point.  In fact, this shutdown is such a non-event that even referring to it as a “partial government shutdown” would really be overstating what is actually happening.  The following are 36 facts which prove that almost everything is still running during this government shutdown…

#1 According to U.S. Senator Rand Paul, 85 percent of all government activities are actually being funded during this “government shutdown”.

#2 Approximately 1,350,000 ”essential” federal employees will continue to work during this “government shutdown”.

#3 Overall, 63 percent of the federal workforce will continue to work during this “government shutdown”.

#4 The U.S. Postal Service will continue to deliver our mail.

#5 U.S. military personnel will remain on duty and will continue to get paid.

#6 Social Security recipients will continue to get their benefits.

#7 Medicare recipients will continue to get their benefits.

#8 Medicaid recipients will continue to get their benefits.

#9 Food stamp recipients will continue to get their benefits.

#10 Those on unemployment will continue to get their benefits.

#11 Federal retirees will continue to get their pensions.

#12 The federal school lunch program has enough money to go through at least the end of this month.

#13 Public schools all over the country will continue to stay open.

#14 Almost all federal law enforcement officials will continue working.

#15 The Federal Reserve will remain “completely functional“.

#16 The Supreme Court will continue to operate normally and federal courts have enough money to keep going for at least two weeks.

#17 TSA employees will continue to molest travelers at our airports.

#18 Air traffic controllers will continue to monitor traffic at our airports.

#19 Hopelessly outmanned border patrol agents will continue to try to stem the tide of illegal immigration.

#20 Visas and passports will continue to be issued by the State Department.

#21 The Veterans Administration will continue to offer substandard medical services, and it will be able to continue processing benefit payments at least for now.

#22 The Obama administration apparently has plenty of money to spend on closing open-air memorials that are usually open to the public 24 hours a day.

#23 The Department of Defense announced the awarding of 94 new contracts worth a combined total of more than 5 billion dollars on September 30th – the day right before the “government shutdown”.

#24 The “government shutdown” has not prevented the new two billion dollar NSA spy center from opening up.

#25 Federal prisons will continue to operate normally.

#26 Amtrak trains will continue to run.

#27 The Patent and Trademark Office will be open.

#28 The Consumer Product Safety Commission will continue to issue product recalls if the products “create an immediate threat to the safety of human life“.

#29 The National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Centerwill continue to track weather patterns.

#30 If the federal government needs to respond to a natural disaster, this “shutdown” will not affect that.

#31 NASA will continue to support the Mars Rover and the two American astronauts up on the International Space Station.

#32 All city employees of the D.C. government have been deemed “essential” and will continue to go to work.

#33 Even though the Obamacare exchanges are not working properly, people will still be able to access them.

#34 The IRS will continue to collect taxes, but it will be suspending punitive audits of conservative organizations.

#35 Barack Obama will continue to get paid for the full duration of this “shutdown”.

#36 The U.S. Congress will continue to get paid for the full duration of this “shutdown”.

Of course not everything is operating normally during this government shutdown.  Government parks are closed.  The EPA and the Department of Energy have almost totally closed up shop.  But overall, most Americans are not going to notice much of a difference.

And perhaps now is a good time for the American people to evaluate whether or not they actually need a gigantic federal government that wastes enormous mountains of our money.

For example, our federal government recently spent $98,670 to construct a single outhouse in Alaska.

That is more than a lot of Americans pay for their entire houses.

For many more examples like this, please see my previous article entitled “The Waste List: 66 Crazy Ways That The U.S. Government Is Wasting Your Hard-Earned Money“.

It is about time that Washington D.C. started experiencing some of the “belt-tightening” that the rest of the country has been going through.  For far too long, the fatcats in D.C. have been living in an alternate reality where they have been able to live the high life at our expense.  A recent blog post by Daniel Greenfield discussed how this shutdown is going to affect the alternate reality that the Obamas have been living in…

The government shutdown has forced Obama to make do with only a quarter of his 1,701 person staff. That would leave 436 “vital” employees. The 90 people who look after his living quarters would be slashed to 15 to “provide minimum maintenance and support”.

Buckingham Palace, which is twelve times the size of the White House and has its own clockmaker, only has an 800 person staff. King Harald V of Norway and his court make do with 152 staffers. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden gets by with 203.

On Twitter, Michelle Obama announced that she is unable to Tweet on her own without the aid of all of her sixteen assistants; many of whom take home six figure salaries. There are more directors, associate directors and deputy associate directors on Michelle Obama’s staff than there were in George Washington’s entire administration.

Presidents have fought wars and made peace, explored and annexed vast territories and built a nation out of a handful of colonies with fewer senior staffers than are needed to handle Michelle Obama’s Twitter account.

Oh the humanity!  Will Michelle Obama ever tweet again?  And how will the White House continue to function without at least one projectionist on duty at the White House 24 hours a day?

No wonder Barack Obama is so upset about this shutdown.

In the end, this shutdown could turn out to be very good for America.  We have a government that is wildly out of control and that desperately needs to be reigned in.

During the Obama administration, federal debt held by the public has risen by 90 percent, and overall federal government spending has risen by a whopping 317 percent since 1990.

So is it really a bad thing that the federal government has been forced to cut back for a little while?

Our politicians can whine and cry all they want.  They won’t be getting any sympathy from me.

Everyone, including myself, championed Sen. Rand Paul (R), Kentucky, when he put the Obama administration on the spot in relation to the use of drones on American soil.

Now we may be thinking differently.

I know I’m a little late on this topic, but you know what they say – better late than never.  Anyway, Rand Paul went on Fox News Business with Neil Cavuto and said that if someone robs a liquor store, runs around with fifty dollars in their pocket, he has no problem with a drone strike taking them.

What?!

Okay, Senator, what if that drone strike kills a cop?  A civilian?  What if that gunman runs into someone’s garage and a sleeping families lives are snuffed out? – all because YOU had no problem with a heat seeking missile splattering someone’s guts all over the place?

Is that considered acceptable collateral damage?  Watch the news clip:

Senator Paul, just what do you believe?

Madeline Albright had this to say about Iraq in regards to “sanctions” that were supposed to “punish the Hussein regime”.

Here is what former Congressman Ron Paul had to say about the impeachment process of Bill Clinton and the asinine bombings of Iraq, Sudan, and Afghanistan.

Notice how Ron Paul said that waging “unchecked war” like this invites attacks on the United States?  Here’s George W. Bush.

Bush, Jr. admits that Iraq had nothing to do with September 11, 2001.

Iraqi testimony in Congress.

Iraq seems like a distant memory, doesn’t it?  The “Mission Complete” banner that hung above the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln as President Bush called an end to combat operations in Iraq sort of immortalized his presidency.  Then all hell broke loose.

But, then again, what was “Mission Complete”?  Saddam Hussein’s poorly assembled military barely put up a fight as U.S.-led forces marched their way to Baghdad.  It didn’t take long for the American people (or at least those who didn’t need neocons inside the Bush White House and Fox News to tell them what to think) to see that the Bush administration had thought as far as the invasion and nothing more.  No clear defined enemy.  No clear defined victory.  No objective.  Just “stay the course”.  Horrors stories from Abu Graib that smeared the name of the United States.

So what have we learned from our experiences in Iraq?  I like to think nothing.  The left’s attacks during the Bush administration’s handling of the war was all for posturing.  They have their own wars they’d like to fight.  You know those untold millions the Obama administration is giving to the rebels is Syria?  The U.S. taxpayer will be paying that back.  How does a rebel pay back money that they don’t have?

In 1997, a neoconservative think-tank was created – The Project for the New American Century.  Comprising of Bush insiders such as Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, and Dick Cheney – to make a long story short – the goal of PNAC was to lead the world militarily.  From the outset, Saddam Hussein’s regime seemed to be in the cross hairs of the PNAC members and attached conservatives.  (Please click the hyperlink to learn more.)

On September 20,2001, PNAC sent a letter to President Bush urging regime change in Iraq.

…even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.

What’s the meaning?  The United States was invading Iraq regardless.  A quote from PNAC’s manifesto that draws more questions than answers was this:

Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor.

That “new Pearl Harbor” came on September 11, 2001.  And with it, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden, who seems until recently, was forgotten.

In serving their own interests, the neoconservatives have placed both the sanctity and security of the United States in jeopardy.  I hope we have learned our lesson.  But I doubt it.

‘Treason doth never prosper’, wrote an English poet.  What’s the reason?  If it prosper then none dare call it treason.
- Kevin Costner, JFK

Aaron Dykes
Prisonplanet.com
November 16, 2012 

Opponents of Agenda 21′s local implementation in the United States have begun mounting a notable resistance. At state capitals and city councils, activists are showing up to educate and lobby their elected representatives about the implications of this United Nations’ plan for sovereignty, property rights and the future development of the country.

It has become such a widespread phenomenon that media outlets everywhere are spinning into damage control in effort to ridicule the anti-Agenda 21 movement, hoping that it will go away before the general population understands the issue.

But their efforts are fruitless. Coverage across the country begrudgingly notes that groups are opposing local “sustainability” initiatives and fighting back against plans to concentrate growth into dense urban centers under emerging “mega-regions.”

Now, a case in Georgia has triggered an all-out media frenzy, after a local group convinced the state’s Senate Majority Leader, Chip Rogers (R – Woodstock), to hold an information session on Agenda 21 attended by several other GOP senators and representatives. Conspicuously negative coverage is being used to pressure these politicians to avoid supposedly fringe elements in their constituency.

The progressive, sustainability group Better Georgia released video of the meeting, and blasted the ‘extremist’ views presented, that included comparing Obama’s socialist vision with the plans of Joseph Stalin and Chairman Mao, which resulted in famine and genocide.

Worse, according to the portrayals, is the involvement of one Field Searcy, who helped present the slideshow. Searcy had been booted from his Tea Party group for recommending people visit Infowars.com and tune into Alex Jones. The tea party group formally objected to Searcy’s activities in “actively promoting issues and beliefs derived from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.” As such, his presence at the clandestine Agenda 21 meeting was presented as particularly damning.

11 Alive, the NBC affiliate in Atlanta, covered the meeting, mocking the conspiracy and “global control” theorists attempting to expose Agenda 21, telling viewers that the groups and politicians involved think people who believe in “environmentalism and sustainability” are part of the problem.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published multiple articles on the Agenda 21 presentation, including an op-ed titled, “Agenda 21: The lunacy infiltrating state leaders.” Regional papers promised that state Senator Chip Rogers would face “blowback” for hosting the information session, and otherwise insinuated that Rogers had been stung by the “secret” video that had “surfaced”.

Further, liberal websites with national reach latched onto the opportunity for ridicule, distorting part of the presentation that discussed the use of Delphi Technique, crafted at the RAND Corp. for consensus building. Mother Jones published, “Top Georgia GOP Lawmakers Host Briefing on Secret Obama Mind-Control Plot,” complete with an image of Obama in front of a hypnotic backdrop. Raw Story and the Huffington Post mimicked the mocking mind control mantra, as did Slate who also noted the rising popularity of “UN panic” it linked with Deep South politics of fear.

One author at the Examiner took it further, linking it to the secessionist movement now in the news cycle, with suggested overtones of racism, civil war and a ‘South will rise again’ mentality.

This video shows 52 minutes taped from the presentation that reportedly lasted four hours: Go here to watch video.

Speaking out against Agenda 21 is quickly becoming a component of the larger states’ rights movement. Americans are waking up to the undue power concentrated at the Federal government level, as well as to the larger takeover by foreign corporatist interests, including those that created the United Nations and have used it as a nose under the tent to create world government and rule through regulations and taxes implemented on the pretext of environmentalism.

Locales from Casper, Wyoming to Los Angeles and Napa, California, among others, are being inundated with activists objecting to plans being sold under the guise of “smart growth,” “sustainability” and other buzz terms.

“Stop Agenda 21″ groups have cropped up nationwide, and several government bodies have embraced the issue, to the chagrin of the establishment. Alabama passed statewide legislation banning Agenda 21 policies, and New Hampshire passed a similar measure through the House. The Texas GOP officially put Agenda 21 on its party platform, while Chip Rogers, the Georgia Senator mentioned above, attempted to introduce Agenda 21 legislation but was defeated.

Infowars.com did a series of reports exposing the local groups in Central Texas implementing Agenda 21 by stealth, with funding from President Obama’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which is issuing planning grants through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Obama’s initiative is a continuation of President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development, set up in 1993 to implement the United Nations’ 1992 Agenda 21. During one of the meetings, the bureaucrats became uneasy at repeated questions from local residents who objected to the development “vision,” while anti-Agenda 21 groups attended other meetings in protest.

Wary of true grassroots movements of any stripe, the system is frantically trying to discredit a very real and important issue, while using the controversy to shame politicians from listening to voices coming from outside of the establishment controlled debate. The media harped on several county commissioners in Pinellas County, Florida who voted to remove fluoride. The contrived controversy was used to push them out of office, and their replacements are moving swiftly to re-fluoridate the water. Media outlets then bragged about the victory in intimidating the politicians and removing them from their posts.

A similar effort is now underway in Georgia to hold these GOP figures “accountable” for hearing out their anti-Agenda 21 constituents.

 

Days after the GOP is licking its wounds from a devastating loss, pundits like Sean Hannity are flip-flopping like a fish out of water.  I saw this on Yahoo and could not pass it up.  I guess that it is difficult to defeat a President whom was labeled as a liar by the GOP, who in turn, have a candidate with a conflicting political past – especially on immigration.  Hannity had this to say:

We’ve gotta get rid of the immigration issue altogether. It’s simple for me to fix it. I think you control the border first, you create a pathway for those people that are here, you don’t say you gotta go home. And that is a position that I’ve evolved on. Because you know what—it just—it’s gotta be resolved. The majority of people here—if some people have criminal records you can send ‘em home—but if people are here, law-abiding, participating, four years, their kids are born here … first secure the border, pathway to citizenship … then it’s done. But you can’t let the problem continue. It’s gotta stop.

John Boehner had this to say:

“This issue has been around far too long,” Boehner said. “A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all.”

How convenient?  In my opinion, the GOP alienated themselves from the White House, their Democratic counterparts, and the American people when they became the “party of NO”!  Here’s the video to Hannity’s comments if you have time to spare.

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 26th week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During this year, you have heard such stories of President Obama leaving out the word “Creator” from the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence.  I was watching a box set to the Looney Tunes one day, and an episode of Porky Pig and Uncle Sam taking a stroll through Washington D.C. came on.  At the end, they recited the Preamble; however, they left out the word “Creator”.

I have looked through YouTube and cannot find it.  But what I did find was Porky reciting the Pledge of allegiance and leaving out “One nation under God”.  So, Porky did it first!

I chose this year not to give the two-party system the satisfaction of having my television tuned into a superfluous debate; although, I did read about them.  I have friends on Facebook putting up things such as “we want our country back” and little pictures of Mitt Romney with “so-and-so likes Mitt Romney”.  Change will not come until we change the idea of government, and government changes its philisophical idea of why it was created.  So many bureaucrats.  So much red tape.  Do you actually think that one man who is a flip-flopper can change all of this?

I read the transcript of the foreign policy debate and it was so superficial, it was ridiculous!  They aren’t discussing different ideas of foreign policy – only technicalities.  Two issues were never brought up in the debates – and thus far, haven’t been – that I wish were:

One, is that President Obama seems to think he has the authority to assassinate American citizens.  And Mitt Romney doesn’t disagree.

“Those who would sacrafice essential liberty and freedom for temporary safety, deserve neither.”
- Benjamin Franklin

Another is that the Pentagon authorized the flying of drones over U.S. soil.  And since it isn’t brought up in the debates, no American thinks another thought of the matter.

“The truth is the most important value we have.  If the truth does not endure – if the government murders truth – if we cannot trust the hearts of these people, then this is not the country I was born in, and it is certainly not the country that I want to die in.”
- Kevin Costner, JFK

Earlier this week, I read in the USA Today that SecState Hillary Clinton said something to the effect that she couldn’t believe that the people in Lybia would attack the U.S. embassies because “we helped these people.”  Well, no shit, Sherlock!  Does everyone forget Osama bin Laden?  It doesn’t matter what the pundits and politicians say – because if we were honest, it’s all the same.  They condemn the attacks and promise swift retribution, but in the end, it’s more of the back alley deals, money going to places we don’t know, and alliances bought at our expense.

If Lybia should teach us anything, it should be this: The Middle East has proven time and time again that it is a volatile battleground.  We’re not talking of the same culture as exemplified here in the States; we are talking of a (for the most part) a third-world region.  Now I am not saying that there are no religious lunatics out there, but there are still more who resent America’s presence – of propping up dictators and despots.  Look at Mubarak.  We gave him billions of dollars so he could have a plethora of mansions, and all the while his people lived in poverty.

We claim that we are “pro-Israel”, but in reality, we give more to Israel’s enemies than we give to Israel herself.  What’s wrong with this picture?  Jesus said, “when you see the enemies of Israel surrounding her, run for the hills!”  And I believe we are seeing that prophecy come to fruition.

In case you forgot about the October Surprise, click here.

Kurt Nimmo
Prison Planet.com
September 17, 2012

The highly provocative anti-Muslim video “trailer” researchers claim is the handiwork of the Islamophobic provocateurs Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer and a resurgent neocon network is responsible for a new round of violent protests in the Middle East.

From the nation with the world’s largest Muslim population, Indonesia, to Afghanistan, new protests broke out on Monday. Indonesian police fired teargas and water cannon to disperse demonstrators outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, while in Kabul, Afghanistan, thousands of Muslims took to the streets and set fire to cars and shops and threw stones at police. Protesters also clashed with police in Pakistan and the Philippines on Monday.

Last week, following the death of the U.S. ambassador and three members of his staff in Libya, enraged Muslims protested in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and at least nine people lost their lives.

On Sunday, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that even though he believed violent reaction to the video appeared to be over, he ordered nonessential personnel to leave the American diplomatic missions in Sudan, Tunisia and Libya.

In Khartoum, Sudan, the German, Canadian and British consular services remained closed on Monday following attacks on a compound housing the German and British consulates. Despite ongoing protests in Egypt, the U.S. embassy in Cairo returned to full staffing on Monday, according to the State Department.

Appearing on the Alex Jones Show on Sunday, Webster Tarpley said the video is part of an ambitious international intelligence operation aimed at creating an October Surprise designed to install Mitt Romney and his coterie of Bush-era neocons in the White House.

“The pro-Israeli neocons of the Bush-Cheney era have attached themselves to Romney as their main hope of getting back into power,” Tarpley wrote for Infowars.com on Sunday. He attributed the video “trailer” to “a well-known Islamophobic network reputedly inspired by US intelligence,” a network that includes “Pamela Geller, a notorious professional Islamophobe.”