Tuesday, July 31, 2012

USA Lottery Winner Gets $222 Trillion!

"...But I saved my receipt Sir! I'm Good For The Money!"


America is headed for a fiscal cliff at the end of this year. If Congress does not act, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts will take effect as will a number of tax hikes on Jan. 1. Many economists believe this so-called fiscal cliff could send the country back into recession. Boston University economics professor Larry Kotlikoff describes just how bad America's finances are as a result of trillions of dollars in unfunded entitlement liabilities in his new book The Clash of Generations: Saving Ourselves, Our Kids, and Our Economy. He joined The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task to discuss the nation's indebtedness and his solutions for how to fix America's ongoing fiscal crisis. He details the seriousness of the problem in the post below.
By Laurence Kotlikoff

The 78 million-strong baby boom generation is starting to retire in droves. On average, each retiring boomer can expect to receive roughly $35,000, adjusted for inflation, in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. Multiply $35,000 by 78 million pairs of outstretched hands and you get close to $3 trillion per year in costs. This is not a partisan issue. The dirty little secret that neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney is telling you is that our kids, who are being stuck with the bill, can't afford it. They are at the end of the great postwar chain letter that has been benignly labeled 'Pay As You Go' but is properly called 'Take As You Go.' One administration after another has bought oldsters' votes by letting them take resources from the young while appeasing the young with the prospect of taking their turn at generational theft.

This is not to knock government involvement in retirement saving and healthcare. Uncle Sam has a legitimate role in making sure people save and get health insurance. But that's different from robbing Peter's generation to pay Paul's. All Ponzi schemes end and Uncle Sam's will end particularly badly by blowing up in the baby boom's face. Their kids can't remotely cover what's needed, so the baby boomers -- who, as a group, are incredibly poorly prepared for retirement -- won't get the benefits they've been promised. In June, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its Alternative Fiscal Scenario (AFS) — the CBO's projection of the government's finances into the future. The projections are truly scary, but they received zero press coverage — not a word from the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, or any other major media outlet.

The latest projection shows massive fiscal deficits as far as the eye can see. In less than a dozen years, the CBO projects federal debt will exceed 100 percent of GDP. By the time today's 20 year-olds have reached middle age, the debt to GDP ratio will be 200 percent, a figure that would make Greece blush. But the truth is far worse than these figures convey. The truth is that our politicians have been very careful in their labeling of government receipts and payments so as to keep most of the coming bills associated with 'Take As You Go' off the books. Consider, for example, Uncle Sam's promises to pay me my Social Security and Medicare benefits starting in roughly 10 years. The present value (the value in the present) of these promises is $400,000. How does this differ from my holding a Treasury bond valued at $400,000? Fundamentally, it differs not at all, which means that the government has a lot more debt than it's reporting. How much more?

I'm not sure you want to know. I recently calculated the fiscal gap using the CBO's AFS forecast. The fiscal gap measures the present value difference between all projected future federal expenditures (including servicing official debt) and all projected future taxes. The fiscal gap is thus the true measure of our government's total indebtedness and the true measure of fiscal sustainability. How big is the fiscal gap? Brace yourself. It's $222 trillion large! In comparison, official debt in the public's hands is only $11 trillion.

Here's one way to wrap your head around our $222 trillion fiscal hole: closing it via tax hikes would require an immediate and permanent 64 percent increase in all federal taxes. Alternatively, the government could cut all transfer payments, e.g., Social Security benefits, and discretionary federal expenditures, e.g., defense expenditures, by 40 percent. Waiting to raise taxes or cut spending makes these figures worse. In short, our government is totally broke. And it's not broke in 30 years or in 20 years or in 10 years. It's broke today. There are radical polices to save the day at least cost to all generations. I've laid out these policies at www.thepurpleplans.org. Take a look, endorse the plans if you like them, and forward them to our two "leaders." There's always the chance that one of them will take a stand against fiscal child abuse.

To The Tune Of 222 Trillion Dollars!
2012 Means Something; At Least Something!

Spying With Friendly Fire

America accuses Israel of Spying.


America is caught Spying on Israel.

If Pollard is America's dirt on Israel -

What kind of dirt can Israel dig up?

A messy divorce is looming?


If US President Barack Obama does not commute the life sentence of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard by the November 6 US election, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should expose American efforts to spy on Israel, National Union MK Arieh Eldad said Tuesday at a Knesset State Control Committee meeting monitoring progress in efforts to bring about Pollard's release.

Eldad noted an Associated Press report over the weekend about a break-in at a CIA-owned apartment in Tel Aviv. While the report sought to prove that Israel was monitoring American intelligence operatives, Eldad said it should have raised the question of why the US was operating in Israel.

"If Obama realizes that he needs American Jewish votes or money, there is hope to bring about Pollard's release by November,” Eldad said. “But if not, Israel must remove the [US's] mask. They say one of the problems of the Pollard case is that countries do not spy on their friends. It's time to say out out loud what the CIA was doing in that apartment and what is happening on the roof of the US embassy in Tel Aviv. They are spying on a friendly country.”

Eldad blasted President Shimon Peres for receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama at a June 13 ceremony in Washington, calling it shameful for him to accept the prize while Obama was preventing Pollard's freedom.

Committee chairman Uri Ariel (National Union) complained that the Americans reneged on agreements with Israel when they sought the life sentence Pollard was given in 1987 and when then-US president Bill Clinton broke a promise to Netanyahu to release him as part of the 1998 Wye River Accords.

Ariel expressed disappointment that the Prime Minister's Office did not send a representative to the hearing despite repeated requests made to cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser and Netanyahu's senior adviser Ron Dermer. Ariel said Netanyahu's advisers told him they did not have anything to report to the committee.

"It was a very bad mistake by the Prime Minister's Office not to send anyone,” Ariel said. “We tried for a long time to coordinate the meeting with them but they are clearly avoiding coming. I see this as very grave, and I will consider issuing an injunction requiring the prime minister to come.”

Forcing a prime minister to testify to a Knesset committee rarely happens. An injunction requires a majority of the 13 MKs on the committee.

Effi Lahav, who heads the Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home testified to the MKs that there has been a rise in support for clemency from from American Jews and top current and former American officials.

"We know from our meetings with Americans that they have never challenged us with facts that disprove our case," Lahav said. "We want to believe there has been a change for the better in how the issue is being handled by the [Israeli] government. But what matters to us is results. As long as Pollard is in jail, there must be oversight and that's why this meeting is so important."

Israeli Dirt To Come?

The Greek Mekubal Strikes Back

Science is convinced that they are the new Mekubalim.
The ancient battle rages on: Chachmas Yavan vs. Torah
Physics already is chasing God [Particles]; now they want "The Meaning of Life!"

Just Learn Torah Amigos!
You don't need to send Mars rovers spending insane amounts of dollars - you can/should invest that money in yeshivot!

I Promise if you put that much effort into Torah to "find the meaning of life" - you will!
The question is, why aren't the Jews even trying?!

The Vilna Gaon predicts in Kol HaTor that in Zman Geulah, physics and kabalah will unite. At least the two are starting to recognize each other, even if light years apart. [pun intended]


Saturn has its famous rings and Jupiter is the granddaddy of the solar system, but no planet has entranced earthlings quite like Mars.

Humans have launched 40 spacecraft to the Red Planet, lured by the prospect that life might once have existed in what is now dry rocks and sand. The latest machine to make the journey is NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, a hulking, souped-up lab-on-wheels that will plunge toward the Martian surface next week.

But even as excitement builds, some wonder: Is Mars exploration a good investment?

It certainly doesn’t come cheap. It’s hard to calculate a total price tag, but over the 48 years that NASA has been launching missions to Mars, Americans have spent a significant sum. The Viking missions alone cost nearly $1 billion — in 1970s dollars. The twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity cost a total of about $1 billion to build and operate as well.

Curiosity, as the Mars Science Laboratory rover is known, is over budget at $2.5 billion.

Some in the federal government have suggested it’s time to roll back the spending. President Barack Obama’s fiscal plan for 2013 would cut NASA’s funds for Mars exploration from $587 million to $360 million.

Proponents insist Mars science is vital for the U.S. More visits to our next-door neighbor could answer lingering questions about Earth’s history, reinforce U.S. prestige and get more children interested in science.

It also could bring humanity closer to answering the ultimate question: Are we alone in the universe?

“It’s the search for the meaning of life,” said Alden Munson, a senior fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, a science and technology think tank based in Arlington, Va.

America’s love affair with Mars can be traced to astronomer Percival Lowell, who turned his telescope to the Red Planet in the 1890s and thought he saw an intricate system of canals that must have been built by intelligent beings. He never found them, of course, but Martians became a science fiction mainstay.

Earthlings got their first up-close view of Mars’ rocky surface in 1965, when Mariner 4 flew by and photographed a surface that appeared as dead as the moon’s — lacking water or active geology, two prerequisites for life.

But later missions, from the Mariner 9 orbiter to Spirit and Opportunity, helped establish Mars as a useful comparative laboratory for studying climate and geophysics on Earth. They demonstrated that the planet was once warmer and wetter than it is now. Long ago, it may have been a hospitable cradle for life.

When planetary scientists assembled recently at the behest of the National Academies to set research priorities for the next decade, the search for conditions that would allow life to emerge on Mars topped the list.

“If there’s life or past life on Mars, it means the chances that life exists somewhere else are much higher,” said David Paige, who studies the moon and terrestrial planets at UCLA. If Mars is barren, “it might make Earth more unique than we thought.”

Some experts question the wisdom of focusing so intently on a single planet. Jupiter’s moon Europa, which is covered with an ice-encrusted ocean, could have the potential to harbor life; Saturn’s moon Titan, rich in organic chemistry, might as well.

“It’s like the person who loses their keys and only looks for them below the streetlight,” said David Jewitt, a planetary scientist at UCLA who studies comets.

But funds for planetary science are limited — and even those who favor a broader search admit that Mars remains the most practical site to explore.

A mission to Europa, for example, would take about six years to reach its destination. Curiosity’s trip to Mars takes about eight months.

Europa has other drawbacks too: For one, particles flung into space by Jupiter’s magnetic field would likely fry a spacecraft’s electronics in a matter of weeks, said Richard Greenberg, who studies the frozen moon at the University of Arizona.

“Personally, I love Europa,” he said. “But objectively, both it and Mars are great places to look for life.”

Regardless of whether life can be found beyond Earth, Mars exploration boosts U.S. prestige.

“A lot of the warmest feelings people have had around the world have had to do with the space program,” Munson said. “It’s hard to put a value on that.”

Space exploration is the ultimate status symbol. China and India have signaled their technological aspirations by establishing space programs. So have Iran, Pakistan, Venezuela, Israel, Mexico and dozens of other countries.

“I’m afraid if we step back, it will be decades before we get back to Mars,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., whose district includes NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge, where Mars missions are based. “We have the expertise now. No other countries have been able to do this.”

NASA has outperformed other space agencies by a wide margin, completing 13 successful missions (against five failures) since 1964. The Russians have had particularly bad luck, with 15 failed missions and only four partial successes.

The amount of money Americans devote to Mars is tiny compared to annual expenditures on other NASA projects, said Munson, who noted that in 2011 alone, the agency spent more than $4 billion on the International Space Station and the fleet of space shuttles.

The James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that is designed to help scientists study the very early universe, is costing NASA $8.8 billion.

Even that price tag is dwarfed by the more than $600 billion the Defense Department will spend in 2012.

Jewitt put it like this: Americans spend more than $7 billion a year on potato chips. “We’re talking about a small amount of money in the grand scheme of things,” Paige said.

Still, in the heat of an election season, some find it hard to justify Mars spending as long as the deficit remains high and the basic needs of many citizens aren’t met.

This time around, in the run-up to Curiosity’s high-profile landing, it’s hard to find people willing to criticize Mars science in public. But back in 2004, when President George W. Bush was pushing an ambitious plan that included manned missions to the Red Planet, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut (then a Democrat) said the billions of dollars NASA would require would be better spent “right here on Earth” on health care, education and domestic security.

Even those who’ve caught the Mars bug and are excited about Curiosity worry that with the new rover, NASA has “put all the eggs in one basket,” said Robert Zubrin, an aerospace engineer and founder of the MarsSociety, which advocates for manned missions to the planet.

When NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter and Mars Polar Lander both failed in 1999, work was already under way on several other missions that turned out to be successful, Zubrin said. But there’s not much waiting in the wings this time around.

Plans to send a lander to scoop up Martian soil and return it to Earth, as well as to visit Europa, have been postponed to save money.

After Curiosity, NASA’s planetary scientists have only one major mission lined up: an orbiter called MAVEN, which will explore the Martian atmosphere and climate. It is scheduled for launch in 2013.

Its All Here!

Monday, July 30, 2012

American Pollard: Hey Israel - Think Twice

The American Pollard situation is actually quite easily understood: A) We know [America] that you can spy better than anyone in the World B) That puts us [America] at a huge disadvantage, thus C) You will now
think twice about spying against America, because D) It isn't really a [one] Jew problem, its the [entire] Jew[ish] problem.

To put it simply: The Fear of the Jew is upon the World - for better or worse: Zionism [its real].


The CIA station chief opened the locked box containing the sensitive equipment he used from his home in Tel Aviv, Israel, to communicate with CIA headquarters in Virginia, only to find that someone had tampered with it. He sent word to his superiors about the break-in. The incident, described by three former senior U.S. intelligence officials, might have been dismissed as just another cloak-and-dagger incident in the world of international espionage, except that the same thing had happened to the previous station chief in Israel.

It was a not-so-subtle reminder that, even in a country friendly to the United States, the CIA was itself being watched. In a separate episode, according to another two former U.S. officials, a CIA officer in Israel came home to find the food in the refrigerator had been rearranged. In all the cases, the U.S. government believes Israel's security services were responsible. Such meddling underscores what is widely known but rarely discussed outside intelligence circles: Despite inarguable ties between the U.S. and its closest ally in the Middle East and despite statements from U.S. politicians trumpeting the friendship, U.S. national security officials consider Israel to be, at times, a frustrating ally and a genuine counterintelligence threat. In addition to what the former U.S. officials described as intrusions in homes in the past decade, Israel has been implicated in U.S. criminal espionage cases and disciplinary proceedings against CIA officers and blamed in the presumed death of an important spy in Syria for the CIA during the administration of President George W. Bush.

The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat in the agency's Near East Division, the group that oversees spying across the Middle East, according to current and former officials. Counterintelligence is the art of protecting national secrets from spies. This means the CIA believes that U.S. national secrets are safer from other Middle Eastern governments than from Israel. Israel employs highly sophisticated, professional spy services that rival American agencies in technical capability and recruiting human sources. Unlike Iran or Syria, for example, Israel as a steadfast U.S. ally enjoys access to the highest levels of the U.S. government in military and intelligence circles. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk publicly about the sensitive intelligence and diplomatic issues between the two countries.

The counterintelligence worries continue even as the U.S. relationship with Israel features close cooperation on intelligence programs that reportedly included the Stuxnet computer virus that attacked computers in Iran's main nuclear enrichment facilities. While the alliance is central to the U.S. approach in the Middle East, there is room for intense disagreement, especially in the diplomatic turmoil over Iran's nuclear ambitions. "It's a complicated relationship," said Joseph Wippl, a former senior CIA clandestine officer and head of the agency's office of congressional affairs. "They have their interests. We have our interests. For the U.S., it's a balancing act." The way Washington characterizes its relationship with Israel is also important to the way the U.S. is regarded by the rest of the world, particularly Muslim countries. U.S. political praise has reached a crescendo ahead of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's scheduled meeting Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Their relationship spans decades, since their brief overlap in the 1970s at the Boston Consulting Group. Both worked as advisers for the firm early in their careers before Romney co-founded his own private-equity firm. Romney said in a speech this past week that Israel was "one of our fondest friends," and he criticized Obama for what he called the administration's "shabby treatment" of the Jewish state.

"The people of Israel deserve better than what they've received from the leader of the free world," Romney said in a plain appeal to U.S. Jewish and pro-Israel evangelical voters. Obama, who last year was overheard appearing to endorse criticism of Netanyahu from then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has defended his work with Israel. "We've gotten a lot of business done with Israel over the last three years," Obama said this year. "I think the prime minister — and certainly the defense minister — would acknowledge that we've never had closer military and intelligence cooperation." An Israeli spokesman in Washington, Lior Weintraub, said his country has close ties with the U.S. A text message Saturday from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the report "false." "Israel's intelligence and security agencies maintain close, broad and continuous cooperation with their U.S. counterparts," Weintraub said. "They are our partners in confronting many mutual challenges. Any suggestion otherwise is baseless and contrary to the spirit and practice of the security cooperation between our two countries." The CIA declined comment.

The tension exists on both sides. The National Security Agency historically has kept tabs on Israel. The U.S., for instance, does not want to be caught off guard if Israel launches a surprise attack that could plunge the region into war and jeopardize oil supplies, putting American soldiers at risk. Matthew Aid, the author of "The Secret Sentry," about the NSA, said the U.S. started spying on Israel even before the state was created in 1948. Aid said the U.S. had a station on Cyprus dedicated to spying on Israel until 1974. Today, teams of Hebrew linguists are stationed at Fort Meade, Md., at the NSA, listening to intercepts of Israeli communications, he said.

CIA policy generally forbids its officers in Tel Aviv from recruiting Israeli government sources, officials said. To do so would require approval from senior CIA leaders, two former senior officials said. During the Bush administration, the approval had to come from the White House. Israel is not America's closest ally, at least when it comes to whom Washington trusts with the most sensitive national security information. That distinction belongs to a group of nations known informally as the "Five Eyes." Under that umbrella, the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand agree to share intelligence and not to spy on one another. Often, U.S. intelligence officers work directly alongside counterparts from these countries to handle highly classified information not shared with anyone else.

Israel is part of a second-tier relationship known by another informal name, "Friends on Friends." It comes from the phrase "Friends don't spy on friends," and the arrangement dates back decades. But Israel's foreign intelligence service, the Mossad, and its FBI equivalent, the Shin Bet, both considered among the best in the world, have been suspected of recruiting U.S. officials and trying to steal American secrets. Around 2004 or 2005, the CIA fired two female officers for having unreported contact with Israelis. One of the women acknowledged during a polygraph exam that she had been in a relationship with an Israeli who worked in the Foreign Ministry, a former U.S. official said. The CIA learned the Israeli introduced the woman to his "uncle." That person worked for Shin Bet.

Jonathan Pollard, who worked for the Navy as a civilian intelligence analyst, was convicted of spying for Israel in 1987 when the Friends on Friends agreement was in effect. He was sentenced to life in prison. The Israelis for years have tried to win his release. In January 2011, Netanyahu asked Obama to free Pollard and acknowledged that Israel's actions in the case were "wrong and wholly unacceptable." Ronald Olive, a former senior supervisor with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service who investigated Pollard, said that after the arrest, the U.S. formed a task force to determine what government records Pollard had taken. Olive said Israel turned over so few that it represented "a speck in the sand." In the wake of Pollard, the Israelis promised not to operate intelligence agents on U.S. soil.

A former Army mechanical engineer, Ben-Ami Kadish, pleaded guilty in 2008 to passing classified secrets to the Israelis during the 1980s. His case officer was the same one who handled Pollard. Kadish let the Israelis photograph documents about nuclear weapons, a modified version of an F-15 fighter jet and the U.S. Patriot missile air defense system. Kadish, who was 85 years old when he was arrested, avoided prison and was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. He told the judge that, "I thought I was helping the state of Israel without harming the United States." In 2006, a former Defense Department analyst was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for giving classified information to an Israeli diplomat and two pro-Israel lobbyists.

Despite the Pollard case and others, Olive said he believes the two countries need to maintain close ties "but do we still have to be vigilant? Absolutely. The Israelis are good at what they do." During the Bush administration, the CIA ranked some of the world's intelligence agencies in order of their willingness to help in the U.S.-led fight against terrorism. One former U.S. intelligence official who saw the completed list said Israel, which hadn't been directly targeted in attacks by al-Qaida, fell below Libya, which recently had agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons program. The espionage incidents have done little to slow the billions of dollars in money and weapons from the United States to Israel. Since Pollard's arrest, Israel has received more than $60 billion in U.S. aid, mostly in the form of military assistance, according to the Congressional Research Service. The U.S. has supplied Israel with Patriot missiles, helped pay for an anti-missile defense program and provided sensitive radar equipment to track Iranian missile threats.

Just on Friday, Obama said he was releasing an additional $70 million in military aid, a previously announced move that appeared timed to upstage Romney's trip, and he spoke of America's "unshakable commitment to Israel." The money will go to help Israel expand production of a short-range rocket defense system. Some CIA officials still bristle over the disappearance of a Syrian scientist who during the Bush administration was the CIA's only spy inside Syria's military program to develop chemical and biological weapons. The scientist was providing the agency with extraordinary information about pathogens used in the program, former U.S. officials said about the previously unknown intelligence operation. At the time, there was pressure to share information about weapons of mass destruction, and the CIA provided its intelligence to Israel. A former official with direct knowledge of the case said details about Syria's program were published in the media. Although the CIA never formally concluded that Israel was responsible, CIA officials complained to Israel about their belief that Israelis were leaking the information to pressure Syria to abandon the program. The Syrians pieced together who had access to the sensitive information and eventually identified the scientist as a traitor. Before he disappeared and was presumed killed, the scientist told his CIA handler that Syrian Military Intelligence was focusing on him.

Where is Torah-ism?
And The Army Of Hashem!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Shem: Understanding [and] Noahides

Parashas Devarim: The Secret Torah of Shem

Rabbi David Katz

In this week’s Torah Portion of Devarim we find one of the most interesting elements of the entire Torah, one that is purely innovated by the Noahides of Torah. In Exodus 18:21, Jethro [who happens to be a Noahide, and was the Sinai representative of such] helped Moses innovate what would later become The Sanhedrin [Rabbinical council; future seat of Noahides who would descend from Jethro personally] by suggesting to Moses seven supreme qualities that a judge must possess; this would be the vehicle of which Moses would survive and ease his burden [and any other future leader of Israel] from leading the people. These seven qualities are the following: 1) Men who are Wise 2) Understanding 3) well-known to their Tribes 4) distinguished Men 5) God Fearing People 6) Men of Truth 7) People who despise money. Again, the fascinating function here, is that Jethro is a Noahide and he lays down a Torah reality that extends itself all the way into eternity, for the Sanhedrin even extend to a permanent fixture in the Holy Temple of God on the Temple Mount! [No wonder the Temple Mount was owned by the Noahide Aravnah – who sold it to King David. King David himself comes from Noahides, as Ruth his Grandmother was a famous early Noahide]

Of these seven traits that would comprise the distinguishing marks of the Sanhedrin, Moses would go on to say that he could only find three amongst the People: 1) Righteous Men 2) Wise Men [and not Understanding Men; this will be thrust of the remainder of the article, as it is this trait that relates the most to Ancient Noahide Torah and Shem in particular] 3) well-known Men. The interesting observation of the Parsha is that Moses [by way of Jethro] suggests Four Traits in verse 1:13 [the three above plus “Men of Understanding”] yet acknowledges only three, with a glaring exclusion of the “Men of Understanding” Trait in 1:15, as Moses explains, “I simply could not find one amongst the People who imbued all seven qualities.” Thus in the end, only three traits that Jethro suggested were incorporated into the Nation of Israel, by Men possessing all three simultaneously.

The specified trait of “Men of Understanding” that have been specified as being left out, not only was especially chosen by Jethro [as nothing that Jethro suggested was superfluous] but carried significant weight into the Torah and would serve as perhaps the most distinguished Noahide Torah application. Rashi [the Bible Commentator] offers an analogy that one could discern the difference between Men of Wisdom and Men of Understanding: [as it says in Kabbalah: Wisdom and Understanding are two lovers that never separate] One who is wise is like a rich money-changer; when they bring him money to examine, he examines. And when they don’t bring him money to observe he sits and wonders [biding his time]. Whereas the Man who understands is like an enterprising moneychanger; when they bring him money to examine, he examines. And when they do not bring him money to examine, he goes about and brings in business on his own. Rashi also points out in Devarim 1:13 that the distinguishing trait of Understanding is a principle in Torah called, “Mvinim Dvar mitoch Dvar” – “to understand matters within matters,” also to be referred as “Pilpul” – the “spice” of Torah that sharpens the Torah and one’s mind while engaged in learning. This trait serves as the pulse that lays present within all matters of Torah, the pulse of the presence of Noahides in Torah, and more accurately it is the path to the Torah of Shem within the Torah of Moses.

When Moses learned the Torah on Sinai, while rising to the Heavenly Academies of Learning Torah amongst the angels and before the Presence of God, he learned that there is more to Torah than simply memorization and draconian format to Torah, but that the Torah is alive and well, has a healthy pulse, and quite literally preserves the Word of God, even into the ongoing present moment if time. Moses essentially learned the “Pilpul” – “give and take” / “interactive” side of Torah and its dynamic. Moses considered this to be the essence of Torah, thus when it came time to give over the Torah to Israel, Moses chose to plug in the electricity of Pilpul, rather than create a Nation of robots and murmuring parrots. Hashem allowed Moses to do as he pleased in this area, yet Moses persevered in this endeavor, yet it was clear that Moses had another agenda in mind: locate, preserve, and teach over the keys to the Torah of Shem that is present in ever matter of Torah – to understand a matter within a matter!

The obvious question is where do we find the Torah of Shem within the Torah of Moses? The answer is quite simple [yet far from obvious] in that is pulsating constantly in the Torah that we learn; it is essentially the technique of understanding a matter within a matter. Since Shem’s Torah is not central to any location in Torah, Parsha, or even a continued and recorded extended period of History [despite the fact that he WAS a main character of the Flood and Noah’s Ark, yet the Torah publicized Noah instead], it is our job to take what we do know to be true about Shem, thus giving over a stock-pile of Torah that we could effectively call the Torah of Shem, even if in a limited state.

Once there is a bulk of knowledge of Shem present within the prospective student, along with ability and desire to understand the Torah, one can apply “pilpul” to his Torah study, and recapture the truth of Torah that would compose itself within the Torah of Shem, as he is/was the father of Torah. It was for this that Moses knew he must preserve the Torah in its purest form. Moses achieved this goal when he delivered “pilpul” to Israel and along with this gift per force is the Torah of Shem. If Jacob was severe to his children not to forget the Torah of Shem, as depicted in the literal text that he answered to their “Shema” [in the form of Baruch “Shem” Kavod Malchuto LeOlam VaEd while Jacob served as the paradigm “Listen O’ Israel] then Moses would continue the respect to Shem, as he is the forefather to Spiritual Mankind and the Torah.

All that we are left with is: how is this “pilpul” connected to the Torah of Shem? The answer is quite simple; since we have no direct transmission of his Torah, yet we know that it is buried within the Torah of Moses, with intent of its extraction, our job is to derive it! Pilpul is the art of understanding matters with matters, and this is the secret to the Torah of Shem. For every bit of revealed Torah, if we seek to find the matter within a matter, you will find the path to the Torah of Shem; the path has ability to shine depending on how much we seek to find it and incorporate the known Torah of Shem. [Torah of Shem would be comprised of whatever we have in print from the revealed sect of Torah] It is this style of learning where the concept of an entire revelation of Torah can take place, much the same as Abraham received the entire Torah from Shem on the Temple Mount. Even to understand that exchange between Abraham and Malki Tzedek, one must delve into pilpul [a matter within a matter] just to understand what happened between the two of them.

Moses seeks to establish the beginnings of the Sanhedrin in this Torah Portion, and it will require the Torah of Shem and the level of Torah called pilpul; both salvageable by Understanding Men. If Moses could not find this quality amongst the Jewish People, yet Jethro made it a positive distinction, where would such a People be found? The answer should be obvious – the Noahides themselves! [After all, we seek Torah of Shem from the Torah of Jethro – both Noahides!] We find in the Midrash on the portion of Torah where Bilaam curses / Blesses the Jewish People in Parashas Balak that the famed Kenites, who go back to Jethro, actually have a permanent presence within the Sanhedrin and sit with permanence in the Holy Temple. Thus Moses sought to find this level of Understanding Men, and he failed in finding them. However the story gets much greater from that moment onwards, as it is the Noahides for eternity who will take the seat of Understanding, learn the art of pilpul in their eternal inheritance of Torah, and will be the most Blessed in extracting the essence of the Torah, the Torah of Shem.

The Midrash makes it quite clear that learning Torah is especially prominent amongst the Noahides, to the tune that the entire First Temple time period was quite literally filled with Noahides, until Sancheriv came and exiled the Noahides with the 10 Lost Tribes. The Noahide represents everything that is Good within Torah and it is thus fitting that Noahide Torah contribution in Torah is unparalleled in Torah history. Moses gave the opportunity for these secrets to be revealed in Torah, and this was clearly not for naught, as Moses, an incarnation of Shem, surely saw the Blessing that comes with Torah – the Eternal Noahide Nations. The Torah would not exist today if not for the Noahides; the proof seems to never stop revealing itself, even if it is from a matter within a matter, something that each time and place in Torah, brings us back to the original teachings, of Shem son of Noah. Finding Men of Understanding to comprise the Sanhedrin is no different, in its Noahide roots.

May the World fill with Men of Understanding!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Doom and Gloom...for the Sake of the Frum?

Here is my first attempt at reporting Doom and Gloom. I am not hopping onto the Blog Scene bandwagon, quite the contrary. What I want to know is: Is there a Truth to Doom? Should we pass off expressions like, "the worst drought in half a century" to just stam shtussim?
Is it conspiracy talk of NWO matters like Global Warming, HAARP, etc.?
It is confusing to know real reality, and to be able to ascertain just how evil the World of Asiah truly is.

Maybe Doom is just Doom. Maybe it comes from Hashem. Maybe Mankind has reached Tower of Bavel status and believe they are infused with the power of G-d.

Either way, it looks Geulah-dic, and if it isn't, well, then the social protesting that results from these terror propaganda agendas will resonate to some people's radars that Moshiach is [relatively] imminent.
My gut feeling is, it is part of The Plan; The Plan is looking more and more real each day. Some would call it a Mushel, I call it revelation of [Jewish] Mazal - davka, and not of the Goyasha velt.


Scattered rain brought some relief to parts of the baking U.S. Midwest on Wednesday, but most of the region remained in the grips of the worst drought in half a century as the outlook for world food supplies and prices worsened. The U.S. Agriculture Department forecast that food prices would now out-pace other consumer costs through 2013 as drought destroys crops and erodes supplies. "The drought is really going to hit food prices next year," said USDA economist Richard Volpe, adding that pressure on food prices would start building later this year.

"It's already affecting corn and soybean prices, but then it has to work its way all the way through the system into feed prices and then animal prices, then wholesale prices and then finally, retail prices," Volpe said in an interview. The USDA now sees food prices rising between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent in 2012 and another 3-4 percent in 2013. Food prices will rise more rapidly than overall U.S. inflation, the USDA said, a turnabout from the usual pattern. U.S. inflation is estimated at 2 percent this year and 1.9 percent in 2013. Food inflation was 3.7 percent last year but only 0.8 percent in 2010.

On Wednesday, the USDA added another 76 counties to its list of areas designated for disaster aid, bringing the total to 1,369 counties in 31 states across the country. Two-thirds of the United States is now in mild or extreme drought, the agency said. Forecasters said that after weeks of hot, dry weather the northern Corn Belt from eastern Nebraska through northern Illinois was likely to see a second day of scattered rain. But in the southern Midwest, including Missouri and most of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, more hot, dry weather was likely. "

Most of these areas need an excess of 10 inches of rain to break the drought," said Jim Keeney, a National Weather Service meteorologist, referring to Kansas through Ohio. "This front is not expected to bring much more than a 1/2 to 1 inch in any particular area. It's not a drought buster by any means." The central and southern Midwest saw more temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday, with St Louis at 101 F. "There's no change in the drought pattern, just thunderstorms shifting around," said Andy Karst, a meteorologist for World Weather Inc. "There are no soaking rains seen through August 8."

The outlook sent Chicago Board of Trade grain markets higher after prices had come down from last week's record highs. Chicago Board of Trade corn for September delivery closed 4-1/2 cents higher at $7.94-1/2 a bushel, compared to the record high of $8.28-3/4 set last week. August soybeans ended 45 cents higher at $16.94-1/4, compared to last week's record of $17.77-3/4. September wheat rose 24-1/2 cents at $9.03-1/4, compared to last week's 4-year high at $9.47-1/4.

The prices have markets around the world concerned that local food costs will soar because imports will be expensive, food aid for countries from China to Egypt will not be available, and food riots could occur as in the past. The United States is the world's largest exporter of corn, soybeans and wheat. Major losses in the massive U.S. corn crop, which is used for dozens of products from ethanol fuels to livestock feed, have been reported by field tours this week. Soybeans, planted later than corn, are struggling to set pods, but if rain that has been forecast falls, soybeans may be saved from the worst effects of the drought.

A Reuters poll on Tuesday showed that U.S. corn yields could fall to a 10-year low, and the harvest could end up being the lowest in six years. Extensive damage has already been reflected in declining weekly crop reports from Corn Belt states. "Monday's crop ratings showed losses on par with the damage seen during the 1988 drought if these conditions persist," said Bryce Knorr, senior editor for Farm Futures Magazine. "Weather so far has taken almost 4 billion bushels off the corn crop, so a lot of demand must still be rationed." In Putnam County, Indiana, this week, crop scouts did not even stop to inspect corn fields since a glance convinced them that farmers would plow crops under rather than trying to harvest anything. On Wednesday, scouts in central Illinois reported that some corn fields were better than expected, having benefited from early planting and pollination after a warm winter and spring.

Tom Womack of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture said some recent rains had helped soybean prospects, but "the damage that has been done to the corn has been done. No amount of rainfall will help us recover what we lost in the corn crop." Ohio Governor John Kasich signed an order on Wednesday that will allow farmers to cut hay for their livestock from grass growing along highways adjacent to their properties. Fire threats were growing in portions of the Plains. On Wednesday, firefighters from three north-central Nebraska counties and the National Guard battled expanding wildfires that have consumed more than 60,000 acres in the last week. On Wednesday, helicopters dumped water on wildfires, ignited by lightning, that have been burning since the weekend in the Niobrara River Valley. "We are making progress, but continued support is needed," Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman said.

In Missouri, one of the nation's driest states, the highway patrol said smoke from grass and brush fires was creating "very dangerous driving conditions." Discarded cigarettes were cited as a factor in those fires. Across the Midwest, cities and towns restricted water use for gardens and lawns and tried to save stressed trees with drip bags. Reservoir and river levels were low and being carefully watched, and restrictions were placed on barge movements along the Mississippi River and recreational boating. SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME? The U.S. drought has been blamed on the El Nino phenomenon in the western Pacific Ocean, a warming of sea temperatures that affects global atmosphere and can prevent moisture from the Gulf of Mexico from reaching the U.S. Midwest breadbasket. Some scientists have warned that this year's U.S. drought, already deemed the worst since 1956, is tied to climate factors that could have even worse effects in coming years.

Dangerously hot summer days have become more common across the Midwest in the last 60 years, and the region will face more potentially deadly weather as the climate warms, according to a report issued by the Union of Concerned Scientists (USC) on Wednesday. The report looked at weather trends in Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis and St. Louis and smaller cities such as Peoria, Illinois, and Toledo, Ohio. The report found that the number of hot, humid days has increased, on average, across the Midwest since the 1940s and 1950s, while hot, dry days have become hotter. Finding relief from the heat has become more difficult, as all the cities studied now have fewer cool, dry days in the summer and night-time temperatures have risen. "Night-time is typically when people get relief, especially those who don't have air conditioning," said Steve Frenkel, UCS's Midwest office director. "The risks of heat-related illness and death increase with high nighttime temperatures." In Chicago, more than 700 deaths were attributed to a heat wave in July 1995. With more extreme summer heat, annual deaths in Chicago are projected to rise from 143 from 2020-2029 to 300 between 2090-2099, the report said.

Al Gore-Rhythm: CEO of Shtussim [Figure him out]
Would Puff the Magic drago...I mean Al Gore lie to us?
The circus of the second half of 2012 is going to be worth the price of admission, as Rahm Emmanuel says, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."
If it isn't real, then Hashem has the best time of all..even more than he had in Egypt.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Erev Rav and Their Money La La La, La La!

This Global Caste System is sickening. It is now a crime if you choose to be Human.


Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz was an officer and strategist in the Prussian army. Among other things he coined the phrase, “War is just a continuation of policy by other means.” It seems his adage has been adopted by none other than U.S. president Barack Obama.

The president, who naturally wants to be re-elected to another term on November 6, embarked on a campaign which until recently would have been unthinkable in most democratic societies: a call for “class warfare.”

The class warfare that Obama describes is between Americans who are wealthy and those who are not, or the 1 percent against everyone else.

In the 2012 presidential campaign’s best video clip to date, we hear Republican candidate Mitt Romney singing “America the Beautiful” off-key against a photo backdrop of closed factories and tax shelters in Switzerland and the Caribbean.

That campaign, which has been very successful, attacks Romney point-blank as a wealthy businessman who closes companies for personal gain while stashing his millions in off-shore bank accounts.

Now Romney is on the defensive. He hasn't managed to present a credible story to voters, and Obama now leads in polls taken over the past few weeks in several key U.S. states.

If the president can do it, then yes, we can too. The U.S. media and influential pundits are no longer avoiding the class issue.

When the wealthiest one percent of the population pays the lowest marginal tax rate in 80 years, that is class warfare. When an investment fund manager (Mitt Romney, for example), pays an effective tax rate of 14 percent on annual profits totaling millions of dollars while a firefighters pays an effective tax rate of 28 percent on the merely tens of thousands of dollars he earns – well, then there is a class war going on in the U.S. Champions of inequality

The same applies here in Israel. Based on figures published by The Marker last week, it appears that Israel’s wealthiest 10 percent controls two-thirds of the capital in the Israeli economy.

Among corporate executives and the self-employed, the gap is even wider: the top 1 percent in this group earns 65 percent of total group income.

This is nothing new. A graph plotting the Gini coefficients of OECD countries (which represent national levels of income inequality) would show Israel in the worst part of the graph. Only Mexico and the U.S. have worse levels of inequality. And in recent years, the inequality gap has only widened from annually.

The winner? The rich, of course. The proposals to institute an inheritance tax have been shelved. The tax on exceptionally high income earners proposed by the Trajtenberg Committee was torpedoed.

Yet despite all this, the capital gains tax exemption for those who own multiple apartments and sell an apartment no more than once every four years has been reinstated. This is a tax benefit that only property owners enjoy. Yet in Israel, the class war is not only between the poor and the rich. In practice, a whole slew of wars is taking place simultaneously, and here they are. Young vs. old

When a country decides to increase its debts, it automatically lowers the standard of living of its young in order to preserve the standard of living of its older population. Why? Because the debts will be repaid in future decades by those who go out to work and pay income taxes, while those who reap the immediate benefits will be receiving their pensions in several years’ time. The issue is particularly trenchant in Europe, where national debts are sky-high, but Israel’s situation is no better. An analysis by the National Insurance Institute published last week in The Marker shows that over the past decade, Israel’s young people have been pushed to the bottom two deciles of Israeli income-earners.

How? It happened because of the erosion of government benefits, the rise in housing prices and the reduction in income tax rates, which largely benefits high income earners.

Daniel Gottlieb, the head of the NII’s research department, concluded that the economic distress of Israel’s young people has a real basis in the economic data. The price that today’s youth need to pay for their necessities has hit the stratosphere – and this is before taking into account all the taxes they will need to pay in order to cover the country’s obligations to its elder citizens. No wonder the social justice protests have not died down.

The winner? The elderly. The situation of Israeli youth will only improve if the government decides to cut its expenses, reduce its debts, balance the budget and reduce public-sector pensions. This is the exact opposite of what most young Israelis are shouting for as they demand bigger government and a bigger budget. Junior vs. senior public-sector employees

At first glance, the social contract that the public sector offers seems clear: a mediocre salary in return for job security, stability and maybe even some personal satisfaction from working for “the public good.” Big mistake.

While that is the deal that close to 80 percent of junior public-sector employees get, the deal for senior employees, the ones who are well connected and well established, is completely different. These high-ranking employees get high salaries (higher than those earned by professionals in the private sector), job security, a solid network of contacts, easy work that takes up only part of the day (after all, they still need some free time to engage in politics) and countless perks.

The winner? The well-established ones win, since they are the employees who control the committees and, through them, the country’s politicians. This 20 percent of senior public-sector employees possess a great deal of influence, and they concentrate their political firepower on one thing only: perpetuating the status quo.

Class warfare is also going on between the draftees and the career soldiers in the army, the police and the entire defense establishment. The arrangement here is almost identical to the one in the public sector, but more extreme. Career soldiers and high-ranking officers receive a generous budgetary pension and then retire to embark on a second career at a young age. Meanwhile, the actuarial pension liabilities for army retirees continue to climb rapidly. These actuarial liabilities have grown from NIS 80 billion some 12 years ago to NIS 256 billion today, a positively Brobdignagian burden for a country of Israel's size. Who will pay the bill? The people, that's who. The entire citizenry, including the people who serve in the army – whose service conditions will consequently deteriorate as time goes on.

Who wins? Whoever still has a non-contributory pension, which means they don't set aside a cent for their own retirement. The taxpayer pays the whole thing. Heirs of homes vs. everyone else

Every day, we see a new calculation demonstrating how difficult it is – impossible, actually – for young couples to buy a home in Israel without help from their parents. For example, the Migdal insurance group calculates that a young couple earning the average wage in Israel, about NIS 9,000 each, and managing to save about ten percent of their net income, would require about 295 monthly paychecks, or 25 years, to save the equity required to buy a home for NIS 1.5 million (assuming NIS 375,000 down, which is 30 percent of the price of the apartment).

A mortgage is no help: not only does the money have to be returned, but the interest must also be paid, and in the case of a 25-year mortgage, this means the amount to be repaid is double the price of the dwelling.

Thus two classes are being created: people whose parents gave them a home, and people whose parents didn't give them a home.

Who wins? Homeowners. The value of their property has begun to rise once more, and they receive special tax benefits when they realize their profits. The tycoons vs. business-sector entrepreneurs

When the tycoons and owners of holding companies claim that the economic concentration law and the “atmosphere in the country” are “harmful to businesses,” they are trying to do a media spin that is the complete opposite of reality. The separation between real and financial businesses, the dismantling of the corporate pyramids, the increase in the number of entrepreneurs who will do business with the state and reforms in non-competitive sectors – all of these will give a boost to new projects, the business sector and to medium and small businesses.

After all, the monopolies and oligopolies have succeeded in curbing potential competitors, while at the same getting their hands on the public’s long-term savings rather than investing in new businesses. In Israel, a fairly small club comprising several thousand tycoons, managers, directors, lawyers, accountants and consultants is being formed – and it is this club that will be holding the reins in the business sector.

We may well be seeing the members of this club in the gossip columns of the financial section every single day, as they keep on living it up.

And the winner? While the tycoons still have the advantage, if the economic concentration committee’s recommendations go through, competition among the banks and in the food and automobile industries will increase. If the general director of the Israel Antitrust Authority should carry out reforms and increase competition in other sectors, it is possible that entrepreneurs who own medium and small business will win out in the end.

The World is itching for Glabal Slavery.
...At least the Torah says Truth wins.
משיח בקרב ב''ה

Monday, July 23, 2012

America: The Great Slave State

America didn't change; it Reinvented. And yes there is a big difference.
First there was Rome, and then...well, there was still Rome.

The irony of Politics, is that it does not recognize or even seek solutions. For Politics are no more than a conglomerate of poor ideologies.

The World literally has one door left, the only door they haven't tried: Torah!
...oh I'm sorry, that would be a solution! ...It just happens [Torah] to contain the proper ideology as well.

All the sheker in the World is basically just a bad implementation/commentary to Torah truth.
Why not try to get it right?
This is the Torah's challenge: To choose God over all else and have the Faith that the "all else" God gives to maintain his World [as he sees it].


The recovery from the Great Recession of 2007-09 has been so anemic that the average American would probably be surprised to hear that the recession has officially ended. The National Bureau of Economic Research declared that it was over by June 2009, but the economy hasn't exactly come roaring back. In the 12 months that followed, GDP grew by a modest 2.5 percent, less than one-half of the bounce following the two previous recessions (in 1974-75 and 1981-82) that pundits often compare to the most recent one.

As to the cause of the slow recovery, there has been much finger-pointing: There is too little government stimulus; too much government stimulus; tax rates are too high; tax rates are too low. Erik Hurst, a macroeconomist at the University of Chicago, argues that_in contrast to earlier recessions, when the economy temporarily performed below its long-run capacity_the 2008 recession was a necessary corrective for an economy overheated and distorted by a credit-fueled housing bubble. If Hurst is right, we're now adjusting to a new normal, one in which there are fewer manufacturing jobs to go around and no housing boom to absorb all the unskilled workers who could have found work in a less globalized and computerized era.

While the recession reduced incomes and increased unemployment across all socioeconomic groups, the poor have been hit harder than anyone else. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the bottom 20 percent of American families earned less in 2010 than they did in 2006, the year before the recession began. Every other income quintile is at least back at where they started, or even a little ahead. For the bottom quintile, this is just the most recent setback in a series of them: Their share of America's economic pie has been shrinking for decades.

There are two broad shifts that account for much of this decline: globalization and computerization. From T-shirts to toys, manufacturing jobs have migrated to low-wage countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh, and of course China. Meanwhile, many of the tasks that might have been done by middle-income Americans employed as bookkeepers or middle managers have been replaced by spreadsheets and data algorithms.

Hurst notes that fewer and fewer Americans with a high school education or less are finding employment in manufacturing. This is a trend that accelerated in the late 1990s. Some of those lost jobs resulted in twentysomethings exiting the labor force. But a great many were absorbed by a thriving construction sector. Between 1998 and 2007, the share of lower-education men employed in manufacturing fell from 15 to 10 percent, virtually a mirror image of construction, where the share increased from 15 to nearly 20 percent.

The wages of less educated men_which had been in decline since the 1970s_also enjoyed a brief reprieve in the late 1990s and into the following decade. Working with University of Chicago colleagues Kerwin Charles and Matthew Notowidigdo, Hurst found that these aggregate statistics for the United States as a whole have played out in miniature across the country, as one would expect if the housing boom were really behind the short-lived uptick in the employment and salaries for the bottom 20 percent. In regions where the housing booms were greatest, the employment prospects of low-skilled workers fared the best, while in places that the housing bubble passed by, the job prospects of such workers continued their inexorable decline. (The researchers also found that the increase in construction employment was only part of the explanation: Low-skilled service employment also went up in places with housing booms as local residents, feeling wealthier as a result of the increased value of their homes, spent more at restaurants, barber shops, and local retail establishments.)

Overall, Hurst and his co-authors estimate that roughly 40 percent of the increase in nonemployment (those who are unemployed but still looking for jobs, as well as those who have given up and exited the labor force entirely) since 2007 involves manufacturing jobs that were already lost during the earlier part of the decade. But the loss of these jobs was temporarily obscured by the housing boom that allowed low-skilled individuals to find work. (For the college-educated, there was at most a modest connection between the housing booms and employment.)

Do we expect the jobs that resulted from the housing boom to once again come to the rescue of low-wage Americans? Hurst doesn't think so. The run-up in home prices that triggered the jump in construction and local spending was relatively short-lived, and home prices have returned to the levels where one might expect them to be, based on the moderate price growth that has prevailed over many decades in just about every state in the Union. In New York, home prices grew at around 2.4 percent a year from 2000 to 2010, once you add up the 5 percent annual growth of 2000-07 and the bust that followed. This is not much different from the 2 percent annual growth that the state experienced from 1980 to 2000. Similarly, Nevada home prices declined slightly over 2000-10 despite the massive housing boom of the first half of the decade, just as they did during the years 1980-2000.

So just as we probably shouldn't expect home prices to come roaring back, don't hold your breath for a rapid recovery in employment_a lot of those jobs were already lost before the boom started, as a result of manufacturing's long-term decline. This presents a bleak future for low-skilled Americans: declining job prospects and wages with no obvious reversal in sight. This isn't anything new Hurst and his colleagues emphasize that the housing bubble merely provided a brief respite from this steady drop.

Few economists feel that there's much hope in propping up manufacturing businesses where they still exist_a lot of those jobs will continue to migrate to lower-wage locales. But at the same time, some leading labor economists are reasonably bullish on the long-term prospects for American workers if we make the right policy choices to prepare them for the new global economy.

While manufacturing jobs have long since departed for China and India, the U.S. economy continues to grow and even manufacture products that the world wants to buy we export more in dollar terms than we did a decade ago. But what we're sending (and how it's made) is drastically different today. As Enrico Moretti documents in compelling detail in a recently released book, The New Geography of Jobs, even if we don't assemble iPhones or sneakers in America, we supply their designs to those who do. And we do still make things_things like precision scientific instruments and jetliners. But the way we're producing them has changed as well: Even in sectors that have expanded production over the last decade, there are fewer jobs to be had the so-called productivity paradox. The reason? Production is increasingly automated, requiring more computers and fewer human beings.

All this adds up to an economy that generates just as much income, but with profits flowing into far fewer pockets than they did in the previous century. Moretti suggests that the prognosis for the average American worker need not be so gloomy if, as he predicts, America continues to thrive as a hub of knowledge generation and innovation. While the idea creators those who design iPhones and develop new drugs_will continue to be the drivers of prosperity, more than a few crumbs may fall to the workers who support them. For example, Moretti estimates that Microsoft alone is responsible for adding 120,000 low-skill jobs to the Seattle area, where the company is based. This is because of the support workers required to style the hair, cut the grass, and yes, build the houses, of all those Microsoft engineers and computer scientists. And they earn more doing it a barber in San Francisco earns about 40 percent more than his counterpart in Detroit or Riverside, Calif. So one way of boosting incomes of the bottom quintile would be to provide incentives for them to pick up and move from the rust belt to innovation hubs like Austin, San Francisco, and Boston.

Of course, if people actually start moving in significant numbers, the benefits of cutting hair or grass in Austin rather than Detroit will quickly evaporate_the price of low-income housing will be bid up, and the salaries of barbers bid down. In the longer run, the bottom 20 percent_indeed the bottom 99 percent will need to be retrained and re-educated to get a larger share of U.S. GDP. Eminent Harvard labor economist Larry Katz sees a future where many lower-skilled workers are employed in the service sector supporting America's innovative class. But he sees it as an open question as to whether these service jobs will be as sales clerks and lawn hands, or fashion consultants and landscape designers. Katz refers to these would-be consultants, designers, and other skilled service providers as forming the foundation of the New Artisan Economy.

If jobs are being lost to low-wage Indians and computer programs, then what today's worker needs is a set of skills that offers the personal touch and judgment that can't be provided by a machine or someone 12 time zones away. Katz argues that this will be crucial for those with only high school educations, who will need to learn a "high touch" trade_like personal trainers, kitchen designers, and home health aides_where personal interaction is critical. He makes a similar argument for the college educated as well: With many clerical and lower-level management jobs made obsolete by advances in information technology or lost to off-shoring, they'll have to reinvent themselves as, say, IT support professionals or consultants. (In making the argument that college graduates will also need to be retrained for the job market of the future, Katz points out that middle-income earners have gotten hammered the hardest in the past decade also part of a longer trend going back decades particularly in IT-intensive sectors.) Katz's hope for the new economy is a workforce whose skills make their services sufficiently desirable to Moretti's idea-creators that the bottom 99 percent do better than single-digit hourly wages in the job market.

An artisan economy can't be built overnight. We've spent the last decade funneling too many workers into construction jobs that may never come back. These workers now lack the skills required in Katz's economy of the future. And perhaps the most depressing statistic that Hurst points to in describing the plight of low-skill Americans is that, after falling steadily for 15 years, the fraction of men who stopped their educations by the end of high school went up by a few percent between 1997 and 2006, before resuming its decline. Why? Presumably more school looks less attractive to an 18-year-old if he can get a decent job doing construction. Not exactly a lost generation, but these are yet more young males who will need retraining to get decent jobs or even stay in the workforce.

Is America up to the task of retraining its workforce to be artisans rather than burger flippers? In recent congressional testimony, Katz is critical of current government training schemes like those funded under the Workforce Investment Act. He calls them "fragmented and difficult for many workers to navigate."

At the same time, Professor Katz maintains a glimmer of hope. As he observed in his testimony, there is emerging evidence that job retraining can be effective in teaching older workers new skills when done right. Amid the many failures, Katz points to some exceptional retraining programs that have demonstrated promise in helping workers to cost-effectively upgrade their earnings. For example, Per Scholas, a 15-week program in New York that provides training for installing and repairing computer networks, increased participants' annual incomes by nearly $5,000 within two years of beginning their training. Programs like Per Scholas produce these large effects through a combination of in-class instruction and on-the-job training, often with a post-training middleman to help with placement in a job where their skills are well-utilized. Katz calls for evidence-based funding that rewards programs that do well by their clients.

Realistically, it's going to be hard to transform an illiterate and innumerate burger flipper into an IT support specialist overnight Per Scholas, for example, will only take applicants with a high school diploma or GED who also test at the 10th grade level or higher in math and English. So Katz also sees improving basic education upgrading school quality and graduation rates, and channeling more graduates into post-secondary training as essential to building a new artisan economy.

Whether a gridlocked and partisan government can come together to develop a sensible agenda for skills development and job creation is an open question. But the future of the American worker depends on it.

The 21st Century has Galus Problems that need Geulah answers.
...What does society do - reinvent [after a short suppression] slavery.
If you look around, slavery never really went away; they just re - channeled the energy.

Welcome to Rome: 2012

Olam Asiah: The Lowest World [our World]: Mostly Evil

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Other Barak With The Button To Push

Ehud says bomb Damascus. Prophecy says "we think the same!"
Only question: Is prophecy thinking in terms of Ehud Barak?


Defense Minister Ehud Barak made clear over the weekend that Israel would take military action if needed to ensure that Syria’s advanced weapon systems and chemical weapons do not fall into Hezbollah’s hands.

“Syria has advanced antiaircraft missiles, surface-tosurface missiles and elements of chemical weapons,” Barak said on Friday in a Channel 2 interview. “I directed the IDF to prepare for a situation where we will need to consider the possibility of an attack.”

In an interview on Channel 10 he added that the “moment [President Bashar Assad] starts to fall we will conduct intelligence monitoring and will liaise with other agencies.”

One government official added that Israel was concerned that in the current disorder and confusion in Syria, the stockpile of nonconventional weapons – as well as advanced conventional weapons – could reach “terrorist groups and other extremist elements.”

According to the official, Israel was following the situation very closely and “looking at different contingency plans. To do otherwise would be irresponsible.” The official refused to elaborate on the contingency plans.

Soon after Barak’s comments, the White House said on Saturday that the US was closely monitoring Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile

and “actively consulting” with Damascus’s neighbors to stress concerns over the security of those weapons and Syria’s responsibility to safeguard them.

“We believe Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile remains under Syrian government control,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said. “Given the escalation of violence in Syria and the regime’s increasing attacks on their people, we remain very concerned about these weapons.”

Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army is forming a team to secure the country’s chemical weapons, an FSA general told the Daily Telegraph on Saturday.

According to the report, the rebel general was once in charge of drafting plans to secure the same sites in his previous role in Assad’s army. He came out of retirement to join the opposition earlier this year.

“We have a group just to deal with chemical weapons,” Gen.

Adnan Silou told the Telegraph.

He went on to describe two chemical weapons sites, one in east Damascus and another near Homs, according to the report.

A Syrian military defector claimed last week that Assad’s forces were moving chemical weapons across the country for possible use against the opposition, in retaliation for the killing of four top security officials on Wednesday.

This Could Be "The Finger" That Pushes "The Button!"

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