U.S. Hospitals Prep For Ebola Outbreak: Cases May Exceed 100,000 By December: ‘The Numbers Are Really Scary’

Though news on the Ebola virus has been muted since two American health care workers were admitted to U. S.-based facilities last month, the deadly contagion continues to spread. According to the World Health Organization more than 40% of all Ebola cases thus far have occurred in just the last three months, suggesting that the virus is continuing to build steam.
Physicist Alessandro Vespignani of Northeastern University in Boston is one of several researchers trying to figure out how far Ebola may spread and how many people around the world could be affected. Based on his findings, there will be 10,000 cases by September of this year and it only gets worse from there.

This post was published at shtfplan on September 1st, 2014.

Labor’s Demise Is America’s Demise – Paul Craig Roberts

Labor Day is a holiday that has outlived its time. Like Christmas, Labor Day has become a time-out period. As Christmas has become a shopping spree, Labor Day has become the last summer holiday.
The holiday originated in 1887 to celebrate the contribution made by American workers to the strength and prosperity of the United States. The first Monday in September was chosen by President Grover Cleveland to avoid a May date that would keep alive the memory of the previous year’s Haymarket Massacre in which workers striking for an eight-hour day suffered casualties from the Chicago police.
As time passed union leadership became a career rather than a movement in behalf of a cause, but the labor movement in its initial years was reformist. It brought safer working conditions into industry and manufacturing. Unions served as a countervailing power and constrained the exploitative power of capital. An industrial or manufacturing job was a ladder of upward mobility that made the US an opportunity society and stabilized the socio-political system with a large middle class. A large and thriving industrial and manufacturing sector provided many white collar middle class jobs for managers, engineers, researchers and designers, and American universities flourished as did their graduates.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on August 31, 2014.

Police lock down California campus because of man carrying an umbrella

“I don’t always bring an umbrella to work, but when I do, I get cuffed.”
SAN MARCOS, CA – A SWAT team was deployed and a university campus was locked down when someone suspected that a man carrying his umbrella was actually carrying a firearm.
The breathtaking overreaction occurred at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) on the rainy Wednesday morning of August 20th, 2014. Staff member Bill Craig, who has worked for the university for 17 years, was walking across campus to his office with his folded-up umbrella.
A paranoid campus busybody spotted Mr. Craig and assumed that his black umbrella was a rifle. The ignorant individual called the police to report a non-police officer bearing arms.
At 9:00 a.m., an order to ‘shelter in place’ was issued, and students and staff members hunkered down as heavily armed police officers descended upon the campus.
‘Immediately… the doors [were] locked and then they took all the chairs and all the tables and barricaded the doors,’ said student James Collins to ABC 10 News. ‘People were kind of freaked out and you could tell that there was a nervous tension.’
San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies – toting rifles of their own – spotted Mr. Craig, who matched the description of the ‘gunman,’ and quickly ‘disarmed’ him of his umbrella.

This post was published at Police State USA on August 30, 2014.

Has Ukraine Shot Itself In The Foot With Gas Pipeline Deal?

Last week, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk pushed a bill through the Verkhovna Rada that would see his country’s gas transportation system sold off to a group of international investors. The provisions of the law would permit the transit of natural gas to be blocked. This decision may hurt the fragile industrial recovery in Germany and finish off Ukraine’s potential as a gas transit route to Europe.
Germany, which is the industrial heart of the European Union and a major creditor for its debtor nations, is facing the challenge of the double-edged consequences of its inverted Ostpolitik as it pertains to the trade in natural gas. Even the temporary transit risks ensuing from Kiev’s decision to block the pipeline may cause a business slump.
The Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz offered an unnerving forecast for the German economy. The Columbia University professor, speaking at the conference in the southern German city of Lindau, described economic growth in the Eurozone as ‘sluggish.’ The German economy in particular failed to grow during the second quarter, threatening the EU’s fragile industrial recovery.
In the years to come, coping with Kiev’s attempts to jeopardize the gas-transit system and cut off Europe from its quintessential energy source in the east could become a real headache for Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The most vivid example of Ukraine’s self-destructive policy that has the potential to affect European taxpayers is the recent sale of its gas transportation system.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/29/2014.

Poverty Capitalism in 2014 – Introducing Private Probation Companies

As N. P. R. reported in May, services that ‘were once free, including those that are constitutionally required,’ are now frequently billed to offenders: the cost of a public defender, room and board when jailed, probation and parole supervision, electronic monitoring devices, arrest warrants, drug and alcohol testing, and D. N. A. sampling. This can go to extraordinary lengths: in Washington state, N. P. R. found, offenders even ‘get charged a fee for a jury trial – with a 12-person jury costing $250, twice the fee for a six-person jury.’
– From Tuesday’s New York Times op-ed, The Expanding World of Poverty Capitalism
We’ve all heard about the private prison industry by now. An idea so insane and so rampant with perverse incentives that no civilized society would ever allow such a concept to take hold. Yet taken hold it has in the Banana Republic formally known as America.
The private prison industry and the giants that dominate it, such as GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America, have disturbed me to the point that I have written several articles on the destructiveness of the concept. If you need to get caught up, the most significant post I wrote on the topic was: A Deep Look into the Shady World of the Private Prison Industry.
Naturally, a society that embraces private prisons would also embrace the privatization of all sorts of other things that have no business being privatized due to perverse incentives. One such example with which I was unfamiliar until today are private probation companies. These companies are seemingly vested with the power to threaten jail in order to collect payments. Additionally, constitutionally protected rights that were previously free are now being charged to those mired in the ‘justice’ system.
Columbia University professor of journalism, Thomas B. Edsall, brought this issue to the forefront in his excellent New York Times editorial. Some excerpts below:

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Aug 28, 2014.

German Security Expert Warns “War Between Russia And The West Is A Real Possibility”

“The de-escalation strategy with Moscow has failed,” warns Joachim Krause, Director of the Institute for Security Studies, concluding ominously that “A war between Russia and the West… is a real possibility.” As Handelsblatt reports, Krause states “we should not deny this reality any longer.”
From Handelsblatt (via Google Translate),
The Director of the Institute for Security Studies at the University of Kiel, Joachim Krause, holding a war between Russia and the West for possible, the West should now not clearly show the flag in view of the escalating situation in Ukraine. “A war between Russia and the West, I do not wind up currently, but if the West will not respond with the necessary determination and effectiveness, a war in a few years could be a real possibility,”Krause told Handelsblatt Online.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/28/2014.

Militarized Schooling? “Newtown Was A Nuclear Bomb That Changed Everything”

The following sign on the grass in front of a Texas school sums up where we are with the militarization of education in America.

As WSJ reports, public schools nationwide are greeting students for the fall term with a host of new security measures including adding armed guards, giving guns to employees, installing perimeter fencing, and bulletproof glass. “It’s kind of the way of the world, unfortunately,” notes one parent, but bulking up on security has led some parents and experts to question how it affects students. The idea of “hardening” schools against intruders took on urgency after Dec 2012: “Newtown was a nuclear bomb that changed the whole landscape of everything.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/27/2014.