Lies At the Top: American, Iraqi & Afghan Casualties Not Counted
US Military Statistics are
Misleading and Wrong and
On June 29 2005, the Veterans Administration (an official U.S. body) admitted to the U.S. Congress that while there were over 103,000 U.S. military casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the official figures at the time were showing 13,000 casualties.
A senior Pentagon official confirmed on the condition of anonymity that the actual death toll of U.S. service personnel as of 1st May 2006 in Iraq was in excess of 12,000. The real number of casualties – i.e. those unable to return to active service - is in excess of 150,000. He also confirmed that all reports from the U.S. military in Iraq confirmed that Iraqi resistance to the occupation growing better organized and more deadly by the day.
Those Not Counted
1. Soldiers killed or injured in any other way other than a direct bullet or bomb not counted.reference links ...
2. Soldier shot and/or wounded but died on a flight to a U.S. military hospital not counted.
3. Anyone who dies in hospital or a U.S. military base not counted.
4. Severe mental illnesses those who are medically diagnosed as depressed and/or suicidal not counted.
5. Long term physical or mental problems resulting from brain damage not counted.
6. 15,000 or more US casualties not battle casualties are not counted.
7. Soldiers serving in the American military not American citizens are not counted.
8. Private contractors killed (over 100,000 active) not counted.
*15,000 or more US casualties not counted
*More than 15,000 troops so-called non-battle injuries and diseases evacuated from Iraq not counted
The US army is reported to be 40 per cent short of its recruitment target.
Despite a joining bonus of $90,000 paid over three years, of which $ 20,000 is in cash and $70,000 in benefits, along with a cancelling of the loans many a young American must take to afford to go to college.
There are reports also that people almost 40 years old are now eligible to join the military, and that the physical and intellectual standards for recruits have been lowered. Almost 30 per cent of new recruits leave within six months.
Casualties in Afghanistan & Iraq
"The view of the British chain of command is that the Americans' use of violence is not proportionate and is over-responsive to the threat they are facing. They don't see the Iraqi people the way we see them. They view them as racially inferior. They are not concerned about the Iraqi loss of life in the way the British are."
reference link ...
*The Real Iraq War Casualties
reference link ...
*US military tactics condemned
reference link ...
*Casualties in Afghanistan & Iraq
Thursday, March 27, 2008
The Real American Unemployment Rate & Future
America's Economic Meltdown
The entire global financial structure is becoming uncontrollable in crucial ways its nominal leaders never expected. Instability is increasingly its hallmark….Contradictions now wrack the world’s financial system, and if we are to believe the institutions and personalities who have been in the forefront of the defense of capitalism, it may very well be on the verge of serious crisis.
Americans have dumped trillions of their hard-earned savings into risky hedge funds which have only been in existence for a short period of time. No one knows what the future holds for these “flash-in-the-pan” investments.
The credit derivative market was almost nonexistent in 2001, grew fairly slowly until 2004 and went into the stratosphere, reaching $17.3 trillion by the end of 2005.
That’s right; a whopping $17.3 trillion, enough to sink the entire economy if the market takes a nose dive.
This whole idea of re-selling debt is a relatively new phenomenon and fraught with peril. Hedge funds can bundle together a slew of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) and make a handsome profit, but when the housing market starts listing, the investor is trapped on a sinking ship with little hope of recouping his losses.
Double Speak For Raising the Risk
Deregulation is characterized in the business-friendly media as a way of lifting the burdensome restrictions on the free flow of capital. This is nonsense. Deregulation is, in fact, the removal of the laws which traditionally protect the public from the hucksters and scam-artists who create lofty-sounding investments which are nothing more than Ponzi-schemes.
Deregulation has gravely undermined the long-term prospects for western capitalism to succeed. By removing the safeguards to investment, the business and banking communities have created what many call “casino capitalism,” an anarchic structure with few protections that is hurling the markets toward a system-wide meltdown.
Similar problems plague the sagging real estate market. In recent years a buyer could pick up a house with no down payment, an “interest-only” loan, a low ARM, and be reasonably certain that the next year it would increase 20 to 30% in value. This allows the buyer to refinance his home, use his “presto-equity” as discretionary income, and begin the cycle all over again next year.
With wages stagnating since the 1970s, the increase in home equity has been the preferred method for most Americans to “get ahead”. Housing prices have steadily increased since the 1980s and skyrocketed in the last 5 years. This has created a feeding-frenzy for low interest loans and attracted millions of speculators and (traditionally) unqualified applicants to the real estate gold rush.
It’s been a great deal for the banks, too. Mortgages make up the bulk of the bank loans in America, more than $400 billion last year alone. If it wasn’t for the steady stream of mortgages many banks would have seen negative growth in the last decade.
Now that housing prices are flattening out and expected to fall (precipitously) the easy money has dried up and many over-leveraged homeowners are facing the dismal prospect of having to pay off an asset that is quickly losing its value. Economist Michael Hudson calls this phenomenon “negative equity”, that is, when the current value of the house falls beneath the amount that one has to pay on his mortgage. It is a predicament which now faces an estimated 30 million Americans who are drowning in red ink and skittering towards a life of indentured servitude.References ...
The magnitude of the housing bubble is shocking and unprecedented. According to the Federal Reserves own figures, “The total amount of residential housing wealth in the US just about doubled between 1999 and 2006 up from $10.4 trillion to $20.4 trillion.”(Times Online) This tells us that the Fed had a clear idea of the size of the equity balloon their low interest policies were creating, but decided not to take corrective action. It also tells us that there will be no “soft landing”. When the market begins to fall, no one knows when it will hit bottom. $10 trillion is more than a “little froth”, as Greenspan opined; it is an earth-shaking, economy-busting catastrophe that will put millions at risk of foreclosure, bankruptcy and ruin.
*Why a Global Economic Deluge Looms
*Bankers Fear World Economic Meltdown
The Real American Unemployment Rate
The unemployment rate in the U.S. is misleading. It only shows people looking for work, not people who have given up looking or are off unemployment benefits. Include these people in the unemployment rate!
The real unemployment rate is 23%
The federal government claims the unemployment rate hovers around 5.5% But the government’s “unemployment rate” statistic is a propaganda device. It does not count as “unemployed” people who are “not in the labor force.”
According to economist Richard DuBoff, participation in the labor force by working-age males has been drifting downward for more than 40 years. Therefore, the government’s official “unemployment rate” is an increasingly misleading statistic.
*According to the government’s own statistics, the civilian non-institutional population of United States males, age 16 and over, was 107.7 million people. Of those 107.7 million males, 14.7 million were estimated to be age 65 or over. Therefore, the number of men between 16 and 64, which traditionally constitutes this nation’s workforce, was 93 million.
Of those 93 million men, the government admits that 4.4 million of them are unemployed. And when I say unemployed, I mean utterly and completely inactive. The government considers someone “employed” if they work as little as one hour a week. People who do not even work one hour a week are still considered “employed” if they are “temporarily absent” from work.
But in addition to the 4.4 million men who are officially “unemployed” the government admits that 28.7 million men over 16 are “not in the labor force.” Subtracting from this 28.7 million the estimated 11.9 million men 65 and over belonging to that group, results in 16.8 million men between the ages of 16 and 64 who are “not in the labor force.”
Adding the 4.4 million officially unemployed to the 16.8 million who are factually unemployed yields a total of 21.2 million unemployed men between the ages of 16 and 64.
These 21.2 million unemployed men of working age represent almost 23% of the 93 million working age men in the United States.
The Sinking of American Labor
Americans are facing new kinds of poverty and unemployment. Previously, poverty and unemployment in America were more or less cyclical. Today, they are becoming permanent structural features of this society.
A whole new social class of people is being created here -- people whose labor is simply no longer needed in the economy because of technological change. Economic productivity has created a large, permanent class of those whom society cannot use and does not respect.
While the experts predict a glowing future for those maximum twenty percent of the U.S. population who will earn their bread by manipulating information in highly specialized ways, they are silent about prospects for the remaining eighty percent.
The United States has already become a society with a obscenely prosperous minority at the top, a downwardly mobile working class in the middle, and a marginalized so-called "underclass" at the bottom.
Read more ...
*The Sinking of American Labor
Profits of Doom
In a paper he prepared for a recent Federal Reserve Bank of Boston conference, Richard Freeman, a Harvard labor economist, estimates that the entry of China, India and the former Soviet bloc roughly doubled the number of workers in the market economy, from 1.46 billion to 2.93 billion. Since those countries brought little capital with them, the number of workers in the system shot up while the amount of capital increased very little. As the law of supply and demand might suggest, when labor is abundant and capital scarce, the returns to labour tend to fall and those to capital rise.
In addition, the idea that only low-skilled factory workers have anything to fear from globalization has turned out to be a myth. The former Soviet bloc already has many highly educated workers (the Soviets, remember, beat the Americans into space) and the less developed countries are pouring investment into higher education. “Indonesia, Brazil, China, India - name the country - have more than doubled university student enrollments in the 1980s and 1990s,” Freeman says. China is investing particularly heavily in science and engineering and “by 2010 it will graduate more PhDs in science and engineering than the US”.
... the developing world has inconveniently departed from the script that said it would specialize in low-tech goods. “China has moved rapidly up the technological ladder, has greatly increased its high-tech exports and has achieved a significant position in research in what is purported to be the next big industrial technology - nanotechnology,” Freeman says. “Over 750 multinational firms have set up R&D facilities in China.”
So globalization is not just about a few blue-collar factory workers in the west losing their jobs and everyone else being better off. Because of plummeting telecom charges, all kinds of middle-class, white-collar jobs once thought of as non-tradeable - not just in telemarketing and call centers but in accountancy, medical diagnostics and information technology - have started moving to the developing world.
“Firms threaten to move facilities to lower-wage settings or to import products made by low-wage workers if their current workforce does not accept lower wages or working conditions, to which there is no strong labour response,” Freeman says.
“We are in the process of creating a global market without a global social contract.” We take it for granted that the west must have its child labour laws, workplace safety regulations and so on, but in the global market, no such rules apply.
*Financial Times:Profits of doom
(Check out these videos)
*Exporting America's Future
*Latin America Outsourcing
*Global Partnership for Outsourcing
*Is Outsourcing Profitable
*Andy Rooney's Take Outsourcing
How jobs are vanishing from America
The real rate of unemployment in the United States is the product of conscious planning. That planning is demonstrated by an intelligent coordination of various federal government policies. Most of these policies have been implemented in the last twenty-five years. These policies can be summarized as follows:
1. Federal Trade Policy
Starting with NAFTA and continuing with the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade, the federal government began to eliminate tariffs on imports. Without the tariffs, prices for imports manufactured with cheaper foreign labor undercut prices for products that were made in America. In order to compete, America’s manufacturers had to lay off American workers and hire workers in foreign countries. They did.
2. Federal Monetary Policy
American workers could still make many products that were superior to those made by foreign workers. If foreigners could afford to buy them, American workers would keep their jobs.
But foreigners couldn’t afford to buy American made products if the American dollar remained overvalued compared to other countries’ currencies.
Since first taking office in 1987, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s “strong dollar policy” overvalued the dollar relative to other nations’ currencies, especially that of Red China’s.
So, even without tariffs, most foreigners can’t afford to buy goods made in America.
3. Federal Immigration Policy
If the federal government didn’t allow massive legal and illegal immigration from Third World countries, there would be more and higher-paying jobs for American citizens.
But the federal government did decide to allow mass immigration, and there aren’t more or higher paying jobs for American citizens.
4. Federal Antitrust Policy
If the federal government enforced the antitrust laws so that American companies couldn’t consolidate using “mega-mergers”, those companies would still have to compete against each other. In order to compete against each other, each company would have to hire American workers. In order to compete for workers, the companies would have to pay higher wages and salaries.
But the Republicrats seldom enforce antitrust laws. The Department of Justice (sic) routinely approves mega-mergers, knowing that the whole point of the merger is to increase profits by laying off workers.
5. Federal Tax Policy
The more you tax something, the less of it you get. The federal government collects Social Security payroll taxes from American employers who hire American employees. Over the past twenty-five years, those taxes have doubled. The federal government is planning a further a increase in payroll taxes, supposedly to “save social security.” The real effect will be spur American employers to outsource jobs to foreign countries.
6. Federal Environmental Policy
Federal environmental policies are shutting down land-based production in the United States. This means a reduction in the number of jobs available in those sectors of the economy: farming, logging, mining, etc.
7. Coming Soon - Federal Climate Policy
Shift In Economic Power
On the economic plane, realising that economies of scale matter, particularly as sources of consumer markets, countries will gravitate towards the formation of larger trading blocs. In particular Europe will gravitate towards a bigger trading bloc which will include much of Eastern Europe; North and South America will become much more integrated; and Asia will also move towards a much more unified economic bloc.
A shift in economic power from the western world, where it has resided for the past 300 years, to the east, particularly India and China, where over 40% of humanity reside. This shift in economic power will invariably be immediately followed by a shift in political power. This shift in economic and political powers from the west to the east will have many consequences.
The 21st century is an interesting century in the sense that humanity will be able to create machines that will ultimately perform - without much human intervention - tasks that are traditionally performed by human beings. This process is called automation.
It can therefore be expected that machines, without any human intervention, will manufacture an entire car on a much larger scale than is presently the case. The effect of this on the labor market, and in particular on unemployment, will be far reaching.
Simply put, those with enough capital to acquire this capacity *will ultimately control economies of scale without much participation of the masses of people. This will ensure that the fundamental rule of international capitalist economy that says that the gap between the rich and the poor keeps widening will intensely govern societies unless there is a major shift towards socially oriented societies.
Why jobs are vanishing from America
Public opinion polls routinely report that the dearth of jobs is the number one issue among voters.
The Republicrats are keenly aware that jobs are vanishing from America. They want us to think they are doing something about it. The Congress recently granted a tax amnesty to multinational corporations, but decided to call it the “Jobs Creation Act.”
But in fact, as the foregoing demonstrates, the Republicrats are doing everything possible to undermine work opportunities for American citizens. Why?
As is obvious for most of us, the Republicrats no longer represent the interests of American citizens. The reelection rate for Congressional incumbents hovers around 98%. Incumbents have a huge advantage because they are in a position to solicit bribes.
Republicrats take their orders from a global elite that bankrolls their perpetual reelection. Having fewer and lower paying jobs in America serves a number of items on that elite’s agenda. That agenda revolves around creating the conditions for global government.
FEWER JOBS=LOWER STANDARD OF LIVING
Obviously, fewer and lower paying jobs for Americans will result in Americans having a lower standard of living.
Elites believe that a uniform standard of living for all the peoples of the world is a precondition to global government.
This goal requires that countries with lower standards of living be raised and that countries with higher standards of living be lowered.
After W.W.II, the United States had the highest standard of living in the world. In order to make global living standards uniform, the American standard of living has to be lowered.
Some find it hard to believe that government is trying to lower the standard of living. Yet the idea of equalizing national standards of living was being discussed almost sixty years ago.
Back in 1947, the great Austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek expressed skepticism about the “great deal of muddleheaded talk about planning to equalize standards of life” throughout the world.
Von Hayek, who won a Nobel prize in 1974, scoffed at the notion that ”European races would voluntarily submit to their standard of life and rate of progress being determined by a World Parliament.”
It’s looking like he overestimated us.
Europe Will Lead
Europe has what I call "transformative power," the power to change countries from within. First of all, the EU is not a superstate or an empire; it’s a sort of decentralized club. It has developed the biggest single market in the world, and it can offer other countries trade and aid and all the carrots that major powers have been able to dangle in the past.
Secondly, the EU projects power not by threatening to invade other countries but by threatening to exclude them from its benefits—either from being members of the club or from being engaged with the club in some way.
And thirdly, the power of the EU is embedded in law. To join the European club you have to adopt 80,000 pages of laws, stored in 34 volumes, which govern everything from human rights and the protection of minorities to the composition of tomato ketchup. And that sort of legal power allows you to transform not just the regimes in other countries but the whole of their societies.
Read more ...
*Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century
FEWER JOBS=LOWER BIRTH RATE
Elites realize that unemployment lowers the birthrate. Younger people who are jobless believe they can’t afford to have children. So they don’t.
For example, the European nations with the highest youth unemployment rates also have *the lowest birthrates. A recent study concluded that Australia’s perilously low birth rate was caused by fear of unemployment.
Lowering the birthrate in the nations of Europe and North America has been a primary objective of elite planners since the end of W.W.II. This depopulation imperative accounts for their coordinated and intense effort to legalize abortion and homosexuality in those countries.
In countries that have higher standards of living, lowering the birthrate reduces the number of people who are born into that higher standard of living. That makes it easier for elites to equalize standards of living around the world, since there are relatively fewer people whose standard of living needs to be lowered.
The jobs that are vanishing from America do not disappear. Most of them are being moved to China and India, two nations on track to become the political and economic powers of the 21st Century.
Is it a coincidence that elites are moving the productive capacity of the United States?
More than just American jobs is at stake. Global elites and their federal government lackeys are doing everything possible to destroy America.
For any part of our nation to be salvaged, we will have to abandon “politics as usual” and prepare to fight and survive.
*The Real Unemployment Rate Petition
American Unemployment Videos
U.S. Trade Policy and Job-Destroying Treaties, WTO & NAFTA
No Jobs for Middle Class
Nine 2 Five: The Other Side [DCTV Youth]
Technocrati tags:Economic Meltdown, Debt, Hedge funds, Adjustable Rate Mortgages, Deregulation, Mortgages, Housing Prices, Housing Bubble, Unemployment, Meltdown, Outsourcing, Jobs, Underclass Stumble It!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Miracle At Lourdes, France
Saint Bernadette Today
Unchanged Since Death 1879
On 18 April 1925, Bernadette's body was exhumed for the third and final time.
After 46 years, her body was still intact and uncorrupted.
Our Lady of Lourdes 128 years after death
You can see her body in the Church of Lourdes
A Life of Pain and Suffering Without Bitterness
Bernadette was to suffer poor health for the rest of her life ever since 1855, when her city of Lourdes was hit by an outbreak of cholera, and she was hit by the fever where 38 people died and hundreds more were affected
In 1858 the Virgin Mary appeared to her, she was just a fourteen-year-old peasant girl in Lourdes; a small town in the Pyrenees in the south of France.
On Thursday, February 11, 1858, a poor, sickly, unlettered peasant girl of Lourdes, France went with her sister and another girl to fetch sticks. Bernadette Soubirous, age 14, who knew little of her catechism but was devoted to the will of God, experienced her first apparition of a lovely Lady at the Grotto of Massabielle.
See the Webcam
*Webcam Grotto of Massabielle
Upon seeing the Lady, who had a rosary draped over her right arm, Bernadette began praying the Rosary. Bernadette did not know who the Lady was at this time. This is Bernadette's description of the Lady at that first apparition ...
"While I was saying the Rosary, I was watching as hard as I could. She was wearing a white dress reaching down to her feet, of which only the toes appeared. The dress was gathered very high at the neck by a hem from which hung a white cord.
A white veil covered her head and came down over her shoulders and arms almost to the bottom of her dress. On each foot I saw a yellow rose. The sash of the dress was blue, and hung down below her knees. The chain of the rosary was yellow; the beads white, big and widely spaced."
Thereafter commenced a series of apparitions of the Lady to Bernadette at the Grotto. There were eighteen in all; the last took place July 16, of the same year. Bernadette often fell into an ecstasy during these apparitions, as was witnessed by the hundreds who attended the later visions, though no one except Bernadette ever saw or heard the apparition.
One day, the Lady told the girl to drink of a mysterious fountain within the grotto itself, the existence of which was unknown, and of which there was no sign. But Bernadette scratched at the ground, and a spring immediately bubbled up and soon gushed forth.
On another occasion the apparition bade Bernadette go and tell the priests she wished a chapel to be built on the spot and processions to be made to the grotto.
At first the clergy were incredulous. The priest said he would not believe it unless the apparition gave Bernadette her name. After another apparition, Bernadette reported that the Lady told her, "I am the Immaculate Conception". Though the girl was unfamiliar with the term, the Pope had declared the doctrine of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary in 1854.
Word soon spread about the apparitions and more and more people accompanied Bernadette to the Grotto, but only Bernadette could see the Lady. At these apparitions the Lady told Bernadette to "Pray to God for sinners!" Bernadette, as instructed by the Lady, also kissed the ground several times to do penance for sinners.
At one of the apparitions Bernadette, following instructions of the Lady, scratched at the muddy earth and began to drink and wash from an unknown stream. Only later was the stream discovered to have miraculous healing powers.
The village Curé had asked Bernadette to inquire of the Lady who she was. On March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, also known as Lady Day, the Lady told Bernadette her name. She said, "I am the Immaculate Conception." Only a few years ago the Holy Father, Pius IX, had declared ex cathedra as dogma of the Faith that the Blessed Virgin Mary had been conceived without the stain of original sin.
Four years after Bernadette's visions, in 1862, the bishop of the diocese declared the faithful "justified in believing the reality of the apparition" of Our Lady. A basilica was built upon the rock of Massabielle by M. Peyramale, the parish priest. In 1873 the great "national" French pilgrimages were inaugurated. Three years later the basilica was consecrated and the statue solemnly crowned.
Bernadette died on 16th April 1879. Her body was buried in the small chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph, within the convent grounds.
In 1883 the foundation stone of another church was laid, as the first was no longer large enough. It was built at the foot of the basilica and was consecrated in 1901 and called the Church of the Rosary. Pope Leo XIII authorized a special office and a Mass, in commemoration of the apparition, and in 1907 Pius X extended the observance of this feast to the entire Church; it is now observed on February 11.
*Lourdes France Official Website
Millions of pilgrims venture every year to Lourdes. Miracles still flow from the miraculous waters of Lourdes. The message of Our Lady of Lourdes is about the healing Mercy of God. Lourdes is also about the need for prayer and penance.
St. Bernadette testified to this call of Our Lady of Lourdes by living the rest of her life in humble prayer and suffering in a convent in France.
The site has since become the greatest of all modern Christian shrines with more than five million pilgrims visiting each year, many of which are seeking cures from illnesses at a miraculous spring of water, that the Holy Virgin revealed in a grotto.
Details of the Exhumations
On September 22, 1909, Bernadette's body was exhumed, as part of the process leading to her eventual canonization. Bishop Gauthey of Nevers, together with other Church representatives and officials, entered the convent Chapel and took an oath upon the Holy Bible to tell the truth. Bernadette appeared exactly as she had been on the day of her death.
The hollowed-out tomb was extremely humid - her habit was very damp, the rosary held in her hands was rusted and her crucifix had turned green. In her hands she held a Rosary, which was rusting, and a Crucifix, which was covered in verdigris. The body was completely intact.
There was no smell and no trace of corruption was seen on the little body in the coffin. Doctor Jourdan, the surgeon who was present for the exhumation, has left a written record in the Community archives describing what occurred -
"The coffin was opened in the presence of the Bishop of Nevers, the mayors of the town several canons and ourselves. We noticed no smell. The body was clothed in the habit of Bernadette's order. The habit was damp. Only the face, hands and forearms were uncovered."
"The head was tilted to the left. The face was dull white. The mouth was open slightly and it could be seen that the teeth were still in place. The hands, which were crossed upon the breast, were perfectly preserved, as were the nails. The hands still held a rusting Rosary. The veins on the forearms stood out."
After the identification, the Sisters washed the body and dressed it in a fresh habit. It was then placed in a new coffin lined with white silk, and lowered back into the tomb. The entire process was completed at half past five in the evening.
On 13 August 1913, Pope Pius X authorized the introduction of the Cause for Canonization - Bernadette could now be given the title 'Venerable'. This meant that body had to be exhumed once again. This process was interrupted by the war, and the body was not re-exhumed until 3 April 1919. The process was the same as before - as were the results. The body remained intact.
On 18 November 1923, the Holy Father announced the authenticity of Bernadette's virtues - her beatification could now proceed.
Consequently, a third exhumation was needed. This time, relics were to be taken from the body - these would then be sent to Rome, to Lourdes and to Houses of the Sisters of Nevers throughout the world.
On 18 April 1925, the exhumation took place. Bernadette had been dead more than forty six years. Yet, her body remained uncorrupt. Doctor Talon, a surgeon, removed the relics. Three years later he wrote a report about this exhumation, for a medical journal.
In it, he described his amazement at the perfect preservation of the skeleton and the muscles in particular, as well as the liver which - he stated - should have deteriorated entirely very soon after death. he concluded that "this did not seem to be a natural phenomenon". The body itself was perfectly preserved.
At this exhumation, it was noted that a small portion of the skin on the face had discolored slightly, due probably to the washing the body had received and its exposure to the organisms of the air. Consequently, it was decided to cover the face and hands with light wax masks. The firm of Pierre Imans in Paris was contacted, and they agreed to make the necessary masks.
Also, the Armand Catelan workshop in Lyons had been contacted and they would make a beautiful reliquary for the body of the deceased Sister.
By June of 1925, the Cateland workshop in Lyon had finished the gilt and crystal reliquary which was to be the final resting place of the saint; the light wax masks were placed on the face and hands and the body was placed in the shrine. The same month, Pope Pius XI beatified Bernadette - she could now be called "Blessed" and her remains could be publicly venerated
On 14 June 1925, Pope Pius XI declared Bernadette 'Blessed' - her relics could now be exposed for public veneration. But the reliquary was not yet ready. So the body was put in the small chapel dedicated to Saint Helen, which was then officially sealed.
On 18 July, the shrine was ready. The body of the Beata was clothed once more in a new habit and was then transferred to the shrine. The reliquary was made of silver, gilt and crystal. On it were depiction's of the Apparitions at Lourdes, and lilies - the symbol of Bernadette's purity. Crowning the reliquary were the initials 'N.D. de L.' Notre Dame de Lourdes, entwined around which was a Rosary. The Office of Virgins was sung by the assembled Sisters. The shrine was solemnly transferred to the main chapel of the convent on 3 August 1925.
In August, the shrine was ceremonially placed in the main chapel of the convent, and the long line of pilgrims began to visit the convent. In 1933 Bernadette was declared a Saint - appropriately, this took place on December 8th, feast of the Immaculate Conception
The Lady of Lourdes had kept the promise She made to Bernadette in 1858 - "I do not promise to make you happy in this world, but in the next."
The warm, dry weather makes long walks in the grounds very pleasant. Its very easy to imagine Saint Bernadette herself walking here, especially as there have been few changes since that time. Behind the convent, at the end of an avenue of chestnut trees, is the tiny chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph.
This was one of Saint Bernadette's favorite places for quiet prayer, as she had a fond love of the Spouse of Mary. It was later to become her resting place during the forty-six years of her burial. It is very plain and simple, with a stained-glass window of Our Lady above the small altar. Inset into the wall is the tombstone from Saint Bernadette's original grave
At the bottom of the garden is the statue of Our Lady of the Waters, Saint Bernadette's favorite statue; "It has something of the beauty I saw" she used to say about it. It was placed here following the discovery of a spring nearby, hence the name.
Upstairs in the convent is the Saint Croix (Holy Cross) Infirmary. This is the room in which Saint Bernadette died in April 1879, having entered the "white chapel" of her sick-bed the previous December.
It is now a chapel proper, used by the Sisters themselves for quiet prayer. There is an inspirational atmosphere in this room, stemming from the knowledge that this is where the thirty-five year old sister spent the last months of her life before once more seeing the heavenly smile of her Beautiful Lady.
Bernadette's long periods of illness were never wasted on self-pity or bitterness - each became for her an opportunity of self-knowledge and personal and spiritual growth. For her, illness was not a burden but a special gift from her loving God, whose supreme gift was the Cross.
Videos of Saint Bernadette
Song of Bernadette
True History of Lourdes & St. Bernadette Excerpt1.
True History of Lourdes & St. Bernadette Excerpt 2.
True History of Lourdes & St Bernadette Excerpt 3.
Possible first Latin American miracle for Virgin of Lourdes
Salve Regina de Lourdes
Lourdes Family Miracle
*Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette
*Our Lady of Lourdes
*Lourdes, France Photos
*Lourdes, France Photo Gallery
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St Bernadette, Our Lady of Lourdes, Virgin Mary,
Grotto of Massabielle, Immaculate Conception, Lourdes France, Our Lady of the Waters
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Blog Debates - Your Life Hangs On A Thread
34% of Americans say their life is better, 43% say their life is worse since the last election.
Is your life better or worse - explain?
This is now year 17 of the American Iraq Wars. It started with the Gulf War 1991, the years of sanctions and air patrol corridors over Iraq, and the invasion and occupation of Iraq 2003. Most Americans are ignorant about the Iraq Wars and Occupation statistics - find them here ... *Iraq Wars Statistics
Do you think the Two Trillion Dollars final price tag spent on the Iraq War was worth it? What are your feelings about over one million Iraqis killed and the nearly half a million American veterans disabled by depleted uranium, and the department of defense ordered medications? Will this be another Vietnam?
The American dollar has been the world currency, and oil is priced in dollars. Now the dollar is rapidly losing value against all the major world currencies. As the value of the dollar decreases, the price of oil and your costs keep increasing!
The credit market is rapidly sinking as millions of Americans face the loss of their homes in the subprime mortgage lending collapse.
Do you see an eventual collapse of the American dollar, and how will you survive?
Important Videos To Watch
The Economics of Gangsters
The US Economy Crash. What you should Know PART 1
Thursday, March 13, 2008
The Real 50 Trillion National Debt Exposed
The Reported National Debt
The Real American National Debt is not the 9 Trillion dollars reported, but a whopping 50 Trillion Dollars (below.) American media propaganda has never exposed the reality of the situation. The standard media reporting of the National Debt is as follows ...
Faced with a potential government shutdown, the nation's debt limit was raised for the fourth time in five years. increasing the ceiling to $9 trillion. The increase to $9 trillion represents about $30,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States.
Laurie Anderson - National Debt
Dollar in Danger- The Greatest Threat to America
Ready For Our Dollar To Completely CRASH
Watch the complete Decline of the Dollar Video Series at ...
*Dollar Decline Videos
"When it comes to deficits, this president owns all the records," said Minority Leader *Harry Reid, D-Nev. "The three largest deficits in our nation's history have all occurred under this administration's watch."
When Mr Bush took office he inherited a $236 billion budget surplus. Bill Clinton, his predecessor, had used budget surpluses to pay down some of the national debt in his last two years in office. Mr Bush also inherited some extraordinarily overoptimistic projections.
When President Bush took office five years ago, the national debt was at $5.6 trillion; since then, big budget surpluses have collapsed into huge deficits, and the debt has shot up nearly 50 percent.
The need to increase the debt limit yet again is a direct result of the fiscal policies and practices implemented by Bush and Congress over the past five years.
Bush's tax cuts account for 30 percent of the debt limit increases required during his presidency. Revenue losses from a recession and new spending to combat terrorism and for the war in Iraq are also responsible.
Today the National Debt is 68 per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
The largest employer in the world (United States Government), announced on Dec. 15 that it lost about $450 billion in fiscal 2006. Its auditor found that its financial statements were unreliable and that its controls were inadequate for the 10th straight year.
On top of that, the entity's total liabilities and unfunded commitments rose to about *$50 trillion, up from $20 trillion in just six years.
The Unreported Real National Debt
(Not 9 Trillion but 50 Trillion)
Though the Bush Administration's official budget lists the national debt and deficit as being incredibly high, they are actually far worse than reported, according to Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN).
But don’t just take his word for it, even if Cooper is a Rhodes Scholar and Harvard Law graduate. The following figures appear in the official U.S. Financial Report, released by the Treasury Department:
* The true national debt is $50 trillion, not the $8.3 trillion Bush reported.
That's $156,000 for every citizen, or $375,000 for every working American
This figure has more than doubled in the past five years. We paid $327 billion last year on interest alone
It's all getting worse
In order to get the word out, Cooper reprinted the entire U.S. Financial Report in a book with his own explanatory introduction and a warning on the cover reading, "The Official Report the White House Does Not Want You To Read."
He said the measure was necessary because the Administration tried to hide the report by distributing it to fewer than 20 members of Congress in the midst of the Christmas holiday season with no accompanying press release or media announcement.
What accounts for the huge discrepancy? Unlike businesses, the government uses "cash" instead of "accrual" accounting. This means that the government does not report future spending promises like Medicare and Social Security, or even future spending guarantees like veterans' benefits and federal employee pensions.
"Cash accounting tells you what's in your bank account. Accrual accounting tells you what's in your bank account and what's on your credit card statement," Cooper told BuzzFlash in an interview. "Whether you're promising to buy a road or something at Target, you need to know what you promised to buy. That should be a binding obligation of the government. We've made a world of promises to folks that we need to keep."
But wait, there's more! The U.S. Financial Report does not mention that if Medicare and Social Security are factored into the equation (which the Treasury Department did not), the true deficit was actually a whopping $3.3 trillion last year, over ten times more than Bush claims. And when Social Security projections are adjusted to reflect current life expectancies instead of the old 75-year mark, Cooper said the true national debt is "probably closer to $65 trillion."
Worried that a new Democratic majority in the House would be blamed for the higher numbers in the future, Cooper has taken it upon himself to make it clear that the problem has already been created by Bush's failed economic policies.
"This has to be announced on their watch, using their voice," he said. "There's a great urgency about this: we only have two months left to educate all Americans about how the Bush deficits are literally destroying America's credit."
"I think [the report] is the most powerful critique of the Bush Administration" because they produced it, Cooper added. "No Republican can deny this attack."
According to Cooper, conservatives won’t touch the issue because it would make Bush look bad, liberal newspapers think it's too confusing, and liberal politicians are worried the ensuing chaos from the higher numbers would limit social program spending. "The way we're going, we're going to have to eliminate programs," Cooper retorted. "Isn't it better to embarrass Bush while we can with his own words and to get Democrats in control?"
Cooper said he is determined to do everything he can to add honesty to the federal budget. He gave the first copy of his book to House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi and has introduced legislation directing the president to use accrual accounting in his reports. A similar measure was recently lost in the Senate after passing in the House.
*Financial Report of the United States
America has had a national debt since 1791, when it was $75 million. Today it rises by that amount every hour.
USA's Biggest Creditors
At present, foreign countries, central banks and other institutions hold more than one-fourth of the debt, but that percentage is growing rapidly.
What worries many analysts is the amount of US debt financed by foreign governments and banks, particularly in Asia. The national debt is split between publicly held debt — money owed to US and foreign investors — and money owed to branches of the Government. Nearly half the publicly owed debt is held by foreigners. Japan is the biggest creditor, at $668 billion. China, the second-biggest, recently increased its stake by $40 billion to $263 billion.
Unlike last year, when Congress passed a bill trimming $39 billion from the deficit through curbs to Medicaid, Medicare and student loan subsidies, Senate GOP leaders have abandoned plans to pass another round of cuts to so-called mandatory programs.
If lawmakers continue to enact budget and tax legislation in the same irresponsible fashion that has marked the last five years, the debt will continue to explode. Even without factoring in the cost of the Iraq war and annual fixes to the Alternative Minimum Tax, the total national debt under current policy is expected to reach $11.5 trillion at the end of 2011, or twice that of the debt inherited by Bush when he took office.
Republicans Are the Big Spenders
Red Republican Debt Increases - Blue Democratic Debt Increases
1776-1974, Republican Gerald Ford, Democrat Jimmy Carter, Republican Ronald Reagan, Republican George HW Bush, Democrat Bill Clinton,
Republican George W.Bush
(Republican Debt Increases Biggest In the History of the Planet)
*National Debt In the News
Previous Civil Service Pension Fund Raids
The Treasury Department had started drawing from the civil service pension fund to avoid hitting the $8.2 trillion national debt limit. The move to tap the pension fund follows the decision to suspend investments in a retirement savings plan held by government employees.
The Treasury has leaned on federal employee retirement funds in past years when officials worried about a possible default on the national debt, and most federal employees take it in stride. Still, many employees object to the financial maneuvers, arguing that they amount to a raid on their personal accounts.
Other Federal Raids, Lies, and Looting
The Federal Government has been raiding and looting Social Security for over 25 years leaving behind IOU's.
All the dollars that the government actually collects or spends are green. When the number of green dollars spent (whether on Social Security or defense) exceeds the number of green dollars received (whether from Social Security contributions or income taxes), the government has to borrow more green dollars from a real person somewhere.
In fiscal year 2004, the federal government borrowed another $339 billion worth of green dollars from real people. But it pretended that it borrowed $595 billion blue dollars, and used that extra pretend blue debt to accumulate extra pretend red assets worth $256 billion for accounts like Social Security. The government could pretend to have borrowed or saved any quantity of blue or red dollars it wished, as long as they netted out to be the $339 billion green dollars which represent the underlying reality.
*Concerns About the Latest Social Security Proposal
Social Security’s unfunded liability currently stands at $11.1 trillion
($700 billion more than last year),
*Social Security Facts vs. Myths
What the Future Holds
"What we do know for sure is that in the next decade the upward pressure on federal spending is going to be very, very large," says Ms. Rivlin, who also worked as President Clinton's budget director and is now at the Brookings Institution. "It's not so much the aging of the population as the fact that spending on medical care has been rising faster than GDP."
"The bigger our debt becomes, the bigger the 'risk premium' that foreigners are going to demand," in the form of higher interest rates, says *Barry Eichengreen, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. But if the president and Congress show signs of fiscal responsibility, "then foreigners will be reassured and the day of reckoning recedes."
The bigger issue is how well America's fiscal health will hold up under the strain of costs associated with baby boomer retirements, which begin in just a few years. Taxes would have to be raised 50 percent to cover entitlement costs, says Glenn Hubbard, a former economic adviser to President Bush who is dean of the Columbia University business school.
*Debt Be Not Proud
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