This Week in the World Affairs Brief:

STATE OF THE UNION: IS THE CRISIS REALLY OVER?

The president’s annual State of the Union address is always a point of personal agony for me to comment on. It’s an hour’s worth of carefully staged propaganda, half-truths and downright lies. Obama bragged that the “shadow of [economic] crisis” has passed, which is simply not true. This claim is his version of the premature “Mission Accomplished” claim of George W. Bush in Iraq. The crises (plural) that loom, both economic and foreign continue to grow and threaten our illusions of peace and prosperity. That said, the continual cry of imminent financial collapse from the right wing of the financial sector is also exaggerated—not because the nation is sound or coming out of recession (it is not) but because everything is now almost totally dependent on inputs of new money to counter the deflationary pressures and I see no signs of that going away any time soon. This week I’ll give you my analysis of the economy as contrasted by Obama’s politicized version. You can request a one-time free sample of the briefs by sending an email to editor@worldaffairsbrief.com.

Also:

  • How 2016 Candidates are Promoted or Disparaged
  • ISIS Leader a Myth
  • Russia’s Peace Proposal in Ukraine is an Occupation Plan
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Daily News

We're No. 12! Report: U.S. Not Among Top Nations for Economic Freedom

posted by askousen - Wednesday, January 28 2015
The United States does not rank among the Top 10 countries in the world for economic freedom, according to the Heritage Foundation's 2015 Index of Economic Freedom. Instead, the U..S. ranked only 12th--after Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Estonia, Ireland, Mauritius, and Denmark. Estonia was formerly a part of the Soviet Union. — CNS News

Govt tells agents to ID which immigrants not to deport

posted by askousen - Wednesday, January 28 2015
The Obama administration has ordered immigration agents to ask immigrants they encounter living in the country illegally whether they might qualify under President Barack Obama's plans to avoid deporting them, according to internal training materials obtained by The Associated Press. Agents also have been told to review government files to identify any jailed immigrants they might be able to release under the program. — AP

Afraid of the Disneyland measles outbreak? Don't be fooled by Mickey Mouse science

posted by askousen - Tuesday, January 27 2015
The Disneyland measles outbreak has America in a panic -- a fact that's totally out of proportion to reality given that so far only 644 people have even caught the measles across the country during the entire year of 2014 vs. the 100,000+ Americans who die every year from the side effects of prescription medications. (The Disneyland outbreak, at least count, was just 39 people.) Nevertheless, lots of parents are asking the question, "Should I get my children vaccinated against the measles?" I'm going to try to give you the most rational answer here regardless of whether you're pro-vaccine or opposed to vaccines on principle. But first, realize that the one-dimensional advice from the conventional media and health authorities is stupidly incomplete: "Everybody get vaccinated!" Can measles vaccines work to protect against measles? Absolutely they can in some people, but they are not without their own risks as you'll see below. Despite the way I have been deliberately mis-characterized by others, I am not opposed to the theory of immunization — Mike Adams/Natural News

Greece Chooses Anti-Austerity Party in Major Shift

posted by askousen - Tuesday, January 27 2015
Greece rejected the harsh economics of austerity on Sunday and sent a warning to the rest of Europe as the left-wing Syriza party won a decisive victory in national elections, positioning its tough-talking leader, Alexis Tsipras, to become the next prime minister. With almost 98 percent of the vote counted, Syriza had 36 percent, almost nine points more than the governing center-right New Democracy party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who conceded defeat. The only uncertainty was whether Syriza would muster a parliamentary majority on its own or have to form a coalition. — NY Times

Blizzard 2015 photos: NYC grocery stores cleaned out as Northeast prepares for snow storm

posted by askousen - Tuesday, January 27 2015
Grocery stores in New York City and around the Northeast are being overrun and cleaned out as customers brace for a "potentially historic" snow storm set to bury the region. Shoppers tweeted photos from checkout lines at stores throughout the Northeast using the hashtags #blizzardof2015 and #Snowmageddon2015: — Syracuse News

Photos Show China Military Buildup on Island Near Senkakus

posted by askousen - Tuesday, January 27 2015
Recent satellite photos of an island off the coast of China confirm Beijing's buildup of military forces within attack range of Japan's Senkaku islands. Construction of a helicopter base on Nanji Island was observed by a commercial spy satellite in October. The island is off the coast of Zhejiang province-some 186 miles northwest of the Senkakus, a group of resource-rich islets China calls the Diaoyu Islands. — Washington Free Beacon

1 in 3 on Disability Have Mental Disorder; 42.9% in D.C.

posted by askousen - Tuesday, January 27 2015
One in three, or 35.2 percent, of people getting federal disability insurance benefits have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, according to the latest data from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Washington, D.C., the seat of the federal government, ranked in the top-ten list of states where disabled beneficiaries were diagnosed with mental problems. — CNS News

Panicked super rich buying boltholes with private airstrips to escape if poor rise up

posted by askousen - Tuesday, January 27 2015
Super rich hedge fund managers are buying 'secret boltholes' where they can hideout in the event of civil uprising against growing inequality, it has been claimed. Nervous financiers from across the globe have begun purchasing landing strips, homes and land in areas such as New Zealand so they can flee should people rise up — UK Mirror

Phone Company 'Outraged' By Fraud, Abuse In 'Obamaphone' Program

posted by askousen - Tuesday, January 27 2015
...Although the Lifeline wireless program has been around since 2005 and started under President George W. Bush, it ballooned under President Obama and the phones are often referred to as Obamaphones. To qualify for one of the cellphone plans, you have to be low income - on food stamps, Medicaid, housing assistance or some other government program. But multiple times a CBS4 producer and reporter found phone agents in Denver circumventing strict government rules to ensure that only the truly needy get the free phones. Vendors, like Total Call, receive massive government subsidies to hand out the phones and the accompanying monthly plans. — CBS Local

CBO Still Refuses to Score Obamacare, Ignores 15 Tax Hikes in Healthcare Law

posted by askousen - Tuesday, January 27 2015
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week released their annual Budget and Economic Outlook which sets the budget baselines and estimates for the whole year. Buried in Appendix B of the report is CBO's attempt to provide an updated score of Obamacare. But that's not what they did. They only scored the "coverage provisions" of the law, ignoring some fifteen tax increases which are also a part of Obamacare and its cost to taxpayers. — Americans for Tax Reform

Border Surge Likely Again In 2015, Data Shows

posted by askousen - Tuesday, January 27 2015
The flow of Central American migrant families across the Texas border is continuing at almost the same level as a year ago, according to newly released federal data. In the last three months of 2014, 7,468 Central American migrants crossed in family units, down only 12 percent from the 8,511 migrants who crossed during the last three months of 2013, according to the federal data. — The Daily Caller

Zimbabwe's white farmers face threats of new evictions

posted by askousen - Tuesday, January 27 2015
Most of Zimbabwe's white farmers were stripped of their land in often violent evictions that started in 2000. Now the remaining white farmers are on edge because of threats of new evictions linked to the country's long-running political turmoil. Mandi Chimene, a newly appointed provincial governor for Manicaland province, said at a rally this past weekend that she had evicted white farmers from 12 farms in the Headlands district alone, claiming they were being protected by the former vice president's faction. Joice Mujuru was ousted from the ruling party congress in December after falling out of favor with the president and his wife. — ap

In major move, Mormon apostles call for statewide LGBT protections

posted by askousen - Tuesday, January 27 2015
Top leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Tuesday for passage of laws granting statewide protections against housing and employment discrimination for gay and lesbian Utahns - as long as those measures safeguard religious freedom. — Salt Lake Tribune

Alexander Litvinenko Inquiry: live

posted by askousen - Tuesday, January 27 2015
Alexander Litvinenko poisoned 'not once but twice', Inquiry hears - Thousands of lives put at risk by trail of radiation left across London - Vladmir Putin 'a common criminal dressed up as a head of state' - Litvinenko: the proof Russia was involved in his murder - Was Litvinenko murdered for investigating mobsters? - Graphic: timeline of events around Litvinenko's death - The key players in the Litvinenko Inquiry — Telegraph

Law Has Been Murdered

posted by askousen - Saturday, January 24 2015
...Kathy Kelly and Bonny Mahoney were sentenced to prison for stepping across the perimeters of Air Force bases in peaceful protests against murder-by-drone. There was no real reason for charges to be brought against them or for a judge to sentence them to prison except to continue to make it crystal clear that the US government tolerates no dissent. — Paul Craig Roberts/Prison Planet

The US Military's Stunning Conspiracy Theory Emerges From The Archives: "ISIS Leader Does Not Exist"

posted by askousen - Saturday, January 24 2015
Having noted that voter angst has been riled, propagandized, and fear-mongered to the point at which the most pressing priority for Congress is to 'fix' terrorism, it is perhaps not entirely surprising that we discover - deep down in the archives - that giving the public someone to 'hate' as opposed to something may have been an entire fiction. As The New York Times exposed in 2007, Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi, the titular head of the Islamic State, according to Brigadier General Kevin Bergner - the chief American military spokesman at the time - never existed (and was actually a fictional character whose audio-taped declarations were provided by an elderly actor named Abu Adullah al-Naima). — ZeroHedge

Russia's new peace proposal for Ukraine is 'occupation plan': U.S.

posted by askousen - Saturday, January 24 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin's new peace proposal for Ukraine is little more than a blueprint for military occupation to secure territory seized by Moscow-backed rebels, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said on Wednesday. "The plan would seek to legitimize territorial gains made by separatists in September as well as Russian personnel and equipment on the territory of Ukraine," U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the U.N. Security Council. — Reuters

Half of All Children Will Be Autistic by 2025, Warns Senior Research Scientist at MIT

posted by askousen - Friday, January 23 2015
...For over three decades, Stephanie Seneff, PhD, has researched biology and technology, over the years publishing over 170 scholarly peer-reviewed articles. In recent years she has concentrated on the relationship between nutrition and health, tackling such topics as Alzheimer's, autism, and cardiovascular diseases, as well as the impact of nutritional deficiencies and environmental toxins on human health. At a conference last Thursday, in a special panel discussion about GMOs, she took the audience by surprise when she declared, "At today's rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic." She noted that the side effects of autism closely mimic those of glyphosate toxicity, and presented data showing a remarkably consistent correlation between the use of Roundup on crops (and the creation of Roundup-ready GMO crop seeds) with rising rates of autism. Children with autism have biomarkers indicative of excessive glyphosate, including zinc and iron deficiency, low serum sulfate, seizures, and mitochondrial disorder. — Alliance for Natural Health

Another Presidential Candidate Has Been Chosen For Us

posted by askousen - Friday, January 23 2015
David S. from Wisconsin writes: "Note also that the coauthor of Gov. Walker's book, Unintimidated, is AEI scholar Mike Thiessen . . . a former speech writer for both Bush and Rumsfeld and author of the torture apologia, Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barak Obama is Inviting the Next Attack. — Lew Rockwell

Questions raised about extent of doctoring of video showing Japanese hostages

posted by askousen - Friday, January 23 2015
The video of two Japanese hostages being held by the Islamic State group seems, like past IS videos, taken in an arid, desert setting. But suspicions are emerging that the message was not prepared outdoors at all. An expert in these videos said it was more likely completed in an indoor studio with a false backdrop made to appear that it was done outdoors. — Fox News

Euro plummets as ECB unleashes €60bn-a-month stimulus - live

posted by askousen - Friday, January 23 2015
• ECB to buy €60bn of private and public sector debt from March 2015 to September 2016 worth over €1 trillion • National central banks to assume 80pc credit risk • Euro plummets on news to 11-year low against the dollar • Danish central bank slashes rates for the second time in three days to maintain krone peg • It's Europe's last throw of the dice but will QE work? • Economics explainer: What is Quantitative Easing? — Telegraph

Sheldon Silver arrested, accused of taking millions in bribes

posted by askousen - Thursday, January 22 2015
Sheldon Silver, the longtime speaker of the New York state Assembly, was arrested Thursday morning on charges that he?? abused his position to pocket $4 million in bribes and kickbacks. Silver was hit with a five-count? criminal? complaint? brought by Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara?, which claims that his corruption dates back to 2000. — NY Post

DailyCaller Home Politics US Entertainment Sports Business Tech

posted by askousen - Thursday, January 22 2015
The new border bills drafted by Republican leaders require the actual removal of at least 66 miles of weak border fencing between laborers in Mexico and employers in the United States. The border bills also only require for the construction of 27 miles of effective double-layer fencing along the 2,000-mile border. — The Daily Caller

House immigration plan slammed, spends $10b and deports no illegals

posted by askousen - Thursday, January 22 2015
Critics including Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions are slamming a House GOP border security plan set for debate Wednesday, claiming it will spend $10 billion on new equipment and border security tricks, but not send one single illegal home. Sessions, the influential Center for Immigration Studies, and the head of the association of former Border Control agents all slammed the H.R. 399 being marked up in the House Homeland Security Committee today as unfocused on the No. 1 issue: U.S. sanctuary to illegals. — Washington Examiner

House GOP Pulls Anti-Abortion Bill on Roe v. Wade Anniversary

posted by askousen - Thursday, January 22 2015
The House Republican leadership reversed course on plans to vote on an anti-abortion bill deemed too restrictive by many female lawmakers in its conference, exposing internal party divisions — Time

Russian forces, equipment enter Ukraine, PM says

posted by askousen - Thursday, January 22 2015
...He continued: "Tanks, GRAD multiple rocket systems, BUK and SMERCH systems, radio electronic intelligence systems are not sold at local Donetsk street markets. Only the Russian army and Defense Ministry have them." — CNN

Reappearance of 'Jihadi John' raises questions, concerns about his identity

posted by askousen - Wednesday, January 21 2015
...In mid-November, there were rumors that he was injured or even killed in a U.S.-led airstrike, but the new video shows that he is alive and apparently well. The FBI issued a $10 million reward for any information leading to his capture last year, Newsweek reported. — Yahoo News

U.S. attorney general bans asset seizure by local police

posted by askousen - Wednesday, January 21 2015
State and local police in the United States will no longer be able to use federal laws to justify seizing property without evidence of a crime, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday. The practice of local police taking property, including cash and cars, from people that they stop, and of handing it over to federal authorities, became common during the country's war on drugs in the 1980s. — Reuters

Guantanamo guard: 'CIA killed prisoners, made it look like suicide'

posted by askousen - Wednesday, January 21 2015
A former Guantanamo Bay prison guard and Marine explained in details what makes him believe three problematic detainees were killed at CIA black site in Guantanamo and their death was covered up as a triple suicide. Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Hickman was on duty at the notorious prison camp when the three men died, and insists the official version of events is "impossible," he told Vice News. — Hang the Bankers

Why Hillary Clinton won’t run for president

posted by askousen - Wednesday, January 21 2015
[editor's note: good reasons but it won't stop her from running]...She's stiff and wooden as a public speaker, as if trying to prove Dr. Johnson's famous aphorism that a woman preaching is like a dog trying to walk on its hind legs. Hillary is tone-deaf besides. She's always starting on her "back foot," as the English say, and she's a mediocre campaigner, too. Bubba would never have said the family, with millions in the bank, was "dead broke." Not because it was a lie but because everybody in America knew it was a lie. A skilled politician would never have asked, after the Benghazi debacle, "What difference, at this point, does it make?": Whatever gift for politics she has, she got from imitating Bubba. Voters won't be satisfied with a pale imitation, and nobody listens to two-time losers. — Washington Times