12 Things That Just Happened That Show The Next Wave Of The Economic Collapse Is Almost Here


12 Things That Just Happened That Show The Next Wave Of The Economic Collapse Is Almost Here

Michael Snyder
The Economic Collapse

March 4th, 2013
Reader Views: 1,300


Are we running out of time? For the last several years, we have been living in a false bubble of hope that has been fueled by massive amounts of debt and bailout money. This illusion of economic stability has convinced most people that the great economic crisis of 2008 was just an “aberration” and that now things are back to normal. Unfortunately, that is not the case at all. The truth is that the financial crash of 2008 was just the first wave of our economic troubles. We have not even come close to recovering from that wave, and the next wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching. Our economy is like a giant sand castle that has been built on a foundation of debt and toilet paper currency. As each wave of the crisis hits us, the solutions that our leaders will present to us will involve even more debt and even more money printing. And each time, those “solutions” will only make our problems even worse. Right now, events are unfolding in Europe and in the United States that are pushing us toward the next major crisis moment. I sincerely hope that we have some more time before the next crisis overwhelms us, but as you will see, time is rapidly running out.

The following are 12 things that just happened that show the next wave of the economic collapse is almost here…

#1 According to TrimTab’s CEO Charles Biderman, corporate insider purchases of stock have hit an all-time low, and the ratio of corporate insider selling to corporate insider buying has now reached an astounding50 to 1….

While retail is being told to buy-buy-buy, Biderman exclaims that “insiders at U.S. companies have bought the least amount of shares in any one month,” and that the ratio of insider selling to buying is now 50-to-1 – a monthly record.

#2 On Friday we learned that personal income in the United States experienced its largest one month decline in 20 years

Personal income decreased by $505.5 billion in January, or 3.6%, compared to December (on a seasonally adjusted and annualized basis). That’s the most dramatic decline since January 1993, according to the Commerce Department.

#3 In a stunning move, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says that he will appoint an emergency financial manager to take care of Detroit’s financial affairs…

Snyder, 54, took a step he avoided a year ago, empowering an emergency financial manager who can sweep aside union contracts, sell municipal assets, restructure services and reorder finances. He announced the move yesterday at a public meeting in Detroit.

If this does not work, Detroit will almost certainly have to declare bankruptcy. If that happens, it will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

#4 On Friday it was announced that the unemployment rate in Italy had risen to 11.7 percent. That was a huge jump from 11.3 percent the previous month, and Italy now has the highest unemployment rate that it has experienced in 21 years.

#5 The youth unemployment rate in Italy has risen to a new all-time record high of 38.7 percent.

#6 On Friday it was announced that the unemployment rate in the eurozone as a whole had just hit a brand new record high of 11.9 percent.

#7 On Friday it was announced that the unemployment rate in Greece has now reached 27 percent, and it is being projected that it will reach30 percent by the end of the year.

#8 The youth unemployment rate in Greece is now an almost unbelievable 59.4 percent.

#9 On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of protesters filled the streets of Lisbon and other Portuguese cities to protest the austerity measures that are being imposed upon them. It was reportedly the largest protest in the history of Portugal.

#10 According to Goldman Sachs, bank deposits declined all over Europe during the month of January.

#11 Over the weekend, the deputy governor of China’s central bank declared that China is prepared for a “currency war“…

A top Chinese banker said Beijing is “fully prepared” for a currency war as he urged the world to abide by a consensus reached by the G20 to avert confrontation, state media reported on Saturday.

Yi Gang, deputy governor of China’s central bank, issued the call after G20 finance ministers last month moved to calm fears of a looming war on the currency markets at a meeting in Moscow.

Those fears have largely been fuelled by the recent steep decline in the Japanese yen, which critics have accused Tokyo of manipulating to give its manufacturers a competitive edge in key export markets over Asian rivals.

#12 Italy is an economic basket case at this point, and the political gridlock in Italy is certainly not helping matters. Former comedian Beppe Grillo’s party could potentially tip the balance of power one way or the other in Italy, and over the weekend he made some comments that are really shaking things up over in Europe. For one thing, he is suggesting that Italy should hold a referendum on the euro…

“I am a strong advocate of Europe. I am in favor of an online referendum on the euro,” Beppe Grillo told Bild am Sonntag.

Such a vote would not be legally binding in Italy, where referendums can only be used to repeal laws or parts of laws, but would carry political weight. Grillo has said in the past that membership of the euro should be up to the Italian people.

In addition, Grillo is also suggesting that Italy’s debt has gotten so large that renegotiation is the only option…

In an interview with a German magazine published on Saturday, Mr Grillo said that “if conditions do not change” Italy “will want” to leave the euro and return to its former national currency.

The 64-year-old comic-turned-political activist also said Italy needs to renegotiate its €2 trillion debt.

At 127 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), it is the highest in the euro zone after Greece.

“Right now we are being crushed, not by the euro, but by our debt. When the interest payments reach €100 billion a year, we’re dead. There’s no alternative,” he told Focus, a weekly news magazine.

He said Italy was in such dire economic straits that “in six months, we will no longer be able to pay pensions and the wages of public employees.”

And of course government debt has taken center stage in the United States as well.

The sequester cuts have now gone into effect, and they will definitely have an effect on the U.S. economy. Of course that effect will not be nearly as dramatic as many Democrats are suggesting, but without a doubt those cuts will cause the U.S. economy to slow down a bit.

And of course the U.S. economy has already been showing plenty of signs of slowing down lately. If you doubt this, please see my previous article entitled “Consumer Spending Drought: 16 Signs That The Middle Class Is Running Out Of Money“.

So what comes next?

Well, everyone should keep watching Europe very closely, and it will also be important to keep an eye on Wall Street. There are a whole bunch of indications that the stock market is at or near a peak. For example, just check out what one prominent stock market analyst recently had to say

“Every reliable technical tool is warning of major peaking action,” said Walter Zimmerman, the senior technical analyst at United-ICAP. “This includes sentiment, momentum, classical chart patterns, and Elliott wave analysis.

“Most of the rally in the stock market since 2009 can be chalked up to the Federal Reserve’s attempt to create a ‘wealth effect’ through higher stock market prices. This only exacerbates the downside risk. Why? The stock market no is longer a lead indicator for the economy. It is instead reflecting Fed manipulation. Pushing the stock market higher while the real economy languishes has resulted in another bubble.

“The next leg down will not be a partial correction of the advance since the 2009 lows. It will be another major financial crisis. The worst is yet to come.”

Sadly, most people will continue to deny that anything is wrong until it is far too late.

Many areas of Europe are already experiencing economic depression, and it is only a matter of time before the U.S. follows suit.

Time is running out, and I hope that you are getting ready.

So what do you think?

How much time do you believe that we have left before the next wave of the economic collapse strikes?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

Jeff Rowley Big Wave Surfer wipeout Photo Jaws Peahi by Xvolution Media

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple


Miracle: no one shot by strawberry tart shaped like a gun


Miracle: no one shot by strawberry tart shaped like a gun

Miracle: no one shot by strawberry tart shaped like a gun

by Jon Rappoport

March 4, 2013


Josh Welch. Seven years old. Park Elementary School, Baltimore. Bit off pieces of strawberry tart, trying to make shape of mountain. Tart ended up looking like gun. Josh suspended for two days. No bullet wounds reported.

On top of all that, the students at Park Elementary were sent home with a letter stating there had been a disruption at the school.

So far, no federal troops have been deployed to guarantee the security of the students.

I can think of a solution to this problem. Every pupil at Park Elementary should make a gun out of his/her next strawberry tart. All at once. An armed rebellion.

Then the parents should yank their kids out of Park and start their own school. I’m reasonably certain they can find, among themselves, teachers and a principal who aren’t absolutely insane.

In the wake of this Strawberry Statement, perhaps we’ll see waves of supporting protests across America: kids bringing paper guns and pictures of guns and pastry guns and bubble gum guns and water pistols to school.

“Suspend all of us!”

Thousands of new private schools and home schools then spring up. Parents defect out of the public school nightmare. No more random diagnoses of ADHD and drugging with cheap speed called Ritalin or Adderall. No more pressure to take dozens of toxic vaccines. No more social engineering programs in classrooms. No more sex ed for kids. No more junk food lunches. No more pastry scares.

No more federal funding accepted for public schools. No more no child left behind or left ahead or left in the middle. No more textbook publishers ripping off schools with new editions of the same old books every year. No more “every child has to have a computer or else they won’t learn anything” nonsense.

Just thousands upon thousands of empty school buildings, which are then razed, leaving open land on which fresh clean food crops can be planted for the community. By the community. No outside help required. No Monsanto.

The US public school system was originally invented for one purpose. To teach children how to be citizens of a newly minted Republic.

Obviously, that mission has failed. To even mention “Republic” or “individual freedom” these days in a school, with serious intent, with the goal of exploring their meanings in depth, could provoke an alarm bell, a lockdown, and a phone call to the DHS.

Therefore, nullify. Defect. Decentralize. Get out.

Let these “strawberry tart” teachers educate their own kids and make a mess out of it. You don’t have to allow them to make a mess out of your kids.

In their own homes, these psychos can act out their own social programming, until hopefully their children rebel and refuse to knuckle under.

Need I even say it? The elites behind the public school apparatus in America send their kids to private academies. They wouldn’t get within sniffing distance of the mind-numbing factories they’ve designed.

Decades ago, I taught in three private schools. But these were special places. They were built to take on the discarded refuse of public education, the kids of the zombie parents who gladly got rid of their little ones every day so they could forget about them. I saw the wrecks, the boys and girls who drifted, clueless about what was happening to them. They were virtually unteachable. They’d already been blasted out of whatever interested them in life.

On my last day at one of these baby-sitting horrors, a teacher told me: “In five years, I haven’t taught one student one thing he remembers.”

For me, there was a saving grace. I saw that my students had imagination. It was some kind of immortal and indestructible quality that survived, no matter what. It came out in bizarre and sudden ways, and the buttoned-up classroom certainly wasn’t the best setting for it, but it was there.

It was the bottom-line refusal to go under. As bad as things got, these kids still wanted to create something different. That’s why I admired them.

They were canaries in the coal mine, because what they’d experienced was a cameo of where this whole society was (and is) going.

As the pressure builds, people are driven back on their own resources, and those resources turn out to be the capacity to invent.

People eventually say, “I don’t like this reality. I want to make another one.”

If they hear themselves loudly and clearly enough, they can do something. They can defect, opt out, and decentralize. They can become the artists they always were.

They can offload the mind control and the garbage they’ve been tuned up with, and they can step out into the sunlight.

When enough of that happens, the robots who are in charge of running the day-to-day details of a mad overweening system, like public education, will gradually wake up and realize they’ve been conned, and they’ve been conning themselves.

They’ll walk out the door, too.

None of this happens without crisis. There is an internal struggle to shake free, shake loose. But victory is there to be had.

If I had a kid, I’d teach him to make a Glock-shape out of a strawberry tart long before I’d let him near the door of one of those android factories called a public school.

That’s why I think public schools aren’t doing enough to indoctrinate children. We need more recycling of cans, more fake talk about global warming science, more tolerance of inter-species sex, more hundred-dollar textbooks filled with social messages, more overt anti-religious propaganda, more intervention by counselors who fantasize about being psychologists, more metal detectors, more verbal attacks on students who ask uncomfortable questions, more junk food in cafeterias, more information about living gay in the third grade, more lockdowns, more anti-terror drills, more DHS pamphlets, more instruction on how to snoop and meddle and snitch, more “we’re all in this together,” more teachers breaking down and weeping and flipping out, more unionization, more control, more administrative pronouncements from educrats, more uniform curricula from government, more studies and task forces getting nothing done to stem the tide.

Until finally, the whole business crashes.

Until finally, the light goes on in people’s minds.

Until this thing we call public education is exposed for anyone with three working brain cells to see.

Until this product is recalled to the factory—except there is no factory.

Then the canaries in the coal mine will be vindicated.

Then people will have to take their destiny in their own hands.

Then my student, James, who came to the West LA loony bin where I taught, who showed up every day with a different propeller hat he’d made, who danced in the aisles in the assembly hall, who sang little improvised ditties about snowstorms in July and doctors taking off their clothes and examining themselves…James will be vindicated.

He’ll be remembered (at least by me) as the kid who saw the crackup coming and tried to create works of art to explain it.

James was a happy inventor. He was the court clown. He delivered messages from his own psyche. He was more alive than the president or Congress, and far more knowledgeable than the evening news.

I dream of meeting him after all these years. I, wearing one of his propeller hats. I take it off and tip it to him. He grins and nods. Finally, I understand what he was telling us.

Propeller hat, strawberry tart. Listen to the canaries.

Jon Rappoport

The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at http://www.nomorefakenews.com

Jon Rappoport

The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at http://www.nomorefakenews.com


Scientists: “Exclusive Club” To Assume Command Of Global Geoengineering | ExplosiveReports.C om


Scientists: “Exclusive Club” To Assume Command Of Global Geoengineering



Jurriaan Maessen
March 4, 2013

Scientific publication envisions “a strategic multilateral implementation (of planetary scale geoengineering) through an exclusive ‘club’ that increases benefits to members at the expense of those excluded.”

In a recent publication published by Environmental Research Letters, three scientists have published the results of a computer simulation “game”, probing several scenario’s on how to best organize a “unilateral implementation scheme” of global geoengineering.

“(…) a sufficiently powerful international coalition might be able to deploy solar geoengineering. Here, we show that regional differences in climate outcomes create strategic incentives to form coalitions that are as small as possible, while still powerful enough to deploy solar geoengineering.”

Defining geoengineering as “intentionally reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches Earth’s surface through the use of stratospheric aerosols”, the authors used climate models (such as the ones used by the IPCC) as the basis for their “gaming” activities- which they describe as “global thermostat setting game”:

“ The characteristics of coalitions to geoengineer climate are modeled using a ‘global thermostat setting game’ based on climate model results. Coalition members have incentives to exclude non-members that would prevent implementation of solar geoengineering at a level that is optimal for the existing coalition.”, authors Katharine Ricke and Ken Caldeira point out.

Under “rules and assumptions” the authors explain that “the game takes place in two stages.”

“During the first stage players choose their memberships and the winning coalition is formed. In the second stage, the winning coalition acts as a single actor to maximize the benefits of geoengineering to all coalition members. Players outside the coalition do not make decisions in this second stage.”

From the assertion that man made climate change will have different results from region to region, the scientists involved in this modeling business factored these differences into their “global thermostat setting game”, as a result of which researched different international coalitions that would be most likely to succeed in starting and maintaining a global geoengineering effort:

“(…) If a decision were made somehow to move ahead with the deployment of an intentionally introduced stratospheric aerosol layer, some regions might prefer a cooling or warming relative to the current climate, creating complicated problems in setting the global thermostat. In addition, several modeling studies have demonstrated that if solar geoengineering is used to compensate for rising greenhouse-gas concentrations and is then stopped abruptly, very rapid warming can occur. Thus, if solar geoengineering is ever implemented, stopping suddenly poses a threat.”

From this assertion follows a draconian consequence, namely that only a sustained geongineering effort of the earth’s atmosphere on the part of an international coalition can do the job. The premise of the paper, supported by their computer simulations, is that an “exclusive club” of nations taking the rein, would be the best way to sustain such a spraying campaign for a sufficient period of time:

“a strategic multilateral implementation through an exclusive ‘club’ that increases benefits to members at the expense of those excluded. If the option of a global coalition is accounted for in formulating a system of intracoalitional transfers, the game presented here always produces a stable and powerful coalition in which all coalition members benefit from excluding other parties.”

The rational behind this seemingly contradictory statement reads as follows:

“Under an exclusive coalitions model of international agreements to geoengineer, if one coalition breaks down, another is ready and eager to take its place. As the potential harm from termination grows (i.e., as the amount of greenhouse-gas forcings being compensated for with geoengineering increases), so too do the incentives to avoid this termination among all potential coalitions.”

That the geoengineering efforts by this exclusive club are a thing of the long haul is evident from the authors’ assertion that “if the coalition so decides, solar geoengineering can be implemented starting in 2015 and negotiations among club members only will determine the setting of the global thermostat for the next ten years. In each subsequent decade, negotiations begin anew, and determine a new thermostat setting for the next ten years.”

After the publication lists the outcomes of their gaming models, they conclude by stating that the “exclusive club” scenario, as opposed to an inclusive one, turns out to be the desired way to move forward:

“(…) the results of our game simulations show the maximum achievable benefits regions can gain by acting strategically to form exclusive clubs; this necessarily imposes damages on non-members relative to their preferences”.

The outcomes of this publication are inherently draconian, especially if we take into account the fact that the World Economic Forum in its latest Global Risks report warned that a “rogue nation” or individual could “hijack” global climate change for nefarious purposes. The report mentions several possible scenario’s, or X-factors, which could occur in the coming year, among which (page 57) a geoengineering nightmare, according to the report, “in which a country or small group of countries precipitates an international crisis by moving ahead with deployment or large-scale research independent of the global community. The global climate could, in effect, be hijacked by a rogue country or even a wealthy individual, with unpredict­able costs to agriculture, infrastructure and global stability.”

This is an ironical confusion like only top globalist factions can produce. Where the World Economic Forum warns us about possible “rogue” parties moving ahead with planetary-wide geoengineering schemes, another group of globalist-funded scientists suggest an “exclusive club” shoud take the reins over global spraying efforts to “offset global warming”.

In the WEF-report we get the impression that the “rogue” parties described are parties that have not or will not sign onto global agreements presided over by the UN. This, according to the report, “leaves a gap for unregulated experimentation.”

“For example”, the report states “an island state threatened with rising sea levels may decide they have nothing to lose, or a well funded individual with good intentions may take matters into their own hands. There are signs that this is already starting to occur.”

“Recent studies”, the report goes on to state, “suggest that a small fleet of aircraft could inject a million tonnes of sulphur compounds into the stratosphere – enough to offset roughly half of the global warming experienced to date – for US$1-2 billion annually.”

According to environmental writer Clive Hamilton in a 2010 article for the Guardian “a powerful coalition of forces is quietly constellating around the idea of transforming the Earth’s atmosphere by simulating volcanic eruptions to counter the warming effects of carbon pollution. Engineering the planet’s climate system is attracting the attention of scientists, scientific societies, venture capitalists and conservative think tanks. Despite the enormity of what is being proposed — nothing less than taking control of Earth’s climate system — the public has been almost entirely excluded from the planning”.

In the context of the recent modeling tables published in Environmental Research Letters, these words by Hamilton (himself a believer in man-made climate change) have been taken account before they commenced with their “global thermostat setting game”. Hamilton wrote in 2010:

“If there is no international agreement an impatient nation suffering the effects of climate disruption may decide to act alone. It is not out of the question that in three decades the climate of the Earth could be determined by a handful of Communist Party officials in Beijing. Or the government of an Australia crippled by permanent drought, collapsing agriculture and ferocious bushfires could risk the wrath of the world by embarking on a climate control project”.

Apart from the fact that any planetary scale geoengineering effort would be incomprehensibly irresponsible- and apart from the fact that anthropogenic global warming is in essence a pseudo-science- the fact that scientists are now envisioning an elite club of nations taking the reins in global geoengineering should make the alarm-bells go off all over the place.

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March 4, 2013 Leave a Reply




Software Patents and the Rise of Patent Trolls

In our 632nd issue:

In most issues of EFFector, we give an overview of all the work we’re doing at EFF right now. In light of this week’s announcement of the SHIELD Act, we’re doing a deep dive into a single issue: Software Patents and the Rise of Patent Trolls.

Beloved podcasts like the Adam Carolla Show and HowStuffWorks are under attack. They and other podcasts are getting sued for, well, podcasting. And they’re not the only victims—developers are being targeted for building mobile apps, and offices around the nation are being attacked for using ordinary networked scanners. These creators are only a few of the thousands of victims of one of the biggest threats to innovation: patent trolls.


Patent trolls are entities that don’t create products themselves, but instead buy patents and make money from lawsuits. Trolls often make broad claims of infringement based on patents of questionable validity, and most defendants choose to settle because of the outrageous nature of patent litigation. It is risky and expensive—and trolls offer settlement amounts that, although incredibly burdensome, are cheaper than a lawsuit, which can often cost well into the millions of dollars.

This week, Congress made huge strides with the introduction of the SHIELD Act—a bill that, if passed, would become the first legislation to directly address the problem of patent trolls. The Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes (SHIELD) Act, introduced by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) in the House, directly targets the trolls’ incentive model. The bill creates a system where if a troll loses in court because the patent is found to be invalid or there is no infringement, then it pays the other side’s costs and legal fees.

This bill marks an important step toward ending the patent troll problem for good. We encourage you to tell your lawmakers to support the SHIELD Act. Read on and discover how patent trolls became such a problem.

The Flood of Software Patents

Software patents are relatively new phenomena; the software industry grew from nothing into a mature business without any need for patent protection. For decades, the Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) was generally reluctant to issue patents that covered software. But in the mid-1990s, the Federal Circuit (the court that hears patent appeals) first held that an algorithm implemented in a general-purpose computer could be patentable.

This opened the floodgates for software patents. The PTO now issues about 40,000 software patents a year. That’s more than 100 per day. Unfortunately, the quality of these patents has tended to be very low. On average, examiners spend only 18 hours reviewing each patent application. This is not nearly enough time to properly check if the invention is new. To make things worse, the claims in software patents (this is the language that is supposed to mark the boundaries of the invention) are often vague and overbroad—giving unscrupulous patent owners the ability to claim that their patent covers a wide range of technology.

The Rise of The Patent Troll

The rise in such broad software patents created an environment ripe for patent trolling to surge in popularity. Since 2005, the number of patent troll lawsuits per year has skyrocketed—a four-fold increase to over 5,000 lawsuits every year. By 2012, for the first time ever, more than half of all patent suits were brought by trolls.

Patent trolls often sue with weak software patents, so when they are actually challenged in court, they usually lose. From 1995-2011, patent trolls won fewer than 25% of cases that went to judgment. And the most aggressive trolls fare even worse: of the most frequently litigated patents (those asserted in eight or more lawsuits), the trolls won fewer than 10% of their cases.

Unfortunately, patent litigation is so expensive that it is often cheaper to pay the troll to go away. Even for smaller companies, the average cost of defending a patent case all the way through trial approaches $2 million. Despite these costs, some companies—like Newegg and Twitter—have fought back and won. But the astronomical expense of patent litigation means that most defendants will settle.

With the explosion of patent troll lawsuits, most technology companies can expect to be targeted at some point. The patent troll motto seems to be: if you build anything, we will come. The result is that patents—especially the vague and overbroad software patents beloved by trolls—act as a disincentive to innovate and create.

Trolls Target Startups and End Users

In recent years, patent trolls have increasingly targeted smaller firms that are less likely to fight back. A recent study showed that more than half of the firms sued by patent trolls have less than $10 million in annual revenue—with startups being a common target.

Another disturbing trend is patent trolls going after end users for everyday tasks. For example, a patent troll has sued restaurants, hotels, and companies for using Wi-Fi. And another troll has blanketed the nation with letters demanding that companies pay $1,000 per employee for using standard office technology like scanners and email.

Software Patents Hurt Innovation

In the hands of patent trolls, software patents are a tax on innovation. And this tax is getting bigger every year. In 2011, companies made $29 billion in direct payouts to patent trolls. And the overall cost to the economy has been estimated at about $80 billion per year. Every dollar spent fighting or paying off a troll is a dollar not spent on launching new products and creating jobs.

And the harm caused by software patents goes beyond the problems with trolls. Patent wars—such as the fight between Apple and Samsung—mean that companies are competing in the courts instead of the marketplace. In 2011, both Apple and Google both spent more on patent litigation and buying patents than they did on research. When some of the nation’s flagship technology companies are spending more on patents than they are on actual innovation, it is clear that the system is broken.

What EFF is Doing to Fix the Problem

EFF has outlined seven proposals to begin the conversation about setting things right through our Defend Innovation campaign. Individuals can sign on in support or leave comments with their own ideas for fixing the problems behind software patents. We will compile these comments and signatures and use them as the basis for a report we will present to Congress later this year. The proposed fixes include shorting the length of software patents, requiring running code to be included in patent applications, and codifying an innocent infringers defense.

We’re also meeting with tech companies to hear their thoughts on the current software patent system, and we will include those views in our paper. Set up a meeting with us for your company—your on-the-ground experiences and opinions are crucial for reform.

EFF is one of the only organizations in the world taking on patent cases with the intent to narrow and invalidate bogus software patents. Though patent lawsuits take many years, we’re proud to say that our Patent Busting Project has already taken down several overbroad patents. To find out more information about our software patent work, including blog posts and infographics, check out our patent issue page.

Today, we’re excited to join many in the EFF community in supporting the SHIELD Act, which is based on one of the proposals put forward in Defend Innovation. This bill would make it so that patent trolls pay the legal fees if a patent in a lawsuit is invalid or if there’s no actual infringement. This act is a simple, important change that would help deter patent trolls from bringing egregious lawsuits upon businesses and innovators. Please join us in fighting for the SHIELD Act by telling your lawmaker you support it.


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Why Was JFK Assassinated? by Tim Kelly


Why Was JFK Assassinated?

by Tim Kelly
Future of Freedom Foundation

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has joined the ranks of skeptics and “conspiracy theorists” who believe that a lone gunman was not solely responsible for the assassination of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy said his father, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, believed the Warren Commission Report was a “shoddy piece of craftsmanship”

“The evidence at this point I think is very, very convincing that it was not a lone gunman,” he said, but he did not elaborate on what he believed may have happened.

John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, while riding in a motorcade through Dallas.

Robert F. Kennedy, while celebrating his victory in the California Democratic presidential primary, was shot and killed on June 5, 1968, at a Los Angeles hotel. He was supposedly the victim of another “lone nut.”

RFK’s assassination and the circumstances surrounding it have spawned almost as many conspiracy theories as his brother’s murder five years earlier.

And RFK Jr.’s remarks, coming early in a year that will mark the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, will no doubt provide rhetorical fodder for the legions of critics of the Warren Commission Report.

That report concluded that the 35th president of the United States was hit from the rear by two of three shots fired by a deranged 24-year-old former Marine named Lee Harvey Oswald. According to the report, the first bullet hit JFK in the back, exited through his neck, and went on to inflict multiple injuries on Texas Governor John Connally. The second bullet missed the presidential limousine, ricocheted off the curb and grazed a bystander. The third bullet hit the president in the head, killing him.

What has made many question the Warren Commission’s credibility is the fact that it was largely controlled by former CIA director Allen Dulles. President Kennedy had ousted Dulles as director of the CIA in 1961, after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. Kennedy had also reportedly voiced his intention “to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”

From the moment of its release in 1964, the Warren Report became a target of criticism, owing largely to such difficulties as its “single-bullet theory,” which appeared to twist the laws of physics.

As Mark Lane, a pioneer in JFK assassination research, noted, “The only way you can believe the Report is not to have read it.”

Another reason to doubt the report’s conclusions is Oswald’s apparent connections to the U.S. intelligence community, an important detail not mentioned in the report’s 889 pages. After all, if Oswald was a low-level intelligence agent, as a large body of evidence suggests, is it reasonable to believe he was the “lone-nut” assassin of Warren Commission legend?

But even if Oswald was the gunman and was able to get off two miraculously accurate shots, he did not have the power to withdraw the police motorcycle escorts, or to order the Secret Service to stand down, or to alter the testimony of funeral-home staff who received the body. The Warren Commission never explained these systemic breakdowns that left the president vulnerable and the chain of evidence questionable.

And it should also be mentioned that a U.S. House of Representatives select committee concluded in 1978, after a two-year investigation, that JFK was probably a victim of an elaborate conspiracy (not a “lone nut).

Who could have been part of such a conspiracy?

Theories abound. Some finger the Mafia, while others blame rogue anti-Castro Cubans, or the CIA, or the FBI, or the Pentagon, or Asian drug lords, or eccentric Texas oil barons, or even then-vice-president Lyndon Johnson. Others have posited scenarios involving a combination of some or all of these groups.

The Kennedy administration had certainly ruffled a lot of feathers in its thousand days. Indeed, JFK’s apparent turn to peace may have been the reason why he was gunned down.

At first glance, JFK was an unlikely candidate for peacenik martyrdom.

In 1960, Kennedy campaigned to the right of Richard Nixon, warning of “a missile gap” that had left the nation vulnerable to a Russian nuclear attack.

He entered the White House a committed cold warrior, declaring the time to be an “hour of maximum danger” for freedom. America, he said, would “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” A primary beneficiary of the Kennedy administration was the military-industrial complex, as spending on both conventional and nuclear forces increased sharply from 1961 to 1963.

However, after clashing with his Joint Chiefs over a number of issues and witnessing the apparent treachery of the CIA regarding the Bay of Pigs invasion, Kennedy developed a mistrust of his national-security managers.

The Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war, had a profound effect on JFK, and he emerged from it a changed man, determined to end the Cold War peacefully.

In June 1963, JFK delivered a speech at American University in which he called for the total abolishment of nuclear weapons. A few months later, his administration signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty with the Soviets.

He also began having private correspondences with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, which enraged the CIA, and he was seeking a rapprochement with Cuba’s dictator Fidel Castro, which further incensed the agency.

But perhaps his National Security Action Memorandum 263 calling for the total withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam by the end of 1965 was the final straw for the national security state.

That order, if implemented, would have disrupted many “national-security” operations that had been going on in Southeast Asia since the end of the Second World War. Interestingly, just days after JFK’s death, Lyndon Johnson signed National Security Action Memorandum 273 reversing JFK’s withdrawal plan. The rest, as they say, is history.

Reprinted from The Future of Freedom Foundation.

March 4, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Future of Freedom Foundation