ALBERTVILLE, Ala. — The vanishing began Wednesday night, the most frightened families packing up their cars as soon as they heard the news.
They left behind mobile homes, sold fully furnished for a thousand dollars or even less. Or they just closed up and, in a gesture of optimism, left the keys with a neighbor. Dogs were fed one last time; if no home could be found, they were simply unleashed.
Two, 5, 10 years of living here, and then gone in a matter of days, to Tennessee, Illinois, Oregon, Florida, Arkansas, Mexico — who knows? Anywhere but Alabama.
The exodus of Hispanic immigrants began just hours after a federal judge in Birmingham upheld most provisions of the state’s far-reaching immigration enforcement law.
The judge, Sharon Lovelace Blackburn, upheld the parts of the law allowing state and local police to ask for immigration papers during routine traffic stops, rendering most contracts with illegal immigrants unenforceable and requiring schools to ascertain the immigration status of children at registration time.
When Judge Blackburn was finished, Alabama was left with what the governor called “the strongest immigration law in this country.” It went into effect immediately, though her ruling is being appealed by the Justice Department and a coalition of civil rights groups.
In the days since, school superintendents have reassured parents — one even did so on television in Spanish — that nothing had changed for children who were already enrolled. Wary police departments around the state said they were, for now, awaiting instructions on how to carry out the law.
For many immigrants, however, waiting seemed just too dangerous. By Monday afternoon, 123 students had withdrawn from the schools in this small town in the northern hills, leaving behind teary and confused classmates. Scores more were absent. Statewide, 1,988 Hispanic students were absent on Friday, about 5 percent of the entire Hispanic population of the school system.
John Weathers, an Albertville businessman who rents and has sold houses to many Hispanic residents, said his occupancy had suddenly dropped by a quarter and might drop further, depending on what happens in the next week. Two people who had paid off their mortgages called him asking if they could sell back their homes, Mr. Weathers said.
Grocery stores and restaurants were noticeably less busy, which in some cases may be just as well, because some employees stopped showing up. In certain neighborhoods the streets are uncommonly quiet, like the aftermath of some sort of rapture.
Drawn by work in the numerous poultry processing plants, Hispanic immigrants have been coming to Albertville for years, long enough ago that some of the older ones gained amnesty under the immigration law of 1986. But the influx picked up over the last decade, and the signs on Main Street are now mostly bilingual, when they include English at all.
What the new immigration law means on a large scale will become clearest in a place like Albertville, whether it will deliver jobs to citizens and protect taxpayers as promised or whether it will spell economic disaster as opponents fear.
Critics of the law, particularly farmers, contractors and home builders, say the measure has already been devastating, leaving rotting crops in fields and critical shortages of labor. They say that even fully documented Hispanic workers are leaving, an assessment that seems to be borne out in interviews here. The legal status of family members is often mixed — children are often American-born citizens — but the decision whether to stay rests on the weakest link.
Backers of the law acknowledge that it might be disruptive in the short term, but say it will prove effective over time.
“It’s going to take some time for the local labor pool to develop again,” said State Senator Arthur Orr, Republican of Decatur, “but outside labor shouldn’t come in and just beat them every time on cost and put them out of business.”
Mr. Orr said there were already signs that the law was working, pointing out that the work-release center in Decatur, about 50 miles to the northwest, was not so long ago unable to find jobs for inmates with poultry processors or home manufacturers. Since the law was enacted in June, he said, the center has been placing more and more inmates in these jobs, now more than 150 a day.
On Monday morning, one of the poultry processing plants in Albertville had a job fair, attracting an enormous crowd, a mix of Hispanic, black and white job-seekers, lining up outside the plant and down the street.
“This needed to be done years ago,” Shannon Lolling, 36, who has been unemployed for over a year, said of the law.
Mr. Lolling’s problem seemed to be with the system that had brought the illegal-immigrant workers here, not with the workers themselves.
“That’s why our jobs went south to Mexico,” he said. “They pay them less wages and pocket the money, keep us from having jobs.”
Not far from the plant, in the Hispanic neighborhoods, it is hard to differentiate the silence of the workday, the silence of abandonment or the silence of paralyzing fear.
Many Hispanics have chosen to stay for now, saying, with little apparent conviction, that the law will surely be blocked by the president, the judge, “the government.” Until then, they are not leaving their homes unless absolutely necessary. They send others to buy their groceries and tell their children to quit the soccer team and to come home right after school. Rumors of raids and roadblocks are rampant, and though the new law has nothing to say about such things, distrust is primed by anecdotes, like one told by a local Hispanic pastor who said he was pulled over outside Birmingham on Wednesday, within hours of the ruling. His friend who was driving — and who is in the United States illegally — is now in jail on an unrelated misdemeanor charge, the pastor said, adding that while he was let go, a policeman told him he was no longer welcome in Alabama.
“I am afraid to drive to church.,” a 54-year-old poultry plant worker named Candelaria said, adding, “The lady that gives me a ride to work said she is leaving. She said she felt like a prisoner.”
All summer long, Allen Stoner, a lawyer in Decatur, has been helping his Hispanic clients fill out forms appointing friends or family members as guardians of their children, who are in many cases American-born citizens. This way, the children would not be transferred to social services if the parents were arrested and deported.
Much of this was done by the time the judge’s ruling came down, though last week Mr. Stoner’s clients began to contact him immediately to ask what they should be doing. Monday was quiet.
“We had a lot of phone calls Thursday and Friday,” Mr. Stoner said, “but it has plummeted.”
He did not know for sure, but he figured his clients were gone.
(Infowars) – The current trend in the world of finance and politics is toward consolidation of power into the hands of a few large financial intuitions like Goldman Sachs. Over 40 US states have turned over control of unemployment payments to the largest private banks such as Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Citibank. Recipients of benefits are often forced to have a bank account and a debit card at these banks in order to receive their benefits.
The state of Kentucky handed over control of all their revenues and financial transactions to these same banks which caused the global financial crisis. Handing over large accounts of public money are among the many gifts and support measures provided by US government entities to prop up and rescue too big to fail banks.
So how do these mega bank show their gratitude to the American People for throwing them a lifeline during the financial crises that began in 2008? A little known fact is that last year Citigroup, JP Morgan, and many other large international banks were engaged in promoting China’s renminbi currency to be accepted in place of the dollar in world commerce. The financial times of London ran an article on August 26, 2010 entitled “Banks back switch to renminbi for trade” which states:
Fukushima is now far and away the worst nuclear disaster in all of human history. Chernobyl was a Sunday picnic compared to Fukushima and the amount of cesium-137 released at Fukushima this year so far is equivalent to 168 Hiroshima bombs. The crisis at Fukushima is far, far worse than you have been told. We are talking about multiple self-sustaining nuclear meltdowns that will not be fully contained for years. In an attempt to keep people calm, authorities in Japan (and around the rest of the world as well) have lied and lied and lied. Over the months that have passed since the disaster began, small bits of the truth have slowly started to come out. Authorities are finally admitting that the area immediately surrounding Fukushima will be uninhabitable indefinitely, and they are finally admitting that the amount of radioactive material that has been released is far higher than initially reported. It is going to take the Japanese years to fully contain this problem. Meanwhile, Fukushima will continue to blast all of us with high levels of cesium, strontium and plutonium and will slowly kill millions of people around the globe for years to come.
These days, the mainstream media does not talk about Fukushima much. The reality is that there have beena whole lot of other disasters for them to talk about.
But just because Fukushima is a nightmare that is playing out in very slow motion does not mean that it does not deserve our full attention.
To get an idea of just how nightmarish Fukushima has turned out to be, just consider the words of nuclear expert Steven C. Jones….
2:33 a.m. | Updated Anarchy gripped parts of London on Saturday night as hundreds of rioters and looters set entire buildings on fire, launched fireworks at police and ran unchallenged through the streets with armfuls of stolen goods.
The riots began as a peaceful protest against the death of a 29-year-old man, Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old father of four who was killed Thursday in Tottenham by officers from the Trident unit of the Metropolitan Police, which investigates gun crime, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, an external government body which regulates the police. News reports suggested that around 300 people had gathered outside the local police station by early Saturday evening.
A police officer wearing riot gear stood near a burning police car in Tottenham, north London, on Saturday.
But by 10:20 p.m. local time, the protest had turned violent. Two empty police cars were burned and officers were “subject to bottles and other missiles being thrown at them by the crowd,” according to a statement released by the police. Police said that eight officers had been hospitalized in clashes, one with head injuries. The BBC reported that ten other people had been treated for injuries and that nine had been taken to a hospital.
By 3 a.m., it appeared that parts of the riot zone had spiraled out of police control. An enormous fire raged in a blocklong building, with no sign of police or fire department intervention, even while residents raced to drive their cars away as the building’s windows exploded and glass rained down on them. Giant fires raged in allies, unabated.
As the sun rose over north London Sunday morning, several buildings in the Tottenham area were still on fire. The blackened wrecks of a double-decker bus and several cars smoldered, and the streets were littered with smashed glass and stolen goods.
TwitPicRemains of a Carpet shop in #tottenham after riots on Twitpic.
In nearby Wood Green, looters still browsed – one man could be seen examining vitamin supplements at a health food store – and the sidewalk was littered with discarded items.
The riot escalated into a pitched battle between lines of riot police officers, some on horses, and hundreds of mostly young black men, in small gangs of four or five, many with hooded sweatshirts pulled over their heads and bandannas over their faces. The young men arrived in clumps, on foot, by bicycle or on mopeds. Tottenham is an area of mostly poor minorities; a significant portion of the population is black. “How many black people have to die around here?” asked one of the youths, referring to Mr. Duggan. He gave his name as Pablo. “I hate the police,” he said.
Though lines of police on horses, and with dogs, charged the main street outside the police station to push rioters back, there were significant pockets of violence which they could not reach.
In a warren of side streets, thick smoke filled the air, and the sounds of police helicopters merged with breaking glass, small explosions from blazes in several buildings and the sounds of groups attacking houses and trash cans in search of missiles to throw at police. Some wielded glass bottles and baseball bats, another a table leg, and one man swung an aluminium crutch.
Residents of one street drove their cars away from a block-long blaze in panic. Michael John, 27, a construction worker, explained that the youths were just angry. “They want justice,” he said. The parents of Mr. Duggan, he added “deserve some peace of mind.”
Simultaneously, a scene of astounding anarchy unfolded at a shopping center several miles away in Wood Green, but was not detected by news media, nor, it seemed, the authorities, until several hours later. Clothing and hangers littered the street as young looters smashed the doors and ransacked nearly every shop, carrying off bagfuls of goods from stores like H&M, The Body Shop and GNC, with the ease of strolling shoppers. Police were nowhere in sight as 30 to 40 young men and women laid waste to the mall.
Maria Robinson, a resident, described the unfolding chaos in an unsettling audio clip on The BBC’s Web site.
“The police are hiding. I actually saw a group of police officers run through an alley away from a group of people that are running towards them,” Ms. Robinson says on the clip. “The police seem very frightened of the situation at the moment.”
The riots bore echoes of clashes between police and Tottenham residents in 1985, following the death of a woman, Cynthia Jarrett, whose heart failed after police raided her home. A police officer, Keith Blakelock, was stabbed to death, and dozens were injured, during those riots in the Broadwater housing estate.
It was not immediately clear whether this weekend’s riots were at an end, or merely at a lull. “Our absolute aim,” said Stephen Watson, the police commander in charge of the operation, in a statement “is to restore normality.”
S&P’s downgrade of U.S. sovereign debt from AAA to AA+ though symbolically and politically powerful, was already destined to be met with skepticism in New York and DC. The fact that the beleaguered rating agency managed to make a $2 trillion error in calculating the size of the U.S. debt only made matters worse:
Around 1:30 p.m. [Friday], S&P officials notified the Treasury Department that they planned to downgrade U.S. debt and presented the government with their findings. Treasury officials noticed a $2 trillion error in S&P’s math that delayed an announcement for several hours. S&P officials decided to move ahead, and after 8 p.m. they made their downgrade official.
S&P said the downgrade “reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.” It also blamed the weakened “effectiveness, stability, and predictability” of U.S. policy making and political institutions at a time when challenges are mounting.
“A judgment flawed by a $2 trillion error speaks for itself,” a Treasury representative said.
The ratings firm responded early Saturday Eastern time, saying its decision was not affected by a change of assumptions regarding the pace of discretionary spending growth.
“In taking a longer term horizon of 10 years, the U.S. net general government debt level with the current assumptions would be $20.1 trillion (85% of 2021 GDP). With the original assumptions, the debt level was projected to be $22.1 trillion (93% of 2021 GDP),” S&P said.
Binyamin Appelbaum and Eric Dash are skeptical at the New York Times, as I was, of the effect of the downgrade. Let’s start with S&P’s own judgment on the effects its downgrade to AA+ would have. In areport last month, the agency said a downgrade to AA+:
would have limited ratings implications for global financial services companies. We do not expect a systemic market disruption under these scenarios. In both, we would expect to take a few rating actions (including outlook revisions) on specific companies, mainly those with businesses, operating earnings, and assets that are largely U.S. based. We don’t expect that a lack of liquidity would be a critical issue or that confidence-sensitive products would experience a run-on-the-bank type stress.
The chart accompanying the report is fairly clear on this point, contrasting the effects (low, moderate or high) of no downgrade in scenario 1, a downgrade to AA+ in scenario tow, and a default (now off the table) in scenario 3:
Moreover, ratings agencies’ credibility stinks thanks to their shoddy assessments of mortgage backed securities that contributed to the 2008 crash. And S&P is an outlier, since Moody’s and Fitch aren’t downgrading the U.S. And most important, from the perspective of economic analysts who decide what price to pay for U.S. bonds in the open market, S&P’s rating’s downgrade doesn’t bring new information: the threat is based on a judgment based on public information about politics in Washington and not the kind of proprietary information S&P gets on businesses whose debt that rate.
The markets know all this, which is why investors have flocked to Treasuries during the recent market uncertainty, keeping rates unusually low.
Which means S&P’s credibility in downgrading the U.S. was already going to be fairly low. Their $2 trillion error means the most significant downgrade last night was the one S&P inflicted on itself.
(For another view based on average interest rates among AAA and AA+ rated countries, see TIME’s Steve Gandel, here.)
We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.
~the only problem I have with this article is in the original it looks like the French wrote it…they have something veryyy big to hide in the Japan ordeal… *MOX* ~jude
Jun 23, 2011: Since the start of June, two nuclear power plants located on the banks of the massively flooded Missouri River in Nebraska have experienced “unusual events”. The Fort Calhoun nuclear plant 19 miles north of Omaha is on alert due to multiple reasons, being a fire that caused temporary loss of cooling a little over two weeks ago  as well as the flooding of the facility that has been worsening throughout June (much of the Fort Calhoun plant is currently underwater). Also, an “unusual event” at Cooper nuclear plant 80 miles south of Omaha caused an alert on June 19th  and the water levels only need to rise less than two and a half feet for this plant to also be underwater. From a report on June 15th relative to the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant [emphasis added throughout]:
… the power station is starting to flood, and as was the case with the Fukushima sea wall, money was saved by building flood barriers at the legally required minimum. While the reactor itself was shut down for re-fueling, a fire broke out in the electrical system and cooling was lost for the spent fuel rod cooling pool, the same problem now plaguing Fukushima’s building #4. Yes, the Power Plant is saying there has been no release of radiation, but that was the same song we heard from TEPCO at the start. The FAA has declared a no-fly zone for two miles around the plant because of “hazard.”
At the moment, things look stable, but if the flooding increases (or worse, an upstream dam fails) sandbags are not going to hold back the water. 
— Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer, Fairewinds Associates (Energy Consultants — including on Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant)
This no-fly zone in place around Fort Calhoun  is definitely not necessary for the river flooding alone, so there must be some type of real threat relative to the nuclear power plant for such measures to be taken. On June 16th the closing sentences of an article written by a retired nuclear physicist living in Hawaii, Tom Burnett (who has made numerous comments about the triple meltdown Fukushima nuclear catastrophe), summed it up well [emphasis added]:
“I’m going to be so much better a president for having been at the CIA that you’re not going to believe it.” – George H. W. Bush
“In examining the CIA’s past and present use of the U.S. media, the Committee finds two reasons for concern. The first is the potential, inherent in covert media operations, for manipulating or incidentally misleading the American public.” – Senator Frank Church
“It is the function of the CIA to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize and teach the American people to hate and fear, so we will let the Establishment spend any amount of money on arms.” – Former CIA Officer John Stockwell
“I never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in ’47, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo.” – Harry S. Truman
Global Research, May 22, 2011
“Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude. In the Press and Encyclopaedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side.” –Goethe
Thank you for visiting Global Research! We are reassured to know that you have come to this site because you are looking to find the truth, the REAL truth behind the “news”, to understand the political, social and economic forces shaping the world you live in.
Though Goethe made his insightful observation two hundred years ago, his words hold more meaning today than ever in history. Error can indeed be found throughout stories in the mainstream press, in “official reports” and coming from the very mouths of world leaders, many “democratically” elected. But what even Goethe could not have predicted is the broad extent to which these errors are knowingly, deceptively and insidiously woven into our daily news, effectively subverting the masses and keeping them blind and apathetic to the empirically-driven motives of the world’s elite.
If you are visiting this site, it is because you have realized that things aren’t “adding up”, that what world leaders and influential figures are telling us, as conveyed by mainstream media, does not accurately reflect the picture of the world today. You have seen that the only way to find the “truth” is to go to independent sources that aren’t funded and manipulated by corporate and political interests.
The aims of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and Global Research are to battle the tidal waves of misinformation and propaganda washing our minds on a daily basis. We have separated ourselves from the corporate-controlled mainstream news, whose only objective is to serve their corporate masters. We take no assistance from the major foundations such as Rockefeller, Ford, and MacArthur, who act as patrons (and thus pacifiers) of the alternative and critical voices challenging the forces of globalization.
by Mac Slavo SHTF Plan by Mac Slavo Recently by Mac Slavo: 10 Things We Can Learn From Egypt About Preparing for Economic and Societal Collapse
If you woke up this morning wondering why your GPS and shortwave radio communications equipment was still working after the alert posted by the NOAA, NASA and other space weather agencies, it’s likely because the X2 Solar Flare that was scheduled to cause geomagnetic storms didn’t live up to expectations:
A wave of charged plasma particles from a huge solar eruption has glanced off the Earth’s northern pole, lighting up auroras and disrupting some radio communications, a NASA scientist said.
But the Earth appears to have escaped a widespread geomagnetic storm, with the effects confined to the northern latitudes, possibly reaching down into Norway and Canada.
“There can be sporadic outages based on particular small-scale events,” said Dean Persnell, project scientist at NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory at Goddard Space Flight Center.
He told AFP the official forecast is “for generally quiet conditions today, perhaps some minor storming tomorrow, but nothing extraordinary.”
The most remarkable facet of NATO’s war against Libya is the fact that “world opinion,” that ever so nebulous thing, has accepted an act of overt military aggression against a sovereign country guilty of no violation of the UN Charter in an act of de facto neo-colonialism, a ‘humanitarian’ war in violation of basic precepts of the laws of nations. The world has accepted it without realizing the implications if the war against Gaddafi’s Libya is allowed to succeed in forced regime change. At issue is not whether or not Gaddafi is good or evil. At issue is the very concept of the civilized law of nations and of just or unjust wars.
The Libya campaign represents the attempt to force application of a dangerous new concept into the norms of accepted international law. That concept is what is termed by its creators, “Responsibility to Protect.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has stated that the justification for the use of force in Libya was based on humanitarian grounds, and referred to the principle known as Responsibility to Protect, “a new international security and human rights norm to address the international community’s failure to prevent and stop genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”1
An American President, Barack Obama, has invoked this novel new concept as justification for what is de facto an unlawful US-led military war of aggression and acquisition.2 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as Presidential candidate in 2008 said about the concept: “In adopting the principle of the responsibilty to protect, the United Nations accepted the principle that mass atrocities that take place in one state are the concern of all states.”3 Nice words and highly dangerous. According to White House insider reports, the key person driving Obama to move to military action in Libya, citing a nebulous “Responsibility to Protect” as the basis was Presidential Adviser, Samantha Power.4
In effect, via the instrument of a controlled NATO propaganda barrage, the US government with no verifiable proof claimed Gaddafi’s air force slaughtered innocent civilians. That in turn has been the basis on which Amr Moussa and members of the Arab League bowed down before heavy Washington pressure to give Washington and London the quasi-legal fig leaf it needed. That unproven slaughter of allegedly innocent civilians was why a “humanitarian” war was necessary. On that basis, we might ask why not put a no-fly NATO bombardment operation as well on Bahrain, or Yemen, or Syria? Who decides the criteria in this new terrain of Responsibility to Protect?