Friday, March 23, 2012

Panetta’s Terrorism Error

Obama, Clinton and Panetta are all terrorists; HYPOCRITE terrorists who have no moral authority to tell any country what they should do

Counterpunch
By Christian Sorensen
03/22/2012

On March 15, American Defense Secretary Leon Panetta remarked that “terrorists cannot be the friends of any country. Terrorists are terrorists.” Yet Panetta is mistaken. His own Defense Department and America’s chief ally are easily classified as terrorists. Dissecting the substance of Panetta’s errors requires analyzing the failures of America’s beltway academics. 



Will the REAL "Terrorists" please stand up
While all Americans rightfully condemn terrorism, discrepancies occur when intellectuals attempt to define the phenomenon. To begin with, there is no internationally accepted definition of terrorism. Domestically, different definitions exist among the bureaucracies of America’s State Department, Defense Department, Justice Department, and Intelligence Community. Bruce Hoffman, an Oxford-trained International Relations scholar, clarifies the generally accepted American definition of terrorism as the “deliberate creation and exploitation of fear through violence or the threat of violence,” perpetrated by a non-state or subnational entity, “in the pursuit of political change.”

Hoffman’s definition, embraced by many within the American foreign policy establishment, deliberately excludes national actors, like the United States of America. Compare Hoffman’s academic definition to the perspective of a man who has personally witnessed terrorism’s vicious reality:

Terrorism is ‘the use of terrorizing methods of governing or resisting a government.’ This simple definition has one great virtue, that of fairness. It’s fair. It focuses on the use of coercive violence, violence that is used illegally, extra-constitutionally, to coerce. And this definition is correct because it treats terror for what it is, whether the government or private people commit it. 



Terrorist?
Hoffman’s biased logic, favoring the unjust status quo, is exposed in broad daylight. Reality dictates that all entities, including national, subnational, and non-state actors, can be terrorists and perpetrate acts of terrorism. Terrorism is applicable to all and not constrained by arbitrary borders.

Perhaps the Hoff-Men of America, a label which comprises most DC think-tanks, Beltway pundits, State Department careerists, and Intelligence Community dogmatists, adhere to Hoffman’s definition for rational reasons. After all, deviation from the standard discourse risks negative saliency; direct and indirect employees of America’s military-industrial complex often forego lucrative funding and career enhancement if they speak out against the grain on issues of imperial war and terrorism.

Individuals who adhere to the status quo flood America’s terrorism-pundit industry, which blossomed in the post-9/11 hysteria. Take, for example, Daniel Byman, of the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy. He is by no means a malicious partisan or a zealot with an axe to grind. Quite the opposite, as he is simply grounded in the prevailing discourse of beltway academia, like Georgetown University where he holds professorship in Security Studies. Terrorism, now an academic discipline, is taught in universities largely by individuals like Byman who have an interest in adhering to the prevailing discourse and operating within the parameters of American bias. 



Terrorist?
In May 2008, Byman authored an essay about the changing nature of state-sponsored terrorism. He commenced the paper in a promising fashion, averring that America’s State Department should update and refine its list of state sponsors of terrorism, because “the U.S. approach toward state sponsorship of terrorism rests on a flawed understanding of the problem and an even more flawed policy response.” His apparent courage to question the status quo was unfortunately nothing more than a flicker of camouflaged complacency, as he soon relapsed into the fundamentals of mainstream terrorism discourse. Byman’s solution, that America should forge a global agreement on a broad definition of what constitutes state sponsorship of terrorism, completely neglected America’s role as a leading sponsor of international terrorism, whether directly in Iraq and Afghanistan, indirectly through a distal relationship with the Israeli Defense Forces, historically through CIA chess matches versus the artist-formally-known-as-KGB, or through a tradition of violent meddling in Latin America. Byman never considers that an international agreement cannot be reached without first acknowledging America’s participatory role in global terrorism. Except for America’s back-room deals at the United Nations, no country would ever agree with America’s definition of state sponsorship of terrorism, because the global community is able to view the United States with history’s full consideration, and are entirely aware of the subjective metrics that the United States employs in analyzing terror. 


Terrorists?
Contrary to Panetta’s assertions, terrorists can be the friends of any country. Consider America and Israel as enlightening examples. On 11 September 2001, fifteen Saudis, two Emiratis, and one Lebanese national committed a revolting terrorist atrocity. The American Department of Defense “responded” with a massive bombing campaign against Afghanistan, killing a higher number of civilians than perished in the 11 September attacks. When questioned, American Defense officials stated that Al-Qaeda had planned the 11 September attacks from Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, which, officials asserted, necessitated removal of the Taliban regime. As many independent journalists have accurately indicated, such rationale is analogous to the Dubai police department razing the Burj Al-Arab after a murderer had planned a homicide from his guest room on the fiftieth floor. Hence, neither the hotel management nor the Taliban had any control over its guests’ plans.

To make matters worse, Secretary Panetta still insists that America is in Afghanistan “to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven” from where terrorists can plan attacks. However, as the 7 July 2005 England bombings and the 11 March 2004 Spain bombings illustrate, terrorist attacks can be hatched, planned, and implemented in even the most stable, democratic nations. This fact alone scuttles Panetta’s assertions. Even if America were able to miraculously goad Afghanistan into the confines and arbitrary standards of Western democracy, attacks can still be planned from its soil, a fact which no amount of military occupation can change. Despite all, after conducting a massive bombing campaign, the American military dislodged the Taliban from some positions of power in Afghanistan and has occupied the country ever since. 



Or.... Terrorists?
Back to America’s terrorism. In March 2003, the Defense Department invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq, a military operation for which the American government has never provided a valid explanation, yet whose initiation is henceforth to be celebrated as a National Day of Honor, per President Obama’s proclamation. At a minimum, since September 2001, the American government has displaced millions, killed tens of thousands, caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands, orphaned sons and daughters, widowed lovers, bombed cities, besieged towns, massacred families, and razed villages. This account doesn’t even include CIA’s terrorism in Greece (1947, 1967-1974), Marcos’ Philippines, the Shah’s Iran, Arbenz’s Guatemala, Pinochet’s Chile, sundry paramilitary and military operations in Southeast Asia from the 1950s through the 1970s and Central America from the 1970s until today, and drone strikes that have killed a minimum of 175 children in Pakistan. Although this list is by no means exhaustive, it nonetheless illustrates America’s terrorism candidly. American Defense officials, and their academic sycophants, beg to differ. They assert that the American military is merely fighting counterinsurgencies, conducting village stability operations, shaping messages of good governance, maintaining an unblinking vigilance, and defending the Orwellian “homeland.” 


Is this a "real" Terrorist?
One need not dwell on Israel’s affinity for terrorism, although a few examples, among many, are elucidating. Menachem Begin, Israel’s sixth Prime Minister, was intricately involved in the bombing of Jerusalem’s King David Hotel in 1946. Over 90 individuals of various nationalities perished in this terrorist act. In 1967, Israeli aircraft attacked the USS Liberty in a false-flag operation, designed to draw America into fighting in the Six-Day War against Egypt. Over thirty Americans died in this act of terrorism, with over 150 wounded. In 1996, the Israeli military shelled a United Nations compound in Qana, Lebanon, killing over 100 civilians and injuring 100 more. During the winter of 2008-2009, the Israeli military killed hundreds of civilians in Gaza. Today, the Mossad assassinates Iranian scientists. This list doesn’t even include Israel’s history of ethnic cleansing, abuse, and murder of Palestinians. Terrorism knows no other definition. 


Are these dead children Terrorists?
Byman’s guidelines for international conduct are in fact an excellent start. They include prohibiting government support of violent groups and prohibiting arms sales and military training to regimes with violent records. Such measures, if actually applied to the United States government, would crush arms exporters, war profiteers, squash the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, end Foreign Military Financing to Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, and other oppressive countries, and stifle global paramilitary activities of CIA and the Pentagon. The paradox of Byman’s guidelines is so thick that one can cut it with a knife, or with shrapnel from an American-made cluster bomb dropped by Israel on southern Lebanon. Analyzing Hoffman and Byman shows how perilous it is to employ the hypocritical beltway narrative in defining and discussing terrorism. 


Is this goofy idiot a Terrorist?
Beltway scholars likewise hesitate to investigate and explain Bin Laden’s reasons for disliking America. Without a vocal voice from these scholars, the American citizenry, who are content nominally “supporting their troops,” accept the Pentagon’s frail logic, are never exposed to Bin Laden’s rationale, and are content with explanations like Bin Laden “hates our freedom” and “terrorists hate our democracy.” Defense Secretary Panetta seizes this ignorance and affirms that terrorists attacked America “because of a hatred that was aimed squarely at the values this nation stands for: liberty, tolerance, equality, and fairness.”

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, a pioneer of this tactic, insists that terrorists are filled with “hate for the United States and for everything we stand for, [including] freedom and democracy.” Erroneous clich├ęs like these, espoused by policymakers, and not actively dispelled by beltway academics, lead to further ignorance during a crucial time in American history. 



Did Terrorists commit the Bali bombings of 10/12/2002, or was it the CIA?

Bin Laden’s grievances, as he articulated time and time again, were quite clear: Firstly, the American military should not be based in or around the Arabian Peninsula. Secondly, the American government should not punish the Iraqi people perversely. Sanctions against Iraq, enacted in the days following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, were allegedly intended to compel the Iraqi people to rise up against Saddam. While the Iraqi people never effectively rose up, they did suffer grievously. Conservative estimates of dead children, as a direct result of the American-led sanctions, hover around a couple hundred-thousand bodies. Saddam Hussein meanwhile lived a life of opulence. Thirdly, the American government should not support the state of Israel unconditionally in its oppression of the Palestinian people. Finally, the American government should stop supporting Middle Eastern dictatorships, like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Egypt, and Algeria (Lawrence 2005). This wasn’t the first time a terrorist had cited such grievances as rationale for attacking America. Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, conveyed similar motivation in his testimony before the New York City Federal District Court.



The American people, if they are so inclined, should judge the merits of Bin Laden’s grievances. While his tactics are deplorable, there is no mistaking his objectives: the economic and military centers of America, and presumably the White House. Perhaps United 93 was aiming for the World Bank or IMF headquarters, which are frequent targets of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s rants. Among the questions that Americans should ask, when analyzing Bin Laden’s grievances are: Should America construct military bases in so many countries? Should America station troops in the Middle East? Do American economic policies harm other countries? Can American corporations adjust their behavior to ensure fair labor practices abroad? Should transnational corporations control other nations’ natural resources, including water and electricity? Why did America impose sanctions on Iraq after the Gulf War? Why did the sanctions remain in place for so long? Did American officials know about the dead children that resulted from the sanctions? Will modern sanctions against Iran cause similar results? Why did Denis Halliday’s resign as UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq? Can American policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be more evenhanded? What causes America’s foreign policy to go astray? 


War Criminal Donald Rumsfeld
Even though Osama Bin Laden’s terrorism is inexcusable and nauseating, addressing his grievances in the hope of achieving political solutions can curb terrorist recruitment and reduce the likelihood of future terrorist attacks. Take away the sun and the water, America’s expansionism and oppression abroad, and the extremist never blossoms. Instead, the American government ignored Bin Laden’s grievances and implemented a global war against the amorphous emotion of terror, which only decreased America’s security. To guide one’s thinking, turn to Michael Scheuer, former head of CIA’s Bin Laden unit:

We are being attacked in the west, and will continue to be attacked… as long as we are in Afghanistan, as long as we support the Israelis, [and] as long as we protect the Saudi police state… It’s about intervention… about being in the Arabian Peninsula, and it has nothing to do with… cultural things. We are the ones that are arranging the cultural war against them. 



Unfortunately, America’s government has not adjusted course. In August 2011, Defense Secretary Panetta reaffirmed America’s unwavering commitment to her irresponsible course of action, refusing to adopt the wisdom of a strategic shift ten years into its imperial Afghanistan war: “We should never give up until we have defeated their intent to attack this country.” The historical record will reflect the American government’s foolish choices. Unfortunately, the muted misery of the American military family, the Afghan civilian casualty, and the Iraqi mass grave will never be detailed fully.

Future terrorists, spawned in the rubble of America’s terrorism, will likely attack America again. To pretend otherwise is delusional. Future attacks, founded upon a just grievance, should be understood in context, since all Americans would also seek revenge if a foreign government had killed one of their innocent loved ones.

We still have much to learn. Defense Secretary Panetta hypocritically scolded Pakistan for picking and choosing among terrorists, without any understanding that America pioneered that tactic. In addition to Panetta’s astonishing remarks, Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that: 



Mullen:  Terrorist?
In choosing to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy, the government of Pakistan, and most especially the Pakistani army and ISI, jeopardizes not only the prospect of our strategic partnership but Pakistan’s opportunity to be a respected nation with legitimate regional influence.

Mullen’s words are perfect advice for the United States of America. Tweaked slightly, the lessons are clear:

In choosing to use violent military operations and terrorism as an instrument of policy, the government of the United States, the Pentagon, and CIA, jeopardize not only the prospect of regional peace, but America’s opportunity to salvage any respect within the global community.

We all have lessons to learn, but the American pot calling the Pakistani kettle “black” doesn’t help matters. One day Mullen, realizing the error of his ways, will wish he heeded some of his own advice: to always keep private “the counsel you give our nation’s top leaders.” 



San Francisco Anti-War "Terrorist?"
America’s lessons are simple but numerous. The American government must condemn state terrorism and individual acts of terrorism, regardless of the perpetrator. It must also cease its support for terrorism, since the whole world is now capable of viewing the deadly results of America’s hypocritical foreign policy in the blink of an electronic eye. Panetta once remarked that “to ultimately have a true peace for the future, it is extremely important that we deal with terrorism wherever it exists.” He couldn’t be more accurate. Due to terrorism’s political roots, America’s government and academics must stress political solutions that address terrorism’s heritage of grievances.

The American government must emphasize diplomacy, since massive military responses to terrorism only exacerbate the problem. It is more patriotic to employ precise political solutions than to glorify military action that aggravates an interminable global conflict. America can deal with the remaining al-Qaeda leadership, which the Pentagon estimates at less than 20 operatives worldwide, through implementing a precise, restrained, global police operation. A balanced blend of diplomatic, investigative, and collaborative international policing will yield positive results without picking fights with Boko Haram, Al-Shabbab, Abu Sayyaf, the Lord’s Resistance Army, and other groups that posed no threat to the United States of America. When necessary, strict congressional oversight may allow combined-joint special operations forces to break up terrorist cells.

America’s reward is awesome. When the American government chooses to end its imperial wars, it might then focus on internal national security threats: a failed education system, flagging infrastructure, a deteriorating industrial base, environmental pollution, lack of access to affordable healthcare, and mass unemployment (Gershon 1991: 367).

References:

Gerson, Joseph and Bruce Birchard. The Sun Never Sets. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1991, p. 367.

Hoffman, Bruce. Inside Terrorism. New York: Columbia University




Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


 

Iran Will Send Monkey Into Space in Early 2012

George W. Bush applies for job; can't make it on "speaking fees," has to PAY people to listen to him

IRNA
03/01/2012

Kavoshgar-5 will carry a biological capsule containing a monkey into space. This is actually a prelude to preparing Iran for sending a human astronaut into space before 2021,' Fazeli told IRNA in an exclusive interview on Thursday.


Bush may not meet monkey intelligence standards
Referring to the fact that the world will witness further success of Islamic Republic of Iran in the field of launching satellites into space, he pointed out that sending Fajr satellite into space which was postponed in 2011 will take place in 2012.

Noting that only three countries have succeeded so far to send human astronaut into space, Fazeli pointed out that India is considering to send human astronaut into space by 2016.

2050**2050


Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

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This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



French Officials Face Questions Over Murder of Toulouse "Terror" Suspect

This is hilarious, Sarkozy lives in fantasy land, thinks French People are as stupid as Americans; a definite "false flag" if there ever was one to appease Israel:  Supposed "terrorist" nothing but a boy, had to be killed to shut him up, coward cops kill valuable witness - on purpose

The Envoy
By Laura Rosen
03/23/2012

French president Nicolas Sarkozy called for unity in France Thursday following the dramatic shootout that killed Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah after a 32-hour standoff. Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent, had admitted Wednesday to negotiators that he had killed three children and their teacher and three French paratroopers, prosecutors said. And indeed, they said they found videotapes he had made of the killings in his apartment.


Silly-assed Sarkozy tries to imitate Bush/Cheney/Obama "false flag"
But French officials were facing sharp questions in the wake of the Toulouse killing spree, in particular about why they had failed to close in on Merah earlier.

The 23-year-old Toulouse mechanic had traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan at least twice, most recently in 2011. He claimed to have trained in jihadi camps in Waziristan, according to French prosecutors Thursday, who said he had also proclaimed allegiance to al-Qaida. Merah was also well-known to Toulouse law enforcement, having been convicted on numerous nonterrorism related crimes, like purse snatching, for which he served a year in prison. Indeed, his attorney reportedly said this week that at their last meeting a couple months ago, he had advised Merah to be on his best behavior because he had recently returned from Afghanistan and would be on the police's radar. (Merah had been picked up for driving without a license.)
 

Oh yeah, this really looks like a vicious "terrorist:" stupid boy now sporting a hole in his head (or several)

"That is one of the big questions people in France are asking coming out of this," Christophe Bauer, a producer at French broadcaster France 24, told Yahoo News Thursday. "There's a sense he just came back from Afghanistan. French officials said they had been tracking him. But what does that tracking mean? Apparently, the French intelligence services in Toulouse talked to him when he got back from Afghanistan."


Coward French cops wearing masks - attempting to emulate American cousin pigs

CNN reported Thursday that Merah was on the U.S. "no-fly" list.

Experts on jihadi movements say several factors would have put Merah on the radar of French law enforcement and intelligence. Among them, his multiple trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan, his history of past petty crimes and his alleged affiliation with an Islamist organization.


"Ahhh, we had a little problem boss..."
"The problem is trying to figure out who will go a step further," Aaron Zelin, a research associate at Brandeis University, who focuses on Islamic jihadi groups, told Yahoo News on Wednesday.

As in any country, Zelin said, "it's hard to know when a person is totally radicalized."

It isn't clear what set Mareh off on his killing spree, which began ten days ago with the first of tw0 shooting incidents which killed three French paratroopers of North Africa descent, and wounded a fourth of Caribbean descent. On Monday, he killed three school children and their teacher at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish day school in Toulouse. Mareh allegedly told French negotiators that he carried out the killings to avenge the death of Palestinian children in Gaza and to protest French participation in the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.


Heroic French coppers prepare to take on holed-up "vicious terrorist"

There were other factors that might have made Merah's intentions harder to detect in advance of the killing spree, Zelin said. Most notably, Mareh used a gun rather than explosives for his attacks. Many past other recent jihadi-motivated attacks in Europe and the United States--such as the "7/7" 2005 attacks on the London underground and buses, and the attempted 2010 Times Square car bombing--have involved explosives or attempted bombings. "Most of the time, they try to put together a bomb," for which they need to acquire products, such as large amounts of fertilizer, that may "look shady" and tip off police to try to stop it, Zelin said.

Some French military analysts were also critical of the police raid Thursday for ultimately failing to take Merah into custody alive after the 32 hour standoff, as French officials repeatedly said they hoped to do.

"From a purely technical standpoint, this operation—which lasted 32 hours—is a failure," Jean-Dominique Merchet, a journalist who covers military affairs for French publication Marianne, wrote, according to a translation. "Counterterrorism specialists wonder why, when it was, they say, a fairly simple operation. Merah was alone and had no hostages."

Among their critiques, he said, when the elite French counterterrorism force (known by its acronym RAID) stormed the apartment, "it lacked one essential element: reliable information," Merchet wrote. Police were not even certain that Merah was alive when they stormed the apartment. Even then, when they battered in the door, Merah, entrenched in the bathroom, was able to shoot first at them. A five-minute shootout ensued, in which some 300 pieces of ammunition were fired, and even then Merah was apparently able to escape through the window before he was shot in the head by a police sniper, Merchet noted.

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

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This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.





Obama Propaganda : "5 Social Security Alternatives" Mainstream Media Shills For, Attempts To Cover-Up U.S. Government Theft Of Social Security, Emptying Of Social Security Coffers

CBS and Investopedia join the rest of U.S. corporate owned "news agencies" in trying to cover U.S. government's looting of Social Security; it is a fact that Social Security is the most solvent, successful insurance policy in United States history and would be far in the black, funded forever were it not for the United States government stealing worker contributions which are mandatory deductions from EVERY U.S. WORKER'S PAYCHECK throughout their working lives; government, "mainstream media" shills lie about supposed "entitlement programs."  There is nothing "entitled" about Social Security, it belongs to those who qualify and have paid into their accounts and their money has been stolen.... if you have not paid in you get nothing....period;  Screw Obama and his "everyone sacrifices," "entitlement" desensitising propaganda, Americans, and especially the disabled have ALREADY sacrificed

CBS8
By Ryan C. Fuhrmann
03/12/2012

According to a recent study by the Government Accountability Office, Social Security will start to run out of money by the year 2036. This is primarily because of the simple fact that, according to the study, "people are living longer and labor force growth has slowed." The dubious year of 2010 represented the first time since 1983 that the Social Security trust began paying out more in benefits than it collected in tax revenue. (For related reading, see How Much Social Security Will You Get?)


Looks like a lot of fun... Elders fate if Obama, Congress win
If the current trends persist for the next three decades, then the 55 million Americans, who currently receive Social Security benefits, will increasingly find their future payouts in jeopardy. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has also weighed in on the subject. It estimates that Social Security will be unable to pay all of its benefits by 2039, and that benefits would need to be cut by some 20% by 2040 to account for the shortfall. (For more information, see 10 Common Questions About Social Security.)


Overall, unless the economy makes a miraculous recovery and unemployment falls back to the 4% levels of several years ago, the Social Security system will need some significant adjustments within three decades. 

Politicians are currently weighing a mix of increasing the retirement age, increasing payroll taxes and lowering benefits for certain recipients of benefits.


Don't think you will need YOUR Social Security?  Ever had an accident?  What about catastrophic illness?  And what happens if you live to be this lady's age?  Will you wind up -through no fault of your own and because YOUR Social Security has been looted - like her?  Eating dog food twice a week if you are LUCKY?

Instead of hoping that Washington gets its act together, individuals would be best served by planning for the worst. The worst case scenario is, of course, that the individual won't receive any Social Security benefits when reaching retirement. 

And though unlikely, it can help shift the mindset to making significant personal changes to find alternative avenues to ensure an adequate income level following one's working years. With that, here are five potential ways to offset any Social Security shortfall.


Sure, elderly should all move someplace cheaper - like Detroit
Live Somewhere Cheap

Every year, numerous publications provide a ranking of the most affordable places to live. Smaller towns usually fit the bill, as do towns with a public university that cater to cost-sensitive college students. Areas hard hit by the housing downturn also offer the opportunity to pick up a house at depressed levels. Depressed housing markets include Fort Myers, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona and Nevada. 


Moving abroad could also qualify as many international locations are very affordable. (For more information, see 5 Worst U.S. Housing Markets.)

Save More for Retirement

This may seem obvious, but there are a number of avenues to increase retirement savings. Maxing out the percentage allocated to retirement plans, including employer 401(k) and Roth IRA plans, is key. After-tax funds also earmarked for investment accounts can be helpful. (To learn more, see 7 Stable Investments For Your Retirement.)


Indeed, these lazy elderly homeless people must have a ton of money from their disposable income to save

Save More Wisely

Finding more prudent ways to preserve and grow one's wealth can be equally as important as saving additional funds for retirement. Investing in low-cost investments, such as index funds or mutual funds with below average expense ratios, can really add up over the years.


Saving more wisely for U.S. elderly:  Switching from "brand label" to generic dog and cat food, cut down on how many times a week they eat it, next up on the menu:  Mud Pies, ala Haitian Cuisine in the richest country in the world

Seeking out higher returning investments can also make a lot of sense, especially for younger savers that are able to tolerate more risk and volatility in their investment portfolios. Finally, avoiding pitfalls, such as chasing investment classes that have experienced strong recent returns, can also make for big savings over the long haul. (To learn more, read Stop Paying High Mutual Fund Fees.)

Spend Less While Working 


No kidding, how can elderly spend THAT MUCH whle working slave labor Wal Mart jobs?  Surely elderly can save money on their princely salaries and "full benefits"

Daily habits can be among the most difficult to break. However, cutting certain spending, be it through carpooling to work or eating at home can turn into vast sums over decades.


Yep, those greedy homeless elderly people, Veterans need to stop buying cars and taking vacations
 
Of course, cutting down on spending for big ticket items, be it housing, cars or vacations can have an even bigger impact and leave more funds that can be set aside for an eventual retirement.


Of course, homeless elderly need to work longer
Work Longer 

Retirement can also be a worthwhile endeavor. This isn't a viable option for more labor intensive careers, but individuals in service industries are frequently able to stay intellectually fit well beyond the technical retirement ages of 65 to 67. Formalizing a hobby could also add some level of discretionary income.


The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, Social Security benefits will most likely be available for the vast majority of Americans for many decades to come. But finding alternative ways to boost retirement savings surely can't hurt. At best, the additional funds available can be combined with Social Security to live even better in one's golden years. At worst, they will be the only funds available, but should prove enough to have a decent standard of living throughout retirement. Also, check out Top 5 Underestimated Retirement Expenses.


The REAL Bottom Line:  Without your paid-for Social Security, you could very well wind up like this poor soul, on the street lying in a puddle of your own vomit


This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

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ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

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Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

READ MORE >>

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The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

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STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.

READ MORE >>

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Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

READ MORE >>

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By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

READ MORE >>

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UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak

UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

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THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...

READ MORE >>

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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

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By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

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