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31 October, 2009

Are You Ready for the Next Financial and Economic Crisis? :: The Market Oracle

Are You Ready for the Next Financial and Economic Crisis? :: The Market Oracle: "Evidence that the US is a failed state is piling up faster than I can record it.

One conclusive hallmark of a failed state is that the crooks are inside the government, using government to protect and to advance their private interests.

Another conclusive hallmark is rising income inequality as the insiders manipulate economic policy for their enrichment at the expense of everyone else.

Income inequality in the US is now the most extreme of all countries. The 2008 OECD report, 'Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries,' concludes that the US is the country with the highest inequality and poverty rate across the OECD and that since 2000 nowhere has there been such a stark rise in income inequality as in the US.

The OECD finds that in the US the distribution of wealth is even more unequal than the distribution of income..."


Turkey Abandons U.S. Dollar In Trade With Iran, China

Turkey Abandons U.S. Dollar In Trade With Iran, China: "Turkey is switching to national currencies in trade with Iran and China, ending dependence on the U.S. dollar and the euro for about 20% of its commodity turnover, local media reported on Wednesday.

Turkey has already switched to settlements in national currencies with Russia amid weakening confidence in the greenback as the world's major reserve currency..."


Gold to Rise to $2,000 Amid ‘Massive’ Inflation, Superfund Says - Bloomberg.com

Gold to Rise to $2,000 Amid ‘Massive’ Inflation, Superfund Says - Bloomberg.com: "Gold may rise to a record $2,000 an ounce in the next three years as investors hedge against 'massive' inflation sparked by governments printing money, according to Superfund Financial Singapore Pte’s Aaron Smith.

'In the next few years, after the deflation cycle, we’ll see massive inflation,' Managing Director Smith, 30, said in an interview. 'Soon, when you go to buy a cup of coffee, you’ll pay $20 or $30 because the dollar won’t be worth anything'..."


Homeless Students: Increasingly, Families Taking Shelter Anywhere They Can -- Chicago Tribune.com

Homeless Students: Increasingly, Families Taking Shelter Anywhere They Can -- Chicago Tribune.com: "... The boy moved into the 10-foot-by-25-foot bunker about two months ago with his mom and her fiance, after a long run of bad luck and the loss of both of their jobs. His mother didn't not want his name used for this article. 'As long as I have my parents, I'm fine with this,' Maior's son said of the accommodations. 'It's really not that bad.'

School district officials said the boy is one of a record number of area students living in motels, campgrounds, shelters, cars and, yes, storage facilities...

... Maior prefers to drive her son to school rather than have him take the bus and risk arousing suspicion about their $179-per-month housing, which is a breach of their storage facility lease and an apparent violation of local ordinances.

Waking up early, before any storage facility workers arrive, is one part of the family's elaborate daily choreography -- along with knowing the fast-food restaurants where you can wash, doing homework by candlelight or flashlight and preparing dinner on a propane grill, which also serves as the primary source of heat..."


Newspaper Prints Letter Advocating Killing Hunters - NSSF: Aiming for Accuracy

Newspaper Prints Letter Advocating Killing Hunters - NSSF: Aiming for Accuracy: "Shameful is the word that comes to mind for the Burlington Free Press and its decision to print a reader's anti-hunting letter, 'Take a few hunters along with the moose,' that was written in response to the Vermont paper's story about the opening of moose hunting season.

The letter was placed in the newspaper's online letters section as well and has now been taken down after responses from outraged readers. Hunters and non-hunters alike should chastise the paper for its decision to run the letter, and take the opportunity to educate readers about the role hunting plays in wildlife management. It would be nice to see Vermont's fish and wildlife department weigh in, explaining that trained wildlife biologists determine how to best maintain the state's moose population..."


30 October, 2009

Have We Reached Peak Oil? EIA Official Admits It Is "Quite Plausible"

Have We Reached Peak Oil? -- Seeking Alpha: "... Publicly, the EIA argues that Peak Oil is 'decades away'. In one presentation they even gave the date of 2044 for conventional Peak Oil. An assumption many will find optimistic at best. Indeed, according to the US Joint Forces Command, 'By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 MBD… The implications for future conflict are ominous...'

Stephen Harvey, the Director of the Oil and Gas Office at EIA, who supervises the Petroleum Division and the Reserves & Production Division kindly accepted to read my degree’s dissertation (How Peak Oil will Affect international Relations) and give his feedback. In his email answer (that was not off the record), he declared that:

'There are many compelling arguments regarding the increased difficulty in reaching oil reserves which may well result in a future view of historical production that looks sort of like a bell curve. And, it is quite plausible that the peak of that curve is around now'..."


"Massive" Magma Pool Rivaling the Yellowstone Supervolcano May Link Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams — and even Mt. Rainier As One Giant System

I included this article in today's blog updates, but please don't just take it at face value as the title may be a little misleading. They aren't necessarily saying it is anything like a Supervolcano, just comparing the relative sizes of the magma chambers; and, besides, it seem as though many of his contemporaries think he's wrong anyway.


"Massive" Magma Pool Rivaling the Yellowstone Supervolcano May Link Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams — and even Mt. Rainier As One Giant System In The Cascades | Seattle Times Newspaper: "... Scientists... have long held that Mounts Rainier, Baker and their snow-capped sisters don't really communicate in a geologic sense.

Now, a group of researchers say they've found evidence that some of the explosive peaks are connected via a massive body of partially-molten rock that stretches between Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams and Mount Rainier.

If they're right, the magma chamber would be one of the biggest ever discovered, on a par with the pool of molten rock that underlies the Yellowstone basin. But the presence of a large magma chamber under the Cascades wouldn't mean the region is sitting atop a 'supervolcano' like the one that blew Wyoming sky high in the distant past..."


Fury Erupts Over H1N1 Shots for Prisoners -- Sphere News, Opinion and Analysis

Fury Erupts Over H1N1 Shots for Prisoners -- Sphere News, Opinion and Analysis: "While children, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems wait in hours-long lines for H1N1 vaccines, some of their counterparts behind bars have no such hassle.

Prisoners who fall into high-risk categories for swine flu will get the shots even while some members of the general public who are not high risk must wait until more of the precious doses are available.

And that has some people hopping mad..."


Regulators Prepare for the Next 'Big One' - WSJ.com

It's nice to see SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE at least attempting to take a proactive position, but for my money the only real assurance any of them could make would be to tear down the entire psychotic 'money created from thin air on a computer screen as debt and backed by squat' system and start over from scratch.


Regulators Prepare for the Next 'Big One' - WSJ.com: "Global economic policy makers are just beginning to grapple with a key issue rising out of last year's bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings: how to react if -- or when -- the next big global bank spins out of control.

While the furor over bankers' bonuses has captured most of the headlines, policy makers are in the process of assigning each of the world's 25 most complex international banks to a multinational crisis-management team to draw up contingency plans if they run into trouble..."


Whisky on (Antarctic) Ice | GlobalPost

I'm not a big Scotch fan, but I gotta say I sure would love to try a bottle of this stash. Ah, who am I kidding? I can't imagine I'd ever be able to bring myself to open it due to the historical significance.


Whisky on (Antarctic) ice | GlobalPost: "This spit of black volcanic rock that juts out along the coast of Antarctica is an inhospitable place. Temperatures drop below –50 Fahrenheit and high winds cause blinding snowstorms. The only neighbors are a colony of penguins that squawk incessantly and leave a pungent scent in their wake.

But if you happen upon the small wooden hut that sits at Cape Royds and wriggled yourself underneath, you'd find a surprise stashed in the foot and a half of space beneath the floorboards. Tucked in the shadows and frozen to the ground are two cases of Scotch whisky left behind 100 years ago by Sir Ernest Shackleton after a failed attempt at the South Pole..."


29 October, 2009

Iranian Oil Bourse Apparently Set To Begin Trading | Reuters

If this actually takes place this time, it could represent the rise of the PetroEuro and subsequent decline of the PetroDollar as the world's reserve currency. Regardless of what we were all taught in school, the true currency that runs the world is oil. Countries have always been required to acquire dollars through the purchasing of U.S. Treasury Bonds (thus financing our debt spending), which they would then use to purchase oil. This was because oil was only traded in dollars.

The opening of the Iranian Bourse, however, has long been an event that threatened to throw a wrench in that tidy little arrangement. The reason being that Iran has threatened off-and-on to denominate their oil in euros instead of dollars when they begin trading, a move that many (including myself) believe could send the already fragile dollar into a unrecoverable tailspin.

Anyway, as stated below, there is currently no information as to the denomination under which the trading will be conducted, so we will just have to see what happens.

Some food for thought: the last time something like this occurred was when Saddam Hussein filed to have Iraq's U.N. "Oil For Food" accounts all switched over into euros. Shortly thereafter we invaded Iraq and the accounts were quickly switched back to good ol' U.S. greenback dollars. Coincidence?


Iran opens exchange to trade oil, products | Reuters: "Iran, OPEC's second-biggest oil producer, launched its international oil exchange on Monday to buy and sell crude, oil products and petrochemical products, Iran's student news agency ISNA reported.

'The international exchange hall of crude, oil products and petrochemical goods of Iran was inaugurated. Our aim is to shift oil market trade focus in the region to the Kish Island,' said Economy Minister Shamseddin Hosseini at the inauguration ceremony, ISNA reported.

The bourse, based on the Gulf economic free zone island of Kish, has been planned for years but had faced repeated delays. The first phase of the exchange for trading oil products was inaugurated in February.

When plans were first mooted, some analysts speculated Iran might use it to undermine the importance of the U.S. dollar by pricing crude in euros or other currencies.

The report did not specify the currency in which trading would take place..."


Former 30-year Morgan Stanley "Global Strategist" Advises Readers to Take Up Key Tenets of Survivalism

This isn't a new development but, when I ran across a reference to it on the net earlier today, I just could not resist. This is just one more example of how doom is invading the mainstream culture more and more.

And, to the author of the piece linked below: you can say the guy is no "paranoid survivalist" all you want, but the strategy he is suggesting to those who read his book of "buying a remote farm or ranch and stocking it with 'seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc." is one of the key tenets of a major school in survivalist thinking.

Where I come from, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck... Well, you get the idea. Welcome to our little often-misunderstood and looked-upon-with-naked-suspicion-for-no-logical-reason subculture! :)


Biggs's Tips for Rich: Expect War, Study Blitz, Mind Markets - Bloomberg.com: "Barton Biggs has some offbeat advice for the rich: Insure yourself against war and disaster by buying a remote farm or ranch and stocking it with 'seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc.'

The 'etc.' must mean guns.

'A few rounds over the approaching brigands' heads would probably be a compelling persuader that there are easier farms to pillage,' he writes in his new book, Wealth, War and Wisdom.

Biggs is no paranoid survivalist. He was chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley before leaving in 2003 to form hedge fund Traxis Partners. He doesn't lock and load until the last page of this smart look at how World War II warped share prices, gutted wealth and remains a warning to investors. His message: Listen to markets, learn from history and prepare for the worst..."

More about Barton Biggs.


US-Israeli Joint Missile War Games Begin

It is interesting to note that the report quoted below comes courtesy of Al Jazeera and is not being reported widely in the western press. The most interesting thing about this story, in my opinion, however, is the timing between such a show of force and the supposed inauguration of the Iranian Oil Bourse discussed in the article above.


Al Jazeera English - Middle East - US-Israeli missile war games begin: "The United States and Israel have begun more than two weeks of tests to simulate missile attacks on the only country in the Middle East to possess nuclear weapons.

According to the Yediot Aharonot newspaper on Wednesday, the Juniper Cobra drills will simulate the firing of long-range missiles against Israel and will include a live missile interception.

The 16-day defence drill involves 2,000 troops from the US European Command and the Israeli army. It will put the Israeli Arrow missile defence system and three US systems through their paces..."


28 October, 2009

Asteroid Explosion Over Indonesia Raises Fears About Earth's Defenses

Following the report from earlier this month of a near-miss flyby of a small asteroid which was discovered barely a day away, this is getting a little ridiculous.

Of course, my theory remains that, if one is ever detected on a collision course with us, the authorities likely will NOT announce it until just moments before it hits. It sounds cruel but, given enough time to properly freak out, your average Joe Sixpack would simply cause too much mayhem and panic, and TPTB are fully aware of this.

Most likely, the Emergency Broadcast System would kick-in and warn us no more than a half-hour prior to impact, telling us to get to our basements or to a below-ground parking garage or underpass and try to ride it out. Better that Joe Sixpack still be crying and in disbelief than to have time to process things and get his liquor and his gun out for one last party.

This is just one more reason you should keep emergency preparedness supplies in your home and cars at all times.


Asteroid explosion over Indonesia raises fears about Earth's defences - Telegraph: "On 8 October, the rock crashed into the atmosphere above South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The blast was heard by monitoring stations 10,000 miles away, according to a report by scientists at the University of Western Ontario.

Scientists are concerned that it was not spotted by any telescopes, and that had it been larger it could have caused a disaster.

The asteroid, estimated to have been around 10 metres (30ft) across, hit the atmosphere at an estimated 45,000mph. The sudden deceleration caused it to heat up rapidly and explode with the force of 50,000 tons of TNT.

Luckily, due to the height of the explosion – estimated at between 15 and 20 km (nine to 12 miles) above sea level – no damage was caused on the ground.

However, if the object had been slightly larger – 20 to 30 metres (60 to 90ft) across – it could easily have caused extensive damage and loss of life, say researchers..."

Foreign newscast lets us see what was seen in the sky immediately after the explosion:

Completely unrelated video from Edmonton, Canada on November 20, 2008, shows that such events seem to be becoming more frequent:

Seen over Denver, Colorado a few years ago; may be a satellite burning up, IMHO:

Meteorite blaze over Guadalajara Mexico - September 2006:

The Peekskill Bolide Fireball in October 1992:

And, there are MANY more. The internet is brimming with them; what you see here is barely even a sample.


Massachusetts Officials See Dramatic Rise in Flu Cases - The Boston Globe

Mass. officials see dramatic rise in influenza cases - The Boston Globe: "Massachusetts has seen a jump in flu activity this week that has led one Central Massachusetts high school to close and that appears to signify the arrival of the second wave of swine flu.

For the first time this fall, public health authorities described the state’s influenza outbreak yesterday as widespread, the highest category on the scale of disease spread. In a weekly surveillance report, officials said they had seen a 'dramatic increase in influenza-like illnesses over the past few weeks' compared with early fall levels in previous years.

'We had always been predicting this,' Dr. Lauren Smith, medical director of the state Department of Public Health, said yesterday. 'We knew the H1N1 [swine flu] virus was going to be increasing. We didn’t know when, but now we do. It’s here'..."


Solar Lantern Lights Up Rural India's Dark Nights

Personally, I have long been a fan of the sorts of appliances highlighted below. Here at our homestead, we have several rechargeable lanterns that remain plugged-in all the time to keep the batteries topped-off. That way, during a power outage, we just grab one, unplug it and flip the switch - sure beats the crap out of the old method of fumbling around in the dark looking for candles and matches. LEDs are my favorite.


Solar lantern lights up rural India's dark nights - Environment - The Independent: "For more than 100 Indian villages cut off from grid electricity, life no longer comes to an end after dark thanks to an innovative solar-powered lantern that offers hope to the nation's rural poor.

While cooking, farming and studying after sunset were once a struggle using inefficient kerosene or paraffin lamps, the solar lantern now provides a cheap and practical source of light.

The simple device, which is charged during the day from a communal rooftop solar panel, uses between five and seven watts of power and has a battery that lasts up to eight hours.

It also boasts a socket for charging mobile phones and a hand crank for topping up the power..."


Buy food – price rises are almost guaranteed - Telegraph

Feel free to consider the linked article below as a sequel to yesterday's related piece: Food Will Never Be So Cheap Again.


Buy food – price rises are almost guaranteed - Telegraph: "There are two main drivers of commodity prices – supply and demand. This is just as true with soft commodities such as wheat, rice, sugar and cocoa as it is with copper and tin. The big problem for your weekly shopping budget in the future is that there are problems on both sides of the equation that are likely to squeeze prices higher, permanently..."


"Mad Max 4" Set To Begin Filming In Summer 2010

Here is the IMDB link. Apparently, Charlize Theron is rumored to be in talks for a part, yet no word of Mel Gibson returning.


27 October, 2009

U.S. Girl Scouts Going Doomer

I'm sure there will be many within our little subculture who will disagree with me (mostly because of their bald-faced hatred of the federal government), but I find the article linked below to be a refreshing change of pace. If there is anything I wish our government WOULD do MORE of, it is using their considerable resources/reach to encourage a higher level of emergency preparedness and self-sufficiency throughout our whiney-ass 'gimmie, gimmie, gimmie' entitlement culture.

Heck, if I had my way, they'd teach this stuff in public school.


U.S. Girl Scouts Prepare for War, Pestilence: "The United States wants to enlist its 3.4 million Girl Scouts in the effort to combat hurricanes, pandemics, terror attacks and other disasters.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched a campaign Tuesday to entice the blue, brown and green-clad multitudes to be even more prepared, with the promise of a new patch if they pitch in.

The young scouts will be able to emblazon their sashes or vests with the patch if they undergo the training which readies them for an emergency.

'This new preparedness patch will increase citizen preparedness and enhance our country's readiness for disasters,' said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano in a statement..."


A Post-Oil World Gets Less Sci-Fi By The Day

Yet another really good Peak Oil article from a mainstream media source linked below. It's funny - just a few years ago, when I would talk about Peak Oil Theory, people looked at me like I was a crazy person and now it is becoming mainstream.


A Post-Oil World Gets Less Sci-Fi By The Day: "It is 30 years since the film Mad Max was made, launching the career of Mel Gibson.

The film made a big splash at the time for its terrifying view of a world without oil, where gangs of grisly looking people roam deserts in a post-apocalyptic world, killing each other to get their hands on the few drops of petrol that some have managed to produce in makeshift refineries. Social order has completely broken down.

Great film if you like that sort of thing but complete fiction, of course. Or is it? Three decades later, and I wonder if the film was, in fact, years ahead of its time...

... Imagine what would happen if prices rose, say, to $300 a barrel. Or higher. Not only would it become too expensive to drive unless absolutely necessary, but food would become prohibitively expensive to transport, goods from China would be too expensive to ship, and plastics, which come from oil, would be unaffordable. The cold turkey after more than a century of cheap oil would be painful indeed. For developing countries it would be fatal – many could not afford energy at those prices..."


FDA Approves Use of Experimental Antiviral For H1N1 Flu - Wall Street Journal

I'm assuming the following ties-in directly with the President declaring the H1N1 pandemic a national emergency recently. One of the underlying provisos of such a declaration is that it paves the way for "authorizing emergency use of unapproved products or approved products for unapproved uses."


FDA Approves Use of Experimental Antiviral For H1N1 Flu - WSJ.com: "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is allowing the use of an experimental antiviral drug to treat severe cases of H1N1 or swine flu.

The drug, peramivir, is currently being developed by BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. and is undergoing testing required for regular FDA approval.

The FDA issued a so-called emergency use authorization late Friday that allows doctors to use peramivir, which is delivered intravenously, in certain hospitalized adult and pediatric patients with confirmed or suspected H1N1 influenza.

A handful of doctors have already treated patients with severe cases of H1N1 using peramivir obtained through the agency's expanded access rules that allow individual patients to obtain experimental drugs if certain conditions are met. The emergency-use authorization allows use of the drug without prior FDA approval..."


Food Will Never Be So Cheap Again

Food will never be so cheap again - Telegraph: "The world's grain stocks have dropped from four to 2.6 months cover since 2000, despite two bumper harvests in North America. China's inventories are at a 30-year low. Asian rice stocks are near danger level...

... The world population is adding 'another Britain' every year. This will continue until mid-century. By then we will have an extra 2.4bn mouths to feed.

China and Southeast Asia are switching to animal-protein diets as they grow wealthy, as the Koreans did before them. It takes roughly 3-5kgs of animal feed from grains to produce 1kg of meat...

... The UN says global farm yields must rise 77pc, which means redoubling Norman Borlaug's 'green revolution'. It will not be easy...

... Since 2000, China has lost nearly 1,400 square miles each year to desert. Urban sprawl is paving over fertile land in the East. Water supply from Himalayan glaciers is ebbing. The Yellow River has been reduced to 'an agonising trickle'. It no longer reaches the sea for 200 days a year.

Farmers are draining the aquifers. Environmentalist Ma Jun says in China's Water Crisis that they are drilling as deep as 1,000 metres into non-replenishable reserves..."


Unemployment Getting Much Worse in 43 States

23 states report higher unemployment in September - Yahoo! Finance: "Unemployment rose in 23 states last month as the economy struggled to create jobs in the early stages of the recovery. While layoffs have slowed, companies remain reluctant to hire. Forty-three states reported job losses in September, while only seven gained jobs...

... Some of the states that lost jobs still saw their unemployment rates improve, as discouraged workers gave up looking for work. People who are out of work but no longer looking for jobs aren't counted as officially unemployed.

That trend was evident nationwide in September, as nearly 600,000 people dropped out of the work force..."


James Howard Kunstler: Self-jiving Nation

Self-jiving Nation - Clusterfuck Nation: "... If you think we have been in a crisis of finance and economy for the past year or so, consider that we have also been sunk in a comprehensive crisis of leadership. Nobody in authority is willing to face the truth, state the truth, and offer a reality-based idea about how to meet the truth, This is a leadership failure not just in politics and government, but also in business, in the university faculties, in the editorial and production offices of the news media, and even among a barely-breathing clergy.

Americans look around and see nobody standing up for their interests. Their greatest interest is a vision of a fruitful society that they can help build and be a part of beyond the current wreckage of revolving-debt consumerism. It will have to be a vision based on fewer resources and on new arrangements for daily living. It will have to recognize losses frankly, and enable us to let go of things whose time is over, whether that is Happy Motoring, college-for-everybody, vast industries devoted to vanished leisure, or procedures geared to getting something-for-nothing..."

James Howard Kunstler is an author and among the leading voices in the charge to be prepared to change how we live as Peak Oil approaches. He is the author of The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century as well as the fiction novel World Made by Hand: A Novel.

For my part, I try to strike a balance between agreeing with his thoughts on Peak Oil, while thinking him a little naive for his 'sunshine and lollypops' pro-urban vision of the future and his self-professed unpreparedness.


Troll Caught Wild Albacore Canned Tuna FREE SHIPPING - 7 YEARS SHELF LIFE MINIMUM Now Available a Ready Made Resources

Robert at Ready Made Resources asked me to make you aware of the following new book that is available: Troll Caught Wild Albacore Canned Tuna FREE SHIPPING - 7 YEARS SHELF LIFE MINIMUM.

"You never know whats going to happen and its a good idea to have a safe, clean and healthy food store available in case of hurricane, flood, social disorder, terrorism, epidemic, tsunami, end of days, or other natural disaster. Its not a bad idea to stock freeze dried food and Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) or other survivalist cuisine but the great thing about our canned fish is that you don't have to reconstitute it with your limited clean water supply and its ready to eat with no cooking required. Furthermore, canned Tuna, Salmon, and Sturgeon are packed full of protein and omega-3 fatty acids and taste a heck of a lot better than your average C-Rations! Our canned albacore tuna, dungeness crab, sturgeon, oysters and salmon are good to eat for seven years minimum as long as the cans are in good shape (not rusted or bulging). If you store them in a dry place without a lot of temperature variation they'll last even longer. The key is not to let them change temperature too much, so keep them in a closet or somewhere dark and away from any water as they can rust over time. If you leave any canned product out in the sun or in standing water for too long (weeks & months) you are asking for trouble, but otherwise they'll last a LONG time. So if you are thinking about stocking away some insurance food in case of hard times our canned albacore and salmon are an excellent choice, not only because they'll last a long time but because they're also so good to eat. If a disaster strikes your neighbors might be gagging down freeze dried turkey tetrazzini while you are enjoying alder smoked Chinook salmon or whole canned Albacore Tuna fillets. Big Can Savings. Mild, solid white fillets, Albacore "the Gourmet Tuna" is caught offshore by our local fishing fleet and canned in its own juices. No water or oil is added. Delicious for salads, casseroles and spreads. Our tuna is troll caught off the Oregon Coast by fishing vessels based in Winchester Bay and other local ports using sustainable, dolphin safe methods. Besides being an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, troll caught albacore tuna tend to be younger, smaller fish and have tested lower in mercury levels than tuna harvested by other methods. Hand packed fresh from the ocean and canned in Winchester Bay Oregon. For a half a century now, Sportsmen's Cannery & Smokehouse has been delivering quality seafood products across the nation and around the world. All the favorites of the Pacific Coast are available to our customers all year round. Our canning methods capture and hold the fresh seafood flavor you would find on our local docks. Located right on the bay, our fish is brought straight from the cold blue waters of the north Pacific Ocean to your table. We are stringent about the level of cleanliness of our food preparation area to insure against contamination of our products. When you order products from Sportsmen's Cannery & Smokehouse you can expect to get the very best in fresh canned and fresh-frozen or smoked seafood products. Mercury Content in West Coast Troll-Caught Albacore Tuna (Thunnus alalunga) Tomoko Okada M.S., Rosalee Rasmussen, M.S. and Michael T. Morrissey, PhD. Oregon State University Seafood Laboratory, 2001 Marine Drive, Astoria, OR 97103 Ninety-one Albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) captured during the 2003 commercial fishing season were tested for mercury content in the fish muscle. Additional information such as location, weight, length, lipid and moisture content were also collected. The fish were harvested between 32.70 degrees north (off Southern California) and 48.30 degrees north (off the coast of British Columbia, Canada) from a period of July to November. Fish weight ranged from 3.14 to 11.62 kg and length of 51 - 84 cm. Mercury content was found to range from a low of 0.027 ug/g (ppm) to a high of 0.26 ug/g in the samples tested. The average mercury content was 0.14 ug/g which is well below the US FDA and Canadian standards (1.0 ug/g and 0.50 ug/g respectively). There was a positive correlation of length and weight of albacore with mercury content. There was no correlation with date of capture. Results indicate that West Coast troll-caught albacore has low levels of mercury in the edible flesh and are well within international standards for mercury levels in fish."


26 October, 2009

All Aboard For Doomsday!

Very nice, well-written article about Peak Oil Theory, using a clever 'runaway train' analogy that I've never seen utilized before.


All aboard for doomsday!: "... Less certain than the finite nature of oil, but becoming clearer by the day, is where we sit on the timeline for oil depletion. Peak oil is the point at which we produce less oil today than we did yesterday. Opinions vary, but most give dates around 2005-2015 for the oil peak.

In the train analogy, peak oil is a hill in the countryside. After that hill has been passed, it is downhill all the way to the blown-out bridge. The consequence of this is that as we speed up on the downhill side, not only do we race ever faster to the end of the line, but also it becomes harder and harder to stop the train, and, as an oil super-tanker captain will tell you, the train will not stop as soon as you apply the brakes. Supertankers can take many hours to go from full steam ahead to a stop and similarly, as the train plummets down the hill, with a larger population, bursting from the windows and doors, clamouring for more oil (speed) as we go, the momentum becomes almost unstoppable and the point of no return is in fact long before we even lay our eyes on the immense chasm and the twisted, stretched filaments of railway track that lead into the emptiness..."


The Death Of An American Industrialized City

Detroit is well on its way to becoming a modern-day ghost town. When I read below that the total area of the land currently sitting vacant in that city rivals the size of the city of Boston, I couldn't believe my eyes; it is difficult for the mind to even fathom.

And, these seized houses couldn't be offloaded even with bids opening as low as $500 bucks... jeez...


Detroit house auction flops for urban wasteland: "... On the auction block in Detroit: almost 9,000 homes and lots in various states of abandonment and decay from the tidy owner-occupied to the burned-out shell claimed by squatters.

Taken together, the properties seized by tax collectors for arrears and put up for sale last week represented an area the size of New York's Central Park. Total vacant land in Detroit now occupies an area almost the size of Boston, according to a Detroit Free Press estimate..."


Five Charged With Setting Teen on Fire - CBS News

I wanted to shine a spotlight briefly on the horrific case discussed below in the hopes that it might wake up a few more of you out there still clinging to your naive, 'most people are basically good at heart' mindsets.

You can call me cynical all you want, but when five teens are willing to set another on fire because he owes one of them money for a video game, just imagine what kinds of things they will be doing in a situation where they don't have to worry about the law coming down on them.

Are you prepared to deal with them when they knock on your door?


Five Charged With Setting Teen on Fire - CBS News: "Five Florida teenagers have been charged for intentionally setting a 15-year-boy on fire, leaving him hospitalized with burns over 65 percent of his body, reports CBS station WFOR in Miami...

... The teens are accused of dousing 15-year-old Michael Brewer with rubbing alcohol Monday afternoon and setting him on fire as he sat by the pool at the Lime Tree Village apartments in Deerfield Beach, Fla...

... Monday night, the suspects were in custody and at least two of them were laughing about the burning of Brewer..."


Another Possible Flu Vaccine Side Effect - Dystonia

The young lady in the video got this from the regular seasonal flu shot, not the new H1N1 vaccine. They say there's basically a one-in-a-million chance of experiencing these kinds of side effects, and therefore it shouldn't keep you from being vaccinated, but that is just scary.


Allan Meltzer: Preventing the Next Financial Crisis - WSJ.com

Allan Meltzer: Preventing the Next Financial Crisis - WSJ.com: "The United States is headed toward a new financial crisis. History gives many examples of countries with high actual and expected money growth, unsustainable budget deficits, and a currency expected to depreciate. Unless these countries made massive policy changes, they ended in crisis. We will escape only if we act forcefully and soon.

As long ago as the 1960s, then French President Charles de Gaulle complained that the U.S. had the 'exorbitant privilege' of financing its budget deficit by issuing more dollars. Massive purchases of dollar debt by foreigners can of course delay the crisis, but today most countries have their own deficits to finance. It is unwise to expect them, mainly China, to continue financing up to half of ours for the next 10 or more years. Our current and projected deficits are too large relative to current and prospective world saving to rely on that outcome..."




25 October, 2009

Trailer for New Film Featuring Mike Ruppert "COLLAPSE"



H1N1 Influenza A - Swine Flu: 25 October Brief Update

There isn't really anything earth-shattering going on with H1N1 swine flu at the moment, other than this recent announcement: U.S. President Barack Obama Declares H1N1 Swine Flu A National Emergency. Needless to say, there is considerable consternation in the internet world regarding why this action is being taken now, even though the virus is still comparatively mild in the vast majority of cases. Personally, my thoughts are that they are fully aware that there are many additional waves of illness yet ahead of us before we come out on the other side of this thing and, with the recent increases in the numbers of people infected, hospitalizations and deaths, the authorities simply trying to be proactive. Think of it as being along the same lines as the fairly normal practice whereby they declare a state of emergency for a hurricane BEFORE the storm actually hits, so things can get moving quicker afterward.

Some anecdotal information I've picked up (sorry, no links, which is why I'm considering it anecdotal) is that we are beginning to reach a point where some hospitals here and there are starting to become somewhat overwhelmed as a result of a significant rise in pediatric hospitalizations and fatalities. Also, it is difficult to determine exact numbers of cumulative deaths since the CDC et al. are, since 31 August, piling these numbers in with other statistics. And, a large number of schools nationwide are closing their doors due to having large swaths of the student body (as much as 30%-40%) too ill to come to classes.

The really scary thing, though, is that this is only just the BEGINNING of the second wave, and we haven't even seen a significant mutation yet. Imagine how things will change after that occurs.

Some humor, for a change:

And, some other recent tidbits:
St. Charles High School (Chicago) Closed After 900 Out Sick

German Professor/WHO Consultant Predicts 35,000 Deaths in Germany As a Result of H1N1

School in New York Closes Due to H1N1; Two Confirmed Cases; One third of Staff/Students Exhibiting Symptoms.

Florida Plan Advises Hospitals to Bar Some Patients in Event of Severe Flu Pandemic

USDA Confirms a US Pig has H1N1 Swine Flu

H1N1 in Swine Raises Concern

FDA Approves Seasonal Flu Vaccine (Fluarix) for Children

Officials See a Shortage in Vaccine for Swine Flu

Why CDC says this year's flu season is "very sobering"


Hungarian Woman Dies After Taking H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine

The Budapest Times - Hungary‘s leading English Language source for daily news: "A 64-year-old woman died last week just two days after receiving an inoculation against the new A(H1N1) influenza virus dubbed swine flu. The state medical service ordered an autopsy to establish whether there was any link between the vaccine and the death of the patient, who suffered from chronic, but mild, heart disease."

IMPORTANT NOTE: This should be treated as anecdotal information and NOT immediately blamed on a reaction to the vaccine until after an autopsy is performed to establish whether there was any link between the inoculation and the death of the patient.


Armageddon Time - Forbes.com

Armageddon Time - Forbes.com: "Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian; Robert Baer a former CIA field officer. Both have studied the Middle East for decades, traveled to the area repeatedly in recent years and written about the region extensively. And both have become convinced that we may be facing a cataclysm.

Hanson and Baer each presented his analysis during an interview this past week. Although they differ on certain matters, they agree on five observations. The first: If not already capable of doing so, Iran will be able to produce nuclear weapons in mere months..."


24 October, 2009

German Government To Get Special Swine Flu Vaccine

German Government To Get Special Swine Flu Vaccine: "Just a week after it emerged that the German armed forces was getting a different kind of A/H1N1 vaccine to the general population, Der Spiegel magazine reports that the government will also get special treatment...

... The general population will be offered the GlaxoSmithKline vaccine, called Pandemrix, which contains a new booster element, or adjuvant, as well as a preservative containing mercury...

... Chancellor Angela Merkel, her cabinet members and ministry civil servants as well as those working for other agencies will get Celvapan, produced by US firm Baxter, which does not have the adjuvant or the preservative, according to Der Spiegel..."


In the current climate where people are already really, really unsure about new vaccines and the dangers they might carry, I can't think of anything stupider than to allow this sort of double-standard to occur. I've made it pretty clear through my writing that I am still not sure about the vaccine myself, and so I can say first-hand how reading something like this makes me feel and what kinds of thoughts others are likely left with as well.


U.S. Treasury To Auction $182 billion Treasury Notes Next Week

Record Treasury Supply On Deck: $116 Billion In Bond Issues, $182 Billion Total; Will Debt Ceiling Be Breached Next Week?: "The Treasury has released the line up of Treasury issuance for next week and it is a stunner: in the week of October 26th alone, the US will issue $116 billion in new Treasury Notes (2,5 and 7 Years), another $30 billion in Bills and $7 billion in TIPS. As pointed out earlier, there is about $150 billion in availability before the Federal debt ceiling is breached ($12.1 trillion). This likely means that Geithner will have to resort to some last minute tricks to make this full upcoming issuance legally permitted.

From Treasury Direct:

* $29 Billion in 91 Day Bills, October 26
* $30 Billion in 182 Day Bills, October 26
* $7 Billion in 4.5 Year TIPS, October 26
* $44 Billion in 2 Year Notes, October 27
* $41 Billion in 5 Year Notes, October 28
* $31 Billion in 7 Year Notes, October 29

Total Bonds: $116 Billion; Grand total: $182 Billion, ($150 billion Bond Ceiling Window)."


I wonder if they will just try to pull an end-around and buy them themselves after the auction bombs on the open market like they did last month?


Australian Politician Warns that U.S. Debt Default On the Way

Australian Politician Warns that U.S. Debt Default On the Way: "THE Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce is openly canvassing an economic upheaval that would dwarf the current global financial crisis, triggered by the US defaulting on its sovereign debt within the next few years.

In unusually pessimistic comments for a senior political figure, Senator Joyce said the US Government was running such large deficits and building up so much debt that it was in a similar position to Iceland or Germany before World War II.

In a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday night, he asked Treasury secretary Ken Henry what would be the implications of an American debt default for the Australian economy..."


Safecastle: Mountain House Freeze-Dried Foods Now Shipping to Canada

We learned from our friend Vic at Safecastle, one of our most loyal sponsors, that Canadian customers can now purchase Mountain House freeze dried foods in #10 cans. There are ten individual Mountain House varieties currently in stock and ready to ship from the Canadian distributor in Ontario.


In A Depressed Job Market, There Is Always The Military

Pentagon reports record year for recruiting: "The nation's armed services wrapped up a record year for recruiting as a withering job market and bigger bonuses trumped two unpopular wars.

The Department of Defense said it met or exceeded recruitment goals for all branches of the armed services for fiscal year 2009, which ended Sept. 30, for the first time since 1973, when the draft ended and U.S. forces withdrew from Vietnam."


23 October, 2009

Study Finds H1N1 Virus Lives Longer Than Expected : NPR

Study Finds H1N1 Virus Lives Longer Than Expected : NPR: "The current public health recommendation is that if you've been sick, you can go back to work or school 24 hours after your fever goes away, but a new study published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine says you might still be contagious."

We've covered this sort of disparity in accurate information previously here on Backwoods Survival Blog. This has been know for some time now, so to find that some health officials have still been giving this old information is just more proof that we as individuals need to take ownership of our own fate. Do your own research and know your stuff, so you can ask pertinent questions. After all, doctors are just people too and can sometimes be just as guilty as the rest of us of being lazy and not keeping fully abreast of new developments.


It's Official! U.S. Government Is Bankrupt

It's official! U.S. government is bankrupt: "Economist John Williams, who publishes the website Shadow Government Statistics, told Corsi, 'As bad as 2008 was, the $455 billion budget deficit on a cash basis and the $5.1 trillion federal budget deficit on a GAAP accounting basis do not reflect any significant money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, which was approved after the close of the fiscal year.'

He continued, 'For 2009, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the fiscal year 2009 budget deficit as being $1.2 trillion on a cash basis, and that was before taking into consideration the full costs of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, before the cost of the Obama nearly $800 billion economic stimulus plan, or the cost of the second $350 billion tranche in TARP funds, as well as all current bailouts being contemplated by the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve.'

Williams told Corsi the federal government's deficit is hemorrhaging at a pace that threatens the viability of the financial system. He said the 2009 budget deficit will clearly exceed $2 trillion on a cash basis and the full amount must be funded by Treasury borrowing..."


Charles Hugh Smith: Survival+

Click here to view the full essay.

"Since launching my blog www.oftwominds.com in May 2005, nothing seemed more important than warning readers that the unsustainably leveraged credit-mad global financial system was poised to break down. Once the system finally crashed in late 2008, my goal switched to writing a practical guide for not just surviving the coming Great Transformation but prospering: a concept I called Survival+ (Plus). This requires liberating ourselves from failed models of credit expansion, resource depletion, financial looting and a counterfeit prosperity built entirely on debt.

I immediately ran into several great difficulties. Many others had foreseen the same calamity, and their focus narrowed on individual survival: relocating to a remote/sustainable spot and preparing for societal collapse by stockpiling self-defense and food.

While prudent and practical on a short-term timeline, this response struck me as incomplete on several levels. Most importantly, stockpiling six months' supplies would not sustain anyone through a 20-year Crisis and Transformation; their own Crisis was simply being delayed a relatively short time. In other words: 'what happens in month seven'?..."


Calvin and Hobbes On The Economy

Click here to view the comic.


22 October, 2009

Goldman Exec: General Public Should "Tolerate The Inequality..."

As a famously dead young lady once said, "Let them eat cake..."

Is it even possible at this point that these people can possibly be for real? I mean, if I was writing this as fiction, I would be hard-pressed to come up with something so perfectly snide and condescending for an evil Robber Baron character to say to the poor, starving wretches he's been fleecing... and, yet, here it is in real life.

Pay attention, people: this guy and all his little Ivy League, number-crunching buddies really do believe that they are the aristocracy and you and I are lowly plebes. And, the funny part is that it is your inability or the fact that you don't want to see it that makes them right.

We traded our kings and nobles for a peerage of big money banking elitists and politicians and the illusion that leads us to believe otherwise is the true yoke around our necks, keeping us down and allowing them to operate just as they wish.


Goldman Exec: Inequality Is The Path To Prosperity: "This quote will not go over well, at least in America where we're really sensitive about this stuff.

Lord Griffith Of Fforestfatch (really), a former Thatcher advisor and vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs (GS) international, defended his company's massive compensation at a debate.

Telegraph: As he defended the bank’s lavish bonuses, Lord Griffiths said the general public should “tolerate the inequality as a way to achieve greater prosperity for all”..."