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16 October, 2010

Clinton Official Suggested Letting U.S. Plane Be Shot Down To Provoke War With Iraq

I am, personally, not an adherent to the various 9/11 "false flag" conspiracy theories, but I keep an open mind. I must, because I do firmly believe that the real reason for the invasion of Iraq was to secure the world's 3rd largest oil field prior to the coming crunch of Peak Oil; so, to think the government might have carried out a "false flag" attack to drum up public support for the invasion is not that big of a stretch.

After all, they have something of a track record for such things. See Operation Northwoods, the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and Operation Gladio.


Gen. Hugh Shelton: Clinton Official Suggested Letting U.S. Plane Be Shot Down To Provoke War With Iraq: "In the publicity sheet that St. Martin's Press has been sending out to spur interest in General Hugh Shelton's new memoir, Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior, the last highlight is a doozy: 'A high-ranking cabinet member suggests intentionally flying an American airplane on a low pass over Baghdad so as to guarantee it will be shot down, thus creating a natural excuse to reltaliate and go to war.'

Turns out the incident took place during the Clinton administration, and Shelton's response to the suggestion...well, let's just say it more than lives up to the title of the memoir.."


Europe's Biker Gangs Set On A Collision Course With Police

Europe's biker gangs set on a collision course with the police - Europe, World - The Independent: "... The annual Moto Klub Brod motorijada (motor picnic) has become one of the largest gatherings for outlaw motorcycle gangs in the Balkans, taking place on the border of Bosnia-Herzegovina in a Croatian town that was significantly damaged during the war.

Despite the ongoing tensions in the Balkans – and the fact that many bikers are hardened veterans of the successive wars that tore this region apart in the 1990s – the Moto Klub Brod normally passes off without incident. But this year, on the last night of the seven-day festival, a large brawl broke out between a group of Hells Angels and a rival gang from Bosnia known as the 'Grevinis'.

The fight, which began when a group of bat-wielding Hells Angels attacked a car carrying Grevinis members – and ended in police having to stop an angry crowd from beating up the Hells Angels – had little reason to be reported outside of the local Croatian media. But in the offices of a number of police forces across Europe, the fight caused a buzz of activity and concern.

Those charged with investigating drug trafficking and cross-border gang crime in Europe have watched with trepidation as outlaw motorcycle gangs, dubbed OMCGs, have spread with renewed vigour across Europe, particularly in the Balkans and eastern Europe. Investigators say this increase is no coincidence. Both areas are vital drug-smuggling routes from Central Asia and South-east Asia, where almost all of Europe's heroin and much of its cannabis originate...

... In Germany this year a fragile truce was declared between the Bandidos and the Hells Angels after violence between the two gangs erupted on the streets of Berlin and in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, where both chapters were promptly banned.

Scores of people were injured and a number were murdered because a group of up to 70 Bandidos defected en masse to the Hells Angels.

The Independent has been told by investigators that most of those that defected to the Hells Angels were German bikers from Turkey, where Hells Angels chapters have risen dramatically. In Denmark, meanwhile, at least 15 members of the Hells Angels and a youth gang closely connected to them known as AK 81 face charges of attempted murder. The arrests were largely made possible thanks to two key witnesses, including Kaspar Vetter, a former Hells Angels lieutenant, going into the witness protection programme and turning on their former comrades..."


14 October, 2010

Researchers: Culture Evolves Slowly, Falls Apart Quickly

Culture Evolves Slowly, Falls Apart Quickly | Wired Science | Wired.com: "Societies come together slowly, but can fall apart quickly, say researchers who applied the tools of evolutionary biologists to an anthropological debate.

Using archaeological records and linguistic analyses rather than fossils and genes, they created an evolutionary tree of political forms once found in Pacific islands.

The study, published October 13 in Nature, was intended to illuminate an issue of contention among archaeologists, anthropologists and historians: whether societies become more complex in incremental steps or sudden bursts, and whether they dissolve in similar fashion..."


13 October, 2010

Scientists Say the Big One Could Be Even Bigger

More scary earthquake doom...


Scientists say the Big One could be even bigger: "The Big One predicted for the San Andreas fault could end up being bigger than earthquake experts previously thought.

New research shows that a section of the fault is long overdue for a major earthquake.

Some scientists are saying that the southern portion of the fault is capable of a magnitude 8.1 earthquake that could run 340 miles.

That would be significantly stronger and wider than the southern San Andreas' last major rupture, in 1857. Such an earthquake could cause much more damage because its power would be spread over a larger area and the shaking would last longer.

Whether such a quake would happen in our lifetime had been a subject of debate among scientists. Until recently, experts believed that the southern section of the San Andreas, which runs through the Carrizo Plain 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles, would remain dormant for at least another century.

But that hypothesis seemed to be shattered by a recent report in the journal Geology, which said that even that section is far overdue for a major quake.

According to U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones, all 340 miles of the southern San Andreas could rupture..."


Where Will Our Food Come From if American Food Production Shuts Down?

Guest Column: Where will our food come from if American food production shuts down? - Opinion - Heritage: "Food production in America is fast shutting down. Where will our food come from?

We are seeing a rapid decline in America's ability to feed itself. America is fast becoming a nation where food production is not sustainable in the long term. You won't hear it from the farm state politicians, or anyone running for office because it's a matter they don't want to address.

Unless steps are taken, lack of food may soon hit the American population. Your bag of gold is useless at Kroger if there is nothing on the shelves..."


11 October, 2010

America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution

The American Spectator : America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution: "As over-leveraged investment houses began to fail in September 2008, the leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties, of major corporations, and opinion leaders stretching from the National Review magazine (and the Wall Street Journal) on the right to the Nation magazine on the left, agreed that spending some $700 billion to buy the investors' 'toxic assets' was the only alternative to the U.S. economy's 'systemic collapse.' In this, President George W. Bush and his would-be Republican successor John McCain agreed with the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama. Many, if not most, people around them also agreed upon the eventual commitment of some 10 trillion nonexistent dollars in ways unprecedented in America. They explained neither the difference between the assets' nominal and real values, nor precisely why letting the market find the latter would collapse America. The public objected immediately, by margins of three or four to one.

When this majority discovered that virtually no one in a position of power in either party or with a national voice would take their objections seriously, that decisions about their money were being made in bipartisan backroom deals with interested parties, and that the laws on these matters were being voted by people who had not read them, the term 'political class' came into use. Then, after those in power changed their plans from buying toxic assets to buying up equity in banks and major industries but refused to explain why, when they reasserted their right to decide ad hoc on these and so many other matters, supposing them to be beyond the general public's understanding, the American people started referring to those in and around government as the 'ruling class.' And in fact Republican and Democratic office holders and their retinues show a similar presumption to dominate and fewer differences in tastes, habits, opinions, and sources of income among one another than between both and the rest of the country. They think, look, and act as a class...

... Today's ruling class... was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters -- speaking the 'in' language -- serves as a badge of identity. Regardless of what business or profession they are in, their road up included government channels and government money because, as government has grown, its boundary with the rest of American life has become indistinct. Many began their careers in government and leveraged their way into the private sector. Some, e.g., Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, never held a non-government job. Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America's ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats. It rules uneasily over the majority of Americans not oriented to government...

... in 1992 Ross Perot became a serious contender for the presidency (at one point he was favored by 39 percent of Americans vs. 31 percent for G.H.W. Bush and 25 percent for Clinton) simply by speaking ill of the ruling class. Today, few speak well of the ruling class. Not only has it burgeoned in size and pretense, but it also has undertaken wars it has not won, presided over a declining economy and mushrooming debt, made life more expensive, raised taxes, and talked down to the American people. Americans' conviction that the ruling class is as hostile as it is incompetent has solidified. The polls tell us that only about a fifth of Americans trust the government to do the right thing. The rest expect that it will do more harm than good and are no longer afraid to say so..."


The Coming Middle-Class Anarchy

Gonzalo Lira On The Coming Middle-Class Anarchy | zero hedge: "... When the backbone of a country starts thinking that laws and rules are not worth following, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to anarchy.

TV has given us the illusion that anarchy is people rioting in the streets, smashing car windows and looting every store in sight. But there’s also the polite, quiet, far deadlier anarchy of the core citizenry—the upright citizenry—throwing in the towel and deciding it’s just not worth it anymore.

If a big enough proportion of the populace—not even a majority, just a largish chunk—decides that it’s just not worth following the rules anymore, then that society’s days are numbered: Not even a police-state with an armed Marine at every corner with Shoot-to-Kill orders can stop such middle-class anarchy..."


09 October, 2010

The End of Oil As We Know It

The End of Oil As We Know It -- PRNewswire-USNewswire: "The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO-USA) asserted today that the world is facing a significant energy crisis, as the rate of oil production cannot keep pace with demand. The world is consuming four barrels of oil for every one discovered, more than 80 million barrels of oil per day. After 150 years of oil extraction, most major oil exporting nations are well past their supply peaks, defined by scientists as 'Peak Oil.'

'We are at the point of no return,' stated Jim Baldauf, President of ASPO-USA. 'While global demand is accelerating, worldwide oil supplies have reached a plateau and are now in decline. The era of low-cost, easy-to-get oil has come to an end, a moment of historic significance and one fraught with danger. The Gulf of Mexico disaster occurred because the quest for new supplies requires that we drill miles beneath the ocean surface. Without affordable energy to drive our economy, we can expect price spikes and economic crisis to be the new normal. The debate about Peak Oil is over; it is time for bold action. If we do not change our current approach, we will see tremendous global repercussions.'..."


Billions At Risk of 'Water Insecurity'

BBC News - Water map shows billions at risk of 'water insecurity': "About 80% of the world's population lives in areas where the fresh water supply is not secure, according to a new global analysis.

Researchers compiled a composite index of 'water threats' that includes issues such as scarcity and pollution.

The most severe threat category encompasses 3.4 billion people.

Writing in the journal Nature, they say that in western countries, conserving water for people through reservoirs and dams works for people, but not nature.

They urge developing countries not to follow the same path.

Instead, they say governments should invest in water management strategies that combine infrastructure with "natural" options such as safeguarding watersheds, wetlands and flood plains.

The analysis is a global snapshot, and the research team suggests more people are likely to encounter more severe stress on their water supply in the coming decades, as the climate changes and the human population continues to grow..."


Oil Shock 'Lkely' Wthin Decade, Warns UK Energy Secretary

Nice to see more people waking up, especially those in power, but I believe this will hit much sooner than he is thinking. Of course, maybe he is just trying not to frighten the masses.


Oil shock 'likely' within decade, warns Huhne - Yahoo! Finance: "Britain is 'very likely' to face an oil shock within the next decade, triggering economic volatility as fraught with 'nasty surprises' as the 1970s, the energy secretary has warned.

Chris Huhne told the Financial Times that Britain was in danger of becoming as vulnerable to price spikes as before the discovery of big North Sea oilfields, leaving the economy open to 'very severe blows'.

His forecast of a looming energy crisis came in an interview where Mr Huhne admitted that 'nuclear is going to play a part in the energy mix', but declined to guarantee state support for low carbon manufacturing.

The energy secretary is a pivotal figure in the coalition who must implement a nuclear policy his own party has opposed, while fighting his corner in one of Whitehall's toughest budget negotiations to protect cherished green policies from the Treasury axe..."


06 October, 2010

Survivalist Retreat Yields Big Profits

Survivalist retreat near Strafford yields big profits | News-Leader.com | Springfield News-Leader: "Leonard Pense never planned to grow his garden into a business.

Ten years ago, the former engineer and military consultant bought 21 secluded acres on top of a hill south of Strafford --'high ground with only one way in and out,' he says.

It was a place his extended family could retreat to if the country's economy collapsed, big trucks stopped delivering food to cities or the power grid went dark.

'This was built solely as a survival garden for my family,' said Pense, surveying rows of raised-bed growing areas filled with raspberries, potatoes, beans, okra, cauliflower, tomatoes and other edibles.

'Having worked as a consultant for the government, I came to the conclusion this country is not in the best of shape. When I started this, I did not intend for anyone to know where I was or what I was doing out here.'

His survivalist retreat, however, didn't remain a secret.

Today, Pense's hilltop doomsday garden has become a thriving business known as Pensaroda Farm.

He sells a special compost blend he created himself that almost eliminates weeds, and a fertilizer additive he designed that goes far beyond the basic nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium mix most gardeners are familiar with.

Pense also teaches people how to grow bountiful gardens weedlessly and preserve what they grow so they have the knowledge to survive a societal calamity.

Sales of his compost product and fertilizer blend topped $500,000 last year, he said, with shipments both locally and to gardeners across the country..."


04 October, 2010

It's the End of the World: 8 Potential Armageddons

FOXNews.com - It's the End of the World: 8 Potential Armageddons: "Oil plumes threaten to choke the oceans and methane gas explosions shoot sky high -- and those are hardly the biggest threats facing the Earth. From cosmic rays to asteroid impacts to the threat of general destruction, our planet may be less safe than you think.

Here are the top eight risks to life as we know it, detailed by scientists and science fiction writers -- and whether it's even possible to save ourselves..."


02 October, 2010

Less Than Half of Essential Workers Willing to Report to Work During A Serious Pandemic, Study Finds

Just one additional reason why emergency preparedness is key to survival. We will all likely one day find ourselves on our own. Be ready.

Less than half of essential workers willing to report to work during a serious pandemic, study finds: "Although first responders willingly put themselves in harm's way during disasters, new research indicates that they may not be as willing -- if the disaster is a potentially lethal pandemic.

In a recent study, researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that more than 50% of the first responders and other essential workers they surveyed might be absent from work during a serious pandemic, even if they were healthy.

The study, reported online in the October issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, involved over 1100 workers recruited from six essential workgroups, all located in the New York metropolitan area. The workgroups included hospital employees, police and fire department personnel, emergency medical services workers, public health workers, and correctional facility officers..."


In Era of Climate Change and Water Scarcity, Meeting National Energy Demand Confronts Major Impediments

In Era of Climate Change and Water Scarcity, Meeting National Energy Demand Confronts Major Impediments | Circle of Blue | WaterNews: "... Solar generating plants that use conventional cooling technology use two to three times as much water as coal-fired power plants, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Newer technology that relies on air for cooling uses much less water, but also is less efficient in generating power, thus requiring more land. The Congressional Research Service recently estimated that solar power plants cooled with water could generate 53,000 megawatts of electricity in the Southwest, equal to more than 50 large coal-fired utilities, but also would require 164 billion gallons of water annually, an enormous amount in the driest region in the country...

... Four months ago, in Choke Point: U.S., Circle of Blue set out to better understand what was happening around the country as communities, businesses, and residents confronted the increasingly intense competition between water and energy. Our reporting from the coal fields of southern Virginia, the high plains of the Dakotas, California’s Central Valley, the Midwest’s farm fields, Northern Alberta, Canada, and elsewhere identified urgent contests between energy development and water supply that can be resolved. But taming the conflict between energy and water also poses extraordinarily difficult challenges to regional economies, governing practices, technological development and the quality of natural resources..."


Supposedly Fuelless Heater - No Fuel, No Gas, No Wood, No Green House Gases



01 October, 2010

Civilization’s Foundation Eroding

Again, I must point out the fundamental truth to which articles like this only elude: overpopulation is the root cause.

This past century or so, like no other period in human history, we have enjoyed access to what we thought of as limitless cheap energy, meaning we could now grow, harvest and process more food than ever before. More food means better health and healthy people are known to more easily become pregnant as well as produce more living children. Healthy people also live longer themselves. It is simple biology. So, the population grows, meaning now we must grow even more food, which, in turn, increases the population yet again. It is known as a positive feedback loop, and it is being exacerbated even more by the ever-spreading trend worldwide toward a diet containing more and more meat, meaning more and more land must be set aside for grazing and to grow feed grain for more and larger animal herds.

Also, food must now be produced more distantly and shipped to consumers, using even more of the precious energy that we now know to be finite and non-renewable. This cheap, easy to produce energy will soon be in short supply due to a decreasing ERoEI (Energy Returned On Energy Invested) potential. The easiest way to explain this concept is to simply say that if something costs you more to get then you get out of having it, then you shouldn't bother in the first place. We are quickly approaching the day when this will be the case for our energy resources. Yet, they remain the fragile house of cards upon which everything else teeters.

Such positive feedback loops will continue to expand forever, until the day comes that there is no more capacity to increase food production or the energy that gets it our tables runs out or becomes too difficult and costly to produce. Then the bloated population begins to starve. Some die this way quietly, while more begin to kill each other to ensure they and theirs are among the ones who survive. Law and order collapses, though hopefully only temporarily, as those who normally provide those services must stay home to protect their own families and homes, leaving the rest of us on our own. This is one of the many possible scenarios for which we prepare.

Civilization’s Foundation Eroding | EPI: "The thin layer of topsoil that covers the planet’s land surface is the foundation of civilization. This soil, typically 6 inches or so deep, was formed over long stretches of geological time as new soil formation exceeded the natural rate of erosion. But sometime within the last century, as human and livestock populations expanded, soil erosion began to exceed new soil formation over large areas.

This is not new. In 1938, Walter Lowdermilk, a senior official in the Soil Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, traveled abroad to look at lands that had been cultivated for thousands of years, seeking to learn how these older civilizations had coped with soil erosion. He found that some had managed their land well, maintaining its fertility over long stretches of history, and were thriving. Others had failed to do so and left only remnants of their illustrious pasts.

In a section of his report entitled 'The Hundred Dead Cities,' he described a site in northern Syria, near Aleppo, where ancient buildings were still standing in stark isolated relief, but they were on bare rock. During the seventh century, the thriving region had been invaded, initially by a Persian army and later by nomads out of the Arabian Desert. In the process, soil and water conservation practices used for centuries were abandoned. Lowdermilk noted, 'Here erosion had done its worst….if the soils had remained, even though the cities were destroyed and the populations dispersed, the area might be re-peopled again and the cities rebuilt, but now that the soils are gone, all is gone.'

Wind and water erosion take a toll. The latter can be seen in the silting of reservoirs and in satellite photographs of muddy, silt-laden rivers flowing into the sea. Pakistan’s two large reservoirs, Mangla and Tarbela, which store Indus River water for the country’s vast irrigation network, are losing roughly 1 percent of their storage capacity each year as they fill with silt from deforested watersheds.

Ethiopia, a mountainous country with highly erodible soils, is losing close to 2 billion tons of topsoil a year, washed away by rain. This is one reason Ethiopia always seems to be on the verge of famine, never able to accumulate enough grain reserves to provide meaningful food security.

Soil erosion from the deterioration of grasslands is widespread. The world’s steadily growing herds of cattle and flocks of sheep and goats forage on the two fifths of the earth’s land surface that is too dry, too steeply sloping, or not fertile enough to sustain crop production. This area supports most of the world’s 3.3 billion cattle, sheep, and goats, all ruminants with complex digestive systems that enable them to digest roughage, converting it into beef, mutton, and milk...

... Soil erosion often results from the demand-driven expansion of cultivation onto marginal land. Over the last century or so there were massive cropland expansions in two countries—the United States and the Soviet Union—and both ended in disaster.

During the late nineteenth century, millions of Americans pushed westward, homesteading on the Great Plains, plowing vast areas of grassland to produce wheat. Much of this land—highly erodible when plowed—should have remained in grass. This overexpansion culminated in the 1930s Dust Bowl... In a crash program to save its soils, the United States returned large areas of eroded cropland to grass, adopted strip-cropping, and planted thousands of miles of tree shelterbelts.

The second major expansion came in the Soviet Union beginning in the mid-1950s. In an all-out effort to expand grain production, the Soviets plowed an area of grassland larger than the wheat area of Australia and Canada combined. The result, as Soviet agronomists had predicted, was an ecological disaster—another Dust Bowl. Kazakhstan, where the plowing was concentrated, has abandoned 40 percent of its grainland since 1980. On the remaining cultivated land, the wheat yield per acre is one sixth of that in France, Western Europe’s leading wheat producer.

A third massive cropland expansion is now taking place in the Brazilian Amazon Basin and in the cerrado, a savannah-like region bordering the basin on its south side. Land in the cerrado, like that in the U.S. and Soviet expansion, is vulnerable to soil erosion. This cropland expansion is pushing cattle ranchers into the Amazon forests, where ecologists are convinced that continuing to clear the area of trees will end in disaster..."