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31 January, 2010

Sale Ending!

Today is the final day of the first ever 25% Off Sale on Alpine Aire freeze-dried storage foods at our sponsor Ready Made Resources. In addition, they are offering Free Shipping on full case lots.

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WHO Slams Swine Flu Critics As 'Irresponsible'

This will have to serve in lieu of a heartier weekly Swine Flu update as there is currently little news to report. I believe we are rapidly nearing a point where the disease will either escalate in seriousness or, hopefully, fizzle-out once and for all. Either way, it clearly *DID* meet the criteria of a pandemic, regardless of the nominal seriousness of the illness in most cases.

I, personally, will remain vigilant until we know for certain.
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WHO slams swine flu critics as 'irresponsible' - Yahoo! Finance: "The World Health Organization on Monday slammed as 'irresponsible' critics who claim swine flu is a fake pandemic created for the benefit of drug companies.

The U.N. health agency said the outbreak of a new strain of H1N1 influenza in North America last year had all the scientific characteristics of a pandemic, adding the WHO was never improperly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry that has benefited from huge government orders for vaccines and anti-viral drugs.

'The world is going through a real pandemic. The description of it as a fake is wrong and irresponsible,' the WHO said in a strongly worded statement Monday...

... According to a WHO tally dated Jan. 17, more than 209 countries and territories have reported laboratory confirmed cases of swine flu, including at least 14,142 deaths. This is far fewer than would be expected to die each year from seasonal flu, but the figure is likely to exclude many unreported cases, according to WHO.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said the relatively low number of confirmed deaths from swine flu didn't mean the virus wasn't a pandemic.

'A pandemic has nothing to do with severity or number of deaths'. he told The Associated Press. 'A pandemic literally is a global spread of a disease'..."


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Haiti Detains Americans Taking Kids Across Border

I have to say this seems a little heavy handed as these folks seem to have been trying to do good works, but the idea that the current chaos down there could be taken advantage of by human traffickers is something we've talked about before here at Backwoods Survival Blog.
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Haiti detains Americans taking kids across border: "A group of 10 American Baptists were being held in the Haitian capital Sunday after trying take 33 children out of Haiti.

The church group, most of them from Idaho, allegedly lacked the proper documents when they were arrested Friday night in a bus along with children from 2 months to 12 years old who had survived the catastrophic earthquake.

The group say they were setting up an orphanage across the border in the Dominican Republic.

"In this chaos the government is in right now we were just trying to do the right thing," the group's spokeswoman, Laura Silsby, told The Associated Press at the judicial police headquarters in the capital, where the Americans were being held pending a Monday hearing before a judge.

The Baptists' "Haitian Orphan Rescue Mission" was described as an effort to save abandoned, traumatized children.

Their plan was to scoop up 100 kids and take them by bus to a 45-room hotel at Cabarete, a beach resort in the Dominican Republic, that they were converting into an orphanage, Silsby told the AP.

Whether they realized it or not, these Americans — the first known to be taken into custody since the Jan. 12 quake — put themselves in the middle of a firestorm in Haiti, where government leaders have suspended adoptions amid fears that parentless or lost children are more vulnerable than ever to child trafficking..."


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30 January, 2010

Lowe’s To Begin Selling Solar Panels

Lowe’s move to sell solar panels will accelerate renewables - SmartPlanet: "Installing solar on your house is complicated and costly, but Lowe’s entry into serious solar panels sold along side lawn mowers should make such projects easier and cheaper.

Lowe’s this morning announced it will sell Akeena Solar’sAndalay AC solar panels. This is a positive development and farsighted on the part of Lowe’s — no doubt, Home Depot and other meccas for DIYers will be sure to follow. Lowe’s entry into the solar market will help de-mystify solar installation although tying into the grid will still and should require a qualified electrician - for now (Lowe’s already sells small toy-like solar panels…this morning’s announcement is about panels that can truly dent your electric bill)..."

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U.S. Accelerating Missile Defenses in Gulf

US accelerating missile defenses in Gulf: report - Yahoo! News: "The US administration is speeding up deployment of defenses against potential Iranian missile attacks in the Gulf to heed off any possible retaliation, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The move involves placing specialized ships off the Iranian coast and anti-missile systems in at least four Arab countries -- Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait -- the Times said, citing administration and military officials.

Oman has also been approached, although no Patriot missiles have been deployed there yet, US officials told the newspaper, adding that the willingness of other Arab states to accept the US defenses reflects growing unease in the region over Iran's ambitions and capabilities..."


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29 January, 2010

Reminder of Current Ongoing Sales

Don't forget that the first ever 25% Off Sale on Alpine Aire freeze-dried storage foods at our sponsor Ready Made Resources is still ongoing and will last until the end of the month.

Also, another of our great sponsors Directive21 is running a sale on the Travel Berkey unit for just $205.00! The regular price of this unit is $220.00.

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Former WMD Chief: Al-Qaida Awaiting Nukes

Newsmax - Former WMD Chief: Al-Qaida Awaiting Nukes: "A new report by retired longtime intelligence officer Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, who served as chief of the CIA’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Department, accuses the U.S. government of seriously misreading al-Qaida’s operational objectives.

“Al-Qaida’s reasoning,” according to Mowatt-Larssen's new report from Harvard’s Kennedy School, “runs counter to analytic convention that equates the ease of acquisition of chemical, biological or radiological weapons with an increasing likelihood of terrorist use — i.e., a terrorist attack employing crude weapons is therefore more likely than an attack using a nuclear or large scale biological weapon.”

“In fact, it is the opposite” of that conventional wisdom, according to the analysis, entitled “Al-Qaida Weapons of Mass Destruction Threat: Hype or Reality.” Al-Qaida’s motivations suggest “the greatest threat is posed by the most effective and simple means of mass destruction, whether these means consist of nuclear, biological, or other forms of asymmetric weapons.”

That makes all the scarier the scolding that came this week from the congressionally authorized Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation. That panel gave the Obama administration an F grade for its performance in preparing the U.S. homeland for a terrorist attack that utilized biological warfare..."

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Spike In Severe H1N1 in Memphis, Tennessee Children

Spike In Severe H1N1 in Memphis Tennessee Children: Recombinomics Commentary 17:45
January 27, 2010

"Doctors at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center are on high alert tonight after a spike in the number of children with flu-like symptoms. Right now, they believe all cases to be the novel H1N1 swine flu virus.

'Over the past 3 weeks or so, we've had about 17 or 18 admissions to Le Bonheur with confirmed influenza. I should say that we believe all or almost all of these will prove to be the novel H1N1 influenza virus.'

Infectious disease doctors believe its the only virus circulating in significant amounts in the community right now.

'I think 7 of the 17 or 18 have been admitted to the ICU. So that's a bit of a shift of what we saw before.'

The above comments describe an increase in sever H1N1 cases in children in Tennessee..."
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H1N1 Fatality Rate in Memphis Children Raises Concerns: Recombinomics Commentary 21:21
January 27, 2010

"A 12-year-old has died of complications from the H1N1 flu, officials at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center said Wednesday.

'Le Bonheur Children's confirms the death of a 12-year-old male resulting from complications of H1N1,' a hospital spokesperson said in a written statement. 'This is the fifth H1N1 death at Le Bonheur since we began tracking in September 2009.'

It is the second time this week the hospital has announced a death from the virus. Le Bonheur confirmed the death of a 14-year-old patient from the virus Monday.

In a news conference Tuesday, Dr. Keith English, one of Le Bonheur's leading pediatricians, said there is no reason to be alarmed, but he does not want people to think the H1N1 threat is over.

The above comments describe the H1N1 deaths of two children in Memphis (see map). The hospital had announced a spike in severe cases. 17 patients had been admitted this month, and 7 went to the ICU. Two of those patients have died..."

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28 January, 2010

Like Something Out Of "The Matrix"...

How long will it be before we "blacken the skies" and end up living in underground cities like the desperate remnants of humanity in the above mentioned film series?
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The Canadian Press: Time to start researching global "sun block," says climate scientist: "A prominent Canadian scientist says it's time for the international community to start studying the use of global "sun blocks" as a way to fight climate change.Sending particles into the atmosphere to block some of the sun's rays and reduce global warming is fast and cheap, and it could just be a matter of time before some country tries it without regard for the rest of the planet...

... Proponents suggest so-called 'geoengineering' would probably take effect much more quickly than cutting emissions and at a fraction of the price. They also point out that years of international debate on emissions has produced almost no results and opening a high-altitude chemical parasol may soon be the only way to keep global warming at manageable levels..."

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Money Sent Home To Mexico By Both Legal & Illegal Immigrants Drops To Record Lows Amid Economic Crisis

As the article explains, these funds make up the 2nd highest source of foreign income coming into that country with #1 being oil exports. Now that these funds are falling and the Cantarell oil field is failing, it just makes it even that much more likely Mexico will become a failed state with our lifetimes.
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Mexico Sees Record 15.7 Pct Drop in Remittances - ABC News: "Money sent home by Mexicans abroad plunged a record 15.7 percent in 2009 as migrants worldwide struggled to find work during the global economic slowdown, the central bank reported Wednesday.

Remittances — Mexico's No. 2 source of foreign income after oil exports — totaled $21.2 billion in 2009, compared with $25.1 billion in 2008, the bank said.

Since the bank began tracking remittances in 1996, it has recorded just one other annual decline — a 3.6 percent decrease in 2008, as the world financial crisis exploded..."

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Signs of Housing Recovery Will Fade When Govt Stimulus Ends

Signs of Housing Recovery Will Fade When Govt Stimulus Ends: "... is a housing recovery upon us?

'While the worst is behind us that does not by any means mean the best is imminent,' says Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist with Miller Tabak. That point is borne out by the facts: The 20-city index is still down 29% from its peak in July 2006.

Also, Greenhaus says any signs of a recovery are built on a foundation of government stimulus in the form of the first-time home buyer's credit and the Federal Reserve's purchase of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) -- which are both set to expire this spring.

When those policies fade Greenhaus is confident prices could decline 'another 10%" and mortgage rates will rise'..."


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Taliban Claims 25 Dead in Attack Near U.S. Base

Taliban Claims 25 Dead in Attack Near U.S. Base - CNN.com: "As Afghan authorities announced the arrest of an alleged militant for planning last week's assault on Kabul, a bomber targeted a U.S. base outside the capital, the latest attempt by militants to strike the seat of Western and Afghan power.

The NATO-led command said the latest explosion occurred around 5 p.m. Tuesday outside the main gate at Camp Phoenix, a U.S. military base on the outskirts of the capital. It said initial reports indicate that the blast was caused by a vehicle bomb, but did not release any casualty figures.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, authorities said.

An Afghan military official at the scene of the strike said the vehicle blast injured eight Afghan civilians and two U.S. service members, and an eyewitness showed CNN digital camera photos of about 11 or 12 injured people.

Taliban spokesman Zabullah Mujahid claimed in a text message that the strike killed 25 soldiers and damaged three tanks..."

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27 January, 2010

Tea Partying Militia Leader Arrested for Rape, Possessing a Grenade Launcher

Unfortunately, creeps like this guy are what many think of when they hear about survivalists and preppers, giving us all a bad name.
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Tea Partying Militia Leader Arrested for Rape, Possessing a Grenade Launcher: "A former Marine with ties to Tea Parties and militias who talked openly about using his training “to become a domestic terrorist” has been charged in separate complaints with raping a child and possessing an unregistered grenade launcher. His arrest may signal that a wing of the Tea Parties is heading in a more militant direction...

... Dyer left the Marines last year after being brought up on charges of uttering .disloyal. statements, including his starring in several inflammatory YouTube videos which called for armed resistance against the U.S. government. In one video, Dyer exclaimed, .With DHS blatantly calling patriots, veterans, and constitutionalists a threat, all that I have to say is you’re damn right we're a threat. We're a threat to anyone that endangers our rights and the Constitution of this republic.. He invited viewers to join him at his makeshift training area—.I'm sure the DHS will call it a terrorist training camp....

... Dyer was charged last week by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Forearms with possessing an unregistered destructive device, and is currently in federal custody."


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North and South Korea Enter Into Brief Military Conflict

Two Koreas trade fire, spooks markets | Reuters: "North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire near their disputed sea border on Wednesday, the second time in three months the rivals have clashed and briefly sending prices down on jittery Seoul financial markets.

Analysts doubted the latest clash would escalate and saw it more as an attempt by Pyongyang to stress the instability on the Korean peninsula and press home its demand for a peace deal that would open the way to international aid for its ruined economy.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North fired artillery shots from land towards the South but landing on its side of the disputed sea border off the west coast.

South Korea returned fire from its coastal artillery..."


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Man Arrested After Weapons, Map of U.S. Military Facility Seized From N.J. Motel Room

Man Arrested After Weapons, Map of U.S. Military Facility Seized From N.J. Motel Room: "Authorities in central New Jersey seized a cache of weapons and ammunition including rifles, a grenade launcher and a night vision scope from the motel room of a Virginia man arrested early Monday by officers responding to a report of a suspicious person, MyFoxDC.com reported.

Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest said Lloyd R. Woodson, 43, of Reston, Va., also had maps of a U.S. military facility and a town in another state.

The federal government says the map was of the U.S. Army's Fort Drum base in upstate New York..."

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Unleashing The MZBs!

California inmate release plan begins: "The state's controversial plan to reduce its prison population by 6,500 inmates over the next year begins today, with victims and law enforcement groups once again warning it will increase crime...

... We understand that this is a move by the Legislature to help relieve prison overcrowding and save money in the budget. But we're very disappointed that public safety seems to have taken a back seat to other issues.'..."


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Russia Says U.S. 'Weapon' Caused Haiti Quake

Total tinfoil, in my opinion, but the problem is that most of the world has such a low opinion of the U.S. these days that this kind of garbage finds its way to a fertile and willing audience who will believe it wholeheartedly.
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Russia Says U.S. 'Weapon' Caused Haiti Quake - Topix: "An unconfirmed report by the Russian Northern Fleets says the Haiti earthquake was caused by a flawed US Navy 'earthquake weapons' test before the weapons could be utilized against Iran.

United States Navy test of one of its 'earthquake weapons' which was to be used against Iran, went 'horribly wrong' and caused the catastrophic quake in the Caribbean, the website of Venezuela's ViVe TV recently reported, citing the Russian report..."


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Global Supply of Rare Earth Elements Could Be Wiped Out by 2012

Global Supply of Rare Earth Elements Could Be Wiped Out by 2012: "It's the bubble you've probably never heard of: The rare earth bubble. And it's due to pop in 2012, potentially devastating the industries of western nations that depend on these rare elements.

What industries are those? The automobile industry uses tens of thousands of tons of rare earth elements each year, and advanced military technology depends on these elements, too. Lots of 'green' technologies depend on them, including wind turbines, low-energy light bulbs and hybrid car batteries. In fact, much of western civilization depends on rare earth elements such as terbium, lanthanum and neodymium.

So what's the problem with these rare elements? 97 percent of the world's supply comes from mines in China, and China is prepared to simply stop exporting these strategic elements to the rest of the world by 2012.

If that happens, the western world will be crippled by the collapse of available rare earth elements. Manufacturing of everything from computers and electronics to farm machinery will grind to a halt. Electronics will disappear from the shelves and prices for manufactured goods that depend on these rare elements will skyrocket..."


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26 January, 2010

Sale On Berkey Water Filters!

Jeff over at our sponsor Directive21 is running a sale on the Travel Berkey unit for just $205.00!

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Is The North Atlantic Conveyor Belt Collapsing?

The following is an issue requiring immediate scrutiny by qualified experts. If it turns out to be true, the effects will be of biblical proportions. You might want to re-screen the film "The Day After Tomorrow" as a refresher!
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Is The North Atlantic Conveyor Belt Collapsing?: "... apparently the North Atlantic Conveyor belt has collapsed. That's the only thing that makes living in Europe possible. There was a lot of buzz about this in 2003-2004 (I think) when a DoD report was released warning that such an event was possible, even likely, as a result of global warming. Those stories were clear and vitually unanimous that such a collapse would lead to a near-instant ice age for most of Europe. The fact that Ireland (and the rest of Europe) is having its coldest winter in a hundred years makes this a true emergency to evaluate..."

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Ron Paul: After ‘CIA coup,’ agency ‘runs military’

Loaded rhetoric from the outspoken Texas Congressman. Maybe someone should remind him what happened to JFK, another outspoken critic of the CIA...
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Ron Paul: After ‘CIA coup,’ agency ‘runs military’ | Raw Story: "US House Rep. Ron Paul says the CIA has in effect carried out a 'coup' against the US government, and the intelligence agency needs to be 'taken out.'

Speaking to an audience of like-minded libertarians at a Campaign for Liberty regional conference in Atlanta this past weekend, the Texas Republican said:

'There's been a coup, have you heard? It's the CIA coup. The CIA runs everything, they run the military. They're the ones who are over there lobbing missiles and bombs on countries. ... And of course the CIA is every bit as secretive as the Federal Reserve. ... And yet think of the harm they have done since they were established [after] World War II. They are a government unto themselves. They're in businesses, in drug businesses, they take out dictators ... We need to take out the CIA.'

Paul's comments, made last weekend, were met with a loud round of applause, but they didn't gather attention until bloggers noticed a clip of the event at YouTube.

Paul appeared to be referring to news reports that the CIA is deeply involved in air strikes against Al Qaeda targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A suicide bombing late last year against Forward Operating Base Chapman in Afghanistan took the lives of seven of CIA operatives, including two contracted from Blackwater. The event highlighted the CIA's deep involvement in the war effort..."


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Unemployment Rates Rise in 43 States

Unemployment Rates Rise in 43 States in December: "A total of 43 states reported rising jobless rates in December, reversing signs of improvement seen the month before, according to a government report released Friday.

Overall, jobless rates increased in those states and the District of Columbia last month and fell in [ONLY] four states, according to the Labor Department's monthly report on state unemployment..."

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25 January, 2010

Human Traffickers Taking Advantage Of Chaos In Haiti

Call for halt to Haiti adoptions over traffickers - Times Online: "Thousands of children unaccounted for since Haiti’s earthquake are at risk of falling prey to child traffickers, aid agencies have wearned, as fears were raised over at least 15 children who have vanished from hospitals within the past few days.

Unicef, the UN children’s agency, warned that 'traffickers fish in pools of vulnerability. We know from past experience that trafficking happens in the chaos that usually follows emergencies.' A Unicef adviser, Jean Luc Legrand, said he knew of at least 15 cases of children disappearing from hospitals.

Save the Children, World Vision and the British Red Cross have called for an immediate halt to adoptions of Haitian children not approved before the earthquake, warning that child traffickers could exploit the lack of regulation. There has been a surge in offers from well-meaning foreigners.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that child enslavement and trafficking was 'an existing problem and could easily emerge as a serious issue over the coming weeks and months'..."

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Pakistan Collapse Could Trigger Global Great Depression and World War III

Pakistan Collapse Could Trigger Global Great Depression and World War III :: The Market Oracle: "... The world appears to be sleep walking towards a mega-crisis during 2010 and beyond resulting from that of continuing and escalating terrorist insurgency fed by U.S. policy, that is spreading like a cancer across Pakistan resulting in the disintegration of the Pakistani economy and by consequence the disintegration of many areas of the state into lawless areas despite the size of the Pakistani Army, this would result in fallout across the whole region and the wider world on a scale of several magnitudes greater than that which followed the collapse of Iraq following the 2003 invasion.

Pakistan populated by more than 170 million people could turn into a black hole that could swallow many more trillions of dollars in an escalating but ultimately unwinnable war on terror that would disrupt not only the economies of the west with hundreds of thousands more boots on the ground, but also the economies of the neighbouring states, especially India, Iran and China much as the war in Afghanistan had increasingly impacted on the Pakistani state and economy over the past few years.

Not only is Pakistan's vast military industrial complex and arms stock piles at risk, but far more deadly than the IED's or klashnikovs are Pakistan's nuclear and chemical weapons that could greatly increase the risks of a series of dirty bombs emerging from within a failed state even if the nuclear weapons themselves remained secure..."


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24 January, 2010

H1N1 Influenza A - Swine Flu: 24 January, 2010 Weekly Update

Thankfully, things have been comparatively quiet with regards to the H1N1 Swine flu pandemic; so quiet, in fact, that some of the more conspiracy-minded among us are wondering out loud if the whole thing was just a plot to line the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry. My fear is that we could be experiencing a lull between waves as occurred with the 1918 pandemic. For that reason, I remain vigilant.
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Thousands of Americans died from H1N1 even after receiving vaccine shots: "The CDC is engaged in a very clever, statistically devious spin campaign, and nearly every journalist in the mainstream media has fallen for its ploy. No one has yet reported what I'm about to reveal here.

It all started with the CDC's recent release of new statistics about swine flu fatalities, infection rates and vaccination rates. According to the CDC:

• 61 million Americans were vaccinated against swine flu (about 20% of the U.S. population). The CDC calls this a 'success' even though it means 4 out of 5 people rejected the vaccines.

• 55 million people 'became ill' from swine flu infections.

• 246,000 Americans were hospitalized due to swine flu infections.

• 11,160 Americans died from the swine flu.

Base on these statistics, the CDC is now desperately urging people to get vaccinated because they claim the pandemic might come back and vaccines are the best defense.

But here's the part you're NOT being told.

The CDC statistics lie by omission. They do not reveal the single most important piece of information about H1N1 vaccines: How many of the people who died from the swine flu had already been vaccinated?..."
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Nepal Fatal Cluster Raises Concerns: "... another fatal H1N1 cluster, in Nepal, which follows a similar cluster in Romania. Reports of receptor binding domain changes at position 225 (D225G and D225N) continue to increase along with associated deaths. India recently confirmed that the three cases with D225G were fatal and the WHO update indicated 50% of sequences with D225G were from fatal cases.

The designation of an isolate with D225G as a low reactor raises concerns that the increasing immunity to H1N1 will select for isolates with D225G..."

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7 Things About The Economy Everyone Should Be Worried About

While I disagree with the author's notion that expanding deficits fueled by government bailouts are the way to go, the article linked below has value nonetheless.
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7 Things About The Economy Everyone Should Be Worried About - Yahoo! News: "An extraordinary series of articles recently appeared on the Nieman Watchdog Web site, anchored by investigative reporter John Hanrahan and mostly based on interviews with some of the nation's most perceptive, prescient and prophetic economists. The series laid out a broad landscape of economic issues that have been largely overlooked during the reporting of the nation's economic collapse -- to our great peril.

Hanrahan's articles explore key elements of the story that reporters should have been -- and should still be -- writing about. Among them: The endemic fraud at the heart of the collapse, the resultant need for a comprehensive dissection of some key financial institutions, how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have weakened the economy, the dramatic effects of the crash on domestic poverty and world poverty, and underlying it all, the critically important role of government spending in a recovery, be it through a second stimulus or expanded entitlements or jobs programs, all of which requires that deficits be seen, for the short run at least, as the solution, not the problem.

As a coda to Hanrahan's series, here is a list of seven things all of us should be more alarmed by than we currently are, going forward.

A common theme underlying them all is that while our leaders -- and the voices of conventional wisdom -- treat our current recession as cyclical in nature, and are essentially mostly just waiting around for growth to pick up again, there is plenty of reason to believe that this crisis was instead an expression of structural problems. And if that is so, and we don't take the proper action, then the wait could be a long one..."


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23 January, 2010

America's Impending Master Class Dictatorship

Some tasty tinfoil here...
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America's Impending Master Class Dictatorship - Stewart Dougherty: "... Thanks to the endless barrage of feel-good propaganda that daily assaults the American mind, best epitomized a few months ago by the “green shoots,” everything’s-coming-up-roses propaganda touted by Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, the citizens have no idea how disastrous the country’s fiscal, monetary and economic problems truly are. Nor do they perceive the rapidly increasing risk of a totalitarian nightmare descending upon the American Republic.

One stark and sobering way to frame the crisis is this: if the United States government were to nationalize (in other words, steal) every penny of private wealth accumulated by America’s citizens since the nation’s founding 235 years ago, the government would remain totally bankrupt..."

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Entire Arizona Town Underwater After Storm

Entire Town of Wenden Underwater After Storm | Powerful Winter Storm Hits Arizona: "A 2-foot surge of runoff from a powerful winter storm early Friday morning flooded streets and an unknown number of homes in the western Arizona community of Wenden.

Lt. Glenn Gilbert of the La Paz County Sheriff's Office says no one was reported missing or injured.

An unknown number of people were evacuated from their homes.

The flooding receded late Thursday, but returned several hours later when a surge of runoff came through a nearby wash. The flooding hadn't slackened by 8 a.m. Friday.

Gilbert says a crew in a Marine Corps helicopter was flying over the area in case anyone had been swept away or stranded.

The community of 500 people about 100 miles west of Phoenix was hit by a more severe flood in 2000."

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Two Dozen States’ Unemployment Funds in the Red, Nine More Within Six Months

Two Dozen States’ Unemployment Funds in the Red, Nine More Within Six Months - ProPublica: "The record 20 million Americans who collected unemployment insurance benefits last year landed on a safety net that was already deeply frayed.

A historical compromise has left responsibility for unemployment benefits largely in the hands of states, and they have fulfilled this charge with varying degrees of effectiveness.

In a series last summer with public radio’s Marketplace, we reported that only a handful of states had built up reserves sufficient to weather the Great Recession [1] – and forecast a spate of borrowing by states where reserves ran out.

Half a year later, the direst predictions seem to be coming true: So far 25 states have borrowed more than $25 billion to keep benefits flowing after their trust funds ran dry. In many other states the situation is deteriorating fast..."

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Markets Panicked About Prospect of Inflationary Spiral

Markets panicked about prospect of inflationary spiral – Telegraph Blogs: "Clearly inflation is a worry. At some point (and it now looks sooner rather than later), the Bank of England will have to act and raise interest rates and/or reverse quantitative easing. Obviously, then, today’s news almost kills the remaining speculation that the Monetary Policy Committee will consider extending QE next month. It also makes it a nailed-on probability that CPI inflation will rise above the 3pc level next month.."

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22 January, 2010

Stockpiling Food, Water For Emergencies Is Smart, Not Paranoid

Stockpiling Food, Water For Emergencies Is Smart, Not Paranoid: "I was reading a financial advice book awhile back and was surprised by one of the first suggestions:

Keep an emergency food supply at home.

Say what? Had I accidentally picked up some wacky survivalist manual?

No, I don't think anyone would accuse respected financial writer Andrew Tobias of being a kook. But indeed, one of the first things he covers in The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need is the wisdom of investing in a stockpile of food in case of disaster.

And that advice sure came back to mind in the last few days as the earthquake tragedy unfolded in Haiti.

I was especially pained by a radio report that detailed the desperation there – even among those whose homes were undamaged. Food stores were closed or empty. The water system failed. Electricity was out. Banks were shuttered. Panic was setting in.

I felt myself getting a little unnerved just thinking about the chaos. Suddenly, Tobias' advice didn't seem so far-fetched..."


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Sewage Runs, Garbage Piles Up At Haiti Quake Camps

Reuters AlertNet - Sewage runs, garbage piles up at Haiti quake camps: "A child squats to defecate yards away from a sidewalk where women press plantain into bite-sized pieces for frying and a naked toddler plays with a pile of rice on the filthy ground.

Nearby, a dead body has been dumped on the street, right in front of a sea of morose people sitting on grubby mattresses, and a garbage collector uses a shovel to scoop up soggy black mounds of putrid trash composed of plastic water bags, polystyrene plates, orange peel and tin cans. Stray dogs forage.

Sanitary conditions in tent cities like this one in Port-au-Prince's once elegant Champs de Mars park around Haiti's crumbled presidential palace are worsening by the day as hundreds of thousands of survivors of last week's earthquake cram together to eat, sleep, wash and defecate..."

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Famed Investor Jim Rogers Says Food Shortages Are Coming

Better stock those pantries, folks.
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Famed Investor Jim Rogers Says Food Shortages Coming - DailyFinance: "A severe food shortage is on its way, according to well-regarded investor Jim Rogers. Food inventories are the lowest in decades and '[m]any farmers cannot get loans to buy fertilizer now, even though we have big shortages developing,' Rogers said on CNBC...

... a food shortage could mean skyrocketing food prices. 'Sometime in the next few years, we're going to have very serious shortages of food everywhere in the world and prices are going to go through the roof,' he said..."

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1 million Americans Giving Up On Job Searches

1 million Americans give up on job searches: "Nearly 1 million unemployed American workers, frustrated with a lack of available jobs, are dropping out of the labor force, Jerome Corsi's Red Alert reports.

Likewise, the number of individuals unemployed for more than 27 weeks dramatically worsened in the first year of the Obama administration. Discouraged workers are not counted in official unemployment statistics..."

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21 January, 2010

Sec. Def. Gates: Al Qaeda Could Provoke Indo-Pak War

Al Qaeda could provoke Indo-Pak war: Gates- Politics/Nation-News-The Economic Times: "Giving a clean chit to the Pakistani establishment, the US has said Al Qaeda’s terror syndicate, which includes the Lashkar-e-Taiba,
is trying to provoke an Indo-Pak confrontation.

US defence secretary Robert Gates, who discussed terror threat in the region with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, defence minister AK Antony and external affairs minister SM Krishna, acknowledged that India’s patience would be ``limited’’ if a Mumbai-type terror attack took place once again. But he also maintained that it was the al Qaeda in collaboration with the Lashkar-e-Taiba was trying to trigger an Indo-Pak confrontation.

Mr Gates was clear that the Lashkar — which is behind the Mumbai terror attack — was targeting Pakistan too. ``While al-Qaeda is operating in Afghanistan along with the Taliban, the Tehreek-e-Taliban is focusing on Pakistan. The LeT is focusing on Pakistan as also India,' Mr Gates said, adding that the groups were operating under the umbrella of al Qaeda from North West Frontier Province (of Pakistan) and Waziristan..."

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Yellowstone Earthquake Swarm Continues Into Third Day, Intensifies

Yellowstone earthquake swarm continues into third day, intensifies - The Denver Post: "A 3.5 earthquake hit Yellowstone National Park this afternoon as the swarm of earthquakes that started Sunday continues to intensify...

... Originally, scientists had said two 3.6 earthquakes struck in less than a minute - a mile apart.

A woman at the West Yellowstone, Montana Chamber of Commerce said the earthquake created a 'rumble like a truck driving down the road.'

She added that the earthquake caused the icicles on the Christmas tree at the Chamber, which has not been taken down, to shake..."

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More And More Nations Losing Faith In The U.S. Dollar

FT.com / Currencies - Russia diversifies into Canadian dollars: "Russia’s central bank announced on Wednesday that it had started buying Canadian dollars and securities in a bid to diversify its foreign exchange reserves.

Analysts said the move could be a sign of increased diversification of emerging market central bank assets away from the dollar and into investments denominated in other commodity-linked currencies, such as the Australian dollar..."

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Year End Report Shows Foreclosure Filings For 2009 At An All Time High

REALTYTRAC YEAR-END REPORT SHOWS RECORD 2.8 MILLION U.S. PROPERTIES WITH FORECLOSURE FILINGS IN 2009: "RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its Year-End 2009 Foreclosure Market Report™, which shows a total of 3,957,643 foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 2,824,674 U.S. properties in 2009, a 21 percent increase in total properties from 2008 and a 120 percent increase in total properties from 2007. The report also shows that 2.21 percent of all U.S. housing units (one in 45) received at least one foreclosure filing during the year, up from 1.84 percent in 2008, 1.03 percent in 2007 and 0.58 percent in 2006..."

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20 January, 2010

25% Off Sale Reminder

I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the current 25% Off Sale on Alpine Aire freeze-dried storage foods at our sponsor Ready Made Resources. The sale applies only to full case lots, but you can mix-and-match your own cases by simply buying in increments of six (i.e. six #10 cans makes a case lot).

The sale will continue until 30 January.

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US Army To 'Protect' Pakistan's Nuclear Sites

US Army to 'protect' Pakistan's nuclear sites: "In face of a growing anti-Americanism among the Pakistan military, the US army moves to train a 'crack unit' to thwart possible attacks on the country's nuclear facilities.

The unit would be responsible to take back Pakistani nuclear weapons in the event the militants gain access to the strategic devices and materials, the Pakistani daily The Nation reported Sunday.

The measure is taken as the US military fears the possibility of an attack 'from inside the country's security apparatus,' added the report..."

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Electricity Being Shut Off 9 Hours/Day In Kathmandu

Load shedding schedule Kathmandu, Nepal 17th January 2010 - 9hrs/day - Geshan's Blog: "The government has just increased the load shedding hours, though how much we lament and cuss the government and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) we are going to face this power cut. Every two weeks it will increase till it gets to agonizing 16 or even 18 hours a day but we will adjust and we don't even have a choice :(..."

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James Howard Kunstler: Disasters Far and Near

Disasters Far and Near - Clusterfuck Nation: "... the stories we are telling ourselves these days do not reflect the real circumstances we find ourselves in, and will not help us to get through the difficult times ahead. In fact, they amount to an invitation for more tragedy. The more the USA imagines itself to be too big to fail -- and immune to the mandates of reality -- the more likely we are to fail massively. The more we indulge in techno-triumphalism and organizational grandiosity, the more chaos we invite. The signal failure for the moment is the Obama regime's unwillingness to imagine that the old economy is dead and that no amount of financial mortician's wax and rouge will bring it back to life. Stunts such as so-called Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee (the $90 billion tax over ten years) will only corrode what is left of Mr. Obama's authority as its meaninglessness reveals itself..."
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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.

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19 January, 2010

Haiti Earthquake: Lynch Mob Beats Looter To Death And Drags His Body Through The Streets As Quake-hit Island Descends Into Anarchy

WARNING: Clicking the link below will expose you to graphic photos.
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Lynch Mob Beats Looter To Death And Drags His Body Through The Streets As Quake-hit Island Descends Into Anarchy | Mail Online: "A mob of men and children watch as the bloodied corpse of a suspected thief is brutally beaten by a man with a stick.

The victim is naked and bound at his hands and feet. It is broad daylight in the devastated capital city of Haiti.

These are the latest in a series of chilling images from the country as anarchy threatens to destabilise the relief effort following Tuesday's earthquake...

... Meanwhile, fears are growing for the continued safety of the nation with violence rife as scavengers and looters swarm over the wrecks of shops, carrying off anything they can find.

Robbers prey on survivors struggling without supplies in makeshift camps on roadsides littered with debris and decomposing bodies..."


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Energy Prices Will Go Up And Down Until We Hurt Enough

Energy Prices Will Go Up And Down Until We Hurt Enough:
"... And new oil inevitably will cost more; as oil industry experts point out, the low-hanging fruit has been picked insofar as known oil reserves that have been exploited. Increasingly, new oil is more costly to access because of its location: deeper in the Earth, farther offshore, underneath ecologically and politically sensitive land or trapped in geological formations such as shale.

It's a situation that conspires against more than the jobless, because upward price swings take an estimated $14 billion out of Americans' pockets each year for every 10-cent a gallon increase in the price of gasoline. That's money not spent on other goods and services.

So unless we make some significant changes, even after prosperity returns, rising and falling energy prices will keep giving us economic motion sickness..."


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Obama Confidant's Spine-Chilling Proposal

Be careful who you trust.
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Obama Confidant's Spine-Chilling Proposal - Salon.com: "Cass Sunstein has long been one of Barack Obama's closest confidants. Often mentioned as a likely Obama nominee to the Supreme Court, Sunstein is currently Obama's head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where, among other things, he is responsible for "overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs." In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-"independent" advocates to "cognitively infiltrate" online groups and websites -- as well as other activist groups -- which advocate views that Sunstein deems "false conspiracy theories" about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens' faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists.

Sunstein advocates that the Government's stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into "chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups." He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called "independent" credible voices to bolster the Government's messaging (on the ground that those who don't believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government)..."


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Fort Hood Shooting Was Terrorism, U.S. Says

Fort Hood shooting was terrorism, U.S. says - Yahoo! News: "The shooting rampage at a U.S. Army base in November was 'an act of terrorism,' an Obama administration official said on Friday, as the Pentagon ordered an overhaul of protocols to spot threats within the military.

Reviews ordered on Friday by the Pentagon and White House exposed shortcomings in both intelligence and oversight before the November 5 shooting, which authorities blame on a military psychiatrist.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said his department was still 'burdened by 20th century processes and attitudes mostly rooted in the Cold War,' and needed to do more to combat self-radicalization..."

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