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16 October, 2010

Back In A Few Days, ASAP

Okay folks, as I reminded you yesterday, I will be gone for several days. I will return to posting as soon as I return home, or possibly sooner if I can get a decent WIFI signal in the hospital.  Talk at y'all soon...

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OPEC Members Seek $100 Oil to Counter Dollar Weakness

Be advised that the last time oil was at a high-point it was in the $140/barrel range. There are many who believe that this is what really caused the economic crash of 2008, rather than the proposed bursting of the housing bubble that has widely been blamed.

In fact, there is a theory that this is to be done every few years to stem the coming inevitable disaster known as Peak Oil. After the 2008 crash, a raw economy created artificial demand destruction as people canceled their vacations, ate out less, etc. and therefore bought and used less gasoline. This helped to postpone the coming crash.

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OPEC Members Seek $100 Oil to Counter Dollar Weakness - Bloomberg: "The 13 percent decline in the Dollar Index since June has led some OPEC members to call for oil to rise to $100 a barrel.

The U.S. currency’s weakness means the “real price” of oil is about $20 less than current levels, Venezuelan Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said after yesterday’s meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna..."

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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.


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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.."

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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..."


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Spontaneous Protest Breaks Out Among Government Employees in Hungary

Nine O'Clock: Spontaneous Protest Breaks Out Among Government Employees in Hungary: "Hundreds of employees of the Ministry of Finance, the Labour Ministry, the National Tax Administration Agency (ANAF) offices... as well as pensions’ offices staged, yesterday, a spontaneous protest, dissatisfied with the fact they haven’t been paid financial incentives in August and September, while receiving only a portion of those corresponding to May, June and July.

The first spontaneous protest started at the Finance Ministry and then spread to other institutions. People claim that, in the absence of the bonuses, which, in some cases, may amount to the equivalent of a gross wage, they cannot lead a decent life, given that their wages have already been reduced by 25 percent...

... At the same time, the president of the... Alliance... warned, yesterday, that about 3,000 employees in the public administration may take to the street, in a spontaneous strike which the trade unions will be unable to contain..."


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Russia: Moscow’s Discontent with Afghan Anti-Drug Fight Boiling Over

Russia: Moscow’s Discontent with Afghan Anti-Drug Fight Boiling Over | EurasiaNet.org: "Russian frustration is rising with NATO’s “incomprehensible passivity” in efforts to contain Afghanistan’s growing drugs output. It has reached a point where some politicians in Moscow are starting to call for an active Russian military presence in Central Asia.

The Kremlin flashed its dissatisfaction with anti-trafficking efforts in Afghanistan on September 29, when Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, lambasted the inability of US and NATO forces to curb trafficking in northern Afghanistan..."


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15 October, 2010

Reminder About My Surgery

I can't recall if I told you folks that my surgery that was originally set for the 11th was rescheduled until this coming Monday morning, 18 October. So, after posting tomorrow, I will be MIA for a few days.

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Government Prepares To Seize Private Pensions

From Infowars.com, so please apply the appropriate tinfoil hat skepticism filter. Still, they make a good case, and I wouldn't put it past them. They've had their hands in the public pension and social security cookie jars for years now.

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Government Prepares To Seize Private Pensions: "The government is preparing to seize the private 401(k) pensions of millions of Americans while enforcing an additional 5 per cent payroll tax as part of a new bailout program that will empower the Social Security Administration to redistribute pension funds in a frightening example of big government gone wild.

Public pension plans have been so aggressively looted already by the government that cities and counties face a $574 billion funding gap, according to a CNBC report.

That black hole is set to be filled by a new proposal that will “fairly” distribute taxpayer-funded pensions to everyone, by confiscating the private wealth of millions of Americans..."

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One Third of Britons Don't Have Enough Savings to Last FIVE DAYS Out of Work

One third of Britons don't have enough savings to last FIVE DAYS out of work | Mail Online: "Nearly a third of Britons do not have enough savings to last them for just five days if they were unable to work, a survey has suggested.

Three out of 10 people have less than 249 [pounds sterling] set aside to see them through an emergency, a third of whom have no savings at all, according to high street bank HSBC.

The group said the sum was equivalent to just five days' average take-home pay, well down on the three months' salary that financial advisers suggest people have set aside as a safety net..."

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World Financial System Not Sustainable

savethemales.ca - World Financial System Not Sustainable: "... The financial system the world has evolved on the Bank of England model is not sustainable. It creates nearly all money as debt. Such money only exists as long as someone is willing and able to pay interest on it... Such a system requires that new debt must be created faster than principal and interest payments fall due on old debt.

A sustainable financial system would enable the real economy to be maintained decade after decade and century after century at its full employment potential without recurring inflation and recession. By this standard, a financial system that creates money only through the creation of debt is inherently unsustainable.

When a bank makes a loan, the principal amount of the loan is added to the borrower's bank balance. The borrower, however, has promised to repay the loan plus interest even though the loan has created only the amount of money required to repay the principal-but not the amount of the interest.

Therefore unless indebtedness continually grows it is impossible for all loans to be repaid as they come due. Furthermore, during the life of a loan some of the money will be saved and re-lent by individual bond purchasers, by savings banks, insurance companies etc. These loans do not create new money, but they do create debt.

While we use only one mechanism - bank loans - to create money, we use several mechanisms to create debt, thus making it inevitable that debt will grow faster than the money with which to pay it. Recurring cycles of inflation, recession, and depression are a nearly inevitable consequence.

If, in the attempt to arrest the price inflation resulting from an excessive rate of debt formation, the monetary authorities raise the rate of interest, the result is likely to be a financial panic...

... Governments got into this mess by violating four common sense rules regarding their fiscal and monetary policies. These rules are:

1. No sovereign government should ever, under any circumstances, give over democratic control of its money supply to bankers.

2. No sovereign government should ever, under any circumstances, borrow any money from any private bank.

3. No national, provincial, or local government should borrow foreign money to increase purchases abroad when there is excessive domestic unemployment.

4. Governments, like businesses, should distinguish between "capital" and "current" expenditures, and when it is prudent to do so, finance capital improvements with money the government has created for itself..."


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Paul Craig Roberts: America's Third World Economy

Paul Craig Roberts: America's Third World Economy: "... The millions of unemployed today are blamed on the popped real estate bubble and the subprime derivative financial crisis. However, the US economy has been losing jobs for a decade. As manufacturing, information technology, software engineering, research, development, and tradable professional services have been moved offshore, the American middle class has shriveled. The ladders of upward mobility that made American an “opportunity society” have been dismantled.

The wage and salary cost savings obtained by giving Americans’ jobs to Chinese and Indians have enriched corporate CEOs, shareholders, and Wall Street at the expense of the middle class and America’s consumer economy.

The loss of middle class jobs and incomes was covered up for years by the expansion of consumer debt to substitute for the lack of income growth. Americans refinanced their homes and spent the equity, and they maxed out their credit cards.

Consumer debt expansion has run its course, and there is no possibility of continuing to drive the economy with additions to consumer debt.

Economists and policymakers continue to ignore the fact that all employment in tradable goods and services can be moved offshore (or filled by foreigners brought in on H-1b and L-1 visas). The only replacement jobs are in nontradable domestic services... such as ambulatory health services, barbers, cleaning services, waitresses and bartenders--jobs that describe the labor force of a third world country. Even many of these jobs are now filled [sp] with foreigners brought in on R-1 type visas from Russia, Ukraine, Thailand, Romania, and elsewhere.

The loss of American jobs and the compression of consumer income by low wages has removed consumer demand as the driving force of the economy. This is the reason expansionary monetary and fiscal policies are having no effect..."


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More Struggling Borrowers Face Pay Garnishment

More Struggling Borrowers Face Pay Garnishment - NYTimes.com: "One of the worst economic downturns of modern history has produced a big increase in the number of delinquent borrowers, and creditors are suing them by the millions. Concern is mounting in government and among consumer advocates that the debtors are not always getting a fair shake in these cases.

Most consumers never offer a defense, and creditors win their lawsuits without having to offer proof of the debts, much less justify to a judge the huge interest charges and penalties they often tack on.

After winning, creditors can secure a court order to seize part of the debtor’s paycheck or the funds in a bank account, a procedure called garnishment..."


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14 October, 2010

Art Cashin On The Coming Hyperinflation

Art Cashin On The Coming Hyperinflation | zero hedge: "We present today's thoughts by Art Cashin on the coming hyperinflation (and no, it does not mean very high inflation - it means a complete and total collapse in the monetary system - which is what Ben Bernanke is attempting to achieve), without commentary.

AN ENCORE PRESENTATION

(Today we will revisit one of the most devastating economic events in recorded history.It all began with the efforts of a few, well-intentioned government officials.)

Originally, on this day (-2) in 1922, the German Central Bank and the German Treasury took an inevitable step in a process which had begun with their previous effort to 'jump start' a stagnant economy. Many months earlier they had decided that what was needed was easier money. Their initial efforts brought little response. So, using the governmental 'more is better' theory they simply created more and more money.

But economic stagnation continued and so did the money growth. They kept making money more available. No reaction. Then, suddenly prices began to explode unbelievably (but, perversely, not business activity).

So, on this day government officials decided to bring figures in line with market realities. They devalued the mark. The new value would be 2 billion marks to a dollar. At the start of World War I the exchange rate had been a mere 4.2 marks to the dollar. In simple terms you needed 4.2 marks in order to get one dollar. Now it was 2 billion marks to get one dollar. And thirteen months from this date (late November 1923) you would need 4.2 trillion marks to get one dollar. In ten years the amount of money had increased a trillion fold...

... To understand the incomprehensible scope of the German inflation maybe it’s best to start with something basic... like a loaf of bread. (To keep things simple we’ll substitute dollars and cents in place of marks and pfennigs. You’ll get the picture.) In the middle of 1914, just before the war, a one pound loaf of bread cost 13 cents. Two years later it was 19 cents. Two years more and it sold for 22 cents. By 1919 it was 26 cents. Now the fun begins.

In 1920, a loaf of bread soared to $1.20, and then in 1921 it hit $1.35. By the middle of 1922 it was $3.50. At the start of 1923 it rocketed to $700 a loaf. Five months later a loaf went for $1200. By September it was $2 million. A month later it was $670 million (wide spread rioting broke out). The next month it hit $3 billion. By mid month it was $100 billion. Then it all collapsed.

Let’s go back to 'marks'. In 1913, the total currency of Germany was a grand total of 6 billion marks. In November of 1923 that loaf of bread we just talked about cost 428 billion marks. A kilo of fresh butter cost 6000 billion marks (as you will note that kilo of butter cost 1000 times more than the entire money supply of the nations just 10 years earlier)...

... Things did not go badly instantly. Yes, the deficit soared but much of it was borne by foreign and domestic bond buyers. As had been noted by scholars…..'The foreign and domestic public willingly purchased new debt issues when it believed that the government could run future surpluses to offset contemporaneous deficits.' In layman’s English that means foreign bond buyers said – 'Hey this is a great nation and this is probably just a speed bump in the economy.' (Can you imagine such a thing happening again?)

When things began to disintegrate, no one dared to take away the punchbowl. They feared shutting off the monetary heroin would lead to riots, civil war, and, worst of all communism. So, realizing that what they were doing was destructive, they kept doing it out of fear that stopping would be even more destructive.

Currencies, Culture And Chaos – If it is difficult to grasp the enormity of the numbers in this tale of hyper-inflation, it is far more difficult to grasp how it destroyed a culture, a nation and, almost, the world.

People’s savings were suddenly worthless. Pensions were meaningless. If you had a 400 mark monthly pension, you went from comfortable to penniless in a matter of months. People demanded to be paid daily so they would not have their wages devalued by a few days passing. Ultimately, they demanded their pay twice daily just to cover changes in trolley fare. People heated their homes by burning money instead of coal. (It was more plentiful and cheaper to get.)

The middle class was destroyed. It was an age of renters, not of home ownership, so thousands became homeless.

But the cultural collapse may have had other more pernicious effects.

Some sociologists note that it was still an era of arranged marriages. Families scrimped and saved for years to build a dowry so that their daughter might marry well. Suddenly, the dowry was worthless – wiped out. And with it was gone all hope of marriage. Girls who had stayed prim and proper awaiting some future Prince Charming now had no hope at all. Social morality began to collapse. The roar of the roaring twenties began to rumble.

All hope and belief in systems, governmental or otherwise, collapsed. With its culture and its economy disintegrating, Germany saw a guy named Hitler begin a ten year effort to come to power by trading on the chaos and street rioting. And then came World War II.

We think it’s best to close this review with a statement from a man whom many consider (probably incorrectly) the father of modern inflation with his endorsement of deficit spending. Here’s what John Maynard Keynes said on the topic:

By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some…..Those to whom the system brings windfalls….become profiteers.

To convert the business man into a profiteer is to strike a blow at capitalism, because it destroys the psychological equilibrium which permits the perpetuance of unequal rewards.

Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of over-turning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose... By combining a popular hatred of the class of entrepreneurs with the blow already given to social security by the violent and arbitrary disturbance of contract... governments are fast rendering impossible a continuance of the social and economic order of the nineteenth century..."


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U.S. Economy About to Go "Belly Up Effectivey" in "Wholesale Countrywide Loss of Their Sovereign Credit"

Global: Max Is Either A Nut, Or..... in [Market-Ticker]: "...First of all let's be clear about something. In a lot of scandals, you can point to one guy, Hank Paulson. When he was the CEO of Goldman Sacks, before he became the treasury secretary. As CEO of Goldman Sacks, he unwound many of these mortgage contracts from the Goldman banks, they were the only bank that didn't get caught up in this scandal and then as treasury secretary, he made sure that Goldman Sacks got bailed out from their positions through AIG and other foreign interests.

So there is a clear oligarchy in America, Hank Paulson is from that oligarchy, they are working against the interests of the people of the US... A lot of big money around the world is going to drop the dollar and basically disenfranchise the US economy. This is not just a remark in passing, this means that the US economy goes belly up effectively and the dollar gets completely wiped out the face of the earth and gold goes to 1400, 1500, 1600 dollars an ounce... we are talking about wholesale countrywide loss of their sovereign credit. The US government bond will be about as valuable as garbage..."

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Think he's full of crap? Denninger is worried...
Global: Max Is Either A Nut, Or..... in [Market-Ticker]

Also, Denninger -- in a forum post made later -- went on to say:
Single Post Display - MarketTicker Forums: "... I am getting very close to going 'bug-out', converting all to tangible value items, and deciding that right or wrong, I'm gonna live it out where I don't care.

This is getting very close to going completely out of control - it is FAR worse than what was going on with Lehman."


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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..."

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13 October, 2010

Coldest Winter in 1,000 Years On Its Way

Coldest winter in 1,000 years on its way - RT: "After the record heat wave this summer, Russia's weather seems to have acquired a taste for the extreme.

Forecasters say this winter could be the coldest Europe has seen in the last 1,000 years.

The change is reportedly connected with the speed of the Gulf Stream, which has shrunk in half in just the last couple of years. Polish scientists say that it means the stream will not be able to compensate for the cold from the Arctic winds. According to them, when the stream is completely stopped, a new Ice Age will begin in Europe..."

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Possibly due to the BP oil spill?...

GULF STREAM SHUTTING DOWN BECAUSE OF OIL SPILL? - SG Energy Crisis
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And, perhaps, another contributing factor?...

Say Goodbye to Sunspots? - ScienceNOW: "Scientists studying sunspots for the past 2 decades have concluded that the magnetic field that triggers their formation has been steadily declining. If the current trend continues, by 2016 the sun's face may become spotless and remain that way for decades—a phenomenon that in the 17th century coincided with a prolonged period of cooling on Earth..."

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Earthquake Shakes Oklahoma, Among Strongest in State

Earthquake shakes Okla., among strongest in state | AP Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle: "One of the strongest earthquakes recorded in Oklahoma rattled parts of five states Wednesday and left two people with minor injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 4.3-magnitude quake struck at 9:06 a.m. about six miles northeast of Norman in Cleveland County, sharply shaking portions of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. The state has had only three stronger quakes since statehood in 1907.

Don Blakeman, a geophysicist with National Earthquake Information Center, said the quake was felt up to 170 miles away, at Bartlesville in northeastern Oklahoma and Wichita in southern Kansas. Reports also came in from Arkansas, Missouri and Texas..."

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Scientists Say the Big One Could Be Even Bigger

More scary earthquake doom...

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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..."


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Prediction: Things Will Unravel Faster Than You Think

Prediction: Things Will Unravel Faster Than You Think: "By my analysis, we are not yet on the final path to recovery, and there are one or more financial 'breaks' coming in the future. Underlying structural weaknesses have not been resolved, and the kick-the-can-down-the-road plan is going to encounter a hard wall in the not-too-distant future. When the next moment of discontinuity finally arrives, events will unfold much more rapidly than most people expect...

... my concern rests on the observation that we still face the convergence of multiple trends, each of which alone has the power to permanently transform our economic landscape and standards of living.

Three such trends (out of the many I track) that will shape our immediate future are:
  • Peak Oil
  • Sovereign insolvency
  • Currency debasement
Individually, these worry me quite a bit; collectively, they have my full attention.."

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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..."

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12 October, 2010

The U.S.is Losing Its Prominence in the Emerging World Economy

World economy breaking-up with US - RT Top Stories: "As the US economy teeters on the edge of decline and a possible double dip recession, emerging economies continue to grow at a quick click.

This reveals a changing global economy in which the US is not as important as it once was, as developing nations take center stage.

Financial leaders are coming together from all over the world to figure out how to boost the global economy at the annual IMF and World Bank meeting. But many are talking about a break up.

'The world is breaking away from the US as the consumer of last resort,' said analyst Edward Harrison, the founder of CreditWriteDowns.com.
'You’ll see a lot more importance in China, in Russia.'

In the financial world it’s not called divorce but,
'de-coupling.' And everyone from a flurry of Wall Street analysts to Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz are using the term to describe a shift in power..."

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Oil spill Closes Lake Huron Beach in Michigan

These sorts of mishaps seem to be occurring more frequently as of late because collapse is accelerating. Those 'in the know,' i.e. the wealthy elite that usually make up the majority stockholders in these big companies, are trying to squeeze the last bit of wealth out of the dying system before it finally collapses, thus safety regulations are not always being followed as closely as before.

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Oil spill closes Lake Huron beach in Michigan – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs: "An oil spill has prompted the state of Michigan to close a beach in a state park on Lake Huron.

The day use beach at Cheboygan State Park is closed until further notice because of oil on a 250-yard stretch of the beach, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment announced.
'Crews are working to clean up the beach and determine the source of the spill,' the department's website said.

Private citizens complained to state and federal agencies after discovering the oil on the beach and sheen on the water Tuesday, the National Wildlife Federation said.

The shoreline is home to threatened species including the black tern, pitcher's thistle and dwarf lake iris, the wildlife federation said..."


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Flash Floods, Power Cuts in Queensland Deluge

Flash floods, power cuts in Queensland deluge - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): "Rain has begun to ease in the coastal regions of south-east Queensland after hours of heavy rainfall stranded motorists, blacked-out suburbs and caused flash flooding this morning.

A massive system dumped more than 200 millimetres of rain on the Gold Coast hinterland, 150mm in Brisbane's northern suburbs and more than 140mm on the Sunshine Coast.

Flood warnings have been issued for creeks and streams and the weather bureau is reporting major flooding in the South Pine River in Brisbane..."


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Killer Disease Decimates UK Frog Populations

Killer disease decimates UK frog populations: "Common frog (Rana temporaria) populations across the UK are suffering dramatic population crashes due to infection from the emerging disease Ranavirus, reveals research published in the Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) journal Animal Conservation.

Using data collected from the public by the Frog Mortality Project and Froglife, scientists from ZSL found that, on average, infected frog populations experienced an 81 per cent decline in adult frogs over a 12 year period..."


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11 October, 2010

The U.S. Economy is Faltering. An Inflationary Depression is in Progress

The US Economy is Faltering. An Inflationary Depression is in Progress: "In spite of the disinformation, misdirection and outright propaganda the economy is faltering without the addition of stimulus and quantitative easing. The benefits of inventory accumulation over the past 17 months, which accounted for 60% of the strength in the economy is at an end. We either get more stimulus either governmental or from the privately owned Fed or growth is going to continue to drop. We are looking at indexes that for the most part are at or near their lows. We see short reactive rallies but certainly nothing that leaves us to believe that any kind of a recovery is at hand. The longer we have to wait for Congress and the Fed to act, the more difficult it will be to regain upside momentum. It could be the plan is to simply go sideways for the next two years. The problem with that is that it will cost $5 trillion to accomplish. Production is starting to fall with the exception of a temporary increase in automotive manufacturing. Inventory build is retracting and both the absence of further build, and production should herald a 2-year low by yearend. The administration had other priorities and they missed the boat on getting support. The Fed as usual was too far behind the curve. Consequently we are actually looking at the distinct possibility of economic crisis and higher unemployment soon. Will the administration be able to get a lame duck Congress to approve $500 billion in spending? We won’t know until we get there and that is only two months away. The Fed is obviously waiting until the election is over before they open the floodgates of QE2. Will it be by $1.5 trillion? We’ll have to wait and see. If they do lend that sterilized float it will be monetized and it will hit higher inflation very quickly. Will business spend the $3 trillion they have on hand? They’ll certainly spend some of it, but how much no one knows. Will our government continue to give us obviously bogus numbers? They probably will, but most professionals have finally caught on to their 3-card Monte game. Wait until the real ISM figures show up for September, after August’s blatantly bogus figures. All the recent statistics are at lows not seen for 1-1/2 years, including the ATA’s truck tonnage index that fell 2.8%. If there is a recovery the public doesn’t think so. All indications are that buyers are depressed..."

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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..."


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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..."

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500 NATO Oil Tankers & Containers Go Missing in Pakistan

DAWN.COM | Front Page | Probe launched into 500 missing Nato vehicles: "Pakistan Customs has launched a probe into disappearance of 500 oil tankers and containers carrying supplies for Nato troops in Afghanistan.

A senior customs official told Dawn on Sunday that 500 oil tankers and containers which had left Port Qasim in Karachi for Kandahar did not reach the Pak-Afghan border near Chaman.

He said that Karachi customs had cleared the vehicles after scanning.

The official said the investigation was undertaken after the Supreme Court of Pakistan had taken suo motu notice of reports about the missing vehicles. 'We are optimistic that we will trace the missing vehicles and their documents,' he added..."


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James Howard Kunstler: Bank Shot

Bank Shot - Clusterfuck Nation: "The banking authorities were shocked - shocked - to discover last week that an awful lot of mortgage paper in this country is not quite in order... appears to contain, er, irregularities... seems less than kosher... Any day now we will hear that... mistakes... were... made...

... where were we the past ten years? Surely not everybody in the nation was doing bong hits while playing Grand Theft Auto, or watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey...

... Did nobody, for instance at Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, review any of the paperwork fluttering in from places like Countrywide or Ditech and scores of other boiler rooms where mortgages were hatched like Peking ducklings? There was an awful lot of it, I'm sure, but aren't there a lot of seat-warmers... who collect their salaries for the express purpose of reading mortgage documents? Was nobody the least bit suspicious about the mysterious flurry of 'restaurant employees' and 'lawn-care technicians' buying million-dollar condominiums with no money down at terms that would make a three-card monte dealer weep with laughter?...

... And what of the numberless agencies, federal on down... or the chairpersons of a dozen senate and house subcommittees on matters related to finance, or the various inspectors general from sea to shining sea or the attorneys general of all fifty states plus the US Department of Justice, or the countless fiduciary officers of the pension funds who tripped over each other buying all the tainted paper churned out like so much Purina Rat Chow - or, for Godsake, a lonely loan officer here or there with something resembling a conscience?

Nobody in the USA noticed anything the least bit fishy. And now all that epic rot has eaten through the last hanging tendrils of the banking system. And the whole shootin' match is fixing to seize up and blow like a Chevy Big Block Super Stroker 632 engine that some clown has poured karo syrup into...

... the truth is that this ghastly mortgage fiasco was a fraud that the whole nation perpetrated on itself in a tragic rush to get something for nothing. Since the failure of authority is complete, it's now up to nature to act as the arresting officer. She's a harsh mistress. She's going to kick our ass.

I'm sorry, but I don't see anyway out of this. With fraud absolutely everywhere in our banking system, like some advanced metastatic cancer, financial metabolism comes to a sickening stop. Nobody can buy or sell property. Nobody can trust any American financial institution. Money can't circulate. Nobody will be able to get any money. It won't be long before that translates into nobody getting any food..."




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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.
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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.'..."

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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..."


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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.

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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..."


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New Study Finds Increased Solar Activity May COOL the Earth

Global warming theory in chaos: Increased solar activity may COOL Earth | Mail Online: "A puzzling discovery has raised a question mark over the Sun's impact on climate change and could provide ammunition for sceptics, it was revealed today.

Until now it has been assumed that less activity from the Sun equates to less warming of the Earth.

But the new research, which focuses on a three-year snapshot of time between 2004 and 2007, suggests the opposite may be true.

As solar activity waned at the end of one of the Sun's 11-year cycles, the new data show the amount of energy reaching the Earth at visible wavelengths rose rather than fell..."

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Continued Troubles in Pakistan

Another truck convoy destroyed in Pakistan : Voice of Russia: "In the southwest of Pakistan militants have wiped out another truck convoy for the NATO force in Afghanistan. The attack was launched in the Baluchistan province late on Friday night.

The militants set on fire almost 30 trucks that were parked at roadside. One person is reported injured in what proved the sixth such incident in the past 8 days.

Attacks on NATO supply convoys were mounted after a US drone struck at a target in Pakistan on September 30th, killing three border-guards.

This prompted Islamabad to impose a ban on NATO transit shipments across Pakistani territory..."


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US drones kill 9 in Pakistan Friday: Voice of Russia: "US drones struck at targets in Pakistan on Friday, killing nine.

The drones attacked residential homes in the province of North Waziristan, the homes that Islamic fighters used as hide-outs. The province borders on Afghanistan and is seen as a stronghold of Taliban.

The US Air Force is steadily escalating the intensity of strikes on Pakistan. NATO combat planes bombed various targets in Pakistan 20 times in September alone.

Washington ignores protests from the Pakistani authorities that insist that the country’s sovereignty should be respected and that attacks killing civilians should be brought to a close..."


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08 October, 2010

Hungary Battles to Stem Torrent of Toxic Sludge

For those of us who expect some form of crash in the end, the multitude of chemical and nuclear plants, oil rigs, et cetera that litter our modern landscape represent a specter in our very midst. Oh, they run well enough, so long as someone is there at the reins and watching the gauges and such, but what if a time should come when those responsible either do not or cannot report to their stations. Are we to simply hope that these facilities are shut-down safely in a time that will undoubtedly be full of fear and panic? More likely it will be a disaster in some of our own backyards, much like the poor folks in Hungary are experiencing now.

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BBC News - Hungary battles to stem torrent of toxic sludge: "Emergency services in Hungary are trying to stop a torrent of toxic red sludge flowing into major waterways, including the River Danube.

A state of emergency has been declared in three western counties after the chemical waste burst from a reservoir at an alumina plant.

Four people are known to have died, with 120 injured. Six more are missing.

At least seven villages and towns are affected including Devecser, where the torrent was 2m (6.5ft) deep..."


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Hungary Chemical Sludge Pictures - Monsters and Critics

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Bulgaria: Bulgaria Under Threat of Hungary Sludge Flood - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency: "Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine might be affected by the deadly sludge escape from an alumina plant, which killed four people and injured 120 more in Western Hungary..."

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More photos here.

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Red Death: Danube Largely Safe Despite Toxicity of Hungarian Spill - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International: "Officials on Friday said that the mighty Danube River showed few signs of pollution despite poisonous sludge from an aluminium factory spill having reached the river on Thursday. Still, Hungary has requested help from the EU to clean up the toxic mess.

Concern was widespread. With the toxic sludge from the massive industrial accident in west-central Hungary having reached the Danube on Thursday, many were concerned that the river's ecosystem was in grave danger.

On Friday, however, officials were hopeful that the worst had been averted. Even as countries downstream from Hungary, including Serbia, Croatia and Romania, were drawing up emergency plans, alkalinity levels in one of Europe's biggest rivers had not reached dangerous levels and there was hope that they had stabilized or begun to fall..."


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Caught Spying on Student, FBI Demands GPS Tracker Back

Caught Spying on Student, FBI Demands GPS Tracker Back | Threat Level | Wired.com: "A California student got a visit from the FBI this week after he found a secret GPS tracking device on his car, and a friend posted photos of it online. The post prompted wide speculation about whether the device was real, whether the young Arab-American was being targeted in a terrorism investigation and what the authorities would do.

It took just 48 hours to find out: The device was real, the student was being secretly tracked and the FBI wanted their expensive device back, the student told Wired.com in an interview Wednesday.

The answer came when half-a-dozen FBI agents and police officers appeared at Yasir Afifi’s apartment complex in Santa Clara, California, on Tuesday demanding he return the device.

Afifi, a 20-year-old U.S.-born citizen, cooperated willingly and said he’d done nothing to merit attention from authorities. Comments the agents made during their visit suggested he’d been under FBI surveillance for three to six months.

An FBI spokesman wouldn’t acknowledge that the device belonged to the agency or that agents appeared at Afifi’s house...

... Afifi considered selling the device on Craigslist before the FBI showed up. He was in his apartment Tuesday afternoon when a roommate told him 'two sneaky-looking people' were near his car. Afifi, already heading out for an appointment, encountered a man and woman looking at his vehicle outside. The man asked if Afifi knew his registration tag was expired. When Afifi asked if it bothered him, the man just smiled. Afifi got into his car and headed for the parking lot exit when two SUVs pulled up with flashing lights carrying four police officers in bullet-proof vests.

The agent who initially spoke with Afifi identified himself then as Vincent and told Afifi, 'We’re here to recover the device you found on your vehicle. It’s federal property. It’s an expensive piece, and we need it right now.'

Afifi asked, 'Are you the guys that put it there?' and the agent replied, 'Yeah, I put it there.' He told Afifi, 'We’re going to make this much more difficult for you if you don’t cooperate.'..."


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Report: At Least Two Tornadoes Hit Bellemont, Arizona

Report: At least two tornadoes hit Bellemont, Arizona – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs: "At least two tornadoes struck Wednesday near Flagstaff, Arizona, injuring seven people, derailing a train and damaging more than 100 homes, authorities said.

Several reports of two other tornadoes also came into the National Weather Center. Officials were looking at whether there was a total of four tornadoes, or just multiple reports of the same ones..."


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07 October, 2010

This Is Starting To Get Very Real: Agricultural Commodity Prices Have Exploded

This Is Starting To Get Very Real: Agricultural Commodity Prices Have Exploded :: "Do you believe that you will always be able to run out to Wal-Mart or to the local supermarket and buy massive amounts of inexpensive food? If so, you might want to think again. During 2010, agricultural commodity prices have absolutely exploded. Nearly every single important agricultural commodity has seen a double digit percentage price increase. In fact, the S&P GSCI Agriculture Index recently surged to a fresh two year high. Now food producers and retailers are starting to pass those commodity price increases on to consumers.

Today when I went to the supermarket I was absolutely startled by some of the price increases that I witnessed. On some of the items that I most commonly purchase, prices were up 20 or 30 percent. So just what in the world is going on here? Well, it turns out that there was a lot of bad weather around the world this year, so many harvests were worse than projected. In addition, the growing population of the world has an increasingly voracious appetite for food. When supply gets tighter as demand continues to go up that means that prices are going to increase..."


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Introduction To The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III

Introduction To The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III | zero hedge: "The following is Part I to David DeGraw’s new book, 'The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III.' This is the second installment to a new seven-part series that we will be posting throughout the next few weeks...

I: Economic Imperial Operations

When we analyze our current crisis, focusing on the past few years of economic activity blinds us to the history and context that are vital to understanding the root cause. What we have been experiencing is not the result of an unforeseen economic crash that appeared out of the blue with the collapse of the housing market. It was certainly not brought on by people who bought homes they couldn’t afford. To frame this crisis around a debate on economic theory misses the point entirely. To even blame it on greedy bankers, while essentially accurate, also misses the most vital point.

This crisis is the direct result of a strategic economic attack on the existence of a middle class and democracy worldwide. The stock market and economy have become weapons of mass oppression manipulated by an imperial banking cartel to impose order and exploit the masses. This crisis boldly represents the manifest evolution of the fascist spirit reasserting itself as the dominant ideology.

Any fairytale notions of the United States being a democratic republic built on the rule of law have been utterly dispelled. As a nation we have been bred and conditioned to be dangerously naïve to the darker forces which operate beyond the spotlight of the mainstream media. We have been blinded to what has been developing throughout the world.

The economic imperialism that has now blown-back to the United States and Europe has been evolving for decades and can be directly traced back to the end of World War II, to the birth of the CIA, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.

For those of us who have been paying attention to economic imperial operations that have been carried out against countries throughout the world, this looks all too familiar. The IMF and global bankers have conquered the second and third world, and they have now moved on to countries within the first world. Western European and American working classes are in the cross-hairs now.

Economic and societal indicators, along with recent G-20 policy decisions, clearly demonstrate that they are carrying out and escalating systemic economic attacks throughout Europe and the US.

To put it in technical terms, the United States government has been taken over by a financial terrorism network. They have bought off leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties, and have established a dominant role in all three branches of government and throughout the mainstream media. They have complete control of the economy, stock market, US Treasury, Federal Reserve, World Bank, IMF and global banking system. Free market capitalism has collapsed; it’s now a rigged global market. This is an organized criminal operation, an imperial fascist movement that is determined to destroy our very way of life.

A war has already been launched against us.

In just the past three years we have lost an unprecedented amount of national wealth, trillions upon trillions of our tax dollars have been looted by Wall Street, endless wars, enormous subsidies for the most profitable global corporations and tax cuts for the richest one percent of the population. Never before, in the history of civilization, has a nation been so thoroughly and systematically fleeced.

This is all the result of a coordinated economic attack by a global banking cartel against 99 percent of the US population.

Until we can become politically intelligent enough to see this as the reality and root cause of our current crisis, we will not be able to overcome it, our living standards will continue to decline and we will all be sentenced to a slow death in a neo-feudal system built on debt slavery.

The average American is horribly naïve to just how depraved, corrupt and addicted to power this banking cartel is. Through their control and domination of the mass media, they have kept their crimes against humanity out of public consciousness. We have been shielded from the global devastation and death toll that they have already wrought. The result is an unsuspecting population of confused and passive people having their future ripped out from under them, right before their eyes, without any organized defense or resistance.

II: Violence on the Horizon

As the entrenched global banking cartel continues to control domestic political policy, the next phase of this crisis will inevitably feature an escalation into mass violence. As the Army War College stated, the Pentagon is preparing for “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States” and “widespread civil violence” due to “purposeful domestic resistance.”

In clear signs of what is to come, rioting and violence as a result of economic turmoil has already been experienced in many countries throughout the world. However, civil unrest has not yet occurred within the United States. There are many theories as to why there has been so little resistance from the US population thus far, and several factors play into it. The most significant factor is that social safety net programs have been vital in preventing people from resorting to extreme measures. Currently, a stunning number of Americans, 52 million, are receiving life-sustaining assistance from government “anti-poverty” programs, such as food stamps, unemployment benefits, Medicaid and Medicare. This has already stretched a social safety net system that is designed to handle significantly less people to its limit. This safety net system has now been drained of all reserve resources over the past two years, and is obviously not sustainable under current economic and political conditions.

As social safety net programs have been drained of reserves, many US citizens have also been burning through their personal savings. Over the past few years the percentage of Americans living paycheck to paycheck has dramatically increased. In 2007, 43 percent of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck. In 2008, the percentage increased to 49 percent. In 2009, the number skyrocketed up to 61 percent. The most recent number for 2010 has exploded to a shocking 77 percent. This means in our nation of 310 million citizens, 239 million Americans are one setback away from economic ruin and millions more are in danger of having to rely on government assistance for survival.

So as this prolonged economic crisis continues, these safety nets, that are already overwhelmed, will have to support more and more people and will inevitably break down. As we have just begun to see, budget cuts to vital social programs on the state and federal levels will become increasingly severe right at the point when many more Americans will need them. As the 52 million Americans currently surviving in “anti-poverty” programs are gradually cutoff from life-sustaining government assistance - and as the 239 million people now living paycheck to paycheck, buried in debt, stressing out and working their asses off just to make ends meet realize that things are not going to be getting any better — and are only going to get worse — social unrest and outbursts of violence will eventually start to bubble up to the surface and the ruling elite will no longer be able to maintain power by simply deceiving the masses via mainstream media propaganda.

When an overwhelming majority of the population directly feels negative effects upon their own living standards, the propaganda system collapses. The illusion comes crashing down and people will finally start to get wise to the horrific scam that is being played on them. When they wake from their media-induced American dream state and realize that they are now living in a nightmare, as crazy as it may sound, people will actually stop voting against their own interests. The apathetic majority, that doesn’t vote, will become active in the interests of self-preservation as their survival instincts kick in.

The handwriting is on the wall and the ruling class has to realize that by the time 2012 rolls around, their puppet politicians will be voted out of office, or their heads will roll, quite literally..."


Much, more at above link.

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Is The Federal Reserve Out Of Control? Markets Across The Globe Brace For Impact As The Federal Reserve Powers Up The Printing Presses

Is The Federal Reserve Out Of Control? Markets Across The Globe Brace For Impact As The Federal Reserve Powers Up The Printing Presses: "What in the world is going on over at the Federal Reserve? Has it gotten to the point where the Federal Reserve is completely and totally out of control? There is increasing speculation in the financial community that the Federal Reserve is on the verge of unleashing another round of quantitative easing. In fact, at their September meeting, Federal Reserve officials hinted very strongly that quantitative easing is very much on their minds when they stated that the Federal Open Market Committee 'is prepared to provide additional accommodation if needed to support the economic recovery and to return inflation, over time, to levels consistent with its mandate.' You might want to reread that quote a couple of times just to let it sink in. Do you see what the Fed is saying there? The Fed is actually saying that it has a mandate to maintain a certain level of inflation. Not that this is a secret to anyone that has seriously studied the Federal Reserve. Since 1913, inflation has constantly gone up, U.S. government debt has increased exponentially and the U.S. dollar has lost over 96 percent of its value. But for Federal Reserve officials to openly state that a certain amount of inflation is part of their mandate is absolutely stunning..."

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Officials Call For Calm as Protesters Are Man-Handled by Police

Merkel calls for calm as rail protest turns ugly: "Chancellor Angela Merkel called for calm Friday after riot police used what critics called 'Rambo' tactics to disperse thousands of opponents of a contentious rail project.

'I would hope that demonstrations like these would pass off peacefully,' Merkel told public broadcaster SWR after the skirmishes in the southwestern city of Stuttgart on Thursday that raged on into the night.

'This must always be tried, and anything that leads to violence must be avoided.'

Demonstrators said that more than 20,000 protestors, including more than 1,000 schoolchildren, were dispersed by close to 1,000 police in riot gear using water cannons, pepper spray, tear gas and batons.

More than 400 people including minors needed medical treatment, mostly because of the tear gas and pepper spray but also due to broken noses and wrists as well as cuts, demonstrators said..."


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Chaos in British Supermarkets as Computerised Tills Ccrash

Chaos in supermarkets as computerised tills crash - Telegraph: "Long queues formed after the supermarket giant's tills refused to accept debit or credit cards following the computer malfunction.

A company spokesman said all 872 stores were affected, with the problem lasting between 20 and 45 minutes.
Sainsbury's said it was investigating and that managers realise it is causing 'great inconvenience' to customers...

... Dozens of shoppers reported the problem on Twitter, the micro-blogging social network site, with several complaining that they had been unable to pay for their shopping..."


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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..."


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Global Employment Crisis Will Stir Social Unrest, Warns UN Agency

Global employment crisis will stir social unrest, warns UN agency - Telegraph: "The United Nations work agency said it was putting back by two years from 2013 its previous assessment of the time needed to create the 22 million jobs still needed to regain the pre-crisis level - 14 million in rich countries and 8 million in developing states...

... Raymond Torres, lead author of the report, told a news conference that job losses since the crisis started had totalled some 30-35 million. The ILO has forecast global unemployment this year of 213 million, a rate of 6.5 per cent...

... The extended loss of employment and growing perceptions of unfairness risked increasing social tension, the ILO said.

In 35 countries for which data exists, nearly 40 per cent of jobseekers have been without work for more than one year, running risks of demoralisation and mental health problems, and young people were disproportionately hit by unemployment.

It noted that social unrest related to the crisis has been reported in at least 25 countries, including some recovering emerging economies.

This week riot police were on the streets as protesters in Spain, Belgium, Italy and Greece demonstrated against tough austerity measures.

In more than three quarters of 82 countries with such information available, peoples' perceptions of their quality of life and standard of living had declined in 2009 from 2006, with job satisfaction also declining even among those in work..."


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Treating Symptoms, Ignoring the Root Cause

Treating Symptoms, Ignoring the Root Cause | FINANCIAL SENSE: "Anyone who reads a newspaper, speaks with their family or associates or has tuned into mainstream financial television over the past 3 years is acutely aware that “things” are not right.

So, in a financial sense, what is it that really ails us?

The usual suspects folks routinely hear runs the gamut from burgeoning health care costs to profligate government spending/deficits to credit default swaps to high frequency trading to claims that interest rates were left too low for too long. Then there’s the “China card”. Who hasn’t heard the rhetoric about trade imbalances being the fault of the Chinese and their reluctance to allow their currency to ‘strengthen’ against its U.S. counterpart?

All these issues are valid and worthy of healthy public debate. None of them explicitly deal with the root cause of our economic malaise, exactly because they are ALL symptoms of ‘the root of our real economic problem–THE MONEY, namely, irredeemable fiat money..."


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Super-Rich Investors Buy Gold By The Ton

Super-rich investors buy gold by ton | Reuters: "Fears of a double-dip downturn have boosted the appetite for physical bullion as well as for mining company shares and exchange-traded funds, UBS executive Josef Stadler told the Reuters Global Private Banking Summit.

'They don't only buy ETFs or futures; they buy physical gold,' said Stadler, who runs the Swiss bank's services for clients with assets of at least $50 million to invest.

UBS is recommending top-tier clients hold 7-10 percent of their assets in precious metals like gold, which is on course for its tenth consecutive yearly gain and traded at around $1,314.50 an ounce on Monday, near the record level reached last week..."


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