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30 November, 2010

An Economical Battery of Guns for the Backwoods Home

An economical battery of guns for the backwoods home by Massad Ayoob Issue #114: "Everything's getting more expensive. Food. Gasoline. Guns and ammunition. Not everyone who appreciates the rural lifestyle was 'born with a gun in their hand' the way some of us feel as if we've been. Many are urban-dwellers who've figured out for themselves that living closer to nature is a better way, and nothing from their previous metropolitan lifestyle has prepared them for their sudden realization that firearms are important, routinely-used tools for those who live 'in the country.'

Reading is good, but training is better. My advice to the people new to guns would be to take a firearms safety course before buying their first firearm. It'll give them a better idea of what they want, what they need, and what will suit them in terms of the size, the power, and the mechanics of the many, many firearms they have the option of buying. Your local office of the state Fish and Wildlife Department will be able to steer you toward hunter safety and firearms safety courses. As adult education goes, these courses are extremely affordable. If self-defense is your primary concern, your local gun shop or police department can direct you to armed citizen training programs. Most of these are geared toward folks about to apply for concealed carry permits, but the advice encompassed in their curricula are essential even for those only concerned with defending the home against violent intrusion..."


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Cashon Island Couple Equipped for Power Failure

Local News | Vashon Island couple equipped for power failure | Seattle Times Newspaper: "At age 82, Tom Lorentzen has seen plenty of weeks like this, full of wind and snow, and the inevitable downed power lines.

But as others shivered and fretted about not being able to check their e-mails, Lorentzen and his wife, Bea Lorentzen, 75, were warm and cozy, despite loss of electricity in their 1910 Vashon home.

On Wednesday morning, they had a fine breakfast of fried-up bacon, scrambled eggs, hot oatmeal and cinnamon rolls.

So they're not like those of you who were making frantic trips to Safeway to buy one of those $4.99 bundles of wood that burn up in 30 minutes.

The Lorentzens already have seven to eight cords of dry wood just waiting to churn out the heat.

They had a hot breakfast because their utilitarian woodstove has a flat top that can handle the equivalent of a big pot, a kettle and three smaller pots..."


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Report Warns Obama About 'New' Dark Ages

Report warns Obama about 'new' Dark Ages: "Two national-security experts have issued a report through the Heritage Foundation that warns Obama administration officials to start working now to prevent – and mitigate the damage from – an electromagnetic pulse attack on the United States because of the potential for 'unimaginable devastation.'

'Not even a global humanitarian effort would be enough to keep hundreds of millions of Americans from death by starvation, exposure, or lack of medicine. Nor would the catastrophe stop at U.S. borders. Most of Canada would be devastated, too, as its infrastructure is integrated with the U.S. power grid. Much of the world's intellectual brain power (half of it is in the United States) would be lost as well. Earth would most likely recede into the 'new' Dark Ages,' states the report by James J. Carafano, the deputy director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies and director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, and Richard Weitz, senior fellow and director of the Center for Politial-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute..."

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The Fiscal Trap

The Fiscal Trap | The Weekly Standard: "Fed chairman Ben Bernanke concedes that, while necessary, a new large purchase of government bonds by the Fed to help cover the deficit will not completely solve our problem of slow growth. Many in the markets and around the world express the same sentiment in a more negative way—saying this latest round of “quantitative easing” won’t work. Only time will tell, and our best guess is that, because it is only modestly effective by itself, quantitative easing will probably be part of Fed policy for quite some time. One reason we must hope that quantitative easing is not too successful is that its near term success would mean a catastrophe for government finances..."

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It's Official: The Economy Is Set To Starve

Guest Post: It's Official: The Economy Is Set To Starve | zero hedge: "Once a year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) releases its World Energy Outlook (WEO), and it's our tradition here at ChrisMartenson.com to review it. A lot of articles have already been written on the WEO 2010 report, and I don't wish to tread an already well-worn path, but the subject is just too important to leave relegate to a single week of attention.

Because some people will only read the first two paragraphs, let me get a couple of conclusions out right up front. You need to pay close attention to Peak Oil, and you need to begin adjusting, because it has already happened. The first conclusion is mine; the second belongs to the IEA..."


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29 November, 2010

U.S. Military War Gaming for Large Scale Economic Breakdown and Civil Unrest

U.S. Military War Gaming for Large Scale Economic Breakdown and Civil Unrest :: The Market Oracle :: Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting Free Website: "The majority of Americans believe that recent government intervention into financial markets, the economy and corporate insolvency has reversed the economic downturn which was described by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson as being “on the brink” in 2008. The stimulus, bailouts and unrelenting quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve have thus far been perceived as having averted the further erosion of the U.S. real estate and equities markets. And though the Federal Reserve and economic analysts have recently readjusted their economic growth forecasts downward for the next six months, Americans no longer have to worry about, as Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) said on the house floor in October of 2008, the sky falling, multi-thousand point drops in stock markets and martial law in America.

The recovery - if our government, the Federal Reserve and mainstream media are to be believed - is on the road to recovery - albeit slowly and with some more pain ahead.

If we’ve “prevented economic collapse” and “avoided the depression many feared,” according to President Obama, inquiring minds are asking why the Pentagon and US Military are actively and aggressively engaged in planning responsive action to large scale economic breakdown and civil unrest scenarios:

Ever since the crash of 2008 the defense intelligence establishment has really been paying a lot of attention to global markets and how they can serve as a threat to U.S. national security interests. At one upcoming seminar next month they’re taking a look at a lot of the issues.


source: see CNBC video report below

According to the report, the Army has spent time on financial market trading floors with JP Morgan and others, in the hopes that they can learn more about how a financial and economic attack may occur, and what the ramifications of such attacks on US stocks and bonds may be.

The Army, in a year-long war games series called Unified Quest 2011, is looking at a variety of possibilities and how to deal with them, including:

* the implications of “large scale economic breakdown” inside of the United States
* how to maintain “domestic order amid civil unrest”
* and ways to deal with fragmented global power and drastically lower budgets..."


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Another Step Closer to Mad Max?

View From The Porch: Another step closer to Mad Max?: "The latest symptom of the smoking caldera that sits where the California housing market used to be is the Beverly Hillsquatter.

Apparently the people moving into the foreclosed house down the street might not have actually, you know, asked the bank if they'd mind or anything.

And this isn't the 'hood or Modular Housing Acres we're talking about, either.

Be sure to watch the videos. Given the foot-dragging by the authorities reported in the article, you have to wonder if more active neighborhood watches might not increase in popularity..."


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7 Towns Where Land Is Free

7-towns-where-land-is-free: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance: "As small towns suffer from a continuing flight from rural toward-more urban living, some economic development groups and governments in these troubled areas have chosen to stay and fight.

The Homestead Act of 1862 is no longer in effect, but free land is still available out there in the great wide open (often literally in the great wide open). In fact, the town of Beatrice, Nebraska has even enacted a Homestead Act of 2010.

As with the homesteaders of the 1800s, the new pioneers must not be the faint of heart—they can't be the type to shy away from the trials of building a home from the ground up, or the lack of Starbucks on every corner, or unpaved roads (extremely remote location and lack of infrastructure is probably what caused a well-publicized land giveaway in Anderson, Ark. to flop). If the Google Maps overhead view of the vast open space surrounding the modest street grids of these towns doesn't instill cabin fever, then read on—these parcels are up for land grabs..."

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Debt Commission Co-Chairman Predicts 'Bloodbath'

Debt commission co-chairman predicts 'bloodbath' - Washington Times: "A leader of President Obama's bipartisan deficit-reduction commission on Friday predicted that there will be a 'bloodbath' on Capitol Hill next year when lawmakers consider increasing the nation's debt ceiling, which could force both parties to take their recommendations seriously.

With the federal debt hovering around $13.7 trillion and the debt limit at $14.3 trillion, Congress is expected to increase the country's credit line next spring. But with Sen-elect Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, and others leading the charge against an increase, the proposal's success could hinge on leaders trading promises of future cuts in exchange for votes..."

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27 November, 2010

How to Make a Square Foot Garden

How to Make a Square Foot Garden | Alberta Home Gardening: "... Most gardens are planted in long rows separated by three foot aisles. This means 80% of your garden (that you water, weed, and fertilize) grows nothing. You just walk on it. The square foot method eliminates that 80% of your garden that you don’t use by planting in blocks.

Using the square foot gardening method, you divide a 4′ x 4′ box into sixteen 1 foot square gardens. You then can plant a different crop in each of the squares. For example, you might plant 16 carrots in one box, four beans in another, and one cabbage in another. That leaves you with 13 other boxes to fill! I think it’s a fantastic system, but I’ll let you decide for yourself. Here are some of the reasons why I love square foot gardening..."

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China, Russia Quit Dollar

China, Russia quit dollar: "China and Russia have decided to renounce the US dollar and resort to using their own currencies for bilateral trade, Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin announced late on Tuesday. Chinese experts said the move reflected closer relations between Beijing and Moscow and is not aimed at challenging the dollar, but to protect their domestic economies.

'About trade settlement, we have decided to use our own currencies,' Putin said at a joint news conference with Wen in St. Petersburg.

The two countries were accustomed to using other currencies, especially the dollar, for bilateral trade. Since the financial crisis, however, high-ranking officials on both sides began to explore other possibilities..."

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The Fed QE2 Saga Continues

The Fed QE2 Saga Continues: "The Fed has really been put through the ringer after it decided to push its way into the Treasury market one more time and unleash Quantitative Easing II (QE2) onto the U.S. financial systems in an effort to keep interest rates low and stimulate lending, borrowing and spending. In other words, everyone and their mother think that the Fed is back at its old tricks—fighting the debt mountain and dead economy with easy money.

Most of the jabs concentrate around two questions. Firstly, does QE2 have any chance of actually working out? Secondly, and more importantly, will QE2 tip the scale towards inflation?..."


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26 November, 2010

Guest Post: Investment Potential of Gold and Other Precious Metals and the Dangers of the Fiat Money System

The world's 40 year experiment with pure fiat currencies (since Richard Nixon removed the gold backing of the US dollar) is nearing its inevitable end.  Gold and silver which served as money for over 5,000 years are reasserting their supremacy as a store of wealth if not yet as a medium of exchange.

Precious metals, particularly gold and silver, had special properties that helped them survive the tough competition to serve as money in nearly all human civilizations.  Gold was typically used for large purchases while silver and copper were used for change or smaller purchases.  Gold was the perfect money as it is scarce, durable, has a high value per unit weight, is divisible and has intrinsic worth other than its function as money.  So it served as a better medium of exchange than say wheat which spoils easily or cattle where it might be difficult to make change.

In fact, the world has experienced the highest growth rate when all the major economies (US and Western Europe) were on the international gold standard in the latter half of the 19th century.  However, gold as money, while being a boon to the common man, was a huge problem for governments.  Imagine having to balance your budget every year and not expense your profligate promises to your favored special interest on the national credit card!

World War I offered the first golden opportunity (pun intended) for world governments to go off the gold standard and print up huge amounts of paper money to pay for the war.  Germany then ran the printing press to repay its war debt which resulted in the disastrous hyperinflation of 1923.  The advent of the Great Depression in 1929 (which was a result of excess paper money printing) took the world again off the gold standard.  The US, under FDR, revoked redemption of paper money for gold, suspended gold contracts and made it a felony to own gold.  Following World War II, only international governments could redeem their dollars for gold under the Bretton Woods agreement which President Nixon reneged on in 1971, ushering in the pure fiat currency, floating exchange rate standard.

This allowed all governments to run up huge deficits and fund it by having their central banks literally print money (they couldn't print gold earlier) to buy government debt.  Of course, this scam was sold to the general public as offering flexibility and 'protection' from international speculators.  It's no coincidence then that the world experienced high inflation in the 1970s when gold went from $35 an ounce to $850 per ounce.  It's also no coincidence that government debt worldwide has risen to many times their GDP as politicians made reckless promises to get elected knowing that they can always run the printing press to pay their dues.

Needless to say, this narrative couldn't have gone on forever without economic reality slapping the world hard across the face.  The convulsions since 2008 are the beginning of the unraveling of paper currencies.  Central banks are plotting another fresh infusion of money created, ex nihilo, to keep the economy from collapsing again.  Many astute investors such as Jim Rogers have predicted multiple paper currency crises in the future.  As of this writing, the G20 has just completed a meeting assuring each other they wouldn't resort to 'competitive devaluation of currencies' which you can be assured is what each of them would do, as if impoverishing your own citizens by robbing them of purchasing power is the way to make them wealthy.  To top it all, the big kahuna, the United States has unfunded obligations in Social Security and Medicare that dwarf their national output.  The only way for the US government to make good on its promises to its older folk is to either enslave the younger generation or run the printing press.

A small minority of the investing public has awoken to the dangers ahead and has smartly (and fearfully) turned to gold and silver again to protect them from the oncoming tsunami of fiat currency inflation.  They've heeded well the lessons learnt from the Weimar hyperinflation (and more recently the Zimbabwe hyperinflation) and are protecting what wealth they have by investing in gold and silver bullion.  This is the smart bet as long as governments overpromise benefits, run up huge deficits and add to already humongous levels of national debt.

By-line:
This guest post is contributed by Mark Macaluso, he writes on the topic of Masters in Accounting Programs . He welcomes your comments at his email id: mark.macaluso985@gmail.com.

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40 High Flying Self Defense Blogs

Check out #23!

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Home Alarm Monitoring: 40 High Flying Self Defense Blogs: "There are many different types of threats that we need to be able to defend ourselves from both online and offline. We have to deal with it whether you are dealing with a big bully taking your child’s lunch money or a cyber bully harassing them on social media sites, AIM, or Skype. Of course, there are other serious threats like mugging, car-jacking, and all kinds of dangers lurking out in the real world, but we can’t let that deter us from living our lives. The best thing that we can do is get mentally and physically prepared and to do our best to keep ourselves and those that we care about safe. Here are 40 high flying self defense resources that attempt to do just that..."

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Ammo: Long-Term Storage Tips

Ammo: Long-Term Storage Tips | Gun Digest - The World's Foremost Gun Information Authority: "We’ve seen prices on ammo and components rise, supply shrink, and the ever-present threat of some type of government clamp-down on firearms-related products; serious shooters, hunters and ordinary gun-owning citizens need to protect their stocks of these items. With the current political situation in mind, here are a few tips for keeping your handloads and other ammunition safe and reliable.

I am not an alarmist nor do I consider myself paranoid but with all the political insanity that is coming out of Washington I can’t see the liberals holding off on the gun issue much longer, certainly they are mad after the recent court decision on the Chicago gun ban. Actually I’m surprised, given the government-sponsored multi-faceted attack on individual and states’ rights, that some form of attack on firearms ownership has not taken place already. With the administration holding the door open in the Southwest for illegal immigration and given the number of weapons caches uncovered in the Arizona desert, I think it might be a good idea to get the house in order..."

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The President Who Told The Truth



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Andrew Napolitano, Fox Business Host, Reveals He Is A 9/11 Truther

Andrew Napolitano, Fox Business Host, Reveals He Is A 9/11 Truther: "Fox Business host Andrew Napolitano revealed on Tuesday that he does not believe the government's account of the 9/11 attacks. Napolitano, who hosts 'Freedom Watch' on Fox Business and is frequently seen on Fox News as a legal analyst, told radio host Alex Jones — who is a prominent 9/11 conspiracy theorist —that the attacks 'couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us.'

The subject came about when Jones noted that Geraldo Rivera had recently raised questions about the collapse of World Trade Center 7 on Napolitano's Fox Business Show. 9/11 conspiracy theorists have centered on that building's collapse, contending that it was blown up by government forces. Jones asked Napolitano what his opinion about the issue was.

Napolitano replied:

'It's hard for me to believe that it came down by itself...I am gratified to see that people across the board are interested. I think twenty years from now, people will look at 9-11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today. It couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us'..."

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24 November, 2010

North Korea Fires Artillery Barrage on South

North Korea fires artillery barrage on South - Yahoo! News: "North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a South Korean island on Tuesday, killing one person, setting homes ablaze and triggering an exchange of fire as the South's military went on top alert.

In what appeared to be one of the most serious border incidents since the 1950-53 war, South Korean troops fired back with cannon, the government convened in an underground war room and 'multiple' air force jets scrambled.

The firing came after North Korea's disclosure of an apparently operational uranium enrichment programme -- a second potential way of building a nuclear bomb -- which is causing serious alarm for the United States and its allies.

Some 50 shells landed on the South Korean border island of Yeonpyeong near the tense Yellow Sea border, damaging dozens of houses and sending plumes of thick smoke into the air, YTN television reported.

One South Korean marine -- part of a contingent based permanently on the frontline island -- was killed and 13 other marines were wounded, the military said. YTN said two civilians were also hurt..."

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As Things Fell Apart, Nobody Paid Much Attention

As Things Fell Apart, Nobody Paid Much Attention | zero hedge: "America was a Garden of Eden with nothing but flowers, trees and vegetation. We bit into the forbidden fruit of oil over a century ago. It has been a deal with the Devil. Oil brought immense wealth, rapid industrialization, 2.7 million miles of paved roads, and enormous power to America. But, now the SUV is running on empty. In the not too distant future the downside of the deal with the Devil will reveal itself. America was the land of the free and home of the brave. Now it is the land of the Range Rover and home of the BMW. In a few years it could be the land of the forlorn and home of the broken down. Our entire society has been built upon a foundation of cheap oil. The discovery of oil in Titusville, PA in 1859 turbo charged the Industrial Revolution in the U.S. The development of our sprawling suburban culture was dependent upon cheap oil. Americans could not survive for a week without oil. Commerce in the U.S. depends upon long haul truckers. Food is transported thousands of miles to grocery stores. The cheap Wal-Mart crap is transported thousands of miles across the seas from China. Americans believe it is our God given right to cheap oil. We are the chosen people. Kevin Phillips, in his brilliant book American Theocracy describes our love affair with cheap oil..."

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U.S. Governors Put `Everything' on Table for Cuts as Budget Deficits Loom

U.S. Governors Put `Everything' on Table for Cuts as Budget Deficits Loom - Bloomberg: "U.S. governors say everything from worker benefits to prisons to health-care spending may face reductions as they contend with a fourth year of budget deficits.

For five days last week, at the Republican Governors Association meeting in San Diego and the nonpartisan National Governors Association rookie orientation in Colorado Springs, state leaders discussed a post-campaign reality in which they must choose which pain to inflict on their constituents..."

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The Horrible Truth Sarts to Dawn on Europe's Leaders

The horrible truth starts to dawn on Europe's leaders – Telegraph Blogs: "The entire European Project is now at risk of disintegration, with strategic and economic consequences that are very hard to predict.

In a speech this morning, EU President Herman Van Rompuy (poet, and writer of Japanese and Latin verse) warned that if Europe’s leaders mishandle the current crisis and allow the eurozone to break up, they will destroy the European Union itself...

... He is admitting that the gamble of launching a premature and dysfunctional currency without a central treasury, or debt union, or economic government, to back it up – and before the economies, legal systems, wage bargaining practices, productivity growth, and interest rate sensitivity, of North and South Europe had come anywhere near sustainable convergence – may now backfire horribly..."

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Economists Worried About U.S. Inflation

Economists worried about U.S. inflation: survey - Yahoo! News: "Steps by the Federal Reserve to pump more money into the U.S. economy through government bond purchases could stoke inflation, even though growth will remain moderate through 2011, a survey showed on Monday...

... The Fed's November 3 decision to buy an additional $600 billion worth of government bonds to stimulate the economy and prevent prices for spiraling lower has been criticized both at home and abroad..."

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08 November, 2010

As Fed Policy Sinks the Dollar, Prices of Essentials Soar

As Fed Policy Sinks the Dollar, Prices of Essentials Soar - DailyFinance: "Intended or not, the Federal Reserve's policy of quantitative easing has crushed the U.S. dollar. (The second round announced Nov. 3 is called 'QE2' because it's the second round of easing since the financial crisis of late 2008.)

Intended or not, the Fed's destruction of the dollar's value has pushed prices of commodities that Americans need -- such as instance food, cotton and oil -- higher.

Whether the Fed's QE2 policy will actually spark renewed growth in the economy is not yet known, but what is known is that the producer costs for essential commodities such as grain and cotton are skyrocketing, and those increased costs will soon appear on store shelves..."


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Caught In A Lie: Bernanke Promised Congress The Federal Reserve Would Not Monetize The Debt But Now That Is Exactly What Is Happening

Caught In A Lie: Bernanke Promised Congress The Federal Reserve Would Not Monetize The Debt But Now That Is Exactly What Is Happening: "On June 3rd, 2009 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke promised the U.S. Congress that the Federal Reserve would not monetize the debt of the U.S. government. On November 3rd, 2010 the Federal Reserve announced a massive quantitative easing plan which will involve the purchase of 600 billion dollars of U.S. Treasury securities by the middle of 2011. Creating 600 billion dollars out of thin air and using them to buy up U.S. government securities is monetizing the debt. So Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been caught in a lie. Will we ever be able to trust a single word that he says ever again?..."

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Fed's Trillion $ Purchase of Bonds is a Fraud

Fed's Trillion $ Purchase of Bonds is a Fraud -: "The nine PRIVATE Banks that OWN the (so-called) 'Federal Reserve' aren't going to 'buy' a (near) Trillion in U.S.Government Bonds using any 'money' of their own! Their 'purchase' is a FRAUD!

At a cost to the 'Federal Reserve' Banksters of only ink, paper and labor, our Treasury's hired printing presses will print off a TRILLION in 'Federal Reserve' paper 'Dollars' - backed by nothing but thin air!

With that Trillion in 'legal' play-money (manufactured out of thin air) - the Fed Banksters will 'purchase' a Trillion in REAL Government Treasury Bonds - obligating future American taxpayers to re-pay the Fed Banksters a Trillion PLUS Interest, in REAL money!

At least the Chinese purchased US Bonds using their own REAL cash!..."

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06 November, 2010

Fast-Rising Food Prices Feed Inflation Fears

Fast-rising food prices feed inflation fears | Business | The Guardian: "Fresh evidence of inflationary pressure emerged today when the latest snapshot of high street prices showed the cost of food rising at its fastest rate in more than a year.

The monthly British Retail Consortium/Nielsen price survey found that shoppers were paying more for bread and meat as a result of sharp increases in the price of wheat and corn.

Vegetable oil and margarine showed double-digit price hikes, while fruit showed its biggest price increases since April 2009 following poor harvests and increased transportation costs caused by rising oil prices.

The report found that food prices in October were 4.4% higher than a year earlier, up from 4% in the year to September and the highest annual increase since June 2009..."


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How Western Powers May Have Blown It

How Western Powers May Have Blown It: "QE2 risks currency wars and the end of dollar hegemony ... As the US Federal Reserve meets today to decide whether its next blast of quantitative easing should be $1 trillion or a more cautious $500bn, it does so knowing that China and the emerging world view the policy as an attempt to drive down the dollar. The Fed's 'QE2' risks accelerating the demise of the dollar-based currency system, perhaps leading to an unstable tripod with the euro and yuan, or a hybrid gold standard, or a multi-metal 'bancor' along lines proposed by John Maynard Keynes in the 1940s. China's commerce ministry fired an irate broadside against Washington on Monday. 'The continued and drastic US dollar depreciation recently has led countries including Japan, South Korea, and Thailand to intervene in the currency market, intensifying a 'currency war'. In the mid-term, the US dollar will continue to weaken and gaming between major currencies will escalate,' it said. – UK Telegraph..."

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U.S. Quantitative Easing is Fracturing the Global Economy

U.S. Quantitative Easing is Fracturing the Global Economy :: The Market Oracle :: Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting Free Website: "... Great structural changes in world trade and finance occur quickly – by quantum leaps, not by slow marginal accretions. The 1945-2010 era of relatively open trade, capital movements and foreign exchange markets is being destroyed by a predatory financial opportunism that is breaking the world economy into two spheres...

... What is reversing trends that seemed irreversible for the past 65 years is the manner in which the United States has dealt with its bad-debt crisis. The Federal Reserve and Treasury are seeking to inflate the economy out of debt with an explosion of bank liquidity and credit – which means yet more debt. This is occurring largely at other countries’ expense, in a way that is flooding the global economy with electronic “keyboard” bank credit while the U.S. balance-of-payments deficit widens and U.S. official debt soars beyond any foreseeable means to pay..."

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The Federal Reserve Stirs Poltergeist Of Hyperinflation, Weimar Collapse

The Federal Reserve Stirs Poltergeist Of Hyperinflation, Weimar Collapse - Great Speculations - Buys, holds, and hopes - Forbes: "... Typically, jawboning efforts have been undertaken by those seeking to lower or moderate price pressures, but Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his cohorts are putting a novel spin on the technique. By speaking regularly and aggressively about a second round of quantitative easing, they have been successfully jawboning inflationary expectations higher, as attested to by the recent dip of TIPS into negative yield territory for the first time. Whether such suasion is moral remains open to question, but it is clear that most market participants have bought into Big Ben’s rhetoric.

Trouble is, after weeks of furiously fanning the flames of those expectations, the Fed now appears to be qualifying their earlier pronouncements regarding the size and timing of QE2. The market reacted yesterday with a volatile session as traders adjusted to the reality that the central bank may not be injecting $2 trillion into treasuries all at once, a prospect which in retrospect may have merely reflected wishful thinking on the part of investors..."

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Applications for Jobless Aid Rise Sharply

Applications for jobless aid rise sharply - Yahoo! Finance: "The number of people seeking jobless benefits jumped sharply last week, after two straight weeks of declines.

The increase undermines hopes that unemployment claims, after falling four times in the previous five weeks, were on a sustained downward trend. That would signal layoffs were slowing and hiring was picking up. Instead, claims remain stuck at an elevated level..."


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05 November, 2010

Bernanke's Folly: The End Game

Bernanke's Folly: The End Game in [Market-Ticker]: "... The purpose of issuing bonds into the market is to provide a putative check and balance on Treasury overspending. That is, at some point the continued issuance causes the bond market to revolt and refuse to buy, driving rates much higher. That in turn causes the interest expense to go to the moon.

This threat is the primary check and balance on an out-of-control Federal Government.

The 'Chartalists' (and their useful idiots everywhere) claim that the Federal Government simply spends money into existence, and thus they can do this all they want. Well, technically true - you can print all the money you want. However, you cannot control it's value except through relative scarcity!

The Bond Market, rather than being a monetary tool as these people claim, is in fact a fiscal discipline enforcement device.

This is what The Fed with its QE and now QE2 has destroyed..."


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Quantitative Easing is Economic Suicide

RealClearMarkets - Quantitative Easing is Economic Suicide: "The question being asked all across the world of business news is: Will QE2 be successful? Because this policy is literally economic suicide, the question becomes: Will the Federal Reserve be successful in the assisted economic suicide of the U.S. government? I find this an utterly appalling question -- which highlights the intellectual bankruptcy of government policymakers and the bankers who goad them onward.

Quantitative easing is nothing more than a euphemism for printing money out of thin air. Its one-and-only purpose is to destroy the currency being printed. It is pure dilution and absolutely no different than a corporation vowing to improve its fiscal performance simply by printing a lot of new shares..."

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1,400-Degree Gas Chars Villages Nar Volcano

1,400-degree gas chars villages near volcano - World news - Asia-Pacific - msnbc.com: "Searing gas avalanched down an Indonesian volcano with a thunderous roar, torching houses and trees and incinerating villagers as they fled Mount Merapi's worst eruption in a century. Dozens of bodies found Friday raised the death toll to 122.

The injured — with clothes, blankets and even mattresses fused to their skin by the 1,400-degree Fahrenheit heat — were carried away on stretchers following the first big explosion just before midnight..."


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04 November, 2010

5 Dangers To Global Crops That Could Dramatically Reduce The World Food Supply

5 Dangers To Global Crops That Could Dramatically Reduce The World Food Supply: "The world food situation is starting to get very, very tight. Unprecedented heat and wildfires this summer in Russia and horrific flooding in Pakistan and China have been some of the primary reasons for the rapidly rising food prices we are now seeing around the globe. In places such as Australia and the African nation of Guinea-Bissau, the big problem for crops has been locusts. In a world that already does not grow enough food for everyone (thanks to the greed of the elite), any disruption in food production can cause a major, major problem. Tonight, thousands of people around the world will starve to death. So what happens if things get even worse? Many agricultural scientists are now warning that global food production is facing dangers that are absolutely unprecedented. Crop diseases such as UG99 wheat rust and the 'unintended effects' of genetic modification pose challenges that previous generations simply did not have to face. The outbreak of a real, live global famine looks increasingly possible with each passing year. So are you and your family prepared if a global famine does strike?..."

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One EMP Burst and the World Goes Dark

One EMP burst and the world goes dark - USATODAY.com: "The sky erupts. Cities darken, food spoils and homes fall silent. Civilization collapses.

End-of-the-world novel? A video game? Or could such a scenario loom in America's future?

There is talk of catastrophe ahead, depending on whom you believe, because of the threat of an electromagnetic pulse triggered by either a supersized solar storm or terrorist A-bomb, both capable of disabling the electric grid that powers modern life..."


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The Ten Biggest American Cities That Are Running Out Of Water

The Ten Biggest American Cities That Are Running Out Of Water: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance: "Some parts of the United States have begun to run low on water. That is probably not much of a surprise to people who live in the arid parts of America that have had water shortages for decades or even centuries. No one who has been to the Badlands in South Dakota would expect to be able to grow crops there.

The water problem is worse than most people realize, particularly in several large cities which are occasionally low on water now and almost certainly face shortfalls in a few years. This is particularly true if the change in global weather patterns substantially alters rainfall amounts in some areas of the US...

... One goal was to identify potential conflicts in regions that might have disputed rights over large supplies of water and the battles that could arise from these disputes. And, 24/7 Wall St. examined geographic areas that have already been plagued by drought and water shortages off and on. The analysis allowed us to choose ten cities that are likely to face severe shortages in the relatively near-term future..."

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The Coming Civil War: Producers Vs. Parasites - The Philadelphia Bulletin

The Coming Civil War: Producers Vs. Parasites - The Philadelphia Bulletin: "... In that year of 1967, for instance, the United States had a population of 198 million, a GDP of $825 billion, a federal budget of $157 billion and federal 'social welfare' expenses of $26 billion. This placed 'social welfare' spending at $131.30 per capita, 3.1 percent of GDP and 16.6 percent of federal outlays.

In 2010, the United States has a population of 308 million, a GDP of $13.3 trillion, a federal budget of $3.6 trillion and federal 'social welfare' expenses of $2.1 trillion. This places 'social welfare' spending at $6,818.18 per capita, 16.1 percent of GDP and 59 percent of federal outlays.

In the light of such figures, it’s pretty clear that our 'social welfare' outlays have skyrocketed. And that’s just federal spending, folks - that doesn’t count the state and local outlays..."


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Fed to Spend $600 Billion More To Help Boost US Economy

Fed to Spend $600 Billion More To Help Boost US Economy - CNBC: "The Federal Reserve launched a controversial new policy on Wednesday, committing to buy $600 billion more in government bonds by the middle of next year in an attempt to breathe new life into a struggling U.S. economy.

The decision, which takes the Fed into largely uncharted waters, is aimed at further lowering borrowing costs for consumers and businesses still suffering in the aftermath of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

The U.S. central bank said it would buy about $75 billion in longer-term Treasury bonds per month..."

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