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22 December, 2011

If A Global Recession Is Not Looming, Then Why Are Bailouts Flying Around As If The End Of The World Is Coming?

If A Global Recession Is Not Looming, Then Why Are Bailouts Flying Around As If The End Of The World Is Coming?: "I have learned that watching what people do is much more important than listening to what they say. Back in 2008, financial authorities in the United States insisted that everything was gone to be okay. But we all know now that was a lie. Well, right now financial authorities in the U.S. and Europe are once again trying to assure us that everything is under control and that we are not headed for a global recession. Unfortunately, their actions are telling a very different story. All over the world, bailouts are flying around as if the end of the world is coming. Governments and central banks are stepping in with gigantic mountains of money to prop up bond yields, major banks and even stock markets. What we have seen over the past few months has been absolutely unprecedented. So why are such desperate measures being taken if everything is going to be just fine? Unfortunately, debt problems are never solved with more debt, so these bailouts really aren't solving anything. We are still headed for a massive amount of financial pain. It would just be nice if the authorities would quit lying to us and would actually admit how bad things really are..."

First Amendment Under Attack: 18 Examples Of How They Are Coming For Our Free Speech

First Amendment Under Attack: 18 Examples Of How They Are Coming For Our Free Speech: "In the United States today, the First Amendment is under attack like never before. Technological innovations such as the Internet have made it possible for average Americans to communicate directly with one another in ways that completely bypass the mainstream media, and this is making the elite very uncomfortable. They have decided that they better come after our free speech before it is too late. Right now, free speech in America is being chipped away at it in thousands of different ways. On the one hand, you have the disciples of 'political correctness' that want to make all forms of speech that are 'offensive' to anyone against the law. On the other hand, you have those that are obsessed with 'national security' that want to ban all speech that is critical of the U.S. government or the U.S. military. These twin forces are constantly seeking to push the First Amendment into a smaller and smaller box. If you say the wrong thing in America today, your website might be shut down, you could be suspended from school, you may find yourself out of a job and there is now even a possibility that you could be arrested and shipped off to Guantanamo Bay without a trial..."

Getting Worse: 40 Undeniable Pieces Of Evidence That Show That America Is In Decline

Getting Worse: 40 Undeniable Pieces Of Evidence That Show That America Is In Decline: "Is America in decline? That is a very provocative question. I have found that most people that hate the United States are very eager to agree that America is in decline, while a lot of those that love the United States are very hesitant to admit that America is in decline. Well, I am proud to be an American, but I cannot lie and tell you that America is doing just fine. The pieces of evidence compiled below are undeniable. Our economy is deathly ill and is rapidly getting worse. We were handed the keys to the greatest economic machine in the history of the world and we have wrecked it. But until we are willing to look in the mirror and admit how bad things have gotten, we won't be ready for the solutions that are necessary. The truth is that there are things that we can do to reverse the decline. It does not have to be permanent. We have gotten away from the things that made America great, and we need to admit that we are on the wrong path and start fixing this country. But if we choose to continue down the road that we are currently on, it will lead us into the darkest chapters in American history..."

21 December, 2011

U.S. Bio-Security Officials Sound Warning After Scientists Create Deadly New Strain of Bird Flu

U.S. Bio-Security Officials Sound Warning After Scientists Create Deadly New Strain of Bird Flu | Fox News: "The U.S. government is sounding the alarm after reports that Dutch scientists have created a highly-contagious and deadly airborne strain of bird flu that is potentially capable of killing millions, The Independent reported Tuesday.

The U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity is currently analyzing how much of the scientists' information should be allowed to be published—given the inherent risks of having the information fall into the hands of terrorists or rogue states.

'The fear is that if you create something this deadly and it goes into a global pandemic, the mortality and cost to the world could be massive,' a senior US government adviser told The Independent.

Scientists, too, are questioning whether the science should ever have been performed in the first place..."

Shortages of Essential Drugs Leave Hospitals Scrambling

Shortages of essential drugs leave hospitals scrambling - Merrimack Valley - EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA: "A shortage of lifesaving drugs used on ambulances and in emergency rooms across Massachusetts is endangering patient lives and forcing some hospitals to turn to a thriving "gray market" of pharmaceutical re-sellers to obtain the scarce medications, sometimes at prices more than 1,000 percent above their original cost, The New England Center for Investigative Reporting has learned.

'This is not a pretty situation. It's a frightening situation,' says William Churchill, chief of pharmacy services at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston.

So far this year, 213 drugs have been listed in short supply, surpassing last year's total of 211 to become the worst year ever for drug shortages in the United States, according to figures supplied by the University of Utah Drug Information Service..."

Evacuation Plan for Brits in Spain Amid Warning Euro Collapse Could Leave Them Stranded

Evacuation plan for Brits in Spain amid warning euro collapse could leave them stranded - mirror.co.uk: "Emergency evacuation plans for Brits living in Spain and Portugal are being drawn up amid fears of the euro collapsing.

The drastic proposals emerged as a former Security Minister warned expats could be left stranded and destitute by the break-up of the single currency.

Brits who invested their savings in their adopted countries may not be able to withdraw cash and could even lose their homes if banks call in loans, worried ministers are warning..."

Debtors Thrown In Jail

Illinois Debtors Thrown In Jail: Lisa Madigan Working To Stop Debt Collector Arrest Warrants: "Some Illinois residents struggling to pay off their debt have yet another thing to worry about: getting thrown in jail.

As WBEZ reports, creditors in the state have figured out ways around laws that prevent them from putting debtors in jail, and the number of people being issued arrest warrants linked to unpaid bills is growing. Collection agencies can reportedly file a lawsuit requiring a court appearance, and if the defendant doesn't show up for their hearing, an arrest warrant can be issued.

The practice has been happening more often in a stagnant economy, and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants to do something about it..."

20 December, 2011

North Korea: The Most Bizarre Country On Earth Is Now Even More Unstable

North Korea: The Most Bizarre Country On Earth Is Now Even More Unstable: "A new era has arrived for North Korea and nobody in the western world really knows exactly what is going to happen next. Kim Jong-Il is dead, and now control over the most bizarre country on earth has been handed over to 29-year-old Kim Jong-Un. Many believe that he is even younger than that. North Korea was already quite unstable while Kim Jong-Il was leading it, and now we have a young man that is going to be eager to 'prove himself' to the North Korean hierarchy. Unfortunately, a lot of young men under the age of 30 don't handle fame and fortune too well, and a lot of them tend to be hot-headed. Hopefully Kim Jong-Un will turn out to be a reformer that will open up the doors of North Korea, but he could also end up being worse than his father. We just do not know at this point. We know that Kim Jong-Un was educated in Switzerland as a boy, we know that he speaks French, English and German, and we know that he is reportedly a fan of the NBA. Other than that, we just don't know a whole lot about him. What we do know is that Kim Jong-Un is a product of a totalitarian society that is absolutely obsessed with destroying the United States, and that is a very frightening thing.

Today, North Korea has the fourth largest army in the entire world, and we know that Kim Jong-Un was named a four-star general in 2010. The United States has about 28,000 soldiers stationed in South Korea, but that number is absolutely dwarfed by the 1,000,000 soldiers in the North Korean army.

Most Americans do not realize this, but the Korean war never actually ended. A ceasefire brought the military conflict to a conclusion in 1953, but there was never a peace treaty. For nearly 60 years, the two sides have been staring each other down along the 38th parallel.

All during that time, North Korea has been arming itself to the teeth. North Korea is a nation that is absolutely obsessed with the military and that is absolutely obsessed with destroying the United States.

Most Americans don't spend much time thinking about North Korea, but most North Koreans are focused on the United States every single day. We are constantly held up as the great enemy, and North Koreans are taught that one day they will defeat us.

Today, North Korea has thousands of missile batteries and the largest artillery force in the world. If war with North Korea erupts, Seoul would be flattened within minutes.

Right now, there are approximately 24.5 million people living either in or around Seoul, and that makes it the second largest metropolitan area in the entire world. Even if North Korea did not nuke Seoul, the devastation caused by thousands of rockets and the largest artillery force on the planet would be unimaginable..."

Stocking Up for Doomsday: As Economists Predict Meltdown, Meet the Families Ready for the Worst

Stocking up for Doomsday: As economists predict meltdown, meet the families ready for the worst | Mail Online: "Picture the scene: It’s the end of January 2012 and already it is clear the year to come will make that which has just passed seem something of a picnic. The last strains of Auld Lang Syne had barely faded before Greece defaulted on its debts. Over the next few weeks, Italy and Spain will follow.

Across Britain and the Continent, bank after bank goes down, a domino effect exacerbated by panicking customers desperately withdrawing their savings. Where three years ago the giants of High Street banking were seen as too big too fail, now they are too big and too many for any Government to save.

Panic ensues. Within hours, the cashpoints are empty of money and the supermarket shelves stripped bare.

To make matters worse the country is hit by freezing weather. As temperatures plummet and snow falls, the road network stalls to a grinding halt, while large swathes of the country are hit by electricity blackouts.

The warning by economists that Britain is just ‘nine meals from anarchy’ is brutally borne out. Unlike last summer, the rioters on the streets aren’t looking for trainers and flat-screen TVs — just food.

An absurd fantasy? Perhaps so, but in an increasingly uncertain world, such a scenario can no longer be dismissed out of hand. And strange as it may seem, it’s one that many believe is worth preparing for..."

Countering An EMP Attack

Countering An EMP Attack - Ed Feulner - Townhall Conservative: "When Americans think about the threat from foreign missiles, it’s nearly always the catastrophic effect of a conventional nuclear blast that comes to mind. We think of the doomsday scenarios that have played out in so many movies and TV shows: a nuke explodes over a large city -- leveling buildings, crushing houses and creating a swath of destruction.

But that’s not the only threat that can come from a missile fired from a rogue nation, or one that has fallen into the hands of terrorists. We could also fall victim to the devastating effects of an electromagnetic pulse. With an EMP, almost everything powered by electricity would be effectively wiped out -- not physically, but practically. They would simply cease to work.

Imagine the havoc this could cause. Your cell phone? Useless. The same goes for your TV, radio and computer. Your car might still run, but good luck driving on roads with no working stoplights, accessing your GPS devices for directions, or buying gasoline from pumps that won’t pump. We’d be in the dark, literally -- plunged into the early 19th century in a matter of seconds..."

Eurozone Crisis Poses Military Risk, Warns Defence Chief

Eurozone crisis poses military risk, warns defence chief General Sir David Richards - Telegraph: "It is understood that Armed Forces planners are looking at the possibility that a new global financial crash could undermine the defence forces of key British allies.

The head of the Armed Forces warned that economic issues pose a 'strategic risk' to Britain.

Senior British commanders and officials are concerned that US plans to cut defence spending will be followed by other allies in Europe and elsewhere.

Reductions in allied military capabilities could put a greater burden on Britain’s stretched forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere, it is feared.

The military planning work has come to light after The Daily Telegraph disclosed last month that British embassies in the eurozone have been told to prepare emergency plans for the demise of the euro and the possible civil disorder that could follow..."

19 December, 2011

The Poor Man’s Guide To Survival Gear

The Poor Man’s Guide To Survival Gear: "A friend of mine took note recently that a large portion of activists involved in the Liberty Movement had hit extremely hard times, or had been struggling financially even before the general economic collapse began to take hold. He asked me my theory on why it was that so many of us are always so broke. I could only relate that it is almost always the working class poor in any society that first sees the effects of a corrupt government and a faulty economic system. Those who legitimately hold to the principles of self sustainment, and fair play, are usually the first to be stabbed in the back by the establishment, and so, they are the first to become politically active against it. That is to say, sometimes we have to lose almost everything before we are able to see the bigger picture.

While I consider this fact a source of solace in these extraordinarily hard times, it still does little to put food on the table, or survival gear in the bug-out-bag.

The overall consensus within the prepper community is that survival planning is expensive, and yes, it certainly can be. Another consensus is that you 'get what you pay for'; also true...to a point. My belief is that while no prepping model is free of expense or of quality concerns, perhaps there is a middle road that activists with thin wallets can take which will provide solid gear for less money, and that will serve most of the functions of high-end gear that is ten times as expensive. Let’s examine a foundation list of those items that can help get you started now..."

Top U.S. General Fears Euro Unrest

Top US general fears euro unrest | The Australian: "'The eurozone is at great risk,' the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters, giving the strongest indication yet about the depth of Washington's concerns over Europe's financial tumult.

'We are extraordinarily concerned by the health and viability of the euro because in some ways we're exposed literally to contracts but also because of the potential of civil unrest and breakup of the union that has been forged over there,' Dempsey said.

The unusually frank comments came hours after EU leaders banded together to back tighter budget enforcement, with 26 of the 27 members signalling their willingness to join a 'new fiscal compact' to resolve the crisis..."

Debt-Free United States Notes Were Once Issued Under JFK And The U.S. Government Still Has The Power To Issue Debt-Free Money

Debt-Free United States Notes Were Once Issued Under JFK And The U.S. Government Still Has The Power To Issue Debt-Free Money: "Most Americans have no idea that the U.S. government once issued debt-free money directly into circulation. America once thrived under a debt-free monetary system, and we can do it again. The truth is that the United States is a sovereign nation and it does not need to borrow money from anyone. Back in the days of JFK, Federal Reserve Notes were not the only currency in circulation. Under JFK (at at various other times), a limited number of debt-free United States Notes were issued by the U.S. Treasury and spent by the U.S. government without any new debt being created. In fact, each bill said 'United States Note' right at the top. Unfortunately, United States Notes are not being issued today. If you stop right now and pull a dollar out of your wallet, what does it say right at the top? It says 'Federal Reserve Note'. Normally, the way our current system works is that whenever more Federal Reserve Notes are created more debt is also created. This debt-based monetary system is systematically destroying the wealth of this nation. But it does not have to be this way. The truth is that the U.S. government still has the power under the U.S. Constitution to issue debt-free money, and we need to educate the American people about this..."

A Town Growing All Its Own Vegetables

Temperate Climate Permaculture: Todmorden. A town growing all its own vegetables...: "Admittedly, it sounds like the most foolhardy of criminal capers, and one of the cheekiest, too.

Outside the police station in the small Victorian mill town of Todmorden, West Yorkshire, there are three large raised flower beds.

If you’d visited a few months ago, you’d have found them overflowing with curly kale, carrot plants, lettuces, spring onions — all manner of vegetables and salad leaves.

Today the beds are bare. Why? Because people have been wandering up to the police station forecourt in broad daylight and digging up the vegetables. And what are the cops doing about this brazen theft from right under their noses? Nothing.

Well, that’s not quite correct.

‘I watch ’em on camera as they come up and pick them,’ says desk officer Janet Scott, with a huge grin. It’s the smile that explains everything.

For the vegetable-swipers are not thieves. The police station carrots — and thousands of vegetables in 70 large beds around the town — are there for the taking. Locals are encouraged to help themselves. A few tomatoes here, a handful of broccoli there. If they’re in season, they’re yours. Free.

So there are (or were) raspberries, apricots and apples on the canal towpath; blackcurrants, redcurrants and strawberries beside the doctor’s surgery; beans and peas outside the college; cherries in the supermarket car park; and mint, rosemary, thyme and fennel by the health centre.

The vegetable plots are the most visible sign of an amazing plan: to make Todmorden the first town in the country that is self-sufficient in food...

16 December, 2011

Why All Signs Point to Chaos

Why all signs point to chaos - 1 - Global economy - MSN Money: "You don't have to look far to find evidence that the glue that binds us together is losing its grip. Blame the years of economic turmoil and hardship. The volatility. The booms and busts. The persistent joblessness. The increasingly narrow path to financial independence.

For the vast majority of us -- dare I say, the 99% -- the social contract seems like a raw deal these days. Witness the anger shown in polls toward both President Barack Obama and House Republicans; depending on your political bent, you likely hate one and are disappointed by the other. Look at the ongoing, evolving natures of the Occupy Wall Street protests and the earlier Tea Party movement.

This isn't happening just here at home.

The most acute examples of popular rage can be seen overseas. Earlier this year, Arab Spring movements raged against despots across the Middle East and North Africa. More currently, a backlash against Vladimir Putin's shenanigans in Russia has erupted, and China is facing outrage over the less-serious problem of falling condo prices.

But above all, the unrest that has economists the most unsettled is in Europe -- the consequences of which will reverberate throughout the global economy and could very well pull the United States down into a new recession in 2012.

Frighteningly, to some economists, a new recession is the upside. How bad could the downside get?..."

Should You Leave the USA Before the Collapse? Words of Wisdom From Someone Who Tried

Should you leave the USA before the collapse? Words of wisdom from someone who tried: "One of the most common questions I'm asked today from people who are aware of what's really going on is, 'Should I leave the USA to get away from the coming police state?' Three years ago, I would have said YES, but today, after having experienced such an effort myself and now having a clear understanding of the ramifications of such an effort, I must urge people to reconsider. As you'll read here, you may ultimately be far safer and more successful living right where you are, in your 'home country,' even if that home country becomes a police state..."

50 Economic Numbers From 2011 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

50 Economic Numbers From 2011 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe: "Even though most Americans have become very frustrated with this economy, the reality is that the vast majority of them still have no idea just how bad our economic decline has been or how much trouble we are going to be in if we don't make dramatic changes immediately. If we do not educate the American people about how deathly ill the U.S. economy has become, then they will just keep falling for the same old lies that our politicians keep telling them. Just 'tweaking' things here and there is not going to fix this economy. We truly do need a fundamental change in direction. America is consuming far more wealth than it is producing and our debt is absolutely exploding. If we stay on this current path, an economic collapse is inevitable..."

The Collapse Of The Euro, The Death Of The Euro And The End Of The Euro

The Collapse Of The Euro, The Death Of The Euro And The End Of The Euro: "The euro was a doomed project from the start, and now we are starting to see the endgame play out.... As panic has swept the financial markets, the euro has lost more than 3 percent over... three days. But this is just the beginning. When the euro drops below 1.20, analysts will talk about the collapse of the euro. When the euro falls toward parity with the dollar, headlines around the world will scream about the death of the euro. But when the European financial system finally collapses, we may very well actually see the end of the euro. Yes, it actually could happen. The eurozone, as it is currently constructed, simply does not work. You just can't take 17 different nations that have 17 different fiscal policies, 17 different tax policies and 17 different economic agendas and cram them all into a single currency and expect the thing to work. The euro is a doomed currency, and if a big nation like Germany decides to walk away at some point the game is going to be over..."

15 December, 2011

Preppers Are Now Considered To Be Potential Terrorists?

Preppers Are Now Considered To Be Potential Terrorists?: "If you and your family store up lots of food, will you be identified as 'potential terrorists' by law enforcement authorities? That sounds like an insane question, but sadly it has gotten to the point where 'preparing for the worst' has become a 'suspicious activity'. Today, there are millions of preppers all across the United States, and the vast majority of them just want to be left alone and do not want the government to interfere in their lives. Storing up food is a completely peaceful activity, and preppers are generally some of the most patriotic and law-abiding people that you could ever hope to meet. Unfortunately, prepping has become associated with 'extremism' by many in the government, and lately we have seen some very disturbing signs that authorities are actively seeking to gather information on preppers. So are preppers now considered to be potential terrorists? Well, read the evidence posted in the rest of this article and decide for yourself..."

The Indefinite Detention Bill DOES Apply to American Citizens on U.S. Soil

The Indefinite Detention Bill DOES Apply to American Citizens on U.S. Soil - Washington's Blog: "Even at this 11th hour – when all of our liberties and freedom are about to go down the drain – many people still don’t understand that the indefinite detention bill passed by Congress allows indefinite detention of Americans on American soil..."

Child Poverty In America Is Absolutely EXPLODING – 16 Shocking Statistics That Will Break Your Heart

Child Poverty In America Is Absolutely EXPLODING – 16 Shocking Statistics That Will Break Your Heart: "If the U.S. economy is improving, then why is child poverty in America absolutely exploding? If we are experiencing 'economic growth', then why are more than half of all children in major U.S. cities like Cleveland and Detroit living in poverty? If we are the 'greatest economy on earth', then why are one out of every four American children on food stamps? The shocking statistics that you are about to read below should absolutely break your heart. Tonight, millions of precious American children will go to bed without any dinner. Tonight, millions of American children will shiver as they try to go to sleep because their families cannot afford any heat. How bad does child poverty have to get before we all finally admit that our economic system is completely failing many of the most vulnerable members of our society? If you want someone to blame, you can blame Congress, the Obama administration, the Bush administration and the corrupt Wall Street bankers. But most of all, blame the Federal Reserve and the debt-based monetary system that the Fed administers. Our economy is in the midst of a long-term decline and is slowly but surely dying. Many of those that are suffering the most from this decline are children..."

Electricity Bills Soar Nationwide

ELECTRICITY BILLS SOAR NATIONWIDE… | Colonel6's Blog: "Electric bills have skyrocketed in the last five years, a sharp reversal from a quarter-century when Americans enjoyed stable power bills even as they used more electricity.

Households paid a record $1,419 on average for electricity in 2010, the fifth consecutive yearly increase above the inflation rate, a USA TODAY analysis of government data found. The jump has added about $300 a year to what households pay for electricity. That’s the largest sustained increase since a run-up in electricity prices during the 1970s.

Electricty is consuming a greater share of Americans’ after-tax income than at any time since 1996 — about $1.50 of every $100 in income at a time when income growth has stagnated, a USA TODAY analysis of Bureau of Economic Analysis data found..."

14 December, 2011

All Hail The United States Of Germany? The Rest Of Europe Is Facing Either German Domination Or Financial Collapse

All Hail The United States Of Germany? The Rest Of Europe Is Facing Either German Domination Or Financial Collapse: "It has now become very clear who dominates Europe. As European officials prepare to gather for one of the most important summits in EU history, it has become apparent that either the German plan for a new EU treaty is going to be adopted or there is not going to be a deal at all. Germany wants to impose strict new fiscal restraints on all of the eurozone nations. This would include a new 3 percent budget deficit rule with automatic sanctions on any violators. The European Court of Justice would be given power to decide whether or not an individual nation was complying with the 3 percent rule or not. A highly controversial new tax on all financial transactions is also being proposed, along with a number of other repressive new regulations that are designed to more tightly integrate Europe. Germany says that if all 27 EU nations are not willing to go along with a new treaty then it is prepared to strike an agreement with just the 17 nations that make up the eurozone. But not everyone is thrilled with what Germany is trying to do. Critics are saying that the German proposals (which are also being backed by the French) would mean a massive loss of sovereignty for most of the nations that make up the eurozone, and they would essentially turn the eurozone into 'the United States of Germany'..."

Baking Bread in a Wood Cookstove

Here is a link to an awesome piece on Baking Bread in a Wood Cookstove from over at the Paratus Familia Blog. Enjoy!

Ron Paul Furious Over Indefinite Detention Act

Ron Paul furious over indefinite detention act — RT: "With the approval from the Oval Office the only thing keeping a terrifying law that will allow for the indefinite detention and torture of Americans from passing, presidential hopeful Ron Paul has finally unleashed on the legislation.

Although President Barack Obama had originally insisted that he would veto the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin revealed recently that the bill in its current wording was drafted after the current administration asked for changes.

Already making its way through the House and Senate, the Act in its current wording will allow for Americans suspected of any 'belligerent' act to be detained in Guantanamo Bay-style military prisons indefinitely for any alleged crimes without trial..."


Gerald Celente: Predicts An Economic 9/11 For The United States Economy (NYSEARCA:SLV, NYSEARCA:GLD, NYSEARCA:TZA, NYSEARCA:TNA, NYSEARCA:SH, NYSEARCA:VGK) | ETF DAILY NEWS: "Founder of Trends Research Institute Gerald Celente predicts an economic 9/11 for the United States is just around the corner.

Though last Friday’s U.S. Labor Department employment report showed a remarkable drop in the unemployment rate to 8.6 percent for November, down from 9 percent in October, Celente’s said nothing has changed in the employment picture. In fact, he said, the economy will get worse.

Moreover, because of the Celente’s deteriorating jobs outlook, continued inflation and a deepening recession slated for the first quarter of 2012, America will explode into 'economic martial law,' according to him.

America is being fed the hope of a recovery; it’s all a 'lie,' Celente said, and will blindside many Americans who still believe Washington’s propaganda and numbers fudging..."

Startup Turns Your Cell-Phone Number into a Location Fix

'Cause privacy isn't important and stuff... [shakes head]


Startup Turns Your Cell-Phone Number into a Location Fix - Technology Review: "Your phone number's area code gives other people a clue to where you live, or have lived in the past. Startup company Loc-Aid can use your full phone number to figure out exactly where you are right now..."

13 December, 2011

Mega Fail: 17 Signs That The European Financial System Is Heading For An Implosion Of Historic Proportions

Mega Fail: 17 Signs That The European Financial System Is Heading For An Implosion Of Historic Proportions: "What happens when you attempt a cold shutdown of one of the biggest debt spirals that the world has ever seen? Well, we are about to find out. The politicians in Europe have decided that they are going to 'take their medicine' and put strict limits on budget deficits. They have also decided that the European Central Bank is not going to engage in reckless money printing to 'paper over' the debts of troubled nations. This may all sound wonderful to many of you, but the reality is that there is always a tremendous amount of pain whenever a massive debt spiral is interrupted. Just look at what happened to Greece. Greece was forced to raise taxes and implement brutal austerity measures. That caused the economy to slow down and tax revenues to decline and so government debt figures did not improve as much as anticipated. So Greece was forced to implement even more brutal austerity measures. Well, that caused the economy to slow down even more and tax revenues declined again. In Greece this cycle has been repeated several times and now Greece is experiencing a full-blown economic depression. 100,000 businesses have closed and a third of the population is living in poverty. But now Germany and France intend to impose the 'Greek solution' on the rest of Europe. This is going to create the conditions needed for a 'perfect storm' to develop and it means that the European financial system is heading for an implosion of historic proportions..."

Alaska's Governor Proposes $4.9 Million For Emergency Food Caches

Parnell Proposes $4.9 Million For Emergency Food Caches | alaskapublic.org: "Gov. Sean Parnell is proposing $4.9 million for emergency food supplies to be stashed across the state.

Parnell says his administration is working to ensure every community is prepared with power generation, safe drinking water and food supplies in case of an emergency or natural disaster..."

Police To Test Laser That [Temporarily] 'Blinds Rioters'

Police to test laser that 'blinds rioters' - Telegraph: "A shoulder-mounted laser that emits a blinding wall of light capable of repelling rioters is to be trialled by police under preparations to prevent a repeat of this summer's looting and arson.

The technology, developed by a former Royal Marine commando, temporarily impairs the vision of anyone who looks towards the source.

It has impressed a division of the Home Office which is testing a new range of devices because of the growing number of violent situations facing the police.

The developer, British-based Photonic Security Systems, hopes to offer the device to shipping companies to deter pirates. Similar devices have been used by ISAF troops in Afghanistan to protect convoys from insurgents.

The laser, resembling a rifle and known as an SMU 100, can dazzle and incapacitate targets up to 500m away with a wall of light up to three metres squared..."

No One Telling Who Took $586 Billion in Swaps With Fed Condoning Anonymity

No One Telling Who Took $586 Billion in Swaps With Fed Condoning Anonymity - Bloomberg: "For all the transparency forced on the Federal Reserve by Congress and the courts, one of the central bank’s emergency-lending programs remains so secretive that names of borrowers may be hidden from the Fed itself.

As part of a currency-swap plan active from 2007 to 2010 and revived to fight the European debt crisis, the Fed lends dollars to other central banks, which auction them to local commercial banks. Lending peaked at $586 billion in December 2008. While the transactions with other central banks are all disclosed, the Fed doesn’t track where the dollars ultimately end up, and European officials don’t share borrowers’ identities outside the continent.

The lack of openness may leave the U.S. government and public in the dark on the beneficiaries and potential risks from one of the Fed’s largest crisis-loan programs..."

12 December, 2011

Shocking Charts And Statistics That Prove That America Is No Longer A Wealthy Nation

Shocking Charts And Statistics That Prove That America Is No Longer A Wealthy Nation: "How do you decide whether you are wealthy or not? Do you determine that by how much money you spend at the stores? Of course not. You can tell if you are wealthy or not by comparing your assets (the money in your bank account, equity in your home, etc.) to your liabilities (your mortgage, credit card debt, student loan debt, etc.). Well, a lot of Americans seem to believe that just because a lot of money is circulating in our economy that it must mean that we are a wealthy nation. But that is simply not true. To tell whether or not America is a wealthy nation, you need to look at the balance sheet numbers. And when you look at the balance sheet numbers, a very sobering story emerges. Over the past three decades, government debt, business debt and household debt have absolutely exploded, but our assets have not. That means that we are getting poorer as a nation..."

James Howard Kunstler: The Cookie Crumbles

The Cookie Crumbles - Clusterfuck Nation: "... Reality is a harsh mistress. She insists that you pay attention and then, having done so, take care of business. Politics, on the other hand, is more like stage magic. The man in the tuxedo is always trying to divert your attention. The world has run out of money, that is credible money of the type that represents real wealth, and yet is up to its ears in paper representations of putative wealth-like stuff... And now, alas, at Christmas time, the world has gotten a margin call and needs to fork over a whole lot of collateral in order to demonstrate that the global system of financial obligations is legit. Only the collateral turns out to be all this dubious paper, really just a bouquet of promises to pay in distant future Tuesdays for trillions of hamburgers today.

Nobody who observed the proceedings in last week's European Union talks came away from that spectacle feeling reassured. Brussels is like a ventriloquist's dummy sitting on Germany's knee. Germany cannot just step up and act like the Boss of Europe. Too many bad memories of an earlier instance, when a gang of maniacs wearing uniforms studded with grinning totenkopf insignia turned the whole region into a charnel house. So, Germany has to pretend to speak through Brussels. The message was: listen up all y'all nations of the Eurozone! Prepare to live on a whole lot less than you're used to! Do not exceed your borrowing and spending! Or else!

Yes, the lingering question: or else...what?...

... The old animosities are leaking out of Pandora's History Box... Could they really start beating up on each other with armies again? It would appear unthinkable. But that is exactly why the First World War destroyed the morale of Western Civ in 1914, too, after the Long Peace that followed the Napoleonic Wars. You're standing there on a lovely street corner in Verdun and the unthinkable whaps you upside the head..."


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.

Thousands Without Power in UK on Coldest Day of Winter

Thousands of homes without power on coldest day of winter - Telegraph: "Engineers worked through the night to restore power after hurricane force winds cut off the electricity supplies to 105,000 homes across Scotland.

On Saturday morning more than 10,000 properties were still without power as fresh snow fell in many parts of the country..."

Frozen Beer Helped Man Trapped in Snow Drift Survive

Frozen beer helped man trapped in snow drift survive: Northwest Alaska | Alaska news at adn.com: "Clifton Vial, 52, climbed into the cab of his Toyota Tacoma Monday night in Nome to see how far a road winding to the north would take him.

More than 40 miles out of town, at about 9:30 that night, he found out. As Pink Floyd's "Echoes" played on the stereo and temperature dipped well below zero in the darkness, Vial's pickup plunged into a snowdrift.

'I made an attempt at digging myself out and realized how badly I was stuck,' said Vial. He was wearing tennis shoes, jeans and a $30 jacket from Sears. 'I would have been frostbit before I ever got the thing out of there.'

... Far beyond the reach of his cellphone, Vial slipped into a fleece sleeping bag liner and wrapped a bath towel around his feet. He occasionally started the truck to run the heater and listen to the radio...

... By the third day, Vial said, the truck was nearly out of gas...

... 'I felt really pissed at myself,' Vial said. 'I shouldn't have been out there by myself unprepared for what I knew was possible.'

Normally Vial carries a sleeping bag, extra gasoline and other survival gear in the 2000 Toyota, he said. But on this trip he had few supplies, no food and no water...

... For Vial, the cold was worse than the hunger, he said. Still he scoured the pickup in vain for food.

His only provisions: Snow, and a few cans of Coors Light that had frozen solid in the cab.

Vial ate the beers like cans of beans. 'I cut the lids off and dug it out with a knife,' he said..."

09 December, 2011

Society's Thin Veneer Crumbling: Mob of 50 Teen-Aged Girls Beats Down Two NYC Cops

Witness another example of our society's increasingly thin veneer of civility crumbling with rot...


Mob of 50 Teen-Aged Girls Beats Down Two NYC Cops | TheBlaze.com: "New York City firefighters came to the rescue of two NYPD cops who were outnumbered and getting pummeled by 50 angry female teenagers on Tuesday.

The Firefighters from the FDNY opened up on the violent crowd with a 'deluge gun'– which is a high-powered, truck-mounted water cannon–finally causing the mob to disperse.

NYPD officers made nine arrests, but two officers were hospitalized in the attack. Police also recovered a starter pistol, which may have been intended to further terrify the original female target of the mob.

The scene unfolded in New York’s Staten Island borough when a mob of 50 young females gathered outside the home of a single young girl and threatened her. Apparently, the girl had been kept home from school for several days because of repeated and vicious bullying, so the bullies came to her doorstep..."

China to Prepare for Social Unrest

China to Prepare for Social Unrest - CNBC: "Beijing has underlined its concern that an economic slowdown could lead to social unrest in China, with the country’s security chief urging local officials to do more to prepare for the 'negative effects of the market economy'.

Zhou Yongkang, a member of the politburo, told provincial officials that they needed to find better methods of 'social management' – a euphemism which can include everything from better internet censorship and strategic policing of violent unrest, to a better social safety net..."

Jim Rogers: US Falling Into 'Deeper Trouble,' Faces 2013 Depression

Jim Rogers: US Falling Into 'Deeper Trouble,' Faces 2013 Depression: "The United States economy never really emerged from the recession that began in 2008 and is possibly headed for a more chronic depression, and the prognosis for recovery doesn't look good, especially in 2013, says international investor Jim Rogers.

President Barack Obama has tried to spend the economy back into recovery, which never helps, Rogers told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.

When an economy falls into a recession, which normally happens once every four to six years, it needs to run its course, which is painful but healthy in the long run.

Spending money via stimulus packages or through ultra-loose monetary policies resuscitates the economy but not for long and makes the day of reckoning even more painful when it arrives..."

What Is The Best Country In The World For Americans To Relocate To In Order To Avoid The Coming Economic Collapse?

What Is The Best Country In The World For Americans To Relocate To In Order To Avoid The Coming Economic Collapse?: "Millions of American citizens have already left the United States in search of a better life. As the economy continues to crumble and as our society slowly falls apart, millions of others are thinking about it. But moving to another country is not something to be done lightly. The reality is that there are a vast array of social, cultural, economic and safety issues to be considered. If you have never traveled outside of North America, then you have no idea how incredibly different life in other parts of the world can be. For those that are unfamiliar with international travel, it can be quite a shock to suddenly be immersed in a foreign culture. In fact, no matter how experienced you are, choosing to relocate to a new country is never easy. But things have gone downhill so dramatically in the United States that picking up and moving to a foreign nation is being increasingly viewed as a viable alternative by millions of Americans. A lot of people have decided that they simply do not want to be in the United States when the excrement hits the fan. So what is the best country in the world for Americans to relocate to in order to avoid the coming economic collapse?..."

Texas Drought Visible in New National Groundwater Maps

Texas drought visible in new national groundwater maps: "The record-breaking drought in Texas that has fueled wildfires, decimated crops and forced cattle sales has also reduced levels of groundwater in much of the state to the lowest levels seen in more than 60 years, according to new national maps produced by NASA and distributed by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln..."

08 December, 2011

Disaster Preparedness Leads the Way in Holiday Shopping this Christmas Season

Disaster preparedness leads the way in holiday shopping this Christmas season - National Finance Examiner | Examiner.com: "As Black Friday sales numbers continue to roll in from last week, a new report is showing that Americans are spending a large amount of money this year on disaster preparedness, and in particular, on guns. Rather than seeking discounts solely on Christmas gifts and low-quality electronics, an FBI search on December 1st showed that background checks on Black Friday for gun purchases soared as people focussed their shopping choices on the growing economic crisis..."

Greeks Using ‘Starvation Recipes’ Cookbook to Survive Economy

Greeks Using ‘Starvation Recipes’ Cookbook to Survive Economy | Video | TheBlaze.com: "It’s the ultimate belt-tightening handbook: No Meat? Push an eggplant through the grinder instead. Chew your food long enough for your stomach to feel full. And don’t forget to sweep crumbs off your table and into a jar.

These are some of the tips Greeks used to survive the World War II occupation that have been collected in 'Starvation Recipes' – a cookbook that has become a surprise hit as millions of Greeks struggle to make ends meet in a new era of hardship brought on by economic crisis..."

20 Signs That The Culture Of Government Dependence Has Gotten Completely And Totally Out Of Control

20 Signs That The Culture Of Government Dependence Has Gotten Completely And Totally Out Of Control: "More Americans are financially dependent on the government than ever before. For a variety of reasons, there are now tens of millions of Americans that would not be able to survive without government assistance. As I wrote about the other day, the insane economic policies of our 'representatives' in Washington D.C. have created a situation where there are not nearly enough decent jobs for everyone. So the job market has become a giant game of 'musical chairs' and a lot of American families have been left out in the cold when the music has stopped. Of course we are not going to let them starve in the streets. There are also some Americans that simply do not have the capacity to take care of themselves. It is certainly the compassionate thing to do to give them a helping hand. However, with all of that said, we also have to face the fact that we have created a 'culture of dependence' in this country. Americans that are now in their prime working years have been taught all of their lives that the government is going to take care of them from the cradle to the grave. This culture of government dependence has gotten completely and totally out of control, and now nearly half of all American households receive some form of government benefits. As a result, our debt is absolutely exploding, everyone looks to the government to solve our problems and very few Americans seem to possess a very strong work ethic any longer..."

Mugger Left Bloodied After Attempt on MMA Fighter

7 Kinds of Awesome!


U.S. News - Mugger left bloodied after attempt on MMA fighter: "A convicted felon decided to mug an MMA fighter on the Southwest Side of Chicago, police say, and ended up paying a steep price.

Police did not release the victim's name but said he was able to ward off Anthony Miranda, 24, who ended up with two black eyes and a gunshot wound to the ankle after a tussle.

The victim was sitting in his parked car near 55th St. and Kenneth when Anthony Miranda, 24, walked up to the car asking for a lighter, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

When the victim did not have one, Miranda pulled out a handgun and demanded money, police officials said. He then demanded the victim get out of the car.

At some point, the victim was able to grab control of the gun while Miranda's attention was diverted. The two men wrestled on the ground and during the fight, Miranda accidentally discharged his gun, shooting himself in the ankle, police said.

The victim was able to pin down Miranda until police arrived and later told officials he was a martial arts expert and ultimate fighting champion.

Miranda was taken to Holy Cross Hospital with a face full of cuts and two black eyes, police said. He has been charged with armed robbery and aggravated discharge of a firearm, a class X felony.

Records show Miranda has several convictions, including at least one for a residential burglary. He was ordered held on $350,000 bond Sunday."

07 December, 2011

Audit of the Federal Reserve Reveals 16 Trillion in Secret Bailouts

Audit of the Federal Reserve Reveals 16 Trillion in Secret Bailouts: "The first ever GAO (Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months due to the Ron Paul, Alan Grayson Amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill, which passed last year. Jim DeMint, a Republican Senator, and Bernie Sanders, an independent Senator, led the charge for a Federal Reserve audit in the Senate, but watered down the original language of the house bill(HR1207), so that a complete audit would not be carried out. Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, and various other bankers vehemently opposed the audit and lied to Congress about the effects an audit would have on markets. Nevertheless, the results of the first audit in the Federal Reserve’s nearly 100 year history were posted on Senator Sander’s webpage earlier this morning.

What was revealed in the audit was startling:
$16,000,000,000,000.00 (trillion) dollars had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest. Why the Federal Reserve had never been public about this or even informed the United States Congress about the $16 trillion dollar bailout is obvious - the American public would have been outraged to find out that the Federal Reserve bailed out foreign banks while Americans were struggling to find jobs.

To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is 'only' $14.5 trillion. The budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate is 'only' $3.5 trillion. Take all of the outrage and debate over the $1.5 trillion deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world..."

New Flu Strain, H3N2, Makes Health Experts Nervous

New Flu Strain, H3N2, Makes Health Experts Nervous: "A new variant of a flu virus that circulates in pigs has been jumping occasionally into people, providing a surprisingly early opportunity for public health officials to test out some of the lessons learned from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

Since the virus was first spotted in July, there have been 10 cases, all but one of which were children under the age of 10. (The exception was a 58 year old.) All the cases have been in the United States; there have been no reports of this virus in people or pigs anywhere else

The most recent infections, in three young children in Iowa, almost certainly involved person-to-person spread. The Iowa cluster is likely larger — no one in the first child’s family had exposure to pigs, suggesting an unidentified person was the source of virus.

The cases leave public health authorities in the U.S. and elsewhere wondering if a new swine-origin influenza virus is circulating at low levels among humans – and what needs to be done if that is indeed happening..."

Contagion Catastrophe

Contagion Catastrophe - Jim Tankersley - NationalJournal.com: "This is the worst-case scenario from Europe, and it just might come true: Italy defaults on its debts. Every major Italian bank collapses. Recession grips the eurozone. Sovereign defaults and bank failures ripple across the Continent. Saddled with bad loans to nations and lenders in Europe, American banks hemorrhage cash. Credit freezes in the United States. Multinational companies, unable to raise money, curb U.S. investment and hiring. Wall Street demands, but fails to get, new bailouts. The entire developed world plummets into recession and, quite possibly, depression.

This, in contrast, is the placid warning that President Obama gave Americans about the threat... There’s still a chance that Europeans, through some combination of fiscal and monetary action, can stop the crisis before it shatters the feeble U.S. recovery. But the worst case is so much worse than Obama’s description, and Washington has failed to prepare voters for the possibility. 'The [potential] shock we’re talking about is of very large magnitude,' says Viral Acharya, a New York University professor who studies financial risk extensively. 'If you’re just having an Armageddon coming your way, [America’s] buffers may not be adequate.'..."

Teen Stopped by TSA for Gun-Themed Purse

Teen stopped by TSA for gun-themed purse | U.S./World News - Home: "... Vanessa Gibbs, 17, said officials with the Transportation Security Administration at Norfolk International Airport stopped her during a security screening because they said her handbag -- which has the shape of a gun designed on it -- was as a security risk, WJXT-TV reported.

According to the TV station, Gibbs said she had no problem going through TSA screening at Jacksonville International Airport but was stopped as she was headed home from a holiday trip in Virginia.

'It's my style. It's camouflage. It has an old western gun on it,' Gibbs told the TV station. 'She was like, 'This is a federal offense because it's in the shape of a gun.' I'm like, 'But it's a design on a purse. How is it a federal offense?''

Gibbs said after agents figured out the gun was a fake, she was directed to check the bag or turn it over.

However, because of the TSA delay, the teen said she missed her flight, and had to fly to Orlando instead, worrying her mother, who was waiting in Jacksonville..."

06 December, 2011

The Worst In The World – The U.S. Balance Of Trade Is Mind-Blowingly Bad

The Worst In The World – The U.S. Balance Of Trade Is Mind-Blowingly Bad: "Did you know that we buy about a half a trillion dollars more stuff from the rest of the world than they buy from us? The U.S. balance of trade is not only mind-blowingly bad - it is the worst in the world. It is being projected that the U.S. trade deficit for 2011 will be 558.2 billion dollars. That would be an increase of more than 11 percent from last year. As I have written about previously, the United States is the worst in the world at a lot of things, but as far as the economic well-being of our nation is concerned, our balance of trade is particularly important. Every single month, far more money goes out of this country than comes into it. Tax revenues are significantly reduced as all of this money gets sucked out of our communities. The federal government, state governments and local governments borrow gigantic piles of money to try to make up the difference, but all of this borrowing just makes our debt problems a whole lot worse. In the end, no amount of government debt is going to be able to cover over the fact that our national economic pie is shrinking. We are continually consuming far more wealth than we produce, and that is a recipe for economic disaster..."

Rand Paul Warns Preppers that the Government Considers You Terrorists.

Rand Paul warns preppers that the government considers you terrorists.: "In a warning from Rand Paul on the senate floor, where he speaks out against provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act, we learned today that the government considers having guns or storing more than 7 days of food a possible terrorist activity.

In the speech Rand Paul warns Americans that 'Someone who has guns, someone who has ammunition that is weather proofed, someone who has 7 days of food in their house' can be considered a potential terrorist by the federal government.

He warns that under a new provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act the federal government could lock you up indefinitely if you are suspected of activities that they consider terrorism related. That’s right the military will now have the power to lock up anyone, even American citizens without due process and without being convicted of a crime..."

Abrupt Economic Collapse - The Time Draws Near

Abrupt Economic Collapse - The Time Draws Near - YouTube

CIA following Twitter, Facebook

CIA following Twitter, Facebook | DFPK - Insight With Integrity: "In an anonymous industrial park in Virginia, in an unassuming brick building, the CIA is following tweets – up to 5 million a day.

At the agency’s Open Source Center, a team known affectionately as the “vengeful librarians” also pores over Facebook, newspapers, TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms – anything overseas that anyone can access and contribute to openly.

From Arabic to Mandarin Chinese, from an angry tweet to a thoughtful blog, the analysts gather the information, often in native tongue. They cross-reference it with the local newspaper or a clandestinely intercepted phone conversation. From there, they build a picture sought by the highest levels at the White House, giving a real-time peek, for example, at the mood of a region after the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden or perhaps a prediction of which Mideast nation seems ripe for revolt...

... The center had started focusing on social media after watching the Twitter-sphere rock the Iranian regime during the Green Revolution of 2009, when thousands protested the results of the elections that put Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back in power. “Farsi was the third largest presence in social media blogs at the time on the Web,” Naquin said.

The center’s analysis ends up in President Barack Obama’s daily intelligence briefing in one form or another, almost every day.

After bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in May, the CIA followed Twitter to give the White House a snapshot of world public opinion..."

Overruled: Government Invasion of your Parental Rights (Official Movie)

Be advised: this piece is a "docudrama" as opposed to a "documentary," but the overall message is valid.


Overruled: Government Invasion of your Parental Rights (Official Movie) - YouTube

Glenn Beck Interview RE: Scary Technology

05 December, 2011

Homemade Mead -- the Cheap, Easy and Effective Way

First off, let me say -- as you will quickly be able to tell in the reading of it -- this article is many months in the making.  In it I will document my first foray into home-brewing Mead, the oldest alcoholic beverage known to mankind and the father of both beer and wine, as carried-out beginning on the evening of 4.22.2011. Be advised: my amateur methods likely will not please purists/diehard home-brew hobbyist who insist on using lots of fancy equipment and accessories in their process.  The title of this article, you will soon find, is an apt one -- this is the cheap, easy and effective method.

The basic recipe I used can be found here.  After talking to some of the fine folks at the Homebrew Talk Forums, however, I learned that this is essentially a variation of an old, well-known recipe called "Joe's Ancient Orange Mead" or simply "J.A.O.M." for short.  You can Google it, if you like, to find many different variations.

 The recipe called for 2 bottles of honey, but I only used about 1-and-a-half to keep it from being too strong; I'll use the other half bottle to sweeten the Mead before drinking.

 Finished mixture, before adding the balloon to let it breathe. -------------->

After adding the balloon to let it breathe. The balloon, by the way, has 2 tiny pinholes to allow the gases created by the fermentation process to escape, otherwise the jug would explode!

A little over 3 hours later fermentation begins as you can see the gases partially inflating the balloon. The gases bleed out slowly through the tiny pinholes previously poked in the balloon.

As of 5.19.2011, I have notes that record the mixture as "quickly clearing to a light amber color"; and, having been siphoned twice to new containers, leaving behind the dead yeast and the fruit.  Then, on 7.15.2011 (the 12 week mark), I bottled the batch:

It was here that I made what I am told is a fairly common rookie mistake.  In adding the left-over honey as a "back sweetener" (because I'm a wuss who prefers my wines sweet, not dry), I inadvertently re-awakened the yeast and started the fermentation process all over again.  So, back online I went to order some Campden tablets.  Then, treated to kill the yeast for good; added more honey and some brown sugar, cinnamon and a little cloves to offset the extra alcohol my mistake created; and, re-bottled.

Now, fast-forward to the present.

The extra bottles you see above are from a 2nd, slightly smaller batch started on 5.13.2011.  Being that both batches are now past the 6 month mark called for in the initial recipe, I decided to try some.

And, I must say I am rather pleased.  As you can see, it has a nice honey-ish color and is not at all cloudy.

The rich, sweet flavor of the clover honey is very strong as is the scent.  I am told aging it a year or more will make it even better, but even at this young age I find it no worse than any other inexpensive sweet table wine.

All in all, I'm rather happy with my results as a beginner.  Let me know what you think.

Have You Heard About The 16 Trillion Dollar Bailout The Federal Reserve Handed To The Too Big To Fail Banks?

Have You Heard About The 16 Trillion Dollar Bailout The Federal Reserve Handed To The Too Big To Fail Banks?: "What you are about to read should absolutely astound you. During the last financial crisis, the Federal Reserve secretly conducted the biggest bailout in the history of the world, and the Fed fought in court for several years to keep it a secret. Do you remember the TARP bailout? The American people were absolutely outraged that the federal government spent 700 billion dollars bailing out the 'too big to fail' banks. Well, that bailout was pocket change compared to what the Federal Reserve did. As you will see documented below, the Federal Reserve actually handed more than 16 trillion dollars in nearly interest-free money to the 'too big to fail' banks between 2007 and 2010. So have you heard about this on the nightly news? Probably not. Lately Bloomberg has been reporting on some of this, but even they are not giving people the whole picture. The American people need to be told about this 16 trillion dollar bailout, because it is a perfect example of why the Federal Reserve needs to be shut down. The Federal Reserve has been actively picking 'winners' and 'losers' in the financial system, and it turns out that the 'friends' of the Fed always get bailed out and always end up among the 'winners'. This is not how a free market system is supposed to work..."

James Howard Kunstler: Suspended Civilization

Suspended Civilization - Clusterfuck Nation: "... why is Jon Corzine still at large? In what fabulous Manhattan restaurants has he been enjoying plates of cockscombs and lobster with sauce hydromel and cinghiale ai frutti di bosco, while less well-connected citizens of this degenerate republic have to order their suppers from the dumpster in the WalMart parking lot where they have been living lately.

Is there still an Attorney General in this country?... Or did congress just retract all the fraud statutes by stealth in the same way that the Federal Reserve handed out $7.7 trillion in bailouts back in 2008 (much more than the generally accepted figure of the $800 billion TARP) without anyone finding out until three years later when some Bloomberg reporters rooted the numbers out of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filing. And by the way, what is the US Federal Reserve doing handing out billions of dollars to the Royal Bank of Scotland? Was Scotland admitted to the Union by stealth, too?...

... This is what life in the USA is like nowadays: shit happens and shit un-happens, and you find out about it years later. Only a desperate and hopelessly degenerate nation would choose to live this way, in a law-optional society, in which money means everything, and yet nobody even knows what money is (or where it goes, and what it does when it goes there.)

Jon Corzine has not revealed the destination of the loot (somewhere between $600 million and $2.5 billion, estimated) that vanished from the 'segregated' accounts of his many clients at MF Global... Beyond the question of why Mr. Corzine is not in jail... is how come the Department of Justice has not so much as issued a statement saying that they were looking into the matter, so as to reassure both the victims and the financial markets that this is not a culture that just makes shit up as it goes along...

... The clowns and villains who run America have accomplished something really epic: they have vanquished meaning. Nobody knows what anything means anymore. Anything goes now. All bets are off. It's not reassuring. It leads to bad things happening like blood in the streets..."


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.

Barack Obama Is Taking A 17 Day Vacation Even As America Falls Apart All Around Him

Barack Obama Is Taking A 17 Day Vacation Even As America Falls Apart All Around Him: "What in the world is Barack Obama thinking? The United States of America is falling apart all around him, and yet he decides to take a 17 day Hawaiian vacation. Does he even understand that he is the leader of the free world? Does he even understand that this country is mired in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression? Last year, a similar Hawaiian vacation by the Obamas ending up costing more than 1 million dollars. Other than when I was in school, I don't remember ever taking a 17 day vacation. In fact, most Americans do not even get 17 vacation days for an entire year. Yet the Obamas seem to think that part of occupying the White House is to take as many vacations as possible. It has been reported that Michelle Obama spent over 10 million dollars of U.S. taxpayer money on vacations during just one recent 12 month period alone. It would be one thing if they were taking these vacations at a time when America was thriving, but the truth is that the U.S. is facing one crisis after another right now. Our debt is now over 15 trillion dollars. If you can believe it, the U.S. government has not been operating under an approved budget for over 900 days. More Americans fell into poverty last year than ever before. More Americans are on food stamps than ever before. An average of 23 manufacturing facilities were shut down every single day in the United States last year. According to one recent report, only 7 percent of Americans that lost their jobs during the recession have 'made it back' to where they were before the recession. So perhaps Barack Obama should spend more time doing his job rather than taking extended vacations.

During this holiday season, tens of millions of American families are suffering horribly. Any sane president would realize that this is not the time to be gallivanting off to Hawaii again..."

03 December, 2011

Another Virginia Earthquake

Virginia Earthquake Today Felt in Kentucky: "A Virginia earthquake today was felt in neighboring Kentucky. The Virginia earthquake today Saturday, December 03, 2011 struck before sunrise. No reports of injuries have been detailed by local news.

Shortly after 6 am local time, Virginia experienced a 3.1 magnitude quake today. The quake, however, had virtually no depth, USGS reports to news. The quake struck roughly three miles below the earth’s surface. The quake was felt in Virginia and sections of Kentucky.

The quake was centered eight miles from Raven and Richlands, Virginia, USGS reports to news. The quake was also ten miles northwest of Cedar Bluff. Pikeville, Kentucky was only forty miles east of the quake, and Winston Salem, North Carolina was centered roughly one hundred north west, UGS indicates to news.

Today’s Virginia quake was centered west of Interstate 77 and east of highway 23. The quake was west of Bluefield, Princeton, Blacksburg, and Galax. It was south of Oceana and Harts, and east of Jenkins and Grundy, USGS reports. No damage has yet to be detailed by local news..."

02 December, 2011

What Have The Central Banks Of The World Done Now?

What Have The Central Banks Of The World Done Now?: "The central banks of the world are acting as if it is 2008 all over again. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and right now the central bankers are pulling out all the stops. The Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank have announced a coordinated plan to provide liquidity support to the global financial system. According to the plan, the Federal Reserve is going to substantially reduce the interest rate that it charges the European Central Bank to borrow dollars. In turn, that will enable the ECB to lend dollars to European banks at a much cheaper rate. The hope is that this will alleviate the credit crunch which has gripped the European financial system by the throat. So where is the Federal Reserve going to get all of these dollars that it will be loaning out at very low interest rates? You guessed it - the Fed is just going to create them out of thin air. Our currency is being debased so that Europe can be helped out..."

Technology vs. Privacy

Assange: 'iPhone, Blackberry, Gmail users - you're all screwed' • The Register: "Surveillance companies can use your iPhone to take photos of you and your surroundings without your knowledge, said a representative from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism at a panel chaired by Julian Assange™ today.

Companies also sell products that will let them change the messages you write, track your location and nick your email contacts, claimed speakers on the panel that included representatives from Privacy International and the aforementioned bureau.

The privacy campaigners, speaking in London, pulled out some of the most sensational revelations in the 287 documents about the international surveillance industry published today by WikiLeaks. The documents cover a total of 160 companies in 25 countries..."

Prepare for Riots in Euro Collapse, Foreign Office Warns

Prepare for riots in euro collapse, Foreign Office warns - Telegraph: "As the Italian government struggled to borrow and Spain considered seeking an international bail-out, British ministers privately warned that the break-up of the euro, once almost unthinkable, is now increasingly plausible.

Diplomats are preparing to help Britons abroad through a banking collapse and even riots arising from the debt crisis..."

Crisis-hit Greeks Leave the Cities for a New Rural Life

ekathimerini.com | Crisis-hit Greeks leave the cities for a new rural life: "Uprooted by a national debt crisis and a deepening recession that has eaten up their jobs, incomes and pensions, many Greeks are now returning to their families’ rural past in search of a future.

Just as young graduates are moving abroad rather than risk joining the 18 percent of Greeks who are out of work, families struggling to maintain their living standards are looking for a simpler life away from the city..."

The New Domesticity

The new domesticity: Fun, empowering or a step back for American women? - The Washington Post: "... lately, many women (and a few men) are diving into domesticity with a sense of moral purpose. The homemade jar of jam becomes a symbol of resistance to industrial food and its environment-defiling ways. This view has been brewing for a while, a thick stew of Slow Food and locavorism and DIY brought to a boil by recession and anxiety. Suddenly, learning the old-fashioned skills of our great-grandmothers seems not just fun, but necessary and even virtuous...

... I recently spent some time with Megan Paska, a 31-year-old Brooklynite whose pixie-cut hair and inked-up biceps make her look like she should be fronting an indie rock band. But Paska’s daily life more closely resembles a 19th-century farm wife’s: soaking beans for stews, feeding her backyard chickens and rabbits, drying herbs, baking bread, keeping bees on her apartment roof. Her frugal, home-based life allowed her to leave a desk job she disliked; she now lives on $1,000 a month earned by teaching classes on DIY urban food production and writing about beekeeping and other pre-industrial skills.

A few years ago, her friends thought she was nuts. Now, with the economy stagnating and career disillusionment growing, they all want to imitate her..."

01 December, 2011

Senate Bill to OK Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens Without Charge, Trial

Senate Bill to OK Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens Without Charge, Trial: "In what may be a tale too bizarre to be believed by millions of Americans, the U.S. Senate appears ready to pass a bill that will designate the entire earth, including the United States and its territories, one all-encompassing 'battlefield' in the global 'war on terror' and authorize the detention of Americans suspected of terrorist ties indefinitely and without trial or even charges being filed that would necessitate a trial.

The bill could come to a vote as early as today, according to a bulletin issued by the American Civil Liberties Union. The legislation 'goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans,' the ACLU statement said, describing the bill as having moved toward passage while most Americans were celebrating Thanksgiving and a long holiday weekend for millions of U.S. workers. 'The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself,' the ACLU warned.

Labeled the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 1867 was drafted in secret by Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and approved in a closed-door committee meeting, according to the ACLU statement...

... If passed in its present form, the bill would give the President the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world..."

Tens Of Millions Of American Families Are Living On The Edge Of Desperation – And The Economy Is About To Get A Whole Lot Worse

Tens Of Millions Of American Families Are Living On The Edge Of Desperation – And The Economy Is About To Get A Whole Lot Worse: "Have you ever been so poor that you had to live in your car? Have you ever been so low on funds that the only place you could afford to live was a rat-infested motel? Have you ever spent a night living in a tent city or sleeping in the streets? If not, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate. As the recent Black Friday madness demonstrated, there are still lots of Americans that are doing well enough to go on wild shopping sprees, but the reality is that there are also millions of American families that are falling through the 'safety net' to a place of total desperation..."

Abrupt Permafrost Thaw Increases Climate Threat

Nano Patents and Innovations: Abrupt Permafrost Thaw Increases Climate Threat: "As the Arctic warms, greenhouse gases will be released from thawing permafrost faster and at significantly higher levels than previous estimates, according to survey results from 41 international scientists published in the Nov. 30 issue of the journal Nature.

Permafrost thaw will release approximately the same amount of carbon as deforestation, say the authors, but the effect on climate will be 2.5 times bigger because emissions include methane, which has a greater effect on warming than carbon dioxide..."

Translating the European Financial Mess

Translating the European Financial Mess - NYTimes.com: "Much like our own recent housing crisis, the European financial mess is unfolding in a foreign language. It is the lingua franca of financial obscurity — 'sovereign credit spreads' and other terms that most people don’t need, or care, to know.

Yet the bottom line is simple: Europe’s problems are a lot like ours, only worse. Like Wall Street, Germany is where the money is. Italy, like California, has let bad governance squander great natural resources. Greece is like a much older version of Mississippi — forever poor and living a bit too much off its richer neighbors. Slovenia, Slovakia and Estonia are like the heartland states that learned the hard way how entwined so-called Main Street is with Wall Street. Now remember that these countries share neither a government nor a language. Nor a realistic bailout plan, either.

Lack of fluency in financialese shouldn’t preclude anyone from understanding what is going on in Europe or what may yet happen..."