Monday, February 28, 2011

Identity Theft

Pen Meets Paper Feb.28'10

Opinion by Helge Nome
Some of you may have watched the Academy Awards on Sunday where what is deemed to be outstanding achievement in the movie industry is recognized. This show has a huge audience world wide and featured an unusual and, no doubt, unscheduled statement by one of the on-stage participants who told the world that the wealth of the American people had been stolen by a group of Wall Street bankers who had walked away with the loot and had incurred no penalties. It is safe to predict that said individual will not be offered a place in the spotlight again. What is behind this statement? Economists and politicians are telling us that we are sailing into the good times, once again, so why not let dead dogs rest?
That, unfortunately, is wishful thinking as perceptive people have noticed that the “dead” dogs are beginning to blink their eyelids. In a nutshell, this is what has happened:
The credit crisis that came to a head in 2008 spooked the public into believing that the civilized world would come to an end if the large banks that were mired in debt were not rescued by taxpayers. Grabbing the opportunity, government advisers with deep roots in the finance industry persuaded legislators to “rescue” their benefactors by bailing out the troubled institutions with public money, which translates into public debt. Some two years later the net result has been a decrease in disposable incomes for middle class people and a huge loss of income producing jobs.
And what has infuriated the general public is that those who are directly responsible for bringing about this situation, have given themselves increased bonuses for a task successfully completed: They have continued to draw money out of the real economy and use it for even more gambling in the great casino economy. It’s 1984 all over again:
A bunch of pigs sitting around the kitchen table playing poker while the farm goes to rack and ruin outside the closed farmstead door. It’s no wonder that people are angry.
The problem with the prediction of a recovering economy is that an awful lot of people have been deprived of the money that is needed to make that happen: The “middle class” is dead. So, while all the numbers are looking good, they are reflecting more on what happens in the speculative economy than the real one: If you produce a lot of stuff, there needs to be consumers around with money to use and consume all that stuff, and they aren’t there, except in the high end of the market: The hogs have taken over the farm.

‘Inside Job’ director slams Wall Street

Part of the way through a snoozer of an Oscars ceremony on Sunday evening, Ferguson showed no signs of stage fright when he stepped to the podium to accept his Oscar for best documentary. Ferguson’s move to slam Wall Street — just as his film had done on the big screen — electrified the proceedings. “Inside Job” portrayed the 2008 financial meltdown as a crime executed by greedy Wall Streeters. “Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail — and that’s wrong,” he said. Ferguson received cheers for his provocative words. Article here

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Native culture meets mainstream culture in Caroline

A group of adults and youth from the Rocky Native Friendship Center met with high school students from Caroline School at the complex on Tuesday, February 15. This was part of the “Common Grounds” initiative carried out by the Rocky Native Friendship Center over the last number of months and was the first session involving youth from the mainstream culture who were given an opportunity to ask prepared questions of a panel of youth and elders. A video presentation preceded the question and answer session, where the challenges of being a native in Canada were presented with some force: Aboriginal people were only allowed to vote in Canada, beginning in 1967, 100 years after confederation, for example. But they were happily accepted into the army to sacrifice their lives for Canada prior to that time.
Questions asked of the panel included the rationale for unrestricted hunting by native people (answer: a native tradition that does not include commercial exploitation), definition of who is “First Nation” (a complex question because of native/mainstream intermarriages) and crime on reserves ( image promoted by news media). Rocky Native Friendship Center Director Merle White pointed out that, not long ago, it used to be a crime for First Nations people to practice their own culture. Grade 12 student Samantha Strawberry, who now lives off reserve (O”Chiese), said that it is very difficult to return to a reserve once you have lived in the mainstream culture. Chuck Rhoads, who comes from the Nisga'a people on the West Coast noted that lawyers walk away with most of the money from treaty negotiations and that the media gave upbeat reports about changes for native people on the West Coast when in fact nothing has changed. Generally speaking, the questions and answers reflected cultural differences between Canada’s indigenous peoples and the predominantly European mainstream culture. Merle White suggested that there needs to be an ongoing dialogue to bridge this gap.

Show and tell

Brandon Strawberry, Kenny Cardinal, A.J. Strawberry and Samantha Strawberry narrated a video presentation on native people and their culture to High School students from Caroline School.

Responding to questions

Chuck Rhoads from the Rocky Native Friendship Center spoke about the Nisga'a people on the West Coast.

Liberty's Easy Slide into Tyranny

by Prof John Kozy
No matter how hard we try, no one can control the future, and we cannot assume the future will be like the present.
Woodrow Wilson signed the law that established the Federal Reserve. He later rightly lamented having done so. He writes, "I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men." Oh, how right he is, and oh, the mischief the FED has wrought! But establishing the FED must have seemed right to Wilson when he signed the law. Thoughtful article here

Space Shuttle Discovery's last ascent

Cracking the problem of hydrogen-fuel future

Honda Clarity's cell produces similar power to one of their conventional four-cylinder petrol engines, and the car performs like a typical family saloon Photo: WES ALLISON

By James May 5:08PM GMT 24 Feb 2011

Right then. A few of you, over on the internet forum, have requested it, so here it is: James’s Ladybird Book of How It Works - the hydrogen fuel-cell motor car. Are you sitting comfortably? Smashing. The first thing to understand is that a fuel-cell car, such as Honda’s FCX Clarity, is still an electric one. The wheels are driven by an electric motor, just as they are in a G-Whiz, but whereas the G-Whiz relies on rechargeable batteries the Clarity comes with its own on-board electricity generating station. This is the fuel cell. A battery car has to be recharged with a flex dangling from the eighth-floor window of your flat, and the operation may take all morning. The fuel-cell car is refilled with hydrogen from a forecourt pump, rather in the way a petrol tank is replenished, and this takes just a few minutes. The fuel cell has been understood since the first half of the 19th century, as has the electric motor. So both technologies pre-date the internal combustion engine, and this is encouraging. Inside the fuel cell - and this is a ruthless simplification - hydrogen (from the tank) is combined with oxygen (from the surrounding air) and causes a small electric current to flow through a wire, and for reasons that needn’t concern us. Interesting article here

Saturday, February 26, 2011

War uber alles

By Paul Craig Roberts

The United States government cannot get enough of war. With Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi's regime falling to a rebelling population, CNN reports that a Pentagon spokesman said that the U.S. is looking at all options from the military side.
Allegedly, the Pentagon, which is responsible for one million dead Iraqis and an unknown number of dead Afghans and Pakistanis, is concerned about the deaths of 1,000 Libyan protesters. While the Pentagon tries to figure out how to get involved in the Libyan revolt, the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific is developing new battle plans to take on China in her home territory. Four-star Admiral Robert Willard thinks the U.S. should be able to whip China in its own coastal waters. Article posted here

Friday, February 25, 2011

China Steps up Silver Purchases

By Dr. Jeffrey Lewis
Feb 24 2011 2:27PM

Carefully hidden in the depths of a recent Forbes blog was perhaps one of the most important stories for all of 2011, at least for silver. Robert Lenzner wrote that “China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICBC) reports purchases of physical gold and gold-related investments are growing at record setting rates.”
The post goes on, “In January alone ICBC sold 7 tons of gold– almost half the 15 tons it sold in all of 2010. It also sold 13 tons of silver in January– almost half the 33 tons of silver it sold to clients during the past year.”
Of course, it wasn’t much further in the article (it was actually the next sentence) that the media spin begins to show through in a quote from Zhou Ming, the head of the precious metals department of the ICBC. The quote essentially declares gold and silver to be the new speculative market in China after real estate was essentially shut down to leveraging.
Real Estate vs. Silver
While it is true that silver may be a replacement market for Chinese investors, the products aren’t exactly as much of a substitute for one another as the media would like. Most investors know that real estate is purchased primarily for income, while gold and silver are for wealth protection. That understanding gets lost on the press, even media that is supposed to be finance-related, but it can be shaken off. The most important part of this story is that even if Chinese investors are finding silver and gold to be an applicable substitute for real estate, investors are obviously worried about inflation. Recently, China recalled information about the status of its real estate markets, and there is little doubt that China’s inflation numbers are equally fudged. If we are to take China’s numbers at face value, it can be concluded that, at best, the rate of inflation is still several whole percentage points higher than current deposit rates, a sign that the currency is under serious stress.
Perhaps hilariously, though, is that while China inflates like there is no tomorrow, the value of the Chinese currency continues to rise against the US Dollar. It doesn’t get much more obvious. Inflation is an international sickness, and it is only those in metals that are truly shielded from its devastating effects. Article here

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Last mission

The flight will be the last for Discovery, the first of three shuttles NASA plans to retire this year [Reuters] 24 Feb 2011

Space shuttle discovery, NASA's most heavily traveled spacecraft, has blasted off from Florida on its final mission.
The shuttle blasted off on Thursday on its final mission carrying six astronauts and a load of supplies, spare parts and a robot for the International Space Station. The shuttle lifted off at 4:53 p.m. EST (2153 GMT) from the Kennedy Space Center, riding a flame-tipped pillar of smoke across the Atlantic Ocean as it soared toward space. The launch was delayed three minutes when a range safety computer shut down before the planned 4:50pm EST (2150 GMT) liftoff. The problem was resolved with seconds to spare, clearing Discovery for launch. The launch was the 133rd for the 30-year-old shuttle programme, with up to two flights remaining before the three-ship fleet is retired later this year. Discovery made 39 of those flights, including both return-to-flight missions following the fatal Challenger and Columbia accidents.
"I think what will be most difficult will be on landing day when we know that that's the end of her mission, completely," said launch director Mike Leinbach.
The shuttle carries a storage room, a spare parts platform and a prototype humanoid robot for the space station, a $100bn project of 16 nations nearing completion after more than a decade of construction 220 miles (354 km) above the Earth.
The shuttles are being retired due to high operational costs and to free up money to develop new vehicles capable of traveling beyond the space station's orbit.

The Mysterious Rumble of Thundersnow

February 24, 2011: NASA atmospheric scientists got an unexpected chance to study a curious phenomenon called "thundersnow" when a recent storm unleashed it right over their heads. Walt Petersen and Kevin Knupp have traveled far and wide to study winter storms. They never dreamed that the most extraordinary one they'd see – featuring freakish thundersnow, a 50-mile long lightning bolt, and almost a dozen gravity waves -- would erupt in their own back yards. The storm hit Huntsville, Alabama, on the evening of January 9th. "This incredible storm rolled right over the National Space Science and Technology Center where we work," says Knupp. "What luck!"
Snowstorms usually slip in silently, with soft snowflakes drifting noiselessly to Earth. Yet this Alabama snowstorm swept in with the fanfare of lightning and the growl of thunder. Eyewitness Steve Coulter described the night's events: "It was as if a wizard was hurling lightning behind a huge white curtain. The flashes, muted inside thick, low hanging clouds, glowed purplish blue, like light through a prism. And then the thunder rumbled deep and low. This was one of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced.'"
Article here

Kleopatra gave birth to twins...moons

This image shows orbital tracks for Alexhelios and Cleoselene, the two tiny moons that circle the bone-shaped asteroid Kleopatra.

By John Roach

Kleopatra, a dog-bone shaped asteroid named after the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt, is a pile of rubble that spawned twin moons about 100 million years ago, astronomers announced in a new study.
The discovery stems from detailed observations of 135-mile-long Kleopatra with the Keck II telescope in Hawaii made in 2008 that confirmed the asteroid's dog-bone shape and the presence of two moons, each about 5 miles wide.
The scientists charted the orbits of the moons to determine the asteroid's mass. This combined with other data on the asteroid's size and shape allowed them to determine its density: a low 3.6 grams per cubic centimeter.
"That implies that somehow this asteroid has a large portion of void in its interior," Franck Marchis, an assistant research astronomer with the University of California at Berkeley, told me today. Article here

The Sunspot Cycle

Editor: Wondering about the long cold winter? Maybe the sun has something to do with it. Please read on:

In 1610, shortly after viewing the sun with his new telescope, Galileo Galilei (or was it Thomas Harriot?) made the first European observations of Sunspots. Continuous daily observations were started at the Zurich Observatory in 1849 and earlier observations have been used to extend the records back to 1610. The sunspot number is calculated by first counting the number of sunspot groups and then the number of individual sunspots.
The "sunspot number" is then given by the sum of the number of individual sunspots and ten times the number of groups. Since most sunspot groups have, on average, about ten spots, this formula for counting sunspots gives reliable numbers even when the observing conditions are less than ideal and small spots are hard to see. Monthly averages (updated monthly) of the sunspot numbers (181 kb JPEG image), (307 kb pdf-file), (62 kb text file) show that the number of sunspots visible on the sun waxes and wanes with an approximate 11-year cycle.
(Note: there are actually at least two "official" sunspot numbers reported. The International Sunspot Number is compiled by the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center in Belgium. The NOAA sunspot number is compiled by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The numbers tabulated in spot_num.txt are the monthly averages (SSN) and standard deviation (DEV) derived from the International Sunspot Numbers)
The Maunder Minimum
Early records of sunspots indicate that the Sun went through a period of inactivity in the late 17th century. Very few sunspots were seen on the Sun from about 1645 to 1715 (38 kb JPEG image). Although the observations were not as extensive as in later years, the Sun was in fact well observed during this time and this lack of sunspots is well documented. This period of solar inactivity also corresponds to a climatic period called the "Little Ice Age" when rivers that are normally ice-free froze and snow fields remained year-round at lower altitudes. There is evidence that the Sun has had similar periods of inactivity in the more distant past. The connection between solar activity and terrestrial climate is an area of on-going research.
Article here

Reflections on the “Inside Job”

By Peter Radford
February 24, 2011

It’s depressing to watch the movie “Inside Job” simply because it is true. Shockingly true. It is also interesting to watch the comments come in from Europe where the movie is just now playing. I wonder whether it will alter public opinion of America. It should.
The American economic policy elite, by which I mean the academics, politicians, and business leaders that comprise it, is shamefully inadequate. In my more extreme moments I would call them irretrievably corrupt. They all shift from one seat to the next. They all intermingle. They all attend the same schools. They all believe the same basic ideas. They are all out to enrich themselves. They all deny any wrongdoing or fault. They all work endlessly in the interests of the system. In fact they are the system.
So, neutering bank reform was essential in order to protect their rent seeking ability. Shifting the focus of debate onto the national debt was essential in order to mask their collective culpability and graft. Imposing austerity on the rest of us was essential in order to avoid paying the consequences of their ineptitude and indifference. In order to protect themselves they had to stand together and spew out platitudes and patronizing homilies about how tough we all need to be in order to dig out from the crisis. A crisis that their ideas, their actions, and their greed caused.
Remainder of article posted here

Monday, February 21, 2011

US economics: One big Ponzi scheme

Wall Street traders represent the elite of the global financial world, but after the collapse of the economy those behind the world's depression still seem to be doing just fine [GALLO/GETTY]

While Bernie Madoff languishes in jail, bankers continue to profit as the poor lose their homes and hope.

Danny Schechter Last Modified: 20 Feb 2011 08:28 GMT
Thank you, Bernie, for breaking your silence - even if you are still clinging to that cover-up mode you adopted since you took the entirety of the blame for your crimes.
What is clear is that ripping off the rich is punished far more severely than ripping off the poor. The lengthy sentence you were given spared countless other greedsters and goniffs from facing the music - what music there is.
In an interview - with a reporter from The New York Times who is writing a book to cash in on a man who has already cashed out - we learn, in the vaguest terms, that Mr M believes the banks he did his crooked business with "should have known" his figures did not figure. Keeping with the deceit that has served him well over the years, he names no names.
That said, how right he may be. There were many who should have known and done something about it. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulators for one. Perhaps The New York Times for another. Remember, it was Madoff's confession to his sons that started him on his way to his new 12' x 12' home from home - in a federal correctional institute, where he may dream of his seized penthouse, homes and yachts - rather than any press expose. Read article here

Pie social at the Seniors Drop In Center

The kitchen crew made sure that everybody got their pie on Friday, February 14: Ruth Barrar, Ramona Stewart, Edna Pengelly, Maria Vogel.

Busy weekend at the Seniors’ Drop In

A Valentine’s day Pie Social was hosted at the Seniors’ Drop In Center in Caroline on Friday, February 11. This is an annual event, and very popular with area seniors who keep in touch over the course of the year at events such as this one, as well as monthly pot-lucks, trips to larger centers and games at the center. In fact, the Caroline Senior Drop In is now drawing people from all over West-Central Alberta, because of its active and well organized schedule of activities. This is in large measure due to the work of a very busy couple living in Caroline, Jeanne and Orest Luchka.
And on this weekend, one of Jeanne’s long living ideas was realized: The celebration of 50 years of marriage. On the evening of Sunday, February 14, 78 invited people attended a potluck at the drop in center, most of whom had been married for 50 years or more. With a 50+ year track record of having a sense of humor, everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the food which beat anything a restaurant can serve up. The Bouvette/Mason family provided the entertainment with help from Danny Gibson.

Married 61 Years

Fern and Dennis Brown at the Seniors' Drop In Center.

60 years married

Leonard and Toots Kanten

Married for 67 years

And still living together on the farm, about one mile north of the Butte Hall: Irene and Wilf Benum

Entertaining folks married 50+ years

Don Bouvette, with sisters Debbie (singing), Carrie (playing guitar) and Carrie's husband Teekie Mason, played to a packed Seniors' Drop In Center on Sunday, February 13, the day before Valentine's Day.

Pen Meets Paper Feb.21'11

Opinion by Helge Nome
The increasingly volatile situation in the Middle East is causing an increase in commodity prices right across the board on world markets. That includes grains, energy, metals and everything that goes into making finished products. In the long term, that can only mean one thing: The inflation in prices of finished products. For those that are direct participants in this apparent oncoming boom, such as commodity producers, exporters and their employees, contractors and so on, this would seem to be good news. For those that are sitting on the sidelines, it is decidedly bad news because their monies will buy less of what they need to sustain themselves and their families. This is particularly true in third world countries in the Middle East and can only become an additional stimulus for revolt against the status quo. So, we are dealing with a process that has the potential to feed upon itself, sending commodity prices soaring even higher.
In the short term, oil patch workers here in Alberta are being overloaded with tasks involving the construction of new facilities and pipelines and labor shortages will develop as the boom gains momentum: Alberta’s huge tar sands deposits are considered to be a safe haven for energy supplies in light of Middle East upheavals and energy companies from all over the world are now investing heavily in energy properties and related infrastructure. The Americans in particular are taking some comfort here because of the effectively integrated political systems of Canada and the US.
For us Albertans it is a different story. Property ownership for us means less and less as Big Energy effectively runs our government and designs legislation to suit themselves by planting their people within the political parties and the civil “service”. For example, the President of the ruling Progressive Conservative Party here recently resigned from his post (after presumably long service) as he is one of the Vice Presidents of Altalink, one of the two companies given an estimated $16 billion construction contract by the Alberta Government for major power lines to be constructed to carry electric power from Northern Alberta to the south, including United States markets. Even people with plugged up noses can smell what has been going on here. So Albertans are taking their place alongside folks in third world countries, watching minorities in their midst get into bed with large corporate interests and doing you-know-what.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Egypt: US Sponsored Coup d'Etat?

Field Marshall Tantawi and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

by Michel Chossudovsky

In Egypt, following Mubarak's demise, the military machine prevails. Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Egypt’s defense minister, commander in chief of the Armed Forces and since February 11, 2011 head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, is the de facto Head of State, the Vice presidency is held by Omar Suleiman. Both men are US appointees. Tantawi has developed a longstanding relationship to the US military, at the highest levels, from the time when he was in command of allied forces during the Gulf war in 1991. Ahmed Shafik, a former commander in Chief of the Air Force occupies the position of Prime Minister. The military not only has the mandate to implement democracy, several opposition leaders including Mohammed Al Baradei have called upon the Egyptian population to support the military.
The US supported civil society opposition (which includes Kefaya, the April 6 Movement) is in liaison with both the military and the US embassy. They are reported to have "met with senior members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces". "The protesters said the generals voiced their "sincere intention to preserve the gains of the revolution."" ( Egypt's opposition fights itself as army tightens control - World Wires -, February 14, 2011)
Sincere intention? Both Suleiman and Tantawi, now in charge of "the transition to democracy" on behalf of the protest movement, are Washington's new military henchmen. So much for democracy. Both men are responsible for carrying out torture on behalf of the CIA under the agency's "extraordinary rendition" program.
While one set of opposition figures battled itself, a group of seven young, middle-class democracy activists said that they had met with senior members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The protesters said the generals voiced their "sincere intention to preserve the gains of the revolution." Taken from article posted here

Active Thermite Material Discovered in the Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe

Dr. Niels Harrit Canadian tour details are posted here
Watch Tower #7 collapse here

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spain's astonishing co-op takes on the world

The Mondragon group is the world's biggest co-op, though the Basque network is better known for products such as Orbea bikes that won gold at the Beijing Olympics. Photo: JAVIER LARREA

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor in Mondragon, Spain 9:09PM GMT 16 Feb 2011

As Britain’s David Cameron embraces the ideal of worker co-operatives, a remarkable hi-tech variant with global operations is already thriving in the industrial heartland of Northern Spain.

The Mondragon Corporacion is the world’s biggest co-op with 85,000 'worker-owners’, though the Basque group is better known for products such as Orbea bikes that won gold at the Beijing Olympics and sell for up to £11,000, or Fagur fridges, Brandt ovens, Eroski shops, or the coming electric City Car. Anglo-Saxon elites might find its pay scale unsettling. Top brass in Mondragon’s mountain lair may not earn more than six times the lowliest cleaner. "In reality it is just three times after tax, but we don’t need much money to live here," said an ascetic Josu Ugarte Arregui, the global director. The differential in big Western companies can be 400 times, and is getting worse. The top pay of FTSE 100 bosses has jumped from 124 times the minimum wage to 202 times over the last decade, according to the Hutton Review of Fair Pay. Mr Ugarte struggled to explain how the group keeps talent. High flyers seem to stay for reasons of tribal loyalty or the ideals of Catholic social doctrine. To be a Mondragon manager is to accept the vows of priesthood, and indeed the movement was founded by a parish priest, Jose Maria Arizmendiarreta. His mission was to lift youths in the hilly Alto Deba region out of poverty after the Civil War, when Basques were on the losing side and a particular target of General Franco’s wrath. Nearby Guernica – flattened in 1937 by the Condor Legion, and seared in our collective mind by Picasso – holds the ancient oak tree and symbol of the Basque nation.
Article posted here

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Fed's Policy of Creating Inflation: A Massive Wealth Transfer

by Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay
"If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions." Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), 3rd US President
"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), 3rd US President
[Corruption in high places would follow as] “all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), American 16th US President (1861-65)
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), French economist
“Inflation made here in the United States is very, very low.” Ben Bernanke, Fed Chairman, Thursday, February 10, 2011

Editor: This is the introduction to an insightful article by Professor Tremblay which shows that the board of the Federal Reserve does not understand its limitations

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pen Meets Paper Feb.14"10

Opinion by Helge Nome
I used to have a small orange orchard while living in the tropics in Australia. The trees grew in sandy marginal soil with few naturally occurring plant nutrients readily available to the trees. For that reason, some trees had a hard time making a go of it if they missed out on irrigation water or sufficient fertilizer from time to time. A very obvious pattern emerged: Those trees that were weak were attacked by aphids and a black sooty mold to a far greater degree than the strong trees were. The same pattern occurs in the animal world where ticks are found in great numbers on weak individual animals in the domestic cattle and wild moose populations here in Canada, for example. These blood sucking parasites take advantage of the inability of the host to defend itself from their onslaught.
Regrettably, in human society, this pattern is repeated, not just by tiny parasites taking advantage, but also by humans preying on humans. We look back at the Viking age and shake our heads as to what some people would do to others without any provocation other than perceived opportunity.
Today the scale of parasitism has changed, but not its nature. The tools are different but the end result is the same: The strong preying on those that are least able to defend themselves. In our world the primary tool for doing this is a deregulated financial system that allows rampant speculation to cause wild fluctuations in prices of goods and services, including essential ones such as energy, shelter and basic food stuffs. The predators have arranged things to win both ways; when prices go up and when they come down. They use the doctrine of the “free” market to justify what they are doing while all the while manipulating that market vigorously to their own advantage. The mechanics of the process is something like this: Being effectively able to create new money at will, the manipulator will focus on a commodity, like oil, wheat or whatever, and buy, buy, buy, on the open market creating a band wagon effect with other speculators falling into line and helping prices increase: Everybody goes “long” anticipating increasing prices. Now, at the same time the manipulator develops a “short” position, betting that the prices will fall at a certain point in time. And that’s pretty easy to do because you decide when you are going to dump what you have bought back onto the open market. So you make money on the way up and you make money on the way down with no risk attached because you control the timing and amount of the rise and the fall in the market price of the commodity. And there is no physical movement of the commodity involved, just ownership, at present or in the future.
And who pays the ultimate price for this gambling? Mostly those that live on the breadline and have to fill their stomachs as best they can no matter what the price of the commodity, like wheat for example. That’s what is happening right now in the Middle East. The consequences are predictable, as we can see and hear on the daily news.

Valentine's Day Special: Obama announces cuts to social programs

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama, less than two months after signing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans into law, is proposing a budget to congress that attacks programs that assist the working poor, help the needy heat their homes, expand access to graduate-level education and undermine that type of community-based organizations that gave the president his start in Chicago.
Obama's new budget puts forward a plan to achieve $1.1 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade, according to an administration official who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity in advance of the formal release of the budget.
Those reductions -- averaging just over $100 billion each year -- are achieved mainly by squeezing social programs. A deal struck to extend the Bush tax cuts for just two years, meanwhile, increased the deficit by $858 billion dollars. More than $500 billion of that bargain constituted tax cuts, with billions more funding business tax breaks and a reduction in the estate tax. Roughly $56 billion went to reauthorize emergency unemployment benefits. Article here

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Meet and greet" at the Caroline Complex

This annual event, hosted by the Caroline & District Chamber of Commerce and the Rec./Ag. Society was well attended by both civic representatives and community people on Monday, January 31. Recently elected Clearwater County Councillor John Vandermeer here presents himself and some points of view on community issues to the audience. Following formal introductions of invited community representatives and the presentation of bursaries to local young people, an informal socializing session followed with refreshments provided. A welcome addition to this year's program were demonstrations by Arashi-Do karate club members and a dance performance of a group of dancers from Caroline Dance West. Minor Hockey Club players dressed in their on-ice outfits also added color to the event.

Outstanding Achievement Award

Bonnie Fauville accepted this award of $500 from John Follis of the Rec./Ag. Society on behalf of her daughter Kailey.

Youth Development Award

A cheque for $500 was presented to Sara Stevens by Rec./Ag. Society Treasurer John Follis

Agricultural Bursary

This bursary of $500 was presented to Meagan Harder by John Follis of the Rec./Ag. Society

Eight ender

This unusual result was achieved by the Ralph Johnson, Ralph and Eleanor Pedersen and Karin Johnson team at the end of their curling game in Caroline on Monday, January 31.

Hold the Celebration: Egypt's Struggle Just Began

by Stephen Lendman
Hopefully beneath celebratory euphoria, Egyptians know ousting Mubarak was simple, especially since Washington long wanted him out. Covertly with Egypt's military, it facilitated long-planned regime purging for with new faces under old policies. In other words, have everything change but stay the same, a common imperial bait and switch con.
As a result, the real liberating struggle continues against long odds for success because Washington, Egypt's military, Israel, Western powers, and big money will do everything to prevent it. The usual scheme was hatched - a facade of change that may or may not work, and will be months, maybe years, to know. Story here

Friday, February 11, 2011

Rocky Credit Union's Board for 2011

Back: CEO Doug Glessing, Directors Andy Smith and Dean Schweder, President Carson Stewart. Front: 1st. Vice President Fred Purdy, 2nd. Vice President Donna Beagle and Director Alan Marshall. Not present: Don Forsyth. Out of the eight candidates that stood for election in 2011, Fred Purdy, Donna Beagle and Alan Marshall filled the three vacant board positions.
The Rocky Credit Union is facing the future with confidence as a full service financial institution. That was the essence of the message heard by members, staff and guests present at the credit union's 66th. Annual General Meeting at the Legion in Rocky Mountain House on Monday, February 7. President Carson Stewart reported a $400,000 payout to members for the 2010 fiscal year and that over 2,000 staff volunteer hours and $71,500 had been donated to the community. Guest Speaker Paul Kennett, President and CEO of the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation, noted that credit unions in Alberta have done very well during these difficult times and are fortunate to have the full backing of the Alberta Government. He said that volatility in financial markets is likely to continue.

Rising Food Prices and the Egyptian Tinderbox: How Banks and Investors Are Starving the Third World

by Ellen Brown
“What for a poor man is a crust, for a rich man is a securitized asset class.” --Futures trader Ann Berg, quoted in the UK Guardian
Underlying the sudden, volatile uprising in Egypt and Tunisia is a growing global crisis sparked by soaring food prices and unemployment. The Associated Press reports that roughly 40 percent of Egyptians struggle along at the World Bank-set poverty level of under $2 per day. Analysts estimate that food price inflation in Egypt is currently at an unsustainable 17 percent yearly. In poorer countries, as much as 60 to 80 percent of people's incomes go for food, compared to just 10 to 20 percent in industrial countries. An increase of a dollar or so in the cost of a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread for Americans can mean starvation for people in Egypt and other poor countries.
Follow the Money
The cause of the recent jump in global food prices remains a matter of debate. Some analysts blame the Federal Reserve’s “quantitative easing” program (increasing the money supply with credit created with accounting entries), which they warn is sparking hyperinflation. Too much money chasing too few goods is the classic explanation for rising prices. The problem with that theory is that the global money supply has actually shrunk since 2006, when food prices began their dramatic rise. Virtually all money today is created on the books of banks as “credit” or “debt,” and overall lending has shrunk. This has occurred in an accelerating process of deleveraging (paying down or writing off loans and not making new ones), as the subprime housing market has collapsed and bank capital requirements have been raised. Although it seems counterintuitive, the more debt there is, the more money there is in the system. As debt shrinks, the money supply shrinks in tandem. That is why government debt today is not actually the bugaboo it is being made out to be by the deficit terrorists. The flipside of debt is credit, and businesses run on it. When credit collapses, trade collapses. When private debt shrinks, public debt must therefore step in to replace it. The “good” credit or debt is the kind used for building infrastructure and other productive capacity, increasing the Gross Domestic Product and wages; and this is the kind governments are in a position to employ. The parasitic forms of credit or debt are the gamblers’ money-making-money schemes, which add nothing to GDP. Prices have been driven up by too much money chasing too few goods, but the money is chasing only certain selected goods. Food and fuel prices are up, but housing prices are down. The net result is that overall price inflation remains low. While quantitative easing may not be the culprit, Fed action has driven the rush into commodities. In response to the banking crisis of 2008, the Federal Reserve dropped the Fed funds rate (the rate at which banks borrow from each other) nearly to zero. This has allowed banks and their customers to borrow in the U.S. at very low rates and invest abroad for higher returns, creating a dollar “carry trade.”
Meanwhile, interest rates on federal securities were also driven to very low levels, leaving investors without that safe, stable option for funding their retirements. “Hot money” – investment seeking higher returns – fled from the collapsed housing market into anything but the dollar, which generally meant fleeing into commodities. Read whole article here

The wonders of space

This swirling landscape of stars is known as the North American nebula. In visible light, the region resembles North America, but in this new infrared view from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the continent disappears. Where did the continent go? The reason you don't see it in Spitzer's view has to do, in part, with the fact that infrared light can penetrate dust whereas visible light cannot. Dusty, dark clouds in the visible image become transparent in Spitzer's view. In addition, Spitzer's infrared detectors pick up the glow of dusty cocoons enveloping baby stars. Article here

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Listen to the views of monetary and economic reform advocate William Khrem

Listen to internet radio with canadianactionparty on Blog Talk Radio

William Khrem is interviewed by Canadian Action Party Leader Christopher Porter. To find out more about the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform, click here

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How Alberta's $16-billion Electricity Scandal Plugs into the Oil Sands

By Andrew Nikiforuk, Today,
Two years ago, Alberta's Transportation Minister Luke Ouellette described Joe Anglin, a former U.S. Marine and telephone transmission engineer, as "dangerous individual and a trouble maker." At a conference of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, Ouellette also wondered aloud "why someone hadn't dealt with [Anglin]. "It was a remarkable declaration and one for which neither Ouellette nor the Progressive Conservative Party has ever apologized. But it's not hard to understand why a government ruled by one party for 40 years and now beset by political scandal deeply fears the political crusader. Over the last six years the 55-year-old father of two has arguably become the most persistent and informed critic of the government's controversial plans to build $16.5 billion worth of transmission lines and all largely for U.S. export.
"It's all driven by the oil sands and the failure of electricity deregulation," adds Anglin. "I don't think Alberta's politicians are bad or evil but they are incompetent and dumber than you're average monkey. I can't tell you how many times I've caught them lying."
Story here

Exchanging information on community events and services

Caroline Neighbourhood Place hosted the first bi-monthly Interagency meeting of 2011 in Caroline on Wednesday, January 26 in the Elks' Youth Center. Sixteen representatives from local organizations and agencies as far away as Red Deer participated and shared information on their activities. In one form or another, these agencies help individuals, young and old, cope with life in a stressful world.

Caroline dominates Pee Wee game

The Caroline Colts Pee Wee team had it pretty much all their way in the second of two back-to-back games against Millet last Wednesday, January 26 in the Kurt Browning Arena in Caroline. They also won their game against Millet, in Millet, the previous night. During the game the Millet goalkeeper, seen here facing a Caroline player, had to contend with 41 shots on his goal, letting 11 go into the net. In contrast, Caroline's goal keeper faced 11 shots in total, with 3 ending up in the net. All in all, it was a well played game with few penalty minutes recorded. Caroline now moves on in the provincial play-offs.

February is a busy month in Caroline

This coming Friday, February 4, Caroline’s new Family Center will be hosting a Family Gym Night from 6:30pm to 7:30pm in the school gym and a Family Games Night on Friday, February 18 from 6:30pm to 8pm. February’s activities will be capped off with a
Parent Film Night on Wednesday, February 23 from 7pm to 8pm showing the film “Calming the tempest: Helping the explosive child”. For more information call Tracy Orr at 722-3833.
The Clearwater Boys and Girls Club is planning a Youth and Family Dance on Friday, February 25 at their movie theater facility on the west end of Caroline from 7pm to 10pm. There will be a concession and music from favorite hip hop and rock artists.
The Caroline Legion hosts its popular volunteer served supper every Friday night from 5pm to 7pm with proceeds going back to the community. The cost is $10 for a full meal with desert and the bar is open as well.
The Shepherd’s Food Bank will be open on February 8 and 22 with hamper pickup between 1pm and 3pm. The food bank is located in the basement of the Nazarene Church office, with access from the rear of the building.
There is free public skating at the Kurt Browning Complex every Sunday from 6pm - 7pm. On Thursday afternoons there are card and other games at the Caroline Seniors’ Drop In Center from 1:30pm to 4pm. There will be a Valentine Pie Social at the Drop In Center on Friday, February 11 from 2pm - 4pm. Members are asked to bring a pie to donate.
The monthly School Council meeting will be held in the Caroline School Library on February 17 at 3:30pm. Child care is provided.
There are free learning opportunities in Caroline with an Adult Learning Center located in Neighbourhood Place, next to the Post Office. Reading, writing, math, english, computer, $ management and wellness skills can be acquired by enlisting in the “Plug Into learning program offered. For details, call Maxine @ 403-722 3787.
As people get older and need to go to various appointments and activities, others step
up to the plate to provide the needed transport. These people can now be recognized by way of the Driving Angel program. Nomination forms can be picked up and dropped off at Caroline Neighbourhood Place.
The Caroline Community Medical Clinic is open every Tuesday from 9am to 12noon and 1:30pm to 4:30pm. Walk-ins are accepted or bookings can be made on 403-722-4055.
Walk-in chiropractic services are also offered between 3pm and 7pm or advance bookings can be made by calling 403-340-0278. The facility portion of the cost of operating the clinic is borne by the local community and donations can be made to the Caroline & District Chamber of Commerce (located next to the clinic in the mini mall to the south of ATB Financial). Phone 403-722-4066.
Also please note that a space is now being made available in the Mountaineer by the Clearwater Regional FCSS Board for organizations to post their upcoming events and services available free of charge. Please submit your requests to Tracy King at 403-845-3720.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pen Meets Paper Feb.7'10

Opinion by Helge Nome
We hear and see news reports of gangs fighting it out in the street with citizens trying to hide from stray bullets as best they can. We also hear of home invasions where thugs force their way into private homes and turn the owners into the objects of their hate and stupidity. That is not news. It has always happened since the beginnings of human history. What is new is that if a homeowner confronts these thugs in any way, with a firearm in particular, then he/she ends up being charged with assault, rather than the thugs! Now that is news!
Something has been turned upside down and inside out and it is called “justice”. Somehow, in the public mind, and encapsulated in legislation, firearms have been turned into “instruments of evil” by paranoid lawmakers. What is forgotten is that a firearm in the hands of a competent user is the greatest pacifier a citizen has at his or her disposal. Imagine a couple of thugs entering the home of a little old/young lady who is known to possess a .45 handgun and likes to use it. Those guys might be stupid, but they wouldn’t be dumb enough to enter that home if they knew about what might be in store for them. They would much rather pick an easy target: Someone who is scared of guns.
Let us look at a gun for what it is: A tool. Not unlike an ax, spade or whatever. Legal or illegal acts can be carried out with all of these by the user of the tool. The key to a potential problem involving these tools lies with the user, not the tool itself.
Basing gun laws on mass killing incidents like those carried out by deranged individuals is a form of escapism. Avoiding facing the real issue which is the state of mind of the perpretrators: In most cases the deviant behavior of these people was publicly known before the incidents. Instead, law abiding citizens are becoming the victims of officially sanctioned paranoia.
It is time to get back to the real world again and learn how to use guns rather than letting the criminals take over.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Long-term forecast for northern Mars: wind and shifting sands

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Space scientists – who until now believed the sand dunes of northern Mars were frozen in time – now realize the martian sands are changing with both sudden and gradual motions. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been peering down at this part of Mars – an area the size of Texas – over a period covering two Martian years, or about four Earth years. The orbiter’s camera observed these dune fields in a band around the planet at the edge of Mars’ north polar cap. Three images of the same location taken at different times on Mars show seasonal activity causing sand avalanches and ripple changes on a Martian dune. Time sequence of the images progresses from top to bottom. Each image covers an area 285 meters (312 yards) by 140 meters (153 yards). The crest of a dune curves across the upper and left portions of the image. Article here

Stupid is as Stupid does!

By Joe Anglin
A number of cabinet ministers have hit the road in the last week to hold “Meet & Greets” with the public. Sending out invitations titled, “We want to hear from you”; the ministers want to calm the criticism of Bill-50 and assure the public that they will be submitting amendments to fix the controversial Bill-19 and Bill-36. All three Bills have been passed into law. The opponents of the Bills refer to them by their previously assigned numbers for simplicity.
Bill-36 granted unprecedented powers to the provincial cabinet to extinguish water rights, land titles, mortgages, wills, trusts and grazing dispositions without compensation. It removed local land decision making and planning authorities from local municipalities. Moreover Bill-36 eliminated the constitutional right of an individual to have access to the courts for redress against the overly intrusive actions of the government.
Bill-19 gave a cabinet minister the power to circumvent the courts, and issue an enforcement order as if it was a judgement of the Queen’s Bench. The law reads, “If in the opinion of the Minister” he or she could file an enforcement order as a judgement of the court. The maximum penalty a landowner could face is a $100,000 fine and two years in jail. Bill-19 is actually amazing if one thinks about its implications! A murderer cannot be jailed on an opinion of an individual. Charges must be filed and proof must be presented in a court of law to convict a murderer. In contrast a law abiding landowner could find themselves in jail with a $100,000 fine having never seen the light of day in a court room. In reality, until this law is removed, a murderer has more rights than a farmer or landowner!
Bill-50 paves the way for the inefficient overbuilding of Alberta’s electricity transmission system. The Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta, which represents 20 industries that consume 30 per cent of the province's power and pays for 60 per cent of all transmission costs, has repeatedly warned the government that this plan to expand transmission lines is unnecessary, uneconomic and unrealistic. It could drive business out of the province.
Critics of these Bills welcome any efforts by this government to amend or repeal these Bills, but the ministers are not addressing the most important questions in their “Meet & Greets”. Why did they pass these Bills in the first place? Someone had to write these Bills – someone had to know what was in these Bills. Did any MLA read the Bills before they voted? If they don’t read the Bills before they vote, why did they get a 30% pay raise? How could they possibly do this to a democratic society?
The questions I pose are valid. These Bills were drafted and voted on deliberately, either that or Forest Gump could have done a better job protecting our rights as an MLA. Which is it?

Joe Anglin
Rimbey AB
(403) 843-3279

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Jobs Report, and America’s Two Economies

By Robert Reich, Friday, February 4, 2011
At a time when corporate profits are through the roof, the Dow is flirting with 12,000, Wall Street paychecks are fat again, and big corporations are sitting on more than $1 trillion in cash, you’d expect jobs be coming back. But you’d be wrong. The U.S. economy added just 36,000 jobs in January, according to today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Remember, 125,000 are needed just to keep up with the increase in the population of Americans wanting and needing work. And 300,000 a month are needed — continuously, for five years — if we’re to get back to anything like the employment we had before the Great Recession. Robert Reich's post is here

Does Keith Wilson Look Like a Revolutionary to You?

In Alberta he does, taking down government by exposing a $16 billion scandal one power point at a time.
By Andrew Nikiforuk, Today,
As Keith Wilson takes the floor of the Crossfield Community Centre just north of Calgary in late January, the 46-year-old does not look like a radical to be feared at the highest levels of power. On the contrary, the blue suited, shorthaired, St. Albert lawyer looks every inch a father of four children as well as a former government employee who once worked for the Farmer's Advocate. But when the man takes the stage, he quickly warns that seated audience of 300 citizens that "the contents of my talk may not be suitable for young viewers." Read article here

Earliest known cemetery found?

By John Roach
A 16,500-year-old cemetery with human remains — buried alongside those of a red fox — suggests humans may have had a soft spot for the animals well before dogs became man's best friend. The site at 'Uyun al-Hammam in northern Jordan is the earliest known formal burial ground in the Middle East, pre-dating other cemeteries in the region by a few millennia, scientists from Canada and the UK report in a new study published in PLoS ONE. "This may be the earliest known cemetery period," Edward Banning, an anthropologist at the University of Toronto who is leading the excavations, told me today. "It probably depends on what you mean by cemetery." Article here

Global food prices hit record high

World food prices have hit their highest level on record in January, the United Nations has said. It said on Thursday that its Food and Agriculture Organisation Food Price Index rose for the seventh month in a row to reach 231, topping the peak of 224.1 last seen in June 2008. It is the highest level the index has reached since records began in 1990.
"The new figures clearly show that the upward pressure on world food prices is not abating. These high prices are likely to persist in the months to come," said Abdolreza Abbassian, an economist for FAO, which is based in Rome. Rising food prices have been cited among the driving forces behind the recent popular revolts in north Africa, including the uprising in Egypt and the toppling of Tunisia's long-time president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. In response, some countries are increasing food imports and have built stockpiles to meet their domestic needs. Among them is Algeria, wary after food riots in early January. It has made huge wheat purchases to avoid shortages, and on Thursday it announced plans to lift a 19-year-old state of emergency in a bid to to avert spreading protests. Article here

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Legion Remembrance Day poster competition winners

"Charlette Harris and Helen Willigar from the Caroline Legion presented certificates to the entrants in the 2010 Annual Caroline Legion Remembrance Day Poster Competition on Tuesday, January 18. The presentation took place in the concourse of Caroline School and is part of a Canada wide effort by Legion branches across the country to remind students about sacrifices made by Canada's soldiers over the years. The entries of winners and runners up will be sent on to the local Legion district organization for further possible prices. Winning entries can go on from here to provincial and dominion levels. Helen Willigar said that she was very impressed with the quality of the entries this year. "
Results: Intermediate Color Poster: 1st-Hanna Andris, 2nd- Shandell Hoefsloot, 3rd- Jenessa Jorgenson. Intermediate Black and White: 1st-Sydney Alstott, 2nd-Katelyn Morrill, 3rd Cheyenne Larson. Senior Color Poster: 1st-Teale Spooner, 2nd-Dayle Stelter, 3rd-Robert Hehr. Senior Black and White: 1st- Lauren Crazybull (no pictured), 2nd-Morgan Smith, 3rd Dustin Black

NASA spots scores of potentially livable worlds

By Seth Borenstein,The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — An orbiting NASA telescope is finding whole new worlds of possibilities in the search for alien life, spotting more than 50 potential planets that appear to be in the habitable zone.
In just a year of peering out at a small slice of the galaxy, the Kepler telescope has discovered 1,235 possible planets outside our solar system. Amazingly, 54 of them are seemingly in the zone that could be hospitable to life — that is, not too hot or too cold, Kepler chief scientist William Borucki said. Article here

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Storm now downgraded to category 3 Cyclone (Hurricane)

Innisfail on the North Queensland coast.

Did Vikings navigate with 'sunstone'?

A Viking warship replica, Havhingsten af Glendalough (the Sea Stallion of Glendalough), makes its way into Dublin's port in 2007. New research suggests the Vikings used sunstones to navigate in cloudy and foggy conditions.

By John Roach
Vikings could have navigated the oceans in inclement weather with the aid of a crystal that pinpointed the sun's location behind banks of clouds and fog, a new study suggests. Such a tool, known as a sunstone, is known from legend, but until now experimental evidence that it could actually work as hypothesized was lacking. Article here

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Protest Movement in Egypt: "Dictators" do not Dictate, They Obey Orders

by Michel Chossudovsky
The Mubarak regime could collapse in the a face of a nationwide protest movement... What prospects for Egypt and the Arab World? "Dictators" do not dictate, they obey orders. This is true in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria. Dictators are invariably political puppets. Dictators do not decide. President Hosni Mubarak was a faithful servant of Western economic interests and so was Ben Ali. The national government is the object of the protest movement. The objective is to unseat the puppet rather than the puppet-master. The slogans in Egypt are "Down with Mubarak, Down with the Regime". No anti-American posters have been reported... The overriding and destructive influence of the USA in Egypt and throughout the Middle East remains unheralded. The foreign powers which operate behind the scenes are shielded from the protest movement. Read article here

Here it is, approaching land

Cyclone Yasi - from a friend in North Queenland

This is it people. I just looked at the latest chart and I think most of Far North Queensland will be destroyed tonight.
Gather your most prized possessions and do whatever you can to make your families safe.
This is a Category 5 storm and will knock over most things in it's path. Maximum wind gusts 290 km/hr. Maximum destruction between Cairns and Townsville and inland for about 200 km.
Good luck to all in it's path.


Editor: Up to the minute reporting available here
Live radio coverage here

There's money to be made in many places...