Saturday, April 30, 2011

Libya - The DC/NATO Agenda And The Next Great War

By Paul Craig Roberts

In the 1930s the US, Great Britain, and the Netherlands set a course for World War II in the Pacific by conspiring against Japan. The three governments seized Japan's bank accounts in their countries that Japan used to pay for imports and cut Japan off from oil, rubber, tin, iron and other vital materials. Was Pearl Harbor, Japan's response?
(Editor: This is new information to me. Interesting)

Now Washington and its NATO puppets are employing the same strategy against China.
Protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Yemen arose from the people protesting against Washington's tyrannical puppet governments. However, the protests against Gaddafi, who is not a Western puppet, appear to have been organized by the CIA in the eastern part of Libya where the oil is and where China has substantial energy investments.
Eighty percent of Libya's oil reserves are believed to be in the Sirte Basin in eastern Libya now
controlled by rebels supported by Washington. As seventy percent of Libya's GDP is produced by oil, a successful partitioning of Libya would leave Gaddafi's Tripoli-based regime impoverished. Article posted here

Solar Dynamics Observatory Pick of the Week for April 28, 2011

Hot Flares in a Hot Wavelength

Almost 2 dozen flares were unleashed in just over two days (Apr. 21-23, 2011) from the tangled magnetic fields of active region 11195. In this wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light (94 Angstroms), the flares appear as rapid brightenings of the strong active region that moves from the left towards the center in the movie. The vertical lines are a reaction of the CCD in the telescope to the overwhelmingly bright light. What we are actually looking at is ionized iron heated to over 6 million degrees. Now that is HOT! More SDO hotshots here

We must call the bluff of the big, bad banks

It would be insane not to change the structure of banking, because it’s doomed to fail again, writes Jeff Randall.

When asked by a judge why he persisted in robbing banks, the serial offender replied: “Because that’s where the money is.”

For us taxpayers, this observation is now doubly true. The banks have captured our money twice over: as cash in their vaults and investments in their shares. We own all of Northern Rock, most of Royal Bank of Scotland and nearly half of Lloyds Banking Group. We rescued them – and in so doing became their prisoners.
The scale of our discomfort will be set out on Monday when the Independent Commission on Banking, chaired by Sir John Vickers, delivers an interim report. It will be embroidered with arcane references to “functional subsidiarisation” and “macro-prudential regulation”. But cut through the gobbledegook and there is a simple question: can our banking system be reformed to make customers’ deposits more secure, without destroying the value of the state’s enormous shareholdings?
Would new rules to separate the racier aspects of banking – so-called casino operations – from traditional savings-and-loans business result in a diminution of banks’ profitability and, as a result, prompt a flight of institutions from these shores?
Top bankers want us to believe the answer is yes. The global economy cannot function without big banks, they say: gigantism provides synergies, efficiencies and benefits of scale. What a hoot. Tell that to the shareholders of Citigroup, a banking behemoth, which all but disappeared up its own balance sheet in 2008, having had a wild (losing) punt on sub-prime mortgages. Telegraph article here

One signal herds microbot swarm

Igor Paprotny / Thayer School of Engineering

Researchers have managed to control a swarm of microbots with a single signal. The breakthrough may eventually lead to robots that are able to build tissues inside the human body.

With the application of a single electrical signal, researchers can control swarms of tiny robots to assemble themselves into structures.
"We are controlling these robots kind of like remote controlled cars," Igor Paprotny, a postdoctoral scientist at the University of California at Berkeley who is co-leading the research effort, told me Friday.
Instead of one controller transmitting a signal to steer one car, the signal controls several cars at once, sending each in a slightly different direction.
This is accomplished by building each microbot so that they behave in a different way when they get the signal. Paprotny said to think of the robots as individual pieces of a puzzle. When controlled by the global the signal, they come together to build and solve the puzzle. Article published here

Friday, April 29, 2011

Peak oil? You gotta be kidding!

U.S. Geological Survey: 3 to 4.3 Billion Barrels of Technically Recoverable Oil Assessed in North Dakota and Montana’s Bakken Formation—25 Times More Than 1995 Estimate—

Reston, VA - North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation.
A U.S. Geological Survey assessment, released April 10, 2008, shows a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that can be recovered compared to the agency's 1995 estimate of 151 million barrels of oil.
Technically recoverable oil resources are those producible using currently available technology and industry practices. USGS is the only provider of publicly available estimates of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources.
New geologic models applied to the Bakken Formation, advances in drilling and production technologies, and recent oil discoveries have resulted in these substantially larger technically recoverable oil volumes. About 105 million barrels of oil were produced from the Bakken Formation by the end of 2007. The USGS Bakken study was undertaken as part of a nationwide project assessing domestic petroleum basins using standardized methodology and protocol as required by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 2000.
The Bakken Formation estimate is larger than all other current USGS oil assessments of the lower 48 states and is the largest "continuous" oil accumulation ever assessed by the USGS. A "continuous" oil accumulation means that the oil resource is dispersed throughout a geologic formation rather than existing as discrete, localized occurrences. The next largest "continuous" oil accumulation in the U.S. is in the Austin Chalk of Texas and Louisiana, with an undiscovered estimate of 1.0 billions of barrels of technically recoverable oil. Article and links here

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mississippi tornado

More video and text here

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Surprising outcome of human survival experiment

Editor: Having enough food was not the main problem: The tribal mindset re-emerges under pressure....

The biggest loser from Fed’s easing

Irwin Kellner, MarketWatch's chief economist.

April 26, 2011, 12:01 a.m. EDT

Commentary: Easy monetary policy helped some, but hurt others

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (MarketWatch) — The Federal Reserve’s extremely easy monetary policy may have helped some but it has hurt others.
Nowadays, the financial markets’ latest obsession deals with the possibility that Fed may soon change its policy from ultra easy to just plain easy. Naturally, they are trying to scope out who will be helped or hurt as a result.
In my view, regardless of whether the current phase of the central bank’s policy (known as quantitative easing) ends in June as scheduled, you may anticipate that Fed policy will still be a long way from returning to normal — much less tightening.
That being the case, the effects of its current policy will linger for some time to come. Those who have been helped will continue to enjoy the Fed’s support, while those who have suffered can only look forward to more of the same. Article posted here

About Irwin Kellner

Irwin Kellner, MarketWatch's chief economist since 1998, writes a weekly column on the economy and the financial markets. He has been a leading economist for more than 40 years and previously served as chief economist for North Fork Bank, Chase, Chemical and Manufacturers Hanover. Widely quoted by the media in the U.S. and abroad, Kellner regularly addresses groups of business people and community leaders and appears regularly on Cablevision's News 12 Long Island.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The gunrunners have it

News from the other side

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa denounce the crusader colonial aggression on Libya. 2011-04-17

Through the final statement of BRICS group's summit held on last Thursday in Chinese resort of Sania, the presidents of participating countries of Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa expressed, on one hand, their objection for the military operations conducted by alliances' forces against Libya, and on the other hand, they appreciated efforts exerted by AU's special committee for ending this aggression.
" unity and sovereignty of any state must be respected and what is happening in Libya should be settled via political dialogue and away from the use of military force", the presidents of BRICS group said through the final statement of their summit.
It is significant to mention that word BRICS represents the abbreviation of the initials of the countries of this summit, of which their local production were %18 of the total global production.

Editor: Note imperfect computerized translation from Arabic. Article source here

It's official: Heaviest antimatter found

STAR Collaboration / RHIC / BNL
This image shows a three-dimensional rendering of the STAR time projection chamber surrounded by the time-of-flight barrel (the outermost cylinder). Particle tracks spray out from the collision, including a meter-long track from an antihelium-4 nucleus (highlighted in bold red).

The reports began circulating a few weeks ago, and today's publication in the journal Nature makes it official: Physicists have detected the heaviest bits of antimatter ever found on Earth. And that record is likely to stand for a long, long time.
Members of the STAR collaboration at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, based at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, say they've seen the traces of 18 nuclei of antihelium-4 among about half a trillion particles produced by almost a billion gold-ion collisions at RHIC. These nuclei are like regular helium nuclei, except that instead of having two protons and two neutrons, they have two negatively charged antiprotons and two antiprotons. Article with interesting links posted here

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rare Earth Elements in Defense Systems

By Michael Montgomery—Exclusive to Rare Earth Investing News

Over the course of past year, Chinese regulations that dominate the rare earth market have uncovered vulnerability in the vast power of the US military. The US is lacking in domestic supply chain of metals critical to high tech weapon systems; without these technological wonders, modern warfare would be impossible. Until the 1980’s the US was a dominant producer of rare earth elements. This was until the Chinese, with little regard for environmental protections, and low production costs, became a primary producer or rare earth elements. Currently, China’s rare earth production accounts for approximately 97 percent of the world’s supply.
The domestic US market switched the sourcing of these metals to China for they were far cheaper, and in seemingly unlimited supply. Mines like Molycorp’s Mt. Pass mine in California, closed down, and the North American supply chain of rare earths disappeared. However, with the explosion of high tech goods that are reliant on the various REE’s demand started rising, as did the negative effects of low cost production in China. China seized the moment and started cutting down on production and export quotas, and prices assumed their meteoric trajectory. This is where the US military finds itself today, dependent on the world’s next superpower to create the raw material for the US military domination. It’s a tricky balancing act. Interesting article here

Dennis Kucinich on Libya, Obama's Failure to Get Congressional Approval, and on Globalization

Editor: The US Congress and the Canadian Parliament were not consulted before military personnel from the two nations were dispatched to Libya to carry out bombing raids on Libyan targets. Congressman Dennis Kucinich makes this point in a radio interview posted here

"You are positively radioactive, dear!"


By R. E. Rowland

Yes, potassium is a radioactive element, identified by the chemical symbol K. Yet, this radioactive element is vital for our good health. It is an element that is essential for the body's growth and maintenance. Potassium is also necessary in order to maintain normal water transport between the cells and body fluids. It also plays an essential role in the response of nerves to stimulation and in the contraction of muscles.
Under normal circumstances it is by far the most abundant naturally occurring radioactive element within the human body. The average adult male contains about 140 g of K; the level varies with body weight and muscle mass. We ingest about 2.5 g per day of K from our food and excrete about the same amount.
The purpose of this document is not to scare anyone about the hazards of potassium; indeed, as indicated in the opening paragraph, it is an element vital to our well being. It is, however, a radioactive material, and in this era where the general public is concerned about radiation exposures and radioactive materials, it is appropriate to tell the truth about them. We live on and in a radioactive world. Our soil, in which our food stuff is grown, contains many radioactive elements. Where did they come from?
The answer is that they were present when our earth was formed. Any radioactive material originally present at the formation of the earth would have decayed and disappeared if its half life was short compared to the age of the earth. However, if its half life were long, close to or greater than the age of the earth, then such materials would not have disappeared but are still with us today.
There are several radioelements in this category, such as the well known elements uranium and thorium. Thorium (Th232) has a half life of 14,000,000,000 years, uranium has two long-lived radioisotopes; U238 has a half life of 4,500,000,000 years, and U235 has a half life of 710,000,000 years. These give rise to the radium and thorium atoms found in all humans, acquired from the food we eat. That food, of course, obtained these materials from the soil in which it grew or on which it grazed.
Potassium is also in this category. There are actually three potassium isotopes: K39, a stable isotope, is the most abundant, at 93.26 % of the total; K41 is next in abundance at 6.73 % and is also a stable isotope. The potassium isotope of interest is a radioactive isotope, K40. It is present in all potassium at a very low concentration, 0.0118 %. It has a very long half-life, 1,260,000,000 years. When it decays 89 % of the events give rise to the emission of a beta ray with maximum energy of 1.33 Mev. The other 11 % of the decays produce a gamma ray with an energy of 1.46 Mev. Find out more about why you glow in the dark here

John McCain - Lost in Space

View from the other side

Editor: You won't find this information published anywhere in the mainstream media.
There is a lot more to the dogfight in Libya than they would have you believe. Please note that the automated translation program creates peculiarities in the text. Also note the "sympathetic" (heroic) image of Gaddafi, as opposed to the less flattering ones published in the mainstream media. It's all about massaging your mind without your awareness of this being done.

A flood of Cables of support to the Leader of the Revolution .

In a cable sent to the leader of the revolution, affiliations of General Security Sector in Wadi Alhiatt Shabiat renewed their commitment to the leader to be his loyal soldiers who are ready to defend him and Elfateh Revolution . They were also stressed their national duty in keeping security and stability of Libya.
In another cable to the leader sent by medical staff members and medical assistant staff working at Murzuq Central Hospital in Murzuq Shabia, in which they denounced the crusader aggression on Libya expressing their readiness to stand against the crusader campaign and to be his loyal soldiers for defending Elfateh Revolution and its values and achievements.
students and teaching staff members of Umm Aeiman Primary School in Tripoli city, on their part, sent a cable to the leader of the revolution: " to the maker of glory and victories as we are being attacked by fierce crusader aggression led by vicious force, we are honestly pledging you to be a concrete wall on which the whole conspiracies, targeting our unity wealth, will be destroyed, and we will be waiting for your sign. And only Allah, Muammar, and Libya. Article published here

Saturday, April 23, 2011

'An Ode to Canada'‏

Editor: I like John Turner's performance in this video. Perhaps what he stood for explains his rather short term as Prime Minister: (John Napier Wyndham Turner, PC, CC, QC (born June 7, 1929) is a retired Canadian lawyer and politician, who served as the 17th Prime Minister of Canada from June 30 to September 17, 1984. - Wikipedia)

The Libya story is total BS

Editor: Something to think about, and a Canadian General is being paid by Canadian taxpayers to coordinate air attacks against people in a sovereign nation called Libya under the pretext of "saving" them from their dictator

Friday, April 22, 2011

NO SALE! P. C. Government can’t sell excuses!

By Joe Anglin

On April 21st in Eckville, Minister Ted Morton and MLA Evan Berger debated property rights lawyer Keith Wilson. They debated the merits, or lack thereof, of the now controversial new laws -- commonly known as Bills 19, 24, 36, and 50.
The dispassionate 400 plus attendees that filled the hall in Eckville quietly listened to Mr. Morton and Mr. Berger’s declamations against the assertions that the Land Stewardship Act (Bill-36) harms landowners’ rights. Both claimed the intent of the legislation was to protect landowners’ rights. To illustrate their arguments, Morton and Berger projected a series of slides onto the wall titled, “Debunking 5 Myths.” The crux of their presentation can be summed up as simply a regurgitation of previous government denials. When the two MLAs finished their presentation the audience respectfully responded with a somewhat muted applause.

Keith Wilson began his presentation by respectfully disagreeing with Mr. Morton. Wilson then acknowledged that while the intent of the minister may have been admirable, the actions or outcome of passing the legislation did not match the intent. As Mr. Wilson began to explain how the legislation did not match the intent, he was heckled by Minister Dave Hancock, who happened to be seated in one of the front rows. If the crowd was dispassionate at the onset, Hancock’s hecklings sent tremors that stirred the crowd. The mood of the audience suddenly changed. It was if everyone in attendance was shaken into a state of attentiveness.
Unshaken by Hancock’s heckling, Keith Wilson being the accomplished lawyer he is, shredded Mr. Morton’s argument systematically. Piece by piece and section by section, Wilson cited case law and read out loud to the hall -- exactly what the law says and explained to the audience exactly how the law stripped Albertans of their rights.

Few in attendance remained dispassionate. Everyone could plainly see the contrast between Mr. Morton and Keith Wilson’s presentations. The presentations could not have been farther apart. While Mr. Morton remained loyal to the government’s denials; Wilson just had the audience read the section of the Act, and asked the audience to decide for themselves.
Decide for themselves they did! The tremor that Hancock’s heckling caused turned into a rumble, and when Wilson finished his presentation the hall exploded into a thundering applause and standing ovation. It was if Morton and Berger were trying to convince everyone inside the hall that the sun was shining when all, but those who suffer from delusions, could plainly see it was dark outside.

Undaunted by the audience’s sudden decision not to buy the government explanation, Morton tried to blame the Wildrose party for his failure to be convincing. The crowd grumbled, because all could see that the Wildrose party did not participate in the debate. Grasping for another excuse, Morton attacked Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson for causing the Stock Market to suddenly drop. The comment made no sense to the audience. Liberal MLA Hugh MacDonald was sitting in the audience, and I suspect if Morton had seen him too, he might have blamed MacDonald for the sun setting. However, the audience did not buy the reference to Anderson’s influence over the stock market, so the crowd began to boo! The booing grew louder when Morton ignored and refused to answer a question on Bill 50. It is safe to say the booing and heckling was not limited or mute. It was extremely loud and abundantly clear, and it was directed right at Mr. Morton and the P.C. government!

Morton came to Eckville to sell the government’s excuses in an effort to justify the ill-conceived pieces of legislation, but there were no buyers and he couldn’t give the excuses away! What can Morton do now? Maybe – just maybe, Morton could solicit the help of Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson. Surely anyone who is reputed to have the power to move the stock market must be able to convince the public that their rights are better protected if we just remove them altogether.

Joe Anglin
Rimbey AB
(403) 843-3279

The wonderful ways of the market

Why Silver Prices Won't Quit
By Alix Steel 04/22/11 - 08:00 AM EDT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Silver prices are up 49% in 2011. Day after day the metal keeps hitting new 31-year records. Traders keep waiting for some kind of fierce and furious correction, but so far silver keeps heading higher. Silver is now eying its all-time record it reached in 1980 of $50 an ounce. One of biggest recent catalysts has been the U.S. dollar hitting its lowest point since November 2009. Now dollar-backed commodities must watch out for the $72 level, which is its 2008 low. Article posted here

Editor: No physical silver is changing hands in all this frenzied trading, only future promises to deliver. It's bit like buying and selling real estate on Mars. The problem is that our money supply is being adversely affected by all this gambling. That's why we should be printing non-redeemable monopoly money for these guys to play with. Re-introducing the Glass-Steagall Act in the US and the enactment of similar legislation here would help matters along in this regard.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Message directly from Muammar Gaddafi

Editor: Please note that this text has been created by a computerized translation program which explains some of its peculiarities

The Leader:" Libyans face savage aggression and unfair intervention in their internal affairs"

The leader of the revolution sent last night a message to European Parliament, US congress, Political opposition parties in US and Europeans who are due to gather in London today Tuesday, as well as, the message was intended to reach all media men across the world, ambassadors and news agencies .
In his message, the leader said," there is no unrest of any sort in Libya, as the Libyans possess their authority and Libyan men and women practice it via popular congresses. The similarity of such popular democracy did exist only in Athena before Christ birth. As Libya has lately witnessed a new stage of openness and did presents a number of solutions to many problems around the world, besides, its prominent role in fighting the terrorism, seemingly, a number of Al-Qaeda made the use of such conditions to launch attacks on the military barracks and police stations in order to capture weapons and they started to shot soldiers and they captured some mosques in order to use them as ammunition depots, besides, they announced Islamic emirate to be under control of Al-Qaeda and then they announced jihad. And then we tried to siege them, in cooperation with citizens, and then the terrorism fighting unit broke through some buildings in an attempt to capture those terrorist gangs and they succeeded to capture a huge number of them, but for Benghazi city, the majority of the city are still under the hands of these terrorist gangs".
" we are people united under the leadership of the revolution and currently facing Al-Qaeda's members from side and NATO forces from the other side, it is the very same contradiction. Stop this unfair savage aggression on Libyans, leave Libya for Libyans, you are committing an operation of genocide against safe people and developing country. Seemingly, Europeans and Americans do not care and see such barbarian aggression of which is an example for Hitler's invasion for Europe. Stop your aggression on our homeland, the case now are being undertaken by AU, and Libya will accept the decisions made by AU through a High Level African Committee, formed for this purpose", the leader added. Article published here

The Drones have it:

Gates says Obama has approved use of armed Predator drones in Libya

By Associated Press, Thursday, April 21, 3:17 PM

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has approved the use of armed Predator drone aircraft in Libya to improve the precision of low-level attacks on ground targets, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday. The first Predator mission since Obama’s go-ahead was flown Thursday but the aircraft — armed with Hellfire missiles — turned back early due to poor weather conditions, Marine Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a news conference with Gates.
“President Obama has said that where we have some unique capabilities, he is willing to use those,” Gates said. “And in fact he has approved the use of armed Predators.”
“What they will bring that is unique to the conflict is their ability to get down lower, therefore to be able to get better visibility on targets that have started to dig themselves into defensive positions,” Cartwright said. “They are uniquely suited for urban areas.” Cartwright did not specify what targets the aborted Predator mission Thursday was intended to strike.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed, (or we'll send a drone your way! - Ed)

Article published here

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rioters torch Australian immigration centre

Asylum-seekers set fire to the detention centre after authorities denied some of their requests for refuge [Reuters]

Dozens of asylum-seekers torched nine buildings at a Sydney detention centre.

Asylum seekers have torched nine buildings at a Sydney detention centre in a night of wild riots with a handful of protesters remaining on rooftops on Thursday as police worked to regain control. The riots kicked off late on Wednesday at the Villawood Detention Centre with an estimated 100 detainees involved at the height of the drama.
Protesters set an oxygen cylinder alight, which led to an explosion, and nine buildings, including a medical centre and dining hall, were gutted by fire. Firefighters brought the blaze under control early on Thursday and no one was injured.
Around 400 people are held at Villawood. Many of them are asylum seekers, but the facility also houses people who have overstayed their visas.
On Thursday, seven detainees remained on the roof of one of the complex's buildings, next to a large sign that read: "We need help. "Immigration department spokesman Sandi Logan said he could not confirm reports the men were protesting because their visa applications had been rejected.
“But any suggestion that they're not being informed of the progress of their claim is nonsense. ... I don't know the motivation,” Logan said. “But it's clearly not going to help, in terms of endearing their settlement in Australia.” Article posted here

Editor: This is Deja-vu for me. I arrived in the Villawood immigration centre on the evening of April 25 in 1966 as an immigrant to start a new life in Australia.

Inflation Spikes Sharply in March

Dan Sumner
Economist, ATB Financial
April 19, 2011

After more than two years of exceptionally low inflation and a strongly recovering economy over the past year, economists had predicted inflation was going pick up in Canada in 2011. However, few had expected that trend to start with the bang that it did in March. The year-over-year national rate of inflation jumped to 3.3% in March, much stronger than anticipated by the markets and the highest rate of increase since September 2008. In Alberta, price pressures also ramped up, with the provincial rate of inflation rising to 2.0% from 1.2% in February.
Driving inflation higher in both Canada and Alberta was a broad array of factors including higher food, clothing and gasoline prices. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, prices of fresh vegetables surged 15.6% in Alberta and 18.6% in Canada in March, thanks to supply shortages in Mexico and the southern US.
The core rate if inflation, which is used by the Bank of Canada in setting interest rates, also spiked, rising 1.7% year-over-year compared to only 0.9% in February. This rate of increase was also much stronger than anticipated by the markets and has solidified expectations for rate increases at either the bank’s May 31st or July 18th meeting.
Canadians have enjoyed the triple play of low inflation, low interest rates and a strong economy over the past year and although the economy is expected to remain solid, rates are only headed in one direction. If the mounting price pressures evident in March are the start of a longer trend, then rates could be moving higher and faster than previously anticipated.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

S & P as always late to the Party!

Editor: Judging by the background it looks as if Peter Shiff's son, where Peter is staying while doing this presentation, is not short of a buck. Maybe his dad is really quite smart?

Silly season

Market Nuggets: Deutsche Bank Anticipates Further Decline In Gold/Silver Ratio

19 April 2011, 02:04 p.m.
By Kitco News

(Kitco News) -- Deutsche Bank sees potential for the gold/silver ratio to fall further, which would indicate outperformance by silver. The ratio is determined by dividing the price of an ounce of gold by an ounce of silver. Shortly before 2 p.m. EDT, it stood at 34.11. “In our view, fiscal worries in the Western world and inflationary fears in the emerging markets will sustain precious-metals risks to the upside,” Deutsche Bank says. “The gold-to-silver ratio has fallen below 35, which could move towards 30 in our view. Historically, during periods of high inflation volatility, gold-to-silver ratios typically ranged between 30-40.”

By Allen Sykora of Kitco News;

It's our bank and our money

Don't Be a Banking Dummie! from Canadian Action Party on Vimeo.

It is time Canadians stopped voting in the rats

By Christopher Porter
Publish Date: April 18, 2011

One of Canada’s most famous speeches was the Story of Mouseland by Tommy Douglas, an NDP pioneer. This story was first told by Clarence Gillis and encapsulated the situation Canadians were feeling.
The mice were a society and were voting in the black cats to rule them. They slowly realized that the black cats were not as interested in their well being, as much as they thought. So they voted in the white cats. But at the end of the day, the cats were cats and did not have the best interest of the mice at heart.
Today we face a similar story but we are voting in the rats. The difference with the rats and the cats, is that the rats eat cheese as well. At least with the cats, suffering was quick and painless at the loss of a mouse for the well being of the fat cat. Today the suffering is long and painful. Economic recessions, insurmountable debt, unjust wars, privatization of our natural resources, increased unemployment and a bleak future.
In order for the rats to exist in a world of limited cheese the mice must suffer and eventually be extinguished. It is time that the mice, Canadian citizens, vote themselves in. Not lay all their trust in somebody or something else. It is time that the mice control the direction of this country, not the cats or rats. This can be done by reclaiming our economical and political sovereignty. First, we must remember that as Canadians, we own the Bank of Canada. The Bank of Canada can be used for government created money to help fund necessary community infrastructure projects with little or no interest. Investing in education and the welfare of its citizens for the betterment of the future.
Our political sovereignty can be reclaimed through electoral reform. By forcing MPs to represent fully their riding, not their party. There is only one solution: the whole House of Commons needs a thorough House-cleaning. The best interests of Canadians can only be served by electing members of small parties or independent MPs, who sincerely offer to represent the best interests of their own local constituents and are not bound by any other authority. We can make this happen.
The Canadian Action Party has excellent policies, all centered around the protection and enhancement of Canadian sovereignty, both as individuals and as a nation of strong and vibrant communities. Our MPs are free to vote as directed by the constituents of their own electoral district, not the whim or preference of the party’s leader. The party’s sole purpose is to organize and empower all Canadians in their own electoral districts, not to accrue power for itself or dominate the country or exploit its resources to put wealth into the hands of an elite group of its supporters. It has no corporate ties or sponsors of any kind.
It is your choice: vote for the cats or the rats, or finally, vote for your fellow mouse.

Christopher Porter is the leader of the Canadian Action Party. The party website is here

Britain rules out ground attack on Libya

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said England will not deploy any ground troops in Libya as tension remains high in the North African country.

"What we've said is there is no question of an invasion or an occupation, this is not about Britain putting boots on the ground, this is not what we are about here," Reuters quoted Cameron as saying on Sunday.
The UN Security Council resolution 1973 authorized a no-fly zone over Libya to protect people against air attacks carried out by forces loyal to Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi but ruled out any foreign invasion of the country. The US, Britain, France, and later NATO fighter jets, have since launched airstrikes targeting Libya's military bases and equipment but have caused civilian casualties in several cases, thus contradicting the purpose they were tasked with.
Last week, leaders of Britain, France and the US urged in a joint letter that Gaddafi should quit power and voiced deep concern about the humanitarian crisis that is taking place especially in the western city of Misratah. This is while many analysts believe the main motive behind the West's military action in Libya is the country's rich oil reserves. Clashes between revolutionary forces and Gaddafi loyalists continued on Sunday. Reports said that the Gaddafi's troops killed seven people and injured 27 others in the opposition-held town of Ajdabiyah.
Meanwhile, revolutionary forces said they had successfully carried out attacks on regime troops in the strategic town of Misratah. (MA/AGB/MGH)

Editor: It seems that the NATO air based assault on Libya has evened out the odds on the ground, ensuring a prolonged civil war. For what?

Lack of funds threatens UN food aid to millions of vulnerable Afghans

On average, WFP distributes food to 7.3 million people in Afghanistan yearly, mainly in remote, rural areas

15 April 2011 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today it urgently needs $257 million to continue providing food and assistance to over 7 million vulnerable Afghans, most of whom are women and children.
“We are making this appeal to give us the best possible chance of plugging the looming gaps in supply,” said Louis Imbleau, WFP’s Country Director for Afghanistan. “Food security is the bedrock of development in this country – especially for the youngest and most vulnerable.” Article here

Opium cultivation in Afghanistan expected to fall despite high prices – UN

Surveyors of the northern region of Afghanistan undergoing training for the Opium Winter Rapid Assessment Survey

18 April 2011 – Poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is expected to decline slightly this year despite the prevailing high prices of opium, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported today, saying that Government effort to discourage production could yield further reduction.
“This is only an indicator and government policy can stimulate further decline,” said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the UNODC representative in Afghanistan, when he released the agency’s Opium Winter Rapid Assessment Survey. Article posted here

Monday, April 18, 2011

Everything is beautiful - in its own way

The heliospheric current sheet extends to the outer reaches of the Solar System, and results from the influence of the Sun's rotating magnetic field on the plasma in the interplanetary medium.[61]

China’s Bad Growth Bet

By Nouriel Roubini

LONDON – I recently took two trips to China just as the government launched its 12th Five-Year Plan to rebalance the country’s long-term growth model. My visits deepened my view that there is a potentially destabilizing contradiction between China’s short- and medium-term economic performance.
China’s economy is overheating now, but, over time, its current overinvestment will prove deflationary both domestically and globally. Once increasing fixed investment becomes impossible – most likely after 2013 – China is poised for a sharp slowdown. Instead of focusing on securing a soft landing today, Chinese policymakers should be worrying about the brick wall that economic growth may hit in the second half of the quinquennium. Article posted here

Adolph Hitler in 1933

Editor: For those of you who understand German, is any of this applicable to what is happening today? Please feel free to post your comments.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Libya after the NATO invasion

The first two decades of Gaddafi's rule brought some benefits to Libyan society, but those soon became overshadowed by demagogic worship of the leader and tribalism [GALLO/GETTY]

There can be no quick fix for a Libya caught between a loose-cannon despot and an opportunistic Western intervention.

Mahmood Mamdani Last Modified: 09 Apr 2011 16:33

The 2010 UN Human Development Index – which is a composite measure of health, education and income – ranked Libya 53rd in the world, and first in Africa.
What was a predominantly rural and backward country when the king was deposed 42 years ago is today a country with a modern economy and high literacy. This single fact embodies the gist of Gaddafi's claim to the historical legitimacy of his rule.
The popular debate on Libya is today divided: one side stresses solidarity with an oppressed people, the other is opposed to another Western war.
Soon after the Western coalition imposed a no-fly zone on Libya, the New York Times published an opinion piece by a Libyan professor of political science at a US east coast college. Ali Ahmida divided Gaddafi's rule into two periods, each representing one side of the argument today.

Impressions of a young Gaddafi

In its first two decades, he wrote, the revolution brought many benefits to ordinary Libyans: widespread literacy, free medical care, education, and improvements in living conditions. Women in particular benefited, becoming ministers, ambassadors, pilots, judges and doctors. The government got wide support from the lower and middle classes.
The down side was a demagogic regime that revelled in rituals of hero worship and cynically embraced violence. Faced with successive coup attempts, it staffed security forces with reliable relatives and allies from central and southern Libya, a move that gradually transformed a national government into a tribal administration.
My first impression of Gaddafi was formed by a revealing incident I read several decades ago in a memoir by Muhammad Haykal, Nasser's famed press secretary.
Haykal recounts a conversation between visiting Chinese premier Chou en Lai and Nasser during a state reception. Pointing to a young man in uniform, Chou en Lai asked: Who is he? Why, replied Nasser, that is Col Gaddafi who just overthrew the monarchy in Libya, and added, why do you ask?
It is difficult to forget Chou en Lai's response: Well, he just came over and asked me how much it would cost to purchase an atom bomb! The anecdote sums up Gaddafi's well-known erratic nature. Thoughtful article posted here

Northwest wolf population will be reduced

The National Rifle Association today thanked Members of Congress for taking an important step in the right direction for wolf and game species conservation. The continuing resolution FY 2011, scheduled for votes later this week, includes a general provision that delists certain populations of wolves from the Endangered Species Act. Wolf populations in Montana and Idaho as well as portions of Utah, Oregon and Washington would be declared recovered by reinstating the 2009 ruling from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), paving the way for regulated wolf hunting seasons. The NRA would also like to thank the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the Boone and Crockett Club, and Safari Club International for joining together in this important effort to place the states in charge of wolf conservation.
“With recovered populations of wolves across the Northwest, this Congressional action sends an important message to anti-hunting extremists -- politics and legal wrangling are not welcome when it comes to conservation,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action. “Hunters are the true conservationists and wolves simply need to be managed through regulated hunting like so many other species. The partial delisting is a good start and we will be focused on a more comprehensive solution moving forward". Article posted here

Libya’s Pathway to Peace?

Published: April 14, 2011

Editor: The following is an opinion article by the leaders of the US, Britain and France, published in the New York Times. In my opinion, it sets the stage for yet another Afghan/Iraqi style invasion, occupation and imposition of "democracy". Enjoy reading:

"Together with our NATO allies and coalition partners, the United States, France and Britain have been united from the start in responding to the crisis in Libya, and we are united on what needs to happen in order to end it.
Even as we continue our military operations today to protect civilians in Libya, we are determined to look to the future. We are convinced that better times lie ahead for the people of Libya, and a pathway can be forged to achieve just that". Article published here

Friday, April 15, 2011

War propaganda, 1943 style

Is algae biofuel too thirsty?

A new PNNL study shows that 17 percent of the United States' imported oil for transportation could be replaced by biofuel made from algae grown in outdoor raceway ponds located in the Gulf Coast, the Southeastern Seaboard, and the Great Lakes. This June 2010 satellite photo shows raceway ponds in southern California.

By John Roach

Biofuel produced from algae, essentially pond scum, has long titillated green energy boosters as a potential big time player in the U.S. renewable fuels portfolio. Now, a-first-of-its-kind look at industrial-scale freshwater farming of algae suggests it could indeed make a sizeable dent in U.S. oil imports, but drain water resources.
Specifically, the U.S. could produce enough of the algae-derived fuel to eliminate 48 percent of the fuel it currently imports for transportation needs, according to researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. But doing so would require 5.5 percent of the land area in the lower 48 states and consume about three times the water currently used to irrigate crops.
"The water use is significant," Mark Wigmosta, a hydrologist at the lab who led the study, told me today. Article here

Libya: All About Oil, or All About Banking?

by Ellen Brown

Several writers have noted the odd fact that the Libyan rebels took time out from their rebellion in March to create their own central bank – this before they even had a government. Robert Wenzel wrote in the Economic Policy Journal:
I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.
Alex Newman wrote in the New American:
In a statement released last week, the rebels reported on the results of a meeting held on March 19. Among other things, the supposed rag-tag revolutionaries announced the “[d]esignation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and appointment of a Governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.”
Newman quoted CNBC senior editor John Carney, who asked, “Is this the first time a revolutionary group has created a central bank while it is still in the midst of fighting the entrenched political power? It certainly seems to indicate how extraordinarily powerful central bankers have become in our era.” Ellen Brown goes on to explain what is going on here

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Is this the answer to predator drones?

America's Military Expansion Funded by Foreign Central Banks

Preview from "The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century"

by Michael Hudson

Large amounts of surplus dollars are pouring into the rest of the world.Central banks have recycled these dollar inflows towards the purchase of U.S. Treasury bonds, which serve to finance the federal U.S. budget deficit. Underlying this process is the military character of the U.S. payments deficit and the domestic federal budget deficit. Strange as it may seem and irrational as it would be in a more logical system of world diplomacy, the "dollar glut" is what finances America’s global military build-up. It forces foreign central banks to bear the costs of America’s expanding military empire: effective "taxation without representation". Read more of this article here

Hot news from NASA: Solar Cycle #24 has begun, finally!

War and geopolitics go hand in hand, as always

Moussa Koussa meets Hu Jintao. Western intervention in Libya came after Gaddafi pledged to give major contracts to Chinese countries, replacing deals with Western companies [GALLO/GETTY

China's interests in Gaddafi: Huge oil and financial deals play major part in Beijing's support for Libya's despot and halt to foreign intervention.

Pepe Escobar Last Modified: 14 Apr 2011 15:06

What a sight. Chinese president Hu Jintao pulling a vintage John Lennon performance in Beijing and telling self-styled Arab liberator and French neo-Napoleonic president Nicolas Sarkozy to "give peace a chance" in Libya.
The top four BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) all abstained at the voting of UN Security Council Resolution 1973. In his subtle address to Sarkozy, Hu also implied his displeasure that the African Union, which was overwhelmingly against a foreign intervention in Libya, had their proposals totally sidelined by the West.
Only three days before UN Resolution 1973 was voted on, Gaddafi met with the ambassadors of BRICS members China, Russia and India, and told them, according to the JANA news agency: "We are ready to bring Chinese and Indian companies to replace Western ones." That may go a long way to explain the BRICS abstentions.
It would be tempting to see the Beijing leadership merrily watching Washington walk into another open-ended quagmire in a Muslim nation – part of a Chinese grand strategy of letting the US be distracted in peripheral Muslim countries in the arc from northern Africa to Central Asia.
Well, it is slightly more complicated than that. Article posted here

Dozens apply for space pilot jobs

SpaceShipTwo and its carrier airplane, WhiteKnightTwo, fly together above California's Mojave Desert.

By Alan Boyle

Virgin Galactic is looking for three good space pilots to fly its suborbital SpaceShipTwo rocket plane, which is already in the midst of flight tests. Although astronaut experience is preferred, it’s not necessary. But if you’re not an experienced test pilot, don’t bother.
More than 150 would-be spacefliers have sent in their applications since the job posting went up on Monday, Virgin Galactic spokeswoman Christine Choi told me via email today. And the in-box is due to remain open until April 30. Article here

There's no stopping silver

Royal Canadian Mint Added To LBMA's Silver 'Good Delivery List'

14 April 2011, 11:43 a.m. By Kitco News

(Kitco News) -- The Royal Canadian Mint’s refinery has been added to the London Bullion Market Association's “Good Delivery List” effective Thursday, the LBMA says. The Mint has been on the LBMA’s gold list since around 1919. The LBMA’s “London Good Delivery List of Acceptable Refiners” of gold and silver lists those refineries whose gold and silver bars have been found, when originally tested, to meet the required standard for acceptability in the London bullion market. The list now includes 60 gold and 71 silver refiners. “The Royal Canadian Mint has satisfied the LBMA as to its production capability and financial standing,” says a press notice from the LBMA. “It has also passed the LBMA’s exhaustive testing procedures, under which its silver bars were examined and assayed by independent referees, and its own assaying capabilities were tested.”

In the hot seat

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, smiles during testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Investigations Subcommittee hearing in 2010.

Senate probe alleges Goldman mortgage deception. Investigation panel head calls Goldman Sachs tactics ‘disgraceful’.

By Ronald D. Orol, MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — A Senate subcommittee has accused Goldman Sachs of selling poor quality mortgage securities it bet against and is pushing the Justice Department to investigate Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s testimony before Congress. Article posted here

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Symbols of Empire?

NATO flag and Bank for International Settlements trademark. Weapons and money, hand in hand under the same symbol. The sharp points of the cross are very suggestive of the nature of the beast.

Learning the elements, the old fashioned way

Mexico in focus

Mexicans stand up to "drug war". 35,000+ civilians killed since 2006

Why do so many politicians end up facing criminal charges?

Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli Foreign Minister, faces corruption charges

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel's attorney-general on Wednesday informed Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman he faced criminal corruption charges, Israel's Channel Two said.
Lieberman, a senior partner in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conservative coalition government, had been under investigation on suspicion of money laundering, bribery and breach of trust. He denies wrongdoing but could resign once formally indicted.

A date to remember

Photo: Nikolay Korchekov / Reuters

Spectators watch a fireworks display presented to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's historic spaceflight, in Moscow's Victory Park on April 12. Article here

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

News for nuclear buffs

Beryllium-uranium fuel research shows promise
04 February 2011

Nuclear fuel containing beryllium oxide as well as uranium oxide has been shown to be longer lasting, more efficient and safer than conventional nuclear fuels, an ongoing research project claims.
Vancouver-based rare metals company IBC Advanced Alloys has announced the completion of the initial phase of a research and development project on beryllium oxide nuclear fuels in conjunction with Purdue University and Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), a member institution of the Texas A&M University System. The project, announced in August 2008, is aimed at advancing the universities' existing nuclear fuels research programs as well as developing a beryllium oxide enhanced nuclear fuel for commercial use in both current and future nuclear power reactors. Article posted here

911 - A facilitated attack. Old ghosts don't go away

Monday, April 11, 2011

Towards a new nuclear future with Thorium, power of the gods.

Thor, the Norse God of Power

In light of the ongoing Fukushima disaster, listen to this BBC interview about a different way of utilizing the atom in a safe way to deal with future energy needs.

One smart guy - Carlo Rubbia, Knight Grand Cross (born on 31 March 1934), is an Italian particle physicist and inventor who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1984 with Simon van der Meer for work leading to the discovery of the W and Z particles at CERN. Carlo is the man being interviewed about Thorium by the BBC reporter. His bio is posted here

Oh, Brother, you are being watched (and they can zap you too!)

Iceland's no vote on Icesave was a public display of anger

Referendum result … Icelanders celebrate the rejection of a repayment deal for Icesave. Photograph: Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images

Even before the final result was in, the tenor of national and international reaction to the Icelandic public's latest rejection of a deal for Icesave was crystal clear. "We must do all we can to prevent political and economic chaos as a result of this outcome," prime minister Johanna Sigurdardottir said early yesterday morning. Around the same time, at the Treasury in London, Danny Alexander warned that the British government would see Iceland in the international court. Article here

The Economic Crisis in Iceland: "IMF Medicine" is not the Solution

by Prof. Michael Hudson

Will Iceland Vote “No” on April 9, or commit financial suicide?
A year ago, in March 2010, Iceland’s economy was so small that it did not warrant much attention when 93% of its voters rejected the Social Democratic-Green government’s surrender to Gordon Brown and the Dutch, the European Union (EU) bureaucracy and IMF demands that it impose austerity as penance for believing the neoliberal fairy tales about how bank deregulation and “free markets” would make it the richest, happiest country in the world. Indeed it seemed to be, according to United Nations data. But the dream was dashed after the Icesave electronic Internet bank branches abroad were emptied out by their proprietors.
Britain and the Netherlands paid out more than $5 billion to some 340,000 of their own depositors whom their own bank oversight agencies had failed to warn the about looting going on. Iceland’s taxpayers were told to bear the cost, as virtual tribute.
The dream was the neoliberal promise that running to debt was the way to get rich. Nobody at the time anticipated that taking private (and indeed, fraudulent) bank losses onto the public balance sheet would become the theme dividing Europe over the coming year, dividing European politics and even threaten to break up the Eurozone.
A landmark in this fight is to occur this Saturday, April 9. Icelanders will vote on whether to subject their economy to decades of poverty, bankruptcy and emigration of their work force. At least, that is the program supported by the existing Social Democratic-Green coalition government in urging a “Yes” vote on the Icesave bailout. Their financial surrender policy endorses the European Central Bank’s lobbying for the neoliberal deregulation that led to the real estate bubble and debt leveraging as if it were a success story rather than the road to national debt peonage. The reality was an enormous banking fraud and insider dealing as bank managers lent the money to themselves, leaving an empty shell – and then saying that this was all how “free markets” operate. Running into debt was promised to be the way to get rich. But the price to Iceland was for housing prices to plunge 70% (in a country where mortgage debtors are personally liable for their negative equity), a falling GDP, rising unemployment, defaults and foreclosures.

In conclusion, Professor Hudson states:

The moral is that creditor foreclosure – or voluntary forfeiture to pay international bankers – has become today’s preferred mode of economic warfare. It is cheaper than military conquest, but its aim is similar: to gain control of foreign property and levy tribute – in a way that the tribute-payers accept voluntarily. Land is appropriated and foreclosed on – or, what turns out to be the same thing, its rental income is pledged to foreign bank branches extending mortgage credit that absorbs the net rent. The result is economic austerity and chronic depression, ending the upsweep in living standards promised a generation ago.

Iceland’s government seems to have become decoupled from what is good for voters and for the very survival of Iceland’s economy. It thus challenges the assumption that underlies all social science and economics: that nations will act in their own self-interest. This is the assumption that underlies democracy: that voters will realize their self-interest and elect representatives to apply such policies. For the political scientist this is an anomaly. How does one explain why a national parliament is acting on behalf of Britain and the Dutch as creditors, rather than in the interest of their own country accused of owing debts that voters in other countries have removed their governments for agreeing to? Article published here

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Libyan rebels sold Hizballah and Hamas chemical shells

US Adm. James Stavridis

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 31, 2011, 11:24 AM (GMT+02:00)

The first authoritative American source to refer to a Hizballah presence in Benghazi was the commander of US NATO forces Adm. James Stavridis. When he addressed a US Senate committee on Tuesday, March 29, he spoke of “telltale signs of the presence of Islamic insurgents led by Al-Qaeda and Hizballah” on the rebel side of the Libyan war. He did not disclose what they were doing there.

Senior Libyan rebel “officers” sold Hizballah and Hamas thousands of chemical shells from the stocks of mustard and nerve gas that fell into rebel hands when they overran Muammar Qaddafi’s military facilities in and around Benghazi, DEBKAfile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources report. Article posted here

Record depletion of Arctic ozone in past few days over Scandinavia

In early April 2011, ozone-depleted air masses extended from the north pole to southern Scandinavia leading to higher than normal levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation during sunny days in southern Finland. These air masses will move east over the next few days, covering parts of Russia and perhaps extending as far south as the Chinese/Russian border. Such excursions of ozone-depleted air may also occur over Central Europe and could reach as far south as the Mediterranean.
At an international press conference by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Vienna on April 5, atmospheric researcher Dr. Markus Rex from Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association (AWI) pointed out that the current situation in the Arctic ozone layer is unparalleled. He said:

Such massive ozone loss has so far never occurred in the northern hemisphere, which is densely populated even at high latitudes.

Bottom line: In early April 2011, there is an increased risk of sunburn at northerly latitudes, where sunburn would not be expected at this time of year, due to ozone-depleted air masses extended from the north pole to southern Scandinavia. The ozone-depleted air is leading to higher-than-normal levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation during sunny days in southern Finland, and might move into Russia, Europe, southern Canada and the northern U.S. in the coming days. Article posted here

Sick America

This graph speaks for itself - The number of Americans receiving food stamps is now over 44 million, which is more than the entire populations of many large nations. Please click on graph to enlarge