Friday, December 28, 2012

Energy developments in China



Check out Thorium Forum here

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Preparing Christmas hampers for needy people in the Caroline area

Volunteers prepare Christmas hampers from donated food

Photo and story by Helge Nome

Caroline's Church of the Nazarene is the venue for putting together Christmas hampers for local people. Volunteers have been engaged in setting out donated foods and preparing hampers that are taken to needy individuals and families in the area. Bread, milk, cheese and other perishables are purchased with donated money at the local grocery store just prior to delivery.

Again, people in the Caroline area have proven themselves to be part of a caring community for those that have hit a bump in the road.

Caroline Seniors' Drop In Center hosts Christmas supper

Seniors' Drop In December birthdays: Noel Delorme, Ed Loomis, Barb Proudler, Joyce Pengelly, Chris Orr

 Photo and story by Helge Nome

As always, seniors in the west country enjoyed their monthly pot luck supper with a very short meeting and a long meal of great variety, including the obligatory Christmas turkey. 75 people partook in the meal and Don Bouvette led the singalong of Christmas carols, as well as playing some of his own compositions with a Christmas theme.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Asia's insatiable demand for coal plays havoc with climate goals

A coal miner takes a shower after his shift at a bathroom of a coal mine on the outskirts of Changzhi, Shanxi province Photo: Reuters
9:37PM GMT 18 Dec 2012

For greens, ecologists, and those convinced that CO2 emissions pose a grave threat to the planet, it is a nightmare coming true. The world is becoming more reliant on high-polluting coal, not less. 


“Coal met nearly half the rise in global energy demand during the first decade of the 21st Century,” said the International Energy Agency (IEA). Wind, solar, and gas have yet to change the overall picture.
The IEA said “insatiable demand” from Asia’s rising powers will gobble up a further 1bn tonnes each year by 2017, equal to the entire consumption of the US and Russia today. “If no changes are made to current policies, coal will catch oil within a decade,” it said.
By a rough rule of thumb, coal produces 238 tonnes of carbon per gigawatt hour (GWh), compared with 207 for heavy oil and 99 for gas. The IEA says coal already accounts for 43pc of global CO2 emissions.
“The situation is utterly dire,” said Jeremy Leggett, head of the UK Task Force on Peak Energy and Climate Change. “The window over the next decade is absolutely crucial. The danger threshold is a two-degree rise in average temperatures above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. We’re currently on track for a rise of six degrees. The cognoscenti in the scientific world are terrified,” he said.
The great hope of carbon capture and storage (CCS) has yet to materialise, at least at viable cost. “CCS technologies are not taking off as once expected, which means CO2 emissions will keep growing substantially,” said the IEA’s Maria Van der Hoeven.
Thoughtful article continues here

Sunday, December 16, 2012

STARS new helicopter arrives in Alberta

Edmonton, AB, Dec. 14, 2012 – STARS air ambulance officially announced the arrival of its new donor funded AW139 helicopter today during an unveiling ceremony at the STARS base at the Edmonton International Airport.

The helicopter is the first of two new AW139 helicopters purchased by STARS for service in Alberta, with the second Calgary dedicated AW139 arriving in 2013. “The significant financial capital needed to purchase the Alberta-based helicopters initiated the largest fundraising campaign in STARS history, raising over $26.5 million,” said STARS president and CEO Andrea Robertson. “We have now completed the vision of bringing this new helicopter to Alberta thanks to the incredible support of our donors, and partnerships with the provincial government, Alberta Health Services, and emergency services.”

 The AW139 medically equipped helicopters will enhance access to emergency pre-hospital critical care through more rapid response, an expanded service area, a larger medical interior, more powerful lift capacity, and a de-icing system that will enable flight during adverse weather conditions. “This new helicopter will ensure that patients, even those far away from a critical care centre, will still receive the intensive medical care they need,” said Fred Horne, Minister of Health. “

The Alberta government recognizes STARS as an important part of our health care delivery system, one that is responsive and provides excellent patient care regardless of location.” A third AW139 will be put into service in Saskatchewan thanks to support from PotashCorp. It will be based in Saskatoon and is anticipated to arrive in late 2013.

 Eurocopter BK117 helicopters will continue as the aircraft for the STARS Grande Prairie, Regina and Winnipeg bases. STARS is a non-profit helicopter air ambulance organization that provides rapid and specialized emergency care and transportation for critically ill and injured patients. Our doctors, nurses, paramedics, and pilots work with a team of dedicated support staff and community partners to save lives. STARS operates from bases in Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie.

 Cam Heke
Communications
STARS 
Media: 1-866-966-8277
cheke@stars.ca  www.stars.ca

Clearwater County recognized for STARS support

Clearwater Councillors pose with Pamela Ison Reilander from STARS: Case Korver, Jim Vandermeer, Patrick Alexander (Reeve), Jim Duncan, Dick Wymenga, Earl Graham, Bob Bryant

Detail of plaque presented to Clearwater County


Photos and story by Helge Nome

Clearwater County councillors were pleased to be recognized by the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service at the December 11 County Council meeting. Pamela Ison Reilander from STARS presented a plaque to Clearwater County, recognizing its annual contribution of $6000 to the service. Reilander also informed Council about a new helicopter, an AW139, being put into service at this time.
(See separate article adjacent).

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Annual Carol Fest coming up on December 16

The Church of the Nazarene in Caroline


Photo and Story by Helge Nome

"A new kid in town" is the theme for this year's carol fest in Caroline. The event will take place at the Church of the Nazarene at 7pm on December 16 and is supported by four church communities in the area: Living Faith, the Cowboy Church, the Church of the Nazarene and the Garrington Community Church.

The Caroline Family Singers and many other musicians from the area will participate and there will be a collection for Gail and Dean Wahl who recently lost their home and most of their possessions when their house burnt down. Look for posters.




Thursday, December 6, 2012

Old and new flying machines



By Helge Nome

The two photos above have one thing in common: The undercarriage of each flying machine is a tricycle. The top photo depicts a small clay chariot from prehistoric Yugoslavia. It bears a goddess with a bird's head, attended by three aquatic birds . From Duplyaya near Vrsac, c. 1500-1200 BC. (Information source: Mythology An Illustrated Encyclopedia edited by Richard Cavendish, Orbis Publishing London, ISBN 0 85613 447 3). The photo underneath shows an airborne ultralight tricycle, 2012 AD.

Now, it so happens that the tricycle is the ideal wheel configuration for the landing of aircraft of all sizes and shapes, because of the stability it confers on the airborne vehicle when it makes contact with the ground during a landing approach. So the question that comes to mind is this: Does the top photo depict a real flying machine, "mythologized" by human observers on the ground in awe of what they saw?

Some chilling history

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Donation to Caroline's Shepherd Food Bank





Photo and story by Helge Nome

Caroline's Shepherd Food Bank received a welcome boost at the Legion Hall in Caroline on Monday, December 3. Local singer/songwriter Cheyenne Larson presented a cheque for $460, along with a considerable quantity of food to a very happy Nancy McLean from the food bank. Cheyenne's grandfather Teekie Mason was pleased to assist.

The donations were made at a family social jam session at the Legion on the preceding Saturday where Cheyenne was a prominent player. The Shepherd Food Bank is located in the basement of the Nazarene Church office building, administered by Nancy McLean and supported by many local volunteers.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cold times ahead

Record of sunspots since 2009



By Helge Nome

This chart is significant, indicating sunspot activity well below that of the previous 11 year cycle which peaked in 2000 at about 120 sunspots in the most active months. Historical data indicates a correlation between observed sunspot activity and weather on the Earth: "The little ice age" in Europe between 1645 AD and 1715 AD coincided with low observed sunspot activity by early telescopes developed around that time. The river Rhine in Germany still had ice on it in June!

Coinciding at this time with reduced economic activity and greenhouse gas generation on the Earth's surface, reduced solar activity points to cold times ahead. Rug up!
More detailed information from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology available here

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Banking reality check



 By Helge Nome

There appear to be many misconceptions about banking out there. A gross one is that a 10% reserve requirement means that a bank can lend out ten times more money than it has on deposit from customers. The idea of a 10% reserve is that the bank is required to have that amount of money on hand to satisfy any depositors that might want to withdraw their deposits at any given time. That, in theory, should mean that the bank is authorized to lend out an amount equal to 90% of its deposits, withholding 10% to cover statistically predictable depositor demands with a safe margin in most circumstances, (except for a bank run).

 That's the theory, and that's where it gets sneaky: A bank's consolidated balance sheet will show, as an example (for ATB Financial here in Alberta in 2008) outstanding loans as assets of $19,443,917 thousand ($19 billion) as against deposits (liabilities) of $21,175,716 thousand ($21 billion). This gives one the impression that from $21 billion in deposits an amount of $19 billion has been re-lent to borrowers. However, and this is important, double entry accounting used by the bank to generate its balance sheet records each loan made as both an asset and liability (i.e. deposit).

 So, an average Joe, like me, looking at the balance sheet believes that a bunch of people dropped off $21 billion of their money in the bank so as to earn some interest, and that the bank re-lent $19 billion of those deposits to borrowers at a somewhat higher rate of interest, thus covering its costs and hopefully some profit for the shareholders on top of that. But as we can see, that's all smoke and mirrors.

 In reality, the bank needs to have money-numbers recorded at the central bank to cover any transactions it makes with its customers because virtually all those transactions involve other banks. In reality, also, the "fractional reserve" idea only exists in textbooks and has never really been practiced. Rather, central banks have made money available to the banking system dependent upon demands from that system at any given time.

 So, in times of economic slowdown, one would expect a bank to make less money than during boom times? Right?

 Wrong!! These are today's numbers from the Royal Bank of Canada as per an article from CityNews in Toronto recorded here:

 "The Royal Bank says it had a record annual profit in 2012, including $1.9 billion of net earnings in the fourth quarter. The quarterly profit amounted to $1.25 per share of net earnings, or $1.27 per share of adjusted diluted earnings. For the full-year ended Oct. 31, RBC had $7.5 billion of net earnings. That's up 17 per cent from 2011 and equal to $4.96 per share of net earnings or $5 per share on an adjusted basis." 

 What is going on here? The economy is stagnant and the bank is making a pile of money! The only explanation I can see is that the money is being made in the "paper" (financial) sector and is not generating any real wealth other than numbers in computers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Caroline Seniors Drop In News

November birthdays: Bob Hall, Maria Hall, Ruth Barrer, Ruby Scott, Rita Stewart, Cliff Stalwick

Report and photos by Helge Nome

The Caroline Seniors Drop In Center was the venue for the monthly pot-luck supper and meeting on November 19, the third Monday of the month, at 6pm. Having enjoyed a hearty meal members settled down to the monthly meeting, chaired by Dwight Oliver, and discussed the issues of the day:

Members chose not to accept an offer from Clearwater County to go under its insurance umbrella, in spite of some cost savings compared to the existing insurance policy. It was felt that the deductible of $5000 under the proposed new insurance plan was rather high.

Members were made aware of the need for assistance to the Shepherd's Food Bank in Caroline where donations are made to needy individuals and families both at Christmas time and during the year.

 So far, no one has come forwards to volunteer for the position of Trip Coordinator. A motion to cancel the contract for the $50/month phone line to the Drop In Center was carried as this phone never gets used. $5 membership fees for the new year are now due.

The annual Christmas dinner will be held at the Drop In Center in Caroline on Monday, December 17, at 6pm. It is a Pot Luck with the Drop-in supplying the turkey and ham. The cost is $5.00 to help with the purchases of meat and other expenses of the Drop-in. Food for the food bank would be appreciated. 


 On the 20th of December there will be a special social at the Drop-in for Seniors. It begins at 12 noon with a bowl of Friendship Soup, buns, bread and a tasty dessert. Games of choice begin at 1:30 p.m. If you just want to come and visit, you are welcome. A loonie covers coffee and a treat. Come for an enjoyable afternoon. If there is enough interest this program will continue in the new year.
 
Membership is open to anyone 50 years of age and over. Dues are $5.00 a year.



The Bystrom Family Singers entertained at the Seniors Drop In:  Sharmane, Sharlene, Shawna, Sheryle and mother Louise




 New Drop In members' program introduced by Barb Proudler:

On Thursday, November 22, members are invited to a noon bowl of beef stew and biscuit, cake, ice cream and strawberry topping. A variety of games will start at 1:30pm. Joan from Unicorn will demonstrate Swedish weaving. Come join in the fun or just come and visit. The coffee is always on.




Friday, November 16, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Who will stop the Sado-Monetarists as jobless youth hits 58pc in Greece?


By


Greek unemployment rose to 25.4pc in August. Youth unemployment rose to 58pc.
Under the official forecast, the economy will contract by a further 4.5pc next year, so it fair to assume that lots more people are going to lose their jobs. It is certainly not going to improve in any meaningful way for years to come.

This is what happens when you lock into the wrong currency and block the escape routes – or join a "burning building with no exits" in the words of William Hague.
Even if Greeks comply with all demands, public debt will reach 179pc of GDP next year. Perhaps there will be some sort of formula to cut debt service costs by shaving 50 basis points off interest on rescue loans, and persuading the ECB to forgo "profits" on its estimated €40 billion holdings of Greek bonds (though unrealised profits would seem be courting fate).

Yet it is hard to see how the salary and pension cuts, etc, pushed through the Greek parliament last night with enormous difficulty can do any more than buy a few months’ delay. The protests on Wednesday bordered on urban guerrilla warfare. It will not take much to cross that line.
Even if the EMU machine succeeds in keeping Greece in the system, is this any longer a remotely desirable goal? Has it not become a vicious and immoral policy in itself?

I agree with the IFO Institute’s Hans-Werner Sinn that upholding euro membership has by now become an act of cruelty. It not being done in the interests of Greeks. It is being done for the Project, by enforcers of the Project. Only by breaking free can Greece restore a minimum of economic vibrancy and national dignity.

Everything we know from labour studies is that the early twenties are crucial years, shaping lifelong career paths and earnings ten to fifteen years beyond. The worst economic crime you cannot commit is to leave 58pc of youth grinding away their days in frustration in caf├ęs, if they can afford the coffee.
Premier Antonis Samaras issued hysterical warnings before the vote of what would happen if parliament refused to obey the EU-IMF Troika, talking of catastrophe and a collapse of Greek society. He has little credibility. His party was chiefly responsible for the grotesque mismanagement of Greece in the early EMU years. There is no necessary reason why Greece should spiral into collapse outside EMU, or why the Drachma would plummet to Third World levels.

This would happen only if the EU decided to make that happen. Why would the EU behave in such a fashion? It would have every reason to try to salvage what it could from the fiasco and demonstrate that EU solidarity is still worth something. Technically, the ECB could be instructed to defend a euro-drachma rate – let us say a 30pc devaluation – until the dust had settled.
The EIB and Commission could intervene with all kinds of investment and trade support to cushion the blow. An orderly transition is not beyond the wit of man. It would restore the basic competitiveness of the Greek economy at a stroke.

We all know the reason why this is not being done. The ideologues running monetary union cannot bring themselves to contemplate any step back in the Project, just as they would not admit yesterday in the Commission’s economic report that they have gravely misjudged the effects of fiscal tightening (the fiscal multiplier) and have therefore miscrafted their entire austerity strategy. We are not dealing with rational people. We are dealing with a religious order, and these monks are becoming an increasing danger to Europe’s societies and democracies.

Margaret Thatcher’s advisers were tagged Sado-Monetarists in the early 1980s but they never inflicted anything remotely close to this level of suffering. The strange silence of the Left on this is baffling. Sooner or later my Fabian friends will have make up their minds whether they are for the workers, or for the "bankers ramp" — as old Socialists like Peter Shore used to describe monetary union.

The Draghi Put has lifted the immediate financial threat, but this makes matters worse. The drip-drip of ugly economic data continues each day. The deeper structural crisis is still getting worse. Loan demand has crashed 50pc in Italy and France. Spain’s unemployment is 25.8pc and may reach 30pc next year.

Yet there is no longer any immediate catalyst or external umpire in the markets that can bring this mass civic abuse to an end. Unless the Bundestag comes to the rescue by refusing to pay for any more can-kicking, we may have to wait until internal devaluations in the Club Med bloc push jobless rates to such excruciating levels that the political system snaps.
It is the worst of all worlds.
Article source here

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A different way of flying


Capacity crowd at the Crammond Community Beef Supper

Crammond Community beef supper

Photo and story by Helge Nome, Alberta West News

The Crammond Community Association hosted its annual beef supper on Saturday, November 3 in the Crammond Hall. This is a popular event that draws people from all over the west country and the proceeds help the community association volunteers maintain the hall and property on Highway 22 south east of Caroline.

The hall is a popular venue for meetings and community functions, such as the supper, and is also used by local local oil and gas companies for their functions. With ample RV parking available, the hall is used extensively for family reunions in the the summer. For more information about the hall and photos of it and the surrounding property, go here


Latest in personal transportation


Monday, October 29, 2012

Deer me!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Touche!


Caroline's ambulance service has new home

The new ambulance building is officially open - ambulance service founder Andrew Moffat, board president Dwight Oliver, operations  (and building construction) manager Yvonne Evans and board member Vern Graham

Photos and story by Helge Nome

Thirty years after having been incorporated the Caroline and District Volunteer Ambulance Association has a new home, in a recently built and just expanded building next to the post office in Caroline. The event was celebrated at an open house hosted by the association on Friday, October 26 with local early volunteers, municipal representatives and supporters present.

Conducted tours of the new facility were led by operations manager Yvonne Evans, revealing a completely "at home" atmosphere in the residential part of the building used by volunteers covering 24/7 shifts all year round. Caroline's ambulance service is one-of-a-kind in Alberta where Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics from all over Alberta volunteer to keep the service viable and an integral part of the province's emergency medical response infrastructure.

In return the volunteers are credited for the time they cover shifts in Caroline, helping to maintain their certification as medical responders, and now do so in an environment that equals that of their private homes. To boot, it happens in a small rural community in the best part of Alberta. And they are not idle here: Evans estimates that  the call tally for 2012 will be around the 500 mark. This includes patient transportation between hospitals, being part of an ambulance pool.

Service founder, and mover and shaker to get it up and running in the late 1970ies, Andrew Moffat along with wife Daphne, attended and were recognized for their contribution at a presentation in the new facility.

As the demands on the service grew over the years and fewer local volunteers were available to carry the 24/7 workload, Moffat took an innovative approach to maintaining its integrity by recruiting volunteers from other areas of Alberta in return for a very special work environment and credit for time on shift. This system has been continually expanded over the years and Caroline is now a sought after location in which to serve by ambulance service professionals from all over Alberta.

The service was recently accredited after having gone through an extensive review by Accreditation Canada, a fact that was emphasized by manager Yvonne Evans in her presentation. She also expressed her thanks to both the Village of Caroline and Clearwater County who have helped the service financially in times past when things got tight.
For more photos and commentary from the open house, go to http://albertawestphotos.blogspot.ca here





Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

Caroline Seniors Drop In - October update

Born in October. Front: Janice Waite, Connie Holbrook, Edna Pengelly.
Back: Dan Onysyk, Lawrence Pengelly, Gordon Neufeld, Dwight Oliver.

By Helge Nome

The Seniors Drop In host a pot luck supper every third Monday of the month at 6pm at the Drop In Center in Caroline. All welcome.
A meeting and entertainment follow the supper. Don Bouvette played his guitar and sang some of his own compositions on October 15.

Burma signs deal to recover buried WWII Spitfires

Sixty Brand New Spitfires – Still in Their Shipping Crates – Buried in Burma All of These Years

This is a dream come true for old plane rebuilders, to have so many of these with all original parts. Air shows of the future could have squadrons of Spitfires buzzing the field...Jim W. Dean.
Read article here

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Towards a Western Retreat from Syria

Where NATO has failed to make war, the CTSO is preparing to make peace. The Secretary General of the Organization Nikolay Bordyuzha is setting up a peacekeeping force of 50,000 men, ready to be deployed in Syria.

by Thierry Meyssan
 
The Syria war drags on. Continuing it has become too expensive and too dangerous for its neighbors. Russia, which aims to re-establish itself in the Middle East, is trying to show the United States that it is in their best interest to allow Moscow to resolve the conflict.
The military situation in Syria is turning against those in Washington and Brussels who hoped to change the regime there by force. Two successive attempts to take Damascus have failed and it has become clear that that objective cannot be achieved.


On July 18th, an explosion killed the leadership of the Council of National Security, signalling the beginning of a vast offensive during which tens of thousands of mercenaries descended on the Syrian capital from Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. After several days of pitched battles, Damascus was saved when the fraction of the population hostile to the government chose out of patriotism to assist the National Army rather than bid welcome to the forces of the FSA.

On September 26, al-Qaeda jihadists were able to penetrate the interior of the Defense Ministry, disguised as Syrian soldiers and carrying false papers. They intended to detonate their explosive vests in the office of the joint chiefs of the military but did not get close enough to their target and were killed. A second team attempted to take over the national TV station to broadcast an ultimatum to the President but were not able to reach the building as access was blocked moments after the first attack. A third team targeted government headquarters and a fourth was aimed at the airport.

In both cases, NATO coordinated the operations from its Turkish base in Incirlik, seeking to provoke a schism at the core of the Syrian Arab Army and rely on certain generals for the purpose of overthrowing the regime. But the generals in question had long been identified as traitors and marginalized from effective command. In the aftermath of the two failed attacks, Syrian power was reinforced, giving it the internal legitimacy necessary to go on the offensive and crush the FSA.
Read remainder of article here

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hegemony and Propaganda: The Importance of Trivialisation in Cementing Social Control


 
 Knowledge in modern societies has expanded to the point whereby specialisms and sub-specialisms are the norm. It is just not possible for one person to have in-depth knowledge of every discipline. We must rely on others to convey such knowledge, usually in relatively simplistic terms. Most of us have to take at face value many of the ideas and concepts that we are bombarded with in this age of instant, mass communications and information overload.
 
 People tend to like simplicity. In many instances, not possessing sufficient expertise on matters, they require it. They require easily manageable packages of knowledge, and these packages become taken for granted stocks of ‘common sense’ knowledge that enable them to cope, however faulty or misrepresented that ‘knowledge’ may be.
Politicians and the media also recognise people’s need for simplicity. And here lies the problem, particularly in an increasingly complex and confusing world. In order to rally the masses around certain ideas and to make things ‘simple’ for them, both politicians and the media have to a large extent taken their cue from Edward Bernays, the father of advertising, propaganda and public relations. This is where simplicity morphs into manipulation.
Bernays knew how to manipulate groups of people and get the masses hooked on the products and messages of modern society. We are now all subjected to this type of manipulation each and every day by the incessant bombardment of commercials.
It was the late US academic Rick Roderick who noted the trend towards the banality, simplification and trivialisation that the ad industry excels in is now prolific throughout society. He referred to a rampant phenomenon of important issues and problems being reduced to a fad of some kind through continuous repetition. For example, political debates that are seemingly in deadlock like gay rights and abortion issues, although important, have become almost a pointless debate. The same few points are being thrown around so often that they’ve almost become a fad. This doesn’t mean that the issues themselves aren’t important; it just means that they’ve been reduced to something resembling sound-bite debates.
Continue reading article here

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Multiplying Europe's fiscal suicide




By


The entire EU austerity plan is based on a false premise. This disastrous error is now clear beyond any reasonable doubt.
The Teuto-Calvinists believe – or profess to believe, since much of their dogma is national self-interest dressed up as theory – that the fiscal multiplier is around 0.5.
That is to say, fiscal retrenchment worth 1pc of GDP will cut output by half as much, or around 0.5pc over two years. There is pain, but at least there is gain.
This is based on the IMF's analysis of fiscal crises over the decades.
Well, it has not worked out like that. Ireland has contracted at nearly seven times the speed, Spain four times, and Greece three times.
Read article here

Cynthia McKinney On Leadership



By Paul Craig Roberts


Those who have followed the Republican campaign for the presidential nomination and current contest between Romney and Obama know that the United States has no political leadership in Washington.
Billions of dollars have been spent on political propaganda, but not a single important issue has been addressed. The closest the campaign has come to a political issue is which candidate can grovel the lowest at the feet of Israeli prime minister Netanyahu. Romney won that contest. But for the rest, well, it is like two elementary school children sticking their tongues out at one another.
The question of US political leadership has been on my mind for some time. I can remember when political leadership still existed and when bipartisan cooperation could be mustered on enough issues to keep the country and the government functioning.
But no more. It might have been Newt Gingrich who, as Speaker of the House, destroyed bipartisan cooperation by making war on the Democratic Party, warfare that Karl Rove has taken to a new height.
When a country loses leadership, how does a country get leadership back? This is an important question. Without leadership, there is only violence. Once the Romans lost their republic, there was no one to lead them and they were ruled by violence. Will this be our fate?
These thoughts were in my mind when I happened to hear Cynthia McKinney speak. Here was a leader, a person with sufficient fire, knowledge, and compassion for others. Cynthia McKinney served six terms in the House of Representatives as a Democrat from Georgia. In 2008 she was the Green Party’s candidate for president. As a US Representative, Cynthia McKinney defied the cowardly Nancy Pelosi and introduced articles of impeachment against President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Keep reading article here

Museum fundraiser coming up

Log cabin at the Danish Museum in Dickson

Volunteers at the Royal Danish Museum at Dickson seek to preserve the past on their site set in the woods south of Dickson. This includes both pagan and Christian history from Europe and settlement history in Canada. You can support their cause by attending the upcoming bazaar:

Tables available for our upcoming event, $35 per table. Julestue Christmas Bazaar, Saturday, November 3, 2012 - 10 AM - 4 PM at the Spruce View Hall. Call Joanne-403-227-4917

The shifting sands of gangster land


The good old days: Buddies - French President Sarkozy and Gaddafi
The good old days: Buddies - British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Gaddafi




































Editor: The following article sheds light on the world of "real politik"

Libya: How Many Dirty Western Hands?

 
 
Oh what a tangled web they weave
When first they practice to invade
A sovereign nation and deceive
The world about their dark crusade.
 Michael Leunig, Poet, Cartoonist, 1945



This weekend a detailed article (i) suggested that a: “French secret serviceman, acting on the express orders of the then President Sarkozy, is suspected of  ”the murder of Colonel Quaddafi”, on 20th October last year.
Whilst bearing in mind that the NATO-backed insurgents now in power, who have near destroyed much of Libya, de-stabilised, terrorized and hope to carve up Libya’s resources for their, rather than the country’s benefit, have every reason to wish to disassociate themselves from the butchery of Colonel Quaddafi’s terrible death, the new allegations illuminate interesting points.
The French assassin, it is claimed, infiltrated the mob rabidly manhandling the Colonel, and shot him in the head.
“The motive, according to well placed (Libyan) sources”, was to prevent any chance of interrogation into Sarkozy’s links with Colonel Quaddafi.
Read article here

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rabbis Greet Iran’s President Ahmadinejahd in NYC on Yom Kippur



Read associated article here

Comrade William G. Evans receives life membership of the Royal Canadian Legion

Bill Evans, flanked by daughters Glenna Neal and Pat Michi, was presented with a life membership of the Royal Canadian Legion and a congratulatory cake to boot

Story and photo by Helge Nome

An active member of the Caroline Community, Bill Evans, was given a life membership in the Royal Canadian Legion on Friday, September 28, following many years of service to the Caroline Legion Branch #177. He is a veteran of WWII having served in the RCAF Bomber Command.

Bill Evans has a long record of volunteer service: 1961- Calgary Stampede Board Director and Associated Canadian Travelers Dominion President. He also served as President of the ACTD from 1969 to 1971. 1992-93: Rosen Lake (Jaffray BC) President. 2006 - 2011: Caroline Wheels of Time Museum Director and 2006 - 2012: Caroline Seniors Drop In Centre Director.

From 2007 and on Bill has been involved in the Caroline Legion in many capacities including Sergeant-at-Arms, MC at Friday Night Suppers and a valued member of the Colour Party which participates in formal community and branch ceremonies.

Bill was recognized by his fellow branch members with the following statement: "This quiet and respectful gentleman is always available to render a helping hand in any position or task requested of him, whether it be in the branch or the community".


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Solar eruption

A long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun's atmosphere, the corona, erupts out into space on Aug. 31. The coronal mass ejection, or CME, traveled outward at more than 900 miles per second. The CME did not travel directly toward Earth, but the storm did connect with Earth's magnetosphere, causing auroral displays on the night of Sept. 3. This picture includes an Earth-sized dot to provide a sense of scale.
By:  Helge Nome

The awesome power of the sun is brought home by the image above. Our pre-history forebears worshiped the sun, likely for millennia, as indicated by colossal stone structures that they left for us to contemplate. Perhaps they had a much deeper understanding of reality than we do?
Please click on image for a spectacular view

Photo source here


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Beijing hints at bond attack on Japan

A senior advisor to the Chinese government has called for an attack on the Japanese bond market to precipitate a funding crisis and bring the country to its knees, unless Tokyo reverses its decision to nationalise the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea. 

 By

 

Jin Baisong from the Chinese Academy of International Trade – a branch of the commerce ministry – said China should use its power as Japan’s biggest creditor with $230bn (£141bn) of bonds to “impose sanctions on Japan in the most effective manner” and bring Tokyo’s festering fiscal crisis to a head.
Writing in the Communist Party newspaper China Daily, Mr Jin called on China to invoke the “security exception” rule under the World Trade Organisation to punish Japan, rejecting arguments that a trade war between the two Pacific giants would be mutually destructive.
Separately, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported that China is drawing up plans to cut off Japan’s supplies of rare earth metals needed for hi-tech industry.
The warnings came as anti-Japanese protests spread to 85 cities across China, forcing Japanese companies to shutter factories and suspend operations.
Fitch Ratings threatened to downgrade a clutch of Japanese exporters if the clash drags on. It warned that Nissan is heavily at risk with 26pc of its global car sales in China, followed by Honda with 20pc. Sharp and Panasonic both have major exposure. Japan’s exports to China were $74bn in the first half of this year. Bilateral trade reached $345bn last year.
Read article here

Blasphemy as a tactic



 by Thierry Meyssan


The circulation on the Internet of the trailer for a film, The Innocence of Muslims, sparked demonstrations across the world and resulted in the killing in Benghazi of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and members of his entourage.
At first glance, these events can be located in the long line leading from Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses to the burnings of the Koran by Pastor Terry Jones. Nevertheless, this new attack differs from other incidents in that the film was not directed at a Western audience but instead was uniquely conceived as an instrument of provocation directed at Muslims.
In political terms, the affair can be analyzed from two angles: from the tactical perspective as an anti-U.S. manipulation; or from a strategic one, as an anti-Muslim psychological attack.
Read article here

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New monkey species discovered

Melancholy dude

In June 2007, a previously undescribed monkey known locally as “lesula” was found in the forests of the middle Lomami Basin in central Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We describe this new species as Cercopithecus lomamiensis sp. nov., and provide data on its distribution, morphology, genetics, ecology and behavior. C. lomamiensis is restricted to the lowland rain forests of central DRC between the middle Lomami and the upper Tshuapa Rivers. Morphological and molecular data confirm that C. lomamiensis is distinct from its nearest congener, C. hamlyni, from which it is separated geographically by both the Congo (Lualaba) and the Lomami Rivers. C. lomamiensis, like C. hamlyni, is semi-terrestrial with a diet containing terrestrial herbaceous vegetation. The discovery of C. lomamiensis highlights the biogeographic significance and importance for conservation of central Congo’s interfluvial TL2 region, defined from the upper Tshuapa River through the Lomami Basin to the Congo (Lualaba) River. The TL2 region has been found to contain a high diversity of anthropoid primates including three forms, in addition to C. lomamiensis, that are endemic to the area. We recommend the common name, lesula, for this new species, as it is the vernacular name used over most of its known range.
Read scientific article here

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Syrian News, September 3


"President" Karzai of Afghanistan - photo says it all

Karzai – What leader can have any credibility who has to be protected by foreign bodyguards?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sweet building blocks of life found around young star

Astronomers have for the first time found glycolaldehyde molecules around a young sun-like star. Glycolaldehyde is a an important pre-biotic species, a simple sugar, consisting of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms. Through observations with ALMA the researchers have shown that the molecules are located within a region with an extent corresponding to our own solar system - and thus exist in the gas from which planets possibly are formed around the young star later in its evolution. Credit: ESO. Read article here

Monday, August 27, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Syrian News, August 25

What FACEBOOK and GOOGLE are Hiding from world.




Editor: This is one to make you think about how your mind is being massaged.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fed joins stimulus party as global trade slumps

The US Federal Reserve in Washington DC Photo: REUTERS

All three major blocs of the world economy have shifted gears dramatically over the last month, preparing a fresh blast of stimulus to combat the sharpest contraction in global trade since the 2008-09 crisis. 

 By

 

The US Federal Reserve appears poised for a third round of quantitative easing (QE) as soon as early September, joining Europe and China in concerted global stimulus.
The Fed’s latest minutes show broad support for fresh bond purchases – probably mortgage bonds – unless signs of “substantial and sustainable strengthening” emerge soon. Paul Ashworth from Capital Economics said QE3 looks like a “done deal” since little is likely to change between now and the next Fed meeting.
The shift in Fed policy caught markets by surprise and comes after the European Central Bank’s chief Mario Draghi opened the door to potentially “unlimited” purchases of Italian and Spanish bonds to prevent a euro break-up.
The most radical moves appear likely from China where the managed “soft-landing” risks spinning out of control, with exports contracting on a month-to-month basis over the summer.
“People should worry less about Europe right now and look more closely at Asia,” said Hans Redeker, currency chief at Morgan Stanley. “We think the Bernanke and Draghi 'puts’ will drive a further rally in global equities. But China represents the biggest risk to our bullish asset call.”
Read article here

 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

World shipping crisis threatens German dominance as Greeks win long game

Germany is the superpower of container shipping, controlling almost 40pc of the world market. Photo: AP

Germany’s shipping industry faces a wave of bankruptcies over coming months as funding dries up and deepening economic woes across the world cause a sharp contraction in container trade.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard 10:04PM BST 13 Aug 2012

Over 100 German ship funds have already shut down as the long-simmering crisis in global container shipping finally comes to a head. A further 800 funds are threatened with insolvency, according to consultants TPW in Hamburg.

They are not alone. Britain’s oldest shipowner, Stephenson Clark, dating back to 1730, went into liquidation last week, closing the final chapter of Britain’s coal trade and the industrial revolution.

It cited “incredibly depressed” vessel rates. The firm over-invested in the boom four years ago, betting too much on the China syndrome.

Germany is the superpower of container shipping, controlling almost 40pc of the world market. The Germans also misread the cycle and have been struggling to cope ever since with a legacy of debt and a glut of ships. Now everything is going wrong at once.

Container volumes arriving at European ports plunged in June, dashing expectations of a summer rebound. Imports fell 7.5pc from North America and 9pc from Asia. Flows into the Mediterranean region crashed by 16pc, reflecting the violence of the recession in Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
Continue reading article here

Editor: You can check out the world wide Harper Petersen (HARPEX) Index here. It is an indicator of the cost of hiring container ships on the world market (i.e. Finished goods). Check out the Baltic Dry Index (BALDRY) here. It is an indicator of the cost of hiring ships carrying dry goods across the world's oceans (i.e. Raw materials)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Five years on, the Great Recession is turning into a life sentence

Some date the crisis to August 9 2007, the day it became clear that Europe’s banks were up to their necks in US housing debt. The ECB flooded markets with €95bn of liquidity. It seemed a lot of money then. The term “trillion” was still banned by the Telegraph style book in those innocent days. We have since learned to swing with the modern dance music from central banks. Photo: Reuters

Five years into the Long Slump it almost seems as if we are back to square one. 

 By

Editor note: The author is a very seasoned economic commentator and really knows what he is talking about


China is sufficiently alarmed by the flint hardness of its "soft-landing" to talk up trillions of fresh stimulus. The European Central Bank is preparing to print “whatever it takes” to save Spain and Italy. Markets are pricing in an 80pc chance of yet more printing by the US Federal Reserve in September or soon after.

There is no doubt that the three superpowers acting in concert can launch a mini-cycle of growth early next year - assuming they deliver on their rhetoric - but the twin headwinds of debt-leveraging and excess manufacturing plant across the globe cannot easily be conjured away.

The world remains in barely contained slump. Industrial output is still below earlier peaks in Germany (-2), US (-3), Canada (-8) France (-9), Sweden (-10), Britain (-11), Belgium (-12), Japan (-15), Hungary (-15) Italy (-17), Spain (-22), Greece (-27), according to St Louis Fed data. By that gauge this is proving more intractable than the Great Depression.

Some date the crisis to August 9 2007, the day it became clear that Europe’s banks were up to their necks in US housing debt. The ECB flooded markets with €95bn of liquidity. It seemed a lot of money then. The term “trillion” was still banned by the Telegraph style book in those innocent days. We have since learned to swing with the modern dance music from central banks.

For me, the defining moment was twelve days later when yields on 3-month US Treasury bills to crashed from 3.76pc to 2.55pc in just two hours. At first we thought it was a mistake, a screen glitch. Nothing like this had happened before, not during the crashes of 1929 or 1987, or after the Twin Towers attack on 9/11.
Continue reading cold shower article here

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hard landing for China as factory prices fall and deflation looms

Profits for China's exporters have been squeezed 5pc a year since 2004 as wages rise faster than productivity. Photo: EPA
   

By

Factory gate prices in China fell at an accelerating rate of 2.9pc in July as the economy flirted with industrial recession, prompting calls for further stimulus to head off Japanese-style deflation. 

 “Severe deflation pressures are rippling across the country,” said Alistair Thornton and Xianfeng Ren from IHS Global Insight. “Deflation, not inflation, is the greatest short-term threat to the Chinese economy.” 

“The hard landing has happened,” said Charles Dumas from Lombard Street Research. “We don’t believe official data. We think GDP slowed to a 1pc rate in the second quarter.”
A blizzard of weak data has caught policy-makers off guard, though shares rallied in Shanghai on hopes for monetary loosening from China’s central bank after consumer price inflation (CPI) fell to 1.8pc.
New property starts fell 27pc in July. Industrial output growth fell to 9.2pc for a year ago but has been flat over recent months.
“This was the moment when stimulus was supposed to bite. It didn’t,” said Global Insight. Critics say Beijing let the property boom go too far and then hit the brakes too hard last year. Monetary tightening led to a contraction in real M1 money. The delayed effects kicked in this year just as Europe fell back into recession and the US slowed abruptly.
Read article here

Friday, August 10, 2012

Deja-Vu in Syria?

Editor: The article below was published in the Guardian in 2003. The recent assassination of top Syrian officials rings a few bells

 Macmillan backed Syria assassination plot - Documents show White House and No 10 conspired over oil-fuelled invasion plan  

Ben Fenton, The Guardian, Saturday 27 September 2003 02.35 BST


Nearly 50 years before the war in Iraq, Britain and America sought a secretive "regime change" in another Arab country they accused of spreading terror and threatening the west's oil supplies, by planning the invasion of Syria and the assassination of leading figures.

Newly discovered documents show how in 1957 Harold Macmillan and President Dwight Eisenhower approved a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion by Syria's pro-western neighbours, and then to "eliminate" the most influential triumvirate in Damascus. The plans, frighteningly frank in their discussion, were discovered in the private papers of Duncan Sandys, Mr Macmillan's defence secretary, by Matthew Jones, a reader in international history at Royal Holloway, University of London.

 Although historians know that intelligence services had sought to topple the Syrian regime in the autumn of 1957, this is the first time any document has been found showing that the assassination of three leading figures was at the heart of the scheme. In the document drawn up by a top secret and high-level working group that met in Washington in September 1957, Mr Macmillan and President Eisenhower were left in no doubt about the need to assassinate the top men in Damascus.

 Part of the "preferred plan" reads: "In order to facilitate the action of liberative forces, reduce the capabilities of the Syrian regime to organise and direct its military actions, to hold losses and destruction to a minimum, and to bring about desired results in the shortest possible time, a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals. Their removal should be accomplished early in the course of the uprising and intervention and in the light of circumstances existing at the time."

 The document, approved by London and Washington, named three men: Abd al-Hamid Sarraj, head of Syrian military intelligence; Afif al-Bizri, chief of the Syrian general staff; and Khalid Bakdash, leader of the Syrian Communist party.
Read original article here

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Roots

The Danish Canadian National Musem and Gardens close on September 3

The Little Mermaid at the Danish Canadian Museum at Dickson, Alberta

Take the opportunity to learn about our Danish Canadian history, stroll in our beautiful gardens and sit in our lovely restaurant to enjoy our famous open-face sandwiches and delicious desserts.


We are open  Monday to Saturday 10am to 5:30 pm, Sunday 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Visit us online at www.danishcanadians.com/

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Summer of 2012 -- Too Hot to Handle?

Temperature anomalies for June 2012 across North America. Orange/red = above normal, blue = below normal, white = normal


Author: Dauna Coulter


August 3, 2012: This past June more than 170 all-time US heat records were tied or broken--many of them originally set in the historically hotter months of July and August. And with a drought plaguing much of the country, the ground is as dry and crispy as a saltine cracker.

By early July, 56% of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing drought. That's the largest percentage in the 12-year record of the U.S. Drought Monitor. Fires scorched over 1.3 million acres across the US in June, reducing hundreds of homes to ashes in the West. Just imagining prospects for the rest of the summer is enough to bring sweat to your brow. And last winter is partly to blame.

"799 daytime heat records were broken in the first five days of January in the US," says Jake Crouch, a climate scientist from the NOAA National Climatic Data Center. "Last year's was the fourth warmest winter since 1895. And it was dry, with a dearth of snowfall in many places. During most of this past winter and spring, a positive North Atlantic Oscillation pressure pattern kept the jet stream further north and the US warmer and drier than normal."

With little moisture in the soil to evaporate and dissipate some of the sun's energy, more solar radiation is converted to sensible heat, he says.
Continue reading article here

Facebook update - from Onion News

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Political message - American style

Please click on photo to get the message

Media event promotes usage of the Red Deer River

Rafting on the Red Deer River - please click on image for a better view
Blake Richards (front left in raft) is MP for the Wild Rose federal constituency
Sherry Tytkanych (front right in raft) is Sundre Chamber of Commerce President.
Ryan Thompson (back of raft) owns and operates Mukwah Rafting Tours.


Photos courtesy of MP Blake Richards' office
Story and video by Helge Nome

Media members, politicians and some community people got together for a free lunch at the Sundre Museum grounds on July 30 to do an image repair job on Sundre following the oil spill in the Red Deer River, on which banks the town is situated, in early June. The general impression that the Red Deer River was no longer fit for recreational use had hurt the business of local tourism operators.

One misconception was that Sundre itself had been affected by the spill which was not the case: The oil entered the Red Deer River well downstream of the town. Also, an investigation of the worst  affected spill area at the junction of the James and Red Deer Rivers by this writer failed to show any visual trace of oil remaining on the banks of the river. (A heavy rainstorm in the area the day before the inspection may have washed away any remaining oil traces).

As pointed out by former area MP Myron Thompson in a discussion at the lunch session, the main challenge for Sundre residents may be an ongoing process of erosion along the banks of the river during major flooding events, causing a buildup of sand, gravel and silt in the riverbed, which makes the river seek new channels for itself. The Town of Sundre is currently protected (inadequately, according to Thompson) by a stone berm which can be seen in the top photo in this post.

For now though, the Red Deer River is as welcoming as it ever was with clean banks and clear waters.

Debt Bomb

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

World class sculptures on exhibit south of Sundre

Grace of movement captured in stone - exhibit at Morton Burke's "Bergen Rocks" sculpture park

Photo and article by Helge Nome

Beginning in 2008 and continuing in 2009 and 2010, local sculptor Morton Burke attracted world class sculptors to his acreage south of Sundre, near the Hamlet of Bergen, where they created marvels in stone that are currently on exhibit on the acreage. Each artist was given a stipend and stayed at the acreage for a month while creating the sculptures out of rocks brought in from British Columbia by Burke. In 2011 the work was carried out on the campus of Red Deer College. The results are impressive, to say the least. Go to Alberta West Photos here to see snapshots of the artists' work.