Weekday NEWS to Comfort the Disturbed and Disturb the Comfortable.
Bank failures in Ill, Ind bring 2012 total to 9
WASHINGTON - Regulators on Friday closed small banks in Illinois and Indiana, increasing to nine the number of U.S. bank failures this year, a slower pace than in 2011, when there were 92 bank closures.
The number of closures already had dropped sharply in 2011 from the two previous years, when banks were working their way through the bad debt accumulated in the recession. But by this time last year, regulators had shuttered twice as many banks -- 18.
The Terminal Beginning Of The Western Financial World
by Jim Sinclair - JSMineset.com
The real terminal beginning of the Western Financial world was this week.
Kicking the can down the road is limited by the practical viability of the US dollar and US Treasury Securities market.
QE will go to infinity because there simply is no other tool that can create the amounts of liquidity required instantly by the destruction of the Western world financial system. This destruction was delivered to us via those that have securitized everything.
When you add to this that no default will be declared a default by the International Swaps and Derivative Association you have a guarantee that QE will go to infinity at the cost of the US currency market first and the US bond market second. I put this epic event in the year 2015. I give the US dollar no longer than June of 2012 before the cracks in its armor are visible to all.
Permanent Gold Backwardation
BY CASEY RESEARCH - FinancialSense.com
Guest editorial by Keith Weiner The Root of the Problem Is Debt
Worldwide, an incredible tower of debt has been under construction since President Nixon's 1971 default on the gold obligations of the US government. His decree severed the redeemability of the dollar for gold and thus eliminated the extinguisher of debt. Debt has been growing exponentially everywhere since then. Debt is backed with debt, based on debt, dependent on debt and leveraged with yet more debt. For example, today it is possible to buy a bond (i.e., lend money) on margin (i.e., with borrowed money).
The time is now fast approaching when all debt will be defaulted on. In our perverse monetary system, one party's debt is another's "money." A debtor's default will impact the creditor (who is usually also a debtor to yet other creditors), causing him to default, and so on. When this begins in earnest, it will wipe out the banking system and thus everyone's "money." The paper currencies will not survive this. We are seeing the early edges of it now in the euro, and it's anyone's guess when it will happen in Japan, though it seems long overdue already. Last of all, it will come to the USA.
Conflict between Iran, West could raise gold prices: HSBC
LONDON (Commodity Online): Tensions between the West and Iran may be escalating and this could be bullish for Gold prices, said HSBC in a research note.
According to HSBC, elections are slated for March 2 in Iran, the first presidential votes since 2009, when Ahmadinejad’s reelection triggered months of riots. Gold prices rose during that time.
Western sanctions are beginning to impact economic activity as media reports say that Iran had to cancel grain purchases because of a lack of foreign exchange. The media reports note Iran offered gold stored overseas or oil in return for food. More sanctions may come if the U.S. sanctions Iran’s main tanker group, the privately run National Iranian Tanker Company, or on the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company.
Now, It is perfect time to buy gold coins: WSG
NEW YORK (Commodity Online): It is perfect time to buyGold coins to take advantage of unusually low gold prices, said Wholesale Gold Group (WSG), an US based gold and Silver investment firm, in a report.
According to the report, gold prices are currently undervalued and may double or triple in the years to come. This is due to the economic crisis unfolding in the EuroZone, which is forcing governments to print money in unprecedented amounts.
Keiser Report: FBI vs Gold Standard 'Extremists' (E248)
In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss the gold standard extremism and how your dollar got to be worth just 3.8 cents. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Francine McKenna of reTheAuditors.com about the crimes and illegitimate activity of the MF Global collapse.
1) Gold is money, and sometimes much better money than governments offer. 2) Because of that, governments seek to control gold and its price. 3) A negative real rate of interest -- what in the West is starting to be called "financial repression" -- pushes people out of government currencies and into gold.
Buffet thrashes gold, yet again
NEW YORK (Commodity Online): Warren Buffet's distaste for Gold is well known and despite the meteoric appreciation in the value of gold, his view does not seem to have changed.
In a preview to his annual shareholders letter, Buffet says that companies like Exxon Mobil and other productive assets like farmland and real estate are not only superior to gold but in fact safer in the long run.
Warren Buffett: gold has no value Berkshire Hathaway chairman and famous investor Warren Buffett has dismissed gold as a "valueless asset".
By Emma Wall - Telegraph.co.uk
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has dismissed gold as a valueless asset saying that it has no inherent value. In an article for Fortune magazine, Buffett said that gold investors were pinning their hopes on future demand.
He warned that gold was a self-inflating bubble, created by investors desperate for a viable alternative to property and shares.
The infamous investor warned that investors in gold would be left with egg on their face when the price eventually crashed.
Why Warren Buffett Is Wrong on Gold
By Alix Steel - TheStreet.com
NEW YORK (TheStreet ) -- Warren Buffett, legendary investor and head of Berkshire Hathaway, has slammed gold, yet again, saying it doesn't have any use and isn't procreative.
In an adaption of his upcoming shareholder letter published on Fortune's Web site, Buffett rips into the intelligence of owning gold, saying that real demand for gold, defined as industrial and decorative, is incapable of soaking up new production and that the gold you own doesn't "do" anything. At the end of the day, gold is just an ounce of gold worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.
A King Dollar GOP?
By Lawrence Kudlow - PatriotPost.us
Out on the campaign trail, Fed head Ben Bernanke is an unpopular guy.
Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have both said they would replace Bernanke, not reappoint him. Rep. Ron Paul would swap the whole Federal Reserve monetary system for a gold-linked dollar, making the yellow metal legal tender. And it was Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, before he dropped out of the race, who said more quantitative easing by the Fed would be "almost treasonous."
Republicans in Washington are equally unimpressed by Bernanke. Rep. Paul Ryan recently criticized the Fed for bankrolling our huge budget deficits and thereby accommodating a profligate fiscal policy. And former Federal Reserve Board Governor Kevin Warsh, a Bernanke intimate before he left last April, just leveled criticism at the Fed's extensive zero-interest-rate policy and its "operation twist." (Warsh, by the way, was an economic official in the George W. Bush White House.)
Argentina limits daily financial transaction
per person to 1.000 Pesos (230 dollars) Argentina limited the use of cash in the country’s financial markets as President Cristina Fernandez tightens oversight of currency transactions to help contain capital flight and prepare for what is anticipated a 'difficult' year for the Treasury and the Argentine economy.
The government will restrict daily cash transactions to 1.000 Pesos (231 US dollars) per person, down from 10.000 Pesos, according to a statement in the Official Gazette. The measure affects activity in the stock and bond markets, investment funds and in the futures markets. Operations above the limit will have to be done through Argentine bank accounts that are authorized by the central bank.
"They are forcing a higher level of formality in the economy, as cash transactions allow more irregularities," said Felipe Hernandez, an analyst at RBS Securities Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut. "This is in line with other measures to prevent money laundering, for which the government has been under a great deal of pressure."
Is PIMCO too big to fail? Special report: The twilight of the Bond King
By Jennifer Ablan and Matthew Goldstein - Reuters.com
(Reuters) - He is the man who made bond investing sort of sexy - and now he may pay the price.
Over more than three decades, Bill Gross, co-founder of asset-management giant PIMCO, has made so much money for clients that he has become the barometer by which other bond traders are judged. His West Coast perch, prescient calls on the U.S. economy and devotion to yoga only added to the mystique.
But the very recipe that enabled Gross to dominate his industry may now be conspiring against him.
Get Ready for $5 Gas This Year: Ex-Shell CEO
By: Margo D. Beller - Special to CNBC.com
Get ready to pay $5 a gallon for gasoline this year.
John Hofmeister, founder of Citizens for Affordable Energy and the former CEO of Shell Oil’s U.S. operations, warned that there is a "better than 50 percent chance" the price of gas will spike on continued heavy demand in emerging markets and weak public policy at home.
He also sees West Texas crude prices touching "the midteens to $120 a barrel some time this year."
"What’s really unprecedented is developing countries, particularly China and India, have this insatiable need for more oil and that has not been taken into account when we think of public policy in this country," he said.
Why the World Needs America Foreign-policy pundits increasingly argue that democracy and free markets could thrive without U.S. predominance. If this sounds too good to be true, writes Robert Kagan, that's because it is. -- By ROBERT KAGAN - WSJ.com
History shows that world orders, including our own, are transient. They rise and fall, and the institutions they erect, the beliefs and "norms" that guide them, the economic systems they support—they rise and fall, too. The downfall of the Roman Empire brought an end not just to Roman rule but to Roman government and law and to an entire economic system stretching from Northern Europe to North Africa. Culture, the arts, even progress in science and technology, were set back for centuries.
Democracy is ending in the land where it began Greece's plight has alerted the world to the way the EU extinguishes democracy.
By Christopher Booker - Telegraph.co.uk
It is peculiarly appropriate that the country that gave the world the words "democracy" and “tragedy” should now be the beacon which alerts the world to the fact that the EU is extinguishing democracy – part of a wider tragedy that will eventually lead to the extinction of the EU itself. But what of our own country’s part in this horrible drama?
It already seems an age since we were told, last June, that David Cameron had "won his fight" to prevent the EU extracting a loan of billions of pounds from Britain to help Greece pay off some of the colossal debt it has run up since it was so foolishly allowed to join the euro. The next move, we learned, was that we would have to lend the money anyway, not through the EU but through the IMF.
ATHENS IN FLAMES
John Hinderaker - PowerlineBlog.com
Athens is burning tonight, as leftists and others protest against the Greek Parliament’s vote in favor of the measures that are required by the EU in exchange for a 130 billion Euro bailout–enough to keep Greece afloat for now, at least. The rioters have nothing intelligent or constructive to say. They believe, evidently, that Greeks are entitled to consume far more than they produce, forever. Nice work if you can get it...
One irony of the Greek crisis is that politicians and commentators alike seem to assume that cutting government spending, lowering the minimum wage, etc., will cause Greece’s economy to decline further. Reuters, for example, says:
The rebellion and street violence foreshadowed the problems the government faces in implementing the cuts, which include a 22 percent reduction in the minimum wage – a package critics say condemns the Greek economy to an ever-deeper downward spiral.
Rioters Burn Buildings as Greek Parliament Votes on Cuts
By Tom Stoukas, Eleni Chrepa and Marcus Bensasson - Bloomberg.com
Rioters set fire to buildings and battled police in downtown Athens as the Greek Parliament prepared to vote on Prime Minister Lucas Papademos’s austerity package to avert the nation’s collapse.
Ten fires were burning in central Athens including buildings housing aStarbucks Corp. (SBUX) cafe, a bank and a movie theater, a fire department spokesman said, speaking on the condition of anonymity in line with official policy. The blazes were near a bank that was set on fire in May 2010, killing three bank employees, during a general strike against Greece’s first bailout package.
Greek Parliament Backs Austerity as Riots Continue
By Maria Petrakis, Natalie Weeks
and Marcus Bensasson - Bloomberg.com
Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos won parliamentary approval for austerity measures to secure an international bailout after rioters protesting the measures battled police and set fire to buildings in downtown Athens.
A total of 199 lawmakers voted in favor and 74 against, Parliament Speaker Filippos Petsalnikos said in remarks carried live on state-run Vouli TV. When, on Nov. 16, Papademos won a mandate from the Parliament to implement budget measures and secure the bailout of 130 billion euros ($172 billion) he received the support of 255 lawmakers in the 300-strong chamber.
Greek parliament approves new spending cuts amid protests
By Anthee Carassava - LATimes.com
REPORTING FROM ATHENS -- As thousands of protesters took to the streets and violence ripped through central Athens, Greece’s parliament on Sunday approved yet another round of punishing public spending cuts to secure international rescue funds and ease fears of a calamitous financial collapse, potentially perilous for global markets and Europe’s single currency.
Although widely anticipated, the outcome offered some respite for Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, visibly drained and despondent three months after being called in to negotiate the complex loan-cum-debt restructuring deal.
Will Currency Devaluation Fix the Eurozone?
Mises Daily: by Frank Shostak
The NYU professor of economics Nouriel Roubini said in Davos, Switzerland, on January 25, 2012, that tight policies are making the recession in the eurozone worse. According to Roubini what Europe needs is less austerity and more growth. In particular, the NYU professor is concerned about the deep recession in the eurozone's peripheral countries: Spain, Portugal, Greece — all are on a strict regime of austerity. For instance, in Spain the yearly rate of growth of government outlays stood at minus 12.4 percent in November against minus 15.7 percent in the month before. In Portugal the yearly rate of growth stood at minus 3.6 percent in December against minus 2.5 percent in November. In Greece the yearly rate of growth fell to 2.9 percent in December from 6.2 percent in the prior month.
Germany's Carthaginian terms for Greece The last time Germany needed a bail-out from world creditors, it secured better terms than shattered Greece last week.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
The US, Canada, Britain, France, Greece, and other signatories at the London Debt Agreement of 1953 granted Chancellor Konrad Adenauer a 50pc haircut on all German debt, worth 70pc in relief with stretched maturities. There was a five-year moratorium on interest payments.
The express purpose was to give Germany enough oxygen to rebuild its economy, and to help hold the line against Soviet overreach. This sweeping debt forgiveness caused heartburn for the British - then in dire financial straits, themselves forced to go cap in hand to Washington for loans. The Greeks had to forgo some war reparations.
MF Global: It's Not Over Until It's Over
By Francine McKenna - Forbes.com
Despite several reports over the last few weeks to the contrary, I don’t believe the missing client assets at MF Global have“vaporized” nor do I believe the trail to the truth – and civil or criminal prosecutions – has gone cold.
What has disappeared is any will on the part of regulators and prosecutors to act on the information staring them in the face.
It is, unfortunately, in the best interest of the parties you’re counting on to investigate what happened at MF Global and to bring those responsible to justice to sell the story that chaos and calamity caused the money to innocently disappear. In that case, they reason, no one in particular is responsible.
China Instructs Banks to Roll Over
$1.7 Trillion in Debt to Avoid Mass Default
By Mike Shedlock
A few years ago local Chinese municipalities had little debt. Today they have a $1.7 trillion mountain of it, nearly all of it financing economically non-viable projects in the name of "stimulus".
The proposed "solution" of course is to roll the debt over, while adding still more to the debt mountain, hoping things will get better.
Please consider China tells banks to roll over loans
China’s stimulus response to the global financial crisis saddled its provinces and cities with Rmb10.7tn ($1.7tn) in debts – about a quarter of the country’s GDP – and more than half those loans are scheduled to come due over the next three years.
China tangled up in industrial espionage
By Peter Lee - ATimes.com
It looks like someone got their hands caught in DuPont's cookie jar. The jar in question was DuPont's closely-held knowhow in the manufacture of titanium dioxide.
According to a criminal indictment unsealed in US federal court on February 8, USA Performance Technology Inc (USAPTI), a company in Oakland, California, conspired to sell DuPont's trade secrets and a major Chinese state-run corporation, Pangang Group, conspired to acquire them.
Bernanke: Housing problems hold back recovery
By Annalyn Censky @CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Lingering problems in the housing market continue to restrain America's economic recovery and limit the effectiveness of Federal Reserve policies, Ben Bernanke said Friday.
"The economic recovery has been disappointing in part because U.S. housing markets remain out of balance," the Fed chairman said in prepared remarks at the International Builders' Show in Orlando, Fla.
Federal Reserve policies meant to drive down long-term interest rates have had "less effect... than they otherwise would have had," he said, as even creditworthy households find it difficult to obtain mortgages or refinancing.
Bernanke renews push for foreclosed rentals Rental plan could help housing imbalance, Fed chief says
By Ronald D. Orol, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday made a renewed push for programs to convert foreclosed homes into rental units to help revive the housing market.
"With home prices falling and rents rising, it could make sense in some markets to turn some of the foreclosed homes into rental properties," Bernanke said in a speech in Orlando at the National Association of Home Builders conference, according to a copy of prepared remarks. "Real-estate-owned to rental programs appear to have some potential for success."
Why housing demand defies real estate fundamentals
By Diana Olick, CNBC.com
Anyone with any cash in hand should be buying a house right now.
That's what any real estate agent will tell you, obviously, but that's also what many investors now believe.
Unfortunately, the potential home-buying public … isn't buying it.
January's consumer confidence report found a drop in the number of Americans who plan to buy a home in the next six months. If, however, you take out the confidence issue, the fundamentals for buying are strong:
Housing crisis losses - who pays?
By Carolyn Lochhead - SFGate.com
Washington -- The $26 billion settlement reached last week by state attorneys general to aid distressed homeowners, nearly half of it going to California, doesn't much dent $7 trillion.
That's what's been lost since the housing bubble peaked in late 2006. Home prices have dropped nationwide by a third, and by nearly half in California. Median Bay Area residential prices peaked at $665,000 in mid-2007, according to DataQuick, and last month were $351,500.
Mortgage settlement is great — for politicians and banks The settlement mostly requires mortgage lenders and servicers to comply with what I would have thought was already the law, which prohibits, you know, criminal fraud.
By Michael Hiltzik - LATimes.com
I hate a parade. And the parade of rosy self-congratulation staged last week by the creators of the $25-billion mortgage fraud settlement with five big banks is the kind of parade I really hate.
There certainly are some big winners in the deal, which has the approval of 49 of the 50 state attorneys general. Start with its godfathers. President Obama took to the podium a couple of hours after the deal's announcement to declare that it will "speed relief to the hardest-hit homeowners."
Pimco: Foreclosure Deal Cheaper Than Pensions
By Jody Shenn - Bloomberg.com
The government’s deal with banks over their foreclosure practices after 16 months of investigations is cheap for the loan servicers while costly for bond investors including pension funds, according to Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Scott Simon.
In what the U.S. called the largest federal-state civil settlement in the nation’s history, five banks including Bank of America Corp. (BAC) andJPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) committed $20 billion in various forms of mortgage relief plus payments of $5 billion to state and federal governments yesterday.
U.S. jobs gap between young and old is widest ever
By Hope Yen-Associated Press - WashingtonTimes.com
WASHINGTON — Squeezed by a tight job market, young Americans are especially struggling. They have suffered bigger income losses than other age groups and are less likely to be employed than at any time since World War II.
An analysis by the Pew Research Center, released Thursday, details the impact of the recent recession on the attitudes of a generation of mostly 20- and 30-somethings.
Don't Be Fooled, The Obama Unemployment Rate Is 11%
By Peter Ferrara - Forbes.com
When Barack Obamaentered office in January, 2009, the labor force participation rate was 65.7%, meaning nearly two-thirds of working age Americans were working or looking for work.
When the recession supposedly officially ended in June, 2009, the labor force participation rate was still 65.7%.
In the latest, much celebrated, unemployment report, the labor force participation rate had plummeted to 63.7%, the most rapid decline in U.S. history. That means that under President Obama nearly 5 million Americans have fled the workforce in hopeless despair.
Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It
By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM and ROBERT GEBELOFF - NYTimes.com
LINDSTROM, Minn. — Ki Gulbranson owns a logo apparel shop, deals in jewelry on the side and referees youth soccer games. He makes about $39,000 a year and wants you to know that he does not need any help from the federal government.
He says that too many Americans lean on taxpayers rather than living within their means. He supports politicians who promise to cut government spending. In 2010, he printed T-shirts for the Tea Party campaign of a neighbor, Chip Cravaack, who ousted this region’s long-serving Democratic congressman.
NRA official: Obama wants to outlaw guns in 2nd term
By Sean Lengell - WashingtonTimes.com
A top official with the National Rifle Association said Friday that President Obama will move to "destroy" gun rights and "erase" the Second Amendment if he is re-elected in November.
While delivering one of the liveliest and best-received speeches at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said the president's low-key approach to gun rights during his first term was "a "conspiracy to ensure re-election by lulling gun owners to sleep."
Obama to unveil budget with higher taxes, more deficits
By Dave Boyer - The Washington Times
President Obama will release an election-year federal budget Monday that is loaded with deficit spending and tax increases on the wealthy but avoids tough choices on the soaring costs of entitlements, independent analysts and Republican lawmakers say.
The president’s budget request to Congressforecasts a deficit of $1.33 trillion in the current fiscal year — even higher than expected — and calls for at least $1.5 trillion in tax hikes over the next decade. By including $350 billion in short-term stimulus spending, Mr. Obama is submitting a plan that is ready-made for his re-election campaign but has no chance of passing a divided Congress.
Success of health reform
hinges on hiring 30,000 primary care doctors by 2015
By Sarah Kliff - WashingtonPost.com
On a chilly afternoon at a community clinic in Southeast Washington, three young doctors are busily laying the foundation for the health-care law’s success.
Jacob Edwards flips through a manual on skin conditions, diagnosing a rash that looks like chicken pox. Jessica O’Babatunde consults her supervisor on treating an adolescent’s obesity, which is literally off-the-charts. And Julie Krueger peppers 3-year-old Daphauni with questions at her physical: How do you spell your name? What did you eat for breakfast? What’s your favorite vegetable? (Cheese.)
"What a shock. Obamacare doesn't lower costs, doesn't increase coverage, and has turned into a wildly unpopular, labyrinthine government overreach."
(Rep. Trey Gowdy. R-SC)
The Daily Caller has the story of Obamacare's chief architect admitting defeat, telling states that preiums will rise - even with the subsidy for individual insurance - by 31%.
In 2011, officials in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Colorado ordered reports from Gruber which offer a drastically different portrait in 2012 from the one Obama painted just 17 months ago.
"As a consequence of the Affordable Care Act," the president said in September 2010, "premiums are going to be lower than they would be otherwise; health care costs overall are going to be lower than they would be otherwise."
End of the Constitution Obamacare birth-control mandate
would defeat the First Amendment
By Jeffrey T. Kuhner-The Washington Times
Is America sliding toward autocratic rule? This is the essential question of Barack Obama’s presidency. Mr. Obama vowed to "fundamentally transform" the United States. Despite his incompetence and economic failure, the president is making good on his central promise: the destruction of our constitutional republic. He is trying - piece by painful piece - to reverse the legacy of the Founding Fathers. Conservatives have underestimated him at their peril. For Mr. Obama is not simply an inept, liberal president in the mold of Jimmy Carter. He is an ideological revolutionary who seeks to sweep away traditional America.
Ginsburg’s Right, U.S. Constitution Is a Bad Model
By Noah Feldman - Bloomberg.com
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter had a close shave with public embarrassment recently -- which might seem impossible for a man who has been dead for almost 33 years.
Here’s why: In the late 1940s, Frankfurter advised B.N. Rau, the chief draftsman of the Indian Constitution, not to include a due process clause such as the one that the U.S. Constitution cribbed from Magna Carta. The concept was viewed as an inspiring-yet-vague term that had plagued arguments of the U.S. Supreme Court for two generations. Rau listened, omitting the clause, which had previously enjoyed support from the other drafters, and India was better for it.
U.S. Constitution Too Old, Ginsburg Says
By Stephen Flurry - TheTrumpet.com
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg must have missed the memo about Egypt’s radical Islamist transformation over the past 12 months. Since Hosni Mubarak’s government crumbled under heavy pressure from the United States, Islamic extremists have been assaulting Coptic Christians, raping their wives and daughters, and burning their homes and churches to the ground. They’ve ambushed Israel’s embassy, prompting a late-night emergency evacuation in September. They won’t recognize the State of Israel and they’ve vowed to dissolve the Egypt-Israel peace treaty.
Obama, Explained As Barack Obama contends for a second term in office, two conflicting narratives of his presidency have emerged. Is he a skillful political player and policy visionary — a chess master who always sees several moves ahead of his opponents (and of the punditocracy)? Or is he politically clumsy and out of his depth — a pawn overwhelmed by events, at the mercy of a second-rate staff and of the Republicans? Here, a longtime analyst of the presidency takes the measure of our 44th president, with a view to history.
By JAMES FALLOWS - TheAtlantic.com
IN THE LATE 1990s, when his fellow University of Chicago professor Barack Obama had just run for the Illinois State Senate and long before a newly inaugurated President Obama named him to his Council of Economic Advisers, the economist Austan Goolsbee was on the most terrifying airplane trip of his life. He was traveling on Southwest Airlines from St. Louis back to Chicago’s Midway Airport. The plane got into a thunderstorm, and for a while many passengers thought they were doomed.
* * * * *
Dr. Bill Deagle w/ Jeff Rense 2012/02/07 -
Multiple Updates (including Fukushima info)
Fukushima reactor readings raise reheating concern
Temperature inside No 2 reactor may have risen to 82C, and Tepco reportedly steps up cooling efforts
By Justin McCurry in Tokyo - Guardian.co.uk
Concern is growing that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant inJapan is no longer stable after temperature readings suggested one of its damaged reactors was reheating.
The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), said the temperature inside No 2 reactor – one of three that suffered meltdown after last year's earthquake and tsunami – may have reached 82C on Sunday.
Earthquake: Magnitude 3.3 quake rattles near Fort Bragg
By Ken Schwencke - LATime.com
A shallow magnitude 3.3 earthquake was reported Sunday afternoon eight miles from Cape Vizcaino, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 2:32 p.m. Pacific Standard Time at a depth of 0 miles.
According to the USGS, the epicenter was nine miles from Rockport, 18 miles from Fort Bragg and 155 miles from Sacramento.
2/10/2012 -- MUST SEE !
2011 earthquakes WORLDWIDE plotted
and animated (with sound intensity)
complies with FTC settlement
By Jessica Guynn - LATimes.com
The Internet search giant told the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that its policy complies with the settlement, according to a self-assessment report the company handed over in January.
The report, obtained by Politico Friday, says Google has gone to "exceptional lengths" to tell its users what data it harvests and what it does with it.
Google settled charges last year that it violated privacy laws by exposing Gmail users' personal information when rolling out its now-defunct Google Buzz social networking service. The breach prompted an angry backlash from consumers and privacy advocates who say the Mountain View, Calif., company disclosed personal information without their knowledge or consent.
U.S. Air Force planning to purchase up to 18,000 iPads
By Deborah Netburn - LATimes.com
The U.S. Air Force is thinking about buying some iPads — somewhere between 63 and 18,000 of them.
In a notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command office says it is specifically interested in purchasing the iPad 2, but will also consider other brand-name tablet devices. The tablets will be used as electronic flight bags for flight crew members and trainers — replacing the hefty bag of manuals and navigation charts currently used by pilots and navigators that can weigh as much as 40 pounds.
Waiting for the end of the world,
Waiting for the end of the world,
Waiting for the end of the world.
Dear Lord, I sincerely hope you're coming
‘cause you really started something.
Elvis Costello, Waiting for the end of the world
Be afraid. Be very afraid. The Return of the Keyboard Warriors - a prized Return of the Living Dead spin-off - is at hand. From Republican chicken hawks to public intellectuals, right-wing America is erupting in renewed neo-conservative revolt. The year 2012 is the new 2002; Iran is the new Iraq. Whatever the highway - real men go to Tehran via Damascus, or real men go to Tehran non-stop - they want a war, and they want it now.
Go ahead and jump Exhibit A is an op-ed piece at the Wall Street Journal  - similar to countless others popping up virtually everyday not only in this Masters of the Universe vehicle but also in the Washington Post and myriad rags across "Western civilization".
UK is open to bilateral talks with Argentina
on any issue except Falklands’ sovereignty UN British ambassador warned Argentina on Friday that Britain would "robustly" defend the Falkland Islands if necessary, but added that his country remained open to bilateral talks with Buenos Aires on any issue except the Islands' sovereignty.
British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant was speaking to reporters after Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the president of the UN Security Council to ask for help in stopping what he said was Britain's "militarization of the South Atlantic".
"We are not looking to increase the war of words, but clearly if there is an attempt to take advantage of the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war by Argentina, then we will obviously defend our position and defend it robustly" Lyall Grant said.
Billions at stake as Russia backs Syria
By James O'Toole @CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Russia's controversial stance in the Syrian crisis has left many wondering what Moscow stands to gain by backing the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Analysts say political and strategic concerns are Russia's primary motivation: Moscow is pushing back against what it sees as excessive Western interventionism in sovereign states, and fears losing an old allythat is its last foothold in the Middle East.
But economic ties -- valuable military contracts and energy investments that could be lost if the Assad regime fails -- play a key role as well.
Arab League urges joint
UN-Arab peacekeeping mission in Syria Resolution calls on UN security council to send monitors to Syria as Arab League decides to scrap its own mission to the country
By Harriet Sherwood and agencies - Guardian.co.uk
Arab leaders have called for a joint United Nations-Arab peacekeeping force to end bloodshed in Syria and agreed to end all diplomatic co-operation with Damascus.
The 22-member Arab League, meeting in Cairo on Sunday, adopted a resolution calling for renewed international efforts to end the 11-month conflict and scrapped its own monitoring mission to Syria.
The Next War on Washington’s Agenda
by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS - CounterPunch.org
Only the blind do not see that the US government is preparing to attack Iran. Washington has deployed missiles directed at Iran in its oil emirate puppet states, Oman and the UAE, and little doubt in the other US puppet states in the Middle East. Washington has beefed up Saudi Arabia’s jet fighter force. Most recently, Washington has deployed 9,000 US troops to Israel to participate in "war games" designed to test the US/Israeli air defense system. As Iran represents no threat unless attacked, Washington’s war preparations signal Washington’s intention to attack Iran.
Will Iran Be Attacked? Paul Craig Roberts 1/2
Will Iran Be Attacked? Paul Craig Roberts 2/2
USA, Israel gearing up for Valentine's Day massacre
By Lisa Karpova - Pravda.Ru
The west, and particularly the USA, are turning the Middle East and North Africa into a no-man's land. It's become a place where no one is safe and there is complete and total instability. There are kidnappings, rapes, mutilations, burnings, hangings, beheadings...every savagery the mind can conceive of and more.
All this is thanks to the terrorists the west and the USA have trained, armed and funded.
Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Syria. Moscow and Beijing explained that if adopted, the resolution would enable NATO to 'replay' the Libyan scenario in Syria. There have already been several attempts to do so.
U.S. Navy: Iran prepares suicide bomb boats in Gulf
By Warda Al-Jawahiry
(Reuters) - Iran has built up its naval forces in the Gulf and prepared boats that could be used in suicide attacks, but the U.S. Navy can prevent it from blocking the Strait of Hormuz, the commander of U.S. naval forces in the region said on Sunday.
Iran has made a series of threats in recent weeks to disrupt shipping in the Gulf or strike U.S. forces in retaliation if its oil trade is shut down by sanctions, or if its disputed nuclear program comes under attack.
Iran to unveil nuclear achievements
News -- GOPUSA
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran will soon unveil "big new" nuclear achievements, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday while reiterating Tehran's readiness to revive talks with the West over the country's controversial nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad spoke at a rally in Tehran as tens of thousands of Iranians marked the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution that toppled the pro-Western monarchy and brought Islamic clerics to power.
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Entering into The Age of Darkness with Dr. Francis Boyle 2/4
Entering into The Age of Darkness with Dr. Francis Boyle 3/4
Entering into The Age of Darkness with Dr. Francis Boyle 4/4