Tuesday, December 18, 2007

FTW Blog Regrets the Death of Iranian Friend, Ali Samsam Bakhtiari
In light of Bakhtiari's death several weeks ago, it is interesting to read his unusual personal post on his website in June of this year.

The Biggest Environmental Crime in History
Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Fighting Obesity
World Food Supply is Shrinking, UN Agency Warns
Flameout: Corn Based Ethanol
Ethanol Set to Take Giant Leap
“That means fewer acres for fruits, vegetables, soybeans, alfalfa and other crops, and higher food prices,” said Jesse Sevcik, a vice president at the American Meat Institute.

And even CERA has doubts:

“Congress is making the assumption that the technology will appear,” said Aaron Brady, an ethanol expert at Cambridge Energy Research Associates. “To make billions of gallons of next-generation biofuels, a lot of things have to go right within the space of only a few years.”

Major Anti-Bush Talk Show Host Gets "Fed-ded"

Comment by an FTW ally:

"This is largely a Northern California story, or is it? KGO Radio's Bernie Ward, one of the only three mainstream Left radio talk show hosts in the region, and a bigtime critic of Bush-Cheney, has been indicted on Internet kiddie porn charges because, as a journalist, he was working book on the subject.

While he may have been careless about how we went about his research, it is obvious that he is not a kiddie pornographer. This is a political silencing through and through. It is also a cautionary tale about what happens to critics of the administration when even small mistakes are made."
China Link Suspected in Lab Hacking
The New Middle East Map: Ethnic Cleansing and Petroleum
The Advantage of Balkanizing Iraq: Michael Kane
Iran Bourse to Start Work Soon
Scout's honor.


BuckDevlin said...

Forests Could Cool or Cook the Planet

CIA, FBI Protect Drug Traffickers (See also "Document Indicates Owner of Cocaine Jet was U.S. Operative")

Feds indict friend of governor (See also "Mobster's pal gives to pols")

U.S., Iraq at odds over Sunni groups

Additional links at The American Monitor

Rice Farmer said...

Ethanol "flameout" -- a clever choice of words. Ethanol is a scam industry that lives by the grace of subsidies. Biofuels do have a future, but it is local and small-scale.

The Bakhtiari post is rather mysterious. Was his life threatened?

Chris Shaw, Australia said...

This popped up on Google Video, and I think it's worth a look:


- also in instalments on YouTube:

1 of 20

Cheers and best wishes.......

Chris Shaw

Shorebreak said...

Re: World Food Supply Shrinking...

"Doomsday Seed Vault" in the Arctic
Bill Gates, Rockefeller and the GMO giants know something we don’t

by F. William Engdahl

Also, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Tyler Havlin said...

The Coming Oil Crash - Why Oil Prices Will Drop


And the list of potential substitutes for crude is long. Natural gas can be converted to a liquid fuel that produces few pollutants. Venezuela has big reserves of tar sands, as does Utah. Neighboring Colorado has oil trapped in shale, which industry engineers are trying to extract by slowly heating the rock under the Green River Basin. Corn, sugar, and potatoes can be distilled into ethanol, a perfectly good transport fuel, as can wood chips, straw, and other biomass. And as demand for ethanol has surged in recent years, farmers throughout the Midwest have taken advantage of generous federal subsidies to convert their fields to corn, the price of which doubled in the past 18 months.

KimB said...

I post to the Sydney Peak Oil forum (Australia) - and in discussion another member why I have some optimism. I thought my reply might interest some:-

Ah yes well, but them I'm a witch and believe in magic . . .

You've put some excellent and very interesting questions.

Let me explain, at times, change can be painfully slow - but then events can move at lightening speed. And the "lightening speed" we have at our disposal lies in language and communication. It's a form of magic, a deep mystery encoded in our evolution and DNA, that's enabled us to survive and co-operate as a species. And though I'm not Christian, I think the parable of trumpets bringing down the Walls of Jericho contains a profound, metaphorical truth about sound and language.

This makes "Truth" much more than a moral imperative, it also contains very real power, as this quote from a wily practitioner shows:-

"I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and Non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could." Mohandas Gandhi

. . . and as for his reference to "Non-violence," again, that's much more than an airy-fairy concept. Co-operation, love, empathy - and the whole gamut of emotions that make us "Human" are KEY evolutionary survival mechanisms. Mess with that power, and you mess with the Goddess herself (or whatever you imagine as the deep, unknowable powers of the Universe) - and sometimes, she ain't nice. Try coming between a tiger and her cub to get a clearer insight into that.

So, the very deep material changes in front of us, coupled with the powers of language and sound, could see some very profound, quick and surprising changes. For example, Cheney et al could well suffer same fate as Nicolae Ceausescu, because of the way they've messed with forces I'm sure they're blind to. These people think they hold The Fates on leash, but in reality, The Fates will turn round and eat them for breakfast.

This piece by one of my favourite writers, Starhawk (another witch), also puts these concepts very nicely:-

Breaking the Evil Spell


jwfearman said...

fire in the Whit house:


Tyler Havlin said...

Coming Soon: Commercial Real Estate Crash


In their own way, however, commercial-real-estate loans were no less foolish than those made to home buyers with speckled credit... The implosion is going to be a refreshingly simple and familiar story.

In 1995, $15.7 billion worth of commercial-mortgage-backed securities were issued. Through the third quarter of 2007, $196.9 billion was issued, according to Commercial Mortgage Alert, a trade publication. That amount means 2007 will be a record year, even though issuance collapsed in the fourth quarter as investors panicked over the credit crunch. Right now, there is about $730 billion in commercial-mortgage-backed securities outstanding. "Not only have we been in a rising tide, but the loans are very different in underwriting standards than even five or 10 years ago," says Alan Todd, head of commercial-mortgage-backed-securities research at J.P. Morgan. "We haven't been through a cycle yet" with these new structures, he adds ominously.

Rice Farmer said...

"The Coming Oil Crash - Why Oil Prices Will Drop" is a positively bubbly article. The capitalist market economy will solve all our problems (just as it has already, heh heh). I don't rule out a precipitous drop in oil prices, but I think it'll be achieved by demand destruction, for example a flu pandemic.

D! said...

Rice Farmer -

The author of that article (the coming oil crash) seems to have schizophrenia...

"When experts claim that oil is running out, what they really mean is that cheap oil is running out. About this, they may be right."

Doesn't this seem to go against the whole article?

Rice Farmer said...

Yea, it seems to me that the article as a whole is telling us there is nothing to worry about.

Say, are we are familiar with "Olduvai theory"?
It dovetails nicely with peak oil.

It's not your imagination -- airport delays really are getting worse

chris said...

Thank you for continuing your journalistic efforts. Mr. Ruppert, Ms. Orkin and those who assist you are the greatest American Patriots. The most patriotic of acts is citizens who take it upon themselves to speak truth to power in the face of great challenges and at great risk. Each of you have made me think differently about my destiny and my country.

FTW admin said...

thank you chris!! this blog community is a lifeline for some of us.

KimB said...

I's almost 10am on Sunday in Australia as I type this. Firstly, I agree absolutely and wholeheartedly with what Chris wrote (G'day and good on'ya), and secondly, I'm very pleased to hear that this support is helpful. I'm sitting here examining the War Games info (and I absolutely agree with Jenna, they're CRUCIAL), and I WILL put that into a verbal package as small and as easily understood as the one I created and distributed here (sent to hundreds of local papers all over this country, one of which rang within 5 minutes to say it was going in):-


. . . and in relation to that, most people here don't even have a clue WTC7 fell down, or that investigating Clinton's sex life cost more, and that the victims had to fight to get even that. So just regard my pithy letter as mere intro (or at least, just my very small and very humble contribution - Mike and Jenna's work is absolutely awe-inspiring). And as I'm off to my Summer Solstice celebrations in a couple of hours, with some very good girlfriends, I'll send some thoughts and energy this way. Mike and Jenna, you're not alone (as I'm sure you know anyway), you're part of a community that ecompasses the globe.

Tyler Havlin said...

Kasriel: 65% Chance of Recession

Northern Trust's Director of Economic Research Dr. Paul Kasriel's model is putting the odds of recession at 65.5%


Rice Farmer said...

Sign of the times: Japan's northern island of Hokkaido is suffering a rash of kerosene thefts. Many homes, businesses, and institutions keep kerosene (for space heating) in outdoor tanks, and now people are finding their tanks have been emptied. Police suspect that it is being stolen for resale, although they did nab one suspect -- a retired elderly man who admitted to siphoning off a neighbor's kerosene because he couldn't afford to buy it himself.

Fertilizer: Due to the high price of natural gas, fertilizer plants in the US are shutting down, forcing US farmers to rely more on imports.

Fertilizers are forecast to keep getting more expensive. As this trend continues, watch for farmers to start falling back on organic inputs, which will put them into competition with biofuel makers looking for feedstock. You heard it here first.

Rice Farmer said...

Japan's government is now drawing up a budget for fuel subsidies. Currently this will benefit low-income people and small businesses in cold regions. But when oil tops the $100/bbl barrier, more and higher subsidies will be called for.

Taiwan closes tombs of Chiang Kai-shek

This development has great significance. It's another move by the Chen Suibian government toward independence.

Rice Farmer said...

A few details on the Japanese government fuel subsidy:

Japan to Spend 215 Billion Yen on Oil-Relief Plan (Update1)

Japan plans huge subsidies on kerosene

Problem is, what comes next? Unless there is a lot of demand destruction real soon, crude will top $100/bbl and still more subsidizing will be needed. It can't go on forever.