Tuesday, June 30, 2009



June 30, 2009, 12:30 PM PDT -- This morning at 0915 I received a call from Cynthia McKinney aide David who advised that a ship en route from Cyprus to Gaza filled with relief supplies including medicine and much-needed cement had been fired upon and boarded by naval vessels of the Israeli Defense Forces. On board were dozens of peace activists and aide workers including Nobeal Peace Laureate Maired Maguire. I had last heard from Cynthia on Sunday June 28th when she called me from Cyprus at around 0930 my time to advise that she and her band of international peace activists were finally departing from Cyprus for Gaza after many delays.

David advised that as far as he knew, no one had been hurt in the Israeli attack and that Cynthia was physically OK. However, he added that her safety and whereabouts inside Israel were unknown at this time.

I am encouraging all of my fans and followers to reach out by any means to the White House, to the international media, to the Israeli embassy in Washington and by whatever means they can to protest this attack on a humanitarian relief effort and to ensure the safety of all aboard. The plight of the Gazans is epic and brutal. It is time that voices were heard and all of us who have known and loved Cynthia McKinney for so long need to rally behind her uncompromising courage. We need to make our voices heard on this.

For more information, please visit http://www.FreeGaza.org.

Michael C. Ruppert
From Jenna Orkin:

Obama could mull second stimulus if needed: adviser
Fears over UK debt
Britain's national debt is in danger of quadrupling, Standard & Poor's warns
Brown to keep spending high despite recession
Atta boy.
Why the Dow Is Headed to 6000
TIPS Are Untested: What Happens When Inflation Takes Over?
US Approves IMF Gold Sales; What Does It Mean?
Volcker Gets Less Than He Wants From Obama in Curbing Wall Street Excesses
New Home Sales Market Share Drops to Record Low of 7.4%: Chart of the Day
Regulators Shutter five banks
- two in Georgia, two in California and one in Minnesota - bringing the year's total to 45 bank failures
Don't miss "The Crumbling of America" documentary news (from Rice Farmer)
The U.S. Military is Going Green
Rebellion on the Range Over a Cattle ID Plan
Supreme Court Finds Bias Against White Firefighters
Honduran President Removed in Coup
Gold Heist at the Canadian Mint?

Iraq oilfields up for grabs in 'extraordinary' TV auction
Japanese Biomass Powerplants Struggle with Shortages
Big Oil's Answer to Carbon Law May Be Fuel Imports
Solar power faces early sunset in Australia
Coal-Eating Bugs May Solve Energy Crisis
Three from Rice Farmer:
The Coming Mystery Of The Missing Barrels Of Oil
Rare Metals Could Trigger Next Trade War
Black Markets for Rare Earth Metals

Positioning for When Water Runs Out: Part II
It's Now Legal to Catch a Raindrop in Colorado
Low Rainfall Cuts Hydro Power Generation
India turns to 'cloud seeding' to make rain

Russia considers bail-out for banks
...that will go further than measures taken by the US, as fears grow that bad loans could paralyse the economy.
Russia’s Putin welcomes oil and gas cooperation with Royal Dutch Shell in Sakhalin
South Stream Exports May Sideline Ukraine
NATO & resumed military cooperation with Russia
Mullen Calls for New US-Russian Military Relationship
Attack from breakaway Abkhazia damages Georgian power grid
Ukraine coalition 'close to collapse'
Russia Signals It Will Stay Out of OPEC
Credit crunch forces Russian climbdown.
Number of Russian wealthy drops 28.5%, report finds

North Korea Threatens to Shoot Down Japanese Spy Planes
S. Korea boosts defense spending, warns of first-strike capability (from Rice Farmer)
US Abandons Efforts to Eradicate Poppy Plants
Drug crop cultivation plummets in Afghanistan
Opium poppy production fell 19 per cent in Afghanistan
US confirms U-turn in Afghan counter-narcotics policy
Somali children being forced into war, says leader
Four from Rice Farmer:
Alarming Death Rate of Foreign Trainees Reported in Japan
Is China Faking Economic Recovery?
Japan's public pension assets suffer record yearly loss, erasing all profit made in last eight years
North India reels under power shortage

When a Hybrid Takes Hold, the Outcome Can Be Bad
Worm Charming
Just what it sounds like.
Sanofi to donate 100m swine flu vaccines
The hidden cost of giving away vaccines
One-off gifts of childhood vaccines can cause more harm than good.

Secrecy News reports:
The Defense Department has issued a newly updated policy statement (pdf) on reporting "questionable" intelligence activities. "It is DoD policy that senior leaders and policymakers within the Government be made aware of events that may erode the public trust in the conduct of DoD intelligence operations," the June 17, 2009 memorandum states. Some such questionable activities are to be reported to the Intelligence Oversight Board, a component of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board. However, the efficacy of any such reporting is limited by the fact that that Board currently has no sitting members. ("White House Intel Advisory Board Has No Members," Secrecy News, June 15, 2009).
Blog of Bill Leonard, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense under Clinton and Bush II.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Collapse 101

From Jenna Orkin:

Economic Collapse

Buffett: US Economy in Shambles; No Sign of Recovery Yet
The operative word is "yet." Hope springs eternal etc.
Update on US Exports and Imports: The Collapse Continues
Japan's Exports Slump 40.9%
Industrial Orders in Eurozone Drop 35% Year on Year
New Home Sales in Northeast Fall 32% in March
Auto Parts Maker Lear Close to Bankruptcy
Auto Supplier Said to Prepare for Chapter 11
UK To Sink Into Red Further Than Any Other Country, OECD Warns
King Warns of the Long Hard Slog to Clear Britain's Debt
An anemic version of 'blood, sweat and tears.'
BA cost-cutting: 800 staff offer to work for free
Credit Card Charge-Offs Hit Record High in February
Russia Facing Long Recession, World Bank Says
Quarter of Russian Families in Debt, Poll Says Gazprom Sees No Reason for 'Panic'
Could Banks Have to Close to Solve Severe Problems? (from Rice Farmer)
State Shutdowns Loom as Deadlines Near (from Rice Farmer)
Moody's on California: Nice Weather. Shame About the Insolvency
Harvard Endowment Expected to Shrink by 30%
Some Operations of Citigroup Suspended in Japan
...on grounds it failed to monitor suspicious transactions.
French Minister Says Retirement Age Will Rise
Tracking the $700 Billion Bailout
Interactive Graphic: Geography of a Recession
Lawmakers Attack Fed for Being Too Secretive
J'accuse the US Army's Development Delusions
ECB lends record €442bn in first loan offer to boost credit flows
Depressed Banker Missing With Two Shotguns
Goldman Sachs on Pace for Record Bonuses
Gold will breach $1,000

Al-Qaeda 'plotting cyber war against Britain'
India Undertakes Ambitious ID Card Plan
Obama Contemplates Executive Order for Detention Without Charges
Smartphones Pose Security Risk Says Gvt
Brazil: Terrorism possible in Air France crash
Violence Expected as U.S. Troops Leave Iraqi Cities
Somali Pirate Attacks Boost Shipping Insurance Rates 20-Fold Investors (from Rice Farmer)

China Suspends Reforestation Over Food Shortage Fears
To eat or to breathe; that is the question.
Space and Gas Deals Planned in Nigeria
Gazprom had previously discussed the possibility of participating in the construction of a pipeline across the Sahara Desert, as well as pipeline infrastructure in Nigeria. The trans-Sahara link would connect Nigeria with Algeria's export system, making it possible to send Nigerian gas to Europe.
Chinese Firm to Gain Access to Iraqi Oil
Two Utilities Are Leaving Clean Coal Initiative
Are Batteries in Electric Cars Safe?
Should Mexico Stop Exporting Oil?
Peak Water, Peak Fish and the End of Everything
Terse Op-Ed arguing that we're really smart and will figure out an answer to the doomsayers. Supporting evidence: The improvement in the quality of life over the last hundred years. No mention of the fact that this coincided with the rise of oil production.
Cows that burp less methane bred
One third of sharks and rays 'threatened with extinction'
All British homes to be wind powered
US eases pressure on China over climate change targets
Florist threatened for planting flowers
Russian street sweeper fired for planting potatoes on city lawn
Five from Rice Farmer:
Water Woes Seen As Opportunity For Ag
Swine Flu Vaccinations for the Canadian Population
Argentina Dengue Outbreak
Dengue fever out break in Sri Lanka kills 146, infects more than 10,000
Mauritius records 208 cases of dengue fever

Eurasia/Drums of War
Putin wants to remove President Saakashvili
Germany targeted by Russian commercial spies –official
Georgia fears second Russian invasion
Azerbaijani President says nation must prepare for war with Armenia
Assassination attempt raises fears of 'new Chechnya'
Russia: No Dissent on US Air Base
Two crocodiles spotted in pond near Ukrainian refinery

Pakistan: India no longer a military threat
Kim Jung-Il's Son Made Head of NKorean Spy Agency
China to Invest $3Billion in Turkmenistan Oil Field
China has more millionaires than UK for the first time
RBS topped the losses list while Chinese banks raked in profits
Japanese Exports Plunge Again

CRS Reports:
Judge Sonia Sotomayor: Analysis of Selected Opinions
Supreme Court Nominations: Senate Floor Procedure and Practice, 1789-2009
Inherently Governmental Functions and Department of Defense Operations: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
Federal Rulemaking: The Role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Homeland Security Department: FY2010 Request for Appropriations
Iran's 2009 Presidential Elections

Spanish bar invites insults from stressed customers
A bar in Spain is serving up free beer and tapas to recession-weary customers who insult its bartenders as a way to let off steam.

Comment: The low-grade sadism involved in this article prompted me to investigate what would happen if you googled "recession" and "sex." Answer: 18.5 million hits. Further investigation uncovered Dominatrix Work Forces Recession To Its Knees

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hair of the Dog Losing Effectiveness

From Jenna Orkin:

Quote of the day:

We're in the third and fatal stage of a great country - the political stage. In this stage, money and power migrate from the financial community to the political community. The politicians get away with taking trillions out of the productive economy and spending them on their pet projects and private corruptions.

Economic Crisis/Americas
What Happened to American Sovereignty at G-20?
Big Brother in Basel: Are We Trading Our National Sovereignty for Financial Stability?
Well we're trading our national sovereignty for sure. Anyone want to bet we'll get financial stability in return?
ECB Opens the Taps, Cheers Europe
Hair of the dog. Bottoms up.
Bernanke Advocates Bigger Role for Fed
Bernanke Prepares to Defend Record as Debate Over His Reappointment Begins
Emerging-Market Stocks Tumble 10% from Peak; Oil Declines, Yen Strengthens
The 86 Biggest Lies on Wall Street
Transfer of Wealth
Watch Out for a Big Jump in Consumer Prices
Downturn pushing charities over 'the cliff'' (from Rice Farmer)
UK recession to be much worse than forecast


1. All the U.S. coins and bills in general circulation today have a total worth of about $829 billion. 2. Two-thirds of that cash is held overseas.
3. Filthy lucre: In a study last year, researchers found more cocaine residue on U.S. bills than on any other currency.

RGE Monitor: The IMF, the third largest official holder of gold intends to sell 403 tons of its 3217 tons in gold holdings, pending approval from 85% of its members which will likely be given in fall 2009. Any sales will be gradual. IMF gold sales are unlikely to be a negative disruptive factor for the gold market and could be a very positive development if it is purchased by other official investors (central banks) [UBS]

Mexican Cartels Lure US Teens as Killers
Who Are We?
The honeymoon's over. Stirrings of truth at the New York Times, at least on the Op-Ed page.

It was thought by many that a President Obama would put a stop to the madness, put an end to the Bush administration’s nightmarish approach to national security. But Mr. Obama has shown no inclination to bring even the worst offenders of the Bush years to account, and seems perfectly willing to move ahead in lockstep with the excessive secrecy and some of the most egregious activities of the Bush era.
Senator Claire McCaskill's Two Statements on White House's Reasons for IG Firing
The first comment, incisive; the second, apparently appeased.

New Military Command for Cyberspace
Documents Back Saudi Link to Extremists
Trials Seen as Hurting Terror Investigations
How long before we read, "Human Rights Seen as Hurting Profits?"
DOD Considers Protests a Form of Low-Level Terrorism (from Rice Farmer)
CIA Delays Release Of Inspector General Report On Torture
Obama team looks to colleges for future spies, considering spy ROTC program (from Rice Farmer)
Confidential Memo Reveals US Plan to Provoke an Invasion of Iraq (from Rice Farmer)
J. Orkin comment: This is the infamous "U2-reconaissance-plane-painted-in-UN-colors" memo which I have special fondness for as it's the same idea I came up with to solve the Cuban missile crisis when I was a kid.
EU Asks Horse Owners to Pledge Not to Eat Their Horses
The new regulations come into force on July 1. Horses born after this date, and those born before June 30 who have not been issued a horse passport, will also have a microchip implanted.

Deep in Bedrock, Clean Energy and Quake Fears
Justices Say Waste Can Be Dumped in Lake
Thirst for Profit: Corporate Control of Water in Latin America (from Rice Farmer)
Open your wallet: Electric rates already moving higher to finance new nuclear power (from Rice Farmer)
Guerrilla gardener movement takes root in L.A. area
Is Farming the Root of All Evil?
Possibly, but the guerrilla gardener movement isn't what we mean.
Life-Threatening Disease Is the Price We Pay for Cheap Meat
Thanks to the New York City Peak Oil Meetup for this link.

"If you wanted to create global pandemics, you'd build as many of these factory farms as possible. That's why the development of swine flu isn't asurprise to those in the public health community. In 2003, the AmericanPublic Health Association--the oldest and largest in world--called for amoratorium of factory farming because they saw something like this wouldhappen. It may take something as serious as a pandemic to make us realizethe real cost of factory farming."
In New Theory, Swine Flu Started In Asia, Not Mexico
Pets Pass Superbug to Humans (from Rice Farmer)
Oceans Rising Faster, Polar Caps Melting More Than UN Projections of 2007
Lethal Crop Dusters (from Rice Farmer)

Chavez Asks Russian President to Help Hike Oil Prices
...to $100pb.
Medvedev Trip Looks to Secure Africa's Riches
Tax payments down a third in Russia this year
Hundreds picket Russian embassy in US over Iran elections
Russia helps Taiwan design own fighter jet - report
Russia’s Sberbank shares tumble 19% in 30 minutes
IKEA sues Russian energy suppliers over gas and power shortages
Attack from breakaway Abkhazia damages Georgian power grid
Terrorist leader gunned down in North Caucasus
Cargo branch of Russian Aeroflot goes bankrupt
World Bank Warns Neighbors Of 'Damaging Russian Waves'
Op-Ed Contributor: A Possible Trap Awaits Obama in Moscow
Assassination attempt raises fears of 'new Chechnya'
Window on Eurasia: Wealthier Moscow Teenagers More Inclined to View U.S. as Russia's Enemy
Latvian Firm Accepts Souls as Guarantees for Loans
You're on.

British workers face 20% cut in pensions
Pensions Crisis to Hit Millions of Workers
Global pensions under stress Data for the last year show assets falling in value and liabilities Switzerland faces sanctions over banking secrecy

Bleak Forecast Hits Asia Hard
Iran Overtakes Saudi as China's Number One Oil Provider
But Saudi hasn't peaked; they've got enough to last for decades.
OPEC Says Low Oil Prices Could Lead to Underinvestment
Agents say DEA is forcing them illegally to work in Afghanistan (from Rice Farmer)
Afghanistan's Failing Forces
The Pentagon also neglected to keep track of weapons it gave out, like mortars, grenade launchers and automatic rifles. Tens of thousands disappeared, sold to the highest bidder and, in some cases, used against American soldiers.

Comment: I'm shocked that there's gambling in this casino.

The Bush administration planned to increase the Afghan Army from 90,000 troops to 134,000. That still won’t be big enough to secure a vast, rugged country with a larger population than Iraq’s. American planners propose expanding it to as many as 260,000 troops — roughly the size of Iraq’s Army. No decision has yet been made.
US offers Kyrgyzstan $1 billion over Manas air base
In Reversal, Kyrgyzstan Won’t Close a U.S. Base
Baitullah Mesoud's Taliban Rival Killed
Qinagdao Raises Algae Bloom Alert Level to 3
Cities Battling Unwanted Water Life
Japan's industrial electricity demand falls 19.4% in May (from Rice Farmer)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Paul Krugman's Forebear in the Weimar Republic

From Jenna Orkin

Quote of the day:

"The crisis seems to be easing, and a chorus of critics is already demanding that the Federal Reserve and the Obama administration abandon their rescue efforts," writes Nobel winning economist Paul Krugman in the New York Times this week. "Those demands should be ignored. It's much too soon to give up on policies that have...pulled us a few inches back from the abyss."

"It's déjà vu all over again," he concludes, referring to the Japanese in the '90s and the Americans in the '30s. In both cases, he thinks their economies died because they turned off the juice too soon.

But people come to think what they must think when they must think it:

"To follow the good counsel of stopping [the inflation machine] would mean... that in a very short time the entire public, factories, mines, railways and post office, national and local government, in short, all national and economic life would be stopped."

Karl Helferich, Chairman, Central Bank of Germany, 1923.

US Tailing DPRK Ship Suspected of Carrying Missiles
Japan: New Draft Calling for Bigger Military

Economic/Energy Forecasts
Hyperinflation is Coming
Why Stocks Will Collapse This Fall (from Rice Farmer)
The Coming Oil Crisis (Newsweek)
New Forecast: Mass Starvation
Emerging Markets Will End Dollar's Reign: Roubini
Oil at 100, Interest Rates May Stifle Economy: Roubini
Hyperinflation Could Hit US in 5-10 Years: Roubini
Nouriel Roubini's Website

Economic Crisis
ECB's Trichet Says No Room for More Debt
UK: Borrowing Reaches Record
States in Deep Trouble Over Plunging Income Tax Revenues
States Turning to Last Resorts in Budget Crisis
Banks Fail in Georgia, North Carolina, Kansas
State Plans to Limit Bank Bailout Funds
Joblessness Continued to Rise in May in Nearly Every State (from Rice Farmer)
Unemployment Paychecks Double
The Weekly Layoff Report: Rupert Murdoch Joins the Crowd
Strange Inconsistencies in the $134.5 Billion Bearer Bond Mystery
Did the counterfeiters stage this bizarre episode in order to get caught? Is it part of a scheme to collapse the dollar?
Fire Moves Into Houses Abandoned by Foreclosures (from Rice Farmer)

IDA Study on Peak Oil Debate
Oil Price Fears Follow Rebel Attacks on ShellOil Refinery Strike
Switch from Oil to Biomass Won't Happen Overnight
Nitwits In Congress Propose Tapping Oil Reserves To Halt Price Increases
Wartime Fungus Joins Elephant Dung to Make Biofuel

Peru's PM quits over jungle anger
Mexico: The War Next Door
Sixty Minutes report.

It's gotten so bad, a U.S. military report warned that Mexico could face "rapid and sudden collapse....."

"Half of what we seize, 55 percent are assault rifles. And this is what gives these groups this intimidation power. Over 17,000 assault rifles, throughout the last two years. Two thousand and 200 grenades, missile and rocket launchers. Fifty caliber sniper rifles," the attorney general explained.

It might surprise you to learn where all these guns are coming from. It turns out 90 percent of them are purchased in the US..."

There was an assault weapons ban in the United States for ten years. It expired in 2004.

"Would you consider asking Congress to reinstate that?" Cooper asked Napolitano.

"I haven't thought that far," she replied.
How New Intelligence Will Tame the Information Explosion
The economic crisis paves the way for RFIDs. This is an ad for IBM disguised as an article.
NASA Prepares to Bomb the Moon
Obama Protecting Cheney from Jon Stewart

Russia, Netherlands, Discuss Serious Energy Plans
Rosneft Boosts Powers of Board of Directors
Russia renames mountain in tribute to energy firm
Mosquito swarms threaten Britain
Helicopters are being deployed to spray poison in the skies above northern France to wipe out swarms of mosquitoes that are threatening to cross the Channel into Britain.

China Crosses the Rubicon (from Rice Farmer)
They Shoot Frequent Fliers, Don't They?
37,000 Dogs clubbed to death in China to contain rabies
Seven Killed by Lightning in Beijing
Speculation inevitably centred on the government's weather modification programme, which has been ramped up in recent years to offset droughts by seeding clouds.
Power Outage Darkens Pakistan's City of Light (from Rice Farmer)
The Curse of Oil Looms for Cambodia

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Truth Will Out

From Jenna Orkin:

Fed Starting to Panic Over TALF Collateral Concerns
The Shadow Banking System: Death from Nowhere (February/March, 2009)
Large U.S. Corporate Bankruptcies Accelerate
Worst Housing Number in Decades: What Is the Wall Street Media Smoking?
Ongoing, Stealthy Deterioration of Asset Quality
A Pick Up in Housing Starts Will Only Prolong the Housing Recession
Obama’s Financial Regulation Proposal: The Devil Is In the Details
Debt, Debt, and More Debt in Store for the U.S.
The Case for California Defaulting
Obama's Choice: Healthcare or Climate
The title of the article an allusion to Sophie's Choice? Ie: Choosing which of your two children to have killed?
Carlyle, Blackstone (BX) and TPG are reportedly leading a group of bidders in talks to buy Bank of America's (BAC) First Republic Bank
Carney May Be Pressed Into Buying Bonds as Canadian Dollar Batters Economy
Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, who says a strengthening currency could choke the economic recovery, may be pressed into creating dollars and buying assets such as government bonds to offset the dollar’s rise.
The Great White High: Cocaine Smuggled in Sharks
Cyberscares About Cyberwars Equal Cybermoney: Watching the Cybermilitary-Industrial Complex Form (from Rice Farmer)

David Milliband Wants Interrogation Policy Kept Secret
UK Public Borrowing Hits Record
How many times have we linked to a headline containing the word "record" in reference to the financial crisis? That's a rhetorical question but google "economic crisis" and "record high" and you get 213,000 hits.
UK unemployment expected to have risen
The number of people claiming jobless benefits is expected to have risen by 60,000.
Middle class families are suffering from an inflation rate more than twice the official level, as the price of petrol, mortgages and alcohol all creep up in price.
Spain's Bid to Reduce EU Reliance on Russian Gas Stalls on Lack of Pipes
Spain is building up gas stockpiles and import capacity that officials say could help cut Europe’s reliance on Russian fuel. They just don’t have the pipes to deliver it.

Who Has the Most Oil?
Gapminder's video.
Nuclear nations rush to lock in uranium deals (from Rice Farmer)
Japan Plans Underwater Sponges to Soak Up Uranium
Fusion Falters Under Soaring Costs
Estimate Puts Natural Gas 35% Higher
The New York Times shills for hydraulic fracturing, a technique whose environmental effects are vague since the chemicals involved are considered trade secrets.

Human Sewage to Power Homes

Most Oil Projects May Not Be Profitable
The majority of new oil projects in Russia will not be profitable even with oil prices at $150 per barrel, according to an Energy Ministry proposal on how to reduce taxes at undeveloped fields.
Oil Tax Plan Would Ease Burden on New Fields
Window on Eurasia: Moscow’s Anti-Extremism Effort Targeting Ever More Groups
Romanians hit by racist attacks 'want to go home'
Around 20 Romanian families were forced to take shelter in a church and will get temporary homes in student accommodation
Russia Makes the First Call for the Monetization of Gold

US Funds Terror Groups to Sow Chaos in Iran (from Rice Farmer)
Iran Election Turnouts Exceed 100% in Thirty Towns, Website Reports
Where were the analogous reports after the '00 and '04 elections in the US?
Foreign fighters join Afghan insurgents
Uzbeks and Turks are prominent among foreign fighters joining Arab recruits to fight alongside the Taleban
Obama's Bulldozer Risks Turning Taliban Into Pakistan's Khmer Rouge
Kim Jong Il's son 'made secret visit to China'

Swine Flu
Vaccinate Kids to Control H1N1 Virus: Researchers
Inventory Uncovers 9,200 More Pathogens (from Rice Farmer)
Full List of Swine Flu Cases, Country by Country
New Strain of Swine Flu Discovered in Brazil

Re-Engineering the Earth
Scientists come up with Rube Goldberg-like solutions to climate change, dirt cheap and with unintended and unpleasant consequences.
In Japan, it's raining tadpoles ...
Criminalize Organic Farming? BILLS: HR 875 and S 425
The End of Small Farms? HR 875, HR 759, NAIS & Monsanto
Shelly Roche

Odds at the end
Man Lives in Closet to Save Money
Gold Bar Dispensers at Frankfurt Airport
Gold Parties
Tupperware's out.
9/11 Hero Dog Cloned

Thursday, June 18, 2009

North Korea Preparing to Launch Missile Towards Hawaii

From Jenna Orkin:

North Korea Preparing to Launch Missile Towards Hawaii

Here's where pedantry goes into overdrive. Does this headline come down to the choice of a preposition? Is "towards" the same thing as "at?" Or is the firing of the missile just a warning shot in the direction of Hawaii?

The Taepodong-2 ballistic missile, with a range of 4,000 miles, are [sic] being developed to give North Korea the capability to strike Hawaii and Alaska, however analysts say that the technology still falls some way short of that goal.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rise of the IMF

From Jenna Orkin:

Economic Crisis
ECB Warning on Banks Rattles Markets
Worst Days of US Crisis May Lie Ahead, IMF Warns
BRIC to Focus on Raising IMF Clout
Hedge Funds in Cayman Islands Withdraw from UK Banks
British Airways asks staff to work for free
Conoco Chief Says Replacing Oil May Take a Century
Krugman Warns of Japanes Style Stagnation
Three from Rice Farmer:
U.S. credit card defaults rise to record in May
California to miss budget deadline, "meltdown" nears
Supreme Court refuses to stop US-Mexico fence construction

N Korea in 'early phase of all-out confrontation with US'
Troops mass for onslaught on Taleban
Legal shield for Army chiefs in Afghanistan
British commanders offered indemnity from prosection if they make a decision that leads to the death of a soldier
Indian nuclear expert missing
Pakistan to release 'terrorist' linked to attacks
Recession toughens up the Army
Influx of new recruits has pushed the drop-out rate on the infantry's gruelling, basictraining course below 30 per cent
Neo-Nazis are in the Army now (from Rice Farmer)
Citizen Patrol's Fascist Uniform Sparks Outcry
Spooks get permission to buy off Taliban
UK Names New MI6 Boss

Climate Change
Spain warns of jellyfish invasion
Portuguese Men O' War invade the Mediterranean
Jellyfish head for UK in bumper numbers
Climate change divides the Alps down the middle
Global warming is already causing flooding in the north and water shortages in the south, report says.
Crops under stress as temperatures fall Australia's damaged wildlife
Hundreds of animals were victims of the worst bushfires in history.

Power Shortages/Africa
Power Rationed Amid Saudi Electricity Shortage
Harsh Austerity Measures Implemented in Ethiopia
Power Shortage Hits Zambia
Zimbabwe Faces More Power Cuts Due to Debt
Recession Blamed for Sharp Increase in Number of Abandoned South African Babies

Mayor of New Orleans Quarantined in China
Court Clears TV Station of Extremism for "South Park"Asia News

Monday, June 15, 2009

From Jenna Orkin:

North Korea Declares All Out Push for Nuclear Weapons
[T]he resolution risks standoffs between US and North Korean ships – a danger underlined by North Korea's response. "An attempted blockade of any kind by the US and its followers will be regarded as an act of war and met with a decisive military response," the regime said.

The Coming US-Saudi Fight Over Energy Independence
Peak Coal, Global Warming Policy and Exponential Math
From Recovery to Oil Price Surges
Secret Documents Show How Shell Used Military Government Against Protesters
Feingold's Objection to McChrystal
"The Role of the Department of Defense During a Flu Pandemic," June 4, 2009.
"Geospatial Information and Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Current Issues and Future Challenges," June 8, 2009.
As Iraq Runs Dry, a Plague of Snakes is Unleashed
As Wind Power Grows, a Push to Tear Down Dams
US Cities May Have to Be Bulldozed to Survive
Argentina accused of economic war

Russia: GDP Shrinks 9.8% in 15 Year Record
Report Says Crisis Curbs Need for Democracy

Pakistan Hikes Defense Spending 15%
Four from Rice Farmer:
Pakistan orders army to go after Taliban chief
From last year: Taliban Leader Baitullah Mehsud Dead
Report: Baitullah Mehsud is Dead
Russia Seeks Bigger Role in Afghanistan on Eve of BRIC Summit

East Asia
Humans Intrude on an Indonesian Park
Niche in Europe for China Cars?
Chinese Cities to be Lit Up By Leds
China Stockpiling Oil (February)
China Stockpiling Corn (March)
China Stockpiling Soy (April)
China Stockpiling Copper (April)
China Stockpiling Copper Metals (April)
China Stockpiling Iron Ore (June)
Poppy Hunt in Beijing

The End of the Internet for Namibia?

Students riot over attacks

A.P. in Deal to Deliver Nonprofits’ Journalism
Researchers Use Brain Scans to Read People's Memories
Information from brain scans has already been used in court in India to help judge whether defendants are telling the truth or not.

Regarding a recent reference to the threat of stem rust to the global wheat crop, see also: Weaponization of Stem Rust
Investors Rush to Buy Gold
The Return of History and the End of Dreams (Book Review, 2008)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Difference Between Latvia and California

From Jenna Orkin:

Latest: Twitter reports Mousavi under house arrest; Rafsanjani resigned.

What's the difference between Latvia and California? Answer: A week.

Financial Crisis

ECB Fears Bank Crisis

Is Eastern Europe on the Brink of an Asia-Style Crisis?
Latvia Faces Economic Meltdown
California Fifty Days from Financial Meltdown
China's Foreign Trade Plunges Deeper in May
Bank Rescue Costs UE States $5.3 Trillion, More Than German GDP

Countries and other entities respond to the crisis according to their respective abilities and "needs:"

Central Banks May Put Half Reserves Into Gold

Russia May Swap Some US Treasuries for IMF Debt
China's Commodity Buying Spree
Global Financial Crisis Could Drive Poor Colombian Children to Join Guerrilla Groups
G8's Promise to Africa is Likely To Be Broken
Canadian Banks, Ranked World's Best, Step Up Job Cuts
Mandelson Says Britain Will Join Euro

Behind the Scenes:
Geithner to Allow Banks to Repay TARP Although TARP Stress Test Analysts Say Test Was Flawed
Fed Would Be Shut Down If It Was Audited Says Expert
America's Sea of Red Ink Was Years in the Making
Yet who could have seen it coming?

Energy Crisis

German Military Opposes Gazrpom's Baltic Pipe
Obstacles pile up for Russia's Nord Stream gas pipeline (from Rice Farmer)
Energy fuels new 'Great Game' in Europe (from Rice Farmer)
Is the West's Love for Oil Receding for Good?
The Crude Reality of Peak Production
Oil Drops After Record Plunge in European Industrial Production
US Oil Imports at Risk
Chrysler's Next Fear: High Gas Prices
The World in Energy Statistics
EU Lines Too Old to Deliver 2020 Renewables Target

Swine Flu
Millions of Britons Could Be Infected with Swine Flu
Note the following two sentences appearing in the same article:

[WHO Director Dr. Margaret Chan] told a press conference in Geneva the majority of cases have been mild with most people making a full recovery without the need for medication....

Confirmed cases and their close contacts have received the anti-viral drug Tamiflu and orders have been placed for 90 million doses of H1N1 vaccine which are due to be delivered by December.
Swine Flu Drugs Will Replace Containment

Classification and the Descent Into Torture: Comments by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Teachers Urged to Join MI5
Bin Laden Hiding in Pakistan, CIA Says
See what a little waterboarding can do?

Industrial food is killing us, claims ‘Food, Inc.’ movie (from Rice Farmer)
Goldman May Get $321 Million on Missed Trade Center Deadlines
American Friends of the British Nationalist Party
Guppies Provide Lessons in How to Evolve Fast
US Man Arrested in Gold Bullion Ponzi Scheme (February)
Policeman Uses Taser on 72-Year-Old Woman
...for speeding.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Prediction of $250 Oil

Oil Price Leaps to Year's High
Thanks to V(incent) for bringing this to our attention.
CERA Official Acknowledges Peak Oil is Here
Swine Flu "Pandemic" Announcement Imminent

"What's happening right now is not about public health surveillance and science," [Michael Osterholm] said. "It's about politics and risk communication."

Comment: And in case you had any doubts about how independent science is of the PR department:

"In May, several countries urged WHO not to declare a pandemic, fearing it would spark mass panic. The agency appeared to cave into the requests, saying it would rewrite its definition of a global outbreak so that it wouldn't have to declare one right away for swine flu."

Comment: Which is not to say that the declaration of a pandemic is not itself a caving to political interests, just different ones.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fascists Rush In Where Reasonable Folk Are Too Bummed Out to Tread

From Jenna Orkin


Right and Fringe Parties Make Gains Across Europe Amid Low Turnout
Labor Facing Worst Ever National Results
The Genteel Face of NeoFascism
British National party MEP and former National Front chairman who started political life in group set up in honour of Hitler
The Great U-Turn: Global Migration Flows Reverse for the First Time Since the Depression as Work in the Rich World Dries Up (from Rice Farmer)
Gordon Brown's Legacy Is a Nation More Divided Than Ever
World Oil Reserves Fell For First Time in Ten Years
Global Weapons Spending Hits Record Levels
Six Police Officers Accused of Torturing Drug Suspects
Sliding smoothely down the slippery slope from 'terrorists' to suspected criminals to...
The Next Big Thing: Neomedievalism (from Rice Farmer)


Bank Profits From Accounting Rules Masking Looming Loan Losses
Airlines May Lose $9 Billion This Year, IATA Says
Double the previous forecast.
Stocks Will Fall 37% or Gold Will Rally 60%
Bankruptcy Filings Reach 6000 A Day
US Jobs Propaganda Gets More Desperate
Gold and greenback go head to head for 'reserve currency' title (From Fice Farmer)
By Stepping Up to Sell China’s Bonds, Standard Chartered and HSBC May Accelerate the Yuan’s Acceptance as a Global Currency (from Rice Farmer)
Is Obama's Change Simply Cosmetic?
Peak phosphate (from Rice Farmer)
Phosphorus Famine: The Threat to Our Food Supply (from Rice Farmer)
The Amazon is Dying Peru Protest Violence Kills 22 Police

"Mexico's Drug-Related Violence," May 27, 2009. "The 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) 'Swine Flu' Outbreak: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases," May 26, 2009.
"The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11," updated May 15, 2009.
"USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives After 15 Years: Issues for Congress," May 27, 2009.
"Identity Theft: Trends and Issues," May 27, 2009.

Central Europe/Middle East

General Says Georgia Fully Rearmed
Imports of Belorussian Milk Products Banned
Gazprom Aims to Supply 10% of U.S. Gas by 2020
Protests against Putin sweep Russia as factories go broke (Rice Farmer)
Crisis bites deep into Russian infrastructure programme
HSBC Targets Rich With Retail Banks
A War of Water


DPRK Boat Intrudes Into ROK Waters
Swaziland to Brand HIV Sufferers


Ocean Acidification to Trigger Job Losses, Scientists Warn
The scientists have caught on to the nuances of PR. Couched in terms of job loss, climate change and environmental havoc grab the attention of politicos and public alike the way warnings of dire consequences in fifty or even fifteen years never do.
Schoolgirl Allergic to 21st Century

Sunday, June 07, 2009

May Merkel Make Her Mark

From Jenna Orkin

Five more years of those 10% of GDP deficits will quickly raise America's debt to GDP level to 100%, a level that the rating services - and more importantly, the markets - recognize as a point of no return.
Professor at USU Says US Society May Collapse (from Rice Farmer)
Goldman Sachs Predicts Oil Price Hike in 2009, 10
IATA: Airline 2009 Losses to Exceed $4.7 Billion
Oil Stored on Tankers is Up 71%
US Bailout Repayment Seen Bigger Than Expected
Green Shoots, Red Ink, Black Hole - Spitzer (from Rice Farmer)
Liberty Dollar Producers Arrested
Dollar Crisis Looming; Don't Short the Market - Jim Rogers (from Rice Farmer)
Priest Invites Parishioners to Bring Guns to Church to Celebrate Independence Day
The priest said he would also invite gun shop owners to attend the service in order to tell about their services.

Comment: Mixing church and state is a no-no, but church and commerce are way cool.
Canada: Midterm Oil Production Outlook Down 500,000 Barrels
Brazil's Actions are Combatting Amazon Deforestation

Swine Flu
Six-fold Surge in Swine Flu Cases Hits Scotland
Flu Pandemic Could Wipe 7% Off UK Economy
Swine Flu Outbreak has "Overwhelmed" US Healthcare System, Report Says
WHO Tweaks Pandemic Level to Prevent Swine Flu Panic
As Swine Flu Wanes, US Preparing for Second Wave
Tamiflu Ban for Teens Continues (Japan)
Encephalitis Shots to Resume (Japan)

Merkel's Criticism of ECB a Big Departure from Tradition
French Budget Deficit May Swell to Record as Revenue Slumps
Baltic Crisis Hits Sweden
Latvia Rings Alarm Bell for Europe
Europe Agrees How to Open Doors to Dozens of Guantanamo Detainees
Putin Takes Control in Angry Town
Russia Launches Second Train at Sakhalin 2 Plant
Ruble Reserve Currency May Not Be So Crazy
Bulgaria Warned on Gas Supplies

Gunmen Kill Guinea-Bissau Presidential Candidate

India Puts All Southers States on High Alert
China and Singapore Build Eco City
Shandong to Boost Gold Industry
China: Poor Forced to Pay for Country Road

Is this the future of food? Japanese 'plant factory' churn out immaculate vegetables
Green Algae Strategy (from Rice Farmer)
Prison Blues: States Slimming Down Inmate Meals