Sunday, March 21, 2010

In a Debt and Credit Sandwich... Clinton's Mea Culpa in Haiti

From Jenna Orkin

You know that saying that Mike likes to quote? "In a ham and egg sandwich, the chicken is involved but the pig is committed."

In a debt and credit sandwich, who's the chicken and who's the pig? Does it depend on how big the debt and debtor are?

That in turn reminds me of the old saw about the difference between a dialect and a language: A language has an army.

Headlines/US
IMF's Lipsky Says Advanced Economies Are Facing `Acute' Debt Challenges
Diminishing marginal productivity of debt: Debt saturation phase transition reached - from Rice Farmer
Deck Chairs Secure Aboard USS Financial Regulation
War ships don't have deck chairs. Where did they come up with that metaphor? Sounds familiar.
Bernanke Says Large Bank Bailouts `Unconscionable,' Must Not Occur Again
Victory for Bloomberg in Freedom of Information Lawsuit with Fed
Here's Why Lehman's Accounting Was Completely Bogus -- And Why The Rest Of Wall Street's Still Is
Loan Spread Points to Limits on US Housing
German Central Bank Admits that Credit is Created Out of Thin Air - from Rice Farmer
New Baghdad and the Collapse of Capitalism - from Rice Farmer
"The U.S. economy is like an out-of-control sports car in search of a tree."

Asia/Africa
High Tech Research Moves From U.S. To China
The New Conventional Wisdom: It's Shadow Banks And Regional Governments That Will Take Down China
Photos of Beijing Sandstorm
India successfully test-fires BrahMos supersonic cruise missile
After today's test, India has become the first and only country in the world to have a "maneuverable supersonic cruise missile in its inventory," he said in New Delhi.
Japan mulling 14 new nuke plants $2bn to help Darfur
“The donor conference is backed by the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), but also includes representatives from China, the United States, Russia, Britain, France and others.”
DRC: Regional hydro project collapses
(Damming the Mighty Congo – for aluminum smelting.)
“It was a big decision. It would be good for Congo to retain more of the project’s electricity for its own use.”
UN Plans to end DR Congo peacekeeping mission

Americas
Petrodollars threatening Amazon
“The dozens of hastily granted oil and gas concessions Peru´s government has given to countries from Vietnam to Brazil already cover 41 percent of the Amazon region, and exploration and drilling there threatens indigenous populations and local flora and fauna, according to a new study by the University of Barcelona.”
With cheap food imports, Haiti can't feed itself
‘They're led by former U.S. President Bill Clinton — now U.N. special envoy to Haiti — who publicly apologized this month for championing policies that destroyed Haiti's rice production.
Clinton in the mid-1990s encouraged the impoverished country to dramatically cut tariffs on imported U.S. rice.
'"It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake," Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 10.

‘"I had to live everyday with the consequences of the loss of capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people because of what I did; nobody else."

‘…Street markets have reopened, filled with honking trucks, drink sellers clinking bottles and women vendors crouched behind rolled-down sacks of dry goods. People buy what's cheapest, and that's American-grown rice.

‘The best-seller comes from Riceland Foods in Stuttgart, Arkansas, which sold six pounds for $3.80 last month, according to Haiti's National Food Security Coordination Unit. The same amount of Haitian rice cost $5.12.’

Environment/Science
Volcano erupts in Iceland, hundreds flee
Iceland Preparing for Second, More Devastating Volcano
Internet is biggest threat to species
Illegal trade in wildlife on the net is one of the biggest threats to endangered species, say experts Bomb tests could detect wine fraud
Vintage of wines made from grapes harvested since atomic bomb tests can be dated to within a year
Why Everything You've Been Told About Evolution Is Wrong

24 comments:

grayfox said...

Tom Cleland,

If you're in the US try "Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds" at www.rareseeds.com or "Turtle Tree Biodynamic Seed Initiative" at www.biodynamics.com. Both offer organic, open pollinated heirloom seeds.

Also, while I’m at it . . . go to soilfoodweb.com to learn new compost, and compost tea making skills to improve your soil and crop health. Dr. Elaine Ingham’s system is truly revolutionary. This is the most important information that any farmer and/or gardner could possibly learn.

And for general information related to sustainable & organic farming & gardening, go to http://www.acresusa.com/magazines/magazine.htm

BTW, I used biochar last year with good results. However, instead of putting sterile biochar directly into the garden from the woodstove, I’ve since been advised to add it to my compost pile first - till the pile completely breaks down – then put that compost into the garden. I believe that’s sound advice.

For more info on biochar, go to; http://anz.theoildrum.com/node/4522#more. If you do use what you clean out of your woodstove, be sure to separate the ash from the charcoal (they separate in a bucket of water with the charcoal floating to the top and the ash sinking to the bottom). A little ash in your garden or compost pile is good, but too much will make your soil too alkaline.

Spring is just starting here in the Northern Hemisphere. Now’s the best time to start planning and planting your garden. Don’t waste another moment!

FredW said...

"Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic": To make insignificant or cosmetic changes while ignoring the disaster about to happen.

Sebastian Ernst Ronin said...

New RPN Mission Statement Paragraph:

For purposes of political mapping and conduct, the RPN does not recognize Left/Right. We recognize Center/Periphery. The challenge to jolt the perception of the NAmerican political psyche is daunting. The best teachers will be the hammer and the consequent hurt of a Post-Peak Oil reality. We perceive and we pre-empt. The bulk of the Left is as politically insipid as is the bulk of the Right; one camp of useful idiots negates another. There evolves a thin demographic sliver where the two spheres overlap, creating a target vesica piscis. Relative to each of the Left and Right, this vesica piscis consists of their own outliers, radicals, free thinkers, contrarians, etc. A true identification of the radical Center automatically designates its relative Periphery; there can be no center without a periphery. In short, there will be the political movement as identified and carried by the New Center...and all else as swept to the dust bin and redundancies of the Periphery.

Renaissance Party of North America

Elmo said...

"Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic"

Nothing personal, Fred; but I'm getting a little sick of hearing all this "Titanic" crap. You and I are living beings, living in very real cultures, and worshiping very false gods made of gold, silver, and wood pulp! They are illusions of our own creation --and we openly define them as such-- yet we go on putting our faith and our hopes in them, nevertheless. Hopefully, you'll all start to wake up to that, and kick these money lenders out of the temple, before it's too late!

This is our earth; it belongs to all living beings, great and small... Not just a handful of men in suits! Turn away from them. Stop giving them what they want; which is your loyalty, your obedience, and your servitude. Give them back their gold, and let them try and eat that for breakfast! Stop supporting these people!

Yes, their numbers are great... Yes, they will beat you, arrest you, and imprison you... Yes, they will pursue you to the ends of the earth, to get what they want! But, in case you haven't noticed, their world is unsustainable. It is falling apart, even as we speak! Don't let them drag you down with it!

Mike said: "for the love of money is the root of all evil". Then he said: "Buy Gold"! I just shook my head. So, even Mike doesn't get it! You're the only animal on this earth that thinks it needs money to survive!

Charity is the key. Give to one another openly and freely. Stop putting a price on everything! Work for the good of the whole tribe. It will come back to you ten-fold, I promise. Not right away; but in time.

Ah, but you won't do these things, will you? You'll just go on laughing, like you've laughed at all of us doomsayers down through the ages! You'll say: "Where's your proof!"; when the proof is all around you! Well, so-long, suckers!

Weaseldog said...

As Bernanke's calling for the abolishment of the Fractional Reserve system, he likes feels safe in arguing that the banks shouldn't get any more bailouts. If they no longer need assets to print money and no longer have restrictions on how much money they can print then their liquidity problems are over. If they need profits, they can simply print them.

Further, they can print and loan infinite quantities of money to the Federal government, and then have the taxpayers pay the interest on the loans.

the place this is leading to is an economy that consists of the banks, trading money with the Federal Government. With no loans being made to private industry, private enterprises will all go bankrupt. The only way to earn money or make profits will be to get that money from the Federal Government. And as the USA goes broke and the people become destitute, the and Federal and local governments will have to find increasingly ingenious ways to suck increasing value out the destitute citizenry.

I expect that it will become illegal to hoard gold again.

Weaseldog said...

I've been very happy with my orders from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

My last order came on time, (when they said it would arrive), yet it contained a letter of apology. They apologized that it took a few days longer than normal, because their business and the orders coming in are growing at faster pace than anticipated.

Weaseldog said...

Lordy, my typos are getting strange.

I shouldn't have watched 'A Clockwork Orange' over the weekend.

dalex said...

Tom Cleland, and others working the land: Here is a link to a very affordable seed package; the only downside is the relatively high shipping cost...
http://www.internet-grocer.net/seeds.htm

Seed Savers Exchange (Iowa) and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange are a couple other well known sources. I can also recommend Nourse Farms for berries and asparagus.

Peter J. Nickitas said...

Mike and Jenna:

Check this one out:

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=58414

The explicit mention of the Fischer-Tropf process tells me in no uncertain terms that Uncle Sam is going all in for coal-to-liquid conversion, that any government support for energy sources other than coal, petroleum, or nuclear remains illusory.

I recall FTW's stories on USAF support for Fischer-Tropf. The pact with ATA for Fischer-Tropf fuels sets the table for government takeover of commercial aircraft in a foreseeable crisis.

Peter J. of Minneapolis

OrwellianUK said...

Elmo, Mike does get it - we all do - but remember that we cannot make an instant metamorphosis into a resource-based money-free economy.

We are all still tied into the current paradigm. For the average person, money of some kind will still be essential to survive. It will be some time before we can create the sustainable agriculture to feed ourselves and learn other skills to survive.

In this failing paradigm, gold or silver is one of the few ways in which people will be able to protect the value of their savings and assets. Gold and Silver have always had value amongst even the most egalitarian, hunter-gatherer societies.

No harm in converting your fiat currency into tangible assets such as gold for the time being. When you've done that, you can resume watering your vegetable garden.

Gold of course is not the only thing - seeds and tools will be worthwhile assets too, for instance.

Elmo said...

On: "Why Everything You've Been Told About Evolution Is Wrong"

I don't see why Fodor's argument is so hard to grasp. It simply says that "selecting-for" a certain trait logically requires some outside input.

Has anyone ever seen an Orchid Mantis? Orchid Mantis' resemble the orchid flower so completely, that they can only be camouflaged when sitting on an orchid flower.

Now... orchids are not like dandelions; they're not everywhere in great abundance.

The theory of natural selection would have us believe that hundreds --possibly thousands, or even millions-- of generations of mantis bugs lived in and around orchid flowers; and every single living bug failed in some way --whether it was to eat, not to be eaten, or to reproduce-- except for the one single mantis, who --by some random mutation of body color never-before-seen in any insect-- manages to survive, and pass on it's genetic material.

The odds of that particular mutation popping up in that particular circumstance must be somewhere on the order of ten-billion-googol-to-one! And yet, we are required by our teachers to accept that this mutation happened without the least bit of outside influence or observation. I don't buy it! Apparently, neither did Fodor.

Now... About Tiger Woods coming up in discussions of genius...
The man plays Golf! ... GOLF! ... It ain't rocket science!

Elmo said...

@OrwellianUK

"we cannot make an instant metamorphosis into a resource-based money-free economy"

Oh, you'd be surprised what you can do, when forced into it. Really, all that's preventing us now is the fear of having to go live under a bridge!

But, no, gold & silver were not valued in antiquity for anything more than ornamental purposes. That particular infection --using it as money-- spread from the Mediterranean valley. It spread across the land in caravans; it crossed the oceans on great sailing vessels; it brought with it merchants, and missionaries, and all manner of suffering and war! I don't endorse it's usage, and I don't forgive those who tout it's virtues!

Although, I admit that even I cannot live without money at this phase. That truth is evident by the fact that I am talking to you via computer, which runs on electricity, which must be paid for. But it is my ambition to evolve to the point of never having to touch the shit again!

Feel free to call me a hypocrite, if you like... I often do. I regret all of the work I have done under the guise of "putting food on the table". The only thing I regret more is having brought children into this "paradigm", thereby condemning them to do the same!

Soggy Bottom said...

I am opting for wheat not gold.
Good wholesome bread, which is possible to bake any which way you like, is sustaining and nourishing. It was the backbone of food for the poor in pre-industrial times along with potage which, as far as I can make out, was a vegetable/bean soup. I can grow vegetables and beans but wheat to make bread for a year is beyond our abilities. See 'Growing your own grains' by Peter Goodchild at culturechange.org
I am buying 25Kg bags of bio-dynamic wheat with a high protein profile.
I then mix in a cupful of food grade diatomaceous earth (not the sort you use for swimming pools). This will dessicate any weevils or other insects and the wheat will remain viable for the next 30-40 years or forever if necessary. I store the wheat, not in plastic tubs, I have had mice chew through plastic, but in 75Lt galvanised dustbins with tight lids.
Gold will not keep me or my family alive if there is nothing to purchase. But then why not have some of both?
Bread and potage might sound boring as daily food but hunger makes a good sauce.

Soggy Bottom said...

I am opting for wheat not gold.
Good wholesome bread, which is possible to bake any which way you like, is sustaining and nourishing. It was the backbone of food for the poor in pre-industrial times along with potage which, as far as I can make out, was a vegetable/bean soup. I can grow vegetables and beans but wheat to make bread for a year is beyond our abilities. See 'Growing your own grains' by Peter Goodchild at culturechange.org
I am buying 25Kg bags of bio-dynamic wheat with a high protein profile.
I then mix in a cupful of food grade diatomaceous earth (not the sort you use for swimming pools). This will dessicate any weevils or other insects and the wheat will remain viable for the next 30-40 years or forever if necessary. I store the wheat, not in plastic tubs, I have had mice chew through plastic, but in 75Lt galvanised dustbins with tight lids.
Gold will not keep me or my family alive if there is nothing to purchase. But then why not have some of both?
Bread and potage might sound boring as daily food but hunger makes a good sauce.

agape wins said...

I still have not seen how/where
you are going to dispose of your
"Metal" without getting "Taken"
during or after the "trade" is
made? Have you educated yourself
about the market you are in?
Every Drug dealer knows or is soon
pushing daisies.
Tools, & supplies disappear, but do not attract the same rats as GOLD.
Amae

Where is RanD, Sebastian's
3:50am post was more confusing
than anything they ever wrote,
the group that wrote it gave
themselves a lot of cover, &
also wiggle room!
I didn't look the words up, I'm
sure it would have just created
more confusion.

I like the sound of GOD, but Spirit
works for most of us.

agape wins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elmo said...

@agape_wins

"Sebastian's 3:50am post was more confusing than anything they ever wrote"

It's rather insulting when people try to talk over your head, isn't it?

Anyhow... As far as I can tell, it's a bunch of big words, declaring that their group constitutes a "political center", and everyone else is outside, or "on the periphery".

businessman said...

Money...including the use of gold and silver...evolved because people realized the need to have a common medium of exchange. If someone wants wheat, and what they have to trade is clothing, we have a problem if the person with the wheat doesn't want the clothing.

I have to believe that people are still going to want to have something representing money as a medium of exchange in the future, because relying purely on barter will be frustrating.

Elmo said...

@businessman

"If someone wants wheat, and what they have to trade is clothing, we have a problem if the person with the wheat doesn't want the clothing."

That is true. But if you are living in a tribe, and that tribe is self-sufficient, it's a non-issue.

Best example is the North American Indian tribes. They traded regularly with each other; sometimes they even went to war over resources. But in most cases, it was not for personal gain. It was for the whole tribe.

And, to them, ownership of land was unthinkable! When the early settlers tried to purchase it from them, they didn't understand what was happening. They had no concept of contracts, or deeds, or any of the real-estate legalities we think are universal. That's our creation!

And it fails by design! And when it fails, we always replace it with the exact same model, hoping it will turn out differently the next time!

We've become drunk on our affluence. We talk about saving mankind; but what we're really talking about is saving our lifestyle! We want to preserve that orgasmic feeling we get whenever we turn on that new i-Phone, or fire-up that new Mercedes. "Putting food on the table" is just the blanket we hide under while we're spanking the monkey! That's why we're constantly looking for new energy sources; because we have no intention of living any other way!

Now, I'm sorry if I have offended anyone who feels they don't fit the picture I have just drawn... But I have lived long enough to know that what I have just described is the very foundation of capitalism! And you'll have to forgive me if I'm reluctant to trust anyone coming out of this culture not to try to re-create it at the first opportunity!

Remember that Moses could not cross over Jordan? That's Why! He could not even trust himself not to create another Egypt!

Simon said...

The are other means of exchange than gold. Alcohol is one of rhe best. Learn to make it, stock up on the raw materials and equipment and you have your own eftpos machine as it where. Elmo, I know its a form of money, but it will take a while for the old paradigm to die, and there are parts of whats coming that wont look so bad after a smooth bourbon or two.

Weaseldog said...

Elmo, I looked up pictures of the Orchid Mantis. That's a lovely insect.

It actually looks like an orchid flower. So what it needs is a green leafy stem to rest on. Then it waits for prey to arrive that thinks it's going to get some nectar. A quick snatch and the mantis is having lunch.

This insect is dependant on the availability of green leafy branches, and insects that like flowers. That doesn't seem to be an unlikely thing to find in my way of thinking. My backyard for instance, abounds with such things.

Tom Cleland said...

Thanks Elmo, grayfox, Weaseldog, dalex, Soggy Bottom, and all.

Elmo said...

@weaseldog

"That doesn't seem to be an unlikely thing to find in my way of thinking. My backyard for instance, abounds with such things."

EXACTLY! In fact the abundance of such creatures only serves to illustrate my point... that within the creature's own environment, there were many mathematically easier forms it could have taken, if survival were the only factor in it's evolution. In fact; a common green mantis does the best, strictly from a survival standpoint. So there must be some other reason why creatures like this evolve.

Cathy Mena said...

It could be worse. There are many trade schools out there that are not well established household names like the companies cited above. There are lots of smaller, unaccredited schools. Sometimes these schools just close up and students are left holding the bag.
debt relief