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Archive for the ‘money’ Category

Thought for the Day: The Church and Banks

Posted by msrb on December 24, 2008

submitted by a reader:

The Church and banks in their role as middlemen work in quite similar ways:

One steals your spiritual enlightenment;
the other swindles you out of material possession!

Posted in banker fraud, financial needs, money | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Quote of the Week: Doing the Nominating

Posted by terres on November 6, 2008

“I don’t care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating.” —William M. Tweed (1823-1878).


Tweed-le-dee and Tilden-dum – A Harper’s Weekly cartoon depicts Tweed as a police officer saying to two boys, “If all the people want is to have somebody arrested, I’ll have you plunderers convicted. You will be allowed to escape, nobody will be hurt, and then Tilden will go to the White House and I to Albany as Governor.”

American politician, William Magear Tweed, aka “Boss Tweed,” was convicted for stealing millions of dollars from New York City and died in jail. Tweed was head of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party political machine that played a major role in the politics of 19th century New York. (Quoted in ICH)

Posted in government, Irgun, militant Zionist, money, politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

How We the Taxpayers Were Shafted by Paulson

Posted by msrb on November 4, 2008

Paulson paid Wall Street twice the stock price!

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson paid $125 billion of taxpayers money for bank stock that a private investor could have purchased for $62.5 billion, said William Greider.

Paulson’s Swindle Revealed

By William Greider

October 29, 2008 (The Nation). The swindle of American taxpayers is proceeding more or less in broad daylight, as the unwitting voters are preoccupied with the national election. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson agreed to invest $125 billion in the nine largest banks, including $10 billion for Goldman Sachs, his old firm. But, if you look more closely at Paulson’s transaction, the taxpayers were taken for a ride–a very expensive ride. They paid $125 billion for bank stock that a private investor could purchase for $62.5 billion. That means half of the public’s money was a straight-out gift to Wall Street, for which taxpayers got nothing in return.

These are dynamite facts that demand immediate action to halt the bailout deal and correct its giveaway terms. Stop payment on the Treasury checks before the bankers can cash them. Open an immediate Congressional investigation into how Paulson and his staff determined such a sweetheart deal for leading players in the financial sector and for their own former employer. Paulson’s bailout staff is heavily populated with Goldman Sachs veterans and individuals from other Wall Street firms. Yet we do not know whether these financiers have fully divested their own Wall Street holdings. Were they perhaps enriching themselves as they engineered this generous distribution of public wealth to embattled private banks and their shareholders?

Leo W. Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers, raised these explosive questions in a stinging letter sent to Paulson this week. The union did what any private investor would do. Its finance experts vetted the terms of the bailout investment and calculated the real value of what Treasury bought with the public’s money. In the case of Goldman Sachs, the analysis could conveniently rely on a comparable sale twenty days earlier. Billionaire Warren Buffett invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs and bought the same types of securities–preferred stock and warrants to purchase common stock in the future. Only Buffett’s preferred shares pay a 10 percent dividend, while the public gets only 5 percent. Dollar for dollar, Buffett “received at least seven and perhaps up to 14 times more warrants than Treasury did and his warrants have more favorable terms,” Gerard pointed out.

“I am sure that someone at Treasury saw the terms of Buffett’s investment,” the union president wrote. “In fact, my suspicion is that you studied it pretty closely and knew exactly what you were doing. The 50-50 deal–50 percent invested and 50 percent as a gift–is quite consistent with the Republican version of spread-the-wealth-around philosophy.”

The Steelworkers’ close analysis was done by Ron W. Bloom, director of the union’s corporate research and a Wall Street veteran himself who worked at Larzard Freres, the investment house. Bloom applied standard valuation techniques to establish the market price Buffett paid per share compared to Treasury’s price. “The analysis is based on the assumption that Warren Buffett is an intelligent third party investor who paid no more for his investment than he had to,” Bloom’s report explained. “It also assumes that Gold Sachs’ job is to protect its existing shareholders so that it extracted from Mr. Buffett the most that it could…. Further, it is assumed that Henry Paulson is likewise an intelligent man and that if he paid any more than Mr. Buffett–if he paid $1 for something for which Mr. Buffett would have paid 50 cents–that the difference is a gift from the taxpayers of the United States to the shareholders of Goldman Sachs.”

The implications are staggering. Leo Gerard told Paulson: “If the result of our analysis is applied to the deals that you made at the other eight institutions–which on average most would view as being less well positioned than Goldman and therefore requiring an even greater rate of return–you paid a$125 billion for securities for which a disinterested party would have paid $62.5 billion. That means you gifted the other $62.5 billion to the shareholders of these nine institutions.”

If the same rule of thumb is applied to Paulson’s grand $700 billion bailout fund, Gerard said this will constitute a gift of $350 billion from the American taxpayers “to reward the institutions that have driven our nation and it now appears the whole world into its most serious economic crisis in 75 years.”

Is anyone angry? Will anyone look into these very serious accusations? Congress is off campaigning. The financiers at Treasury probably assume any public outrage will be lost in the election returns. I hope they are mistaken.


About William Greider

National affairs correspondent William Greider has been a political journalist for more than thirty-five years. A former Rolling Stone and Washington Post editor, he is the author of the national bestsellers One World, Ready or Not, Secrets of the Temple, Who Will Tell The People, The Soul of Capitalism (Simon & Schuster) and–due out in February from Rodale–Come Home, America. Copyright © 2008 The Nation

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Posted in Goldman Sachs, meltdown, money, politics, U.S. dollar | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thought for the Day: Creating Wealth

Posted by msrb on October 9, 2008

submitted by a reader:

If the Wall Street bandits are so good [sic] at creating wealth, why can’t they bail them out instead of come crying cap in hand to the taxpayer?

Think about it for a moment!


Wall Street Bull: Never mind the fake balls, she’s just a thieving pussy in disguise!
Source of Image. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Making the government an offer they couldn’t refuse!

Posted in government, money, thieving pussy, Wall Street, Wall Street Bull | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Federally Protected and Encouraged: Daylight Robbery

Posted by msrb on October 8, 2008

Image of the Day: Shame!


Protestors hold signs behind Richard Fuld, Chairman and Chief Executive of Lehman Brothers Holdings, as he takes his seat to testify at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the causes and effects of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 6, 2008. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Posted in Federal Reserve Bank, main street, money, Wall Street | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Human and Monetary Cost of ‘Natural’ Disasters 2008

Posted by msrb on October 8, 2008

Economic cost of natural disasters for the first six months of 2008 three times higher than the 10-year average

The Sichuan earthquake in China, Nargis cyclone in Burma and other ‘Natural’ disasters killed more people in  first six months of 2008 than the Asian tsunami of 2004, the United Nations said.

“2008 is a terrible year. There have already been more victims than in the tsunami,” said Salvator Briceno, head of the UN’s disaster management agency (ISDR), on the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

The disasters claimed about a quarter of million lives, and another 130 million were affected, he said.
Cyclone Nargis which struck Myanmar (Burma) in May calimed an estimated 140,000 lives, while the earthquake in  China’s Sichuan province killed nearly 90,000.

Record floods in India and devastating hurricane season in the Caribbeans ontributed to the overall death toll.

The economic cost of natural disasters for the first six months of 2008 was estimated at about $40 billion, nearly three times the half-yearly average of $15bn during the past 10 years.

Posted in ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, money | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Quote of the Day: Run On the Bank

Posted by msrb on September 23, 2008

A Hanging Offense

“The goldsmith bankers in Amsterdam got a law passed making it a hanging offense to start a run on the goldsmith. But one day there was a run, and of course the goldsmith could not pay.  The matter was resolved not by hanging the unknown individual who started the run, but by hanging the goldsmith.”

Source: for the common good: redirecting the economy toward community, the environment, and a sustainable future by Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb, Jr. Quoting Russel G. Barber, Jr. The One Hundred Percent Reserve System.

Posted in goldsmith, government, money, politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Offshore Drilling: Things can only get better!

Posted by msrb on September 11, 2008

Money for Nothing, Drugs and Sex for Free!

Kittlitz’s Murrelet, (Brachyramphus brevirostris)

Keywords: A Culture of Ethical Failure, GW Bush and Co., Sarah Palin, Lucy Denett, Exxon, BP, Alaska, Arctic National [yours and ours] Wildlife Refuge, Polar Bear, Global Warming, Kenai Fjords National Park, Shooting Wolves From the Air, Endangered Species [Don't be silly how could you possibly be a threat to the powerful polar bear?] U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Drill Baby Drill, Lipstick on Pig, Endangered Species Act, Kittlitz’s Murrelet [a critically endangered marine bird found in the waters off Alaska and Eastern Siberia, see photo,] Seward, Shrinking Glaciers , Melting Sea Ice, Biodiversity, Collapsing Ecosystems,  Climate Change, Sex, Cocaine, Graft, U.S. Interior Department, Minerals Management Service, Money for Nothing and Sex for Free, Taxpayer-Owned Coastal Waters!

Now to the Story …

Sex, drug use and graft alleged in U.S. Interior Department

By Charlie Savage
Published: September 11, 2008

WASHINGTON – (IHT) As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal – including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct.

In three reports delivered to Congress on Wednesday, the department’s inspector general, Earl Devaney, found wrongdoing by a dozen current and former employees of the Minerals Management Service, which collects about $10 billion in royalties annually and is one of the government’s largest sources of revenue other than taxes.

“A culture of ethical failure” pervades the agency, Devaney wrote in a cover memo.

The reports portray a dysfunctional organization riddled with conflicts of interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much of the Bush administration’s watch.

The highest-ranking official criticized in the reports is Lucy Denett, the former associate director of minerals revenue management, who retired earlier this year as the inquiry was progressing. Read full story …

“When confronted by our investigators, none of the employees involved displayed remorse,” Devaney said.

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Posted in Bush, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The cause of death: Poverty

Posted by msrb on September 11, 2008

The overwhelming majority of human-enhanced natural phenomena like hurricanes and extreme climatic events are invariably the poor!


A resident drags a corpse through a flooded street after tropical cyclones left hundreds dead and thousands stranded in Gonaives in this September 8, 2008 photo released by the Untied Nations in Haiti. REUTERS/handout/logan Abassi.

Posted in collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Shifting Focus from the CO2 Plague

Posted by feww on September 5, 2008

written by a reader

Ever wondered how distorted a racist report on the environment could get? Would it come from a neocon academic or a politician?

Wonder no more!

Asian short-lived pollutants from Asian power plants, Asian cooking and Asian heating [Thai Massage?] could create summer hot spots in the central United States and southern Europe, the neocon “scientists” said.

Unlike the long-lived greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, the particle and gas pollution cited in this report only stays in the air for a few days or weeks but its warming effect on the climate half a world away could last for decades, the scientists said.

“We found that these short-lived pollutants have a greater influence on the Earth’s climate throughout the 21st century than previously thought,” said Hiram “Chip” Levy of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Err… that’s a very interesting find. How did you think of that?

“By 2050, two of the three climate models we use found that changes in short-lived pollutants will contribute 20 percent of the predicted global warming.”

Asian soot and Asian sulfate pollution would result in hotter, drier summers in the American Midwest and the Mediterranean section of southern Europe region, but the effects would [miraculously] spare Asia, Levy said.

That’s a very “interesting” [laughable] load of nonsense, Mr Levy. What you are essentially saying is that the consequences of Asian economic activity is like an environmental weapon, conspiratorially pointed at “us” alone.

Mr Levy’s report is of course a distorted political statement, not environment science, the purpose of which is to shift focus from the CO2 “plague,” and to put the onus of global air pollution on Asia [read China.] And in case you are also wondering as to who would encourage such politically-motivated utter nonsense disguised as science, wonder no more. It is Uncle Sam, of course, who else?

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Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s All About Big Oil, Stupid!

Posted by msrb on September 2, 2008

Palin using Alaska’s burgeoning population (!) as a pathetic excuse to destroy polar bears?

Our colleagues at FEWW reported earlier that “the state of Alaska [Gov. Palin] is suing the federal government because she says listing polar bears as a threatened species is hurting Alaskan oil and gas exploration and development …”

Republican vice-presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin shakes hands as she campaigns in O'Fallon, Missouri, August 31, 2008. REUTERS/John Gress. Image may be subject to copyright.

Palin, a mother of five, said on Monday that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant in an announcement intended to rebut rumors that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.

Evidently, she neither believes in family planning, nor cares about the terrible affects of unwanted teen pregnancy on her child. And sex education was out of the question, too!

Why would she give a damn about the environment?

On the wisdom of Sen. McCain choosing Gov. Palin as his running mate thinkprogress said: “Palin is a champion for drilling, the Bush-Cheney approach to energy policy that brought us $4.00-per-gallon gasoline and the rising threat of global warming.”

“Like McCain, Palin believes that oil drilling is the only solution to our energy problems. ‘I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can’t drill our way out of our problem,’ she says. She supports more drilling in protected areas of the Outer Continental Shelf and the Alaska Natural Wildlife Refuge, once attacking McCain for his ‘close-mindedness on ANWR.’”

Polar What?

AS Arctic sea ice continues to shrink, currently to its second-lowest level ever, with particular melting in the Chukchi Sea,  polar bears have to swim far off the Alaskan coast in search of suitable platforms to hunt food.

Nine polar bears were seen swimming in open water over a six-hour period on August 16, government scientists said, including one more than 50 miles offshore, World Wildlife Fund officials reported.

“That represents a huge increase over previous sightings, said Margaret Williams of the fund’s Alaska office. A total of 12 polar bears were spotted in open water between 1987 and 2003, Williams said.”

Dutiful mothers, female polar bears usually give birth to twin cubs, which stay with her for more than two years until they can hunt and survive on their own. Photograph by Norbert Rosing. (Source: National geographic). Image may be subject to copyright.

IS THIS RELATIONSHIP ANY LESS IMPORTANT THAN THE ONE BELOW?

Bristol Palin , the 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is seen holding her brother Trig at a campaign event in Dayton, Ohio, August 29, 2008. REUTERS/John Gress. Image may be subject to copyright.

To the big oil, she is, like Condoleezza Rice, a godsend. She is an angel [sic] in disguise. Ok! Palin is nowhere near as ‘smart’ as Condi, but she would reach the voters Condi couldn’t possibly reach because Palin’s white, “attractive,’ has five children and is soon to be a grandma.

Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope said: “No one is closer to the oil industry than Gov. Palin. Along with her support for drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge and off our coasts, she also opposes a windfall profit tax on the richest oil companies. Under her leadership, Alaska has sued the federal government for considering listing the Polar Bear as a threatened species even though global warming threatens its very existence.”

The impact of global warming in Alaska is one of the worst on the planet. “Alaska has experienced an average warming of 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 °F) and about 4.5 °C (8°F) in the inner regions in winter months since the 1960s, the largest regional warming of anywhere in the U.S., according to records.”

The Alaskan landscape is covered with dead spruce trees after a major outbreak of spruce bark bettles in the arctic region in this file image. REUTERS/handout

“In Alaska, 35 percent forest, global warming is causing irreversible changes including droughts, forest fires, and infestations of tree-killing insects like spruce beetles and spruce budworm moths. In the last 15 years, the spruce beetles, which thrive in warmer climates, have destroyed a total of about 3 million acres (1.21 million hectares) of spruce forest in south-central Alaska.”

“The warmer temperature means Alaska’s peat bogs, which are nearly 14,000 years old, are drying up. Ed Berg, an ecologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has discovered that shrubs and other plants have been rooting in areas of peat big normally too soggy for woody plants to grow during the last three decades.”

Palin, however, doesn’t believe in sustainability or alternative energy. She said, “alternative-energy solutions are far from imminent and would require more than 10 years [sic] to develop” [The Post and Courier Charleston, SC, 8/16/08.] Never mind the fact that the Department of Energy has clearly stated that offshore drilling “would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.”

It’s All About Big Oil [and Big Money, too,] Stupid!

“When I look every day, the big oil company’s building is right out there next to me, and it’s quite a reminder that we should have mutually beneficial relationships with the oil industry.” (Roll Call, 8/25/08)

In A Letter About Sarah Palin from Anne Kilkenny, quoting Anne Kilkenny, a resident of Wasilla, Alaska, where Palin was a mayor from 1996 to 2002, Mudflats wrote: “She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it
with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later–to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.”

A big spender, Palin must have already entered Wall Street International Banking Syndicate’s “Top Ten Most ‘Friendly’ US Governors’ Chart.”  In June 2007,  Palin signed into law the largest operating budget in Alaska’s history, more than $6.6 billion. (Source.)

There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she.” Said Anne Kilkenny, a homemaker.

Way to Go Gov!

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Posted in Bush, Cheney, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

What We Always Believed, World Bank Finally Confirms

Posted by msrb on August 29, 2008

But even their revised figures don’t tell the full story!

The World Bank has warned that world poverty is much worse than they previously thought. WB said number of poor people in Africa doubled  to 380 million between 1981 and 2005. With the depth of poverty deteriorating even further the average poor person is now living on just 70 cents per day or $255 per year—the cost of a meal for two in the average [London, Tokyo, NY, LA ... ] restaurant.

There were 1.4 billion people living below the new poverty line of $1.25 per day in 2005, many more than the previous estimate of 985 million in 2004.

It makes you wonder whether those living in abject poverty were included in the “household surveys.

The Press Release:

Press Release No:2009/065/DEC

WASHINGTON, DC, August 26, 2008 – The World Bank said improved economic estimates showed there were more poor people around the world than previously thought while also revealing big successes in the fight to overcome extreme poverty.

The new estimates, which reflect improvements in internationally comparable price data, offer a much more accurate picture of the cost of living in developing countries and set a new poverty line of US$1.25 a day. They are based on the results of the 2005 International Comparison Program (ICP), released earlier this year.

In a new paper, “The developing world is poorer than we thought but no less successful in the fight against poverty,” Martin Ravallion and Shaohua Chen revise estimates of poverty since 1981, finding that 1.4 billion people (one in four) in the developing world were living below US$1.25 a day in 2005, down from 1.9 billion (one in two) in 1981.

An earlier estimate—of 985 million people living below the former international US$1 a day poverty line in 2004 —was based on the (then) best available cost of living data from 1993. The old data also indicated about 1.5 billion in poverty in 1981. However, the new and far better ICP data on prices in developing countries reveal that these estimates were too low.

The new estimates continue to assess world poverty by the standards of the poorest countries. The new line of US$1.25 for 2005 is the average national poverty line for the poorest 10-20 countries.

“The new estimates are a major advance in poverty measurement because they are based on far better price data for assuring that the poverty lines are comparable across countries,” said Martin Ravallion, Director of the Development Research Group at the World Bank, “Data from household surveys have also improved in terms of country coverage, data access, and timeliness.”

“The new data confirm that the world will likely reach the first Millennium Development Goal of halving the 1990 level of poverty by 2015 and that poverty has fallen by about one percentage point a year since 1981, ” said Justin Lin, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Development Economics at the World Bank. “However, the sobering news that poverty is more pervasive than we thought means we must redouble our efforts, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The new data show that marked regional differences in progress against poverty persist. Poverty in East Asia has fallen from nearly 80 percent of the population living below US$1.25 a day in 1981 to 18 percent in 2005. However, the poverty rate in Sub-Saharan Africa remains at 50 percent in 2005—no lower than in 1981, although with more encouraging recent signs of progress.

MORE KEY FACTS & ANALYSIS

  • This is the first major effort to update poverty data based on 2005 measures of purchasing power parity. The new poverty estimates are also based on data from 675 household surveys across 116 developing countries. Over 1.2 million randomly sampled households were interviewed for the 2005 estimate, representing 96% of the developing world. But lags in survey data availability mean that the new estimates do not yet reflect the potentially large adverse effects on poor people of rising food and fuel prices since 2005.
  • The number of poor has fallen by 500 million since 1981 (from 52 percent of the developing world’s population in 1981 to 26 percent in 2005) and the world is still on track to halve the 1990 poverty rate by 2015. But at this rate of progress, about a billion people will still live below $1.25 a day in 2015. Also, most people who escaped $1.25 a day poverty over 1981-2005 would still be poor by middle-income country standards.
  • East Asia’s progress has been dramatic since 1981, when it was the poorest region in the world. In China, the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day in 2005 prices has dropped from 835 million in 1981 to 207 million in 2005. The Bank’s earlier 2004 estimate had 130 million people living in China below $1 a day based on 1993 PPP.  Thus, the new calculations reveal more poor people than assumed earlier, but China’s remarkable success in reducing poverty still stands.
  • In the developing world outside China, the $1.25 poverty rate has fallen from 40 percent to 29 percent over 1981-2005. However, given population growth, this progress was not enough to bring down the total number of poor outside China, which has stayed at about 1.2 billion.

In South Asia, the $1.25 poverty rate has fallen from 60 percent to 40 percent over 1981-2005, but again, not enough to bring down the total number of poor people in the region, which stood at about 600 million in 2005. In India, poverty at $1.25 a day in 2005 prices increased from 420 million people in 1981 to 455 million in 2005, while the poverty rate as a share of the total population went from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the $1.25 a day rate was 50 percent in 2005—the same as it was in 1981, after rising, then falling during the period. The number of poor has almost doubled, from 200 million in 1981 to about 380 million in 2005. If the trend persists, a third of the world’s poor will live in Africa by 2015. Average consumption among poor people in Sub-Saharan Africa stood at a meager 70 cents a day in 2005. Given that poverty is so deep in Africa, even higher growth will be needed than for other regions to have the same impact on poverty.

For middle income countries the median poverty line for all developing countries—$2 a day—is more suitable. 2.6 billion people lived on less than $2 a day in 2005—a number largely unchanged since 1981. This suggests less progress in crossing the $2 a day hurdle. By this measure, the poverty rate has fallen over 1981-2005 in Latin America and the Middle East and North Africa, but not enough to bring down the total number of poor. The $2 a day poverty rate has risen in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, though with signs of progress since the late 1990s.

– ### –
Contact: mtuckprimdahl@worldbank.org
After the embargo lifts, the new poverty data will be available at http://econ.worldbank.org/research and
ICP data is available now at http://www.worldbank.org/data/icp

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Posted in collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

China: 50,000 Years of Corruption

Posted by terres on August 28, 2008

submitted by a reader

Corrupt Chinese Govt Officials Detained

Why are Hu Jin-tao and Wen Jia-bao still on the loose?

If you say that ‘endemic corruption threatens the Communist Party’s grip on power,’ then the Chinese Big Brother lets you off the hook! Well, this is a trick that Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao seem to use every time like a ‘secret code.’

What happened to the ex-Party General Secretary and President Jiang Zemin and his son?

The cases of Zhou Zhenyi, Liu Jingbao, and Wang Weigong, as well as the recently exposed Zhaogu case in Shanghai City are all related. All these cases involve large-scale corruption, bribery and embezzlement and all involve Jiang Mianheng, son of Jiang Zemin. (Internet photos) - Epoch Times

Who exactly is in charge in China, anyway? We know the media and judiciary, like our own, are NOT independent. Is it possible that the same cabal who run our country, the continent, Europe, Australia, as well as … also run China? Think about it it isn’t as far fetched as you might think!

Back to the corruption news: Auditor General Liu Jiayi reported that 14 central government officials had been arrested and nearly 200 other people had been punished. It’s not cleared what means of punishment were applied!

Apparently the offenses included using the Sichuan earthquake disaster relief funds to build government offices. Since building government offices is not an offense, it must be presumed that the earthquake funds were earmarked for other uses!

In his 2008 annual report, China’s auditor-general also reported about 50 government departments had misused or embezzled about 4.5bn yuan ($660m) in 2007. In some cases public funds were used to speculate in the stock market.

This raises a few more questions: Were the offenders discovered because their luck ran out and they lost the founds? Will the stock market pay the public money back? Who owns, or profits from the Chinese stock market?

Additionally, “managerial irregularities” totaled to another 42bn yuan ($6bn) worth of of public money misuse, especially by China’s education and commerce ministries, and the statistics and tax offices.

So, what about the cheating Chinese officials in the Beijing “Opium” Olympics? Was that category of cheating condoned because it served the glory of the capitalist communist fatherland?

If you thought a ruling party as powerful and ruthless as the Central Committee of the [capitalist] Communist Party of China could eradicate all official and non official corruption with the flick of a finger, you would be right.

What good is the power, if the Chinese people are swamped by official corruption, industrial pollution and systemic oppression? How could their future, unlike the past,  bode well for them?

Why don’t they? The only plausible explanation is no one would be willing to shoot the Peking Duck that lays the golden eggs!

Once again, China has disappointed the world—just when you thought it had a chance to make it through!

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Posted in collapse, ecosystems, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Billionaires’ contribution to CO2 pollution

Posted by msrb on August 23, 2008

Submitted by a CASF Member:

What’s the richest people’s contribution to carbon dioxide pollution?

Previously, EDRO calculated the amount of carbon dioxide emission for each dollar of GDP in 2007 both globally and nationally for China and the US. But, how much do the world richest people [or largest corporations¹] contribute to the global CO2 pollution?

One way to compute the figure is by calculating the global average per capita CO2 emissions in relation to the world average per capita wealth.

McKinsey Global Institute in Mapping Global Capital Markets, published January 2008, reported: “The total value of the world’s financial assets—including equities, private and government debt securities, and bank deposits—grew faster in 2006 than the historical average rate, climbing by 17 percent [from $142trillion in 2005] to reach $167 trillion.”

The growth for 2007 was comparable, possibly up by about 20 trillion to a new total of $187 trillion. Base on the above figures, the global average per capita wealth for 2007 is calculated as follow:

$187,000 billion [total value of the world's financial assets] ÷ 6,612,040,000 [world population in 2007] = $28,282 [global average per capita wealth in 2007]

[The above income figure is an abstraction, of course. In actual terms, about 4.73 billion (71.6%) of world population fell in the low and lower middle income categories in 2007, according to the World Bank.]

The total anthropogenic (caused by human activity) CO2 emissions in 2007 was previously calculated by FEWW at 38,058.66 MMT. The global average per capita anthropogenic CO2 emissions for 2007 is calculated as

38,058.66 MMT [The global anthropogenic CO2 emissions for 2007] ÷ 6,612,040,000 [world population in 2007] = 5.76 tons [anthropogenic CO2 production per head]

How much CO2 Pollution does a billionaire produce?

Take Warren Buffett, the world’s riches man, for example. His assets were valued at $62 billion dollars in the 2007/2008 financial period. Compared with the “average person” in the world, Mr. Buffett had 2,192,227 times more assets.

$62 billion [Mr. Buffett’s assets] ÷ $28,282 [global average per capita wealth in 2007] = 2,192,227 [Ratio of Mr Buffett's wealth to the global average per capita wealth]

Therefore he produced 2,192,227 times more carbon dioxide than the average person in the world:

5.76 [tons of CO2 per head] x 2,192,227 [Ratio of Mr Buffett's wealth to the global per capita wealth] = 12,618,000,000 kg [12.62 MMT of CO2 produced by Mr Buffett in 2007 - puts a new slant on "filthy rich"]

The world had 1,125 billionaires in the 2007/2008 financial year, with the total assets of about $4.38 trillion. They produced a total 891.43MMT of CO2 in 2007.

The above figure is also an abstraction. In reality, however, the world’s richest people are responsible for the bulk of CO2 pollution because as Praetorian Guards of the exponential growth economy they disallow and suppress any change to a sustainable system stifling all initiatives toward an eco-centered, low-carbon, “oikonomia²,” or economics for community.

Notes:

1. The global 2000 companies and therefore their shareholders accounted for $30 trillion in revenues, $2.4 trillion in profits, $119 trillion in assets and $39 trillion in market value in 2007. About 72 million people are employed by these companies. Source: Forbes.

2. Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb, Jr. in for the common good define oikonomia as follows. “The Discipline of Economics as Chrematistics: Aristotle made a very important distinction between ‘oikonomia’ and ‘chrematistics.’ The former, of course, is the route from which our word ‘economics’ derives. Chrematistics is a word that these days is found mainly in unabridged dictionaries. It can be defined as a branch of political economy relating to the manipulation of property and wealth so as to maximize short-term monetary exchange value to the owner. Oikonomia, by contrast, is the management of the household so as to increase its use value to all members of the household over the long run. If we expand the scope of household to include the larger community of the land, of shared values, resources, biomes, institutions, language, and history, then we have a good definition of ‘economics for community.’”

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Image of the Day: A Burning Question!

Posted by msrb on August 23, 2008

Where Did He Get All the Money From?


Court security officials guard the defendant’s cage of jailed former Yukos owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky during a court hearing in Chita August 21, 2008. Former Russian oil tycoon Khodorkovsky’s appeal for early release comes before a court on Thursday. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva. Image may be subject to copyright.

Posted in cabal, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Day in South Ossetia

Posted by feww on August 21, 2008

‘I’ve never heard anything so monstrous as people shelling a hospital’

Tom Parfitt travelled to Tskhinvali, in a trip organized by the Kremlin, to witness first hand the destruction caused by the battle for South Ossetia.


Ossetians stay in a basement of a destroyed hospital in Tskhinvali. Photograph: Mikhail Metzel/AP. Image may be subject to copyright

At a crossroads in the north of the city there was evidence of a fierce fire fight. … The heavy turret of one tank had been tossed across the street, falling through a shop front. Nearby on the ground lay a human foot. …

At the crossroads, Izolda Deppiyeva, 50, looked out on the scene of ruined ground floor apartment in a block riddled by gunfire. … “There was a great wave of pressure which twisted me and flung me against the kitchen wall.”

A former theater stage actress, Deppiyeva said she had lived for four days in a cellar with her relatives without food and water. … “I could not leave,” she said. “This land is my body, my home. We are a proud beautiful people and we are not leaving. I survived, I am alive!” …

Tina Zakharova, one of the doctors, pointed out chunks of shrapnel which had hit the building. “This is the humanitarian aid that Georgia sent us,” she said, “and that,” she said, pointing at a field hospital nearby, “is the help we received from Russia. Which do you think we should chose?” She added: “I’ve never heard anything so monstrous as people shelling a hospital.”

Colonel Konashenko said: “The Georgians could not get tanks through these narrow streets. So first they turned it to ruins with a Grad attack and tried to punch through here to the center of the city. There was heavy fighting in the streets. I think more than 500 bodies were pulled out of this part of town.”

Asked if there had been atrocities against civilians the Colonel replied: “I personally saw one man beheaded lying in the street and others say they witnessed civilians who had been finished off with a shot to the back of the head.” Read the full story here.

Copyright the author or the  newspaper/agency.

(For more images see source. WARNING! mature audience only!)
For other images click here.

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    Protect Economy from Climate??!

    Posted by msrb on August 21, 2008

    Shouldn’t the scientific message be

    Protect World from Economy?

    You know your problems are serious when eight scientific organizations urge the next U.S. president to “protect the country” not by way of changing the predatory economy but instead by means of “funding for research and forecasting” to dodge the climate change.

    Instead of urging an immediate end to the exponential growth economy and demanding a zero-growth, low carbon, waste-free oikonomia for managing the environment, welfare of humans and other living species, and a system of ‘housekeeping’ for the planet’s natural resources to sustain life on Earth, the country’s top scientists are looking for ways of serving the economic Titanic.

    The group includes the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.

    “We don’t think we have the right kind of tools to help decision makers plan for the future,” Jack Fellows, the vice president for corporate affairs of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, a consortium of 71 universities, told reporters on Wednesday.

    Indeed not, Mr. Fellows!

    BTW, is the Union of “Concerned” Scientists among your lot?

    The Environmental Cost of US Economy (carbon footprint only!)

    • US GDP (2007 PPP) : $13.8 trillion [World Bank]
    • US CO2 Emissions (2007) : 6,825.733 MMT [based on CDIAC data updated by MSRB/CASF]
    • Virtual CO2 content of US dollar (2007) : 494 g (The average amount of CO2 produced each time a dollar was paid or received in 2007. SEE: How Much Carbon Dioxide Does Your Money Make?)


    Surprised? (source: bp1.blogger.com). Image may be subject to copyright.

    Read the news report here: Scientists urge U.S. to protect economy from climate change

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    <.!.>

    Posted in 6th Great Extinction, cabal, collapse, Earth, ecosystems, Energy, environment, George W. Bush, Global Warming, government, lifestyle, money, Omnicide, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

    IOC Dope Masters, Chinese Cheats & Underage Circus Acts

    Posted by msrb on August 17, 2008

    The disgraced Olympics is about cheating without worrying whether you’d get caught!

    Chinese Fair Play!


    According to her passport, Jiang Yuyuan will be 17 in November. One list, however, has her at 14. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP. Image may be subject to copyright!

    Dishonest governments/authorities serve whose interests?

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    ->

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    The things EPA capo won’t do!

    Posted by msrb on August 8, 2008

    EPA management under Stephen Johnson: An organized crime operation!

    As ethanol production drove up the price of corn this year, Texas Governor Rick Perry asked the Environmental Protection Agency in April to cut the ethanol mandate by 50 percent because the price rises were making it too expensive for farmers to feed livestock.

    EPA ruled on Thursday that there was no evidence that the ethanol mandate would “severely harm” the U.S. economy by driving up food prices, thus rejecting the claim by Texas.

    “This research found that the RFS mandate is not causing severe economic harm,” EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said and that the mandate was “strengthening our nation’s energy security and supporting Americas’ farming communities.”

    The Renewable Fuel Standard, RFS, requires 9 billion gallons (~34.1 billion liters) in renewable fuels to be blended into the US gasoline supply in 2008, and 11.1 billion gallons (~42 billion liters) in 2009.

    It is believed that about 34% of U.S. corn crop in 2008 would be used to produce ethanol.

    Parry called EPA’s decision “a mistake that will only increase the already-heavy financial burden on families while doing even more harm to the livestock industry.”

    In July 2008, Johnson said the EPA would not regulate greenhouse gas emissions. He said: “If the nation is serious about regulating greenhouse gases the Clean Air Act is the wrong tool for the job and it’s really at the feet of Congress to come up with good legislation that cuts through what will likely be decades of regulation and litigation.”

    The states of Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April for failing to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks. The lawsuit came one year after the Supreme Court ruled that the agency had the power to do so.

    After calls by Sen. Barbara Boxer and three other senators for him to step down, Stephen Johnson said he wouldn’t resign.

    They 4 senators have also asked the U.S. attorney general to investigate whether Johnson had made false or misleading statements in sworn testimony before Boxer’s environment committee. Reuters reported.

    Boxer said Johnson’s decisions on global warming lead, mercury and drinking water standards, were “harmful to the American people.”

    What’s the point of spending billions of taxpayer money on science, education, NASA, NOAA, NCAOR … ocean and atmospheric research, when all it takes is a one person veto by the EPA capo [or indeed capo dei capi himself] to nix everything?

    Related Links:

    ::

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

    Antienvironmental, Antisocial, Anti American!

    Posted by msrb on July 15, 2008

    President [sic] George W. Bush lifts a Presidential ban on offshore drilling in a symbolic move.

    “Today, I’ve taken every step within my power to allow offshore exploration,” Bush told reporters. “This means the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress.”

    President George W. Bush speaks on offshore oil drilling, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, July 14, 2008. REUTERS/Larry Downing. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

    “Now the ball is squarely in Congress’ court … The time for action is now.” Bush said after signing a memorandum reversing a presidential ban previously instituted by his father [ Bush 41] when he was a President about 20 years ago.

    If both the presidential and congressional bans were lifted, it would then be up to individual states to permit drilling off their shores, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said. Florida’s Gov. Charlie Crist has expressed support for drilling while California’s Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reiterated his opposition. Reuters reported.

    “Calls for more drilling will only increase the already record profits of big oil and will do little to reduce the costs of gas at the pump,” said Larry Schweiger president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation.

    The presidential offshore drilling ban, instituted by Bush 41 in 1990 as per request of the big oil, and extended by President Bill Clinton, would have  expired in June 2012. Offshore drilling is allowed in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coasts of Alabama,  Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, but not Florida.

    “The president cruelly is misleading Americans for attempted political gain,” said Florida’s Sen. Bill Nelson. “He knows ruining our coastlines won’t bring down gasoline prices nor solve our energy challenges.”

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    It’s 4th of July, once again!

    Posted by msrb on July 4, 2008

    submitted by a reader

    It’s the Independence Day again and what have we done?

    Just exactly what have we done in the past 12 months, since the last 4th of July celebration, to strengthen our “independence?”

    Thanks (!) to our government’s three branches: the legislature, executive, and judiciary we have a country which is less stable, less healthy, more tyrannical and worse off than even the last 4th of July.

    Since the last Independence Day we have made our great country far less safe ecologically, socially and economically.

    So let’s start congratulating [sic] everyone all around. A heartfelt thanks [sic] to you:

    Mr. President [sic], Vice President and the rest of Cabal.

    Senators and Representative.

    Each and every n-starred General, mid and low-ranking officers and all other military personnel, wherever you may be.

    Judges, lawyers, police officers…

    Experts, scientists, teachers…

    And last, but by no means least, to all of you ordinary people for making it easy for the above mentioned to remove the last remaining vestiges of freedom, sanity and subsistence out of our great [sic] nation!

    God [sic] Bless AMERICA, and god bless YOU!

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Fight For Food!

    Posted by msrb on July 2, 2008

    Could When Will Food Riots Break Out Across the U.S.?

    Accelerated land degradation threatens food security of a quarter of the world’s population: FAO

    Main entry: Land degradation threatens 1.5 billion people


    An Egyptian rice farmer shows his drought damaged rice crop and cracks in the rice terrace soil caused by more than 30 days of no rain in a village near Balqis, northeast of Cairo June 14, 2008. REUTERS/Nasser Nuri. Image may be subject to copyright. See MSRB Fair Use Notice!

    Related Links:

    Background Information:

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    Image of the Day: Blind scientists examining the elephant

    Posted by msrb on July 1, 2008

    The Exponential Growth Economy’s White Elephant!


    “Blind monks examining an elephant” by Itcho Hanabusa (1652–1724). Each blind monk can only “see” the part of the elephant he has examined.

    Blind “Experts”

    Blind Expert #1. It’s the oil addiction!

    Blind Expert #2. Nay, nay; it’s the coal-fired power plants.

    Blind Expert #3. Nay, nay; the SUVs.

    Blind Expert #4. Nay, nay! It must be the sprawling suburbia.

    Blind Expert #5. Nay, nay! It’s …

    Blind Expert #6. We NEED more trees to protect the economy.

    Blind experts Nos. 1 – 8 urged the next U.S. president to “protect the country” not by way of changing the predatory exponential growth economy, but instead by means of “funding for research and forecasting” to dodge the climate change.

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    Posted in biocapacity, Bush, collapse, Earth, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, Omnicide, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

    NASA Mars Project:

    Posted by msrb on June 22, 2008

    NASA Mars Project: A Massive Black Hole Swallowing Other People’s Money

    It makes NO sense whatever blowing away the taxpayers dollars looking for ice on Mars as life becomes extinct down here on Earth!

    How much does NASA spend looking for the ‘holy grail’ in the solar system and beyond?


    Scientists using the NASA Swift satellite have found evidence of a black hole swallowing a neutron star. The black hole may have first stretched the dense neutron star into a crescent and broken off crumbs in the process. The black hole could have then swallowed the star largely in one gulp, feeding on the crumbs in the minutes and hours that followed. Such a black hole would grow more massive, like a python that downs a wild boar. Credit: NASA/Dana Berry, Skyworks Digital

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    ~0~

    Posted in 6th Great Extinction, agriculture, American economy, Armageddon, biosphere, carbon dioxide, Chinese, CO2, coal, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, NASA, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    I’m a War President, Not a Weatherman!

    Posted by msrb on June 21, 2008

    The Best Caption Competition Winners:

    - There’s no war here.

    - Don’t trouble me with national emergencies, I have a war to fight.

    - Our troops need all the money we can send them to fight the enemy over there.

    - Don’t be sissies! This is nothing like the 1993 deluge.


    President George W. Bush talks to the media after viewing receding floodwaters on Normandy Drive in Iowa City, Iowa, USA, on 19 June 2008. EPA/MATTHEW HOLST / POOL. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

    Midwest Flood Victims Feel Misled by Feds

    “They all told us, `The levees are good. You can go ahead and build,”‘ said Parks, who did not buy flood coverage because her bank no longer required it. “We had so much confidence in those levees.”

    “People put all their hopes in those levees, and when they do fail, the damage is catastrophic,” said Paul Osman, the National Flood Insurance Program coordinator for Illinois. “New Orleans is the epitome; a lot of those people didn’t even realize they were in a floodplain until the water was up to their roofs.”


    This used to be a road, and we parked our trucks right there!

    Volunteers sandbag a building submerged in Burlington, Iowa June 15, 2008. Officials moved paintings, books and documents out of harm’s way on Sunday as record flooding in parts of the U.S. Midwest partly submerged the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City. REUTERS/Eric Thayer (UNITED STATES). Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

    Who Cares?

    “We reported to the president in ’94 that the levee system was in disarray, the levees were not high enough to take care of any potential problem. People didn’t understand their flood risk and there wasn’t good co-ordination across federal, state and local governments,” said Gerald Galloway, a professor of engineering and flood control expert.

    “The same thing applies today,” Galloway said. “It’s amazing that in the face of [Hurricane] Katrina and now this particular challenge that we continue to relearn the same lessons.”

    Galloway’s recommendations to improve the levee system were basically ignored. He said that he’s experiencing much the same response now from officials as in 1993.

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    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    Early “Dividends” of Climate Change

    Posted by msrb on June 17, 2008

    Could Food and Fuel Riots Break Out Across the U.S.?

    Iowa Survives, But only Just!

    Climate fury stays execution of Iowa—for now, any way. The worst flooding in the Midwest, at least in the last 15 years, is receding.

    Photo
    A home is flooded along the Mississippi River near Gladstone, Illinois June 16, 2008. Flooding in the U.S. Midwest is taking a toll on freight carriers, costing barge lines about $1 million per day and likely disrupting railroads for months to come, said traders and industry executives on Monday. REUTERS/Eric Thayer. Image may be subject to copyright. See PRO fair Use Notice!

    The early dividends are as follows:

    • The price of corn at the Chicago Board of Trade rocketed past $8 a bushel [a bushel of corn or maize weighs about 25.4kg; wheat and soybean, about 27.22kg.]
    • About 3.3 million acres of cropland was deluged [2 million acres of soybeans, and 1.3 million acres of corn.]
    • An estimated 2 million acres wasn’t planted.
    • About 21 percent of Iowa’s 25million acres of cropland were flooded.
    • At least twenty-six people have died since May 25 as a result of the storms or tornadoes in the Midwest.
    • Up to 40,000 Iowans in 11 counties, declared federal disaster area, including 30,000 in Cedar Rapids were evacuated.
    • About 200,000 gallons of drinking water were distributed.
    • Nearly 5 million sandbags were used.
    • Mississippi River, the main shipping artery to the export terminals in the Gulf of Mexico is closed due to high water levels caused by heavy rains throughout last week.
    • The President [sic] is spending a day in Iowa

    The Iowa flooding will have a significant impact on the global food prices because the United States exports 54 percent of the world’s corn, 36 percent of soybeans and 23 percent of wheat.

    “Estimates show 3 million acres of corn under water and probably 2 million didn’t get planted. So that gets you up to 5 million or over 700 million bushels, and that takes out the entire carry-out [stocks carried over to the next crop,]” said Glenn Hollander, a grain merchant on the CBOT trading floor.

    NO estimates are yet available concerning the permanent damage done to the soil.

    Special Feature Short Story:

    Environmental Disasters: Too Close for Comfort?

    Related News Links:

    Background Information:

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    Fuel and Food Strikes Flare in South Korea

    Posted by msrb on June 16, 2008

    Fuel and Food Strikes Spreads to South Korea

    About 18,000 operators of construction machinery went on strike in South Korea on Monday demanding cheaper fuel and higher pay, joining thousands of truckers who began their strike last week.


    South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Lee may be forced to resign in the coming weeks.

    The strikers are also angry over the policies of the new President Lee Myung-bak, who came to office amid a landslide victory in December, but has since become increasingly unpopular because of a decision to resume imports of U.S. beef.


    Protesters chant slogans at a candlelight vigil on a street leading to the U.S. embassy and the presidential Blue House in central Seoul June 10, 2008. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won.
    Image may be subject to copyright. See PRO Fair Use Notice!

    There have been waves of street protest in the recent weeks demanding the government to repeal of the U.S. beef deal. The South Koreans are concerned about the threats of mad cow disease associated with the US beef.

    Adding to the pressure, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions is expected to call on its 600,000 members to stage a walkout against Lee’s privatization and pension reform plans, Reuters reported.

    The strikes have so far cost Korea $3.5 billion, the commerce ministry said.

    Related News Links:

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    Google Censorship: Serious Violation of the US Constitution and International Law

    Posted by msrb on June 16, 2008

    The Human Rights of an Octogenarian Chinese Woman

    Google has effectively blocked the following posts from its search engines:

    Brave New Zealanders Bash Octogenarian Chinese Woman to Death and

    New Zealand Racist Storm Worse Than China Quake at

    New Zealand: Plumbing the Depth of Depravity

    Google Censorship is a Flagrant Violation of Our Freedom of Speech!

    Freedom of speech is being able to speak freely without censorship. The United States Constitution protects opinions under inalienable 1st Amendment free speech rights.

    The right to freedom of speech is also guaranteed under international law through numerous human-rights instruments, notably under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

    How much longer is Google allowed to continue its censorship in violation of the United States Constitution and the international law?

    Posted in Energy, environment, government, money, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

    Could Food and Fuel Riots Break Out Across the U.S.?

    Posted by msrb on June 13, 2008

    Update: More Fuel Strikes Flare Across Europe

    Europe Fuel Protests Turn Deadly

    Two truck drivers were killed in fuel protests in Spain and Portugal, while a third driver received serious burn in a suspected arson attack.

    The imapct of haulers’ strike is now being felt throughout the Spanish and Portuguese economies.

    In Spain the country’s 18 car factories are running out of parts and fuel. The car industry accounts for about 5 percent of Spain’s GDP.

    As the blockade continues in the European nations, consumers rush to stockpile food and fuel causing severe shortages in some areas.

    Related Links:

    msrb

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    If you thought your assets were safe, think again!

    Posted by msrb on June 12, 2008

    One Day Soon, A Tiny Wall Street Black Hole Will Suck In the Rest of Your Assets!

    Original Entry: Black Holes Suck!

    The Goal of the Cabal is to Strip YOU of Everything You’ve Got. Then Your Hearts and Minds Will Follow!

    Posted in Bush, cabal, China, collapse, Earth, ecosystems, Energy, environment, George W. Bush, government, lifestyle, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    More Fuel Strikes Flare Across Europe

    Posted by msrb on June 9, 2008

    Could Fuel Strikes Break Out Across the U.S.?

    Tens of thousands of Spanish truck drivers strike to protest fuel prices.

    [ June 10, 2008] Global update Fuel protests in Hong Kong and India (Video report)

    As fishermen’s strike throughout Spain protesting fuel costs entered its second week, tens of thousands of Spanish truck drivers began an indefinite strike to protest fuel price rises, blocking roads at the main border crossing with neighboring France.


    Spanish truck drivers bring traffic to standstill near Barcelona at the start of an indefinite strike to protest against rising fuel prices. Photograph: Xavier Bertral/EPA. Image may be subject to copyright. See MSRB Fair Use Notice.

    Meanwhile, “snail protests” were staged by truck drivers held up traffic around Madrid and Barcelona. “We are the ones who move the goods that this country needs to keep working. If we stop because we haven’t got the money to buy fuel then the country will stop,” Julio Villascusa, president of the transport association federation Fenadismer, said.

    Truck drivers’ strike, if it continues for more than a week, could potentially bring spain to a standstill.

    Related Links:

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    UNEP: A Weapom of Mass Deception?

    Posted by msrb on June 7, 2008

    UNEP Clumsy Scaremongering Diminishes the Seriousness of Environmental Threats

    Original Entry: UNEP Issues Some CO2 Reduction Snakeoil!

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    We Need Food!

    Posted by msrb on June 2, 2008

    Food Riots Break Out in Bangladesh Again

    Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers protesting over low wages and soaring food prices clashed with the police on Sunday during fresh protests over low wages and soaring food prices.

    “They smashed dozens of vehicles, attacked nearby factories and pelted stones and bricks at our officers. Police fired shotguns to disperse the unruly workers,” police chief said.

    Four protestors, including two with bullet wounds, were admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital A nurse said.

    Bangladesh’s garment industry employls about 2.5 million workers, or 40 percent of the industrial workforce, and accounts for about 80 percent of the country’s export earnings. The average garment worker earn a basic minimum wage of about 25 dollars a month.

    Bangladeshi households spend nearly 70 percent of their income on food. Prices for rice, the country’s staple food have doubled in the past 12 months mainly because of floods last summer and a major cyclone that caused severe damage to the crops in November.

    Unions have demanded a major increase in salaries, saying the existing basic payment fixed in late 2006 has become redundant due to rocketing prices of food and other commodities over the past year.

    In April, at least 20,000 protesting garment workers clashed with police and 50 were injured.


    Bangladeshi demonstrators protesting against rising food and fuel prices on the outskirts of Dhaka in April, 2008. Police clashed with thousands of garment workers in southwest Bangladesh Sunday during fresh protests over low wages and soaring food prices. (Image may be subject to copyright. see MSRB Fair Use Notice.

    Food Riot in Kenya

    About a thousand Kenyan demonstrators protesting against rising food prices were assaulted by the riot police who fired teargas to disperse them on Saturday.

    Widespread food shortages have led to skyrocketing food prices amid political corruption. Annual inflation rose by an average 24.2 percent in April and May.

    “The government must subsidize the cost of food, it is not fair for the poor to be suffering with high food prices yet the government has not increased salaries,” said one of the organizers.

    Disputed presidential election has also triggered violent clashes across Kenya killing 1,600 people and displacing about one half of a million people since December 2007.

    Food and fuel riots, protests and strikes have erupted this year throughout the “third world” countries in Africa Asia and the Americas including Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cameroon, Egypt, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Pakistan, Philippines Senegal, Singapore, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen (other countries may have been omitted inadvertently).

    Video links:

    mno

    Posted in Africa, against nature, agriculture, Americas, asia, basic needs, biocapacity, China, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Food, Global Warming, government, money, politics, staple diet, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

    “Great” Nation, Phony “President”

    Posted by terres on May 28, 2008

    Illegal Occupation, Ongoing Massacre … and Crocodile Tears

    UPDATE: May 30, 2008 – The Army announced that 115 soldiers, including 22 National Guard and Army Reserve troops, killed themselves last year. That marked a 12.7 percent rise from the 102 suicides recorded in 2006. There were 85 Army suicides in 2005. (Source)

    George w Bush War On Iraq Stats [continuing]

    • Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction: 0
    • Number of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invasion: 1,213,716 (Source)
    • Number of U.S. Military Personnel Condemned to death by G W Bush (Officially acknowledged) In the U.S. War On Iraq: 4,083 (Source)
    • Total Wounded: 30,329 (official figure); up to 100,000 (estimates)
    • Personnel suffering from brain injuries (PTSD or depression): 300,000 troops, or 18.5 percent, of the more than 1.5 million troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan (Source: RAND Corporation).
    • Currently serving: about 155,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and 33,000 in Afghanistan
    • Suicide among troops: CBS News reported that more than 6,250 American veterans took their own lives in 2005 alone. That comes to slightly more than 17 suicides every day. (Source)
    • Monetary Cost of War: The Iraq War Will Cost Us $3 Trillion, and Much More (Source)

    The Commander In Chief [sic] Would Never Send His Daughters to War!


    [Crocodile Tears!] A tear glistens in the corner of US President George W. Bush’s eye as he makes remarks during Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, May 26, 2008. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES). Image may be subject to copyright. See Fair Use Notice!


    [Bush and Co heavily camouflaged by the massive flags!] President Bush delivers his remarks at Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Day commemoration, Monday, May 26, 2008, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta). Image may be subject to copyright. See Fair Use Notice!

    Related Links:

    .

    Posted in collapse, Energy, environment, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    If the world were falling apart!

    Posted by msrb on May 25, 2008

    Why Does “IF” Hate America, its Middle Class and the Poor So Much?

    Warren Buffet: “If the world were falling apart I’d still invest in companies”

    Mr Buffet, we know how your anti-environment, contorted mind works! There really isn’t much more you can do, other than waging war on nature, is there? It would of course be out of the question to do something outrageous like changing the system, creating a sustainable future, or working in harmony with nature …

    • Warren “IF” Buffet’s Net Worth: $62.0 billion
    • CO2 pollution produced by Mr Buffet in 2007: At least 12.62 million metric tons [MMT]
    • Combined Net Worth of World’s Richest 100: $1,725 billion
    • No. of World’s Billionaires: 1,125 heads
    • Combined Net Worth of World’s Billionaires: $4,384 billion (source)
    • CO2 pollution produced by World’s Billionaires in 2007: At least 891.43MMT
    • No. of people who live on less than $2 per day: About 4 billion souls (Source)


    Warren “If” Buffet listens to a question during a news conference in Madrid May 21, 2008. REUTERS/Andrea Comas. Image may be subject to copyright. See MSRB fair Use Notice!

    If it were possible to amass so much money by so few without declaring war against nature …

    If it were possible to accumulate so much “wealth” without causing severe ecological degradation, creating abject poverty and harming so many …

    If it were possible to transform so much of the earth’s natural resources into trash and still have a future …

    If it were possible to do what you do without committing genocide, war crimes, murder …

    If the world were not falling apart …

    [Warren Buffet produced at least 12.62 MMT of CO2 in 2007]

    Related links:

    abc

    Posted in collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

    Pinheads in the House: Fanning Oil Chaos

    Posted by terres on May 22, 2008

    Summited by a member

    The pinheads in the House of Reps. make even White House look “smart!”

    House passes bill to sue OPEC over oil prices

    The House of Representatives voted 324-84 to approve legislation allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for not pumping out enough oil. The White House has reportedly threatened to veto the bill.

    “This bill guarantees that oil prices will reflect supply and demand economic rules, instead of wildly speculative and perhaps illegal activities,” said Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin, who sponsored the legislation.

    Just exactly what are the supply and demand economic rules in a political economy, Rep. Kagen of Wisconsin? I bet you don’t have a single clue what you are talking about.


    Uncle Sam: I Want You, Your Oil, ‘n Your Money!

    Uncle Sam’s Drinking Habits and the OPEC Dimwits

    Lo and behold, the good ol’ lynch mob [the House of Representatives] is out to get someone: The bartender [OPEC], no less!

    They are desperate to hang the bartender, not because he had Uncle Sam smashed out of his tiny head by giving him too much to drink; they are lynching him because he refused to serve more of “them devil’s brew” to the usual clientèle who would never leave the bar sober: The runaway economy, the corporations from hell and the rest of the morons who are so addicted to their waste-intensive lifestyles they wouldn’t know their sustainable energy sh*t from Shinola.

    Weak dollar and inflation are eating out the heart of the system; the cars are getting thirstier than ever before [and a hell of a lot more of them hit the roads each day;] Mrs Rabbit is breeding too many bunnies, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 even 9 bunnies a throw; the bunnies diets are getting more exotic, they’d no longer settle for carrots; four times as many lambs air-cruise today as they did a decade or so ago; Exxon [Valdeez] Mobil and other oil monsters broke all their previous profit records.

    But all of those factors put together couldn’t possibly play more than a minor part in the overall picture. They could probably account for 5-10 percent of the price rise. That’s child’s play when compared to the wholesale fleecing of an entire flock of marsupial boneheads by Wall Street speculators. How do they do it?

    Uncertainty!

    The oil price is rising rapidly because of the uncertainty created by the US military presence in the Gulf. The continued occupation of Iraq, the threat of war [true or false] against Iran and Syria [fed by the frenzy created by the free media, trusted journalist prima donna and venerable "ex-CIA" political activists] and the implied warning of a US military takeover in Saudi Arabia, in case their ruling regime loses favor with its own people, are the main drivers for the rapid price rise. [The perils of a possible regional war in South America, waged by US-backed Colombia against Venezuela, and fears of supply disruptions in Nigeria also help increase the uncertainty factor.] Who created the chaos in the first place? The Prez and the Congress, of course! And who is responsible for the rapidly rising oil prices? It is the OPEC, stupid!

    Gotta strike while the iron is hot!

    Who else can we sue, while the proverbial iron is still hot, Rep. Kagen of Wisconsin? I know, let’s sue the pants off the National Corn Growers Association. Just look at the mess they have created. So what they are producing overcapacity? It’s not enough! Look at price of corn, $6 dollars a bushel and there isn’t nearly enough of it going around to feed the poor. [Stay clear of any absurd argument about the obscene amounts of grains wasted to produce ethanol. Why, don't you drive a car? Start with the ethanol and you'll end up in a feedlot looking a red heifer in the eye.]


    Uncle Sam Supplying the World with Berry Brothers Hard Oil Finish, chromolithographic print c. 1880.

    OPEC: Damned if they do; damned if they don’t!

    It’s very difficult to sympathize with some of the OPEC members, for example, Saudi Arabia. But to blame OPEC for the inebriated Uncle Sam’s bladder mishaps goes an extra mile and a half beyond the Reps. standard milestone of hypocrisy.

    In the first three months of 2008, the five companies Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell Oil, Chevron and BP America earned $36 billion.

    Exxon [Valdeez] Mobil made a profit of $1,504 per second in the first quarter of 2008. That’s stealing an additional 43 cents a day [each and every day] from each US citizen [woman, man and child,] thanks to Wall Street speculators. But even Exxon knows that level of corporate racketeering is unsustainable. That’s the stuff riots are made of.

    Do the Reps. dare upset their old paymasters, the oil monsters like Exxon? Of course not. Can they afford to point a finger at Wall Street? Not a chance. Or mess with their own future by saying something stupid like healthy economy, renewable energy, or other scary stuff like that? No way!

    The ol’ lynch mob have eyed their “nigga,” and are about to unleash the bloodhounds.

    With a bunch of remarkable idiots making moronic queen-of-hearts laws for the greatest flock of sheeple on Earth, is it any wonder the world is teetering precariously on the brink of catastrophe?

    What Others Say

    [ Updated May 24, 2008 ]

    JOAN CLAYBROOK, president of Public Citizen, said: “You are paying sky-high prices at the gas pump because the barons of ‘big oil’ have bushwacked the American people. With the help of major league lobbyists and the high-ranking politicians receptive to them, oil companies are earning enormous profits through a combination of anti-competitive practices — including market manipulation — made even easier by the wave of recent oil company mergers and the government’s outrageously weak regulatory oversight.

    “Every time you buy gas, you know you are being price-gouged, but did you know that, for every gallon of gas you buy, you are being charged an extra 70 cents — at least — that is related purely to market speculation and not a function of supply-and-demand? The oil barons not only get away with this, they use their considerable influence to prevent the passage of meaningful fuel economy legislation, further squeezing consumers by ensuring automakers will continue to build gas-guzzling cars.”

    Steve Kretzmann, Founder, Oil Change International, said: “In their testimony about high gasoline prices, top oil executives repeatedly ducked questions about gas prices, demanded access to more drilling, and could not tell Senators how much they earn. Not a single suggestion came from the oil executives that will lower gas prices. There’s a reason for that, which is that the only answer is one they don’t want to discuss — an urgent transition to renewable energy.

    “We could drill every last inch of Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, and our coasts and it would barely make a dent in supply or prices. Congress needs to stop this political theater and get serious about the transition to renewable forms of energy. So far, they’re continuing to lavish the industry with billions in subsidies, while receiving millions from the industry in campaign contributions.”

    Nadine Bloch, field director with Oil Change International, said: today: “I was arrested in the Senate hearing room yesterday for demanding a Separation of Oil and State. We can’t drill our way out of this problem. We need to get Big Oil money out of our Congress.” [Source]

    Jeroen van der Veer, CEO, Shell, second largest oil monster in the world, said: “What we say and what we see is there are no physical shortages [...] There are no tankers waiting in the Middle East, there are no cars waiting at gasoline stations because they are out of stock. This has to do with psychology in the markets and you cannot forecast psychology.” (Source)

    [Update: May 28, 2008 ]

    Deborah Fineman [via Ralph Nader,] president of Mitchell Supreme Fuel Co. in Orange, New Jersey: “Energy markets have been dictated for too long by hedge funds and speculators, who artificially manipulate the numbers for their own benefit. The current market isn’t based on the sound principles of supply and demand but it is being rigged by companies and speculators who are jacking up prices for their own greed.”

    Harry C. Johnson [via Ralph Nader,] former banker and oil executive said, “some industry experts, who profit greatly from the high price of crude, and have stated openly that the worldwide economic price of crude, absent speculators, would be around $50 to $60 per barrel.

    Ralph Nader: “Oil was at $50 a barrel in January 2007, then $75 a barrel in August 2007. Now at $130 or so a barrel, it is clear that oil pricing is speculative activity, having very little to do with physical supply and demand. An essential product—petroleum—is set by speculators operating on rumor, greed, and fear of wild predictions. “

    “A sane government would drop all subsidies and tax loopholes for Big Oil’s huge profits and other fossil fuels and promote a national mission to solarize our economy to achieve major savings from energy conservation technology, retrofitting buildings, and upgrading efficiency standards for motor vehicles, home appliances, industrial engines and electric generating plants.

    “Those are the permanent ways to achieve energy independence, reduce our trade deficit, create good jobs that can’t be exported and protect the environmental health of people and nature.

    “Those are the reforms and advances that a muscular consumer, worker and small business revolt can focus on in the coming weeks.

    “What say you, America?”

    Related Links:

    Possibly elated Links:

    Posted in cabal, China, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, George W. Bush, Global Warming, government, lifestyle, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Google Gag

    Posted by msrb on May 22, 2008

    Haunted by Big, Bad Google

    The blog moderators condemn Google Inc in the strongest possible terms for content censorship. Google search engines permanently or periodically exclude specific posts, contents or information from our blogs thereby abridging the freedom of speech.

    Google Inc poses a clear and present danger to freedom of speech. To minimize this threat, we urge those of the lawmakers who still believe in the Constitution to break up Google Inc into smaller units.

    Posted in cabal, computer, concerned citizens, corporate agenda, corporations, Democracy, government, internet, money, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    China Earthquake, Heavy Death Toll, Corruption, Criminal Incompetence

    Posted by msrb on May 18, 2008

    Wen Jiabao, Hu Jintao and the Politburo Gang: Criminally Incompetent, or Calculating Mass Murderers?

    Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao represent the worst of a country mired in corruption and sleaze. The criminal gang in the Chinese Politburo have once again proven that the Chinese people may not count on them for their safety and protection.


    Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao (R) upon Hu’s arrival in Mianyang, a city in quake-hit southwestern Sichuan Province, May 16, 2008. Photo distributed by China’s official Xinhua News Agency. REUTERS/Xinhua/Ju Peng (CHINA).

    What Others Say About the Corrupt Politburo Gang in China?

    The Anguished Cries of China Quake Nurse

    • Why was the quake nurse reduced to tears and had to beg the soldiers to rescue children?
    • If rescuing the children wasn’t their priority, and clearly it wasn’t, what were the soldiers ordered to do?
    • What were the orders soldiers own general gave them?
    • When did the authorities decide they couldn’t cope with too many quake survivors?

    “Although the time for the best chance of rescue, the first 72 hours after an earthquake, has passed [exactly as planned by CPC], saving lives remains the top priority of our work [believe what I say, not what I do, you 'ignorant peasants'],” the [doublespeaking] Chinese president, Hu Jintao, told the survivors. (Source)

    Chinese paratroopers rescuing survivors or preventing plague?

    The Riddle of the Chinese Paratroopers

    1. There are an estimated 30,000 people burried in the area. How could 100 paratroopers help rescue such large number of victims?

    2. The paratroopers landed two days after the mainshock had struck. By then the survival chances of the victims who had been buried alive had already been reduced by about 80 percent.

    3. Anyone rescued from the rubble would need medical attention, freshwater, food, blankets, tents … to survive. Did the paratroopers carry all of the vital supplies in their rucksacks?

    Therefore, the question remains: Are the paratroopers sent to rescue the “survivors,” or to “finish off the job,” i.e., bury everyone, alive or dead, to prevent potential outbreaks of plague and other pandemics? [The Beijing Olympics are just around the corner!]

    Chinese Leaders Incapable of Handling Quake Aftermath

    To climb a tree to catch a fish is talking much and doing nothing.” —Chinese Proverb

    Wen Jiaboa and Hu Jianto, like the rest of the ruling gang in China are criminally incompetent officials, incapable of protecting the interest of the Chinese people.

    “Wen, seen repeatedly on state TV cradling infants and offering hope to earthquake victims, hailed the ‘order the country has maintained for the past 80 hours,’ the report said.”

    What if the order does break up? Will the ruling criminal regime send in the special forces to do a Tiananmen Square job?

    Q: Is a corrupt, criminally incompetent regime in China good for the “Free world?”

    Beijing’s quick response to disaster won’t cover cracks of corruption

    About 6,900 classrooms were destroyed – weaker than other buildings in withstanding the shock. It has also said that as many as 390 dams could be at risk.

    China is earthquake prone, Sichuan in particular experiencing a similar scale earthquake in 1933. China’s geologists had warned there was a one-in-10 chance of a recurrence within 50 years and buildings and dams should have been built to strict regulatory standards. They weren’t, especially those built most recently. This is not just corner cutting in the quest for fast growth, or the kind of loose practice that comes to light after disasters everywhere. It is the consequence of systemic non-enforcement of regulations in return for bribes – and everyone in China knows it.

    Professor Hu Angang, an economist at Tsinghua university, estimates that one yuan in six is, in effect, corrupt. Even army officers buy their rank.

    One mother told the Guardian: ‘Chinese officials are too corrupt and bad … They have money for prostitutes and second wives but they don’t have money for our children.’ It is the same story when it comes to food safety, drug standards or environmental regulations, of which only 10 per cent are enforced. Corruption is ubiquitous, which is why so many buildings were deathtraps. Another woman drew attention to the government and party buildings that remained standing, plainly built to the right specifications.

    Almost five million left homeless, China says

    Water shortages have become “extremely serious” in Sichuan province, according to Chinese Housing Minister Jiang Weixin. There is no running water in 20 counties and cities in the disaster area, he said.

    Corruption blamed for rising death toll in China

    A doctor, who had worked for two days without a break in the ruins of school buildings that entombed 900 students, lashed out at those responsible for sub-standard buildings that failed to protect victims of the earthquake.

    “It’s nothing but corruption – they must have used sub-standard cement and steel,” said Dr Tian, who was reluctant to give his other name.

    Parents’ grief turns to anger at shoddily built deathtrap schools

    Three days after the quake struck, troops and fire engines queued idly along the roadsides waiting for orders.

    “I saw a doctor walking along the lines of bloody bodies, checking pulses and looking at wounds. If he shook his head the nurses were instructed not to take the person to the operating theatre but move them to another room to die. It was like a scene from a war film,” she said.

    Posted in asia, bribes, China, ecosystems, environment, government, money, politics, sleaze | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

    NZ: Military Regime with a Civilian Face

    Posted by msrb on May 11, 2008

    NZ Dollar, ANZ Bank, Spies, Assassins, Phone Tapping, Attempted Murder and the Military Regime with a Civilian Face

    See Original Entry:

    New Zealand or North Korea?

    Posted in business, cabal, canada, Capitalism, China, civilization, collapse, concerned citizens, currency, driving, Energy, government, laser light, money, New Zealand, North Korea, option, politics, psyop, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    In Petroleum We Trust!

    Posted by msrb on May 9, 2008

    The New Oil-Rule Economy will replace the “old” economy in the very near future. A single company/organization will have a monopoly on about 80 percent of “economically recoverable” global oil reserves. It will dictate “production,” pricing, and delivery (and will even decide on the end user – who may or may not buy the oil). How much is too much for a barrel of oil, $40, $240, or $4,000? Soon, the current monetary system will be of no value. Harry Saloor, The Management School of Restorative Business, May 2004.

    Crude oil reaches another record high at $124.61 a barrel

    The price of a barrel of crude oil reached another record high in London and New York last night with US light crude at $123.69 in New York trading ( in after-hours trade it hit $124.61 a barrel). In London, Brent crude settled at $122.84 a barrel, an all time record.


    In Petroleum We Trust (Gas coupon printed in 1973 oil crisis)

    It is believed that tight supply concerns, higher world energy demand forecasts and the weak dollar are the main factors that are pushing up oil prices. According to a recent report by Goldman Sachs, the price of crude oil could reach $200 a barrel in as little as six months due to tightening supplies.

    Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil shares rose by 1.3% and Chevron’s climbed 2.2% on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Related Links:

    ./\.

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved . . .”

    Posted by msrb on April 30, 2008

    Who is thinking, if we all think alike?

    By Harry Saloor, Founder, Creating A Sustainable Future
    April 21, 2008

    In The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1) I quoted E. F. Schumacher who, in Small is Beautiful, described what he called the six leading ideas, a toolbox of ideas stemming from the nineteenth century by which the civilization interprets the world:

    - Systemic application of the theory of evolution;
    - Natural selection, which insures the survival of the fittest through competition;
    - Suppression of spirituality, religion, philosophy, art and culture in favor of economic gains;
    - Relativism, which denies all absolutes and negates the idea of truth in pragmatism;
    - Positivism, which states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge and such knowledge can only come through empirical sciences (i.e., positive affirmation of scientific theories via exact scientific observations);
    - Freud’s theory of unconscious mind, unconscious desire and repression.

    Freud said, “Against the dreaded external world one can only defend oneself by some kind of turning away from it, if one intends to solve the task by oneself. There is, indeed, another and a better path: that of becoming a member of human community, and, with the help of a technique guided by science, going over to attack against nature and subjecting her to human will. [And if the technique guided by science fail to reverse the ‘marsification’ of Earth that it started in the first place, you can always hide behind more abstractions!]”

    Freud’s theory of unconscious mind, unconscious desire and repression forms the backdrop for a powerful myth that, coupled with a discourse based on [fatal] traditions [narrative enforced through social proof] and religious dogma [pluralistic ignorance], are driving human race toward extinction.

    Social Proof and our response to the Collapsing world

    How could we be ignoring the signs of the looming environmental catastrophes, and what has that got to do with social proof? Robert Cialdini, the famed psychologist, says: “Experiments have found that the use of canned merriment causes an audience to laugh longer and more often humorous material is presented and to rate the material as a funnier. In addition, some evidence indicates that canned laughter is most effective for poor jokes.”

    But why is canned laughter so effective, especially when we know it to be “mechanically fabricated” and so blatantly false? To understand this, Cialdini says, we first need to understand the nature of the principle of social proof, a potent weapon of influence. “It states that one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct. The principle applies especially to the way we decide what constitutes correct behavior.”

    On those conditions under which social proof operates optimally, Cialdini adds, “when we are unsure of ourselves, when the situation is unclear or ambiguous, when uncertainty reigns, we are most likely to look to and accept the actions of others as correct.”

    Pluralistic Ignorance

    The main danger of acting under social proof is “the reaction of other people to resolve uncertainty,” Cialdini says, because the others “examining the social evidence, too. Especially in ambiguous situation, the tendency for everyone to be looking to see what everyone else is doing can lead to a fascinating phenomenon called ‘pluralistic ignorance.’ A thorough understanding of the pluralistic ignorance phenomenon helps immeasurably to explain a regular occurrence in our country that has been termed both a riddle and a national disgrace: the failure of entire groups of bystanders to aid victims in agonizing need of help.”

    Cialdini cites the classic example of “bystander inaction” that has been the subject of much debate in political, scientific and journalistic circles. The case is about the murder of Catherine Genovese in Queens, New York City. The murderer, the NYC police revealed inadvertently, had stalked and attacked his victim for thirty five minutes in three separate attacks before finally stabbing her to death. At least thirty-eight of the victim’s neighbors witnessed parts of the attack “from the safety of their apartment windows without so much as lifting a finger to call the police.” Why?

    [Note: The accuracy of some details of the The New York Times report of Catherine Genovese’s murder written by Martin Gansberg has since been challenged, but extensive research into other similar cases, as well as an impressive program of research performed by two New York based psychology professors, John Darley and Bibb Latané, their colleagues and students, has produced unambiguous results that verify the characteristics of “bystander inaction” as described by Cialdini.]

    Why did so many “good folks” fail to call the police even anonymously?

    Did those folks hated the victim and wanted to see her dead? Were they all cold-hearted bastards who were hardened by the sheer volumes of violent crime in NYC? Were they afraid of the murderer? Was it the “depersonalization” associated with urban life?

    Cialdini knows why: “The psychologists speculated that, for at least two reasons, a bystander to an emergency would be unlikely to help when there are a number of other bystanders present. The first reason is fairly straightforward. With several potential helpers around, the personal responsibility of the each individual is reduced: ‘Perhaps someone else will give or call for aid, perhaps someone else already has.’ So with everyone thinking that someone else will help or has helped, no one does.”

    “The second reason is the more psychologically intriguing one; it is founded on the principle of social proof and involves the pluralistic ignorance affect. Very often an emergency is not obviously an emergency. Is the man lying in the alley a heart-attack victim or a drunk sleeping one off? Are the sharp sounds from the street gunshots or truck backfires? Is the commotion next door an assault requiring the police or an specially loud marital spat where intervention would be inappropriate and unwelcome? What is going on? In times of such uncertainty, the natural tendency is to look around at the actions of others for clues. We can learn, from the way the other witnesses are reacting, whether the event is or is not an emergency.”

    What are we doing as the global catastrophe unfolds?


    The Last Judgement – Fresco in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.

    Each day, we are faced with the facts about collapsing ecosystems, droughts, floods, declining fisheries, wild food, fiber, timber and wood fuel resources, deteriorating supplies of freshwater, eroding croplands, deteriorating air quality and climate regulation systems, failing mechanisms for disease and pest control, loss of pollinators, loss of natural hazards regulation, mounting toxic pollution in the environment . . . each case being tantamount to a premeditated murder. Every time we watch the news on the TV (or computer screen) from the comfort of our livingroom couches we witness yet another ecological disaster in the making. More species are becoming extinct, sea-levels are rising, ice is melting faster, extreme climatic events claiming more victims each day . . . every disaster a separate instance of “attack” on “Catherine Genovese,” over and over again, as we look on until she is finally murdered right in front of our eyes without our so much as lifting a finger to dial the “police.”

    Cialdini says: “What is easy to forget, though, is that everybody else observing the event is likely to be looking for social evidence, too. And because we all prefer to appear poised and unflustered among others, were likely to search for that evidence placidly, with brief, camouflaged glances and those around us. Therefore everyone is likely to see everyone else looking unruffled and failing to act. As a result, and by the principle of social proof, the event will be wrongly interpreted as nonemergency. This, according to Latané and Darley, is the state of pluralistic ignorance ‘in which each person decides that since nobody is concerned, nothing is wrong. Meanwhile, the danger may be mounting to the point where a single individual, uninfluenced by the seeming calm of others, would react.”

    Where does the religious dogma come in?

    The problem becomes compounded when some people, prejudiced by the same powerful methods of influence of social proof, believe everything is meant this way and that “the beginning of the time of salvation would be marked by an important and undeniable event, usually the cataclysmic end of the world.”

    Among the examples cited are: The Montanists of Turkey (second century CE); the Anabaptist in Holland (16th century); The Sabbataists of Izmir (17th century) and the Millerites of the US (19th century).


    Posters like this were placed in public locations around the New England area in 1992. (Image maybe subject to copyright). See MSRB Fair Use Notice.

    There we have it. The “almighty” took the good part of 4.54 billion years to create and perfect the Earth (not counting the preparatory time of 9 or so billion years that he previously spent to “create” the universe) so that it could be destroyed by a cataclysmic event, at least according to Christian eschatology (study of the religious beliefs concerning final events, or End Times).

    With the heaven and angels (“they were created before God created the Earth”) awaiting our arrival, do we need to decontaminate, restore and preserve this garbage-dump of a planet and keep it fit for life? Why must we bother, if our peers, the pluralistic ignorant inactive bystanders, who surely must know better because there are so many of them, invite us to have faith and join the believers instead?

    For those who “believe,” “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved . . . ” latecomers may dial “R” for Rapture!

    References:

    - Cialdini, R.B. (1993). Influence: The psychology of persuasion, New York: Quill William Morrow

    - Saloor, H.(2007, February). The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1). Killed by Homo Economicus. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from http://www.restorative-business.org/empire_focus.htm [website no longer maintained.]

    - Saloor, H.(2007, February). The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 5). Who Really Benefits from Cheap Oil. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from http://www.restorative-business.org/empire_focus.htm [website no longer maintained.]

    - Saloor, H.(2007, February). Cosmic Scale Evil: Money Fetishism and the Looming Omnicide. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2007/08/08/p18766

    Posted in 6th Great Extinction, Armageddon, basic needs, biocapacity, business, cabal, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, religion, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Food Fetishism, Cheap Oil and Pollution

    Posted by msrb on April 28, 2008

    Excerpts are from:

    Environmental Cost of Shipping Groceries Around the World

    The Food Chain

    The New York Times April 26, 2008
    by E. Rosenthal and D. Pinto

    Cod caught off Norway is shipped to China to be turned into filets, then shipped back to Norway for sale. Argentine lemons fill supermarket shelves on the Citrus Coast of Spain, as local lemons rot on the ground. Half of Europe’s peas are grown and packaged in Kenya. ["Norwegian cod costs a manufacturer $1.36 a pound to process in Europe, but only 23 cents a pound in Asia." And the hell with internalizing the environmental costs. Oh, and it's nice to know there is still cod left off Norway!]

    In the United States, FreshDirect proclaims kiwi season has expanded to “All year!” now that Italy has become the world’s leading supplier of New Zealand’s national fruit, taking over in the Southern Hemisphere’s winter.

    And the penetration of mega-markets in nations from China to Mexico with supply and distribution chains that gird the globe — like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco — has accelerated the trend.

    But the movable feast comes at a cost: pollution — especially carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas — from transporting the food. [Include processing, packaging and refrigeration!]

    Under longstanding trade agreements, fuel for international freight carried by sea and air is not taxed. Now, many economists, environmental advocates and politicians say it is time to make shippers and shoppers pay for the pollution, through taxes or other measures.

    “We’re shifting goods around the world in a way that looks really bizarre,” said Paul Watkiss, an Oxford University economist who wrote a recent European Union report on food imports.

    He noted that Britain, for example, imports — and exports — 15,000 tons of waffles a year, and similarly exchanges 20 tons of bottled water with Australia. More important, Mr. Watkiss said, “we are not paying the environmental cost of all that travel.”

    [Cheap oil has distorted the notion of creating ‘economic gains’ to such great extents that governments subsidize the industry to export and import the same product, often in similar quantities, within the same fiscal period. Country A exports Q tons of product P to country B, while it imports Q tons of the same product P from country B at the same time, with a net zero gain in commodity exchange for either country. However, the exchange produces about 9Q tons of CO2e pollution, nine times the weight of the commodity that was flown in either direction, for every 1,000 miles that the consignment is airborne. See The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1)]

    The European Union, the world’s leading food importer, has increased imports 20 percent in the last five years. The value of fresh fruit and vegetables imported by the United States, in second place, nearly doubled from 2000 to 2006.

    Under a little-known international treaty called the Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed in Chicago in 1944 to help the fledgling airline industry, fuel for international travel and transport of goods, including food, is exempt from taxes, unlike trucks, cars and buses. There is also no tax on fuel used by ocean freighters.

    Proponents say ending these breaks could help ensure that producers and consumers pay the environmental cost of increasingly well-traveled food.
    [Our weekly shopping basket includes items that would have flown more air miles than the average family fly in their lifetime! A 1kg (2.2lb) bag of New Zealand kiwifruit (in any of its cadmium, arsenic, lead, mercury… or organochlorine varieties) produces about 142kg (313lb) of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent gases) pollution flying to the US, or 188.7kg (416lb) of CO2e to Europe. See The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1)]

    And with far cheaper labor costs in African nations, Morocco and Egypt have displaced Spain in just a few seasons as important suppliers of tomatoes and salad greens to central Europe.

    Some studies have calculated that as little as 3 percent of emissions from the food sector are caused by transportation. But Mr. Watkiss, the Oxford economist, said the percentage was growing rapidly. Moreover, imported foods generate more emissions than generally acknowledged because they require layers of packaging and, in the case of perishable food, refrigeration.

    Britain, with its short growing season and powerful supermarket chains, imports 95 percent of its fruit and more than half of its vegetables. Food accounts for 25 percent of truck shipments in Britain, according to the British environmental agency, DEFRA.

    Mr. Datson of Tesco acknowledged that there were environmental consequences to the increased distances food travels, but he said his company was merely responding to consumer appetites. “The offer and range has been growing because our customers want things like snap peas year round,” Mr. Datson said. “We don’t see our job as consumer choice editing.” [Tell that to melting ice!]

    Global supermarket chains like Tesco and Carrefour, spreading throughout Eastern Europe and Asia, cater to a market for convenience foods, like washed lettuce and cut vegetables. They also help expand the reach of global brands.

    Pringles potato chips, for example, are now sold in more than 180 countries, though they are manufactured in only a handful of places, said Kay Puryear, a spokeswoman for Procter & Gamble, which makes Pringles.

    Proponents of taxing transportation fuel say it would end such distortions by changing the economic calculus.

    “Food is traveling because transport has become so cheap in a world of globalization,” said Frederic Hague, head of Norway’s environmental group Bellona. “If it was just a matter of processing fish cheaper in China, I’d be happy with it traveling there. The problem is pollution.”

    Switzerland, which does not belong to the E.U., already taxes trucks that cross its borders.
    Some studies have shown that shipping fresh apples, onions and lamb from New Zealand might produce lower emissions than producing the goods in Europe … [Don't the statistics related to shipment of toxic food from New Zealand have a habit of defying physical laws and conventional maths?]

    But those studies were done in New Zealand, and the food travel debate is inevitably intertwined with economic interests. [Right!]

    Last month, Tony Burke, the Australian minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry, said that carbon footprinting and labeling food miles — the distance food has traveled — was “nothing more than protectionism.” [O RLY?]

    Box Fresh Organics, a popular British brand, advertises that 85 percent of its vegetables come from the British Midlands. But in winter, in its standard basket, only the potatoes and carrots are from Britain. The grapes are South African, the fennel is from Spain and the squash is Italian.

    Related Links:

    -

    Posted in Energy, environment, Global Warming, money, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Let Them Eat Bullets!

    Posted by msrb on April 23, 2008

    Delivering Climate Security: International Security Responses to a Climate-Changed World

    According to the above-titled report written for Britain’s Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), governments around the world have hugely underestimated the potential conflicts resulting from climate change. The highlights of the report are:

    • If climate change is not slowed and critical environmental thresholds are exceeded, then it will become a primary driver of conflicts between and within states

    • In the next decades, climate change will drive as significant a change in the strategic security environment as the end of the Cold War,” said Mabey.
    • If uncontrolled, climate change will have security implications of similar magnitude to the World Wars, but which will last for centuries
    • A failure to acknowledge and prepare for the worst case scenario is as dangerous in the case of climate change as it is for managing the risks of terrorism or nuclear weapons proliferation
    • Unless achieving climate security is seen as a vital and existential national interest it will be too easy to delay action on the basis of avoiding immediate costs and perceived threats to economic competitiveness

    Source

    Can the world elite brand the poor and starving masses as “terrorists” in order to eliminate them?

    Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.” According to a report by New York Sun.

    News Reports:

    Special Links:

    Posted in Bush, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Global Warming, government, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Giga Trends

    Posted by feww on March 28, 2008

    Know Exactly Where You Are Heading!

    Without a complete change of direction in human activities, the economy and lifestyles, and based on the elite Zeitgeist, “World Spirit,” available data and observed trends

    • History of civilization (past experience)
    • Current socioeconomic developments (present trends)
    • The exponential rate at which the dynamics of collapse are compounded (future events)

    CASF Model, using seven “Giga Trends,” has produced the following forecast concerning the probability of incidence of each trend.

    See Main Entry: Giga Trends

    Posted in civilization, collapse, Exponential Growth, industrialism, money, socioeconomics, war | Leave a Comment »

    Where Is All the Money?

    Posted by edro on December 21, 2007

    The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 5)

    Who Really Benefits from Cheap Oil: Where Is All the Money?

    “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Oil is the most convenient medium for creating ‘wealth.’ Oil is cheap because a ruthless cabal of highly motivated international gangsters decides its price.

    In its quest for world dominion, the cabal employs a two-step mechanism to maximize power: First, the creation of enormous amounts of wealth through a deluge of cheap oil; second, the transfer of wealth from the large majority who created it to a tiny minority the cabal members who desperately crave supremacy.

    Step One: Creating Wealth

    The US GDP (purchasing power parity) was an estimated $12.98 trillion in 2006 [GDP calculated at official exchange rate: $13.22 trillion] or about 20 percent of the world’s total. Not surprisingly, America consumed about 25 percent of the world’s oil supplies in the same year.

    What happened to all that wealth? What do the average Americans have to show for so much economic activity, especially in a milieu where their activities are working directly against their total welfare? [See Human Welfare in Part 3.]

    The answer is debt, more debt and poverty! The ratio of household debt in the US has risen from 71 percent of disposable income in 1979 to 126 percent (third quarter of 2005). The current debt is 63 times higher than the 1957 ratio.

    The outstanding public debt on 28 Feb 2007 at 02:56:38 am GMT flashed past $8,776,073,155,577.10 (8.78 trillion dollars) and is rising at a rate of $1.77 billion per day. [See the U.S. National Debt Clock http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/ ]

    According to Grandfather Economic Report series, ‘Total America Debt’ is now $44 trillion. Total America Debt is “the sum of all recognized debt of federal, state & local governments, international, private households, business and domestic financial sectors, including federal debt to trust funds – but excludes the huge un-funded contingent liabilities of social security, government pensions and Medicare… [about] 68% ($30 trillion) of this debt was created since 1990…”

    About 40 million Americans fall below the official poverty threshold (we have ruled them out as the beneficiaries of cheap oil). An analysis on poverty published by McClatchy Newspapers on February 26, 2007 reported: “The percentage of poor Americans who are living in severe poverty has reached a 32-year high, millions of working Americans are falling closer to the poverty line and the gulf between the nation’s ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ continues to widen.” One in 18 Americans resides in dire poverty.

    The poverty rate for children in the United States is the highest among the industrialized countries (with the exception of New Zealand—already declared morally bankrupt). The living standard of the bottom 10% in the US was the second lowest among all developed nations (the United Kingdom, surprise, surprise, the only permanent member of Bush’s ‘coalition of the willing,’ had the lowest standard of living for its impoverished children in 2001).

    Meanwhile, the nation’s ‘haves,’ or at least the middle class segment of the ‘haves,’ are quickly loosing their foothold on the ‘privilege’ rung of the ‘wealth’ ladder. Increasingly, fewer than 2 percent of Americans wake up every morning and recite blessings like, “thank you, Lord, for not making me a slave!” This is because the cabal’s narrow interests no longer coincide with the welfare of the middle class Americans (let alone most of the rest of the world population). In fact, any real or perceived benefits enjoyed thus far by the middle-class baby-boomers may well prove to be the necessary preparations (a ‘publicity stunt’) leading to the cabal’s endgame.

    So, where is all the money?

    swiss-national-bank-s.jpg
    National Bank of Switzerland in BernThis file is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 Germany

    Step Two. War: The Fastest Means of Transferring Wealth

    War is the second phase of the cabal’s two-step strategy for maximizing and transferring wealth and power. The wealth from cheap oil is ultimately transferred from the majority who created it to the tiny few cabal members through waging serial (permanent) wars.

    Iraq War of Aggression Photos:
    Warning: Mature Readers Only!
    Iraq War Casualty Pictures

    In the previous fiscal year, forced addiction to war cost the Americans more than 1.2 trillion dollars. War Resistors (http://www.warresisters.org/piechart.htm) reports that in the fiscal year 2008, the military spending will cost America at least $1,228 billion, or 51% of the $2,387 billion federal funds (the federal budget for fiscal 2008 including the outlays and deficit is $2,752 billion).

    [What about public health, public education, public housing and the victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita? “Who’s Rita?”]

    The cabal’s power structure extends throughout the world and includes assets such as the world’s largest banks and multinational corporations; they control the movement of monetary exchange instruments, flow of oil and other natural resources globally.

    In contrast to the debt and poverty in the U-S (and throughout the globe), the assets of the world’s top 25 banks rose to about $28 trillion or 41% of the aggregate assets of the world’s top 1000 banks (total assets: $68.54 trillion) in 2006. [Source: www.thebanker.com]

    The cabal manipulates the price of oil according to its perceived interests via its ‘human’ assets, which include the ruthless rulers, autocratic regimes and degenerate ‘royal’ families throughout the oil-exporting world.

    The malignant subordinates, appointed to positions of authority by the cabal, are heavily protected by armed forces. They respond to their minders purely for self-serving reasons and out of primeval fear of being ousted from power, or worse, being prosecuted for their crimes against humanity. To protect their self-interest and their skin, they sell oil at prices that promote the cabal’s monetary goals. [Ultimately, the sheikhs pay back most of the money they receive to buy arms!]

    Their self-interests are diagonally opposite to the interest of their populace, 98% of the Americans and the majority of others throughout the world. They have little or no understanding of the ecosystems and show no concern for the welfare of humanity. They have become a major party to the crime of ecocide and must bear most of the responsibility for the collapsing ecosystems.

    The malevolent regimes in the former pumping-stations-turned-states in the Gulf share a number of common features:

    • They are all expendable (if they disobey orders, or become redundant, the cabal would eliminate them.)
    • Former British protectorates, these states were granted ‘independence’ based on perpetual oil and mineral concessions whose terms and conditions were highly favorable to their protector and its assignees.
    • The regimes are undemocratic and rule through subjugation and tyranny and exercise power of life and death over their subjects.
    • They have extremely poor human rights records, and hide behind religious traditions.
    • They arm themselves to the teeth to shield against democracy, and to protect themselves against own subjects or the less fortunate groups elsewhere in the Arab world.
    • To protect their self-interest, they bend backward (or forward, if you will) to please their minders and thus stay in power.

    The cabal’s relationship with their puppet regimes in the Gulf sheikhdoms is a class of symbiosis named mutualism where, in each case, both parties seemingly benefit and neither suffers. Their mutual benefit however excludes all other parties (e.g., own populace, the average U-S Citizen, U-S servicemen and women, and just about everyone else throughout the world).

    The picture of how the symbiosis between the protected and their protectors works becomes clearer when these regimes are scrutinized in the light of the Iraqi experience, especially since the 1968 Ba’athist Coup. The cabal’s appointed strongman Saddam Hussein purchased billions of dollars worth of arms, committed genocide against his own people, waged a long war against Iran, invaded Kuwait and finally paved the way for the invasion of Iraq by the ‘coalition of the willing.’ As a result of Hussein’s services to the cabal as many as 4 million people were killed or maimed [and many more victims join the statistics daily] including Iraqis, Kurds, Iranians, Kuwaitis, Americans, British… and an estimated 2 trillion dollars (and growing) have been pocketed by the cabal. [Note, we are unable to determine a price for the life of each of the millions of individuals who have lost their lives or continue to fall victim to the cabal’s monetary interests.]

    The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Parts 1 to 6)

    1. Killed by Homo Economicus
    2. Domination by Disinformation
    3. Is a Future Possible?
    4. Exponential Growth Economy and Oil
    5. Where Is All the Money?
    6. Exporting Democracy to the Middle East

    Posted in cabal, endgame, money, political economy, war, wealth | Leave a Comment »

    The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1)

    Posted by msrb on October 13, 2007

    Killed by Homo Economicus

    Our lives are based on an abstraction that forms the basis of the modern economic theory. Homo economicus model tells us that our total wants are insatiable, that we can make no value judgments and that whatever we desire must be normative. To ensure that the theory stands, however, we are bombarded with advertising.

    Our hard-earned incomes pay for items whose advertisements promise to enhance our life quality. Most of these products live ephemerally, however, on their way to the landfill, or incinerator.

    The Homo economicus abstraction is viciously attacking against nature through its inordinate consumption of energy, especially oil. The abstraction has driven our ecosystems (life support systems) to the verge of imminent collapse. The ‘experts’ assure us that the modern economic theory is the best there is. The theory is “carefully designed,” they tell us, but so was the Titanic.

    E. F. Schumacher, in ‘Small is Beautiful,’ enumerated what he called the six leading ideas, a toolbox of ideas stemming from the nineteenth century by which the civilization interprets the world:

    - Systemic application of the theory of evolution;

    - Natural selection, which insures the survival of the fittest through competition;

    - Suppression of spirituality, religion, philosophy, art and culture in favor of economic gains;

    - Relativism, which denies all absolutes and negates the idea of truth in pragmatism;

    - Positivism, which states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge and such knowledge can only come through empirical sciences (i.e., positive affirmation of scientific theories via exact scientific observations);

    - Freud’s theory of unconscious mind, unconscious desire and repression.

    Freud on Taming Nature

    Freud said, “Against the dreaded external world one can only defend oneself by some kind of turning away from it, if one intends to solve the task by oneself. There is, indeed, another and a better path: that of becoming a member of human community, and, with the help of a technique guided by science, going over to attack against nature and subjecting her to human will. [And if the technique guided by science fail to reverse the ‘marsification’ of Earth that it started in the first place, you can always hide behind more abstractions!]”

    Not surprisingly, the economic model with its Freudian framework has created a throwaway culture of obese, indolent and dumbed down insatiable consumers who, consciously or unconsciously, serve the [perceived] interest of a small cabal of international gangsters. Meantime, the economic abstractions are committing many species, including humans, to extinction.

    The Oil Addiction

    In For the Common Good Herman Daly reminds us of Pimples Carson, a John Steinbeck’s protagonist in The Wayward Bus. Pimples “spent half of his income on doctors and salves whose advertisements promised to cure his acne, and the other half on candy bars and sugary pies whose advertisements told him that a workingman needs quick food energy. Thus Pimples Carson becomes the insatiable consumer, much to the benefit of the makers of candy bars and acne ointments but to his own personal detriment.”

    Unfortunately, the ‘Pimples Carson syndrome’ has affected the entire developed world, much to the benefit of the cabal [whose interests do not coincide with the interest of 98 percent of Americans and most others elsewhere], but to the detriment of the ecosystems. The United States government spends half of it income (and the lives of many of its sons and daughters) on the military to ‘protect’ a fraction of its oil imports that come from the Middle East, and the other half on consuming more oil to make America even more dependent on foreign oil!

    Ironically, the United States can reduce its oil consumption by at least more than the amount it imports from the Middle East, and could even become completely independent of all foreign oil imports, by promoting non-carbon renewable sources, and by curbing waste.

    [Note: China, Japan, India, Brazil… continue to buy oil at prevailing market prices–averaged at about $55 per barrel in February 2007–without loosing a single citizen or killing an Iraqi.]

    Drowning in Cheap Oil

    After air and water, oil is arguably the most vital resource on Earth on which our lives have become dependent. Why is this most precious commodity trading at giveaway prices? Why and how are the oil pumping countries forced to underselling their lifeblood?

    Oil is food. Our food system almost entirely depends on oil. To produce 1,000 kcal of food energy, the food production industry in the developed world uses up to 22,000 kcal almost entirely derived from cheap oil. [Typical figures for the energy markup for each 1,000 kcal of food from production until the food reaches our mouths include agricultural production, 2,800 kcal; transportation, up to 10,000kcal (depending on the country); food processing, 2,000 kcal; packaging material, 1,500 kcal; food retail, 1,200 kcal; advertising and commercial food service, 1,200 kcal; household storage and preparation, 3,300 kcal.]

    Our weekly shopping basket includes items that would have flown more air miles than the average family fly in their lifetime! A 1kg (2.2lb) bag of New Zealand kiwifruit (in any of its cadmium, arsenic, lead, mercury… or organochlorine varieties) produces about 142kg (313lb) of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent gases) pollution flying to the US, or 188.7kg (416lb) of CO2e to Europe.

    We use cheap oil to make more than 500,000 products: antiseptics, asphalt, battery cases, boats, cables, carpets, cars bodies, CDs, clothes, computers, containers, detergents, DVDs, fabrics, Fertilizers, glues, home appliances, insulation, medicines, office equipment, paints, pipes, plastics, printers, refrigerators, shoes, solvents, sports gears, tires, tools, toys, trash bags… The list covers more than two thousand pages.

    We are told the market economy decides what is needed, and rejects what is not. If this is true, why must the market economy resort to blanket advertising, brainwashing its Homo economicus subjects by exposing them to 3,000 advertising messages each, day in day out?

    Why must market economy rely on in-built redundancy features to sell more of the same products at the expense of wasting tremendous amounts of energy? Why does the free market economy’s supply and demand interplay suppress the price of oil (usually through gunboat diplomacy), fail to recognize oil as a finite commodity and refuse to internalize environmental cost of the oil gluttony? Why the Homo economicus subjects have to resort to military force to kill and maim hundreds of thousands of human beings so that they could feed their life-destroying addiction?

    Our slaveholder, the car, is taking the food right out of our mouths. The late Ivan Illich, a renowned sociologist, reported in the 1970s that when the miles Americans drive are divided by the time spent in the car (sitting on congested roadways, driving, parking, and servicing) and paying for it, they average 5 mph-about twice slower than riding a bike. Today, the cars are getting fatter and running even slower.

    Cheap oil has distorted the notion of creating ‘economic gains’ to such great extents that governments subsidize the industry to export and import the same product, often in similar quantities, within the same fiscal period. Country A exports Q tons of product P to country B, while it imports Q tons of the same product P from country B at the same time, with a net zero gain in commodity exchange for either country. However, the exchange produces about 9Q tons of CO2e pollution, nine times the weight of the commodity that was flown in either direction, for every 1,000 miles that the consignment is airborne.

    No doubt, their economic model registers this Enronesque racketeering in phantom GDP as a rise in the national wealth for both countries, but to the detriment of our environment and at the expense of poor countries.

    So how do the captains of industry, governments, economic gurus and the ‘Andersonian’ crooks who cook their books account for their misadventure? How does the economic model explain, justify or excuse the pillage of cheap oil that has driven the ecosystems to the verge of collapse? What happens when the reality of ecocide finally begins to sink in?

    Ed Crane of Cato Institute wrote, “The history of mankind is a history of the subjugation and exploitation of a great majority of people by an elite few by what has been appropriately termed the ‘ruling class’. The ruling class has many manifestations. It can take the form of a religious orthodoxy, a monarchy, a dictatorship of the proletariat, outright fascism, or, in the case of the United States, corporate statism. In each instance the ruling class [more precisely, the cabal] relies on academics, scholars and ‘experts’ to legitimize and provide moral authority for its hegemony over the masses.”

    Related Links: Poverty Index

    Posted in economy, hegemony, money, politics, poverty | 3 Comments »

    Union of Concerned Scientists Issue Some Global Warming Snakeoil

    Posted by msrb on August 22, 2007

    The following post was submitted by Catherine T. CASF Member.

    Global Warming Snakeoil

    [The Union of Concerned (sic) Scientists have recently posted an article on their website under the banner of Global Warming, titled: Ten Personal Solutions. Unfortunately the article lacks adequate substance and stands short of persuading the informed readers that their personal choices can have a significant impact on global warming.

    Ed Crane said: “The history of mankind is a history of the subjugation and exploitation of a great majority of people by an elite few by what has been appropriately termed the ‘ruling class’. The ruling class has many manifestations. It can take the form of a religious orthodoxy, a monarchy, a dictatorship of the proletariat, outright fascism, or, in the case of the United States, corporate statism. In each instance the ruling class relies on academics, scholars and ‘experts’ to legitimize and provide moral authority for its hegemony over the masses.”

    Not surprisingly, UCS’s Ten Personal Solutions fails to make an impact in the absence of an appeal to readers for radical changes in their politics, businesses and lifestyles that are urgently needed to save the planet from the looming ecocide.

    Cindy Smith, a member of Creating A Sustainable Future (CASF), has prepared a brief reply to the UCS’s Ten Personal Solutions to Global Warming which follows their article. – Harry Saloor, The Management School of Restorative Business.]

    ***

    Global Warming: What You Can Do

    Ten Personal Solutions

    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/ten-personal-solutions.html

    Individual choices can have an impact on global climate change. Reducing your family’s heat-trapping emissions does not mean forgoing modern conveniences; it means making smart choices and using energy-efficient products, which may require an additional investment up front, but often pay you back in energy savings within a couple of years. Since Americans’ per capita emissions of heat-trapping gases is 5.6 tons—more than double the amount of western Europeans—we can all make choices that will greatly reduce our families’ global warming
    impact.

    “The Ten Commandments”

    1. The car you drive: the most important personal climate decision. When you buy your next car, look for the one with the best fuel economy in its class. Each gallon of gas you use is responsible for 25 pounds of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. Better gas mileage not only reduces global warming, but will also save you thousands of dollars at the pump over the life of the vehicle. Compare the fuel economy of the cars you’re considering and look for new technologies like hybrid engines.

    2. Choose clean power. More than half the electricity in the United States comes from polluting coal-fired power plants. And power plants are the single largest source of heat-trapping gas. None of us can live without electricity, but in some states, you can switch to electricity companies that provide 50 to 100 percent renewable energy. (For more information go to Green-e.org.)

    3. Look for Energy Star. When it comes time to replace appliances, look for the Energy Star label on new appliances (refrigerators, freezers, furnaces, air conditioners, and water heaters use the most energy). These items may cost a bit more initially, but the energy savings will pay back the extra investment within a couple of years. Household energy savings really can make a difference: If each household in the United States replaced its existing appliances with the most efficient models available, we would save $15 billion in energy costs and eliminate 175 million tons of heat-trapping gases.

    4. Unplug a freezer. One of the quickest ways to reduce your global warming impact is to unplug the extra refrigerator or freezer you rarely use (except when you need it for holidays and parties). This can reduce the typical family’s carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 10 percent.

    5. Get a home energy audit. Take advantage of the free home energy audits offered by many utilities. Simple measures, such as installing a programmable thermostat to replace your old dial unit or sealing and insulating heating and cooling ducts, can each reduce a typical family’s carbon
    dioxide emissions by about 5 percent.

    6. Light bulbs matter. If every household in the United States replaced one regular light bulb with an energy-saving model, we could reduce global warming pollution by more than 90 billion pounds over the life of the bulbs; the same as taking 6.3 million cars off the road. So, replace your incandescent bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescents, which now come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll be doing your share to cut back on heat-trapping pollution and you’ll save money on your electric bills and light bulbs.

    7. Think before you drive. If you own more than one vehicle, use the less fuel-efficient one only when you can fill it with passengers. Driving a full minivan may be kinder to the environment than two midsize cars. Whenever possible, join a carpool or take mass transit.

    8. Buy good wood. When buying wood products, check for labels that indicate the source of the timber. Supporting forests that are managed in a sustainable fashion makes sense for biodiversity, and it may make sense for the climate too. Forests that are well managed are more likely to store carbon effectively because more trees are left standing and carbon-storing soils are less disturbed.

    9. Plant a tree. You can also make a difference in your own backyard. Get a group in your neighborhood together and contact your local arborist or urban forester about planting trees on private property and public land. In addition to storing carbon, trees planted in and around urban areas and residences can provide much-needed shade in the summer, reducing energy bills and fossil fuel use.

    10. Let policymakers know you are concerned about global warming. Our elected officials and business leaders need to hear from concerned citizens. Sign up for the Union of Concerned Scientists Action Network to ensure that policymakers get the timely, accurate information they need to make informed decisions about global warming solutions.

    ***

    A Response to the UCS

    by Cindy Smith
    Creating A Sustainable Future

    The Union of “Concerned Scientists,” or overpaid hypocrites?


    Moses smashing the Tables of the Law, a painting by Rembrandt van Rijn

    This must be a sick joke in 10 installments. Why don’t the Concerned Scientists tell you

    1. The total number of “the best fuel economy cars” our planet can sustain?

    2. Maximum amount of energy we could consume before the ecosystems collapse irreversibly?

    3. The threshold at which the Energy Star turns into a “white dwarf!” How many more refrigerators, freezers, furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters … could we buy? Prey tell!

    4. What is the total number of refrigerators and freezers that can remain plugged in?

    5. How many new homes would it take to offset the “old” family’s carbon dioxide emissions reduction?

    6. How much difference would their suggested steps make when each year more than 65 million cars and light commercial vehicles hit the roads globally?

    7. See my reply to No. 6, above.

    8. What are the total volumes of “good wood” that consumers can buy each year without destroying the forests and the environment?

    9. When they doubt you, tell them to plant a tree! So you must be the good guys, otherwise you wouldn’t be saying that. Right?

    10. Should we let policymakers and elected [sic] officials know we are concerned about global warming, climate change, dwindling natural capital before we impeach them for starting illegal wars, murdering a million plus people, torturing prisoners and spying on citizens, or after?

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    Posted in biodiversity, Bush, carbon dioxide, ecocide, ecosystems, Energy, Energy Star, environment, Global Warming, government, greenhouse gasses, lifestyle, money, oil, politics, snake oil, Snakeoil, spying on citizens, Union of Concerned Scientists, White Dwarf | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Cosmic Scale Evil: Money Fetishism and the Looming Omnicide

    Posted by msrb on August 18, 2007

    Cosmic Scale Evil: Money Fetishism and the Looming Omnicide

    Only after the last tree has been cut down
    Only after the last river has been poisoned
    Only after the last fish has been caught
    Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
    ~ Cree prophecy

    Two frequently asked questions I receive regularly are, first, whether humanoids are an intelligent species; second, are they good or evil?

    If, having evolved for 1.5 million years, a species is unable planning to survive another 20 years, I normally retort, and the actual chances of their survival in large numbers is about as big as a fat zero even in 10 years, would you consider that species intelligent or stupid? Humanoids depend on planet Earth and its life support systems to survive, yet they have wreaked destruction on the planet driving her ecosystems to the verge of imminent collapse. Would you say they are good or evil?

    The activities of humanoids, especially the elite, are not consistent with the way of life!

    What is Evil? Most everyone used to have a mind image or an emotional intelligence of what evil was, or represented. They readily identified evil with the wrongs of the world. Today, however, most definitions create confusion portraying evil as what is ‘anti-norm.’ The ‘new’ definitions, which are concocted from the ever-shifting narratives created by the Hollywood clique and their slick counterparts in the media, have permeated the public psyche with ease. Truth, goodness and other basic decencies of civilization play no part in those definitions. Never before in the history of civilization has sight overcome right to such outrageous extents.

    Not surprisingly, the new definitions utterly fail to depict evil. If anything, they serve to pervert the meaning, while giving rise to fallacies of ad hominem, name-calling and demonizing of the subject. When George W. Bush was busy planning the genocide of Iraqis (George W. Bush and Tony Blair together with their puppeteers, cohorts and mercenaries have murdered about 1 million Iraqis since March 2003 in their war of aggression), he called Iraq, among other states, an ‘axis of evil.’

    Traditionally, within the monotheistic religions, evil represented what was ‘wicked,’ ‘malevolent,’ ‘sinful,’ ‘iniquitous,’ ‘immoral,’ or simply ‘against God,’ something to avoid, especially for fear of divine consequences.

    Theologians’ paradoxical definitions, however, gave rise to the ‘problem of evil,’ the dilemma of reconciling the existence of evil (and suffering) alongside an omnibenevolent (the state of being perfectly good), omnipotent, and omniscient God. The futile attempts by the theodecians (philosophers) to solve this dilemma through self–negating theodicies resulted in lowering the threshold of common values of morality.

    Most readers have come a long way from viewing the ‘almighty’ as an angry Herculean male figure with a bloodstained sword in one hand, ready to slay and smite more sinners, while clutching to lightening and fire with the other hand poised to strike down or rain brimstone on the unbelievers who might escape the first pass.

    ‘Lord finally had it with Sodom, not to mention Gomorrah,’ goes the legend. So why has he spared the White House, not to mention 10 Downing Street? Why no pillars of salt stand staring at the onlookers outside the Capitol Hill or the Houses of Parliament? Surely, it cannot be for lacking evil.

    ‘Evil is as evil does,’ utters the modern ‘sage.’ But, he stops short of proclaiming what exactly evil is or his doings are. Is it a person, gene, meme, ideology, creed, philosophy? Is evil a he, she, group, race? Why do evil? How do evildoers keep score? When does evil occur? What is worst evil? What is cosmic scale evil?

    Cosmic scale evil is the killing of everything, omnicide, the wholesale obliteration of all living beings on our planet, through systematic destruction of Earth’s ecosystems.

    It has taken an incredible 4.5 billion years for our precious planet to evolve from a fiery ball to become the exclusive oasis of life, the solitary habitat for living species within an otherwise cold, dark, inhospitable segment of the observable universe. Yet, in an infinitesimal fraction of that time the money fetishism of a cabal of moneychangers, who have corrupted all social, political and cultural systems manipulating the masses through deception and coercion, has sown the seeds of our destruction driving a living planet to certain ecological death.

    The Babylonian cabal’s web of intrigue has perverted all spiritual and political ideologies as well as social and cultural institutions that might pose the slightest threat to their agenda, while establishing fake organizations [they are designed as management tools to control the masses and insure against unforeseen circumstances] and self-serving systems of economy and politics that have promoted and protected their nefarious plot to control the world, albeit an ultimately lifeless world.

    They created a myth with a carefully calculated narrative that promoted their plot as ‘compassionate,’ ‘free world,’ ‘democratic,’ among an array of weasel words, while circumventing social conscience and exerting their control in the name of human community, but at the expense of destroying life on Earth. They created a veil of repression which obfuscated benevolent, sustainable economic and social models that would benefit humanity at no cost to the environment. They drove the world at full throttle toward omnicide.

    As a result, 15 out of 24 ecosystems that are vital for supporting life on our planet face imminent collapse including fresh water, fisheries, air and water purification systems, and the systems that regulate climate, natural hazards, and pests—with the remaining one-third of our life support systems following closely.

    Meanwhile, the Babylonian creed has helped the shareholders of the top 10 banks in the world amass combined assets of about 16trillion dollars in 2006 [c.f., World GDP for 2006 calculated at the official exchange rate was an estimated 46.7trillion dollars.] How much of 16 trillion dollars in paper, gold, platinum, diamond… could you consume to satisfy your basic needs in the middle of The Sixth Great Extinction?

    Next: How to Stop the Looming Omnicide!

    -###-

    August 8, 2007, by Harry Saloor, Founder, The Management School of Restorative Business

    Posted in axis of evil, Babylonian cabal, Christianity, Cosmic Scale Evil, Cree prophecy, ecosystems, emotional intelligence, genocide, George W. Bush, media, money, natural hazards, Omnicide, politics, problem of evil, The Sixth Great Extinction, Tony Blair, war, weasel words | Leave a Comment »

     
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