Saturday, October 30, 2010

So Much to Say… So Little Time

Image via Under The Microscope blog.

There are so many items that I want to post and I have so little time today that I'm going to do something unconventional, for me -- post them all at one time. Enjoy the links. - c

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The scary actual U.S. government debt

Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff says U.S. government debt is not $13.5-trillion (U.S.), which is 60 per cent of current gross domestic product, as global investors and American taxpayers think, but rather 14-fold higher: $200-trillion - 840 per cent of current GDP. "Let's get real," Prof. Kotlikoff says. "The U.S. is bankrupt." More...

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White House Adviser: US Must Prepare for Asteroid

If an asteroid were on a collision course with Earth, would we be ready to defend against its destructive impact or would we be helpless and defenseless?

NASA, America’s space agency, is being charged with leading the way to protect not only the U.S. but the entire world in the event of such a horrifying scenario. And a top White House science adviser says we have to be prepared.

In separate 10-page letters to the House Committee on Science and Technology and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, or OSTP, outlines plans for "(A) protecting the United States from a near-Earth object that is expected to collide with Earth; and (B) implementing a deflection campaign, in consultation with international bodies, should one be necessary." More…

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Bloom Box claims to have designed a power generator that combines oxygen and natural gas, biogas or solar energy to create electricity. ”6O Minutes” interviewed the inventor and his financial backer, who are going extremely public after years of secrecy. Among the initial companies testing the hype — Google, eBay, and Walmart. Take a look at the video for yourself.

Invention Secrecy Still Going Strong

Source: FAS Project on Government Secrecy by Steven Aftergood

There were 5,135 inventions that were under secrecy orders at the end of Fiscal Year 2010, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office told Secrecy News last week. It’s a 1% rise over the year before, and the highest total in more than a decade.

Under the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951, patent applications on new inventions can be subject to secrecy orders restricting their publication if government agencies believe that disclosure would be “detrimental to the national security.”

The current list of technology areas that is used to screen patent applications for possible restriction under the Invention Secrecy Act is not publicly available and has been denied under the Freedom of Information Act. (An appeal is pending.) But a previous list dated 1971 and obtained by researcher Michael Ravnitzky is available here (pdf).

Most of the listed technology areas are closely related to military applications. But some of them range more widely.

Thus, the 1971 list indicates that patents for solar photovoltaic generators were subject to review and possible restriction if the photovoltaics were more than 20% efficient. Energy conversion systems were likewise subject to review and possible restriction if they offered conversion efficiencies “in excess of 70-80%.”

One may fairly ask if disclosure of such technologies could really have been “detrimental to the national security,” or whether the opposite would be closer to the truth. One may further ask what comparable advances in technology may be subject to restriction and non-disclosure today. But no answers are forthcoming, and the invention secrecy system persists with no discernible external review.

A Peek Inside the Bloom Box

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Currently, mutual fund cash levels have hit an all-time record low.

Trigger Points, Black Swans, And Other Unpleasant Realities

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High Amplitude Remote MT Trigger Pulse

A night-side sub-ionospheric high amplitude Remote MT Trigger pulse was detected, which appears to be related to an injection of solar energetic particles into the Core-Mantle Boundary at the Equatorial Pacific Plate's Stress Center located in Polynesia.

Abstract:

The equatorial electrojet (EEJ) is an intense electric current that flows in the ionosphere in a narrow zone above the magnetic dip equator during the daytime. The electrojet current produces a large enhancement of the surface component of the geomagnetic field at and in the vicinity of the dip equator.

The EEJ is most intense around local noontime and appears to be more stable than other ionospheric current systems. This report presents a brief overview of the characteristics of the EEJ, including its location, electron density profile, current distribution, and magnetic field. In addition, the diurnal and seasonal variations of the EEJ are discussed. The relationship of the EEJ to the worldwide dynamo current system is discussed, in addition to a comparison with the aurora electrojet (AEJ). A derivation of the EEJ current distribution is presented that is based on an anisotropic conductivity model of the ionosphere. A summary of several experiments involving the generation of low4requency signals from a heated and modulated EEJ is also given. It is anticipated that this report will provide helpful background information to scientists and engineers engaged in the development of future experiments that involve the transmission of signals in the ELF and VLF frequency bands from a heated and modulated EEJ.

http://www.geo-seismic-labs.org/GSL/gsl_live.htm

Fault Whispering is a scientific method of Earth Stress Monitoring now being used to detect changes in acoustic emissions from within the Earth at depth before, during and after an earthquake sequence.

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Unemployment Benefits: The 99ers

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Historic low pressure system over U.S. equal to category 3 hurricane

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George Noory and Catherrine Austin Fitts talk about the odd withdrawal of some 'big money' before the Banda Aceh quake in 2004

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Insider Selling Volume at Highest Level Ever Tracked

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Imminent Big Bank Death Spiral

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Hundreds Dead in Indonesia's Twin Disasters

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BP dispersants 'causing sickness'

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The Tipping Point has Arrived

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And now for some good news…

Solar Shield--Protecting the North American Power Grid

Every hundred years or so, a solar storm comes along so potent it fills the skies of Earth with blood-red auroras, makes compass needles point in the wrong direction, and sends electric currents coursing through the planet's topsoil. The most famous such storm, the Carrington Event of 1859, actually shocked telegraph operators and set some of their offices on fire. A 2008 report by the National Academy of Sciences warns that if such a storm occurred today, we could experience widespread power blackouts with permanent damage to many key transformers.

What's a utility operator to do?

A new NASA project called "Solar Shield" could help keep the lights on.

"Solar Shield is a new and experimental forecasting system for the North American power grid," explains project leader Antti Pulkkinen, a Catholic University of America research associate working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "We believe we can zero in on specific transformers and predict which of them are going to be hit hardest by a space weather event." More…

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A Quick System to Get on Target


With big-game seasons around the corner, now is the time to be sure your rifle is shooting where it's aimed. Here's a quick and easy way to get on target that takes all the mystery out of sighting-in.

· Watch a short video on the two-shot sighting-in system.

· Find a rifle range near you.

· Print out a free sighting-in target.

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Is Long Hair $$$ High Maintenance?

Excerpt from Why Can't Middle-Aged Women Have Long Hair? By Dominique Browning for The New York Times

Yes, I’ll admit that it is a look that requires tender loving care. It is impossible to body surf without getting seaweed tangled up in it. It is impossible to get it completely dry when one is in a rush to get to a job interview or a blind date. It is impossible to forget one’s hairbrush when one travels. It is impossible to garden or farm or weave or cook without one’s hair getting in the way. I have knitted many a gray strand into many a scarf. Which, by the way, I consider a nice touch. Anyone who disagrees can send me back his Christmas present. It is impossible to let the vacuuming go for too long, lest the bezoars (new vocabulary word) become large enough to choke a tiger.

You would think that having long hair means you are spending a lot of money on hair products. I won’t even tell you what my Madison Avenue hairdresser, Joseph — the consummate high-end hair professional! — told me about how we shouldn’t even be using all those chemically laden shampoos. O.K., I will tell you: Those shampoos strip out the hair’s protective oils, and then you have to replace them with other chemical brews. He recommends regular hot water rinses and massaging of the scalp with fingertips. A little patience is required while the scalp’s natural oils rebalance themselves and — voilà — glossy, thick tresses, for free.

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Good to know, because after reading the news, I need a drink. ;)


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Have a safe and happy Samhain!


I hope to be able to post again soon.


On the sunny side, if/when the banks go on a holiday, they won’t be keeping any more of my money than $1.75, as that’s all I have left. Talk about good TEOTWAWKI timing, huh? ;D


Thank you for your continued support. I put your donations to good use -- I drove the 40-mile round trip to my poling place and voted early.

(That bit about the 40 miles wasn’t meant to make you feel sorry for me. I live in the sticks by design.)

Thank you also for your kind email. It means so much to me. Don’t worry for me. I have a wood burning stove and plenty of food, firearms and ammo put away. As for water -- I live on the ocean (own a hand pump desalinator) and have a fresh water source across the street in the forest. What more could any 2010 pioneer woman want?


Always My Best,


covertress

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thanks for the Memory

artist unknown

My Dear Readers,

I feel that our time together is drawing very short. It may be several weeks or merely days. This is not due just to my financial situation [as those who read the blog directly (not in a feed) are aware. Thank you for your donations. They are helping me with last-minute survival purchases.]

Not only the fate of the dollar, but indeed, the fate of our nation is at hand. Please, prepare. Life-changing events will happen quickly and will come as quite a shock to those who believe the MSM lies about recovery.

Food, water, medicine, firearms and ammo will all be more valuable than gold in the weeks and months ahead. Their stockpiling should not be taken for granted… if you want to live.

Compiling this blog has been as much for my benefit as it has been for yours. I jokingly call it “over the counter intelligence” [OTCI] because most of the information contained within can be readily found on the Internet. What a wonderful resource the ‘net has been. I hate to lose it.

Some of what I’ve posted here is fluff -- like cartoons and recipes. Some is downright crap -- like political issues and stories from the last presidential election. For the latter, I apologize. Some is vital – categorized under survival. As you read through the archives, I hope that you’ll discover some articles worth printing and saving. May I suggest that now would be a good time to do that, before you lose electricity too?

My laptop battery is dying – it’s telling me to hurry and post this.

I’m opening up comments (no more moderation) so, beware of spam and their links.

I’ll continue to write when I can.

Know that I care deeply for your continued well-being and happiness. Though I may not be online, I’ll be thinking of you.

Always My Best,

covertress


Bob Hope and Shirley Ross from "The Big Broadcast of 1938" - Thanks for the Memory

CME!

LASCO C2 Movie: http://lasco-www.nrl.navy.mil/daily_mpg/101025_c2.mpg

The sun’s latest coronal mass ejection looks a lot like that computer graphic shown in the opening minutes of the movie 2012.

The collapse of the great filament we saw earlier this week seems to have happened right on schedule to potentially cause the October 27th “disaster sample pack” predicted by clif high.

Let’s get ready to rumble!

UPDATE: On Oct. 27th and 28th, a twisted filament of magnetism on the sun decided to untwist. The result was a spectacular eruption recorded in full-disk detail by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:

At its peak, the twister--or rather, untwister--towered more than 350,000 km above the stellar surface. It appears to have hurled a fragment of itself into space, but not toward Earth; the blast was not geoeffective.

Now that the filament has relaxed, it is unlikely to erupt again. The next blast is more likely to come from big sunspot 1117, which NOAA forecasters say could produce an M-class solar flare. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments. -- SpaceWeather.com

Source: SDO First Light

Tipping Points

"[Bernanke is a] failure, with a record of nothing but failure." -- Zhou Xiaochuan, chief of China's Central Bank

If you want the play-by-play action leading up to clif high’s November 8-11 tipping point, add Jim Sinclair’s Mine Set to your daily read. Jim’s collection of news stories leaves no doubt as to the likelihood of clif’s predictions:

During a public panel meeting between the central banking leaders of four nations held this afternoon ahead of next month’s APEC summit, PBOC Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan interrupted U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s presentation to call the surprised speaker "a failure, with a record of nothing but failure."

"Why should we be lectured by the most indebted nation on earth? Why should we take advice from our biggest creditor?" Zhou asked Bernanke directly, causing the U.S. central banking head to pause in the delivery of his prepared comments. Zhou went on to accuse the U.S. banking system of being "unreasonably dominated by the interests of a very closed circle… that will not be assuming any significant authority whatsoever in China’s future, regardless of what they may think they are entitled to." More…

[You’re that boxing man... the one on the radio.]

China, which has been blocking shipments of crucial minerals to Japan for the last month, has now quietly halted some shipments of those materials to the United States and Europe, three industry officials said this week. More…

“Withholding these items will promptly shut down the US and Japanese defense and high tech industries,” commented Jim Sinclair.

[So what does it feel like to kill a man with your bare hands?]

The dollar’s slump could get far worse if the dollar index takes out last year’s low, Robin Griffiths, technical strategist at Cazenove Capital, told CNBC Monday.

"If the (dollar index) takes out the low that was made roughly a year ago I really think that will not only encourage more sales, it will cause a little bit of minor panic," Griffiths said. "A year ago it was deemed too cheap, if it goes any lower than that it’s actually become toxic waste." More…

[Whose motorcycle is this? -- It's a chopper, baby. -- Whose chopper is this? -- It's Zed's. Who's Zed?]

CIGA Eric contributed the following:

Bloomberg had an interview [yesterday] with Professor Black who is the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One. He could not be silenced.

Professor Black said, among other javelins in the heart of MOPE (Management of Perspective Economics), the following:

1/ The Securitized Mortgage instruments are all frauds.

2/ The Fed is holding a huge amount of these as collateral.

3/ They are valueless.

4/ The manufacturers of these are, under commercial and criminal statute and law, criminals.

The interview almost swallowed her tongue.

[Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead.]

The Federal Reserve may purchase $2 trillion of assets to stimulate the economy and start by announcing a fresh round of monetary easing on Nov. 3, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said. More…

Pulp Fiction Trailer

God or Nothing

Pat Condell: God or Nothing

You have to believe in something?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Inside the Doomsday Plane

Inside the Doomsday Plane

Follow Nat Geo on an exclusive look inside the federal govenment's failsafe in the event of an attack - the doomsday plane.

Official Details DOD Cybersecurity Environment

Did you know that Obama proclaimed October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service for DOD

Cyberspace is a new world and a new domain for combat. The Defense Department is working to understand the threats and opportunities that this new domain poses.

Robert J. Butler, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy, is one of the officials charged with developing defense capabilities in this crucial domain. And there has been progress.

“For the past 14 months, we have been trying to continue to grow [U.S.] Cyber Command and its capabilities, at the same time looking at strategy and policy,” Butler told reporters at the Defense Writers’ Group here today. “We need to find ways to operate more effectively in cyberspace.”

DOD needs new operating concepts for the new domain. The department has done a lot of work in systems, education and training, “and beyond that, things like active defense and new ways of looking at resiliency and new ways to operate in different environments,” he said.

It comes back to the warfighter, he said. The DOD cyber world needs to focus on ensuring warriors can deploy, get the information they need when they deploy, track supplies and personnel and ensure logistics, he explained. They also must remain in contact with neighboring units and the home front, along with a variety of other tasks, he added.

Defense Department officials have reached out to Great Britain, Australia, Canada and NATO to defend against cyber threats that include nations, rogue states, terrorist groups, criminal gangs and just plain hackers, Butler said.

“The focus within the strategy is to go ahead and build partnerships with like-minded nations in the areas of shared awareness, shared warning and collective response,” he said. “As we move forward, we are trying to build capacity at one level, and at another level – interdependence – you are actually laying a foundation for deterring bad behavior in cyberspace.”

Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq – and the trust those operations have built among the coalition – have helped to speed this international cooperation, Butler said.

The threat constantly changes, and the department has to keep on top of this aspect of cybersecurity, Butler told the group. “Every day, people think of new ways to use the Internet,” he said. “As I look at the advent of social networking sites and what that has done, people have learned to use the Internet to not only communicate in traditional ways, but to build new networks that create both opportunities as well as threats.”

The cyber domain is new, and policy has not caught up to reality. Government and private officials are grappling with basics such as what constitutes a cyber attack and who has responsibility to defend against threats. The White House is leading the effort, Butler said, but it is clear that the Department of Homeland Security has the lead inside the United States. The Defense Department has responsibility to defend military networks, and can assist Homeland Security and other civilian agencies when required and ordered.

Who does what and when they do it is under discussion with other government agencies.

“We have our viewpoints laid out, and we’re trying to determine the best way to move forward,” Butler said. “One of the key things is to agree on the taxonomy. We hear a lot of discussion about cyber war and cyber attacks, and there’s legal terminology with hostile intent, hostile acts. Making sure everyone understands the taxonomy is really important.”

Butler credited the Homeland Security exercise Cyber Storm 3 with helping officials think through responses. The national cyber incident response framework exercise, conducted at the end of August, looked at the way the U.S. government and private industry faced a cyber threat.

“We were able to work out what the threat was, what the appropriate response was, who takes action, how do you determine conditions and postures,” he said.

The exercise included federal and state entities, the private sector and international partners. “It was a huge learning experience for the department,” he said.

But no one can stand still, Butler said.

“We recognize as we face this evolving threat that more will be required,” he said. “The question is what kind of hybrid models, what kind of rules, what kind of things do we need to counter a threat that continues to advance? We’ve got congressional support. We got a blueprint, and we’re working on it. -- ###

Feeling warm and fuzzy about our nation's cyber security? :/ - c

CYBERCOM

March 17, 2010 - Preparations for the establishment of U.S. Cyber Command are underway.

Biography: Gen. Keith Alexander, CYBERCOM Commander

GAO Report on Cyber Security (2009)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Inuit Knowledge & Climate Change: Ukiutatuq Takuguk!

Inuit Knowledge & Climate Change - Trailer

isuma.tv/ikcc

Inuit Knowledge & Climate Change: Ukiutatuq Takuguk!

'Inuit Knowledge & Climate Change' is a new film and internet research project by acclaimed Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk and environmental researcher Dr. Ian Mauro.

A 15-minute extract from the feature film was presented at COP-15 - the international climate change negotiations held in Copenhagen - during the UN University Indigenous Voices on Climate Change Film Festival.

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"It's later than you think." -- George Ure, Urban Survival

BTW, The Shape of Things to Come, Issue 8 by clif high is out now. Don't miss it!

Foreclosure Fraud, Bank Risk and Derivatives

Karl Deninger & Reggie Middleton on Market Ticker's Blogtalk Radio 10/21/2010 pt 1

Karl Deninger & Reggie Middleton on Market Ticker's Blogtalk Radio discussing foreclosure fraud, bank risk and derivatives. Best viewed in HD and full screen for graphics. Background graphics supplied by BoomBustBlog.com.

Karl Deninger & Reggie Middleton on Market Ticker's Blogtalk Radio 10/21/2010 pt 2

"None of these banks have enough equity to take this and survive." -- Karl Denniger

[When everybody knows] those [banks] have no equity -- [there will be] an instantaneous run on the banks." -- Reggie Middleton

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dark Side of the Lens

Dark Side of the Lens

A short film from renowned surf photographer Mickey Smith.

Peter Schiff on The Keiser Report

Peter Schiff on The Keiser Report October 21, 2010

Eat The Weeds: Sword Fern

Eat The Weeds: Sword Fern

Though tropical, sword ferns with edible tubers can be found around the world and in cooler climates as ornamentals in pots kept through the winter. Eat them when you find them them, add them to salads, boil or bake them.

www.EatTheWeeds.com

Amazing Bluetooth Hack

Amazing Bluetooth Hack

How far will Bluetooth go? You won't believe it!

Get your own HyperGain Antenna: http://bit.ly/BluetoothAntenna

Check out Kipkay's other vids: http://www.youtube.com/Kipkay

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weimar Republic Hyperinflation Redux

Trödelmarkt, Neuer Steinweg, Germany, 1900. - Click photo for larger image.

Sing us a song of the century
That’s louder than bombs and eternity
The era of static and contraband
That’s leading us into the promised land
Tell us a story that’s by candlelight
Waging a war and losing the fight
They’re playing the song of the century
of panic and promise and prosperity
Tell me a story into that goodnight
Sing us a song for me …

Green Day – Song of the Century


Weimar Republic Hyperinflation Redux

By Art Cashin, h/t Zero Hedge

(Today we will revisit one of the most devastating economic events in recorded history. It all began with the efforts of a few, well-intentioned government officials.)

Originally, on this day (-7) in 1922, the German Central Bank and the German Treasury took an inevitable step in a process which had begun with their previous effort to "jump start" a stagnant economy. Many months earlier they had decided that what was needed was easier money. Their initial efforts brought little response. So, using the governmental "more is better" theory they simply created more and more money.

But economic stagnation continued and so did the money growth. They kept making money more available. No reaction. Then, suddenly prices began to explode unbelievably (but, perversely, not business activity).

So, on this day government officials decided to bring figures in line with market realities. They devalued the mark. The new value would be 2 billion marks to a dollar. At the start of World War I the exchange rate had been a mere 4.2 marks to the dollar. In simple terms you needed 4.2 marks in order to get one dollar. Now it was 2 billion marks to get one dollar. And thirteen months from this date (late November 1923) you would need 4.2 trillion marks to get one dollar. In ten years the amount of money had increased a trillion fold.

Numbers like billions and trillions tend to numb the mind. They are too large to grasp in any “real” sense. Thirty years ago an older member of the NYSE (there were some then) gave me a graphic and memorable (at least for me) example. “Young man,” he said, “would you like a million dollars?” “I sure would, sir!”, I replied anxiously. “Then just put aside $500 every week for the next 40 years.” I have never forgotten that a million dollars is enough to pay you $500 per week for 40 years (and that’s without benefit of interest). To get a billion dollars you would have to set aside $500,000 dollars per week for 40 years. And a…..trillion that would require $500 million every week for 40 years. Even with these examples, the enormity is difficult to grasp.

Let’s take a different tack. To understand the incomprehensible scope of the German inflation maybe it’s best to start with something basic….like a loaf of bread. (To keep things simple we’ll substitute dollars and cents in place of marks and pfennigs. You’ll get the picture.) In the middle of 1914, just before the war, a one pound loaf of bread cost 13 cents. Two years later it was 19 cents. Two years more and it sold for 22 cents. By 1919 it was 26 cents. Now the fun begins.

In 1920, a loaf of bread soared to $1.20, and then in 1921 it hit $1.35. By the middle of 1922 it was $3.50. At the start of 1923 it rocketed to $700 a loaf. Five months later a loaf went for $1200. By September it was $2 million. A month later it was $670 million (wide spread rioting broke out). The next month it hit $3 billion. By mid month it was $100 billion. Then it all collapsed.

Let’s go back to “marks”. In 1913, the total currency of Germany was a grand total of 6 billion marks. In November of 1923 that loaf of bread we just talked about cost 428 billion marks. A kilo of fresh butter cost 6000 billion marks (as you will note that kilo of butter cost 1000 times more than the entire money supply of the nations just 10 years earlier).

How Could This All Happen? – In 1913 Germany had a solid, prosperous, advanced culture and population. Like much of Europe it was a monarchy (under the Kaiser). Then, following the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914, the world moved toward war. Each side was convinced the other would not dare go to war. So, in a global game of chicken they stumbled into the Great War.

The German General Staff thought the war would be short and sweet and that they could finance the costs with the post war reparations that they, as victors, would exact. The war was long. The flower of their manhood was killed or injured. They lost and, thus, it was they who had to pay reparations rather than receive them.

Things did not go badly instantly. Yes, the deficit soared but much of it was borne by foreign and domestic bond buyers. As had been noted by scholars…..“The foreign and domestic public willingly purchased new debt issues when it believed that the government could run future surpluses to offset contemporaneous deficits.” In layman’s English that means foreign bond buyers said – “Hey this is a great nation and this is probably just a speed bump in the economy.” (Can you imagine such a thing happening again?)

When things began to disintegrate, no one dared to take away the punchbowl. They feared shutting off the monetary heroin would lead to riots, civil war, and, worst of all communism. So, realizing that what they were doing was destructive, they kept doing it out of fear that stopping would be even more destructive.

Currencies, Culture And Chaos – If it is difficult to grasp the enormity of the numbers in this tale of hyper-inflation, it is far more difficult to grasp how it destroyed a culture, a nation and, almost, the world.

People’s savings were suddenly worthless. Pensions were meaningless. If you had a 400 mark monthly pension, you went from comfortable to penniless in a matter of months. People demanded to be paid daily so they would not have their wages devalued by a few days passing. Ultimately, they demanded their pay twice daily just to cover changes in trolley fare. People heated their homes by burning money instead of coal. (It was more plentiful and cheaper to get.)

The middle class was destroyed. It was an age of renters, not of home ownership, so thousands became homeless.

But the cultural collapse may have had other more pernicious effects.

Some sociologists note that it was still an era of arranged marriages. Families scrimped and saved for years to build a dowry so that their daughter might marry well. Suddenly, the dowry was worthless – wiped out. And with it was gone all hope of marriage. Girls who had stayed prim and proper awaiting some future Prince Charming now had no hope at all. Social morality began to collapse. The roar of the roaring twenties began to rumble.

All hope and belief in systems, governmental or otherwise, collapsed. With its culture and its economy disintegrating, Germany saw a guy named Hitler begin a ten year effort to come to power by trading on the chaos and street rioting. And then came World War II.

We think it’s best to close this review with a statement from a man whom many consider (probably incorrectly) the father of modern inflation with his endorsement of deficit spending. Here’s what John Maynard Keynes said on the topic:

By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some…..Those to whom the system brings windfalls….become profiteers.

To convert the business man into a profiteer is to strike a blow at capitalism, because it destroys the psychological equilibrium which permits the perpetuance of unequal rewards.

Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of over-turning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose….By combining a popular hatred of the class of entrepreneurs with the blow already given to social security by the violent and arbitrary disturbance of contract….governments are fast rendering impossible a continuance of the social and economic order of the nineteenth century
. -- ###

The always entertaining Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge ads:

To celebrate have a jagermeister or two at the Pre Fuhrer Lounge and try to explain that for over half a century America's trauma has been depression-era unemployment and deflation while Germany's trauma has been runaway inflation. But drink fast, prices change radically after happy hour. And, tell Fed Chairman Bernanke that it was the “German Experience” that caused many folks to raise an eyebrow when he alluded to the power of the “printing press” a few years ago. But, rest assured that no one would let it happen again.

With my drink I raise my glass to CIGA Eric from Jim Sinclair’s Mine Set for this closing shot:

Anyone dressing (and playing the part) as a mindless zombie for Halloween should probably read the following quote. It will help get into character later this month.:

"It is very important for people to understand that the United States of America and no country around the world can devalue its way to prosperity, to [be] competitive," he said. "It is not a viable, feasible strategy." – Timothy Geithner, U.S. Treasury Secretary

And so America fades into that goodnight…

The Mamas and The Papas - Dedicated to the One I Love

The Mamas and The Papas - Dedicated to the One I Love

While I'm far away from you my baby
I know its hard for you my baby
Because its hard for me my baby
And the darkest hour is just before dawn

Each night before you go to bed my baby
Whisper a little prayer for me my baby
And tell all the stars above
This is dedicated to the one I love

(life can never be exactly like we want it to be)
I could be satisfied knowing you love me
(but there's one thing I want you to do especially for me)
And its something that everybody needs

While I'm far away from you my baby
Whisper a little prayer for me my baby
Because its hard for me my baby
And the darkest hour is just before dawn

If there's one thing I want you to do
Especially for me
And its something that everybody needs

Each night before you go to bed my baby
Whisper a little prayer for me my baby
And tell all the stars above
This is dedicated to the one I love

This is dedicated to the one I love
This is dedicated to the one I love
This is dedicated to the one I love
(this is dedicated)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Brain in Your Gut

Heribert Watzke: The Brain in Your Gut

Did you know you have functioning neurons in your intestines -- about a hundred million of them? Food scientist Heribert Watzke tells us about the "hidden brain" in our gut and the surprising things it makes us feel.

Future Drought

Future drought: These four maps illustrate the potential for future drought worldwide over the decades indicated, based on current projections of future greenhouse gas emissions. These maps are not intended as forecasts, since the actual course of projected greenhouse gas emissions as well as natural climate variations could alter the drought patterns.

The maps use a common measure, the Palmer Drought Severity Index, which assigns positive numbers when conditions are unusually wet for a particular region, and negative numbers when conditions are unusually dry. A reading of -4 or below is considered extreme drought. Regions that are blue or green will likely be at lower risk of drought, while those in the red and purple spectrum could face more unusually extreme drought conditions. (Credit: Courtesy Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews, redrawn by UCAR)

The United States and many other heavily populated countries face a growing threat of severe and prolonged drought in coming decades, according to a new study by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Aiguo Dai. The detailed analysis concludes that warming temperatures associated with climate change will likely create increasingly dry conditions across much of the globe in the next 30 years, possibly reaching a scale in some regions by the end of the century that has rarely, if ever, been observed in modern times.

Read more at Science Daily: Drought May Threaten Much of Globe Within Decades, Analysis Predicts

Electronic Armageddon

Electronic Armageddon

National Geographic Explorer investigates the science behind the dangers of a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse, or HEMP.

This is the best production I've seen on the EMP threat. - c

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com

Related: EMP

Book: One Second After by William R. Forstchen

Asian Poison

Guest post by Teak

As we saw with the poisonous pet foods, lead painted toys, etc., Chinese products are very much caveat emptor. I received this warning in much longer form and have distilled it down as seen below. I think it may be an overblown threat, but would urge those with children or a taste for Asian foods to be aware of the potential hazards.

China has reported many instances of poisoning from compromised milk / milk products and there is no recall system / warning list available - in part because of the chaotic, frontier nature of the Chinese manufacturing industry.

1.What really is poisoned milk?

It is milk powder mixed with 'MELAMINE'. What is Melamine used for? It is an industrial chemical used principally in the production of inexpensive dishes.

2.Why is Melamine added to milk powder?

Melamine is inexpensive; adding it to milk powder reduces the cost of products made using milk powder. And Chinese industrialists have embraced the idea of making profits to exclusion of all else with an enthusiasm which would make the 19th Century American robber barons look like EPA regulators.

Here's a photo of the powder - it has no odor while it has coloration and granulation very similar to powdered milk, allowing the unscrupulous to dilute the pure product with little chance of being found out until the damage is done.

3.What happens when Melamine ingested and digested?

Melamine remains inside the kidneys. It forms into stones blocking the tubes; pain will be imminent and the person cannot urinate. It can cause kidney failure. The Chinese have had a large number of infants who developed serious kidney problems which compromised the organs to the point where regular dialysis is required. The chemical has also been found in many products of Taiwanese origin.

4. Proactive preventative steps - basically avoid food products which could contain milk products.

The first 3 digits of the barcode identify the country code of the product's origin. ALL barcodes that start with 690, 691, 692, etc., up to and including 695 are from the PRC. Code 471 identifies Taiwan and 480 the Philippines.

Double digit codes 00 - 13 are US / Canada while up to 76 (at least) represent Japan and Western Europe.

This code comes from a Taiwanese product:

I will be keeping this in mind as I shop. It may have been exaggerated, but given the track record of the past few years and the horror stories I've read of the horrible scams Chinese have foisted on their countrymen, I thought I should pass it along.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Great Filament

Click image to view hi-res photo.

A vast filament of magnetism is cutting across the sun's southern hemisphere today. Run a finger along the golden-brown line in this extreme UV image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory and your digit will have traveled more than 400,000 km.

A bright 'hot spot' just north of the filament's midpoint is UV radiation from sunspot 1112. The proximity is no coincidence; the filament appears to be rooted in the sunspot below. If the sunspot flares, it could cause the entire structure to erupt. -- SpaceWeather.com

Click image to view hi-res photo. Source: SDO

Fast-growing sunspot 1112 is crackling with solar flares. The three strongest of this 24 hour period: an M3-flare at 1910 UT on Oct. 16th, a C1-flare at 0900 UT and another C1-flare at 1740 UT on Oct. 17th. So far, none of the blasts has hurled a substantial CME toward Earth. -- NASA

Thursday, October 14, 2010

UFOs Appear As Predicted

New Yorkers watch UFOs overhead on Oct. 13, 2010. Twit Pic By FrankieJGrande. Note the timely white sign in the background which reads, "If you see something, say something."

Retired NORAD Officer Predicted Oct. 13, 2010 UFO Display

"They won't land this year; that will come later..." -- Stanley A. Fulham

Just how many UFOs appeared around the world as Stanley predicted?

UFO-Summary Of All The Sightings

Now that's gotta help book sales!

Challenges of Change by Stanley A. Fulham

Pearls Before Swine

Besides books, DVDs, magazines and Internet service, my county library boasts near the front door a small bookcase containing things which are free to take – items donated by other patrons: books, magazines and a new development, non-perishable foods. (More on the latter some other time. A great idea though, isn’t it?)

A quick read from an otherwise unknown source is what most attracts my attention. I now have nearly one hundred various magazines at home. This is how I happened to possess the point of this post – an issue of The Atlantic – IMO a liberal rag full of articles reviling Marx, deriding breast feeding, touting globalization as God’s will and absolutely gorged with advertising from true monsters: Cargill, GE, Siemens and Monsanto. I was horrified at the contents of my unwitting selection. My new-found Neo-Luddite soul was repeatedly shocked upon the turning of each page.

Finally, on the very last page, I discovered a gem worth passing along. It appears to be from an advice column by the apparently mis-employed Jeffrey Goldberg. (I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here Jeffrey, having not read your other works. Take your fine, humorous suggestions somewhere where they will be better appreciated. I’m thinking along the lines of page two rather than page one hundred.)

The second letter to Mr. Goldberg is downright gold. Here it is:

My husband, with uncharacteristic frugality, seems unable to resist taking home the unopened jars of jelly, mustard, and ketchup that are left on room-service trays with the half-eaten eggs. You don’t understand how many of these little jars we’re accumulating. Where will it all end? – Suzanne C., Arlington, Va.

Dear Suzanne,

Where will it end? With you being rich, that’s where! A 13-ounce jar of Bonne Maman jam (let’s assume you’re a top-shelf traveler) costs roughly $4.29. Room-service jams are about an ounce each, so do the math. In these dark days, it makes sense to offset hotel bills by taking everything you can: little mustards and ketchups, soap, shampoo, conditioner, forks, knives, glassware, pillows, mattresses, wall-mounted flat-screen televisions (call the concierge for a screwdriver.) Hotel jelly happens not to be my obsession, though. Should the worst happen – systemic bank failure, meteor strike, Ebola, Nazis – I’ll be subsisting entirely on little packets of duck sauce.

Not the pearl of wisdom you were hoping for? Oh well, consider the source. :/

Gene Burnett - Jump You F*#kers (A Song For Wall Street)

Gene Burnett - Jump You F*#kers (A Song For Wall Street)

h/t: Karl Denniger of The Market Ticker who reminds us, "... best of all, there ain't a thing that's illegal about suggesting that Bernanke, and the rest of them, take this very honorable path of their own volition."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Black Drink

I know that I just recently posted Green Deane’s video on hollies but, I’ve just discovered an interesting bit of history associated with one of them (Ilex vomitoria) in a book I’m now reading, Florida Indians and the Invasion from Europeby Jerald T. Milanich (pp. 57-60)

The Black Drink

An American English colonist whose ship was wrecked in 1696 during a storm on the [Florida] coast about five miles north of Jupiter Inlet, Jonathan Dickinson, wrote a remarkable account of the wreck and of the native people they encountered as the survivors made their way northward along the coast to Spanish St. Augustine.

[…]

At a native village just to the north, probably at St. Lucie Inlet and perhaps occupied by the Santaluces, Dickinson saw the people brew and drink a special tea called black drink. The drink is made from the parched leaves of the yaupon holly plant (Ilex vomitoria), which grows wild along the Florida coasts north of the more tropical regions. It was used as a ceremonial tea by a very large number of southeastern American Indians, including nearly all of the groups in northern Florida. Archaeological evidence suggests it has a long history in Florida. [1] Dickinson described the ceremony in detail:

In one part of this house where the fire was kept, was an Indian man, having a pot on the fire wherein he was making a drink of the leaves of a shrub (which we understood afterwards . . . is called caseena), boiling the said leaves, after they had parched them in a pot; then with a gourd having a long neck and at the top of it a small hole which the top of one’s finger could cover, and at the side of it a round hole of two inches diameter, they take the liquor out of the pot and put in into a deep round bowl, which being almost filled containeth nigh three gallons. With this gourd they brew the liquor and make it froth very much. It looketh of a deep brown color. In the brewing of this liquor was this noise made which we thought strange; for the pressing of this gourd gently down into the liquor, and the air which it contained being forced out of the little hole at top occasioned a sound, and according to the time and motion given would be various. This drink when made, and cooled to sup, was in a conch-shell first carried to the Casseekey, who threw part of it on the ground, and the rest he drank up, and then would make a loud He-m; and afterwards the cup passed to the rest of the Casseekey’s associates, as aforesaid, but no other man, woman nor child must touch or taste of this sort of drink; of which they sat sipping, chatting and smoking tobacco, or some other herb instead thereof, for the most part of the day. [2]

As Green Deane discusses in his video on hollies (below), Ilex vomitoria has more caffeine than any other North American plant. The black drink, together with tobacco and “some other herb” must have produced quite a buzz indeed. I can’t say it better than Green Deane who jokes, “Maybe those folks back then knew a thing or two.” ;)

[1] Some of that evidence is reviewed in Milanich (1994: 117, 137, 140, 149-150, 179, 192-194, 272, 407). A thorough study of black drink and its history and use among southeastern native people is Black Drink: A Native American Tea (Hudson 1979).

[2] Andrews and Andrews (1945: 46-47).

Eat The Weeds: The Hollies

Can't do without caffeine? Learn about six hollies, three with caffeine and three without, that can make a healthy tea full of antioxidants and caffeine if you want.

www.EatTheWeeds.com

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gamma Ray Burst 10/08/10

Although most gamma ray bursts are at cosmological distances it is possible that there has been one or more bursts from the Galactic Center, the most recent having been ~12 million years ago (Sanders and Prendergast, 1974 ).

Wdowczyk and Wolfendale (1977) have examined this possibility and derived [that such a gamma ray burst would cause] a fluence of 1MJm–2 at the top of the atmosphere. The corresponding radiological dose is ~100 Röntgen. [10 R being a serious dose for mammals.]

Although it is true that the gamma rays, being in the MeV region, will be largely absorbed by the 20-30km altitude region their effect on the ozone layer and the dynamics of the atmosphere make an effect on the troposphere inevitable. [1]

On Earth the effects of a Galactic Center gamma ray burst would be far worse than any solar bad flare day. Surely the Earth would survive -- but, life as we know it would not.

[1] Long term time variability of cosmic rays and possible relevance to the development of life on Earth, A.D.Erlykin 1,1a and A. W. Wolfendale, Department of Physics, Durham University, Durham, UK (1a) Permanent address: P N Lebedev Institute, Moscow, Russia February 27, 2010


Gamma-ray Burst Real-time Sky Map

Real-time Magnetosphere Simulation