Friday, August 26, 2011

New York City Hurricane Evacuation Zones: Map

http://img.ibtimes.com/www/data/images/full/2011/08/25/150514-new-york-city-hurricane-evacuation-zones.jpg
“Areas potentially under water include the Rockaways, Coney Island, much of southern Brooklyn and Queens, portions of Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, lower Manhattan and eastern Staten Island from Great Kills Harbor north to the Verrazano Bridge.” -- Climate Systems Research at Columbia University


http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/tc_pages/tc_home.html


Interactive tracking chart, wind speed graph and latest news.


~ ~ ~

Wall Street, too, is entering the bunker

Many of New York's largest investment banks are headquartered in midtown Manhattan, and thus fall outside the city's designated flood zones. Bank of America's 1 Bryant Park skyscraper, Citigroup's 399 Park Avenue building, Morgan Stanley's 1585 Broadway bureau, and JPMorgan Chase's 270 Park Avenue offices are all outside the zones. Credit Suisse's tower, located a little further south at 11 Madison Avenue, also carries a "no zone" designation.

But the headquarters of Goldman Sachs, located at 200 West Street in Battery Park City, is located in Zone A, putting it at greater risk for flooding should Hurricane Irene strike the city with force. So is Deutsche Bank's 60 Wall Street headquarters, and American Express's office in the World Financial Center. -- NYT

This one's for you, Wall Street!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Eat The Weeds: Horseweed




Spice, food and source of a drill for making fire by hand, Horseweed is found around the world.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Madrid Fault Earthquake: Fukushima on the Mississippi

http://www.ki4u.com/nuclearsurvival/nuke1map.gif
In May, the federal government simulated an earthquake so massive, it killed 100,000 Midwesterners instantly, and forced more than 7 million people out of their homes. At the time, National Level Exercise 11 went largely unnoticed; the scenario seemed too far-fetched — states like Illinois and Missouri are in the middle of a tectonic plate, not at the edge of one. A major quake happens there once every several generations.

But Tuesday’s earthquake along the East Coast is a reminder that disasters can hit where they’re least expected. And if the nightmare scenario comes, government officials worry that state and federal authorities won’t be able to handle the “cascading failures” that follow. The results of May’s disaster exercise won’t be released to the public. But privately, these government officials say they’re glad that this earthquake was just a drill — and not the big one. Especially because there are so many nuclear power plants in the fault zone.

Read more at Wired



Take Big Bites

http://wallpaper-million.com/Wallpapers/f/3D%20and%20CG/Big-wave-is-about-to-eat-a-small-boat-wallpaper_2930.jpg

To get the most out of life, take big bites...


http://www.pulsarmedia.eu/data/media/849/Yacht%20Wallpaper%201680X1050.jpg


"Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks." -- Robert A. Heinlein




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Science as Religion: Selected Quotes

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2683571

"I don't try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our adequate senses to appreciate it." -- Albert Einstein

"Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." -- Charles Darwin

"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant'? Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.' A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths." -- Carl Sagan

"Some people have views of God that are so broad and flexible that it is inevitable that they will find God wherever they look for him. One hears it said that 'God is the ultimate' or 'God is our better nature' or 'God is the universe.' Of course, like any other word, the word 'God' can be given any meaning we like. if you want to say that 'God is energy,' then you can find God in a lump of coal." -- Steven Weinberg

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." -- Albert Einstein

"I am a deeply religious nonbeliever. This is a somewhat new kind of religion.

I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.

The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive." -- Albert Einstein

All quotes from The GOD Delusion by Richard Dawkins.





http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/TC.html

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Double Coronal Holes

http://spaceweather.com/

A double-barreled hole has opened up in the sun's atmosphere and it is spewing a split-stream of solar wind toward Earth. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this composite UV image of the double coronal hole on August 20th.

Sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the solar wind arrives on August 22-24. NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% to 50% chance of high-latitude geomagnetic activity. -- Space Weather

Related: The Sun-Earth Connection


Enhanced Technique for Tracking Solar Storms All the Way From Sun to Earth

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Alien Invasion" Gets Airtime




Just listen to this! Talk about hiding things in plain sight and laying out the agenda. Here we see Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman actually saying that an alien invasion would see the economy sorted in 18 months, even if they had to come out and admit there was no threat after that time!

This comes on the day after [physicist] Michio Kaku hyped the alien invasion scenario and how it would help bring about a global governance!

There is something in the offing here people. We are seeing the ground work being laid right now. -- ufoencontrosimediato













Read More: Research explores potential outcomes of contact with aliens

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Storing Food in Mylar Bags




Kev's SHTF food preps include food in mylar bags, #10 cans, MREs and canned goods. In this video he makes up 20 mylar bags of rice, beans, oatmeal and various other items. -- Read more

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Keiser Report With Bill Black (!)




This week Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, observe the British shock that there is no society. In the second half of the show Max talks to former bank regulator William K. Black about the absence of justice for banking crimes and whether or not the population plays a role in demanding this justice.

~ ~ ~

Don't miss this commentary from Karl Denninger:

Comet Elenin Poses No Threat to Earth

Trajectory of comet Elenin. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Often, comets are portrayed as harbingers of gloom and doom in movies and on television, but most pose no threat to Earth. Comet Elenin, the latest comet to visit our inner solar system, is no exception. Elenin will pass about 22 million miles (35 million kilometers) from Earth during its closest approach on Oct. 16, 2011.

Also known by its astronomical name C/2010 X1, the comet was first detected on Dec. 10, 2010 by Leonid Elenin, an observer in Lyubertsy, Russia, who made the discovery "remotely" using an observatory in New Mexico. At that time, Elenin was about 401 million miles (647 million kilometers) from Earth. Since its discovery, Comet Elenin has – as all comets do – closed the distance to Earth's vicinity as it makes its way closer to perihelion, its closest point to the sun.

NASA scientists have taken time over the last several months to answer your questions. Compiled below are the some of the most popular questions, with answers from Don Yeomans of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and David Morrison of the NASA Astrobiology Institute at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

Most Popular Questions About Comet Elenin

When will Comet Elenin come closest to the Earth and appear the brightest?

Comet Elenin should be at its brightest shortly before the time of its closest approach to Earth on Oct. 16, 2011. At its closest point, it will be 22 million miles (35 million kilometers) from us.

Will Comet Elenin come close to the Earth or between the Earth and the moon?

Comet Elenin will not come closer to Earth than 22 million miles (35 million kilometers). That's more than 90 times the distance to the moon.

Can this comet influence us from where it is, or where it will be in the future? Can this celestial object cause shifting of the tides or even tectonic plates here on Earth?

There have been incorrect speculations on the Internet that alignments of comet Elenin with other celestial bodies could cause consequences for Earth and external forces could cause comet Elenin to come closer. "Any approximate alignments of comet Elenin with other celestial bodies are meaningless, and the comet will not encounter any dark bodies that could perturb its orbit, nor will it influence us in any way here on Earth," said Don Yeomans, a scientist at NASA JPL.

"Comet Elenin will not only be far away, it is also on the small side for comets," said Yeomans. "And comets are not the most densely-packed objects out there. They usually have the density of something akin to loosely packed icy dirt.

"So you've got a modest-sized icy dirtball that is getting no closer than 35 million kilometers [about 22 million miles)," said Yeomans. "It will have an immeasurably minuscule influence on our planet. By comparison, my subcompact automobile exerts a greater influence on the ocean's tides than comet Elenin ever will."

I've heard about three days of darkness because of Comet Elenin. Will Elenin block out the sun for three days?

"As seen from the Earth, comet Elenin will not cross the sun's face," says Yeomans.

But even if it could cross the sun, which it can't, astrobiologist David Morrison notes that comet Elenin is about 2-3 miles (3-5 kilometers) wide, while the sun is roughly 865,000 miles (1,392,082 kilometers) across. How could such a small object block the sun, which is such a large object?

Let's think about an eclipse of the sun, which happens when the moon appears between the Earth and the sun. The moon is about 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) in diameter, and has the same apparent size as the sun when it is about 250,000 miles (400,000 kilometers) away -- roughly 100 times its own diameter. For a comet with a diameter of about 2-3 miles (3-5 kilometers) to cover the sun it would have to be within 250 miles (400 kilometers), roughly the orbital altitude of the International Space Station. However, as stated above, this comet will come no closer to Earth than 22 million miles.

I've heard there is a "brown dwarf" theory about Comet Elenin. Would its mass be enough to pull Comet Honda's trajectory a significant amount? Could this be used to determine the mass of Elenin?

Morrison says that there is no 'brown dwarf theory' of this comet. "A comet is nothing like a brown dwarf. You are correct that the way astronomers measure the mass of one object is by its gravitational effect on another, but comets are far too small to have a measureable influence on anything."

If we had a black or brown dwarf in our outer solar system, I guess no one could see it, right?

"No, that's not correct," says Morrison. "If we had a brown dwarf star in the outer solar system, we could see it, detect its infrared energy and measure its perturbing effect on other objects. There is no brown dwarf in the solar system, otherwise we would have detected it. And there is no such thing as a black dwarf."

Will Comet Elenin be visible to the naked eye when it's closer to us? I missed Hale-Bopp's passing, so I want to know if we'll actually be able to see something in the sky when Elenin passes.

We don't know yet if Comet Elenin will be visible to the naked eye. Morrison says, "At the rate it is going, seeing the comet at its best in early October will require binoculars and a very dark sky. Unfortunately, Elenin is no substitute for seeing comet Hale-Bopp, which was the brightest comet of the past several decades."

"This comet may not put on a great show. Just as certainly, it will not cause any disruptions here on Earth. But, there is a cause to marvel," said Yeomans. "This intrepid little traveler will offer astronomers a chance to study a relatively young comet that came here from well beyond our solar system's planetary region. After a short while, it will be headed back out again, and we will not see or hear from Elenin for thousands of years. That's pretty cool."

This comet has been called 'wimpy' by NASA scientists. Why?

"We're talking about how a comet looks as it safely flies past us," said Yeomans of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office. "Some cometary visitors arriving from beyond the planetary region – like Hale-Bopp in 1997 -- have really lit up the night sky where you can see them easily with the naked eye as they safely transit the inner-solar system. But Elenin is trending toward the other end of the spectrum. You'll probably need a good pair of binoculars, clear skies and a dark, secluded location to see it even on its brightest night."

Why aren't you talking more about Comet Elenin? If these things are small and nothing to worry about, why has there been no public info on Comet Elenin?

Comet Elenin hasn't received much press precisely because it is small and faint. Several new comets are discovered each year, and you don't normally hear about them either. The truth is that Elenin has received much more attention than it deserves due to a variety of Internet postings that are untrue. The information NASA has on Elenin is readily available on the Internet. (See http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-135) If this comet were any danger to anyone, you would certainly know about it. For more information, visit NASA's AsteroidWatch site at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroidwatch/.

I've heard NASA has observed Elenin many times more than other comets. Is this true, and is NASA playing this comet down?

NASA regularly detects, tracks and characterizes asteroids and comets passing relatively close to Earth using both ground- and space-based telescopes. The Near-Earth Object Observations Program, commonly called "Spaceguard," discovers these objects, characterizes a subset of them and predicts their paths to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet. For more information, visit the NASA-JPL Near Earth objects site at http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/ .

However, neither NASA nor JPL is in the business of actively observing Elenin or any other comet. Most of the posted observations are made by amateur astronomers around the world. Since Elenin has had so much publicity, it naturally has attracted more observers.

I was looking at the orbital diagram of Comet Elenin on the JPL website, and I was wondering why the orbit shows some angles when zooming? If you pick any other comet, you can see that there are no angles or bends.

Many people are trying to plot the orbit of the comet with the routine on the JPL website, without realizing that this is just a simple visualization tool. While the tool has been recently improved to show smoother trajectories near the sun, it is not a scientific program to generate an accurate orbit. Yeomans explains that the orbit plotter on the Near-Earth Object website is not meant to accurately depict the true motion of objects over long time intervals, nor is it accurate during close planetary encounters. For more accurate long-term plotting, Yeomans suggests using the JPL Horizons system instead: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi?find_body=1&body_group=sb&sstr=C/2010%20X1 .

DC Agle (818) 393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
agle@jpl.nasa.gov

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Indecision 2012 - Corn Polled Edition - Ron Paul & the Top Tier


Even when the media does remember Ron Paul, it's only to reassure themselves that there's no need to remember Ron Paul.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Webbot clif high on Suzanne Toro radio 8/3/2011

Here at Half Past Human we forecast the future.




the universe wants 'US' to hear this interview in its raw transparent state...(hint) the shape of things to come...

Content includes: Patrick Geryl, Solar Activity, Clif High, Matterium, 7 sacred plants, crop circles, earthquakes, inland seas, 9.11.11, 10.11.11, 1.6.12, 12.20.12...Lettuce & Kale, Beyond linear education, Self imposed World Economic Crisis, Asia, Australia, South America, Meditation, Bipolar earth and human impacts, Weeping Mountains...the big Shake and Bake...Food where shall we grow thee

UK Mayhem Leaves Disarmed Citizens at the Mercy of Criminals


By now you have seen the headlines and images of destruction: the rioting, looting, violent assaults, and arson. London and other UK cities look like war zones and their citizens are afraid to venture out, because the danger is very real. It's a view of the temporary breakdown of society. It is gut check time; a time when the concept of being able to defend oneself gives way to the stark reality that few viable options to do so exist.

Gun laws in the UK are among the most restrictive in the world. In March of 1996, a deranged man walked into a school in Dunblane, Scotland and killed 16 children and one teacher. In the aftermath of this tragedy, British politicians sought to reduce violent crime by enacting a ban on all handguns. Handgun owners were given a February 1998 deadline to turn in their firearms--and they did. The UK was supposed to become a much safer place--but dramatic increases in crime following the gun ban proved it didn't.

A July 3, 2009, Daily Mail article reported that "Britain's violent crime record is worse than any other country in the European Union, it has been revealed. Official crime figures show the U.K. also has a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and even South Africa."

And the current bedlam has proved it further. Restrictive laws concerning long-guns, combined with the outright ban on handguns, leave the country's citizens largely defenseless (it was reported this week that sales of one type of aluminum baseball bats on Amazon UK rose 6,541 percent). In many places, it was reported that police were unable to stop the mayhem. As a result, panicked, defenseless law-abiding citizens were forced to flee their homes, while others watched as their businesses were destroyed. Compare this to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, when armed citizens were able to protect their lives, families, and property from looters and violent mobs.

An August 11 Herald Sun article reported one resident as saying, "its absolute bedlam on the street. People have been openly looting for an hour, two hours, and the police have been ineffectual. They've done nothing." Another victim, who was trapped in her hair salon in Clapham Junction while a mob smashed its way in and trashed it, said, "They were mocking us, [saying] 'look, look, they look scared'. Where is the police? I want protection. This is what they're here for . . . I'm not secure at my workplace. I'm not secure at my home place. Will they be there to protect us tonight? They weren't here to protect us last night."

The Telegraph.com.au reported on Tuesday that mobs were forcing hapless victims to strip off their clothes while being robbed, and described a shocking video that shows a bleeding, already-pummeled teenager being robbed in broad daylight by lawless thugs who pretend to help him to his feet, and then steal the contents of his backpack while he can barely remain standing, much less defend himself.

This is what a disarmed country looks like. This is how little is left when free men and women surrender their right to own a firearm.

One has to wonder how differently this all would be playing out if the law-abiding were allowed to arm themselves. How different would the reports be if violent, opportunistic, amoral thugs were confronted with armed resistance from their intended victims?

It has been said that, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." In this case, good men and women have been stripped of their ability to do something, and evil has certainly triumphed.

Ironically, the UK is an outspoken proponent of the United Nations' efforts to negotiate an Arms Trade Treaty. Presumably the UK's goal in supporting an ATT is to spread the "safety and sanctity" they imagine their country as having to the rest of the world. Perhaps the recent calamities will cause the British to rethink their position; we certainly hope so. It's time for the British government to drop its draconian gun-control laws and restore the right of self-defense to its law-abiding citizens.

It's time to face the facts. When law-abiding citizens are disarmed, is their society a safer one? Do gun bans reduce violent crime? Will the police always be there to protect you? England's current plight is just the latest example to show us, yet again, that the answer to these questions is an emphatic "No."

Copyright 2011, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.
This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.
11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 800-392-8683 


~ ~ ~

The Pencil Visualization




Some cosmologists have claimed that the tenth dimension is beyond our comprehension, that it's impossible for anyone to actually imagine such a thing. With this project, we've used logical puzzles to help us to do so, building one layer, one concept upon another. Really, this is the basic process of all learning: we start from simple concepts, and we grow from there.

Remember: we're talking about spatial dimensions here, and that means that each spatial dimension is at right angles to the one before. Let's use a paper and a pencil to visualize what that means.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pathfinder School Self Reliance Projects 1




Tuesday, August 9, 2011

UK RIOTS: Britain Burning: Riots Spread Across the UK







Saturday, August 6, 2011

Eat The Weeds: Blue Porterweed

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis




The Blue Porterweed is a staple of butterfly gardens throughout the world, but it has uses as a beverage and a salad ingredient.

S & P AA+ rating on U.S. Sovereign Debt not Low Enough




Standard & Poor's Ratings Services:

We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related  fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process. We also believe that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration agreed to this week falls short of the amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade.

Our lowering of the rating was prompted by our view on the rising public debt burden and our perception of greater policymaking uncertainty, consistent with our criteria (see "Sovereign Government Rating Methodology and Assumptions," June 30, 2011, especially Paragraphs 36-41). Nevertheless, we view the U.S. federal government's other economic, external, and monetary credit attributes, which form the basis for the sovereign rating, as broadly unchanged.

We have taken the ratings off CreditWatch because the Aug. 2 passage of the Budget Control Act Amendment of 2011 has removed any perceived immediate threat of payment default posed by delays to raising the government's debt ceiling. In addition, we believe that the act provides sufficient clarity to allow us to evaluate the likely course of U.S. fiscal policy for the next few years.

The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America's governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy. Despite this year's wide-ranging debate, in our view, the differences between political parties have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to bridge, and, as we see it, the resulting agreement fell well short of the comprehensive fiscal consolidation program that some proponents had envisaged until quite recently. Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements, the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key to long-term fiscal sustainability.

Our opinion is that elected officials remain wary of tackling the structural issues required to effectively address the rising U.S. public debt burden in a manner consistent with a 'AAA' rating and with 'AAA' rated sovereign peers (see Sovereign Government Rating Methodology and Assumptions," June 30, 2011, especially Paragraphs 36-41). In our view, the difficulty in framing a consensus on fiscal policy weakens the government's ability to manage public finances and diverts attention from the debate over how to achieve more balanced and dynamic economic growth in an era of fiscal stringency and private-sector deleveraging (ibid). A new political consensus might (or might not) emerge after the 2012 elections, but we believe that by then, the government debt burden will likely be higher, the needed medium-term fiscal adjustment potentially greater, and the inflection point on the U.S. population's demographics and other age-related spending drivers closer at hand (see "Global Aging 2011: In The U.S., Going Gray Will Likely Cost Even More Green, Now," June 21, 2011).

Standard & Poor's takes no position on the mix of spending and revenue measures that Congress and the Administration might conclude is appropriate for putting the U.S.'s finances on a sustainable footing.

The act calls for as much as $2.4 trillion of reductions in expenditure growth over the 10 years through 2021. These cuts will be implemented in two steps: the $917 billion agreed to initially, followed by an additional $1.5 trillion that the newly formed Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is supposed to recommend by November 2011. The act contains no measures to raise taxes or otherwise enhance revenues, though the committee could recommend them.

The act further provides that if Congress does not enact the committee's recommendations, cuts of $1.2 trillion will be implemented over the same time period. The reductions would mainly affect outlays for civilian discretionary spending, defense, and Medicare. We understand that this fall-back mechanism is designed to encourage Congress to embrace a more balanced mix of expenditure savings, as the committee might recommend.

We note that in a letter to Congress on Aug. 1, 2011, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated total budgetary savings under the act to be at least $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years relative to its baseline assumptions. In updating our own fiscal projections, with certain modifications outlined below, we have relied on the CBO's latest "Alternate Fiscal Scenario" of June 2011, updated to include the CBO assumptions contained in its Aug. 1 letter to Congress. In general, the CBO's "Alternate Fiscal Scenario" assumes a continuation of recent Congressional action overriding existing law.

We view the act's measures as a step toward fiscal consolidation. However, this is within the framework of a legislative mechanism that leaves open the details of what is finally agreed to until the end of 2011, and Congress and the Administration could modify any agreement in the future. Even assuming that at least $2.1 trillion of the spending reductions the act envisages are implemented, we maintain our view that the U.S. net general government debt burden (all levels of government combined, excluding liquid financial assets) will likely continue to grow. Under our revised base case fiscal scenario--which we consider to be consistent with a 'AA+' long-term rating and a negative outlook--we now project that net general government debt would rise from an estimated 74% of GDP by the end of 2011 to 79% in 2015 and 85% by 2021. Even the projected 2015 ratio of sovereign indebtedness is high in relation to those of peer credits and, as noted, would continue to rise under the act's revised policy settings.
Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act. Key macroeconomic assumptions in the base case scenario include trend real GDP growth of 3% and consumer price inflation near 2% annually over the decade.

Our revised upside scenario--which, other things being equal, we view as consistent with the outlook on the 'AA+' long-term rating being revised to stable--retains these same macroeconomic assumptions. In addition, it incorporates $950 billion of new revenues on the assumption that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for high earners lapse from 2013 onwards, as the Administration is advocating. In this scenario, we project that the net general government debt would rise from an estimated 74% of GDP by the end of 2011 to 77% in 2015 and to 78% by 2021.

Our revised downside scenario--which, other things being equal, we view as being consistent with a possible further downgrade to a 'AA' long-term  rating--features less-favorable macroeconomic assumptions, as outlined below and also assumes that the second round of spending cuts (at least $1.2 trillion) that the act calls for does not occur. This scenario also assumes somewhat higher nominal interest rates for U.S. Treasuries. We still believe that the role of the U.S. dollar as the key reserve currency confers a government funding advantage, one that could change only slowly over time, and that Fed policy might lean toward continued loose monetary policy at a time of fiscal tightening. Nonetheless, it is possible that interest rates could rise if investors re-price relative risks. As a result, our alternate scenario factors in a 50 basis point (bp)-75 bp rise in 10-year bond yields relative to the base and upside cases from 2013 onwards. In this scenario, we project the net public debt burden would rise from 74% of GDP in 2011 to 90% in 2015 and to 101% by 2021.
Our revised scenarios also take into account the significant negative revisions to historical GDP data that the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced on July 29. From our perspective, the effect of these revisions underscores two related points when evaluating the likely debt trajectory of the U.S. government. First, the revisions show that the recent recession was deeper than previously assumed, so the GDP this year is lower than previously thought in both nominal and real terms. Consequently, the debt burden is slightly higher. Second, the revised data highlight the sub-par path of the current economic recovery when compared with rebounds following previous post-war recessions. We believe the sluggish pace of the current economic recovery could be consistent with the experiences of countries that have had financial crises in which the slow process of debt deleveraging in the private sector leads to a persistent drag on demand. As a result, our downside case scenario assumes relatively modest real trend GDP growth of 2.5% and inflation of near 1.5% annually going forward.

When comparing the U.S. to sovereigns with 'AAA' long-term ratings that we view as relevant peers--Canada, France, Germany, and the U.K.--we also observe, based on our base case scenarios for each, that the trajectory of the U.S.'s net public debt is diverging from the others. Including the U.S., we estimate that these five sovereigns will have net general government debt to GDP ratios this year ranging from 34% (Canada) to 80% (the U.K.), with the U.S. debt burden at 74%. By 2015, we project that their net public debt to GDP ratios will range between 30% (lowest, Canada) and 83% (highest, France), with the U.S. debt burden at 79%. However, in contrast with the U.S., we project that the net public debt burdens of these other sovereigns will begin to decline, either before or by 2015.

Standard & Poor's transfer T&C assessment of the U.S. remains 'AAA'. Our T&C assessment reflects our view of the likelihood of the sovereign restricting other public and private issuers' access to foreign exchange needed to meet debt service. Although in our view the credit standing of the U.S. government has deteriorated modestly, we see little indication that official interference of this kind is entering onto the policy agenda of either Congress or the Administration. Consequently, we continue to view this risk as being highly remote.

Outlook

The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. As our downside alternate fiscal scenario illustrates, a higher public debt trajectory than we currently assume could lead us to lower the long-term rating again. On the other hand, as our upside scenario highlights, if the recommendations of the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction--independently or coupled with other initiatives, such as the lapsing of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for high earners--lead to fiscal consolidation measures beyond the minimum mandated, and we believe they are likely to slow the deterioration of the government's debt dynamics, the long-term rating could stabilize at 'AA+'.

On Monday, we will issue separate releases concerning affected ratings in the funds, government-related entities, financial institutions, insurance, public finance, and structured finance sectors.


"Yes, this [downgrade] will result in a monstrous economic contraction." -- Karl Denninger, The Market Ticker