Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Chambers, who is also the chairman of S&P's sovereign ratings committee, told Reuters on Tuesday that U.S. Treasury bills maturing on August 4 would be rated 'D' if the government fails to honor them. Unaffected Treasuries would be downgraded as well, but not as sharply, he said.
"If the U.S. government misses a payment, it goes to D," Chambers said. "That would happen right after August 4, when the bills mature, because they don't have a grace period."
Fears of a technical default have been rising after budget negotiations between Democrats and Republicans fell apart in Washington earlier this week. Even a brief default by the United States would immediately increase the country's borrowing costs, weighing on the fragile economic recovery and eroding the dollar's status as a reserve currency.
On August 4, the Treasury Department is due to pay off $30 billion in maturing short-term debt.
With the debt talks stalled, new ideas are surfacing such as prioritizing debt payments. But Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned lawmakers on Wednesday that such a move would still cause investors to shun U.S. Treasury securities.
Geithner said that because the United States now borrows roughly 40 cents of every dollar it spends, prioritizing payments with no debt limit increase would require cutting 40 percent of all government expenditures.
S&P is not the first agency to say it will downgrade the United States if a payment is missed. Rival credit rater Moody's on June 2 was the first to say it would downgrade the United States shortly after a possible ceiling-related default, but not as deeply -- to the Aa range.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
The Weather Channel just now reported that while there are safety crews in place they were grounded as the winds were so strong yesterday that helicopters & air tankers could not even get in the air & they are not sure if they will be able to today. Also they brought in people to monitor the radiation levels. And there is a mandatory evacuation in the area & the flames are now just 4 miles from the facility.
Again, the Hippies were right. Nukes are bad !!
There is "the potential for the blaze to more than double in size."
The fire "forced the closure of the lab"
"Laboratory officials said the wildfire sparked a spot fire on its property that was soon contained Monday,"
"Flames were just across the road from the southern edge of the famed lab, where scientists developed the first atomic bomb during World War II." .... Karma ?
"The anti-nuclear watchdog group Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety said the fire appeared to be about 3.5 miles from a dumpsite where as many as 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated waste were stored in fabric tents above ground."
NM blaze threatening nuclear lab, sparking fires
LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — Firefighters worked through the night and into Tuesday hoping to put out spot fires erupting ahead of a wildfire in the mountains above the northern New Mexico town that is home to a government nuclear laboratory.
"That's the biggest threat we have right now to homes in the community," Deputy Los Alamos County Fire Chief Mike Thompson said late Monday of the fires that left hillsides above the town of Los Alamos glowing.
The ominous orange haze was visible at night from deserted Trinity Drive in Los Alamos, from which 12,500 residents were evacuated. The evacuation was so calm and orderly that there wasn't even a traffic accident, Police Chief Wayne Torpy said.
A crew that had been working at the Arizona wildfires took over efforts at the New Mexico fire Monday, about 18 hours after the blaze started. It has quickly grown to 44,000 acres — or 68 square miles — and ignited a spot fire on lab property.
Another firefighting team was expected to arrive Tuesday because of the potential for the blaze to more than double in size.
The wildfire has destroyed 30 structures south and west of Los Alamos. It forced the closure of the lab and, for many, stirred memories of a devastating blaze in May 2000 that destroyed hundreds of homes and buildings in town.
Laboratory officials said the wildfire sparked a spot fire on its property that was soon contained Monday, and no contamination was released. They also assured that radioactive materials stored in spots on the sprawling lab were safe.
Flames were just across the road from the southern edge of the famed lab, where scientists developed the first atomic bomb during World War II. The facility cut natural gas to some areas overnight as a precaution.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Obama will continue wars in the middle east with the aim of deposing all governments so oil production will cease (last to fall will be Saudi Arabia)
Note: I mentioned Saudi Arabia as being something I felt strongly about in the past ... a key country .. could be bcuz they have 25% of the world's oil ...
BP Liberty oil rig in Prudhoe Bay Alaska is being prepared to develop a massive reserve once oil stops coming out of the middle east (http://www.offshore-technology.com/projects/liberty-project/)
Gold & Silver prices will remain relatively constant until around September when they will start to go up
The US will default on the national debt
Long term be concerned about Russia and China presumably because they will be pissed once the US defaults and the bonds are worthless.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Soros, famous for making $1 billion by betting against the British pound in 1992, did not name any country he thought might exit the currency, but speculation is mounting about the fate of Greece as its politicians struggle to agree more austerity measures demanded by international lenders as the price for staving off bankruptcy.
Soros reiterated his view in a panel discussion in Vienna that the euro had a basic flaw from the start in that the currency was not backed by political union or a joint treasury.
"The euro had no provision for correction. There was no arrangement for any country leaving the euro, which in the current circumstances is probably inevitable," he said.
While he called survival of the European Union a "vital interest to all," he said the EU needed structural changes to halt a process of disintegration.
"There is no plan B at the moment. That is why the authorities are sticking to the status quo and insisting on preserving the existing arrangements instead of recognizing there are fundamental flaws that need to be corrected."
BROWNVILLE, Neb. (AP) — A berm holding the flooded Missouri River back from a Nebraska nuclear power station collapsed early Sunday, but federal regulators said they were monitoring the situation and there was no danger.
The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station shut down in early April for refueling, and there is no water inside the plant, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said. Also, the river is not expected to rise higher than the level the plant was designed to handle. NRC spokesman Victor Dricks said the plant remains safe.
The federal commission had inspectors at the plant 20 miles north of Omaha when the 2,000-foot berm collapsed about 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Water surrounded the auxiliary and containment buildings at the plant, it said in a statement.
The Omaha Public Power District has said the complex will not be reactivated until the flooding subsides. Its spokesman, Jeff Hanson, said the berm wasn't critical to protecting the plant but a crew will look at whether it can be patched.
"That was an additional layer of protection we put in," Hanson said.
The berm's collapse didn't affect the reactor shutdown cooling or the spent fuel pool cooling, but the power supply was cut after water surrounded the main electrical transformers, the NRC said. Emergency generators powered the plant until an off-site power supply was connected Sunday afternoon, according to OPPD.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
also : "There are warnings of "credit markets in a state of panic," as the House Budget Committee chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., put it, causing a sudden drop-off in the country's ability to borrow and pushing the government off a "credit cliff."
And .. : "A deal would permit the government to resume borrowing more than $100 billion a month to pay its bills. Paradoxically – or "perversely," as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke put it – the absence of a deal would not stop the nation's debt from climbing."
Interesting that these things can appear in print sometimes on major news sites & still no one can put the pieces together ... especially Anderson Cooper ... certainly he must have some crack staff working for him who can tell him ... it appears the debt mountain America has built is about to come crashing down on us all ....
WASHINGTON — It might be time for another midnight ride by Paul Revere, this time warning "the creditors are coming."
Americans seem not to have awakened to the fast-looming debt crisis that could summon a new recession, imperil their stock market investments and shatter faith in the world's most powerful economy. Those are among the implications, both sudden and long-lasting, expected to unfold if the U.S. defaults on debt payments for the first time in history.
Facing an August deadline for raising the country's borrowing limit or setting loose the consequences, politicians and economists are plenty alarmed. The people? Apparently not so much.
UPDATE for 5:35 p.m. ET: NASA has recalculated the time of closest approach for this event to be about 3 1/2 hours later than initially reported. The change is reflected below.
Here's something to dwell on as you head to work next week: A small asteroid the size of a tour bus will make an extremely close pass by the Earth on Monday, but it poses no threat to the planet
The asteroid will make its closest approach at 1:14 p.m. EDT (1714 GMT) on June 27 and will pass just over 7,500 miles (12,000 kilometers) above the Earth's surface, NASA officials say. At that particular moment, the asteroid — which scientists have named 2011 MD — will be sailing high off the coast of Antarctica, almost 2,000 miles (3,218 km) south-southwest of South Africa.
Asteroid 2011 MD was discovered Wednesday (June 22) by LINEAR, a pair of robotic telescopes in New Mexico that scan the skies for near-Earth asteroids. The best estimates suggest that this asteroid is between 29 to 98 feet (9 to 30 meters) wide.
According to NASA's Near-Earth Object Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., an object of this size can be expected to come this close to Earth about every 6 years or so, on average. [Photo of asteroid 2011MD trajectory]
"There is no chance that 2011 MD will hit Earth but scientists will use the close pass as opportunity to study it w/ radar observations," astronomers with NASA's Asteroid Watch program at JPL wrote in a Twitter post Thursday (June 23).
Friday, June 24, 2011
Evolving Coverage of Missouri River Flooding, Fort Calhoun and Cooper Nuclear Power Plant Situations
EVOLVING COVERAGE... LAST UPDATED 6/24/11, 1600 PST:
Today there is a notable uptick in big media coverage of the Nebraska nuclear power plant flooding. Unfortunately key information being published does not fit with the known facts. Here is one prominent example of the misleading and contradictory information being broadcast widely today.
Today, 6/24/11, the New York Times reports that Fort Calhoun is "encircled by the swollen waters of the Missouri River, which reached a height of nearly 1,007 feet above sea level at the plant yesterday." Regarding the plant's defenses, the NYT article also states that Fort Calhoun has implemented "new steel gates and other hard barriers protecting an auxiliary building with vital reactor controls, and a water-filled berm 8 feet tall that encircles other parts of the plant. Both systems are designed to hold back floodwaters reaching 1,014 feet above sea level."
According to the New York Times the plant should be safe even if the Missouri River rises another seven feet. Unfortunately, this encouraging information is not true.The image below, as shown in Figure 1, taken on June 14, 2011 clearly shows, the floodwaters were already surrounding and partially submerging Fort Calhoun's water-filled berm on that date.
This is a hi resolution image so you can save it to your computer and zoom in to see the extent to which the water-filled berm is submerged. Clearly there was a foot or more of flood water being held back by the berm on June 14th. On that date, the BLAN1 gauge ~1.3 miles upstream was registering 31.50 feet, or 1008.94 feet above sea level. Today, 6/24, the BLAN1 gauge registers slightly more than a foot higher: 32.59 feet or 1010.03 feet above sea level.
According to this article ... "The financial crisis is coming very soon at the end of this summer or fall ..."
The dollar collapse will be the single largest event in human history. This will be the first event that will touch every single living person in the world. All human activity is controlled by money.
Our wealth, our work, our food, our government, even our relationships are affected by money. No money in human history has had as much reach in both breadth and depth as the dollar. It is the de facto world currency. All other currency collapses will pale in comparison to this big one.
All other currency crises have been regional and there were other currencies for people to grasp on to. This collapse will be global and it will bring down not only the dollar but all other fiat currencies, as they are fundamentally no different. The collapse of currencies will lead to the collapse of ALL paper assets. The repercussions to this will have incredible results worldwide. (Read the Silver Bullet and the Silver Shield to protect yourself from this collapse.)
Thanks to the globalization and the giant vampire squids of the Anglo-American Empire,the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. It supports the global economy in settling foreign trade, most importantly the Petro Dollar trade. This money is recycled through the City of London (not to be confused with London) and New York. This fuels our corporate vampires that acquires and harvests the wealth of the world.
The corporate powers suppress REAL assets like natural resources and labor to provide themselves massive profits. This Fascist, Statist, Collectivist model provides the money into the economy to fund an ever increasing federal government. That government then grows larger and larger enriching its minions with jobs to control their fellow citizens. Finally, to come full circle, the government then controls other nations through the Military Industrial Complex.
This cycle will be cut when the mathematically and inevitable collapse of the dollar occurs. In order for our debt based money to function we MUST increase the debt every year in excess of the debt AND interest accrued the year before or we will enter a deflationary death spiral. When debt is created, money is created. When debt is paid off, money is destroyed. There is never enough to pay off the debt, because there would be not one dollar in existence.
We are at a point where we either default on the debt,willingly or unwillingly,or create more money/debt to keep the cycle moving. The problem is, if you understand anything about compounding interest, we are reaching the hockey stick moment where the more debt that is incurred,the less effective it is and this leads us to hyper inflation. There are only two actors needed for this hyper inflation, the Lender of Last Resort, the Fed, and the Spender of Last Resort, the government. These two can and will blow up the system. I believe they will wait until the next crisis and the whiff of deflationary depression before they fire up the printing presses.
That crisis is coming very soon at the end of this summer or fall. The money and emergency measures are worn out. The fact that NONE of the underlying problems that caused the 2008 crisis have been resolved. The only thing that has happened is that instead of corporate problems,we now have nation problems. In this movie Greece will play the role of Lehman Brothers and the United States will play the role of AIG. The problem is there is nowhere to kick the can down the road and there is no world government to absorb the debt,yet…(Problem,Reaction,Solution.)
So this leads me to the Top 5 Places Not To Be When the Dollar Collapses.
1. Israel- This Anglo-American beach head into the Middle East was first conceived by the most powerful family in the world, the Rothschilds, in 1917. The Balfour Declaration said that there will be a Zionist Israel years before World War two and the eventual establishment of Israel. Israel has not been a good neighbor to its Muslim nations and has always had the two biggest bullies on the block at it’s back. When the dollar collapses, the United States will have too much on its plate both domestically and internationally to worry about such a non-strategic piece of land. This will leave Israel very weak at a time when tensions will be high. This very thin strip of desert land will not be able to with stand the economic reality of importing its food and fuel or the political reality of being surrounded by Muslims.
2. Southern California- The land of Fruits and Nuts turns into Battlefield Los Angeles. 20 million people packed into an area that has no water and thus food is not good to say the least. Throw on top of the huge wealth disparities and the proximity to a narco state and this does not bode well. We have seen riots for Rodney King, what will happen when the dollar is destroyed and food an fuel stop coming into this area. People will get desperate and do crazy things, especially when a huge proportion of its citizens are on anti depressants. If food and fuel cannot get in, what about Zoloft? At a time when people’s world are falling apart they lack the ability to deal with this new paradigm. If people come off of these drugs too fast they suffer psychotic breaks and you will have thousands of shootings or suicides.
3. England- The Land of the Big Brother and former Empire of world wide slave and drug trade will suffer heavily. The stiff upper lip that their the British Elite ingrained into their sheeple will not work anymore as the British population explodes. The human character will sacrifice and unite for a foreign enemy,but not if the enemy has always been the Elite. The Anglo-American Empire may pull off another false flag to distract it’s population on another Emmanuel Goldstein like in 1984, but I feel this collapse will happen before they pull it off. This will make all eyes point at the British Elite as solely responsible for this catastrophe. We have seen massive riots for soccer matches with hooligans. What will happen when this island with very little food and fuel gets cut off?
4. New York City- Another large urban area living too high on the dollar hog. NYC is the area I moved out of in 2008. There is little doubt that all of the wealth in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut is derivative off of Wall Street wealth. The savings and investments of the whole nation and much of the world flows through this financial capital. As the world wakes up to the massive financial fraud, this will lead to the destruction of capital like we have never seen before. This will have tremendous effects on the regional economy as people driving in Mercedes suddenly wonder where their next meal is coming from.
5. Washington D.C.- The political collapse of the Federal Government will wreck havoc on the hugely inflated local economy. As more and more states find it necessary to assert their natural control, the Federal Government will suddenly loose power and importance as the whole world suffers from a Global Hurricane Katrina. The money that they create and spend, will become worthless and the government minions pensions will evaporate.
Millions that once relied on the ability to force others to send their money to them,will learn that the real power has always been at the most local level. Massive decentralization will be the answer to globalization gone mad. Local families and communities will forgo sending money and power out of their community, as they will care about their next meal and keeping warm.
“You can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.” -Ayn Rand
To sum up, those areas that have lived highest on the hog in the dollar paradigm will most likely be the worst places to live when the dollar collapses. Many of you will find this article with passing interest, but rest assured this dollar collapse is coming. It is a mathematical inevitability. We will not be as fortunate to muddle through this collapse like we did in 2008 when it was a corporate problem. This time around, it is a national and global problem. The global Ponzi scheme has run out of gas as the demographics decline, as cheap abundant oil declines, as hegemonic power declines. This comes at a time when we reach the exponential or collapse phase of our money. The Irresistible Force Paradox says, "What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?” We are about to find out, when infinite money hits a very finite world.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/here-are-the-5-worst-places-to-be-when-the-dollar-collapses-2011-6#ixzz1QFERoH9l
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/here-are-the-5-worst-places-to-be-when-the-dollar-collapses-2011-6#ixzz1QFDDjjCd
Thursday, June 23, 2011
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks tumbled on Thursday as a sharp drop in oil fueled an already weak market that faltered after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's downbeat comments a day earlier.
U.S. crude futures dropped 4.4 percent and the dollar climbed sharply after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said it will release 60 million barrels of oil from strategic stockpiles to help the global economy.
The news revived worries over the economy and sent the market back on track toward a correction from the May S&P 500 high of 1,370. Buyers had helped stocks rebound from three-month lows in recent days, but they have evaporated as selling pressure builds.
"In the short term, oil is selling off on the news of the reserve release, but the main problem here is the economic slowdown," said James Dailey, portfolio manager of TEAM Asset Strategy Funds in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) slid 204.46 points, or 1.69 percent, at 11,905.21. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (.SPX) took off 20.20 points, or 1.57 percent, at 1,266.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC) was down 30.76 points, or 1.15 percent, at 2,638.43.
The S&P was just couple points above its 200-day moving average, a key level of buying support, at 1262.57.
"The stock market has come to a realization that the slowdown is worse than expected, that we are not just in a soft patch, but a long-term slowdown," Dailey said.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Not alot of details as this story is breaking news ... Here's a post from this story which indicates the very slow news coverage of major incidents like this ... with all the resources they have .. why are all the "alternative news" sources always so far ahead of the Corporate News ?? Like the fact that it took a month longer for the mainstream news to acknowledge Fukushima Nuke reactors were a Level 7 disaster ... which is what alternative media was saying from the beginning ...
"Thanks CNN for finally giving Minot some coverage, but you're about 24 hours late with this news, and 12 hours after other news outlets. I guess I should just be happy ND got coverage at all, since you reported on a MO town of 300 getting evacuated......"
I only went to CNN to see if what was being said on YouTube was true ... that there was a media blackout on this flooding & the Nebraska Nuke plant which has its airspace & roads closed .... & there was the comment onhow slow they are to respond to a situation which has been ongoing ... also .. this problem with the flooding is expected to last 2 more months ... as not all of the snow has melted ...
The preliminary report from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) is the result of the first-ever interdisciplinary international workshop examining the combined impact of all of the stressors currently affecting the oceans, including pollution, warming, acidification, overfishing and hypoxia.
“The findings are shocking," Dr. Alex Rogers, IPSO's scientific director, said in a statement released by the group. "This is a very serious situation demanding unequivocal action at every level. We are looking at consequences for humankind that will impact in our lifetime, and worse, our children's and generations beyond that."
The scientific panel concluded that degeneration in the oceans is happening much faster than has been predicted, and that the combination of factors currently distressing the marine environment is contributing to the precise conditions that have been associated with all major extinctions in the Earth's history.
According to the report, three major factors have been present in the handful of mass extinctions that have occurred in the past: an increase of both hypoxia (low oxygen) and anoxia (lack of oxygen that creates "dead zones") in the oceans, warming and acidification. The panel warns that the combination of these factors will inevitably cause a mass marine extinction if swift action isn't taken to improve conditions.
The report is the latest of several published in recent months examining the dire conditions of the oceans. A recent World Resources Institute report suggests that all coral reefs could be gone by 2050 if no action is taken to protect them, while a study published earlier this year in BioScience declares oysters as "functionally extinct", their populations decimated by over-harvesting and disease. Just last week scientists forecasted that this year's Gulf "dead zone" will be the largest in history due to increased runoff from the Mississippi River dragging in high levels of nitrates and phosphates from fertilizers.
A recent study in the journal Nature, meanwhile, suggests that not only will the next mass extinction be man-made, but that it could already be underway. Unless humans make significant changes to their behavior, that is.
The IPSO report calls for such changes, recommending actions in key areas: immediate reduction of CO2 emissions, coordinated efforts to restore marine ecosystems, and universal implementation of the precautionary principle so "activities proceed only if they are shown not to harm the ocean singly or in combination with other activities." The panel also calls for the UN to swiftly introduce an "effective governance of the High Seas."
"The challenges for the future of the ocean are vast, but unlike previous generations we know what now needs to happen," Dan Laffoley of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and co-author of the report said in a press release for the new report. "The time to protect the blue heart of our planet is now, today and urgent."
Monday, June 20, 2011
Forgot to mention in previous post that the roads & airspace are closed around this Nebraska Nuclear plant which has not experienced any kind of meltdown according to the official word ... so then why close the roads & airspace if everything is so groovy ?
Planet X/ "Comet" ELEnin/ Dwarf Star Warning video for 7/7/2011 ... I post this in case it is true as this person reveals much interesting information & is generally on the right track ... my sources seem to point to a later date ... but timelines can move forward as much of this is being controlled by the Elite ... so watch for the things he points out & get prepared ... either way .. if not 7/7/11 .. it is coming
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
LONDON -- One of the driest spring seasons on record in northern Europe has sucked soils dry and sharply reduced river levels to the point that governments are starting to fear crop losses and France, in particular, is bracing for blackouts as its river-cooled nuclear power plants may be forced to shut down.
French Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire warned this week that the warmest and driest spring in half a century could slash wheat yields and might even push up world prices despite the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's predicting a bumper global crop due to greater plantings.
France has pledged hundreds of millions of euros in aid to its drought-stricken livestock farmers, who have watched feed supplies dwindle and prices rise. Water restrictions are in place in more than half of the country's administrative regions or departments.
"The situation is serious for French farmers. We wanted to act swiftly and on a large scale," Le Maire told reporters last week.
And the French government has set up a committee to keep an eye on the country's electricity supply situation and monitor river levels, as 44 of the 58 nuclear reactors that supply 80 percent of France's electricity are cooled by river water.
The problem appears to be not that the reactors might overheat because of the lack of water but that the depleted rivers might overheat, creating ecological havoc, when the water returns to them after cooling the reactors.
The abnormally low rainfall and high temperatures -- similar in northern Europe to the major drought of 1976, but actually worse in France -- have also hit hydroelectric power availability and output in France.
Rainfall down 40-80%
The Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization said last week that between February and May of this year, rainfall over Europe as a whole ranged from 40 to 80 percent of the long-term average from 1951 to 2000, and in many parts of western and central Europe it was even below 40 percent.
Between March and May, the outcome was even lower, with France, Germany and southeastern England the worst hit.
The preceding winter 2010-2011 was very dry in western Europe, causing very low soil moisture in March and April. This, coupled with the warmer-than-average temperatures, put major water stress on plants, and in particular, agricultural crops.Up to now, 2011 has been one of the 10 driest years in Switzerland since 1864, while in France, January to April was the driest period since 1975. In Germany, April this year was one of the 10 driest Aprils since 1881, WMO said. Springtime in Germany, it added, was the driest March-to-May period since 1893.
"This aggravated the water deficits compared to average seasonal conditions. Agriculture was highly affected in western and central Europe; the growth of crops lagged much behind usual conditions," WMO said.
Germany, which produces some 25 percent of the European Union's oilseed rape -- a major source of oil and animal feed as well as biodiesel -- expects to see the drought slash output by more than 20 percent.
German river levels lowest in a century
Some three-quarters of oilseed rape goes into the country's biodiesel industry -- the biggest in the 27-nation bloc -- leaving it critically short of feedstock and either forcing imports or cutting production, with a consequent knock-on effect on the country's and the European Union's efforts to cut climate-changing carbon emissions.
And while there has been some rainfall recently, helping raise water levels on the river Rhine -- which acts in effect as a major north-south watery superhighway for all manner of goods, including food, manufactured products, chemicals and fuels to and from Europe -- WMO said water levels in most German rivers were the lowest at this time of year for about a century.
The lack of water made the region's forests super-dry, triggering wildfires in parts of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In Germany, with vast tracts of forest, the Forest Fire Danger Index hit its highest possible level.
WMO said the abnormal weather was caused by a persistent ridge of high pressure over western and central Europe, blocking more normal patterns of rainfall and temperature. "This situation is climatologically a very stable constellation, but it has persisted for an unusually long time," WMO said.
A parched breadbasket
In the United Kingdom, where the parched southeast -- the country's breadbasket -- has received some welcome rain in the past week or two, it has been nowhere near enough to correct the water deficit after the driest March since 1953.
"The recent rain has made very little difference -- if any at all -- agriculturally, simply because when the ground gets as dry as it has been, when you do get some rain it simply runs straight off what in effect is like a concrete surface," said Met Office spokesman Barry Gromett.
"While it will eventually find its way into some sort of reservoir ... I wouldn't have thought it was significant really in terms of water resource. When you get to a certain state, you have to look to redress the balance. When you have been so far below average, it is sensible to assume that you have to make similar sorts of gains above average for similar periods of time," he told ClimateWire.
On Friday, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs declared East Anglia to be in drought and said large parts of Wales, the Midlands and southwest and southeast England were on the brink of drought. It has convened a summit of farmers, water authorities, municipal bodies and environment agencies to draw up plans of action.
At the same time, water authorities in London urged people to conserve water, while in the Midlands, people were warned they could face usage restrictions such as lawn watering bans.
Friday, June 17, 2011
6 more activist arrested in Orlando for Sharing food with the hungry. 2 young children are being served as close to 20 police officers swarm in and arrest the food servers. This brings to total number of arrest for this horrendous crime up to 21 people within a two week time period!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Japan's 9.0 earthquake on March 11 caused a massive tsunami that crippled the cooling systems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan. It also led to hydrogen explosions and reactor meltdowns that forced evacuations of those living within a 20km radius of the plant.
Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 39 years of nuclear power engineering experience, managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the US, says the Fukushima nuclear plant likely has more exposed reactor cores than commonly believed.
"Fukushima has three nuclear reactors exposed and four fuel cores exposed," he said, "You probably have the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactor cores because of the fuel cores, and they are all in desperate need of being cooled, and there is no means to cool them effectively."
TEPCO has been spraying water on several of the reactors and fuel cores, but this has led to even greater problems, such as radiation being emitted into the air in steam and evaporated sea water - as well as generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive sea water that has to be disposed of.
"The problem is how to keep it cool," says Gundersen. "They are pouring in water and the question is what are they going to do with the waste that comes out of that system, because it is going to contain plutonium and uranium. Where do you put the water?"
Even though the plant is now shut down, fission products such as uranium continue to generate heat, and therefore require cooling.
Americans don't even read. So that goes to show how bad things really are ...
The poll numbers, based on a poll of 1000 adults conducted between June 9-13:
Just 29% of Americans think the economy will improve over the next year.
30% think the economy will worsen in the coming year.
44% say the economy is headed for another recession.
Over one-third of poll respondents say their personal economic situation had gotten worse over the last year.
The negativity about the economy is the worst since the summer of 2008, The WSJ reports. Meanwhile, 62% of respondents say the U.S. is on the wrong track and President Obama's approval rating has fallen to 49% after rising to 52% in May after the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
NEW YORK -- What a glorious day to be an American worker! Pay is skyrocketing, the Great Recession is hardly a memory and leaders in Washington are putting labor concerns at the front and center of their agendas -- provided you are a worker who happens to be at the top of the corporate organizational chart.
In the latest sign of the growing disconnect between reality as enjoyed by corporate chieftains and that experienced by pretty much everyone else, compensation for chief executives of publicly traded companies in the S&P 500 last year leaped by more than 28 percent compared to 2009, according to a new survey from Equilar, a research firm that tracks executive pay.
Among those enjoying perches at the top of the pyramid, according to a table on Equilar's site: John G. Stumpf, chairman and chief executive of Wells Fargo, the bank recently accused in a confidential federal audit of cheating taxpayers in its handling of foreclosed homes, pulled down $17.6 million; Lloyd Blankfein, overseer of Goldman Sachs, the banking giant that has become synonymous with malevolent Wall Street shenanigans, took home $14.1 million; and Jeffrey Immelt, chief of General Electric, netted $15 million in pay last year and is now tasked with helping President Obama create American jobs.
How is that going, by the way? Unemployment remains stuck at 9.1 percent, and even those people with jobs are predominantly consumed with a struggle to hang on, rendering upward mobility a fantastical aspiration in many homes. During 2010, while executives at major publicly-traded corporations were enjoying their 28 percent pay boost, the average rank-and-file American worker saw weekly pay increase by less than 1 percent, after accounting for rising prices, according to Labor Department data.
You may be tempted to shrug this off as more of the same, and you would have the facts on your side. The average weekly earnings for rank-and-file employees now sits at roughly the same place it did at the beginning of 1980, after adjusting for inflation. Several caveats go into absorbing this data: among them, the fact that millions of women and millions of immigrants entered the workforce, tending to pull wages down. Yet the compensation numbers merely add the official stamp to a painfully apparent trend: the breakdown of the basic American middle class opportunity. An awful lot of people have gotten up early, gone off to work, brought home as much as they could for their families and -- over the last three decades -- found themselves sliding backward.
The latest snapshot of the chief executive pay picture also underscores a more recent vintage truth that should be disturbing for anyone intent on trying to avoid another financial crisis: The number of short-term measures used to determine executive compensation actually increased slightly in 2010 compared to the year before.
Have we learned nothing from our near slide into the abyss? The financial crisis of 2008, which made an already weak job market punishingly bleak while putting taxpayers on the hook for speculative bets made by bankers, was about many things, but one of its biggest causes was a failure to get the incentives straight in our economy.
This article pretends to ask why this has occurred ...It's simple ... GREED ...so why aren't they allowed to say so ??
Workers’ share of national income plummets to record low
Over the last decade, the share of U.S. national income taken home by workers has plummeted to a record low.
Check out the chart below, compiled by the Labor Department, and posted this week by conservative writer David Frum. It shows that the decline began with the brief recession that followed 9/11 in 2001. But it continued even as the economy picked up again, and got even worse once the Great Recession hit. In the weak recovery since then, workers' share of income just kept on falling.
Why are workers taking home such a reduced share of the pie? Opinions differ, but many experts think that the trend has to do with a number of factors, including a decline in the bargaining power of labor, and increased competition from foreign workers. Similarly, over the last year or so, U.S. companies have made record profits, while unemployment has stayed high and wages have barely risen.
The chart jibes with other data, which show that since the 1980s, income for the richest 1 percent of Americans has exploded, while hardly budging at all for everyone else.
Still, there's little sense that either Obama administration or Congress plan to do much about this growing inequality. Indeed, any serious action to boost the economy and cut unemployment now seems to be off the table.
WASHINGTON (AFP) – For years, scientists have been predicting the Sun would by around 2012 move into solar maximum, a period of intense flares and sunspot activity, but lately a curious calm has suggested quite the opposite.
According to three studies released in the United States on Tuesday, experts believe the familiar sunspot cycle may be shutting down and heading toward a pattern of inactivity unseen since the 17th century.
The signs include a missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles, said experts from the National Solar Observatory and Air Force Research Laboratory.
"This is highly unusual and unexpected," said Frank Hill, associate director of the NSO's Solar Synoptic Network, as the findings of the three studies were presented at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Solar Physics Division in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
"But the fact that three completely different views of the Sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation."
Solar activity tends to rise and fall every 11 years or so. The solar maximum and solar minimum each mark about half the interval of the magnetic pole reversal on the Sun, which happens every 22 years.
Hill said the current cycle, number 24, "may be the last normal one for some time and the next one, cycle 25, may not happen for some time.
"This is important because the solar cycle causes space weather which affects modern technology and may contribute to climate change," he told reporters.
Experts are now probing whether this period of inactivity could be a second Maunder Minimum, which was a 70-year period when hardly any sunspots were observed between 1645-1715, a period known as the "Little Ice Age."
"If we are right, this could be the last solar maximum we'll see for a few decades. That would affect everything from space exploration to Earth's climate," said Hill.
Solar flares and eruptions can send highly charged particles hurtling toward Earth and interfere with satellite communications, GPS systems and even airline controls.
Geomagnetic forces have been known to occasionally garble the world's modern gadgetry, and warnings were issued as recently as last week when a moderate solar flare sent a coronal mass ejection in the Earth's direction.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The S&P 500 is down 5.5% since the beginning of May. Today the index fell from 1300 to 1286, down about 1%. This is technically still just a correction, not a bear market. But there are key support levels around here that bulls need to hold.
Meanwhile, US jobs data is ugly, and getting uglier. The housing double dip has been Confirmed. American homes have lost 33% of their value, on average, since the 2006 peak. That's Worsethan the drop during Great Depression No. 1, and the bottom is not even in yet.
Adding to economic turmoil is price inflation, which is Picking Up. So even if stocks and other assets stay flat, investors will lose purchasing power.
Richard Russell of the Dow Theory letter says that, for now, his technical indicators are holding up, "Frankly, it’s difficult to envision a bear market in the face of what my PTI [Proprietary Technical Indicator] is doing."
In his next sentence, however, Russell warns of a possible "Great Depression No. 2". FromMarketwatch:
The whole current mess reminds me a lot of 1929-30. After the crash of ‘29, the stock market roared higher, even as the economy was simultaneously weakening. When the great post-crash rally died in April 1930, the market turned down with a vengeance, and the Great Depression began. …The market is probably now in the process of forming a complex top. If the market now turns down convincingly, we could see the beginning of Great Depression No. 2.
Top mutual fund manager Bob Rodriguez, who averaged 15% annually over the last 25 years, is also warning of another crash:
The Wall Street Journal pronounced Rodriguez one of the "doomsayers who got it right."Barron's labeled him a "prophet." MarketWatch described him as one of the "four horsemen of the market."
... His new prophecy: If we don't fix the budget – soon -- the economy faces disaster. "I believe that within two to five years we'll have a crisis of equal or greater magnitude of what we just went through," he says. "And it will emanate from the federal level."
Nouriel Roubini, who famously warned of a massive financial crisis in 2006, is also getting bearish. From BusinessWeek:
“Until now, equity prices were supported by better-than- expected earnings, sales and profit margins,” Roubini said. “But all three are under squeeze. With slow global economic growth, they’re going to surprise on the downside. We’re going to see the beginning of a correction that’s going to increase volatility and that’s going to increase risk aversion.”
Friday, June 10, 2011
Every day, more than 130,000 Americans are stricken with food poisoning. While the rates of some common food-borne bugs have declined, cases of Salmonella—the most common infection and leading cause of both hospitalization and death from food-borne illness—have risen by 10 percent since 2006, according to a new food safety report issued by the CDC on June 7. About 1.2 million Americans suffer bouts of Salmonella each year.
“The bottom line is that food-borne illness, particularly salmonella, is still far too common,” said CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden. One reason is that it can taint a wide range of foods, including meat, eggs, poultry, vegetables and nuts. One detail of the report highlights just how entrenched the pathogen is: New US standards to take effect next month call for “allowable contamination” of chicken at processing plants to be reduced to 7.5 percent from the current rate of 20 percent—hardly an assurance of safety.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
So people are aware that the economy nearly crumbled in 2008 (it actually did - the Gov't is simply propping it up) & some are trying to get out of this mess by spending more responsibly, reducing debt & saving more. The responsible thing to do right ? Bcuz we obviously wanted too much too soon & maybe our grandparents were right about fiscal responsibility & a penny saved is a penny earned & all that crap.
So then why is American debt still increasing ? By 33 billion dollars in only 5 months ? Bcuz all those feel good news stories about how the economy is recovering & we just gotta all pull together as a team ... better days are just around the corner ... it's all smoke & mirrors. The economy is collapsing.
All those jobs they say we are adding ? Those are former middle managers now asking you if you want fries with that. College graduates mopping floors on the night crew. Instead of releasing info on how many jobs were added they should just tell us how much less money those people are getting paid ... or how many fewer dollars are in the hands of those who are buying goods & services & who of course are the ones who would create more jobs ... not alot of diposable income when you are getting paid far less then what you were making before the crash ...
"I think we're in for a lot of disappointment," Carmen Reinhart of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and an expert on financial crises, told CNNMoney.com. "If historic norms hold, deleveraging isn't pretty, and it is not a smooth process. We're already four years into this. I don't think the next six years look great."
Try the next year ... the economy is going to crash sooner than that ... & it is by design ... the greatest creation of wealth this country has ever seen was during the Great Depression of the 1930's ... those who still had money (READ: Gold & Silver) made a killing when the prices naturally fell .. paying pennies on the dollar .. that is the plan this time around too ...
What's at the root of the problem? In a nutshell, consumers and businesses took on too much debt--especially in real estate--during the years before the housing bust and the financial crisis. In early 2008, total private debt was nearly three times the size of GDP.
Greed was the problem ... anyone with a calculator would have known that once the interst rate on those shoddy home loans went up .. they weren't going to be able to afford to make the payments & they'd be homeless ... this ties in with the horrible education system in this country ... shouldn't basic economics be a mandatory class taught in schools since money is one thing all people are going to be dealing with ... maybe have people actually understand a mortgage & know what they were getting into ??
What use have you ever had for trigonometry ? Unless you're a math teacher or you work for NASA ... the dumbing down of America ... now you know why they wanted us so dumb ...
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
An unusual solar flare observed by a NASA space observatory on Tuesday could cause some disruptions to satellite communications and power on Earth over the next day or so, officials said.
The potent blast from the Sun unleashed a firestorm of radiation on a level not witnessed since 2006, and will likely lead to moderate geomagnetic storm activity by Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
"This one was rather dramatic," said Bill Murtagh, program coordinator at the NWS's Space Weather Prediction Center, describing the M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare that peaked at 1:41 am Eastern time in the United States, or 0541 GMT.
"We saw the initial flare occurring and it wasn't that big but then the eruption associated with it -- we got energy particle radiation flowing in and we got a big coronal mass injection," he said.
"You can see all the materials blasting up from the Sun so it is quite fantastic to look at."
NASA's solar dynamics observatory, which launched last year and provided the high-definition pictures and video of the event, described it as "visually spectacular," but noted that since the eruption was not pointed directly at Earth, the effects were expected to remain "fairly small."
"Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America..... the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a devout racist who created the Negro Project designed to sterilize unknowing black women and others she deemed as undesirables of society? The founder of Planned Parenthood said, "Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated."
‘The most dangerous place for a Latino is in the womb’
A Latino advocacy group is charging that abortion providers are targeting their communities, making their frustration known with a jumbo billboard campaign in Los Angeles, California.
“It’s clear that Latinos are being targeted by organizations that promote abortion like Planned Parenthood,” said Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, the group behind the billboard. “Many of their clinics are in Latino neighborhoods and communities.”
The ads set to be plastered in LA this week read “El lugar mas peligroso para un Latino es el vientre de su madre/The most dangerous place for a Latino is in the womb.”
According to the Center for Disease Control, 22 percent of abortions in performed in America are done on Latinos, making them 2.7 times more likely to abort than non-Hispanic whites.
The ad campaign is meant to kick off a pro-life event called “Unidos por la Vida” (United for Life) Sunday at the LA Sports Arena. The gathering will be sponsored by the pro-life Latino group Manto de Guadalupe.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
So much for the lie that Immigrants steal Americans jobs ...
"Industry insiders tell The Lookout that politicians shouldn't hold their breath while waiting for Americans to flock to farm jobs
... the director of the United Farm Workers union, says when her organization asked Americans to sign up for farm jobs last year--via a dedicated Internet campaign that Stephen Colbert publicized on his show--thousands responded, but only 11 people accepted the offer.
The campaign, called "Take Our Jobs," originated as a few Arizona farm workers' response to politicians who said they wanted to pass tougher legislation so that illegal immigrants don't take citizens' jobs.
"Few citizens express interest, in large part because this is hard, tough work," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak said
Even with unemployment as high as it is .. no one wants these jobs .. so they have kept the immigrant labor away that this country actually needs due to the corrupt economic system we live under ... now there is no one to pick their blueberries so the racists are going to have pay more as costs naturally rise ..... this is too funny .. & very predictable ...
Twin immigration laws create labor crisis for American farmers
Monday, June 6, 2011
Another of the men named by the FBI as a hijacker in the suicide attacks on Washington and New York has turned up alive and well.
The identities of four of the 19 suspects accused of having carried out the attacks are now in doubt.
Saudi Arabian pilot Waleed Al Shehri was one of five men that the FBI said had deliberately crashed American Airlines flight 11 into the World Trade Centre on 11 September.
His photograph was released, and has since appeared in newspapers and on television around the world.
Now he is protesting his innocence from Casablanca, Morocco.
He told journalists there that he had nothing to do with the attacks on New York and Washington, and had been in Morocco when they happened. He has contacted both the Saudi and American authorities, according to Saudi press reports.
He acknowledges that he attended flight training school at Daytona Beach in the United States, and is indeed the same Waleed Al Shehri to whom the FBI has been referring.
But, he says, he left the United States in September last year, became a pilot with Saudi Arabian airlines and is currently on a further training course in Morocco.
Abdulaziz Al Omari, another of the Flight 11 hijack suspects, has also been quoted in Arab news reports.
He says he is an engineer with Saudi Telecoms, and that he lost his passport while studying in Denver.
Another man with exactly the same name surfaced on the pages of the English-language Arab News.
The second Abdulaziz Al Omari is a pilot for Saudi Arabian Airlines, the report says.
Meanwhile, Asharq Al Awsat newspaper, a London-based Arabic daily, says it has interviewed Saeed Alghamdi.
He was listed by the FBI as a hijacker in the United flight that crashed in Pennsylvania.
And there are suggestions that another suspect, Khalid Al Midhar, may also be alive.
FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged on Thursday that the identity of several of the suicide hijackers is in doubt.
The American economy collapsed in 2008 & they are only propping it up by printing money out of thin air ... that is all they have done ... & now they have no bullets left in their chamber so when this doesn't work & all indications say that it won't ... what then ? ........... The American economy will collapse ... which is how those who are really in control want it ... The American economy was run into the ground intentionally ... (This is how so much wealth was "created" during the 1st Depression of the 1930's) & despite what some are saying ... we have months not years ...
The attempt to place a positive spin on news like this comes from one of the #1 rules in journalism which is .... "don't take a stand on anything ... try to be neutral .. present both sides even one of the sides is a complete moron or has ill intentions ... pretend you're not better read than most of the people reading this article .. play dumb " ...
This has been so damaging to the dissemination of truth ... the facts presented in this article are all indicating things are not going well with the economy & all the positive spin you will see is all speculation ... this hedge fund manager or that CEO says "things are not that bad .. they are going to turn around "
This is bcuz the entire economic system is based on investor confidence !! They are used to talking this way all the time !! Can you imagine them on the deck of the titanic ??
"Did you see that iceberg !!??"
"No no no, it was an ice cube really ... I'm sure we'll be fine ... see the band is still playing ... we'll be fine ... martini anyone ??"
Here are some facts from the article ...
"The broad market index on Friday recorded its worst week since mid-August and its fifth straight week of declines.
the government said the economy created a meager 54,000 jobs in May
Others say the economy may be headed for a double-dip recession.
The sharp fall in bond yields also points to a similar concern,
Some concede the stock market could see further declines from sovereign debt problems in Europe or a spillover of violence in Yemen into Saudi Arabia, which could lift oil prices, hurting the consumer.
The lack of market-moving economic data or corporate earnings this week could also make nervous investors hit the sell button more often than not
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
And it isn't over yet.
While warmer summer weather should hopefully reduce their intensity, the peak tornado season runs through July and twisters can strike at any time.
The damage is as unimaginable as it is unpredictable.
Funnel clouds drop out of a darkened sky, tossing cars and mobile homes up into the air, pulling huge trees out of the ground and tearing buildings apart.
The smaller ones touch down so briefly that one side of a street is flattened while the other is largely unscathed.
The bigger ones stay on the ground for miles, destroying everything for blocks on either side of their random path.
Two bad days accounted for nearly all the deaths: an outbreak of dozens of tornados that killed 314 people in five states on April 27 and a massive twister that killed 138 in Joplin, Missouri on May 22.
It was the deadliest day and the deadliest single tornado strike since modern record keeping began in 1950. 2011 now ranks as the fifth deadliest year in US tornado history.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Jessica Cross, Ben Markeson and Jonathan "Keith" McHenry were arrested June 1 during a feeding of the homeless at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando. (June 1, 2011)
Jessica Cross, Ben Markeson and Jonathan "Keith" McHenry were arrested June 1 during a feeding of the homeless at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando. (June 1, 2011)
Members of Orlando Food Not Bombs were arrested Wednesday when police said they violated a city ordinance by feeding the homeless in Lake Eola Park.
Jessica Cross, 24, Benjamin Markeson, 49, and Jonathan "Keith" McHenry, 54, were arrested at 6:10 p.m. on a charge of violating the ordinance restricting group feedings in public parks. McHenry is a co-founder of the international Food Not Bombs movement, which began in the early 1980s.
The group lost a court battle in April, clearing the way for the city to enforce the ordinance. It requires groups to obtain a permit and limits each group to two permits per year for each park within a 2-mile radius of City Hall.
Arrest papers state that Cross, Markeson and McHenry helped feed 40 people Wednesday night. The ordinance applies to feedings of more than 25 people.
"They intentionally violated the statute," said Lt. Barbara Jones, an Orlando police spokeswoman.
Police waited until everyone was served to make the arrests, said Douglas Coleman, speaking for Orlando Food Not Bombs.
"They basically carted them off to jail for feeding hungry people," said Coleman, who was not present. "For them to regulate a time and place for free speech and to share food, that is unacceptable."
Orlando Food Not Bombs has been feeding the homeless breakfast on Mondays for several years and dinner on Wednesdays for five years.
Police had not enforced the ordinance while the court battle continued. The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta ruled that city rules regulating how often large groups of people can be fed in a park do not violate the Constitution.
The penalty for violating Orlando's ordinance is 60 days in jail, a $500 fine or both.
Arrest documents state that Orlando Food Not Bombs received permits and fed more than 25 homeless people at Lake Eola Park on May 18 and 23. Coleman said the group rejected the permits.
On May 25, Orlando Food Not Bombs illegally fed a large group of homeless people, the police report states. The group on its website called for members to show up that day and defy the city ordinance, according to the report.
Officers said they found a press release on Markeson when they arrested him stating that group members planned to defy the ordinance Wednesday.
The Great Switch by the Super Rich
Over that four decades, tax rates on the very rich have plummeted. Between the end of World War II and 1980, the top tax bracket remained over 70 percent — and even after deductions and credits was well over 50 percent. Now it’s 36 percent. As recently as the late 1980s, the capital gains rate was 35 percent. Now it’s 15 percent.
Not only are rates lower now, but loopholes are bigger. 18,000 households earning more than a half-million dollars last year paid no income taxes at all. In recent years, according to the IRS, the richest 400 Americans have paid only 18 percent of their total incomes in federal income taxes. Billionaire hedge-fund and private-equity managers are allowed to treat much of their incomes as capital gains (again, at 15 percent).
Meanwhile, more and more of the nation’s income and wealth have gone to the top. In the late 1970s, the top 1 percent took home 9 percent of total national income. Now the top 1 percent’s take is more than 20 percent. Over the same period, the top one-tenth of one percent has tripled its share.
I never thought I'd see a modern day stoning in my life time ...
Ukrainian officials have slammed media claims that a teenage beauty queen was stoned to death by three Muslim suspects who alleged the 19-year-old violated Sharia law by participating in pageants.
As CBS reports, the body of Katya Koren was found in a forest near her home in the Crimea region of Ukraine one week after her disappearance. Her battered body had been partially buried.
Initial media reports said three Muslim youths were responsible for the murder, claiming Koren's death had been justified under Islam, the Daily Mail is reporting. One of the three suspects, named as 16-year-old Bihal Gaziev, was quoted as telling police that Katya had "violated the laws of Sharia," and that he has no regrets about her death.
"Since November, the number of Americans counted as employed has grown by 765,000 -
But the number of Americans counted as unemployed has shrunk by much more — almost 1.3 million — during this time. That means the labor force has dropped by 529,000 workers."
"The percentage of adults in the labor force is a figure that economists call the participation rate. It is 64.2 percent, the smallest since 1984."
"the drop in unemployment from 9.8 percent in November to 9 percent in April isn't as good as it looks."
"if the participation rate were as high as it was when the recession began, 66 percent, in December 2007, the unemployment rate could have been as high as 11.5 percent."
"The labor force grew by just 15,000 in April from March — not even enough to keep up with population growth."
"The share of men 20 and older in the labor force peaked long ago, at 89 percent in 1952. It's been falling ever since and is now under 74 percent"
"...the number of factory jobs has dropped 40 percent since peaking in 1979."
"Teenagers .... peak participation rate of 59.3 percent in 1978" fell "to a record low of 33.5 percent in February."
More job seekers give up, reducing unemployment
WASHINGTON – Where did all the workers go?
The labor force — those who have a job or are looking for one — is getting smaller, even though the economy is growing and steadily adding jobs. That trend defies the rules of a normal economic recovery.
Nobody is sure why it's happening. Economists think some of the missing workers have retired, have entered college or are getting by on government disability checks. Others have probably just given up looking for work.
"A small work force means millions of discouraged workers, lower output in the future and a weak recovery," says Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the ranking Republican on the Congress' Joint Economic Committee. "Those are unhealthy signs."
By the government's definition, if you quit looking, you're no longer counted as unemployed. And you're no longer part of the labor force.
Since November, the number of Americans counted as employed has grown by 765,000, to just shy of 139 million. The nation has been creating jobs every month as the economy recovers. The economy added 244,000 jobs in April.
But the number of Americans counted as unemployed has shrunk by much more — almost 1.3 million — during this time. That means the labor force has dropped by 529,000 workers.
The percentage of adults in the labor force is a figure that economists call the participation rate. It is 64.2 percent, the smallest since 1984. And that's become a mystery to economists. Normally after a recession, an improving economy lures job seekers back into the labor market. This time, many are staying on the sidelines.
Their decision not to seek work means the drop in unemployment from 9.8 percent in November to 9 percent in April isn't as good as it looks.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Rev. Bob Marrone was pained to see the steeple of his 137-year-old church shattered and strewn on the grass in the central Massachusetts town of Monson, yet he knows he's more fortunate than some of his neighbors who lost their homes after tornadoes tore through the state, killing at least four people and injuring about 200.
"I can see the plywood of roofs, and see houses where most of the house is gone," said Marrone, pastor of The First Church of Monson. "The road that runs up in front of my house ... There's so many trees down, it's completely impassable."
Residents of 18 communities in central and western Massachusetts woke to widespread damage Thursday, a day after at least two late-afternoon tornadoes shocked emergency officials with their suddenness and violence and caused the state's first tornado-related deaths in 16 years.
Sens. John Kerry and Scott Brown joined Gov. Deval Patrick on a helicopter tour of the damaged areas, including Springfield, the state's third-largest city. Kerry said it looked like a "blast zone" and was confident that federal disaster aid would be made available, particularly because of damage to businesses.
Patrick said it was unbelievable that so much destruction was caused in such a short period of time.
"We have a real mess on our hands," he said. "People are badly shaken. There are folks who have lost everything."
Two people were killed in West Springfield, one in Springfield and another in Brimfield, Patrick said earlier. Public health officials said about 200 people sought medical treatment for storm-related injuries.
TV Executives Admit in Taped Interviews That Hollywood Pushes a Liberal Agenda
Some of TV's top executives from the past four decades may have gotten more than they bargained for when they agreed to be interviewed for a politically charged book that was released Tuesday, because video of their controversial remarks will soon be hitting the Internet.
The book makes the case that TV industry executives, writers and producers use their clout to advance a liberal political agenda. The author bases his thesis on, among other things, 39 taped interviews that he'll roll out piecemeal during the next three weeks.
The Hollywood Reporter obtained several of the not-yet-released clips. Each contains a snippet of an interview, usually some historical footage of the TV shows the interviewee was responsible for and, naturally, a plea to purchase the book, "Primetime Propaganda" by Ben Shapiro and published by Broad Side, an imprint of HarperCollins.
In one video, "Friends" co-creator Marta Kauffman says that when she cast Candace Gingrich-Jones, half-sister of Republican former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, as the minister of a lesbian wedding, "There was a bit of [a middle finger] in it to the right wing."
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
New York, May 31, 2011 – Data through March 2011, released today by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show that the U.S. National Home Price Index declined by 4.2% in the first quarter of 2011, after having fallen 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2010. The National Index hit a new recession low with the first quarter’s data and posted an annual decline of 5.1% versus the first quarter of 2010. Nationally, home prices are back to their mid-2002 levels.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street ended a four-day rally with its worst session since August on Wednesday and could suffer more losses in coming days as investors faced more signs the economic recovery is fading.
All 10 Standard & Poor's sectors ended more than 1 percent lower and all 30 stocks in the Dow industrials fell. Banks were the biggest decliners as the economic reports painted a glum picture for jobs and manufacturing.
The recent four-day winning streak had some investors pointing to resilience in the market, but Wednesday's decline took the S&P through its 50-day moving average, leaving the market vulnerable to more losses.
According to ADP, U.S. private employers added a scant 38,000 jobs in May, the lowest since September 2010 and far below what had been expected. Several banks cut their forecasts for Friday's non-farm payroll report from the Labor Department.
"The ADP number suggests that we'll see a weak payroll report on Friday, and it's very possible that soon people will be reducing their GDP forecasts," said Tim Speiss, head of personal wealth advisers at EisnerAmper in New York. "We could see some additional contraction."
Today's graduates face miserable job prospects, and experts say the student loan crisis could be worse than the credit card or housing bubbles.
It's the beginning of summer: warmer weather, longer days, the end of the school year. And that means graduation for thousands of young people across the U.S.; graduation with more student debt than ever before, and into a job market that is anything but promising.
Young people between the ages of 16 to 24 face an unemployment rate nearly twice that of the rest of the population, according to data from the Economic Policy Institute. 2010's 18.4 percent rate for youth was the worst in the 60 years that economists have collected such data. ColorLines notes that in 2010, 8.4 percent of white college graduates were unemployed, 13.8 percent of Latino graduates, and a dismal 19 percent of black graduates.
Those bright, shiny new degrees simply aren't worth the paper they're printed on all too often. The cost of a college degree is up some 3,400 percent since 1972, but as we all know too well, household incomes haven't increased by anything close to that number -- not for the bottom 99 percent of us, anyway.
Pell Grants for students have shrunk drastically in relation to the ballooning cost of a four-year college, and Paul Ryan wants to cut them even more, pushing some 1.4 million students into loans, more of which come each year from private lenders with little to no accountability.
Cellphones a 'possible' carcinogen — like coffee
A respected international panel of scientists says cellphones are possible cancer-causing agents, putting them in the same category as the pesticide DDT, gasoline engine exhaust and coffee.
The classification was issued Tuesday in Lyon, France, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer after a review of dozens of published studies. The agency is an arm of the World Health Organization and its assessment now goes to WHO and national health agencies for possible guidance on cellphone use.