Saturday, June 30, 2012
The ocean water which will flow over land soon, according to spirits, will be between 2 to 14 football fields high or 200 - 1300 meters ... almost 1 mile high ... if you choose to survive & help to rebuild then get prepared ... if not fear not ... there is no death but remember the dark condition you find yourself in when you die is NOT a permanent condition but one you can feel your way out of .. by honestly facing & experiencing your emotions.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
ATHENS — As European leaders grapple with how to preserve their monetary union, Greece is rapidly running out of money.
Government coffers could be empty as soon as July, shortly after this month’s pivotal elections. In the worst case, Athens might have to temporarily stop paying for salaries and pensions, along with imports of fuel, food and pharmaceuticals.
Officials, scrambling for solutions, have considered dipping into funds that are supposed to be for Greece’s troubled banks. Some are even suggesting doling out i.o.u.’s.
Greek leaders said that despite their latest bailout of 130 billion euros, or $161.7 billion, they face a shortfall of 1.7 billion euros because tax revenue and other sources of potential income are drying up. A wrenching recession and harsh budget cuts have left businesses and individuals with less and less to give for taxes — and growing incentive to avoid paying what they owe.
The budget gap is widening as the so-called troika of lenders — the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission — withholds 1 billion euros in bailout money earmarked for government financing while it waits to see whether new leaders elected June 17 will honor Greece’s commitments.
Even if the troika delivers that money, Greece will struggle to cover its obligations. It underscored a harsh reality that is playing out in other troubled euro zone economies. Prolonged austerity is making it harder, not easier, for governments like Greece to become self-reliant again.
A top Spanish official acknowledged on Tuesday that Spain could not readily return to the markets to raise money because investors are demanding such high rates, highlighting how the debt crisis is spreading to larger economies in Europe.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said a day earlier that European leaders needed to find a way to create the political union that the world is looking for to complement their monetary union. European officials took a small step in that direction Tuesday by proposing a central authority for banking regulation, which would require countries to give up a bit of cherished sovereignty.
An essential element of Greece’s recovery plan has been to collect more taxes from a population that has long engaged in tax avoidance. The government is owed 45 billion euros in back taxes, tax officials in Athens said, only a fraction of which will ever be recovered.
To understand the difficulty, just talk to Nikos Maitos, a longtime official in Greece’s financial crimes investigation unit.
When he and a team of inspectors recently prowled the recession-hit island of Naxos for tax evaders, a local radio station broadcast his license plate number to warn residents.
“One repercussion of the crisis is that people are harder to find,” Mr. Maitos, an imposing, burly man, said last week in his sweltering office on the edge of Athens. “And when you do find them, they don’t have money.”
Even tax collectors, who have had to take large pay cuts, find that budget reductions make it hard to pay for the gasoline needed to reach their targets.
“After two and a half years of austerity, it’s really a difficult time to bring in revenue,” said Harry Theoharis, a senior official in the Greek Finance Ministry who helps oversee the country’s tax payment system. “You can’t keep flogging a dead horse.”
Salaries and pensions in the private and the public sectors have been cut by up to 50 percent, leaving Greece 495 million euros short of its revenue targets in the four months ended in April, according to the Greek Finance Ministry. With less cash, consumers have curbed spending, leading thousands of taxpaying businesses to fail.
Income expected from a higher, 23 percent value-added tax required by the bailout agreement has fallen short by around 800 million euros in the first four months of 2012. That is partly because cash-short businesses that were once law-abiding have started hiding money to stay afloat, tax officials said.
Greece’s General Accounting Office said recently that the state collected 25 percent less revenue in May than it did a year earlier. And the state has had to slash its goal of raising 50 billion euros from privatizations to just 3 billion euros as foreign investors lose interest.
That has left a caretaker government scrambling for a Plan B. One thought is to take billions of euros reserved for recapitalizing Greek banks, which have suffered from a flight of deposits amid political uncertainty and fears that Greece may abandon the euro for its own currency. But using that money would require the troika’s approval. Other notions, like i.o.u.’s and scrip, so far are only that — ideas.
To some extent, government officials said the tax-avoiding mentality is starting to change amid an aggressive enforcement campaign aimed at 500 wealthy individuals and companies, including former ministers and heads of state agencies and enterprises. People took notice in April when a former defense minister was arrested on charges of corruption and making false declarations related to his income and taxes.
“They are awed when they see inspectors now because of recent cases showing people will be prosecuted or made to pay,” Mr. Maitos said.
Tax collectors got another potential lift recently when the government started enforcing a 1995 law that gives them access to bank accounts of suspected tax evaders.
But Nikos Lekkas, a top official at the financial crimes agency where Mr. Maitos works, said Greek banks had obstructed nearly 5,000 requests for account data since 2010.
“The banks delay sending the information for 8 to 12 months,” he said. “And when they do, they send huge stacks of documents to make it confusing. By the time we can follow up, much of the money has already fled.”
In the past two years, the agency managed to assess back taxes worth 650 million euros on 210 of the cases, he said. But only 65 percent could be collected.
One challenge lies in what Mr. Lekkas calls the big fish — 18,300 offshore businesses belonging to wealthy Greek individuals and companies. Authorities are trying to trace the owners through property records, and they recently seized several large properties linked to offshore companies whose owners owe tens of millions of euros to the state.
That leaves collectors having to go after mostly smaller tax evaders, often with mixed results.
During a surveillance trip on the resort island of Santorini, Mr. Maitos said he and two colleagues observed a gas station owner insisting on cash-only transactions to avoid declaring taxes. When confronted, the man lashed at them with a bullwhip while cursing the state for taking his money.
Officials said things might improve drastically once Greece’s entire tax system is computerized, a move that is supposed to be completed by the end of this year.
Charalambos Nikolakopoulos, the head of the Greek tax collectors’ union, said there was no need for outsiders to straighten things out.
“Yes, we need change,” Mr. Nikolakopoulos said. “But things will only improve in Greece when we get a stable government that will impose its political will.”
Niki Kitsantonis contributed reporting from Athens and Paul Geitner from Brussels.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
I have said that super volcanoes will go off soon ... 3 of them last I heard ... Italy, Indonesia & America ... if it does happen then remember that God does exist as I can also feel God ... I recommend you seek god with all your heart ... God is there but waits for you to choose Him/Her ... honestly .. with a passionate heart ...
Are you worried about the end of life as we know it? Then don't just look to the sky for that catastrophic asteroid that could be heading our way. The end may come from right beneath your feet.
Super-volcanoes have probably caused more extinctions than asteroids. But until now it has been thought that these giant volcanoes took thousands of years to form -- and would remain trapped beneath the earth's crust for thousands more years -- before having much effect on the planet.
But new research indicates these catastrophic eruptions, possibly thousands of times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, may happen only a few hundred years after the volcanoes form. In other words, they may have a very "short fuse," according to researchers at .
Such an event could make thermonuclear war or global warming seem trivial, spewing untold tons of ash into the atmosphere to block sunlight. The result would be many years of frigid temperatures, wiping out millions of species. A super-volcano that erupted 250 million years ago is now believed to have created the greatest mass extinction the world has ever seen, wiping out up to 95 percent of all plant and animal species. Some renegade scientists believe it was a volcano, not an asteroid, that killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
But is global suicide lurking right below our feet? Is a super-volcano about to blow its top? Not as far as scientists can tell. Such a volcano results from the accumulation of a giant pool of lava just a few miles below the ground, and there is no known formation anywhere on the planet that is expected to erupt in the immediate future.
Scientists, who could be wrong about that, have thought for decades that once that pool forms, it stays there for thousands of years before erupting. But the new study by geophysicists from Vanderbilt, along with colleagues at the University of Chicago and elsewhere, documents several lines of research showing that the trigger could be pulled quickly, possibly within a few hundred years.
"Our study suggests that when these exceptionally large magma pools form they are ephemeral and cannot exist very long without erupting," Vanderbilt's Guilherme Gualda said in releasing the study, published in the journal Public Library of Science ONE.
That research, as well as earlier research that led to a very different conclusion, was based on the formation of crystals in the molten magma that decay at known rates and thus provide a geological clock, dating various events in the history of the volcano.
According to Gualda, previous researchers looked at the decay of zircons, which are common in volcanic rocks, and concluded that the giant magma pools could exist for 100,000 years. But his team looked at the crystallization of quartz, the most abundant mineral in volcanic deposits, and concluded that such a pool would have to erupt in one-tenth of that time, and possibly in only about 500 years.
That makes the threat of super-volcanoes a bit more serious, but there's no reason to panic.
Gualda's team studied deposits in the Long Valley Caldera in northeastern California, where a violent eruption blew 150 cubic miles of molten rock into the atmosphere, blanketing much of North America with hot ash and dropping the earth's surface more than a mile as it sank into the area once occupied by the magma. That was about 760,000 years ago, but all these years later the region still keeps a lot of scientists on the edge of their seats.
The Long Valley geology began misbehaving again in 1978 when a 5.4 earthquake struck six miles southeast of the caldera, suggesting that the volcano might be reasserting itself. In subsequent years that was followed by swarms of small quakes, which are closely associated with pending.
A couple of decades ago, trees began dying on nearby Mammoth Mountain from large amounts of carbon dioxide seeping from the magma, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Today, the caldera seems to be quieting down, despite several recent bursts of seismic events, but it is probably the most closely watched volcano on the planet. Scientists with the USGS are keeping a close eye on it, monitoring every little belch, and they insist there is no reason for the folks who live in California to be concerned. At least not yet.
Meanwhile, Scientists at Oregon State University have been focusing their attention on Yellowstone National Park, where an eruption a couple of million years ago is believed to have been 2,000 times larger than Mount St. Helens. That region also shows constant signs of seismic unrest, and there have been eruptions there several times in the past, according to the Oregon researchers.
Incidentally, researchers at Washington State University in Pullman, who have also been studying Yellowstone, concluded earlier this year that the big eruption 2 million years ago wasn't one blast, but two, separated by about 6,000 years.
But just because it was split into two parts doesn't mean it was benign. The Washington researchers believe the first blast was the biggest, and it darkened the sky with ash from California to the Mississippi River.
So super-volcanoes cannot be ignored, and now it seems they can pull the trigger much more quickly than anyone had thought.