Saturday, January 29, 2011

The World Shakes

Connection to my post of December 2010?  Earthquakes and other natural disasters

Natural Disasters: totally off the charts: 

Saudi Arabia 

Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defense Department started assessing the damage to Jeddah after heavy rains caused flooding that killed ten people in the kingdom’s second-largest city.Three people were still missing and 114 were injured during the flooding in the Red Sea city, Mohammed al-Qarni, General Major in the Civil Defense Department in Jeddah, said in an interview today. The government relocated 1,700 families to temporary housing after their property was damaged, he said. 


KAGOSHIMA, Japan - Minor eruptions continued at Shinmoedake peak on the border of Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures Friday, a day after the volcano erupted explosively for the first time in 52 years.

The volcano in the Kirishima mountain range spewed columns of smoke reaching more than 3,000 meters high, sending volcanic ash flying over the prefectures.


Bromo: Over in Indonesia, the new ash explosions from Tengger Caldera's Bromo vent continue to cause flight cancellations for air traffic heading to Bali. All of this activity is still not considered a major eruption of the volcano, but the increased activity combined with the weather patterns over the region make for a VAAC advisory for flights coming in especially from Australia.


As of March 2010, the dome was growing about 2,000 cubic meters (70,000) cubic feet a day, leading to frequent small rockfalls and occasional ash plumes. In January 2011, local newspapers reported “dust plumes” rising over Colima, likely pulverized lava stirred up by landslides at the summit dome.


Kizimen Volcano, which erupted for the first time in 81 years in December 2010, continues to emit a steady stream of gas and ash. This natural-color satellite image shows the eruption on the afternoon of January 26, 2011. An ash plume rises directly above the volcano, to an altitude of about 11,000 feet (3,400 meters), according to the U.S. Air Force Weather Agency.

U.S. Yellowstone

The supervolcano underneath Yellowstone National Park has caused several miles worth of land to rise up, according to the National Geographic and other reports. "It's an extraordinary uplift, because it covers such a large area and the rates are so high," University of Utah's Bob Smith told National Geographic. Smith is an expert on the Yellowstone Caldera.


Mount Etna seems to have come back to life, at least for a little while.
The Italian volcano awoke Wednesday night, spewing molten lava into the air for over two hours,according to the AP. The lava flowed down the eastern side of the mountain in the volcano's first eruption since 1992.


The death toll from Brazil's devastating flooding continues to rise, making it the country's deadliest natural disaster on record. Authorities Saturday estimated at least 787 people have been killed so far, and the number is expected to go higher. Officials said Friday at least another 400 people are missing. Days of heavy rains last week unleashed rivers of mud that leveled houses, threw cars on top of buildings and left at least 6,000 people homeless. Another 8,000 were forced to move to temporary housing.


Known for hot temperatures and the Great Barrier Reef, Australia is now overwhelmed with rain of near-Biblical proportions. This has led to devastating flooding. However, the floods are not only damaging the vast country but also the economy, which is expected to take a crippling blow.

Australia's new year didn't exactly have a fresh start. In early January, western Australia experienced floods. The flooding was especially heavy in the state of Queensland, which just came off nearly a decade of droughts. New South Wales and Victoria were similarly affected. The flooding has already been called one of the country's worst natural disasters, and the clean-up has already cost more than $20 billion Australian (US $19.9 billion).

New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, New Jersey & Boston

The East coast has been blasted with a lot of snow storms since the blizzard hit on December 26. This harsh winter will probably go down as one of the coldest and snowiest for the history books. And it looks like a snowy weekend is ahead for the North East too.

The NY Times reports that hundreds of thousands lost power in the recent thunder snow in Washington, DC. What will this next storm have in store for this city?

Thursday, December 23, 2010



When Corporations and Banks have so much power that they change, initiate or develop the laws of the land. When Corporations have so much power that the policing forces of a country, city or state are impelled to work for the Corporate good rather than the good of the people. When Corporations have so much power that they can bypass the policing forces of a country, city or state and act directly against the people and circumvent the peoples rights.

Suits Claim Break-Ins by Banks
Also missing was a wooden box, its top inscribed with the words “Together Forever,” that contained the ashes of her late husband, Robert.
In Florida, contractors working for Chase Bank used a screwdriver to enter Debra Fischer’s house in Punta Gorda and helped themselves to a laptop, an iPod, a cordless drill, six bottles of wine and a frosty beer, left half-empty on the counter.
Deliberate Press Beatings at Climate Talks
The program included recordings of police radio communications in which a supervising officer pressed units to beat both marchers and the media among them.

Secret G20 fence law
“The days up to and including the weekend of the G20 will live in infamy as a time period where martial law set in the city of Toronto, leading to the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history. And we can never let that happen again.’’ 
Dalton McGuinty’s government gave police excessive, wartime-like powers during the summit last summer. 

The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism—ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Difference Between Fascism and Democracy

I found this older article that outlines the difference between Soviet style fascism and American Democracy when it comes to security. 

The article begins, "In contrast to the United States government...".

In contrast to the United States government, which assigns the functions of domestic counterintelligence and foreign intelligence to separate agencies, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), respectively, the Soviet system combined these functions in a single organization. 
This practice grew out of the ideology of Soviet governance, which made little distinction between external and domestic political threats, claiming that the latter were always foreign inspired. According to that rationale, the same investigative techniques were appropriate for both foreign espionage agents and Soviet citizens who came under official suspicion. For example, the KGB's Seventh Chief Directorate, whose task was to provide personnel and equipment for surveillance operations, was responsible for surveillance of both foreigners and Soviet citizens.
But there is no 'contrast' now. The FBI, CIA, military and your local police have become one giant organism connected by biometric databases and supported by local citizens who have been instructed to report on the neighbors for any odd activity.

The cold war threat that galvanized Americans into spending billions to ward off the deadly dangers of Communism were based on:

"Do YOU want KGB-style spying going on in your neighborhood?"

Guess what people? It looks like America Lost the Cold War- without a shot being fired. 

From this article in the Washington Post:

"Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.
The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation's history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing." 
"...Myra Gray, head of the Defense Department's Biometrics Identity Management Agency, speaking to an industry group recently. "Hopefully in the not-too-distant future," she said, "our relationship with these federal agencies - along with state and local agencies - will be completely symbiotic." 

From the same article:

At the same time that the FBI is expanding its West Virginia database, it is building a vast repository controlled by people who work in a top-secret vault on the fourth floor of the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington. This one stores the profiles of tens of thousands of Americans and legal residents who are not accused of any crime. What they have done is appear to be acting suspiciously to a town sheriff, a traffic cop or even a neighbor.
If the new Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative, or SAR, works as intended, the Guardian database may someday hold files forwarded by all police departments across the country.
The special operations units deployed overseas to kill the al-Qaeda leadership drove technological advances that are now expanding in use across the United States. On the front lines, those advances allowed the rapid fusing of biometric identification, captured computer records and cellphone numbers so troops could launch the next surprise raid.
Here at home, it's the DHS that is enamored with collecting photos, video images and other personal information about U.S. residents 

And the Greatest Feat of Irony of all time is in this:

Napolitano has taken her "See Something, Say Something" (SS?) campaign far beyond the traffic signs that ask drivers coming into the nation's capital for "Terror Tips" and to "Report Suspicious Activity." (report on your neighbor campaigns).
She recently enlisted the help of Wal-Mart, Amtrak, major sports leagues, hotel chains and metro riders. In her speeches, she compares the undertaking to the Cold War fight against communists.

So, will someone please tell me what we were fighting the 'Red Commies' for if it were not to prevent the 'free world' from becoming the same kind of Police State that existed in Soviet Russia? Or considering the SS allegory - Nazi Germany where the Gestapo was formed by:

Göring himself took over the Gestapo in 1934 and urged Hitler to extend the agency's authority throughout Germany. This represented a radical departure from German tradition, which held that law enforcement was (mostly) a Land (state) and local matter. In September 1939 the security and police agencies of Nazi Germany (with the exception of the Orpo) were consolidated into the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA), headed by Heydrich.

This is not about democrat vs republican. But the laws that made this possible were designed and put into place in 2001 - the Bush era.

And so I am now posting a link back to that WaPo article and I am putting spaces in so that it does not link back to this page.

Cut and paste it into your browser- remove the spaces. http://projects /1/

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Earthquakes and other Natural Disasters

A PhD friend of mine explained to me the connection between Climate Change and Earthquakes.

To greatly simplify it - imagine a very large balloon partly filled with water. Coat the balloon with layers of mud and peagravel and let it dry.

Now heat the whole thing up. When the balloon expands, even a tiny bit, mud cracks and shifts.

I heard this about 3 years ago. It's something the scientific community isn't talking about publicly yet. But it made sense to me.

Now, 2010 has been a doozy. Maybe if you were living in an untouched area of the U.S. you hardly noticed. God knows it seems major media has really tried hard to keep this stuff off the news.

In the midst of the world-record breaking heat wave and wildfires in Russia and flooding in Pakistan (that ruined 1/4 of the worlds wheat crops and killed 20,000 people) and the heat waves in Greece and most of Europe that killed 10's of thousands, most Americans I talked to had no clue that these things were happening, or thought they were much smaller, more localized problems.

All of them were shocked when I sent them the Russian News or Pakistan News. 

"Oh my God! I had no idea!."

was the usual response. That tells me there is a deliberate avoidance of these sorts of stories by the big news. Anything weather related that might cause people to actually think "Um.. ok something is really screwy here.." is off the table apparently.

Well, here - I'll fill you in. Below are clips from 2010 A Wild Year for Weather

Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed at least a quarter million people in 2010 - the deadliest year in more than a generation. More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters this year than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined.

"It just seemed like it was back-to-back and it came in waves," said Craig Fugate, who heads the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency. It handled a record number of disasters in 2010."The term '100-year event' really lost its meaning this year."

In the summer, one weather system caused oppressive heat in Russia, while farther south it caused flooding in Pakistan that inundated 62,000 square miles, about the size of Wisconsin. That single heat-and-storm system killed almost 17,000 people, more people than all the worldwide airplane crashes in the past 15 years combined.

The excessive amount of extreme weather that dominated 2010 is a classic sign of man-made global warming that climate scientists have long warned about. They calculate that the killer Russian heat wave - setting a national record of 111 degrees - would happen once every 100,000 years without global warming.

Preliminary data show that 18 countries broke their records for the hottest day ever.
"These (weather) events would not have happened without global warming," said Kevin Trenberth, chief of climate analysis for the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

The year may go down as the hottest on record worldwide or at the very least in the top three, according to the World Meteorological Organization. The average global temperature through the end of October was 58.53 degrees, beating the previous record of 2005, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

Even the extremes were extreme.

In the United States, FEMA declared a record number of major disasters, 79 as of Dec. 14. The average year has 34.

Blizzards are included in the Climate Change tally because with a warmer climate, there's more moisture in the air, which of course makes all storms, including blizzards, more intense.

A list of day-by-day disasters in 2010 compiled by the AP runs 64 printed pages long.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Different Set of Rules

I heard two disc jockeys this morning literally talking about how stupid "those" people are. They were referring to Islamic folks.

Actually the real idiocy is that common Americans have been brainwashed into a hatred that parallels southern hate for the blacks during the civil rights era. And these guys were feeding into it.

The ridiculous thing is that at the upper levels of banking and corporate activity and in political circles, (within the American 'elite' so to speak), there is no theo-racism. Business people, politicians and corporate management at the international levels deal with Islamics, Buddhists, Christians - all the same. They are respectful of cultural differences and behave in reflection of that: you never hear disparaging language such as I have heard fed to the average American on the news and media.

No- that language is reserved for the people - or "the lower class" as I have also heard spoken of in board rooms and meetings. The real division at this level is one of class, a wealth division. The disparagement is reserved for middle management and downwards on the chain of wealth.

The "lower class" is supposed to buy into the bullshit, you see, to give the 'little people'' a focus of irritation or hatred so that the bullseye is not on the elite. Other races, religions, etc are the perfect foil for the wrongdoings of others.

The lower class is also supposed to buy into the 'socialist' scare tactic. Here is a secret for all you LC's out there- wealthy people make and keep their wealth by practicing socialist collectivism continually.

YOU are supposed to buy your own lawnmower- one of those symbols of American dream/freedom, blah blah. Meanwhile, wealthy communities pool resources (socialism) and hire companies to come in and do all the lawn care at about what you spend for YOUR OWN LAWNMOWER. But they don't have to sweat.

Wealthy people, including those politicians you hear screaming Socialist Scare Tactics every election cycle - constantly pool resources, labor, money, stock, funds, etc and practice pure Socialist Collectivism as a wealth creation and conservation lifestyle. Wealthy people rarely even purchase their own vehicle- it's generally handed them through the purchasing pool of their corporation. (socialism)

You, meanwhile, are supposed to embrace the American Way. The version they have sold you. You are on your own- an individual capitalist, because there needs to be a certain number of peons... err people ..who are buying their own cars, vacuum cleaners, lawnmowers, etc.


Because all those payments + interest supports the socialist lifestyle of the ultra wealthy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We Spent $502,566,387 On This Election & All We Got Was A Boehner

The new Republican theme.

Outside groups spend hundreds of millions of dollars each election cycle to run ads, make phone calls, distribute literature and engage in other activities to sway the electorate about candidates and issues.

A January 2010 Supreme Court decision (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) now permits corporations to make such expenditures from their treasuries directly and through other organizations. The decision allows contributions without complete or immediate disclosure of who the funding is coming from, preventing voters from understanding who is behind many political messages.

And who took in the most hidden money this election cycle? The same Republicans who have been filibustering a Dem introduced Bill to force corporate contributors to tell the truth to the public.

Americans have a right to know who is buying every politician for sale. The big 'C' stands on this list of those organizations stands for 'Conservative' candidate, and these are the top spenders in 2010.

US Chamber of Commerce        
$32,851,997    C   
American Action Network        
$26,088,031    C   
American Crossroads        
$21,553,277    C   
Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies        
$17,122,446    C   

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Great American Land Grab: A Bankers Point of View.

Or - An Idiots Guide to the Mortgage Mess

1. As part of a Powerful Banking Cartel (PBC) have an easily bought Congressman in D.C. sponsor a bill deregulating your market.

2. Write a Bill that allows Mortgages to be packaged into Securities which can be gambled on in the Stock Market, and also allows your bank to merge with an investment group. Call it something cool and progressive like The Financial Services Modernization act.

3. Give your Congressman's wife a high powered position + multiple financial perks to those Congressmen also signing on. Attach the Bill to the Federal Budget Bill - pretty much forcing it's signage.

4. Merge your bank with an investment brokerage and then loosen your banking rules to allow unemployed, low pay, risky credit persons to obtain housing loans.

5. Set up call centers overseas and call people from government lists (also available to banks under deregulation) - such as unemployment rolls. Offer no money down, 6 month deferred payment, VARIABLE interest housing loans.

6. Promise purchasers that under the law their loan can't go up by more than a percentage point (true under regulation- untrue now, under deregulation).

7. Through the next few years, watch housing prices go through the roof. Watch an artificial economy and jobs market grow around a skyrocketing housing market.

8. Place (stock) bets that chunks of Mortgage Backed Securities will fail.You can do this because the deregulation laws that you helped write now let you gamble on the stock market because you can be a Bank AND an investment broker too!

9. Jack up the interest rates on the housing loans in certain sectors at critical times, tripling or quadrupling the average monthly homeowners payment.

10. Make money on the stock bets - then also take the properties and land when the purchaser can't afford the new rates and defaults.

11. Set up backroom operations to rubber-stamp the hundreds of thousands of mortgage defaults.

12. Act horrified when all the rotten Mortgage Backed Securities fail at nearly the same time because you and your buddies got too greedy and overplayed the market.

13. Beg the government for money because you know that the Economy has been riding an artificial housing bubble for 7 years - not a real economy driven by production, growth and manufacturing. And that that economy is going to be in the toilet for at least 10 years.

14. Make money on the back end by taking properties on defaulted loans and converting them to rentals until the housing market stabilizes and you can re-sell them.

15. Spend millions to crush any politician that threatens to re-regulate your market by blaming the politician for the state of the current economy.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has called Senator Phil Gramm "the father of the financial crisis" due to his sponsorship of the Act. 

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has also argued that the Act helped to create the crisis.