Thursday, June 30, 2011

Minnesota government shuts down as talks fail

Michael Brodkorb, Senate Republican spokesman, updates reporters outside the governor's office Thursday, June 30, 2011 in St. Paul, Minn., where negotiations between Republican lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton continued throughout the day in efforts to come to a budget agreement to avoid a government shutdown at midnight.

Minnesota stumbled into its second government shutdown
in six years Thursday, with a partisan divide over taxes and spending to close a $5 billion deficit becoming only more bitter as a midnight deadline approached and negotiations foundered.

Jerry Brown signs California budget without fanfare

He limited access to the signing ceremony - allowing only a pool of photographers and a single reporter - and took no questions
in a terse cap to a long and arduous path to closing a $26.6 billion deficit.

[Only one reporter and took no questions? Think the governor doesn't want to meet the people right now?]

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Drilling down: Shale gas hype

Current gas production is currently close to production in the early 1970s. However, it takes up to five times as many wells to be drilled now to produce the equivalent amount of gas [editor].
New York Time link page
Here is some of the titles from the NYT:
Industry Privately Skeptical of Shale Gas
Over the past six months, The New York Times reviewed thousands of pages of documents related to shale gas, including hundreds of industry e-mails, internal agency documents and reports by analysts. A selection of these documents is included here; names and identifying information have been redacted to protect the confidentiality of sources, many of whom were not authorized by their employers to communicate with The Times.
Signs of Trouble
Shale Gas Called a "Ponzi Scheme"
Where is the S.E.C.?
Drill Fast, Con Wall Street
“Always a Greater Sucker…”
"Corporate Hubris and Bad Science" May Lead to "Enron Moment"
Drilling for Press Release Purposes

Is Shale Gas a Bubble?

One of the best people to read on energy and our future is Gail the Actuary
Gail the Actuary:

Is shale oil the answer to peak oil?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

NATO slowly admits what the Libyan government has said all along.

NATO's Terror Over Tripoli
Bangkok, Thailand June 19, 2011 - The NATO excursion into Libya started with disingenuous humanitarian concerns translated into a no-fly zone, which incrementally transitioned into attacks on Qaddafi's ground forces, targeted assassinations against Qaddafi himself, then talk of destroying civilian infrastructure and a full-out ground invasion. NATO declared mid-May that it would be "increasing the range of targets" it could hit, including "government infrastructure." With a residential area hit and NATO playing dumb over its role in murdering the very civilians it is supposedly protecting, it appears they made good on their promise.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Comment: The Libyan Crisis: Italy Humiliates NATO (Part I)

Ghana news site

June 22, 2011

At long last, the reality check that the war-mongers orchestrating NATO’s devastation of Libya need to do is here. Something is beginning to happen within NATO circles to confirm our claim that NATO’s military campaign is not the solution for the Libyan crisis.

Italy, a NATO member, has begun taking the bull by its horns and, by this action, will set in motion the agitation that will force NATO out of Libya to make room for better solutions to be found for that country’s political crisis.

Swiss Franc Jumps To New Record High Against Pound


The Swiss franc jumped to a new record high of 1.3443 against the pound, up from 1.3492 hit late New York Wednesday. On the upside, the alpine unit may break the pivotal point of 1.34 in near-term. The pound-franc pair is presently trading at 1.3464.

Swiss Franc update:

1 CHF = 1.1929 USD +0.00085 (0.071%)
Jun 23, 8:00PM GMT+00:00

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vietnam is world’s 2nd largest gold hoarder

VietNamNet Bridge -Vietnam is hoarding between 460 and 1,000 tons of gold worth around US$21 to $45 billion, second only to India, according to figures released last week.

Imports of gold and silver soar 222% in India

The import of gold and silver by India has risen by a whopping 222% between April and May 2011, as compared to a year ago. In the month of May alone, imports were a staggering $9 billion, with gold demand growing 25%.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mass demonstrations gripped Spain on Sunday

Mass protests in Spain blame politicians and banks for economic crisis

Mass demonstrations gripped Spain on Sunday with protesters descending on Madrid and Barcelona to blame politicians and banks for the nation's economic woes. Spain continues to suffer from crushing unemployment.

More than 100,000 protesters took to the streets in cities across Spain on Sunday, accusing politicians and bankers of implementing economic policies that led to the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone.

In Barcelona, Spain's second largest city, 50,000 people turned out to protest while groups of several thousand demonstrators took to the streets in other cities.

Anti-austerity protests spread across Europe

20/06 01:04 CET
Anti-austerity rallies have been held across Europe – in Spain thousands marched to protest against high unemployment and their government’s handling of the economic crisis.

Minnesota budget accord far off, state shutdown looms

(Reuters) - Minnesota Republican legislative leaders and Democratic Governor Mark Dayton remained defiant on Thursday and far from a budget deal needed to avert a state government shutdown on July 1.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wow Libya has lots of resources and they are conveniently close!

Why is NATO bombing Libya?

[2005 ]
The country is an oil man's dream. It is a nation with abundant resources and is not only near major markets, but -- now that Qaddafi has come in from the cold -- politically correct. It's a prize for which BP's chief will apparently set aside his skepticism about Mideast oil.

Comments in Canadian Globe and Mail article on NATO attacking Libya

NATO attacks their al kada allies

Well the first page of comments to the Globe and Mail are all against the NATO attacks:

1:50 PM on June 18, 2011
Let's see:

Iran has WMDs - oops no I was mistaken

Iraqi soldiers break into a Kuwaiti hospital and bayoneted infants and stole their incubators -oops I was mistaken hospital staff sent infants home and incubators were stored in closet

Jessica Lynch American Amazon went down fighting Iraqis and fought to last round was captured and sexually assaulted by Arab monsters -oops my mistake Jessica rammed her hummer into another hummer was taken to an Iraqi hospital and cared for - on several occasions doctors at the hospital went to American positions to say that they should come pick Jessica up

Pat Tillman NFL all-star and American commando went down fighting vicious Afghans -oops my mistake he was gunned down by members of his own squad while screaming obscenities at them to make them stop firing in panic

So now you want me to believe the one about human shields

Fool me once shame on you

Fool me twice shame on me

NATO troops are war criminals and liars

The Western media is little more than a Governmental propaganda organ
3 replies
Report Abuse
Score: 16
2:18 PM on June 18, 2011
NATO will use this as an excuse to bomb children and mosques. It does not matter if it is true or not, but it makes great propaganda.
Report Abuse
Score: 15
2:09 PM on June 18, 2011
Coward! Come out in the open and fight like a man so we can drop a bomb on your head from 20,000 feet.
How many children did our brave highway of zeroes kill this time in the name of spreading freedom and democracy?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dot com bubble 2.0

Pandora Media Inc (Public, NYSE:P)
P 13.26 -23.88%
13.26 -4.16 (-23.88%)
After Hours: 12.72 -0.54 (-4.07%)
Jun 16, 7:59PM EDT

Linkedin Corporation (Public, NYSE:LNKD)
LNKD 68.27 -8.51%
68.27 -6.35 (-8.51%)
After Hours: 69.15 +0.88 (1.29%)
Jun 16, 7:36PM EDT

Second dot com bubble-burst

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

“Human Chain” Around the Greek Parliament, June 15 (map)

Here is a map of downtown Athens showing the planned human chain action that will block the entrance to the Parliament.

protest human chain

“Indignant” Greeks have called people to join the action that will start at 7 in the morning and will continue until the evening. At the same time they have called people to refrain from consumption all through the day.

Should the action succeed, a big area in downtown Athens will be closed to traffic from as early as 7 a.m. At the same time big rallies are expected to take place at 10 and 11 in the morning, as labour unions will protest the strict austerity package, the wages and pensions cuts, the incredible high taxation. The country will be practically paralyzed as the General Strike affects all sector of public and private sector.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bahrain Grand Prix cancelled

Bahrain Grand Prix organizers accepted the cancellation of their postponed Formula One race on Thursday after teams objected to it being rescheduled in October.

Ugly saga of Bahrain race exposes F1's web of tangled morals
Formula One is not devoid of people who know right from wrong but they appear to have no voice.
Awkward position of Formula OneWhen the final decision came on the fate of the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix, it was certainly the right one. And although it may have been reached for all the wrong reasons, including logistical inconvenience and sheer embarrassment, it yielded an unexpected bonus: a couple of weeks in which the world could take a close look at the tangled moral universe of Formula One.
The episode concluded with seeming chaos at the highest level, where Jean Todt, president of the FIA, the world governing body, was outflanked by Bernie Ecclestone, representing the holders of Formula One’s commercial rights, whose sudden declaration that the race could not take place once again demonstrated his mastery of the ideological handbrake turn.

Teams and drivers took line that "we are a sport and not political"; examples: "
was the gist of what Christian Horner, the Red Bull team director, said in his little media scrum. And what both he and Monisha Kaltenborn, the chief executive of the Sauber team, said in her press scrum was that they would not reveal the details of what the Formula One Teams Association discussed on Bahrain. When asked if moral, political issues were discussed, they responded that they discussed all sorts of topics and presented the consensus conclusion to Bernie Ecclestone in a letter.

In other words, they want to keep well away from speaking with the media on the details of what were discussed and why they do not want to go to Bahrain."


"Pastor Maldonado: OK, let’s wait for the FOTA decision. I think we are drivers who enjoy racing. For sure it’s a difficult time there but I think we need to wait and see what they decide."

From the comments of said article:

Granville, OH
June 10th, 2011
11:53 am
What about Mark Webber? It sounded like he had moral objections to going to Bahrain, and I would have hoped that other drivers/teams would be concerned at the message that supporting a government that attacks its own people would send. I agree that sport and politics are separate, but only up to a point. Few countries are actually in the midst of a revolution, and that seems reason enough to make an exception.

Brad Spurgeon[author of the NYT F1 blog]
June 10th, 2011
3:27 pm
Yes, last week Webber did speak out against it. I mentioned that in an earlier post.

California Budget is facing deadline on 15 June

California Budget Dispute Heads for Showdown as Deadline Looms
California, the world’s eighth-largest economy, may run out of cash if there’s no budget by July 1, forcing it to issue IOUs as it did in 2009.

Brown press to get a deal

California cities reforming pensions

Brown lobbies for budget action as deadline nears

Brown calls budget negotiations 'fuzzy' two days before June 15 deadline

Greece: General Strike – June 15

June 15
Even the shops will be closed 12.00-3.00 p.m. in a protests against the strict austerity measures that force on their knees millions of Greeks without a prospect of recovery. Public administration services, banks, state-run enterprises (DEKO) and municipalities will be closed for 24 hours. Public hospitals will operate with emergency staff only. No planes will land or take off, no ferries and boats will leave the ports. No news and live broadcasts. No trains of OSE and no Proastiakos.

Public Transport workers will launch only work stoppages to facilitate strikers to join the big protest in downtown Athens. The demonstration will start at 11 a.m.

Buses will operate 9 am 9 pm, Trolley buses 8 am – 10 pm, Tram 7 am – 11 pm, Urban Train (HSAP) 8 am – 9 pm.

Protests will start already at 7 in the morning as the “Indignant” Greeks plan to “block” the Parliament. On Wednesday, the Mid-Term Austerity Package will be discussed at the Economics Committee.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

US universities in Africa 'land grab'

Institutions including Harvard and Vanderbilt reportedly use hedge funds to buy land in deals that may force farmers out

[Right: Inside a greenhouse at a Saudi-financed farm in Ethiopia.]

The largest land deal in South Sudan, where as much as 9% of the land is said by Norwegian analysts to have been bought in the last few years, was negotiated between a Texas-based firm, Nile Trading and Development and a local co-operative run by absent chiefs. The 49-year lease of 400,000 hectares of central Equatoria for around $25,000 (£15,000) allows the company to exploit all natural resources including oil and timber. The company, headed by former US Ambassador Howard Eugene Douglas, says it intends to apply for UN-backed carbon credits that could provide it with millions of pounds a year in revenues.

In Mozambique, where up to 7m hectares of land is potentially available for investors, western hedge funds are said in the report to be working with South Africans businesses to buy vast tracts of forest and farmland for investors in Europe and the US. The contracts show the government will waive taxes for up to 25 years, but few jobs will be created.

"No one should believe that these investors are there to feed starving Africans, create jobs or improve food security," said Obang Metho of Solidarity Movement for New Ethiopia. "These agreements – many of which could be in place for 99 years – do not mean progress for local people and will not lead to food in their stomachs. These deals lead only to dollars in the pockets of corrupt leaders and foreign investors."

"The scale of the land deals being struck is shocking", said Mittal. "The conversion of African small farms and forests into a natural-asset-based, high-return investment strategy can drive up food prices and increase the risks of climate change.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Citizen sues Fed bank for creating money, essentially counterfeiting


Citizen Sues Atlanta Fed Based on Allegation that It's Issuing Federal Reserve Notes That It Has No Intention of Redeeming, Which Amounts to Counterfeiting ... Asks that Atlanta Fed's Charter be Forfeited

From The Coinage Act of April 2, 1792
Penalty on de-basing the coins [Money, anyone?] Section 19. And be it further enacted, That if any of the gold or silver coins which shall be struck or coined at the said mint shall be debased or made worse as to the proportion of the fine gold or fine silver therein contained, or shall be of less weight or value than the same out to be pursuant to the directions of this act, through the default or with the connivance of any of the officers or persons who shall be employed at the said mint, for the purpose of profit or gain, or otherwise with a fraudulent intent, and if any of the said officers or persons shall embezzle any of the metals which shall at any time be committed to their charge for the purpose of being coined, or any of the coins which shall be struck or coined at the said mint, every such officer or person who shall commit any or either of the said offenses, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and shall suffer death.

[The US dollar has lost about 95% of its value since 1913, when the Federal Reserve was enacted.]

Blair Demands Wider Middle East Warfare

Make sure to read the comments for the Independent article.

June 9, 2011
Print Version
Source: Independent

Britain and its allies should be ready to mount Libya-style interventions in other Arab countries, Tony Blair declares today.

The former Prime Minister, who committed British troops to military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, says that Europe and the United States must draw up a proper plan to support the so-called Arab Spring.

In a new introduction to the paperback version of his memoirs published today, Mr Blair says: “We need to have an active policy, be players and not spectators sitting in the sands, applauding or condemning as we watch. Like it or not, we have to participate.”

He argues that a Libya-style operation should take place only when regimes have “excluded a path to evolutionary change”. But he does raise the prospect of intervention in some circumstances in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and Jordan.
Showing 3 comments

HootingEggplant 3 hours ago
How about a evolutionary change in England?
Like Reply

ians87 5 hours ago
Hey Tony - f.o.a.d.; he'll figure it out.
Like Reply

Spencer Italiano 8 hours ago
In other words, he wants world war three and British access to all the oil fields.

[Title was from blacklistednews]

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Belarus blockade protests fuel prices

Motorists block traffic in downtown Minsk in protest against rising motor fuel prices

Five Belarusians Fined After Protest at Fuel-Price Increase
Motorists face charges in Belarus following protest against high gas prices
More than 100 cars blocked a 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) stretch of Independence Avenue, the city’s main artery, for two hours yesterday, with onlookers cheering them on. Police held five overnight and transferred them today to the Centralny district court, where they were found guilty of participating in unsanctioned picketing and fined as much as 700,000 rubles ($141 dollars at the official central bank rate).

Thus, action participant Alesia Makas has been fined Br525 thousand. The girl was arrested about 20:30 on Independence Avenue in Yanka Kupala park for holding a banner "Stop petrol," reported human rights center "Viasna."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Greece Live Video

Greece protest cam

AFP:Thousands of Greek protesters assemble in the capital
By Will Vassilopoulos (AFP) – 1 hour ago
ATHENS — Thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens late Sunday on the 12th consecutive day of protests against the government's draconian austerity measures.
Over 50,000 people, according to police estimates, thronged the capital's central Syntagma square for a peaceful demonstration responding to calls for gatherings across Europe. Some 3,000 people also gathered in Greece's second largest city, Thessaloniki, according to the police.
"Thieves, thieves," the crowd chanted waiving Greek flags, but also flags from Spain, Portugal, Tunisia and Argentina.
"You got the disease we got the solution. Revolution," one banner proclaimed.
Sunday's gathering appeared to be the largest since protests began over a week ago.
The non-political, non-ideological demonstrations are modeled by a similar mobilization in Spain led by a group calling themselves 'the indignants'

Thursday, June 2, 2011

In The World After Abundance [Energy]

John Michael Greer's blog:
The sheer inefficiency of today’s habits of electrical generation, distribution, and use is rarely recognized. Behind those wall sockets lies what is very probably the world’s largest single system of infrastructure, an immense network linking huge power plants and end users via a crazy spiderweb of transmission lines covering whole continents. To keep electricity in those lines, vast amounts of fuel are burnt every day to generate heat, which produces steam, which drives turbines, which turn generators, which put voltage onto the lines; at each of these transformations of energy from one form to another, the laws of thermodynamics take their toll, and as a result only about a third of the potential energy in the fuel finds its way to the wall socket. Losses to entropy of the same order of magnitude also take place when electricity is generated by other means – hydroelectricity, wind power or what have you – because of parallel limits hardwired into the laws of physics.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Swiss Franc update:

1 CHF = 1.1902 USD +0.01813 (1.547%)
Jun 1, 5:00PM GMT+00:00

Turkish Silver Bullion Imports Surge

Bloomberg reports this morning that Turkey imported 25.7 tons of silver in May, up from 61 kilograms in April, the Istanbul Gold Exchange said in a report on its website. This is a huge increase in demand and suggests that Middle Eastern demand for silver, which has not been noteworthy to date, may soon become an important catalysts for higher silver prices.
Silver demand is particularly strong in China and Asia and among a minority but increasingly vocal and influential band of silver advocates who believe that silver is a superior form of money and will help protect people from developing problems in the western and global financial and monetary system.

Read more: