Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Big O

So apparently, the Oakland Coliseum has now become the "" stadium, and appropriately so.
Oakland is the future. We have historically lead the way in terms of political consciousness, sustainability, diversity, arts, culture, and food. When America was starting to think about rebelling, the Black Panthers and Hells Angels were already making headlines. When Bruce Lee wanted to bring China's secrets to the rest of the world, he did it in Oakland. When the NFL was forced to merge with the upstart AFL, an Oaklander was grinning the widest. When the world was in its greatest need for something fresh and new, it was Hammertime. When peak oil was rearing its ugly head, we gave the world scraper bikes.
Now, as the overinflated bubble of infinite growth/infinite consumption is bursting all over the world, we give professional sports Stadium is really not such a strange name: When the A's are playing, think of it as referring to the thousands of excess unused seats. For the Raiders, it hints at a surplus of empty promises -- nine years since a playoff berth.
The new title sponsor is an online liquidator that offers cut-rate prices on surplus inventories of furniture, clothing, baby supplies, luggage and almost anything but winning seasons.
-Inside Bay Area

Can't think of anything more forward-thinking than a company specializing in liquidating surplus inventories.

Friday, April 29, 2011

More on inflation: Gas

24/7 Wall Street listed the 10 states where people can't afford gas. They looked at average price of gas, median income, unemployment, and poverty levels.
As someone who rides a bicycle, I gotta admit that I can't really afford gas either.
Gas prices cause people to postpone vacations and defer daily expenses. Construction companies will suspend some of their activities. Businesses that deliver goods to homes or other businesses will try to raise their prices to offset their costs of transportation. Some of the states on this list barely made it out of the recession, if they did at all. Some still have double digit unemployment and high poverty levels. The sharp rise in gas prices becomes more severe each day. This is something that a portion of the population simply cannot afford.

Inmate breakes up fight between guards

An inmate at the Eerie County Correctional Facility required medical attention for injuries suffered while breaking up a fight between two corrections officers over a bag of chips.

Inflation is real

Jeff Reeves of InvestorPlace reminds us of the dark side of inflation...yes, despite what the Bernank says, there is least for us working people who live in the real world.
1. Beef
In a revised forecast Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said consumers will see higher price tags on ground beef and steak, projecting 6% to 7% increases year over year. That's up from a previous forecast of just 4.5% to 5.5% inflation for beef prices. Beef prices have surged in the last several months as supplies shrink, exports boom and grain costs soar.

2. Pork
Don't think you can just switch from cow to pig to avoid this trend — pork could see retail price increases of as much as 7.5% over 2010 levels according to the USDA.

3. Grains
Even going vegetarian is more expensive than it was a year ago. Corn prices have doubled, from $3.49 a bushel in July to well over $7.70 currently. Wheat prices have rolled back a bit in recent weeks, but topped 2008 highs in February to set a new record and remain very high currently.

4. Gasoline
The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped about 12 cents over the last two weeks to $3.88, with the highest average price for gas tallying $4.27 in Tucson, Ariz. This is with oil at $112 a barrel — if crude prices reach 2008 peak levels of $145, four bucks for gas may seem cheap.

5. Copper
The price of copper at the end of 2008 was just $1.30 per pound. Currently, copper is trading around $4.30 after setting a record of $4.60 in February. Unlike gold and silver, which are largely used in luxury goods or as investments, copper is used in a wide range of household items — from electrical wiring to air conditioners to water pipes.

6. Diapers
Consumer-products company Procter & Gamble PG (NYSE: PG - News) said this week that list prices for Pampers are up 7% on average over last year, with even Pampers wipes up 3%. To be clear, that's not a retail price hike, just a cost increase to stores. Retailers will decide how much of those price increases to pass along to shoppers. Kimberly-Clark KMB (NYSE: KMB - News), maker of Huggies, said Monday it plans to raise prices for similar reasons — rising costs for the petroleum products and paper pulp that go into the diapers. It will be the third such announcement for Kimberly-Clark since the middle of March.

7. Paper towels and toilet paper
If you don't have infants, you're not off the hook. P&G also said that Charmin toilet paper and Bounty paper towels are both listing for 5% more now with retailers and distributors than they were a year ago. KMB's diaper price update will also be accompanied by a boost for its flagship Kleenex tissues.

8. Shipping surcharges
Freight shipper United Parcel Service UPS (NYSE: UPS - News) will be hiking its fuel surcharges from 7.5% to 8.5% as of May 2 for ground freight and from 13% to 15% for air freight. That really hurts small businesses. If you are a storekeeper simply trying to keep your shelves stocked, you have no choice but to pay more and endure smaller margins — or hike prices yourself and add to this inflationary mess.

9. Wages
Perhaps the most insidious factor of our current inflationary spiral is the fact that while all these other items are costing more, household purchasing power is shrinking because wages and salaries aren't keeping up. While the consumer price index rose 2.7% in March to clock the fastest 12-month pace since December 2009, a staggering 18.3% of personal income is now made up of food stamps while wages account for just 50.5%. That's the lowest since the government started keeping records in 1929.

Bernanke speaking did not help

Euro Pacific Capital CEO, long-time Fed critic, and "financial doomsayer" Peter Schiff thinks that the Fed is doing the wrong thing.
Schiff went right for the jugular. Noting that a Bloomberg article called Wednesday's Bernanke press conference a "success," Schiff said that, "As the Fed chairman spoke, the dollar was getting crushed, gold surged to a new high. How do you call that a success? That's like saying the Titanic had a successful crossing just because some passengers happened to make it to New York."
"[Bernanke is] lying," Schiff continued. "The more the Fed insists that inflation is transitory, the more its reputation becomes transitory."
-Yahoo! Finance

The Bernank claimed that he wants a strong dollar, but clearly, he is acting to destroy the dollar. He's either doing it willingly, or he is the biggest idiot to ever put on a monkey suit.
"I will say that in the race for the worst Fed Chairman ever, Ben Bernanke is giving Alan Greenspan a run for his money. He just might take the crown."
-Peter Schiff

That pyramid ain't made of paper...

Precious metals, which have been skyrocketing for quite some time now, reacted even more bullishly to the Bernank's press conference. It actually takes quite a bit of skill to reach record high after record high after record high for so long a period.
The gold price has made new record highs at over $1,530 per ounce, while silver has regained upward momentum following its descent from close to $50 per ounce on Monday. Although platinum and palladium are below their year highs set in February, both metals have been boosted by Bernanke’s comments. Platinum reached over $1,827 per ounce in late trading yesterday.
As a matter of fact, yesterday, Weiss Ratings gave the US a "C" rating for creditworthiness, putting the soon-to-be-former largest economy in the world below Mexico, it's neighbor the south (yes, the one whose citizens risk robbery, rape, and murder to sneak into the US...or at least they used to). That US rating actually ranks it 33rd in the world.
A C from Weiss is roughly equivalent to a BBB rating from the big rating agencies like Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch. That’s about two notches above non-investment grade, or junk, status.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Anti-Bernank is smarter than a 5th grader

Inside the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility

FNN News Network in Japan has a rare footage of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant from the ground-level. The video was taken by Shigeharu Aoyama, a member of Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission on April 22.

Keynes vs. Hayek Round II

"Prepare for the return of the master..."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Blaming Boomers

The Burning Platform has posted a great series that tickles two of my primary fancies:
1) Crediting anarcho-bloggers with everything that is good in this world
2) Blaming the boomers for everything that isn't
I highly encourage you to check it out for yourself, but allow me to tease you with these choice snippets:

Crediting bloggers:
When you can’t trust your government, your bankers, your church, your media, or mega-corporate CEOs, you need to seek the truth where it can be found. The insightful bloggers who courageously print the truth on a daily basis have unanimously concluded that a small band of powerful elite have accumulated undue influence and control over this country, having brought it to the verge of economic collapse.

Blaming boomers:
These weasels care not for the country, but worry only about poll numbers and the next election cycle. An apathetic public, dominated by the Baby Boom generation, has the attention span of a gnat. As long as they can make the lease payment on their Escalade, use one of their 15 credit cards at the Mall, be entertained by 600 cable TV stations, play with the latest iSomething, live in their McMansion for two years without making a mortgage payment and consume massive quantities of fast food, then any thoughts of future generations or civic duty are unnecessary. Live for today has been the rallying cry for the Boomer generation. Pot was their drug during the 1960s. Debt has been their drug since 1980.
The drug (debt) dealer for the Baby Boom generation has been the Wall Street mega-banks, coincidentally, run by Boomers. The entire corrupt financial industry is being run by Boomers. The CEOs, CFOs, and the thousands of Harvard MBA VPs that created the fraudulent derivative scheme to bilk billions from clueless municipalities, pension funds and American taxpayers are all Boomers. It is no coincidence that the great debt delusion began in the early 1980’s.

A toned-down blast:
It is not a coincidence the National Debt growth has far outstripped GDP growth since 1980. Boomers had been spoiled their whole lives and felt they deserved the goodies today while passing the bill to future generations. They voted for politicians who promised them more benefits, more programs, more subsidies, more tax breaks, more military adventures, and more pleasure. And this was “paid for” with more debt.

And a full-blown, no-holds-barred blast:
Our inspirational Boomer president George (Mission Accomplished) Bush while waging two wars of choice, asked for the ultimate sacrifice from the Boomers. He solemnly urged them to buy a GM SUV with $0 down and 0% interest for 7 years, so we could defeat the terrorists. The Boomers who ran GMAC were more than happy to make loans to people with no income so they could “purchase” a $40,000 ostentatious gas guzzling hog. They were doing their patriotic duty for the good of the nation. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.
The Boomers not only heeded George’s call, but they did him proud by buying 8,000 sq ft McMansions with $0 down and negative amortization ARMs. Luckily, the executives at the mortgage origination sweatshops were Boomers. They found no good reason to verify income or assets before loaning someone $600,000, because they knew their fellow Boomers at the rating agencies would rate the bundles of these toxic shit loans as AAA so the Boomers on Wall Street could sell them to greater fools. GMAC’s exemplary subprime mortgage arm – Ditech, did a bang up job getting migrant Mexican workers into $450,000 homes in California’s inland empire. As the tsunami of bad debt swept toward shore, delusional Boomers across the land borrowed $500 billion against the inflated value of their McMansions and installed granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, home theatres, elegant patios, Olympic sized pools, and with the excess home equity, leased a BMW or two. The first devastating tsunami wave hit in 2008 and wiped out billions in faux Boomer wealth. Instead of learning a brutal lesson and reverting back to saving and frugality, the “never say sacrifice” Boomers ventured out to where the waves had subsided looking for more trinkets and treasures.

And these are just from part 1.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The end of "The Age of America"

It appears that many of you are interested in this whole subject of Chinese investment in US treasuries, so I thought I'd throw you another post-easter, sugar-free bone
The International Monetary Fund has just dropped a bombshell, and nobody noticed.
For the first time, the international organization has set a date for the moment when the “Age of America” will end and the U.S. economy will be overtaken by that of China.
And it’s a lot closer than you may think.
According to the latest IMF official forecasts, China’s economy will surpass that of America in real terms in 2016 — just five years from now.
Put that in your calendar.
It provides a painful context for the budget wrangling taking place in Washington, D.C., right now. It raises enormous questions about what the international security system is going to look like in just a handful of years. And it casts a deepening cloud over both the U.S. dollar and the giant Treasury market, which have been propped up for decades by their privileged status as the liabilities of the world’s hegemonic power.
According to the IMF forecast, whomever is elected U.S. president next year — Obama? Mitt Romney? Donald Trump? — will be the last to preside over the world’s largest economy.

In case you don't believe what you just read, try this on for size: China is mulling cutting their US Holdings by TWO THIRDS from $3 tillion down to $1 trillion. In case you aren't quick in the mathematics department, that's $2 trillion in US Debt that China is looking to divest itself from.
BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) -- China should reduce its excessive foreign exchange reserves and further diversify its holdings, Tang Shuangning, chairman of China Everbright Group, said on Saturday.
The amount of foreign exchange reserves should be restricted to between 800 billion to 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars, Tang told a forum in Beijing, saying that the current reserve amount is too high.
China's foreign exchange reserves increased by 197.4 billion U.S. dollars in the first three months of this year to 3.04 trillion U.S. dollars by the end of March.

For those of you keeping score of such things, yes, $2 trillion is about how much the Fed recently printed up out of thin air.
So why is the Fed carpet-bombing the global economy? To protect the domestic economy? That makes no sense, for the Fed's policies are pushing oil up to the point where there is no way to keep the U.S. economy from tipping into recession. It isn't acting on behalf of the domestic economy, of course; it's acting on behalf of domestic banking and Wall Street.
The Fed is busily destroying the village, suposedly to save it--only it's the global village. But the Fed isn't the only player with a stake in its game, and the other players, notably China, are tipping their hand that they will have to act, and soon, to protect their own domestic economies from the Fed's destructive policies.
-Charles Hugh Smith

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fukushima radiation map exists

EX-SKF posted a good read yesterday. Apparently, TEPCO has a map of the radiation surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors, and TEPCO is more concerned with protecting its iRobot Packbots than their human contract workers.
Remember the Packbots from iRobots that went inside the Reactor buildings (1, 2, and 3)? The Packbots didn't go in from the south door of the Reactor 1 building because the radiation at the south door had measured 270 milli-sievert/hr the previous day. So the bots cannot enter if the radiation is that high, but the workers are obliged to dodge the debris with even higher radiation and continue to work. One unlucky worker got to remove the 900 milli-sievert/hr concrete piece.
Unconvincingly, however, the Kyodo article claims the high radiation level on the compound will not derail the schedule of the roadmap that TEPCO has announced.
I've read on several Internet message boards in Japan about how the workers have been doing their best to avoid the debris and water puddles on the compound because of the very high radiation, and how the dosimeter starts beeping right away just by standing in front of the Reactor buildings. I guess they weren't the "baseless rumors" after all, and it seems the workers are more expendable than the bots.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

How they manipulate us

Oil prices are going up because supplies are going down. In addition to that primary fact, the dollar is also on the decline. That said, TF Metals Report posted something interesting yesterday that highlights the lack of real difference between the two ruling, corporate-backed parties. Bill O'Reilly was on Lou Dobbs, and they were talking about oil speculators...the night before Obama announced his "Gas Price Task Force."
The O'Bottom regime knew that the President was going to be discussing this nonsense yesterday. So, they put out a call to their new buddy, O'Reilly. Remember, O'Reilly owes them a few favors after they granted him the exclusive interview back on Super Bowl Sunday, O'Reilly obliges by gladly staging this interview to give the President some political cover. Adding Dobbs to the segment to criticize Obama gives O'Reilly cover, too. Pretty handy, huh?
Do you now see how you are manipulated? The Fed/TBTF/Govt/Media Complex is desperately clinging to power.
-TF Metals Report

I haven't yet found video of that particular idiotfest, but here is a clip of the Superbowl halftime circlejerk between Billo and Obummer.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Death of the dollar

Excellent take on the Fed's role in the murder of the US dollar by Graham Summers of Phoenix Capital Research.
In simple terms the world has already begun shifting away from the US Dollar. When it came (time to choose between maintaining) the reserve currency of the world vs. giving trillions to Wall Street crooks, Ben Bernanke chose the latter.
That one decision literally changed the course of the US’s future. Bernanke literally bet the Republic and the US Dollar that the world would tolerate it. The world isn’t.
The US already had a debt problem before Bernanke did this. But he made sure that this problem would become an absolute disaster. There is now only one way out of this mess and that is default. The US cannot EVER pay back its debts. A US default is going to happen GUARANTEED (hyperinflation induced by endless money printing is just another form of default). When this happens, the US Dollar will collapse, lose reserve currency status, and inflation will rip through the system destroying the purchasing power of anything paper-related.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chinese police beat striking truckers

(Reuters) - A two-day strike over rising fuel prices turned violent in Shanghai on Thursday as thousands of truck drivers clashed with police, drivers said, in the latest example of simmering discontent over inflation.

About 2,000 truck drivers battled baton-wielding police at an intersection near Waigaoqiao port, Shanghai's biggest, two drivers who were at the protest told Reuters.

The drivers, who blocked roads with their trucks, had stopped work on Wednesday demanding the government do something about rising fuel costs, workers said.

Obama Announces Gas Price Task Force

"We're gonna make sure that no one is taking advantage of American consumers."

Too bad the task force won't have any authority over the Saudis.
This from the Wall Street Journal:
Unreliable data on oil production—starting with the world's largest exporter, Saudi Arabia—are adding to the price volatility triggered by unrest in the Mideast, despite efforts to improve transparency.
Saudi Arabia said on Sunday that its production had been at least 700,000 barrels a day lower in March than existing estimates, including those published by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The surprise news pushed the price of oil down by more than $1 per barrel Monday morning.
The revelation highlighted a problem that is roiling markets at the moment: a dearth of solid information about the true state of production and supplies.
"Markets are fueled by a lack of reliable information," said John Hall, a London-based oil consultant. "Nobody knows if we are short of oil."

Housing inventory destruction?

Apparently, according to CNBC, if something is not likely to be "stylish by the time someone buys them", it should be destroyed.

The problem is, people need to live somewhere, regardless of how stylish or what effect it might have on rich people's property.
Yet these idiots really had that conversation on television.

4closurefraud said it best:
Ever think that they might not have clear title to these homes and the only option is to bulldoze?

File this one under 'burying the body.'

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Footage inside Fukushima reactor buildings

TEPCO iRobots ventured into the damaged reactor buildings at the Fukushima I nuclear plant, and here is some of what they saw:

China dumping US Treasury Securities

In February, the largest holder of US debt dumped $600 million worth of US Treasuries, continuing a now 4 month streak of reductions in US bond holdings.
China still owns about $1.15 trillion in US debt, and the dumping was only a small fraction, but considering that US debt-holders have been abandoning the dollar for four straight months, the move should be viewed with concern.
"We hope that the U.S. government will take practical measures under a responsible policy to protect the interests of investors," China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement on the ministry's website, adding that China has noted the S&P warning.
-The Hill

Yeah, good luck with that China.

Clearly, they know better though. Earlier this week, China announced that it needs to return to "reasonable" foreign currency reserve levels.
In politician speak, this is a clear, “we are sick of the US Dollar and will be taking steps to lower our holdings.” Remember, the US Dollar is China’s largest single holding. And China has already begun dumping Treasuries (US Debt).
This comes on the heels of China deciding (along with Russia) to trade in their own currencies, NOT the US Dollar. Not to mention the numerous warnings Chinese politicians have been issuing to the US over the last 24 months.
In simple terms, China is done playing nice and is now actively moving out of US Dollar denominated assets. This is the beginning of the US Dollar’s end as world reserve currency.
The dimwits in Washington don’t understand this because their advisors are all Wall Street stooges who don’t think debt or deficits matter. After all, why would they? Their entire business model is now based on endless cheap debt from the US Fed. So it’s only logically (in their minds) that the US as a sovereign state engage in the same strategies.
-Phoenix Capital Research
Japan is the second-largest holder of US Debt at $890 billion, and they upped their ownership in February by $4.4 billion.
Obviously though, with Japan in need of its own liquidity for reconstruction, the earthquake-damaged nation might also be looking to continue the trend of dumping US Debt despite public announcements that they still have faith in the dollar.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Max Keiser Documentary on Ireland

"Debt is the banker's game. To keep the game going, they have to keep people in debt."

Part 1

Part 2

Latest Fukushima update from Arnie Gunderson

One year after the Deepwater Horizon disaster

BP is apparently doing quite well a year after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded a mile above its blown-out well off the coast of Lousiana, spilling at least 5 million barrels of light crude and a huge amount of methane into the Gulf of Mexico.
NEW ORLEANS – It's hard to tell that just a year ago BP was reeling from financial havoc and an American public out for blood. The oil giant at the center of one of the world's biggest environmental crises is making strong profits again, its stock has largely rebounded, and it is paying dividends to shareholders once more. It is also pursuing new ventures from the Arctic to India. It is even angling to explore again in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where it holds more leases than any competitor.
-Associated Press

Unfortunately, Gulf residents are not doing so well. In addition to the fact that Gulf fishermen are struggling to make a living in the now-polluted waters, workers who cleaned up the spill are suffering from a variety of otherwise unexplained illnesses.
"They told me it (the chemical dispersants used by BP) was just as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid and there was nothing for me to worry about."
-Gulf resident Jamie Simon

The toxic spewing lasted for 87 days, and made for great internet viewing. Experts are divided over where all the oil went. Did it just naturally disperse/get eaten up, or is it still lurking on the sea floor?
The discovery of oil on the seafloor also begins to account for the 23 percent of the oil that was not recovered directly, dispersed chemically or naturally, evaporated or dissolved, burned or skimmed, according to a report released Nov. 23 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
-Cosmic Log

Samantha Joye, the outspoken University of Georgia scientist who first discovered the massive underwater plumes of oil that BP and US government officials have repeatedly denied the existence of, continues the work of searching for the truth despite intense backlash.
"I think it is not beyond the imagination that 50% of the oil is still floating around out there."
-Samantha Joye

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lousiana oil spill crews sick and suffering

Toxic elements in the crude oil and the dispersants sprayed to dissolve it during the BP spill last summer are making gulf residents, especially the workers who tried to clean up the spill, very sick.
Local chemist Wilma Subra has been helping test people's blood for volatile solvents, and said levels of benzene among cleanup workers, divers, fishermen and crabbers are as high as 36 times that of the general population.
"As the event progresses we are seeing more and more people who are desperately ill," she said.
"Clearly it is showing that this is ongoing exposure," Subra said, noting that pathways include contact with the skin, eating contaminated seafood or breathing polluted air.
"We have been asking the federal agencies to please provide medical care from physicians who are trained in toxic exposure."
She said she has received no response.
-Raw Story

NATO running out of munitions

With Europe's primary gas station at stake, NATO is apparently running out of bullets during its brief incursion into Libya.
In case you don't remember, it's been less than a month.
Where does one even start with this one: US launches air campaign against oil rich country under pretext of humanitarian intervention (while ignoring comparable events in Syria and Iran). US realizes it does not actually use Libyan oil, government runs out of money, hits debt ceiling, leading to decision to pull out of Libya after it is uncovered that CIA operatives had been laying the groundwork for a government overthrow for months, and a scramble to avoid Iraq deja vu ensues. US hands over military campaign to ragtag NATO force led by France. NATO "air superiority" force bombs rebel units; Libyan rebels lose previously held positions and oil wells. Libyan government on verge of repelling US and NATO forces, leading to... NATO runs out of ammunition. There is no point to even comment on this increasingly more surreal chain of events.
-Zero Hedge

Nuclear Ghost Town

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Con of the Millenium

So the basic outline of the Con is that private losses from the financialization of the U.S. economy were shifted to the public. Now to keep the Status Quo and Financial Plutocracy from imploding, the public is on the hook for $1.6 trillion in additional borrowing every year until Doomsday (around 2021 or so).
Having secured the backing of the Central Bank and Central State, the Plutocracy's only problem now is that it needs a risk-free source of high-yield income.
-Charles Hugh Smith

The US Teasury market is primarily dependent on one buyer: The Federal Reserve. If the Fed were to stop buying treasuries, rates would theoretically go up to try to induce anyone to buy them.
Well, then the Oligarchs would start buying up those suddenly higher-yield Teasuries...with all the money that they have been looting from the American people.
As rates increase, so will the demand for "austerity," (Would you care for some tea?) which should result in fewer bonds being issued, which should also result in a decline in rates, thereby boosting the value of the high-yield debt already purchased by the Oligarchs....with your tax money.

i.e. They're buying our country with our money, and we're getting nothing out of it but more and more debt.

This is the ultimate endgame of the financialization of the U.S. economy and the concentration of wealth and thus political power in the hands of those who skimmed the immense gains from that financialization.
-Charles Hugh Smith

Thursday, April 14, 2011

We're the host, and we're feeding the tapeworm

Why don't we simply eject the parasite that is "looting" the American people?
Whistleblower Catherine Austin Fitts breaks it down in this must see video. The financial elites have offshored our wealth just like they offshored our jobs.

"We're literally witnessing the leveraged buyout of a country, and that's why I call it a financial coup d'etat, and that's what the bailout is for."
-Catherine Austin Fitts

I'm kinda partial to part 5, where it seems like she's losin it, but if you know what she's talking about, you know that she's hittin it outta the park.
Fascism is not healthy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Biden falls asleep during Obama speech

Today, President Obama promised to slash $4 trillion from the Federal Deficit over the next twelve years. Big news, huh?
Tell that to Vice-President Joe Biden, who couldn't stay awake while his boss was talking about something that is without a doubt the biggest issue confronting the US government.

Economics is indeed boring to most people, but I would like to think that Obama is a slightly better speaker than Ben Stein.

Michio Kaku talks with Amy Goodman

World-renowned nuclear physicist Michio Kaku went on Democracy Now! to talk about the situation in Fukushima, and said that "The utility (TEPCO) here is simply outclassed and overwhelmed."

When the utility says that things are stable, it’s only stable in the sense that you’re dangling from a cliff hanging by your fingernails. And as the time goes by, each fingernail starts to crack. That’s the situation now.
-Michio Kaku

Have no fear though, TEPCO hopes to have the situation under control "by the end of this year."
In the meantime, feel free to heed Prime Minister Naoto Kan's advice to support Fukushima farmers by eating their vegetables.

"Eat them, and enjoy."
-Naoto Kan

Cramer's market outlook now "Grim"

"After 18 months of incredible bullishness, my worldview has just become a lot more grim"
-Mad Money's Jim Cramer

Welcome to reality jerkoff.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fukushima and Chernobyl

Zero Hedge posted a great comparison of the Fukushima and Chernobyl situations, now that they're officially on the same crisis level.
It includes a great breakdown of how TEPCO officials have completely bungled this whole fiasco from the very beginning.

And another key difference: with Chernobyl, even under utmost secrecy, the government moved fast, sacrificing many people, but only to prevent a far greater damage in the long run.
-Tyler Durden

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fukushima disaster is now a 7

From NHK:
As an assessment based on international standards of the accident, the worst "level seven" decided to raise. "Level 7" is the same as the evaluation occurred in the Soviet Chernobyl disaster. Nuclear Safety Agency, 12, held a press conference with the Nuclear Safety Commission has decided to publish the contents of the evaluation.
-google translation

i.e. They're finally admitting that this situation is as bad as Chernobyl. However, they're conveniently not saying that there is waaaay more spent fuel at Fukushima than there was at Chernobyl, and Fukushima has at least 4 troubled reactors. Possibly 6.
Well, now they're a 7, and that's what they are willing to admit publicly.
With news today that there was also a fire in reactor, the situation is far from over.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

27 Depressing statistics about the US economy

I stole this from Ilene over at ZeroHedge:
#1 The Obama administration projects that the federal budget deficit will be approximately $1,600,000,000,000 this year. Right now the Republicans and the Democrats are fighting tooth and nail over budget cuts. The Republicans are proposing to cut the budget deficit by 3.8%. The Democrats only want to cut it by 2.1%.

#2 The U.S. economy actually grew more between 1930 and 1940 than it did during the decade that recently ended.

#3 Over the last decade, the number of Americans without health insurance has risen from about 38 million to about 52 million.

#4 Agricultural commodities are absolutely soaring. The price of corn has more than doubled over the last 12 months. Considering the fact that corn is in literally thousands of our food products, that is a very frightening statistic.

#5 Between 1999 and 2009, real median household income in the United States declined by 5.0%.

#6 It is being estimated that total U.S. government debt will grow by 42 percent by the year 2015.

#7 According to the Pentagon, the cost of the first week of attacks on Libya was 600 million dollars.

#8 The average American now spends approximately 23 percent of his or her income on food and gas.

#9 According to the U.S. Energy Department, the average U.S. household will spend approximately $700 more on gasoline in 2011 than it did during 2010.

#10 It is being projected that for the first time ever, the OPEC nations are going to bring in over a trillion dollars from exporting oil this year. Their biggest customer is the United States.

#11 According to the Economic Policy Institute, almost 25 percent of U.S. households now have zero net worth or negative net worth. Back in 2007, that number was just 18.6 percent.

#12 China produced 19.8 percent of all the goods consumed in the world last year. The United States only produced 19.4 percent.

#13 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#14 The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#15 U.S. home values have fallen an astounding 6.3 trillion dollars since the peak of the real estate market in 2005.

#16 According to RealtyTrac, one out of every 45 U.S. households was hit with a foreclosure filing in 2010.

#17 The number of homes that were actually repossessed reached the 1 million mark for the first time ever during 2010.

#18 New home sales in the United States set a brand new all-time record low in the month of February.

#19 Now home sales in the United States are now down 80% from the peak in July 2005.

#20 The financial condition of American families continues to deteriorate rapidly. In 2010, one out of every eight American families had at least one family member that was unemployed. That number was the highest it has been since the U.S. Labor Department began keeping track of that statistic back in 1994.

#21 There are now more than 6 million Americans that the government says have given up looking for work completely.

#22 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of unemployment in the U.S. is now an all-time record 39 weeks.

#23 Americans now owe more than $900 billion on student loans, which is also an all-time record high.

#24 Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income.

#25 According to the Federal Reserve, between 2007 and 2009 median household net worth in the United States fell by 23 percent.

#26 The Federal Reserve also says that median household debt in the United States has risen to $75,600.

#27 According to a recent article posted on the website of the American Institute of Economic Research, the purchasing power of a U.S. dollar declined from $1.00 in 1913 to 4.6 cents in 2009. Sadly, the Federal Reserve is working very hard to get rid of the little bit of purchasing power that the U.S. dollar has left.

Well, Now it's "official"

(Reuters) - The core at Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor has melted through the reactor pressure vessel, Democratic Congressman Edward Markey told a hearing on the nuclear disaster on Wednesday.

"I have been informed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the core of Unit Two has gotten so hot that part of it has probably melted through the reactor pressure vessel," said Markey, a prominent nuclear critic in the House of Representatives.

Here is some video footage of the meltdown magma from Chernobyl:

"Mortal Wound": Economic fallout just as bad as nuclear fallout

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Common Ground

Economist Jeffrey Sachs talks about the American People's "breaking point" in this Tech Ticker clip. He also points out that teabaggers are mostly over 60 and pro-"entitlements" like...Medicare. That can be some common ground between them and...everyone else that isn't insanely rich.

And Erskine Bowles, Co-Chair of Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, testifies before the Senate Budget Committee about the debt bomb.

Tax the Rich.

MSM Buttonpushers Meet the CIA

Two ditzy CNN talking heads loose their way when former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer spoeaks the truth about the Libya situation.

“You’re just carrying the water for Mr. Obama.”
-Michael Scheuer

Thanks Zero Hedge for this hillarious little gem:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Latest Satellite Photos Tell a Sobering Tale

This from
The efforts at Fukushima are probably weeks away from even basic stabilization and we are years away from any sort of a final resolution. This crisis is going to be with all of us for a very long time. Radioactive material will continue to escape from the complex into the environment for weeks at best, months or years at worst.

The chief concern here is that things might still take a turn for the worse whereby radiation spikes to levels that prevent humans from getting close enough to perform meaningful operations and work on the site. If the radiation spikes high enough it will force an evacuation from the vicinity complicating every part of what has to happen next from monitoring to remediation.

The general lack of staged materials anywhere in the vicinity indicates that authorities have not yet decided on a plan of action, feeding our assessment that they are still in 'react mode' and that we are weeks away from nominal stabilization.

On Thursday we learned from the Wall Street Journal that TEPCO only had one stretcher, a satellite phone, 50 protective suits, and only enough dosimeters to give a single one to each worker group. Given this woeful level of preparation it is not surprising to see that regular fire trucks, cement trucks, and a lack of staged materials comprise much of the current damage control mix.

We don't yet know enough to conclude how much fission has spontaneously re-occurred, but we have strong suspicions that the number is higher than zero. Here we make our call for the release of more complete and timely radiation readouts and sampling results by TEPCO and Japan so that we can assess what the true risks are. The situation remains fluid and quite a lot depends now on chance and which way the wind blows.

And as I detailed in the Alert report I issued soonafter the tragic events of the Japan earthquake and tsunami on March 10th, the impact of Japan's tribulations on the global economy will be large and vast. World markets are simply unpreapared for the third-largest economy to suddenly and violently downshift. The persisting crisis at Fukushima simply worsens the picture.
-Chris Martenson

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Skyshine" over Fukushima

Sounds nice, huh? It isn't.
According to this latest video from nuke expert Arnie Gundersen, the nuclear fuel racks in Fukushima reactor #4 are exposed to air instead of being immersed in water, and that's not good.

"The fact that the nuclear fuel pool does not have water in it, to me, indicates that it might be a clean path for those heavy elements to be escaping from the building and being discovered off site."
-Arnie Gundersen

Untitled from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

Fukushima 50 expect to die

The group of about 300 technicians, soldiers, and firefighters who are struggling to contain the nuclear disaster unfolding at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan have accepted the fact that they are very likely to die of radiation exposure. They are referred to as the "Fukushima 50" because they are organized into shifts of 50 people.

The mother of one of the men has admitted that the group have discussed their situation and have accepted that death is a strong possibility.
“My son and his colleagues have discussed it at length and they have committed themselves to die if necessary in the long-term.”
-The Telegraph

We appreciate the sacrifice guys. We all have idiot bosses who make messes that we then have to clean up, but most of us don't become martyrs in the process. Please keep these brave souls in your thoughts everyone.

The Chernobyl Solution

Huge cement pumps are arriving in Japan to help douse areas of the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant with water, but eventually will be used for cement work: i.e. entombing the site under concrete and steel as was done in Chernobyl.

Apparently, there has still been no mention yet about this strategy in the Japanese media...