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Archive for December 2009

Pharmaceuticals: More dangerous to your health than terrorists’ exploding underwear?

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by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Originally posted December 29, 2009

AS ALL OF NORTH AMERICA NOW SEEMS to be focused on the issue of one terrorist wearing a pair of exploding underwear, I might as well comment on this latest bit of security theater that seems to have transfixed the nation. Pictures of the exploding underwear “bomb” have now surfaced on the ‘net. You can view them here at ABC News.
Here is exactly what the text on this page says (I’m not making this up, this is seriously true): (warning: Some of the content here is graphic, read at your own risk…)

”The first photo, to the left, shows the slightly charred and singed underpants with the bomb packet still in place.”

I don’t know what you think, but if you did an underwear search of all the passengers flying these days, you’d probably find half of them are wearing underwear that’s slightly charred and singed with the “bomb packet” still in place.

The gastrointestinal health of the general population is atrocious! And by the time you add in some airport food and in-flight processed food snacks, pretty much everyone on the airplane is setting off a little bomb packet by the time they get off the plane. (Why do you think everybody can’t wait to get off in such a hurry?)

Processed food has turned us all into in-flight terrorists!

Frankly, I’m not sure what’s more of a threat to public health: Lousy airport security or the digestive effects of in-flight meals. But they both have one thing in common: Underwear…

How to explode your rectum without harming anyone nearby
The ABC News story mentioned above goes on to state that this terrorist’s underwear was packing 80 grams of an explosive powder called PETN, which government tests have revealed can blow a (tiny) hole in the wall of an airplane. This is all brilliant stuff, of course. Truly brilliant. This whole idea that underwear explosives might destroy an airplane all makes sense except for the fact that the terrorist’s butt cheeks are in the way!

Had this explosive packet actually been set off, I can tell you exactly what would have happened: There would have been a really loud pop, immediately followed by in-flight pieces of exploding butt cheeks. I’m not trying to be funny here. This is a true description of the way bombs work. They explode outward, destroying whatever is closest to them first. And this guy actually had this bomb wedged in between his butt cheeks. A sort of “wedgie bomb”, if you will. A wedgie with a bang.

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Written by aurick

31/12/2009 at 12:25 am

Forecast 2010: The center does not hold… but neither does the floor

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by James Howard Kunstler
Originally posted December 24, 2009

THERE ARE ALWAYS DISAGREEMENTS in a society, differences of opinion, and contested ideas, but I don’t remember any period in my own longish life, even the Vietnam uproar, when the collective sense of purpose, intent, and self-confidence was so muddled in this country, so detached from reality. Obviously, in saying this I’m assuming that I have some reliable notion of what’s real.  I admit the possibility that I’m as mistaken as anyone else.  But for the purpose of this exercise I’ll ask you to regard me as a reliable narrator. Forecasting is a nasty job, usually thankless, often disappointing – but somebody’s got to do it. There are so many variables in motion, and so much of that motion is driven by randomness, and the best one can do in forecasting amounts to offering up some guesses for whatever they are worth.

I begin by restating my central theme of recent months: that we’re doing a poor job of constructing a coherent consensus about what is happening to us and what we are going to do about it.

There is a great clamor for “solutions” out there. I’ve noticed that what’s being clamored for is a set of rescue remedies – miracles even – that will allow us to keep living exactly the way we’re accustomed to in the USA, with all the trappings of comfort and convenience now taken as entitlements.  I don’t believe that this will be remotely possible, so I avoid the term “solutions” entirely and suggest that we speak instead of “intelligent responses” to our changing circumstances. This implies that our well-being depends on our own behavior and the choices that we make, not on the lucky arrival of just-in-time miracles.  It is an active stance, not a passive one. What will we do?

The great muddlement out there, this inability to form a coherent consensus about what’s happening, is especially frightening when, as is the case today, even the intelligent elites appear clueless or patently dishonest, in any case unreliable, in their relations with reality. President Obama, for instance – a charming, articulate man, with a winning smile, pectorals like Kansas City strip steaks, and a mandate for “change” – who speaks incessantly and implausibly of “the recovery” when all the economic vital signs tell a different story except for some obviously manipulated stock market indexes.

You hear this enough times and you can’t help but regard it as lying, and even if it is lying ostensibly for the good of the nation, it is still lying about what is actually going on and does much harm to the project of building a coherent consensus. I submit that we would benefit more if we acknowledged what is really happening to us because only that will allow us to respond intelligently. What prior state does Mr. Obama suppose we’re recovering to?  A Potemkin housing boom and an endless credit card spending orgy?

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Wall Street’s Ten Biggest Lies of 2009

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by Les Leopold
Author, “The Looting of America”
Originally posted December 21, 2009

SAY GOODBYE TO 2009, THE WORST ECONOMIC YEAR since the Great Depression. Say hello to the billionaire bailout society in which the super-rich gamble, lose and get bailed out by the rest of us. To save the system from total collapse we poured trillions of dollars into the financial sector. The result? Banks still are refusing to lend. Thirty million Americans are looking for full-time jobs and 49 million are skipping meals including one out of four children. But Wall Street again is reaping record profits and bonuses.

Not only are we richly rewarding those who wrecked our economy, but also, we have to put up with hundreds of fabrications about how the big banks got us here. Here is my biggest, fattest lies list for 2009:

1. “Government programs for low-income home buyers caused the financial crash.” Wall Street defenders were quick to blame the Community Reinvestment Act, which urges banks to loan money in minority communities. In fact, almost none of the CRA loans are sub-prime and the vast majority are doing well, thank you. Blaming government programs deflects us from the real cause: Wall Street’s incredibly reckless creation, marketing, selling and trading of “innovative” new securities that supposedly removed the risk from pools of risky debt. It didn’t work. Wall Street, not the poor, crashed our economy.

2. “Income inequality is good for everyone.” Lord Brian Griffiths, Vice-Chairman of Goldman Sachs at least had the nerve to say what so many of the super-rich really believe: “We have to accept that inequality is a way of achieving greater opportunity and prosperity for all.”

Unfortunately, the facts suggest otherwise. There is a high correlation between the mal-distribution of income and economic crashes. The last time our wealth and income distribution was as skewed as it is today was 1929, and that’s not an accident. When too much money is in the hands of the few it runs out of real world investment and gravitates towards speculative investments. This inevitably creates asset bubbles and crashes. Record pay and bonuses on Wall Street and high unemployment are connected. (See The Looting of America Chapter 11).

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The Lloyd’s Prayer

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by Bill Bonner from The Daily Reckoning
Posted originally 19 November 2009

The Lloyd’s Prayer
Our Chairman, who art at Goldman
Blankfein be thy name
The rally’s come
God’s work be done
On earth as we have no fear of correction
Give us this day our daily gains…

Poor Goldman Sachs. Everyone is on its case. Criticizing. Carping. Jealous. Envious. So, today we rise in defense of the Wall Street giant. Yes, the Goldmen may be shysters. But they are honest shysters… Besides, it was another slow day on Wall Street. Investors are still mulling the news. As we all know, the recession is over. But… What kind of strange recovery is this? A survey showed that only 1 in 10 workers say his income is going up. This is the lowest reading since 1946.

Meanwhile, the news two days ago was that homebuilding took a dive in October. Work began on 11% fewer houses than the month before. On multi-family dwellings, the figures were worse – down 35%. Why would homebuilding go down when the economy is supposedly gathering strength? Well, builders were wondering what would happen when they finished the houses. The new house tax credit was due to expire; they weren’t sure the politicians would be witless enough to renew it.

They need not have worried. Give the politicos a chance to do something stupid and they will come through every time. Since the end of October, Congress passed and President Obama signed an extension of the housing credit. Until next April, at least, first time buyers will get an $8,000 credit. You’d think that would have revived animal spirits a bit in the residential construction industry. But today’s news tells us that mortgage applications are falling – even with lower interest rates.

How come interest rates are falling? Well, here again, we see the heavy hand of the feds. The “quantitative easing” has come to a halt… that is, the Fed is no longer buying US Treasury debt (it doesn’t need to). But its buying of mortgage backed securities continues. That program will last until March of next year. Still… housing is not cooperating. This news hasn’t had much impact on Wall Street. All that can be said is that investors have seemed to hesitate for the last couple of days.

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How fragile we are: Why the complexity of modern civilization threatens us all

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by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com
Originally posted December 09, 2009

THE FRAGILITY OF OUR MODERN HUMAN CIVILISATION did not become clear to me until I began living full-time in South America. As a resident of Vilcabamba, Ecuador, I’ve grown accustomed to the idea of knowing where the things I consume come from.

The water I drink, for example, comes from a hole in the ground that taps into a water table replenished by the clouds hanging over the Podocarpus National Forest to the East. I can make a logical connection between the clouds, the rainfall, and the water in my glass. And if the well pump fails, I know I can always carry a bucket to the river a few hundred meters away and scoop up virtually unlimited quantities of water that recently fell out of the sky.

During a recent trip to Tucson, however, I found myself hesitating when I turned on the kitchen faucet. I paused, marveling at the magic of this water which apparently appears from nowhere. And it’s always there, reliable and uninterrupted. That’s when I noticed myself asking the commonsense question: “Where does the water come from around here?”

I had no idea.

The realization astonished me. I lived in Tucson for over five years and yet the thought suddenly occurred to me that if the water stopped magically flowing out of these pipes, I had absolutely no idea where to physically find water beyond the bottled water in the grocery stores, and that wouldn’t last very long.
Sure, I know where the rivers are in Tucson, but these desert rivers are bone dry river beds for all but a few days of the year. And yes, I know how to get water out of cactus, but it’s hard work, and the water isn’t pure water. Try to live off cactus juice for a few days and you’ll end up with severe diarrhea (which is dehydrating).

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Is Greece Too Corrupt to Be Bailed Out?

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by Rick Ackerman
from Rick’s Picks, originally posted December 22, 2009

From a civilizational pinnacle, modern Greece has fallen into a cesspool of public corruption
THE RECENT COLLAPSE OF BOND MARKETS in Greece threatens the very stability of the European Union. Although there is talk of a bailout, the country may be too corrupt for a rescue attempt to do much good. How bad is it?  The answer to that question is startling, as the following report makes clear. It is from a Rick’s Picks subscriber who lives in Greece and believes the country’s economic potential is being squandered by a political spoils system that deeply permeates the business culture at all levels. He writes as follows:

“Greece is a beautiful, mountainous country with diverse natural scenery. Geographically, it occupies the majority area of the ancient Hellenic world at the southern part of the Balkan peninsula and the eastern part of the European community. It has a land area of 130,800 square kilometers. Its coastline extends for 13,676 kilometers, with 227 inhabited islands that rest on a sea of amazing clarity. Historical monuments abound, making the land a virtual museum and attracting millions of tourists every year. It has a population, according to the 2001 census, of 10,964,020, and a per capita GDP of $30,681. It boasts the largest ownership of shipping tonnage (tanker and cargo) in the world, with a total dwt of 141,931 thousand. It owns some of the largest natural resources in specific minerals in the EU, such as bauxite, magnetite, nickel, and perlite.  There are also has anhydrite, gypsum., bentonite, gold. cement, magnesium compounds, pumice, and of course marble. In addition it has large flocks of livestock and fish stock. The abundant sun shine and the winds make it potentially self sufficient in clean energy.

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Written by aurick

24/12/2009 at 12:11 am

Is Global Warming A Hoax? The Real Story on Climate Change and the Non-Future of Human Civilization (opinion)

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by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Originally posted Friday, March 20, 2009

IS GLOBAL WARMING A HOAX? We’ve received a huge number of reader questions (and even complaints) about this issue. Many are convinced that global warming is just a hoax contrived by the government to grab power and destroy the economy. In my view, that explanation is half right.

Yes, in my opinion global warming and climate change is absolutely being used by Big Government to grab more power, restrict more freedoms and in many ways consolidate power at both the national and global levels. That much is clearly true. At the same time, however, climate change is really happening.
I see convincing evidence that the activities of humankind are, indeed, altering our atmosphere in ways that accelerate normal processes, essentially dominating the cycles and throwing them far out of balance. The recent findings on rising sea levels, for example, truly are cause for concern for long-term “big picture” thinkers. Good studies show sea levels rising at a rate approaching one centimeter per year.
Last week, 2500 scientists gathered in Copenhagen to issue a stark warning about carbon emissions and “irreversible shifts in climate.”

And much like an environmental freedom fighter, NASA scientist James Hansen is now spearheading protests aimed at the “do nothing” governments that sit around and ignore the climate change problem while things continue to get worse.
It’s important to remember that just because Big Government is exploiting this crisis to grab power doesn’t mean the crisis is not real. What’s happened here, in my view, is that power-hungry bureaucrats around the world have latched onto this very real development of climate change and found ways to exploit it to their own advantage.
As Hillary Clinton famously said recently, “Never waste a good crisis.” And they sure aren’t hesitating to leap on this climate change crisis as a way to restrict freedom and grab power.

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Written by aurick

22/12/2009 at 12:15 pm