Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lord Stirling's News Blog EUROPE

Holy Shroud of Turin
Powerful prayer to St. Michael the Archangel - video ~ link

AVA MARIA - by Helene Fischer - video ~ link

Lord Stirling's news blog EUROPE

Please forward this site to several friends, thanks. Stirling
1,136 daily postings to this news blog as of today.

LIFE ON THIS EARTH JUST CHANGED - Death of the North Atlantic Current ~ link ~ The coverage that this article that Dr. Deagle and myself wrote, has been great on the Internet.  UPDATED 23 November 2010  
I am looking for someone to sponsor an expansion of this news blog with a donation in the range of US$10,000.  If you can help, please contact me at earlofstirling@yahoo.com , Stirling  


Lord Stirling is available for newspaper, radio and television interviews and public speaking engagements.  Contact him at FAX in USA 812.491-3712 or via email at earlofstirling@yahoo.com

Current status of the Gulf Stream ~ link 

RTOFS (Atlantic) Graphic Nowcasts/Forecasts - Latest Surface Horizontal Current ~ link

RTOFS (Atlantic) Graphic Nowcasts/Forecasts - Latest Surface Temperature ~ link 
Oil Spill in the Apocalypse - video ~ link  

Three Video Interviews With Lord Stirling by Renowned Video Webcaster Morris Herman of England ~    link ~    link ~     link 

Risk of Global Climate Change By BP Oil Spill by Dr. Gianluigi Zangari ~    link

Ancient Scottish Barony Title for sale.  There are about 100 Scottish feudal baronies  that still exist; only a handful are from the very ancient Baronage of the Isles, as this one is.  In a time of economic crisis, it pays to put some of your wealth into important artwork, properties, etc. of rare value.  This is one of the most rare things that can be purchased and held. For sale at US$150,000 ~ link 

Royal Burgh of Stirling Pipe Band at Stirling Castle ~ link   ~ Official site ~ link


Collection of videos on BP Caused Climate Change:
Check  out this video - A video overlay over my discussion with Dr. Bill Deagle on the NutriMedical Report of what is really going on with the weather ~  link

Glacier loss in Hawaii tied to change in North Atlantic AMOC current ~ link ~ I have been making the point since last summer that the death of the Loop Current has caused GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGES.  Stirling

Down East Blizzard: Corexit from Gulf Oil Spill linked to weather conditions - with video ~ link ~ Excellent!

UK Winter Weather Warning - Video ~ link

ICE AGE 4 - DAWN OF THE BP oil disaster - video ~ link 
Damaged Gulf Stream affects Jet Stream - Earl of Stirling - video ~ link   

Video overlays of Lord Stirling and Dr. Bill Deagle on the NutraMedical Report talking about the BP Oil Disaster caused global weather crisis ~ link ~ (this second one is longer, the entire hour-long program) ~ link 

Big Freeze Hits Britain - video (with Lord Stirling and Dr. Bill Deagle talking - late Nov.) ~ link

Latest Lord Stirling interview on climate changes, bird and fish kills, and the causes thereof This is a link to a recent video that I have done on the climate changes brought on by the BP Oil Disaster caused death of the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico.  Stirling  Also see this video just in ~ link ~ link  

Israeli Banks Finance Newspaper Calling For Genocide ~ link
Major Israeli banks, credit institutions, and communication companies are among the advertisers in an extreme right wing weekly magazine that called for building concentration camps.

An Israeli Jewish orthodox magazine "Ma'ayanei Hayeshua" (Fountains of Salvation) that is distributed freely in hundreds of synagogues all across the country has been the center of attention after calling in its editorial for the concentration of Arabs in extermination camps. In the article, published on 25 of December 2010, the editors attack rabbis who refused to support the call against renting apartments to Palestinians and accuse them of being too cowardly to follow the biblical commend of wiping out the people of Amalek ( who through the context of the article clearly means Palestinians). In the last segment of the editorial the editors wrote "It will be interesting to see whether they (the moderate Rabbis) leave the concentration of the Amalekites [Palestinians] in extermination camps to others, or whether they will declare that wiping out Amalek is no longer relevant".

This blunt call for a genocide against Palestinians is not new in publications of the Israeli extreme right, but this is the first time it appears in a "family" magazine with prominent advertisers. Among the companies advertising in the website of of Maayanei Hayeshua there are three major banks in Israel: Bank Hapo'alim, Bank Le'umi and Bank Discount, along with the Isracard Group that is working together with Visa, Europay and Mastercard. The national phone company, Bezeq, also advertises their international call service on the website. Even an academic institution, the Jerusalem College of Technology, published its advertisement inside the print version of the magazine.
Israeli tanks take part in deadly Gaza Strip raid ~ link ~ Another day, another example of Israeli aggression on a largely unarmed and helpless civilian population.  This is NOT the Grand Strategy that Israel should be following for its long term well being and safety.  Stirling         
AFP news agency reported that seven tanks had made a limited incursion 200m into Palestinian territory on Tuesday, sparking a shootout with militants. Other reports suggested armoured vehicles and bulldozers were involved.

Hamas emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said Amjad al-Zaanein, 23, had been killed by Israeli tank fire east of Beit Hanoun. Local Palestinians said the casualties had been collecting stones to recycle into bricks when they came under fire. 

It is two years since a war in Gaza which left 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.

Taiwan in live-fire missile test - with video ~ link ~
Taiwan has held live-fire missile tests, as Chinese President Hu Jintao travels to the US for a state visit. Five out of 19 missiles failed to hit their targets, at the drill attended by President Ma Ying-jeou. Officials said the drills sent a message to the US that Taiwan still needs American help to defend itself, despite improving ties with China.

Analysts say Taiwan is worried about a potential threat from Beijing after China unveiled a prototype stealth jet. China continues to claim the island as part of its territory, and has not renounced the use of force to achieve reunification. Taiwan, a democracy, has been ruled separately since the end of a civil war in 1949. 

Magnitude 7.2 quake strikes Pakistan ~ link ~ link ~

All the governments involved in that area want to know (or may, in some cases, already know) if this was a Scalar Warfare event!  Stirling    

Western Elites Secretly Still Building Islam ~ link ~ It is clear that what is currently taking place in Tunisia is not a popular revolution. There were no clear demands from the demonstrators, there was no organized opposition leading the masses, and even Islamic voices have so far been silent. [The fact that there was no full scale revolution] is a positive sign...so what actually happened, and led to President Ben Ali going into exile? Of course, this pressing question will continue to be asked during the coming phase, and may take a long time to answer, considering that we are now facing conflicting information, and Tunisia remains a country that is somewhat ‘closed' towards almost all of the Arab world, and its media. Our satellite channels seemed uninterested in reporting genuine facts. – India's Issy

Is the war on terror a success? The Anglo-American elite needs an enemy if the authoritarianism that is rising in the West is to continue – because despotism (and globalism) is more easily created when there is an outside enemy. But fighting against 100 Al Qaeda soldiers in Afghanistan is not anybody's idea of a substantive threat. And the Taliban are evidently and obviously fighting an occupying force.

What if the powers-that-be had decided to do what they could to expand the Muslim threat – and thus expand (in the Western mind anyway) the specter of resurgent, militant Islam? A cynical idea isn't it, dear reader. It is merely speculation, but there are reasons to explore it further. Bear with us.

The Western power elite always utilizes the Hegelian dialectic – the creation of two sides to an argument so that the resolution is resolved as much as possible on elite terms. But while most observers of the elite believe the dialectic applies to rhetoric, the facts-on-the-ground show us clearly that the dialectic is applied to conflict as well. Thus, there is significant evidence that Wall Street funded the "Red" faction of the Russian revolution that led to the formation of the USSR and the USSR in turn helped fund the creation of Communist China. 

Conclusion: We are proposing a new stage in the manipulated war on terror. Having built up the Middle East through enormous cash infusions, the Anglosphere is continually expanding the role of fundamental Islam and may even be prepared to overthrow old and trusted allies to do so. The war on terror so far has not proven very terrible (except to Afghan and Iraqi citizens) but if the Jasmine revolution "spreads" throughout the Middle East, resurgent, fundamentalist Islam may indeed become a reality. All this is highly speculative of course and merely an exercise analyzing elite promotions. The reality may be far more mundane – and simply the result of current events with no additional resonance or meaning. And yet ... 

Barak and Netanyahu United in Desire to Attack Iran ~ link ~ The splitting of the Labor Party, with Defense Minister Ehud Barak forming a new, more hawkish bloc and the less enthusiastic members likely moving into the opposition will remove from the Netanyahu government any pretense of being a “broad coalition” and will cement its right-far-right reputation at home and abroad.
The fall of Labor can only be understood from the foreign policy perspective, as it is by and large the only position on which Ehud Barak difers from traditional labor and is the only position he is seriously invested in.

We learned last week that Barak attempted to orchestrate an attack on Iran in 2010, only to be foiled by the outgoing military chief. This hastened Ashkenazi’s replacement and removed one of the major obstacles to attacking Iran. The Labor split removes the other.

Israeli Army Chief Resisted Defense Minister Barak's Calls To Attack Iran ~ link ~ The outgoing top Israeli general said that it was way too dangerous for Israel to attack Iran.  I have been saying that for several years now.  Readers please note that the time for using the large war stores of jet fuel supplied by the US is almost up.  The fuel will expire in March.  The new Israeli Chief of Defense Staff takes office in February; and events in Lebanon are moving to very unsettled right on schedule.   Stirling    

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who portrays himself to the international community as the lone moderate in Israel’s far-right coalition government, drew up plans to launch an unprovoked attack on Iran last year, according to media reports.

His effort to do so ultimately failed, but only when Israeli Army Chief General Gabi Ashkenazi stepped in and warned that starting a major war with Iran would “bring disaster.” It was Ashkenazi’s opposition to starting the war, according to the report, that led to his repalcement by Gen. Yoav Galant. Ashkenazi is scheduled to retire next month.

And, sadly, it may also be the reason behind Gen. Galant’s selection as his replacement, as he appears to be much less concerned with the consequences of such a war, and is seen as keen to go on the offensive across the region. 

From Military-Industrial Complex to Permanent War State ~ link ~ The percentage of Americans who believe the war in Afghanistan is not worth fighting has now reached 60 percent for the first time. And as the crisis over the federal debt reaches it climax, the swollen defense budget should bear the brunt of deep budget cuts.

As early as 2005, a Pew Research Center survey found that, when respondents were given the opportunity to express a preference for budget cuts by major accounts, they opted to reduce military spending by 31 percent. In another survey by the Pew Center a year ago, 76 percent of respondents, frustrated by the continued failure of the U.S. economy, wanted the United States to put top priority in its domestic problems.

The only thing missing from this picture is a grassroots political movement organized specifically to demand an end to the Permanent War State. Such a movement could establish firm legal restraints on the institutions that threaten American Democratic institutions through a massive educational and lobbying effort. This is the right historical moment to harness the latent anti-militarist sentiment in the country to a conscious strategy for political change.


End of Euro? ... Ireland Prints Own Notes ~ link ~ Was this the week the euro gave up the ghost and the EU threw in the proverbial towel? Analyzing the Anglosphere's dominant social themes is not an easy avocation and one looks for documentable breakthroughs. We have been fortunate to find several during the timeframe of this young publication but are always looking for more. Irish printing of euros seems to fit our criterion of a demonstrably significant event. (Information that makes you sit up straight and go "Wha?")

Now comes Ireland. In news reports that have thus far not attracted much attention, the Irish Central Bank has been printing euros out of thin air to prop up its ailing banks. The whole of Europe will pay for this action, as the result will be increased euro-zone price inflation. We can only imagine the reactions of Germans if this continues – though apparently the Irish action is legal from the EU's standpoint so long as the ECB is "informed" in advance and approves. As is often the case, we doubted our reaction to the news, so we went trolling the ‘Net to see if anyone shared our instinctive reaction that this was overwhelmingly bad news for the euro. Here's one comment we found:

More officials quit in Tunisia amid protests ~ link ~

Fred Dufour/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
A man struggled after being injured during a protest in Tunis on Tuesday. Police officers clashed with demonstrators demanding more change in the government
The resignations compounded the pressure on Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, previously the right-hand man to Mr. Ben Ali, to resign as well. As the evening curfew approached in Tunis, the new government, backed by the military and a tiny group of recognized opposition leaders, seemed caught in a war on two fronts. On one side were Mr. Ben Ali’s former security forces, which the government has accused of continued acts of violence.  On the other it was battling to hold the loyalties of grass-roots protesters in the streets, who demanded a faster and more radical purge of the old government. “You sympathize with the current government,” one woman shouted, expressing a common sentiment. “How are you supposed to represent the people?” 

Some opposition leaders expressed fears that a collapse of the interim coalition — it would be the third rapid-fire turnover of power within less than a week — could trigger a military takeover. Yet, as the police moved forcefully to break up the demonstrations, many protesters said they thought they had much more to fear from the former ruling party, R.C.D., than they did from the Tunisian military, a traditionally apolitical force.

Sudan next to succumb to Bernanke's Inflationary Experiment, As Country Threatens Revolution Over Surging Food Prices ~ link ~ I think some very smart people war gamed out a innovative Grand Strategy for the End Game and this is one part of it.  Stirling  

About a month ago, some took offense at our characterization of the Chair-hewlettpackard-man as a "bearded mutant-cum-supreme genocidal overlord" after we predicted to the dot that his monetary policy would eventually lead to a global, well, genocide, presumably first in the developing world. Following riots, self-immolations and outright revolutions in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, Yemen and Egypt, in the span of a few shorts weeks, we believe we have been once again validated. Putting the period in any debate of what Bernanke's runaway money printing means to the life-expectancy of increasing number of people, is the latest news coming out of Sudan where "security forces on Tuesday arrested opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi and eight other party officials after they called for a "popular revolution" if Khartoum did not reverse price rises." And since economic slack in Sudan is roughly in line with that of the abovementioned other 5 countries, it is safe to say that the bulk of this move is speculation frenzy related, which in turn is purely a function of pervasive and free global liquidity. And this is still just the beginning. As Bernanke will not stop before the Dow hits roughly 36,000 expect these kinds of headlines to be an hourly occurrence.

Perhaps it is time someone at 60 Minutes had a follow up interview with Blackhawk Ben, asking him if a united developing world revolution is something he is 100% confident he can also contain...

Cattle Network warns farmers: Big Inflation Is Coming ~ link ~ The insiders know, they see it coming. A spike in food prices is just around the corner. Here's what Drovers Cattle Network is telling farmers:
Americans have spent less than 10 percent of their disposable income on food for many years now. That’s about to change. Food prices are on the rise and there will be new records set for some, actually many goods, this year. Meat, dairy and poultry prices are among the products on pace to set records.

While the general inflation rate was nearly zero in 2010, food and fuel presents another story. Predictions for 2011 food inflation range from 3 percent to 6 percent, with some estimates in recent days pushing into the double digits.

This will come at a time when gasoline and energy prices also are on the rise—oil is projected to reach beyond $100 per barrel....Consumers will see higher prices in the supermarket and hear about record commodity prices and will perceive you as riding waves of money.
Part of this is the current supply and demand dynamics for food products, but it is also the Ben Bernanke printing press. It's going to be a perfect storm of events pushing food prices much higher. DCN is talking about 3 percent to 6 per cent inflation, but I think it will be over 10 percent. It's going to be pretty ugly out there. And some will blame the farmers. DCN is telling farmers:

Forget food riots in Africa, Simon Black says the Canary in the Inflationary Coal Mine is in Southeast Asia ~ link ~ Put another way, Laos, with its vast resources and small population, might loosely be considered an agricultural version of Kuwait. But Laos is nowhere near as wealthy, since oil is much pricier than rice, soy, and fish.

Given its resources, it certainly seems ironic that the prices of staple foods in Laos, including rice, have soared in recent months, and that the Laotian government is now under intense pressure to "do something" about it.

You expect this sort of thing to happen in Algeria, where the population is 35 million, where only 2% of the land is cultivated, and where agriculture makes up but a tiny percentage of the economy... but in Laos? This is akin to finding Kuwaitis unable to afford filling up their cars due to high gas prices. It's unthinkable.

Thing is, it's not that there are food shortages in Laos; this isn't an issue where supply has failed to keep up with demand (thus resulting in rising prices). The price hikes are simply another indicator of monetary inflation causing severe price inflation, particularly in the developing world.

How does this happen? The trillions of new currency units being compulsively manufactured by central bankers are finding their way to developing countries. This surge heats up local markets, causing prices to rise.

This effect is compounded when developing markets fight to keep their currencies artificially depressed against the dollar. When the price of milk goes up by a dollar in the developed world, people grumble about it, but they can afford it. In Laos, where the minimum wage is about $65/month, an extra few dollars for groceries is unfathomable.

The government in Laos will most likely raise the minimum wage. The figure that's being discussed is about a 40% increase from today's level, which itself is nearly double the minimum wage in 2009.

Rising wages like this are a common ingredient in hyperinflation, spawning a vicious cycle of higher prices, which then beget higher wages, which then beget higher prices, and so on. Wage hikes are always playing catch-up with rising prices, and the end result is a reduced standard of living. No amount of monetary wizardry can prevent this.

African Food Riots Spread To Persian Gulf, As Oman Is Next; Adverse Implications For Oil Prices ~ link ~
While deadly protests in Africa have been largely ignored, because, well, they are in Africa, and they don't even have iPads there and Kindle WhisperNet coverage is spotty if any, the world may be forced to start paying just a little more attention as food riots get ever closer to the center of the oil extraction infrastructure in the Persian Gulf. From BBC Monitoring, which discusses the latest outbreak of protests sweeping Oman "Most participants in the protest were reluctant to be quoted as they were government employees. However, some said they protested against low salaries and soaring prices." Luckily, for now the protest is still peaceful. The thing about hunger is that it doesn't go away if you ignore it. And as Oman borders the UAE, all it takes is for the riots to jump one more border and then it gets interesting. And to all those observent enough to note that soaring prices continue to occur in countries with "growing unemployment" i.e., economic slack, and wonder how this is possible, after all the Fed said record slack can never lead to inflation, don't worry - you are certainly not alone.
From BBC:
A large number of young Omanis took to the streets in a peaceful protest march in the Al Khuwair district where most of the
government offices are located.

The youth, protesting against the general conditions such as soaring price rise and growing unemployment, were allowed to walk in a procession although there was heavy police presence.

According to witnesses, the youth dispersed peacefully after an hour-long protest near the Ministry of Housing and Interior Ministry building.
While it is still too early, we believe that sooner or later, the riots will reach the Iraq/Iran/Saudi/UAE oil quadrangle. And then the catch 22 of rising food prices leading to reduced oil production, leading to even higher food prices will really get out of hand. Thank you Ben.

Tunisia: New government leaders quit ruling party ~ linkThe president and prime minister in Tunisia's day-old interim government have left the ruling RCD party, state TV says, in an apparent bid to calm protests that have raged for days. Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi has said all members of the national unity government have "clean hands". But protesters say no members of the old regime should retain power, and have demanded the RCD be disbanded.

Four ministers earlier stepped down over the issue. Three of the ministers, who were opponents of the former government, were angered over the inclusion of members of the disgraced old regime in the new government. The old guard include interim president Foued Mebazaa, who was the speaker of the country's parliament until President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali was forced from power on 14 January.
Earlier, three ministers from the opposition General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) stepped down from the new administration. Officials from the movement said the trio - junior transport minister Anouar Ben Gueddour and two other ministers, Abdeljelil Bedoui and Houssine Dimassi - were resigning in protest at the continued presence of RCD figures in the administration. Later, Mr Ghannouchi's choice as health minister, Mustafa ben Jaafar from the Union of Freedom and Labour, refused to take up his position, a senior party official said.

Egyptian man dies after setting himself alight ~ link ~ Officials say the 25-year-old unemployed man - Ahmed Hashem el-Sayed, who had suffered third-degree burns - died in hospital. Earlier on Tuesday, another man set himself on fire in the capital, Cairo. They are the latest such acts in Egypt and the wider North African region, one of which led to the mass protests which toppled the Tunisian government.

An Egyptian security official said the man who set himself on fire in Cairo was a 40-year-old lawyer called Mohamed Farouk Hassan, Reuters news agency reported. It quoted an unnamed source as saying he shouted slogans against rising prices before setting himself alight.  On Monday a 50-year-old man, Abdu Abdel-Monaim Kamal, set himself alight outside the parliament after shouting anti-government slogans. He was being treated in hospital for minor burns. He is a restaurant owner and father of four from the city of Ismailia, east of the capital. The website of Egypt's leading Al-Ahram daily said he had repeatedly held heated arguments with local officials over the price of bread. Similar incidents have been reported in Algeria and Mauritania.

The actions echo those of the 26-year-old Tunisian man whose self-immolation sparked a wave of protest in the country that brought down the government. Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself in the town of Sidi Bouzid in mid-December, after police prevented him from selling vegetables without a permit. He died in early January.
His action was followed by weeks of increasingly violent protests across Tunisia over unemployment, corruption and high food prices which resulted in the resignation of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last week. Many in Egypt have voiced the same grievances as the Tunisians.

US homelessness on the rise ~ link
A report by the National Alliance to End Homelessness says family homelessness grew by 4 percent from 2008 to 2009.
The report released on Monday indicates that the overall US homeless population grew by 3 percent in 2009 compared to 2008. Family homelessness, meanwhile, rose by 4 percent from 2008 to 2009. The study names unemployment, foreclosures, lack of income and high housing costs as the reason behind the sharp increase. The findings also indicate that the US states of California, Florida and Nevada are at the highest risk of increased homelessness in the future.

This comes against the backdrop of a housing crisis that is weighing down on the world's number one economy. 

One in three Hackney (England) families too poor to heat their homes ~ link ~ We live in a world full of free energy and all the resources to provide decent housing and lifestyles for everyone on the planet.  Stirling    

Friends of the Earth is calling for a new law to make it illegal to rent out the coldest health-hazardous properties. Photo: Jon Challicom
Record low temperatures, transport deadlock, dangerous roads, schools closed. While there has been chaos on the outside recently, don’t we all deserve to return to a warm home where we can stay cosy on the inside?

Unfortunately, that’s often not the case in Hackney, where far too many of us live in fuel poverty. This is defined as when it costs more than 10 per cent of your income to heat your home to a decent level. Partly due to massive escalations in energy prices over the past few years, 4.5 million families in the UK now live in fuel poverty. That’s one in six families. At the last count it was double that in Hackney – a staggering one in three.

A recent Friends of the Earth survey showed that a third of people felt uncomfortably cold in their homes during the freezing weather. This rose to half among tenants in rented accommodation; still a third turned the heating off to save money despite being cold. We’re now campaigning for a new law to make it illegal to rent out the coldest health-hazardous properties until they’re improved.

Disinformation Fog Intensifies As Economic Turmoil Develops ~ link ~ In the past few years, the concept of economic globalism has revealed itself as quite the Trojan horse; once posing as the next step in the evolution of “free market” capitalism and the savior of third world nations striving for development status, now revealed as a fiscal plague spreading delirium and destruction wherever it touches ground. There is no denying that the economies of the world are irrevocably tied to one another, but until recently, this was always thought of as a “good thing” in mainstream financial circles. Today, the great failings of engineered interdependency are painfully apparent. The EU’s many peripheral nations are dropping one after another like flies in a fog of DDT, rising economies in Asia are bloated with investment capital escaping from debt default in the West, causing impressive levels of inflation, and the U.S. is on the verge of a currency implosion as the Federal Reserve opens the floodgates of fiat in a bid to hide our system’s extreme destabilization and maintain what little international faith is left in our ability to service our rampant liabilities. Globalism has led us to disaster…

Of course, this disaster is not quite so obvious if you only follow the MSM’s version of events, or the pithy, watered down observations of mainstream economists, central bank officials, and puppet politicians. In fact, it’s difficult for the average person only mildly versed in economics to understand just what is going on! The closer we get to the edge of the ravine, the deeper the deception becomes. Most Americans feel the danger intuitively, and see the warning signs in their local communities, but clear, concise information in the midst of this ‘Gordian Knot’ of lies is difficult to come by.

Texas lawmakers faced with $27 Billion budget shortfall ~ linkTexas lawmakers will have a revenue shortfall of at least $15 billion for general-purpose spending for the next two-year budget compared to current state spending, according to figures released Monday.
Some analysts say the true shortfall could be much higher — closer to $27 billion — if lawmakers intend to maintain spending at current levels and still pay for enrollment growth in public schools and on Medicaid rolls, cost increases and other variables. That figure amounts to almost a third of discretionary state spending in the current budget.

A modest proposal on how to fix a rigged, centrally planned stock market ~ link ~ We are all witnessing what happens when food inflation starts to affect the population in less developed countries: people react with violence. The sudden realization that basic staples have become unaffordable puts enormous pressure on households that rely on daily or weekly cash flows to make ends meet. In emerging markets, prices are surging for basic commodities. Basic commodities are what people consume. In developed countries we experience inflation in manufactured food products, as a result of the surge in basic commodity prices. That is to say, when the cost of cocoa soars, chocolate bar manufacturers will make sure that retailers accept an increase in list prices that is covering the spike in input costs for the manufacturer. All this is well understood. It is however less well understood what actions food manufacturers undertake to protect their profits when commodity prices soar. Historically, food companies have been for the most part very good at “recovering” input cost increases. What they tend to do as a basket of soft commodity prices start to increase, is that they would push through a list price increase to retailers, which tend to more than compensate for the increase in input costs. As an example, a chocolate bar might have direct cocoa cost of 20c per bar. It sells for a dollar. When cocoa prices go up by 50%, and the cocoa in the bar now cost 30c, the manufacturer will try to pass on a list price increase of 20c before negotiating with the retailer. Newspaper headlines generally help to create an emotional environment with expectations for further price increases… At that point, retailers will have several options: decide to accept the list price increase of 20c and pass it on to the consumer, negotiate a 10c increase in line with the spike in cocoa prices or, alternatively, pass on the 20c price increase and ask the supplier to give back the extra 10c in promotions, the good old buy one get one free that consumer love. Now, the latter is the most widely followed route, because retailers know too well that when consumers see promotions, they tend to respond, buy more and consume more, which means higher sales for retailers, higher profits, and bigger volumes for manufacturers, who benefit from this dynamic too. So, with the mere recourse to a marketing gimmick, consumers are led to believe that nothing really has changed, products are not really more expensive, because they are on promotions. So that they do not desert supermarkets, if anything, they do buy more. “Trading down” is a phenomenon that only partially compensate this dynamic. Staples in emerging markets cannot be promoted: street markets are already very competitive. Hence the need to price on immediately the surging price of inputs. Hence the lack of “consumer illusion”, hence the protest.

Now, why all this is relevant to the stock markets? Middle class consumers in mature markets are starting to wake up to inflation. Fuel prices are soaring, food prices are on the up again, rates are increasing, mortgage rates never came down. The massive outflow of mutual funds shows that the middle class is starting to access  retirement money to fund short term capital outlays. As short term cash flow pressure mounts, very little income can be set aside to buy the equity market. Equities have become inaccessible for a large number of households. Households cannot afford to “BUY THE FUKCING DIP”. There are growing concerns in many areas about the stability and solidity of an equity market when popular support falters. Some may say that governments are manipulating stock markets to create the illusion of wealth and manipulate perception on the true
state of the underlying economy. If that was the case, then the very same governments should be the first one to worry about the viability of this so called “ponzi scheme”. I suppose they probably would worry, and I sense that they are worrying already. If we buy the argument that governments are already retailers of financial instruments (debt, currencies and possibly equities, if we assume that they intervene in the market), then I think that they could learn a lesson from observing how retailers and chocolate manufacturers cope with food price inflation, as this could be a good analogy to equity price inflation and the crowding out of middle class investors.

Prince William's first-born daughter could be Queen ~ link ~ This is eliminating the rules of male primogeniture with regards to succession to the throne, allowing the first born to succeed regardless of gender.  I have asked for this for my titles for some years and have yet to receive it.  I now publicly do ask the current government to recommend to the Queen that she grant me a Resettlement-by-Letters Patent to allow 'my heirs general in birth rank order' to succeed to my titles.  Stirling    

Ministers are negotiating with Commonwealth governments about possible changes to the Act of Settlement to give female Royals the same rights of succession as their brothers.
Under the current law, any male child takes precedence in the order of succession over his sisters. That would mean that any son born to Prince William would become King, even if he had an older sister.

The Coalition believes that the law may be discriminatory and is considering ways to change it. That would mean changing the law in every one of the 15 Commonwealth countries where the Queen is head of state.

Mark Harper, the constitutional affairs minister, said that the Coalition has continued that work. “Ministers have already accepted that the provisions of the Act of Settlement might be discriminatory. Discussions are under way,” he said.

Brian Cowen wins confidence vote to remain party leader and Prime Minister of Ireland ~ link ~ He and his party are really going to get their butts kicked hard at the coming election.  Stirling    

The beleagured Irish prime minister, Brian Cowen, won a confidence vote tonight in his leadership and will head his Fianna Fáil party in the Republic's forthcoming general election.  The party's chief whip announced shortly after 9pm that Cowen had seen off a leadership challengewhich, had he lost, would have plunged the Republic into an earlier than expected general election.

House of Lords in stalemate over voting reform ~ link The House of Lords remains in stalemate over proposals to change the Westminster voting system and approve a cut in the number of MPs from 650 to 600, but peers were spared a second successive all-night sitting.
Neither side showed any signs of backing down as the debate moved into a second session. The upper house is deadlocked as Labour peers will not stand aside to let legislation paving the way for a referendum date on 5 May go ahead, unless the government drops the second element of the bill which sees the size of constituencies equalised and the number of MPs reduced.

Sources on both sides remain unsure which side will back down first and whether the government will be able to get the bill through the Lords by the end of the day after tomorrow, which the government claims is critical to its successful implementation by 16 February ahead of the 5 May referendum date. Sources were not ruling out that a guillotine motion could be used in the Lords. Though this would be unprecedented, coalition peers already deployed the highly rare procedure on the first all night sitting by moving a similar sort of motion - a closure motion. A guillotine sees a government stipulate in advance of how long parliamentarians debate an issue the time by which it needs to be resolved. This has never been done in the Lords.

Night of the long-winded: Labour peers waffle to sabotage voting reform legislation ~ link ~In bizarre and ill-tempered scenes in the House of Lords, unelected peers are trying to sabotage legislation for May's referendum on voting reform by holding it up with enormously long speeches, straying on to such diverse subjects as cannibalism, the merits of Facebook, Scottish football rivalries and prime numbers. A succession of senior Labour figures – including the former leader Lord Kinnock and Lord Falconer, the former lord chancellor – joined a marathon all-night sitting before taking their first break at 12.50pm yesterday. The debate is continuing today.

Hundreds of peers slept in the Lords on Monday night – many on camp beds hired for the occasion – as the debate, the longest Lords sitting since 2005, dragged on into the morning. Separate dormitories were provided for Lords and Ladies. A sick bay has been set up to dispense aspirin to anyone feeling unwell.

Thousands of dead octopuses wash up on Portugal beach - with video ~ link ~ Thousands of dead octopuses have washed up on a beach in northern Portugal, in what is being called an environmental disaster. They cover a 5-mile stretch of Vila Nova de Gaia beach - no reason has yet been found for their appearance. 

Hundreds of dead birds in Yankton, South Dakota ~ link
More than 200 starlings were found dead in downtown Yankton Monday. Officials attribute the cause of the deaths to the fact that the birds had not migrated from the area. (Courtesy photo) 

Pelicans turn up sick, dead off Jacksonville coast ~ link ~ Hundreds of Eastern brown pelicans, some with missing wings and frostbite, have been injured or killed in the St. Johns River the past couple of weeks in the Mayport area.

The exact reason is unknown but the cold weather could have caused hypothermia when the birds landed in the water. The pelicans have been losing a protective coating they have on their body to shield their feathers from becoming saturated by water.

Cindy Mosling, co-founder of the Bird Emergency Aid and Kare Sanctuary on Big Talbot Island, thinks chemicals in the water could be the culprit.

Hundreds of dead seals in Labrador  ~ link ~ The same weather system that caused the cold in Ireland, the United Kingdom and western Europe, caused a section of abnormally warm weather in parts of northeast Canada.  This is one of the sad results of that climate change.  Stirling  
Hundreds of dead seals in Labrador

Freezing Vietnam to enter another cold snap ~ link ~

After enduring a freezing cold with temperatures in mountainous areas dropping to minus four degrees Celsius, northern Vietnam is to undergo another fresh cold snap starting Saturday.

Deputy Director of the National Hydro-meteorological Forecast Center Le Thanh Hai said the new cold bout will drive down temperatures in mountainous provinces to under 10 degrees Celsius and even lower in higher mountainous areas.

Australian floods: People in Victoria town told to flee ~ link
Four girls at funeral for Donna Rice and her 13-year old son Jordan, lost in Queensland's flash floods Mourners gathered at the funeral for Donna Rice and her 13-year old son Jordan, lost in Queensland's flash floods
Residents of the southeastern Australian town of Kerang have been told to leave their homes immediately.
Officials said Kerang residents should pack three days of supplies and leave before the waters of the swollen Lodden River rose further.

The latest alert follows floods through parts of the state of Victoria, and the death of a boy near Horsham.
Further north, floods have killed more than 30 people and caused widespread losses in the state of Queensland.

Hawaii Governor can't find Obama's birth certificate ~ link ~ Just for fun: Anyone look into the Governor's birth certificate and his background???

TSA Now Forcing Opt-Outs To Walk Through Body Scanners ~ link ~

Study: Many college students not learning to think critically ~ link ~ An unprecedented study that followed several thousand undergraduates through four years of college found that large numbers didn't learn the critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication skills that are widely assumed to be at the core of a college education. 
Many of the students graduated without knowing how to sift fact from opinion, make a clear written argument or objectively review conflicting reports of a situation or event, according to New York University sociologist Richard Arum, lead author of the study. The students, for example, couldn't determine the cause of an increase in neighborhood crime or how best to respond without being swayed by emotional testimony and political spin.

On Gun Control and Violence by Congressman Ron Paul ~ link ~ Remember – liberty only has meaning if we still believe in it when terrible things happen and more government security is demanded. Government cannot make us safe by mandating security any more than it can make us prosperous by decreeing an end to poverty.

We need to reaffirm the core American value of individual responsibility. Consider the young man who had the courage to tackle the shooter and prevent further carnage because he himself had a concealed weapon. Without that gun, he could have been yet another sitting duck. When peaceful citizens are armed, they at least have a chance against armed criminals.

Advocates of gun control would urge us to leave our safety to law enforcement, but eyewitness reports indicate it took police as much as 20 minutes to arrive on the scene that day! Since police cannot be everywhere all of the time, a large part of our personal safety depends on our ability to defend ourselves.

Our constitutional right to bear arms does not create a society without risks of violent crime, and neither would the strictest gun control laws. Guns and violence are a fact of life. The question is whether it is preferable to be defenseless while waiting for the police, or to have the option to arm yourself. We certainly know criminals prefer the former.

Haiti ex-leader 'Baby Doc' Duvalier escorted to court ~ link
Former Haitian leader Jean-Claude 'Baby Doc' Duvalier is seen in his hotel room in Port-au-Prince on 17 January 2011 Mr Duvalier made a surprise return to Haiti on Sunday
Former Haitian leader Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier has been taken to court by armed Haitian police. Mr Duvalier, who ruled the country for 15 years before being ousted in 1986, made a surprise return to Haiti on Sunday. It is unclear whether he has been arrested or charged over crimes he is accused of committing under his regime. One report said he would be informed of the file against him, but a companion insisted he would not be at court long.


Alain Denis said...

Pelicans turn up sick, dead off Jacksonville coast
Founder of sanctuary treating the birds blames chemicals in the water.
Thousands of dead octopuses wash up on Portugal beach
comment: perhaps nothing in relation with corexit or petroleum (or gaz) coming from gulf of mexico....
but for sure, something about ecological disorders... the nEW wORLD disORDERs... and Love disorders.

Alain Denis said...

Come Out of Babylon!
perhaps nothing about corexit or petroleum (or gaz) coming from gulf of mexico....
(Macondo, the leaking well's name, to translate: The eVIL's throat)

but for sure, something about ecological disorders... (sATANIC) nEW wORLD dISORDER... and Love disorders.