"Key Theme In Interview With ShadowStats' John Williams - (You Guessed It) Hyperinflation And The Death Of The US Economy
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/30/2009 13:38 -0500
Source Zero Hedge
"If you thought John Williams, who a month ago prophesied that the US could be facing hyperinflation as soon as 2010, has changed his tune, think again. In an interview conducted by Phil Maymin of the Fairfiled Weekly, the man who has made a business out of debunking the government's data fabrication machine, dishes out some very hard to swallow truths about the US economy and where the fiat world is headed. As always, Williams' perspectives are debate-worthy by all, whether inflationist or deflationist: in a field of media sycophants, JW is not afraid to speak what we all know, yet rarely wish to acknowledge.
Maymin: So we are technically bankrupt?
Williams: Yes, and when countries are in that state, what they usually do is rev up the printing presses and print the money they need to meet their obligations. And that creates inflation, hyperinflation, and makes the currency worthless.
Obama says America will go bankrupt if Congress doesn't pass the health care bill.
Well, it's going to go bankrupt if they do pass the health care bill, too, but at least he's thinking about it. He talks about it publicly, which is one thing prior administrations refused to do. Give him credit for that. But what he's setting up with this health care system will just accelerate the process.
Where are we right now?
In terms of the GDP, we are about halfway to depression level. If you look at retail sales, industrial production, we are already well into depressionary. If you look at things such as the housing industry, the new orders for durable goods we are in Great Depression territory. If we have hyperinflation, which I see coming not too far down the road, that would be so disruptive to our system that it would result in the cessation of many levels of normal economic commerce, and that would throw us into a great depression, and one worse than was seen in the 1930s.
What kind of hyperinflation are we talking about?
I am talking something like you saw with the Weimar Republic of the 1930s. There the currency became worthless enough that people used it actually as toilet paper or wallpaper. You could go to a fine restaurant and have an expensive dinner and order an expensive bottle of wine. The next morning that empty bottle of wine is worth more as scrap glass than it had been the night before filled with expensive wine.
We just saw an extreme example in Zimbabwe. ... Probably the most extreme hyperinflation that anyone has ever seen. At the same time, you still had a functioning, albeit troubled, Zimbabwe economy. How could that be? They had a workable backup system of a black market in U.S. dollars. We don't have a backup system of anything. Our system, with its heavy dependence on electronic currency, in a hyperinflation would not do well. It would probably cease to function very quickly. You could have disruptions in supply chains to food stores. The economy would devolve into something like a barter system until they came up with a replacement global currency.
What can we do to avoid hyperinflation? What if we just shut down the Fed or something like that?
We can't. The actions have already been taken to put us in it. It's beyond control. The government does put out financial statements usually in December using generally accepted accounting principles, where unfunded liabilities like Medicare and Social Security are included in the same way as corporations account for their employee pension liabilities. And in 2008, for example, the one-year deficit was $5.1 trillion dollars. And that's instead of the $450 billion, plus or minus, that was officially reported.
These numbers are beyond containment. Even the 2008 numbers, you can take 100 percent of people's income and corporate profit and you'd still be in deficit. There's no way you can raise enough money in taxes.
What about spending?
If you eliminated all federal expenditures except for Medicare and Social Security, you'd still be in deficit. You have to slash Social Security and Medicare. But I don't see any political will to rein in the costs the way they have to be reined in. There's just no way it can be contained. The total federal debt and net present value of the unfunded liabilities right now totals about $75 trillion. That's five times the level of GDP.
What can we, the people, do to stop the government from, you know, taking all our money?
We should have acted 20 years ago. There's not much you can do at this point to prevent the eventual debasement of the dollar. This involves both sides of the political spectrum. It's not limited to the Republicans or the Democrats. They've both been very active in setting this up.
What can individuals do?
The only thing individuals can do now is look to protect themselves. I wish I could see a way, but shy of severe slashing of the social programs that is so politically reprehensible and would create such problems and social unrest, I don't see that as a practical solution.
If you're a young 20- or 25-year-old guy or gal, would you move to another country? What would you do?
We still have a great country. We're going through a period of economic pain. It's happened before. This is the kind of thing that's taken us decades to get into and it will take us decades to get out. Although the hyperinflation is going to be limited largely to the U.S., the economic downturn will affect things globally. I can't tell you how things will go with a hyperinflationary Great Depression, which is where I see things going.
It's the type of thing that will tend to lead to significant political change. People tend to vote their pocketbooks. You could have the rise of a third party. You could even have rioting in the streets. I'm not formally predicting that — anyone can run these different scenarios. For the individual, what you need to do, from an investment standpoint, look to preserve your wealth and assets. Don't worry about the day-to-day fluctuations in the markets. What I'm talking about here is over the long haul...
[Gold is] going to be highly volatile, as will the dollar, over the near term, but longer term, physical gold I would look at as a primary hedge for preserving the purchasing power of your wealth and assets. Maybe some physical silver. Get some assets outside the U.S. dollar. I might even look to move some assets physically outside the United States. The key here is to look at a longer range survival package, battening down the hatches, and preserving your wealth and assets during a very difficult time. Once you're through that, you'll have some extraordinary investment opportunities, and I can't tell you what it's going to be like on the other side of this crisis.
Dr. Phil Maymin is an Assistant Professor of Finance and Risk Engineering at NYU-Polytechnic Institute. The views represented are his own
h/t Steve "
As a means to inform myself about the ideology I did a bit of research and turned this up on Discover The Networks dot org which IMHO contains credible and well researched information.
"BEIJING, Dec 29 (Reuters) - A small Chinese power generator on Tuesday rejected demands from a Goldman Sachs unit to pay for nearly $80 million lost on two oil hedging contracts, part of a long-running dispute over how China deals with derivatives losses.Goldman Sachs (GS.N) was one of the foreign banks, along with Citigroup (C.N), Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley (MS.N), blamed by the state assets watchdog for providing "extremely complicated" and difficult to understand derivatives products. [ID:nPEK242617]
Shenzhen Nanshan Power (000037.SZ) (200037.SZ) said in a statement that it received several notices from J. Aron & Company, a trading subsidiary of Goldman Sachs (GS.N), for at least $79.96 million as compensation for terminating oil option contracts.
"We will not accept the demand by J. Aron for all the losses and related interests," said Nanshan, in line with the stance it took last December.
"We will try our best to negotiate with J. Aron and resolve the dispute peacefully...but the possibility of using a lawsuit can not be ruled out when talks fail," it added.
"J. Aron told us in one notice that if we do not pay the money, they will reserve the right to launch a lawsuit and will not send us any further notice."
The State Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said in September that it would back state-owned companies in any legal action against the foreign banks that sold them oil derivatives, which resulted in losses when oil prices dived late last year. [ID:nPEK14474]
A Beijing-based Goldman Sachs corporate communication official declined to comment.
Nanshan said in October last year that two oil option-related contracts with J. Aron were signed by its officials without authorisation from the company. In December 2008 it said in a statement it had terminated the deals, and that it would not accept J. Aron's demand for payment.
Many Chinese firms, especially airliners, suffered huge losses from complex oil options trading last year as oil price collapsed to nearly $30 a barrel.
A senior official from SASAC revealed last month that 68 Chinese firms suffered net losses of 11.4 billion yuan ($1.67 billion) by October 2008 on call and put options signed with foreign banks.
So far no legal action has been taken and many lawyers and industry analysts believe that Chinese firms and their foreign banks are quite likely to settle their disputes privately or through arbitration, similar to a handful of previous cases in the mid-1990s.
Only 31 firms are authorised in China to trade derivatives directly in the overseas market and the regulators started strictly prohibiting others from such trading since early 2009 after losses were exposed.
SASAC said last month that it had suggested companies without overseas derivatives trading licences trade on the domestic market or through domestic financial institutions."http://ow.ly/QMvv
Exceptionally well stated commentary about the senate health care vote from Powelineblog.com.
"Arrogance, corruption, stupidity
"Republicans didn't have the votes to stop the Senate's Obamacare bill this morning. But they had the better argument. Oklahoma's magnificent Senator (and Dr.) Tom Coburn spoke for a lot of us in explaining his vote against the Democrats' bill:
This vote is indeed historic. This Congress will be remembered for its arrogance, corruption and stupidity. In the year of 2009, a Congress ignored the coming economic storm and impending bankruptcy of our entitlement programs and embarked on an ideological crusade to bring our nation as close to single-payer, government-run health care as possible. If this bill becomes law, future generations will rue this day and I will do everything in my power to work toward its repeal. This bill will ration care, cut Medicare, increase premiums, fund abortion and bury our children in debt.
This process was not compromise. This process was corruption. This bill passed because votes were bought and sold using the issue of abortion as a bargaining chip. The abortion provision alone makes this bill the most arrogant piece of legislation I have seen in Congress. Only the most condescending politician can believe it is appropriate to force Americans to pay for other people's abortions and to coerce medical professional to take the lives of unborn children.
I would quibble only with Senator Coburn's attribution of "stupidity" to congressional Democrats. The House and Senate bills are indeed stupidly destructive of the best health care system in the world, and they will impose unbearable costs on the American public. But if and when a final bill is enacted next year, the Democrats will have achieved their goal of control over the medical means of life and death. This Congress will be remembered for its arrogance, corruption and tyranny as well as its staggering profligacy, all of which are well represented in the Obamacare bills.
Politico reports that the timetable for passage of a final bill has now slipped to February. Ed Morrissey and Andrew McCarthy tentatively see a ray of light in the delay, and Ramesh Ponnuru also envisions the possible defeat of Obamacare in the House. Later is better than sooner, but don't be deceived. The Democrats have the whip hand.
Grounds for optimism exist in the opposition to the government takeover of health care that runs deep and wide. Somehow, the American people have seen through the bill of goods they are being sold despite the Obama administration's best efforts, the Democrats' control of the process and the unfailing assistance of their allies in the media.
Democrats count on the opposition to subside and the public to acquiesce. Yet the Roman spectacle to which Obama and the congressional Democrats have treated us will be hard to erase from our memory. It will constitute an obstacle to our pacification and a spur to our resistance.
JOHN adds: To arrogance, corruption and stupidity we should perhaps add self-delusion. Harry Reid says that the public will greet passage of his government medicine bill with "joy and happiness." These are not people who can be compromised with or deflected from their drive toward socialism. They can only be defeated, starting in November."
Brilliant commentary which is one reason I've lost faith in the Republican Party as an entity. I have not lost faith in fiscal conservatives, however.
"The Dems' political payoffDecember 22, 2009 Posted by Scott at 6:36 PM
"I think that a lot of congressional Democrats are going to pay the price of Obamacare, but Andrew McCarthy highlights a key point:
The best thing about Mark Steyn's guest-host stint on Hannity last night -- other than Jonah's joining him on the panel -- was that Mark asked some pointed questions of two brilliant political strategists, Dick Morris and Karl Rove, that seemed rooted in Mark's theory that, on health care and all it entails, "The Dems are thinking strategically; the Republicans are all tactics."
For my money, I think the theory is being borne out: Democrats have their eyes on a different end-game than our guys do: namely, the establishment of permanent, European-style socialism in the U.S. Our guys are focused on converting Obama radicalism into big-time electoral success in the next election cycle. The Dems have already factored in that likelihood and are betting -- over the long haul -- that even if the GOP cuts deeply into Dem majorities or takes over Congress (and even takes over the White House in 2012), Republicans will lack the commitment (and perhaps the numbers) to roll back what the Left is accomplishing now.
That is, our guys are focused myopically on a battle the Democrats have already figured they can afford to lose. The real battle is: What do you do when you get back in power? Do you have a plan for how to undo what is being done? Do you frame the coming elections in a way that converts victory into a mandate not only to stop what Obama is doing but to undo what he has done?
I'm hearing a lot from our side about making big gains in the upcoming elections. That's not strategy or victory. You have to have a plan for what those gains would translate into. Democrats, by contrast, have a real plan for how what they're doing today will sustain Big Government, and themselves, over the long term, regardless of occasional electoral losses."
"Exclusive: ACORN Qualifies for Funding in Senate Health Care BillSource The Weekly Standard
"Senator Roland Burris is claiming credit for a provision in Harry Reid's "manager's amendment," unveiled Saturday morning, that could funnel money to ACORN through the health care bill.
On December 9, Burris, an Illinois Democrat, pledged that he would filibuster a health care bill without a public option. "If we have to get 60 and it comes back and it does not have a public option in it, I will not vote for it," he said. Then early last week he said he could vote for the bill if there were changes made to achieve the goals of the public option: "until this bill addresses cost, competition, and accountability in a meaningful way—it will not win [my vote]."
Asked last night before the Senate voted why he was planning to support a bill without a public option, Burris said: "We have a great bill--the best we could get. And it also covers most of our concerns: competition, cost, and accountability." But had anything specifically changed in the text of the bill that helped him change his mind? Burris told THE WEEKLY STANDARD: "It was the disparity provision that was put in, which we had something to do with, in terms of making sure that diabetes and the other diseases that are affecting minorities are really studied by HHS in all of these pilot programs."
The provision he cites, found on pages 240 through 248 of the manager's amendment, requires that six different agencies each establish an “Office of Minority Health.” The agencies are the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.”
According to page 241 of the amendment:
In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary, acting through the Deputy Assistant Secretary, shall award grants, contracts, enter into memoranda of understanding, cooperative, interagency, intra-agency and other agreements with public and nonprofit private entities, agencies, as well as Departmental and Cabinet agencies and organizations, and with organizations that are indigenous human resource providers in communities of color to assure improved health status of racial and ethnic minorities, and shall develop measures to evaluate the effectiveness of activities aimed at reducing health disparities and supporting the local community. Such measures shall evaluate community outreach activities, language services, workforce cultural competence, and other areas as determined by the Secretary.’’
According to a Senate legislative aide, the scandal-plagued Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now could qualify for grants under this provision. ACORN would also qualify for funding on page 150 of the underlying Reid bill, which says that "community and consumer-focused nonprofit groups" may receive grants to "conduct public education activities to raise awareness of the availability of qualified health plans."
Earlier this year, Congress passed and the president signed into law a ban on federal funding for ACORN, but a judge ruled that that law was unconstitutional. If a higher court reverses that ruling, ACORN may be prohibited from receiving funds through the Office of Minority Health earmark. But according to the Senate legislative aide, ACORN would still "absolutely" qualify for federal funding through the provision in the underlying Reid bill because the anti-ACORN appropriations amendment would not apply to funds provided through the health care exchanges.
A spokesman for Sen. Harkin, chairman of the HELP committee, wrote in an email that he "will look into" which organizations qualify for funding under these provisions. Spokesmen for Senators Reid and Dodd did not immediately reply to emails.
Posted by John McCormack on December 21, 2009 06:59 PM | Permalink "
Long article but worth the read. Looks like if they can't scam people out of their retirement funds, investments, savings ..... they thought of something else.
"How much imaginary gold has been sold?"
By Adrian Douglas for Gata.org
Source Life After the Oil Crash
"On October 10 I published an article that postulated that the gold market is a Ponzi scheme because it sells gold that doesn't exist by implementation of the principles of fractional reserve banking. (See http://www.gata.org/node/7887.) Since writing that article further information has come to light that supports this claim and allows an estimate of how much gold has been sold that doesn't exist if the owners of the gold ask for it.
In other words, there are several owners for each ounce of physical gold.
By complete coincidence Paul Mylchreest of The Thunder Road Report has just written an in-depth study into the daily trading volumes of gold on the London over-the-counter market, which can be found here.
The London OTC market is where most physical gold is traded. This market is a wholesale market where trades are conducted only between the bullion trading houses on behalf of their clients. About 95 percent of the trading is by way of gold that is held in unallocated bullion accounts.
The unique characteristic of gold is that about 50 percent (80,000 tonnes) of the above-ground stocks are held as a store of wealth (investment). The other 50 percent exists as jewelry. When gold is bought as a store of wealth it can perform that function for you wherever it is in the world. Given this unique characteristic many large investors in bullion prefer to leave their gold with the bullion dealer from whom they bought it so that it can be stored in their vault and easily resold. This is identical to the situation with stocks, where most stock certificates are held by brokerage houses, not by individuals.
That people are buying and selling gold without ever taking delivery means that there is the opportunity for bullion houses to sell gold that doesn't exist.
Now the bullion houses probably don't view this as illegal or dishonest because they will operate a fractional reserve type of system, just as the banks do with fiat currency, and will make sure they have enough gold on hand for what would be the maximum estimated volume of gold that could be called for delivery. After all, trading is done with unallocated gold, so how much more unallocated can it get if it doesn't exist at all?
This is what caused bank runs in the days of the gold standard. People would deposit gold in a bank and receive bank notes (dollar bills) in exchange. At any time the depositor could return and hand over his bank notes and receive from the bank the same quantity of gold he deposited. The banks realized that under normal circumstances a maximum of about 10 percent of the gold deposited could be requested. So the banks saw an opportunity. They could issue up to 10 times as many bank notes in loans as there was gold in the bank and they could earn interest on the bank notes. The system worked until there was difficulty meeting withdrawals. Then word spread quickly that the bank was insolvent, and as holders of the banknotes rushed to the bank to redeem them for gold, the bank would admit it had insufficient gold and would declare bankruptcy.
The origin of the word "bankruptcy" is from the Latin words "bancus" and "ruptus," which means literally that the bank is broken. Banks have gone bust frequently enough to have earned themselves the ownership of the word to describe the phenomenon. Isn't that ironic when banks are meant to be a safe store for money?
This basic scam is at the center of modern gold market manipulation. Instead of real gold, paper substitutes for gold are sold through derivatives, futures, pooled accounts, exchange-traded funds, gold certificates, etc. I estimate that each actual physical ounce of gold has multiple ownership claims to it.
For the scam to be sustained there must always be plentiful physical gold for those who want it. The market is, in effect, a giant inverted pyramid with a huge paper gold market being supported by a small amount of physical gold at the tip of the inverted pyramid. The scam can continue until there are indications of a shortage of physical gold. If all the claimants of each ounce of real gold demand their gold, then there is the potential for a squeeze such as has never been seen before.
To lend support to the idea that all the gold in the world has been sold several times over I cite the case of Morgan Stanley, which was sued in 2005 for selling non-existent precious metals. Morgan Stanley even had the audacity to charge storage fees. The firm settled the class-action lawsuit out of court but no criminal charges were ever filed. If Morgan Stanley was doing this, you can bet that it is the tip of the iceberg.
Paul Mylchreest has done fabulously detailed research into data on the daily trading of gold on the London OTC market. He concludes that 2,134 tonnes of gold are traded each and every day. That is a shocking number because this is 346 times larger than all the gold that is mined in the world each day.
But this on its own is not sufficient evidence to indicate that the market is fraudulent. For example, if I have a 1-ounce gold coin and I have a hundred friends I could sell the coin to a friend and then he could immediately sell it back to me or sell it to one of my other friends, who could sell it back to me. If I were to transact with all my friends in the same day in this way, I could have turned over a volume of 100 ounces in trading transactions but no fraud would have occurred because the last friend I traded with owns the 1-ounce coin, even though it went through a hundred sets of hands before it got to him. There are no multiple ownership claims to the coin because the trades were sequential, not simultaneous.
But if I were to sell 1 ounce of gold to all my friends and promise I would keep the gold for them, the trading for the day would be 100 ounces but now fraud has been committed because I have a liability of 100 ounces while I have possession of only 1 ounce. If they never ask for the gold and I can pay them cash when they want to sell their gold, then there is a good chance my friends would be none the wiser ... until the day when at least two friends insist on receiving the 1-ounce coins they each supposedly own.
The daily gold trading in London is simply humongous. We talk of the gold market being a tiny market. It is anything but. It has a daily turnover of $70 billion. To put this in perspective, the world consumes 86 million barrels of oil each day. The total cost of the global daily oil consumption is a mere $6 billion!
But as discussed above, the daily volume traded does not in and of itself prove that a fraudulent fractional reserve operation is being conducted. Mylchreest did some more work using statistics from the GFMS metals consultancy to determine the maximum quantity of gold stock the OTC market could be holding with which it can back the huge daily trade volume. The gold that is traded has to be in the form of London Good Delivery (LGD) bars, which are 400-ounce bars. Mylchreest estimates that there can be only about 15,000 tonnes of such bars in the world. Let us assume that the London OTC market holds them all. We will show that by comparison with the trading of other unallocated gold products that 15,000 tonnes is nowhere near enough gold stock for the gold not to have more than one ownership claim to each ounce.
The purpose of buying investment gold is for it to store wealth. This necessarily implies that it is held for a long time. If gold is bought and traded quickly it would destroy wealth, not store it, because there would be a large loss due to transactional fees. The figures we have so far suggest that the entire stock of gold of the London gold market could be turned over every seven days (15,000 / 2,134 = 7). That would hardly be characteristic of a market that is supposed to be selling a "buy and hold" product. For the purposes of illustration, in a town of 15,000 houses would you expect 2,134 houses to be sold each day? Or that each house on average would have 52 owners during the year?
Let's compare how much of the inventory of the precious metal exchange-traded funds are traded each day to get a good idea about how frequently investors trade something they have bought as a store of wealth. The most liquid and highly traded ETF is GLD. It has 325 million shares outstanding and the fund trades on average 11.9 million shares each day. This means it trades one share each day for each 30 shares outstanding. Central Fund of Canada trades one share for each 140 shares outstanding, while the Gold Trust Unit trades one share for each 300 shares outstanding.
The GLD ETF is a way of buying, holding, or selling unallocated gold. One would expect the investors' behavior in this ETF would be similar to those trading the unallocated accounts on the OTC. If the investor trading mentality on the London OTC is similar, then 2,134 tonnes should be 1/30th of the gold stock held by the OTC. This equates to 64,000 tonnes of gold. But Mylchreest estimates that the OTC can hold no more than 15,000 tonnes because that is the entire global stock of LGD bars. If we use the CEF example, the stock would have to be 298,000 tonnes, or by the GTU example it would have to be 640,000 tonnes.
Probably the GLD comparison is the most relevant, as that exchange-traded fund claims to hold 1,100 tonnes gold, which is comparable to the maximum 15,000 tonnes that could be held by the OTC participants. However, the OTC is restricted to wholesale traders and has a minimum trade limit of 1,000 ounces. In GLD the minimum trade is a tenth of an ounce and trading is open to everyone. Considering these limitations it is likely that OTC participants would turn over a lot less than 1/30th of the inventory in a day. But even taking the GLD estimate, the OTC participants should be holding 64,000 tonnes when according to what can be deduced from GFMS statistics they can be holding only 15,000 tonnes.
This means that each ounce has at least four owners. I think this is probably very conservative because the GLD vehicle is set up to be easily traded and in units as small as a tenth of an ounce. I would guess that it is more likely to be as high as 10 or even 20 owners to every ounce, particularly when the banking world has used a 5-10 percent reserve ratio with fiat money for a long time and bankers are creatures of habit.
This would imply that the liability for unallocated gold that has been sold is probably closer to 150,000 tonnes (taking the more conservative 10 percent figure), but the liability is backed by a totally inadequate maximum of only 15,000 tonnes of physical gold. So it's likely that between 45,000 and 135,000 tonnes of unallocated gold has been sold that does not exist.
This is between 50 and 170 percent of the entire existing investment gold stock that has taken 6,000 years to mine and accumulate.
We are hearing of more and more cases of gold investors wanting to take physical delivery or have allocated gold.
In my recent article I said:
"A couple of months ago Greenlight Capital, the large hedge fund, switched $500 million of investment in GLD to physical gold bullion. ... Apparently Germany has requested that its sovereign gold held by the New York Federal Reserve Bank be returned to Germany. Hong Kong has requested the same of the Bank of England, which stores its sovereign gold. Robert Fisk, a respected journalist for the UK's Independent newspaper, reported this week that the Arab oil-producing states, Japan, Russia, and China have been holding secret talks to replace the dollar as the international reserve currency and as an accounting unit for trade. He reports that the basket of currencies they propose instead of the dollar would include gold. If gold is going to regain its monetary role, then you can understand why those in the know want actual physical bullion. There are some very real and significant signs that a run on the Bank of the Gold Cartel for physical gold is commencing."
Talking of runs on the bank, Rob Kirby of Kirby Analytics in Toronto, a GATA consultant, did some brilliant sleuthing work. His sources have told him that there was panic in the London gold market around September 30 as participants in the market wanted to take delivery of their purchased gold and refused generous cash settlements that were offered instead. Central banks had to come to the rescue to provide the gold via leasing. Apparently even the central banks could not provide bars that met LGD standards, which indicates that an acute shortage of physical gold is developing and that perhaps already many OTC clients have drained a large proportion of the 15,000 tonnes of gold stock from the London OTC market.
This supports what I have been discussing above.
Paul Walker, CEO of GFMS, recently said that gold was going up because of some "large lumpy transactions in a market with a degree of illiquidity."
If the OTC was selling only gold that the participants own, there could never be a lack of liquidity. The panic that occurred at the end of September confirms that there is a chronic lack of liquidity. This necessarily implies that there is multiple ownership of the same ounce of gold and it is, therefore, fraudulent. Leasing of gold from central banks provides only temporary liquidity, because the central banks want their gold returned at some later date, and it looks as if the bullion bankers may have dipped into that well one too many times already.
The gold market is in a precarious position. Just as in the days of the gold standard it requires only one customer not having his deposit returned to bring down the bank, because a domino effect results in all depositors asking for their deposits to be returned. If my estimates are correct, that somewhere between 64,000 and 150,000 tonnes of gold have been sold against a reserve of only 15,000 tonnes.
But how much of even this 15,000 tonnes remains?
The panic at the end of September suggests that liquidity is very tight, in which case only a small percentage of investors asking for their gold to be delivered or placed in an allocated account will blow up the gold market and expose the scam -- a scam that has been repeated time and time again throughout history. Why should this time be any different?
If you think you own gold, you should take a few precautions.
If you have unallocated gold in some sort of pool account that does not have a satisfactory audit or you own shares in an ETF that does not have a reliable audit, take action. Take delivery of gold or move your investment to reliable and audited allocated storage.
If you do nothing about it and when the music stops you are left with just a piece of paper that says you own gold but no one is able to give it to you, then perhaps you will be able to take comfort in your having dismissed the German government, the Hong Kong government, Greenlight Capital, and many others as a bunch of nuts who don't know as much as you do about counterparty risk in the gold market. But the "nuts" who are realizing that there are multiple claims to each ounce of gold will at least have their gold if they ask for it first.
Interesting point of view.
My comment .... Plant trees (seedlings) to reforest and cool the earth by shading it. Trees take in CO2 and expell O2 as a byproduct. Perfect symbiosis, perfect design.
Thursday, December 10, 2009 GET REAL
"Climate: The new god of left-wing Christianity
"The following is based on an article by Cliff Kincaid for Accuracy in Media.
"With the ClimateGate revelations of flimsy “science” behind the man-made global warming theory, the role of the religious left in promoting this fraudulent scheme now deserves serious media scrutiny. Because that is unlikely, consider the following:
Dr. James Wanliss, Associate Professor of Physics at Presbyterian College, has written The Green Dragon, a book about how environmentalism is actually committed to “the reconstruction of a pagan world order” and “rejection of Christian spirituality.” Wanliss argues that the environmental movement “is a religion with a vision of sin and repentance, heaven and hell. It even has a special vocabulary, with words like ‘sustainability’ and ‘carbon neutral.’ Its communion is organic food. Its sacraments are sex, abortion, and when all else fails, sterilization. Its saints are Al Gore and the InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”
“Both professing Protestants and Roman Catholics bear a burden of guilt for the current political mess we are in with the global warming and other hysterias,” he argues. “If the church had not turned from the gospel of Jesus Christ it is unlikely the Green Dragon would have been able to so deeply sink its fangs into our lives.”
Major U.S. religious groups involved in the “climate change” campaign include the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, the Catholic Campaign on Climate Change, the Evangelical Environmental Network and the Evangelical Climate Initiative.
Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, identifies evangelical leftist Ron Sider as a key figure behind the Evangelical Environmental Network and the Evangelical Climate Initiative. “He’s been pressing for wealth redistribution for over thirty years, and the global treaty being touted to fight global warming is nothing if it isn’t an exercise in wealth redistribution,” says Beisner.
Sider, who is also founder and president of Evangelicals for Social Action, is the author of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger.
Richard Cizik, who served for ten years as vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, was instrumental in creating the Evangelical Climate Initiative. He now serves as a fellow of the George Soros-funded Open Society Institute, where his current job is to “organize and host gatherings of evangelical faith leaders, policy-makers and academics” on climate change.
Beisner says it’s a shame that evangelicals are being asked to jump on the global warming bandwagon right when the wheels are falling off because of the ClimateGate scandal.
Wanliss identifies the National Council of Churches (NCC) as playing a major role. He says massive infusions of “green” — money, that is — for the NCC come from left-leaning philanthropies including Pew Charitable Trusts, Tides Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Turner Foundation, W. Alton Jones Foundation, V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, and New World Foundation.
As a result, “There has been, in past decades, a cosmic shift towards a social climate that begins to favor the environment — polar bears, trees, and bugs — over human beings.”
Another major player, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE), “has an awesome army of organizational links and is itself something of a matryoshka, the Russian nested doll, which is never what it appears at first sight. For it is also not grassroots but launched with funding from left-leaning foundations, primarily the Pew Charitable Trust,” he says.
NRPE describes itself as “an association of independent faith groups” that includes the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Churches, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and the Evangelical Environmental Network.
“When it began in 1993,” Wanliss says, “NRPE had over $5 million in grants to accomplish the goal, according to executive director Paul Gorman, of utilizing churches to produce a ‘distinctly religious response to the crisis of environmental sustainability and social justice.’ The Partnership has been able to spread environmentalist propaganda and teaching aids to almost every Jewish, and to several hundred thousand Protestant congregations in America.”
Through another entity, the Au Sable Institute, Wanliss says that these forces “have infiltrated Christian higher education by careful placement of teachers and teaching materials on environmental activism in schools associated with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Many of these schools are conservative in politics or theology. What they teach there under the Au Sable banner, will surprise their supporters. Not surprisingly, the Au Sable Institute and the NRPE share a subset of the same donor pool. Little by little wolves try to douse Christian resistance and lead sheep by troubled waters to accept the inevitability of a divine environmental movement.”
The Catholic Coalition on Climate Change was launched in 2006 as a vehicle of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. This group says that “Because we are not experts on climate change and its consequences, we rely on a scientific consensus (best represented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) to guide our activities.” Of course, it is the IPCC that is embroiled in the ClimateGate scandal.
In addition to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change enjoys the active support of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Carmelite NGO, Catholic Charities USA; the Catholic Health Association of the United States, Catholic Relief Services, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, the Franciscan Action Network, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, and the National Council of Catholic Women.
A related organization is the Catholic Climate Covenant, which claims that the poor are suffering because of the “carbon footprints” of people in the United States and other “rich” nations.
Wanliss says such notions are essential to the “alternative religion” of environmentalism.
He explains that, “people with money to burn can buy indulgences just like in the medieval Roman Catholic Church. In that religion priests sold indulgences to souls burdened with guilt over their sins. Even today, when Roman indulgences are not generally for sale — at least not for money — forgiveness is only assured to those who complete the required tasks that earn the indulgence. The green movement has absorbed these faux religious elements, and for each one has its own ersatz affectation. Whatever it may mean, raping the earth is not ecologically sound or morally attractive. But if you must rape Mother Earth, then be sure to visit the Green Dragon and pay a sum of money to cleanse your guilt, until next time. Forgiveness for sins is only a carbon offset away.”
“It is possible to calculate the extent of one’s sins online,” Wanliss points out. “According to TerraPass, over the past three years my weekly driving has resulted in about 5,224 pounds of CO2 a year, and for a mere $29.95 I can buy an indulgence that will offset the environmental impact of my reckless, indeed sacrilegious, lifestyle. These ‘carbon offsets’ will do as little for the salvation of the world as papal indulgences would for my soul. But for people with a desperate spiritual hunger it is a panacea and penance they are eager to embrace, and an incredible gift to give — it promises guilt free living and a purpose driven life. If only it were true. Go ahead, say the Gore-like business barons, pay the toll at our gate, and this year ‘Give the gift of green.’”
Meanwhile, America Magazine, the national Catholic weekly published by the Jesuits, is complaining that Congress did not pass legislation on greenhouse gas emissions before the current United Nations Copenhagen meeting. “The United States will thus remain the only developed nation with no established target for carbon reduction,” it says.
The magazine praises the National Religious Partnership for the Environment and the Catholic Campaign on Climate Change for being “vigorous advocates for integrating the world’s poor in a climate covenant with funding for both adapting infrastructure to meet the hardships of changing climate and for transferring green technology.”
It goes on, “If the planet is to survive, as Pope Benedict XVI concluded in Caritas in Veritate, all nations must accept binding reductions in carbon emissions and construct an equitable structure for energy consumption and for sharing the development of green technology among rich and poor nations — for the sake of this generation and generations to come.”
At the same time, he warned that “it is contrary to authentic development to view nature as something more important than the human person” and that this position “leads to attitudes of neo-paganism or a new pantheism.”
Indeed, the U.N. Environmental Program, which is now promoting a “Global Green New Deal,” has celebrated the idea of an “Environmental Sabbath,” in which children hold hands around a tree and meditate.
Wanliss notes that George Orwell’s book Animal Farm tells of the visionary pig Old Major who had a dream that soon proved disastrous: “And now, comrades, I will tell you about my dream of last night. I cannot describe that dream to you. It was a dream of the earth as it will be when Man is forgotten.”
Wanliss cautions that attempts by Church leaders and Christian organizations to synthesize a Christian environmentalism can succeed “only by exorcising truth, and ultimately, by expelling Christianity…”
But he adds, “Will it not be ironic if the Green Dragon they so adore ends up destroying them?”
"How to Stop Cap-and-Trade
– by Rich Trzupek
Source Front Page Magazine
"The Obama administration is trying to use the threat of Environmental Protection Agency regulation of greenhouse gases under its Clean Air Act authority as a means to force Congress into passing some form of a cap-and-trade bill.
It’s a subtle strategy, and many Republicans have risen to the bait, worried about what would happen if the EPA tries to implement a so-called “command and control” system instead of a market-friendly solution. But the GOP shouldn’t be concerned. In fact, they should call the administration’s bluff.
Fox News reports that a top White House economic official warned:
“If you don’t pass this legislation, then … the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area. And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it’s going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty.”
True enough, but under the Clean Air Act, rulemaking is an exhaustive, time-consuming process. Consider what would have to happen before the EPA could regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
And, every step of the way, the agency would have to seek public comment, respond to public comment, hold meetings with stake holder groups, determine economic impacts and worry about legal challenges.
A relevant precedent is the Clean Air Interstate Rule that was begun under the Clinton administration. Yet, it was not implemented until this year and it still faces legal hurdles.
Neither the Clean Air Act nor the EPA’s internal processes are designed to take quick regulatory action, much less when that action involves as grand a scheme as greenhouse gas control. It is simply inconceivable that the agency could develop anything close to a final rule before the end of Obama’s term. By that time, resurgent ice-growth in the Arctic, further Climategate-type revelations, and economic realities may tip public opinion against the supposed “consensus” of today.
Not only should the GOP call Obama’s bluff on cap-and-trade, but they should up the ante. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is obligated to regulate major sources of air pollutants. For purposes of the operating permit program, a major source is defined as any source with the ability to emit 100 tons or more of an air pollutant per year. Since the Agency has officially declared the greenhouse gases are pollutants, this threshold should apply.
It is ridiculously easy to reach this threshold of greenhouse gas emissions. A larger household gas furnace (rated at about 160,000 Btu/hour) has the potential to emit 100 tons per year of greenhouse gas emissions, for example. Applying this threshold would bring churches, elementary schools, the corner store – literally millions of sources – into the regulatory structure. Estimates vary, but the EPA itself says the number of major sources would increase from the current inventory of 15,000 sources to over six million.
Why would a Republican support such a massive regulatory scheme — command and control regulation of six million sources? Because it can’t be done. It’s an absurd goal and, if attempted, would overload and paralyze the regulatory system. The EPA recognizes this, and has proposed a so-called “tailoring rule” to manage the problem. The tailoring rule redefines a major source, for greenhouse gases only, as any source capable of emitting 25,000 tons per year of our latest and greatest pollutant.
The tailoring rule would be a neat solution to a problem that has EPA very worried, but it’s also a solution that many attorneys don’t feel can survive a legal challenge. The Clean Air Act is quite clear in defining what a major source is, and it does not grant EPA the authority to redefine those criteria.
Even if the tailoring rule remains in place, though, the EPA would still have to deal with all of the regulatory inertia inherent to the rulemaking process under the Clean Air Act. Calling the administration’s bluff, in other words, would guarantee that no greenhouse gas regulation would be implemented under the Obama administration. And that means that American industry – particularly the small businesses who would be hit with higher energy costs under cap-and-trade – could breathe easier."
Rich Trzupek is a chemist and Principal Consultant at Mostardi Platt Environmental, an environmental consulting firm based in Oak Brook, Illinois. He specializes in air quality issues and is the author of McGraw-Hill’s Air Quality Permitting and Compliance Manual. Rich is a confirmed skeptic with regard to the theory that human activity has caused global warming"
'Welcome to Obamaville' Sign Marks Colorado Homeless Tent City
Two excellent articles.
"Insanity: Doing The Same Thing (Obama)
The Market Ticker
Wednesday, December 9. 2009
Posted by Karl Denninger in Macro Economics at 08:28
My sensitivities, sharpened by years of Obama watching, take note of the following pieces of evidence, and have gone to Condition Red:
Obama’s seeming restlessness is a matter of record. Until recently he was routinely charged with throwing outworn sponsors, including his old mentor the Rev. Wright, “under the bus.” And as a Chicago politician, he used wealthy, influential backers (mainly women), discarding them as better prospects hove into view.
Just four years ago he was a backbencher in the Illinois legislature, but since then he has served a partial term in the U.S. Senate, where he spent most of his tenure campaigning for the next giant step in his upward mobility, to the Oval Office. He has never in any office run for re-election, but has instead used any current position as a boost platform for his next installation.
Observers of his presidency have been puzzled by the continuing pattern: Obama is still in campaign mode, spending a good deal of time giving major policy speeches, not only in the states, but around the globe. “What office is he running for now?” One can ask.
Tackling that question, we note that Obama is an enormously ambitious, audacious man, and – as his gritty record in Chicago politics demonstrates – an enormously competitive and at times ruthless one. Coupled with his formidable intelligence, plus the evident grandiosity revealed most blatantly in his victory speech after winning the Democratic nomination, (“This is the night when the oceans start to recede”), we glimpse a personality constellation that we have known before, notably in Alexander the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte: that of the would-be world conqueror.
If this is indeed Obama’s fantasy, then it is shared by a sizeable portion of the world’s population: a poll taken in Sept. ’09 by the BBC indicated , at that time, that a large proportion of the global sample favored Obama as world president; and my Google search of “Obama, world President,” turns up more than120, 000,000 posts.
So here is my answer to questions concerning Obama’s electoral ambitions: he aims to fill an as yet unformed position, that of World President, and – as in the past – he uses his current presidency as a launching pad toward that more grandiose goal.
Barack Hussein Obama was raised abroad, and – possibly for global electioneering purposes – he keeps his foreign name. In addition, it becomes increasingly evident that our exotic president has bought into the alien, Third-World view of the US as a dangerous bully: a prime source of pollution, a nation too powerful, and too undisciplined in the use of power, and as such a leading danger to Humanity. Thus, campaigning as the “Good American,” Obama apologizes around the world for America’s sins, he genuflects before Saudi and Chinese tyrants, he negotiates with our sworn enemies while down-grading our allies, he weakens the U.S. militarily and economically while permitting the Iranians to construct nukes, and he builds up the prestige of the heretofore discredited, America-bashing UN.
This is the Audacity of Defeat: Obama is engaged in a redistribution of power, though now on a global rather than a domestic scale. Thus, he gives away pieces of America’s prestige, in his eyes to detoxify it, and to build up the as yet unrealized world coalition that he hopes one day to lead.
As Napoleon discovered in the snows of the Russian winter, grandiose dreams of world dominion are never realized. However, those who pursue that hectic fantasy can cause terrible trouble before they are stopped. In this age of proliferating nukes, we cannot afford such dreamers. This should be the winter of Obama’s discontent."
Guess this is par in a land where up is down, good is bad, war is peace and Orwellian elitist award each other.
"Obama defends US wars as he accepts peace prize
Dec 10, 8:14 AM (ET)
By BEN FELLER
Source My Way News
"OSLO (AP) - President Barack Obama entered the pantheon of Nobel Peace Prize winners with humble words Thursday, acknowledging his own few accomplishments while delivering a robust defense of war and promising to use the prestigious prize to "reach for the world that ought to be."
A wartime president honored for peace, Obama became the first sitting U.S. president in 90 years and the third ever to win the prize - some say prematurely. In this damp, chilly Nordic capital to pick it up, he and his wife, Michelle, whirled through a day filled with Nobel pomp and ceremony.
And yet Obama was staying here only about 24 hours and skipping the traditional second day of festivities. This miffed some in Norway but reflects a White House that sees little value in extra pictures of the president, his poll numbers dropping at home, taking an overseas victory lap while thousands of U.S. troops prepare to go off to war and millions of Americans remain jobless.
Just nine days after ordering 30,000 more U.S. troops into battle in Afghanistan, Obama delivered a Nobel acceptance speech that he saw as a treatise on war's use and prevention. He crafted much of the address himself and the scholarly remarks - at about 4,000 words - were nearly twice as long as his inaugural address.
In them, Obama refused to renounce war for his nation or under his leadership, saying defiantly that "I face the world as it is" and that he is obliged to protect and defend the United States.
"A nonviolent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al-Qaida's leaders to lay down their arms," Obama said. "To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism, it is a recognition of history."
The president laid out the circumstances where war is justified - in self-defense, to come to the aid of an invaded nation and on humanitarian grounds, such as when civilians are slaughtered by their own government or a civil war threatens to engulf an entire region.
"The belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it," he said.
He also spoke bluntly of the cost of war, saying of the Afghanistan buildup he just ordered that "some will kill, some will be killed."
"No matter how justified, war promises human tragedy," he said.
He also emphasized alternatives to violence, stressing the importance of both diplomatic outreach and sanctions with teeth to confront nations such as Iran or North Korea that defy international demands to halt their nuclear programs or those such as Sudan, Congo or Burma that brutalize their citizens."
A friend sent this.
Here is a little something someone sent me that is indisputable mathematical logic. It also made me Laugh Out Loud.
This is a strictly mathematical viewpoint.....it goes like this:
What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?
Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%
2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%
AND, look how far a$$ kissing will take you.
1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%
So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bull<snip> and A$$ Kissing that will put you over the top.
Interesting tidbit found on another site.
Makes me wonder why we individuals are so willing to follow the lead of criminal tactics to 'make everyone pay' for something we personally want which others have said they absolutely don't want to be a part of.
BTW I haven't had health insurance for about 30 years and most certainly don't want goverment health care.
"Was Democrats’ Health Care Strategy Written In Federal Prison?
"On August 31, I headed to the health care town hall meeting of my congressional representative, Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). I suspected that she planned to stack the meeting with paid organizers, after she vowed on Real Time with Bill Maher to bring “millions” of people into the streets to support the so-called “public option.” So I brought a video camera.
A friend and I took turns filming protesters on both sides of the issue. We caught an organizer from the group Health Care for America Now (HCAN) instructing followers to block dissenting views: “So if they stand up and start asking questions, and you’re in that area, simply stand up, and start chanting… ‘Health care now! Health care now!’”
My experience at Rep. Schakowsky’s town hall meeting that night convinced me to challenge her in the 2010 election. I had already stood up to Rep. Barney Frank at Harvard University, when I asked him about his role in the financial crisis. I could not simply watch thugs drown out the people of my own community back home, and do nothing.
The HCAN video became a YouTube sensation, the “smoking gun” in the controversy over which side of the debate was “Astroturfing”—i.e. creating a false image of grass roots support. I have since discovered that the video contains clues about how the entire nationwide health care campaign was planned and executed by congressional Democrats and the White House.
It turns out that the organizer in the video is John Gaudette, the Illinois director of HCAN. Gaudette also works for a left-wing group linked to ACORN called Citizen Action/Illinois. Rep. Schakowsky sits on the Policy Council of the group, which suggests that she may have known about or even coordinated the suppression of her own constituents’ views by HCAN.
The plot thickens.
Rep. Schakowsky’s husband, Robert Creamer, used to be the leader of Citizen Action/Illinois. He also founded its predecessor, Illinois Public Action, in which Ms. Schakowsky served as Program Director. He runs a political consulting firm, the Strategic Consulting Group, which lists ACORN and the SEIU among its clients and which made $541,000 working for disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.
Creamer resigned from Citizen Action/Illinois after the FBI began investigating him for bank fraud and tax evasion at Illinois Public Action. He was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to five months in federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, plus eleven months of house arrest.
While in prison—or “forced sabbatical,” he called it—Creamer wrote a lengthy political manual, Listen to Your Mother: Stand Up Straight! How Progressives Can Win (Seven Locks Press, 2007).
The book was endorsed by leading Democrats and their allies, including SEIU boss Andy Stern—the most frequent visitor thus far to the Obama White House—and chief Obama strategist David Axelrod, who noted that Creamer’s tome “provides a blueprint for future victories.”
In the book, Creamer draws lessons from decades of experience on the radical left, including the teachings of arch-radical Saul Alinsky, and several episodes from Rep. Schakowsky’s political career. He also lays out a “Progressive Agenda for Structural Change,” which includes a ten-point plan for foisting universal health care on the American people in 2009:
Creamer adds: “To win we must not just generate understanding, but emotion—fear, revulsion, anger, disgust.”
Democrats have followed Creamer’s plan to the letter. They have claimed our health care system is in crisis despite polls showing the overwhelming majority of Americans are happy with the care they receive. They have—with the help of President Obama—circulated false horror stories about Americans dying for lack of health care and health insurance.
Democrats have cut deals with the pharmaceutical industry and the American Medical Association, among others. They have brought in the President himself to tell wavering “Blue Dog” Democrats that their re-election chances depend on passing health care reform. They have bused in SEIU members to town hall meetings, and used rabbis and pastors to back health care reform from the pulpit.
They have used a complex, interconnected web of organizations—including HCAN and Organizing For America, the former Obama campaign arm—to whip up support and silence opposition. And they have benefited from hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising to convince the public to support bills that their representatives have never read themselves.
Creamer wrote his plan in 2006, explicitly proposing that it be carried out in 2009, once a “progressive Democrat is elected President” and once Democrats could count on 60 votes in the Senate. It is curious that Creamer, sitting in prison, could have predicted the details and the timing of President Obama’s legislative agenda so precisely.
The likeliest explanation is that Creamer helped design the Democrats’ health care strategy. That would explain why President Obama made health care an obsession in 2009, when it was only one among many issues he raised on the campaign trail in 2008. It would explain the role of several overlapping left-wing groups, including Creamer’s own Citizen Action/Illinois.
It would explain why HCAN was particularly aggressive at Rep. Schakowsky’s own town hall meeting. And Creamer’s involvement would also explain his high profile after being released from prison. He worked for the Obama campaign, training volunteers at “Camp Obama.” He has continued his work at the Strategic Consulting Group, leading “many of the country’s most significant issue campaigns,” he claims. He was also at the White House state dinner last month—together with Stern, Axelrod, and other cronies—despite the fact that ex-convicts are usually barred from such events.
Creamer’s broader aim, as laid out in his book, is the “democratization of wealth” in America and “progressive control of governments around the world.” As he recently wrote on his blog at the Huffington Post: “If we succeed in winning health insurance reform we will have breached the gates of the status quo. We will demonstrate that fundamental change is possible. Into that breach will flow a wave of progressive change.”
It is a radical agenda, making use of Rep. Schakowsky’s public profile, a network of far-left organizations, and Creamer’s old friends in the White House. It began in federal prison, and has unfolded exactly as intended, over the protests of thousands of ordinary Americans across the nation. It will not end with health care. It will continue until Mr. Creamer’s Alinskyite dream of radical change is realized—or until voters stand up and put a stop to it in 2010."
Found this blog via Steve Quayle. This article make ever so much sense and condenses what many on LP have been saying all along about media agenda and bias.
Friday, December 4, 2009
"5 Reasons that Corporate Media Coverage is Pro-War
Source Washington's Blog
"Note: McClatchy and several other large news sources are exceptions which have reported well on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
There are five reasons that the mainstream media is worthless.
1. Self-Censorship by Journalists
Initially, there is tremendous self-censorship by journalists.
For example, several months after 9/11, famed news anchor Dan Rather told the BBC that American reporters were practicing "a form of self-censorship":
There was a time in South Africa that people would put flaming tires around peoples' necks if they dissented. And in some ways the fear is that you will be necklaced here, you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. Now it is that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions.... And again, I am humbled to say, I do not except myself from this criticism.
What we are talking about here - whether one wants to recognise it or not, or call it by its proper name or not - is a form of self-censorship.
Keith Olbermann agreed that there is self-censorship in the American media, and that:
You can rock the boat, but you can never say that the entire ocean is in trouble .... You cannot say: By the way, there's something wrong with our .... system.
As former Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin wrote in 2006:
Mainstream-media political journalism is in danger of becoming increasingly irrelevant, but not because of the Internet, or even Comedy Central. The threat comes from inside. It comes from journalists being afraid to do what journalists were put on this green earth to do. . . .
There’s the intense pressure to maintain access to insider sources, even as those sources become ridiculously unrevealing and oversensitive. There’s the fear of being labeled partisan if one’s bull-calling isn’t meted out in precisely equal increments along the political spectrum.
If mainstream-media political journalists don’t start calling bull more often, then we do risk losing our primacy — if not to the comedians then to the bloggers.
I still believe that no one is fundamentally more capable of first-rate bull-calling than a well-informed beat reporter - whatever their beat. We just need to get the editors, or the corporate culture, or the self-censorship – or whatever it is – out of the way.
2. Censorship by Higher-Ups
If journalists do want to speak out about an issue, they also are subject to tremendous pressure by their editors or producers to kill the story.
The Pulitzer prize-winning reporter who uncovered the Iraq prison torture scandal and the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam, Seymour Hersh, said:
"All of the institutions we thought would protect us -- particularly the press, but also the military, the bureaucracy, the Congress -- they have failed. The courts . . . the jury's not in yet on the courts. So all the things that we expect would normally carry us through didn't. The biggest failure, I would argue, is the press, because that's the most glaring....
Q: What can be done to fix the (media) situation?
[Long pause] You'd have to fire or execute ninety percent of the editors and executives. You'd actually have to start promoting people from the newsrooms to be editors who you didn't think you could control. And they're not going to do that."
And a series of interviews with award-winning journalists also documents censorship of certain stories by media editors and owners (and see these samples).
There are many reasons for censorship by media higher-ups.
One is money.
The media has a strong monetary interest to avoid controversial topics in general. It has always been true that advertisers discourage stories which challenge corporate power. Indeed, a 2003 survey reveals that 35% of reporters and news executives themselves admitted that journalists avoid newsworthy stories if “the story would be embarrassing or damaging to the financial interests of a news organization’s owners or parent company.”
In addition, the government has allowed tremendous consolidation in ownership of the airwaves during the past decade.
Dan Rather has slammed media consolidation:
Likening media consolidation to that of the banking industry, Rather claimed that “roughly 80 percent” of the media is controlled by no more than six, and possibly as few as four, corporations.
This is documented by the following must-see charts prepared by:
And check out this list of interlocking directorates of big media companies from Fairness and Accuracy in Media, and this resource from the Columbia Journalism Review to research a particular company.
This image gives a sense of the decline in diversity in media ownership over the last couple of decades:
The large media players stand to gain billions of dollars in profits if the Obama administration continues to allow monopoly ownership of the airwaves by a handful of players. The media giants know who butters their bread. So there is a spoken or tacit agreement: if the media cover the administration in a favorable light, the MSM will continue to be the receiver of the government's goodies.
3. Drumming Up Support for War
In addition, the owners of American media companies have long actively played a part in drumming up support for war.
It is painfully obvious that the large news outlets studiously avoided any real criticism of the government's claims in the run up to the Iraq war. It is painfully obvious that the large American media companies acted as lapdogs and stenographers for the government's war agenda.
Veteran reporter Bill Moyers criticized the corporate media for parroting the obviously false link between 9/11 and Iraq (and the false claims that Iraq possessed WMDs) which the administration made in the run up to the Iraq war, and concluded that the false information was not challenged because:
"the [mainstream] media had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President — no questions asked."
And as NBC News' David Gregory (later promoted to host Meet the Press) said:
"I think there are a lot of critics who think that . . . . if we did not stand up [in the run-up to the war] and say 'this is bogus, and you're a liar, and why are you doing this,' that we didn't do our job. I respectfully disagree. It's not our role"
But this is nothing new. In fact, the large media companies have drummed up support for all previous wars.
And an official summary of America's overthrow of the democratically-elected president of Iran in the 1950's states, "In cooperation with the Department of State, CIA had several articles planted in major American newspapers and magazines which, when reproduced in Iran, had the desired psychological effect in Iran and contributed to the war of nerves against Mossadeq." (page x)
The mainstream media also may have played footsie with the U.S. government right before Pearl Harbor. Specifically, a highly-praised historian (Bob Stineet) argues that the Army’s Chief of Staff informed the Washington bureau chiefs of the major newspapers and magazines of the impending Pearl Harbor attack BEFORE IT OCCURRED, and swore them to an oath of secrecy, which the media honored (page 361) .
And the military-media alliance has continued without a break (as a highly-respected journalist says, "viewers may be taken aback to see the grotesque extent to which US presidents and American news media have jointly shouldered key propaganda chores for war launches during the last five decades.")
As the mainstream British paper, the Independent, writes:
There is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist it and to expose it. The sheer ease with which this machinery has been able to do its work reflects a creeping structural weakness which now afflicts the production of our news.
The article in the Independent discusses the use of "black propaganda" by the U.S. government, which is then parroted by the media without analysis; for example, the government forged a letter from al Zarqawi to the "inner circle" of al-Qa'ida's leadership, urging them to accept that the best way to beat US forces in Iraq was effectively to start a civil war, which was then publicized without question by the media..
So why has the American press has consistenly served the elites in disseminating their false justifications for war?
One of of the reasons is because the large media companies are owned by those who support the militarist agenda or even directly profit from war and terror (for example, NBC - which is being sold to Comcast - was owned by General Electric, one of the largest defense contractors in the world -- which directly profits from war, terrorism and chaos).
Another seems to be an unspoken rule that the media will not criticize the government's imperial war agenda.
And the media support isn't just for war: it is also for various other shenanigans by the powerful. For example, a BBC documentary proves:
There was "a planned coup in the USA in 1933 by a group of right-wing American businessmen . . . . The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression."
See also this book.
Have you ever heard of this scheme before? It was certainly a very large one. And if the conspirators controlled the newspapers then, how much worse is it today with media consolidation?
For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post has offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to "those powerful few": Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and — at first — even the paper’s own reporters and editors...
The offer — which essentially turns a news organization into a facilitator for private lobbyist-official encounters — was a new sign of the lengths to which news organizations will go to find revenue at a time when most newspapers are struggling for survival.
That may be one reason that the mainstream news commentators hate bloggers so much. The more people who get their news from blogs instead of mainstream news sources, the smaller their audience, and the less the MSM can charge for the kind of "nonconfrontational access" which leads to puff pieces for the big boys.
5. Censorship by the Government
Finally, as if the media's own interest in promoting war is not strong enough, the government has exerted tremendous pressure on the media to report things a certain way. Indeed, at times the government has thrown media owners and reporters in jail if they've been too critical. The media companies have felt great pressure from the government to kill any real questioning of the endless wars.
For example, Dan Rather said, regarding American media, "What you have is a miniature version of what you have in totalitarian states".
Tom Brokaw said "all wars are based on propaganda.
And the head of CNN said:
There was 'almost a patriotism police' after 9/11 and when the network showed [things critical of the administration's policies] it would get phone calls from advertisers and the administration and "big people in corporations were calling up and saying, 'You're being anti-American here.'
Indeed, former military analyst and famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg said that the government has ordered the media not to cover 9/11:
Ellsberg seemed hardly surprised that today's American mainstream broadcast media has so far failed to take [former FBI translator and 9/11 whistleblower Sibel] Edmonds up on her offer, despite the blockbuster nature of her allegations [which Ellsberg calls "far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers"].
As Edmonds has also alluded, Ellsberg pointed to the New York Times, who "sat on the NSA spying story for over a year" when they "could have put it out before the 2004 election, which might have changed the outcome."
"There will be phone calls going out to the media saying 'don't even think of touching it, you will be prosecuted for violating national security,'" he told us.
* * *
"I am confident that there is conversation inside the Government as to 'How do we deal with Sibel?'" contends Ellsberg. "The first line of defense is to ensure that she doesn't get into the media. I think any outlet that thought of using her materials would go to to the government and they would be told 'don't touch this . . . .'"
Of course, if the stick approach doesn't work, the government can always just pay off reporters to spread disinformation.
Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein says the CIA has already bought and paid for many successful journalists. See also this New York Times piece, this essay by the Independent, this speech by one of the premier writers on journalism, and this and this roundup.
Indeed, in the final analysis, the main reason today that the media giants will not cover the real stories or question the government's actions or policies in any meaningful way is that the American government and mainstream media been somewhat blended together.
Can We Win the Battle Against Censorship?
We cannot just leave governance to our "leaders", as "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance" (Jefferson). Similarly, we cannot leave news to the corporate media. We need to "be the media" ourselves.
"To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men."
- Abraham Lincoln
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Powerlessness and silence go together. We...should use our privileged positions not as a shelter from the world's reality, but as a platform from which to speak. A voice is a gift. It should be cherished and used."
– Margaret Atwood
"There is no act too small, no act too bold. The history of social change is the history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at points in history and creating a power that [nothing] cannot suppress."
- Howard Zinn (historian)
"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent"
- Thomas Jefferson "
Looks like it wasn't the supplier but the manufacturer Harcourt Pencil Co., based in Milroy, Ind. that mistakenly shipped those to the supplier.
"Supplies with Obama logo surprise school
By Jonathon Braden
Thursday, December 3, 2009
"A notebook sold to a student out of a supply machine at Mill Creek Elementary School bears a logo and slogan similar to those used in the Obama campaign last year. The supplier also distributed pencils with a similar theme.
Pencils and notebooks resembling President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign ads have been sold in at least one Columbia school and other public schools, causing the company that distributes the materials to travel around the state yanking the supplies out of machines.
“Don’t be mad at us,” said Greg Jones, a sales representative with Pencil Wholesale. “It was a total accident.”
Pencil Wholesale distributes supplies to six Columbia schools: Parkade Elementary, Cedar Ridge Elementary, Paxton Keeley Elementary, Mill Creek Elementary, Smithton Middle School and Hickman High School, said Linda Quinley, the district’s chief financial officer.
At Mill Creek, at least one pencil and a notebook with designs similar to Obama campaign advertisements have been sold out of a supply machine. Two families have complained about the politically tinged materials.
Three Missouri schools have contacted Jones since the beginning of the school year asking that the materials be removed, and Mill Creek Principal Mary Sue Gibson this week said she also planned to call Pencil Wholesale.
“I just don’t want to get into that political arena at all,” she said.
The bound three-ring notebook bears a photo of literal change — pennies, quarters, dimes and nickels stacked into piles. Above the photo, white text reads “CHANGE” over a navy background.
Below the photo, “WE CAN BELIEVE IN” sits above a logo similar to Obama’s campaign image — three red stripes separated by white stripes in front of a white circle with a blue background arching over the circle.
The supplies were designed by the art department of Harcourt Pencil Co., based in Milroy, Ind., Jones said.
“The art department was trying to be cutesy,” he said.
There was no response this morning to a phone message to Harcourt.
Jones delivers the supplies to about 800 schools. He remembers seeing the Obama-esque notebook when it was first designed, but “I didn’t think one thing about it,” he said.
Jones has agreed to go to schools that might have received the supplies and remove them.
“I wish I could do it over,” he said. “But, for now, I can just make it right.”
Harcourt plans to give Jones a refund on the supplies as well, he said.
But first, Jones has to find the supplies. Out of a case of 72 notebooks, three of the controversial notebooks can be found, he said.
“It’s turned out to be really ugly,” Jones said. “We’re trying to get them out of the schools as fast as we can.”
He also wants to be clear that neither he nor his company created the design. In fact, he said, he’s a registered Republican who voted for John McCain in last year’s presidential election.
“It’s a total nightmare,” Jones said."
"The Fiction Of Climate Science
Gary Sutton, 12.04.09, 10:00 AM EST
Why the climatologists get it wrong.
"Many of you are too young to remember, but in 1975 our government pushed "the coming ice age."
Random House dutifully printed "THE WEATHER CONSPIRACY … coming of the New Ice Age." This may be the only book ever written by 18 authors. All 18 lived just a short sled ride from Washington, D.C. Newsweek fell in line and did a cover issue warning us of global cooling on April 28, 1975. And The New York Times, Aug. 14, 1976, reported "many signs that Earth may be headed for another ice age."
OK, you say, that's media. But what did our rational scientists say?
In 1974, the National Science Board announced: "During the last 20 to 30 years, world temperature has fallen, irregularly at first but more sharply over the last decade. Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end…leading into the next ice age."
You can't blame these scientists for sucking up to the fed's mantra du jour. Scientists live off grants. Remember how Galileo recanted his preaching about the earth revolving around the sun? He, of course, was about to be barbecued by his leaders. Today's scientists merely lose their cash flow. Threats work.
In 2002 I stood in a room of the Smithsonian. One entire wall charted the cooling of our globe over the last 60 million years. This was no straight line. The curve had two steep dips followed by leveling. There were no significant warming periods. Smithsonian scientists inscribed it across some 20 feet of plaster, with timelines.
Last year, I went back. That fresco is painted over. The same curve hides behind smoked glass, shrunk to three feet but showing the same cooling trend. Hey, why should the Smithsonian put its tax-free status at risk? If the politicians decide to whip up public fear in a different direction, get with it, oh ye subsidized servants. Downplay that embarrassing old chart and maybe nobody will notice.
Sorry, I noticed.
It's the job of elected officials to whip up panic. They then get re-elected. Their supporters fall in line.
Al Gore thought he might ride his global warming crusade back toward the White House. If you saw his movie, which opened showing cattle on his farm, you start to understand how shallow this is. The United Nations says that cattle, farting and belching methane, create more global warming than all the SUVs in the world. Even more laughably, Al and his camera crew flew first class for that film, consuming 50% more jet fuel per seat-mile than coach fliers, while his Tennessee mansion sucks as much carbon as 20 average homes.
His PR folks say he's "carbon neutral" due to some trades. I'm unsure of how that works, but, maybe there's a tribe in the Sudan that cannot have a campfire for the next hundred years to cover Al's energy gluttony. I'm just not sophisticated enough to know how that stuff works. But I do understand he flies a private jet when the camera crew is gone.
The fall of Saigon in the '70s may have distracted the shrill pronouncements about the imminent ice age. Science's prediction of "A full-blown, 10,000 year ice age," came from its March 1, 1975 issue. The Christian Science Monitor observed that armadillos were retreating south from Nebraska to escape the "global cooling" in its Aug. 27, 1974 issue.
That armadillo caveat seems reminiscent of today's tales of polar bears drowning due to glaciers disappearing.
While scientists march to the drumbeat of grant money, at least trees don't lie. Their growth rings show what's happened no matter which philosophy is in power. Tree rings show a mini ice age in Europe about the time Stradivarius crafted his violins. Chilled Alpine Spruce gave him tighter wood so the instruments sang with a new purity. But England had to give up the wines that the Romans cultivated while our globe cooled, switching from grapes to colder weather grains and learning to take comfort with beer, whisky and ales.
Yet many centuries earlier, during a global warming, Greenland was green. And so it stayed and was settled by Vikings for generations until global cooling came along. Leif Ericsson even made it to Newfoundland. His shallow draft boats, perfect for sailing and rowing up rivers to conquer villages, wouldn't have stood a chance against a baby iceberg.
Those sustained temperature swings, all before the evil economic benefits of oil consumption, suggest there are factors at work besides humans.
Today, as I peck out these words, the weather channel is broadcasting views of a freakish and early snow falling on Dallas. The Iowa state extension service reports that the record corn crop expected this year will have unusually large kernels, thanks to "relatively cool August and September temperatures." And on Jan. 16, 2007, NPR went politically incorrect, briefly, by reporting that "An unusually harsh winter frost, the worst in 20 years, killed much of the California citrus, avocados and flower crops."
To be fair, those reports are short-term swings. But the longer term changes are no more compelling, unless you include the ice ages, and then, perhaps, the panic attempts of the 1970s were right. Is it possible that if we put more CO2 in the air, we'd forestall the next ice age?
I can ask "outrageous" questions like that because I'm not dependent upon government money for my livelihood. From the witch doctors of old to the elected officials today, scaring the bejesus out of the populace maintains their status.
Sadly, the public just learned that our scientific community hid data and censored critics. Maybe the feds should drop this crusade and focus on our health care crisis. They should, of course, ignore the life insurance statistics that show every class of American and both genders are living longer than ever. That's another inconvenient fact.
Gary Sutton is co-founder of Teledesic and has been CEO of several other companies, including Knight Protective Industries and @Backup."
On a normal day, Majken Friss Jorgensen, managing director of Copenhagen's biggest limousine company, says her firm has twelve vehicles on the road. During the "summit to save the world", which opens here tomorrow, she will have 200.
"We thought they were not going to have many cars, due to it being a climate convention," she says. "But it seems that somebody last week looked at the weather report."
Ms Jorgensen reckons that between her and her rivals the total number of limos in Copenhagen next week has already broken the 1,200 barrier. The French alone rang up on Thursday and ordered another 42. "We haven't got enough limos in the country to fulfil the demand," she says. "We're having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden."
And the total number of electric cars or hybrids among that number? "Five," says Ms Jorgensen. "The government has some alternative fuel cars but the rest will be petrol or diesel. We don't have any hybrids in Denmark, unfortunately, due to the extreme taxes on those cars. It makes no sense at all, but it's very Danish."
The airport says it is expecting up to 140 extra private jets during the peak period alone, so far over its capacity that the planes will have to fly off to regional airports – or to Sweden – to park, returning to Copenhagen to pick up their VIP passengers.
As well 15,000 delegates and officials, 5,000 journalists and 98 world leaders, the Danish capital will be blessed by the presence of Leonardo DiCaprio, Daryl Hannah, Helena Christensen, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Prince Charles. A Republican US senator, Jim Inhofe, is jetting in at the head of an anti-climate-change "Truth Squad." The top hotels – all fully booked at £650 a night – are readying their Climate Convention menus of (no doubt sustainable) scallops, foie gras and sculpted caviar wedges.
At the takeaway pizza end of the spectrum, Copenhagen's clean pavements are starting to fill with slightly less well-scrubbed protesters from all over Europe. In the city's famous anarchist commune of Christiania this morning, among the hash dealers and heavily-graffitied walls, they started their two-week "Climate Bottom Meeting," complete with a "storytelling yurt" and a "funeral of the day" for various corrupt, "heatist" concepts such as "economic growth".
The Danish government is cunningly spending a million kroner (£120,000) to give the protesters KlimaForum, a "parallel conference" in the magnificent DGI-byen sports centre. The hope, officials admit, is that they will work off their youthful energies on the climbing wall, state-of-the-art swimming pools and bowling alley, Just in case, however, Denmark has taken delivery of its first-ever water-cannon – one of the newspapers is running a competition to suggest names for it – plus sweeping new police powers. The authorities have been proudly showing us their new temporary prison, 360 cages in a disused brewery, housing 4,000 detainees.
And this being Scandinavia, even the prostitutes are doing their bit for the planet. Outraged by a council postcard urging delegates to "be sustainable, don't buy sex," the local sex workers' union – they have unions here – has announced that all its 1,400 members will give free intercourse to anyone with a climate conference delegate's pass. The term "carbon dating" just took on an entirely new meaning.
At least the sex will be C02-neutral. According to the organisers, the eleven-day conference, including the participants' travel, will create a total of 41,000 tonnes of "carbon dioxide equivalent", equal to the amount produced over the same period by a city the size of Middlesbrough.
The temptation, then, is to dismiss the whole thing as a ridiculous circus. Many of the participants do not really need to be here. And far from "saving the world," the world's leaders have already agreed that this conference will not produce any kind of binding deal, merely an interim statement of intent.
Instead of swift and modest reductions in carbon – say, two per cent a year, starting next year – for which they could possibly be held accountable, the politicians will bandy around grandiose targets of 80-per-cent-plus by 2050, by which time few of the leaders at Copenhagen will even be alive, let alone still in office.
Even if they had agreed anything binding, past experience suggests that the participants would not, in fact, feel bound by it. Most countries – Britain excepted – are on course to break the modest pledges they made at the last major climate summit, in Kyoto.
And as the delegates meet, they do so under a shadow. For the first time, not just the methods but the entire purpose of the climate change agenda is being questioned. Leaked emails showing key scientists conspiring to fix data that undermined their case have boosted the sceptic lobby. Australia has voted down climate change laws. Last week's unusually strident attack by the Energy Secretary, Ed Miliband, on climate change "saboteurs" reflected real fear in government that momentum is slipping away from the cause.
In Copenhagen there was a humbler note among some delegates. "If we fail, one reason could be our overconfidence," said Simron Jit Singh, of the Institute of Social Ecology. "Because we are here, talking in a group of people who probably agree with each other, we can be blinded to the challenges of the other side. We feel that we are the good guys, the selfless saviours, and they are the bad guys."
As Mr Singh suggests, the interesting question is perhaps not whether the climate changers have got the science right – they probably have – but whether they have got the pitch right. Some campaigners' apocalyptic predictions and religious righteousness – funeral ceremonies for economic growth and the like – can be alienating, and may help explain why the wider public does not seem to share the urgency felt by those in Copenhagen this week.
In a rather perceptive recent comment, Mr Miliband said it was vital to give people a positive vision of a low-carbon future. "If Martin Luther King had come along and said 'I have a nightmare,' people would not have followed him," he said.
Over the next two weeks, that positive vision may come not from the overheated rhetoric in the conference centre, but from Copenhagen itself. Limos apart, it is a city filled entirely with bicycles, stuffed with retrofitted, energy-efficient old buildings, and seems to embody the civilised pleasures of low-carbon living without any of the puritanism so beloved of British greens.
And inside the hall, not everything is looking bad. Even the sudden rush for limos may be a good sign. It means that more top people are coming, which means they scent something could be going right here.
The US, which rejected Kyoto, is on board now, albeit too tentatively for most delegates. President Obama's decision to stay later in Copenhagen may signal some sort of agreement between America and China: a necessity for any real global action, and something that could be presented as a "victory" for the talks.
The hot air this week will be massive, the whole proceedings eminently mockable, but it would be far too early to write off this conference as a failure."
September 23, 2009, 4:00 a.m.
"The Dog Ate Global Warming
Interpreting climate data can be hard enough. What if some key data have been fiddled?
By Patrick J. Michaels
Source National Review Online
"Imagine if there were no reliable records of global surface temperature. Raucous policy debates such as cap-and-trade would have no scientific basis, Al Gore would at this point be little more than a historical footnote, and President Obama would not be spending this U.N. session talking up a (likely unattainable) international climate deal in Copenhagen in December.
Steel yourself for the new reality, because the data needed to verify the gloom-and-doom warming forecasts have disappeared.
Or so it seems. Apparently, they were either lost or purged from some discarded computer. Only a very few people know what really happened, and they aren’t talking much. And what little they are saying makes no sense.
In the early 1980s, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists at the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia established the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) to produce the world’s first comprehensive history of surface temperature. It’s known in the trade as the “Jones and Wigley” record for its authors, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley, and it served as the primary reference standard for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) until 2007. It was this record that prompted the IPCC to claim a “discernible human influence on global climate.”
Putting together such a record isn’t at all easy. Weather stations weren’t really designed to monitor global climate. Long-standing ones were usually established at points of commerce, which tend to grow into cities that induce spurious warming trends in their records. Trees grow up around thermometers and lower the afternoon temperature. Further, as documented by the University of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Sr., many of the stations themselves are placed in locations, such as in parking lots or near heat vents, where artificially high temperatures are bound to be recorded.
So the weather data that go into the historical climate records that are required to verify models of global warming aren’t the original records at all. Jones and Wigley, however, weren’t specific about what was done to which station in order to produce their record, which, according to the IPCC, showed a warming of 0.6° +/– 0.2°C in the 20th century.
Now begins the fun. Warwick Hughes, an Australian scientist, wondered where that “+/–” came from, so he politely wrote Phil Jones in early 2005, asking for the original data. Jones’s response to a fellow scientist attempting to replicate his work was, “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”
Reread that statement, for it is breathtaking in its anti-scientific thrust. In fact, the entire purpose of replication is to “try and find something wrong.” The ultimate objective of science is to do things so well that, indeed, nothing is wrong.
Then the story changed. In June 2009, Georgia Tech’s Peter Webster told Canadian researcher Stephen McIntyre that he had requested raw data, and Jones freely gave it to him. So McIntyre promptly filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the same data. Despite having been invited by the National Academy of Sciences to present his analyses of millennial temperatures, McIntyre was told that he couldn’t have the data because he wasn’t an “academic.” So his colleague Ross McKitrick, an economist at the University of Guelph, asked for the data. He was turned down, too.
Faced with a growing number of such requests, Jones refused them all, saying that there were “confidentiality” agreements regarding the data between CRU and nations that supplied the data. McIntyre’s blog readers then requested those agreements, country by country, but only a handful turned out to exist, mainly from Third World countries and written in very vague language.
It’s worth noting that McKitrick and I had published papers demonstrating that the quality of land-based records is so poor that the warming trend estimated since 1979 (the first year for which we could compare those records to independent data from satellites) may have been overestimated by 50 percent. Webster, who received the CRU data, published studies linking changes in hurricane patterns to warming (while others have found otherwise).
Enter the dog that ate global warming.
Roger Pielke Jr., an esteemed professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, then requested the raw data from Jones. Jones responded:
Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e., quality controlled and homogenized) data.
The statement about “data storage” is balderdash. They got the records from somewhere. The files went onto a computer. All of the original data could easily fit on the 9-inch tape drives common in the mid-1980s. I had all of the world’s surface barometric pressure data on one such tape in 1979.
If we are to believe Jones’s note to the younger Pielke, CRU adjusted the original data and then lost or destroyed them over twenty years ago. The letter to Warwick Hughes may have been an outright lie. After all, Peter Webster received some of the data this year. So the question remains: What was destroyed or lost, when was it destroyed or lost, and why?
All of this is much more than an academic spat. It now appears likely that the U.S. Senate will drop cap-and-trade climate legislation from its docket this fall — whereupon the Obama Environmental Protection Agency is going to step in and issue regulations on carbon-dioxide emissions. Unlike a law, which can’t be challenged on a scientific basis, a regulation can. If there are no data, there’s no science. U.S. taxpayers deserve to know the answer to the question posed above.
— Patrick J. Michaels is a senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute and author of Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know."
"The case of Max BaucusSource Powerlineblog.com December 5, 2009 Posted by Scott at 9:34 AM
There is something hilariously outlandish about the disgrace of Montana Senator Max Baucus having nominated his girlfriend to be a candidate for the position of United States Attorney for Montana. David Bernstein captures the relevant details in "Baucus scandal." ........
".......Bernstein credits Main Justice with breaking this story and with securing this testimonial from Ms. Hanes's ex-husband: "She was recommended for the position because of a very close and personal relationship with Max Baucus and she withdrew because of a very close and personal relationship with Max Baucus."
"Baucus Girlfriend Withdrew as U.S. Attorney Candidate
By Andrew Ramonas | December 4, 2009
Source Main Justice
"A Department of Justice official who is in a relationship with Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) withdrew as a finalist for Montana U.S. Attorney to live with the senator in Washington, a Baucus spokesperson confirmed to Main Justice today.
Melodee Hanes, the Montana senator’s former state director, withdrew earlier this year after Baucus sent her name and two others to the White House as his recommendations for the state’s top federal prosecuting job.
“Senator Baucus is currently in a mature and happy relationship with Melodee Hanes. They are both divorced, and in no way was their relationship the cause of their respective divorces,” Ty Matsdorf, a spokesperson for Baucus, said in a statement to Main Justice.
Baucus and Hanes mutually agreed she should withdraw from consideration for U.S. Attorney “after much reflection … because they wanted to live together in Washington, D.C.,” the statement said.
In September, President Barack Obama nominated Helena attorney Michael Cotter for the U.S. Attorney position. Mike Wheat, a lawyer in Bozeman, Mont., was also considered.
Hanes and Baucus, who both ended their marriages within the last year, are living together in Baucus’s Capitol Hill home, purchased in June.
“She was recommended for the position because of a very close and personal relationship with Max Baucus and she withdrew because of a very close and personal relationship with Max Baucus,” Thomas Bennett, Hanes’ ex-husband, told Main Justice. Bennett and Hanes divorced in December 2008.
Hanes, who is now acting Deputy Administrator for Policy in the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, did not return repeated requests for comment left at her work.
Hanes said in a statement reported by The Associated Press in March that she withdrew because she had “been presented with other opportunities that I felt I could not bypass.” Hanes stepped down as the senator’s state director in June. She worked for Baucus’s Senate re-election campaign in 2002 as regional finance director and became a member of his Senate staff in 2003.
Hanes served as a county prosecutor in Montana for three years before joining Baucus’s Senate staff. She was also a law professor at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and has written extensively on child and sexual abuse issues.
It is unclear when Baucus and Hanes entered into a personal relationship. A person familiar with the Max Baucus family told Main Justice that people at the June 2008 wedding for Zeno Baucus, the senator’s son from his first marriage to Ann Geracimos, observed the senator and Hanes dancing in a way that appeared “beyond professional.”
Baucus and his ex-wife, Wanda, announced their divorce in April after 26 years of marriage. Wanda and Max Baucus said in a joint statement in April reported by The AP that they “parted ways amicably and with mutual respect.”
“Our marriage has been an interesting journey often of intense work with many people who have become cherished friends,” the statement from Wanda and Max Baucus said, according to the AP. “We are grateful for the opportunities we have had together and now as we pursue individual lives we appreciate everyone’s understanding and respect for our privacy.”
As Senate Finance Chairman, Baucus is the Democrats’ point man on health care reform, now being debated on the Senate floor. Hanes now works for an arm of the Justice Department that supports research, training and programs to support juvenile justice programs throughout the country.
Hanes “independently applied for her current position at the Department of Justice,” the statement from Matsdorf said. “Having extensive experience and qualifications in the field, Ms. Hanes was awarded the position based solely on her merit. Since then she has excelled in her role.” Click here for a copy of Hanes’s resume.
Below is the full statement from Baucus spokesman Matsdorf:
Senator Baucus is currently in a mature and happy relationship with Melodee Hanes. They are both divorced, and in no way was their relationship the cause of their respective divorces.
When Senator Baucus and Melodee Hanes, his former state director, realized that their relationship was developing beyond a purely professional nature, Melodee began the process of resigning her Senate employment.
With an extensive background as a prosecutor and extensive legal experience (see resume below), Ms. Hanes submitted her name for consideration for the U.S Attorney position from Montana. Her name was one of six that was submitted for review by Senator Baucus to an independent, highly respected Montana attorney who reviewed the applications. After an extensive evaluation of all the applicants’ qualifications, Ms. Hanes was one of three applicants the third-party reviewer recommended for consideration. Senator Baucus and Senator Tester then interviewed those candidates and Senator Baucus then submitted those three names to the White House, with no ranking or preference.
While her personal relationship with Senator Baucus should in no way be either a qualifier or a disqualifier for the position, during the nomination process and after much reflection, both Senator Baucus and Ms. Hanes agreed that she should withdraw her name from consideration because they wanted to live together in Washington, DC.
After withdrawing from consideration for U.S. Attorney, Ms. Hanes independently applied for her current position at the Department of Justice. Having extensive experience and qualifications in the field (see resume below), Ms. Hanes was awarded the position based solely on her merit. Since then she has excelled in her role.
UPDATE 2:08 a.m.: Baucus spokesman Matsdorf told Main Justice that the relationship between Baucus and Hanes began in the summer of 2008. Hanes and Thomas Bennett, her ex-husband, divorced in December 2008. Baucus and his ex-wife, Wanda, announced their divorce in April 2009."
Picked this up on another site. Best summary I've heard yet.
NICK GRIFFIN: CLIMATEGATE
Follow the money trail.
"Al Gore could become world's first carbon billionaire
Al Gore, the former US vice president, could become the world's first carbon billionaire after investing heavily in green energy companies.
"Last year Mr Gore's venture capital firm loaned a small California firm $75m to develop energy-saving technology.
The company, Silver Spring Networks, produces hardware and software to make the electricity grid more efficient.
The deal appeared to pay off in a big way last week, when the Energy Department announced $3.4 billion in smart grid grants, the New York Times reports. Of the total, more than $560 million went to utilities with which Silver Spring has contracts.
The move means that venture capital company Kleiner Perkins and its partners, including Mr Gore, could recoup their investment many times over in coming years.
Few people have been as vocal about the urgency of global warming and the need to reinvent the way the world produces and consumes energy as Mr Gore. And few have put as much money behind their advocacy and are as well positioned to profit from this green transformation, if and when it comes.
Critics, mostly on the political right and among global warming sceptics, say Mr. Gore is poised to become the world's first "carbon billionaire," profiteering from government policies he supports that would direct billions of dollars to the business ventures he has invested in.
Representative Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, has claimed that Mr Gore stood to benefit personally from the energy and climate policies he was urging Congress to adopt.
Mr Gore had said that he is simply putting his money where his mouth is.
"Do you think there is something wrong with being active in business in this country?" Mr. Gore said. "I am proud of it. I am proud of it."
Looks like Climategate's working its way up the food chain. If data is accurate and un-tampered with then why refuse to release it?
Thursday, December 3, 2009
"Researcher: NASA hiding climate data
By Stephen Dinan
Source Washington Times
"The fight over global warming science is about to cross the Atlantic with a U.S. researcher poised to sue NASA, demanding release of the same kind of climate data that has landed a leading British center in hot water over charges it skewed its data.
Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said NASA has refused for two years to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act that would show how the agency has shaped its climate data and would explain why the agency has repeatedly had to correct its data going as far back as the 1930s.
"I assume that what is there is highly damaging," Mr. Horner said. "These guys are quite clearly bound and determined not to reveal their internal discussions about this."
The numbers matter. Under pressure in 2007, NASA recalculated its data and found that 1934, not 1998, was the hottest year in its records for the contiguous 48 states. NASA later changed that data again, and now 1998 and 2006 are tied for first, with 1934 slightly cooler.
Mr. Horner, a noted global warming skeptic and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism, wants a look at the data and the discussions that went into those changes. He said he's given the agency until the end of the year to comply or else he'll sue to compel the information's release.
His fight mirrors one in Europe that has sprung up over the the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit in the UK after thousands of e-mails from the center were obtained and appear to show researchers shaving their data to make it conform to their expectation, and show efforts to try to drive global warming skeptics out of the conversation.
The center's chief has stepped down pending an investigation into the e-mails.
The center has also had to acknowledge in response to a freedom of information request under British law that it tossed out much of the raw data that it used to draw up the temperature models that have underpinned much of the science behind global warming.
Mr. Horner suspects the same sort of data-shaving has happened at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), another leading global warming research center.
Mark Hess, public affairs director for the Goddard Space Flight Center which runs the GISS laboratory, said they are working on Mr. Horner's request, though he couldn't say why they have taken so long.
"We're collecting the information and will respond with all the responsive relevant information to all of his requests," Mr. Hess said. "It's just a process you have to go through where you have to collect data that's responsive."
He said he was unfamiliar with the British controversy and couldn't say whether NASA was susceptible to the same challenges to its data. The White House has dismissed the British e-mails as irrelevant.
"Several thousand scientists have come to the conclusion that climate change is happening. I don't think that's anything that is, quite frankly, among most people, in dispute anymore," press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters this week.
But Republicans on Capitol Hill say the revelations deserve a congressional investigation. Republican leaders also sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson Wednesday telling her she should withdraw a series of EPA rules until the global warming science can be better substantiated. For now, climate scientists are rallying around the British researchers.
Michael Mann, a scientist at Penn State University who is under fire for his involvement in the British e-mail exchanges, said the e-mails' release was timed to skunk up next week's U.N. global warming summit in Copenhagen. Mr. Obama is planning to attend.
"They've taken scientists' words and phrases and quoted them out of context, completely misrepresenting what they were saying," Mr. Mann told AccuWeather.com in an interview, calling it a "manufactured controversy."
NASA's GISS was forced to update its data in 2007 after questions were raised by Steve McIntyre, who runs ClimateAudit.com.
GISS had initially listed the warmest years as 1998, 1934, 2006, 1921 and 1931. After Mr. McIntyre's questions GISS rejiggered the list and 1934 was warmest, followed by 1998, 1921, 2006 and then 1931. But since then, the list has been rewritten again so it now runs 1998, 2006, 1934, 1921, 1999.
The institute blamed a "minor data processing error" for the changes but says it doesn't make much difference since the top three years remain in a "statistical tie" either way.
Mr. Horner said he's seeking the data itself, but he also wants to see the chain of e-mails from scientists discussing the changes.
The Freedom of Information Act requires agencies to respond to requests within 20 days. Mr. Horner says he's never received an official acknowledgement of his three separate FOIA requests, but has received e-mails showing the agency is aware of them.
He said he has provided NASA with a notice of intent to sue under FOIA, but said he also hopes members of Congress get involved and demand the information be released.
NASA and CRU data are considered the backbone of much of the science that suggests the earth is warming due to manmade greenhouse gas emissions. NASA argues its data suggests this decade has been the warmest on record.
On the other hand, data from the University of Alabama-Huntsville suggests temperatures have been relatively flat for most of this decade."
Can you say blowback?
"Climategate Hits Hollywood: Should the Academy Rescind Gore's Oscar? 11 min video
"Take back Al Gore's Oscar, 2 Academy members demand in light of Climategate
Very nice song, well done video about love of and commitment to America. Truly refreshing!
"America Creates Serfdom Through Cap and Trade
"As I have stated before, when dealing with the American government, expect only the most illogical extremes.
The so called Land of the Free, has decided to recreate the ancient and rejected art of serfdom. As anywhere in history, serfdom was set in gradually with restrictive laws that slowly or quickly ate away at the right of the people to move freely, thus guaranteeing the government a stable tax base and its favorite enterprises, a stable work force to exploit, one that can not walk away.
In America that is about to be done by their new Cap and Trade Law, that will more than likely go into affect next year. Only one of the chambers of the parliament has passed it but the other will soon.
In the name of all things green, humans in the Anglo-sphere will be turned into serfs. How interesting. The Greens or rather Watermelons, Green on the outside, Marxist Red on the Inside have found the perfect tool with which to leverage the futures of all peoples in advanced nations. No longer is the cry of power to the people, as the cover for the power grab of the more equal amongst the "equals" but instead it is the cry of Power to the Plants and the Fishes and the little buggy things that fly around and annoy you....oh and it will cost the future of yourselves and your children, but Gia will love you when you are decomposing in her belly, serf.
But how will this be done?
In the giant, unread "democratic" bills that the American parliament loves to pass, some with literally up to ten thousand pages of unread and undebated laws. (and the Americans were only ranked 19th on the list of the most corrupt nations?) To be specific, Cap and Trade (American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009) will force all home owners to make extremely costly efficiency upgrades to their homes, for energy efficiency, before the government will give the serf, er citizen, a license to sell their home. Of course, before the process begins, the serf must get and pay for a government inspection and another after the upgrades."
I never knew who invented the idea of carbon credit trading and if people were never incensed about the idea this might make them think otherwise.
"Carbon trading is the Emperor’s New Clothes of international finance. It was invented by none other than Ken Lay, whose Enron would currently be one of the prime beneficiaries in the global alternative energy market, if it hadn’t been shown to be (nearly) as fraudulent as the current AGW scam. It is a licence to fleece, cheat and rob. Still, jolly embarrassing for the Danes to get caught red handed, what with their hosting a conference shortly in which the world’s leaders will try, straight-faced, to persuade us that carbon emissions trading is the only viable way of defeating ManBearPig.
"Denmark rife with CO2 fraud at bottom of page.
Kudos and standing applause for Australia!
"Australia's Parliament defeats global warming bill
"Climategate: it's all unravelling now
By James Delingpole Last updated: December 2nd, 2009
"So many new developments: which story do we pick? Maybe best to summarise, instead. After all, it’s not like you’re going to find much of this reported in the MSM.
1. Australia’s Senate rejects Emissions Trading Scheme for a second time. Or: so turkeys don’t vote Christmas. Expect to see a lot more of this: politicians starting to become aware their party’s position on AGW is completely out of kilter with the public mood and economic reality. Kevin Rudd’s Emissions Trading Scheme – what Andrew Bolt calls “a $114 billion green tax on everything” – would have wreaked havoc on the coal-dependent Australian economy. That’s why several opposition Liberal frontbenchers resigned rather than vote with the Government on ETS; why Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull lost his job; and why the Senate voted down the ETS.
2. Danes caught fiddling their carbon credits. (Hat tip: Philip Stott) Carbon trading is the Emperor’s New Clothes of international finance. It was invented by none other than Ken Lay, whose Enron would currently be one of the prime beneficiaries in the global alternative energy market, if it hadn’t been shown to be (nearly) as fraudulent as the current AGW scam. It is a licence to fleece, cheat and rob. Still, jolly embarrassing for the Danes to get caught red handed, what with their hosting a conference shortly in which the world’s leaders will try, straight-faced, to persuade us that carbon emissions trading is the only viable way of defeating ManBearPig.
3. Hats off to The Daily Express – the first British newspaper to make the AGW scam its front page story.
The piece was inspired by another bravura performance by Professor Ian Plimer, the Aussie geologist who argues that climate change has been going on quite naturally, oblivious of human activity, for the last 4,567 million years.
4. BBC finally gets round to reporting – sort of – that Climatic Research Unit at University of East Anglia may have been up to no good. It’s true that this report on their website is so hedged with special pleading for the temporarily suspended director Phil Jones the man might have written it himself. But on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning, I did hear the newsreader reporting it as more than just a routine theft story. Which is a start.
5. Legal actions ahoy! Over the next few weeks, one thing we can be absolutely certain of is concerted efforts by the rich, powerful and influential AGW lobby to squash the Climategate story. We’ve seen this already in the “nothing to see here” response of Dr Rajendra Pachauri, the jet-setting, troll-impersonating railway engineer who runs the IPCC and wants to stop ice being served with water in restaurants. This is why those of us who oppose his scheme to carbon-tax the global economy back to the dark ages must do everything in our power to bring the scandal to a wider audience. One way to do this is law suits.
At Ian Plimer’s lunch talk yesterday, Viscount Monckton talked of at least two in the offing – both by scientists, one British, one Canadian, who intend to pursue the CRU for criminal fraud. Their case, quite simply, is that the scientists implicated in Climategate have gained funding and career advancement by twisting data, hiding evidence, and shutting out dissenters by corrupting the peer-review process. More news on this, as I hear it.
Lord Monckton has written an indispensible summary of the Climategate revelations so far.
6. Watch out Green Dave! The Independent reports on the growing backlash within the party to Cameron’s libtard-wooing greenery. Turning to the Independent for a balanced report on environmental matters is a bit like consulting Der Sturmer for a sensible, insightful view on the Jewish question. Still, for once, the house journal of eco-loonery seems to have got it right and the point made by Tory backbencher David Davis is well made:
“The ferocious determination to impose hair-shirt policies on the public – taxes on holiday flights, or covering our beautiful countryside with wind turbines that look like props from War of the Worlds – is bound to cause a reaction in any democratic country.”
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