Monday, December 13, 2010


  GUEST POST BY UNKNOWN AUTHOR! It is an eye opener!
                        Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we adapt to them. But, ready or not, here they come

                        1. The Post Office. Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.

                        2. The Check.  Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with checks by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This plays right into the death of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business.
                        3. The Newspaper. The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper. They certainly don't subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.

                        4. The Book. You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music fromiTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book.

                        5. The Land Line Telephone. Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they've always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes
                        6. Music. This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It's the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalog items," meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, "Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before the Music Dies." You can see it here:

                        7. Television. Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they're playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It's time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.

                        8. The "Things" That You Own. Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in "the cloud." Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest "cloud services." That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider.
                        In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That's the good news. But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?" Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

                        9. Privacy. If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That's gone. It's been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits. And "They" will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again.

                        All we will have that can't be changed are Memories.
                         The United States is rapidly becoming the very first "post-industrial" nation on the globe.  All great economic empires eventually become fat and lazy and squander the great wealth that their forefathers have left them, but the pace at which America is accomplishing this is absolutely amazing.  It was America that was at the forefront of the industrial revolution.  It was America that showed the world how to mass produce everything from automobiles to televisions to airplanes.  It was the great American manufacturing base that crushed Germany and Japan in World War II. 

                        #1 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001.  About 75 percent of those factories employed over 500 people when they were still in operation.

                        #2 Dell Inc., one of America’s largest manufacturers of computers, has announced plans to dramatically expand its operations in China with an investment of over $100 billion over the next decade.

                        #3 Dell has announced that it will be closing its last large U.S. manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in November.  Approximately 900 jobs will be lost.

                        #4 In 2008, 1.2 billion cell phones were sold worldwide.  So how many of them were manufactured inside the United States?  Zero.

                        #5 According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.

                        #6 As of the end of July, the U.S. trade deficit with China had risen 18 percent compared to the same time period a year ago.

                        #7 The United States has lost a total of about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October 2000.

                        #8 According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time period, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.

                        #9 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of U.S. economic output.  In 2008, it represented 11.5 percent.

                        #10 Ford Motor Company recently announced the closure of a factory that produces the Ford Ranger in St. Paul, Minnesota. Approximately 750 good paying middle class jobs are going to be lost because making Ford Rangers in Minnesota does not fit in with Ford's new "global" manufacturing strategy.

                        #11 As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing.  The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.

                        #12 In the United States today, consumption accounts for 70 percent of GDP. Of this 70 percent, over half is spent on services.

                        #13 The United States has lost a whopping 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

                        #14 In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use.  Today it ranks 15th.

                        #15 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.

                        #16 Printed circuit boards are used in tens of thousands of different products.   Asia now produces 84 percent of them worldwide.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Perhaps it has already.
One of the world's foremost experts on climate change is warning that if humans don't moderate their use of fossil fuels, there is a real possibility that we will face the environmental, societal and economic consequences of climate change faster than we can adapt to them.

Thompson list the following as supportive evidence:

  • The ice fields atop Mount Kilimanjaro have lost 85 percent of their coverage since 1912;
  • The Quelccaya ice cap in southern Peru – the largest tropical ice field on Earth, has retreated 25 percent since 1978;
  • Ice fields in the Himalayas that have long shown traces of the radioactive bomb tests in the 1950s and 1960s have since lost that signal as surface melting has removed the upper layers and thereby reduced the thickness of these glaciers;
  • All of the glaciers in Alaska's vast Brooks Range are retreating, as are 98 percent of those in southeastern Alaska. And 99 percent of glaciers in the Alps, 100 percent of those in Peru and 92 percent in the Andes of Chile are likewise retreating;
  • Sea levels are rising and the loss of ice coverage in the North Polar region continues to increase annually.
"Everyone will be affected by global warming," Thompson wrote. "But those with the fewest resources for adapting will suffer the most."
Add the above with probable failure of the UN Climate Summit in Mexico it is clear that time is not on our side. People are still talking about carbon reductions years in the future; there has been no major move to alternative energies; there is no concerted effort to deal with climate change impacts and, the issues concerning the economy has center staged climate into a minor concern. People just don't get it and that is a shame because millions of lives are threatened and we just keep sleeping while 'our beds are burning.'

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Disasters Create Losses Of $222 Billion

From the devastating Haiti earthquake to the ongoing aftermath of the BP oil spill, man-made and natural disasters lead to a loss of $222 billion in 2010, more than three times last year's figure, the AFP is reporting.

Read more at this link:

A list of the major disasters follows. Does 2012 ring a bell???

Venezuela: Floods and Landslides - Nov 2010
Philippines: Mt. Bulusan Volcano - Nov 2010
Philippines: Floods and Landslides - Nov 2010
Serbia: Earthquake - Nov 2010
Hurricane Tomas - Oct 2010
Indonesia: Mt. Merapi Volcano - Oct 2010
Indonesia: Sumatra Earthquakes and Tsunami - Oct 2010
Russian Federation: Floods - Oct 2010
Hurricane Richard - Oct 2010
Haiti: Cholera Outbreak - Oct 2010
Myanmar: Tropical Cyclone Giri - Oct 2010
Typhoon Megi - Oct 2010
Saint Lucia: Flash Floods - Oct 2010
Hungary: Toxic Spill - Oct 2010
Sri Lanka: Floods - Oct 2010
Viet Nam: Floods - Oct 2010
Tropical Storm Nicole - Sep 2010
Colombia: Floods and Landslides - Sep 2010
Haiti: Storm - Sep 2010
Tropical Storm Matthew - Sep 2010
Mexico: Hurricane Karl - Sep 2010
Mauritania: Floods - Aug 2010
Kenya: Floods - Aug 2010
Hurricane Earl - Aug 2010
Indonesia: Sinabung Volcano - Aug 2010
Typhoon Mindulle - Aug 2010
Chad: Cholera Outbreak - Aug 2010
Bolivia: Wild Fires - Aug 2010
DPR Korea: Floods - Aug 2010
Thailand: Floods - Aug 2010
DR Congo: Floods - Jul 2010
Russian Federation: Wild Fires - Jul 2010
Central America: Floods and Landslides - Jul 2010
Mexico: Floods and Landslides - Jul 2010
Peru: Cold Wave - Jul 2010
Nigeria: Cholera Outbreak - Jul 2010
Pakistan: Floods - Jul 2010
Ethiopia: Floods - Jul 2010
Yemen: Floods - Jul 2010
Sudan: Floods - Jul 2010
Typhoon Conson - Jul 2010
India: Floods - Jul 2010
Nepal: Floods and Landslides - Jun 2010
Hurricane Alex - Jun 2010
Brazil: Floods - Jun 2010
Panama: Floods - Jun 2010
West/Central Africa: Floods - Jun 2010
Myanmar: Floods and Landslides - Jun 2010
Bangladesh: Floods and Landslides - Jun 2010
Cameroon: Cholera Outbreak - Jun 2010
Kyrgyzstan: Mudslides - Jun 2010
Afghanistan: Floods - Jun 2010
Tropical Cyclone Phet - Jun 2010
Ecuador: Tungurahua Volcano - May 2010
Philippines: Floods and Landslides - May 2010
Central America: Tropical Storm Agatha - May 2010
Guatemala: Pacaya Volcano - May 2010
DR Congo: Landslide - May 2010
India: Cyclone Laila - May 2010
Central Europe: Floods - May 2010
Sri Lanka: Floods - May 2010
Azerbaijan: Floods - May 2010
China: Floods - May 2010
Gabon: Severe Local Storm - Apr 2010
Afghanistan: Earthquakes - Apr 2010
China: Earthquakes in Qinghai Province - Apr 2010
Colombia: Floods - Apr 2010
India/Bangladesh: Severe Local Storm - Apr 2010
Tajikistan: Floods - Apr 2010
Indonesia: Floods - Apr 2010
Brazil: Floods and Landslides - Apr 2010
Mexico: Earthquakes - Apr 2010
Peru: Floods and Landslides - Apr 2010
Russian Federation: Floods - Mar 2010
Solomon Islands: Cyclone Ului - Mar 2010
DR Congo: Floods - Mar 2010
East Africa: Floods - Mar 2010
Latin America: Dengue Outbreak - Mar 2010
Fiji: Cyclone Tomas - Mar 2010
Kazakhstan: Floods - Mar 2010
Madagascar: Cyclone Hubert - Mar 2010
Southern Africa: Floods - Mar 2010
Serbia: Floods - Mar 2010
Haiti: Floods and Mudslides - Mar 2010
Chile: Earthquake - Feb 2010
Madeira: Floods and Mudslides - Feb 2010
Caribbean: Drought - Feb 2010
Pakistan: Avalanche - Feb 2010
Cook Islands: Tropical Cyclone Pat - Feb 2010
Ecuador: Floods - Feb 2010
Afghanistan: Floods and Avalanches - Feb 2010
Mexico: Floods and Landslides - Feb 2010
French Polynesia: Cyclone Oli - Feb 2010
Solomon Islands: Floods - Jan 2010
Egypt: Floods - Jan 2010
occupied Palestinian territory: Floods - Jan 2010
Haiti: Earthquakes - Jan 2010
Mongolia: Dzud - Jan 2010
Montenegro: Floods - Jan 2010
Bolivia: Floods - Jan 2010
India/Nepal/Bangladesh: Cold Wave - Jan 2010
Pakistan: Landslides and Floods - Jan 2010
Solomon Islands: Earthquake - Jan 2010
Tajikistan: Earthquake - Jan 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Please take a moment and read the following information that was reported in the Huffington Post. It is all rather disturbing as it hints much larger issues. Is there a conspiracy? Or is it just a theory?

“U.S. CORPORATIONS POST RECORD PROFITS - When corporate America sits down at its Thanksgiving table this Thursday to remember when the pilgrims received their IPO from the native population and then used their start-up money to do away with indigenous redundancies over the proceeding centuries, it'll have 1.66 trillion reasons to be thankful -- that's the record profits that big business pulled down at an annualized rate over the past three months. In the early days of the Obama administration, the Dow hit a low of 6,626. It's now over 11,000. Yet we keep being told that this is THE MOST ANTI-BUSINESS WHITE HOUSE EVER!!! (What would pro-business look like? Three trillion in profits?)

BUSINESS FURIOUS AT WHITE HOUSE FOR DOUBLING ITS WEALTH - Major corporations are dug in against the White House, furious at the size of their profit statements and bonus checks and angry that the Dow has nearly doubled on Obama's watch. Politico tells us that Obama had better start being nicer to big business: "After business leaders sank millions into the midterms to defeat Democrats, a chastened Obama administration is seeking reconciliation with the corporate community. But after two years of building frustration, the executives say they won't be won over by another round of private lunches and photo opportunities at the White House. If President Barack Obama has any hope for a truce with corporate America in time for his 2012 reelection campaign, he needs to drop the name-calling, try to see their point of view better and step up with some specific proposals. 'No amount of relationship-building is a substitute for policy,' said Johanna Schneider, executive director for external affairs at the Business Roundtable, which was once one of the administration's most enduring corporate allies. 'We have to see some concrete policies that will help grow business because everyone's goal is to grow jobs. This isn't hocus-pocus. There are concrete steps to take for job growth,' she added." No, job growth is not, actually, the goal of big business. Their goal is to post big, fat profits and grow their share price. Which is exactly what they've been doing. If they want to create jobs, they can spend the more than trillion dollars they have sitting on the sidelines and, you know, start hiring people.” [HuffPost's Peter Goodman]

When thinking about this information it is easy to be reminded of the hundreds of billions of dollars in bail out money that went to banks and large corporations. It is easy to remember that the “Fed” just printed off $600 billion to give to banks so that ‘they can make loans.’ It is easy to remember the $100 billion to bail out Greece; the $150 billion for Ireland and who knows how much for Portugal and maybe Spain. The point is that well over $1 TRILLION has been given to banks and large corporations and that is showing up as corporate profit.
To pay for this, what is happening? Governments and politicians are calling for extending retirement ages, decreasing benefits, reducing social net programs, cutting jobs, keeping tax cuts for the rich, increasing employee contributions to health care, freezing wages and a variety of other attacks on the lower and middle class pocketbooks.  And yet, large corporations are making trillions in profit!
Is it just possible that governments and big business are creating a massive climate of fear? Is it possible that these same people are creating a situation that would make all of the ‘doomsday’ prophecies concerning 2012 self-fulfilling?  Form follows thought and quantum physics is now telling us that thoughts create our physical reality. By creating near panic economic situations, will this new sense of fear and despair not manifest as disaster and chaos? Further, with no real action concerning climate change, are the cards being stacked against all but the rich? Is there a conspiracy to create situations in which many will die; the lower class close to being eliminated; and, the middle class being relegated to fill their shoes? We have a dumbing down of our educational systems; major increases in odd diseases; the fattening of our youth and adults; and, foods and products filled with chemicals that can only cause even more disease and reliance upon…well, reliance upon who?
Keep this in mind: This is all about paper. Money is merely paper. We are not talking about gold, silver, land, diamonds, rubies or even goats. We are talking about pieces of paper, the value of which is based upon common consensus. When I was a teenager, a gallon of gas cost 35 cents. That same gallon of close is around $3.00 today. It is the same gas and the cost to produce it has not risen that much.  The markets are fond of saying that the price of gas has risen or fallen because of demand. In other words, if we want it more, we have been willing to pay more. If we drive less, the price goes down. All a matter of consensus by someone as to value. Paper money has no intrinsic value; it is really backed by nothing. There has been much talk about deficits and all of the supposed problems they incur. But really, if the 'Fed' can print $600 billion and pump it into the banks, why can't they print the same and free itself or the consumer from debt? Right, I can hear the scream of economists now. But economics is really a fantasy and not a science. No one gets stuck dead by the god of money if they keep prices low if demand rises. All it would take is for all nations to agree that they will print the money to pay off their debts and agree that the money will retain its value. Everyone wins and the debt is gone.
So much more could be said here but the bottom line is that there are really no 'laws' of economics. Is it worth ruining the lives of countless millions over the supposed value of a piece of paper? Is it worth letting the world be run by the few people making trillions and the expense of the many? Is it right that a few unknown investors rate the value of a county's money and make or break that nation? Since when have we, the people, said that our lives would be dictated by so called 'market forces,' which is really just another name for the rich?
Many of the 2012 prophecies pointed to a time when choices had to be made. It appears that Big Business and the many governments they control have made their choice. They have opted for a massive global population reduction and an increased reliance not on government, but rather, the Company Store. However, their choice does not have to be final. The sheer numbers of people, choosing a more rational and sane world can alter events. How the masses respond to these disturbing events will determine events that may well culminate in a few short years. Something to really think about. Please, think about it. It is the only way out.
How to deal with all this will be the subject of future posts.



By Ziad K Abdelnour

I personally believe that the US government’s entire strategy now - as during the S&L crisis - is to cover up how bad things are.
But it is not only a matter of covering up fraud that has already happened. I am afraid our government also created an environment which greatly encouraged fraud….and the mortgage fraud is a lot like the fraud which occurred during the Great Depression.
It is clear to everybody by now that our government knew about mortgage fraud a long time ago. The FBI warned indeed of an "epidemic" of mortgage fraud back in 2004. However, the FBI, DOJ and other government agencies then stood down and did nothing. The Federal Reserve turned its cheek and allowed massive fraud and the SEC has repeatedly ignored accounting fraud…..while Alan Greenspan took the position that fraud could never happen.
Later in 2006, President George W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte, broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publicly traded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosure obligations.
Moving forward to today’s Administration, we all know by now that Tim Geithner was complicit in Lehman’s accounting fraud and pushed to pay AIG's CDS counterparties at full value, and then to keep the deal secret.
As Robert Reich recently noted, Geithner was "very much in the center of the action" regarding the secret bail out of Bear Stearns without Congressional approval.
Tim Geithner, as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since October 2003, was also one of those senior regulators who failed to take any effective regulatory action to prevent the crisis, but instead covered up its depth.
Further facts?
It is equally clear to everybody by now that:
• Bernanke might have broken the law by letting unemployment rise in order to keep inflation low.
• Paulson and Bernanke falsely stated that the big banks receiving TARP money were healthy, when they were not.
• Arguably, both the Bush and Obama administrations broke the law by refusing to close insolvent banks.
• Congress may have covered up illegal tax breaks for the big banks.
• Of course, deregulation by Larry Summers, Robert Rubin, Phil Gramm and many other high-level politicians and regulators also helped to grease the skids for fraud.
Comparing our current crisis to the Great Depression, the main relevance is surely here since in both cases, the government knew what it should do. Both times, it declined to do it.
In the summer of 1929 a few stern words from on high, a rise in the discount rate, a tough investigation into the pyramid schemes of the day, and the house of cards on Wall Street would have tumbled before its fall destroyed the whole economy.
Again, and not to be repetitive, the FBI clearly warned publicly in 2004 of "an epidemic of mortgage fraud." But the government did nothing, and less than nothing, delivering instead low interest rates, deregulation and clear signals that laws would not be enforced. The signals were not subtle: on one occasion the director of the Office of Thrift Supervision came to a conference with copies of the Federal Register and a chainsaw. There followed every manner of scheme to fleece the unsuspecting ....
This is fraud, perpetrated in the first instance by the government on the population, and by the rich on the poor.
Following the rule of law, the government that permits this to happen is clearly complicit in a vast crime.
So what are we to do with the fraud started at the very top with Greenspan, Bush, Paulson, Negraponte, Bernanke, Geithner, Rubin, Summers and all of the rest of the boys?
Reminiscing the principles of our Great Founding Fathers, everyone knows that the American colonists revolted largely because of taxation without representation and related forms of oppression by the British.
But - according to Benjamin Franklin and others in the thick of the action - a little-known factor was actually the main reason for the revolution.
To give some background on the issue, when Benjamin Franklin went to London in 1764, this is what he observed:
When he arrived, he was surprised to find rampant unemployment and poverty among the British working classes… Franklin was then asked how the American colonies managed to collect enough money to support their poor houses. He reportedly replied:
“We have no poor houses in the Colonies; and if we had some, there would be nobody to put in them, since there is, in the Colonies, not a single unemployed person, neither beggars nor tramps.”
In 1764, the Bank of England used its influence on Parliament to get a Currency Act passed that made it illegal for any of the colonies to print their own money. The colonists were forced to pay all future taxes to Britain in silver or gold. Anyone lacking in those precious metals had to borrow them at interest from the banks.
Only a year later, Franklin said, the streets of the colonies were filled with unemployed beggars, just as they were in England. The money supply had suddenly been reduced by half, leaving insufficient funds to pay for the goods and services these workers could have provided. He maintained that it was "the poverty caused by the bad influence of the English bankers on the Parliament which has caused in the colonies hatred of the English and . . . the Revolutionary War." This, he said, was the real reason for the Revolution: "the colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been that England took away from the colonies their money, which created unemployment and dissatisfaction."
Is this just ancient history?
The ability for America and the 50 states to create their own respective credit has largely been lost to private bankers. The lion's share of new credit creation is done today by private banks, so - instead of being able to itself create money without owing interest - the government owes unfathomable trillions in interest to private banks.
America may have won the Revolutionary War, but it has since lost one of the main things it fought for: the freedom to create its own credit instead of having to beg for credit from private banks at a usurious cost.
As economic writer and attorney Ellen Brown has tried to teach to President Obama, Governor Schwarzenegger, and anyone else who will listen, the way out of the economic crisis is to stop paying interest to private banks for the creation of credit, and to return to the system of government-issued credit used by the Founding Fathers to create prosperity for the people and to gain independence from their oppressors.
The big question is: Are they or anyone out there listening? Go figure....
Your feedback as always is greatly appreciated
Thanks much for your consideration

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Most have assuredly seen this headline:

"Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- In a sharp escalation of hostility along their disputed sea border, North Korean and South Korean forces traded fire Tuesday, a deadly skirmish that jacked up diplomatic tensions in a volatile region."

I am not a "hawk" by any stretch, but North Korea needs a reality check!

They have repeatedly snubbed their nose at the world and the UN. Their recent lies about not have a Uranium enrichment facility and now the shelling of a S. Korean island should be a clear signal that the North has no intention of living with its neighbors peacefully. Many analysts claim that the North does these things to get people to pay them attention. The notion being that nay attention, positive or negative, works for them.

All of this may be fine as long as they are playing and taunting with little sticks. But clearly, their intention is to have nuclear weapons. Then they will have a really big stick. What happens if they want attention then?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


In Maine, Tea Party candidate Paul LePage won the governorship with only 38% of the vote. That means that 62% of the state voted against him. The problem is that there were 5 candidates. The next closest was an independent with 37% of the vote.  Clearly, the Republican winner has no mandate from Maine voters. Clearly, there is a need for reform to enable a run off election if no one gets a majority.

This is the general problem with the 2010 mid-term election. Assumptions are being made that the state and the country voted for the Republican agenda. I do not believe this happened. I do not believe that people voted to reduce deficits-most do not really care about defecits. They did not vote to reduce or privatize social security. They did not vote to eliminate health care-most of the provisions have not even gone into effect. They did not vote to eliminate or reduce unemployment benefits. They did not vote to fire hundreds of thousands of government workers and teachers. They did not vote to eliminate climate change regulations that will save the planet. They did not vote to make it easier for companies to to pollute; for banks to take our homes; for credit card companies to drive us deeper into debt.

There certainly needs to be change. People do want to end wasteful spending, eliminate fraud, and reduce intrusion in their lives. But clearly, there is no mandate to turn the country over to big corporations and to eliminate programs so desperately to help people in these trying times-times which were generated by excessive greed.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Pundits are trying to claim that the massive Democrat defeat in the mid-terms was a vote against the policies of president Obama. Not so!

The defeat was a rebuke of the Democratic Party's failure to do what they were elected to do in 2008. Instead of helping small businesses and the average person, they sided with big business and gave them $billions. Then, when homes were being taken, they did basically nothing to help the homeowner. Did they do anything to create more jobs? Not really. Did they free us from the drain that health care causes and create a truly worry free health care system? No. Did they really stand up to big business and the banks? No, what they passed has so many loopholes they were hardly worth passing. Did they stand up and say no to tax breaks for the rich? No. Did they pass envirnmental protection legislation dealing with climate change? No. Did they refuse to take campaign contributions from big corporations in 2010? Mostly not.

If the Democrats stuck to their principles and were true to their beliefs, they just might have had a great victory. When it became clear that the Republicans did not want to compromise and work with them, they should have had the courage to vote for what they claimed they stood for. In truth, people did vote vote against the Obama policies, rather, they voted against ineffective politicians who were afraid to do what we thought they were elected to do. In most cases, it wasn't pro Tea Party or pro Republican votes, it was anti-ineffectivness votes.

The Democratic Party let us all done and they paid the price for their lack of courage to make the changes they promised. A nation does not shift from supporting Obama and then two years later flip to Tea Party ideas. We are not that politically fickle. We are a people of 'imediate gratification.' We want it now. If you say that you will do something and you do not deliver, we will not support you. So dear Republicans, do not put too much into your victory and do not think that it clears the way for 2012. Although it might have something to do with 2012, but that is another story!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Remember These 12 Facts November 2nd

12 Environmental Facts to Keep in Mind on Election Day
389 – The concentration in parts per million of carbon dioxide, a leading greenhouse gas, in the earth's atmosphere today.
38 – Percent increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration since the industrial revolution.
18 – Number of countries that have set all-time heat records so far in 2010.
82 – Percent decline in U.S. corn, cotton, and soybean production possible under current warming scenarios.
1 – Rank of 2010 so far as the hottest year on record (tied with 1998).
16 – Estimated number of Exxon Valdez-sized spills it would take to equal the amount of oil spilled into the Gulf after the BP Blowout.
4,342 – Total number of oiled birds collected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Gulf Coast region.
$68.5 million – Amount spent by Big Oil and its special interests allies this year on TV ads designed to elect pro-polluter candidates.
$514 million – Amount spent on lobbying and advertising by big polluters to stop the Senate from passing global warming legislation.
23,000 – Number of Americans whose lives will be saved in 2010 alone because of the Clean Air Act, according to EPA estimates.
232 – Number of toxic chemicals found in the umbilical cord of tested newborn babies in the U.S.
1 – The number of votes it takes to decide a close election. 
Please remember to vote on November 2, and please – vote your planet!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I received a communication from the education union for the state and thought that the message was actually appropriate to probably most, if not all, Tea Party candidates across the nation.


If elected,( FILL IN THE NAME OF YOUR TEA PARTY CANDIDATE)  may attempt to silence the ( YOUR LOCAL EDUCATIONAL UNIONS) but then, who will defend public education?
It will not be the Wall Street corporations, who put profit ahead of student learning in charter schools. Not the anti-government Libertarians, who want to let "gifted" and wealthy students succeed while the others fall by the wayside. Not the politicians who waffle in the breeze and adopt every new, generally worthless reform.
Who would advocate for students? Not the Tea Party partisans, who would turn the clock back to 1960 and save money by increasing class sizes, ignoring special needs children, and using out-of-date text books.
Who will be there to defend educators? Who would step up when a bus driver is fired because he complained about bus safety? Who would defend an excellent teacher who is fired to give a school board member's niece a job?
Who will fight the legal battles for a teacher who is fired because of her race, religion, or ethnicity? Who will protect teacher retirement programs and health insurance plans from the attacks that are sure to come in the 125th Maine Legislature?(PUT IN YOUR OWN STATE DATA)
James Madison's gift to this nation was the concept of checks and balances in our government. It is the foundation of our democracy and it works equally well in education

Friday, October 22, 2010


Our Coming Mega-Drought

| Fri Oct. 22, 2010 3:00 AM PDT
Here are a few recent data points for you: (1) The New York Times reports that "skepticism and outright denial of global warming are among the articles of faith of the Tea Party movement." (2) In the National Journal, Ron Brownstein notes that "The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones....Of the 20 serious GOP Senate challengers who have taken a position, 19 have declared that the science of climate change is inconclusive or flat-out incorrect." (3) It's not just Senate candidates. ThinkProgress notes that an analysis by Wonk Room "finds that 22 of the 37 Republican candidates for governor this November are deniers of the scientific consensus on global warming pollution." (4) The Wall Street Journal reports that "extreme drought" has taken hold in parts of nine states stretching from the Southeast to the lower Midwest.


Sunday, October 17, 2010


Neither Maine nor the nation needs the Paul LePage’s of the world. Time to dump the Tea Party into the harbor. Maine has a long tradition of independence but it also cares for its people. LePage, and it seems all Tea Party minded candidates, would return us to an era of survival of the fittest. Under the guise of less spending and reduced regulations, their ideas do nothing but give big business free reign to continue to rape and plunder the middle class.

Maine’s unemployment is around 50, 000. LePage wants to layoff 6-7,000 teachers. That’s a real economic benefit. Just what we need, more people searching for scarce jobs, more lost homes and higher welfare needs.  But wait, they also want to cut welfare and put the ‘lazy bums’ back to work. Where? Yes, there are abusers of the welfare system and programs to get rid of ‘welfare lifers’ who could otherwise work makes sense. But, there are many with legitimate needs and in Maine, we used to care for those who need help. But I suppose it is easy to pick on the poor! What is totally illogical is that LePage wants to cut support for the University system, Community Colleges, and K-12. Stop that train. How will reductions in the very systems that are needed for an intelligent work force going to attract jobs? LePage further wants to abolish the State Department of Education thereby cutting off access to millions of dollars. Hang that phone up, Mr. LePage. Those are my tax dollars coming back to Maine. Why would I want them going to who knows where?

While mouthing support for alternative and renewable energy, LePage and the Tea Party are big supporters of more offshore oil drilling and nuclear power. Just what the Gulf of Maine needs, oil rigs run by the likes of BP and nuclear power that produces radioactive waste good for at least several hundred thousand years. Hell, the U.S can’t safely dispose of the waste it has now, what sense is it to add to the problem?

Everyone likes to hear phrases like reduce government spending, give tax cuts, fight the bureaucrats, and get government off our backs. If history is any indicator, the tax cuts benefit the wealthiest; reduced regulation means let’s not worry about oil spills; and, getting government off our backs means let the large corporations do what they want. And to date, what they want is to send their jobs overseas and pay slave wages.

What will really attract jobs to Maine? A clean environment, an educated work force, quality services, modern infrastructure and fewer damn potholes will help bring jobs to Maine. These things cost money and to think you will have them by just cutting taxes, dumping on government workers, and firing teachers is ludicrous! These same people don’t want to extend unemployment benefits, deny retirees benefit increases, take free choice away from women and slam the poor and unemployed because they got shafted by big business. This is not what Maine is about and it is not what America is about. Do we need changes and improvements and politicians who do not placate themselves to the rich and powerful? Of course! But we don’t need politicians who claim to be for the middle class but whose policies would continue to destroy the very people they hope will vote for them. No ‘tea’ for me, no tea for Maine and no tea for the nation. We are a country of coffee drinkers and hopefully the electorate is bright enough to understand that.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Wednesday, October 13, 2010
A Maine Christmas Carol - a modern version of the fairy tale

Philip Harris' A Christmas Carol Maine, a modern take on the story of Charles Dickens' 'Christmas past, present and future in a middle class setting is a New England vacation experience for readers of all ages. The spirit of the original story is refined into a story the best, but also unravels the sad experiences of a contemporary Scrooge destroyed the name of Thomas, as he "sees" Christmas with his spirit guide.

The development of the classic life of a beleaguered and very poor young spirit in the face of the consequences of their selfish actions is sent with messages for the socially irresponsible of our life and times are layered. A Maine Christmas Carol is a powerful parable of the evils of advanced society should not be controlled and kept inexplicable.

through the eyes of the mind, Thomas sees that he is indeed responsible for the happiness of others, his actions did not deeply affect those who come into contact with him. By the owner of the shop of her sister's eight years, his actions have a deep and lasting mark. Even more critical is to note that the influence of the wave of the tsunami, like his acts, facts, and the lack of success, he will never meet. What did with his life is as important as what he had done his first 16 years.

In Harris' A Christmas Carol Maine, a new family tradition was born. The writing style simple conversation, the logical course of history,and turn the original story, this book is a new classic that will go on the shelf right next morality original Dickens' story. Harris has done an excellent job of weaving Thomas profound experience of redemption with the underlying issues of social justice and poverty.

A Maine Christmas Carol is the explicit proof of the relationship of the privileged class in our country that fails to address the social problems of our society. Philip Harris has clearly and clearly a different and allegory that redefines the meaning of Christmas, a new generation of readers.

A Maine Christmas Carol

Philip F. Harris

Released: Cambridge Books 2007




I'm glad that others are seeing the real truth with regard to Sam Harris and his objective morality. If there is one truth in science it is that the observer and observed are one. It is totally subjective; what you look for is what you find. For some reason, Sam Harris ignores this fundamental truth as it, a priori, totally destroys his entire argument. The universe is subjective-plain and simple. And while his take on traditional religion is, to me, correct, he obviously has no understanding of mysticism or spirituality. If he did, he would see that science, is in fact, proven what the ancients knew thousand of years ago-We are one and we create our reality. Kudos to John Horgan!


Be wary of the righteous rationalist: We should reject Sam Harris's claim that science can be a moral guidepost

Oct 11, 2010 09:00 AM
Say what you will about Sam Harris, the man's got guts. In The End of Faith (W. W. Norton, 2005) and Letter to a Christian Nation (Knopf, 2006), Harris, a neuroscientist, rejects the notion that science and religion can coexist. We can't believe in science, Harris says, and still believe in supernatural beings that part seas, resurrect dead people and keep tabs on our naughtiness and niceness.
Harris slams nonbelieving apologists for religion such as the late biologist Stephen Jay Gould. With typical rhetorical grandiosity, Gould proposed that science and religion need not conflict because they are "nonoverlapping magisteria" that address separate realms of existence. Science tells us what is, religion what should be. Given all the crimes committed in religion's name, Harris retorts, why would anyone look to it for moral guidance?
I'm with Harris up to this point. I part company with him when he argues in his new book The Moral Landscape (Free Press, 2010)—which comes fortified with blurbs from Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins and other antireligious scientific luminaries—that science can take religion's place as the supreme arbiter of moral "truth". "There are right and wrong answers to moral questions," Harris asserts, "just as there are right and wrong answers to questions of physics." Questions about morality, he explains, are really questions about human happiness or "well-being," and these questions can be empirically resolved, just as questions about diet and disease can be.
One can raise all sorts of philosophical objections to this position, and the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah does just that in a New York Times review ironically titled "Science Knows Best". My concerns about Harris's proposal are simpler: I just look at the harm—historical and recent—wreaked by scientists supposedly concerned with humanity's well-being. Some examples:
—From 1946 to 1948, physicians funded by the National Institutes of Health deliberately infected nearly 700 Guatemalan prisoners, mental-hospital patients and soldiers with syphilis to test their responses to antibiotics. The leader of this research, John C. Cutler, was also involved in the infamous Tuskegee studies, in which scientists withheld antibiotics from black American males naturally infected with syphilis. "It's ironic—no, it's worse than that, it's appalling—that, at the same time as the United States was prosecuting Nazi doctors for crimes against humanity, the U.S. government was supporting research that placed human subjects at enormous risk," the bioethicist Mark Siegler told The New York Times.
—In the 1950s and 1960s researchers at leading universities embedded electrodes in the brains of mental patients to test whether minds and bodies can be manipulated via electrical stimulation of neural tissue. In 1969 the Yale physiologist Jose Delgado (whom I profiled in Scientific American in 2005), extolled the benefits of brain implants in his book Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized Society (Harper & Row, 1971). Delgado declared that brain implants could help create "a less cruel, happier and better man." In 1970 Frank Ervin and Vernon Mark, two brain-implant researchers at Harvard University with whom Delgado had collaborated, proposed in their book Violence and the Brain (HarperCollins, 1970) that brain implants and psychosurgery might quell violent crime and rioting in inner cities.
—In recent decades prescriptions of drugs for children, including infants, supposedly suffering from psychiatric illness have skyrocketed. Some 500,000 U.S. children and adolescents are now taking antipsychotic drugs, Duff Wilson reported recently in The New York Times, even though some experts believe the drugs "may pose grave risks to development of both their fast-growing brains and their bodies." In another Times article Wilson details how psychiatrists who tout the benefits of antipsychotics receive grants, vacations, meals and other gifts from drug manufacturers. The Harvard physician Joseph Biederman, whose research helped spur a 40-fold increase in diagnoses of bipolar disorders in children between 1994 and 2003, received $1.6 million, "from companies including makers of antipsychotic drugs prescribed for some children who might have bipolar disorder," according to Wilson.
Some will complain that it is unfair to hold science accountable for the misdeeds of a minority. It is not only fair, it is essential, especially when scientists as prominent as Harris are talking about creating a universal, scientifically validated morality. Moreover, Harris blames Islam and Catholicism for the actions of suicide bombers and pedophilic priests, so why should science be exempt from this same treatment?
Clearly, some bad scientists are just greedy opportunists who care about only their own well-being. But those who fervently believe their own rhetoric about saving humanity may be even more dangerous. Consider the harm done in the name of Marxism and eugenics, pseudoscientific (not religious) ideologies that inspired two of the most lethal regimes in history—Stalin's U.S.S.R. and Nazi Germany.
Harris asserts in Moral Landscape that ignorance and humility are inversely proportional to each other; whereas religious know-nothings are often arrogant, scientists tend to be humble, because they know enough to know their limitations. "Arrogance is about as common at a scientific conference as nudity," Harris states. Yet he is anything but humble in his opus. He castigates not only religious believers but even nonbelieving scientists and philosophers who don't share his hostility toward religion.
Harris further shows his arrogance when he claims that neuroscience, his own field, is best positioned to help us achieve a universal morality. "The more we understand ourselves at the level of the brain, the more we will see that there are right and wrong answers to questions of human values." Neuroscience can't even tell me how I can know the big, black, hairy thing on my couch is my dog Merlin. And we're going to trust neuroscience to tell us how we should resolve debates over the morality of abortion, euthanasia and armed intervention in other nations' affairs?
I suspect Harris wants to rely on brain scans to measure "well-being" because he doesn't trust people to simply say what makes them happy. If a Muslim girl says that she likes wearing a veil, as many do, she doesn't know what's good for her, Harris might say. Maybe she doesn't, but magnetic resonance imaging won't help us resolve these sorts of issues.
When scientists venture into the moral realm, they should not claim that their investigations of what is yield special insights into what should be. I realize I'm asking a lot of scientists—and secularists—to be humble when religious and political zealots like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are so bloated with self-righteousness. This asymmetry recalls Yeats's famous line from his poem "The Second Coming": "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." But if we all become zealots, we're really in trouble.