Tag Archives: world

198 Countries

Project #1

I am working with a friend who is starting a new project. The idea is to collect 4 tablespoons of soil from every recognized country in the world. The total amount of soil collected would be roughly 3 gallons.

The soil will then be divide into 2 tightly sealed containers until all the samples are collected.

If you wish to participate it is asked that you dig a little deep into the ground at least 6″ before you scoop up the 4 tablespoons and then shovel the soil into the bag. It is also asked that you do not dig near sites that could be poisoned. If there is an area nearby that has been untouched for a while that would be best.

The soil should be placed in a small zip-lock type bag, wrapped well and sealed tight.

Every envelop and postmark will be saved with the intention of creating a colleague to be framed later.

When all the samples are collected seeds will be planted in the soil – at this time it is uncertain what seeds will be planted so that part of the project is open to suggestion.

 

Project #2

Same as the above, but only in the U.S. 50 states and only 2 tablespoons , which amounts to roughly 1.5 Quarts worth of soil and 50 envelops.

 

 

If you would like more information or would like to be part of either project or know anyone who would  please, contact me here or on twitter for mailing information.

Thank you.

 

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The US Is An Enron Economy

Allow me to tell you why the US is going to break up – Balkanize – into separate states/regions.

1. You can not run a civilization or a society on an Enron Economy – and the USA is an Enron Economy.

2. An Enron Economy is build on sucking the life force out of everything it touches leaving it for dead.

3. Those who run or are involved IN the Enron Economy can not stop or change its trajectory, even if you punish and send those in charge to prison – it will find others to replace them. An Enron Economy is always doomed to fail, it lives and strives for failure.

4. You can not change the system from inside, it is completely and utterly corrupt, rotten to the core. You must bury it in a concrete silo and start over. If you do not, those within its purview and anyone it touches must become a slave to maintain it.

So like the mafia, which is basically what an Enron Economy is, you will always have a kingpin(s) and that is anti-democracy; as is in the end, unregulated capitalism.

The modern human being needs seven things to survive:
Shelter
Clean Food and Water
Education
Health Care
Productive Purposeful Work
Communication
Rest

There is no reason to compete any longer for resources – just work to maintain, clean up the current mess and make the world a better place to live.

Finally, a little perspective: You are on a big rock hurling through space with no particular place to go, and the universe is indifferent to your needs – stop worshiping a book – get along, at least don’t go out of your way to hurt another, build a fence if you have to.

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The Two Latest Enron Economy Kingpins

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Can’t keep doing this shit
The Poison Beneath Us
Terror Drones
War Is A Racket
Blog That!
Why The US Empire Must End

 


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(updated from the original for grammar, spelling errors, tags)
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The Cure Will Kill Us

Michel Chossudovsky

nuff said

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2 July 2009 – Brief

chelseaslide7

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globes
where shall we go today?
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Wall Street Compensation on Track to Soar Again
Business is back on Wall Street. If the good times continue to roll, lofty pay packages may be set for a comeback as well.

Based on analysts’ earnings forecasts for 2009, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is on track to pay out as much as $20 billion this year, or about $700,000 per employee. That would be nearly double the firm’s $363,000 average last year, and slightly higher than the $661,000 for the average Goldman employee in fiscal 2007, according to analyst estimates reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Morgan Stanley, the only other huge U.S. securities firm left as an independent company, will likely pay out $11 billion to $14 billion in compensation and benefits this year, analysts predict. On a per-employee basis, payouts are expected to exceed last year’s average of $262,000. Howard Chen, an analyst at Credit Suisse, projects that the company’s average pay will come close to the $340,000 paid out by Morgan Stanley in fiscal 2007.

Some of the most lucrative pay packages are being offered in businesses that are improving, such as junk-bond trading. more
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note$

U.S. seeks to name USB tax frauds
usb

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What Happens When You Decriminalize ALL Drugs?
drugs

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panda

yum!

want to see your product placed and linked  here?

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ustroopsafghanistan The Poppy War – Khanja
Thousands of US Marines launch huge anti-Taliban drive in Afghanistan –  Major military operation under way in Afghanistan.

Thousands of U.S. Marines and hundreds of Afghan troops poured into Taliban-infested villages of southern Afghanistan with armor and helicopters Thursday in the first major operation under President Barack Obama’s strategy to stabilize the country.

The offensive was launched shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday local time (4:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, 2030 GMT Wednesday) in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold and the world’s largest opium poppy producing area. The goal is to clear insurgents from the hotly contested region before the nation’s Aug. 20 presidential election.

Officials described the operation, dubbed Khanjar, or “Strike of the Sword,” as the largest and fastest-moving of the war’s new phase and the biggest Marine offensive since the one in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. It involves nearly 4,000 newly arrived Marines and 650 Afghan forces. British forces last week led similar, but smaller, missions to clear out insurgents in Helmand and neighboring Kandahar provinces.

“Where we go we will stay, and where we stay, we will hold, build and work toward transition of all security responsibilities to Afghan forces,” Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson said in a statement.

Transport helicopters carried hundreds of Marines into the village of Nawa, some 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, in a region where no U.S. or other NATO troops have operated in large numbers. more
Marines Assault

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85462722JM014_U_S_MARINES_O

U.S. Begins Taliban Offensive
Helmand River Valley produces more than half of the opium cultivated in Afghanistan, the source of about 90 percent of the global supply, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. In 2008 more than 103,000 hectares of poppy were cultivated. The drug crop is closely tied to the insurgency and the Taliban are mainly funded by the opium trade. poppies poppies

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recycle

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lynch

traci

ACLU Says Government Used False Confessions
The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday accused the Obama administration of using statements elicited through torture to justify the confinement of a detainee it represents at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The ACLU is asking a federal judge to throw out those statements and others made by Mohammed Jawad, an Afghan who may have been as young as 12 when he was captured. His attorney argued that Jawad was abused in U.S. custody, threatened and subjected to intense sleep deprivation.

“The government’s continued reliance on evidence gained by torture and other abuse violates centuries of U.S. law and suggests the current administration is not really serious about breaking with the past,” said ACLU lawyer Jonathan Hafetz, who is representing Jawad in a lawsuit challenging his detention.

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said the government would not comment on the types of evidence it will use in Jawad’s case challenging his imprisonment. “We intend to prove our case in court rather than attempt to do so through the media,” Boyd said. more

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Iraq’s National Sovereignty Day is U.S.-Style Hallmark Hype.
iraqsoverginty

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American’s Sweetheart .
commiebaby

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Fight them over there vs. over here’ a false choiceUS Representative Ron Paul
The world is a dangerous place and we should be concerned, but intervention and militarism cannot solve our problems. The answers to our foreign policy problems lie in defending our soil, scaling back our global military footprint and trading with all willing partners. We have strayed far from this philosophy, but we can get back on track by looking to our Constitution, our traditions and the example of our Founding Fathers. more

1. American sovereignty from global and globalist institutions
2. A strong national defense
3. Strict adherence to the Constitution
4. Leading the world by example, not aggression
5. Refraining from meddling in the affairs of other countries.

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Is This Man Gay?
graham
not that there’s anything
wrong with it

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mjbw

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farmerroundup,Also -The Future of Food
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Ban Is Advised on Two Top Pills for Pain Relief
vicodinA federal advisory panel voted narrowly on Tuesday to recommend a ban on Percocet and Vicodin, two of the most popular prescription painkillers in the world, because of their effects on the liver.

The two drugs combine a narcotic with acetaminophen, the ingredient found in popular over-the-counter products like Tylenol and Excedrin. High doses of acetaminophen are a leading cause of liver damage, and the panel noted that patients who take Percocet and Vicodin for long periods often need higher and higher doses to achieve the same effect.

Acetaminophen is combined with different narcotics in at least seven other prescription drugs, and all of these combination pills will be banned if the Food and Drug Administration heeds the advice of its experts. Vicodin and its generic equivalents alone are prescribed more than 100 million times a year in the United States. more
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Suicide Warnings for 2 Anti-Smoking Drugs

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sad
Unlocked: the secrets of schizophrenia
Scientists have discovered a remarkable similarity between the genetic faults behind both schizophrenia and manic depression in a breakthrough that is expected to open the way to new treatments for two of the most common mental illnesses, affecting millions of people.

Previously doctors had assumed that the two conditions were quite separate. But new research shows for the first time that both have a common genetic basis that leads people to develop one or other of the two illnesses.

Three different international studies investigated the genetic basis of schizophrenia by pooling their analysis of about 15,000 patients and nearly 50,000 healthy subjects to find that thousands of tiny genetic mutations – known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) – are operating in raising the risk of developing the illness. more

From Space

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bubble
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he’s calling…
md
go now!

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The Quiet Coup

The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.
by Simon Johnson

42-17529599

One thing you learn rather quickly when working at the International Monetary Fund is that no one is ever very happy to see you. Typically, your “clients” come in only after private capital has abandoned them, after regional trading-bloc partners have been unable to throw a strong enough lifeline, after last-ditch attempts to borrow from powerful friends like China or the European Union have fallen through. You’re never at the top of anyone’s dance card.

The reason, of course, is that the IMF specializes in telling its clients what they don’t want to hear. I should know; I pressed painful changes on many foreign officials during my time there as chief economist in 2007 and 2008. And I felt the effects of IMF pressure, at least indirectly, when I worked with governments in Eastern Europe as they struggled after 1989, and with the private sector in Asia and Latin America during the crises of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Over that time, from every vantage point, I saw firsthand the steady flow of officials—from Ukraine, Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, and elsewhere—trudging to the fund when circumstances were dire and all else had failed.

Every crisis is different, of course. Ukraine faced hyperinflation in 1994; Russia desperately needed help when its short-term-debt rollover scheme exploded in the summer of 1998; the Indonesian rupiah plunged in 1997, nearly leveling the corporate economy; that same year, South Korea’s 30-year economic miracle ground to a halt when foreign banks suddenly refused to extend new credit.

But I must tell you, to IMF officials, all of these crises looked depressingly similar. Each country, of course, needed a loan, but more than that, each needed to make big changes so that the loan could really work. Almost always, countries in crisis need to learn to live within their means after a period of excess—exports must be increased, and imports cut—and the goal is to do this without the most horrible of recessions. Naturally, the fund’s economists spend time figuring out the policies—budget, money supply, and the like—that make sense in this context. Yet the economic solution is seldom very hard to work out.

No, the real concern of the fund’s senior staff, and the biggest obstacle to recovery, is almost invariably the politics of countries in crisis.

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders. When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise.

In Russia, for instance, the private sector is now in serious trouble because, over the past five years or so, it borrowed at least $490 billion from global banks and investors on the assumption that the country’s energy sector could support a permanent increase in consumption throughout the economy. As Russia’s oligarchs spent this capital, acquiring other companies and embarking on ambitious investment plans that generated jobs, their importance to the political elite increased. Growing political support meant better access to lucrative contracts, tax breaks, and subsidies. And foreign investors could not have been more pleased; all other things being equal, they prefer to lend money to people who have the implicit backing of their national governments, even if that backing gives off the faint whiff of corruption.

But inevitably, emerging-market oligarchs get carried away; they waste money and build massive business empires on a mountain of debt. Local banks, sometimes pressured by the government, become too willing to extend credit to the elite and to those who depend on them. Overborrowing always ends badly, whether for an individual, a company, or a country. Sooner or later, credit conditions become tighter and no one will lend you money on anything close to affordable terms.

The downward spiral that follows is remarkably steep. Enormous companies teeter on the brink of default, and the local banks that have lent to them collapse. Yesterday’s “public-private partnerships” are relabeled “crony capitalism.” With credit unavailable, economic paralysis ensues, and conditions just get worse and worse. The government is forced to draw down its foreign-currency reserves to pay for imports, service debt, and cover private losses. But these reserves will eventually run out. If the country cannot right itself before that happens, it will default on its sovereign debt and become an economic pariah. The government, in its race to stop the bleeding, will typically need to wipe out some of the national champions—now hemorrhaging cash—and usually restructure a banking system that’s gone badly out of balance. It will, in other words, need to squeeze at least some of its oligarchs.

Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice among emerging-market governments. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or—here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique—the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large.

Eventually, as the oligarchs in Putin’s Russia now realize, some within the elite have to lose out before recovery can begin. It’s a game of musical chairs: there just aren’t enough currency reserves to take care of everyone, and the government cannot afford to take over private-sector debt completely.

So the IMF staff looks into the eyes of the minister of finance and decides whether the government is serious yet. The fund will give even a country like Russia a loan eventually, but first it wants to make sure Prime Minister Putin is ready, willing, and able to be tough on some of his friends. If he is not ready to throw former pals to the wolves, the fund can wait. And when he is ready, the fund is happy to make helpful suggestions—particularly with regard to wresting control of the banking system from the hands of the most incompetent and avaricious “entrepreneurs.”

Of course, Putin’s ex-friends will fight back. They’ll mobilize allies, work the system, and put pressure on other parts of the government to get additional subsidies. In extreme cases, they’ll even try subversion—including calling up their contacts in the American foreign-policy establishment, as the Ukrainians did with some success in the late 1990s.

Many IMF programs “go off track” (a euphemism) precisely because the government can’t stay tough on erstwhile cronies, and the consequences are massive inflation or other disasters. A program “goes back on track” once the government prevails or powerful oligarchs sort out among themselves who will govern—and thus win or lose—under the IMF-supported plan. The real fight in Thailand and Indonesia in 1997 was about which powerful families would lose their banks. In Thailand, it was handled relatively smoothly. In Indonesia, it led to the fall of President Suharto and economic chaos.

From long years of experience, the IMF staff knows its program will succeed—stabilizing the economy and enabling growth—only if at least some of the powerful oligarchs who did so much to create the underlying problems take a hit. This is the problem of all emerging markets.

worth reading more

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More Bad News – Economy

IMF chief warns 2009 may be ‘even darker’

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned on Sunday that the economic situation could get even worse in 2009 if governments fail to take firm enough action.

“Our forecasts are already very dark but they will be even darker if not enough fiscal stimulus is implemented,” Dominique Strauss-Kahn told BBC radio.

“We see 2009 as really being a bad year, with recession for most advanced economies and growth decreasing for emerging economies.”

The IMF has called for global fiscal stimulus of about two percent of GDP, equivalent to some 1.2 trillion dollars.

He added that he feared recent initiatives, including that announced by the G20 in Washington last month, may not go far enough.

“I can see that some measures have been announced, but I’m afraid it won’t go far enough,” he said.

Strauss-Kahn said he understood Germany’s “reluctant” attitude to the steps announced by some countries including Britain but added it would be best if all countries act together to “face the recession”.

“I respect the traditional view of the Germans but nevertheless I think we are at a time when we should be a bit more imaginative than we have been in the past,” the French former finance minister said.

imf

Only Question is, does he mean them or us?

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The most dangerous country in the world – Pakistan


Pakistan, which recently witnessed a series of suicide attacks by pro-Taliban and al-Qaeda militants, is the most dangerous country in the world, and has become a safe haven for terrorists, a media report says.

“Unlike countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq, Pakistan has everything al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden could ask for: political instability, a trusted network of radical Islamists, an abundance of angry anti-Western recruits, secluded training areas and security services that don’t always do what they’re supposed to do,” says Newsweek in an investigative report being published in its upcoming issue.

Then there’s the country’s large and growing nuclear programme, it adds ominously.

The conventional story about Pakistan, it says, has been that it is an unstable nuclear power, with distant tribal areas in terrorist hands.

“What is new, and more frightening, is the extent to which Taliban and al-Qaeda elements have now turned much of the country, including some cities, into a base that gives militants more room to maneuver, both in Pakistan and beyond,” it adds.

Taliban militants, the magazine reports, now “pretty much come and go” as they please inside Pakistan. Their sick and injured get patched up in private hospitals there.

“Until I return to fight, I’ll feel safe and relaxed here,” Abdul Majadd, a Taliban commander who was badly wounded this summer during a fire fight against British troops in Afghanistan, told Newsweek after he was evacuated to Karachi for emergency care.

Guns and supplies are readily available, and in winter, when fighting dies down in Afghanistan, thousands retire to the country’s thriving madrassas to study the Koran, it says.

“Some of the brainier operatives attend courses in computer technology, video production and even English,” the Newsweek says, emphasising that far from keeping a low profile, the visiting militants attend services at local mosques, where after prayers they speak to the congregation, soliciting donations to support the war against the West.

The contrast to 2002 is striking, the report points out.

“Back then, in the first flush of President Pervez Musharraf’s crackdown on extremists, a Newsweek reporter met Agha Jan, a former senior Taliban Defence Ministry official, in an orchard outside the city of Quetta. A nervous Jan recounted how he had to change homes every two nights for fear of capture, and he fled when some local villagers approached.

Jan now has a house outside Quetta, where he lives when he’s not fighting with Taliban forces across the border in his native Zabul province.

Reporters in Peshawar, a strategic Pakistani border city some 80 Km east of the historic Khyber Pass and the Afghan border, say it’s not unusual these days to receive phone calls from visiting Taliban commanders offering interviews, or asking where to find a cheap hotel, a good restaurant or a new cell phone,” the magazine says.

Armed militants, it says, have also effectively seized control in places like the picturesque Swat Valley, where a militant leader named Mullah Fazlullah rides a black horse and commands hundreds of men under the noses of a nearby Pakistani Army division that seldom leaves its barracks.

Peshawar is perhaps the most important production and distribution center for Taliban and other Islamist material, Newsweek adds.

“The ones who plan the operations, are not necessarily in the boonies or in the sticks, they’re in cities like Quetta. Can President Pervez Musharraf pick them up? Easily,” asks Samina Ahmed, the South Asia director of the International Crisis Group in Islamabad.

Bruce Riedel, the former senior director for South Asia on the American National Security Council, points out that Pakistan’s large and growing nuclear programme is another cause for concern.

“If you were to look around the world for where al-Qaeda is going to find its bomb, it’s right in their backyard,” he told Newsweek.

Despite the US government’s assertion that Musharraf’s government has tight control over its nuclear-weapons programme, radicals would not need to steal a whole bomb in order to create havoc.

Pervez Hoodbhoy, a noted nuclear physicist at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, told the news magazine that outside experts don’t really know how much highly enriched uranium Pakistan has produced in the past and how much remains in existing stocks.

“No one has a real idea about that,” he says. “That means that stuff could have gotten out. Little bits here or there. But we really don’t know.”
Pakistan

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