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Washington State Considers Gold and Silver as Legal Tender
WRITTEN BY ALEX NEWMAN - TheNewAmerican.com
In an effort to protect the property of citizens from the harmful effects of inflation created by the Federal Reserve, lawmakers in Washington State introduced a bill over the weekend to declare gold and silver legal tender within the state. Sound-money advocates across the nation immediately praised the effort.
Citing several provisions of the U.S. Constitution and various rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, the legislation notes that only gold and silver are to be considered legal tender by the states. The bill also blasts the federal government for imposing an unconstitutional monetary system on the states and for unjustly confiscating citizens’ wealth by allowing the Fed to create money.
Gold gallops 11%, silver up 20%
Analysts expect bullion to test $2,000/oz this year
By Vicky Kapur - Emirates247.com
Spot gold prices rose $171 per ounce, or 10.91 per cent, during the first month of 2012, while the price of silver went up by $5.35 per ounce, or 19.2 per cent, in the same period. The yellow metal is currently trading at $1,736 an ounce while the white metal is at $33.22 per ounce.
With the dollar index seeing a steady decline, the inverse correlation with precious metals is playing out its course, pushing prices up. Adding multiple variables to that simple equation is the ongoing financial negotiations and policy stalemate in Europe and the US, respectively.
The Next 17 Months For Gold
By David Nichols - SeekingAlpha.com
It's not often that a financial market tells us its intentions in a clear and obvious way. But occasionally it happens.
And it just happened last Wednesday.
First, to set the stage: gold came into last week off a 17-week correction, with the direction of the next 17 weeks still up in the air. The big correction in 2008 lasted 34 weeks, so gold was at a critical balance point heading into the Fed meeting -- it was either going to move into the next up leg now, or in 17 weeks, in early May.
Bullion Tallying Biggest Monthly Gain this Century
By Ben Traynor - SilverBearCafe.com
Gold bullion prices were headed for their biggest calendar month gain this century by Tuesday lunchtime in London.
Gold prices hit $1745 per ounce – just shy of 14% higher than the dollar gold bullion price set at the last London Fix of 2011. By this measure, January 2012 looked set to record the fourth-largest calendar month gain in the last three decades, and the biggest since September 1999, the month that saw the signing of the Central Bank Gold Agreement, which limited the sales of gold bullion by signatory central banks.
Gold's Chinese dragon
By Claudia Assis - MarketWatch.com
The Chinese don’t need a reason to buy precious metals, but it certainly helps that doing so is considered particularly auspicious around the Lunar New Year.
Celebrations surrounding the "Spring Festival," as the holiday is also called in China, significantly boosted sales at two popular Chinese gold retailers. The Chinese celebrated the Spring Festival, marking the year of the dragon, between Jan. 22 and Jan. 28. During that week, sales at jewelers Caibai and Guohua increased 50% over last year's Spring Festival, said Chinese news agency Xinhua, citing the Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce.
Bill Gross Explains Why
"We Are Witnessing The Death Of Abundance"
And Why Gold Is Becoming The Default "Store Of Value"
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
While sounding just a tad preachy in his February newsletter, Bill Gross' latest summary piece on the economy, on the Fed's forray into infinite ZIRP, into maturity transformation, and the lack thereof, on the Fed's massive blunder in treating the liquidity trap, but most importantly on what the transition from a levering to delevering global economy means, is a must read. First: on the fatal flaw in the Fed's plan: "when rational or irrational fear persuades an investor to be more concerned about the return of her money than on her money then liquidity can be trapped in a mattress, a bank account or a five basis point Treasury bill. But that commonsensical observation is well known to Fed policymakers, economic historians and certainly citizens on Main Street." And secondly, here is why the party is over: "Where does credit go when it dies? It goes back to where it came from. It delevers, it slows and inhibits economic growth, and it turns economic theory upside down, ultimately challenging the wisdom of policymakers. We’ll all be making this up as we go along for what may seem like an eternity. A 30-50 year virtuous cycle of credit expansion which has produced outsize paranormal returns for financial assets – bonds, stocks, real estate and commodities alike – is now delevering because of excessive “risk” and the "price" of money at the zero-bound. We are witnessing the death of abundance and the borning of austerity, for what may be a long, long time."
Shares or bullion?
Commentary: How best to play the gold market in February
By Mark Hulbert, MarketWatch
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (MarketWatch) — Should gold bugs in February bet on bullion over the shares of gold mining companies?
Many believe they should, on the theory that, just as it did in the first few weeks of this year, bullion would continue outperforming shares
But let’s get a reality check on that belief by analyzing the portfolios of the nearly 200 advisers tracked by the Hulbert Financial Digest.
The Most Volatile Metal? Silver Is The Prime Suspect
By Taras Berezowsky - SeekingAlpha.com
Even though Eastman Kodak (EK) has declared bankruptcy, there is just enough industrial demand being mustered in the solar panel, battery and conductor sectors, not to mention investment in ETFs and physical metal, to give the silver price its best start in a new year since 1983.
According to a recent article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, silver as a commodity is back in business. The silver price hit $33.8575 yesterday (up 22 percent since Dec. 31), and a survey of analysts points to a price average of $37.50. Silver is notorious for its volatility, and indeed proved the most volatile metal tracked by Bloomberg over the last eight months, dropping 44 percent over that time period.
Silver Powering 20 Million Homes
as Glut Subsides: Commodities
By Nicholas Larkin - Bloomberg.com
Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Record industrial demand for silver and resurging investor interest is diminishing a supply surplus, driving the metal used in everything from solar panels to batteries into its best start to a year in almost three decades.
Manufacturers will use 15,415 metric tons, 2.5 percent more than in 2011 and reducing the glut by 41 percent to 3,297 tons, Barclays Capital estimates. Investors may buy 2,000 tons through exchange-traded products, after selling 1,300 tons last year, Morgan Stanley predicts. Prices will average $37.50 an ounce in the fourth quarter, 11 percent more than now, the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 13 analysts shows.
The Silver Singularity Is Near
By Mike Scully - SeekingAlpha.com
....As physical silver is removed from the foundation of the paper market, leverage will increase until a leveraged short can't get the silver and defaults on his contract. That's when promises are broken, confidence turns to panic, and the leveraged derivatives house of cards comes toppling down.
To continue my multiple metaphors, that's when the derivatives dam breaks. That's the 101st Elmo buyer entering Walmart with a thousand determined shoppers close behind him. That's what folks like Ray Kurzweil might call "the singularity". It's the point when all hell breaks loose and things go hyperbolic. The stampede for physical silver will begin.
Counterfeit Money, Counterfeit Policy
BY CHARLES HUGH SMITH - FinancialSense.com
What is the difference between printing money and counterfeiting? There is none.
Counterfeiting is illegal because it is the false creation of value. The counterfeiter takes low-value paper and turns it into high-value money, which is fundamentally a claim on the real productive value of the economy that issues the currency and recognizes it as a proxy means of exchanging that productive value.
Counterfeiting is illegal because the counterfeiter creates no additional value--he creates only the proxy for value. Creating real value--adding meaningful goods or services to the economy--is tedious, hard work. How much easier to simply transform near-worthless paper into a claim on actual goods and services.
Short China: Its commodities bubble is set to pop
Commentary: Empire-building, overpopulation, greed, hoarding
By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Commodities guru Jim Rogers wrote: “Bull in China, Investing Profitably in the World’s Greatest Market.” A former partner of hedge genius billionaire George Soros, he blamed the Fed for igniting two catastrophic financial bubbles back in 2007. So he shorted Fannie Mae, banks and home builders, abandoned America just before the 2008 meltdown, and moved to China.
Greece nears debt deal with banks but EU clash looms
Greece was on the brink of a deal with private creditors on Wednesday night after weeks of brinkmanship.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
But the simmering clash with EU officials and the International Monetary Fund has yet to be resolved and remains a larger threat.
"We are just one step, just a formality, from completion," said Evangelos Venizelos, the Greek finance minister.
The deal will slice €100bn off Greece's debt and leave banks, pension funds, and other bondholders nursing effective losses above 70pc, but it does not in itself avert the risk of a Greek default in March.
European Fiscal Pact: Int'l. Financial Dictatorship
WRITTEN BY BOB ADELMANN - TheNewAmerican.com
Monday’s meeting of the European Union in Brussels resulted in agreement of 25 of the 27 member states to inflict upon themselves and their hapless and increasingly powerless citizenry the tools of international fiscal dictatorship.
The purpose of the "fiscal pact" is to enforce "budgetary discipline" so that the present euro crisis can be contained and future such crises averted. In the short run that means granting the European Central Bank (ECB) additional power to expand its reserves so that bailouts to failing countries can continue, subject to enforcement rules. In the longer run, the pact puts in place the primary tool of coercion, the European Stability Mechanism, to be effective in July.
IMF presses Greece to cut wages,
says new rescue deal is due in ‘a matter of days’
AP - WahsingtonPost.com
ATHENS, Greece — Greece and the IMF said Wednesday that negotiations for landmark debt deals will be concluded in a "matter of days," raising hopes that the country will dodge a disastrous default in the spring.
Greece is in talks with private creditors to have them take losses on their bondholdings and with its international bailout rescuers to receive new loans.
Gerald Celente - Talk Radio Europe - 24 January 2012
Greece Warns It Will Soon Be
In "Condition Of Absolute Poverty"
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
And while the bankers (on both sides of the table) haggle about how to best leech Greece even dryer (with a solution due any hour, day, week now), the actual people are starting to wave the white flag of surrender. Because the opportunity cost of every additional coupon payment is having a direct, immediate and increasingly more dire impact on virtually every aspect of the economy. Kathimerini reports that "about 160,000 jobs will be lost this year in the commerce sector, according to the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) as the constant decline in disposable income has led to a sharp drop in turnover and a steep rise in the number of enterprises shutting down."
Bundesbank sinks deeper into debt saving Europe
Germany's Bundesbank has entirely exhausted its stock of private assets and run up a quarter of a trillion euros in liabilities propping up the eurozone system, testing the political limits of EMU solidarity in Germany.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
The operations are part of the European Central Bank's 'TARGET2' network of automatic payments between the national central banks of the Euroland club. The Bundesbank has already provided €496bn (£413bn) to countries in trouble, chiefly Greece, Ireland, Italy and Spain.
"This is reaching the danger point. It is already one and a half times the total budget of the German government," said Professor Frank Westermann of Osnabrück University. "If any of the crisis countries exits the euro or if there is an EMU break-up, the Bundesbank bears extreme risks."
Britain should be preparing
to make the most of the euro break-up
The week when Alex Salmond firmed up the details of the coming referendum in Scotland about breaking up the UK was a strange time for the Prime Minister to be singing the praises of the UK's monetary union and berating the eurozone as structurally flawed.
By Roger Bootle - Telegraph.co.uk
But he was right. I don't think, though, that he has drawn the right conclusions about the euro.
Throughout the eurozone the accent remains on austerity. This sounds right, not least because it mirrors what is open to us all as individuals. And it sounds morally right as well. We overspent, got ourselves into a nasty pickle and therefore what we need now is a good dose of hardship.
Corruption in Fascist Business Model
BY JIM WILLIE - FinancialSense.com
Few can define fascism. Many cannot recognize it. History provides shocking stories of its past episodes. But its root structural feature is the tight relationship between the state and large corporations of a nation, which permit enormous fraud and lead to grand inefficiency, even while aggression and war accompany its handiwork in an ugly fabric weave. Nowhere is the bond more scummy and corrupt than with the banking industry, not in general but in Wall Street where defense of the USDollar has come. That defense was contracted from the USGovt to Wall Street, whose ties developed into a vast network of corruption. That cozy relationship led to the gutting of Fort Knox and its gold bullion in the 1990 decade of so-called prosperity. The 0% gold leasing resulted in vast speculation schemes, private multi-$trillion profit, and absent collateral for the USDollar itself. The other cozy connection is with the defense contractors, where war generates colossal cash flows, some of which result in kickbacks to Congress. The Fascist Business Model is a cord to strangle the neck of a nation. The rage of nationalism, the eradication of liberties, the pursuit of conjured enemies, the constant sense of alert, the attack on enemies with alienation of allies, all tend to effectively conceal the theft and corruption.
Bernanke mission may boost Obama
Commentary: Fed just doing its job
By Darrell Delamaide
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – Some of the Republican presidential hopefuls have used the Federal Reserve as a punching bag, with both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich saying they would replace Chairman Ben Bernanke if they were elected.
So it was not an idle question when Bernanke was asked at the press conference following the meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee last week whether he would resign if a new Republican president asked him to.
The Fed chairman would not be drawn in. "I’m not going to get involved in political rhetoric," he responded. "I have a job to do."
* * * * *
The Impending Undeclared Default Of 5 Major US Banks
by Jim Sinclair - JSMineset.com
The following interview with Ellis Martin of www.EllisMartinReport.com covers in detail the impending undeclared default of 5 major US banks this week by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association.
This even has the potential to cause a second financial crisis that would require significant financial intervention. If you have time to spare, listen to this interview. If you don’t have time to spare, listen to it anyway.
Breaking News Ellis Martin Report with Jim Sinclair
ISDA on Greek Default Definition
You ask the ISDA what their definition of a Greek default is (if a 70% haircut is not a default!)?
Well, that depends on what your definition of "is" is.
From the ISDA, with commentary:
A CDS is triggered when a Credit Event occurs. There are three Credit Events that are typically used for Western European Sovereigns (including Greece), they are: Failure to Pay;Repudiation/Moratorium and Restructuring. We will focus on Restructuring for these purposes.
The Restructuring Credit Event is triggered if one of a defined list of events occurs, with respect to a debt obligation such as a bond or a loan, as a result of a decline in creditworthiness or financial condition of the reference entity. The listed events are: reduction in the rate of interest or amount of principal payable (which would include a "haircut"); deferral of payment of interest or principal (which would include an extension of maturity of an outstanding obligation); subordination of the obligation; and change in the currency of payment to a currency that is not legal tender in a G7 country or a AAA-rated OECD country. The decline in creditworthiness or financial condition requirement is intended to filter out restructurings that occur as a result of improved financial condition.
Are CDS triggered by a declaration by a rating agency that the Reference
Entity has been downgraded or is in "default"?
Meet the bankers who decide whether Greece has defaulted
Posted By David Bosco - ForeignPolicy.com Monday, October 24, 2011
.... The ISDA website reports that the members of the determinations committee for Europe include most major banks that issue credit default swaps, including Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Morgan Stanley, Société Générale, and UBS. The committee also includes a smaller number of players active in buying CDS instruments.
Obama’s next bailout
Proposed settlement hides payoff
to banks worth hundreds of billions
By Rebel A. Cole - The Washington Times
On Jan. 23, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun L.S. Donovan met in Chicago with several Democratic state attorneys general (AGs) in an attempt to strong-arm them into signing up for an administration-backed agreement to settle the "robo-signing" scandal. Wall Street would pay what sounds like a large fine ($25 billion), and in exchange, the state AGs would relieve the bankers of all legal liabilities related to the fraudulent mortgage-lending practices that led directly to the 2008 financial meltdown and a 30 percent drop in U.S. home prices.
Doug Noland on Global Government Ponzi Finance
Get ready for QE3, QE4, QE5, QE6, QE7... [podcast]
James J Puplava CFP with Douglas Noland - FinancialSense.com
Jim welcomes to Financial Sense Newshour Douglas Noland, Senior Portfolio Manager atFederated Investors Inc. Doug discusses the global credit crisis, and believes the greatest bubble in the history of mankind is ready to unfold.
Persistent Questions About the Future of the US Economy
Bill Bonner - SilverBearCafe.com
First, it was clear from the get-go that there was a bubble in finance and housing. The only people who couldn’t see it were the people in finance and housing…and the feds. It reached its peak in ’05-’07…then, exploded.
Second, it was obvious that the US economy entered a period of debt destruction — a Great Correction, we called it. There was never really any hope of ‘recovery.’ Once it blows up, you can’t put the pieces of a bubble back together.
Third, the question then was how long the Great Correction would last…which depended on what it was correcting. No one knows. We’re still correcting the debt bubble, which could take another 10 years or so. But this correction could be tough; there are other things going on. Which led us to start asking questions about what we don’t know:
Philly Fed's Plosser Slams 2014 Low-Rate Forecast
Reuters - CNBC.com
A top Federal Reserve official sharply criticized the U.S. central bank's decision last week to telegraph ultra low interest rates for nearly three more years, saying on Wednesday the move undermined confidence and caused confusion.
The Fed's policy-setting committee, citing a bleak outlook for the fragile economic recovery, said last week it expected to keep rates "exceptionally low" at least through late 2014. The forecast, which was contingent on economic conditions, pushed the target date some 18 months later than a previous forecast and it sparked a rally in stocks and bonds.
CBO: Taxes Will 'Shoot Up
by More Than 30 Percent' Over Next 2 Years
By Terence P. Jeffrey - CNSNews.com
(CNSNews.com) - The amount of money the federal government takes out of the U.S. economy in taxes will increase by more than 30 percent between 2012 and 2014, according to the Budget and Economic Outlookpublished today by the CBO.
At the same time, according to CBO, the economy will remain sluggish, partly because of higher taxes.
"In particular, between 2012 and 2014, revenues in CBO’s baseline shoot up by more than 30 percent," said CBO, "mostly because of the recent or scheduled expirations of tax provisions, such as those that lower income tax rates and limit the reach of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), and the imposition of new taxes, fees, and penalties that are scheduled to go into effect."
California at Risk of Running Out of Money by March
Reuters - CNBC.com
California needs to come up with more than $3 billion to avoid burning through its cash by March, according to the state controller, who urged borrowing and delaying some payments.
"Assuming no additional revenue loss, erosion of borrowable internal funds, or significant spikes in spending, $3.3 billion of cash solutions are needed to address California's liquidity needs during this period," State Controller John Chiang said in a letter to the chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee released on Tuesday.
MF Global's missing cash mostly accounted for
By DANIEL WAGNER, Associated Press - CNSNews.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — Most of the $1.2 billion reported missing from the failed brokerage MF Global has been traced to customer accounts and banks, people briefed on the matter told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Brokerages are supposed to keep customer money separate from company money. That way, customers are protected if the brokerage fails.
Freddie Mac Gets Paid To Obstruct Refinancings
By Felix Salmon - SeekingAlpha.com
Jesse Eisinger and Chris Arnold have a really good story about Freddie Mac today (FMCC.OB), a company which is preventing mortgage refis at the same time as it’s making enormous prop bets that homeowners are going to continue to find it hard to refinance.
Back in September I noted that mortgage bonds are trading well above par just because investors are well aware that refis are hard to come by for many homeowners, and said that those investors were "taking unfair advantage of the fact that homeowners are locked into above-market mortgage rates". What I never dreamed of was that the investors and the rule-setters were the same people — in this case, Freddie Mac.
Freddie Mac Halts Use of Derivatives Tied to High Interest Rates
By Clea Benson and Lorraine Woellert
Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Freddie Mac stopped making investments in derivatives known as inverse floaters last year after a regulatory exam raised questions about the mortgage company’s controls, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said.
An FHFA examination "identified concerns regarding the controls, including risk management, surrounding the inverse floaters," the oversight agency said in a statement. "FHFA and Freddie Mac agreed that these transactions would not resume."
Why Home Prices Have Much Further To Fall
By Lance Roberts - SeekingAlpha.com
There has been a deluge of articles recently about the upticks in the housing data. The consensus is that these data points are surely pointing, finally, to a bottom in the depressing decline of real estate. Let me acknowledge that I do not dispute the improvement in the data regarding home starts, permits, pending sales, etc., however, let's be clear that all of these data points are still mired at very depressed levels. So, while optimism is certainly always a welcome thing, for the average American, the world is quite different.
American Airlines may cut up to 14,000 jobs
By David Koenig, AP - WashingtonTimes.com
DALLAS — American Airlines wants to cut labor costs by 20 percent and eliminate 12,000 to 14,000 jobs at the nation’s third-biggest airline.
American’s top labor-relations executive told employees at a closed-door meeting about the expected job cuts, according to a source familiar with the situation.
American and parent AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection back in November. The company has about 88,000 workers, including those at short-haul affiliate American Eagle.
19 Crazy Things That School Children
Are Being Arrested For In America
With each passing year, the difference between America's prisons and America's public schools becomes smaller and smaller. As you read the rest of this article, you will be absolutely amazed at some of the crazy things that school children in America are being arrested for. When I was growing up, I don't remember a single police officer ever coming to my school. Discipline was always handled by the teachers and by the principals. But today, there are schools all over the country that have police officers permanently stationed in the halls. Many other schools will call out police officers at the drop of a hat. In the classrooms of America today, if you burp in class, if you spray yourself with perfume or if you doodle on your desk, there is a chance that you will be arrested by the police and hauled out of your school in handcuffs. Unfortunately, we live in a country where paranoia has become standard operating procedure. The American people have become convinced that the only way that we can all be "safe" is for this country to be run like a militarized totalitarian police state. So our public schools are run like prisons and our public school students are treated like prisoners.
Rense & Tim Rifat -
Rothschild's US Presidential Elections and Iran War
Obama's deadly secret
Administration tries to justify killing Americans
By THE WASHINGTON TIMES-The Washington Times
Now that it’s in full campaign mode, the Obama administration can’t stop talking about things once regarded as secret. President Obama has been bragging about the once-shadowy SEAL Team 6 so much you’d think he was going to tap it to be his running mate. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta caused a flap with Pakistan on Sunday when he told "60 Minutes" he "believed" that "somebody must have had some sense" thatOsama bin Laden was hiding out in Abbottabad, though he had no proof. President Obama piled on during his "historic" Google Plus video chat on Monday, in which he tore the fig leaf from U.S. covert drone strikes inPakistan’s tribal areas.
Facebook to go public, raise $5B
By Barbara Ortutay and Michael Liedtke-The Washington Times
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook made a much-anticipated status update Wednesday: The Internet social network is going public eight years after its computer-hacking CEO Mark Zuckerbergstarted the service at Harvard University.
That means anyone with the right amount of cash will be able to own part of a Silicon Valley icon that quickly transformed from dorm-room startup to cultural touchstone.
Apple Invades $3.8 Trillion Workplace Market
as IPad Leads: Tech
By Peter Burrows - Bloomberg.com
Apple Inc. (AAPL), without much effort on its part, is making rapid headway in selling to corporations.
After years of being the also-ran to Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) in the workplace, Apple has seen its iPad become a standard business tool. According to an IDG Connect survey, 51 percent of managers with iPads say they "always" use the device at work, and another 40 percent sometimes do. Seventy-nine percent of the respondents use the iPad for business when outside the office.
Apple Reaching Out to TV Component Suppliers
By Christina Bonnington - Wired.com
Rampant speculation says Apple has a full-fledged, big-screen TV project in the works — an iTV, if you will. Now Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says Apple has been contacting component makers for its set, leading him to believe it will almost definitely land in 2012.
In a note to investors on Tuesday, Munster wrote that a "major TV component supplier" told him Apple has been in touch with them regarding TV components. However, Munster also conceded that Apple may never actually release a TV at all.
Forget Wind Turbines -
a Completely New Type of Wind Farm is in Development
By Energy Digital - OilPrice.com
A design firm from New York, Atelier DNA, has developed a concept that uses cattail like stalks instead of traditional turbine blades for harnessing the power of wind. Planned for the city of Masdar, being built just outside of Abu Dhabi, the "Windstalk" project came in second in the Land Art Generator competition, generating renewable energy in an artistic way from a plethora of international submissions.
Traditional wind turbines' biggest downfalls include noise pollution, inadvertent bird death trapping and general difficulties in installing such large structures. Atelier's new stalk design generates electricity when the wind sets them waving—minus the dreadful noise or danger posed to birds. Another advantage will be the density at which the stalks will be able to be built whereas turbines need to be spaced about three times the rotor's diameter from each other.
Boeing's Move To South Carolina
Could Help Revive American Manufacturing
by Justin Weinstein - SeekinAlpha.com
The imbalance of imports to exports within the United States can be measured through the near $39 billion trade deficit the United States currently has. This disproportion of exports to imports did not develop quickly, but rather was a culmination of many factors that led factories in America to become obsolete and put workers out of work.
Unit 2 at Byron Generating Station - Illinois Nuke facility
Faulty insulator caused US nuclear reactor shutdown, NRC inspecting water pumps
AP - WashingtonPost.com
CHICAGO — A failed electrical insulator blamed for a power loss to a nuclear reactor in northern Illinois was replaced Tuesday, and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission began a special inspection into how some equipment responded to the outage, officials said.
Exelon Energy began preparations to re-start the Unit 2 reactor at the Byron Generating Station about 95 miles northwest of Chicago, though it was unclear how soon it could return to service, spokesman Paul Dempsey said.
Small Leak Could Have Escaped Plant, San Onofre, San Diego
Unit 3 was shut down for a possible leak
By Michelle Wayland and Lauren Steuss - NBCSanDiego.com
Federal regulators say a tiny amount of radiation could have escaped into the atmosphere from a Southern California nuclear power plant after a water leak prompted operators to shut down the reactor.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Victor Dricks says a small amount of radioactive gas "could have" escaped the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station on the northern San Diego Coast.
Chavez Threatens Banks and Land Owners Refusing His Orders
WRITTEN BY ALEX NEWMAN - TheNewAmerican.com
Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez threatened to nationalize private banks which refuse to obey an official mandate and finance the regime’s development projects, sparking more concerns about the future of Venezuela and its ailing economy. The socialist "President" also vowed to step up his failed land confiscation and redistribution schemes.
The Venezuelan ruler has already taken over around a dozen banks and directly controls almost a third of the nation’s banking sector. Millions of acres of farmland have also been seized by the regime and redistributed to build collective farms, resulting in a dramatic decrease in agricultural production which has forced the once relatively prosperous nation to import increasing quantities of food.
A dragon dance in the Negev
By M K Bhadrakumar - ATimes.com
There is no record of dragons in the nomadic life of the Negev desert, which dates back at least 4, 000 years (some say 7,000). That may be about to change in the Year of the Dragon.
The Bedouins of the Negev will soon witness the sight of a Chinese-built railway line snaking its way through the melange of brown, rocky, dusty mountains and the wadis and deep craters, leading north from the resort city of Eilat in the Gulf of Aqaba toward the eastern Mediterranean.
As the Syrian Crisis Deepens Will Russia Step in Before the UN?
By Juan Cole - OilPrice.com
The events of the past five days in Syria may be a game changer, both domestically and internationally. Last Thursday, opposition forces said, 100 people were killed. Massacres were alleged in two towns. The daily death toll has been rising. On yesterday, Monday,AFP reported another 29 persons killed, including 23 civilians and 6 members of the security forces. Troops moved into the rebel-held town of Rankus north of Damascus, after besieging and shelling it for days. Rebels blew up a gas pipeline. Rebel troops, made up of deserters, ambushed a minivan carrying 6 regime military personnel on their way to quell the rebellion.
Fighting over Syria at the UN
By Victor Kotsev - ATimes.com
Some analysts say that the ongoing confrontation at the United Nations Security Council over Syria brings back memories from the Cold War; the analogy, however, is far from perfect. The face-off and all the bargaining that is apparently going on under the counter is more symptomatic of a situation where multiple players and alliances vie for power in a free-for-all brawl than of the bipolar world order that ended a little over two decades ago.
The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad seems doomed, but its day of reckoning might take some time to come.
Get used to it: Intervention in Syria is coming
Hussein Ibish - NowLebanon.com
The United States faces a terrible conundrum regarding Syria. The Obama administration wants the regime of Bashar al-Assad gone, but it does not want to see the unfolding of the very processes—conflict and possible international intervention—that seem to be emerging as the only viable means to achieve that.
This means that the United States has condemned itself to thus far playing an almost entirely reactive role, even in the context of the limited means at its disposal to influence events in Syria. However, standing on the sidelines and warning all players not to do what they are already doing is not going to work.
Assad may start regional war
if UN tells him to step down – Gulf sources
In confidential conversations with his advisers, Syrian President Bashar Assad is reported by Persian Gulf sources Tuesday, Jan. 31 to have threatened to start up armed hostilities in the region if the UN Security Council Tuesday night endorses the Arab League proposal for him to step down and hand power to his deputy.
Those sources told DEBKAfile that the heads of the Syrian armed forces and intelligence have been given their orders and some units are on the ready. Other Middle East sources reported that the Lebanese Hizballah has also shown signs of military preparations in the last few hours. And the Russian flotilla berthed at the Syrian port of Tartus, led by the Admiral Kutznetsov aircraft carrier, also appears to be on the alert for ructions in the wake of the Security Council Syria session.
No exit in the Persian Gulf
By Michael T Klare - ATimes.com
Ever since December 27, war clouds have been gathering over the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow body of water connecting the Persian Gulf with the Indian Ocean and the seas beyond. On that day, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi warned that Tehran would block the strait and create havoc in international oil markets if the West placed new economic sanctions on his country.
"If they impose sanctions on Iran's oil exports," Rahimi declared, "then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz." Claiming that such a move would constitute an assault on America's vital interests, President Barack Obama reportedly informed Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that Washington would use force to keep the strait open. To back up their threats, both sides have been bolstering their forces in the area and each has conducted a series of provocative military exercises.
War on an 'If': 'Iran threat a tool of regime change'
Inspectors from the UN's nuclear watchdog say Iran seems committed to resolving all nuclear issues. The statement comes after a three-day visit by the IAEA, which Tehran's called "constructive". Experts have been attempting to verify the peaceful nature of Iran's atomic programme. The West has recently stepped up economic sanctions against the Islamic state, suspecting it of developing nuclear weapons. Washington's intelligence chief has warned of an increasing likelihood that Iran could attack America or its allies. The U.S. is beefing up its military presence in the Persian Gulf, by sending a third aircraft carrier to the region. Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern says people have been misled into thinking Iran is a clear and present danger.
Israel Screams For Iran War
While EU Falls Off Economic Cliff Along With US
By Elaine Meinel Supkis - SilverBearCafe.com
International corporations, financiers and Bilderberg-type secret conspiratorial societies of rich people have worked hard to make themselves incredibly rich and incredibly powerful only to destroy their own world they created. This is what happens when unbridled greed teams up with total power: it destroys its own self. We are watching aghast as rich people who run our media here and who control Congress have pushed everyone not just off the economic cliff but the war cliff. That is, they are pushing as hard as possible to start a ruinous war with Iran and egging on China to wage open economic warfare with us using guns and them using a mountain of US debt and dollars they hold.
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