Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Monday, 30 April 2012

Tarp Overseer says - Big Companies HAVEN’T Repaid Tarp Funds … And Funds to Help Homeowners HAVEN’T Been Paid -

Tarp Overseer says - Big Companies HAVEN’T Repaid Tarp Funds … And Funds to Help Homeowners HAVEN’T Been Paid - 

Apologists for government bailouts push two main myths:
  • That all of the bailout funds have been repaid
  • That the bailouts helped the average American
But the official government overseer of the Tarp bailout program – the special inspector general for TARP, Christy L. Romero – has debunked both myths.
Today, Romero wrote the following to Congress:
After 3½ years, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) continues to be an active and significant part of the Government’s response to the financial crisis. It is a widely held misconception that TARP will make a profit. The most recent cost estimate for TARP is a loss of $60 billion. Taxpayers are still owed $118.5 billion (including $14 billion written off or otherwise lost).
And earlier this month, Romero stated that the portion of the Tarp funds which were supposed to help homeowners haven’t been disbursed:
A fund to support homeowners in the communities hit hardest by the collapse of the housing bubble has disbursed just 3 percent of its budget and aided only 30,640 homeowners in the two years since its creation, according to a report released on Thursday by a federal watchdog office.
The Hardest Hit Fund, which was created in the spring of 2010, grants money to state housing finance agencies for efforts to help families that are facing foreclosure. It has “experienced significant delay” because of “a lack of comprehensive planning” by the Treasury Department and limited participation by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the large mortgage servicers, said the report by the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
“Look at the TARP money that goes out to the banks,” said Special Inspector General Christy Romero in an interview with The Huffington Post. “That goes out in a matter of days. This has been two years and only 3 percent of these funds have trickled out to homeowners.”
Indeed, bailing out the big banks hurts - rather than helps - the American economy.  See this,this and this.   (And it doesn't take a PhD economist to guess that using bailout funds to buygold toilet seats and prostitutes is probably not the best way to stimulate the economy as a whole).
The only way to really stimulate the economy would be for the government to give money to the little guy on Main Street – instead of the big boys on Wall Street.  And see this.
Yet the big banks continue today to be bailed out through a wide variety of overt and hidden schemes … while the little guy gets nothing.
This is true even though the American people were opposed to the bank bailouts from day one, and continue to oppose them:
As I’ve noted since 2008, Americans are united in their overwhelming disapproval for bailouts to the big banks.
This has remained true right up to today.
As Rassmussen found only last month (as summarized by KXLF news):
Today’s Rasmussen Reports survey finds that most Americans don’t like bailouts for financial institutions.
60% Oppose Financial Bailouts; 74% Say Wall Street Benefited Most
Survey of 1,000 American Adults
• Just 20% think it was a good idea for the government to provide bailout funding to banks and other financial institutions, but 60% say otherwise.
• While many activists try to link the Republican Party and Wall Street, Republicans think the bailouts were a bad idea by an eight-to-one margin.
• Those not affiliated with either major party think they were a bad idea by a four-to-one margin. Democrats are much more evenly divided. Thirty-four percent (34%) of those in the president’s party say the bailouts were a good idea while 42% disagree.
• Overall, 68% believe that most of the bailout money went to the very people who created the nation’s ongoing economic crisis, but 12% disagree and 21% aren’t sure.
[And see this]
As the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent notes, the recent proposal from lobbyists to the American Bankers Association recommending ways to co-opt the Occupy movement accurately stated:
Well-known Wall Street companies stand at the nexus of where OWS protestors and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism. Both the radical left and the radical right are channeling broader frustration about the state of the economy and share a mutual anger over TARP and other perceived bailouts. This combination has the potential to be explosive later in the year when media reports cover the next round of bonuses and contrast it with stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season.
(Except that it is the majority of Americans – not “extremists” on either side of the aisle – that share this anger).
The “Tea Party” movement was centered on the protesting government bailouts of the giant banks, before it was hijacked by the mainstream Republican party, Sarah Palin, Neocons and others. See thisthisthisthis and this.
Ron Paul said last month at a GOP debate:
Bailouts came from both parties…. If you have to give money out, you should give it to people losing their mortgages, not to the banks.
And one of the most common sayings of Occupy Wall Street protesters is:
Banks got bailed out. We got sold out
(See this and this.

Read more -

Wind Farms Are Warming The Earth, Research Finds - heat the ground underneath them at night -

Wind Farms Are Warming The Earth, Research Finds - heat the ground underneath them at night - 

New research finds that wind farms actually warm up the surface of the land underneath them during the night, a phenomena that could put a damper on efforts to expand wind energy as a green energy solution.
Researchers used satellite data from 2003 to 2011 to examine surface temperatures across as wide swath of west Texas, which has built four of the world's largest wind farms. The data showed a direct correlation between night-time temperatures increases of 0.72 degrees C (1.3 degrees F) and the placement of the farms.
"Given the present installed capacity and the projected growth in installation of wind farms across the world, I feel that wind farms, if spatially large enough, might have noticeable impacts on local to regional meteorology," Liming Zhou, associate professor at the State University of New York, Albany and author of the paper published April 29 in Nature Climate Change said in an e-mail to Discovery News.

Analysts say wind power is a good complement to solar power, because winds often blow more strongly at night while solar power is only available during daytime hours. But Zhou and his colleagues found that turbulence behind the wind turbine blades stirs up a layer of cooler air that usually settles on the ground at night, and mixes in warm air that is on top.
That layering effect is usually reversed during the daytime, with warm air on the surface and cooler air higher up."The year-to-year land surface temperature over wind farms shows a persistent upward trend from 2003 to 2011, consistent with the increasing number of operational wind turbines with time," Zhou said.
FAA data shows that the number of wind turbines over the study region has risen from 111 in 2003 to 2358 in 2011, according to the study.The warming could hurt local farmers, who have already suffered through a killer drought over the past few years. Texas agriculture contributes $80 billion to the state's economy, second only to petrochemicals, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture.
West Texas is a dry area that uses irrigation to grow wheat, cotton and other crops, as well as raise cattle. But increased warming can play havoc with plant growth, as well as change local rainfall patterns.
Texas wind farms produce more than 10,000 megawatts of electricity, more than double the capacity of the nearest state, Iowa, and enough to power three million average American homes, according to the American Wine Energy Association.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/04/30/wind-farms-are-warming-earth-researchers-say/

Man Sues BMW Over Non-Stop 20-Month Erection Caused By Motorcycle Ride... -

Man Sues BMW Over Non-Stop 20-Month Erection Caused By Motorcycle Ride... - 

BMW North America has probably had to deal with plenty of  unusual lawsuits, but one filed last week may be a first — a California man says the seat on his motorcycle has given him an erection he just can’t shake.

Henry Wolf of California is suing BMW America and aftermarket seatmaker Corbin-Pacific claiming his issue began after a four-hour ride on his 1993 BMW motorcycle, with a ridge like seat. Wolf is seeking compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, emotional distress and what he calls “general damage.”

He said he’s had the erection non-stop for 20 months. And it comes with another side effect: The lawsuit says Wolf is “now is unable to engage in sexual activity, which is causing him substantial emotional and mental anguish.”

WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with Dr. Michael Lutz, at the Michigan Institute of Urology, who said there is no medical data to support the man’s claim. However, “It’s been long-known that compression of the neurovascular supply to the penis —  if it’s compressed for a period of time, whether it be on a bicycle seat or some other device — it can actually cause prolonged numbness of the genitalia,” Lutz said.

“Not only in men, but women can also get numbness in that region if they’re compressing those nervous structures to that region of the body,” he said.

BMW Motorcycles of Southeast Michigan in Canton, Mich., checked out the story and noted the man wasn’t riding a standard BMW motorcycle seat. He was on an after-market seat, which start at about $200. People generally buy them to make the ride more comfortable.

“Sometimes people say it’s more comfortable, sometimes people can get a tall seat or a low seat or they’re shorter or taller, they can come heated,” said Theresa at BMW Motorcycles of Southeast Michigan.


Saturday, 28 April 2012

YIKES: Scorned Dentist Pulls OUT ALL of Ex-Boyfriend's TEETH -

YIKES: Scorned Dentist Pulls OUT ALL of Ex-Boyfriend's TEETH - 

Just days after breaking up with one woman for another, it‘s probably best not to employ the former’s services as a dentist.  Though, to 45-year-old Marek Olszewski’s credit, no one could have expected what would ensue.

Subject not pictured, though possibly how he would have looked (Photo: Specialist Dentist Group)
Anna Mackowiak, 34, is under investigation for medical malpractice and could face three years in jail after giving her ex-boyfriend a heavy dose of anaesthetic and pulling out all of his teeth when he turned up at her surgery with a toothache.  She apparently sent him on his way none the wiser afterwards, still numb in the face and completely wrapped in bandages. 

This all happened in their town of their town of Wroclaw, Poland, but “a woman scorned” is a familiar cross-cultural universal.  

“I tried to be professional and detach myself from my emotions,” she remarked, according to the Daily Mail.  “But when I saw him lying there I just thought, ‘What a bas*ard.’”

Olszewski explained how it occurred in his point of view: “I knew something was wrong because when I woke up I couldn’t feel any teeth and my jaw was strapped up with bandages…She told me my mouth was numb and I wouldn’t be able to feel anything for a while and that the bandage was there to protect the gums, but that I would need to see a specialist.”

“I didn’t have any reason to doubt her, I mean I thought she was a professional,” he said. 

“But when I got home I looked in the mirror and couldn’t f****** believe it.  The b**** had emptied my mouth.” 

And if that’s not bad enough, Olszewski‘s new girlfriend has apparently dumped him because she doesn’t want a toothless boyfriend.

“And I’m going to have to pay a fortune on getting indents or something,” he concluded resignedly.

Read more -

Friday, 27 April 2012

Infant Monkeys Given Standard Doses of Vaccines Develop Autism Symptoms -

Infant Monkeys Given Standard Doses of Vaccines Develop Autism Symptoms - 

Infant Vaccines Produce Autism Symptoms in New Primate Study by University Of Pittsburgh Scientists

Routine Safety Study That Government Scientists Refused to Do Illustrates Vaccine Program and Mercury Health Risks

Atlanta, GA: Findings released today showed that infant monkeys given vaccines officially recommended by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) exhibited autism-like symptoms. Lead investigator Laura Hewitson of the University of Pittsburgh and colleagues presented study results at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) in London. Safety studies of medicines are typically conducted in monkeys prior to use in humans, yet such basic research on the current childhood vaccination regimen has never before been done.

The abstracts presented at IMFAR, the world’s top autism science conference, describe biological changes and altered behavior in vaccinated macaques that are similar to those observed in children with autism. Unvaccinated animals showed no such adverse outcomes. The vaccines given were those recommended for U.S. infants in the 1990s, including several with the mercury preservative thimerosal and the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine. Rates of autism spectrum disorder among children born in the 1990s surged dramatically, from about 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 150 children.

“This research underscores the critical need for more investigation into immunizations, mercury, and the alterations seen in autistic children,” stated Lyn Redwood, director of SafeMinds. “SafeMinds calls for large scale, unbiased studies that look at autism medical conditions and the effects of vaccines given as a regimen.”

The group’s request for research echoes that of Dr. Bernadine Healy, Former NIH Director, in a CBS interview earlier this week. She asserted that public health officials have been too quick to dismiss an autism-vaccine connection when the research has been insufficient. The government recently conceded a federal vaccine court case which agreed that a child regressed into autism as a result of 9 vaccines given on one day.

“The full implications of this primate study await publication of the research in a scientific journal,” noted Theresa Wrangham, president of SafeMinds. “But we can say that it demonstrates how the CDC evaded their responsibility to investigate vaccine safety questions. Vaccine safety oversight should be removed from the CDC and given to an independent agency.”

Read more -

Jellyfish-Like Organisms Shut Down California Power Plant... -

Jellyfish-Like Organisms Shut Down California Power Plant... - 

The workers of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant received a very slimy surprise this week when they discovered hoards of jellyfish-like creatures clinging to the structure, leading to the shutdown of the plant.
The organisms, called salp, are small sea creatures with a consistency  similar to jellyfish.
The influx of salp was discovered as part of the plant’s routine monitoring system, according to Tom Cuddy, the senior manager of external and nuclear communications for the plant’s operator, Pacific Gas & Electric.
“We then made the conservative decision to ramp down the affected unit to 20 percent and continued to monitor the situation,” Cuddy said. “When the problem continued, we made another conservative decision that it would be safest to curtail the power of the unit.”
The salp were clogging the traveling screens in the intake structure, which are meant to keep marine life out and to keep the unit cool.
“Safety is the highest priority,” Cuddy said. “We will not restart the unit until the salp moves on and conditions improve. No priority is more important than the safe operation of our facility.”
The plant consists of two units. Unit 1 was shut down previously because of refueling and maintenance work and will not be functional for several weeks. Now that Unit 2 has been shut down because of the influx of salp, the plant has ceased all production.
Even with the Diablo Canyon plant out of commission, PG&E has pledged to continue production using other sources of power so that customers are unaffected by the closure.
“We’ve had salp cling to the intake structure before, but nothing to this extent,” Cuddy said.
The plant’s strategy? Simply wait until the salp move on and resume production once the filters are clear.


Giant Cannibal Shrimp more than a FOOT long invade waters off Gulf Coast - known to grow to the size of lobsters -

Giant Cannibal Shrimp more than a FOOT long invade waters off Gulf Coast - known to grow to the size of lobsters - 

A big increase in reports of Asian tiger shrimp along the U.S. Southeast coast and in the Gulf of Mexico has federal biologists worried the species is encroaching on native species' territory.
The shrimp are known to eat their smaller cousins, and sightings of the massive crustaceans have gone up tenfold in the last year, biologists say.
The black-and-white-striped shrimp can grow 13 inches long and weigh a quarter-pound, compared to eight inches and a bit over an ounce for domestic white, brown and pink shrimp.

Scientists fear the tigers will bring disease and competition for native shrimp. Both, however, can be eaten by humans.
‘They’re supposed to be very good,’ Pam Fuller, a biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey told CNN. ‘But they can get very large, sorta like lobsters.’

The last U.S. tiger shrimp farm closed in Florida in 2004, without ever raising a successful crop, according to a USGS fact sheet about the species.
Reports of tiger shrimp in U.S. waters rose from a few dozen a year - 21 in 2008, 47 in 2009 and 32 in 2010 - to 331 last year, from North Carolina to Texas.
'That's a big jump,' Ms Fuller told the Associated Press.

And those are just the numbers reported to the government.
'I've had fishermen tell me they have quit bringing them in. 
'They are seeing large numbers in their catch - multiples per night,' said Morris, who works at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Centre for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research in Beaufort, North Carolina.
The increase 'is the first indication that we may be undergoing a true invasion of Asian tiger shrimp,' he said.
'Nobody knows what happened to their stock. But they have not been commonly caught in the area where that fish farm was,' she said.
She said hundreds were caught along South Carolina, Georgia and Florida after a storm hit a South Carolina shrimp farm in 1988, but none was reported in U.S. waters for the next 18 years. Six were reported in 2006, and four in 2007.
To find out whether last year's increase was a one-time spike or the vanguard of an invasion, the agencies are asking people to keep a wide eye for tiger shrimp, to report where and when they find them, and bring back frozen tiger shrimp to help learn where they're coming from.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2135907/Giant-cannibal-shrimp-grow-13-INCHES-long-invade-waters-Gulf-Coast.html

Osama bin Laden considered himself a stud but had to use a sex potion and Just for Men hair dye to keep his harem -

Osama bin Laden considered himself a stud but had to use a sex potion and Just for Men hair dye to keep his harem - 

Aging 9/11 terrorist Osama bin Laden considered himself a stud who deserved multiple wives, but had to use a sex potion and Just for Men hair dye to keep his harem interested, according to a blockbuster book due out May 1, the one-year anniversary of his assassination by U.S. Navy SEALs.

In Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad, CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen reveals that the reclusive killer was an advocate of polygamy. In an excerpt provided exclusively to Secrets, he writes:

“His family life in Abbottabad was a source of genuine solace for bin Laden, who believed deeply that polygamy was a religious obligation. To his close male friends he used to joke, ‘I don’t understand why people take only one wife. If you take four wives you live like a groom.’”

But, adds Manhunt, it wasn’t easy keeping up with his concubines. In fact, he mixed up a natural version of Viagra and dyed his hair black.

“Bin Laden was vain,” a source familiar with the contents of the book said. “Bin Laden regularly applied Just for Men dye to his hair and beard to try to maintain a youthful appearance now that he was midway through his fifties.”

And his attempts to live like Playboy’s Hugh Hefner didn’t end there. “To keep up with the regimen required by four wives, bin Laden used Avena syrup – a natural Viagra made from wild oats – which was found in large supply in the compound” where he was killed, Manhunt reveals.

Bergen is one of the world’s authorities on the 9/11 mastermind. He interviewed him 1997 and for his book he interviewed dozens of sources including officials who debriefed bin Laden’s wives and children. He also got access to the bin Laden’s Pakistan residence before the government demolished it.


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Cher says sorry for eBay 'mistake' - key to the city of Adelaide she was given sold for nearly £55,000 on eBay -

Cher says sorry for eBay 'mistake' - key to the city of Adelaide she was given sold for nearly £55,000 on eBay - 

America singer Cher is "upset" and trying to get to the bottom of why a key to the city of Adelaide she was given in 1990 ended up on eBay and sold for nearly £55,000.
The appearance of the brass key and an accompanying memorial plaque on the Internet auction house offended officials in the southern Australian city, with Adelaide mayor Stephen Yarwood saying he was "exceptionally disappointed."
"It must be very embarrassing for her if she is selling it because she needs the money," Yarwood said.
In a tweet, the ageing diva said she was mystified about it appearing on eBay.
"I'm upset 2 & trying 2get2 bottom! I Think my office fkd up?," she said on Twitter.

The key and engraved plaque was sold by a user called Authentic—Cher who claims to be the musician's new "personal consignor", saying the item was from her Malibu, California home.
The auction closed after 146 bids from people around the world with the successful buyer paying around £55,000.
Cher, 65, was awarded the key to the city in recognition of her performance at the 1990 Formula One Grand Prix.
The man who presented it to her, former mayor Steve Condous, said he was bitterly disappointed at the sale.
"If she didn't want to keep it she should have returned it back to the city," he said.
Cher has earned both Oscar glory in her acting career and Grammy glory in her musical career, selling over 100 million records.


Outrage as Egypt plans 'farewell intercourse law' so husbands can have sex with DEAD wives up to 6 hours after death -

Outrage as Egypt plans 'farewell intercourse law' so husbands can have sex with DEAD wives up to 6 hours after death - 

Egyptian husbands will soon be legally allowed to have sex with their dead wives - for up to six hours after their death.
The controversial new law is part of a raft of measures being introduced by the Islamist-dominated parliament.
It will also see the minimum age of marriage lowered to 14 and the ridding of women's rights of getting education and employment.

Egypt's National Council for Women is campaigning against the changes, saying that 'marginalising and undermining the status of women would negatively affect the country's human development'.
Dr Mervat al-Talawi, head of the NCW, wrote to the Egyptian People’s Assembly Speaker Dr Saad al-Katatni addressing her concerns.
Egyptian journalist Amro Abdul Samea reported in the al-Ahram newspaper that Talawi complained about the legislations which are being introduced under 'alleged religious interpretations'.

The subject of a husband having sex with his dead wife arose in May 2011 when Moroccan cleric Zamzami Abdul Bari said marriage remains valid even after death.
He also said that women have the right to have sex with her dead husband, alarabiya.net reported.
It seems the topic, which has sparked outrage, has now been picked up on by Egypt's politicians.

TV anchor Jaber al-Qarmouty slammed the notion of letting a husband have sex with his wife after her death under the so-called 'Farewell Intercourse' draft law.
He said: 'This is very serious. Could the panel that will draft the Egyptian constitution possibly discuss such issues? Did Abdul Samea see by his own eyes the text of the message sent by Talawi to Katatni?
'This is unbelievable. It is a catastrophe to give the husband such a right! Has the Islamic trend reached that far? Is there really a draft law in this regard? Are there people thinking in this manner?'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2135434/Outrage-Egypt-plans-farewell-intercourse-law-husbands-sex-dead-wives-hours-AFTER-death.html

5 New Lies That The Federal Reserve Is Telling The American People -

5 New Lies That The Federal Reserve Is Telling The American People - 

The Federal Reserve says that everything is going to be okay.  The Fed says that unemployment is going to go down, inflation is going to remain low and economic growth is going to steadily increase.  Do you believe them this time?  As you will see later in this article, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been dead wrong about the economy over and over again.  But the mainstream media and many Americans still seem to have a lot of faith in the Federal Reserve.  It doesn’t seem to matter that Bernanke and other Fed officials have been telling the American people lies for years.  As I always say, most people believe what they want to believe, and many people seem to want to have blind faith in the Federal Reserve even when logic and reason would dictate otherwise.  The truth is that things are not going to be getting much better than they are right now.  When the next wave of the financial crisis hits, the U.S. economy is going to fall back into recession, financial markets are going to crash and unemployment is going to absolutely skyrocket.  But you will never hear any of that from the Federal Reserve.

The following are 5 new lies that the Federal Reserve is telling the American people.  After each lie I have posted what The Economic Collapse Blog thinks is actually going to happen….

#1 The Federal Reserve says that the labor market has improved and that unemployment is going to decline significantly over the next few years.

The following is a quote from the FOMC press release that was released on Wednesday….

Labor market conditions have improved in recent months; the unemployment rate has declined but remains elevated.

The Federal Reserve is projecting that the unemployment rate will fall within the range of 7.8 percent and 8.0 percent by the end of 2012.

The Federal Reserve is also projecting that the unemployment rate will fall within the range of 6.7 percent and 7.4 percent by the end of 2014.

The Economic Collapse Blog says that the labor market has not improved.  In March 2010, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  Exactly two years later in March 2012, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  If the labor market was improving, the percentage of working age Americans with a job should have gone up.

The Economic Collapse Blog also says that while there is a chance the official unemployment rate may go down slightly in the short-term, the truth is that it is going to go up into double digits once the next wave of the financial crisis hits us.

#2 The Federal Reserve says that that U.S. economy is going to experience solid GDP growth over the next couple of years.

In fact, the Federal Reserve is projecting that U.S. GDP will be rising at an annual rate that falls between 3.1 percent and 3.6 percent by the end of 2014.

The Economic Collapse Blog says that a great economic cataclysm is coming….

“When the European banking system crashes (and it will) it is going to reverberate around the globe.  The epicenter of the next great financial crisis is going to be in Europe, and it is getting closer with each passing day.”

#3 The Federal Reserve says that we can expect low inflation for an extended period of time.

The Federal Reserve is officially projecting that the annual rate of inflation will not be higher than 2.0 percent by the end of 2012.  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reinforced this projection during his press conference on Wednesday….

“But we expect that to pass through the system, and assuming no new shocks in the oil sector, inflation ought to moderate to about 2 percent later this year.”

The Economic Collapse Blog says that the Fed is being tremendously dishonest and that if inflation was measured the exact same way that it was measured back in 1980, the annual rate of inflation would be more than 10 percent right now.

The truth is that most middle class families know that we do not have low inflation right now.  This is hammered home millions of times a day when average Americans visit the gas station or the grocery store.

At the beginning of the next recession inflation will likely subside, but that will only be because economic activity will be slowing down dramatically.

#4 The Federal Reserve says that it has built up a 30 year reputation for keeping inflation low.

Ben Bernanke actually had the gall to make the following claim during his press conference on Wednesday….

“We, the Federal Reserve, have spent 30 years building up credibility for low and stable inflation, which has proved extremely valuable in that we’ve been able to take strong accommodative actions in the last four, five years to support the economy.”

Oh really?

The Economic Collapse Blog says that the Federal Reserve has nearly a 100 year reputation for destroying the value of the U.S. dollar.  Even using the Fed’s doctored numbers, the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by more than 95 percent since 1913.

To get a really good idea of just how much the dollar has been destroyed by the Fed over the years, just check out this chart.

#5 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that we should trust him because the Federal Reserve stands ready to do whatever is necessary to support the U.S. economy.

“If appropriate… we remain entirely prepared to take additional action”

The Economic Collapse Blog says that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is doing a great disservice by not warning the American people about the tremendous crisis that is coming.  In a recent article I stated that this next crisis will blindside most Americans just like the last one did….

“Sadly, just like back in 2008, most people will never even see this next crisis coming.”

So who should you trust – the Federal Reserve or all of the half-crazed bloggers out there that are warning about the “serious doom” that is coming.

Well, come back to this article in a year or two and compare how accurate the predictions were.

In the end, time will tell who is telling lies and who is not.

If we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.

For example, let’s take a quick look at Ben Bernanke’s track record over the past several years.

The following are statements that Bernanke actually made to the public….

#1 (July, 2005) “We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think what is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit. I don’t think it’s gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.”

#2 (October 20, 2005) “House prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years. Although speculative activity has increased in some areas, at a national level these price increases largely reflect strong economic fundamentals.”

#3 (November 15, 2005) “With respect to their safety, derivatives, for the most part, are traded among very sophisticated financial institutions and individuals who have considerable incentive to understand them and to use them properly.”

#4 (February 15, 2006) “Housing markets are cooling a bit. Our expectation is that the decline in activity or the slowing in activity will be moderate, that house prices will probably continue to rise.”

#5 (February 15, 2007) “Despite the ongoing adjustments in the housing sector, overall economic prospects for households remain good. Household finances appear generally solid, and delinquency rates on most types of consumer loans and residential mortgages remain low.”

#6 (March 28, 2007) “At this juncture, however, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained. In particular, mortgages to prime borrowers and fixed-rate mortgages to all classes of borrowers continue to perform well, with low rates of delinquency.”

#7 (May 17, 2007) “All that said, given the fundamental factors in place that should support the demand for housing, we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system.  The vast majority of mortgages, including even subprime mortgages, continue to perform well.  Past gains in house prices have left most homeowners with significant amounts of home equity, and growth in jobs and incomes should help keep the financial obligations of most households manageable.”

#8 (January 10, 2008) “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”

#9 (June 10, 2008) “The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so.”

But don’t worry, Ben Bernanke insists that he knows exactly what is going on this time.

So do you believe him?

A lot of Americans don’t.  In fact, an “economic collapse” is the number one catastrophic event that Americans worry about according to one recent survey.

Perhaps that is one reason why so many Americans are preparing for doomsday these days.

The central planners over at the Federal Reserve are not going to solve our economic problems.

The truth is that the Fed is at the very heart of our economic problems.

We have been living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world and that debt bubble has been facilitated by the Fed.

Over the past three decades, the total amount of debt in America has increasedby about 50 trillion dollars.  By stealing from future generations, we have been able to live like kings and queens, but there is going to be a great price to pay for our foolishness.

Ben Bernanke and the other folks running the Federal Reserve are just going to keep insisting that everything is going to be okay for as long as they possibly can.  They are going to tell you that they know exactly how to fix things and that the economy will be back on track very soon.

Don’t be stupid and believe them this time.

Read more -

Swiss woman dies after attempting to live on sunlight - gave up food and water on her spiritual journey -

Swiss woman dies after attempting to live on sunlight - gave up food and water on her spiritual journey - 

 Female healthy lifestyle

Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reports that a woman starved to death after embarking on a spiritual diet that required her to stop eating or drinking and live off sunlight alone.

The Zurich newspaper reported Wednesday that the unnamed Swiss woman in her fifties decided to follow the radical fast in 2010 after viewing an Austrian documentary about an Indian guru who claims to have lived this way for 70 years.

Tages-Anzeiger says there have been similar cases of self-starvation in Germany, Britain and Australia.

The prosecutors' office in the Swiss canton (state) of Aargau confirmed Wednesday that the woman died in January 2011 in the town of Wolfhalden in eastern Switzerland.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/swiss-women-dies-giving-water-food-thought-live-sunlight-article-1.1067359

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Greece cuts benefits to 200,000 people, some of whom were dead -

Greece cuts benefits to 200,000 people, some of whom were dead - 

Greece has stopped various benefits, including pensions, to 200,000 people who lied to get their monthly cheques or were in fact dead, a Greek Labour Ministry official said on Wednesday.

The number is roughly 2 per cent of the Greek population.

Debt-laden Athens discovered the fraud after beginning basic data cross-checks and means-testing, under pressure from its international lenders to cut its deficits.

The government terminated payments to families that continued to receive the pensions of their dead seniors. It also stopped benefits to wealthy recipients who had posed as poor to become eligible.

“They were caught during the inquiry and the state is reclaiming the money they have illegally taken,” the Labour Ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

The cuts, implemented gradually since September last year, will generate savings of up to 800 million euros ($1.06 billion) annually, the official said.

Greece has already slashed pensions by an average of 25 per cent to balance the books of its ailing state-run social security system, outraging pensioners and fuelling deep discontent with the EU/IMF bailout’s austerity policies.

With nearly one-quarter of the 11 million population retired, pension payments are a major burden on state coffers.

Greece’s generous welfare state and bloated public sector have been blamed as root causes behind a debt load that is about 1.6 times the country’s economic output.

Efforts to shore up the pension system are being hampered, however, by austerity-fuelled unemployment which has climbed to a record level of nearly 22 per cent.


Second diner in the span of two months collapsing during a meal at the Heart Attack Grill and rushed to the hospital -

Second diner in the span of two months collapsing during a meal at the Heart Attack Grill and rushed to the hospital - 

RoadFish.com men's lifestyle and finance magazine was fairly appalled to learn of the second diner in the span of two months collapsing during a meal at the Heart Attack Grill and being rushed to the hospital. RoadFish.com hopes that these back-to-back incidents will spark awareness in people to take good care of their health, and evaluate what they are putting into their bodies. RoadFish.com believes that you can't put a price tag on a healthy diet, and that good health, wealth, and happiness go hand in hand.

There is a sign at the Heart Attack Grill that issues the warning, "This Establishment is Bad for Your Health." Items on the menu include burgers with names such as the "Triple" and "Quadruple Bypass Burger," and lard-cooked "Flatliner French Fries." The quadruple bypass burger has even been named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most caloric sandwich in the world, coming in at 10,000 calories for the 4-patty burger topped with layers of cheese and bacon.

Andrew Chow of Reuters reports that on Saturday evening, a female diner in her 40s collapsed during her meal at the Heart Attack Grill. The customer was reportedly eating a "Double Bypass Burger," smoking cigarettes, and drinking an alcoholic beverage. Chow's article suggests that it's unlikely the woman, who is now recovering from the emergency, will be able to sue the establishment to pay for her medical bills for several reasons. The cause of her collapse remains unknown, and additionally the assumption of risk is a factor in this situation, since the customer knowingly entered into an activity when she was aware of the dangers and possibility of injury.

RoadFish.com's Senior staff writer is quoted saying, "I absolutely think that a person's health is their own responsibility, period. And health is not just one decision, it's a series of choices about the way you eat, exercise, and take care of your body. This restaurant happens to serve enough calories in one meal to feed a small army, but it's the customers' choice to be there eating it."

Online publication LosAngelesGrubStreet.com, who covers restaurant and dining scene stories, reported that the restaurant's owner, Joe Basso, did not sound terribly disturbed over the customer's medical emergency on Saturday. Basso reportedly is quoted saying that the restaurant is not liable for medical-related issues that diners may suffer while at the establishment due to the warnings that the restaurant posts about the food being unhealthy to consume. He is quoted saying, "Unlike cigarettes, I have had warning labels since Day 1 when we opened in 2005 telling people how bad our food is for you. I think that skirts any liability we might have." The Heart Attack Grill is apparently also known for treating customers who weigh more than 350 to a free meal.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/04/25/prweb9440251.DTL

Kulula Airlines is offering a free ticket for a man's fourth wife if the entire family flies together -

Kulula Airlines is offering a free ticket for a man's fourth wife if the entire family flies together - 

A South African airline came up with a novel promotion this week for male passengers traveling with multiple wives.
Kulula Airlines, based in Johannesburg, is offering a free ticket for a man's fourth wife if the entire family flies together between the city and Cape Town.
The ad reads, "Not only will you get a great deal on kulula.com flights for your first three wives, but your fourth wife will fly free, mahala, on the house."
The stunt, which runs until April 30, coincides with South African president Jacob Zuma's marriage to his fourth wife over the weekend. Zuma has been married six times in total, but one of his wives committed suicide in 2000, and he divorced his second in 1998.
Men looking to take advantage of the conjugal offer simply have to present a pre-bought ticket, proof of marriage and ID at the Kulula counter, and the fourth wife's ticket will be refunded.
The promotion reads, "Inspired by regular VIP travelers with sizable spousal entourages, the offer is open to all fourth wives when the family travels together on the Jo'burg to Cape Town route."
In 2010, the airline used one of its planes -- dubbed "Flying 101" -- and painted the exterior to show where various parts, such as the black box, were located.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/04/25/south-african-airline-promotion-reportedly-gives-free-ticket-to-travel-with/?test=latestnews

G-spot found: Researcher locates the elusive pleasure zone - "bluish grapelike compositions" that are erectile tissue -

G-spot found: Researcher locates the elusive pleasure zone - "bluish grapelike compositions" that are erectile tissue - 

Within the confines of science and the bedroom, the G-spot is something of a holy grail.

For decades, researchers have debated its existence in medical journals, while Lotharios have implied with a wink they already made the discovery.

But none went so far as Adam Ostrzenski, a retired doctor and researcher who travelled to Poland this past September to conduct a “stratum by stratum anterior vaginal wall dissection on an 83-year-old cadaver.”

His study, published in the May issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, appears to confirm the anatomical existence of the alleged pleasure zone. He will return to Poland in May to verify his findings in female cadavers of other age groups.

“It is my conviction that it’s not something that this 83-year-old lady had . . . and the rest of you guys don’t,” he said from his home in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he is the director of the Institute of Gynecology.

Theories about the G-spot have long been controversial. In the March issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, a research team reported that there’s no “strong and consistent evidence” to confirm its anatomical existence, although there are “reliable reports and anecdotal testimonials” about the highly sensitive area.

“Nobody believed it could be identified. I was a skeptic myself. But I said, ‘I know this is going to be the location,’ ” Ostrzenski said.

Once the woman’s autopsy was completed, Ostrzenski began his dissection at the department of forensics medicine at Warsaw Medical University.

After seven hours of careful work, he found the G-spot in the front wall of the vagina, under five layers of connective tissue and muscle, 16.5 millimetres from the upper part of the urethra. It was in an area not usually accessed during gynecological surgery — one reason no one discovered it before, he said.

In prose that differs considerably from Maxim and Cosmopolitan, he describes the spot as “bluish grapelike compositions” inside a sac located between the inferior pubocervical fascia and the superior dorsal perineal membrane.

Ostrzenski says the grape shape is characteristic of an “erectile body” that can expand. The G-spot was 8.1 millimetres long inside the sac, but when Ostrzenski removed it, it extended to 33 millimetres. “This extension tells you this structure is designed for contractions and expansion,” he said.

He says the sac was the only erectile tissue he could identify. He couldn’t take a tissue sample to confirm because he didn’t have permission from the ethical committee. There were other roadblocks, too.

“Indeed, the subject was not in the position to communicate, but the existing scientific literature guided me,” he explained in an email.

As part of his study, he searched through existing studies from the past century and found his was the first description of the co-ordinates and size of the G-spot.

Researchers aren’t permitted to do this kind of forensic dissections in the U.S. or Canada, but it’s allowed in many European and South American countries, he said. Poland is ideal for Ostrzenski because he has relatives and old friends to visit there while he waits. The research trips are a financial risk, with many factors outside his control; cadavers only become available in cases of sudden death.

Ostrzenski conducted the landmark dissection last September, and now fields questions from all over the world. This is the quickest any of his research has gone to print.

Depending on the publication, the questions can be quite intimate.

“The men call me and say, ‘In a practical way, what do I have to do today with my wife?’ ”


US Feds to ban children from farm chores... -

US Feds to ban children from farm chores... - 

A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district members of Congress. But now it’s attracting barbs from farm kids themselves.

The Department of Labor is poised to put the finishing touches on a rule that would apply child-labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families’ land.

Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”

“Prohibited places of employment,” a Department press release read, “would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”

The new regulations, first proposed August 31 by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, would also revoke the government’s approval of safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course.

Rossie Blinson, a 21-year-old college student from Buis Creek, N.C., told The Daily Caller that the federal government’s plan will do far more harm than good.

“The main concern I have is that it would prevent kids from doing 4-H and FFA projects if they’re not at their parents’ house,” said Blinson.

“I started showing sheep when I was four years old. I started with cattle around 8. It’s been very important. I learned a lot of responsibility being a farm kid.”

In Kansas, Cherokee County Farm Bureau president Jeff Clark was out in the field — literally on a tractor — when TheDC reached him. He said if Solis’s regulations are implemented, farming families’ labor losses from their children will only be part of the problem.

“What would be more of a blow,” he said, “is not teaching our kids the values of working on a farm.”

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average age of the American farmer is now over 50.

“Losing that work-ethic — it’s so hard to pick this up later in life,” Clark said. “There’s other ways to learn how to farm, but it’s so hard. You can learn so much more working on the farm when you’re 12, 13, 14 years old.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/25/rural-kids-parents-angry-about-labor-dept-rule-banning-farm-chores/

Woman Spills Yogurt on President Barack Obama in Boulder -

Woman Spills Yogurt on President Barack Obama in Boulder - 

The president is in Boulder, Colorado giving a campaign-style speech at the University of Colorado. Reportedly, on his way to the speech, he decided to stop for a bite at "The Sink ... a divey kind of place that seems more about the beer than the food," according to the the pool report. The report continues:  

While greeting people outside, a young woman spilled yogurt on the president. It appeared to hit his pants. The president wiped himself off with a towel and made a wry comment about the Secret Service, but pooler couldn't hear his exact words.
He did say to the woman, "Getting yogurt on the president, you've got a story to tell." 
She said, "I'm very embarrassed."

Read more -

More Greek men had penis extension surgery in 2010 than 25 countries in the developed world -

More Greek men had penis extension surgery in 2010 than 25 countries in the developed world - 

More Greek men had penis extension surgery in 2010, in proportion to the population, than their counterparts in 25 countries in the developed world examined in a survey by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

The report, which compared data from other European Union countries including Italy, France, Spain and Germany, as well as the USA, Britain, Russia, China and Japan, found that South Koreans underwent the most aesthetic surgery, proportional to the country’s population, than any other of the 25 countries, with most opting for eyelid surgery to acquire a more “western look.”

Greece was second in the chart overall and first as regards to penis extensions.

Read more -

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Big Brother Riding Along With 'Pay-as-You-Drive'? - monitoring device to predict how likely a driver is to have an accident -

Big Brother Riding Along With 'Pay-as-You-Drive'? - monitoring device to predict how likely a driver is to have an accident - 

While there is a relatively slim chance that you’ll be sideswiped by a Buick on your way to work in the morning, it happens and can be expensive when it does.
But, as with any investment, you’re playing the odds when you pick an insurance plan and pay your premium. And so are the insurance companies. They spin the dice every time you start your car.
Now, a new survey suggests good drivers might be willing to stack the odds in their favor, even if it means having Big Brother on board every time they go for a spin.
UK-based insurance aggregator GoCompare.com found that 92 percent of drivers surveyed said insurance premiums should be based on how they drive; and 97 percent said good drivers should get better insurance.
This “pay-as-you-drive” model is already available in the United States through the Progressive Insurance SnapShot device and helps the insurance company hedge its bets, while rewarding good drivers for actually being good drivers, not just lucky ones.
The question is whether insurance companies will eventually require the devices for all policyholders, and if drivers will be ready to give up their privacy for a break on insurance. Several auto experts weighed in on the issue, and all agreed on one thing: vehicle tracking is here to stay.
Formally known as telematics-based insurance, the plans use a vehicle monitoring device that snaps into the OBD-II diagnostic port on your vehicle. Richard Hutchinson, the usage-based insurance manager at Progressive, says the SnapShot works on algorithms that use your driving style to predict how likely you are to have an accident, and how expensive it will be if it happens. Normal insurance plans use dozens of set variables like age and gender to calculate rates, but the SnapShot taps into literally thousands of dynamic inputs including how fast and what time of day you drive.
The device captures data in one-second intervals. One of the most revealing stats: how much you brake and how often. Over-braking is a key indicator of an accident-prone driver. Hutchinson says SnapShot is a voluntary program, customers can opt-out at any time, and it does not track the car’s location or whether or not you break the prevailing speed limit.
“Drivers who choose to drive less than average may be pre-disposed to a program like this,” says Hutchinson. “This program is still in its infancy, so we’re a long way from this being standard.”
Drivers on the Progressive plan can save up to 30 percent over traditional policies.
Ed Kim, an analyst with research consulting firm AutoPacific, says pay-as-you-drive is part of a growing tech trend, where many online can already track a customer’s habits and tailor their experience accordingly. He says US drivers, too, are becoming more accustomed to giving up their privacy if they can see the benefits.
“American consumers can be antsy about privacy, but in some ways are beginning to slowly accept companies tracking their whereabouts and habits,” says Kim.
While having the government track your driving might be too Orwellian, Kim says we’re more likely to let a private company access our driving data. He says one possible scenario is that the only way to get a much lower insurance rate in the future will be to agree to the tracking.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/04/24/are-drivers-ready-for-big-brother-car-insurance-plans/