Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Friday, 13 January 2012

Iranian ships taunted 2 U.S. Navy vessels as part of escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf's Strait of Hormuz -

Iranian ships taunted 2 U.S. Navy vessels as part of escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf's Strait of Hormuz - 

Iranian ships recently taunted two U.S. Navy vessels as part of escalating tensions in and around the Persian Gulf's Strait of Hormuz.
The incidents in the strait, one of the world's most important oil routes, occurred last week and involved the USS New Orleans, an amphibious transport dock, and the Coast Guard Cutter Adak, the military said Friday in releasing videos of the incidents.
Iranian speed boats are seen in one of the videos approaching the USS New Orleans within about 500 yards last Friday.

"The Iranian boats did not respond to whistle signal or voice queries from the New Orleans, disregarding standard maritime protocols," Central Command said in releasing the videos. In the incident involving the Adak, "communications were established with a larger Iranian ship operating in the area and the speed boats ceased their harassment."
One senior defense official told FoxNews.com that the Iranians "intended to be harassing" but it didn't go much beyond that. No shots were fired.
Iran, which recently held war games in the area, has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz if provoked, and it has warned U.S. Navy ships to steer clear.
The rising tensions coincide with increased pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, which the West fears is merely a front for Iran's clandestine work on developing nuclear weapons.

North Carolina Inmate Hid 10-Inch Revolver In His Rectum. Luckily, It Was Unloaded -

North Carolina Inmate Hid 10-Inch Revolver In His Rectum. Luckily, It Was Unloaded - 

A man arrested this week in North Carolina may have stashed a .38 barrel revolver in his rectum, according to police, who reported that the unloaded 10-inch weapon was not discovered until after the suspect had been booked into a cell in the county jail.

Michael Leon Ward, a 22-year-old Georgia resident, was arrested Monday after a trooper spotted him speeding. Ward, who resisted arrest, was subdued with the help of a stun gun. A subsequent search of his vehicle resulted in additional charges for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

But it was only after Ward--who is a fugitive on a murder warrant out of Atlanta--entered the Onslow County jail that sheriff’s investigators discovered what else he possessed.

According to cops, Ward, pictured at right, summoned jailers to his cell, claiming that someone was trying to kill him, and that he discovered a gun inside his cell. The weapon was found in the toilet, where Ward claimed he tossed it after finding it in his bunk.

The recovered gun is pictured in the above police evidence photo (click to enlarge).

Sheriff’s investigators say they are investigating how Ward got the weapon into the jail, since he had been “strip searched prior to being booked into a cell block.” The inmate, a press release notes, was taken today to a local hospital “for possible injuries that may have occurred to Ward’s rectum where it is believed Ward may have concealed” the revolver.

The gun, deputies reported, was test fired and found to be operational.

Read more -

DHS To X-Ray Scan Americans At Border Checkpoints - despite warnings that devices cause cancer -

DHS To X-Ray Scan Americans At Border Checkpoints - despite warnings that devices cause cancer - 
DHS To X Ray Scan Americans At Border Checkpoints portal01

The Department of Homeland Security is set to increase its deployment of of X-ray scanners, already in use on highways, at US border crossings, despite warnings from innumerable health authorities that the devices can cause cancer.
Despite airports moving away from dangerous naked body scanners that fire radiation into the body, damaging living tissue, rearranging chromosomes, and raising the risk of cancer, the DHS is expanding its use of X-ray scanning technology at border checkpoints.
With the technology already in place at places like the busy San Ysidro, California checkpoint, the DHS is planning to introduce the procedure at more locations, with Customs and Border Protection set to announce a new round of scanner purchases in February.
“A 63-page set of specifications (PDF), heavily redacted, obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center through the Freedom of Information Act, says the scanners must “be based on X-Ray or gamma technology,” which use potentially dangerous ionizing radiation at high energies, and “shall be capable of scanning cars, SUVs, motorcycles and busses,” reports CNet’s Declan McCullagh.
X-ray technology is being pursued at border checkpoints despite the availability of millimeter-wave machines that do the same job without emitting harmful radiation.
“Society will pay a huge price in cancer because of this,” John Sedat, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California at San Francisco, told CNET. Sedat has raised concerns about the health risks of X-ray scanners, and the European Commission in November prohibited their use in European airports.”
Presumably in an attempt to hide the true threat posed by the scanners, the DHS has named them “Low Energy Drive Through Portal Non-Intrusive Inspection Systems,” a term Peter Rez, a professor of physics at Arizona State University who has studied the technology, calls “highly misleading”.
“To call anything based on high energy X-rays ‘low energy’ is worse than 1984 doublespeak” because radiation emitted by the scanners “goes right through the person” sitting in a vehicle, he says. (High energy X-rays can penetrate not only human flesh, but steel plates that are multiple centimeters thick.)”
Indeed, numerous studies conducted by prestigious universities and health authorities, including Johns Hopkins, Columbia University, the University of California, and the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety, have warned that the devices will lead to an increase in cancers.


This just in from Homeland Security - 63 Pounds of Erectile Dysfunction Chemical Found in Passenger's Luggage at LAX -

This just in from Homeland Security - 63 Pounds of Erectile Dysfunction Chemical Found in Passenger's Luggage at LAX - 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Tom Bradley International Terminal stopped the attempt to smuggle over 63.3 pounds of tadalafil, the main chemical component of erectile dysfunction drugs. The substance with an estimated domestic value of $179,000 was seized on January 6.

CBP officers referred a 40 year-old Korean national, for secondary baggage examination. During their inspection of his two carry-on luggage, CBP officers noticed several heat sealed pouches containing a white powdery substance.

The passenger claimed the powder was a Chinese herb.
The pouches were detained and samples of the substance were sent to Laboratories and Scientific Services (LSS), CBP's scientific arm. LSS chemists identified the powder as tadalafil.

A filed application or approval is required to introduce a new drug into interstate commerce which the passenger lacked.

"This is another prime example of the daily vigilance of CBP officers at LAX. I commend their dedicated efforts which often result in interceptions of contraband and prohibited items at the frontline of our borders," said Todd C. Owen CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.

The Office of Field Operations is responsible for securing our borders at the ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers' primary mission is anti-terrorism. They screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States. 

Note: The Signal delivers press releases from reliable sources under the “This just in” header to provide up-to-the-minute information to our website readers. Information from “This just in” has not been vetted by The Signal news room. It may appear subsequently in news stories after it has been vetted.


13 terrible things that happened on Friday the 13th -

13 terrible things that happened on Friday the 13th - 

An estimated 17 to 21 million people in the U.S. are affilicted by fear of Friday the 13th, according to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, N. C. The fearful may not get out of bed, or fly on a plane. So what could be worse than fearing the worst? Actual events that seem to validate those fears. Here are 13 such events.

Aug. 13, 2010: An engineering train of the London Underground becomes uncoupled and goes on a 13-minute journey with passenger trains having to be cleared out of its path at the Charing Cross branch. The train runs for nearly four miles before stopping at Warren Street, and that too because there is a small incline at the station.

Oct. 13, 2006: 12 people die in freak pre-season snowstorm in Buffalo, N.Y. The storm dumps 22 inches of heavy snow and results in a $30 million cleanup (storm began the previous night)

Aug. 13, 2004: Hurricane Charley makes landfall in Florida. It becomes the fourth costliest hurricane in U.S. history with damages of over $15 billion.

March 13, 1992: Earthquake in Turkey kills over 1,000

June 13, 1986: The Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, are born

(Who doesn’t like the occasional tasteless joke?)

Nov. 13, 1970: A huge South Asian storm kills an estimated 300,000 people in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and creates floods that kill as many as 1 million in the Ganges Delta.

Oct. 13, 1972: A Fairchild F-227 airplane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team crashes in the Chilean Andes. The 72-day ordeal of the survivors, which includes cannibalism, forms the basis of several books and at least two movies, including Alive and Survive!

March 13, 1964: In the classic case of bystander apathy, a screaming Kitty Genovese is stabbed to death within earshot of 38 residents of her New York neighbourhood.

Dec 13, 1940: Adolf Hitler orders the invasion of Greece (plan is finally carried out in April 1941)

May 13, 1927: German stock market collapses, helping push the country into a depression

May 13, 1864: Battle of Resaca (U.S. Civil War) commences

April 13, 1204: Constantinople is sacked by Crusaders.

Oct 13, 1066: Last day in the rule of Saxon King Harold II. He declines William the Conqueror’s offer to give up the crown and dies in the Battle of Hastings the next day.


12 year old girl nabs a house burglar with her web cam - wanted to catch her sneaky sisters stealing things from her -

12 year old girl nabs a house burglar with her web cam - wanted to catch her sneaky sisters stealing things from her - 
12 Year Old Hallie Pritchard Catches Burglar With Webcam

Hallie Pritchard decided recently that she wanted to catch her sneaky sisters stealing things from her. So she decided to do what any savvy 12-year-old in this technological age would do: set up a webcam and let it roll. But when she she looked back at the footage, she got more than she bargained for.

That’s because Pritchard, from California’s Bay area, actually nabbed a burglar:

NBCBayArea.com reports that Pritchard’s camera caught a man snooping through her stuff during an open house.

“All of a sudden she comes running down the stairs screaming oh my god somebody ripped us off so really? We looked at the video it was really shocking,” Hallie’s father Chris Pritchard, told the site.

“I saw my chair move and I said what was that I fast forward back and I saw him come through a hall way came into my room looking through my drawers.” Hallie added.

HuffPo has more on who the burglar turned out to be:

Not long after, authorities identified the suspect as Douglas John Calandrella, a 46-year-old former real estate agent who police arrested approximately two years ago for a similar scheme.
Police say that during his first offense, Calandrella used keys stolen from lock boxes to pilfer more than 50 items, which he promptly listed on eBay, KSDK reports.
Once again, it serves as a reminder to be careful who you let in to your house.


Bain Capital Owns Clear Channel (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Etc.) -

Bain Capital Owns Clear Channel (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Etc.) - 

Wouldn't it be great if a Republican presidential candidate could just buy the support of just about every major conservative talk show host in America?  Well, it may not be as far-fetched as you may think.  Clear Channel owns more radio stations (850) than anyone else in the United States.  They also own Premiere Radio Networks, the company that syndicates the radio shows of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck, among others.  Needless to say, Clear Channel basically owns conservative talk radio in the United States.  So who owns Clear Channel?  Well, it turns out that Bain Capital is one of the primary owners of Clear Channel.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The company that Mitt Romney ran for so long is one of the "big bosses" over virtually all conservative talk radio in America.  Of course Mitt Romney is not running Bain Capital anymore.  He is a "retired partner", but he still has a huge financial stake in Bain Capital.  We're talking about millions upon millions of dollars.  If you doubt this, just check out page 34 of this public financial disclosure report.  So if you have been wondering why so many conservative talk show hosts are being so incredibly kind to Mitt Romney, this just might be the answer.
In the media world, there is a clear understanding that you simply do not bite the hand that feeds you.  Some of the most prominent conservative talk radio hosts are earning tens of millions of dollars a year.
If you were making tens of millions of dollars a year, wouldn't you be very careful to avoid offending your boss?
The deal in which Bain Capital became one of the owners of Clear Channel was initiated just a short time before Mitt Romney's first run for president.  The following comes from Wikipedia....
On November 16, 2006, Clear Channel announced plans to go private, being bought out by two private-equity firms,Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners for $18.7 billion, which is just under a 10 percent premium above its closing price of $35.36 a share on November 16 (the deal values Clear Channel at $37.60 per share).
The deal was finalized in 2008.  Today, Bain Capital is still one of the primary owners of Clear Channel.
One of the subsidiaries of Clear Channel is Premiere Radio Networks.
Premiere Radio Networks distributes a whole host of conservative talk radio shows.  Everyone in the conservative world knows names such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.  Clear Channel also controls some other conservative talk radio hosts (such as Michael Savage and Mark Levin) that are not part of the Premiere Radio family.
The power that Premiere Radio Networks has is absolutely staggering.  The following is directly from the official Clear Channel website....
Premiere Radio Networks Inc., a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, syndicates 90 radio programs and services to more than 5,000 radio affiliations and reaches over 190 million listeners weekly.  Premiere Radio is the number one radio network in the country and features the following personalities:  Rush Limbaugh, Jim Rome, Casey Kasem, Ryan Seacrest, Glenn Beck, Bob (Kevoian) & Tom (Griswold), Delilah, Steve Harvey, Blair Garner, George Noory, John Boy and Billy, Big Tigger, Dr. Dean Edell, Bob Costas, Sean Hannity and others. Premiere is based in Sherman Oaks, California, with 13 offices nationwide.
So do you think that any of those hosts is going to risk viciously attacking Mitt Romney and Bain Capital during this election season?
Not likely.
One of the controversies that has plagued Premiere Radio Networks in recent years has been the uproar over their use of paid actors to call in to their radio shows.
The following comes from Wikipedia....
Clear Channel, through its subsidiary, Premiere Radio Networks, auditions and hires actors to call in to talk radio shows and pose as listeners in order to provide shows, carried by Clear Channel and other broadcasters, with planned content in the form of stories and opinions. The custom caller service provided by Premiere Radio ensures its clients they won't hear the same actor's voice for at least two months in order to appear authentic to listeners who might otherwise catch on.
So perhaps that explains where some of the "Romney callers" come from.
There is nothing illegal about what Romney and Bain Capital have done, but it sure does not pass the "smell test".
Conservative talk radio has the potential to sway millions of conservative voters in one direction or another, and it is just not proper for Bain Capital and Romney to have such an overpowering financial interest in conservative talk radio.
And yes, Mitt Romney is still bringing in lots of money from Bain Capital.  The following comes from a Wikipedia article about Mitt Romney....
At the time of his departure, Romney negotiated an agreement with Bain Capital that allowed him to receive a passive profit share as a retired partner in some Bain Capital entities, including buyout and investment funds.[62][57] With the private equity business continuing to thrive, this deal would bring him millions of dollars in income each year.[57] As a result of his business career, by 2007 Romney and his wife had a net worth of between $190 and $250 million, most of it held in blind trusts.[62] An additional blind trust existed in the name of the Romneys' children and grandchildren that was valued at between $70 and $100 million as of 2007.[63] The couple's net worth remained in the same range as of 2011, and was still held in blind trusts.
In addition, Bain Capital and Bain & Company continue to pour huge amounts of money into Romney's campaign coffers.
Just check out the following list of the biggest donors to the Romney campaign.  These numbers come from opensecrets.org....
Goldman Sachs $367,200
Credit Suisse Group $203,750
Morgan Stanley $199,800
HIG Capital $186,500
Barclays $157,750
Kirkland & Ellis $132,100
Bank of America $126,500
PriceWaterhouseCoopers $118,250
EMC Corp $117,300
JPMorgan Chase & Co $112,250
The Villages $97,500
Vivint Inc $80,750
Marriott International $79,837
Sullivan & Cromwell $79,250
Bain Capital $74,500
UBS AG $73,750
Wells Fargo $61,500
Blackstone Group $59,800
Citigroup Inc $57,050
Bain & Co $52,500
As with anything, whenever you want to get to the real truth you just need to follow the money.
Earlier this week, Sean Hannity told Rick Perry that his attacks on Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital sounded like something that "Occupy Wall Street" would say.
Just the other day, Rush Limbaugh compared Rick Perry to Fidel Castro and rabidly defended Mitt Romney on his radio program....
“There’s no way you can try to dress that up,” Limbaugh fumed. “I don’t understand it. Well, politically I understand it, but that’s just absurd. It’s sad. ‘Cause I really, really, really like Rick Perry! I really do. I had such hopes! I did. I’ll tell you, I did, but all of this talk about “corporate raiders,” and as I listen to politicians start talking about capitalism, lights are going off in my head. “Maybe they don’t really know what it is. Maybe they’re under some misconception about what capitalism is, because this characterization of it? A distinction with venture capitalism and vulture capitalism? This bite from Perry doesn’t compute.”
So why are these conservative talk show hosts defending Mitt Romney so furiously?
I think now we know.
It is all about the money.
When you have enough money, you can get conservative talk show hosts to promote an extremely liberal candidate.
Yes, of course Bain Capital does not "control" what these talk show hosts say.
Yes, of course some of the talk show hosts toss some light criticism at Romney from time to time.
But they simply do not go after Romney like they should be.
The truth is that Mitt Romney is really a Democrat that is masquerading as a Republican.  When you closely examine his record, he is very similar to Obama.
There is no way in the world that any self-respecting conservative should ever cast a single vote for him.
But right now Mitt Romney is running away with the race for the Republican nomination.
If Republicans can be fooled this badly, is there any hope for the future of the Republican Party?

US stations two aircraft carriers opposite Iran and 15,000 troops in Kuwait -

US stations two aircraft carriers opposite Iran and 15,000 troops in Kuwait  - 

US President Barack Obama is busy aligning Middle East allies with the next US steps on Iran. Contributing to the mounting sense in Washington of an approaching US-Iranian confrontation, the Pentagon is substantially building up its combat power around Iran, stationing nearly 15,000 troops in Kuwait - two Army infantry brigades and a helicopter unit – and keeping two aircraft carriers the region. The USS Carl Vinson, the USS John Stennis which was to have returned to home base and their strike groups will stay in the Arabian Sea.
Iran is caught up in the same pre-war swirl of activity. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani spent two days in Ankara this week. But Turkish leaders failed in their bid to sell their good offices as brokers for averting the expected collision between Tehran and the West. Before flying out of Ankara Friday, Jan. 13, Larijani commented: "We have different ways of doing things."
DEBKAfile's Iranian sources quote the Iranian official as telling his hosts that his country is prepared to take on any military aggressors. One of the responses weighed in Tehran to meet the rising military pressure might be an open declaration of Iran as a nuclear power. By accepting a visit by IAEA inspectors on Jan. 28 - to investigate charges that Iran is running a clandestine nuclear bomb program - Tehran may be moving toward that irreversible admission - or possibly its first nuclear test.


22 Signs That We Are On The Verge Of A Devastating Global Recession -

22 Signs That We Are On The Verge Of A Devastating Global Recession - 

2012 is shaping up to be a very tough year for the global economy.  All over the world there are signs that economic activity is significantly slowing down.  Many of these signs are detailed later on in this article.

But most people don’t understand what is happening because they don’t put all of the pieces together.  If you just look at one or two pieces of data, it may not seem that impressive.  But when you examine all of the pieces of evidence that we are on the verge of a devastating global recession all at once, it paints a very frightening picture.  Asia is slowing down, Europe is slowing down and there are lots of trouble signs for the U.S. economy.  It has gotten to a point where the global debt crisis is almost ready to boil over, and nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next.  The last global recession was absolutely nightmarish, and we should all hope that we don’t see another one like that any time soon.  Unfortunately, things do not look good at this point.

The following are 22 signs that we are on the verge of a devastating global recession….

#1 On Thursday it was announced that U.S. jobless claims had soared to a six-week high.

#2 Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, has filed for bankruptcy protection.

#3 Sears recently announced that somewhere between 100 and 120 Sears and Kmart stores will be closing, and Sears stock has fallen nearly 60% in just the past year.

#4 Over the past 12 months, dozens of prominent retailers have closed stores all over America, and one consulting firm is projecting that there will bemore than 5,000 more store closings in 2012.

#5 Richard Bove, an analyst at Rochdale Securities, is projecting that the global financial industry will lose approximately 150,000 jobs over the next 12 to 18 months.

#6 Investors are pulling money out of the stock market at a rapid pace right now.  In fact, as an article posted on CNBC recently noted, investors pulled more money out of mutual funds than they put into mutual funds for 9 weeks in a row.  Are there some people out there that are quietly repositioning their money for tough times ahead?….

Investors yanked money out of U.S. equity mutual funds for a ninth-consecutive week despite a bullish 2012 outlook from Wall Street and a December rally that’s carried over into the New Year.

#7 There are signs that the Chinese economy is seriously slowing down.  The following comes from a recent article in the Guardian….

Growth had slowed to an annual rate of 1.5% in the second and third quarters of 2011, below the “stall speed” that historically led to recession.

#8 The Bank of Japan says that the economic recovery in that country “has paused“.

#9 Manufacturing activity in the euro zone has fallen for five months in a row.

#10 Germany’s economy actually contracted during the 4th quarter of 2011.  At this point many economists believe that Germany is already experiencing a recession.

#11 According to a recent article by Bloomberg, it is being projected that the French economy is heading into a recession….

The French economy will shrink this quarter and next, suggesting the nation is in a recession as investment and consumer spending stagnate, national statistics office Insee said.

#12 There are a multitude of statistics that indicate that the UK economy is definitely slowing down.

#13 In the UK, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has risen to an astounding $9.67.

#14 It is being reported that the Spanish economy contracted during the 4th quarter of 2011.

#15 Bad loans in Spain recently hit a 17-year high and the unemployment rate is at a 15-year high.

#16 According to a recent article in the Telegraph, the Italian government is forecasting that there will be a recession for the Italian economy in 2012….

The Italian government predicts GDP will contract 0.4pc next year, but many economists fear the figure is optimistic.

“We can say without mincing words that we have already slipped into recession,” said Intesa Sanpaolo analyst Paolo Mameli. “We expect GDP to keep contracting for the next 3-4 quarters.”

#17 Italy’s youth unemployment rate has hit the highest level ever.

#18 The unemployment rate in Greece for those under the age of 24 is now at39 percent.

#19 Greece is already experiencing a full-blown economic depression.  About a third of the country is now living in poverty and extreme medicine shortages are being reported.  Things have gotten so bad that entire families are being ripped apart.  According to the Daily Mail, hundreds of Greek children are being abandoned because the economy has gotten so bad that their parents simply cannot afford to take care of them anymore.  The note that one mother left with her child was absolutely heartbreaking….

One mother, it said, ran away after handing over her two-year-old daughter Natasha.

Four-year-old Anna was found by a teacher clutching a note that read: ‘I will not be coming to pick up Anna today because I cannot afford to look after her. Please take good care of her. Sorry.’

#20 In Greece, large numbers of people are simply giving up on life.  Sadly, the number of suicides in Greece has increased by 40 percent in just the past year.

#21 In many European countries, the money supply continues to contract rapidly.  The following comes from a recent article in the Telegraph….

Simon Ward from Henderson Global Investors said “narrow” M1 money – which includes cash and overnight deposits, and signals short-term spending plans – shows an alarming split between North and South.

While real M1 deposits are still holding up in the German bloc, the rate of fall over the last six months (annualised) has been 20.7pc in Greece, 16.3pc in Portugal, 11.8pc in Ireland, and 8.1pc in Spain, and 6.7pc in Italy. The pace of decline in Italy has been accelerating, partly due to capital flight. “This rate of contraction is greater than in early 2008 and implies an even deeper recession, both for Italy and the whole periphery,” said Mr Ward.

#22 The major industrialized nations of the world must roll over trillions upon trillions of dollars in debt during 2012.  At a time when credit is becoming much tighter, this is going to be quite a challenge.  The following list compiled by Bloomberg shows the amount of debt that some large nations must roll over in 2012….

Japan: 3,000 billion
U.S.: 2,783 billion
Italy: 428 billion
France: 367 billion
Germany: 285 billion
Canada: 221 billion
Brazil: 169 billion
U.K.: 165 billion
China: 121 billion
India: 57 billion
Russia: 13 billion
Keep in mind that those numbers do not include any new borrowing.  Those are just old debts that must be refinanced.

As I mentioned at the top of this article, things do not look good.

The last thing that we need is another devastating global recession.

As I wrote about yesterday, the U.S. economy is in the midst of a nightmarish long-term decline.  The last major global recession helped to significantly accelerate that decline.

So what will happen if this next global recession is worse than the last one?

Sadly, the people that will get hurt the most by another recession will not be the wealthy.

The people that will get hurt the most will be the poor and the middle class.

So what should all of us be doing about this?

We should use the time during this “calm before the storm” to prepare for the hard times that are coming.

As always, let us hope for the best and let us prepare for the worst.

But things certainly do not look promising for the global economy in 2012.


Seals and Walruses Found Dead in Alaska with Mysterious Infected Sores and Hair Loss - Fukushima Radiation? -

Seals and Walruses Found Dead in Alaska with Mysterious Infected Sores and Hair Loss - Fukushima Radiation? - 

According to the Alaska Dispatch, since mid-July, more than 60 dead and 75 diseased seals have been found with skin lesions and hair loss in the Arctic and Bering Strait regions of Alaska. In addition, scientists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported several diseased and dead walruses in their fall survey this year, and the walruses were also found with skin sores and patchy hair loss.

Scientific studies have indicated that a virus is not responsible for the disease impacting these animals, but scientists have been unable to isolate a single cause. Tissue samples from the affected animals have been screened for a variety of pathogens, but all of the results so far have been negative.

NOAA declared mysterious seal deaths "an unusual mortality event"
The seal deaths have been declared "an unusual mortality event" by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) , a status that provides additional resources to investigate the cause. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering making a similar declaration for the Pacific walrus.

Seal tissue samples will be tested
Tissue samples will be examined for various factors including signs of immune system diseases, fungi, toxins, contaminants related to sea ice change, and radiation. Some of the seals and walruses have undersized lymph nodes, possibly a sign of weakened immune systems. The results of these tests will not be available for several weeks.

Concerns that the seal deaths may be linked to Fukushima radiation 
Local communities have been concerned that the marine mammals deaths may be due to a causal relationship linked to the Fukushima nuclear plant's damage.

Scientists at the Institute of Marine Sciences at UAF believe it's unlikely that Fukushima was the cause of the seals' deaths, given that levels of detected radiation are relatively low around Alaska. Water tests have not shown evidence of elevated radiation in U.S. Pacific waters since the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan. If there is a link to Fukushima, the researchers will find it, as they will be testing for radionuclide Cs-134 and Cs-137.

Read more -