Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Where is stolen $5 + Trillion US Tax Dollars?

Above image [stolen from here], 3 images below this one [stolen from here]

Can you visualize 100 million dollars of stacked $100 bills on a standard wooden pallet? It is just under breast height on an average man. Pallets double stacked for one trillion, you'd need an airplane hanger. Well, allegedly the Pentagon can't account for over 5 trillion dollars. My quick math means that is $18,000 to $20,000, or so, missing from each of us. So, where is the stolen money, and why isn't every American demanding an answer right now of where the money is?

100 million dollars by In My Community

Double stacked pallets 1 Trillion US Dollars by In My Community

As much as I have resisted, and wanting not to listen to Alex Jones, thinking my brain might leak out my ear from the fast and furious conspiracy theory rant, I have broken that seal and listened. The five minute video below is worth a listen. You are being robbed daily. Your entire savings, your retirement, your future, and your kids' and grandkids' have also been ripped off. What are you going to do about it?

The below video was uploaded to youtube about an hour ago.

Steven G. Erickson is a freelance cameraman, blogger, photographer, documentary producer, screenwriter, sometimes journalist, and can and will travel anywhere if the terms are right. His objective is to reform America's (more...)


Obama's RightHaven ploy to Censor Internet?

Image [stolen from here]

I received an email from Nancy Lazaryan, a Judicial Reform Advocate from Minneapolis, Minnesota. [Her video] explaining Independent Grand Juries and the need for them is a must see. Nancy eludes that Obama will use his corrupt Chicago attorney connections to censor the internet. [Nancy's link sent to me on RightHaven]

[A list] of publications that may sue you if you quote them or link to them.

"Fair Use" is for bloggers, teachers, journalists, political activists, and others who aren't making a profit to inform others using the copyrighted work of others, giving the authors/creators credit for their work. Eliminating "Fair Use" would censor the internet and would be the final Obama/Bush nail in the coffin of Liberty and Free Speech.



[click here] for:

Anatomy of Blacklisting in the USA and UK

If you have children, they're targets, and if you're reading this, and are politically active, you're a target. How does the list work?


The old system where the FBI, military, police, elected officials, judges, attorneys, and others conspired to keep minorities in their place, is now "Justice" for all of us:


Monday, July 26, 2010

Foreign Investors in charge of US Military, Security, Courts, running Government?

Image not really related to post theme [stolen from here]

Does it take a Mass Migration, or is there a way to fight these foreign terrorists running the US, robbing American taxpayers? Are corporate banksters willing to hire foreign mercenaries to police American streets? Why is a Private Bank, The Federal Reserve, stealing all of our money, and then loaning part of it back to us at high interest?


From the Telegraph (UK):


Afghan war logs: 'files may contain evidence of war crimes'

By Robert Winnett and Peter Hutchison
Published: 3:51PM BST 26 Jul 2010

The founder of WikiLeaks, the whistleblowing website which leaked tens of thousands of classified American documents on the war in Afghanistan to the media, has said the files may contain evidence of war crimes

Julian Assange said that the military files showed that the "course of the war needed to change" and stated that "thousands" of war crimes may have been committed in Afghanistan.

Speaking at a press conference at the Frontline Club in central London, Mr Assange said: "It is up to a court to decide clearly whether something is in the end a crime.

"That said, on the face of it, there does appear to be evidence of war crimes in this material."

"We would like to see the revelations that this material gives to be taken seriously, investigated by governments and new policies put in place as a result, if not prosecutions of those people who have committed abuses."

Mr Assange has held back 15,000 documents and promised to release thousands more in the coming weeks.

He said that decisions had to be made over whether the releases would have security implications.

Mr Assange rebuffed the US administration's condemnation of the leak and denied claims that it would put soldiers' lives at risk.

He said: "We are familiar with groups whose abuse we expose attempting to criticise the messenger to distract from the power of the message," he said.

"We don't see any difference in the White House's response to this case to the other groups that we have exposed.

"We have tried hard to make sure that this material does not put innocents at harm.

"All the material is over seven months old so is of no current operational consequence, even though it may be of very significant investigative consequence."

The documents - detailing military operations between 2004 and 2009 - disclose how Nato forces have killed scores of civilians in unreported incidents in Afghanistan.

More than 90,000 documents were leaked to the Wikileaks website and shown to several newspapers around the world.

The release of the huge file of classified papers is described as one of the biggest leaks in US military history.

Mr Assange added that the files gave a greater understanding of what the war in Afghanistan was like and suggested that it needed to change. HE also brushed aside criticisms that the files could not be trusted.

He said: "The manner in which it needs to change is not yet clear."

He added that the files were not about one single horrific event but the bigger picture of the conflict, now into its ninth year.

"The real story of this material is that it is war, it's one damn thing after another," he said.

"It's the continuous small events, the continuous deaths of children, insurgents, allied forces, the millions of people."

Mr Assange said WikiLeaks had "no reason" to doubt the reliability of the files, but cautioned that they presented only a partial picture.

He said: "You will find that the US military units when self-reporting of course often speak in self-exculpatory language, redefine civilian casualties as insurgent casualties, downplay the number of casualties.

"And we know this by comparing these reports to the public record for where there has been comprehensive investigation."

The White House condemned the publication of the data which it said threatened the safety of coalition forces.

A spokesman said: "We strongly condemn the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organisations, which puts the lives of the US and partner service members at risk and threatens our national security."

The documents also include references to incidents involving British troops.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "We have been unable to corroborate these claims in the short time available and it would be inappropriate to speculate on specific cases without further verification of the alleged actions.

"Reducing the risk to local civilians has always formed an essential part of planning for all military operations carried out by UK forces and we always do our utmost to ensure that we shield the civilian population from violence during the course of any military activity.

The leaked documents reveal how:

  • Hundreds of civilians have been killed by Nato troops
  • There has a been a steep rise in Taliban attacks on coalition troops
  • A secret "black" unit of special forces hunts down Taliban leaders for "kill or capture" without trial
  • The US covered up evidence that the Taliban have acquired heat-seaking surface-to-air missiles.
  • The coalition is increasingly using deadly Reaper drones to hunt and kill Taliban targets by remote control from a base in Nevada.
  • The Taliban have caused growing carnage with a massive escalation of their roadside bombing campaign, which has killed more than 2,000 civilians to date.
  • There have been more than 50 incidents where local troops have opened fire on their comrades

Although many of the claims have been aired previously, the leak is highly embarrassing.

The documents claim that 195 civilians have been improperly killed and 174 wounded. Many are innocent motorcylists or drivers shot after being suspected of being suicide bombers.

The growing evidence that Iran and Pakistan in supporting and fuelling the insurgency is also detailed in the documents.

Pakistan's ambassador to the United States insisted his country was fully committed to fighting Islamic insurgents.

Ambassador Husain Haqqani called the release of the file "irresponsible", saying it consisted of "unprocessed" reports from the field.

The founder of Wikileaks said the angry reaction showed that the whistleblower website is succeeding in its mission.

Julian Assange, 39, an Australian former hacker and computer programmer, told the Guardian: "If journalism is good it is controversial by its nature.

"It is the role of good journalism to take on powerful abuses, and when powerful abuses are taken on, there is always a back reaction."

Until the Afghan dossier, Wikileaks' most prominent scoop was a video posted in April this year showing a US Apache helicopter strike in Baghdad in 2007.

The not-for-profit website organisation has also been responsible for publishing a Guantanamo Bay training manual, BNP membership lists and details of Sarah Palin's private emails.

The source of the leak to the website is so far unknown.

The last person suspected of providing classified material to the outlet is American soldier Bradley Manning who has been charged with two counts of misconduct for allegedly providing video footage of a US Apache helicopter strike in Iraq in 2007 in which around a dozen people were gunned down in broad daylight.

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[click here] for:

Did the Banks really write the "Banking Legislation"?


[click here for 3 videos explaining the Bankster Take Over of America]

This is how "Black Justice" works. The FBI, police, military, courts etc. used to be rigged to keep minorities in their place, as was the racist policy. Now this "Justice System" is for all of us:



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"Secretive or Unjust Systems"

The non linear effects of leaks on unjust systems of governance

by Julian Assange

As originally posted on: IQ.ORG
December 31, 2006

You may want to read The Road to Hanoi or Conspiracy as Governance ; an obscure motivational document, almost useless in light of its decontextualization and perhaps even then. But if you read this latter document while thinking about how different structures of power are differentially affected by leaks (the defection of the inner to the outer) its motivations may become clearer.

The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive "secrecy tax") and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaption.

Hence in a world where leaking is easy, secretive or unjust systems are nonlinearly hit relative to open, just systems. Since unjust systems, by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance.

Only revealed injustice can be answered; for man to do anything intelligent he has to know what's actually going on.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

US Financial Terrorists and "Top Secret America", a manipulation/spying scam

Image of Max Keiser [found here on interesting webpage]

Is Goldman Sachs more of a terrorist organization, a world threat, more so than the pretend ones alleged to be phantoms hiding in caves?

Is "Top Secret America" about bankrupting African economies over cocoa price manipulation showing how US Financial Spooks are wrecking the world economy? Well check out the Max Keiser
[video within this post]

Is the SEC, Securities and Exchange Commission, using software to fudge its books? Aren't they supposed to be financial regulators? Check out the Corbett Report [video within this post]


Documents Detail $4.3B In Goldman Sachs Payouts

by The Associated Press

International banks and financial companies were indirect beneficiaries of the government's 2008 bailout of American International Group Inc., according to newly released documents.

The documents released by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, contain a list of the 27 banks, hedge funds and financial companies that received $4.3 billion from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The money was to reimburse them for losses on investments called credit default swaps that plunged in value during the financial crisis.

The money trail actually began with AIG, which sold the swaps to Goldman. The big investment bank in turn sold them to its customers, including the international banks and financial companies. When AIG received a bailout worth $182.5 billion, it reimbursed Goldman and other banks, which then repaid their customers.

Credit default swaps are essentially contracts that insure against the default of bonds and corporate debt. Sellers of swaps, such as AIG, are obligated to repay customers if the value of the underlying bonds or debt declines.

Much of the federal rescue money for AIG was used to pay its obligations to its Wall Street trading partners on credit default swaps. The biggest beneficiary of the AIG money was Goldman, which received $12.9 billion.

According to Grassley, the documents show that the five banks or companies ultimately receiving the largest amount of taxpayer money were DZ Bank AG in Germany, which received $1.18 billion; Banco Santander Central Hispano SA of Spain, which received $484 million; Ireland's Zulma Finance PLC, which received $416 million; Infinity Finance PLC in Britain, which received $277 million; and Britain's Sierra Finance PLC, which received $223 million.

Another $173 million went to Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp., which has HSBC operations throughout the U.S.

Goldman had previously disclosed that it had made payments to its customers, but did not say who the recipients were. It gave the information to Grassley after he threatened to subpoena the bank. Grassley released the documents showing the payments late Friday.

The payments have been controversial because of concerns that the banks should have absorbed more losses on their investments rather than be reimbursed with taxpayer money. Last month, a watchdog panel raised new doubts over the likelihood taxpayers will be fully repaid for the government's bailout of AIG.

"The government determined that a collapse of AIG would be systemically disastrous," Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas van Praag said. "And of course if a systemic problem had ensued, we along with every company in the world would likely have been affected."

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Are Saudi Arabia oil fields going dry where water is needed to be pumped across Turkey for a process to extract the last of the oil? Is Russia now a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia?

The below posts found on [Gregor.us] out of Massachusetts

How does Energy play into the financial crisis?

Friday Notebook: Artful Data

Scale is a difficult dimension for society to grasp whether we are talking about national debt, geologic time, or global energy systems. Here at www.gregor.us I primarily use writing to disclose the fullness of scale, and am constantly aware of what a challenging task that can be. Over the years however I have conducted a kind of ongoing tour of visual displays of scale, to see how others are handling the problem. There is of course the classic short film by Charles and Ray Eames, Powers of Ten. Also, whenever someone clever comes along and creates a unit such as a Cubic Mile of Oil, I take note.

What’s clear is that the problem of using a two-dimensional form to illustrate scale, depth, time, and development remains a hurdle. This year I’ve found myself dipping into books by Edward Tufte to broaden my perspective in my own chart-making, and this past week I found a new book titled Diagram Graphics, which I’ve been studying. Let’s take a look at one example, below: a 1990 branching graphic of the various software programs that ran on Apple Computers, from MacLife Magazine:

When I see a diagram such as this, it opens up some compelling choices to those of us who chart energy use and supply. For example, China was very much in the news this week as it surpassed the US in energy consumption. But as I pointed out, the energy profiles of China and the US could not be more different with the US a big user of Oil, and China a colossal user of Coal. Accordingly, the more organic looking approach as seen here could be used to not only display China’s energy use profile, but each “branch” could be sized for thickness to show growth rates of oil, natural gas, hydro, and coal. By doing so, one could begin to approach better in a flat, two-dimensional form the richer aspects of a country’s development as it travels down the energy adoption path.


Photo: BNN of Japan designed graphic for MacLife Magazine, 1990 from Diagram Graphics by Abe and Nishioka.

China’s Just a Place

The mainstream press is abuzz this week with the “news” that the United States, after 100+ years, has now been surpassed as the world’s No. 1 energy consumer. IEA Paris, following the BP Statistical Review in June, has decided to call this race in favor of China. However, this is really not a story of today. Rather, it’s a story of the past decade. Only the confluence of several powerful forces could have delivered China to its current position. The press should have been paying closer attention. Moreover, the real story here is in China’s growth in coal consumption–the energy source China drew upon to first match, and then surpass, the United States.

Let’s take a look first at BP’s data assessment for 2009 energy use, vs. IEA Paris. Our unit of account here is the mtoe–million tons oil equivalent. This is a unit of energy, not volume, and measures BTU. Also, a note: IEA Paris apparently is including Hong Kong in their data so I have added Hong Kong also to mainland China from the BP Statistical Review (which tracks them separately). For 2009, BP has China edging the USA by nearly 19 mtoe, and IEA Paris has China exceeding the USA by a more substantial 82 mtoe. | see below: BP vs IEA Paris: China and USA 2009 Energy Use in MTOE.

What the chart doesn’t tell you is the composition of each country’s energy consumption. While many are aware the US is a heavy user of oil, there is less attention paid to China’s heavy use of coal. Let’s compare the two, shall we? Oil in the US represents nearly 39% of total energy use from all sources. But in China, oil barely represents 19% of total energy use. Most important of all: China’s coal use is four times its oil use.

Whereas in the United States oil demand is not a reflection of strong exports, in China the extraordinary mix of coal to oil use is very much of a reflection of worldwide manufacturing, and global demand for those goods. In other words, China is just a place where the world performs a great deal of its physical labor. Perhaps this is why Beijing is “unhappy” with this week’s media focus on the country’s energy demand. Or, perhaps not. China appears to be refuting the data itself, rather than making the more salient point: much of that coal demand is from you and me, here in the West. China’s coal consumption is merely our own power consumption, offshored. And while the composition of that demand will surely tip in the year’s ahead to a more domestic focus in China, this is yet another illustration that the world’s demand for energy is still very much satisfied not by oil, but by coal.


Friday Notebook: Oil and Sugar

A trip this week to the new Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston was a chance to discover that a number of artists right now are addressing issues of land, population, water, resources, and energy. Tara Donovan’s landscapes, which are often made of light-catching plastic for example, recreate topographical mysteries. And, as the new ICA building practically hangs out (and over) Boston Harbor, I saw Donovan’s work as an exploration of shorelines. Indeed, in her broader work, that she can make landscapes out of plastic cups goes to both her talent, and perhaps her concerns: water, light, and land. Also investigating issues of scale and repetition is Kader Attia, who has made a few installations that address Découvrez">population and global slums. Or, as they are often called, mega-slums. At the ICA, he has a four minute film titled Oil and Sugar No. 2 that shows crude oil being poured over a block of white sugar cubes. The film struck me as both timely, and, as a meditation on collapse and how large systems break down. While I was not able to find the film online in its entirety (no surprise) you can at least catch a few frames in this short video posted below, that covers Attia’s recent work.


Video: short video on the work of Kader Attia from CultureBox.

Global Crude Oil Supply Update

Global crude oil supply fell in April, after a surprising revision upwards to the March totals, of approximately 200 kbpd. Volatility in the data is currently coming out of the North Sea. This will continue as Norway is expected to see production falls when the next few months of data is reported. Globally, oil production stood at 73.552 mbpd in April. On an annual basis, through the first 4 months of 2010, global crude oil production is averaging 73.458 mbpd. The current peak year for global crude oil production remains 2005, at 73.719 mbpd.


Friday Notebook: Drive, Roads, Infinitum

Bottomless wonders spring from simple rules which are repeated without end. –Benoit Mandelbrot

Andrew Filippone’s short film Commute is reminiscent of both the early days of cinema, when the miracle of moving images was used to resolve questions about motion, and also the avant-garde period much later in the 1960′s when filmmakers used the camera to break the world down, into component parts. In my ongoing work into the economic sensitivity of our built environment to energy costs, I found this short film to be helpful. If, for no other reason than its ability to refresh our awareness of what a repeated action, like a daily car commute, means in energy terms. For those interested in these questions, I also highly recommend some of the quantification work done by Saul Griffith in his 2009 presentation at the Long Now Foundation and his particular attention to embodied energy in US road infrastructure. (see below the video for all references and links).


Film: excerpt from Commute (53 minutes; video; color; sound; 2002) | Andrew Filippone Jr., Director/Producer/Camera/Editor | Stefan Girardet, Music & Sound Design | Synopsis: Five consecutive days of travel on Southern California’s 101 freeway become one in this split-screen meditation on stasis, silence, and inaction. | H/T Alexis Madrigal

Quote: Benoit Mandelbrot, from his 2010 TED Talk. | H/T Paul Kedrosky

Saul Griffith: see minute 17:00 of Griffith’s 2009 Long Now talk, and pay attention to Slide No. 28 from the deck to that presentation.

Hollow Men of Economics

Left unaddressed during the past 3 years in most of the debates between economists has been the problem of energy. The reason is simple: post-war economists don’t do energy, except as an ever-expanding resource that the credit system and technology makes available. For the post-war economist, the supply curve of energy–save for brief lags–is always coming back into rough equilibrium with the economy. Accordingly, the ongoing dispute between Keynesians and Austrians (or Austerians if you like) is exceedingly boring in this regard. As late as 2008, for example, economist Paul Krugman was at least an infrastructure-and-engineering Keynesian. However, Paul quickly converted to becoming just a throw lots of money at the existing system Keynesian. The hollow nature of Krugman’s debate with Niall Ferguson meanwhile comes via their shared belief that the system will self-organize, if you follow their respective prescriptions. They are indeed the inheritors of Adam Smith. However, neither allowing the economy to deflate further from here via austerity, nor throwing more debt-marked stimulus will solve the present day problem. For the United States, along with the rest of the developed world, has reached a boundary in energy.

Only an economist could wonder in their leisure now, whether energy played a significant role in our current crisis. Indeed the public remarks of Ben Bernanke on the matter of energy, during the 2005-2010 period, were at least as clueless as his embarrassing commentary on the historic bubble in housing and credit. As the nation’s chief economist, Bernanke saw no problem with credit, with derivatives, with the fast inflation in housing prices, or with energy prices. And as an American economist, he was not alone.

As state’s see their budgets collapse and start a new round of layoffs, we should consider the fact that house price inflation masked the lack of wage growth in the United States. And now that house prices continue their descent for a 5th year, American workers are more fully exposed to the decade-long march higher in energy costs. They can experience this individually through energy prices, or more generally through the overall energy cost to the economy. Hence, the chart above.

Unlike many who were either shocked or angered at the ridiculous paper released by Richmond Fed Economist Kartik Athreya, Economic is Hard, I was delighted. For, the paper confirms that at the Federal Reserve, just as in the post-war economics profession, competency has been replaced with authority. Indeed, this was in fact Athreya’s central point: that only a PhD in economics conferred the proper access to discuss economic issues. The most beautiful rebuttal came from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, who made a point dear to me and one that I have made for years: economics is a social science, not a science. In other words, economists are working down here, alongside the rest of us humanists. History, literature, psychology, and anthropology to mention a few disciplines are all equally competitive fields of knowledge to understand the system of behavior known as an economy. Accordingly, it behooves post-war economists to dislodge themselves of the view that their discipline neatly explains energy and energy supply. Lose the attitude. The problem of energy limits awaits you.


Chart: United States Energy Expenditure as a Percent of GDP 1999-2008. Data used is the latest available. GDP series comes from the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Energy Expenditure data comes via EIA Washington’s SEDS series, for all states and also the country as a whole. I put these two data series together on my own, but, checked it against EIA Washington’s own calculation of Total Energy Expenditures vs GDP. 2009 is not omitted from the chart by choice, but rather, because expenditure data is not easily available yet for that year. Background photo is of a rooftop sculpture by Antony Gormley from his project Event Horizon, which was displayed in both London and New York.

Cantarell Finally Slips Below 500 kbpd

It’s odd that people believe something truly new is possible in the world of global oil discovery. Oil deposits on earth follow a fairly well defined pattern: a handful of giant fields, and a great number of smaller fields. Unsurprisingly, 150 years of oil exploration and discovery has done nothing to upend this distribution. The giant fields were all found earlier in the oil age. Now we are into the latter part of the oil age, when the large fields have peaked and gone into decline, and we spend more capital, more labor, and more energy to extract oil from the smaller fields.

A nice example of the pattern is Mexico. They inherited a giant, Cantarell. But now that Cantarell has been in fast decline since its peak in 2004, Mexico is left with a complex of smaller fields called Ku-Maloob-Zaap, and also the very low quality Chicontepec. It’s kind of sad that Mexico’s Energy Ministry has been touting for years the promise of Chicontepec. It’s a dog’s breakfast of an oil field, with its deposits widely dispersed and hard to extract. After all this time, it produces a feeble 40 thousand barrels a day.

As you can see from the chart, Cantarell Crude Oil Production 2008 – 2010, Mexico’s single giant finally slipped below 500 thousand barrels per day of production in May, to 499,286 kbpd. It’s still pretty astonishing to reflect that just two years ago, Cantarell was still producing a million barrels per day. The Mexican government, like the average layperson, continues to trade publicly in the idea that some new discovery could occur in Mexico that would alter the country’s production decline. But unlike the layperson, PEMEX knows better. (Indeed, insider reports on PEMEX indicate they’ve known for years).


Cheap is Nice, But it’s Not Everything: Natural Gas

A barrel of oil contains 5.8 million BTU and can be purchased today for $77.00. But in natural gas, using today’s price of $4.80 per million BTU, you can obtain the same quantity of energy for $27.85. This price discount started developing as far back as 2005, but did not reach its current levels until after the deflationary crash of 2008. Natural gas, it should be mentioned, had always carried a small discount to oil owing to the latter’s versatility as a liquid and its greater penetration into industrial society. The present day discount is historic however. Especially with respect to its duration.

There are a number of factors at play here. First, North American natural gas supply is trapped as no export facility exists to ship LNG to the rest of the world. (This will change when the Kitimat LNG project comes on line circa 2013). Accordingly, North American natural gas sells at a persistent discount to global volumes of LNG. Second, North America is a heavy user of oil-based transport but as a continent we are really defined by our remaining coal and natural gas resources–not our depleted crude oil resources. Finally, the 6 straight years in which global oil production has remained flat to declining reflects sturdy, structural changes that are now embedded in the price of oil. Accordingly, because the price spread is so enormous, a number of analysts think that the price of natural gas will eventually catch up again, to oil. And possibly soon. Not only do I think otherwise, but I think it could take a decade or more for the BTU in natural gas to price once again near the BTU in oil. If ever.

That the energy in natural gas costs only 35% of that in oil will understandably lead many to conclude a transition to natural gas from oil is imminent. The hurdles to any fast switch to natural gas are formidable, however. There is the problem that natural gas has to compete with coal, for instance, which also prices itself way, way below oil for an equivalent amount of BTU. The larger barrier is of course the built environment (nicely illustrated by the above photo of Los Angeles). North America is very much built out for oil. Not natural gas.

As we saw in the 2009 BP Statistical Review, natural gas was the big loser in 2009. Cheaper than oil, but not cheaper than coal, natural gas currently has no edge as either an easy replacement for oil in infrastructure terms, or, as a competitor to coal in price terms for power generation. It’s also a bit of problem, to say the least, that there is punk demand growth for electrical power in North America owing to our weak economy. Demand for power in the US was hit very hard in 2009. This brings us to an irony of energy transitions that may have been a part of the painfully long transition from Wood to Coal, and also Coal to Oil: cheaper is not the holy grail of transition. The path dependency of your built environment can trump the price attractiveness of an alternate source of energy for a long time. I expect that for years to come, people will be asking in bewilderment, “Why aren’t we transitioning to cheap, domestic, plentiful, natural gas?”


Photo: from the series, Lighter than air: A view of downtown L.A. from the Goodyear blimp, by John W Adkisson, LA Times.

Crouching Oil, Hidden Coal

The bible for energy data, the BP Statistical Review, was released yesterday and I continue to make up charts using the fresh news. Today I update Global Energy Use by Source 2009, which shows the contribution to total world energy by source, and without question there are changes here worth a comment. But before getting to the relative mix, let’s briefly review the absolute changes from 2008.

First, total world energy use from all sources fell by 1.1% last year. Given the state of the world economy, that’s no surprise. Though, I should mention, 1.1% is much lower than many had anticipated. Digging back into my data archives, for example, to the time of the Great Depression–when coal was still the primary energy source for the world–I find that in 1931 coal use fell over 11% from 1930. Oil is of course now the world’s primary energy source (though not for much longer) and in 2009 total world oil use fell by 1.7%. Total world use of coal was flat in 2009, by contrast. And in natural gas, total global use fell by 2.1%. Given these absolute falls, let’s now look at the chart of relative use, by source:

Oil still makes the largest relative contribution to global consumption of energy. However, compared to 2008 (revised), coal increased its global contribution from 29.04% to 29.36%, while oil’s contribution fell from 35.00% to 34.77%. That may look like a small change, until you consider the scale of global energy use and the trend of the past 10 years. It’s also notable that both natural gas and nuclear power lost relative position as well, with nuclear’s contribution now falling even further below hydro power. Fun fact: hydro power has contributed a very steady 5.50-6.50% to global energy supply since 1965.

The most important story from yesterday’s data release, of course, is that global coal consumption was flat in 2009 as consumption of oil and natural gas fell. Coal remains the big story, and will become an even bigger story as we head to 2015.


Peak Oil, FTW

Six years of data show that global production of oil started to plateau in 2005. But there are other ways to measure the world’s faltering ability to increase oil supply. We can show the increase in cost structure, as the capital required to bring on the new barrel rises. We can show the decline rates from existing fields. We can quantify how much oil comes from expensive, technically challenging fields such as tar sands or global offshore. And, we can also show oil’s share as a percentage of total world energy consumption. Given that the annual BP Statistical Review was released today, I made up the following chart to show oil’s contribution to world energy use, on a BTU basis:

Oil still provides the largest share of primary energy, ahead of coal and natural gas. But as you can see from the chart, its share is not exactly in gentle decline. The deficit is not being made up by natural gas, or renewables, or hydro, or nuclear. Indeed, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll already know the deficit is being met by coal. I thought the Bloomberg.com writers described this well just today, upon the release of the BP Statistical Review:

Coal’s share of global energy consumption rose last year to its highest level since 1970 as use of natural gas fell the most on record, a tendency that may continue, BP Plc said in a report. Coal accounted for 29 percent of world energy use, BP said today in its annual Statistical Review of World Energy. The report measures consumption of oil, gas, coal, nuclear energy and hydroelectricity.

Subscribers to Gregor.us Monthly, readers of this blog, and attendees to my talk at the CFA Society of San Francisco in April were all keyed in earlier to the revelations in today’s data release. | Hat tip: I am pleased that Neil Reynold’s of The Toronto Globe and Mail cited my work in his excellent and thematic coal piece last week, which surveyed in conversant fashion the ideas of Warren Stanley Jevons. | As we can see, the inexorable advance of coal and the shrinking share of oil gives us another lens through which to understand peak oil. For a world that has enjoyed oil’s high energy-density for the past 70 years, the transition to lower energy-density sources presents “a problem” to say the least. The debate over whether the world has peaked in oil supply, however, can now be laid to rest.


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More Stark Raving Viking Blog posts:


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Chain Email claims Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton engineered a total gun ban in US



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Repeal of Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 caused 2010 Depression?



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mutiny of the Sheep?

What would happen if citizens in the US, and abroad, started buying precious metal non-government coins and bullion for trading goods and services locally, and/or traded services amongst themselves, neighbors, and near neighbors? Would the government consider it a plot, call it "Agorism" or "Treason", and take steps to stamp it out?

Images [stolen from here]

Agorism is a political philosophy founded by Samuel Edward Konkin III and developed with contributions by J. Neil Schulman that holds as its ultimate goal bringing about a society in which all "relations between people are voluntary exchanges – a free market."[1] The term comes from the Greek word "agora," referring to an open place for assembly and market in ancient Greek city-states. Ideologically, it is a term representing a revolutionary type of free-market anarchism.[2] Schulman integrated the idea of counter-economics into Konkin's libertarian philosophy[3], which is the advocacy of untaxed black market activity, which agorists say will lead to development of private defense force sufficient to protect private property and liberty from the state to the point where such protection is strong enough to overthrow the state.[citation needed]


The below, cut and pasted, [from here]

July 24, 2010

The State and "the State Slave Economy"

Stages of Agorism

by "FSK"

As originally posted on: FSK's Guide to Reality
May 23, 2009

The stages of an agorist revolution are:

1. Someone discovers the idea of agorism.

2. People who think agorism is a good idea spread the idea to others.

3. People start practicing agorism in local small groups, perhaps only part-time initially.

4. People start working full-time as agorists. Larger trading groups develop.

5. All services currently available in the State slave economy may be purchased in the free market.

6. Areas, or groups living in certain areas, become free of harassment by the State. The State can no longer use violence to impose its will on agorists.

7. The State is eliminated.

We are currently in stage 2, with a couple more years left. There are some people who claim to be working in stage 3, the people who are practicing isolated tax resistance. It probably won't be viable for me to work full-time as an agorist until stage 4.

Until it's viable for me to work full-time as an agorist, I'm going to do the best I can, given the constraint of working in a State slave economy. I can't achieve freedom by myself, so the best I can do for now is work towards raising awareness in others.

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This blogger's beef with police, the courts, and the system:



Obama and Chris Dodd out to "SAVE" People?

Image [found here]

Connecticut US Senator Chris Dodd seems to be the one whispering in Obama's ear, telling Obama what the banksters told him they want for policy. Obama is bought and paid for by the banksters, and Dodd has been outed for taking forms of bribes. Dodd is on the Senate Banking Committee. Do you see how ridiculous this is? The Fed, a private banking corporation, rips off the American people and then loans them money to bail them out. [Bankster History]

Gerald Celente: 'This isn't reform, its depression'

Text with video:
RTAmerica | July 21, 2010

Earlier today US President Barack Obama signed a bill that is the most comprehensive financial law to be enacted since the Great Depression. The law, which got final approval from the Senate last week, targets the kind of Wall Street risk-taking that helped trigger a global financial meltdown in 2007-2009. Gerald Celente says that this is only going to harm and will not do enough to change Wall Street.

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Charlotte Dennett's father Daniel Dennett died under mysterious circumstances. He was a key instrument in the precursor of the CIA. The modern CIA is basically an offshore bankster thug service. Why should the CIA be able to withhold most of their files even 60 years later? Is what they did long ago, going to give us a real hint of what is really going on now? Without the alphabet soup of thuggery departments doing as they please without oversight, corporate banking gangsters would not be ripping off the average American wholesale. Dennett's fight,
[video and text]

Prosecuting Bush, Charlotte Dennett marches on

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cops charge Government with Treason?

Image stolen [from here]

From Opednews.com:

Cops Charge Irish Government With Treason

By Gabriel Donohoe (about the author)

When a national police association accuses its government of what amounts to treason it is time to sit up and pay attention.

Michael O'Boyce, President of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), said at its annual conference in Limerick, at the end of April, 2010, that the Irish Government had been 'corrupted' and had been 'bought' by developers and bankers. (A garda is an Irish policeman, gardaí in the plural.)

Mr. O'Boyce, speaking on behalf of the country's 11,000 gardaí, charged government ministers with sacrificing the country to protect 'wealthy cronies' who had bankrolled the leading government party, Fianna Fáil. Such criticism of a serving government by its police force is unprecedented in Irish history and extremely rare in any western democracy.

Smarting from recent government disparagement of the gardaí a rankled Mr. O'Boyce pointed to an aggravating Fianna Fáil gaffe. While the government referred to the gardaí as 'self-serving, overpaid, underworked and dishonest people', it at the same time praised the 'entrepreneurial skill' and 'business acumen' of failed banksters like Sean Fitzpatrick (Anglo Irish Bank) and Michael Fingleton (Irish Nationwide Building Society), two people who played a huge part in bringing the Irish economy to its knees.

Clearly infuriated by collapsing living standards and the abject state of the economy, Mr. O'Boyce intended to deliver his speech directly to the Minister of Justice, Dermot Ahern, who was scheduled to attend the annual conference of the GRA. However, Mr. Ahern was sent a copy of the speech in advance and hastily declined to attend

Mr. O'Boyce would have castigated the Justice Minister directly by saying, "The Government of which you are a long-serving member has mismanaged the wealth of this country for more than a decade by allowing our assets to be plundered and robbed by bankers and speculators, and you are making generations of Irish workers pay the price for this treachery...

"...You did this because bankers and speculators have bought your party, and in return you have sacrificed the greater good and prosperity of the Irish nation for the benefit of the few - the few who have now taken their ill-gotten gains and secured them in tax havens around the world. Truly, a government of national sabotage."

Gardaí present at the meeting gave Mr. O'Boyce a standing ovation for the speech of which they were aware but which was never actually made. Nonetheless, the speech was angrily criticised by politicians and others who said that a police force should not intervene in politics. Justice Minister Ahern said that he utterly refuted the allegations made in the speech and that such remarks "besmirch the reputation of the force and have no place in a modern democracy."

Government backbencher Niall Collins said, "...[F]or me to hear a member of An Garda Síochána accuse a sovereign Government of robbery, corruption and treason, and this coming from a member of An Garda Síochána who are the agents of the State to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes, it's just clearly not sustainable."

This is an amazing attack on a modern democratic government described by the country's own police association as "a government of national sabotage." What prompted such wrath and fury from the GRA and does the Association have any basis for charging the Irish Government with treachery or treason?

The underlying cause of garda frustration and anger is the state of the Irish economy. The gardaí, like most Irish citizens, blame government incompetence and collusion with banksters and speculators for economic collapse. The government itself points to global recession and international bank failures as the cause of Irish woes but the reality goes much deeper than that.

The economic depression in Ireland is much more severe than anywhere else in the world. The fallout from global recession was seriously exacerbated by shortcomings of Irish Government Ministers, i.e., flagrant failures of governance through incompetence, self-interest, and criminal recklessness. These failures were further amplified by the cronyism and cosy intimacy of Fianna Fáil politicians with bankers and developers, by the utter ineptitude of government regulators, and by the laissez-faire attitude of the then Finance Minister, Brian Cowen, towards an alarmingly inflating construction bubble. (Cowen is now the Irish Prime Minister or Taoiseach and is stubbornly clinging onto power even though his personal rating is a paltry 18% in opinion polls.)

What angers the GRA, apart from hair shirt budgets, welfare cuts, and cuts in public sector pay, are the huge amounts of money given to renegade banks. These astronomical sums, cavalierly tossed into the laps of fraudulent bankers, are underwritten by the ever-suffering Irish taxpayer. A massive 22 billion euro has gone into the corrupt Anglo Irish Bank which has the dubious distinction of being the worst bank in the world. It is the biggest loss-maker of any bank on the planet and the Irish bank bailout is the most expensive bailout anywhere on the globe.

The Irish people are now learning that they will never see a penny of their 22 billion euro again it has disappeared into a black hole of bankster-generated debt. The new chief executive of Anglo has admitted that the money would never be seen again and Prime Minister Cowen grudgingly confirmed, only after four attempts by opposition leaders to get a straight answer, that the 22 billion euro is gone forever. This is a heartbreaking loss for a small country of less than 5 million people, many of whom are calling the bailing out of Anglo an act of criminal recklessness.

Responding to a recent government decision to extend the bank guarantee to Anglo Irish Bank, Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said, "I believe that the decision was made to save the skins of a number of individuals, some of whom are connected to Fianna Fail. If my belief is correct, and I have not been convinced to the contrary, then that decision was an act of economic treason."

Strong words indeed from Mr. Gilmore which echo the sentiments of Michael O'Boyce and the GRA.

Even worse than the Anglo Irish Bank fiasco is the government bank bailout programme called NAMA (National Asset Management Agency) which covers 5 Irish banks including Anglo Irish. The government says that NAMA will clean up the banking system by paying the banks 54 billion euro of taxpayer money to purchase toxic loans from their balance sheets. This is a huge risk which could blow up spectacularly and put several generations of Irish people into excessive debt.

Already we are seeing evidence that the banks lied about the quality of the loans on their books. At the time of agreeing values on their toxic property portfolios the banks assured the government that 40% of their loans were income producing. Now we find out that the real figure is only 25%. What the percentage will be in a year's time is anyone's guess.

Apart from NAMA and the Anglo Irish Bank bailout, the Irish Government has already recapitalized other Irish banks and financial institutions to the amount of some 13.5 billion euro. This was supposed to release funds and provide much needed credit to Small Business and to mortgage seekers. But the banks which were bailed out by the people of Ireland are not responding in kind to the people of Ireland. They are holding onto their funds while businesses are failing in unprecedented numbers for want of working capital. Much of the bailout money is being used by the banks to strengthen their balance sheets or to make safe investments elsewhere.

(In the United States, banks find it more profitable and free of risk to borrow from the Federal Reserve at .25% interest and buy 5-year Treasury bonds at 2.5% return rather than lend money to cash starved businesses. They can make enormous profits while thousands of businesses go to the wall.)

When one adds up the amount of money committed to recapitalization and bailout of Irish banks one arrives at a figure of some 90 billion euro.

If the Irish Government had invested this 90 billion in a state owned bank they could have implemented that sleight of hand practice so beloved of banksters called "Fractional Reserve Lending" whereby they could create and lend some 12 times the amount of capital invested. This would exceed 1,000 billion euro!

Ireland would be awash with cash and with prudent management the economy would have been turned around very quickly. Small businesses would have adequate working capital, home seekers could buy homes, public projects and infrastructure could be easily financed, and Ireland would return very swiftly to full employment.

But the government did not take that option. Instead, they pledged a colossal amount of money to private banksters to save them and their investors from losses incurred by their own criminal recklessness. In doing so, they have mortgaged the future of Ireland and the Irish people for generations to come and crippled the economy to levels often seen in the Third World.

By giving billions of public money to maintain the fortunes of its former cronies in banking and property development the Irish Government has created a living hell for its struggling citizens: almost 500,000 people out of work, 200,000 emigrating in search of jobs, tens of thousands of mortgages falling into arrears, hundreds of small businesses going to the wall, and suicides alarmingly on the rise. The land is filled with misery and despair when it could so easily have been triumph and prosperity.

Is Michael O'Boyce and the GRA correct when they charge the Irish Government with treason?

You decide.


Current incarnation - Gabriel Donohoe: Writer, Natural Health Therapist & Educator, and Shamanic Counsellor. At present walking the Earth Path to heal, to learn through teaching, and to help other two-leggeds raise their levels of consciousness and (more...)

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