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Footnotes for America's de facto domestic and foreign policies of artificial scarcity and institutionalized poverty (part two)

This page last updated on or about late 12-27-08
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BACK to America's de facto domestic and foreign policies of artificial scarcity and institutionalized poverty (part two)

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This list of references is not the final draft: it is still undergoing compilation and editing. END NOTE.

Note 1: Our worsening food and health

"...vitamins and minerals have dramatically declined in some of our most popular foods."

-- Today's foods lack yesterday's nutrition Globe and Mail Update July 05, 2002

"Food prices have more than doubled since the early 1980s..."

-- 'Every penny counts' Quickly rising food prices create hardships for struggling families; Alonzo Weston; 9/22/2007


"From a January "Parenting" column by John Rosemond in the Providence (R.I.) Journal: Reader: "I can't keep my 20-month-old daughter out of the dog's food. I've tried scolding, distracting, time-out, nothing has worked." Rosemond: "(F)rom a strictly nutritional standpoint (a nutritionist told me), most dog food is superior to the diets of many Americans." "(A pediatrician said) he has yet to see a child who suffered ill effects from eating dog food," except for chunk-type that might get stuck in the throat. [Providence Journal, 1-27-04]"

-- Recent Wisdom From Newspaper Columnists; Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird (.845); WEEK OF APRIL 18, 2004

"...how our staple foodstuff was transformed into an industrial triumph, but a nutritional and culinary disaster."

-- The shocking truth about bread Independent, The (London), Aug 24, 2006 by Andrew Whitley

"It's a dirty little secret of food poisoning: E. coli and certain other foodborne illnesses can sometimes trigger serious health problems months or years after patients survived that initial bout."

"...they described high blood pressure, kidney damage, even full kidney failure striking 10 to 20 years later in people who survived severe E. coli infection as children, arthritis after a bout of salmonella or shigella, and a mysterious paralysis that can attack people who just had mild symptoms of campylobacter."

"...the nation's 76 million annual food poisonings"

"We're drastically underestimating the burden on society that foodborne illnesses represent,"

"The CDC says foodborne illnesses cause 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths a year. Among survivors, some long-term consequences are obvious from the outset. Some required kidney transplants. They may have scarred intestines that promise lasting digestive difficulty."

"A small number of people develop what's called reactive arthritis six months or longer after a bout of salmonella. It causes joint pain, eye inflammation, sometimes painful urination, and can lead to chronic arthritis. Certain strains of shigella and yersinia bacteria, far more common abroad than in the U.S., trigger this reactive arthritis, too, Tauxe says."

-- Food poisoning can be long-term problem By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer Mon Jan 21, 2008; original URL, now broken: "http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080121/ap_on_he_me/healthbeat_food_poisoning;_ylt=AvtLKsNprozmLG27sbdd4z0DW7oF"

"The globalized speculative finance system avoids paying the true economic costs of global production and development, relegating these to unaccounted for "externalities." These unpaid costs manifest themselves in climate change, environmental degradation, underinvestment in sustainable energy, stagnant real wages, attacks on benefits and pensions, substandard education, shortage of clean water, widespread malnutrition, inadequate health care, famines, exposure to natural disasters, etc., etc., etc.

The real costs of infrastructure and technology development, etc. are just being passed off onto future generations right now in a manic chase after the quick buck. This is not economically sustainable in the long run, and it is also morally wrong."

"...it results in the massive under-funding of basic, long-term projects that are the foundation for generating real wealth..."

-- 3/17 Three Headline Stories this Week as Manifestations of the Dominance of Speculative Finance

-- From milk to meat, US food prices spike upward By Patrik Jonsson and Bina Venkataraman, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor Wed Jun 13, 2007

"...poor public policy. Take the surge in food prices. "I'm not with Malthus on this one," says C. Ford Runge, agricultural economist at the University of Minnesota. "The phenomenon is the result of a conscious, rational, self-interested claim with horrendous collateral consequences."

"...Runge is scathing about the massive subsidies shoveled at the biofuel industry in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere. One cost of propping up the industry is a global runup in food in grain prices. This can be traced in part to energy legislation enacted by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007.

Talk about unintended consequences. The diversion of food crops into the energy supply—and the attendant runup in prices—has been a disaster for the nearly 1 billion of the world's poor who are chronically food-insecure. Runge notes that in Asia grains account for 63% of diet, 60% in the former Soviet Republics and North Africa, 50% in sub-Saharan Africa, and 43% in Latin America. Here's a thought: Before painting nightmarish visions of a Malthusian moment, why not get rid of biofuel subsidies first?"

-- The Age of Scarcity? Rising populations. Skyrocketing commodity prices. Strains on natural resources. Is this our Malthusian moment? by Chris Farrell; April 7, 2008

-- Grain Companies' Profits Soar As Global Food Crisis Mounts By DAVID KESMODEL, LAUREN ETTER and AARON O. PATRICK April 30, 2008; Page A1

"Are We the Stupidest Civilization in History?"

-- Cars and Starvation? By Orson Scott Card; April 20, 2008

"The lowering of trade barriers more than a decade ago has pushed food companies to scour the globe for more exotic — or the cheapest — ingredients to compete in a more global marketplace, not unlike automakers shipping in parts from all over. But with America's relatively permissible food-import rules and weak inspection regime, is the trend to assemble food from so many far-flung locations heightening the risks of contamination?"

-- June 16, 2007 Globalization in Every Loaf By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO

"A lot of people like to say, uh, scaremonger about China, right? A lot of politicians, and I know you talk about that issue all the time. I think people should be careful what they wish for on China. Ya know, if China were to revalue it's currency or China is to start making say, toys that don't have lead in them or food that isn't poisonous, their costs of production are going to go up and that means prices at Wal-Mart here in the United States are going to go up too. So, I would say China is our greatest friend right now, they're keeping prices low and they're keeping the prices for mortgages low, too."

-- CNBC's Erin Burnett wants Americans consuming poisoned food, absorbing lead to keep prices low' August 18, 2007

"Pension reforms in rich countries mean that retirement benefits will be 15-25 percent less than would have been paid, and most people will have to work for longer and save more, the OECD said on Thursday."

-- Pensions: work longer for less and save more, says OECD; Jun 7, 2007; original URL (now broken) was "http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070607/ts_afp/oecdwelfarepensions;_ylt=Api1PHlQ0KEUg.El1flx..J34T0D"

"...a Wall Street Journal analysis of corporate filings reveals that executive benefits are playing a large and hidden role in the declining health of America's pensions."

-- Pension pinch? Not for CEOs Obligations soar as top executives' plans are beefed upBy ELLEN E. SCHULTZ and THEO FRANCIS Wall Street Journal; June 24, 2006

"...insurance companies with "longevity risk" through pension and annuity exposure could benefit as fatality rates jumped"

-- Bear Stearns warns against airline stocks due to 'imminent' bird flu By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard; 21/03/2006

-- U.S. Food Safety: The Import Alarm Keeps Sounding (Second of three parts) By E.J.Mundell; Jan 15, 2008; original URL (now broken) "http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/usfoodsafetytheimportalarmkeepssounding;_ylt=AoSeQC7c.dV.JnnAozQxqc8DW7oF"

-- FDA slow to improve import food safety: ex officials; original URL (now broken) "http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/usa_foodsafety_fda_dc;_ylt=AppriCnFptLZQ5aMUboQ87sDW7oF"

-- Official: Consumer safety agency at risk; original URL (now broken) "http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/consumer_protection;_ylt=AiJl0D.SFhJMUEmSFuA5zboDW7oF"

-- New U.S. trade deals threaten food safety - report; original URL (now broken) "http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/usa_trade_food_dc;_ylt=AjtfwLXRzOSlVVUqkLjhgaADW7oF"

-- Bush Nominates Industry Lobbyist to Head Safety Agency Consumer Advocates Outraged; "Laughable," Says Former Agency Head By Joseph S. Enoch ConsumerAffairs.Com; March 2, 2007

-- Healthy food getting more expensive: study Jan 3, 2008

-- 100% of people carry at least one type of pesticide from the air, water or food in their bodies 29/11/2007 - Juan Pedro Arrebola Moreno. Department of Radiology and Physical Medicine of the University of Granada. Tfn: 958 242864. Mobile phone: 636 380 300 Email address: juanpe000@hotmail.com

-- Our Decrepit Food Factories By MICHAEL POLLAN Published: December 16, 2007

-- Tough on crime, to hell with the causes of crime if they make money Research shows a direct link between junk food and violent behaviour. But governments are in cahoots with the industry George Monbiot; May 2, 2006

-- Why U.S. doesn't stop tainted food from China

-- China a top violator of US food standards: reports; original URL (now broken) "http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/uschinafoodtrade;_ylt=Ahw4zL4ymTiNmp5jWhNTZU8DW7oF"

-- How Safe Is The Food Supply? The hamstrung FDA may be unable to prevent a contamination crisis MAY 21, 2007 By John Carey

Tainted food exposes Chinese import woes What few contaminated products FDA discovers are often shipped again

-- Food scares reveal FDA is overwhelmed, understaffed; original URL (now broken) "http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20070504/cm_usatoday/foodscaresrevealfdaisoverwhelmedunderstaffed"

"The U.S. government said on Monday 38 poultry farms in Indiana were given contaminated feed in early February containing melamine, with some of the chickens likely to have entered the food supply."

-- Poultry farms in Indiana given contaminated feed; original URL (now broken) "http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/poultry_usda_contamination_dc;_ylt=AsJif1hcnAu3Lgc7_qfZbygDW7oF"

-- Food Imports Often Escape ScrutinyMay 1, 2007 By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO

-- From Concentrate How food processing got into the hands of a few giant companies By Tom Philpott 26 Apr 2007

-- FDA Was Aware of Dangers To Food Outbreaks Were Not Preventable, Officials Say By Elizabeth Williamson Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, April 23, 2007; Page A01

-- Risks of tainted food rise as inspections drop Amid high-profile scares, FDA safety testing has fallen by half since 2003 Feb. 26, 2007

"76 million Americans are sickened, 325,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 die each year because of something they ate."

-- Has Politics Contaminated the Food Supply?December 11, 2006 By ERIC SCHLOSSER

-- Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry By Sally Fallon; presentation given at the annual conference of Consumer Health of Canada, March, 2002.

-- Food for Chickens, Poison for Man A widespread farming practice is adding arsenic to the food chain. By Melinda Wenner, posted September 20th, 2006

-- Mercury Contamination Moves Beyond Fish 'Every Link of the Food Chain Affected' a New Report Says By LAURA MARQUEZ Sept. 18, 2006

-- Fast food healthiest in Denmark, worst in US; original URL (now broken) "http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060413/ts_alt_afp/denmarkushealth"

-- Congress moves to bar states from making food safer; original URL (now broken) "http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/congressmovestobarstatesfrommakingfoodsafer;_ylt=AuIddnAMun8PtX96XtfOHmgDW7oF;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl"

-- House votes to remove food label warnings, bowing to pressure from companies; original URL (now broken) "http://news.yahoo.com/s/cpress/us_food_warnings;_ylt=AsuWuG7nLcRdzxBnUjf30CwDW7oF;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl"

"Artificial food colours are set to be removed from hundreds of products after a team of university researchers warned they were doing as much damage to children's brains as lead in petrol."

-- Food additives 'could be as damaging as lead in petrol' By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent Saturday, 5 April 2008

-- The Last Bite Is the world’s food system collapsing? by Bee Wilson May 19, 2008 The global food market fosters both scarcity and overconsumption, while imperilling the planet’s ability to produce food in the future.

-- How We Lost Knowledge of Where Food Comes from and Why We Need to Get It Back By Ann Vileisis, Island Press. Posted May 14, 2008

"Congress plans to renew the US agriculture law this week with no apologies for that fact that most of the subsidies will go to the wealthiest 10 percent of recipients and that a majority of this largess will enrich commercial farmers with an average income of $200,000.

And the ultimate cost to each US household for this congressional cornucopia? About $320 a year in taxes and higher food prices – beyond the already inflated prices at supermarkets. Oh, and then there's the likely retaliation by other countries against such trade-distorting farm subsidies and the expected loss in further opening global trade.

All this for a "temporary" law born during the Dust Bowl of the Depression to help only the poorest family farmers."

-- A cornucopia for rich farmers Farm subsidies will cost each US household about $320, the price to please agribusiness. From the May 14, 2008 edition

"We want to control the world's food supply." - Quote from a high-level Monsanto spokesman -- Time for Action Against Monsanto By Siv O'Neall Jul 26, 2008

-- The Seed Gestapo And Third World Farmers A Filipino farmer is drug into court for breeding his own seeds 17 Nov 2006 / Jonathan Rowe

-- Orchestrating Famine - a Must-Read Backgrounder on the Food Crisis Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Peak Oil, Population, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contamination The era of cheap food is over — this means disaster for millions, and mega-profits for a few. How did we get into this mess? — by Craig Mackintosh; 8-9-08

-- The incredible shrinking cereal box The packaging may look the same but the amount inside has gone down, that's how companies try to pass on food inflation. But consumers are wising up. By Jessica Dickler, CNNMoney.com staff writer Last Updated: September 10, 2008

-- Is the way we raise our food giving us MRSA? The antibiotics fed to the farm animals we eat may have helped to create superbugs like the drug-resistant staph bacteria known as MRSA. By Alex Koppelman

-- Food Makers Want To Sell You Cheap Food For Big Profits Sep 29 2008 By Meg Marco

-- Some cereals more than half sugar: report 10-2-08

-- 10 Things the Food Industry Doesn't Want You to Know By Adam Voiland Adam Voiland – Mon Oct 20, 2008

-- DEADLY GREED The Role of Speculators in the Global Food Crisis By Beat Balzli and Frank Hornig April 23, 2008

Note 2: The despot's guide to population control

"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them."

-- The Plot To Hijack Your Computer They watch you surf the Web. They plague you with pop-up ads. Then they cripple your hard drive; JULY 17, 2006; businessweek.com

"One of the most important comments on deceit, I think, was made by Adam Smith. He pointed out that a major goal of business is to deceive and oppress the public.

And one of the striking features of the modern period is the institutionalization of that process, so that we now have huge industries deceiving the public—and they're very conscious about it, the public relations industry. Interestingly, this developed in the freest countries—in Britain and the US—roughly around time of WWI, when it was recognized that enough freedom had been won that people could no longer be controlled by force. So modes of deception and manipulation had to be developed in order to keep them under control."

-- Noam Chomsky

-- Noam Chomsky + Robert Trivers The anti-war activist and MIT linguist meets the Rutgers evolutionary biologist in the Seed Salon to discuss deceit. by Edit Staff • Posted September 6, 2006; seedmagazine.com

"Our competitors are our friends. Our customers are the enemy." -James Randall, former president of ADM"

-- "Our Customers are the Enemy": Five Lesser-Known Cartels; May 8, 2008

"Wall Street was responding to the specter of transparency the way it always does — with alarm."

"The bright light of public scrutiny almost always costs Wall Street money.

It's an institution, after all, that profits most when it can exploit the ignorance of others."

"Wall Street prefers the dark, where it can control the information meted out to investors.

-- Wall Street fears the light By LOREN STEFFY; May 8, 2008

"There is a lack of awareness...about what this technology can do...The technology is available—but the will is missing."

"The technology already exists...All that's needed is investment"

-- Can Desert Solar Supply Europe's Energy? by Jens Lubbadeh; May 1, 2008

-- Has Science Found a Way to End All Wars? Given adequate food, fuel, and gender equality, mass conflict just might disappear. by John Horgan; 03.13.2008

The roots of corporate crime?

"Graduate business students in the United States and Canada are more likely to cheat on their work than their counterparts in other academic fields"

-- And the grad students most likely to cheat are...; Reuters ; Sep 21, 2006; original URL (now broken) "http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060921/od_nm/life_cheating_dc;_ylt=AvLr2vUrC14DERVhywaYkIADW7oF;_ylu=X3oDMTBhZDhxNDFzBHNlYwNtZW5ld3M-";

Note 3: The dirty dozens

-- The dirty dozens: the mega-rich splinter group for whom our hardship and suffering merely offers the most intriguing recreation of all

Note 4: The art and potential of recycling, conservation, and infrastructure improvements

-- How to Recycle Everything - LIME

-- How toilet-to-tap programs could help preserve our water supply OR It's Time To Drink Toilet Water Recycling sewage is safe and efficient, so why aren't we doing it? By Eilene Zimmerman Posted Friday, Jan. 25, 2008

-- Water: A Precious, and Wasted, Resource By Andrea Thompson, LiveScience Staff Writer 02 November 2007

-- The Water Shortage Myth By Benjamin Radford, LiveScience's 23 June 2008

-- Recycle Your Spent CFLs

-- Efficiency Is Our Best Untapped Energy Source The world's biggest untapped energy source, according to energy expert Amory Lovins, is efficiency. But don't call it "conservation." By Carole Bass, Yale Environment 360. Posted December 5, 2008.

"Waste-disposal units designed to turn leftover food into electricity and fertiliser could be built around every town and city..."

"...solving the shortage of landfill sites..."

"Anaerobic digesters produce fertiliser and biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, which is burnt to generate renewable electricity."

"The average person throws away four times their own body weight in food each year. "

-- Plan for anaerobic digesters in every town to recycle leftovers Lewis Smith, Environment Reporter August 19, 2008

"U.S. scientists say they have developed a method of producing competitively priced energy from municipal, agricultural, and forest wastes.

Researchers from Purdue University and the Rochester Institute of Technology say their flexible carbon-to-liquid fuel process could replace 20 percent of the transportation fuels consumed annually in the United States.

Purdue Professor Fu Zhao, the study's lead author, said the technology could also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent.

"This technique is more flexible than conventional methods because we can process a wider range of very different feedstocks and, at the same time, we can generate a wider range of end products -- not just gasoline and diesel. but ethanol and hydrogen," said Zhao. "Or we could generate electricity directly from the gas produced."

The scientists said their new system heats paper, wood, plastic and rubber into a gas. Hydrogen and carbon monoxide gases, referred to as synthesis gas or syngas, are separated and fuel a turbine that generates electricity, or are converted to gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel or biofuels.

The research was reported last month in Busan, Korea, during the 6th Global Conference on Sustainable Product Development and Life Cycle Engineering. "

-- New way proposed to make energy from waste Published: Oct. 16, 2008

"A surge of wind last Monday afternoon jumped far beyond levels forecast by operators of Oregon's burgeoning wind-farm industry, sending more power into the regional grid than it could handle."

"...BPA power managers began calling wind-farm operators with orders to curtail power generation."

"The agency can sanction wind companies that disobey pullback orders."

-- Surge in wind power causes spike in NW power grid July 6, 2008; Associated Press

"The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not."

"...just two of the windiest states, North Dakota and South Dakota, could in principle generate half the nation's electricity from turbines. But the way the national grid is configured, half the country would have to move to the Dakotas in order to use the power."

"We still have a third-world grid,"

-- Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid's Limits By MATTHEW L. WALD Published: August 26, 2008

"In 2005, Denmark's distributed-energy networks generated nearly half the country's electricity while cutting carbon emissions by nearly half from 1990 levels. In July, Denmark announced plans to deploy the world's most extensive smart-grid infrastructure, which could make distributed energy the country's primary source of electricity before long.

The change has taken Denmark nearly two decades to implement, but the most critical step was the introduction of smart- or net-metering, which required utilities to buy back electricity from consumers at 85% of the price. Denmark's success has convinced a growing number of policymakers and energy executives to follow suit.

In the U.S., the movement faces constraints from a familiar place: power companies. Distributed energy aims to decouple profits and consumption so that power companies have a greater incentive to invest in energy-efficiency technologies that drive distributed-energy networks. Changing that relationship is even more critical than technological innovation.

"Very little can happen without having the utilities involved in the process," said Ron Pernick, a founder of clean-technology consulting firm Clean Edge. "Regulators need to give utilities the tools they need to get involved, which basically means decoupling."

-- The Answer To The Energy Problem William Pentland 08.07.08

Note 5: Many American conservatives fondly dream of a world where everyone is DEAD.

-- Armageddon fiction grips the US By Justin Webb; BBC; 19 January, 2003

-- Lights, camera, Apocalypse By GAYLE MacDONALD; Globe and Mail; Jul. 19, 2003

-- America's Messianic War Cult by Matthew Hogan; The Ethical Spectacle; Oct 2002

-- Apocalypse soon by Giles Fraser; June 9, 2003; The Guardian

-- Enraptured with the rapture; townonline.com

"17 per cent of Americans -- nearly one in five -- believe that the end of the world will come in their lifetimes"

-- The end is near -- but only south of the border By MICHAEL VALPY; The Globe and Mail; April 26, 2003 - Page F8

-- Fundamentally unsound By Michelle Goldberg; Salon.com; July 29, 2002

-- Yahoo! News - Anti-abortion extremist, on eve of his execution, says he expects 'a great reward in heaven'

-- Pushing the Apocalypse How fundamentalists see scripture -- and politics-- on schedule for the end of the world; by Zach Abend; February 27, 2003; slweekly.com; Salt Lake City Weekly

-- Bush and God; February 24, 2003; motherjones.com

-- When U.S. Foreign Policy Meets Biblical Prophecy By Paul S. Boyer, AlterNet; February 20, 2003

"Evangelical Christians form one of the most potent forces in American politics and society."

"An estimated 70 million Americans call themselves evangelicals..."

-- Rise Of The Righteous Army Feb. 8, 2004; cbsnews.com

-- Paradise Lite In heaven, you'll be thinner, happier, and smarter—or so Americans think. By Adam Kirsch; Feb. 5, 2004; slate.msn.com

Note 6: The historic effects of public education and health measures


Note 7: Conservative policies regarding education and health


Note 8: The impact of unions on economic prosperity


Note 9: The proponents of ignorance and greed in mainstream media


Note 10: The coming peak in world population

By 2050 global human population will likely reach somewhere between eight and fifteen billion, and possibly peak or plateau there.

-- 3.4 Human Population History and Future; Geography 210: Introduction to Environmental Issues, Created by Dr. Michael Pidwirny, Department of Geography, Okanagan University College, 12/20/99, Human Population History and Future (http://www.geog.ouc.bc.ca/conted/onlinecourses/geog_210/contents/210~3~3~4.html)

The Population Reference Bureau estimates world population in 2050 will be 9 billion. The less developed nations of Asia, Latin America, and Africa make up 80% of world population, circa 2000.

- World Population Will Grow for Next 50 Years By Joene Hendry, Yahoo!/Reuters Health, June 8 2000

World population may peak and then start a decline of indeterminate length, during our lifetimes. After 2050 world population could conceivably shrink by 25% with each subsequent generation.

-- Congressional Briefing 23Feb98, World Population Implosion? Nicholas Eberstadt, Population Research Institute

Note 11: Living space, above, below, and beyond

-- 2275 Milestone: the age-old human fantasy of homes floating among the clouds has come true

-- Built for Speed: Printing Buildings June 05, 2008

Note 12: Low end, do-it-yourself desalination methods

-- Clean drinking water: How to develop low cost sources of drinking water just about anywhere

Note 13: A sampling of the scares, scams, and deceptions related to energy

-- There Is No Gas Shortage But Washington, Wall Street, and ethanol and oil and gas companies want you to think there is, says automotive expert Ed Wallace; April 1, 2008

-- There is No Gas Shortage, Part 2 by Ed Wallace April 23, 2008

"Is it possible that oil prices are rigged? You bet."

-- Are Oil Prices Rigged? Friday, Aug. 22, 2008 By ARI J. OFFICER AND GARRETT J. HAYES

"Oil supplies will actually last for far longer than our politicians think, the scaremongers fear, and the oil companies tell us."

-- Peak oil: postponed What the oil companies don't tell you By Andrew Orlowski; 17th September 2008

"According to McCabe, in a nutshell the peak oil concept is fundamentally flawed because it doesn't account for external factors.

The way he sees it, the world has plenty of remaining and untapped fossil fuel resources to keep up with demand for at least the next 30 years. From squeezing oil out of unconventional sources such as oil shales, to using new technologies to re-exploit old oil fields that had since been left as dead, to undiscovered conventional oil sources, Dr. McCabe's opinion is that there is no impending peak oil crisis - and the same thing goes for natural gas and coal."

-- How Much Oil is Actually Left On This Planet? Should We Care? by Nick Chambers Published on October 7th, 2008

-- Memo Shows Enron Division Headed by Army Secretary Thomas White Manipulated California Electricity Market CONTACT: ÊPublic Citizen at www.citizen.org; 202-588-7742; MAY 8, 2002; ww.commondreams.org

-- Papers Show That Enron Manipulated Calif. Crisis (washingtonpost.com) By Peter Behr; May 7, 2002; Page A01

-- Docs Say Enron Was Part Of The Problem Dan Ackman; 05.07.02; Forbes magazine

-- Enron Conservatives by ROBERT L. BOROSAGE; COMMENT | February 4, 2002; The Nation Company, L.P.; http://www.thenation.com

-- Enron-gate by Molly Ivins - Creators Syndicate; 12.06.01; URL: http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemId=12461

-- White House Aided Enron in Dispute (washingtonpost.com) By Dana Milbank and Paul Blustein; Washington Post; January 19, 2002; Page A1; Joe Stephens, James V. Grimaldi and Lucy Shackelford contributors

-- DeLay Advisers Reaped Enron Windfall By John Bresnahan and Damon Chappie; Roll Call Inc.; February 25, 2002

-- Waxman: Energy Policy Helpful to Enron By PETE YOST, Associated Press/Yahoo! News; Jan 25, 2002; US Energy policy: http://www.fe.doe.gov/general/energypolicy.shtml

-- Harold Meyerson, "Enron's Enablers," The American Prospect vol. 13 no. 3, February 11, 2002.

-- Bush 2000 Adviser Offered to Use Clout to Help Enron (washingtonpost.com) By Joe Stephens; Washington Post; February 17, 2002; Page A01; Lucy Shackelford contributor

-- NSC Aided Enron's Efforts (washingtonpost.com) By Dana Milbank and Alan Sipress; Washington Post; January 25, 2002; Page A18

-- Enron Collapse Entangles Bush Administration By Arshad Mohammed; Reuters/Yahoo!; January 10, 2002

-- Lawmakers Want Bush Away From Enron By MARCY GORDON;The Associated Press/Yahoo! Politics Headlines; January 16 2002

-- Bush Did Try to Save Enron By Sam Parry; May 29, 2002; consortiumnews.com

-- The Reason for High Oil Prices It's not a supply crisis that explains the sharp spike in oil prices. It's unregulated commodities markets and greed by Ed Wallace May 13, 2008

-- Documents link wind farm foes to energy firm Filing revised as alliance calls it a mistake By Stephanie Ebbert Globe Staff / May 15, 2008

-- Oil Left in the Ground High prices still haven't prompted companies to use advanced extraction methods. By Kevin Bullis Tuesday, May 20, 2008

-- Enron linked to California blackouts Traders said manipulation began energy crisis By Jason Leopold May 16, 2002

"According to published estimates, there are 1200 billion barrels still to be extracted, but Pike says there could in fact be twice as much. "The figures are almost meaningless and just provide a conservative estimate for shareholders."

Pike claims that most oil companies do calculate statistically accurate estimates of the combined capacity of their oil reserves, but no one can access this information to work out how much oil there really is in total. "All companies keep their internal probabilistic estimates quiet," he says."

-- Have we underestimated total oil reserves? 11 June 2008 From issue 2660 of New Scientist magazine, 11 June 2008, page 4

"Dr Pike's assessment does not include unexplored oilfields, those yet to be discovered or those deemed too uneconomic to exploit."

-- Oil shortage a myth, says industry insider June 10, 2008

The 68 million acres of leased but inactive federal land have the potential to produce an additional 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day. This would nearly double total U.S. oil production, and increase natural gas production by 75 percent. It would also cut U.S. oil imports by more than one-third, reducing America's dependency on foreign oil.

The Rahall bill would force oil and gas companies to either produce or give up federal onshore and offshore leases they are stockpiling by barring the companies from obtaining any more leases unless they can demonstrate that they are producing oil and gas, or are diligently developing the leases they already hold, during the initial term of the leases."

-- Rahall to Big Oil: Use It or Lose It June 12, 2008 CONTACT: Allyson Groff or Blake Androff, 202-226-9019

-- Closing Enron Loophole Would Drop Oil Prices 25% - 50% Overnight Jon Ponder | Jun. 22, 2008

-- The Right-Wing Offshore Drilling Scam by environmentalist Wed Jun 18, 2008

-- High Oil Prices: It's All Speculation The Administration says oil's runup is due to shortages, but the evidence points to manipulation by Ed Wallace June 27, 2008

-- High Oil Prices: Hype's Impact July 9, 2008, by Ed Wallace

"By analyzing oil prices over the past four years, the researchers have demonstrated more support for the hypothesis that the recent oil price run-up has less to do with supply-demand interplay and more to do with speculation."

-- Are We in the Peak of an Oil Bubble? By Lisa Zyga; July 07, 2008

"If fungi like this are producing myco-diesel all over the rainforest, they may have contributed to the formation of fossil fuels."

-- Scientists discover Patagonian diesel that grows on trees by Alok Jha; The Guardian, 4 November 2008

-- Oil Creation Theory Challenged by Fuel-Making Fungus Robert Roy Britt Nov 4, 2008

Note 14: The enormous hydrocarbon reserves of 'dead' planets and moons, and the implications for Earth

"Saturn's orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to new Cassini data."

"Proven reserves of natural gas on Earth total 130 thousand million tons, enough to provide 300 times the amount of energy the entire United States uses annually for residential heating, cooling and lighting. Dozens of Titan's lakes individually have the equivalent of at least this much energy in the form of methane and ethane."

-- Titan's surface organics surpass oil reserves on Earth; 13 February 2008

-- December 28, 2007 The 'Myth' of Fossil Fuels -The Deep, Hot Biosphere

-- Deep petroleum and the non-organic theory

-- Neptune - MSN Encarta

-- Evidence of Hydrocarbon Lakes on Titan By Alicia Chang Associated Press posted: 25 July 2006

-- Lecture 7: Gas Giant Planets

-- Gas giant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

-- Discovery backs theory oil not 'fossil fuel' New evidence supports premise that Earth produces endless supply By Jerome R. Corsi; February 1, 2008

-- Seafloor Chemistry: Life's building blocks made inorganically by Sid Perkins; Week of Feb. 2, 2008; Vol. 173, No. 5 , p. 67

Note 15: Methane hydrates

"...the world's greatest store of fossil fuel—caches of methane, the primary component of natural gas, stored in structures called methane hydrates, or clathrates...form...on the sea-floor at the continental shelves, and within the permafrost at the Earth's poles."

"Some guess that clathrate methane reserves could equal twice the rest of the world's fossil fuel supplies combined."

-- The great submarine burp Methane from the oceans could power the world; Aug 27th 2007; Economist.com

"...ice-like gas hydrates that, worldwide, dwarf all known fossil fuel deposits combined."

"Calculations suggest there's more energy in gas hydrates than in coal, oil and conventional gas combined."

-- Scientists unlock frozen natural gas Apr 16, 2008 04:25 PM THE CANADIAN PRESS

Note 16: Grow your own fuel

"...20 per cent of all known natural gas deposits worldwide were formed by microbes."

"We're talking about gas formation over weeks or months instead of hundreds or thousands of years,"

-- Taking the fossil out of fossil fuel; 20 July 2007 ; NewScientist.com news service; Phil Mckenna; From issue 2613 of New Scientist magazine, 20 July 2007, page 17

-- Are microbes the answer to the energy crisis? 4-Jun-2008 Contact: Jim Sliwa jsliwa@asmusa.org 202-942-9297 American Society for Microbiology

"It turns out that a strain of the microbe (known as the Q-Microbe) has the property of being able to convert biomass – like switchgrass and wood pulp – into ethanol."

-- Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol Silicon Valley is experimenting with bacteria that have been genetically altered to provide 'renewable petroleum' by Chris Ayres June 14, 2008

-- Why Drill for Oil When You Can Sift Soil? By Matt Richtel; August 14, 2007

"Researchers have made a breakthrough in the development of "green gasoline," a liquid identical to standard gasoline yet created from sustainable biomass sources like switchgrass and poplar trees."

-- Money Doesn't Grow on Trees, But Gasoline Might Researchers make breakthrough in creating gasoline from plant matter, with almost no carbon footprint; Press Release 08-056; April 7, 2008

-- OriginOil Speeds Up Mother Nature New process of extracting oil from algae may lead to almost limitless supply by Sharif Virani; posted on September 13, 2007


-- Bio-crude turns cheap waste into valuable fuel Reference: 09/08 CSIRO and Monash University have developed a chemical process that turns green waste into a stable bio-crude oil. 4 February 2008

Note 17: Geothermal alone can give us more energy than we'd ever want

"...geothermal energy, clean, quiet and virtually inexhaustible, could fill the world's annual needs 250,000 times over with nearly zero impact on the climate or the environment."

"Hot dry rock technology is meant to stay well away from the 99 percent of the Earth's interior that is over 1,000 degrees."

-- Energy search goes underground By ELIANE ENGELER and ALEXANDER G. HIGGINS, Associated Press Writers; 8-4-07; original URL (now broken): "http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070804/ap_on_sc/drilling_for_heat;_ylt=AuX1YLb_WKNH.A8hIvKRi1B34T0D"

-- Old Coal Mines Adapted to Generate Geothermal Energy by Bridgette Steffen December 10, 2008

"...if all the heat trapped up to 2 miles under the U.S. were tapped, it could generate enough electricity to meet all of the country's power needs for 30,000 years."

-- Geothermal power tapping its potential A New York seminary and 3 million households are discovering that it is a viable alternative as oil prices keep rising steeply By Stevenson Swanson | Chicago Tribune correspondent; August 11, 2008

Note 18: America's war-based economy

-- The cold, dead, bloody heart of America

-- America wants to be number one!

Note 19: A home that works for you

-- Solar photovoltaic panels could lead to cheques from your electricity supplier By David Waller; 20/08/2007

"The average U.S. home measures about 2,500 square feet..."

-- Conn. home 20-times larger than average By DAVE COLLINS, Associated Press; Sep 1, 2007; original URL (now broken) "http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070901/ap_on_re_us/mammoth_mansion;_ylt=Aj1PGu108e1IaephcQ9K8NcDW7oF"

"The average American house size has more than doubled since the 1950s; it now stands at 2,349 square feet."

-- Behind the Ever-Expanding American Dream House by Margot Adler; July 4, 2006

-- Inside the Solar-Hydrogen House: No More Power Bills--Ever A New Jersey resident generates and stores all the power he needs with solar panels and hydrogen By David Biello June 19, 2008

Note 20: Let the Sun shine in

"...solar-thermal plants could supply 96 percent of the national electricity demand. "The entire energy use of 2006, the current technology including storage would use a patch of land 92 miles by 92 miles," O'Donnell says. "Ten percent of the [Bureau of Land Management] land in Nevada is enough."

-- Sunny Outlook: Can Sunshine Provide All U.S. Electricity? By David Biello

-- Solar Roadways Could Power The Entire United States Roads would be paved with glass panels that could collect and distribute solar energy. by Michael d'Estries; posted on September 17, 2007

-- SciAm: Solar Can Provide 69% of US Electricity by 2050 January 7th, 2008 by Maria Surma Manka

-- Space-Based Solar Cells Could Power Entire Earth by Lisa Zyga, October 14, 2007

"Utilizing only 1% of the earth's deserts to produce clean solar electric energy would provide more electricity than is currently being produced on the entire planet by fossil fuels"

-- Solar Energy Fact Sheets

"We don't have an energy problem," says Hans Müller-Steinhagen, of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). "We have an energy conversion and distribution problem."

"Out of all the alternative energy sources, one stands head and shoulders above the rest: "No energy source even comes close to achieving the same massive energy density as sunshine," Müller-Steinhagen says."

"There is a lack of awareness in MENA countries about what this technology can do," says Samer Zureikat, founder of the Frankfurt-based renewable energy company MENA Cleantech. "If you talk to people there about solar power, they think of small solar panels that power street lamps. They don't think of enormous power plants that can supply enough electricity for a whole country."

"The technology is available—but the will is missing."

"The technology already exists to harvest the sun's power in North Africa and the Middle East for use in the north. All that's needed is investment"

-- Can Desert Solar Supply Europe's Energy? by Jens Lubbadeh; May 1, 2008

"Every year, 630,000 terawatt hours in the form of solar energy falls unused on the deserts of the so-called MENA states of the Middle East and North Africa.

In contrast, Europe consumes just 4,000 terawatt hours of energy a year -- a mere 0.6 percent of the unused solar energy falling in the desert."

"Should the Sahara, therefore, be completely covered with mirrors? No, says Müller-Steinhagen, producing a picture by way of an answer. It shows a huge desert in which are drawn three red squares. One square, roughly the size of Austria, is labelled "world." "If this area was covered in parabolic trough power plants, enough energy would be produced to satisfy world demand," he says.

A second square, just a fourth of the size of the first one, is labelled "EU 25," in a reference to the 25 member states the European Union had before Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007. This area could produce enough solar energy to free Europe from dependence on oil, gas and coal. The third area is labelled "D," for Germany. It is merely a small dot."

-- HARNESSING THE SAHARAN SUN Is Desert Solar Power the Solution to Europe's Energy Crisis? By Jens Lubbadeh; 04/30/2008

-- Sun + Water = Fuel With catalysts created by an MIT chemist, sunlight can turn water into hydrogen. If the process can scale up, it could make solar power a dominant source of energy By Kevin Bullis November/December 2008

"The result of this relentless application of Moore's Law to the solar industry is that we can see a time in that near future when the cost of producing a watt of electricity from a solar cell on your roof will be approximately the same as the cost of delivering that same watt over a power line from an electric utility. And of course that means that 18 months after that point the solar watt will cost HALF of what the same power would cost from the electric company, which will completely change the game.

The time when that electricity cost parity will be reached, I'm told, is seven years from now."

-- Azure Blues: Microsoft and the electric power industry have a lot in common. By Robert X. Cringely October 30, 2008

-- New solar cell material achieves almost 100% efficiency, could solve world-wide energy problems By Rick C. Hodgin Monday, October 20, 2008

-- Solar Power Game-Changer: "Near Perfect" Absorption of Sunlight, From All Angles Published November 3, 2008 Contact: Michael Mullaney Phone: (518) 276-6161 E-mail: mullam@rpi.edu

"U.S. producers of solar power will no longer need federal subsidies within eight years because by then solar power will cost less than electricity generated by conventional power plants, industry players said this week."

-- US solar field foresees cost parity with coal, gas 16 Oct 2008 Source: Reuters By Bernie Woodall

Note 21: Household hydroelectricity

-- Pitter-patter of raindrops could power devices by Paul Marks; 24 January 2008; Magazine issue 2640

-- John GILMARTIN Low-Head Water Wheel

-- It's Raining Energy. Hallelujah! Tracy Staedter, Discovery News Feb. 7, 2008

"it takes between 3,000 gallons and 6,000 gallons of water to power a 60-watt incandescent bulb for 12 hours a day over the course of a year"

-- How many gallons of water do you need to power a lightbulb? Martin LaMonica; 4-18-08

-- New solar cell cuts out the middle man, harvests hydrogen from water Posted Feb 18th 2008 9:41AM by Paul Miller

-- New Photo Voltaic Diode Means Low-Environmental-Impact Hydrogen From Sea Water; 20 February 2008

"Purdue University engineers have developed a new aluminum-rich alloy that produces hydrogen by splitting water and is economically competitive with conventional fuels for transportation and power generation.

"We now have an economically viable process for producing hydrogen on-demand for vehicles, electrical generating stations and other applications," said Jerry Woodall, a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue who invented the process."

-- New aluminum-rich alloy produces hydrogen on-demand for large-scale uses ; February 19, 2008; Writer: Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709, venere@purdue.edu; Source: Jerry M. Woodall, (765) 494-3479, woodall@dynamo.ecn.purdue.edu; Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

"Ian Gilmartin, 60, has invented a mini water wheel capable of supplying enough electricity to power a house - for free.

The contraption is designed to be used in small rivers or streams - ideal for potentially thousands of homes across Britain.

It is the first off-the-shelf water-wheel system that can generate a good supply of electricity from as little as an eight-inch water fall. "

"The water wheel produces one to two kilowatts of power and generates at least 24kw hours of sustainable green energy in a day - just under the average household's daily consumption of about 28kw hours."

"...the Beck Mickle hydro generator contains the water for the full drop of the device, converting about 70 per cent of the energy into electricity."

-- Scots inventor cracks centuries-old puzzle By PAT HURST; 1 Jan 2007

Note 22: Blowing in the wind

"The sun radiates 174,423,000,000,000 kilowatt hours of energy to the earth per hour. In other words, the earth receives 1.74 x 10 17 watts of power . 1) About 1 to 2 per cent of the energy coming from the sun is converted into wind energy. That is about 50 to 100 times more than the energy converted into biomass by all plants on earth. "

-- Where does Wind Energy come From?

"In 2004, the average total worldwide power consumption of the human race was 15 TW (= 1.5 x 1013 W)"

-- World energy resources and consumption - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"There is an estimated 72 TW of wind energy on the Earth that can potentially be converted to electricity and that is commercially viable."

-- Wind power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

-- Wind Power Potential April 30, 2008

Note 23: Our massive investments in murder, suffering, spying, deception, and destruction

A.K.A. "defense", "security", and "intelligence" spending: note the misleading nature of our very titles for these things!

-- Two links for redundancy's sake: WAR IS A RACKET by Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient: Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC [Retired] and War Is A Racket, by Major General Smedley Butler, 1935

-- Is War Still a Racket? An Ex-Marine Compares Gen. Smedley Butler's 1933 with 2003 By CHRIS WHITE; January 9, 2003

"In constant dollars, next year's proposed military budget will be the largest since World War II--around $700 billion."

-- More Guns, No Butter; February 14, 2008 (March 3, 2008 issue)

Note 24: The levers of power today remain firmly in the hands of those who have ever wielded them

"...the level of wealth inequality has remained remarkably consistent over the last 2,000 years..."

-- As Always, an Unequal Pie By DAN MITCHELL; December 1, 2007

"We have created in the United States, largely in the last thirty years, a whole series of programs -- a few of them explicit, many of them deeply hidden -- that take money from the pockets of the poor and the middle class and upper middle class and funnel it to the wealthiest people in America. And among the biggest recipients of these subsidies are the wealthiest family America, the Waltons; George Steinbrenner; Donald Trump; a whole host of healthcare billionaires."

"President Bush, who will go down in history as the great tax cutter, owes almost all of his fortune to a tax increase that was funneled into his pocket."

-- How the Mega-Rich Treat Our Treasury Like a Buffet (And Stick You with the Bill) Political connections are worth their weight in gold for America's wealthy. By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!. Posted January 21, 2008.

Note 25: The truth about banks and banking

"Last year the 25 top earning hedge fund bankers in the US earned an average of $570m each"

-- Welcome to Richistan, USA The American Dream of riches for all is turning into a nightmare of inequality. But a backlash is brewing, reports Paul Harris in New York; July 22, 2007

"It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning"

-- Henry Ford

-- Dollar Danger Directly Ahead ; 16 December 2006 Written by Garrett Johnson

"I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies..."

-- Thomas Jefferson (found online 2-18-08)

-- The Power of the Bank

"These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people."

Abraham Lincoln

-- Abraham Lincoln Quotes

"My guess is that the six-figure charity boys have pretty much the same impact as the seven, eight, and nine figure Wall Street boys. They are very effective at making themselves rich while destroying everything around them."

-- Getting Rich Helping the Poor by Dean Baker on December 25, 2008

"A former senior advisor to the U.S. Treasury and highly-regarded economics professor, Nouriel Roubini, says that Washington's bail outs are "socialism for the rich, the well connected and Wall Street; it is the continuation of a corrupt system where profits are privatized and losses are socialized."

In fact, this is a quintessential characteristic of economies run by fascist regimes.

For example, historian Gaetano Salvemini argued in 1936 that fascism makes taxpayers responsible to private enterprise, because "the State pays for the blunders of private enterprise... Profit is private and individual. Loss is public and social."

-- Fascist Economics: "The State Pays For The Blunders Of Private Enterprise... Profit Is Private And Individual. Loss Is Public And Social" Posted by George Washington September 21, 2008

-- Bush Administration invoked an obscure Banking clause 1863 to enable predatory lending practices By: John Amato; February 15th, 2008

-- Banking's Bigwigs May Be Beyond the Law's Reach By Mike McNamee, Nanette Byrnes, and Emily Thornton; Businessweek; MAY 19, 2003

"The political influence of bankers tops all other sectors, I learned as a young reporter. Regardless of party or ideology, politicians seek their friendship. So the United States has created a truly bizarre banking code that legalizes--and keeps secret--vast flows of ill-gotten gains. For what purpose? Terrorist financing, yes, but that business is dwarfed by the drug trade profits, insider looting of corporations, offshore tax evasion, securities fraud, plain-vanilla fraud, and other uses."

-- Dirty Money by William Greider, citing The Nation of June 24, 2006

"The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes."

-- Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter,1952

-- VOTE FRAUD: WHAT THEY AREN'T TELLING YOU By: Devvy; October 22, 2004

-- The Parmalat Syndrome How U.S. financial firms -- including Bank of America -- allegedly abetted a multibillion-dollar fraud, and how U.S. regulators are letting them get away with it BY MATT SMITH; sfweekly.com; January 12, 2005

"With American class action lawsuits on the rise again after the subprime mortgage meltdown, Tuesday's US Supreme Court ruling shielding third parties from most investor lawsuits could not be more timely. The Stoneridge v Scientific-Atlanta decision was a homerun for corporate interests. The court reaffirmed a 1994 ruling that business partners, lawyers and bankers cannot be held liable for assisting or participating in corporate fraud unless investors can prove they specifically relied on those third parties when making investment decisions. Auditors who certify accounts are still on the hook but almost everyone else can now walk away when a company collapses. Merrill Lynch, for example, will be able to use this ruling to fend off the long-running Enron investor lawsuit, and UBS could do the same in its HealthSouth litigation."

-- Third party liability; January 17 2008

"Today's financial services sector...is a grasping, gargantuan combination of banks, stockbrokers, insurancemen, loan sharks, credit-card issuers, hedge fund speculators, securitization mavens and mortgage operators. Over the last five years, financial services has reached a swollen 20-21% of U.S. GDP -- the largest sector of the private economy."

"...the two most important underpinnings of financialization lay in the rise of public and private debt as a mainstay of American culture and economics and the perpetual liquidity and bail-out support of the Federal Reserve Board under Alan Greenspan. During Greenspan's 1987-2005 tenure, the sum of public and private debt in the United States quadrupled from just over $10 trillion to $43 trillion. Finance became the industry that was not allowed to fail but was permitted to enlarge and metastasize its behavior almost at will. Regulation was minimal. Favoritism was omnipresent."

"...phony Washington statistics and warped market measurements make it doubly hard to tell. The federal Consumer Price Index is already regarded by many Americans as a con job, and the press periodically quotes investors who state their belief that current U.S. inflation is really 6 to 9 percent a year, not the 2-4 percent the government alleges. I agree. On top of which, because the value of the dollar has dropped so far, the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the end of March was not really 12,200, a number barely up from its 11,700 peak in 2000. If you measure the Dow in Swiss francs or euros, two strong currencies, it has already lost some forty percent of its 2000 value. Too many Americans live in a dream-world of economic misinformation."

-- The Destructive Rise of Big Finance by Kevin Phillips; March 31, 2008

"In other words, a staggeringly complex financial instrument that most Americans had never heard of, and which many financial writers still don't fully understand, became in a matter of months the most important influence on home values in America. That's not how the economy is supposed to work - or at least that's not what they teach students in Economics 101.

The reason this had been happening totally out of sight is not difficult to understand. Banks of all stripes chafe against the restraints that federal and state regulators place on their ability to make money. By cleverly exploiting regulatory loopholes, investment banks created new types of high-risk investments that did not appear on their balance sheets. Safe from the prying eyes of regulators, they allowed banks to dodge the requirement that they keep a certain amount of money in reserve. These reserves are a crucial safety net, but also began to seem like a drag to financiers, money that was just sitting on the sidelines.

"A lot of financial innovation is designed to get around regulation," says Richard Sylla, professor of economics and financial history at NYU's Stern School of Business. "The goal is to make more money, and you can make more money if you don't have to keep capital to back up your investments."

"The hiding places for these financial instruments are called conduits. They go by various names - the SIV, or structured investment vehicle, is one that's been in the news a great deal the past few months. These conduits and the various esoteric investments they harbor constitute what Bill Gross, manager of the world's largest bond mutual fund, called a "Frankensteinian levered body of shadow banks" in his January newsletter.

"Our modern shadow banking system," Gross writes, "craftily dodges the reserve requirements of traditional institutions and promotes a chain letter, pyramid scheme of leverage, based in many cases on no reserve cushion whatsoever."

The mortgage-driven securities that have been making headlines are but the tip of a much larger iceberg. Far larger categories of investment have sprung up, with just as much secrecy, and even less clarity into who holds them and how much they are truly worth."

-- The black box economy Behind the recent bad news lurks a much deeper concern: The world economy is now being driven by a vast, secretive web of investments that might be out of anyone's control. By Stephen Mihm January 27, 2008

"The national banks are floating a new idea: they shouldn't have to obey state law when they foreclose on someone's home.

Pre-emption has been a gravy train for the national banks, insulating their credit card business from state consumer protection laws. Some banks now want another ride on the pre-emption train, claiming that they shouldn't have to follow local foreclosure laws when they take people's homes."

-- Banks: Law Can't Bother Us By Elizabeth Warren - May 6, 2008

"So what if I told you that the powers of financial capitalism (bankers etc.), had a far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands, able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.

This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations?"

"...And what if I told you they had succeeded?"

-- History: How the US Government Was Overthrown In Three Easy Steps by TocqueDeville Sun Jul 27, 2008

"For years, the LGT Bank in the tiny European principality of Liechtenstein, tucked between Austria and Switzerland, has been regarded as a safe haven for wealthy Americans trying to hide their money from the IRS. It helps that the reigning prince there, Hans-Adams II, and his family own the bank and strictly enforce the country's bank secrecy laws.

"Liechtenstein is regarded as one of the most secretive places in the world," said John Christensen of the London-based Tax Justice Network."

"They are the people who are taking advantage of the rest of us, who are withholding and paying," said Blum. "They're the crooks."

-- Hundreds of Super Rich Under Investigation Senate Committee Wants To Question Secret Account Holders & Bank Officials By BRIAN ROSS, RHONDA SCHWARTZ, and AVNI PATEL; July 16, 2008

"People of great wealth and their institutions like banks naturally have the power to overwhelm people of lesser means. And you can't allow that in a decent society. It won't survive."

-- The Return of Usury by Ruth Calvo; July 19th, 2008

"People are desperate for solutions but instead they're handed policies that don't solve the crises, and are highly profitable for corporations"

-- Naomi Klein: Bush Sees Crises in Fuel, Food, Housing and Banking as Chance to Exploit Us More By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!. Posted July 16, 2008.

"Globally, there were 10 hedge fund managers who in 2006 earned more than $500m each - not $500m per firm but per individual. And five earned more than $900m."

"...for all their cleverness and macho confidence, they shun publicity as if it were pure Kryptonite."

-- Hedge funds: The new global super powers By Robert Peston; 27/01/2008

"...a hedge fund manager can make himself rich simply by exposing his investors to risks they don't understand"

-- Capital Decimation Partners by Paul Krugman; March 16, 2008 citing Hedge fund risk by James Hamilton November 20, 2005

-- Who Do I Complain About A Bank To? JAN 22 2008 BY BEN POPKEN

"...the corrosive culture of investment banking."

"The past is littered with the fallout of banking binges."

-- The binge culture of banking must be changed By Abigail Hofman; April 28 2008

"It seems sanity is a major disqualification for central bankers. "

-- More Salad, Less Twinkies by Peter Schiff, Euro Pacific Capital | February 1, 2008

"Stealing from our customers is a business decision, not a legal decision."

-- a Citibank executive

"In July of 2001, a Citibank employee uncovered the practice and brought it to the attention of his superiors. The employee was later fired for discussing the credit sweeps with an internal audit team.

In the words of a Citibank executive, "Stealing from our customers is a business decision, not a legal decision." The same executive later said that the sweep program could not be stopped because it would reduce the executive bonus pool..."

-- California: Citibank Stole $14 Million from its Customers Bank agrees to stop illegal 'sweeps,' make refunds August 26, 2008

Note 26: Nuclear fission and weapons proliferation related references

-- America Needs France's Atomic Anne By ROGER COHEN Published: January 24, 2008

-- French Story of Nuclear Success: The numbers do not lie; April 7th, 2008

-- Nuclear's Tangled Economics John McCain says new plants can help solve the energy crisis and address climate change. It's not that simple June 26, 2008

-- Mini Reactors Show Promise for Clean Nuclear Power's Future If new portable reactors get the green light this month, nuclear energy could be rolled out in the furthest reaches of the United States. By Phaedra Hise Published on: July 15, 2008

-- How long can Uranium last for nuclear power ? 5 billion years at double current world electricity usage. August 15, 2008

"This plan has a minor hurdle, too; the electricity for driving the chemical processes, according to a white paper describing the overarching concept, would come from nuclear power. The proposal says it'd be worth it to have a payoff of steady, secure streams of methanol and gasoline with no carbon added to the atmosphere (and a price for gasoline at the pump of perhaps $4.60 a gallon — comparable to petroleum-based fuels as oil becomes harder to find)."

-- Federal Lab Says It Can Harvest Fuel From Air (With a Catch) By Andrew C. Revkin; February 13, 2008

-- Urgent action needed to stop nuclear smugglers by Phil McKenna; 16 February 2008; NewScientist.com news service

Note 27: Nuclear fusion

-- Nuclear fusion is coming, says noted VC Posted by Michael Kanellos; February 7, 2008

-- Fusion will be cracked "within 30 years" swissinfo, Simon Bradley in Geneva October 13, 2008

Note 28: Miscellaneous other possible new energy sources

"This has the potential to become the biggest source of renewable energy in the world,"

"Cohen believes this could eventually lead to 500 MW OTEC plants on floating offshore platforms sending electricity to onshore grids via submarine cables, and factory ships "grazing" the open ocean for power."

-- Plumbing the oceans could bring limitless clean energy 19 November 2008 by Phil Mckenna; Magazine issue 2683.

"If we could harness 0.1 per cent of the energy in the ocean, we could support the energy needs of 15 billion people. In the English Channel, for example, there is a very strong current, so you produce a lot of power."

-- Ocean currents can power the world, say scientists A revolutionary device that can harness energy from slow-moving rivers and ocean currents could provide enough power for the entire world, scientists claim. By Jasper Copping; 29 Nov 2008

-- Harness volcano power, energy experts say By Catherine Elsworth in Los Angeles Last Updated: 12:01am BST 27/06/2008

Note 29: Miscellaneous other new ways to produce safe drinking water

-- Dirt-repelling tube promises cheap, pure water 15 July 2008 Jon Evans

"...his prototype is able to run on solar panels and produce 50 kilograms of water per metre square of the membrane per hour. That is 600 to 700 per cent more efficient than current technology, which produces about seven to eight kilograms per metre per hour."

-- Ottawa student may hold secret to Water For All JULIE FORTIER; June 5, 2008

BACK to America's de facto domestic and foreign policies of artificial scarcity and institutionalized poverty (part two)

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