Thursday 31 March 2011

Ah-Ha Moment

Ah-ha! I finally figured out why the clowns our leaders in Washington and the fools “experts” on Wall Street are so positive: they’ve been getting their updates on the economy from the Daily Pygmy!

“Recession a Myth, Say Absurdly Rich People”

According to a survey of the top point one percent wealthiest Americans, there is no such thing as recession. Of the 300 millionaires and billionaires surveyed, only two of them said that a recession had taken place since the housing bubble burst in 2008.

“It’s classic media sensationalism,” said oil magnate Jeremiah Wallace, who was swimming in his vault of gold coins at the time of interview. “The reality is that people still have money to fuel their private jets and buy castles in the Scottish Highlands.”

A large minority of those questioned – thirty-two percent – believe that poverty is a fabrication of acquisitive non-profit and charitable organizations run amok.

“Where are all these so-called poor people?” asked retail tycoon Constance Spencer, who conducted her interview from behind the tinted window of her Rolls-Royce Phantom. “They’re not at the golf course; they’re not at the spa; they’re not even at the Ritz-Carlton. Pish posh.”

Click here to read the rest.

View the original article here


A very sombre post from Jerry Pournelle on what the attack on Libya means. I am editing but strongly reccomend the full article:

The President has abandoned the principles of the Laws of War and Peace that began with Hugo Grotius publishing his book of that title in 1625....One principle of International Law is sovereignty. It is a difficult concept and particularly difficult to reconcile with the notion of natural law. Which sovereign powers are legitimate and which are not? ....Over time his views took root and there did develop something called "International Law" and the Laws of Nations. There were even recognized principles sort of regulating war.

The long tradition of development of International Law was supposed to come to a triumphant conclusion with the creation of the United Nations: but the UN seems now to be a popular mechanism for interference in the internal affairs of sovereign nations...My tentative conclusion is that we have a new definition of "sovereign". Sovereign nations have nukes. Those who do not have nukes are not sovereign and may be judged by the UN Security Council, and possibly by American Intellectuals, and deposed by Great Powers acting in concert, or even by UN "Peace Keeping" forces depending on the military strength of the non-sovereign. Non-sovereign states may be overthrown.... have no brief for the governments of Iran, Burma, Syria and such. Under the old International Law those were sovereign entities. As of today, they are not, and they are on notice that they are not. Sovereigns are those who have nukes. Those who do not have nukes can find themselves under fire from rebels armed and aided by the Great Powers, even when the Great Powers have not the foggiest notion of who those rebels are. It is not important who takes charge: it is important that the old rulers go. No safe place for them to go will be provided and the World Court waits with its prisons. Sun Tzu said we should build golden bridges for our enemies, but we are not taking that advice: we are burning the bridges for Gaddafi and his sons. ....He has few choices: he faces death for himself and his sons and much of his clan. He is not sovereign. Unlike Dear Leader in North Korea, who faces the same fate, but who is sovereign under the new rules. I suspect this is all being closely followed in Syria. And perhaps in Saudi Arabia as well?

It's a matter of sovereignty.

This is very much my view but it is frightening to have it confirmed.

  A world where de facto sovereignty depends on having nukes is one where lots more countries are going to have them. The more there are the more the likelihood they will be used. This is not just an arithmetic growth function but a geometric one because when everybody has them and one is used who will be sure where it came from. If that doesn't frighten you??

   It is not the first time that technology has determined political culture. Under the feudal syatem the sovereign had only limited powers because his nobles had castles which could not, without a long and doubtful siege, be captured. Then cannon came along. Only kings could afford to keep a permanet artillery train which meant they, alone, could easily destroy their subject's fortifications and the modern definition of sovereignty, Grotius's, arose.

    I do not see this new soverignty being limited to nuclear weapons. During WW2 the Germans developed the nerve gas Sarin - one bomb of which could have killed an area similar to Hiroshima. Indeed nerve gas has been described as the poor nation's atom bomb. The same applies to biological warfare. Possibly even more important than the weapon is the delivery system, but even there they need not be ICBMs but can be cruise missiles. Even a suicide squadron of Censna's will be very difficult to stop.

   Almost any country can regain its sovereignty by such means. At one time the SNP had a defence spokesman who said that Scotland's defence policy should be to buy some missiles and gas and declare ourselves a major power. When the leadership noticed they fired him.

   Which is why western policy has been so disasterous. During the cold war both sides stuck, fairly closely to the leter of international law (both sides denounced each other for breaking the spirit but law is about law not "spirit"). After the west won our leaders showed a total contempt for international law. Our war against Yugoslavia broke soverignty, the law, human decency and our most solemn treaty commitments. Yugoslavia had been the 4th country in the world to develop a nuclear pile and made a deliberate decision, in the 1970s, not to develop a Bomb because it would have destabilised Europe. That was a noble decision but, with hindsight, overly trusting. Equally (well not quite equally because Yugoslavia was a law respecting democracy an Libya isn't) a few years ago Gaddafi made the deliberate decision to exit the "Axis of Evil" and receive western friendship in return for giving up his nuclear ambitions and the missiles he did have, which were, at least theoretically, capable of bringing weapons of mass destruction to most of Europe's cities. Clearly one of Gaddafi's failures has been being overly trusting of the integrity of our political leaders. What chance now any other nation will make the same mistake?

     If we want a world where the next SNP leader will not feel compelled to accept the advice mentioned above. The UN's alleged "authorisation" of bombing Libya is unlawful because the UN Charter is absolutely clear that it does not have authority to interfere within national sovereignty. We have to start respecting that. At the very least we should not support Libyan rebels by bombing anywhere to the west of rebel occupied territory, rather than encouraging them to kill Gaddaffi, his children, his grandchildren, relatives and pets. We should either get rid of the ICC or prove it is a serious attempt at strengthening international law by bringing those western leaders against whom there is an indisputable case, or even one little stronger than the case we brought against Milosvic, of the war crime of pursuing a criminal war against Yugoslavia and perhaps also Iraq and Libya. Nothing less can produce political pressure towards the rule of law and against everybody who can going armed.

  A technical semi-answer would be revamping SDI but the probelm with that remains that if it is done by a single nation others allowing it would be consenting to world sovereignty being in that nation's hands (USA or China and currently China is the more credible space power). It also doesn't work 100% or against cruise missiles, short range missiles or the Cesna Suicide Squadron. An SDI in the UN hands, or some other international body, would only work if the UN etc was visibly a supporter of international, law and could be trusted - which Libya proves is not the case.

  I have previously proposed the creation of an open access computer programme to act as judge of international law. I think that would earn far more trust than Obama, the UN, Nato, or indeed the Chinese Praesidium combined.

   As normal Heinlein had the last word decades ago.

  A worse point is that a commercial space craft is a potential commercial ICBM. We may see pressure to prevent them existing. A world government that could do that could stop all human progress as Professor John McCarthy has said. In the 1980s Dr Pournelle warned that we might be in a race between
technological progress and exhaustion of Earth's resources leaving us stuck here. That did not happen because both the resources and human inginuity proved greater. However we may now be in a race between everybody having WMDs and consequent wars; a capricious world government smothering freedom and progress; & the technological future we know is possible.


View the original article here

Kosovo’s Mafia: How the US and Allies Ignore Organized Crime

Hashim Thaci, From Madeleine Albright (1999) to Hillary Clinton (2010)

PRISTINA, Kosovo — It was the fall of 2000, just over a year after the end of the war in Kosovo, when two NATO military intelligence officers produced the first known report on local organized crime, painting the former political leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Hashim Thaci, as having “established influence on local criminal organizations, which control [a] large part of Kosovo.”

The report, the existence of which has not been previously reported, was widely distributed among all NATO countries, according to former NATO sources interviewed by GlobalPost. And year after year as the nascent democracy of Kosovo struggled to move forward and Thaci rose to political prominence, more detailed allegations and intelligence reports, totaling at least four more between 2000 and 2009, would name Thaci, these sources add. The reports were widely available to U.S. and NATO intelligence officials, and at least two were readily available on the internet. In one 36-page NATO intelligence report obtained by GlobalPost, Thaci merits a page to himself with a diagram linking him to other prominent former KLA members who are themselves linked to various criminal activities that include, extortion, murder and trafficking in drugs, stolen cars, cigarettes, weapons and women.

A diagram from a NATO intelligence report detailing alleged links between the current prime minister of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, and other people alleged to be involved in organized crime in Kosovo. 

Today, Thaci is the prime minister of Kosovo. In fact, he was just recently re-elected to his second term.

In spite of U.S. officials knowing about the numerous and detailed allegations against Thaci and many of his former colleagues in the KLA, he has remained a valued ally of successive U.S. administrations. It is unknown which U.S. officials have seen the reports. But a NATO diplomat said it was common knowledge that Thaci is suspected of criminal activity: “Whenever you looked at him always in the briefings it was ‘suspected of organized crime.’”

And when asked if he heard the accusations against Thaci and others over the years, Daniel Serwer, a former senior American diplomat in the Balkans and now a senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said, “Absolutely. It’s been a common allegation.”

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright publicly embraced Thaci. Former President George W. Bush hosted him in the Oval Office. Vice President Joseph Biden also welcomed him to the White House, in July. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited him in Kosovo as recently as the fall.

“I want you to know, prime minister,” Clinton said to Thaci, during her visit to Pristina on Oct. 13 last year, “that just as we have been with you on the hard road to independence, we will stay with you. We are your partners and we are your friends and we are very committed to your future.”

Serwer said that Clinton has “certainly heard the allegations against them … . We all heard them.”

Kosovo, a fledgling democracy that the United States and NATO together helped liberate and then create in a globally popular war that was partly framed by the United States and its allies as a war of humanitarian intervention, is now hamstrung by corruption and intimidation.Thaci and many of his fellow Kosovo Albanian guerrilla leaders who were key U.S. and NATO allies in the 1999 war have clung to power and are facing numerous allegations of criminal wrongdoing. In a country whose very existence was fuelled by the West’s concern for human rights, many citizens are afraid to criticize a prime minister and his allies, who stand accused of routinely violating human rights.

Based on three months of reporting, involving dozens of interviews with politicians, former KLA members, diplomats, former NATO soldiers, political analysts and officials, GlobalPost has found that concerns about criminality among Kosovo’s ruling political class went largely ignored by the United States, NATO and the United Nations over the past 11 years — and in some cases U.S. and U.N. officials thwarted criminal investigations into former senior KLA figures. That, according to many of these people who have played a part in Kosovo’s recent history, was because the United States, NATO and the United Nations believed that keeping the peace in Kosovo between its ethnic majority Albanians and minority Serbian population — and Serbia itself — was a priority that outstripped all other concerns, including allegations of horrific human rights abuses.

At the same time, the KLA were cast as Kosovo’s heroes and its leaders emerged from the war with unparalleled political popularity and power, which limited the options of the United States and other NATO countries in finding effective partners in Kosovo. “It’s very easy to be holier than thou but in the end in places like this you’re going to meet people who are not good,” the NATO diplomat said. “If they were good people then probably they wouldn’t be in power or you wouldn’t have a problem with the country in the first place. It’s the price of doing business.”

Thaci has not been charged in a criminal case, but the timeline of the mounting allegations against him reveal that U.S. and NATO officials knowingly supported him and other Kosovo leaders who were purportedly involved in serious crimes right from the start of the Kosovo conflict.

“Americans and those who were in charge had access to this and other documents,” said a Western diplomat with knowledge of the region, referring to the intelligence report that is marked on every page as being for the viewing of the United States and NATO. Four other diplomatic, military and intelligence sources confirmed the documents were seen by U.S. officials.

Referring to the 2000 report, a former NATO intelligence officer in Kosovo who had access to a wide array of information relating to organized crime said that the United States and other NATO countries “did nothing after its publication, which made me disappointed and disheartened.”

Florin Krasniqi, a Brooklyn-based businessman who raised large amounts of money for the KLA and shipped high-powered rifles from the United States to the KLA, said he has personally complained to senior State Department officials about corruption and crime at the top levels of government in Kosovo but he said he is routinely dismissed.

“You can be corrupted as hell,” Krasniqi said, “but as long as you keep the stability you are a friend.”

Krasniqi, who was recently elected to the Kosovo parliament, described his former KLA comrade Thaci as “the head of the mafia here.”

Thaci is a telegenic, commanding figure who speaks passable English. He first became close to American officials during peace negotiations in France in March 1999, prior to the outbreak of war.

“I don’t think there’s any escaping the fact that these allegations have been around for a long time and in order to put them to rest there has to be a serious investigation,” said Serwer. Thaci, whom Serwer knows, “would like it to just go away. But I don’t see how it can go away.”

Some of the longstanding suspicions about Thaci and his associates were brought into stark and public focus in December when a Swiss senator named Dick Marty published a report under the auspices of the Council of Europe, a respected human rights organization, accusing Thaci and other prominent former KLA commanders of being involved in numerous crimes, including trafficking in human organs harvested from people who were allegedly killed for that purpose.

Then-State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley responded to the release of the report in December, saying that “any evidence and sources cited in this report should be shared with competent authorities to conduct a full and proper investigation.”

But beyond that, administration officials are reluctant to discuss why successive American governments have backed Thaci even though every administration since Bill Clinton’s has had access to the detailed allegations of Thaci’s alleged ties to organized crime.

The U.S. ambassador to Kosovo, Christopher Dell, declined numerous requests for an interview. A spokeswoman agreed to accept questions for a possible response from Dell, but then he declined to answer any. State Department officials, including former ambassador and current Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Tina Kaidanow, also declined to comment. Other officials and former officials declined to comment, including Secretary of State Clinton, former Secretary of State Albright and Albright’s former spokesman Jamie Rubin.

A spokesman for Thaci also declined numerous requests for an interview, saying that Thaci was too busy. Thaci also did not respond to written questions. Thaci is threatening to sue Marty over the report. Thaci has called the report “scandalous” and has said that its aim was “to devalue both the KLA and the independence of Kosovo.”

Criminal investigations

Beyond intelligence reports and mounting allegations, several criminal investigations of Thaci’s allies were known to U.S. officials — and three are a matter of public record.

GlobalPost has obtained a case report from the now-defunct U.N. mission in Kosovo’s War Crimes Unit, dated May 20, 2008. The case report describes how, shortly after the war, German NATO soldiers found and released 14 people who were being illegally detained by the KLA in the city of Prizren in southern Kosovo. They also found the body of an elderly Kosovo Albanian man who was still handcuffed. He “showed signs of having been beaten,” the reports reads.

Among those named as suspects in the report is Kadri Veseli, who is considered by many in Kosovo to be Thaci’s closest ally. Veseli was chief of SHIK, the KLA’s intelligence service, an organization that continued to exist and operate without legal sanction until 2008, and possibly exists to this day. In addition to Veseli, other senior KLA commanders and Thaci allies, including Azem Syla, Sabit Geci and Fatmir Limaj, are also named as suspects in the report.

None have ever been charged in relation to the alleged crime in Prizren. But Syla, Geci and Limaj have also been subject to other criminal investigations.

Syla was arrested by police in late 2009 and questioned about whether he was involved in ordering SHIK hitmen to kill a political opponent. Syla has not been charged in the case, whose star defendant is likely to be a self-professed SHIK assassin named Nazim Bllaca.

Limaj, another senior former KLA leader and Thaci’s former minister of transporation, was charged with war crimes in mid-March by EULEX, a mission of the European Union that works with Kosovo officials on enforcing the rule of law.

Last year EULEX investigators raided and searched Limaj’s homes and places of work. He has not been indicted but many observers in Kosovo believe he is, or was, under investigation for massive corruption related to road construction contracts as well as war crimes. (Limaj was acquitted of war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.)

Geci is currently on trial, charged with war crimes by EULEX prosecutors. The EULEX investigation into Geci features Thaci in a cameo, GlobalPost has learned. Prosecutors and witnesses allege the during the war Geci ran a prison in the KLA headquarters in the town of Kukes. In the prison, prosecutors and witnesses say, Geci tortured numerous Albanian prisoners suspected of being collaborators or political opponents of the KLA.

In an interview, one of the estimated 20 survivors of the prison said that he saw Thaci present at the prison. The man, who says Geci tortured him and murdered his brother, has agreed to testify in Geci’s trial but requested anonymity before agreeing to an interview.

“I saw Hashim Thaci with my own eyes,” said the man, acknowledging that it was possible that Thaci did not know the prisoners were being tortured at the KLA base. But, the man said, the prisoners were held in a room with a large window and “he could see us.”

The man said he has told EULEX prosecutors about seeing Thaci at the prison camp. EULEX prosecutors declined to discuss the case.

If a reckoning of some senior KLA leaders is perhaps beginning with Geci’s trial, it has been too long in coming, critics say. Among those critics are people whose job it was to investigate and prosecute criminals in Kosovo after the war.

Protected by the United States?

One of the most frustrating examples of American power in the capital Pristina, say current and former U.N. officials and Western diplomats, was the influence American diplomats exerted over the supposedly independent U.N. prosecutor’s office in Kosovo.

“There was interference by the U.S. mission [to Kosovo] preventing effective investigation and prosecution of senior Kosovo officials,” said a U.N. official, who is in a position to know about the details of the United Nations’ law enforcement efforts during the time that it administered Kosovo, from 2000 to 2008.

The official said that the senior Kosovo politicians were being investigated for being allegedly involved in organized crime, and that U.S. officials prevented searches of the suspects’ homes and in one case were involved with U.N. officials in preventing a sentence from being carried out. The U.N. official said that these phone calls were “well known” and deeply frustrated many of the international prosecutors who were working for the United Nations and wanted to prosecute these Kosovo officials.

On June 14, 2008, the most senior U.N. official in Kosovo, Joachim Ruecker, issued an executive decision suspending the prison term of a former KLA commander named Sami Lushtaku, who had been sentenced to a total of 11 months in prison. Lushtaku was mayor of a town named Skenderaj, where support for the KLA is strong. In his order, which GlobalPost has obtained, Ruecker notes that Lushtaku’s sentence would make him legally ineligible to be mayor and “such an outcome would be politically highly sensitive at this stage and contrary to the public interest.” It is unknown if American officials influenced Ruecker’s legal decision, but a former senior NATO official in Kosovo said that CIA officials in Kosovo had tried to prevent NATO soldiers from arresting Lushtaku prior to prosecution.

Other officials and former officials confirmed that the United States protected some senior political figures, including former KLA leaders close to Thaci, for the sake of creating the impression that Kosovo was a stable country with strong local leaders. The same officials and former officials said that other NATO and U.N. officials were often complicit in suppressing investigations, although many others were angry at the blocked investigations.

“When we talked to them [the former KLA commanders who are still very influential in Kosovo today] we all knew they lied to us and they knew that we knew they were lying but there was not much we could do thanks to politics and their patrons in D.C.,” a former NATO intelligence official who worked in Kosovo told GlobalPost. “They freely run prostitution, petrol smuggling, money laundering, racketeering, intimidation of LDK people [members of a rival political party, the Democratic League of Kosovo]. They get away with murder.

“The Americans were not making criminal investigations easy,” the former NATO intelligence official said. “In a couple of cases that I know of they wanted investigations to freeze because that ‘was not the right time to do it,’ according to them, so they just pulled the plug and there was nothing that we could do. It concerned the big fish.”

A former international monitor with connections to the U.N.’s mission in Kosovo said: “It got to the point where some of my prosecutor friends were told not to do this. One can understand if someone says wait. They might be told hold for a while. But for people to just flat out say ‘don’t you do this ever’ and to treat the prosecutor’s office as an extension of the political office — that’s where lines get blurred.”

The former monitor sat in on meetings involving U.S. diplomats in which they and U.N. officials discussed whether political considerations should prevent certain political figures from being investigated or arrested.

The sense that Thaci and his close associates are protected and untouchable has created what many observers in Kosovo describe as a sense of hopelessness. Thaci is building a large house in the capital, Pristina, and even if the money for the construction comes from legitimate sources many ordinary Kosovars, who are the poorest people in Europe, see the house as a symbol of arrogance and corruption.

“To me this is absolutely reprehensible,” Serwer said.

It is highly unlikely that Thaci would ever be prosecuted by a Kosovo court. “The police, public prosecutors and courts are erratic performers, prone to political interference and abuse of office,” the non-partisan International Crisis Group wrote in a report last year, echoing a view shared by many Kosovars, foreign governments and aid groups.

A GlobalPost reporter interviewed Kosovo’s chief of police, Reshat Maliqi, and asked him why he had not initiated an investigation into Thaci or ordered his officers to search for evidence, given the numerous allegations against the prime minister. “We didn’t try,” Maliqi said, “because someone needs to knock on my door” bringing evidence.

If anyone is to prosecute Thaci it would almost certainly have to be international prosecutors. Since 2008 EULEX has been the most powerful judicial force in Kosovo, which declared independence the same year. Thaci’s opponents and critics hope that EULEX prosecutors will aggressively investigate the prime minister.

A Western diplomat based in Kosovo confirmed to GlobalPost that EULEX had been quietly investigating Thaci for some time. And in January EULEX announced its prosecutors had opened a preleminary investigation into the organ-trafficking allegations in Marty’s report.

There are signs that Thaci’s friends in Washington are becoming increasingly embarrassed by the swirl of corruption and crime that surrounds him and other former KLA commanders.

When Thaci visited Biden in July, Biden was all smiles in public with Thaci but “hammered” him about corruption in their private meeting, according to someone with knowledge of the meeting. Thaci agreed with Biden that there was a problem and said he would try harder to stop corruption and crime in the Kosovo government.

And if Thaci wants to visit the United States again it is now unlikely that he would ever be able to obtain a U.S. visa other than a diplomatic visa, which grants him immunity, U.S. government sources told GlobalPost. The United States does not generally allow foreign nationals into the country when there are unresolved allegations of human rights abuses against them. Thaci has told associates that he is now concerned about traveling overseas because he fears being arrested in a foreign country.

Thaci remains by far the most powerful politician in Kosovo. But if the United States were to withdraw support for him, or for his country, Kosovo would be plunged into political chaos that some people believe would lead to the break-up of the country. Such chaos also comes with a danger of resumed ethnic hostilities.

“At one point the United States is going to say you don’t deserve a country,” said Engjellushe Morina, executive director of the Kosovo Stability Initiative think-tank in Pristina. “Some of Kosovo will go to Albania and some will go to Serbia. It would be a disaster for that to happen. We so badly wanted a state and we didn’t know how to run a state.”

Jovo Martinovic contributed to this story.

Matt McAllester, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and long-time foreign correspondent, is a regular contributor to GlobalPost’s “Special Reports.” McAllester and Jovo Martinovic have both been reporting on war crimes and organized crime in the Balkans for over a decade. Their work includes investigations of Serbian war crimes during the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo and the GlobalPost exclusive on the Pink Panther jewelry thieves.

View the original article here

Persian Ram a Red Horse

Iran is ready to bring about its Messiah.  It will do all that is necessary.

Click here for more

~ by Marianne on March 31, 2011.

Posted in 2012, 4 horses of apocalypse, 666, anti-semitism, anti-zionism, antichrist, apocalypse, christianity, end times, Iran, Iraq war, islam, Israel, muslims, persecution, politics, prophecy, religion, terrorism, tribulation, war, weapons of mass destruction
Tags: , ,

View the original article here

FTSE MIB Banche: creato un crocevia fondamentale

Già abbiamo parlato della crisi di liquidità del sistema bancario. La giornata di ieri è stata emblematica su questo tema. E’ arrivato come un fulmine a ciel sereno (si fa per dire) per la maggior parte degli operatori e risparmiatori l’ di UBI BANCA da un miliardo di Euro che aumenterà il di circa 100 basis point (1%).
Il mercato bastona UBI Banca e non solo essa. Infatti tutti si chiedono chi sarà la prossima vittima… di Siena? ? No, non quest’ultima, bocciato ieri sera. E che dire delle reazioni di e di altre banche? Il mercato ha preso paura, ha perso quella sicurezza sulle banche e, con l’ausilio dell’abbassamento del rating su alcuni PIGS (ma porca miseria, come fa il mercato a sorprendersi di queste cose che noi discutiamo giornalmente su questo blog?) ma fatto il botto.

Il problema quindi non è solo UBI Banca ma il settore finanzario.
E allora meglio andare alla fonte del problema e quindi…andiamo ad analizzare il grafico del FTSE MIB Finanziari.

Il grafico parla chiaro. C’è un crocevia di tre fondamentali, tutte lì, accollate, pronte a creare un muro in area 19533-19774 che sarà il livello chiave per le prossime settimane, la linea di demarcazione tra una tendenza positiva e negativa. Tenetene conto, potrebbe esservi molto utile…



Sostieni I&M!
Clicca sul bottone ”DONAZIONE” qui sotto o a fianco nella colonna di destra!

FTSE MIB Banche: creato un crocevia fondamentale, 4.7 out of 5 based on 6 ratings FTSE MIB: il grafico parla chiaroFTSE MIB: nuovi indici a Piazza AffariBond subordinati: banche in difficoltàFTSE MIB: perché negare l’evidenza?FTSE MIB: ANALISI E GRAFICO

View the original article here

Antichrist, False Prophet & The Mahdi in prophecy

Bashar al-Assad is having quite the time right now!

Syrian President Bashar Assad blamed a wave of protests on "conspirators" who are trying to destroy the country as well as "enemies with an Israeli agenda", giving his first address to the nation Wednesday since the demonstrations erupted nearly two weeks ago.,7340,L-4048856,00.html

Edit: To clarify, Scot has his eyes on Assad as "the man".

View the original article here

London set to limit right to protest

Press TV
March 30, 2011

The British government has announced controversial plans to ban protesters from taking part in public gatherings following the weekend anti-cuts rallies, which were marred by violence.

Based on a proposal by Home Secretary Theresa May, the police may be given new powers to prevent so-called hooligans from attending rallies and marches while officers will also be authorized to force demonstrators, who do not want to be known, to remove their face-scarves and balaclavas.

The announcement has raised concerns among MPs who say no hasty decision should be made on the issue as the police may abuse the “stop and search” powers to target ordinary people rather than “known hooligans”.

May outlined her plans during an emergency Commons briefing on the violent incidents, which marred the Saturday rally organized by the Trades Union Congress.

May told the MPs that she is considering “banning orders” similar to those used against football hooligans for the demonstrators who police thinks may turn to violence.

She also said officers should force more protestors to remove their masks and balaclavas to help the police quickly identify participants in the rallies.

A d v e r t i s e m e n t

“Just as the police review their operational tactics, so the Home Office will review the powers available to the police. I have asked the police whether they need further powers to prevent violence before it occurs. I am willing to consider powers which would ban known hooligans from rallies and marches and I will look into the powers the police already have to force the removal of face-coverings and balaclavas,” May said.

While the Metropolitan Police earlier said it has charged 149 people out of more than 200 arrested during the Saturday rallies with various offenses, at least five people have lodged complaints with Scotland Yard about police violence against marchers.

The Met said on Monday that it has charged 138 people in connection with the sit-in at Fortnum & Mason luxury store for charges including aggravated trespass.

However, the UK Uncut, which organized the sit-in dismissed any claims that those participating in the Fortnum & Mason incident resorted to violence.

“This was not a protest by people wearing balaclavas and breaking things. It was a peaceful and mild-mannered gathering by people from all walks of life – teachers, hospital workers, charity workers,” said Tim Matthews, a spokesman for UK Uncut.

“People who took part now find themselves charged with a criminal offence simply for exercising their right to protest,” he added.

This come as Tom Brake MP, co-chair of the Liberal Democrat parliamentary policy committee on home affairs, justice and equalities warned the government against “a knee-jerk reaction” to what happened.

Stock up with Fresh Food that lasts with eFoodsDirect (Ad)

“Clearly there was a small minority who were out to cause trouble. We need to look in detail into whether the police have sufficient powers to tackle that, or whether they can be deployed differently to ensure such violent scenes don’t happen again,” Brake said.

  Print this page.

Comment Rules

View the original article here

PBIO: “Eating Your Own Dog Food Could Save Your Life”

Grant Zeng, CFA

PBIO: “Eating your own dog food could save your life”

The story
On March 28, 2011, the Venture Development Center, Boston’s leading startup incubator for technology and life science companies, published a very interesting article about the unique business model of Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (PBIO). The article was entitled “Eating your own dog food could save your life.”
In short, the article told a story like this. A scientist took a walk in the woods one day and found a tick on his arm three days later. The tick was removed and a rash was developed. Then the scientist brought the tick to his lab and asked that it be tested for the DNA of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease.
In preparation for the testing, the tick was initially processed by the company’s newly developed SG3, a device that is developed to improve the safety, speed, and accuracy of processing difficult samples from tough, fibrous, and other difficult-to-disrupt tissues and organisms, such as ticks. The shredded tick was further processed by the company’s pressure cycling technology platform, and then tested for the presence of B. burgdoreri DNA. The tick was determined to be potentially infectious.
An expert in the area of Lyme disease confirmed the infection of the scientist by the bacteria causing Lyme disease. The scientist sought medical attention based on the evidence he had obtained. Because he acted quickly, using tools that his own lab had developed, and sought advice and treatment, the scientist is not expected to develop Lyme disease.

What does the story mean for Pressure Bioscience Inc.?

The story vividly illustrated how PBIO’s unique business model works. If a company uses its own products for day to day operations, which was described by the article as eating its own dog food, this sends a strong message that it considers its own products the best on the market.
PBIO is a company just like this. The Company has developed a unique platform technology: pressure cycling technology (PCT) and related equipments and products, for the sample preparation market. Scientists around the world routinely extract bio-molecules from a diverse range of biological samples using a variety of extraction methods. Some methods are labor-intensive, time consuming, and expensive; others engender safety and quality concerns; and still others lack the versatility required for today’s cutting-edge research laboratory. Data so for have demonstrated that the PBIO’s PCT platform technology and related equipments/products offer many advantages such as greater safety, flexibility, quality, and speed than the currently used methods.
PBIO has been marking every effort to develop new products for the biology research market and has made great progress. The Company has launched quite a few new systems and products recently such as the mitochondrial kits, focused on the isolation of mitochondria from solid tissues, such as skeletal muscle and lung, and the SHREDDER SG3 system, developed in conjunction with the mitochondrial kits, to allow for a safe, rapid, efficient, and standardized method to isolate mitochondria from human and animal cells.
We think PBIO has all the makings of success. With many advantages, PBIO’s PCT platform and related products will be recognized and used by more scientists and researchers worldwide. As a result, the Company’s top line will be further boosted in the coming years.

We have been, and continue to be, optimistic about PBIO. The Company’s strong fundamentals and management’s strong commitment make us believe it is poised to grow rapidly and deliver shareholder value.

We have an Outperform rating on the Company’s shares with a price target of $5.   

For a free copy of the full research report, please email with PBIO as the subject.

Follow Zacks Small Cap Reserach on Twitter at

PRESSURE BIOSCI (PBIO): Free Stock Analysis Report

View the original article here

Good article on "The war on cancer"

Edit: This is a little out of whack from copy/paste. Click link to view properly

One would think that applying all that modern science has to offer over the last 40 years would have brought us far closer to eradicating cancer. Just compare it to other technology areas. Our cell phones now are more powerful computers than the largest supercomputers of the time.

But instead, cancer rates have increased during that span of time, and now surpass heart disease as the number one killer of Americans between the ages of 45 to 74. The odds are now very high that you or someone you know has cancer, is dying or has already died from it.

Why has "the War on Cancer" Failed so Miserably?

Writing for the Skeptical Inquirer, Reynold Spector lists the following six reasons for the failure:

We don't understand the cause/pathogenesis in most cases of cancer Most treatments (except surgery are nonspecific cell killers and not "smart" Clinical trials and the grant system don't foster innovation
Screening for useful drugs against cancer cells has not worked Animal models of cancer are often inadequate Unproductive "fads" in research come and go

However, while these may factor into the equation of failure, I believe this list is yet another example of exactly what's wrong with the entire system, which is: ignoring the fact that cancer is likely a man-made disease caused primarily by toxic overload.

Just a few months ago, I wrote about a fascinating study into ancient mummies that determined cancer is not a "natural" disease at all, and genetics are not a primary factor. Tumors were extremely rare until recent times, when pollution and poor diet became issues. So why are the medical and science communities, by and large, ignoring these basics?

Getting to the Root of the Problem

I strongly believe the cancer rates are escalating because they are in no way shape or form addressing the underlying cause of most cancers. Instead, most of the research is directed towards expensive drugs that target late stages of the disease and greatly enrich the drug companies but simply do not prevent cancer.

If ever there was an area in which an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure it is cancer. I strongly believe that if you are able to work your way up to the advanced health plan, that you will virtually eliminate the risk of most cancers.

Environmental- and lifestyle factors are increasingly being pinpointed as the primary culprits fueling our cancer epidemic. This includes:

Pesticide- and other chemical exposures Processed and artificial foods
(plus the chemicals in the packaging) Wireless technologies, dirty electricity, and medical diagnostic radiation exposure
Pharmaceutical drugs Obesity, stress, and poor sleeping habits Lack of sunshine exposure and use of sunscreens

This is clearly not an exhaustive list as such a list would be exceedingly long. For more specifics on consumer products implicated as contributors to cancer, please review the Cancer Prevention Coalition's "Dirty Dozen" list.

The pharmaceutical researchers would like you to believe they're doing everything they can to come up with a solution. Yet all we see is research into newer drug therapies. Clearly they're not digging close enough to the root of the problem, because if they did, they'd touch on some of these lifestyle issues just mentioned.

From my perspective, you ignore lifestyle factors at your own peril when it comes to cancer... Because, clearly, drug-based "advances" are not making a dent in this progressively prevalent disease.

On the contrary, cancer drugs are notoriously toxic and come with devastating, including lethal, side effects. Conventional medicine is so desperate to give the illusion of fighting the good fight that many of these drugs are used despite the fact that they're not really doing much to prolong or improve the quality of life of those diagnosed with cancer.

The best-selling (and extremely expensive) cancer drug Avastin, for example, was recently phased out as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer after studies concluded its benefits were outweighed by its dangerous side effects. Treating a disease in large part caused by toxins with toxins seems ignorant at best.

We can do better than that.

REAL Cancer Advancements that Need to Become Mainstream Knowledge

In the last 30 years the global cancer burden has doubled, and it will likely double again between 2000 and 2020, and nearly triple by 2030—unless people begin to take cancer prevention seriously. We CAN turn this trend around, but to do so the medical community must stop overlooking the methods that can actually have a significant impact.

Three cancer advancements in particular merit special mention. These advancements have not yet been accepted by conventional medicine, and they must be.

Number 1: Vitamin D—There's overwhelming evidence pointing to the fact that vitamin D deficiency plays a crucial role in cancer development. Researchers within this field have estimated that about 30 percent of cancer deaths -- which amounts to 2 million worldwide and 200,000 in the United States -- could be prevented each year simply by optimizing the vitamin D levels in the general population.

On a personal level, you can decrease your risk of cancer by MORE THAN HALF simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with sun exposure. And if you are being treated for cancer it is likely that higher blood levels—probably around 80-90 ng/ml—would be beneficial.

If the notion that sun exposure actually prevents cancer is still new to you, I highly recommend you watch my one-hour vitamin D lecture to clear up any confusion. It's important to understand that the risk of skin cancer from the sun comes only from excessive exposure.

Meanwhile, countless people around the world have an increased risk of cancer because their vitamin D levels are too low due to utter lack of sun exposure.

The health benefits of optimizing your levels, either by safe sun exposure (ideally), a safe tanning bed, or oral supplementation as a last resort, simply cannot be overstated. In terms of protecting against cancer, vitamin D has been found to offer protection in a number of ways, including:

* Regulating genetic expression
* Increasing the self-destruction of mutated cells (which, if allowed to replicate, could lead to cancer)
* Reducing the spread and reproduction of cancer cells
* Causing cells to become differentiated (cancer cells often lack differentiation)
* Reducing the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, which is a step in the transition of dormant tumors turning cancerous

To learn the details on how to use vitamin D therapeutically, please review my previous article, Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency.

Number 2: Optimizing Your Insulin Levels—Normalizing your insulin levels is one of the most powerful physical actions you can take to lower your risk of cancer. Otto Warburg actually received a Nobel Prize for his research on cancer cell physiology in 1934, which clearly demonstrated cancer cells require more sugar to thrive. Unfortunately, very few oncologists appreciate or apply this knowledge today.

The Cancer Centers of America is one of the few exceptions, where strict dietary measures are included in their cancer treatment program.

High levels of insulin can cause major damage to your body. The most recognized of these is diabetes, but that is far from the only one. As Ron Rosedale, M.D. said in one of my most popular articles, Insulin and Its Metabolic Effects:

"It doesn't matter what disease you are talking about, whether you are talking about a common cold or cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis or cancer, the root is always going to be at the molecular and cellular level, and I will tell you that insulin is going to have its hand in it, if not totally control it."

The good news is that controlling your insulin levels is relatively straightforward. First, limit your intake of processed foods, grains and sugars/fructose as much as possible to prevent your insulin levels from becoming elevated in the first place.

Number 3: Exercise—If you are like most people, when you think of reducing your risk of cancer, exercise doesn't immediately come to mind. However, there is some fairly compelling evidence that exercise can slash your risk of cancer.

One of the primary ways exercise lowers your risk for cancer is by reducing elevated insulin levels, which creates a low sugar environment that discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells. Controlling your insulin levels and optimizing your vitamin D level are two of the most powerful steps you can take to reduce your cancer risk. For example, physically active adults experience about half the incidence of colon cancer as their sedentary counterparts, and women who exercise regularly can reduce their breast cancer risk by 20 to 30 percent compared to those who are inactive.

Additionally, exercise improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood. Your immune system is your first line of defense against everything from minor illnesses like a cold right up to devastating, life-threatening diseases like cancer.

The trick about exercise, though, is understanding how to use it as a precise tool. This ensures you are getting enough to achieve the benefit, not too much to cause injury, and the right variety to balance your entire physical structure and maintain strength and flexibility, and aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels. This is why it is helpful to view exercise like a drug that needs to be carefully prescribed to achieve its maximum benefit.

It's important to include a large variety of techniques in your exercise routine, such as strength training, aerobics, core-building activities, and stretching. Most important of all, however, is to make sure you include high-intensity, burst-type exercise, such as Peak 8. Peak 8 are exercises performed once or twice a week, in which you raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 20 to 30 seconds, and then you recover for 90 seconds.

These exercises activate your super-fast twitch muscle fibers, which can increase your body's natural production of human growth hormone. For detailed instructions, please see this previous article.

Winning the War Against Cancer Begins with Your Personal Choices

You can do a lot, right now, to significantly decrease your cancer risk. Even the conservative American Cancer Society states that one-third of cancer deaths are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity, and carrying excess weight. So making the following healthy lifestyle changes can go a very long way toward ending the failure-streak and becoming one less statistic in this war against cancer:

1. Normalize your vitamin D levels with safe amounts of sun exposure. This works primarily by optimizing your vitamin D level. Ideally, monitor your vitamin D levels throughout the year.
2. Control your insulin levels by limiting your intake of processed foods and sugars/fructose as much as possible.
3. Get appropriate amounts of animal-based omega-3 fats.
4. Get appropriate exercise. One of the primary reasons exercise works is that it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks.
5. Eat according to your nutritional type. The potent anti-cancer effects of this principle are very much underappreciated. When we treat cancer patients in our clinic this is one of the most powerful anti-cancer strategies we have.
6. Have a tool to permanently erase the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed. My particular favorite tool for this purpose, as you may know, is the Emotional Freedom Technique.
7. Only 25 percent of people eat enough vegetables, so by all means eat as many vegetables as you are comfortable with. Ideally, they should be fresh and organic. Cruciferous vegetables in particular have been identified as having potent anti-cancer properties. Remember that carb nutritional types may need up to 300 percent more vegetables than protein nutritional types.
8. Maintain an ideal body weight.
9. Get enough high-quality sleep.
10. Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, synthetic air fresheners and air pollution.
11. Reduce your use of cell phones and other wireless technologies, and implement as many safety strategies as possible if/when you cannot avoid their use.
12. Boil, poach or steam your foods, rather than frying or charbroiling them.

View the original article here

Japan... ‘Maximum Alert’!... Over Fukushima Nuke Crisis... Head of TEPCO Vanishes!

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan

Workers at the Fukushima nuclear power plant are working in overdrive, attempting to stop the spread of radioactive materials into the ocean as well as avoid a full scale meltdown. ~ Alex Thomas

In a startling development, Crews found traces of plutonium in the soil outside of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex on Monday, but officials continued to insist there was no threat to public health. Plutonium is highly dangerous and has raised the level of fear tenfold.

Worried? Apparently at least one person now believes that Plutonium is actually good for human health!

Plutonium, one of the most feared radioactive substances on earth, may in fact enhance human health, according to unexpected new findings published in the journal, Health Physics, wrote Lawrence Solomon in the Financial Post.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has stated that Japan is on Maximum Alert and the situation remains unpredictable and ever changing.

Multiple embassies in Japan have started to pass out potassium iodide tablets as a precautionary measure. These tablets are being distributed in a 250km radius yet Japanese officials continue to claim that potassium iodide is only needed within the 20km evacuation zone.

The difference in opinion between the Japanese government and Foreign embassies is so huge that it seems impossible that Japan is not covering up the extent of this disaster.

“The recommendation by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority that all Swedes who are staying within a radius of 250 km from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant to take iodide tablets every three days is still valid,” the embassy’s website, last updated Saturday, says. “Best protection against radioactive iodine is to take iodide tablets before the exposure, as doing so afterward will prove too late,” reported The Japan Times.

Officials with TEPCO are also facing a major dilemma. They need to cool the reactors with water but at the same time keep the water from contaminating the ocean with toxic radioactive materials.

“TEPCO is in an awful dilemma right now,” said Jim Walsh, an international security expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “One the one hand, they want to cool the reactor and keep the reactor cool, so they have to pour water in. If there is a leak in one of the containment vessels, that water keeps leaking out. So they have a problem where the more they try to cool it down, the greater the radiation hazard as that water leaks out from the plant,” reported the CNN Wire Staff.

Fox News is reporting that TEPCO officials have LOST the battle to save one of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

“The indications we have, from the reactor to radiation readings and the materials they are seeing, suggest that the core has melted through the bottom of the pressure vessel in unit two, and at least some of it is down on the floor of the drywell,” Lahey told the Guardian.

Meanwhile the Head of TEPCO has all but vanished since a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan on March 11th. He was last seen on the 13th which has led many to speculate that he has left the country.

Amid rumors that Shimizu had fled the country, checked into a hospital or committed suicide, company officials said Monday that their boss had suffered an unspecified “small illness” because of overwork after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake sent a tsunami crashing onto his company’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, reported the Washington Post.

There is no way to tell if Shimizu is actually in Tokyo due to the fact that no one has actually seen him.

Officials in the United States have continued to claim that the levels found in the U.S. are no worse then background radiation, ignoring the simple fact that most of these radioactive particles do not normally occur in the atmosphere at all.

Radiation from Japan N-plant reaches Britain

Alex Thomas - March 29, 2011 - IntelHub

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Tue, 03/29/2011 - 7:01pm.

View the original article here

CUT TO THE CHASE: Using Fear as a Cataclysm Survival Tool – Author Michael Clarkson

Nuclear reactors melting down in Japan and massive fish kills appearing in the Los Angeles area  constitute real and present dangers.  The prospect of global cataclysm is no longer a matter for armchair  speculation.  It is now real and and fear is taking hold.

The brave people of Japan have shown us how they raise to the challenge, but as the prospect of huge swaths of Japan are becoming unlivable, even they will have their limits.  But what about us in the West?  Are we in the West as brave as the Japanese?  Or more to the point, are we able to cope with a horrifically fearful calamity with their sense of resolve.

For years, Marshall has told his readers, “Fear is the knife’s edge of death.  Follow your fears and you inevitably stumble upon a blade.” That being said, fear is a primal instinct that can only be controlled or suppressed with years of personal preparation. We do not have those years, but we have something just as effective today.

This is the point of this interview with poltergeist researcher and the author of The Poltergeist Phenomenon, Michael Clarkson. As a result of his research, he discovered a simple way to handle fear.  Not by following it to bad conclusion, but rather, by having the self awareness to use it to survive.  When you finish listening to this interview, you’ll know how to do it today.  Quickly and effectively.

Tags: Cut to the Chase Interviews

View the original article here

Burma’s Military Government Dissolved, 'Civilian-Led' Government Sworn In


Daniel Schearf | Bangkok March 30, 2011

Burma’s military government has been officially dissolved and a nominally civilian government sworn in after decades of military rule. Military loyalists, however, still dominate the new government.

Burma’s state media Wednesday declared the military government officially dissolved and power turned over to what it is calling a civilian-led government.

Former Prime Minister Thein Sein was sworn in as president, along with a new administration chosen after a controversial election in November. The historic handover, though, is tempered by concerns that military rule will continue through proxies loyal to the military.

Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was banned from participating and her National League for Democracy, the main opposition, was disbanded as a political party for boycotting the election.

Nyan Win, a spokesman for the NLD, said they accept the fact that there is a new government and are open to dialogue, but also will be watching closely for signs of military control.

"We are also wait and see about this. We are always concern about military control over the government or not. We don't know exactly. We will wait and see," said Win.

The military government touted the election as a move to democracy, but it was widely condemned as a sham.

The military-drafted constitution guaranteed it a quarter of all seats, and the military-supported party was elected by a landslide amid accusations of voter fraud and intimidation.

Many military officers resigned their posts to run in the election - including the new president, himself a former general - and are considered loyalists.

Smaller democracy parties were elected, but only to a handful of seats.

The role of senior General Than Shwe in the new government is still not clear and some analysts expect him to wield power behind the scenes.

The military government, known formally as the State Peace and Development Council, has ruled Burma since 1988, but the impoverished country has been under some form of military rule for half a century.

The NLD won Burma’s last election in 1990, but the military ignored the results and kept Aung San Suu Kyi locked up for most of the last two decades. She was released from house arrest last year, just days after the election.

View the original article here

Food Inflation Kept Hidden in Tinier Bags


Nabisco’s Fresh Stacks package of saltines, top, contains about 15 percent fewer crackers than the old package.

Chips are disappearing from bags, candy from boxes and vegetables from cans.

As an expected increase in the cost of raw materials looms for late summer, consumers are beginning to encounter shrinking food packages.

With unemployment still high, companies in recent months have tried to camouflage price increases by selling their products in tiny and tinier packages. So far, the changes are most visible at the grocery store, where shoppers are paying the same amount, but getting less.

For Lisa Stauber, stretching her budget to feed her nine children in Houston often requires careful monitoring at the store. Recently, when she cooked her usual three boxes of pasta for a big family dinner, she was surprised by a smaller yield, and she began to suspect something was up.

[more at]

Bill Bard says:

We knew that…..

Bookmark and Share

View the original article here

Discover the Secrets of 2012

December 21 2012 seems to be the topic on everyone's lips and minds. Everywhere you turn people are talking about the 2012 date. There are a lot of stories surrounding the 2012 information available to us. There are also a lot of questions that people want answers to.

We've all heard the story of how the Ancient Mayans came up with the date. And how Nostradamus also predicted it. Some of the stories about what exactly is going to happen sound far-fetched and conflicting. To be honest it sounds like a plot of a disaster movie. (Oh wait...they actually made a movie about it.) It all comes down to what you choose to believe, but that calendar date is coming.

Whether it will be the end of the world or just the end of the world as we know it, it's coming. Something's going to happen or according to some, is already happing, just turn on the news or pick up a paper. But how do we know for sure what's going to happen. Are the so called "experts" simply guessing? Will it be a planetary alignment, increased solar radiation or the return of Planet X that will destroy life as we know it?

Whatever happens remains to be seen, right? Or are there some people that know exactly what's going to happen and know how to survive it. Recent evidence suggests that we have been lied to, tricked and deceived. Governments of the world are deliberately withholding the truth from us and are covering it up. They, along with the ruling elite that are in possession of this ancient knowledge and a lot of people want to know what they know. They want to find out the secrets of the2012 prophecy and how to survive it. Now I know what you're thinking, this is just another conspiracy theory or stories made up by people wanting to capitalise of the 2012 hype.

Think about this for a minute, how long has this information been known? Why is it only coming to light now? What would happen to our society if all is known today?

If you seek the truth as well as answers to the questions so many are asking, click here [].

This article was written by Marc Hector.

Predicting the Future—All You Need Are the Two R’s: Railroads and Retailers

By Mitchell Clark, B.Comm.

Even the most seasoned institutional equity investor is asking him or herself, “…so now what?” There really is a lull in the equity trading action and volume is low. We’re not quite into first-quarter earnings season and corporations aren’t saying much. The economic data are mediocre at best and the stock market has already gone up tremendously. So, it really is a time when everyone is wondering what’s going to happen next. How the two R's—railroads and retailers—can tell us what could be in our financial future.

Even the most seasoned institutional equity investor is asking him or herself, “…so now what?” There really is a lull in the equity trading action and volume is low. We’re not quite into first-quarter earnings season and corporations aren’t saying much. The economic data are mediocre at best and the stock market has already gone up tremendously. So, it really is a time when everyone is wondering what’s going to happen next.

The good news is that corporations are expected to do quite well in the first quarter. That’s the expectation and we have no reason to believe that they won’t deliver. The stock market, in my view, has about one more quarter of courtesy left in it before investors really start to get cranky about the economic data. The stock market has gone up over the last seven months specifically because of strong expectations for corporate earnings. That’s fair; but it isn’t sustainable unless the economy begins accelerating. This is why a lot of investors aren’t doing much in this market; because they don’t know what to do—the unknowns in the economy are very real.

The key to the stock market’s trading action going forward will be the transportation sector. The Dow Jones Transports Index has been struggling lately, but I think it has a good chance of reaccelerating in the not-too-distant future. Business for the railroads is strong and they remain one of the best barometers for economic activity, even as housing prices remain in the doldrums. Follow the railroads and retailers and you’ll have a good sense as to where stock prices should go over the coming months.

Now is the time for corporations to show their stuff. Investors have already bid up share prices with the expectation for strong earnings, and companies had better deliver. In fact, the stock market won’t be able to advance much higher if companies don’t beat consensus estimates and improve their guidance. That’s what the stock market is all about—increasing expectations for the future. Without an improvement in guidance, the marketplace will likely sell off for quite a while.

It’s actually quite tough to be a new buyer of stocks at this particular point in time. It’s awfully risky taking on a new position without having a company’s latest financial report to go on. This always happens before a quarter closes and it contributes to the malaise in the marketplace.

Both stocks and commodities continue to be due for a correction. In my view, a meaningful correction would be a healthy development for the market this year. I don’t know if we’ll get one, but I would plan for one. The worst thing you can have is a stock market that just keeps going up. It makes the fall that much more painful.

Mitchell is a Senior Editor at Lombardi Financial specializing in small-cap stocks. He’s the editor of a variety of popular Lombardi Financial newsletters, such as Penny Stock Reporter, Micro-Cap Stocks, and Monster Profits. Mitchell, who has been with Lombardi Financial for thirteen years, won the Jack Madden Prize in economic history and is a long-time student of equity markets. Prior to joining Lombardi, Mitchell was as a stock broker for a large investment bank. While Mitchell is not working he enjoys fly fishing, motorcycling and tending to his hobby farm.

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

View the original article here

Attitude towards debt

Debt is a subject that attracts an incredible amount of interest around the internet. Why? Because it’s a subject that is emotional for most of us and you can debate it in so many ways. Some like Adam Baker from the excellent ManvsDebt have mastered the subject and I personally never get tired of reading about it. Why?

As much as we would like to avoid debt, chances are that you when you buy a car, a house or other items, you are financing part of it through debt. You might have a love-hate relationship with it or you might love the possibilities offered by debt like Mike from TheFinancialBlogger. He is one of many who strongly believes in using debt for investments among other things.

Anytime that you hear about margin investing, it usually involves borrowing money at a rate in order to make a superior return through investments. The logic is sound in principle. The S&P500 generally returns about 5-10% or so per year on average and if an investor can borrow money at a lower rate, it seems like a winning proposition doesn’t it? Of course. That is unless you suffer a crash like we had very recently. That can wipe out your entire equity very quickly.

As discussed yesterday, I recently read the most Berkshire annual letter and Warren Buffet discussed his opinion towards debt and his dislike for it in general. He compared investing to being in a car race and while going as fast as possible is important, the critical aspect of course is to actually finish the race. Living with high levels of debt can have fatal consequences as we experienced with both companies that went bankrupt (Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns, etc) but also with millions of ordinary people who lost everything they had because of the overuse of debt.

There is no doubt that the most recent credit crisis gave us a number of examples of the importance of liquidity. Buffet, who has always been very conservative was able to make great investments and loans to companies such as Goldman Sachs that desperately needed cash. How good was it? That is what happened on a much smaller scale to millions of regular people all around the world.

It’s certainly interesting to see how some investors start using leverage in a very conservative way. As that goes well, they tend to increase the leverage seeing the opportunity to do even more. That trend often continues a bit too long. So how do you stop? It’s not clear to me.

While I am not as keen to borrow as some others, I still could see investing on margin as a possible way to increase my net worth at some point down the road but not for now and not in the near future either. I would have to be significantly better off than I am right now. How much more? Difficult to say. But I would want to make sure that I could sustain a 30-40% stock market crash. It can and it will happen again. If that happened again, would I be comfortable with my situation? Not right now I guess.

What about you?

If you liked this post, you can consider subscribing to our free newsletters here

View the original article here

Why You Shouldn’t Be Ignoring Europe

Traders are concerned about the nuclear fallout in Japan, along with the conflict in Libya and North Africa; but, for whatever reason, the debt and growth issues in Europe appear to have been pushed to the backburner. In my view, this is dangerous.

While there are issues with jobs and housing in the U.S., my advice is that you should not ignore the massive debt and deficit problems plaguing Europe.

Without renewal in Europe and other foreign markets, we cannot expect a sustainable recovery. This is basic economic analysis.

First we had the massive bailouts of Greece and Ireland. Now there is speculation that Portugal may be next to seek emergency funds to stay afloat. When the country is paying out an enormous 7.9% on its 10-year bond, this cannot be good. Yet, the high rate is required to attract investors due to the high risk of holding Portuguese bonds.

Portugal’s Prime Minister Jose Socrates recently resigned after failing to get an austerity program approved. The government is scrambling to find solutions to the mounting issues.

The problem is that Portugal is broke and cannot continue to pay out high-yielding bonds. The country will need to reorganize its financial structure and try to renew its economy and finances. Standard & Poor’s cut its view on the country’s five biggest banks.

While Portugal is not a significant player in the European Union, weakness there could impact other countries, including neighbor Spain. The latter also needs to raise more capital and remains in a risky position. The problem that is Spain is a major global player, with its economy being the ninth largest in the world.

Take a look at the comparative growth rates. In Europe, there are concerns with the slow growth there. In Germany, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2011 is estimated to fall to 1.4%. In comparison, the U.S. economy is predicted to grow about 2.4% in 2011.

I feel that Europe may continue to underperform the global markets in 2010 and 2011.

In Europe, the 27-member European Union (EU) is critical to the global economic recovery. There are over 500 million people in the EU, accounting for about 28% of the world’s GDP in 2009, according to data from the International Monetary Fund.

The problem is that the big countries such as Germany and France are supporting the weaker members that cannot survive on their own at this time without capital infusion. This is not good, and it will hamper growth in Europe. The trillion-dollar austerity measures will take away from investing in the country’s growth and economic renewal.

The last thing the EU wants is weak members dragging the member group down, especially at a time when the region is trying to rebound from the global recession.

The reality is that the global economies are interlinked and problems in one region of the world will have a domino effect on countries and regions thousands of miles away.

The bottom line is that sustained growth in America cannot be achieved without renewal in the major world economies, which is why Europe should not be ignored.

George is a Senior Editor at Lombardi Financial, and has been involved in analyzing the stock markets for two decades where he employs both fundamental and technical analysis. His overall market timing and trading knowledge is extensive in the areas of small-cap research and option trading. George is the editor of several of Lombardi’s popular financial newsletters, including The China Letter, Special Situations, and Obscene Profits, among others. His trading advice on stocks and options is also found on his daily trading site, Daily Profits. He has written technical and fundamental columns for numerous stock market news web sites, and he is the author of Quick Wealth Options Strategy and Mastering 7 Proven Options Strategies. Prior to starting with Lombardi Financial, George was employed as a financial analyst with Globe Information Services.

No comments yet.

View the original article here

Bahrain Opposition Leader Warns Against Foreign Interference

[ rfe/rl banner ]

March 30, 2011

Bahrain's Shi'ite opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salem today urged Iran to keep out of his country's internal affairs.

Salem also demanded the withdrawal of foreign troops deployed in Bahrain, warning against the kingdom being turned into a "conflict zone" between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

About 1,500 troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states entered Bahrain two weeks ago on the Sunni monarch's invitation amid antigovernment protests by the majority Shi’a.

Bahrain's government charges that Shi'ite Iran orchestrated the month-long unrest in which more than 20 people were killed.

Iran condemned the foreign military deployment and the crackdown against the protesters.

compiled from agency reports


Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

View the original article here

Will December 2012 Be the End of the World?

In this article we'll take a closer look at why December 2012 is so mysterious. We'll talk about the Mayans and what the deal is with their calender. We'll also look at why you should believe that crazy guy called Nostradamus, who lived a very long time ago. And finally, we'll take a quick look at the mysterious planet X.

The Mayans.

The Mayans lived a long time ago. They where very interested in the sun, the stars, the moon and the other planets that surrounds earth. The Mayans used their observations to create a very advanced colander and after countless calculations they discovered that "time will stop" on December 2012. We cannot know for sure if they meant that the world and the human race will die on that date. It could also just mean the beginning of a new era.

Nostradamus prophecies

Who is Nostradamus? He nothing else than the guy who saw the rise and fall of Napoleon and Hitler (and a third "Antichrist" that will show himself soon). He also knew that something catastrophically would happen on September 11, 2001. He knew these guys would be responsible for the killings of millions of people. And this was many centuries before they were born. Nostradamus has noticed that something big will happen in year 2012.

Planet X

What is this mysterious planet X (also called Nibiru)? It seems that there is a very large chance that Planet X will collide with our earth on December 21. 2012!

If this happens we better be ready to deal with the consequences. 

We don't know for sure what will happen on December 21. 2012. But we can pretty sure that something big will happen and effect our daily lives. On Surviving 2012 you can read more abut the different scenarios and learn about what you can do in order to prepare for survival.

3600 Calorie Food Bar

3600 Calorie Food BarThese food bars have a great coconut flavor. They have a 5 year shelf life and are approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Each package contains 18 individually wrapped bars containing 200 calories each -- this prevents the loss of food by not having to break pieces off. You get 5 - 3600 calorie emergency food bars with this purchase.


Click here to buy from Amazon

Disaster Relief 2.0: What the UN could not have done without the Volunteer Technical Community

Ed note: The report Disaster Relief 2.0: The Future of Information Sharing in Humanitarian Emergencies analyzes how the humanitarian community and the emerging volunteer and technical communities worked together in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and recommends ways to improve coordination between these two groups in future emergencies.  The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), together with the United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership, commissioned the report, which was researched and written by a team at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

The Disaster Relief 2.0 Blog Series provides a public forum for people from both the humanitarian and volunteer and technical communities to discuss ideas in this report and the future of disaster relief.

You can follow conversations about the report on Twitter using the hashtag #DisasterTech and on the UN Foundation’s Facebook page. Readers can submit questions to the report’s authors through those channels; a transcript with answers to select questions will be published on UN Dispatch on April 11, 2011.

What the UN could not have done without the Volunteer Technical Community

By Andrej Verity

The office that I work for – UN OCHA – recently took a big leap forward by engaging the VTCs for responding to the Libyan and Japan crises. We dove into a collaboration with the VTCs in a first effort to try to make the responses better. However, the most common questions I have received are “So what?” and “What was the impact?”.

When the Libya crisis broke out, I asked permission in OCHA to call a meeting between OCHA and many of the VTCs. In the first teleconference, the Stand By Task Force (SBTF), an organized group of 150+ volunteers skilled in online Crisis Mapping, was activated to map out the social media and traditional media reports from within the country – the result: So what?  Well, given that the UN had virtually no access to the country, we now had situational awareness. How much is that worth to a agency planning its response?  Could you plan with virtually no information? I know the site was being used by agencies such as the World Food Programme, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) the Red Cross,and USAID to perform certain types of analysis and to aid in their planning.

In addition, we requested the SBTF to help with collection of Who’s-doing-What-Where (3W) information and baseline indicators values.  Within 48 hours, we had 100+ activities collected and compiled. Let’s put that in perspective: the same amount of data took about 4 weeks in the Philippines, 2 weeks in Haiti, and 2 weeks in Pakistan to be made avalable.  See an improvement? Combining this data with Libya Crisis Map, we can now overlay the reported health needs with the actual health response – gap analysis. In regards to the baseline indicator compilation task, it had never been done before so I cannot even compare it to past experience. More future potential.

Crisis Commons compiled data sources under the framework of the Common Operational Datasets (CODs) for Japan. Within minutes of our request, they had a Japan Data Profile wiki online. They automated Google searches as well as Google Translate to search Japanese sites. I understand that the compiled data was used by MapAction responders (supporting UNDAC), NetHope partners, and others providing relief.  The comprehensive search and compilation would not have happened without the VTCs.

This was our first step and we have learned many lessons.  In combination with these lessons learned and the recommendation from the Disaster Relief 2.0 report, I believe that we are just starting to find our footing in the collaboration space with the VTCs. I am hopeful that we have found a concrete way forward.  I am excited. OCHA is planning a lessons-learned session with the VTCs in June, but the question is: “will we have time to stop and review?”.  I am already getting emails from partners such as Open Street Map and Internews asking when we will be starting a Crisis Map for Cote D’Ivoire.  We have taken one step, but might have to run sooner than we thought.

Andrej has been an Information Management Officer in UN OCHA for the past 7 years. He responded to three recent major emergencies in less than one year: typhoons in the Philippines, earthquake in Haiti and floods in Pakistan. In two instances, he was the lead OCHA Information Management Officer on the ground.  Although a strong advocate for collaboration with the V&TCs, he is also a realist and knows that a lot of work is required to reach the true potential of such collaboration.

View the original article here