UPDATED — Jan 25, 2011 1:08 pm PST

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"The U.S. financial debacle is now so ingrained - and a so-called "Super Crash" so likely - that most Americans alive today won't be around by the time the last of this credit-market mess is finally cleared away - if it ever is."
- Jim Rogers

"We've got a blind date with Destiny -- and it looks like she's ordered
the lobster."
- William H. Macy

"Control the oil and you'll control the nations; control the food and you'll control the people."
- Henry Kissinger

"We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it."
- William Faulkner

Winter Heat for the Working Poor

Global Poverty, Food Riots, and the Economic Crisis


Jan 25, MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA (GLOBAL RESEARCH) — Excerpt from: "The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century"

As Tunisia's government collapsed under the protests of its citizens, in part spurred on by dramatically increasing food prices, with protests spreading to more countries in the region and around the world, this excerpt from the most recent publication by Global Research, "The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century," provides an insight into the background of the current crisis:

The sugar-coated bullets of the “free market” are killing our children. The act to kill is instrumented in a detached fashion through computer program trading on the New York and Chicago mercantile exchanges, where the global prices of rice, wheat and corn are decided upon.


Higher Oil Prices = Higher Food Prices


Jan 25, MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA (GLOBAL RESEARCH) — Higher oil prices mean higher food prices.

Last Monday OPEC revised its world oil demand growth upwards given the pace of global economic recovery. "Given the latest upward revision in world GDP, world oil demand growth is forecast at 1.23 bpd averaging 87.3 million bpd in 2011, 50,000 higher than last month's estimate. … The magnitude and the pressure to pumpspeed of the world economic recovery will have a remarkable impact on world oil demand this year," it said, adding: "Weather in the northern hemisphere is gaining momentum and has slightly affected the heating and fuel oil demand."


State of Suspension


Jan 24, SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK (CF NATION) — The economics of winter and other tales of a frozen republic.

You kind of wonder here in the flash-frozen northeast if, a few days from now, scores of dead bodies will be found in unheated trailers across the county. The Weather Channel said 20-below-zero this morning in upstate New York. I know there are people so desperately poor out there because a couple of weeks ago I overheard a supermarket worker say she couldn't afford to buy propane. And she had a job!

I haven't left the house myself for two days and a Snow Leopard installation put my iMac into a hang-up deepfreeze all its own (I'm on the MacBook now). But enough about me.... I wonder if Barack Obama himself is sleeping in a casket in the White House basement these days, waiting for fairer conditions before facing a nation spinning into the dark unknown.


Map Shows 50 New California Faults


OCT 28, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (LA TIMES) — The surface faults have been discovered over the last two decades. Placing them all on one map will help educate the public and aid in planning and quake readiness.

More than 50 new surface earthquake faults have been discovered in California over the last two decades, according to a new state map that officials hope will help guide future development decisions and emergency planning. [ ] The new faults range from small ones that don't pose much threat for major temblors to very large ones, like that responsible for the 7.1 Hector Mine earthquake that shook Southern California in 1999.


Food Speculation: Banksters making a killing, literally


Jan 25, USA (FOOD FREEDOM) — Wall Street continues to starve millions. Get ready for a rocky year.

From now on, rising prices, powerful storms, severe droughts and floods, and other unexpected events are likely to play havoc with the fabric of global society, producing chaos and political unrest. Start with a simple fact: the prices of basic food staples are already approaching or exceeding their 2008 peaks, that year when deadly riots erupted in dozens of countries around the world,” writes Tom Dispatch.

Just under three years ago, people in the village of Gumbi in western Malawi went unexpectedly hungry. Not like Europeans do if they miss a meal or two, but that deep, gnawing hunger that prevents sleep and dulls the senses when there has been no food for weeks.


The American Dream


JAN 25, USA (PN) — Do you know how your money is created? Or how banking works? Why did housing prices skyrocket and then plunge? Do you really know what the Federal Reserve System is and how it affects you every single day? THE AMERICAN DREAM takes an entertaining but hard hitting look at how the problems we have today are nothing new, and why leaders throughout our history have warned us and fought against the current type of financial system we have in America today.

"The American Dream" will challenge you to investigate some very entrenched and powerful institutions in this nation, and hopefully encourage you to help get the nation back on track.


Raw Milk Crackdown


Dec 26, PENNSYLVANIA, USA (EYE STREET) — “They came in the dark, shining bright flashlights while my family was asleep, keeping me from milking my cows, from my family, from breakfast with my family and from our morning devotions, and alarming my children enough so that the first question they asked my wife was, ‘Is Daddy going to jail?’”

That’s how Amish farmer Dan Allgyer described an early morning visit last week from two FDA agents, two U.S. Marshals, and a Pennsylvania state trooper. Apparently, investigating a single farmer for possibly trafficking raw milk across state lines requires a show of force.


7 Questions for Goldman Sachs


OCT 28, TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA (FINANCIAL POST) — In ordinary times, the SEC's fraud case against Goldman Sachs would have been settled before it was even filed. There would have been a consent decree in which Goldman neither admitted nor denied any wrongdoing, paid a fine, and agreed to make more fulsome disclosures in the future. But these are not ordinary times, and the SEC's very public announcement that it's charging Goldman with misrepresentation and fraud in its marketing of a subprime debt product has become one of the biggest stories in the entire Wall Street scandal.

The filing of the Goldman case has crystallized the public support for more vigorous regulation of Wall Street. The Republican effort to oppose financial regulatory reform is now fading into an effort to forge a compromise that will give them some sort of defensible exit strategy. Under any bill that is likely to pass, derivatives trading will become reasonably transparent... [ ] This is all good stuff, but none of it is really adequate to address the "too big to fail" structure of the financial industry in a fundamental way. And it won't repair the underlying asymmetry of our having "socialized risk" and "privatized gain" for those entities that have an explicit federal guarantee behind them.


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