Daily Digest

Daily Digest 1/8 - The "I" In Union, How Austerity Is Killing Europe, Oil Price Would Skyrocket If Iran Closed Hormuz Strait

Sunday, January 8, 2012, 10:42 AM

  • A Fight for Post Offices and Towns’ Souls

  • Charges Against Journalists Dim the Democratic Glow in Turkey

  • Appointment Clears the Way for Consumer Agency to Act

  • The "I" In Union

  • How Austerity Is Killing Europe

  • A Shrinking Military Budget May Take Neighbors With It

  • The Saving Game: Can Michael VanRooyen Build An Army Of Super-Humanitarians?

  • Oil Price Would Skyrocket if Iran Closed the Strait of Hormuz

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A Fight for Post Offices and Towns’ Souls (jdargis)

Along with the residents of other tiny towns across the country, from Challenge, Calif., to Economy, Ind., the people of Fox learned last summer that their post office was being studied for possible closing by the United States Postal Service. It was one of the more than 3,600 deemed by the postal authorities to have too little a workload — less than $27,500 annual revenue is one such measurement — or to be too close to another office to justify keeping open by an agency that is billions of dollars in debt and facing a steeply and steadily declining revenue stream.

Charges Against Journalists Dim the Democratic Glow in Turkey (jdargis)

At a time when Washington and Europe are praising Turkey as the model of Muslim democracy for the Arab world, Turkish human rights advocates say the crackdown is part of an ominous trend. Most worrying, they say, are fresh signs that the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is repressing freedom of the press through a mixture of intimidation, arrests and financial machinations, including the sale in 2008 of a leading newspaper and a television station to a company linked to the prime minister’s son-in-law.

Appointment Clears the Way for Consumer Agency to Act (jdargis)

The bureau had taken responsibility for existing regulations on consumer products at banks and thrifts, it was not able to write new regulations for banking products like mortgages and credit cards until it had a permanent leader.

The "I" In Union (jdargis)

The FU’s efforts to accrue new members have been aggressive. Lodged between advertisements for skincare gurus and community colleges in the New York City subway, its advertisements are ubiquitous. Hip, even Obamanescent, their slogans combine squishy ideals of teamwork, justice, and co-operation—”Organize and Mobilize”; “Working for the Radical Notion of Fairness”—with a Generation Y self-centeredness: “There’s an I in Union.” The target demographic of these ads is the penurious creative class—the educated, diverse, gay-friendly subjects of business guru Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class. The concerns they convey, and the lifestyle they advertise, are tailored for those who do not partake in the suit-wearing, office-working, boss-having side of American life.

How Austerity Is Killing Europe (jdargis)

Proponents of austerity claim that as nations take control of their finances businesses become more convinced that interest rates will not rise and that growth will resume. Their reasoning has been abetted by the financial markets, which drove up rates on Greek debt and soon enough on the debt of nations like Portugal, Spain and Italy. Should these nations not be able to pay their debts, bond buyers wanted a high enough interest rate to compensate for the risk.

A Shrinking Military Budget May Take Neighbors With It (jdargis)

And as the Pentagon confronts the prospect of cutting its budget by about 10 percent over the next decade, even some people who do not count themselves among its traditional allies warn that the potential impact on scientific innovation is being overlooked. Spending less on military research, they say, could reduce the economy’s long-term growth.

The Saving Game: Can Michael VanRooyen Build An Army Of Super-Humanitarians? (jdargis)

There may have been a time when providing aid was as simple as lending a hand where it was needed, VanRooyen says, but in this age of the 24-hour news cycle, advanced surveillance technology, and increasingly media-savvy bad guys, modern relief workers need more than good intentions. Every humanitarian endeavor is now fraught with political, financial, and health consequences, yet, he says, there are too many schools pumping out insufficiently trained humanitarian grads. These days, we can quickly mobilize vast numbers of people to crisis areas, but once on the ground, those same people can actually make the disaster worse.


Oil Price Would Skyrocket if Iran Closed the Strait of Hormuz (jdargis)

An Iranian blockade by means of mining, airstrikes or sabotage is logistically well within Tehran’s military capabilities. But despite rising tensions with the West, including a tentative ban on European imports of Iranian oil announced Wednesday, Iran is unlikely to take such hostile action, according to most Middle East political experts.

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Addition to the Resources List

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Links to permaculture related webinars, documents, TED lectures, films, books....


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Straits of Hormuz Nonsense

Iran doesn't have the stupidity or ability to shut down the Straits of Hormuz. I wish the focus would be kept on reality. Unfortunately, the world allows itself to be captivated by the fear of nonsensical things.  Closing the Straits is a death wish for Iran and they know it.

Oil is going to $200 with the actual reason being the printing of currency and ultra low rates, not Iranian scares. Unfortunately, many are buying into propaganda instead of thinking for themselves and putting it on Banana Ben and deficit spending Obama.


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more Straits of Hormuz Nonsense

Iran Has Ability to Block Strait of Hormuz, U.S. General Dempsey Tells CBS

Iran has the ability to block the Strait of Hormuz “for a period of time,” and the U.S. would take action to reopen it, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin Dempsey said.

“They’ve invested in capabilities that could, in fact, for a period of time block the Strait of Hormuz,” Dempsey said in an interview airing today on the CBS “Face the Nation” program. “We’ve invested in capabilities to ensure that if that happens, we can defeat that.”

Should Iran try to close Hormuz, the U.S. “would take action and reopen” the waterway, said Dempsey, President Barack Obama’s top military adviser.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Jan. 1 on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he would use air strikes against Iran unless the country dismantled its nuclear program or allowed inspectors to verify that the work isn’t aimed at making a weapon.

Dempsey suggested that curbing Iran’s nuclear work by bombing its facilities would be difficult.

“I’d rather not discuss the degree of difficulty and in any way encourage them to read anything into that,” Dempsey said. “My responsibility is to encourage the right degree of planning, to understand the risks associated with any kind of military option.”

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Straits of Hormuz Nonsense
TheSilverJournal.com wrote:

Iran doesn't have the stupidity or ability to shut down the Straits of Hormuz.

Oh really?  So if the Iranian regime announced that it would sink any ship trying to go through the straits, and you were the Captain of an oil tanker, you'd call their bluff and go anyway?

And as far as ability goes, Iran has 200 Russian made supersonic ASCMs (Mach 2.9). They come launchable from hardened silos, mobile launchers, planes, ships and submarines. And they swerve in flight to make calculating trajectories ineffective as well as being sea-skimming and stealthy.

Call me a coward if you like, but I wouldn't call their bluff, and neither should the US 5th fleet which Iran could sink in under twenty minutes....


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Strait of Hormuz and Corday appointment

People forget about mines.  If I was Iran I would go out with fishing boats and drop smart mines.  These are basically homing torpedoes in a tube with a computer package.  You teach the computer to recognize the sonar pattern of big tankers.  It would take a month to clear them.  Then you have hidden anti-ship missiles.  Iran would loose eventually, but they could intimidate tankers for a few weeks.  Throw in a nuclear umbrella and you have big problems.  Throw in a big terrorist attack against oil refineries around the world and you have a bigger problem.  Don't discount this threat.

On the Corday appointment.  This was done in an un-constitutional way.  The executive branch does not get to decide if congress is in session.  The CFPB is funded directly by the Fed and congress has no control over budget.  The Frank-Dodd law says congress cannot impeach the director.  Congress wanted this changed and was blocking the vote until it happened.  Using a recess appointment when congress is in session sets a VERY dangerous precedent. We have checks and balances that say congress controls the budget and the senate has and an advise and consent role in approving executive appointments.  Think about this for a second!  I ask Democrats to consider the result of this decision.  Now Republicans can get ALL appointments past Congress.  Think about it!  The ends do not justify the means!  This was a very bad day for our country.  We must defend the Constitution against a President who assumes power that belongs to Congress or we will end up with a dictator.    


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Phony attack syndrome: VietNam- Iran?

The Iranians should park the speedboats and let the big navies cruise the balmy waters of the Gulf to their hearts content...

Reality is less rational.   Any single officer or even a single lowly guided missile technician can fire a salvo that precipitates an a la Tonkin Gulf  incident and the fat is in the fire.   But the bigger picture begs the question: who are we, and what are we doing here?    Turning back the clock to 1956, when Ike signed us up for the Defense Highway (freeways) projects, and the Suez crisis prompted full-blown USA Navy presence in the Mediterranean...   We are now in the closing scenes of the great Middle East oil import saga.    Muslims are well funded, technology has trickled down to the street, and what used to be apparent  only to the dictators and family despots is now common knowledge:  We got away with most of their oil!    We'd be out for vengeance too...

Tense withdrawal turns into fighting our way out of a hornet's nest.    Because we funded technological parity and leave the Middle East well armed, expect trouble to follow us home.    Because we are an open society, expect years of nagging bus and mall attacks.   Islam thereby joins a long list of unwise adverseries who learned too late they jumped the wrong outfit.    So far the situation is salvageable, but only just barely.    Islam in its various sovereign identities and theological errors can back off from the precipice.    America can do likewise with regard to energy/transport policy , but faces a much more politically difficult path; for us to pull back from the chasm, we must re-orient the rubber tire & just-in-time economic business model we mistakenly equate with freedom...

Again, anybody think Islam has a short corporate memory?    If there were a way to draw a line between what happened in the last half of the 20th Century and what is in progress for the first half of the twenty-first Century, Islam and western nations should by all means do so.     Islam has a death wish with Israel, disregarding Genesis 12, V-1,2 & 3.     If Islam left Israel alone, worked the Gaza case strictly from a charitable approach to easing the Palestinian population's poverty and joblessness, then this decade may actually transpire without a Billion+ casualty war.    American oligarchs must find a way to rebuild the transport infrastructure leaning more on railway connectivity, which can grow in tandem with renewable generation.    American genius for food production can be maintained and enhanced with a full court press on water resource engineering.  The Lyndon LaRouche website shows NAWAPA as a plank, maybe the smartest thing LaRouche ever did- study NAWAPA.   Jobs,  Mr. Obama....

Or, watch Iran attack US/British naval assets.  Watch NATO pre-emptive strikes on Pakistan nuclear weapons as well as comprehensive digging out of Iranian tunnel complexes.    Will North Korea get brave?  Better not.   This could get ugly in a hurry.   Frustrated Muslim factions settle old scores up & down the Middle East, and wherever else they can detonate trouble.    Muslim round-up & expulsion in European countries follows, US too if there are more than just a few bloody attacks.

Close, INTIMATE discussions with Russian and Chinese diplomatic must be in progress as the months ahead play out.     Transparency is paramount with the Russians and Chinese so no misunderstandings of scope or intentions can even be imagined.      More importantly, it must be made clear the USA is very serious about turning the Military/Industrial economic paradigm to upgrading water and food supply, alternative energy and transportation elements aimed at homeland Societal & Commercial Cohesion. 

Second Dimension Surface Transport Logistics Platform.   Railway  connectivity and distribution methodologies as seen as seen circa 1920 - 1950..    How big a political hurdle is it to back away from the ideology of a private car for everyone at puberty?    Hmmm.    Anyone doing the math on these scenarios?   Modeling the military costs in the car-oriented equation vs. a really balanced mode mix, heavy on renewable scenario without the import oil/military costs?    Aside from the knee-jerk comments about "control freak liberalism" just do some intellectually honest math, cost-benefit  calculations of the 1925 energy/transport model with very local railway connectivity and life possible without a car for everything; extrapolated to present demographics vs absolute costs of the Middle East oil patch military overhead,  healthcare overlay from accidents, etc. with some projected costs of near inevitable meltdown scenarios.      It is not easy to formulate algorithms for modelling such an UNFAMILIAR alternative economic scenario as suggested, it might help the effort to include the information compiled by Christopher C. Swan in "ELECTRIC WATER" (New Society Press, 2007).     Americans cannot comprehend life without a constantly moving car at  the center of everything, even if it kills them and their country too.

The Bible says the nations shall have "hooks in their jaws" pulling them to destruction.    Are we in that picture?    Must we be?    Does Mitt Romney have enough Old Testament scriptural grounding to manage a MIddle East many orders of magnitude more complex than revealed in the Johny-come-lately- writings of Joseph Smith?   Is there enough collective knowledge & wisdom in the Utah Temple Of Doom cult to deal with these things?   There is serious sorting out to do on so many levels...   We yearn for intellectual honesty on so many issues, and cannot have it.   Would Mitt Romney even possess the intestinal fortitude & courage to confess to his peers if he had undeniable proof of the errors of his beliefs?   ("Isabel Piczec image found").    Would Muslims?


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Best of the Permaculture media blog

Tall - Awesome link, thanks for sharing

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