November 30, 2011
In this video Chris Martenson, economic analyst at http://chrismartenson.comand author of 'The Crash Course', explains why he thinks that the coming 20 years are going to look completely unlike the last 20 years. In his presentation he focuses on the so-called three "Es": Economy, Energy and Environment. He argues that at this point in time it is no longer possible to view either one of those topics separately from one another.
Since all our money is loaned onto existence, our economy has to grow exponentially. Martenson proves this point empirically by showing a 99.9% fit of the actual growth curve of the last 40 years to an exponential curve. If we wanted to continue on this path, our debt load would have to double again over the next 10 years. By continually increasing our debt relative to GDP we are making the assumption that our future will always be wealthier than our past. He believes that this assumption is flawed and that the debt loads are already unmanageable.
Martenson explains how exponential growth works and why it is so scary that our economy is based on it. In an example he illustrates how unimaginably fast things speed up towards the end of an exponential curve. He shows that an exponential chart can be found in every one of the three "E's" for instance in GDP growth, oil production, water use or species extinction. Due to the natural limitations on resources, Martenson comes to the conclusion that we are facing a serious energy crisis.
This energy predicament is namely that the quantity of oil as well as the quality of oil are in decline. He shows that oil discoveries peaked in 1964 and oil production peaked 40 years later. Martenson also shows how our return on invested energy is rapidly declining -- the "cheap and easy" oil fields have already been exploited. In 1930 the energy return for oil was 100:1 or greater. Today it is already down to 3:1 and newer technologies such as corn-based ethanol only provide a 1.5:1 return. Martenson predicts that the time in between oil shocks will get shorter and shorter and that oil prices will go much higher.
Not only oil but also other natural resources are being rapidly used up as well. At the current projected pace of use, known reserves for many metals and minerals will be gone within the next 10 to 20 years. The energy needed to get these non-renewable resources out of the ground is growing exponentially. So we live in a world that must grow, but can't grow and is subject to depletion. The conclusion out of all this is that our money system is poorly designed and that we need to rethink how we do things as quickly as possible.
After finishing his presentation Chris Martenson answers questions regarding a rise in efficiency, alternative technologies and oil prices. He also responds to questions regarding electricity, shale gas, gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and uranium and the race for global resources.
This video was recorded on November 16 at the Gold & Silver Meeting 2011 in Madrid.
at 9:25:00 PM
European finance ministers were meeting today to try and avert disaster, while we've seen us president barack obama this week reportedly pressuring european leaders to resolve the eurozone debt crisis by whatever means necessary. Meanwhile, right under washington's nose, Fitch ratings agency has put the government on a negative outlook after the super committee tasked with finding ways to cut America's deficit proved a "super failure." Also, we speak with author and activist Nomi Prins about revelations from the bank
of international settlements that notional OTC derivatives have now reached all-time highs of 708 trillion dollars. This is over 100 trillion dollars more than the notional amount 6 months ago. We also ask Nomi about recent revelations that then secretary of the treasury Hank Paulson provided inside information about the nature of the government's soon to be intervention in fannie mae and freddie mac to a select group of hedge fund managers and friends. Take this with the ever unfolding scandal of Jon Corzine and the missing billions from MF Global, and you have more signs of crony capitalism, fraud, embezzlement and insider trading everywhere. We also cover the bankruptcy of American Airlines' parent company AMR in the last part of our show.
at 9:15:00 PM
NATO Gangsters: U.S. Plays With Fire Infuriating Nuclear Pakistan
Pakistan troop deaths ‘tragic, unintended’: Nato chief
Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Sunday he had written to Pakistan premier Yousuf Raza Gilani to express regret over the “tragic, unintended” deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers in an airstrike.
“I have written to the Prime Minister of Pakistan to make it clear that the deaths ofPakistani personnel are as unacceptable and deplorable as the deaths of Afghan and international personnel,” he said in a statement. “This was a tragic unintended incident.”
“I offer my deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of the Pakistani officers and soldiers who lost their lives or were injured, and to the government and people of Pakistan, following the regrettable incident along the Afghan-Pakistani border,” Rasmussen added.
Pakistan says two border posts were fired upon “unprovoked” in the early hours of Saturday in Pakistan’s tribal Mohmand district.
An investigation of the incident is likely to ask whether Afghan and American troops on the Afghan side of the border were fired upon first – whether by insurgents or Pakistani military.
According to a report in the New York Times, A Nato spokesman, Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson, offered details suggesting that allied and Afghan troops operating near the border came under fire from unknown enemies and summoned coalition warplanes for help.
The NY Times report stated that: “In the early night hours of this morning, a force consisting of Afghan forces and coalition forces, in the eastern border area where the Durand Line is not always 100 per cent clear, got involved in a firefight,” General Jacobson said, according to a transcript of his statements on Nato TV that the alliance provided American officials on Saturday.
Pakistan on Sunday conveyed its “rage” to the United States over cross-border Nato air strikes and ordered a full-scale review of its frosty alliance with Washington and the military bloc.
Pakistan represents a vital life-line to supply 130,000 foreign troops fighting in landlocked Afghanistan, and Rasmussen joined US efforts in a scramble to salvage the alliance.
“I fully support the ISAF investigation which is currently underway,” he said of the International Security Assistance Force fighting the war and which includes non-Nato allies.
“We will determine what happened, and draw the right lessons,” Rasmussen added.
“Nato remains strongly committed to work with Pakistan to improve cooperation to avoid such tragedies in the future.”
Earlier Sunday, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar telephoned US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and conveyed a “deep sense of rage” as the military organised a joint funeral for the 24 troops who died.
Pakistan orders US to vacate airbasePosted on truther on November 27, 2011 // 2 Comments
Islamabad on Saturday ordered Washington to vacate Shamsi, which is a remote desert outpost in southwestPakistan.
The airbase was reportedly used as a hub for covert CIA drone strikes. Pakistan had previously told the United States to leave the site in June.
The new order to vacate came after a US-led NATO airstrike killed at least 28 Pakistani soldiers and wounded 15 others in the Mohmand Agency in northwestern Pakistan early on Saturday.
Pakistan also ordered a review of all arrangements with the US and NATO, including diplomatic, political, military and intelligence activities, AFP reported.
The decision was taken at an extraordinary meeting of senior cabinet ministers and military service chiefs chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who strongly condemned the strike.
Islamabad also summoned US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter to lodge a strong complaint regarding the unprovoked attack.
Activists with Islami Jamiat Tulba, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami party, staged a protest in the northwestern city of Lahore to denounce the killings of soldiers.
NATO confirmed that the attack has left some Pakistani soldiers dead and has launched an investigation into the incident.
In a retaliatory move, the Pakistanigovernment has blocked dozens of trucks carrying goods and fuel supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan.
at 8:13:00 AM
November 27, 2011
Air Force gets super bombs to attack Iran?
Published: 16 November, 2011, 23:21
Image from media.defenseindustrydaily.com
The Air Force has needs, baby. Operational needs. That’s what Lieutenant Colonel Jack Miller is saying, and among the things that the military is just begging for are eight 30,000-pound bombs.
And, God bless America, those needs are getting fulfilled.
Miller says that the creation of the first 15-ton, GPS-guided “bunker buster” bomb was finished back in September and now the Air Force has the first of the warheads in its possession while a $32 million contract inked this summer with Boeing will soon give the Military an arsenal of eight in all.
The “Massive Ordnance Penetrator,” or MOP, is designed to penetrate and obliterate subterranean targets and can topple underground bunkers where insurgents and foreign enemies plan clandestine strikes against America and its allies.
Speaking to Bloomberg News, Lt. Miller says that the procurement of the eight bombs will satisfy the “operational needs” of the Air Force.
The Air Force first began development of the bomb back in 2004 after inking a deal with Boeing and three years later Northrop Grumman began finding ways to integrate the weapon with B-2 bombers. A single B-2 can carry two MOP warheads, which combines accounts for over 10,600 pounds of explosive material. The B-2 itself is designed to elude foreign intelligence and can evade radar.
In a 2009 report from the Pentagon, Comptroller Robert Hale wrote that there was "an urgent operational need for the capability to strike hard and deeply buried targets in high- threat environments," to which top-brass in the US Military added that insurgencies in Asia and the Middle East “identified the need to expedite" the bomb program.
Military spokespeople have yet to confirm how many of the eight bombs have been delivered to Air Force personnel — or the intended targets — though RT reported earlier in the week that Obama administration insiders have leaked that the White House is trying to finalize a deal with the United Aram Emirates to deliver 500 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and 4,900 “smart bombs” to Abu Dhabi in order to combat Iran should their nuclear program intensify to a point where American intervention is deemed necessary.
Last week White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the administration was “looking at additional ways to apply pressure on Iran,” and with the procurement of eight bombs capable of creating a crater in the Earth, the delivery of some MOPs overseas could be likely.
According to an official description posted on the website of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and US Strategic Command, a single 20-foot-long MOP “will defeat our adversaries’ WMD before they leave the ground.”
In a 2007 article published on the website of the US Air Force, details of the destructive weapon reveal that it can penetrate around 200 feet below the surface of the Earth before exploding.
"This awesome weapon reeks of strategic deterrence," Col. Bob Dulong of the 509th MXG commander says in the article. "America's enemies will know the destructive power of this weapon in our arsenal and they should modify their behavior, lest they learn of this weapon from firsthand experience."
The MOP is ten times more powerful than its predecessor, the BLU-190, and twice as heavy as the “daisy cutter” bombs that were used in Vietnam and Tora Bora.
US speeds up militarization of Iran's neighbors
Published: 12 November, 2011, 01:32
Edited: 14 November, 2011, 12:47
Edited: 14 November, 2011, 12:47
New Delhi: Exhibitor E. J. Mikeska poses next to a Hellfire II missile system in the US pavilion during the international defence exhibition "Defexpo 08" in New Delhi. (AFP Photo/Prakash Singh)
TRENDS:Israel vs Iran
With American and Iranian relations on the brink of war due to news or a nuclear program being developed out of Tehran, Obama administration insiders say the US is about to cut an arms deal with a powerful American ally in the region.
According to a report published today in the Wall Street Journal, American officials are finalizing a deal that would send advanced “bunker-buster” bombs to the United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf. Separated by just a small strait, the UAE has strong ties with American authorities and could help launch an attack on nearby Iran in a moment’s notice should a strike be ordered by Obama.
The move comes after a report from UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, that Western powers interpreted as proof that Iran continues to develop nukes despite statement that any nuclear program in the Islamic republic was for peaceful purposes only.
“An Iran armed with nuclear weapons is an intolerable threat to regional and international security, and we remain determined to prevent that outcome,” White House press secretary Jay Carney responded to reporters upon the release of the finding.
Sources close to the rumored deal between Washington and Abu Dhabi report that the deal would put 500 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles into the UAE, in addition to 4,900 so-called smart bombs. Those “bunker-busters,” once deployed, could quickly disintegrate underground warhead factories where Iranians are rumored to be working on nuclear weaponry.
Additionally, a report today in Politico suggests that the United States has also sold similar equipment to Israel as word circulates that the Jewish state is at risk of warring with Iran.
On Thursday, the White House’s Carney added that the Obama administration was “looking at additional ways to apply pressure on Iran.”
at 7:49:00 PM
The danger of local armed conflicts along Russia's borders exploding into full-scale nuclear war has grown following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s chief of staff said on Thursday.
General Nikolai Makarov told the Russian Public Chamber there is a dangerous level of mistrust with former Soviet states that border the country.
"The possibility of local armed conflicts virtually along the entire perimeter of the border has grown dramatically,"Makarov said. “I cannot rule out that, in certain circumstances, local and regional armed conflicts could grow into a large-scale war, possibly even with nuclear weapons.”
Makarov mentioned NATO’s steady encroachment toward Russia’s borders as one of the key reasons for the heightened level of mistrust in the region since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
"Almost all countries formerly belonging to the Warsaw Pact have become NATO members, and the Baltic States that were earlier a part of the USSR have also joined the alliance,” Russia’s top military official said.
Moscow has often criticized the western military bloc for going back on its word not to expand following the collapse of the USSR.
"At time of the withdrawal from Eastern Europe, the NATO Secretary General promised the USSR it could be confident that NATO would not expand beyond its current boundaries," Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in a past comment."So where is it now?” I asked them [the NATO officials]. They have nothing to say. They deceived us in the rudest way.”
Meanwhile, the comments by Chief of Staff Makarov did contain a silver lining in the nuclear cloud.
Speaking on the prospects of the New START treaty, signed by President Dmitry Medvedev and his US counterpart Barack Obama, Makarov was optimistic.
"The previous START treaty was flawed, but there were attempts to extend it,” he said. “The new START is the first treaty that satisfies us.”
On the US missile defense system planned for Eastern Europe, the Russian general said the new START gives Moscow the flexibility its new defense measures require.
“This treaty gives us the ability to secede in certain cases,” he said, specifically mentioning the “European missile defense problem” as a national security threat that could force Moscow to breach the treaty.
Robert Bridge, RT
Russia pulls out the big guns
Published: 01 August, 2011, 17:02
(RIA Novosti / STF)
As talks between NATO and Russia over a joint missile defense system remain stuck in the mud, the Russian Armed Forces are leaving nothing to chance, beefing up their arsenal with hi-tech, short-range munitions.
Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Dmitry Bulgakov told reporters on Monday that the Russian Armed Forces will be supplied with 120 Iskander tactical missile systems, over 100 more than originally planned.
"Six Iskander missile systems were purchased in 2010,” Bulgakov told Interfax. “Up to 120 systems will be bought now."
The stealth-technology Iskander is built to destroy small-size and large-area targets at a range of 300 kilometers. Furthermore, the system can overcome air defense systems, while remaining beyond the ability of enemy forces to intercept.
In November, 2008, President Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia would deploy short-range Iskander missile systems in its Kaliningrad exclave near Poland "to neutralize, if necessary, the anti-ballistic missile system in Europe."
Medvedev spoke of the “construction of a global missile defense system, the installation of military bases around Russia, (and) the unbridled expansion of NATO” that causes Moscow to think that “they are simply testing our strength.”
The Russian leader said he would not allow the country to be “dragged into an arms race,” yet the main prerogative is to “reliably protect the safety of the citizens of Russia.”
Russian military designers say it has been proven nearly impossible to prevent the launch of an Iskander missile strike because of the system's ability to change location.
"It is impossible to intercept these missiles because they fly very fast and the flight parabola is not prototypical," the Russian general said.
Meanwhile, the system has won rave reviews from western military observers.
“Capable of accomplishing tasks connected with the use of non-nuclear warheads, it's the world's first complex equipped with a two-missile launch installation,” reports globalsecurity.org, a US website that lists international weapons systems. “Weighing 3800 kilograms each, controlled throughout the trajectory of their flight, equipped with various systems of correction and self-targeting, its missiles are capable of overcoming the enemy's anti-missile defenses and hitting targets at a distance of 280 kilometers.”
It is very difficult to prevent the launch of an Iskander missile because of the system's mobility, the report added.
The Defense Ministry said it also plans to purchase up to 180 Kornet anti-tank missile launchers within the next few years.
"Eighteen launchers and 13 launch vehicles were bought in 2010,” Bulgakov told reporters. “Up to 180 launchers and 360 launch vehicles will be bought in the future.”
The Kornet, with a range of 3.5 kilometers, has proven effective at piercing 1100 to 1200 millimeters of tank steel – even when it is protected with explosive armor – as the US military discovered to its dismay in Iraq.
During Operation “Iraqi Freedom,” US troops had a surprise encounter with the "Russian-built Kornet antitank missiles,” according to Globalsecurity.org.
"Iraqi soldiers used the wire-guided missile system against American tanks, which the US military previously had not known they possessed. It emerged as the Iraqis' most effective direct-fire weapon against U.S. armor in the desert of southern Iraq,” according to the website.
The report described how Iraqi commandos traveling in “three-man teams in Nissan pickup trucks” moved against the flanks of columns of armor from the US Army's 3rd Infantry Division and “launched broadside attacks from several kilometers away using the system.”
The attacks disabled at least two Abrahms tanks and one Bradley armored troop carrier in the opening week of the war.
The US State Department accused a Russian defense manufacturer of supplying Iraq with the Kornet missiles, something which the company, KPB, and Moscow vehemently denied.
In a phone call on March 24, 2003 with former US President George W. Bush, then Russian President Vladimir Putin said the American allegations of Russian sales of the Kornet missiles, as well as night-vision goggles and radio-jamming equipment, were "groundless."
In addition to the Iskander and Kornet weapons systems, the Russian military will also add to the shopping list the 152-millimeter self-propelled howitzers Msta-S.
"Thirty-six howitzers were purchased in 2010, and up to 574 will be bought in the future," he said.
Msta-S is effective against tactical nuclear weapons, artillery and mortar batteries, tanks and other types of armor, anti-tank systems, air defense and missile defense systems.
Finally, the Russian Air Force will receive more S-300 medium-range anti-aircraft missiles made by Almaz-Antei.
"Six missiles were purchased in 2010,” Bulgakov noted, “and the delivery will grow to 120 in the future.”
The S-300 defends large industrial and administrative sites, military bases and command posts from the enemy’s use of aerospace weapons. It is effective against ballistic, aerial and land-based targets with known coordinates, he said.
Although the beefing up of the Russian military, especially with weapons that aim to repel regional acts of belligerence, has been long overdue, in light of the stalled talks over missile defense cooperation with NATO, it seems unnecessary.
Many argue that Russia’s hand is being forced by NATO recalcitrance over the missile shield, which Russia views as a potential threat to its security without its full involvement. Under the current circumstances, Russia sees no other alternative than to beef up its security. Military observers say this is unfortunate, since the time and materials would be much better spent working in partnership with its European and American partners.
“I want to emphasize that we have been forced to take these measures,” President Medvedev stated back in 2008, when the Bush administration announced plans for a European missile defense. “We have repeatedly told our partners that we want to engage in positive cooperation. We want to act against common threats and to work together. But unfortunately, very unfortunately, they did not want to listen to us.”
In May, during the G8 Summit in Deauville, France, Medvedev reiterated this point following what could be described as disappointing talks with US President Barack Obama.
"After 2020, if we do not come to terms (over a joint missile defense system), a real arms race will begin," Medvedev warned.
Clearly, the ball is sitting on the European side of the fence. Now a decision by NATO’s European leaders needs to be made in favor of a genuine cooperation with Russia, otherwise the European continent will one day be held hostage to another all-out arms race where there can be no winners.
at 7:40:00 PM
Russia’s President Medvedev sent a sharp warning this week to Western powers over the planned NATO missile shield in Europe. He said if the plans go ahead without guarantees of Russia's safety, Moscow would deploy missiles of its own.
Years of negotiations over the proposed shield, which America wants to place in Turkey and in former Warsaw Pact countries on Russia’s western border, have been deadlocked over the US refusal to agree to Russian participation in the project.
America says the anti-missile shield is aimed at protecting Europe from so-called rogue states like North Korea and Iran, but Russia sees it as a threat to its own national security.
Russia says the US has still not given adequate assurances over who will be targeted, prompting stern words from President Dmitry Medvedev and a pledge that Moscow will deploy its own state-of-the-art missiles on Europe’s eastern flank.
“If other measures are insufficient, Russia will deploy contemporary strike systems in the west and south in order to prevent fire damage from US missile defenses deployed in Europe,” he declared. “The deployment of the Iskander missile system in the Kaliningrad region will be one such step.”
The move has raised concerns that New START, a landmark nuclear disarmament process agreed to by Russia and the US, could be derailed.
“Given the inextricable link between strategic offensive and defensive weapons, reasons could emerge for Russia's withdrawal from the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. This is envisioned within the content of the treaty,” the Russian president added.
Russia and the United states had hoped to “reset” relations between them after years adrift during the Bush era. Remarks from President Obama in 2009 led to optimism that the missile defense program would be scaled down.
However, the United States now plans to increase the number of countries where it will place missile defense systems – and all of those nations are in Russia's back yard. It’s a move which runs counter to earlier assurances from Washington that they would do no such thing.
Analysts say the American strategy amounts to a game of brinkmanship with a potentially devastating outcome.
“Once one side has missile defense, it may encourage that side to launch a first strike,” political analyst Aleksandr Pavic told RT. “So this kind of movement, these kinds of threats, actually increase the chance of a nuclear war.”
Although Washington maintains its shield would protect against nuclear attack from states like Iran, those following the system’s development believe it only ever had one target.
“The American version that it's directed against Iran is completely absurd. Every geopolitical analyst knows this is directed against Russia,” Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar believes. “This is not the Obama administration – this is a Pentagon program.”
There are also those who lay the blame for escalating the situation at the door of weapons manufacturers.
“I think it's being driven by the military industrial complex in the US that's getting billions of dollars in contracts to build these missiles,” says Alice Slater, director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. “The irony is that we have professors at MIT and former military people that say it could never work. In other words, it really wouldn't protect the US against any kind of offensive missiles because it's so easy to use decoys.”
Disarmament campaigner Bruce K. Gagnon echoed Slater’s statements, saying that Moscow's worries are completely justified because the American arms industry stands to profit from encircling Russia with missiles.
“The weapons corporations in America always love a new enemy and they always love new instability, because they are able to sell more weapons that way, and the weapons industry is the number one industrial product of America today,” he told RT. “It’s what drives US foreign and military policy. The missile defense system is the shield to be used to pick off retaliatory strikes.
“After a US first strike sword has been thrust at either Russia or China, I don’t think it’s paranoia on the part of Russia, as they look and they see NATO and the US beginning an encirclement of their country,” he concluded.
According to Russia's envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, Moscow will in any case push for transparency in the construction of the missile shield, so that every country involved can feel safe.
“We have direct instructions from the Russian president to carry on our consultations with American and NATO partners until the US passes the point of no return in this matter. The point of no return is the finalization of the European ABM system,” he told a press conference in Moscow. “If Russia makes sure that the matter in question is the deployment of ABM sites in locations from which its strategic nuclear forces can be monitored, our phased adaptive approach will be implemented in full.”
At the same time, Rogozin pointed out that there is still time for negotiations.
“We are calling upon our American counterparts and NATO partners to waste no time and make sure that all European countries involved in the ABM project (even those involved against their will) get not only assurances, but legally-binding guarantees based on specific technical criteria of missile defense,” he said, adding that such criteria include the number of interceptor missiles, their deployment locations, their range, flight altitude and velocity.
The Kremlin stresses that Russia remains open to dialogue with the US and NATO over missile defense issues. However if a dialogue is to take place, a clear legal framework defining who the real target is must first be established.
at 7:35:00 PM