( Commentary from the Infinite Unknown:
There will be FOOD SHORTAGES very soon !!!
“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” – Albert Einstein )
Without a trace, something is causing bees to vanish by the thousands. But a new task force hopes to finger the culprit and save the valuable crops that rely on the insects.
Pennsylvania beekeeper Dave Hackenberg was the first beekeeper to report to bee researchers what’s become known as colony collapse disorder (CCD).
In October Hackenberg had delivered honeybees to a Florida farm to pollinate crops. The bees typically return to their boxed hives when their work is done. But this time was different.”I came to pick up 400 bee colonies and the bees had just flat-out disappeared,” Hackenberg said. “There were no dead bees, no bees on the ground, just empty boxes.”
“In almost 50 years as a beekeeper, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
CCD has spread throughout 24 states and ruined hundreds of thousands of bee colonies.
Hackenberg has lost roughly 1,900 of his 2,900 hives. Other operators have lost up to 90 percent of their hives.
Gold Futures Hit $1,000 Per Ounce Benchmark on Falling Dollar, Rising Oil Prices
NEW YORK (AP) — Gold futures hit $1,000 an ounce for the first time Thursday, pushed past the benchmark by the sinking dollar and record crude oil prices.
CAYMAN ISLANDS – Kellogg Brown & Root, the nation’s top Iraq war contractor and until last year a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp., has avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicare and Social Security taxes by hiring workers through shell companies based in this tropical tax haven.More than 21,000 people working for KBR in Iraq – including about 10,500 Americans – are listed as employees of two companies that exist in a computer file on the fourth floor of a building on a palm-studded boulevard here in the Caribbean. Neither company has an office or phone number in the Cayman Islands.
The Defense Department has known since at least 2004 that KBR was avoiding taxes by declaring its American workers as employees of Cayman Islands shell companies, and officials said the move allowed KBR to perform the work more cheaply, saving Defense dollars.
Monsanto doesn’t want consumers to know the truth about the milk they’re drinking. The corporation’s monopoly is at stake.
“There are some corporations that clearly are operating at a level that are disastrous for the general public … And in fact I suppose one could argue that in many respects a corporation of that sort is the prototypical psychopath, at the corporate level instead of the individual level.”
–Dr. Robert Hare, The Corporation
Since 1901, Monsanto has brought us Agent Orange, PCBs, Terminator seeds and recombined milk, among other infamous products. But it’s currently obsessed with the milk, or, more importantly, the milk labels, particularly those that read “rBST-free” or “rBGH-free.” It’s not the “BST” or “BGH” that bothers them so much; after all, bovine somatrophin, also known as bovine growth hormone, isn’t exactly what the company is known for. Which is to say, it’s naturally occurring. No, the problem is the “r” denoting “recombined.” There’s nothing natural about it. In fact, the science is increasingly pointing to the possibility that recombined milk is — surprise! — not as good for you as the real thing.
“Consumption of dairy products from cows treated with rbGH raise a number of health issues,” explained Michael Hansen, a senior scientist for Consumers Union. “That includes increased antibiotic resistance, due to use of antibiotics to treat mastitis and other health problems, as well as increased levels of IGF-1, which has been linked to a range of cancers.”
OPEC, rebuffing calls from U.S. President George W. Bush to increase oil output, cited “mismanagement” of the American economy as a major factor driving prices up.Record prices are suddenly creating the sharpest tensions in years between the oil cartel and the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer. Two days after the president called for more oil on the global market, OPEC members, meeting in Vienna, Austria, chose to leave their production levels unchanged, declaring that the market has plenty of oil already.
The cartel’s president on Wednesday blamed financial speculators and American economic problems, which have helped lower the value of the dollar, for the high oil prices. After the meeting, oil prices settled above $104 a barrel, a record.
Bush, who had said this week it would be a mistake for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries not to raise production, was disappointed by the outcome of Wednesday’s meeting, according to the White House.
It is the second time this year that OPEC ignored public calls from the United States to boost supplies. In January, Bush traveled to Saudi Arabia and urged producers to open their taps. But the plea failed to sway OPEC. When the group met in February, it kept its production level unchanged.
CNN host Lou Dobbs says the U.S. economy is heading for a stagflation crisis as a result of the U.S. government’s policy of dollar depreciation and that the only solution is for the American people to restore a proper Constitutional system of government.Dobbs told The Alex Jones Show today that the decline of the dollar was, “a clear signal as to how much trouble this economy is in,” added to a 9 trillion dollar national debt and a 6 trillion dollar trade debt.
America’s dependence on cheap imported Chinese consumer electronics, clothes and toys was negating any elasticity that could be gained from the demand relationship with China on imports, meaning that the only conceivable benefit of a weak dollar – cheaper exports – was not even applicable, Dobbs explained.
“We have the specter of stagflation staring at us coldly and inevitably right now,” said Dobbs, adding, “There’s no doubt that those who would degrade the sovereignty of this country would want to certainly the power, the strength, and the respect of the U.S. dollar and it is the last thing we should permit.”
Stagflation is a macroeconomics term used to describe a period of inflation combined with stagnation, ie slow economic growth allied to a potential recession.
“We have to come to terms with the amount of debt that we have allowed the elites of this country to run up,” Dobbs concluded.
Over 900,000 borrowers are losing their homes, up 71% from a year ago, and a record number of home owners are behind on payments.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — More home owners than ever are losing the battle to make their monthly mortgage payments.
Over 900,000 households are in the foreclosure process, up 71% from a year ago, according to a survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association. That figure represents 2.04% of all mortgages, the highest rate in the report’s quarterly, 36-year history.
Another 381,000 households, or 0.83% of borrowers, saw the foreclosure process started during the quarter, which was also a record.
Additionally, the number of mortgage borrowers who were over 30 days late on a payment in the last three months of 2007 is at its highest rate since 1985.
“Boy, that was ugly,” said Jared Bernstein, an Economic Policy Institute economist of the data.
“It’s another reminder that anyone who thought we had hit bottom was wrong. This was a huge bubble, and when a bubble of this magnitude breaks, it creates a huge mess,” he said.” It could take a lot longer for the correction to work through the system.”
Housing rescue: What you need to know
One reason it may take so long is that there seems to be no end in sight for falling home prices.
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Gold futures reversed earlier losses on Tuesday, as the dollar fell against major counterparts on bleak U.S. economic data, while traders reconsidered the importance of an expected sale of gold reserves by the International Monetary Fund.
Gold for April delivery gained $8.40 to end at $940.50 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold futures had fallen Monday after a senior Treasury official said the U.S. supports the proposed sale of part of the gold reserves held by the IMF.
“But there is an understanding that the IMF issue is minor at best,” said Brien Lundin, president at Jefferson Financial. “The sale still needs congressional approval, which remains doubtful, and the amount would be minor anyway.”
“In the past, IMF gold sales have typically marked a buying opportunity for people who had missed a rally,” Lundin said.
Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the US central bank, or Fed, has said that inflation rates in Gulf states, which are reaching near record levels, would fall “significantly” if oil producers dropped their US dollar pegs.
Speaking at an investment conference on Monday in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, he said the pegs restrict the region’s ability to control inflation by forcing them to duplicate US monetary policy at a time when the Fed is cutting rates to ward off an economic downturn.
Debate is rife in the Gulf on how to tackle inflation.
Greenspan, right, says inflation rates in Gulf states will fall if they drop their US dollar pegs [AFP]