News 2013:

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January 8, 2013


Act Now to Stop Genetically Engineered Fish from Receiving Approval

The FDA is getting closer to issuing final approval of the first genetically engineered food animal—a salmon designed to grow up to five times faster than normal. The draft environmental assessment is now open for public comment for 60 days

America's "greenest street" provides a blueprint for sustainable urban development

The regeneration of Cermak Road includes new sidewalks with permanent wind/solar powered pedestrian lights

Arizona Counties' Varied Response to Gun Violence

Two Arizona counties are responding in different ways to the rash of shootings that have drawn calls for further restrictions on firearms in some quarters — but neither are likely to please the gun control lobby.

Bank of America Reaches $10 Billion Settlement with Fannie Mae

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has approved an agreement between Fannie Mae and Bank of America to resolve certain claims related to mortgages sold to Fannie Mae between 2000 and 2008, including the repurchase of approximately 30,000 loans by Bank of America.

Biotech Bacteria Could Convert Methane to Liquid Diesel

Genetically modified bacteria are the central feature of a newly funded research project that aims to convert the methane found in natural gas to liquid diesel fuel for transportation.

Bison Group’s Victory Affects All U.S. Public Records Requests

The nonprofit bison advocacy group Buffalo Field Campaign and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have reached a settlement that requires the agency to process and respond to Freedom of Information Act, FOIA, requests from citizens nationwide in a “timely” manner.

Brain releases powerful, opiate-like painkiller in repsonse to electric stimulation thirty percent of the world's population suffers from some sort of chronic pain, which is far more difficult to control than, say, the pain of a cut or bruise. A great deal of effort has gone into the search for medically acceptable ways to control such pain, with few good answers emerging.

China oil demand growth to accelerate this year on improved economy: analysts

China's oil demand growth this year will likely be higher than in 2012 on the back of better economic performance, analysts said Monday.

Clean Energy Sacramento a "game changer" for the city

Clean Energy Sacramento – the city's vision for creating a more sustainable city and clean technology hub – is being hailed for its success on several fronts. This includes its Energy Savings Opportunity Program, which has conducted energy audits leading to $22 million in commercial projects and a $55 million boost to the local economy.

Consumer Credit in China

While traditional Chinese society offered a wide variety of credit options to both wealthy merchants and peasants, by the early 20th century, China's personal credit industry was in flux. With the rise of larger and more sophisticated banks in China during the 19th century, most high-level lending began to flow through official banks.

Consumer Support for Clean Energy Held Steady in 2012

After facing several challenges in 2012, including the demise of some high-profile solar energy firms, continued political inaction on climate change and energy policy, and concerns around smart grids/smart meters and consumer privacy, the U.S. clean energy industry is seeking to rebound in 2013.

Court should order US NRC to resume Yucca review: petition

Petitioners seeking to force US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to resume its review of the Department of Energy's application for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, on Friday said Congress' failure to act on the matter means a federal court should immediately order resumption of the work.

Dark days, wintertime make life at the Anchorage landfill challenging

When the weather turns truly cold, landfill workers stick to the basics of keeping the facility open and operating for the 1,200 tons or so of trash sent to the facility each day during the winter.

Deadline advances Yucca lawsuit

Aiken County, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the State of Nevada all agree on two facts related to Yucca Mountain: There is no new money for it, and it is not mentioned in the latest budget. However, the lack of specifically appropriated funds is being taken by both sides of the lawsuit in support of their opposing cases.

Deutsche Bank Economist: 'Nothing Really Has Been Fixed' With Cliff Deal

A last-minute deal will keep the U.S. from driving off the so-called fiscal cliff, but higher taxes and continued political fighting in Washington threaten to shake the fragile economy well into 2013.

Diabetes Remission Possible with Diet, Exercise

In a four-year-long study, overweight and obese diabetics placed on a calorie-restrictive diet along with nearly three hours of exercise per week fared much better than controls

Disregarding Half of US Dentists and Ignoring the Environment, ADA Shills for Dental Amalgams

n November the American Public Health Association (APHA) issued a preliminary policy statement affirming that dental amalgam is “safe” and its contribution to environmental mercury contamination “minimal.”

Doctor Shortage Becoming Crisis Under Obamacare

If it feels like you’re spending more time in the waiting room of your doctor’s office these days, it’s not your imagination. Family doctors are busier than ever. For many people, it is becoming difficult to even find a doctor, say experts who blame Obamacare for accelerating the nation’s doctor shortage.

Elated Mohawks Close International Bridge in Idle No More Solidarity

Hundreds of Mohawks from both sides of the imposed Canada-United States border that slices through their aboriginal territory marched toward each other January 5 on an international bridge that links the state of New York with the Province of Ontario, drumming and singing in an Idle No More solidarity march.

Environmental groups call for 300 years of nuclear review

A collaboration of national and grassroots environmental groups have filed documents with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) claiming that it would be impossible for the NRC to conduct a court-ordered assessment of the environmental implications of long-term storage of spent nuclear reactor fuel in the two years the NRC has targeted for the project.

EPA prepping for a busy 2013

Energy regulation is a complicated game. Ensuring compliance requires utilities to navigate policy at the local, state, and federal levels while monitoring a host of commissions and government departments. The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is among the most influential of these organizations, having carried the torch on issues ranging from air pollution to clean energy and water.

Facing An Active Shooter

An unfortunate fact of life is that evil exists in men. Fortunately, good people almost always outnumber the evil men. An evil man with a gun is a terrifying thing; however, a good man with a gun can very well be a savior. A good man without a gun may simply only be able to survive. I plan to address both of these situations, as an active shooter is an evil we may have to face.

Fewer consumers willing to pay to go green, survey says

As businesses ramp up marketing efforts to save the planet and regulators ready new guidelines to police them, it's becoming increasingly apparent that consumers aren't paying as much attention – at least if it's going to cost them more.

GOP's McConnell: No More New Taxes — 'That's Behind Us'

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday ruled out raising tax revenues on top of the tax hike on the wealthy in the "fiscal cliff" deal, and said the full focus must now be on spending cuts to curb U.S. deficits.

Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision Endorses Revised Liquidity Standard for Banks

The Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision (GHOS), the oversight body of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, met to consider the Basel Committee's amendments to the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) as a minimum standard. It unanimously endorsed them. The agreement is a clear commitment to ensure that banks hold sufficient liquid assets to prevent central banks becoming the "lender of first resort".

Hagel Would Face Tough Questions Over Israel, Republicans Say

Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel would face questions over his approach to Israel and Iran if President Barack Obama nominates him for defense secretary, three Republican senators said today.

How to avoid banking landmines ... while saving 50%!

Would you want to park your deposits at — or invest your money in the shares of — a bank whose rating is just one grade above the worst? Whose quality of assets scrapes the absolute bottom of the barrel? Or whose capital quality is sorely lacking?

How about if you knew its quarterly profit just plunged 94%? Or that more than 42% of its real estate loans had gone bad?

How to beat your own "cliff" deadline

I’ve told you that 464 banks with combined assets of $680.3 billion have failed in the U.S. alone since 2008 ...

And I’ve pointed out that ANOTHER 202 global banks — with assets of a whopping $43.6 trillion — are at risk, with ratings in the two lowest tiers of ours.

Iran Evacuates City Amid Talk of Radioactive Leak

Iranian officials have ordered residents of its third largest city to evacuate, raising new concerns about a potential leakage of radioactive material from a nuclear facility.

JPMorgan: US Recovery About to "Hit a Pothole"

...according to JPMorgan, the result of the latest fiscal negotiations will soon create headwinds for this expansion and dampen GDP growth. The tax increases on  higher income households as well as the hike in payroll taxes will crate a drag on growth. That in turn will limit global economic activity.

Longer tax credit favored by wind industry

Congress has extended a federal tax credit for wind power by one year. Yet, companies making wind energy parts and pushing the wind projects in North Dakota had already felt the delayed decision's impact this fall. It was part of the congressional action to thwart the federal "fiscal cliff."

Matt Damon Exposes Fracking in ‘Promised Land’

Hydraulic fracturing, known colloquially as fracking, is a contentious issue, and Hollywood has not overlooked it. “Promised Land,” directed by Gus Van Sant and starring Matt Damon, takes on fracking, which involves blasting millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals into rock, often shale, in order to extract the oil and natural gas within the formations.

Message From The Editor of Off-Grid News

Though we've got several weeks left in winter, the new year means I am already planning for my spring garden. I'll be honest--I never grow tired of having my backyard garden. As I was preparing homemade clam chowder last night, all I had to do was step out back to grab some fresh green onions and thyme, both of which overwinter nicely in my part of the sunny South. It doesn't get any better than enjoying fresh food that comes from a source you know you can trust.

New Discovery Provides Unprecedented Control of Magnetic Fields

In a new study, physicists have shown that surrounding a magnetic source with a magnetic shell can enhance the magnetic field as it moves away from the source, allowing magnetic energy to be transferred to a distant location through empty space.

New York Funds Three New Clean-Energy ‘Idea Incubators’

Inventors and scientists are getting $15 million worth of help from the State of New York to turn their high-tech, clean-energy ideas into successful businesses

New York Sheds Light on its Fracking Plans

New York State is moving a step closer to allowing fracking on certain properties there. Its governor has been awaiting the findings of a detailed analysis on whether the shale gas drilling process can be done without jeopardizing the local water supplies and the region’s air quality.

NREL dives into methane to fuel study

"We'll be leveraging our decades of experience in producing biofuels and lipids, which in the past we've typically done via algae," said Phil Pienkos, NREL's principle investigator on the liquid to diesel project. "Here, we'll be applying it to a brand new feedstock, natural gas, which is recognized as being critically important to the United States."

Obama Challenges the Fiscal Acumen of Republicans

Having succeeded in convincing the Republicans to return the federal marginal tax rate for the top 1 percent of earners to the level that existed under President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama is now challenging the Republicans to assert their fiscal prowess to reduce federal government spending and to increase the federal debt limit.

Obama's $264 Billion Tax for 2013 May Spark New Recession

In addition, the expiration of the so-called “payroll-tax holiday” will fill federal coffers with another $160 billion each year, on average, over the next 10 years.

And finally, several new Obamacare taxes begin this year, costing Americans an estimated $41.8 billion of additional taxes.

Official Space Weather Advisory

Summary For December 31-January 6

R1 (minor) radio blackouts were observed on 05 January from an active sunspot region on the Sun.

Over the Fiscal Cliff and into the Fiscal Abyss!

The fiscal cliff negotiations were just as I expected ... unfruitful ... uneventful ... and an utter failure. Once again our leaders in Washington kicked the can down the road ... waiting until they actually see blood in the streets before they truly act.

Plosser: Fed Must Defend 2% Explicit Target for Inflation

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser said the central bank should take the steps necessary to ensure inflation stays near its goal of 2 percent.

Report of Solar Geophysical Activity

The largest solar event of the period was a C3 event observed at
07/0852Z from Region 1640 (N28W87). There are currently 12 numbered sunspot regions on the disk. The geomagnetic field is expected to be at quiet with a chance of unsettled levels for the next three days (08 Jan, 09 Jan, 10 Jan).

Shell, Coast Guard Refloat Grounded Drill Rig

Late Sunday night crews were successful in refloating the Shell drilling rig Kulluk that grounded in the Gulf of Alaska on a stormy New Year’s Eve.

The MiddleClass Prosperity Summit

A Video with lots of important insights, but does end up trying to sell you something.

The Morning Brief - Lignet

Russia’s Naval Aspirations

Israel: Netanyahu Likely to Lead More Conservative Coalition

Joseph Kony Unlikely to be Found in 2013

Europe Sticks With Coal as America Turns to Gas

China Targets Encrypted Internet Communications


The Obama Tax Bill Comes Due

A growing chorus of economists is warning that Congress’s last-minute fix to dodge the fiscal cliff could drain much more cash from the taxpayers’ wallets than generally recognized – as much as $2.2 trillion over 10 years – and may significantly slow economic growth.

Transocean to pay record fines for its role in Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Transocean Deepwater Inc. has agreed to plead guilty to violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) and to pay a total of $1.4 billion in civil and criminal fines and penalties, for its conduct in relation to the Deepwater Horizon disaster...

US Might Lack Cash to Pay Bills Feb. 15

The U.S. might run out of funds to pay all its bills as early as Feb. 15 after it exhausts emergency measures undertaken when it hit the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling at the end of last month, the Bipartisan Policy Center said Monday.

The Treasury Department has started using so-called “extraordinary measures” to keep funding the government. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said Dec. 26 that “under normal circumstances” those safety lines would last for about two months and create about $200 billion of “headroom.”

What If Columbus Hadn't Come Here in 1492?

I was asked this question recently: “What would be different if Christopher Columbus hadn’t found us in 1492?”  What if we hadn’t suffered 520 years of genocide, ethnocide, linguicide, occupation and oppression? It is hard to imagine a life without historical, intergenerational and cultural trauma and the resulting breakdown of the Native American family structure.

White House Considers Broader Gun Control

The White House is weighing a far broader approach to curbing U.S. gun violence than just reinstating a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

Who Gets the Money When a Company Gets Fined?

You hear about it every day: Companies fined for breaking laws, defrauding customers, selling unsafe products and more. But what happens to that money once a company is found guilty and has to pay? Does it reward the victims? Go toward slashing the federal deficit? Something else? The answer is: It depends.

Why the kilogram is getting heavier (and why a “sun tan” is the remedy)

According to researchers at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, the kilogram is very likely getting heavier. How can this be? Mainly because we’re talking about the definitive kilogram, the International Prototype Kilogram (IPK) kept at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Paris. But because this is the kilo against which all kilos are defined, in a theoretical sense at least, all kilograms will technically be heavier too.

Why there's a war over your used printer cartridge

First came gold and then came clunkers. Now there is cash for cartridges.

Year-to-date US coal production down 6.9% through December 29: EIA

US coal production totaled about 16.5 million st in the week that ended December 29, the Energy Information Administration said Friday.


January 5, 2013

From the Editor:

I need all recipients of this newsletter to respond to this simple question.

Does this newsletter make a positive difference for you?

With the recent death of my beloved wife of 30 years, I am going through some great re-evaluations of my life and purpose.

I need to you care about this project?  Do you just as well do without?

Is this worth the fight?  Or should I just "let it go?"

I humbly thank you.

Larry Bell (your editor)


11 Billion-Dollar Weather, Climate Disasters Hit U.S. in 2012

In 2012, the United States experienced 11 extreme weather and climate events that cost more than $1 billion in losses, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climactic Data Center.

NOAA counts seven severe weather and tornado events, two tropical storm or hurricane events, and the year-long drought and associated wildfires.


2012: A year in technology

Keeping tabs on the furious rate of technological development happening all around us is no easy task and the passing of another year provides a good excuse to reflect and take stock of the major milestones we've seen.

2012 in Review--2013 Free Energy Predictions

In 2012, once again, Andrea Rossi's E-Cat dominated free energy news in volume of coverage, but this year a number of other Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR -- colloquially called "cold fusion", which is probably inaccurate since "transmutation" is the likely mechanism, not "fusion") technologies rose to prominence as well,..

2012 was a big year for America's clean energy economy, despite Solyndra

It wasn't just about Solyndra. In 2012, it seemed every major clean energy policy became a target of prominent conservative groups.

Campaigns were waged to block renewal of a key production tax credit (PTC) for wind developers. Long-standing renewable energy standards also came under fire. Of the 30 states that have such mandates, nearly one-third of them introduced bills in 2012 or 2011 to weaken or repeal those laws.

AEP could stick customers with $61.8M in storm costs

Although it's a common practice for utilities to seek reimbursement from customers after large storms due to revenue restrictions, the $61.8 million request is one of the largest seen by Ohio regulators.

China’s oil and natural gas sectors ready to roar in 2013

The past year could arguably be labeled as “China’s year that wasn’t”. The Year of the Dragon, while considered the luckiest of the Chinese zodiac, did not herald particularly auspicious tidings. Instead, China was saddled with a slowing economy, political scandals that rocked the country and territorial squabbles with its neighbors in the South China Sea.

CNNMoney: Three More ‘Fiscal Cliffs’ Loom on the Horizon

For one thing, the government has reached its debt limit. If it is not raised soon, the country will default, prompting a doomsday scenario. Even if Congress increases the limit, if negotiations are anything like the 2011 donnybrook, political infighting may frighten the financial markets, harm business confidence and crimp economic recovery.

Consumers confused by energy efficiency

Consumers are not making energy-efficiency improvements due to confusion about the benefits, according to research from marketing company Soluxe Energy Solutions.

The company says most confusion lies in payback periods and return on investment.

Cuomo orders energy efficiency boost

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order Friday that his office said will save millions of taxpayer dollars and create thousands of jobs even as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Egyptian Pound Hits Record Lows; Banks Running Out of Dollars

The Egyptian pound (EGP) came under further pressure, with the central bank no longer able or willing to maintain the previous currency peg.

Egypt’s Morsi: No Peace With Descendants of ‘Apes and Pigs’

Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are a "waste of time and opportunities" because Arabs and Muslims gain nothing from engagement with "the descendants of apes and pigs," Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said in recently translated interviews from 2010.

Energy Companies Slam Matt Damon's Fracking Movie

The R-rated flick explores the issues of hydraulic fracking in a story about a veteran teacher who stands up to two shrewd sales reps trying to sell the idea of drilling for natural gas to an economically depressed rural town.

It has received rave advance reviews from critics, but energy executives are furious that it paints them as profit-motivated vipers. Environmental critics say fracking can contaminate water supplies and spur earthquakes.

EPA’s Future Without Administrator Lisa Jackson

Under her tenure, the EPA found global warming to be a deleterious threat, making way for the agency she led to take steps to reduce greenhouse gases. But she has also acted to cut power plant pollution streams that flow downwind as well as to reduce mercury emissions.

EPA still refusing to reevaluate cellulosic biofuel mandate

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers has petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to waive the 2012 cellulosic biofuel mandate, citing a lack of domestic supply available for commercial use. This is the second year in a row that AFPM has filed a waiver petition for what it calls "a non-existent biofuel that EPA has mandated under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)."

FOMC Minutes: Some Fed Members Argue to End Bond Buying This Year

Federal Reserve policymakers expressed broad support last month for the Fed's plan to buy bonds to support the U.S. economy. But they differed over how long to keep buying bonds to drive down long-term interest rates.

Four More Threats To Our Water Supply

Many of us wake up in the morning, pour a glass of water or fix a cup of coffee, and do not give a second thought to where that water came from. For those of us who choose to live off the grid, we have developed a particular appreciation for the simple things that we utilize each day. There are substantial risks posed to our water supply, and it is of utmost importance that we consider the very real dangers that could limit or contaminate our nation’s water supply.

Future of coal unclear

China uses and produces the most coal globally despite oil remaining the world's largest energy source, according to research from the Worldwatch Institute. From 2001 to 2011, China accounted for 80 percent of the global increase in coal demand. China alone accounted for 49.5 percent of global coal production in 2011, according to the research.

Government Tax Credit Extension for 2-Wheel Electric Vehicles

The provision, passed late last night along with other fiscal reforms, extends the federal tax credit for two and three-wheeled electric plug-in vehicles for two years. This tax credit can cover up to 10% of the vehicle's cost or a maximum of $2,500.

How to Save Energy This Winter

Conservation is a simple way Ontario families can manage their energy use and costs while helping protect the environment, especially during winter.

I owe these unions

President Barack Obama couldn't have stated it any more clearly.

And after spending an estimated BILLION dollars to re-elect Barack Obama and maintain control of the U.S. Senate, the union bosses couldn't agree more

Judge: U.S .can keep secrets on targeted killings

A federal judge has ruled that President Obama’s administration doesn’t have to publicly disclose its legal justification for the drone attacks and other methods it has used to kill terrorism suspects overseas.

Latin American PV prospects strong

Mexico, Chile, and Brazil are predicted to experience explosive demand for solar photovoltaics (PV), accounting for nearly 70 percent of PV demand and a compound annual growth rate of 45 percent by 2017, according to NPD Solarbuzz.

Message from Newt

Despite the current economic challenges, virtually no one in the Western world lives in the kind of poverty depicted in Les Misérables. ...

More people live better with more choices today because of entrepreneurial free enterprise than from all the socialist, government-led redistribution and bureaucratic control schemes in the world.

New Congress is in session, while Pres. Obama signals push for mass amnesty

The 113th Congress is officially in session, and with it, a major push for a mass amnesty is expected to begin sooner rather than later. Running across the front page of this morning's Washington Post was the headline:
Obama prioritizing immigrant issues: Executive authority is used to further ease deportation rules.

No science allowed

Earlier this year, the North Carolina State Senate voted to ban the use of accepted, objective science to predict sea level rise in the state. They didn't just ignore science-based decision making—they forbid its use.

NSA secret cyber security testing no longer secret

It's no secret that the nation's electric grid is vulnerable to potentially devastating cyber attacks. It's also no longer a secret that the federal government is targeting utilities to test the security of their grids.

Cyber security concerns reach much farther than your typical computer hacker. The government is most concerned with the surveillance by foreign countries of computer systems controlling the U.S. grid and related infrastructure.

NY State Developing Energy Highway Big on Renewables

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Dec. 24 that $250m is available for a broad range of renewable energy generation projects as part of his Energy Highway Blueprint that has the goal of upgrading and modernizing New York’s aging energy infrastructure.

Obama '08 Campaign Hit With $375,000 FEC Fine

President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign has been fined $375,000 by the Federal Election Commission for reporting violations related to a set of donations received during the final days of the campaign.

Obama's Family Vacations to Cost Taxpayers More Than $20 Million

President Barack Obama’s four vacations to Hawaii since becoming president may cost taxpayers “in excess of $20 million, and possibly much, much more...

Powerful Magnetic Outflow Coming From Milky Way Galactic Plane

Enormous outflows of charged particles from the center of our Galaxy, stretching more than halfway across the sky and moving at supersonic speeds, have been detected and mapped with CSIRO's 64-m Parkes radio telescope.

PTC Extension: Another Squeaker for Clean Energy

Well, 'The Fiscal Cliff' theater was played out in Washington, and Congress included renewable energy in the final bill. According to the Renewable Fuels Association, the deal includes one-year tax-credit extensions for cellulosic biofuels, biodiesel, renewable diesel and algae-based fuel. The cellulosic bonus depreciation, which allows biofuel companies to expense up to half of their eligible capital costs in their first year, was also given a one-year extension. These advanced biofuels applications are critical for the U.S. to evolve its biofuels reliance onto non-foodstuff sustainable biomass – both wastes and non-arable land crops.

Report of Solar Geophysical Activity

chance for M-class flares.  The geomagnetic field is expected
to be at quiet levels for the next three days (05 Jan, 06 Jan, 07 Jan).

Save Your Bacon!

Bacon from pastured pigs contains healthful saturated and monounsaturated fat, mostly consisting of oleic acid, the type so valued in olive oil. It also contains palmitoleic acid, which has antimicrobial properties, phosophatidyl choline that possesses antioxidant activity superior to Vitamin E, and fat-soluble vitamin D

Senate Deal Keeps Most Tax Cuts

The measure would raise taxes by about $600 billion over 10 years and delay for two months across-the-board spending cuts otherwise set to begin slashing the budgets of the Pentagon and numerous domestic agencies.

Social Security Recipients Tally Hits New High

The baby boom generation only recently began retiring, but already there is one American receiving Social Security benefits for every 1.67 full-time workers in the private sector.

The Social Security program ran a $48 billion deficit in fiscal 2012, bringing in $725 billion and paying out $773 billion for benefits and overhead expenses, according to official data from the Social Security Administration.

Study: Climate change threatens Arizona's forests

Combine the tree-ring growth record with historical information, climate records and computer-model projections of future climate trends, and you get a grim picture for the future of trees in the southwestern United States.

The FISA Debate Proves That Congress Doesn’t Care About Your Privacy

Online privacy was a big ticket item in 2012. More and more people are becoming concerned with just how much of their personal lives are available online for everyone to see. In fact, there’s been a push to adopt certain standards like Do Not Track to better protect the privacy of those who use the Internet day in and day out. Of course, in the end, none of that matters.

The Morning Brief - - Lignet

They’re giving banks gobs of nearly free money

We all know that central bankers around the world are trying to bail out their banker buddies. It’s happening in Japan. It’s happening in Europe. It’s happening right here in the U.S. of A.

To Succeed ...

Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson

To laugh often and love much,
to win the respect of intelligent persons,
and the affection of children;
to earn the approbation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others;
to give one’s self;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm
and sung with exultation;
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived --
this is, to have succeeded.

[Ed:  I think this describes the life of my wonderful wife, Donna.]


US crude stocks tumble, led by Gulf Coast draw: API

US crude stocks fell 12.032 million barrels last week, while US distillate stocks jumped 6.71 million barrels, according to American Petroleum Institute data Thursday.

US Manufacturing Activity Expanded in December

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing index stood at 50.7 in December 2012, which was up from 49.5 in the previous month and slightly better than expectations for an increase to 50.4.

U.S. Money Fund Exposure to Eurozone Banks Rises Fifth Straight Month

U.S. prime money market fund (MMF) exposure to Eurozone banks rose for the fifth consecutive month although exposures remain well-below previous levels, according to Fitch Ratings.

US net oil import dependence in October started with a six

For the first time since early 1991, US net imports of petroleum fell to less than 7 million b/d.

Was the Treasury Sell-off an Overreaction?

The 10-year treasury note yield has climbed above 1.9% - a level we haven't seen since last spring.

We are still on the precipice of a cliff, and it's going to be a long, hard fall

And those so-called "cuts" ... you and I both know they're nothing of the kind; they're just scaling back the intention to spend more in the future.

So as our leaders are telling us, "We worked hard and hammered out a deal, so calm down, move along, nothing to see here" ... don't be fooled! We are still on the precipice of a cliff, and it's going to be a long, hard fall.

What's the single most important thing you can have as a survivalist?

The right mindset....

Get that right, and everything else falls into place. Get it wrong, and you'll be miserable - if not physically, then certainly emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.

Why the Affordable Health Care Act is Unlikely to Benefit Your Health

Guaranteed health insurance does NOT equate to guaranteed health care. No strategies are included in the Affordable Health Care Act to actually prevent illness and reduce health care costs. Instead it expands an already flawed model of “care” that has been and continues to be one of the leading causes of death in the US

Wind Energy’s New Year Celebration will be Short-Lived

The New Year may be ringing hollow for wind energy developers even though they have secured a one-year extension of their coveted tax credits. A full-scale evolution will require a much broader tax strategy, meaning that the one-year extension will only add confusion.

Wind Energy Tax Credit Extension Passes with Fiscal Cliff Deal

On January 1, 2013, Congress passed legislation that included the long-sought extension of wind energy tax credits in a bill to avert the "fiscal cliff" that now moves to President Obama for his expected signature.

Wind power credit tied to budget deal

Senate and House negotiators have added a one-year extension of the federal tax credit for wind-power manufacturers to the tax-andspending deal Monday that lawmakers hoped would keep the federal budget from going over the "fiscal cliff" of automatic higher taxes and spending cuts.

With All the Fed Activity, there has been No QE in 2012

By definition, any policy of "quantitative easing" involves the expansion of bank reserves (by outright purchases of securities) and ultimately the monetary base. Neither has been expanded by the Fed in 2012.

World Bank Reveals Shocking ‘Poverty’ Rates

Despite the oft-touted economic strides made by China in recent decades, nearly all people living in China and other “developing” countries in East Asia would be living below the poverty line in the United States.



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