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Archive for June 20th, 2010

Whitley’s Journal: The Coming of the Omega Point

Posted by Admin on June 20, 2010

by Whitley Strieber,  June 17, 2010

My new book the Omega Point comes out on June 22, and I must say, it seems a very odd time for it.

The story revolves around changes on the sun that are gradually making life on earth impossible, and it asks the questions, what is the last judgment, and, more importantly, is there a plan for us?

This week’s New Scientist came in the mail, and I was shocked to see that the cover story is “What’s Wrong with the Sun?”

Not that the article says that the sun is about to do something awful, but it just feels like a sort of warning of some kind that maybe there is such a thing as an end to this world of ours, perhaps not tomorrow and perhaps not in 2012, but that it could come.

When one thinks about it, life on earth gets pretty badly beaten up from time to time, so if something big happens to us, at least we needn’t be too surprised.

When you look at the increasing number of strong earthquakes, the increasing volcanism, the storms, the incredible manmade danger of the oil spill, and so much else, you really do have to wonder.

The book started a couple of years ago, when I chanced to read the chapter of Revelation about the final judgment: “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

As it happens, this is Revelation 20:12. Prior to that, and to all that has been happening in the world in the past few years, I had thought that the 2012 prophecy was basically imaginary.

Now I am not at all sure. The New Testament wasn’t organized into the chapters and verses we use now until the fifteenth century. John of Patmos only prophesied, he didn’t organize. That was probably done by an Italian monk called Xantes Pagnino.

But why the coincidence? It’s the same as the apparent coincidence that the Old Testament was written during the astrological Age of Aires and mentions the ram 72 times, more than it mentions any other animal. Likewise, the New Testament was laid down at the beginning of the Age of Pisces the Fish, and it is about the Fisher of Men whose apostles were fishermen and whose earliest symbol was the fish.

Coincidence? Intention? I don’t know, but it is impossible not to see patterns here.

I don’t know what the next few months will bring, but if the oil spill isn’t stopped, it could be the ruin of a great part of our country. This is because the chemicals in the water will be picked up in storms and deposited all over the Southeast and farther, depending on the way the wind blows. A hurricane could become a toxic horror unlike anything we have ever seen.

In the Omega Point, the judgment takes place and a promise emerges that is the central promise of Christ, as declaimed in the Sermon on the Mount: the meek shall inherit the earth.

This may go against the ideas of Christians who have come to fetishize wealth, but, in fact, it’s what was said, and in it I see the suggestion of a post-apocalyptic plan for humankind. I cannot believe that all these billions of years of evolution on earth would lead to a self-reflective creature like us, but one that is doomed to fall to random chance and his own foolish ways.

I think that there are patterns in our world that reflect a higher consciousness of some sort, which is why the bible is written as if in concert with the great precessional calendar that is the Zodiac, and also why the Last Judgment has turned out to be Revelation 20:12.

The reviewers are already out in force against the Omega Point. It part, this is because it was written by that popular whipping boy of conventional intellectuals, Whitley Strieber, and partly because it is more than a little scary, and fear, as I have learned all too well, makes people angry.

The book goes to the heart of something very deep and very hidden in our world, but it does seem to me that now would not be a bad time to heed the call to conscience and join the ranks of the meek, rather than trying to navigate the eye of the needle laden with iPods, iPads, big cars and big plans.

It is time to find the peace that is within us all, that is always as accessible as baptismal waters, and, while it is not necessarily what makes us human, is certainly what makes our humanity.

I have a deep sadness within me nowadays. I see the little children all around, and I wish I could gather them in my arms and protect them, but I’m only one small man, long since discarded as a lunatic worthy only of a laugh and a sneer, so what can I possibly do?

Not much, but that does not prevent me from trying. I will never stop trying. My deepest wish is that the wonder of human life continue, and that the children grow and experience the fullness of life as we have for all these lucky generations.

If the Omega Point does come, though, in a way the innocent will be the best prepared. We can only bow before the future, and hope that what appears now to be a dark and terrible time, will instead blossom into sunlit uplands, and mankind will find a new and better way to live on this jewel of a planet that we have inherited from all the species of the past, who have lived their time and slipped away into memory, and beyond memory into the unknown.

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What’s Wrong With the Sun?

Posted by Admin on June 20, 2010

NewScientist, June 14, 2010


SUNSPOTS come and go, but recently they have mostly gone. For centuries, astronomers have recorded when these dark blemishes on the solar surface emerge, only for them to fade away again after a few days, weeks or months. Thanks to their efforts, we know that sunspot numbers ebb and flow in cycles lasting about 11 years.

But for the past two years, the sunspots have mostly been missing. Their absence, the most prolonged for nearly a hundred years, has taken even seasoned sun watchers by surprise. “This is solar behaviour we haven’t seen in living memory,” says David Hathaway, a physicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The sun is under scrutiny as never before thanks to an armada of space telescopes. The results they beam back are portraying our nearest star, and its influence on Earth, in a new light. Sunspots and other clues indicate that the sun’s magnetic activity is diminishing, and that the sun may even be shrinking. Together the results hint that something profound is happening inside the sun. The big question is what?

The stakes have never been higher. Groups of sunspots forewarn of gigantic solar storms that can unleash a billion times more energy than an atomic bomb. Fears that these giant solar eruptions could create havoc on Earth, and disputes over the sun’s role in climate change, are adding urgency to these studies. When NASA and the European Space Agency launched the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory almost 15 years ago, “understanding the solar cyclewas not one of its scientific objectives”, says Bernhard Fleck, the mission’s project scientist. “Now it is one of the key questions.”

Sun behaving badly

Sunspots are windows into the sun’s magnetic soul. They form where giant loops of magnetism, generated deep inside the sun, well up and burst through the surface, leading to a localised drop in temperature which we see as a dark patch. Any changes in sunspot numbers reflect changes inside the sun. “During this transition, the sun is giving us a real glimpse into its interior,” says Hathaway.

When sunspot numbers drop at the end of each 11-year cycle, solar storms die down and all becomes much calmer. This “solar minimum” doesn’t last long. Within a year, the spots and storms begin to build towards a new crescendo, the next solar maximum.

What’s special about this latest dip is that the sun is having trouble starting the next solar cycle. The sun began to calm down in late 2007, so no one expected many sunspots in 2008. But computer models predicted that when the spots did return, they would do so in force. Hathaway was reported as thinking the next solar cycle would be a “doozy”: more sunspots, more solar storms and more energy blasted into space. Others predicted that it would be the most active solar cycle on record. The trouble was, no one told the sun.

The first sign that the prediction was wrong came when 2008 turned out to be even calmer than expected. That year, the sun was spot-free 73 per cent of the time, an extreme dip even for a solar minimum. Only the minimum of 1913 was more pronounced, with 85 per cent of that year clear.

As 2009 arrived, solar physicists looked for some action. They didn’t get it. The sun continued to languish until mid-December, when the largest group of sunspots to emerge for several years appeared. Finally, a return to normal? Not really.

Even with the solar cycle finally under way again, the number of sunspots has so far been well below expectations. Something appears to have changed inside the sun, something the models did not predict. But what?

The flood of observations from space and ground-based telescopes suggests that the answer lies in the behaviour of two vast conveyor belts of gas that endlessly cycle material and magnetism through the sun’s interior and out across the surface. On average it takes 40 years for the conveyor belts to complete a circuit (see diagram).

When Hathaway’s team looked over the observations to find out where their models had gone wrong, they noticed that the conveyor-belt flows of gas across the sun’s surface have been speeding up since 2004.

The circulation deep within the sun tells a different story. Rachel Howe and Frank Hill of the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, have used observations of surface disturbances, caused by the solar equivalent of seismic waves, to infer what conditions are like within the sun. Analysing data from 2009, they found that while the surface flows had sped up, the internal ones had slowed to a crawl.

These findings have thrown our best computer models of the sun into disarray. “It is certainly challenging our theories,” says Hathaway, “but that’s kinda nice.”

It is not just our understanding of the sun that stands to benefit from this work. The extent to which changes in the sun’s activity can affect our climate is of paramount concern. It is also highly controversial. There are those who seek to prove that the solar variability is the major cause of climate change, an idea that would let humans and their greenhouse gases off the hook. Others are equally evangelical in their assertions that the sun plays only a minuscule role in climate change.

If this dispute could be resolved by an experiment, the obvious strategy would be to see what happens when you switch off one potential cause of climate change and leave the other alone. The extended collapse in solar activity these past two years may be precisely the right sort of test, in that it has significantly changed the amount of solar radiation bombarding our planet. “As a natural experiment, this is the very best thing to happen,” says Joanna Haigh, a climatologist at Imperial College London. “Now we have to see how the Earth responds.”

The climate link

Mike Lockwood at the University of Reading, UK, may already have identified one response – the unusually frigid European winter of 2009/10. He has studied records covering data stretching back to 1650, and found that severe European winters are much more likely during periods of low solar activity (New Scientist, 17 April, p 6). This fits an emerging picture of solar activity giving rise to a small change in the global climate overall, yet large regional effects.

Another example is the Maunder minimum, the period from 1645 to 1715 during which sunspots virtually disappeared and solar activity plummeted. If a similar spell of solar inactivity were to begin now and continue until 2100, it wouldmitigate any temperature rise through global warming by 0.3 °C on average, according to calculations by Georg Feulner and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. However, something amplified the impact of the Maunder minimum on northern Europe, ushering in a period known as the Little Ice Age, when colder than average winters became more prevalent and the average temperature in Europe appeared to drop by between 1 and 2 °C.

A corresponding boost appears to be associated with peaks in solar output. In 2008, Judith Lean of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC published a study showing that high solar activity has a disproportionate warming influence on northern Europe (Geophysical Research Letters, vol 35, p L18701).

So why does solar activity have these effects? Modellers may already be onto the answer. Since 2003, spaceborne instruments have been measuring the intensity of the sun’s output at various wavelengths and looking for correlations with solar activity. The results point to the sun’s emissions of ultraviolet light. “The ultraviolet is varying much, much, much more than we expected,” says Lockwood.

Ultraviolet light is strongly linked to solar activity: solar flares shine brightly in the ultraviolet, and it helps carry the explosive energy of the flares away into space. It could be particularly significant for the Earth’s climate as ultraviolet light is absorbed by the ozone layer in the stratosphere, the region of atmosphere that sits directly above the weather-bearing troposphere.

More ultraviolet light reaching the stratosphere means more ozone is formed. And more ozone leads to the stratosphere absorbing more ultraviolet light. So in times of heightened solar activity, the stratosphere heats up and this influences the winds in that layer. “The heat input into the stratosphere is much more variable than we thought,” says Lockwood.

Enhanced heating of the stratosphere could be behind the heightened effects felt by Europe of changes in solar activity. Back in 1996, Haigh showed that the temperature of the stratosphere influences the passage of the jet stream, the high-altitude river of air passing from west to east across Europe.

Lockwood’s latest study shows that when solar activity is low, the jet stream becomes liable to break up into giant meanders that block warm westerly winds from reaching Europe, allowing Arctic winds from Siberia to dominate Europe’s weather.

The lesson for climate research is clear. “There are so many weather stations in Europe that, if we are not careful, these solar effects could influence our global averages,” says Lockwood. In other words, our understanding of global climate change could be skewed by not taking into account solar effects on European weather.

Just as one mystery begins to clear, another beckons. Since its launch 15 years ago, the SOHO spacecraft has watched two solar minimums, one complete solar cycle, and parts of two other cycles – the one that ended in 1996 and the one that is just stirring. For all that time its VIRGO instrument has been measuring the total solar irradiance (TSI), the energy emitted by the sun. Its measurements can be stitched together with results from earlier missions to provide a 30-year record of the sun’s energy output. What this shows is that during the latest solar minimum, the sun’s output was 0.015 per cent lower than during the previous lull. It might not sound like much, but it is a hugely significant result.

We used to think that the sun’s output was unwavering. That view began to change following the launch in 1980 of NASA’s Solar Maximum Mission. Its observations show that the amount of energy the sun puts out varies by around 0.1 per cent over a period of days or weeks over a solar cycle.

Shrinking star

Despite this variation, the TSI has dipped to the same level during the three previous solar minima. Not so during this recent elongated minimum. Although the observed drop is small, the fact that it has happened at all is unprecedented. “This is the first time we have measured a long-term trend in the total solar irradiance,” says Claus Fröhlich of the World Radiation Centre in Davos, Switzerland, and lead investigator for the VIRGO instrument.

If the sun’s energy output is changing, then its temperature must be fluctuating too. While solar flares can heat up the gas at the surface, changes in the sun’s core would have a more important influence on temperature, though calculations show it can take hundreds of thousands of years for the effects to percolate out to the surface. Whatever the mechanism, the cooler the surface, the less energy there is to “puff up” the sun. The upshot of any dip in the sun’s output is that the sun should also be shrinking.

Observations suggest that it is – though we needn’t fear a catastrophe like that depicted in the movie Sunshine just yet. Back in the 17th century French astronomer Jean Picard made his mark by measuring the sun’s diameter. His observations were carried out during the Maunder minimum, and he obtained a result larger than modern measurements. Was this simply because of an error on Picard’s part, or could the sun genuinely have shrunk since then? “There has been a lot of animated discussion, and the problem is not yet solved,” says Gérard Thuillier of the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France.

Observations with ground-based telescopes are not precise enough to resolve the question, due to the distorting effect of Earth’s atmosphere. So the French space agency has designed a mission, aptly named Picard, to return precise measurements of the sun’s diameter and look for changes.

Frustratingly the launch, on a Russian Dnepr rocket, is mired in a political disagreement between Russia and neighbouring Kazakhstan. Until the dispute is resolved, the spacecraft must wait. Every day of delay means valuable data being missed as the sun takes steps, however faltering, into the next cycle of activity. “We need to launch now,” says Thuillier.

What the sun will do next is beyond our ability to predict. Most astronomers think that the solar cycle will proceed, but at significantly depressed levels of activity similar to those last seen in the 19th century. However, there is also evidence that the sun is inexorably losing its ability to produce sunspots (see “The sunspot forecast”). By 2015, they could be gone altogether, plunging us into a new Maunder minimum – and perhaps a new Little Ice Age.

Of course, solar activity is just one natural source of climate variability. Volcanic eruptions are another, spewing gas and dust into the atmosphere. Nevertheless, it remains crucial to understand the precise changeability of the sun, and the way it influences the various regional patterns of weather on Earth. Climate scientists will then be able to correct for these effects, not just in interpreting modern measurements but also when attempting to reconstruct the climate stretching back centuries. It is only by doing so that we can reach an unassailable consensus about the sun’s true level of influence on the Earth and its climate.

The sunspot forecast

Although sunspots are making a belated comeback after the protracted solar minimum, the signs are that all is not well. For decades, William Livingston at the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, has been measuring the strength of the magnetic fields which puncture the sun’s surface and cause the spots to develop. Last year, he and colleague Matt Penn pointed out that the average strength of sunspot magnetic fields has been sliding dramatically since 1995.

If the trend continues, in just five years the field will have slipped below the threshold magnetic field needed for sunspots to form.

How likely is this to happen? Mike Lockwood at the University of Reading, UK, has scoured historical data to look for similar periods of solar inactivity, which show up as increases in the occurrence of certain isotopes in ice cores and tree rings. He found 24 such instances in the last few thousand years. On two of those occasions, sunspots all but disappeared for decades. Lockwood puts the chance of this happening now at just 8 per cent.

Only on one occasion did the sunspot number bounce back to record levels. In the majority of cases, the sun continued producing spots albeit at significantly depressed levels. It seems that the sunspot bonanza of last century is over.

Watch me NewScientist’s video “What Is Wrong With the Sun“  here:http://brightcove.newscientist.com/services/player/bcpid1873822884?bctid=90892143001

Stuart Clark’s latest book is The Sun Kings (Princeton). He blogs at stuartclark.com

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Germany and France examine ‘two-tier’ euro

Posted by Admin on June 20, 2010

Germany and France are examining ways of creating a “two-tier” euro system to separate stronger northern European countries from weaker southern states.

Germany and France examine 'two-tier' euro

The creation of a “super-euro” zone would initially include France, Germany, Holland, Austria, Denmark and Finland

A European official has told The Daily Telegraph the dramatic option was being examined at cabinet level.

Senior politicians believe their economies need to be better protected as they could not cope with another crisis on a par the one in Greece.

The creation of a “super-euro” zone would initially include France, Germany, Holland, Austria, Denmark and Finland.

The likes of Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and even Ireland would be left in a larger rump mostly Mediterranean grouping.

The official said French and German officials had first spent months examining how to exclude poor-performing states from the euro but decided it was not feasible.

A two-tier monetary system in the 16-member euro zone is being examined as a “plan B”.

“The philosophy is the stronger countries might need to move away from countries they can’t afford to bail-out,” said the official. “As a way of containing the damage, they may have to do something dramatic, though obviously in the short term implementation is difficult.

“It’s an act of desperation. They are not talking about ideal solutions but the lesser of evils. Helping Greece could be done relatively cheaply but Spain they can’t afford to let fail or bail-out.

“And putting more pressure on the people of France and Germany to save other countries is politically unfeasible.”

One option, to protect the wealthier northern European countries and to help indebted southern Europeans, would be for Germany to lead a group of countries out of the existing euro into a new single currency alongside the old.

The old euro would decline sharply against the new German and French dominated currency but both north and southern Europeans would be protected.

Northern economies would be protected from debt contagion and southern countries would be spared the horrors of being thrown out and forced to go it alone.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has already paid a political price for forcing the rescue plan on a reluctant public, losing her majority in the upper house of parliament in a recent election.

The official pointed out that France held lent £500 billion to Spain and the Germans had lent £335 billion.

Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, is understood to have been initially cool on the idea but has grown so frustrated with Greece and now Spain that he has allowed officials to explore proposals.

“He would prefer to keep the euro in place but if Spain, Italy and Greece are dragging him down he accepts he may have to cut them loose,” said the official. “They are trying to contain the contagious effect but they don’t have a solution yet.”

The crunch time will come in September, when Spain has to refinance £67 billion of its foreign debt.

“If the markets don’t buy that will trigger a response by Germany and France,” said the official.

Expelling a country from the euro could push the whole region into a slump because European banks are so exposed to debt in southern Europe. The consequences for the exiting country would be even more catastrophic.

“The euro zone debt crisis has a long way to run,” said one senior EU negotiator. “No one knows where it is going to end up. Only one thing is sure, the euro zone will change.”

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Spanish Economy Continues to Falter

Posted by Admin on June 20, 2010

9 Reasons Why Spain Is A Dead Economy Walking

JUNE 16, 2010

in ANALYSIS,INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY

By Michael Snyder

Barring an economic bailout of mammoth proportions, the economy of Spain is completely and totally doomed.  The socialist government of Spain is drowning in debt, unemployment is running rampant and everywhere you turn there are major economic problems.  So will Spain be the next Greece?  No.  When the economy of Spain implodes it is going to be a whole lot worse for the world economy.  The economy of Spain is more than four times the size of the economy of Greece.  Spain accounts for 11.5 percent of eurozone GDP while Greece only accounts for approximately 2.5 percent.  Spain is the 4th largest economy in the 16 nation eurozone and it is the 10th largest economy in the world.  If the economy of Spain fails it will cause a shockwave that will be felt in every corner of the globe.  In fact, there are quite a few analysts that believe if Spain defaults it would ultimately lead to the breakup of the eurozone.

So will the EU step up and bail out Spain?  Well, there are rumors that EU officials have begun work on a bailout package for Spain which is likely to run into the hundreds of billions of dollars, but on Monday the European Commission, the Spanish government and the German government all denied that the European Union was preparing a bailout for the Spanish economy.

Of course we all know that politicians don’t always tell us the truth.

So who knows what is going on over there right now.

But the reality is that the economy of Spain is not going to make it much longer without serious help, and some EU officials are already using apocalyptic language to describe what an economic collapse in Spain would mean.

For example, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso recently warned that democracy could completely collapse in Greece, Spain and Portugal unless urgent action is taken to tackle the burgeoning European debt crisis.

So could democracy actually fail in those nations?

Well, considering the fact that Greece, Spain and Portugal only became democracies in the 1970s, and that all three of those countries have a history of military coups, such a scenario is not that far-fetched.

Without a doubt there would be serious public unrest in those nations if public services collapsed because their governments ran out of money.

So are there signs that the economy of Spain is about to collapse?

Well, yes, there are quite a few of them.

The following are 9 reasons why Spain is a dead economy walking….

#1) Even before this most recent crisis, unemployment in Spain was approaching Great Depression levels.  Spain now has the highest unemployment rate in the entire European Union. More than 20 percent of working age Spaniards were unemployed during the first quarter of 2010.  If people aren’t working they can’t pay taxes and they can’t provide for their families.

#2) In an effort to stimulate the economy, Spain’s socialist government has been spending unprecedented amounts of money and that skyrocketed the government budget deficit to a stunning 11.4 percent of GDP in 2009.  That is completely unsustainable by any definition.

#3) The total of all public and private debt in Spain has now reached 270 percent of GDP.

#4) The Spanish government has accumulated way more debt than it can possibly handle, and this has forced two international ratings agencies, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s, to lower Spain’s long-term sovereign credit rating.  These downgrades are making it much more expensive for Spain to finance its debt at a time when they simply can’t afford to pay more interest on their debt.

#5) There are 1.6 million unsold properties in Spain.  That is six times the level per capita in the United States.  Considering how bad the U.S. real estate market is, that statistic is incredibly alarming.

#6) The new “green economy” in Spain has been a total flop.  Socialist leaders promised that implementing hardcore restrictions on carbon emissions and forcing the nation over to a “green economy” would result in a flood of “green jobs”.  But that simply did not happen.  In fact, a leaked internal assessment produced by the government of Spain reveals that the “green economy” has been an absolute economic nightmare for that nation.  Energy prices have skyrocketed in Spain and the new “green economy” in that nation has actually lost more than two jobs for every job that it has created.  But Spain so far seems unwilling to undo all of the crazy regulations that they have implemented.

#7) Spain’s national debt is so onerous that they are now caught in a debt spiral where anything they do will harm the economy.  If they cut government expenditures in an effort to get debt under control it will devastate economic growth and crush badly needed tax revenues.  But if the Spanish government keeps borrowing money their credit rating will continue to decline and they will almost certainly default.  The truth is that the Spanish government is caught in a “no win” situation.

#8) But even now the IMF is projecting that the Spanish economy is going nowhere fast.  The International Monetary Fund says there will be no positive GDP growth in Spain until 2011, at which point it will still be below one percent.  As bleak as that forecast is, many analysts believe that it is way too optimistic considering the fact that Spain’s economy declined by about 3.6 percent in 2009 and things are rapidly getting worse.

#9) The Spanish population has gotten used to socialist handouts and they are not going to accept public sector pay cuts, budget cuts to social programs and hefty tax increases easily.  In fact, there is likely to be some very serious social unrest before all of this is said and done.  On May 21st, thousands of public sector workers took to the streets of Spain to protest the government’s austerity plan.  But that was only an appetizer.  Spain’s two main unions are calling for a major one day general strike to protest the government’s planned reforms of the country’s labor market.  The truth is that financial shock therapy does not go down very well in highly socialized nations such as Greece and Spain.  In fact, the austerity measures that Spain has been pressured to implement by the IMF have proven so unpopular that many are now projecting that Spain’s socialist government will be forced to call early elections.

So what is going to happen in Spain?

The truth is that nobody can predict for sure how things are going to play out over the coming weeks and months.

But what everyone can agree on is that the stakes are incredibly high.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, world famous economist Nouriel Roubini put it this way: “If Greece goes under, that’s a problem for the eurozone. If Spain goes under, it’s a disaster.”

But right now the entire population of Spain (along with much of the rest of the world) is completely distracted by the World Cup.  As long as the Spanish team does well, that is likely to keep the Spanish population sedated.  But if the Spanish team gets knocked out of the tournament early that will put the entire Spanish population in a really, really bad mood and that could mean a really chaotic summer for the nation of Spain.

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From the Ground: BP Censoring Media, Destroying Evidence

Posted by Admin on June 20, 2010

by Riki Ott

Marine toxicologist and Exxon Valdez survivor

11 June 2010

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riki-ott/from-the-ground-bp-censor_b_6 08724.html

Orange Beach, Alabama — While President Obama insists that the federal government is firmly in control of the response to BP’s spill in the Gulf, people in coastal communities where I visited last week in Louisiana and Alabama know an inconvenient truth: BP — not our president — controls the response. In fact, people on the ground say things are out of control in the gulf.

Even worse, as my latest week of adventures illustrate, BP is using federal agencies to shield itself from public accountability.

For example, while flying on a small plane from New Orleans to Orange Beach, the pilot suddenly exclaimed, “Look at that!” The thin red line marking the federal flight restrictions of 3,000 feet over the oiled Gulf region had just jumped to include the coastal barrier islands off Alabama.

“There’s only one reason for that,” the pilot said. “BP doesn’t want the media taking pictures of oil on the beaches. You should see the oil that’s about six miles off the coast,” he said grimly. We looked down at the wavy orange boom surrounding the islands below us. The pilot shook his head. “There’s no way those booms are going to stop what’s offshore from hitting those beaches.”

BP knows this as well — boom can only deflect oil under the calmest of sea conditions, not barricade it — so they have stepped up their already aggressive effort to control what the public sees.

At the same time I was en route to Orange Beach, Clint Guidry with the Louisiana Shrimp Association and Dean Blanchard, who owns the largest shrimp processor in Louisiana, were in Grand Isle taking Anderson Cooper out in a small boat to see the oiled beaches. The U.S. Coast Guard held up the boat for 20 minutes – an intimidation tactic intended to stop the cameras from recording BP’s damage. Luckily for Cooper and the viewing public, Dean Blanchard is not easily intimidated.

A few days later, the gig was up with the booms. Oil was making landfall in four states and even BP can’t be everywhere at once. CBS 60 Minutes Australia found entire sections of boom hung up in marsh grasses two feet above the water off Venice. On the same day on the other side of Barataria Bay, Louisiana Bayoukeeper documented pools of oil and oiled pelicans inside the boom – on the supposedly protected landward side – of Queen Bess Island off Grand Isle.

With oil undisputedly hitting the beaches and the number of dead wildlife mounting, BP is switching tactics. In Orange Beach, people told me BP wouldn’t let them collect carcasses. Instead, the company was raking up carcasses of oiled seabirds. “The heads separate from the bodies,” one upset resident told me. “There’s no way those birds are going to be autopsied. BP is destroying evidence!”

The body count of affected wildlife is crucial to prove the harm caused by the spill, and also serves as an invaluable tool to evaluate damages to public property – the dolphins, sea turtles, whales, sea birds, fish, and more, that are owned by the American public.

Disappeared body counts means disappeared damages – and disappeared liability for BP. BP should not be collecting carcasses. The job should be given to NOAA, a federal agency, and volunteers, as was done during the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

NOAA should also be conducting carcass drift studies. Only one percent of the dead sea birds made landfall in the Gulf of Alaska, for example. That means for every one bird that was found, another 99 were carried out to sea by currents. Further, NOAA should be conducting aerial surveys to look for carcasses in the offshore rips where the currents converge. That’s where the carcasses will pile up–a fact we learned during the Exxon Valdez spill. Maybe that’s another reason for BP’s “no camera” policy and the flight restrictions.

On Saturday June 12, people across America will stand up and speak out with one voice to protest BP’s treatment of the Gulf, neglect for the response workers, and their response to government authority. President Obama needs to hear and see the people waving cameras and respirators. Until the media is allowed unrestricted access to the Gulf and impacted beaches, BP – not the President of United States – will remain in charge of the Gulf response.

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Lauren Gorgo: The Solstice Reconnection Completion

Posted by Admin on June 20, 2010

Lauren Gorgo

June 19, 2010

http://galactic-times.blogspot.com/

It has recently been brought to my attention by the Pleiadian High Council that as of the 3d week of May, the bulldozer brigade (aka path-pavers) have been undergoing an intense reconnection of their 12th strand of DNA.

I am told that the reconnection of the twelfth strand corresponds to both cosmic consciousness and earthly grounding…resulting in the full spiritual human template…and is a process of being pulled at both ends…intensely purifying on the highest and lowest levels of our dimensional existence in preparation for the next phase.

Say what?

As I understand it, each of the 12 strands of DNA represents one of the twelve aspects of multidimensional consciousness.

Three strands represent and govern the physical body, another three govern the emotional body, another three govern the mental body and the remaining three govern the spiritual body.

All these aspects are represented in our bodies as new neural pathways to the brain and are connected to our endocrine system and glands. These glands work in collaboration with our chakras and when all neural pathways are open and flowing in alignment with our energy system, they provide the pathway or conduit to the higher realms, resulting in our experience of multidimensional consciousness.

As we undergo the entire biological reconnection process, we slowly begin to notice the effects of becoming fully conscious or multi-dimensional… and when our 12 strands of DNA have finally been reconnected and activated, we are able to experience life within the consciousness of multidimensionality.

In other words… we exist in the third dimension of physical reality while retaining our connection and relationships with higher level beings/energy/consciousness and we operate consistently from a state of heart-centered love (christed consciousness).

The 12th Strand

From the information I am receiving, many way-showers are currently in the midst of, or finishing up, the reconnection of the 12th strand helix, which is the multidimensional self in physical form…the cosmic gateway or portal to living in full harmony with the soul. This is a time-encoded galactic/solar activation fired when a soul has reached the light quotient necessary to transcend the lower 3 dimensions of polarized time and space. So really…it’s all math and geometry.

Apparently, what happens after the reconnection of this strand is the reuniting of god-flow… and on a biological level I hear that the “body will be washed of any remaining toxins (incurred through 3d dimensional existence) through the alimentary canal as the soul’s consciousness is carried to the upper echelons of spiritual/physical existence.” (This apparently accounts for all that lower intestinal distress since May.)

I am also told that this process takes about 4-6 weeks for the physical body to integrate and mutate to align with this new level consciousness. This particular reconnection started around the 3d week of May which brings us to right around the June Solstice for completion & activation (give or take).  As always, we will be-lie-ve it when we feel it….

Here’s what the Pleiadians had to say with regard to our growing cynicism….

“We’ve said to you many times before that what is arriving is what you’ve all been waiting for, but we realize that only your direct experience will ensure your full understanding.

Because of this, we patiently wait by the sidelines to watch you experience the full lifting of the veil.

It will be a timed moment, consisting of 3 powerful solar-galactic gateways by which those who are on this side of the veil will merge energetically with those of you participating with the 12 dimensions of physical creation.

This moment is nigh, and all those theories that you have surmised in your thinking of what it could & will be like, will be washed away in the flood of actual living the christed experience.

The storms are passing.  A resurrection is imminent.

All who are participating on this timeline consciously or not, will experience the shift into love. This will be a moment of great magnitude for all way-showers, yet this moment of breakthrough also marks the beginning of another cycle of downfalls for even greater structures of influence… a bitter-sweet experience in global terms.

Stay tuned to your inner light, disregard the dismantling world, and remain steadfast in the inner workings of your 12th dimensional reconnection.”

What next?

Next up for all you pioneering star-people out there: the rewire of the 13th strand of DNA…which I am told is the biological reformatting phase.

The reconnection & activation of this strand of DNA will allow for the intent of consciousness to restructure the human body.

I will have more to report on this in the upcoming days… and I don’t want to you to blow a circuit while trying to wrap your brain around these concepts… but I will say that we are coming up on the ability to alter our human genomes (The human genome [the genetic material of an organism] is arranged into 12 dimensionalized mathematical programs, each of which set the blueprint for one Double-Helix chemical DNA Strand) to the point that we will be able to communicate and direct our cells to mutate, regenerate or alter in a way that will be beneficial to the whole organism of our physical biology.

Happy Solstice!

Lauren

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Obama welcomes China’s move towards flexible yuan

Posted by Admin on June 20, 2010

US dollar bills are counted as yuan notes are seen at a bank in Huaibei, China, file pic

Many in the US say China is keeping the yuan low to boost exports

US President Barack Obama has welcomed China’s announcement that it will allow the exchange rate of its currency, the yuan, to become more flexible.

Mr Obama called it a “constructive step”, saying it would help boost the global recovery.

US politicians have long argued that the yuan is undervalued, giving China an unfair trade advantage.

The issue is expected to be raised at a summit of the G20 group of industrial and developing countries next week.

On Saturday, the Chinese central bank announced it would make its exchange rate mechanism “more flexible”.

The bank said the proposed reform had been made possible by the global recovery.

However, it gave no details about timing and ruled out any single large-scale revaluation of the yuan, saying there was “no basis for big fluctuations or changes”.

This is an important step but the test is how far and how fast they let the currency appreciate

Timothy GeithnerUS Treasury Secretary

The Chinese currency has been held at about 6.83 to the dollar since July 2008, drawing criticism that China was maintaining the currency at an artificially low level to help its exporters.

Commenting on China’s announcement, President Obama said it was “a constructive step that can help safeguard the recovery and contribute to a more balanced global economy”.

“I look forward to discussing these and other issues at the G20 summit in Toronto next weekend.”

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner cautiously welcomed the move. “This is an important step but the test is how far and how fast they let the currency appreciate,” he said.

Under pressure

In April, Mr Geithner delayed a report that could label China a currency manipulator, in what was seen as an attempt to give Beijing time to reform its currency without appearing to do so under pressure.

A number of members of the US Congress believe the low yuan is directly affecting their local economies.

Responding to the announcement, Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said China’s statement was too vague.

“Until there is more specific information about how quickly it will let its currency appreciate and by how much, we can have no good feeling that the Chinese will start playing by the rules,” he said.

The BBC’s Damian Grammaticas in Beijing says the announcement may be seen as an attempt to preempt criticism of China’s currency policies at the G20 summit in Canada, where Mr Obama will meet China’s President Hu Jintao.

China has kept the currency from rising by selling yuan for dollars and has built up massive foreign exchange reserves as a result.

The way China invested those reserves is seen by many economists as a key factor in the recent international financial crisis.

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Dominique Strauss-Kahn said China’s announcement was “a very welcome development”.

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