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Bend It, Charge It, Dunk It: Graphene, the Material of Tomorrow

This is where we need to be investing not in more Arms games.



The New York Times / Bits
By Nick Bilton
13 April 2014

I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

No, fans of “The Graduate,” the word isn’t “plastics.”

It’s “graphene.”

Graphene is the strongest, thinnest material known to exist. A form of carbon, it can conduct electricity and heat better than anything else. And get ready for this: It is not only the hardest material in the world, but also one of the most pliable.

Only a single atom thick, it has been called the wonder material.

Graphene could change the electronics industry, ushering in flexible devices, supercharged quantum computers, electronic clothing and computers that can interface with the cells in your body.

While the material was discovered a decade ago, it started to gain attention in 2010 when two physicists at the University of Manchester were awarded the Nobel Prize for their experiments with it. More recently, researchers have zeroed in on how to commercially produce graphene.

The American Chemical Society said in 2012 that graphene was discovered to be 200 times stronger than steel and so thin that a single ounce of it could cover 28 football fields. Chinese scientists have created a graphene aerogel, an ultralight material derived from a gel, that is one-seventh the weight of air. A cubic inch of the material could balance on one blade of grass.

“Graphene is one of the few materials in the world that is transparent, conductive and flexible — all at the same time,” said Dr. Aravind Vijayaraghavan, a lecturer at the University of Manchester. “All of these properties together are extremely rare to find in one material.”



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Ukraine: The Anti-Maidan Begins

A western strategy of regime change will end as it always does, with regret. What a mess.



New Eastern Outlook
By Tony Cartalucci
14 April 2014

It was predicted that the regime in Kiev would not last long, and that almost immediately there would be a backlash. First, opposition would come from eastern Ukraine where Ukrainians stand by their nation’s long historical, linguistic, cultural, economic, and strategic ties to Russia. Then opposition would come from western Ukraine, where people, despite their perceived anti-Russian sentiments and initial support for the “Euromaidan” protests, would find the corrupt client regime in Kiev intolerable as it integrated the nation into the EU while imposing IMF-engineered austerity measures already spreading socioeconomic chaos across the rest of Europe.

It was also predicted that the regime in Kiev, backed by the US and EU, would use the pretext of “war with Russia” to arm itself against the inevitable uprising to come.

It now appears that the “anti-Maidan” has begun, and that the military backing by NATO will be mobilized against fellow Ukrainians much sooner than expected.

With Crimea now beginning its integration with Russia, others in eastern Ukraine see a window of opportunity to escape out from beneath the regime in Kiev before it is able to consolidate its power and stamp out resistance to its inevitably disastrous policies. Protesters have been gathering in key cities across eastern Ukraine, while armed militias begin digging in against Kiev’s overt threats and now demonstrably preparations to carry out violence. CNN would report in their article, “Ukraine unrest will be resolved by force or talks in 48 hours, minister says,” that:

Ukrainian acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Wednesday that the separatist protests in Ukraine’s eastern region would be resolved within 48 hours — either through negotiations or the use of force.

The Guardian in its article, “Armed pro-Russian protesters seize city in eastern Ukraine,” describes multiple cities being taken over by Ukrainians opposed to the regime in Kiev. While the Guardian continues to spin the narrative that Russia is “annexing” eastern Ukraine like it did Crimea – this sidesteps the reality that Crimea voted overwhelmingly (93% according to the BBC) to voluntarily declare independence from Kiev, and integrate with Russia. Claims that Russian troops have “invaded” Ukraine, intentionally omit that Russian troops, per long standing treaties, have been stationed in Ukrainian territory for decades.

Despite the referendum, the Western media still refers to the newly integrated peninsula as “Russian-occupied Crimea.”

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Russian Fighter Jet Buzzes US Navy Ship in Black Sea

The war games are playing out as the Russians show they are ready to attack if called.



Newsmax
14 April 2014

A Russian fighter aircraft made repeated low-altitude, close-range passes near a U.S. ship in the Black Sea over the weekend, the Pentagon said on Monday, condemning the action at a time of heightened U.S.-Russian tensions over Ukraine.

"This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with their national protocols and previous agreements on the professional interaction between our militaries," said Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

Warren said a Russian Su-24 aircraft, or Fencer, made 12 passes at low altitude near the USS Donald Cook, a destroyer that has been in the Black Sea since April 10. It appeared to be unarmed, he told reporters.

The incident lasted 90 minutes and took place on Saturday evening while the U.S. ship was conducting a patrol in international waters in the western Black Sea, Warren said. The ship is now in a Romanian port.

The Russian plane, accompanied by another Fencer that did not fly close to the U.S. ship, did not respond to multiple attempts by the Donald Cook to communicate with its pilot, he said.

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The Great Decoupling: How the West is Engineering its Own Downfall

As the East and Russia integrates, the West disintegrates.

Good article putting it all in perspective.




The Corbett Report
By James Corbett
12 April 2014

Reports out of Moscow indicate that Russia is on the verge of signing the “holy grail” of gas deals with China. The deal between Russian state-owned gas firm Gazprom and Beijing would see as much as 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year flowing through the first proposed Russia-China pipeline by 2018. The agreement has apparently been in the works for years, but recent events on Moscow’s western flank (read: the Ukrainian situation) has moved the timetable on the plan up dramatically, with the last sticking point being the price. If the deal is signed next month during Putin’s state visit to China, as many analysts are speculating will happen, it will be a significant event not only economically, but geopolitically.

Given the fact that Russia, the world’s largest gas producer, and China, the world’s largest gas consumer, are neighbors it would be logical to assume that a gas pipeline between the two countries already exists. But logic and geopolitics seldom mix, and tensions between the two formerly communist countries (however one characterizes China’s current political and economic system) have remained ever since border disputes brought Moscow and Beijing to the brink of war in the 1960s. Establishing a gas link would thus be a very powerful signal of the growing understanding between the Russian bear and the Chinese dragon that their future lies more with each other than it does with a NATO-backed alliance that is increasingly encircling and isolating them.

Speaking of logic, this latest deal, if it is signed after all, would only be the logical extension of all of the moves toward cooperation between Russia, China and their ex-Soviet satellites that we’ve been seeing in recent years.

There’s the rise of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The “SCO” encompasses China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan waiting in the wings as observer nations, and Belarus, Sri Lanka and Turkey as “dialogue partners.” Originally the “Shanghai Five” of signatories to the 1996 Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions, the group has gone on to deepen their military, intelligence and security ties, staging joint military exercises since 2003 and China-Russia war games since 2005. They are also coordinating on security matters, including a 2004 agreement on a Regional Antiterrorism Structure and the 2006 cooperation agreement with CSTO, the NATO counterbalance in the region.

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Agenda 21: The U.N. Conspiracy That Just Won’t Die

Lets not forget Agenda 21 because they need reigning back and in.



The Daily Beast
By Caitlin Dickson
13 April 2014

In a new report, the Southern Poverty Law Center deconstructs the mythology that has surrounded the sustainability planning program since it was adopted at the U.N. Earth Summit more than 20 years ago.

It’s been called “the most dangerous threat to American sovereignty”; “An anti-human document, which takes aim at Western culture, and the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions,” that will bring “new Dark Ages of pain and misery yet unknown to mankind,” and “abolish golf courses, grazing pastures and paved roads,” in the name of creating a “one-world order.”

It’s been the subject of several forewarning books and DVDs; there are organizations dedicated to stopping it and politicians have been unseated for supporting it. Glenn Beck has spent a good portion of his career making people scared of it.

Not sure what it is? You’re not alone.

The Daily Beast got a sneak peek at a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights group, which deconstructs the mythology of Agenda 21 and the organizations, individuals, and even elected officials who’ve spent years promulgating the conspiracy theory surrounding it.

Before diving into the fiction that has inflated Agenda 21 to fear mongering status, we must first understand the facts. What, exactly, is Agenda 21?

While the name might sound a bit ominous, Agenda 21 is a voluntary action plan that offers suggestions for sustainable ways local, state and national governments can combat poverty and pollution and conserve natural resources in the 21st century. (That’s where the ’21’ comes from. Get it?) 178 governments—including the U.S. led by then-President George H.W. Bush—voted to adopt the program which is, again, not legally binding in any way, at the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro.

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Trillion-Dollar Firms Dominating Bonds Prompting Probes in U.S.

So the Big Beasts rig it all. Surprised, really?


When Bill Gross sells, it resonates throughout the market -- and a world of falling bond prices may be only just beginning. 
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Tinga
By Lisa Abramowicz
via Bloomberg
14 April 2014

Bill Gross and Larry Fink manage a $3 trillion pile of bonds — an amount almost as big as Germany’s economy. Their firms, Pacific Investment Management Co. and BlackRock Inc., doubled holdings since 2008, outpacing the market’s growth of 50 percent.

Some of the largest hedge-fund firms, including Bridgewater Associates LP and BlueCrest Capital Management LLP, have also more than doubled their investments in debt, data compiled by Bloomberg show. At the same time, Wall Street banks are shrinking their stakes in bonds, Federal Reserve data show.

The lopsided bond market has caught the attention of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Not only is the SEC examining whether the biggest players get preferential prices and access because of their influence, it’s also worried about what happens when the five-year bond rally ends as U.S. policy makers prepare to raise interest rates.

“It’s going to be interesting to see who’ll take the other side of the trade if there’s a meaningful sell-off, which presents a huge risk,” said Arthur Tetyevsky, a credit-trading strategist at Imperial Capital LLC in New York. “We’re much closer to the end of the rally, that’s for sure.”

The biggest funds’ dominance may make it harder for everyone to sell when the Fed boosts borrowing costs from record lows and sends bond prices tumbling. In essence, their selling may crowd narrowed exits, making it more painful as all investors race to get out of a falling market.

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Europe's top banks cut 80,000 more staff in post-crisis overhaul

More Bankers jobless, that's a Yes!


Snow falls at Bankia headquarters in Madrid, February 3, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Andrea Comas

Reuters
By Laura Noonan
and Joshua Franklin
13 April 2014

Europe's largest banks cut their staff by another 3.5 percent last year and the prospect of a return to pre-crisis employment levels seems far off, despite the region's fledgling economic recovery.

Spurred into action by falling revenue, mounting losses and the need to convince regulators they are no longer "too big to fail", banks across the globe have shrunk radically since the 2008 collapse of U.S. bank Lehman Brothers sparked the financial crisis.

Last year, the tide of bad news began to turn for European banks, which are among the region's largest employers.

Helped by recovering economies and receding fears for the euro zone's future, the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Banks index .SX7P rose 19 percent, outpacing the 17.4 percent increase in multi-sector stocks.

But despite the improved outlook, Europe's 30 largest banks by market value cut staff by 80,000 in 2013, calculations by Reuters based on their year-end statements showed.

Recruitment consultants warn workers' hopes for a turnaround this year could be misplaced, bad news for countries like Spain where tens of thousands of bank layoffs have helped drive unemployment to 26 percent.

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CIA, MI6 and Turkey's rogue game in Syria: New claims say Ankara worked with the US and Britain to smuggle Gaddafi's guns to rebel groups

American leadership undressed and disgraced. Not at all what should be expected from a world power on a public stage. Dirty Cross Agency dealing and gun running for Regime change.

All ILLEGAL!



Syrian rebel fighters of “The Beloved of Allah” brigade carry their weapons before battling government forces on the outskirts of Aleppo in November (photo credit: AP/Khalil Hamra)

Belfast Telegraph
By Patrick Cockburn
14 April 2014

The US's Secretary of State John Kerry and its UN ambassador, Samantha Power have been pushing for more assistance to be given to the Syrian rebels.

This is despite strong evidence that the Syrian armed opposition are, more than ever, dominated by jihadi fighters similar in their beliefs and methods to al-Qa'ida. The recent attack by rebel forces around Latakia, northern Syria, which initially had a measure of success, was led by Chechen and Moroccan jihadis.

America has done its best to keep secret its role in supplying the Syrian armed opposition, operating through proxies and front companies. It is this which makes Seymour Hersh's article "The Red Line and The Rat Line: Obama, Erdogan and the Syrian rebels" published last week in the London Review of Books, so interesting.

Attention has focussed on whether the Syrian jihadi group, Jabhat al-Nusra, aided by Turkish intelligence, could have been behind the sarin gas attacks in Damascus last 21 August, in an attempt to provoke the US into full-scale military intervention to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. "We now know it was a covert action planned by [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan's people to push Obama over the red line," a former senior US intelligence officer is quoted as saying.

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Obama On The Red Line And On The Rat Line

The White House shortfalls show Losers in Freefall.

Takes time, but the truth lays the lack of real leadership and justification into plain view.




Zero Hedge
By Tyler Durden
13 April 2014

Submitted by David Stockman's Contra Corner

Seymour Hersh’s Blockbuster: Obama On The Red Line And On The Rat Line

Read Seymour Hersh’s devastating account of Obama’s Red Lines and Rat Lines and weep for the Republic. It is no more.

For the first time in a half-century American voters actually elected the “peace candidate” in 2008 and sent Obama to the White House to end the interventionist foreign policy that had lead to disaster in Iraq, and, implicitly, to wind down the vast war machine that had been left over from the Cold War. The latter had been converted by the Bush’s and Clintons into an armada of invasion and occupation that had rained death and destruction from Bosnia to Baghdad to Kandahar for no reasonable or justifiable purpose of national security. These aggressions were simply what a war machine does, making up rationalizations as it goes along.

But the Warfare State was not about to let peace happen. Soon Obama learned the Washington pivot, rehired the core of Bush’s War Cabinet and became enmeshed in the “national security” plots and schemes which were in the pipeline when he arrived at 1600 Pennsylvanian Avenue— much like JFK inherited the disastrous Bay Of Pigs invasion. Like the despicable Alan Dulles, he inherited ambitious scoundrels like so-called General David Petraeus, who soon had him convinced that the non-sensical and bloody “surge” in Anbar Province had been a roaring success, and that it should be exported to the quagmire in Afghanistan.

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Social Security, Treasury target taxpayers for their parents’ decades-old debts

"The Treasury Department has intercepted $1.9 billion in tax refunds already this year — $75 million of that on debts delinquent for more than 10 years"
The Gravy Train is ending and they are still too stupefied to see it coming.
 

A total disaster hitting people. 

YOU CAN'T AFFORD RIGHTS YOU CAN'T PAY FOR. IT'S PUT UP OR SHUT UP COMING SOON.


Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post - Mary Grice of Takoma Park, MD, talks with her attorney Robert Vogel, at Vogel's home in Rockville Maryland, April 5, 2014.

The Washington Post
By Marc Fisher
10 April 2014

A few weeks ago, with no notice, the U.S. government intercepted Mary Grice’s tax refunds from both the IRS and the state of Maryland. Grice had no idea that Uncle Sam had seized her money until some days later, when she got a letter saying that her refund had gone to satisfy an old debt to the government — a very old debt.

When Grice was 4, back in 1960, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise. Until the kids turned 18, Sadie Grice got survivor benefits from Social Security to help feed and clothe them.

Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family — it’s not sure who — in 1977. After 37 years of silence, four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter. Why the feds chose to take Mary’s money, rather than her surviving siblings’, is a mystery.

Across the nation, hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who are expecting refunds this month are instead getting letters like the one Grice got, informing them that because of a debt they never knew about — often a debt incurred by their parents — the government has confiscated their check.

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McCain: Obama Abandoning Ukrainian People to Putin's War Machine

How about the US Butts Out of Ukraine?



Newsmax
13 April 2014

President Barack Obama is abandoning the Ukrainian people's fate to the Russian troops amassing on Russia's border with Ukraine, Arizona Sen. John McCain said Sunday, describing the tactic as "shameful."

Appearing on "Face the Nation," McCain blamed the clashes in eastern Ukraine on Obama's inaction when Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into the Crimean peninsula, eventually taking it under Russian control just weeks ago.

McCain's comments came as fighting intensified Sunday, claiming lives on both sides in the battles between heavily armed pro-Russian paramilitaries and Ukrainian forces.

Ukrainian security forces launched an operation on Sunday to clear pro-Russian separatists from state buildings in the eastern city of Slaviansk, with dead reported on both sides as Kiev combats what it calls an act of aggression by Moscow.

With East-West relations in crisis, NATO described the appearance in eastern Ukraine of men with specialized Russian weapons and identical uniforms without insignia - as previously worn by Moscow's troops when they seized Crimea - as a "grave development".

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Global Corporations Are Scheming to Take Control of Our Economy — We Can Put a Stop to It

Solid opinions. Scheming and scamming for control of all.

Photo Credit: arindambanerjee/Shutterstock.com

  • Round 2 in the battle to stop the horrific TPP trade agreement begins. Time to correct the failures of globalized trade.  

Alter Net
By Kevin Zeese
and Margaret Flowers
12 April 2014

The broad movement for fair trade has stalled the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). When fast track trade promotion authority was introduced by former Senator Baucus, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, it was announced dead by Harry Reid and many of the members of the Finance Committee. A similar bill in the House also died quickly, not even proceeding to mark-up in the Ways and Means Committee, despite being introduced by its Chairman, David Camp (R-MI).

Congressional leadership including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) all announced that they opposed the Baucus-Camp version of fast track. Vice President Biden acknowledged that trade promotion authority was unlikely this year. This happened because a movement of movements engaged in protests across the country, the issue was raised at town hall meetings and hundreds of thousands of phone calls and emails went to Capitol Hill saying “no” to fast track for the TPP.

But, we knew that efforts to rig global trade in the favor of trans-national corporations would not stop there. The movement of movements that stopped the first version of fast track has been preparing for the next stage.

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Tensions over money flows bode poorly for global economy

Whichever road they take, they are bust.


Men, wearing masks, are reflected on a screen displaying a graph showing movements of Shanghai B shares outside a brokerage in Tokyo April 9, 2014.  Credit: Reuters/Issei Kato

Reuters
By Jason Lang
13 April 2014

For a bunch of people who just agreed the global economy is doing better, top officials from the world's rich and poor nations sound rather worried.

For poor nations, the easy monetary policies in advanced economies are leading to big swings in capital flows that could destabilize emerging markets. For rich countries, the hoarding of currency by developing nations is blocking progress toward a more stable global economy.

Those tensions, which have been brewing for years, seemed to be rising as finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of 20 economies gathered last week in Washington, as evidenced by harsh words from Washington and Delhi.

Both rich and poor say they are acting in their own self interest, and what makes the conflict so intractable is that both have very rational arguments.

Even though the G20 agreed the global economy was on better footing, the tensions suggested little progress ahead in rebalancing the global economy away from a state where the rich world borrows massively to buy things from the poor world.

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Fun Number; Apple Has Twice As Much Cash As The US Government

"If you've got one single dollar bill and no debts then you've got more money than the Feds. Which is a very strange way of looking at it but still, from a certain angle, a true one." 
The emperor is being undressed in the light of day.

When the largest, most rapacious, Rip Off system on the planet is broke, it's INCOMPETENCE! So why are they not fired?



Forbes
By Tim Worstall
13 April 2014

And, for good measure, Microsoft has more cash at hand that Uncle Sam does. That’s the finding from US Trust at least, that the two companies, along with several others, have more real moolah available to them than the government itself does. It’s a very fun number, to be sure, but it’s not quite right for a number of economic reasons. It’s true that when you look at the balance sheets then Apple, say, has $160 billion in cash available, that Microsoft MSFT -0.28% has a little under $85 billion and the Treasury only has $49 billion to hand to keep the government working. But it’s not really true for a couple of reasons that we’ll get to. Here’s one report on it:

Apple AAPL -0.21% has three times as much cash on hand as does the US government, and over twice as much as does the UK.

These figures come to us from the Bank of America's BAC +1.2% wealth-management arm, US Trust, as reported by London’s the Telegraph.

In its most recent quarterly SEC filing, Apple reported that it had $158.8bn (£94.9bn) in cash and cash equivalents plus short- and long-term securities. US Trust reports that the cash-strapped American government has reserves of just $48.5bn (£29bn).

So we could say that the companies have more cash than the government, true. But now for the two reasons why they don’t really.

The first and most obvious being that the government has entirely unlimited amounts of cash. Because they’re the people that create it. So, if they need more they can just go make some more. Yes, obviously they can just print more dollar bills but they’ve another way which is the simple creation of new electronic money. The Fed just says, hey, look, we’ve changed our minds about how much cash we’ve got and there’s another $100 billion in the drawer. This is, at heart, what quantitative easing is. Said Fed just invents some more money and goes out and buys bonds with it. This raises the price of/lowers the yield on those bonds and thus lowers long term interest rates which is the point of the exercise. So it’s difficult to state, with any real meaning, that the government has any shortage of cash, or even any known and limited amount, given that they can and do create as much as they wish whenever.

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Stocks dive as Russia abandons U.S. dollar

The US is now ever more in play.

Good wrap on last week, we will see what this week brings.




WND
By Jerome R. Corsi
12 April 2014

NEW YORK – The stock market dive Friday that brought the Dow Jones Industrial Average to near 16,000 and the Nasdaq to below 4,000 might reflect an accelerated move by Russia away from the petrodollar in retaliation for the Obama administration’s threatened economic sanctions over Russia’s takeover of Crimea.

Russia’s politically motivated attack on the petrodollar could trigger a major U.S. stock market collapse amid a global loss of confidence in the dollar caused by the Federal Reserve’s continuing policy of buying billions of dollars monthly in U.S. Treasury debt.

The Fed hopes to stimulate the economy by artificially keeping already depressed interest rates at zero.

With the Fed having limited options to address a panic caused by a bear market that could continue into next week, the risk of heavy selling of the U.S. dollar in international markets could raise prices in the increasingly import-dependent U.S. economy.

Hyperinflation could result, pushing the struggling economic recovery into a renewed economic recession.

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