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US and Iran inch closer to military conflict
By Jeremy Herb - TheHill.com
The likelihood of military conflict between the United States and Iran is higher now than at any time in more than two decades, military analysts say, as tensions continue to escalate over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and blustery rhetoric.
While full-blown war might not be on the immediate horizon, the conditions for military skirmishes are as ripe as they’ve been since 1988, when Iran laid mines against U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf and the United States destroyed Iranian oil platforms in response.
U.S. Troops Quietly Surge into Middle East
By David S. Cloud, Tribune Co. - SFGate.com
Washington -- The Pentagon has quietly shifted combat troops and warships to the Middle East after the top American commander in the region warned that he needed additional forces to deal with Iran and other potential threats, U.S. officials said.
Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, who heads U.S. Central Command, won White House approval for the deployments late last year after talks with the government in Baghdad broke down over keeping U.S. troops in Iraq, but the extent of the Pentagon moves is only now becoming clear.
GOP lawmaker warns Iran must be stopped,
Israel is 'one-bomb country'
By Jonathan Easley - TheHill.com
Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) said Iran must be stopped from obtaining even one nuclear warhead because Israel is a "one-bomb country."
Southerland was making the case for why the United States must stand by Israel amid escalating tensions with Iran and worries about that country’s nuclear program. Many U.S. lawmakers believe Iran’s nuclear ambitions are aimed at building a bomb that could be used against Israel.
Steve Southerland, Israel is "A one bomb nation"
Could Iran Close the Strait?
By Stephen Bryen and Shoshana Bryen - AmericanThinker.com
During the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, the United States "reflagged" a number of Kuwaiti oil tankers passing through the narrow and dangerous Strait of Hormuz. The confidence inspired by that action encouraged other tankers to make the trip, and the U.S. Navy was the guarantor of millions of barrels of oil. Today the question of security for tankers in the Strait arises again, with Iran threatening to block the waterway.
Saudi Arabia doubts Iran oil blockade claim
By Ramin Mostafavi
(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia on Monday expressed doubts over Iran's claim it could block the main oil shipping route out of the Gulf and made clear it was ready to pump more oil after sanctions threatened to cut Iranian sales of crude.
Brent crude rose above $111 on concerns about global oil supplies if sanctions freeze OPEC's second biggest producer out of the market or push it towards military conflict, while Saudi Arabia said it would work to stabilize the price at $100.
Possible Implications of the Iranian Oil Embargo
Written by James Hamilton - OilPrice.com
As efforts continue to impose sanctions on Iran, I thought it would be helpful to discuss the possible implications of these developments for oil-consuming countries.
The most likely outcome of an embargo on oil purchased from Iran is that the countries participating in the embargo buy less oil from Iran while other countries not participating in the embargo buy more oil from Iran (, ). While this would produce some dislocations, if total world oil production doesn't change, it would have little effect on either Iran or oil-consuming countries, and would basically be a symbolic gesture.
Paul Craig Roberts:
"The US is driving the world to a nuclear war"
Obama has made it clear that China is a threat to the US in more ways than one. The countries are two of the world's largest economies, but some economists believe China's economy will surpass the US' economy in five years. Critics believe that is the motive behind President Obama's announcement to station 2,500 Marines in Australia. China considers the shift of power as an attempt to escalate military tension in the Asia-Pacific. Paul Craig Roberts, former Reagan Administration official and columnist, joins us to give us insight on whats going on between the US and China.
U.S. Warns Israel on Strike
Officials Lobby Against Attack on Iran
as Military Leaders Bolster Defenses
By ADAM ENTOUS, JULIAN E. BARNES and JAY SOLOMON - WSJ.com
WASHINGTON—U.S. defense leaders are increasingly concerned that Israel is preparing to take military action against Iran, over U.S. objections, and have stepped up contingency planning to safeguard U.S. facilities in the region in case of a conflict.
President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top officials have delivered a string of private messages to Israeli leaders warning about the dire consequences of a strike. The U.S. wants Israel to give more time for the effects of sanctions and other measures intended to force Iran to abandon its perceived efforts to build nuclear weapons.
Iran War is Only Matter of Time
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com
Two weeks ago, Iranians were saved from pirates on their hijacked ship by the U.S. Navy. Last week, the U.S. military saved a sinking ship in the Persian Gulf. It’s too bad that will not be enough goodwill to stop the coming Iran war. Headlines in the last few weeks look like a stark warning for a coming conflict. The West, spearheaded by America, is putting into place tougher sanctions that will target Iran’s financial and oil interests. Tension has been increasing by the week over the nuclear program that Iran steadfastly claims is for the peaceful production of energy. New sanctions will be fully implemented in about six months.
Israel luring US into war with Iran
Gold and silver to regain shine in 2012
LONDON (Commodity Online): Gold and Silver to regain their shine during 2012, describing gold’s pullback from record highs during the latter part of 2011 as temporary weakness, said Commerzbank in a research note.
People don't buy gold to make money;
but buying because they have money
By Julian D. W. Phillips - CommodityOnline.com
Performance and Trading
You heard the saying, but what does it really mean? We live in a world where performance is stressed. Hedge funds can be measured on a monthly basis. Twenty percent charges on profits are levied by fund making their view short-term. Daily assessments are made, comparing one sector to another giving the impression that short-term performance is what it's all about. But is it? No it is not.
Why silver has hit rock bottom
P. Radomski - CommodityOnline.com
The new year started off with a bang with precious metals out-shining the competition. Is this a harbinger of things to come? We think so and we are not alone. Forecasts for Gold for 2012 include a price per ounce of $2,200 by Morgan Stanley, $2,050 by UBS, and $2,000 by Barclays.
Gold and energy bull charges on
Outstanding Investments still sees shortages
By Peter Brimelow, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — A gold and energy bull stumbled badly last year. But it’s charging on, in the same direction.
Outstanding Investments is still the top-performing investment letter over the past ten years among the 180-plus followed by the Hulbert Financial Digest, up a startling 18.1% annualized vs. 3.80% annualized for the dividend-reinvested Wilshire 5000 Total Stock Market Index.
The Dollar Centric Derivatives Complex:
Progenitor of Parasitic, Ponzi Price-Fixing
BY ROB KIRBY - FinancialSense.com
The term "derivative" has become a dirty, if not evil word. So much of what ails our global financial system has been laid-at-the-feet of this misunderstood, mischaracterized term – derivatives. The purpose of this paper is to outline the origin, growth and ultimately the corruption of the derivatives market – and explain how something originally designed to provide economic utility has morphed into a tool of abusive, manipulative economic tyranny.
Definition of Derivatives
Derivatives are financial instruments whose values depend on the value of other underlying financial instruments or objects. The main types of derivatives are futures, forwards, options and swaps.
Oil prices rise on Iran's threats to cut off Strait of Hormuz
Oil prices climbed 70 cents to $111.14 a barrel on Monday, after Iran issued fresh threats to cut off up to 17m barrels per day of oil supply from world markets by shutting down the Strait of Hormuz.
By Emily Gosden - Telegraph.co.uk
Iran warned its neighbours in the Gulf states that they should not attempt to make up for the shortfall if an embargo is imposed on its crude oil exports, and reiterated its threat that it could block oil transport on the Strait in response to sanctions.
State-run Iranian news agency Mehr reported that "no country" could cope with the shock of the Strait being closed.
But Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer, hit back, playing down the risk of disruption.
Greece sends officials to US as default fears grow
Greece has sent top officials to the US for talks with the International Monetary Fund as it returns to centre stage in the eurozone crisis over fears that a debt deal impasse with bondholders could trigger a messy default.
By Martin Strydom - Telegraph.co.uk
The Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos said on Monday he was confident agreement on a debt swap plan would be reached by the time eurozone finance ministers meet next Monday.
Greece has a €14.4bn bond maturing on March 20 that it can’t afford to pay in full.
A crucial second, €130bn rescue loan from the EU, IMF and ECB is dependent on reaching an agreement on a bond swap with creditors that are being asked to take a voluntary 50pc loss on their Greek government bonds.
Greek Debt Swap Faces 'Critical' Phase
as Talks Resume This Week
By Patrick Donahue and Aaron Kirchfeld - Bloomberg.com
The Greek government and its creditors return to the negotiating table this week to revive stalled talks on a debt swap as German Chancellor Angela Merkel places pressure on both sides to forge a deal.
Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said two days ago that talks with the Institute of International Finance will resume on Jan. 18. The Washington-based IIF, which represents banks holding the bonds, said on Jan. 14 there is a "tentative plan" to return to Athens mid-week, "but this depends on developments over the next few days."
Eurozone's 'big bazooka' bail-out fund
is left in tatters by S&P downgrade
Plans for a €1 trillion "big bazooka" to stem the debt crisis were crushed on Monday night as Standard & Poor's stripped the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) of its AAA credit rating.
By Louise Armitstead - Telegraph.co.uk
The EFSF, which is tasked with supporting indebted countries, was itself hobbled as S&P gave it a AA+ rating, reflecting the downgrade of France and eight other eurozone countries on Friday.
As the standoff with Greece's creditors continued, Mario Monti, the Italian prime minister, pleaded for Germany and other creditor countries to help lower his country’s borrowing costs. He warned there would be a "powerful backlash" among voters in smaller EU countries if they did not.
S & P downgrades, dollar, debt, trade, the Fed
How Safe Are Central Banks?
UBS Worries The Eurozone Is Different
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
With Fed officials a laughing stock (both inside and outside the realm ofFOMC minutes), Bank of Japan officials ever-watching eyes, and ECB officials in both self-congratulatory (Draghi) and worryingly concerned on downgrades (Nowotny), the world's central bankers appear, if nothing else, convinced that all can be solved with the printing of some paper (and perhaps a measure of harsh words for those naughty spendaholic politicians). The dramatic rise in central bank balance sheets and just-as-dramatic fall in asset quality constraints for collateral are just two of the items that UBS's economist Larry Hatheway considers as he asks (and answers) the critical question of just how safe are central banks. As he seesbloated balance sheets relative to capital and the impact when 'stuff happens', he discusses why the Eurozone is different (no central fiscal authority backstopping it) and notes it is less the fear of large losses interfering with liquidity provision directly but the more massive (and explicit) intrusion of politics into the 'independent' heart of central banking that creates the most angst. While he worries for the end of central bank independence (most specifically in Europe), we remind ourselves that the tooth fairy and santa don't have citizen-suppressing printing presses.
IMF: European outlook grim; high global risks
By Chester Yung
HONG KONG ( Dow Jones) -- The economic outlook for Europe is grim and the risks for the global economy are high amid the escalating euro-area crisis, posing challenges for Asia, International Monetary Fund First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton said Monday.
The IMF is planning to lower its global economic growth forecast for this year, Lipton said at a forum in Hong Kong.
Lipton said a rise in liquidity would help banks and sovereigns deal with the crisis, and called for more fiscal consolidation, though not at the expense of short-term growth, and more integration to ensure the viability and stability of the monetary union.
Fed Plays PR Games
BY JOHN BROWNE - FinancialSense.com
The world was taken by surprise recently by the Federal Reserve Board's announcement that it would publish some of its economic forecasting that forms the basis for its short-term interest rate strategy. The Fed claims that the move will vastly increase so-called transparency, which has become a buzz word for honesty and virtue. However, the new policies do nothing to remove the cloak of secrecy that conceals still many of its most significant activities. This myth of new transparency will do little to lure investors back into the markets but as an unintended consequence will reveal just how profoundly the markets are currently guided from the top.
How to Create a Depression
Martin Feldstein - Project-Syndicate.org
CAMBRIDGE – European political leaders may be about to agree to a fiscal plan which, if implemented, could push Europe into a major depression. To understand why, it is useful to compare how European countries responded to downturns in demand before and after they adopted the euro.
Consider how France, for example, would have responded in the 1990’s to a substantial decline in demand for its exports. If there had been no government response, production and employment would have fallen. To prevent this, the Banque de France would have lowered interest rates. In addition, the fall in incomes would have automatically reduced tax revenue and increased various transfer payments. The government might have supplemented these "automatic stabilizers" with new spending or by lowering tax rates, further increasing the fiscal deficit.
Clearing houses: the next casualty of the crisis?
By Luke Jeffs
Jan 16 (Reuters) - Clearing houses -- the plumbers of high finance -- could become the next casualties of the crisis as regulators insist that banks run their riskiest and private trades through them.
At the moment banks conduct over-the-counter trades between themselves: one to one dealings often involving multimillion-euro bets on differences in interest or other rates, the scale and complexity of which can be difficult to track.
States look to hike tax on millionaires
By Tami Luhby @CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- As the "tax the rich" debate rages in Washington D.C., some states are turning to their wealthiest residents to bring in much-needed revenue.
The governors of the two largest Democratic states want rich folks to help close budget gaps. And Democratic lawmakers elsewhere are preparing to do battle with Republican leaders to blunt budget cuts by instituting amillionaire tax.
Drop in Public Workers Digs a Deeper Jobs Hole
By Douglas A. McIntyre - 247wallst.com
The fear that a drop in public sector jobs could undermine overall national employment has become a reality. The economy may have added an average of over 100,000 jobs each of the past six months. However, the unemployment rate among federal, state and local workers has risen only modestly. That has started to change, which could color the jobs picture throughout 2012.
Federal Government Jobs Disappearing at a Rapid Pace
Decreases in state and local
government job creation moderated in December
by Dennis Jacobe, Chief Economist - Gallup.com
PRINCETON, NJ -- Job creation by the U.S. federal government fell further into negative territory in December 2011 with Gallup's Job Creation Index at -20, worsening from -15 in November and from -12 in October. While 23% of federal employees in December said their area was hiring, 43% said employees were being let go -- by far the most negative conditions Gallup has found since it began tracking federal government job creation in August 2008.
Wealth Gap Has Turned America
Into a Seething Pit of Class Resentment
By Bruce Watson - DailyFinance.com
Do you think that the biggest conflict in America is between the rich and the poor? If so, join the club: According to a recent poll published by thePew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that the wealth gap is the greatest cause of tension in America.
If You Are A Blue Collar Worker In America
You Are An Endangered Species
Have you ever heard of the dodo bird? Once upon a time, dodo birds lived on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. But if you go there today you won't find any because they are extinct. Well, if you are a blue collar worker in America today it looks like you are headed for a similar fate. Blue collar workers are truly becoming an "endangered species" in the United States. In the old days, the balance of power between business owners and labor was more even because they both needed each other. But today that has all changed. Thanks to robotics, automation and computers there is simply not as much of a need for physical laborers anymore and nothing is going to reverse that trend. Big employers will continue to look for ways to replace men with machines, and there is nothing wrong with that. But there is another major trend that is also destroying blue collar jobs in America that we should do something about. Right now, it is perfectly legal for big corporations to shut down manufacturing facilities in the United States and send the jobs over to nations on the other side of the globe where it is legal to pay slave labor wages and where there are barely any regulations. As you will see later on this article, this has been the biggest reason for the shocking blue collar job losses in America over the past decade. The big corporations don't care that you need to pay the mortgage and put food on the table for your families. All they care about it the bottom line, and if dramatic changes are not made soon, the number of blue collar jobs leaving the United States will continue to increase.
In Praise of Homeschools
Mises Daily: by Aaron Smith
The most admirable group of entrepreneurs is perhaps the least appreciated. Homeschool parents, or parentrepreneurs, are not waiting for politicians and technocrats to fix broken systems of education. Rather, they are eschewing the status quo and finding innovative ways to advance the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth of their children. Unlike their counterparts in the public sector, parentrepreneurs have achieved astounding results with humble budgets.
Cartier Turns to Discreet Watches
to Assuage Luxury-Goods Guilt
By Dermot Doherty - Bloomberg.com
Cartier (CFR), the jeweler whose customers have included the tsar ofRussia and actress Elizabeth Taylor, says it’s pulling ahead of luxury rivals with watches that match the tenor of the times for less ostentatious displays of wealth.
Cartier is gaining “a lot” of market share, in part because the economic slowdown is steering consumers toward more discreet timepieces such as the brand’s best-selling Ballon Bleu collection, Chief Executive Officer Bernard Fornas said in an interview in Geneva. He declined to estimate how much share the Paris-based unit of Cie. Financiere Richemont SA may capture.
Why it’s China’s turn to worry about manufacturing
By Vivek Wadhwa - WashingtonPost.com
America has been extremely worried about the loss of manufacturing to China. Seduced by subsidies, cheap labor, lax regulations, and a rigged currency, American industry has made a beeline to China.
But the tide may soon turn.
New technologies will likely cause the same hollowing out of China’s manufacturing industry over the next two decades that the U.S experienced over the past twenty years. That’s right. America is destined to once again gain its supremacy in manufacturing, and it will soon be China’s turn to worry.
Big sites going 'dark' on Wednesday to protest SOPA
Wikipedia, Reddit plan blackout in SOPA protest
By Julianne Pepitone @CNNMoneyTech
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A handful of large websites will go dark on Wednesday to protest an anti-piracy bill that critics say will wreck the Internet as we know it.
Wikipedia, user-submitted news site Reddit, the blog Boing Boing and the Cheezburger network of comedy sites all plan to participate in the blackout. The protest is their response to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill, a piece of proposed legislation that is working its way through Congress.
Controversial online piracy bill
shelved until 'consensus' is found
By Brendan Sasso - TheHill.com
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said early Saturday morning that Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) promised him the House will not vote on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) unless there is consensus on the bill.
"While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act, I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House," Issa said in a statement. "Majority Leader Cantor has assured me that we will continue to work to address outstanding concerns and work to build consensus prior to any anti-piracy legislation coming before the House for a vote."
NWO is Watching Every Move You Make!
Infowars Nightly News
Obama Thumbs Nose at Founders With One-man Rule
By Michael Barone - PatriotPost.us
Of course President Obama is not concentrating on campaigning, White House press spokesmen assured us -- as the president headed off to Chicago for three fundraisers and a drop-in at his campaign headquarters, two days after a high-roller fundraising choked off traffic five blocks from the White House, with the assistance of a score of D.C. police cars.
No one, or at least no one who is paying attention, is fooled. It's standard presidential procedure to say you're not absorbed in campaigning even as you go out to raise money every other day. Bill Clinton, in my view, spent an undue amount of time fundraising, George W. Bush spent more, and Barack Obama makes them both look like pikers.
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ILLEGAL "RECESS" APPOINTMENTS
BY JOHN HINDERAKER - PowerlineBlog.com
President Obama’s unprecedented “recess” appointments, made when the Senate was not in recess, struck me as rather obviously illegal. It turns out that Obama got an opinion from his Justice Department justifying his move. Our friend Michael McConnell is as qualified as anyone to assess the adequacy of the DOJ opinion; he does so here:
Today, January 12, 2012, the Administration released an Office of Legal Counsel opinion, dated January 6, opining that the recess appointments were constitutional. The Opinion concludes that the pro forma sessions of the Senate conducted every three days during the December and January holiday are not sufficiently substantive to interrupt a Senate recess, meaning that the Senate was in recess from December 17 well into January. …
America’s Last Chance
by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS - CounterPunch.org
America has one last chance, and it is a very slim one. Americans can elect Ron Paul President, or they can descend into tyranny.
Why is Ron Paul America’s last chance?
Because he is the only candidate who is not owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military-security complex, Wall Street, and the Israel Lobby.
All of the others, including President Obama, are owned by exactly the same interest groups. There are no differences between them. Every candidate except Ron Paul stands for war and a police state, and all have demonstrated their complete and total subservience to Israel. The fact that there is no difference between them is made perfectly clear by the absence of substantive issues in the campaigns of the Republican candidates.
Fraud And Folly:
The Untold Story Of General Electric’s
Shady Subprime Debacle
Nobody went to jail. A sadly familiar refrain.
Guest post by Michael Hudson for iWatch News - DailyBail.com
For General Electric Co., hawking subprime mortgages was a long way from making light bulbs and jet engines.
That didn't stop the industrial giant from jumping into the subprime business in 2004, lending blue-chip respectability to the market for risky home loans by paying roughly half a billion dollars to buy California-based WMC Mortgage Corp.
What GE got in the bargain, former WMC employees say, was a place where erstwhile shoe salesmen, ex-strippers and even a former porn actress could sign on as sales reps and make big money pushing home loans. WMC's top salespeople earned a million dollars a year or more and lived fast, swigging $1,000 bottles of Cristal and wheeling around in $100,000 Ferraris and Bentleys.
L.L. Bean marks century of selling begun with boot
By David Sharp - AP - FREEPORT, Maine — Back in the days before Gap, J. Crew or American Outfitters, there were guys like L.L. Bean.
In Maine a century ago, Leon Leonwood Bean found success without consumer research, focus groups or fashionistas to tell him what to sell. He sold only products that he personally used and tested. He backed them with a money-back satisfaction guarantee. And his larger-than-life personality was projected in his famous catalogs.
Drop off the e-mail treadmill?
IBM Gives Birth to Amazing E-mail-less Man
By Robert McMillan - Wired.com
When Luis Suarez decided to live in a world without e-mail, some of his colleagues thought he was making a mistake. After all, he works for IBM, one of the world’s top vendors of e-mail software.
But Suarez was ready to cut the cord. Like any other 21st century white-collar worker, he was bombarded daily with around 40 e-mail messages. More than he wanted to answer.
Details of new Apple iPad 3 revealed
Dayton Business Journal
Apple Inc. 's new iPad is expected to have a faster central processor and higher resolution screen. The next generation iPad that will be introduced in March, according to reports.
Bloomberg cited three unnamed sources it said are "familiar with the product" in a story on Friday afternoon that said the iPad 3 will use a quad-core chip instead of the dual-core chip on the iPad 2.
Apple Mini-Stores Coming to Target
by Samantha Murphy - Mashable.com
Target has confirmed that it will be introducing 25 Apple mini-shops within its stores this year.
Last week, rumors that the discount retailer might be partnering with Apple started to circulate, but the companyrevealed to the New York Times on Thursday that it will officially test the store-within-a-store concept at various locations. The news came after Target announced it will be partnering with several specialty stores to attract more shoppers to its locations.
Apple Could Create Its Own TV Reality
By ROLFE WINKLER - WSJ.com
Would it be called iTV? Perhaps the iPanel?
The TV prototype in Apple's skunk works has many wondering if the tech giant will upend yet another major market. Excitement over such a device increased when Walter Isaacson's recent biography quoted Apple's late Chief Executive Steve Jobs saying he wanted "to create an integrated television set" and that he had "finally cracked" the issue of simplifying the user interface.
Apple hasn't spoken of such a device, and while it is known to exist, its precise form is a mystery. For curious investors, it is useful to study Apple's past forays into other new markets. It overcame doubts to remake music with the iPod, telephony with the iPhone and computing with the iPad.
Airlines seek first fare hike of 2012
Dayton Business Journal by Chris Bagley, Staff Writer
Airlines began a round of fare hikes this week, their first of 2012, according to Farecompare.com.
Delta Air Lines Inc., based in Atlanta, began the round Wednesday afternoon with $20 increases on long routes, Farecompare reported.
It was followed Wednesday evening bySouthwest Airlines and AirTran Airways and Frontier Airlines. On Thursday others joined in, including American Airlines, United Airlines and recent merger partner Continental and US Airways.
Veterans’ new battle front: Job market
Skill transition is new territory
By Andrea Billups-The Washington Times
When Tom Tarantino left the Army as a captain in 2007, he was uncertain how his jobs skills as a mortar and cavalry platoon leader in Iraq and his Bronze Star might be marketable when he entered the workforce back home.
"A good part of it was me not understanding how to sell myself," he recalls of his initial job hunt. "It’s not like I did nothing for the 10 years I was in the military, but I had nothing to go by, to understand what a civilian market needs and how to transition from that."
Air Force Invades the Rocky Mountains
by CAROL MILLER - CounterPunch.org
The Rocky Mountains burst out of the short grass prairies of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado with a special beauty that is part of the DNA of its residents and former residents. People from all over the world seek out these mountains. This is the “purple mountains’ majesty" of "America the Beautiful."
The people who live in this area are deeply rooted and very protective of this wonderful place. The area teems with wildlife, breathtaking mountain peaks, wilderness areas, forests and natural wonders like the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Shiprock and the Rio Grande Gorge.
Israelis increase trust in Obama
Small majority now see ally
By Ben Birnbaum-The Washington Times
JERUSALEM — Rabbi Dov Hayun invoked the Jewish prohibition on mixing milk and meat products to describe one common view here of President Obama.
"Obama is 'parve,' " Mr. Hayun said, using the term for foods that belong to neither category. "With [Presidents] Clinton and Bush, you could say, 'This is milk, this is meat.' They had different approaches, but nobody ever doubted that they loved Israel.
Syria: beyond the wall of fear,
a state in slow-motion collapse
Despite the superficial calm in Damascus, everyone knows change is coming. The only question is, how much will it cost?
By Ian Black in Damascus - Guardian.co.uk
Sipping tea in a smoky Damascus cafe, Adnan and his wife, Rima, look ordinary enough: an unobtrusive, thirtysomething couple winding down at the end of the working day in one of the tensest cities in the world.
But like much else in the Syrian capital, they are not what they first seem: normally, he is a software engineer and she a lawyer; now, they are underground activists helping organise the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Group says Keystone pipeline benefits are embellished
Wants focus shifted to renewable sources
By Tim Devaney-The Washington Times
A coalition of businesses is the first such group to denounce the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline and is urging President Obama to reject the project and turn the nation’s focus to alternative and renewable energy.
The American Sustainable Business Councildisputes Keystone’s job numbers and energy security claims that most other business organizations tout when discussing the project.
Gas prices may get close to $5 in some spots
By James O'Toole @CNNMoneyMarkets
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The new year has greeted Americans with the highest January gas prices ever, and some analysts say prices could get close to $5 a gallon in some areas during the warm-weather driving season.
The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States on Monday was $3.39, according to motorist group AAA. That's nearly 30 cents higher than a year ago.
The national average reached a peak of $4.114 in July 2008.
New Fracking Technology
to Bring Huge Supplies of Oil and Gas to the Market
Written by Brian Westenhaus - OilPrice.com
Petroleum reservoir fracturing is set for a major improvement with new technologies going to work miles down from the surface and then out horizontally. Called fracking, the process uses pressure to break into oil and natural gas rocks and prop channels for the petroleum products to flow back out.
Thus huge new supplies of oil and gas are coming to market.
It’s no surprise that the technology is already international, starting in the U.S. it’s already going to work in Canada, Argentina, Russia, Mexico, Poland, the Middle East and more.
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