Saturday, March 31, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
Residents reported the most recent booming as the worst yet, city administrator Lisa Kuss said. Most of the previous calls came in from March 18 to March 20, when a 1.5-magnitude earthquake was detected by the U.S. Geological Survey. The calls had since decreased.
Jordan Pfeiler, 21, said the booms had been getting weaker so Tuesday night's big boom — followed by smaller ones into Wednesday morning — really scared her.
"People started living their lives again because they were getting little," she said. "After last night I don't know what people are doing."
The U.S. Geological Survey was unable to detect anything Tuesday night and is considering putting a seismometer in Clintonville to get a better reading of potential activity, said Geophysicist John Bellini, who is in Golden, Colo.
He said he suspects it's a swarm of small earthquakes. That's because the agency has ruled out human-made causes, there was one detectable earthquake and multiple events are occurring.
While such events are unusual in Wisconsin in recent history, Bellini said it happens several times a year in different parts of the country. He said quake swarms last anywhere from a few days to a few months. He said experts know about the larger ones that are near populated areas with seismometers, but they likely also happen in places without equipment or people to feel them
Nine out of 10 reports of Tuesday's booms came from the north side of town, Lorge said, and when the booms began again Tuesday, "the phones stayed lit up here."
He encouraged residents to keep calling in if they feel or hear anything else.
At least one resident reported basement damage from last week's rumblings and that makes Pfeiler more worried because she sleeps in her basement. She has doubts on the earthquake theory since the rumblings before the March 20 quake were worse than that day, she said.
"I don't know what to believe anymore," she said.
Bellini said the geological survey is in the middle of a project where they move about 100 seismometers across the country over a few years to get more details on seismic activity.
Currently the project is in the Midwest and the closest seismometer is about 12 miles from Clintonville. Bellini said they wouldn't have been able to find the March 20 earthquake without the project. One of those seismometers helped confirm the low wave forms on a permanent seismometer.
Bringing back a bit of the sexiness of gadgets more suited to Ethan Hunt, James Bond or Captain "kicking it old-school" Kirk, Research in Motion is making your BlackBerry an "eye-device", with information from your iris stored inside.
In partnership with Iris ID and HID Global, RIM has announced that it's supporting the use of a biometric template from Iris ID.
This means you could flash your Blackberry instead of an employee ID card to open doors at work. Embedded iCLASS technology would serve as a digital credential and allow NFC-enabled BlackBerry 7 smartphones to transmit your identity when held up to an iCAM7000 iris camera.
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NFC, by the way, means near field communications, which enables devices to have contactless transactions or exchange data just by being in proximity of each other. In some ways, what BlackBerry 7 devices will be able to do is akin to paying for your latte with your smartphone, except it's your identity - not money - that's being transmitted when scanned.
In essence, it can take the place of a physical ID card.
"NFC enables smartphones to become even smarter mobile computing platforms, and this is another great example that demonstrates the potential that NFC on mobile devices brings to the physical access control space," said RIM's Andrew Bocking, vice president handheld software product management.
This technology is often mistakenly called "iris-scanning", but there's no scanning involved in iris recognition. Instead, it's a bit like pattern-capturing in some of today's camcorders.
Here's what happens, according to the Iris ID site: a person is positioned about three inches (7.62 centimetres) to 14 inches (25.56 centimetres) from the iris camera, and a digital video is taken of her iris. Then, still images are captured from the video using a frame grabber, and an algorithm analyses patterns in the iris that are visible between the pupil and white of the eye and converts them into a 512-byte digital template. That's what's stored in a database and transferred at areas where you have access privileges.
And, in about two seconds, you're identified - no PINs, passwords or access cards. And with this, no eyes needed, just your all-knowing BlackBerry.
Every iris, like snowflakes, is unique. In fact, your left and right iris are different from each other.
"It's probably fair to say that one iris template contains more data than is collected in creating templates for a finger, a face and a hand combined," according to the Iris ID site. And the iris offers a fairly stable data set. Voices change, hands and fingers grow, but, "barring trauma and certain ophthalmologic surgery, the patterns in the iris are constant from age 1 to death".
The companies say not to worry about security. The digital credential, where the biometric information is loaded, resides in a secure area of the BlackBerry, Debra Spitler, vice president of mobile access solutions for HID Global, said in an email. If the device is lost or stolen, the information can be wiped, or de-provisioned - the way a physical access card is when it's misplaced.
HID Global expects that its embedded digital-credentialing technology will be available for the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 and BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360 smartphones later this year.
Here are the March, 2012 Bank Closings and their cost to the Federal Deposit Insurance Fund:
Premier Bank, Wilmette, Illinois: $64.1 million.
Covenant Bank & Trust, Rock Spring, Georgia: $31.5 million
New City Bank, Chicago, Illinois: $17.4 million
Metro City Bank, Doraville, Georgia: $17.9 million
Total Cost to FDIC: $131 million
How Much Money Is in The Fund?
"The unaudited DIF balance — the net worth of the fund — rose to $9.2 billion at December 31 from $7.8 billion at September 30... The contingent loss reserve, which covers the costs of expected failures, fell from $7.2 billion to $6.5 billion during the quarter. Estimated insured deposits grew 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter."
Banks pay into the fund based on assets. American taxpayers will cover the rest. The above list of banks are small players, yet, 12 months of similar failures would cost 1.5 billion dollars. This is why the FDIC contingent loss reserve fell from 7.2 billion to 6.5 billion in the last quarter of 2011 alone. They spent over a billion in January 2012.
Big Banks Cost Big Money:
FDIC spent almost a billion dollars on failed banks in January of 2012 alone. One of the bigger hits came from Tennessee Commerce Bank. This bank could cost FDIC up to 1.3 billion dollars:
"Tennessee Commerce had $1.2 billion in assets and is the largest bank failure of 2012. The loss to the FDIC Deposit Insurance Fund was $416.8 million.
"The quality of assets at Tennessee Commerce Bank was so poor that the acquiring institution purchased only $203.9 million (17%) of the failed Bank’s assets. The FDIC, which is already holding $30 billion of failed bank assets, got stuck with the balance of $854 million of junk loans to be disposed of later."
The Elephant in the Room:
Global Derivatives exposure is estimated at 1,000 trillion dollars. It could be double that. No one really knows. Bank of America and JP Morgan transferred 70 trillion dollars of derivative exposure to their FDIC insured accounts. This is a move towards insolvency that cannot be ignored.
Ron Paul's audit of the Fed disclosed an additional 34 trillion dollars in Federal Debt, add this to the 15 trillion currently being reported. Then add this to the liabilities we will incur when JP Morgan and Bank of America go under. The total will exceed 119 trillion dollars.
The United States Gross Domestic Product is only 14.5 trillion dollars. This means if every penny from what we produce as a nation was applied to the national debt and FDIC future liabilities with just two major banks, it would take us 8.2 yearsto pay it off.
Hyper-Inflation is Coming:
Like the Weimar Republic, the Federal Reserve will start printing massive amounts of paper Federal Reserve Notes (dollar bills). Printing enough to cover 119 trillion dollars. The Federal Reserve states there are 1.1 trillion dollars currently in circulation. An additional printing of 70 trillion dollars to handle FDIC obligations would bury the dollar and trigger hyperinflation. Image a dollar cut in half 70 seperate times and you will get the picture.
It will happen. The only question is when.
Precious Metals the Answer:
Once again we are forced to conclude that it is time to convert those dollar-denominated assets, like stocks, bonds and CDs, into precious metals. I had the foresight to see this coming years ago, and established Drockton Bullion to meet the needs of my clients. Savings and Checking accounts will also be hyper-inflated away when these bank failures hit the system. It could happen after the November elections. By then, all precious metals reserves will be exhausted and prices will rise exponentially.
I don't exactly when, but the day of judgment for the dollar is close at hand.
The message was an April Fool's day joke that was intended for internal consumption only but was leaked yesterday, as are most genuine documents on the euro's survival.
New talks were needed, the "communique" said, and should include Pope Benedict XVI, as Sovereign of the Vatican City State, which uses the euro.
"The presence of His Holiness the Pope affords an opportunity to pray for divine intervention to save the euro. This is now seen as the most credible strategy," concluded the spoof press release, crafted by one of Mr Van Rompuy's aides.
The press office of the Council of EU, whose official letterhead was used for the joke statement, is not said to be amused after receiving calls asking about the "April 1 summit".
"I glad someone thinks this is a laughing matter, but it's no joke for us," said one official.
EU officials are working on proposals aimed at averting a new phase of the eurozone crisis. They will be discussed by finance ministers in Copenhagen today amid a row over increasing the size of the eurozone bailout fund to 1 trillion euros.
The extra cash, fiercely resisted by Germany, is needed because of a growing risk that Spain, one the euro's biggest economies, will suffer a Greek-style debt crisis this summer.
Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, said: "Divine intervention might be more effective that the intervention of the European Central Bank, but an all seeing, all knowing God would be wise to keep out of the euro."
Officials who circulated the spoof email did not intend their work to become public, or to be seen by their boss, Mr Van Rompuy, the president of European Councils.
The reference to the Pope and the power of prayer has entertained Mr Van Rompuy's staff because he is an austere Catholic who goes on retreat to a Trappist monastery where his brother-in-law is a monk.
"It's just a little joke," said the aide. "He doesn't know about it. Although he might now."
The alert level for Cleveland Volcano has been raised again after scientists found another lava dome has formed in the crater in the last week.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory on Wednesday increased the level for the volcano, a 5,675-foot peak on uninhabited Chuginadak Island about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage in the Aleutians.
The status was raised earlier this year when the center detected two small, likely ash-poor eruptions through March 13, but lowered the alert level last week after 10 days of inactivity.
Scientists can't actively monitor the volcano because there is no real-time seismic monitoring network on the volcano in the Aleutian Islands.
Authorities say sudden eruptions could occur at any time, and ash clouds 20,000 feet above sea level are possible.
Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2012/03/28/2396297/alert-level-for-cleveland-volcano.html#storylink=cp
What do you do when an entire nation begins to lose the capacity to think rationally? Many Americans spend a great deal of time criticizing the government, and there is certainly a lot to complain about, but it is not just the government that is the problem. All over America, people appear to be going insane. It is almost as if we have been cursed with stupidity. Sadly, this applies from the very top of our society all the way down to the very bottom. A lot of us find ourselves asking the following question much more frequently these days: "How could they be so stupid?" Unfortunately, we are witnessing a complete collapse of common sense all over America. Many people seem to believe that if we could just get Obama out of office or if we could just reform our economic system that our problems as a nation would be solved, but that is simply not true. Our problems run much deeper than that. The societal decay that is plaguing our country is very deep and it is everywhere. We are a nation that is full of people that do not care about others and that just want to do what is right in their own eyes. We hold ourselves out to the rest of the world as "the greatest nation on earth" and an example that everyone else should follow, and yet our own house is rotting all around us. The words "crazy", "insane" and "deluded" are not nearly strong enough to describe our frame of mind as a country. America has become a sad, delusional old man that can't even think straight anymore. The evidence of our mental illness is everywhere.
The following are 20 signs that we are witnessing the complete collapse of common sense in America....
#1 According to Wired Magazine, FBI agents have been taught that they can “bend or suspend the law” as they pursue criminals and terrorists. But when they break the law they become criminals themselves.
#2 A TSA manager (not just an agent) at Dulles International Airport was recently discovered to be running a prostitution ring out of a local hotel room. TSA agents have been charged with crime after crime after crime and yet we continue to allow them to be in charge of airport security.
#3 CBS News is reporting that approximately 200 pieces of luggage a day are being stolen by employees at John F. Kennedy International Airport and authorities still have not been able to stop it.
#4 Visitors to the United States must now pay $14 to complete an online form that asks them a series of really bizarre questions. For example, one of the questions asks visitors to the U.S. if they ever "collaborated with the Nazis".
#5 The U.S. military is buying huge amounts of electronic parts from China (mistake number one) and a government investigation has uncovered the fact that a large percentage of these parts are counterfeit. Yet the U.S.military continues to buy huge amounts of electronic parts from China (mistake number two).
#6 A high school senior in Indiana was recently expelled from school for cussing on Twitter.
#7 Police in Chicago apparently believe that our "First Amendment rights can be terminated" at their discretion.
#8 Americans are becoming very cruel to one another. This is especially true when it comes to the weak and the elderly. For example, two "caregivers" down in Georgia were recently charged with waterboarding an 89-year-old woman that had been entrusted to their care....
Police charge two caregivers at a Jonesboro facility with waterboarding an 89-year-old woman.Clayton County police said Jermeller Steed and Cicely Reed held down Anna Foley after an argument that started over ice cream.
#9 An increasing number of American families are taking out student loansin order to pay for their children's kindergarten tuition.
#10 One town in Massachusetts plans to distribute free condoms to children as young as 12 years of age.
#11 Children in America are exposed to enormous amounts of sexual material on television these days, but we are always so shocked when they try to act out on it. The following is one very disturbing example that happened recently in Ohio....
Authorities in southwest Ohio have charged a 13-year-old boy with raping a 5-year-old girl at a McDonald’s play area.The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that the alleged assault occurred Oct. 29 at a McDonald’s in the Cincinnati suburb of Anderson Township. Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Barnett says the girl’s grandmother was nearby in the restaurant at the time.
#12 The following is another example from Indiana of how our sexualized society is affecting our young children....
Fishers police said an 8-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy were caught in a sexual act on a school bus.The girl’s parents are now trying to determine if the February incident was a rape or molestation.In a statement, police said a bus aid caught the girl and the boy “trying to have intercourse,” and that the “bus aid immediately separated the juveniles and informed the bus driver.”
#13 According to Natural News, the Michigan state government intends to raid private farms and kill pigs that have "the wrong hair color" even though some of these farmers have been raising these pigs for decades.
#14 An executive order recently updated by the Obama administrationwould give the federal government complete control over all food, all energy, all health resources, all transportation resources and "all other materials, services, and facilities" at the discretion of Barack Obama. The wording of the executive order has been changed so that this can now be done even in "non-emergency" situations. Very few Americans seem concerned by this.
#15 These days many Americans are very hesitant to get involved with helping out anyone else. For example, an 86-year-old World War II veteran living near Detroit was recently brutally carjacked in broad daylight at a gas station. He could not walk after the attack because his leg was shattered so he began to crawl across the concrete pavement to get help. Sadly, many people walked past and drove past as if he was not even there.
#16 At one airport in Hawaii, TSA agents recently required one new mother to go to a public restroom and fill up the empty baby bottles she was carrying with her own breast milk before they would allow her to get on to her flight. The following is how one local news station described the incident....
She claims agents told her she couldn't take the pump on the plane because the bottles in her carry-on were empty."I asked him if there was a private place I could pump and he said no, you can go in the women's bathroom. I had to stand in front of the mirrors and the sinks and pump my breast in front of every tourist that walked into that bathroom. I was embarrassed and humiliated and then angry that I was treated this way.When the bottles were full, she was allowed back on the plane.
#17 Massive brawls have been erupting at Chuck E. Cheese restaurants all over the nation. Police responded to violence at one particular Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Pennsylvania 17 times in just one recent 18 month time period.
#18 Thieves in New Jersey have become so desperate for scrap metal that they have started breaking into churches and ripping the copper piping right out of the walls.
#19 Tide detergent has become an alternative form of currency on the streets of America and there has been an epidemic of Tide thefts all over the nation. The following is from a recent article in The Daily....
Theft of Tide detergent has become so rampant that authorities from New York to Oregon are keeping tabs on the soap spree, and some cities are setting up special task forces to stop it. And retailers like CVS are taking special security precautions to lock down the liquid.One Tide taker in West St. Paul, Minn., made off with $25,000 in the product over 15 months before he was busted last year.“That was unique that he stole so much soap,” said West St. Paul Police Chief Bud Shaver. “The name brand is [all] Tide. Amazing, huh?”Tide has become a form of currency on the streets. The retail price is steadily high — roughly $10 to $20 a bottle — and it’s a staple in households across socioeconomic classes.
#20 New federal rules will severely restrict the kind of work that children can do on farms in America. Kids will be banned from doing many of the most basic kinds of farm chores under the new regulations. Perhaps the children can just sit inside and watch television while the adults do all the work.
As mentioned earlier, what America is experiencing is not just an economiccollapse. The truth is that our entire society is collapsing.
For many years our great prosperity masked much of our decline, but now our great economic strength is rapidly fading and it is becoming very difficult to deny how far we have fallen as a nation.
You can find more examples of how American society is decaying right here andright here. Anyone with half a brain can see what is happening to the United States. It really is sad, because America was once a truly great nation.
So is there any hope of a recovery?
Not if we keep going down the same path.
In the end, the choice is up to you America.
Spanish police have clashed with demonstrators on the day of a general strike called in protest at the government's labour market reforms.
Some of the marchers in Barcelona smashed windows and set rubbish bins alight. Police responded with tear gas and baton charges.
There were also protests in the capital, Madrid, and other cities.
Land and air travel were all affected, and domestic and European flights cut to a fraction of normal levels.
The centre-right government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will unveil measures on Friday aimed at saving tens of billions of euros and making it easier for businesses to sack employees.
It hopes the changes will cut unemployment which is currently the highest in the EU at 23%.
Nearly half of Spain's under 25s are out of work.Shops burnt out
The unions see it not just as a trial of strength but as a battle over the future of the welfare state”Gavin HewittEurope editor
Unions said 800,000 people joined the protest in Barcelona. Police put the number at 80,000.
Most of the protests were peaceful, but some protesters hurled rocks at bank offices and shop fronts. A branch of the coffee chain Starbucks was set on fire.
"They burned a two-storey Starbucks cafe and another shop," a spokesman for the regional interior ministry told the AFP news agency. "It is out now. In the shop there is broken glass and they took out whatever they could burn."
Police fired tear gas and shot rubber bullets at the ground, TV pictures showed.
In Madrid, 900,000 people took part in protest marches, according to unions. The government did not provide any figures.
Scuffles with police broke out early on Thursday as workers from Spain's biggest unions picketed Madrid's bus depot.
Unions claimed strong support at car factories and other industrial sites but the government played down the impact.
Noisy picket lines formed outside transport hubs and some businesses.
Unions said more than 80% of workers took part, but the government said many services were kept running.
One young demonstrator told the BBC that Spain was a "market dictatorship".
The strike is the government's first big challenge since taking office after elections last November.
'Rights wiped away'
By agreement between the government and the unions, bus and rail services were kept to a minimum service while only one in 10 domestic and one in five European flights were able to operate.
The rights that our parents and grandparents fought for are being wiped away without the public being consulted”Angel AndrinoProtester in Madrid
Outside Atocha - one of Madrid's main rail stations - picketers waved red union flags and blew whistles as police looked on.
One protester in Madrid, 31-year-old Angel Andrino, said he had been sacked a day after the labour reforms were approved in a decree last month.
Accompanied on the march by his parents and brother, he told the Associated Press news agency: "We are going through a really hard time, suffering.
"The rights that our parents and grandparents fought for are being wiped away without the public being consulted."
The UGT union said that participation in the strike was "massive" and that virtually all workers at Renault, Seat, Volkswagen and Ford car factories around Spain had honoured it during the shift.
Regional TV stations in Andalusia in the south, Catalonia in the north-east and Madrid were also off the air because of the strike.
With the EU's highest rate of unemployment, Spain is under pressure to reduce its budget deficit and bring its public finances under control.
"The question here is not whether the strike is honoured by many or few, but rather whether we get out of the crisis," the country's Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro said.
"That is what is at stake, and the government is not going to yield."
On 10 February, the government approved legislation cutting severance pay to a maximum of 33 days' salary for each year worked, compared with the current 45 days.
The government insists the reforms will create a more flexible system for businesses and workers, in a country with a stagnant economy that needs to start creating jobs.
Mr Rajoy, who took office in December, defended his measures on the grounds that they would eventually generate more jobs.
"No government has passed as many reforms in its first 100 days in office as this one," he said on Tuesday, speaking on a visit to South Korea.
"The biggest mistake would be to do nothing," the Spanish prime minister added.