Friday, February 19, 2010

Analysis: Global Debt Bombing

NEW YORK - JULY 10:  An old housing advertisem...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Roy CRoy C: Vancouver, WA

Paul B. Farrell of MarketWatch recently published an eye-opening, jaw-dropping list of the twenty "global time bombs" set to go off in the world.

Without a doubt, it is quite a list, and you would rightfully feel disturbed as the final illusions you might be entertaining about a rosy future ran away in complete panic and took your retirement prospects along with them, shouting out a Great Big HA, HA! Hey, and, if you still think that we did not have an answer to the question as to whether or not we had entered the antechamber of a Great Depression, something which Pim of Spain pointed out here months ago as needing a structural change to overcome, then, after pondering this list, you will say that we have an answer, and it is "yes".

As we add debt, we reach a triggering point where we can no longer pay the interest on the debt and the whole system goes tilt. This might be dealt with by what is called "sovereign bankruptcy". No matter how it is dealt with, our currency will be devalued. You will not be getting Social Security checks, and you can forget about Medicare and Medicaid. You will be lucky to have a full stomach.

Gerald Celente has also been quite prescient in this regard. Take a look at the videos included.

the trigger mechanism [discussed] in This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, by economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff: The "90% ratio of government debt to GDP is a tipping point in economic growth." For 800 years "you increase it over and beyond a high threshold, and boom!" Well guess what? "The U.S. government-debt-to-GDP ratio is 84%." Soon, Ka-Booom! Depression. Kiss your retirement goodbye.

Mr. Farrell's list:

Poll: 20 economic weapons of mass destruction triggering ticking Global Debt Time Bomb

1. Federal Budget Deficit Bomb. The Bush/Cheney wars pushed America deep into a debt hole. Federal debt limit was just raised almost 100% with Obama's 2010 budget, to $14.3 trillion vs. $7.8 trillion in 2005. The Congressional Budget Office predicts future deficits around 4% through 2020. Get it? America's debt at 84% of GDP will soon pass that toxic 90% trigger point.

2. U.S. Foreign Trade Bomb. Monthly deficits actually dropped from $50 billion per month to roughly $35 billion. But the total continues climbing as $400 billion is added each year. Foreigners now own $2.5 trillion of America, with China holding over $1.3 trillion in Treasury debt.

3. Weakening U.S. Dollar as Foreign Reserve Currency Bomb. Fear China and other currencies will replace dollar as main foreign reserves. The dollar's fallen: The main index measuring dollar strength has gone from 120 at the Clinton-to-Bush handoff to below 80 today.

4. Cheap Money Bomb: Credit Ratings Down, Rates Up. Economists at S&P, Fitch and Moody's were totally co-conspirators of Fat Cat Bankers, misleading investors before meltdown: Soon, debt up, ratings down, interest rates soar.

5. Global Real Estate Bomb. Dubai Tower, new "world's tallest building" is empty. BusinessWeek warns that China's housing collapse could be worse than America's. Plus the U.S. commercial real estate bubble is now $1.7 trillion, a "ticking time bomb" bloating 25% of bank balance sheets.

6. Peak Oil and the Population Bomb. China and India each need 500 new cities. The United Nations estimates world population exploding 50% from 6 billion to 9 billion by 2050: Three billion more humans demanding more automobiles, exhausting more resources to feed their version of the gas-guzzling "America Dream."

7. Social Security Bomb. We have no choice; eventually we must either cut benefits or raise taxes. Politicians hate both, so they'll do nothing. Delays worsen solutions. Without action, by 2035 Social Security and Medicare benefits will eat up the entire federal budget other than defense.

8. Medicare: A Nuclear Bomb. Going broke faster than Social Security. Prescription drug benefit added an unfunded $8.1 trillion. In 5 years estimates rose from about $35 trillion to over $60 trillion now.

9. Health-care Insurance Bomb. Burden increasingly shifted to employees. Costs rising faster than inflation. Recent Obamacare plan would have cost $90 billion annually, paid to Big Pharma and insurers.

10. State and Local Government Budget Bombs. Deficits of $110 billion in 2010, $178 billion in 2011on top of more that $450 billion in underfunded state and municipal employee pension funds.

11. Underfunded Corporate Pensions Bomb. From $60 billion surplus in 2007 to $409 billion deficit in 2009. And a whopping 92% of the pension plans of companies are now underfunded. Defaults are guaranteed by taxpayers.

12. Consumer Debt Bomb. Americans are still living beyond their means. Even with a downturn, consumer debt rose from about $2.3 to $2.5 trillion.

13. Personal Savings Bomb. Before the 2008 meltdown savings rate dropped from about 10% in the early 1980s to below zero. [This one we have changed recently, and savings are up.]

14. War and Military Defense Deficits. Costs of Iraq and Afghanistan wars -- $200+ billion annually, $3 trillion minimum.

15. Homeland Insecurity Bomb. Security at airports, seaports, borders, vulnerable chemical plants all increase budgets.

16. Fed/Treasury Bailout Bombs. Tax credits, loans, cash and purchase of toxic assets from Wall Street banks estimated at $23.7 trillion as new debt was shifted from too-big-to-fail Fat-Cat banks to taxpayers.

17. Insatiable Washington Lobbyists Bombs. Paulson, Goldman, Geithner, Morgan and Wall Street banks, through their lobbyists and former employees working inside now have absolute power over government spending

18. Shadow Banking: The Derivatives Bomb. Wall Street wants no regulation of this $670 trillion, high-risk, out-of-control casino.

19. Dysfunctional Two-Party Political Bomb. Polarized partisanship increasing- no solutions.

20. The Coming Populous Rebellion Bombs. Nobody trusts anyone in authority. We have riots and real anarchy in the streets.

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Palin's Political Threat and Magnetic Power

Karl Gotthardt - albertacowpokeKarl Gotthardt, Alberta , Canada Palin, A crowd Magnet?Sarah Palin | Photo 08

Sarah Palin has, without any doubt, the ability to draw a crowd. Despite many attempts to discredit her, the venues that she headlines, either during her book tour or at the Tea Party Convention, have drawn large crowds.

The former Governor of Alaska and Vice Presidential candidate seems to somehow threaten those that believe Sarah Palin will run for President in 2012.

Sarah Palin Not Qualified to be President (Public Perception)

Despite the angst that seems to prevail when thought of Sarah Palin's presidential aspirations are raised, 71% of Americans do not think she is qualified to be President. To change this,Sarah Palin would require a complete makeover. Even then it is doubtful that the public perception of Palin's qualifications would change.

Sarah Palin - Hate Her or Love Her

Sarah Palin has been dragged through the dirt by the Main Stream Media, the Left; Pro Choice and Feminist Groups. Others love her for her populist approach, thus her success with the Tea Party movement. The recent Tea Party Convention amply demonstrated welcome she received from that movement, while detractors were quick to bring forth criticism..

Presidential Aspirations

During the 18 months Sarah Palin has been on the national scene, with a failed attempt to win election on the McCain ticket, Palins' presidential aspirations have been subject of much debate. Speculation of her 2012 quest for President of the United States are not well founded. Palin will do a great job drawing crowds for those campaigning for the Presidency. Palin's quest for the Presidency are unlikely.

The perception, that she is not qualified, is well ingrained in the American voters psyche. While she may be a spokesperson against what some consider to be wrong with the Obama Administration, her chances to be elected are minimal.

It is also doubtful that Palin would put herself or her family through the attacks and smear campaign that would, no doubt, be waged. Take a deep breath, Sarah Palin will not be a candidate for President in 2012, Hillary Clinton is the greater threat to Obama.

If Palin harbors presidential ambitions, she has a huge mountain to climb. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 71 percent of Americans do not think the politician who wasSen. John McCain's running mate in 2008 is qualified to be president.

Those numbers are so daunting that some Republicans who otherwise admire what she has accomplished doubt that she will run in 2012. Others say that unless she can transform attitudes dramatically, she cannot hope to win a general election. Still, GOP strategist Phil Musser said, "if she ran for president today, she would be the Republican nominee."

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"GayAsylum" Advocate Lauds Deratany's 'Haram Iran'

Praise in London for Deratany's 'Haram Iran'

Omar Kuddus, a prominent figure in the "Gay Asylum" movement in the United Kingdom, has praised Chicago attorney and human rights advocate Jay Paul Deratany for his play 'Haram Iran', calling it "a true portrait of Iran's 'non-existent' homosexuals.".

(Feb. 18, New York , London) Omar Kuddus, a prominent human rights advocate in the forefront of the United Kingdom's 'GayAsylum' , has praised Chicago attorney Jay Paul Deratany's play 'Haram Iran', which depicts the true story of two Iranian youths slated for execution for the 'crime' of homosexuality in 2005 Tehren.

Kuddus, - who has taken on the British government before the British House of Lords, as in this noted case - fights on behalf of Iranians who face execution upon deportation.

He has praised Mr. Deratany's play - which he discovered through a Gnosis Arts Multimedia New York press release, giving the work's history and providing a webcast preview - and has said it is "badly needed", and "a true portrait of Iran's 'non-existent' homosexuals".

Another gay advocate, from Pink UK News, who is an associate of Kuddus and based in Canada, Jean Paul Dugas, has told press today that he believes Deratany's 'Haram Iran' is "both gripping and alarming thereby stressing the need to educate those of us living in truly democratic societies to promote not only the Universal Declaration of Human rights but also the fact that Gay Rights are Human Rights."

Kuddus has said he believes that the play should be produced for the London theater to raise further awareness of the plight of gays in Iran, and around the globe. He plans to be in contact with media professionals in London and New York - after obtaining formal permission and advisement from Mr. Deratany - and would like in time to make a London production a reality within the next year.

Says, Kuddus, "The special interest and expertise [of gayasylum] is in [opposing] the persecution, torture and execution of homosexuals in and by the Islamic republic of Iran".

In his GayAsylum mission statement, Kuddus asserts that , "Sexuality is as important a fundamental human right as all others, and should be fully respected".

A London actor and stand-up comedic artist, Martin Huxter, (pictured below, at right) has also been impressed by Deratany's play, and would like to play one of the lead roles. He will be meeting with Kuddus in London this Spring to discuss future plans in this vein, and would like to see a full copy of the play's script.

'Haram Iran' made its debut on the Chicago stage in 2008, and now makes its west coast premier this March 2010 at the Celebration Theater in Los Angeles.

Jay Paul Deratany is a personal injury attorney in Chicago, specializing in the rights of birth injured children and their families. He has a solid record as a human rights advocate and philanthropist, in addition to his role as playwright. He has also been involved in Cook County politics, losing a commissioner's seat to the incumbent GOP in a very slim margin. He is the attorney representing the plaintiff in the high profile suit against CNN's Nancy Grace.

Deratany is currently advising on a pro bono basis the New York Appellate case involving Rhonda Mangus and her gay teen son Michael.
Michael left North Tonawanda High School in Niagara County, New York, after being bullied and receiving a death threat due to his gay identity. Mangus was placed in the state's data base of offenders for the charge of "educational neglect".

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Daniel June : Musings on Afterlife

Offering to the thunder God Thor - Old Sami re...Image by saamiblog via Flickr

One birth is sufficient for all men, one life, sufficient for man, woman, child, and even the unfortunate stillborn. Outside of time we chose our stage, and in this stage we set ourselves up to carve our divinity. One life, and in the next we are the beauty we committed in this life. Upon death, each man faces the promise of what his religious taught him, for he enters a dream. The Buddhist imagines countless samsaras, the Christian imagines judgment, and heaven or hell, the pagan imagines valhalla or elusian fields of apotheosis, the atheist imagines dissolving into pure universal matter, and yet in each of these dreams, consciousness remains, changed, but ever present, for the mind is made of matter, and matter is eternal. What you by faith and fury imagine the afterlife to be your mind will make for you, and those who feel the same way, and believe the same way, share your fate with you.

Us allists do not stop in any one heaven or hell for long, but walk across all of them, cause a little mischief, we break all borders, we will be masters of all heavens and all hells. But in the very end, we each long to be a Motherverse and a God in ourselves. We seek to draw near the ones we have loved, or the parts of the ones we have loved that they permit to part with, they give us parts of their soul, or if we have earned such an honor, we may fuse souls in utter intimacy with a lover. We are able to turn inwards and become Everything. A rare honor. For those who believe otherwise, they will never achieve it, and the will of freedom will become forever cut from the center of necessity. This is their place and purchase. This is their way and place. We do not argue with them nor tempt them, but we let each man choose his ultimate fate, as he set himself up to choose such things before he was born, where he stood outside of time in his own private universe, as an ulimtate undifferentiated freedomnecessity individual. Pity no man, envy no man, under any circumstances, but if you wish intimacy, then you must love him in compassion and be willing to share his joys, suffer his sorrows, and give kindness, which is the art of improving each other, not merely the art of giving.

All religions and beliefs are true in the imagination, and after we leave the senses, we are immersed in the imagination, an imaginary we may share with those we love. None can come to us but through shared affinity. In this life, enemies approach, but in the next life, only lovers may draw close. Therefore, we will be our own reward. That which we choose to become in this life will be able to draw close to us in the next life.

Ultimately, no man can be disappointed with eternity, yet some must work out their salvation through the hells they have created. This life and this life alone defines how much of a god we may be. This life and this life alone determines how much soul we will have. There is no other time to become divine, but every little choice, every joy, and every pain, you experience in this life, build for you “treasures in heaven” which is your very heart you are building, and the kingdom of heaven is none other than the loving community you are able to earn through creative power and intimate love. A god is powerful and loving, yet most people in the next life will be worshippers of gods, and forever so, though scarcely gods themselves, for they cannot shine like the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, they compromised too much in this life. They will be happy yes, but they will be less happy and less great in their happiness than those who made themselves great in this life. Mortality is the ultimate playing field, for here we make our choices. There is less risk in the afterlife, but without the risk there is no chance of gaining such great rewards. Because we are less vulnerable in heaven, we have less to gain.

Seek with me to be utterly divine, and do not make excuses for any imperfection. Ultimately, you are your own reward, and if you would be loved, you must be lovely, if you would be honored, you must be honorable, if you would be friends of God you must be a God. There is no short cut nor any free gift that can save you from this. You must be utterly true to your own infinite potential if you are to become infinite. And this you can do, starting now, whoever you are.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

'The Play is the thing. . . ' : Deratany, lawyer and playwright

Life must be lived as a play, said Plato, and Deratany makes plays, in law and in theater.

Rhonda Mangus has been dealing with the stress which accompanies conflict - especially when that conflict becomes a matter of law - since 2005. Her then 13 year old son, Michael, was identified as gay. And that is where the trouble began: Bullying and an eventual death threat led Mangus to take the son out North Tonawanda High School.

Little did she know that she herself would be accused of "educational neglect" and placed in the state's offenders data base, due to intervention on behalf of the Niagara County Department of Social Services and the New York State Office of Family and Child Services. This winter, she went up against the State of New York's Supreme Court, but failed to have the charge amended. Now, new determination to proceed once again has come in the form of a Chicago attorney, who is offering to advise her in the process, on a pro bono basis. Jay Paul Deratany - together with his associate, Natan Polum - are advising Mangus by phone as she gets a postponement for an appeal. This act of kindness and generosity - so unexpected - was enough to bring Mangus to tears. Deratany has a strong record of philanthropy and human rights advocacy, and was playwright of the work, "Haram Iran", debuting on the Chicago stage in 2008, and exploring the theme of homosexual oppression in Iran. He has been a contributor to the AIDS cause, and to education. In 2008 he ran for Cook County commissioner but lost the seat to the GOP incumbent in a narrow margin. But perhaps this singular act of kindness regarding Mangus' case - in giving hope and the will to fight to someone who had nearly lost both - is the more stunning, for being spontaneous and without any premeditation on his part. Deratany is clearly an eclectic , and this makes him both a Renaissance man, and a counselor of law in the classical and Aristotlean sense. And that, in these times, makes him as rare as he is precious.

Chicago Attorney's play makes its West Coast premier at the Celebration Theater in Los Angeles : Jay Paul Deratany

Deratany's 'Haram Iran' moves to Los Angeles stage | The News is

Playwright, Chicago attorney, human rights advocate Jay Paul Deratany has written a play about the human rights abuses which still prevail in 21st century Iran, and in the human heart. The play debuted on the Chicago stage in 2008, and now makes its West Coast premier at the Celebration Theater in Los Angeles, in March of this year.

Under New Influence