Fukushima cleanup cost doubles

SUBHEAD: The estimated cost of cleaning up the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant has doubled to $190 billion.

By Mari Yamaguchi on 9 December 2016 in the Garden Island News -
(http://m.thegardenisland.com/news/world/japan-doubles-cost-estimate-for-fukushima-cleanup/article_dce56c40-7035-54cd-8973-3a3664d1509f.html)


Image above: A member of the media tour group  wearing a protective suit and a mask looks at the No. 3 reactor building  at TEPCO's tsunami-crippled Fukushima  Daiichi nuclear power plant. From original article.

The estimated cost of cleaning up Japan's wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant has doubled to nearly 22 trillion yen ($190 billion), with decommissioning expenses expected to continue to increase, a government panel said Friday.

The estimate raises the decommissioning part of the total costs to 8 trillion yen ($70 billion) from the current 2 trillion. Costs for compensation, decontamination of the area and waste storage have also grown significantly.

The plant suffered multiple meltdowns following a massive March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Officials say its decommissioning will take several decades. Rising cost estimates mean an increased burden on consumers.

Kunio Ito, a Hitotsubashi University professor of commerce who heads the panel, said it is inevitable that the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, will pass on to customers part of the costs.

He said the estimate for decommissioning is sketchy, but is needed to show the public how much the national project will roughly cost. The estimated increase of 6 trillion yen ($53 billion) is modeled after the example of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant cleanup in Pennsylvania following its 1979 partial meltdown.

The TMI cleanup took five years and nearly $1 billion to remove 136 tons of melted fuel from one reactor. The Fukushima plant has twice as much melted fuel in each of three damaged reactors, meaning six times as much melted fuel must to be removed, the government-funded decommissioning and compensation organization said.

It came up with the figure of $53 billion by factoring in the more extensive development of robotics and other equipment needed at Fukushima. The estimate does not include the cost of final waste management.

The panel has been discussing ways to keep TEPCO alive so it can cover the cost that it is responsible for. TEPCO has already received a government bailout, and the panel recommended that Fukushima cleanup-related operations effectively stay under state control until the next review in 2019.

The 10-member panel commissioned by the Trade and Industry Ministry plans to urge TEPCO to undergo a drastic restructuring and reforms, possibly with a new business alliance with companies in and outside Japan, to stay afloat. The panel will submit its recommendations in a final report to Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko later this month.

"This is a chance for innovation and cost-cutting to push forward Fukushima's reconstruction," Seko told reporters. "We expect TEPCO to fulfill its responsibility."

TEPCO President Naomi Hirose, who was summoned to parliament Friday, pledged to live up to expectations.

See also:
Nuclear fuel found 15 miles from Tokyo — Fukushima uranium in ‘glassy’ spheres flew over 170 km
Fukushima Nano Bucky Ball Hot Particles Filled With Uranium, Plutonium, And Cesiu
Ea O Ka Aina: Tokyo damaged by nuclear pellet rain 9/24/16
Ea O KA Aina: Nuclear Power and Climate Failure 8/24/16 
Ea O Ka Aina: High radioactivity in Tokyo  8/22/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Nuclear Blinders 8/18/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima and Chernobyl 5/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation damages Japan 4/14/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima's Nuclear Nightmare 3/13/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fifth Fukushima Anniversary 3/11/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima impacts are ongoing 11/8/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Petroleum and Nuclear Coverups 10/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radiation Contamination 10/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Radioactive floods damage Japan 9/22/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fir trees damaged by Fukushima 8/30/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan restarts a nuclear plant 8/11/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima disaster will continue 7/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Too many fish in the sea? 6/22/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima prefecture uninhabitable 6/6/15
Ea O Ka Aina: In case you've forgotten Fukushima 5/27/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Radiation damages top predator bird 4/24/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukshima die-offs occurring 4/17/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Impact Update 4/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima - the end of atomic power 3/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Where is the Fukushima Data? 2/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fuku-Undo 2/4/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima MOX fuel crossed Pacific 2/4/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worst human disaster 1/26/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan to kill Pacific Ocean 1/23/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan's Environmental Catastrophe 8/25/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Earthday TPP Fukushima RIMPAC 4/22/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Daiichi hot particles 5/30/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Japanese radiation denial 5/12/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Entomb Fukushima Daiichi now 4/6/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Disaster 3 Years Old 4/3/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Tsunami, Fukushima and Kauai 3/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Japanese contamination 2/16/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Bill for Fukushima monitoring 2/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco under reporting of radiation 2/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Fallout in Alaska 1/25/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima engineer against nukes 1/17/14
Ea O Ka Aina: California to monitor ocean radiation 1/14/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Demystifying Fukushima Reactor #3 1/1/14
Ea O Ka Aina: US & Japan know criticality brewing 12/29/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Forever 12/17/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Brief radiation spike on Kauai 12/27/13
Ea O Ka Aina: USS Ronald Reagan & Fukushima 12/15/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Pacific Impact 12/11/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Berkeley and Fukushima health risks 12/10/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Madness engulfs Japan 12/4/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Edo Japan and Fukushima Recovery 11/30/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Reaction to Fukushima is Fascism 11/30/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Radioisotopes in the Northern Pacific 11/22/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima cleanup in critical phase 11/18/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima fuel removal to start 11/14/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima, What me worry? 11/13/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Remove other Fukushina fuel 10/29/13
Ea O Ka Aina: End to Japanese Nuclear Power? 10/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima & Poisoned Fish 10/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fuel Danger at Fukushima 9/27/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Reactor #4 Spent Fuel Pool 9/16/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima is Not Going Away 9/9/13
Ea O Ka Aina: X-Men like Ice Wall for Fukushima 9/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima House of Horrors 8/21/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Apocalypse 8/21/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radioactive Dust 8/20/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Cocooning Fukushima Daiichi 8/16/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation coverup 8/12/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Leakage at Fukushima an emergency 8/5/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima burns on and on 7/26/13
Ea O Ka Aina: What the Fukashima? 7/24/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Spiking 7/15/13
Ea O Ka Aina: G20 Agenda Item #1 - Fix Fukushima 7/7/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima and hypothyroid in Hawaii 4/9/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan to release radioactive water 2/8/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima as Roshoman 1/14/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushia Radiation Report 10/24/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Fallout 9/14/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Unit 4 Danger 7/22/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima denial & extinction ethics 5/14/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worse than Chernobyl 4/24/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima dangers continue 4/22/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima children condemned 3/8/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima fights chain reaction 2/7/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco faking Fukushima fix 12/24/11
Ea O Ka Aina: The Non Battle for Fukushima 11/10/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Debris nears Midway 10/14/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radiation Danger 7/10/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Abandoned 9/28/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Deadly Radiation at Fukushima 8/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima poisons Japanese food 7/25/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Black Rain in Japan 7/22/11
Ea O Ka Aina: UK PR downplays Fukushima 7/1/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima #2 & #3 meltdown 5/17/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima sustained chain reaction 5/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Ocean Radioactivity in Fukushima 4/16/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan raises nuclear disaster level 4/12/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima No Go Zone Expanding 4/11/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima to be Decommissioned 4/8/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Poisons Fish 4/6/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Learning from Fukushima 4/4/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Leak goes Unplugged 4/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Stick a fork in it - It's done! 4/2/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima reactors reach criticality 3/31/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Non-Containment 3/30/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Meltdown 3/29/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Water Blessing & Curse 3/28/11
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Standing Rock has changed us

SUBHEAD: As we work toward a post-fossil fuel society, we can look to these lessons from the Sioux.

By Sarah van Gelder on 7 December 2016 for Yes Magazine  -
(http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/how-standing-rock-has-changed-us-20161207/)


Image above: In a ceremony on Monday, veterans asked for forgiveness on behalf of the nation for theft of land and genocide of Native Americans. The veterans were led by Wes Clark Jr., who addressed Chief Leonard Crow Dog, a Lakota spiritual leader. Photo by Adam Johannson.
From original article.


At the Oceti Sakowin camp there were celebrations into the night when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision was announced. Fireworks lit up the sky, which is normally dominated by police searchlights, and there were songs, prayers, and dance. And tears.

The decision to halt work on the Dakota Access pipeline may be the victory that the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and thousands of water protectors were looking for.

On the heels of the announcement, Energy Transfer Partners issued a statement insisting that they will go ahead with the project. What that means is not yet clear, but whatever happens the events at Standing Rock have been transformative, and these victories are not ones that Energy Transfer Partners or even President-elect Trump can take away.

Here are just a few things that have shifted in our world because of the extraordinary Native-led uprising at Standing Rock.

Decolonizing
It was a scene I didn’t think I’d ever witness. Veterans at Standing Rock, led by Wesley Clark Jr., spoke of the many ways the U.S. military had brutalized Native people, through killings, through taking their lands and even their children. And then they knelt down and apologized in front of the elders.

These nonviolent warriors, sworn to uphold the Constitution, came to North Dakota to protect the water protectors, but they did something even more important by acknowledging historic harms and showing remorse.

Clergy too came with humility and apologies. At a gathering in early November, one Christian denomination after the next burned the Doctrine of Discovery, a centuries-old religious doctrine that made its way into law and condones taking the lands of non-Christians.

If it is possible to heal from the long U.S. history of genocide, these moves by clergy and veterans were powerful steps in that direction.

The work of decolonizing is much bigger though, and it is Native-led. Within the camps, Lakota culture is at the foundation of everything, from the early morning prayers at the sacred fire to the food line, where elders are served first. Newcomers are reminded to respect these ways. Native people have led this movement from the beginning, and they are reclaiming their power.

This time, non-Natives in large numbers stood with them and learned from them ways to live that are inclusive and collective.

And as people return home from the camp, the effects will ripple out into communities across North America for years to come.


Respect for Mother Earth and our own bodies

Walk to the edge of the Cannonball River at Standing Rock, or to the banks of the Missouri River, which provides water to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and Cheyenne River tribes, and to millions of others farther downstream. And then consider what it would mean if DAPL ruptured, spewing toxins into this precious shared water.

The core idea that “water is life” is self-evident, as our bodies are nearly two-thirds water. Yet the implications are radical. What would it mean to actually protect water and, therefore, to also protect our health?

Even more radical is the idea that we would sacrifice the comforts of fossil fuel-based consumerism for the quality of that water, giving a gift of well-being to our children and future generations.

Water is important everywhere, but the Sioux people, by protecting the water of their place on Earth, have shown what moral authority looks like. Their commitment attracted support from around the world, and showed people everywhere what it means to protect your home.

Finding our power
The American people want to switch to renewable energy—not invest more in fossil fuel infrastructure. Many are closing accounts with big banks and moving their funds into credit unions and community banks, thus helping to rebuild the economy to support communities and life.

And at Standing Rock, people found many ways to exert power. In the face of pepper spray, rubber bullets, dogs, concussion grenades, and water cannons, the water protectors remained nonviolent. They were arrested by the hundreds, strip-searched, and placed in fenced enclosures resembling dog kennels. But their responses were prayerful and sometimes even loving.

This display of courage moved the hearts of millions. As law enforcement escalated the violence, water protectors increased their presence.
And because of independent reporting and social media, the story got out in real time even when other media weren’t paying attention.

Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now coverage of dogs attacking water protectors was the first reporting to alert the world to the brutality of pipeline security. The beautiful short films featuring the people at the camp, the posters and art, the water protectors’ drones, the tweets and live feeds from Standing Rock—all have kept the story alive for months.
People power in all these forms works.

Thousands came to the remote plains of North Dakota. Hundreds of thousands took action through donations and demonstrations. The sense of power and hope that goes with this decentralized movement, and the accumulating know-how, will make the next action easier to pull off, and the next one after that.


What’s next?
The work, prayers, hardship, and collaborations are not over. There may be new rounds at Standing Rock, and more water protectors may be injured and traumatized there or at other locations. There may even be loss of life. And there are other pipelines that need to be confronted by water protectors. Just last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave the green light to the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and the presidency of Donald Trump could threaten everything we hold dear.

Nonetheless, this is a time to celebrate. The water protectors won a huge victory with the Corps of Engineers decision—a victory that benefits not only the Sioux tribes, not only those along the Missouri River, but everyone.

We all drink water and need a stable climate. As we navigate what may be the most dangerous time in human history, the lessons from Standing Rock can guide us.

As we create a post-fossil fuel society, we can take the lessons of respect and nonviolence, of valuing life over money, of learning from the indigenous peoples as cornerstones. A revolution in values and culture is rippling out across the country and the world, and it started at Standing Rock.

• Sarah van Gelder wrote this article for YES! Magazine. Sarah is cofounder and editor at large of YES! Magazine. Her new book, “The Revolution Where You Live: Stories from a 12,000-Mile Journey Through a New America” is available now from YES! Read more about her road trip and book here and follow her on Twitter @sarahvangelder.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: As Standing Rock celebrates... 12/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Army Corps denies easement 12/4/16
Ea O Ka Aina: My Whole Heart is With You 12/2/16
Ea O Ka Aina: The Loving Containment of Courage 12/1/16
Ea O Ka Aina: The Beginning is Near 12/1/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Feds to shutdown NoDAPL Camp 11/25/16
Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL people are going to die 11/23/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Hundreds of vets to join NoDAPL 11/22/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Obama must support Standing Rock 11/21/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Trump's pro oil stance vs NoDaPL 11/15/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai NoDAPL Demonstration 11/12/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Obama to Betray Standing Rock 11/12/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Trump impact on Standing Rock 11/12/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Ann Wright on Standing Rock 11/8/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Turning Point at Standing Rock 11/6/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Jackson Browne vs DAPL owner 11/5/16
Democracy Now: Boycott of DAPL Owner's Music Festival
Ea O Ka Aina: World responds to NoDAPL protests 11/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL victory that was missed 11/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: DAPL hid discovery of Sioux artifacts 11/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Dakota Access Pipeline will leak 11/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Route of the Dakota Access Pipeline 11/4/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Sanders calls for stopping DAPL 11/4/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Obama hints at DAPL rerouting 11/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: New military attack on NODAPL 11/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: How to Support NoDAPL 11/3/16
Unicorn Riot: Tweets from NoDAPL 11/2/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Standing Rock & the Ballot Box 10/31/16
Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL reclaim new frontline 10/24/16
Ea O Ka Aina: How far will North Dakota go? 10/23/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Amy Goodman "riot" charge dropped 10/17/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Amy Goodwin to face "Riot Charge" 10/16/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Shutdown of all tar sand pipelines 10/11/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Why Standing Rock is test for Oabama 10/8/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Why we are Singing for Water 10/8/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Labor's Dakota Access Pipeline Crisis 10/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Standing Firm for Standing Rock 10/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Contact bankers behind DAPL 9/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL demo at Enbridge Inc 9/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Militarized Police raid NoDAPL 9/28/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Stop funding of Dakota Access Pipeline 9/27/16
Ea O Ka Aina: UN experts to US, "Stop DAPL Now!" 9/27/16
Ea O Ka Aina: No DAPL solidarity grows 9/21/16
Ea O Ka Aina: This is how we should be living 9/16/16
Ea O Ka Aina: 'Natural Capital' replacing 'Nature' 9/14/16
Ea O Ka Aina: The Big Difference at Standing Rock 9/13/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Jill Stein joins Standing Rock Sioux 9/10/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Pipeline temporarily halted 9/6/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Native Americans attacked with dogs 9/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Mni Wiconi! Water is Life! 9/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Sioux can stop the Pipeline 8/28/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Officials cut water to Sioux 8/23/16

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Hedge funds economic predictions

SUBHEAD: QE will end either in hyperinflation, or a deflationary supernova resulting in bartering.

By Tyler Durden on 9 December 2016 for Zero Hedge -
(http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-09/top-hedge-funds-predict-how-it-all-will-end)


Image above: A barter transaction of trading a fish for seed corn. From (https://danthropological.com/2015/04/24/to-barter-or-not-to-barter-is-that-really-the-question/).

In early 2009, roughly at the time when this blog was launched which coincided with the start of the greatest monetary experiment of all time, we warned that there are two ways it will end: either in hyperinflation, or a deflationary supernova, the failure of currency and, eventually, barter.

Now, almost eight years later, some of the world's top hedge funds are in agreement, and they are worried.

As the WSJ reports, these prominent hedge fund managers join an increasingly bigger and louder chorus which says central bank bond buying programs that are pumping trillions of dollars into global markets will end badly.

In yesterday's main event, the ECB said it would extend its asset purchase program to the end of next year, buying bonds at a reduced rate. As the following chart from BBG projects, at the ECB's revised rate of bond purchases, its balance sheet will soon surpass that of the Fed.

So what happens next? Prominent managers have told The Wall Street Journal in recent interviews of their doubts about the endgame for quantitative easing around the world.

“There’s no non-messy way out of this,” said Luke Ellis, chief executive of Man Group, one of the world’s biggest hedge-fund firms with $80.7 billion in assets. “There’s two versions” of how this ends, he added. Either central banks could move to so-called ‘helicopter money,’ where they buy debt from the government, which then spends the proceeds or gives it to the population to spend.

This “for a few years looks golden then leads to hyperinflation,” he said. Or the speed at which money circulates within the economy could grind to a halt. “Then you effectively have a barter economy,” he said.

In a series of exclusive interviews with the Journal, hedge-fund executives overseeing around $280 billion in total highlighted a range of problems created by quantitative easing.

The problems they highlight are precisely those that QE was designed to solve, and are exactly the same problems we warned about since the 2009, for which we have been repeatedly branded some variation of "fake news." Now the skepticism has become mainstream.

This is what will happen,\ according to the hedge fund managers interviewed by the WSJ:

Damage to economic growth
Rather than kick-starting growth, quantitative easing may do the reverse. Some managers fear it distorts financial markets and undermines capitalism. That system relies on profit-hungry investors to differentiate between strong and weak companies—funding the strong while letting the weak die. QE, say some managers, doesn’t differentiate.

For instance, the Bank of England is buying the debt of firms it deems make “a material contribution” to the U.K. economy. That has led some investment banks and companies to create new debt especially for it to buy. The ECB has bought €48.2 billion ($51.2 billion) of corporate debt since June, but the hoped-for private-sector investment hasn’t materialized.

“What does a market do? It’s a voting mechanism,” said Michael Hintze, billionaire founder of hedge fund CQS, which runs around $12 billion in assets. “Instead you’ve got this 800-pound gorilla out there who’s hoovering up assets.

“There’s a misallocation of capital and an opportunity cost to the real economy,” added Mr. Hintze, whose portfolio is up 30% this year, ranking it one of the world’s top-performing hedge funds. “It means GDP is not growing as much as it might.”

Some put it even more strongly. “It’s definitely destructive of economic growth,” said Crispin Odey, founder of Odey Asset Management, which runs $8.2 billion in assets.

“Capitalism dies a death,” said Mr. Odey, who sees government policy as the main factor influencing markets. His fund, a top performer after the credit crisis, is down sharply this year because of being too bearish. “It’s all policy. It’s the Kremlin. And I’m in the gulags.”

Damage to society
In her speech to the governing Conservative Party conference in October, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May spoke of “some bad side effects” from quantitative easing as people with assets got richer while those without them suffered. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has said low rates have robbed savers.

Those side effects include “envy and distress” within society, “as people think ‘I can’t get out of where I am,’” said Andrew McCaffery, group head of solutions at Aberdeen Asset Management, who looks after $170 billion in assets.

Ultralow interest rates mean the large part of the population with few financial assets begins to despair of how to generate income to fund retirement, he said.

“People see a developing black hole,” he said. This “increases the sense of there being little to lose for many” people.

Andrew Law, chief executive of New York-based Caxton Associates LP, which runs around $7.8 billion, said quantitative easing averted economic depression after the financial crisis.
But he added: “The losers of QE are society, and democracy is also a loser, because central banks are not publicly elected officials.”

Deflation
Quantitative easing was also introduced as a way of increasing private-sector spending and raising inflation. Some investors even worried it would spark hyperinflation and rushed to buy gold. Instead, say some managers, it has led to deflation.

“It took me a long time to work it out,” said CQS’s Mr. Hintze. “It’s a very complex issue.” He said that massive amounts of liquidity mean that “liquidity’s not worth much anymore,” which leads to negative interest rates. “I do think it [QE] is a massive deflationary force. The reason is because money is worth less but the price of real assets goes up.”

Mr. Odey said quantitative easing leads to deflation because weaker competitors are kept alive by cheap debt as “zombie” companies.

Hard stop
Finally, hedge-fund managers see difficulty in ending quantitative easing.

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Kauai General Plan open house

SUBHEAD: Waimea hosted a westside community meeting on proposed County General Plan update.

By Juan Wilson on 8 December 2016 for Island Breath -
(http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2016/12/kauai-general-plan-open-house.html)


Image above: Kauai Planning Department Deputy Director Kaaina Hull explaining the General Plan Update as shown on the presentation boards for Waimea and Hanapepe. Photo by Juan Wilson.

On December 5th, 2016 I attended the Kauai Planning Department Open House on the Kauai General Plan Update proposal at the Waimea Theater.

About 25 people attended the meeting. When I arrived, just before 5:30pm, Leanora Kaiaokamalie (Lea) was setting up presentation boards in the lobby of the Waimea Theater and other staff were setting up tripods with boards of the General Plan proposal in front of the stage.

I asked Lea about setting up boards that I had done concerning the general plan including material I presented to HENA (Hanapepe Eleele Neighborhood Association). These consisted of material I have shared with HENA and material on my website.

She said I would have to wait until her boss arrived. The boss being Kaaina Hull, the Deputy Director of the Kauai Planning Department.

Ken Taylor arrived about that time with his own presentation boards. Ken showed me his boards showing his estimate of property tax increases that the plan's execution would require.

Kaaina Hull was late arriving so Ken and I set up our presentation material at the back of the theater. We engaged with some of the public that were interested and I handed out some presentation material.

Once Kaaina got to the theater the the open house activity got under way. In front of the Hanapepe-Eleele tripod board I engaged Lea in a conversation of the “neighborhood “rings” that seem a core concept across all of Kauai's community population clusters.

Walking Distance and Density
The proposed General Plan describes these "rings" as defined as neighborhoods characterized by walking distance to the community centers.

First I asked her if the names and colors of the nested rings might also relate to greater density at the core and lesser density at the perimeter. A gradient from red (Neighborhood Center), to red-orange (neighborhood General) to orange (Neighborhood Edge) to yellow (Residential Community). Lea  said that was “correct”.

I then asked her if the Planning Department had numbers with the ranges of density to these areas. I asked because I did not see that information in the Kauai General Plan Update Proposal or on the Kauai Plan website. Lea said there were such numbers, but they were not in the public presentation material.

When asked what the density numbers were she said one would have to go online and find them. She said they were buried in “Resources” on the website, but could not give link information or further detail.

One piece of information I have been trying to discover is the growth in population on Kauai that a build-out of proposed General Plan implies. For Hanapepe-Eleele area I have used the upcoming Lima Ola "affordable housing" project developed by the Kauai Housing Division on 75 acres of Alexander & Baldwin property adjacent to Eleele and south of the Kaumaalii Highway.

The Lima Ola project has proposed 550 units in single family, and multi-unit multi-story housing. The Lima Ola project takes up the bulk of the  "Residential Community" in the west Eleele area. The 550 units on 75 acres means 7.33 units per acre.

Using the average number of residence per unit on Kauai of 2.99 this means a population increase of 1,645 people. Projecting that level of development  across the greater Hanapepe-Eleele area could increase the population from 5,028 residents (in the 2010 US Census) to 13,545 new residents, or an increase of 269% people.

Later, after people had a chance to see the material and talk to Planning staff Lea handed the meeting over to Kaaina. He did an overview of the Planning Department effort and the prominent elements of the plan.

Population needs and Hazard planning
He took questions as he spoke, and I asked him why they were showing concentric rings crossing from Hanapepe Heights to Eleele that crossed the breadth of the Hanapepe Valley. I pointed out there was no ring because the landscape could not be traversed between the Heights and Eleele. One had to descend to the hazard area flood plain negating the “ring” function”.

I mentioned that in fact many assets of the community in the river valley would likely have to be abandoned as the hazard area now included our only area firehouse, neighborhood center, and library.

With the possible projected population increase and response to global warming, sea rise and tsunami/hurricane threats to low lying areas, it is likely that some of these community services would have to be expanded and placed at higher elevations.

This would include an additional elementary school in Hanapepe Heights, a neighborhood center in both Hanapepe Heights and Eleele, and a fire house in both neighborhoods.  The fire house would be needed in both locations because the flooding hazard zone has been increased to cross the Kaumaalii Highway and disaster relief and fire fighting might be unable to cross the valley floor.


Rationale for Population Planning
Kaaina made the case that there were compelling reasons the Planning Department had to plan for more housing on Kauai. One reason was the need for "affordable" housing so that the younger generation, our children, could stay on the island.

But also, the Planning Department also anticipated large increase in population on Kauai over the next few generation that necessitated the great expansion proposed in the General Plan update. Their study had shown a Kauai population increasing greatly going out to 2035.

Kaaina said that the bulk of that population increase would not be from the American mainland arrivals or foreign immigrants moving to Kauai. He said The bulk was from “Natural” population growth.

He explained that this was because local people’s births exceeded deaths by between 1% to 2% a year. He stated that it was “unconstitutional” to limit reproductive rights of Americans. Thus the extrapolation of that birth "excess" through 2035 necessitated the current update plan.

The Planning Department has put no other reason to accommodate a doubling of the population of Kauai that I am aware of.

I counter that the the plan will damage the island in many ways. The ecosystem will be threatened in ways not seen before (even discounting global warming, rising seas and less regular rain.) The cost of mitigating the negative effects of greatly increasing Kauai’s population  is not affordable.
  • It means more schools need to be built.
  • It means existing highways widened and new highways created. 
  • It means new recreational, sports, and community services with have to be provided.
  • It means greater impact on our delicate natural resources too. 
There are things that cannot be mitigated with "planning". You cannot manufacture additional sandy beaches. As it is, our sandy beaches are threatened by coral die-off, global warming, and sea rise, Just imagine Salt Pond Beach Park with triple the parking needs and Sunday crowds in 2035.

Natural Growth can be Adjusted
I said to Kaaina that the argument that "natural" growth demands we suburbanize Kauai like has happened on Oahu and Maui is false.

My point is, wouldn’t it be much cheaper and more desirable to mitigate the impact of 1-2% “natural” population growth through education, incentives, and other benign motivators. Statistically parents who restrict their offspring to two or less are better educated and do better financially. A birthrate a wee bit higher than two per family can support a steady total population as there is some unfortunate child mortality.

Does the Planning Department mean to say that we have so little self control that we must destroy the island’s nature, charm, culture to accommodate unborn hoards. 

Incentives and education are much less expensive than paving over the landscape building new highways, schools and other infrastructure. The island could even remain rural and be where you wanted to live… meaning living within Kauai’s natural beauty … not just seeing it afar from end of your suburban cul-de-sac amid the sprawl.

Again the Deadline to respond to the General Plan update is December 16th 2016. Island Breath recommends that the Kauai General Plan Update not be adopted as planned. It should be rejected.  A New approach is needed to marginally reduce "natural" population growth and avoid thus avoid unaffordable infrastucture costs as well as environmental and resource degradation.

The plan as written will make Kauai less resilient, and more dependent on off island resources for food and energy. "KEEP KAUAI RURAL!"

Comments to the draft can be emailed to plankauai@kauai.gov

or snail-mailed to:
Kauai County Planning Department,
Attention: Long Range Division
4444 Rice Street, Suite A473, Līhue, HI 96766.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Reject the Kauai General Plan Update 11/30/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai County "Keep it Rural" 11/17/16
Kauai County General Plan 2000-2020 undated
Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai General Plan Update 9/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai Plan Disappoints 12/9/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Tax Donkey Purgatory - Lima Ola 7/18/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Lihue Loss of Vision 9/5/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Kilauea Development on Agland 4/9/11
Ea O Ka Aina: If a tyrant developed Kauai 3/24/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Potash King's Palace 6/24/10
Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai Farm Worker Housing 7/14/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Let Moloaa farmers farm 4/2/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Kauai General Plan 4/2/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Peak Oil Planning 1/29/09
Island Breath: Kauai Sustainable Land Use Plan 11/1/07
Island Breath: LEGS Sustainability Conference 10/13/07
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Talk of more growth & globalization

SUBHEAD: And to think the economic meltdown hasn’t truly started yet, has been kept hidden behind a wall of debt.

By Raul Ilargi Meijer on 7 December 2016 for the Automatic Earth
(https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2016/12/more-talk-about-more-growth-and-more-globalization/)


Image above:Children point towards Christmas toys at The Fair Department Store, Chicago 1940. Photo by Arthur Gerlach. From original article.

The world is facing the “first lost decade since the 1860s”, said Bank of England governor Mark Carney this week. Arguably good for soundbite of the day, but the buck stops there. The only way that buck could have kept rolling would have been for Carney to take a critical look at himself and his employer(s), but there was none of that.

The Canadian import governor has no doubts about anything he’s done, or if he does he shows none. Instead he puts the blame for all that’s gone awry, on some -minor- elements of what he think globalization means, not with the phenomenon itself, or his enduring support for, and belief in, it. The problem with that is it’s indeed belief only; he can’t prove an inch of what he says.

Globalization is an act of faith inside a politico-economic belief system, and all it needs according to Carney and many others in his ‘church’ is a little tweaking. That globalization itself could be the driving force behind Brexit, Trump and the defeat of Italian PM Renzi does not enter into the faith’s ‘thought’ system.

Neither does the possibility that globalization is what it is, in and of itself, a process that in the end cannot be tweaked. That globalization is simply yet another form of centralization that follows the same rules and laws all other forms do, where power and wealth always, of necessity, wind up in the hands of a few, through pretty basic centrifugal forces.

Mark Carney launched a defense of globalization and set out a manifesto for central bankers and governments to boost growth and make the world economy more equal.

The Bank of England Governor said they must acknowledge that gains from trade and technology haven’t been felt by all, improve the balance of monetary and fiscal policy, and move to a more inclusive model where “everyone has a stake in globalization.”

Carney’s speech in Liverpool, England, comes amid rising disquiet about the state of the world economy and political status quo that helped propel Donald Trump to victory in the U.S. presidential election and boost support for the U.K.’s exit from the European Union.


Trump isn’t right to favor more protectionist policies in response to globalization , Carney said in a television interview broadcast after his speech. The answer is to “redistribute some of the benefits of trade” and ensure that workers are able to acquire new skills. “Weak income growth has focused growing attention on its distribution,” Carney said in the speech.

“Inequalities which might have been tolerated during generalized prosperity are felt more acutely when economies stagnate.” Describing the world as facing the “first lost decade since the 1860s,” the BOE governor said public support for open markets is under threat and rejecting them would be a “tragedy, but is a possibility.”
Carney also defended the central bank’s current policy stance. The BOE has faced criticism from politicians after officials took measures including cutting interest rates and expanding asset purchases in August to support the economy after Britain’s June vote to leave the EU. “Low rates are not the caprice of central bankers, but rather the consequence of powerful global forces, including debt, demographics and distribution,” he said, adding that they helped to prevent a deeper economic downturn.
People like Carney will insist that globalization spurs growth, right up to the moment where they’re either voted out or fired. And they’ll probably keep on insisting until their dying days.

But why are we in that “first lost decade since the 1860s” then? Is that really only because ‘we’ failed to “redistribute some of the benefits of trade”, something that can allegedly be easily rectified by enabling workers to ‘acquire new skills’?

Where is the proof for that? And why have economies stagnated in the middle of the entire process of globalization? Is that solely because ‘some of’ the benefits were not distributed well enough? If that is so, and wealth distribution is the only problem with globalization, at what point do we redistribute ourselves into the realm of communism? Where’s the dividing line? It all feels mighty vague and unsatisfactory, and not a little goal-seeked.

Like a large part of the Brexit voters in Britain, millions of Italians have been on the losing side of globalism’s ‘benefits distribution’. And this weekend they found an outlet for their frustration about it.

Like Brexiteers voted against Cameron and Osborne much more than they voted for anything in specific, and Trump won because Americans are fed up with the Obama/Clinton/GOP model, Italians voted against PM Renzi and his idea to take power away from parliament and give it to him.

Judging from poll numbers, they also seem to have gained confidence in Beppe Grillo’s, and the Five Star Movement’s, ability to do something real in politics. It has taken a while, and that makes sense because the movement doesn’t fit the model of politics as they’ve known it all their lives.

Also, there are many Italians who have largely agreed with much of what Grillo has been saying all along, but were deterred by the way he delivered it. Ask an Italian and they’re likely to say “too angry, too rude” when it comes to Grillo. And it’s true, his style doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest. But then that’s also exactly his forte. Because there comes a point when everything that does fit in, becomes suspect.

The old guard, from Renzi to Berlusconi to the socialists, will double their efforts to keep Grillo out of the center of power now. President Mattarella is in on it: he asked Renzi to stay on as PM until after the budget has been pushed through, and is then likely to install another technocrat government, tasked with changing laws with the express intent of making it harder for Grillo to get into power.

And Renzi, of course, is on the same wavelength as Carney, and the entire EU -and global- cabal: globalize, reform, re-distribute ‘some benefits’, execute more austerity, rinse and repeat.

What’s particular about Italy in this sense is what it has been able to preserve, unlike most other nations. That is, Italy has a lot of small enterprises, often family owned, with highly skilled workers. That doesn’t fit today’s globalization model, since it’s deemed not competitive enough when you’re forced to fight for market share.

But if globalization, and the entire growth model, is over anyway, as I’ve often asserted, it’s a whole different story. If that is true, the country had better save what’s left of its business model, because it’s ideal for a post-centralized world. ‘Workers’ wouldn’t have to ‘acquire new skills, and leave old and proven skills to be forgotten and gather dust.

The world is changing rapidly and that will become even a lot more evident in 2017. The incumbent economic and political systems, as well as their proponents and cheerleaders, are on the way out. They have all failed miserably. What comes next will be profoundly chaotic for quite a while, and that will be perilous. There is not one single (belief) system to replace them, there will be many and they will often clash.

In some places, the political right will prevail, in others the left. In most, from the look of things, neither will, if only because at the end of the day both left and right are still part of incumbent systems. Europe has a number of elections coming up and in at least some of these, parties from outside the incumbent systems will come out on top.

Whether they can then go on to form governments is perhaps another story; the system will not give up easily. But it is done. Carney’s recipe of ‘some’ redistribution of wealth and acquiring new skills is widely shared in power circles, and that will be the system’s undoing. All it has to offer is more talk about more growth and more globalization, and while people protest only the latter, neither is on offer.

One of the tools the media use to discredit anything that comes from outside the system is to label it all ‘populist’. It’s a miracle it hasn’t become a honor label yet. In Europe, all new rightwing parties (a label in itself) get called populist, Le Pen, Wilders, Frauke Petry in Germany, the Lega Nord in Italy.

But so does someone like Beppe Grillo, who politically has nothing in common with these people.
Moreover, many of their ideas are not to the right of existing parties at all.

Despite some of his views, new French Republican candidate François Fillon is not called a populist, ostensibly because he’s from a large incumbent party, but so are Trump and Sanders in the US, and they do get called populist.

Empty labels, fake news and oceans of debt keep the systems -somewhat- going for now. But the genie’s long left the bottle. The ‘incumbents’ have failed their people for far too long, most of all economically. And they keep on claiming that everything will be alright, everyone will be better off if only we execute more globalization, and give them all a few pennies more.

It really is too silly to be true that that is what existing systems and their servants are still trying to make everyone believe. While it is so obvious that so many have long stopped believing. You would think they’d change their messages to reflect that change in society. But they don’t know how. And it’s that very inability that feeds those pesky ‘populists’.

The same François Fillon could be a contender in France against anti-EU Le Pen because he’s expressed doubts on Brussels. Dutch PM Rutte has cautiously critiqued the union too. But those shifts in words if not real opinions come far too late. Britain has said No and there’s zero chance that more nations will not do the same. Just give them the option, give them a vote.

The only way to keep Europe from descending into chaos is to abandon the EU, lock the doors and throw away the keys. The same is true on a global scale, with all the globalist trade agreements that most people have long lost faith in. We will either see a peaceful transition to a system not based on centralization, or we will not see peace, period.

And to think economic meltdown hasn’t even truly started yet, has been kept hidden behind a wall of debt, and so many people are already so fed up with the whole shebang.

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GOP Elector won't vote Trump

SUBHEAD: Why I will not cast my electoral vote for Donald Trump says paremedic/emergency responder.

By Christopher Suprun on 5 December 2016 for the New York Times
(http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/05/opinion/why-i-will-not-cast-my-electoral-vote-for-donald-trump.html)


Image above: Christorpher Supran in From original article.

I am a Republican presidential elector, one of the 538 people asked to choose officially the president of the United States. Since the election, people have asked me to change my vote based on policy disagreements with Donald J. Trump.

In some cases, they cite the popular vote difference. I do not think presidents-elect should be disqualified for policy disagreements. I do not think they should be disqualified because they won the Electoral College instead of the popular vote.

However, now I am asked to cast a vote on Dec. 19 for someone who shows daily he is not qualified for the office.

Fifteen years ago, as a firefighter, I was part of the response to the Sept. 11 attacks against our nation. That attack and this year’s election may seem unrelated, but for me the relationship becomes clearer every day.

George W. Bush is an imperfect man, but he led us through the tragic days following the attacks. His leadership showed that America was a great nation. That was also the last time I remember the nation united. I watch Mr. Trump fail to unite America and drive a wedge between us.

Mr. Trump goes out of his way to attack the cast of “Saturday Night Live” for bias. He tweets day and night, but waited two days to offer sympathy to the Ohio State community after an attack there. He does not encourage civil discourse, but chooses to stoke fear and create outrage.

This is unacceptable. For me, America is that shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan envisioned. It has problems. It has challenges. These can be met and overcome just as our nation overcame Sept. 11.

The United States was set up as a republic. Alexander Hamilton provided a blueprint for states’ votes.

Federalist 68 argued that an Electoral College should determine if candidates are qualified, not engaged in demagogy, and independent from foreign influence.

Mr. Trump shows us again and again that he does not meet these standards. Given his own public statements, it isn’t clear how the Electoral College can ignore these issues, and so it should reject him.

I have poured countless hours into serving the party of Lincoln and electing its candidates. I will pour many more into being more faithful to my party than some in its leadership. But I owe no debt to a party. I owe a debt to my children to leave them a nation they can trust.

Mr. Trump lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief. During the campaign more than 50 Republican former national security officials and foreign policy experts co-signed a letter opposing him.

In their words, “he would be a dangerous president.” During the campaign Mr. Trump even said Russia should hack Hillary Clinton’s emails. This encouragement of an illegal act has troubled many members of Congress and troubles me.

Hamilton also reminded us that a president cannot be a demagogue. Mr. Trump urged violence against protesters at his rallies during the campaign. He speaks of retribution against his critics.

He has surrounded himself with advisers such as Stephen K. Bannon, who claims to be a Leninist and lauds villains and their thirst for power, including Darth Vader. “Rogue One,” the latest “Star Wars” installment, arrives later this month. I am not taking my children to see it to celebrate evil, but to show them that light can overcome it.

Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s pick for national security adviser, has his own checkered past about rules. He installed a secret internet connection in his Pentagon office despite rules to the contrary. Sound familiar?

Finally, Mr. Trump does not understand that the Constitution expressly forbids a president to receive payments or gifts from foreign governments. We have reports that Mr. Trump’s organization has business dealings in Argentina, Bahrain, Taiwan and elsewhere. Mr. Trump could be impeached in his first year given his dismissive responses to financial conflicts of interest. He has played fast and loose with the law for years.

He may have violated the Cuban embargo, and there are reports of improprieties involving his foundation and actions he took against minority tenants in New York. Mr. Trump still seems to think that pattern of behavior can continue.

The election of the next president is not yet a done deal. Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience.

I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. I pray my fellow electors will do their job and join with me in discovering who that person should be.

Fifteen years ago, I swore an oath to defend my country and Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. On Dec. 19, I will do it again.


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The deepening Deep State

SUBHEAD: It's part the massively growing “security” and surveillance matrix expanding since 9/11.

By James Kunstler on 5 December 2016 for Kunstler.com -
(http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/deepening-deep-state/)


Image above: Americans have reason to fear their own government spying on what they say and think. From (http://www.theeventchronicle.com/news/north-america/conspiracy-vs-government-elite-propaganda-justifying-violent-repression/).

One amusing angle on the news media broadside about Russia “hacking” the US election is the failure to mention — or even imagine! — that the US incessantly and continually runs propaganda psy-ops against every other country in the world.

And I’m not even including the venerable, old, out-in-the-open propaganda organs like Voice of America and Radio Free Europe (reminder: the Iron Curtain came down a quarter century ago).

Do you suppose that nobody at Langley, or the Pentagon, or the NSA’s sprawling 1.5 million square foot Utah Data Center is laboring night and day to sow confusion among other societies to push our various agendas?

The main offensive started with The Washington Post’s publication on Nov 26 of “The List,” a story calling out dozens of blogs and web news-sites as purveyors of “fake news” fronting for Russian disinformation forces. The list included Zero Hedge, Naked Capitalism, and David Stockman’s blog.

There were several whack-job sites mixed in the list for seasoning — The Daily Stormer (Nazis), Endtime.com (Evangelical apocalyptic), GalacticConnection (UFO shit). The rest range between tabloid-silly and genuine, valuable news commentary. What else would you expect in a society with an Internet AND a completely incoherent consensus about reality?

Pretty obviously, the struggle between mainstream news and Web news climaxed over the election, with the mainstream overwhelmingly pimping for Hillary, and then having a nervous breakdown when she lost. Desperate to explain the loss, the two leading old-line newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post, ran with the Russia-Hacks-Election story — because only Satanic intervention could explain the fall of Ms. It’s-My-Turn / I’m-With-Her.

Thus, the story went, Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC), gave the hacked emails to Wikileaks, and sabotaged not only Hillary herself but the livelihoods of every myrmidon in the American Deep State termite mound, an unforgivable act.

Also interestingly, these newspapers and their handmaidens on TV, were far less concerned as to whether the leaked information was true or not — e.g. the Clinton Foundation donors’ influence-peddling around arms deals made in the State Department; the DNC’s campaign to undermine Bernie Sanders in the primaries; DNC temporary chair (and CNN employee) Donna Brazille conveying debate questions to HRC; the content of HRC’s quarter-million-dollar speeches to Wall Street banks. All of that turned out to be true, of course.

Then, a few weeks after the election, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 6393, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. Blogger Ronald Thomas West reports:
Section 501 calls for the government to “counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.”
The measure has not been passed by the Senate or signed into law yet, and the holiday recess may prevent that. But it is easy to see how it would empower the Deep State to shut down whichever websites they happened to not like.

My reference to the Deep State might even imply to some readers that I’m infected by the paranoia virus.

But I’m simply talking about the massive “security” and surveillance matrix that has unquestionably expanded since the 9/11 airplane attacks, creating a gigantic NSA superstructure above and beyond the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense’s DIA, and the hoary old FBI.

A little paranoia about the growing fascist behavior of the US government is a useful corrective to trends that citizens ought to be concerned about — for instance, the militarization of police; the outrageous “civil forfeiture” scam that allows police to steal citizens cash and property without any due process of law; the preferential application of law as seen in the handling of the Clinton Foundation activities and the misconduct of banking executives; the attempt to impose a “cashless society” that would herd all citizens into a financial surveillance hub and eliminate their economic liberty.

These matters are especially crucial as the nation stumbles into the next financial crisis and the Deep State becomes desperate to harvest every nickel it can to rescue itself plus the cast of “systemically important” (Too-Big-To-Fail) banks and related institutions like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are about to once again be left holding colossal bags of worthless non-performing mortgages, not to mention the pension funds and insurance companies that will also founder in the Great Unwind that is likely to commence as Trump hangs his golden logo over the White House portico.

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As Standing Rock celebrates...

SUBHEAD: Trump advisors propose privatizing oil-rich Indian reservations on federal land for extraction.

By Tyler Durden on 5 December 2016 for Zero Hedge -
(http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-05/dakota-celebrates-trump-advisors-propose-privatizing-oil-rich-indian-reservations)


Image above: A celebration of fireworks over Standing Rock teepees after Army Corps denies easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline. From (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/standing-rock-photos_us_5844c3b2e4b0c68e0481849f).

With celebrations continuing at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest (following the "Monumental victory" following the Obama administration's decision not to grant the construction permit), it appears the Trump administration has very different ideas.

Having confirmed Trump's support for the pipeline (not to do with his investments), Reuters reports a Trump advisory group proposes the politically explosive idea of putting oil-rich Indian reservation lands into provate ownership.

As we noted last night, after months of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota, among others, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today effectively shut down the project by refusing to approve the last remaining permit required to complete a segment running under Lake Oahe.

Per Reuters, the permit denial was heavily celebrated by protesters in Cannon Ball, North Dakota but means that Energy Transfer Partners will have to go back to the drawing board to identify a new route for the last segment of the 1,172 mile pipeline that is largely already complete.

Which followed a communications briefing from Trump's transition team saying that despite media reports that Trump owns a stake in Energy Transfer Partners (ETP.N), the company building the pipeline...
Trump's support of the pipeline "has nothing to do with his personal investments and everything to do with promoting policies that benefit all Americans."

"Those making such a claim are only attempting to distract from the fact that President-elect Trump has put forth serious policy proposals he plans to set in motion on Day One," said the daily briefing note sent to campaign supporters and congressional staff.
As a reminder, Native American reservations cover just 2 percent of the United States, but they may contain about a fifth of the nation’s oil and gas, along with vast coal reserves.

And now, as Reuters reports, a group of advisors to President-elect Donald Trump on Native American issues wants to free those resources from what they call a suffocating federal bureaucracy that holds title to 56 million acres of tribal lands, two chairmen of the coalition told Reuters in exclusive interviews.

The group proposes to put those lands into private ownership - a politically explosive idea that could upend more than century of policy designed to preserve Indian tribes on U.S.-owned reservations, which are governed by tribal leaders as sovereign nations.
The tribes have rights to use the land, but they do not own it. They can drill it and reap the profits, but only under regulations that are far more burdensome than those applied to private property.

"We should take tribal land away from public treatment." said Markwayne Mullin, a Republican U.S. Representative from Oklahoma and a Cherokee tribe member who is co-chairing Trump’s Native American Affairs Coalition. "As long as we can do it without unintended consequences, I think we will have broad support around Indian country."
The plan fits with Trump’s larger promise of slashing regulation to boost energy production, but as Reuters notes, it could deeply divide Native American leaders, who hold a range of opinions on the proper balance between development and conservation. The proposed path to deregulated drilling - privatizing reservations - could prove even more divisive. Many Native Americans view such efforts as a violation of tribal self-determination and culture.
"Our spiritual leaders are opposed to the privatization of our lands, which means the commoditization of the nature, water, air we hold sacred," said Tom Goldtooth, a member of both the Navajo and the Dakota tribes who runs the Indigenous Environmental Network. "Privatization has been the goal since colonization – to strip Native Nations of their sovereignty."

Reservations governed by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs are intended in part to keep Native American lands off the private real estate market, preventing sales to non-Indians.

"It has to be done with an eye toward protecting sovereignty."
The contingent of Native Americans who fear tribal-land privatization cite precedents of lost sovereignty and culture.
"Privatization of Indian lands during the 1880s is widely viewed as one of the greatest mistakes in federal Indian policy," said Washburn, a citizen of Oklahoma's Chickasaw Nation.

"With this alignment in the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court," he said, "we should be concerned about erosion of self determination, if not a return to termination."



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Sea Shepherd to obstruct Japanese

SUBHEAD: An attempt to stop Japan’s so-called “scientific research” program used to justify killing whales.

By Staff on 5 December 2016 for Sea Shepherd -
(http://www.seashepherdglobal.org/nemesis/)


Image above: Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin sets sail to meet Japanese whalers. From (http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/sea-shepherd-the-chase-is-on).

After final preparations in Australia, two Sea Shepherd vessels are now on their way to the Southern Ocean to intercept the Japanese whaling fleet in a bid stop their slaughter of Minke whales.

The marine conservation organization's flagship vessel the Steve Irwin departed Saturday from Seaworks, Williamstown in Melbourne, followed by its fast new patrol vessel the Ocean Warrior, which departed from Hobart, Tasmania on Sunday.

They're now on their way to the vast Southern Ocean in an effort to prevent the Japanese whaling fleet, which left Japan on November 18th, from killing its self-allocated quota of 333 Minke whales.

"With all of the hectic preparations behind us, it's good to finally be on our way to the Southern Ocean," said Captain Adam Meyerson from the bridge of the Ocean Warrior.

Fast enough to outrun any whaling ship and equipped with a powerful water cannon, Sea Shepherd predicts the Ocean Warrior will be a game-changer for their 11th whale defense campaign, Operation Nemesis.

About Operation Nemesis
Operation Nemesis is Sea Shepherd’s 11th Antarctic whale defense campaign. In Sea Shepherd’s past ten campaigns over 6,000 whales have been spared the grenade-tipped harpoons of the illegal Japanese whaling fleet.

Japan’s so-called “scientific research” program used to justify the killing of whales has been rejected by the International Court of Justice and the International Whaling Commission’s scientific committee. In 2015 the Australian Federal Court fined the Japanese whalers $AU1 million for hunting within an Australian whale sanctuary, however it remains unpaid.

This is the second time the illegal Japanese whaling fleet has returned to the scene of their crimes in the Southern Ocean since the 2014 International Court of Justice ruling. at a press conference in the port of Hobart Saturday morning Australian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said:
"Sea Shepherd shouldn’t have to be taking on the whalers again this summer. Australia won the International Court of Justice case against Japan, but unfortunately the government put trade deals ahead of whales and removed all diplomatic pressure. The Japanese whaling fleet might be able to escape and outrun the international courts but it won’t escape Sea Shepherd."
Jeff Hansen, Managing Director of Sea Shepherd Australia said:
"It's time that Japan respected the International Court of Justice, the Australian Federal Court, and the global moratorium on commercial whaling and ended their so-called scientific lethal hunting of whales off the Antarctic coast." 
The Japanese typically hunt whales from December until March, so Sea Shepherd's vessels have been equipped to endure four months of harsh conditions at sea to protect the whales of the Southern Ocean.

"The crew has worked really hard to get the ship ready and everybody is super excited to be on our way," said Steve Irwin's Captain Wyanda Lublink.

The two Sea Shepherd vessels are carrying a total of 50 crew members from eight different countries: Australia, Germany, France, UK, Austria, Spain, Canada and the United States. "They are very much looking forward to getting down towards the Antarctic and being able to experience firsthand the stunning beauty of this part of the world. A place where illegal whaling vessels from the other side of the world do not belong."


Video above: Video describing Sea Shepherd activity on its 11th seasonal journey to protect whales from Japanese hunting vessels. From (https://youtu.be/vZm-k9r3kus).

About Sea Shepherd Global
Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.

For more information, visit:
www.seashepherdglobal.org

For photos and interview requests, contact:

Heather Stimmler, Sea Shepherd Global Media Director
E-mail: heather@seashepherdglobal.org
Tel: +339 7719 7742 (EUROPE, GMT+1)

For Australia and New Zealand media requests, contact:
Adam Burling, Media Coordinator Sea Shepherd Australia
E-mail: adam@seashepherdglobal.org
Tel : +61 409 472 922 (AUSTRALIA, GMT+11)

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