The federal government is obfuscating about Benghazi and deploying the IRS against groups less than worshipful of government. As if that were not enough, the Justice Department is seizing the phone records of Associated Press reporters, which the AP calls a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” on press freedom. Ben Wizner of the ACLU called it “an unacceptable abuse of power.” True, but it’s more than that.
The Justice Department grabbed telephone records of journalists who worked on an article about the way authorities uncovered a plot to blow up a jetliner. Attorney General Eric Holder, claimed the AP investigation put the American people at risk, but as The Economist noted, terrorism advisor John Brennan said “there was never any danger to the American people” because AP revealed the plot. And the government’s interest in journalists’ phone records, “will make such inconsistencies harder to probe.” That could well be, and the campaign is also a confession that the federal government does a poor job of tracking down leaks from government agencies. This case, though of great concern, is not the only abuse of the press emanating from the federal government.
The Washington Post objects to “the White House’s bullying tactics, which treat all dissent — even inconvenient facts! — as treachery.” When Bob Woodward of Watergate fame reported that the White House had in fact authored the sequester, White House economic adviser Gene Sperling blasted Woodward in a half-hour tirade followed by an email warning “I think you will regret staking out that claim.” Woodward saw it as a veiled threat and the Post came out swinging.
“This is monstrously stupid of the White House displaying what we have seen repeatedly: The administration cannot defend its positions on the merits, so it attacks critics. It also suggests a level of desperation rarely seen from the arrogant Obama White House.” The president risks “going from halo-crowned messiah to nasty bully in the eyes of at least some in the media and, more important, in the view of the country.” Further, said the Washington Post, “it is impossible for Obama to achieve Reagan-like status, but he just might become the left’s Nixon if he keeps this up.”
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March 9, 2013
Part time work and second jobs increasing while full time work disappearing
A remarkable look inside the employment numbers from yesterday that saw the official unemployment rate drop from 7.9% to 7.7%.
From Market Watch:
According to the household survey (on which the unemployment rate is based), the economy added a healthy 170,000 jobs. The survey also shows a tremendous increase of 446,000 part-time jobs.
What this means is that the economy actually shed 276,000 full-time jobs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics labeled those 446,000 part-time jobs as "voluntary," but I am not so sure.
A Gallup survey on jobs released Thursday shows the percentage of workers working part time but wanting full-time work was 10.1% in February, an increase from 9.6% in January and the highest rate measured since January 2012.
Gallup notes "Although fewer people are unemployed now than a year ago, they are not migrating to full-time jobs for an employer. In fact, fewer Americans are working full-time for an employer than were doing so a year ago, and more Americans are working part time.
Although part-time work is clearly better than no work at all, these are not the types of good jobs that millions of Americans are still searching for.
Obamacare is in play. Recall that under Obamacare, the definition of full-time employment is 30 hours. The BLS cutoff is 34 hours. At 30 hours, companies gave to pay medical benefits so they have been slashing the number of hours people work. This reduced the number of hours people worked and provided an incentive for many to take on an extra job.
We can see the effect in actual BLS data.
After declining for years, the percentage of those working two or more jobs is again on the rise.
In the past month there was a surge of 679,000 in the number of people working multiple jobs. The seasonally-adjusted increase was 340,000. (Emphasis mine)
James Pethokoukis of AIE has an even gloomier assessment:
2. The labor force participation rate fell again as potential workers stopped looking for work. If the LFP rate was just where it was a year ago, in February 2012, the official unemployment rate would 8.3%. And if the LFP rate was where it was in January 2009, the unemployment rate would be 10.8%. Does the the aging of the US workforce make that 2009 number less relevant? Probably. But have demographics changed that radically over the past 12 months? Doubtful.
3. The February U-6 number, the broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment, was down a tick to 14.3%. This probably gives a better feel for the real state of the labor market.
4. During the past three months, the economy has added an average of 191,000 jobs. At that pace, according to the Jobs Gap calculator from the Hamilton Project, it would take 101 months to return to pre-Great Recession employment levels while also absorbing the people who enter the labor force each month. Oh, and that calculation assumes no recessions between now and late 2021.
With Wall Street at an all time high and businesses enjoying large profits, it is idiotic to say that the employment situation is the result of the financial meltdown and housing crash. These numbers – especially the part time and second job numbers – are a direct result of the policies of this president.
But it is doubtful that the ordinary American will ever realize it.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:59 am
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Japan’s new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not messing around. He’s not priming the pump, he wants a gusher caused by massive inflationary pressure. This has always worked well in the past of course. Sure am glad China and Japan keep sparing over those rocks in the South China Sea. Thankfully nobody ever goes to war for economic reasons.
(From The Telegraph)
Premier Shinzo Abe has vowed an all-out assault on deflation, going for broke on multiple fronts with fiscal, monetary, and exchange stimulus.
This is a near copy of the remarkable experiment in the early 1930s under Korekiyo Takahasi, described by Ben Bernanke as the man who “brilliantly rescued” his country from the Great Depression.
The post The Japanese Economic Double Down, Damn the Torpedos, Full Speed Ahead! appeared first on AgainstCronyCapitalism.org.
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USA – Restaurant meat sales 09 Oct 2012
Visits to full service restaurants declined in April, May and June, continuing a four-year trend of visit losses for the segment, according to The NPD Group, a Chicago-based market research company.
"Visits to casual dining restaurants declined by 2 percent in the quarter compared to the same quarter last year and midscale traffic dropped by 3 percent," NPD said.
Traffic to non-commercial outlets continued to contract for the quarter with a 2 percent decline, which was driven by losses in foodservice visits to business and industry and to the education sector."
While traffic at mid-scale and casual dining establishments lagged, the quick service segment experienced slight growth in traffic, according to NPD.
The segment recorded 1 percent growth compared to the comparable year-ago period.
The trend offset losses at full service restaurants, which kept total industry traffic stable in the second calendar quarter, according to NPD’s foodservice market research.
"Visits were up at all the QSR main meals while midscale restaurants absorbed traffic losses throughout the day," NPD said.
Foodservice checks climbed an average of 2 percent in the second quarter despite slow growth in traffic.
The check increase was the strongest rate of increase in more than two years, NPD said, although it lagged behind inflation for food away from home.
Consumers also spent more in the second quarter, although price and affordability are impacting diners’ decisions about where to eat, NPD said.
The average check at a mid-scale restaurant (9.66) is nearly twice that of a QSR ($5.18). A check at a casual dining restaurant is more than twice that of a QSR at $13.31.
“In our forecast for the balance of 2012 and 2013, the foodservice industry’s growth is likely to depend on check increases with traffic remaining relatively flat,” said Bonnie Riggs, NPD’s restaurant industry analyst.
“An improvement in the economy, especially reducing unemployment, would certainly help the
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:13 pm
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Ambassador Chris Stevens did not have a Marine detail in Benghazi, Libya. But White House Senior Advisor and Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett has a full Secret Service detail on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, according to Democratic pollster Pat Caddell.
That’s the pathetic foreign policy of the Obama administration, says Caddell today in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News. “Jarrett seems to have a 24 hour, around the clock detail, with five or six agents full time,” Caddell explains. “The media has been completely uninterested. We don’t provide security for our ambassador in Libya, but she needs a full Secret Service security detail. And nobody thinks there’s anything wrong with this. And nobody in the press will ask. What kind of slavish stoogery are they perpetrating here?
“This country has reached the point of absurdity. There are people dead because we don’t have security details for them. But she’s privileged to have a full Secret Service detail on vacation?”
Caddell points out that Americans are already unhappy with President Obama on foreign policy aside from the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Caddell, along with Republican pollster John McLaughlin, runs Secure America, a nonpartisan advocacy group. “We’ve just finished two polls coming out in the field today,” says Caddell, “but we already know that people feel strongly about Iran; they feel strongly about the administration’s policy with regard to Islamic extremists. They don’t like the Obama administration’s handling of these issues. And this election won’t only be about the economy. The American people aren’t stupid. They can walk and chew gum at the same time.”
Caddell does reserve heavy criticism for the Republican establishment, which he believes has ignored foreign policy issues for far too long. “When three quarters of the American people believe Iran will give nuclear weapons to terrorists, you can see that Americans care about this issue. And people overwhelmingly believe that Obama’s sanctions policies will not work. The pronounced minority who disagree with those positions seem to be centered in the mainstream media – and ground zero seems to be at NBC and MSNBC.”
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:24 am
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Storing grain? Protect it like a bin full of gold
Stu Ellis, FarmGate blog | Updated: August 28, 2012
What are you doing with the corn and soybeans you harvest? Are you selling as they are harvested, concerned about a long, slow price decline typical of a short crop? Or are you storing them, hoping for the market to continue climbing as end users bid higher to acquire inventory?
For those of you who are storing, and storing on your farm, you must ensure that you are going to keep it in good condition because the crop is valuable, and you may not have much of it. Here’s how…
Preparing a grain bin and its associated conditioning equipment is best achieved with a checklist. Make sure you have several pieces of paper and several sharp pencils, along with some time to properly take care of the task.
Ag and Natural Resources Specialist Curtis Young of Ohio State University, offers an extensive list of items that will need attention as you prepare to store the new crop and preserve its quality, and says the key to success is sanitation. Remember, quality cannot improve in storage, but certainly can deteriorate, so ensure that you are not contributing to the latter.
Cleaning and facility preparation:
Starting with thorough cleaning of every piece of equipment through which or in which grain will be passed or hauled.
Remove all traces of old grain from combines, combine heads, truck beds, grain carts, augers, lift buckets, grain pits, grain driers, bins and any other equipment used for harvesting, transporting, and handling grain.
Even small amounts of moldy and/or insect-infested grain left in equipment can contaminate a bin of new grain.
Since grain is usually in contact with grain bins for the greatest length of time, extra attention should be paid to the sanitation of these structures.
Remove any grain or grain dust from inside the bins by sweeping or vacuuming empty bins and brushing down walls.
Pay close attention to cracks and crevices, ledges over doors, and hollow tube ladder rungs on or in which grain could have been trapped from the previous storage seasons.
Fans, aeration ducts, exhausts, and when possible, beneath slotted floors should be cleared of debris as well.
Dispose of all debris in a lawful manner and away from the storage facility. Sanitation outside of bins is as important as inside of the bins.
Ideally there should be no vegetation (weeds, shrubs, etc.) growing up against the outside of the bin. Grain pests (insects and rodents) can be harbored in the vegetation.
Bare ground covered with gravel or cement is preferred, but short-mown grass is tolerable.
Remove any spilled grain from around the outside of the bin and storage facility.
Once storage structures have been thoroughly cleaned, carefully inspect them for signs of deterioration, especially for leaks and holes through which insects, birds or rodents can gain easy access to the stored grain or rain and snow can drip or blow in onto the grain to produce wet spots that can lead to mold growth.
While inspecting for physical problems, one should also test aeration fans and driers for functionality.
Check belts, bearings and gear boxes for wear and proper lubrication.
Check electrical systems for corroded connections and frayed wiring before harvest.
Mice like to nest inside electrical boxes where they are safe from predators. They will strip insulation from wires for nesting material and their urine causes corrosion.
While inspecting control boxes, be sure to seal any openings through which mice could get in.
Be sure that guards and safety shields are in place over belts, chains and intakes.
Seal all leaks and make repairs to the equipment before you need them to manage the grain.
Once all cleaning and repairs have been completed, an empty-bin application of an appropriately labeled insecticide is advisable, especially in bins with difficult to clean areas and/or in bins with a history of insect problems.
For empty-bin insecticide treatments that are applied as a liquid, allow a minimum of 24 hours for the sprays to dry before loading grain into the bin.
It is preferable to have empty-bin treatments applied at least two weeks prior to harvest.
Registered empty-bin insecticides include: Tempo Ultra SC (cyfluthrin), Storcide II (chlorpyrifos methyl plus deltamethrin), Suspend SC (deltamethrin), Diacon-D and Diacon II (s-methoprene = an insect growth regulator), and several pyrethrin products can be used to apply a surface treatment to the inside of the bin and provide a residual protection.
Other products that contain diatomaceous earth and/or silicon dioxide such as Insecto, Protect-It, Perma-Guard and others may be utilized. Refer to the individual product labels for lists of insects controlled and application directions.
If a bin is known to be heavily infested with insects, an empty-bin fumigation may be required to knock down insect populations before applying one of the above insecticides.
The most readily available product for this purpose is phosphine gas producing materials such as aluminum phosphide and magnesium phosphide sold under a wide variety of trade names. Phosphine is an extremely toxic material and fumigations should be conducted by trained, experienced, licensed applicators.
Another measure one might take to reduce the chance of insect infestation is to apply a perimeter spray around the base and up the outside walls of the bin about 15 feet. This may only be necessary in areas where grain infesting insect movement has been observed on the outsides of the storage bins.
There are several synthetic pyrethroids (cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, permethrin, resmethrin, etc.) that can be used for this purpose as long as they do not come in contact with the grain.
Grain storage insecticide labels tend to change frequently. As always, check to make sure you are following the instructions on the product label and using the appropriate product for your situation.
Grain quality preservation:
One also needs to be sure that the end-user of the stored grain does not have restrictions on insecticide uses on or around the grains that they are going to purchase. If growing specialty grains, check with your buyers before using insecticides.
A few more words of caution include, new grain should NEVER be stored on top of grain from a previous season’s harvest; remove old grain and clean bins before adding new grain.
Grains broken in the harvesting and/or handling process become more susceptible to infestation by insects and mold. Thus, adjust combines according to the manufacturer’s specifications to minimize grain damage and to maximize removal of fines and other foreign material, move grains as little as possible, and limit the number of times and heights from which grains are dropped to reduce breakage.
Grain engulfment prevention:
Last but not least, review your safety procedures for working with flowing grain, grain harvesting and handling equipment, and personal protection.
Anyone who works around the bins and grain handling equipment should know where to find shut-off switches, fire extinguishers, and emergency phone numbers.
Being prepared for harvest will reduce the risk of accidents, and knowing how to react in an emergency can save lives.
Your 2012 crop may be small, but valuable and its quality needs to be protected if it is being stored. The bin should be cleaned, and an insecticide treatment applied if needed. Aeration and conditioning equipment should be checked and maintained, and the grain being stored should be regularly monitored for quality, but in doing so, no one should be in danger of entrapment.
Source: FarmGate blog
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:41 am
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Lessons From the Full Tilt Ponzi
SATURDAY, AUGUST 04, 2012
In the midst of the Eurozone crisis and corporate bankruptcy scandals such as MF Global last year, a smaller-scale yet meaningful scandal went relatively unnoticed. This scandal erupted on what poker players now call "Black Friday" – April 15, 2011. That was the day when U.S. federal authorities unsealed indictments, seized the domains and assets of the three most popular online poker sites – Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and the Cereus network (Absolute Poker) – and arrested the owners. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. poker players were locked out of their online accounts and separated from their funds.
Initially, the central charge against these sites and their owners was one of bank fraud and money laundering. While PokerStars was soon able to return money owed to players, FullTilt players have yet to receive the almost $350 million owed to them. In comparison, that’s about 30% of the amount that was looted from the wealthy clients of MF Global. After several more months of investigation, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan was forced to state that "Full Tilt was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme".
“Not only did the firm orchestrate a massive fraud against the U.S. banking system, as previously alleged, Full Tilt also cheated and abused its own players to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars,” [U.S. Attorney] Bharara said. “Full Tilt insiders lined their own pockets with funds picked from the pockets of their most loyal customers while blithely lying to both players and the public alike about the safety and security of the money deposited with the company.”
From 2007 to 2011, the owners and board members of Full Tilt received about $443 million in payouts while being well aware that the money owed to players worldwide did not exist and could not be paid out. This included payouts to such trusted names in poker as Howard Lederer, Rafe Furst and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson. Players with funds deposited on Full Tilt had every right to be outraged at this criminal behavior, but, then again, these types of corporate ponzi schemes should be viewed as business as usual in the global economy by now.
Every major bank in the world, including the ones that were allegedly "defrauded" by these poker sites (as if they couldn’t figure out what was really going on with all of the sketchily-named transactions they processed), operate on the exact same ponzi principles as Full Tilt. If the "Black Friday" poker disaster can teach us anything, it is that the money you have on deposit at your financial institution does not really exist and there will soon come a day when the banks, in conjunction with the government, prevent you from cashing out your deposits.
For some reason, most Americans still cannot envision such a scenario occurring, even though it has started occurring in Europe and has already occurred to hundreds of thousands of poker players here (as well as the clients of MF Global). They believe that, at the worst, restrictions will be temporary, losses will be minor and the government will eventually make them whole. Well, let’s look at what is now happening with the funds of Full Tilt players to perhaps get a glimpse of how these future "bank holidays" will play out.
Poker Players’ Association Repayment Updates
On April 15, 2011, forever known as "Black Friday" to the poker community, hundreds of thousands of US online poker players lost the ability to access their accounts on the major poker sites. Since that time the PPA has made it a priority to do everything it can to help those players get their money back. Thankfully, PokerStars fulfilled its obligation to its players and promptly returned their funds. Players on FullTiltPoker and the Cereus network were not compensated however. In July 2011 the PPA released the Player’s Funds Legal Guide in order to help players understand their rights and the various methods to assert those rights as the situation unfolded.
Now, 15 months later, another chapter of the saga has come to an end. As reported here the DOJ, FTP and PokerStars have finally come to an agreement settling the civil cases against those sites and paving the way for account balances to finally be returned. The PPA applauds the efforts of the DOJ and all the various parties for reaching this agreement and especially thanks them for making the return of player funds an important priority of the agreement. While details of the player repayment process, known as "remission of funds," are still not available, rest assured that the PPA will be working diligently to help ensure a fair and easy process for all parties. We have reached out to the DOJ with player concerns before and we will continue to do so. We also will be available to the DOJ to assist it wherever we can in terms of what either the PPA or the players can do to help make the process easier.
The remission process was discussed in the July 2011 PPA Player’s Funds Legal Guide and you can re-read that section to get a general idea of the process. But the specific details of how the process will be conducted with respect to the specific FTP situation are still being determined by the DOJ. The PPA will use this page to keep you informed of all the details of that process as soon as they are available. The PPA will also use this page to provide you with all the assistance it can to help you through this process if you were one of the players affected.
So bookmark this page, return frequently, and keep your eye out for notices of updates. The PPA will make sure the information is here as soon as it is available. Until more information is available the only advice that can be given at this time is to remain calm, gather all the information you still have regarding your FTP account (especially your screen name, your password, and the name under which the account was registered), and stay tuned.
This development was by far the best news a U.S. player with funds deposited at Full Tilt could hope to hear. After 15 months of separation from their funds, most players had been resigned to the fact that their money had vanished for good. Now, it seems that the acquisition of Full Tilt by an even larger online poker company, PokerStars, will make room for players to finally get their money back. However, it still isn’t at all clear what portion of money owed to U.S. players will be remitted or how long it will take for the process to complete.
In the PPA’s 2011 "Legal Guide" referenced above, they say the following:
It has been well reported and documented that contemporaneous with the filing of the April 15, 2011, indictments against the site owners and their payment processors, the Federal Government initiated substantial forfeiture actions against site assets and specifically moved tofreeze bank accounts used by the sites to hold substantial funds. Subsequently the Federal Government has taken legal proceedings to declare these funds forfeited to the Federal Government as the "proceeds" of illegal activity. Many players believe that a substantial reasonthey have not been paid as of yet is that these seized funds represent a significant amount of the sites’ assets, though exact figures are not yet public knowledge. So, players ask, how about seeking to get player money from the money seized by the Government? Answering this question is enormously complex, and whether and how to seek to do it (or not) will once againdepend on the specific circumstances of the individual player. For players to determine that answer for themselves, the basic principles of Federal Forfeiture must be understood and discussed with private counsel.
The only thing we know for sure is that U.S. players will have to submit a petition for remission of funds to the Department of Injustice once the details are finalized. So you have to ask yourself – is this the kind of frustrating, drawn-out and complex process that you want to go through to get your deposited funds from the bank? Are you willing to "stay tuned" for more than a year before the insolvent bank is acquired by a larger entity and you can finally petition that entity (or the government) to reimburse you, at anywhere from 100 to 50 cents on the dollar? Remember, this is really the best-case scenario when severely under-capitalized institutions go bust.
That is especially true if the owners are targets in a civil or criminal investigation, as is the case with Full Tilt. We can easily imagine a situation in which the Department of Injustice indicts a network of major and mid-level U.S. banks on various criminal charges for political reasons, but also as a means of giving those institutions an excuse not to pay out their depositors. Just like it did with Full Tilt, this play could go down after a bunch of board members and upper-level management at these banks have siphoned off billions in compensation, bonuses and redeemed equity shares (many of them already have).
And just like with the major poker sites, there will be one or two high-level guys that take the fall and the rest of the charges will be settled before any sort of trial. The major difference is – who will be able to rescue the assets of these banks and raise the funds necessary to pay out depositors? We are obviously talking much, much greater factors of losses than those endured by U.S. poker players. And as we know all too well, only central governments can step in to backstop these financial ponzi institutions. By the time such a rescue is necessary again, those government ponzis will have been bled dry by the corporate war machine as well.
I suspect that most Americans and Europeans with large deposits in the bank will easily see 25, 50 or even 100% of those deposits disappear into a black hole, and they will not be nearly as lucky as U.S. poker players in finding any "white knights" to reimburse them. If anything, they will have to wait a solid 6-12 months before hearing anything about how to go about getting their money back, and then perhaps another 6-12 months to actually get it. By that time, the state of the global economy and society will be quite nasty, and those funds may be useless anyway. What kind of capital restrictions will be in place across the Western world by then?
The only smart move is, and has always been, to get whatever money you will need over at least a year or two out of the bank RIGHT NOW. Despite their after-the-fact claims to the contrary, most people in the poker community had no idea how or when Black Friday was going to hit, and how extensive the ensuing monetary damage would be. All I know is that the poker players who, for whatever reason, decided to liquidate all of their funds before April 15, 2011 now look like geniuses, while the rest of us look like chumps. But I don’t really care what I look like… I just want to get back the money that is owed to me and learn from my misplaced trust.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:30 pm
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The U.S. mobile phone industry is running out of the airwaves necessary to provide voice, text and Internet services to its customers.
The problem, known as the "spectrum crunch," threatens to increase the number of dropped calls, slow down data speeds and raise customers’ prices. It will also whittle down the nation’s number of wireless carriers and create a deeper financial divide between those companies that have capacity and those that don’t.
Wireless spectrum — the invisible infrastructure over which all wireless transmissions travel — is a finite resource. When, exactly, we’ll hit the wall is the subject of intense debate, but almost everyone in the industry agrees that a crunch is coming.
The U.S. still has a slight spectrum surplus. But at the current growth rate, the surplus turns into a deficit as early as next year, according to the Federal Communications Commission’s estimates.
"Network traffic is increasing," says an official at the FCC’s wireless bureau. "[Carriers] can manage it for the next couple years, but demand is inevitably going to exceed the available spectrum."
How did we get here?
The number-one biggest driver is consumers’ insatiable thirst for e-mail, apps and particularly video on their mobile devices — anywhere, anytime. Global mobile data traffic is just about doubling every year, and will continue to do so through at least 2016, according to Cisco’s (CSCO, Fortune 500) Mobile Visual Networking Index, the industry’s most comprehensive annual study.
The iPhone, for instance, uses 24 times as much spectrum as an old-fashioned cell phone, and the iPad uses 122 times as much, according to the Federal FCC. AT&T says wireless data traffic on its network has grown 20,000% since the iPhone debuted in 2007.
Video and mobile are breaking the Internet
"We got into this principally because technology and demand exploded at a rate that nobody had anticipated," says Rory Altman, director of technology consultancy Altman & Vilandrie.
Another catalyst is the way the U.S. government allocated spectrum. The bands that wireless companies hold were broken up into small chunks across various markets, which was helpful in increasing competition in the 1990s.
But the patchwork nature has proven problematic for new technologies like high-speed 4G broadband. Bigger swaths of uninterrupted spectrum provide the larger amounts of bandwidth needed for delivering faster speeds.
One more contributing factor is that TV broadcasters and government agencies like NASA and the Department of Defense hold some of the best spectrum — relatively low-frequency radio waves that can travel long distances and penetrate buildings.
There are also businesses such as Dish Network (DISH, Fortune 500) that have large spectrum allotments but aren’t currently using them. (Dish is exploring its options for either using or selling its spectrum. A group of cable companies with unused spectrum recently struck a $3.6 billion pact to sell their holdings to Verizon in a deal that’s facing heavy regulatory scrutiny.)
The spectrum crunch is not an inherently American problem, but its effects are magnified here, since the United States has an enormous population of connected users. This country serves more than twice as many customers per megahertz of spectrum as the next nearest spectrum-constrained nations, Japan and Mexico.
When spectrum runs short, service degrades sharply: calls get dropped and data speeds slow down.
That’s a nightmare scenario for the wireless carriers. To stave it off, they’re turning over rocks and searching the couch cushions for excess spectrum.
They have tried to limit customers’ data usage by putting caps in place, throttling speeds and raising prices. Carriers such as Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500), AT&T (T, Fortune 500), Sprint (S, Fortune 500), T-Mobile, MetroPCS (PCS) and Leap (LEAP) have been spending billions to make more efficient use of the spectrum they do hold and billions more to get their hands on new spectrum. And they have tried to merge with one another to consolidate resources.
The FCC has also been working to free up more spectrum for wireless operators. Congress reached a tentative deal last week, approving voluntary auctions that would let TV broadcasters’ spectrum licenses be repurposed for wireless broadband use.
But freeing up more spectrum won’t be enough to solve the problem.
"There is no one solution that will address all the needs of the wireless industry," says Dan Hays, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers who specializes in telecom issues.
The good news is that there are ways to buy time. Several innovative approaches are in the works, and there’s a decent amount of spectrum out there that could be turned over to the carriers’ possession.
The bad news is that none of the fixes are quick, and all are expensive. For the situation to improve, carriers — and, therefore, their customers — will have to pay more.
"For a while we won’t notice the quality of service changes, but over time as devices get better and use more data, we’ll start to take notice," Altman says. "Consumers will notice it, and the burden will fall on the carriers to fix it."
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:09 pm
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They want Obama in another 4 years.
That’s why they are pushing Romney.
He is supported by the same banks that support Obama.
The only man they establishment seems to be truly afraid of is Dr. Paul.
If he does ‘catch fire’, as the article puts it, he will be a marked man.
Statistics: Posted by Deo Vindice — Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:00 pm
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Elite Campaign to Re-Elect Obama in Full Swing?
Saturday, February 04, 2012 – by Anthony Wile
From the Washington Post, we learn that "January job gains have economists rethinking outlooks."
Oh, really? Last I looked, the bear leg of the larger business cycle was still in full effect. Nothing’s changed in other words, since 2001 – or more pertinently 2008, when according to our elvish analysis the fiat-dollar economy, worldwide, collapsed.
How do we know it collapsed? Well, various central banks have committed possibly more than US$50 trillion since then to propping up various financial facilities. That doesn’t sound very healthy, does it? Say, you go ask for a US$50 trillion loan (if you can figure out where to apply) and see whether you get it.
More on this in a minute. The idea of an up-trending of the US economy is nothing more than a bald-faced lie, the most devious kind of propaganda. Here’s a bit more from the article:
An unexpectedly rosy jobs report set off a chain reaction Friday, upending economists’ gloomy predictions for the coming year, leading to a surge on Wall Street and potentially boggling the political calculus of the 2012 presidential campaigns.
The surprise — that the unemployment rate had dipped for the fifth straight month, to 8.3 percent — was first reflected in the stock market, where the Dow Jones industrial average soared to its highest mark since the beginning of the financial crisis. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, meanwhile, hit an 11-year high.
By noon, President Obama, whose reelection chances have been threatened by the nation’s economic woes, seized on the figures as proof that the recovery from the recession "is speeding up."
They should convince us (along with numerous previous articles of late on the same theme) that there is a mysterious, organizing force behind Obama that has thrown its weight behind his election. Call it Money Power. Call it the power elite. Obama is its chosen receptacle. They may stop at nothing to gain his reelection.
And even among horrible presidents, he’s truly a horror. Bush was a horrible warmonger and statist. Obama is perhaps even a bit less tolerable because of his sanctamoniousness. He doesn’t have any principals (none of them do) but he surely believes in "Obama."
Of course it really doesn’t matter. They are nothing but employees at this point, though before the Civil War they were perhaps something else. Some of them anyway. He’s the latest chosen one, but chosen the way a promising employee is chosen.
Why is Barack Obama the chosen one? Who knows? The obvious answers for those who study conspiratorial – or directed – history is that Obama has Anglosphere Intel connections. His father and mother both supposedly worked for the CIA, or so its been reported at length in the alternative media.
This would explain one reason why Obama’s records – even apparently including his kindergarten records – remain sealed. The release of too much data would likely make Obama’s connections to the powers-that-be obvious and intimate.
And who are these shadowy powers-that-be? Why, they’re what we call the Anglosphere power elite, a group of families initially located in the City of London for the most part that controls central banking around the world.
In aggregate, the power elite consists of these families (one in particular, from what we can tell) plus various enablers and associates in the religious, military and corporate worlds.
It is this small and inconceivably wealthy group that is driving everyone else – seven billion people – toward a New World Order that will resemble a feudal system in which a few will live in mile-long Keeps and the rest will serve in various serf-like capacities.
The ideal carrying weight of the world is around 500 million, according to these elites. We know this from the Georgia Guidestones. These strange, prophetic carvings state clearly how many people should reside on the planet.
The Georgia Guidestones are part of a larger elite "signaling" compulsion. Some believe that this is religious in nature and that the elites in aggregate worship the "Illuminated One."
But there is a much simpler explanation and it has to do with the way campaigns for supremacy are waged. One doesn’t merely arrange one’s troops and strategies in a certain manner. One also wages psychological war. One may even "signal" one’s intentions. Its part of a methodology of demoralization.
Another strategy in the elite toolkit is something we call dominant social themes. These fear-based promotions are designed to frighten middle classes into giving up wealth and power to specially designed globalist receptacles such as the UN, IMF, World Bank, etc.
We recently noticed that Google has recorded thousands of cites for "dominant social theme" and for "Internet Reformation" – both phrases our modest paper has popularized. We’re happy to add to the popular vocabulary, though even in aggregate we’re certainly no Marshall McLuhan!
We also noticed the "re-elect Obama" meme a while ago and began to write about it. It’s proven to be a popular observation. Many in the alternative news press who are apt to cover this sort of thing have noticed the fake "positive economic news" that is starting to be issued out of the controlled mainstream press.
Of course, here at the Daily Bell, we’ve been charting this power elite meme for quite a while – and we predicted that, if we were correct, the amount and rhetorical energy of the "American economy rising" meme would soon be evident.
We think it is. Such evidence is, to some degree, apocryphal. But it seems increasingly indisputable that the idea the US economy is in a "recovery" and is generating additional jobs has taken root throughout the American media.
Of course, the US is NOT in recovery, from my point of view. The US cannot be in recovery as a collective economy because the economy itself is filled with propped-up financial enterprises that in turn support the failed, monopoly fiat-money system that the power elite for the moment insists on continuing.
The charade expands because there is no other way, apparently, to re-elect Barack Obama. And Obama is seemingly important to power elite plans to create world government. They seem to want to keep him in power for another four years.
There is a lawsuit against Obama in Georgia that may knock him off the ballot in that state. I can’t begin to imagine the pressure that will be brought on that presiding judge to ensure that Obama remains in contention in Georgia and everywhere else.
This despite the evident forgery of his "long" birth certificate that I’ve read contains four separate PDF layers and the continuing refusal of the administration to release pertinent personal records. Obama seems to be an obvious elite agent, and I have a sneaking suspicion that much of what he is supposed to accomplish may come in the second term. Call it a hunch.
It seems to me – and we have written about this at length – that there is a pincer-technique in play at the moment. It consists first of all of the Occupy Wall Street crowd controlled apparently by George Soros, which is doing what it can, in aggregate, to cast further doubts on free markets while playing up the sanitizing resources of big government.
The second part of the pincer is the mainstream media, which is whipping up antipathy against Wall Street and the "one percent." This is actually a kind of "French Revolution" strategy intended to foment class warfare. We’ve written about it at length.
Obama may be called on to do his part by helping to set up a kind of neo-Pecora Hearing in Washington DC. The Pecora Hearings were responsible for the current misery of the Wall Street regulatory regime that has done nothing but allow Wall Street itself to capture the larger regulatory apparatus.
The new Pecora Hearings, if they come about, will likely deal a death blow to America’s capital-raising mechanisms and turn the US into a kind of Europe when it comes to entrepreneurial activity. In other words, those who wish to create business and wealth will be subservient to the regulatory and political class.
This would be, of course, the outcome sought by the Anglosphere elite that deems competition "a sin." It is feasible for people to have access to capital, but only those people who are "appropriate" and "chosen."
There is something else going on with Obama, too, which has to do with his skin color and putative Islamic background. He is being positioned as a "citizen of the world" in a disturbing way. There seems to be about him a whiff of globalist strategy that has not yet been exercised.
What this is isn’t clear. Perhaps we shall know more if he achieves a second term. And he WILL achieve a second term if the elites have any say in it, or so it appears. The phony meme of an "improving economy" seems to show that clearly.
Anyone who knows anything about Austrian, free-market, business cycle economics understands we’re in a bear-market super-cycle when it comes to fiat dollars. This is just like the 1970s, except on steroids. There is NO WAY that a fiat-dollar economy recovers in the middle of a gold-bull market leg. My humble perspective, anyway.
This gold bull probably has a lot further to travel, between the laxness of the silver/gold ratio and the (un)popularity of paper gold. When we see the silver-gold ratio closing and when junior mining stocks are being bid up like bullion we’ll conclude the cycle is ending.
Of course, we may never seen the end of this cycle. The idea that the elites will tolerate US$5,000 gold or whatever it gets to is a fairly dubious proposition, in my view. Something else may take the place of the current fiat-dollar-reserve standard that has been central to the world’s economy for the past 50 years.
If I were a betting man, I’d probably give Obama a second term. Elite backing – if that’s what we’re seeing – signals a pervasive effort, in my view. It likely extends beyond media bias to programmable voting machines (with no paper trail) and other kinds of programmatic elements that will not leave anything to chance.
So … four more years of Obama? There are always alternative scenarios, of course. Life is never certain. Someone like Congressman Ron Paul could still catch fire on the national stage and boost himself into true contention. Alternatively, Obama could be knocked off the ballot in various states, etc.
But still … what we’re seeing in the major media confirms my suspicion that the fix is in. Obama may not have performed well but his "sponsors" are signaling that he’s still their man. Just watch the ongoing "resurgent economy" promotion expand if you’ve got any doubts. That may be the key. It’s right on time.
The big question in my view is not whether he will be re-elected but what will he do afterwards.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:28 am
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