We all get it. We shampoo because hair collects oil.
Why should millions of pounds of absorbant, natural, renewable fiber go to waste every day?
Anyone and Everyone: salons, groomers, wool farmers and individuals can sign up to donate hair, fur, waste wool... clippings, as well as nylons (panty hose) and funding for our Hair for Oil Spills program. Our Excess Access program SIGN UP is FREE, FAST and HELPS us to coordinate the masses of donations going to the Gulf. More info
A delivery address in the Gulf will be emailed to you. We're not posting warehouse addresses on the web, because we're coordinating how much goes where. All along the Gulf Coast new harbor depots are being temporarily donated to this cause. We're doing this in WAVES (WAVE 9 begins May 11) due to the unprecedented surge of donors signing up every hour! They're coming in from all over the US as well as Canada, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Austrailia...! It's an international philanthropic community phenomenon!
Hundreds of thousands of pounds of hair and nylons are coming in now by UPS, FED EX, USPS (we're getting our own zip codes now) as well as donated trucking, from every State in the US and from Canada, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Brazil..! Everyone wants to make this happen!
If you live in the Northern hemisphere, now's a great time to take your dogs to the groomer for that 'summer clip' they love so much. Send in those clippings to save the Gulf instead of vacuuming shedding fur all summer!
More info - including links to a YouTube video, photos, and instructions - at MatterOfTrust.org.
Update: Alpaca wool sent to mop up Gulf of Mexico oil spill. (Includes several spill-related updates)
The Quiet Coup
By Simon Johnson, a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund
The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.
To further whet your interest in reading this article, below are excerpts from each section -- hopefully, brief enough that copyright is not infringed, while still being full enough to stimulate discussion, and offer points of reference for such a discussion. This is a long (4-page) article, so I urge you, please, take the link and read the whole thing before commenting.
...the IMF specializes in telling its clients what they don’t want to hear.
...to IMF officials, all of these crises looked depressingly similar. Each country, of course, needed a loan, but more than that, each needed to make big changes so that the loan could really work.
Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks.
Becoming a Banana Republic
In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (and only in emerging markets)...
...elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.
The Wall Street–Washington Corridor
... the American financial industry gained political power by amassing a kind of cultural capital—a belief system. Once, perhaps, what was good for General Motors was good for the country. Over the past decade, the attitude took hold that what was good for Wall Street was good for the country.
America’s Oligarchs and the Financial Crisis
By now, the princes of the financial world have of course been stripped naked as leaders and strategists—at least in the eyes of most Americans. But as the months have rolled by, financial elites have continued to assume that their position as the economy’s favored children is safe, despite the wreckage they have caused.
The Way Out
Looking just at the financial crisis (and leaving aside some problems of the larger economy), we face at least two major, interrelated problems. The first is a desperately ill banking sector that threatens to choke off any incipient recovery that the fiscal stimulus might generate. The second is a political balance of power that gives the financial sector a veto over public policy, even as that sector loses popular support.
To paraphrase Joseph Schumpeter, the early-20th-century economist, everyone has elites; the important thing is to change them from time to time.
Hell has broken out in Rick's part of the world.
Includes graphic descriptions - not for the faint of heart:
65 dead, towns totally destroyed in Australia's wildfire hell.
Another article about the Oz wildfires mentioned that 60% of Queensland - where Greg's from - is flooded, and warned people to watch out for crocs in urban areas.
Update: Australia's worst bushfire disaster: Scale of the tragedy defies comprehension.
The death toll from horrific bushfires across Victoria this weekend has reached 76, surpassing the number of people who perished in the 1983 Ash Wednesday blazes.
More than 700 homes have been lost in what is being described as 'Hell on Earth', and it is feared the death toll will pass 100.
Twenty-six fires continue to burn across Victoria; 12 of those are out of control.
Long Daily Mail article with several photos, including a NASA satellite image.
Nothing to see here - move along, move along...
July 3, 2008
WASHINGTON3 (Reuters) - While the U.S. oil industry want access to more federal lands to help reduce reliance on foreign suppliers, American-based companies are shipping record amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel to other countries.
A record 1.6 million barrels a day in U.S. refined petroleum products were exported during the first four months of this year, up 33 percent from 1.2 million barrels a day over the same period in 2007. Shipments this February topped 1.8 million barrels a day for the first time during any month, according to final numbers from the Energy Department.
The surge in exports appears to contradict the pleas from the U.S. oil industry and the Bush administration for Congress to open more offshore waters and Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.
More at the link.
...we have no inflation today.
We're paying a helluva lot more for everything. And every time we go to the store, we get sticker shock because the price of everything has gone up some more. But as if by magic, there is no inflation.
And if you believe that, I've got a great deal for you on some property investments in Brooklyn and south-central Florida.
If you're a tad skeptical, check out the link, to find out how the Bureau of Labor Statistics managed to turn April's 5.6% rise in the price of gasoline into a 2% decline.
You'll also find out that all those prices haven't really been soaring, because "inflation-adjusted wages for nonsupervisory workers fell by 1 percent in April compared to a year ago, the seventh consecutive [monthly] decline."
This AP Economics writer also makes a few good jokes along the way, albeit unintentionally. Take this, for example:
"A severe bout of energy-driven inflation in the 1970s did lead to a wage-price spiral as workers began demanding more pay to keep up with soaring prices. That's not expected this time thanks to the inflation-fighting credibility gained by the Federal Reserve."
Or how about this one:
"Forecasters believe crude oil prices, which briefly touched a new record this week close to $127 per barrel, will eventually start coming down....to around $100 per barrel by the end of this year."
Woohoo! Oil at only $100 a barrel! (...In some alternate universe.) Guess that means, by December, we'll all be singing, "Happy days are here again!"
Or maybe all these really-really-smart economists just think the rest of us are a bunch of drooling idiots.
Two killed - inside a house - by one bullet from a high-powered rifle fired from 300 yards away by some idiot 'celebrating' on New Year's Eve! Gee, and when all the fireworks - and gunfire - started, I told a startled KitterRed kitty that there was nothing to worry about. I should have added, as long as we crawl around below window level.
On Christmas Eve, I had to call 911 (again) about the nutcases/drug-dealers across the street, for firing a gun 6 times. Having called 911 on them about every other month for the past 3 years, I'm pretty sure they weren't 'celebrating' anything.
How can you live without ever walking in front of any of your windows - or glass doors? Is it any wonder I now get nervous every time I walk past my kitchen window to pour myself a cup of coffee?
Some people might say I should have expected as much, considering I moved to this apartment over here in 'Taco Flats'. But hey, at least over here I'm behind an iron security fence, with state-of-the-art surveillance cameras all over the place; and, for the most part, I'm also behind two layers of brick & cinderblock walls, with electronic alarms on all the windows and doors. I didn't have any of that security at my last apartment - which was across the street from an exclusive enclave of million-dollar homes in oh-so-upscale unincorporated Littleton -- about a mile and a half from Columbine.
Remember the church shootings in Aurora recently? As far as I concerned, no matter what part of the city you're in, living in Denver sucks.
Enough's enough. At my earliest convenience, I'm moving back to God's country -- where practically everybody owns at least a half dozen guns, and hardly anybody ever gets shot by accident.
Geez, what a headline! What do you think -- are they really freaking out, or just trying to scare the pants off all of us?
So as not to infringe on copyright, here are a few of this 3-page article's ...err ...high points:
"Liquidity doesn't do anything in this situation," says Anna Schwartz, the doyenne of US monetarism and life-time student (with Milton Friedman) of the Great Depression.
"It cannot deal with the underlying fear that lots of firms are going bankrupt. The banks and the hedge funds have not fully acknowledged who is in trouble. That is the critical issue," she adds.
...the crisis has moved beyond the collapse of mortgage securities, and is now eating into the bedrock of banking capital. "We must try to avoid the vicious circle in which tighter liquidity conditions, lower asset values, impaired capital resources, reduced credit supply, and slower aggregate demand feed back on each other," he says.
New York's Federal Reserve chief Tim Geithner echoed the words, warning of an "adverse self-reinforcing dynamic", banker-speak for a downward spiral.
In theory, Japan had ample ammo to fight a bust. Interest rates were 6 per cent in February 1990. In reality, the country was engulfed by the tsunami of debt deflation quicker than the bank dared to cut rates. In the end, rates fell to zero. Still it was not enough.
When a credit system implodes, it can feed on itself with lightning speed. Current rates in America (4.25 per cent), Britain (5.5 per cent), and the eurozone (4 per cent) have scope to fall a long way, but this may prove less of a panacea than often assumed. The risk is a Japanese denouement across the Anglo-Saxon world and half Europe.
"The kind of upheaval observed in the international money markets over the past few months has never been witnessed in history," says Thomas Jordan, a Swiss central bank governor.
On two nights only -- Tuesday Nov. 13th and Thursday Nov. 15th -- Star Trek: The Menagerie - digitally re-mastered in High-Definition and Cinema Surround Sound - will be showing in movie theaters across the US, and in Canada. For a hint what re-mastered means, click here.
Check those links carefully -- it's showing on different dates in different countries.
Many long-time Daily Grail readers are probably aware that I'm a big fan of the Harry Potter books. But if you haven't read them yourself, perhaps you've wondered what I (and other adults) find so interesting about these 'children's books.' If so, here's a big part of the answer for you:
Egyptian Myths in Harry Potter -- original Mugglenet.com editorials by S.P. Sipal
Part 1: Harry of the Two Ways
Part 3: Harry's Sacred Egyptian Triangle
Reading these essays may even provide some insight into my devotion to The Daily Grail. ;-)
China's going to have to do a lot more than lop off the head of one bureaucrat before I'll ever knowing eat - or feed to my pets -anything imported from there again. Note that Zheng was arrested for corruption in 2005 - long before the recent food & drug scandals were reported in the mainstream media - so executing Zheng isn't going to solve the problem.
The disgraced head of China's food and drug agency was sentenced to death yesterday amid a wave of consumer safety scandals.
Zheng Xiaoyu, 62, was found guilty of accepting 6.5m yuan (£433,000) worth of bribes from pharmaceutical companies to expedite the approval of new drugs.
Underscoring the state's determination to crack down on corruption and consumer safety violations, he is the most senior official to receive the death penalty in seven years.
Beijing fears a collapse of consumer confidence after a series of deadly food and drug scandals, often linked with lax regulation and bribe taking. With more Chinese products filling shelves overseas, several cases have had international repercussions.
For most of the past decade, Zheng was the face of the government's consumer safety policy. A former pharmaceutical company executive, he was appointed as the first director of the state food and drug administration in 1998. His powerful agency controlled the approval process for all new drugs and coordinated the licensing of food and pharmaceutical factories.
According to local media, one antibiotic approved by the agency killed 10 patients last year before it was withdrawn. In 2005, the year Zheng was arrested, the health ministry reported 34,000 food-related illnesses. Given the 1.3 billion population, it is not a huge number.
The Beijing court said Zheng's crime was to have abused his position to secure benefits for himself and his family.
"Zheng was supposed to use the power given to him by the state and the people seriously and honestly, but instead he has ignored their vital interests by taking the bribes," Xinhua quoted the court as saying. "This has threatened the safety of people's life and health and has caused an extremely bad social impact."
The unusually harsh penalty may have been handed down to reassure foreign as well as Chinese consumers that the government is taking action.
Earlier this month, Australia, Panama and the Dominican Republic recalled thousands of tubes of Chinese-made toothpaste that allegedly contained dangerous levels of diethylene glycol, a toxin normally used to cool engines.
In April, the United States government blamed tainted pet food from China for the fatal poisoning of several dogs and cats. Three US states have since banned imports of catfish from China because they contained an unauthorised antibiotic.