Tuesday, August 24, 2010

World's Richest Government

We know the world's richest man is Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico, followed by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet of USA .

How about governments?

Which countries’ government is the richest (having most money that is, in US$)

If you are expecting North American and European nations, you might be disappointed.

While the countries look rich, wealthy European nations can't withstand a prolonged major financial crisis, just like Greece .

The USA might have the biggest economy, but the American government is not at all rich; in fact, it can't even take out $150bn if asked to now without resorting to borrowing.

To date the US government has borrowed $14 trillion!

The UK , likewise, while the country/people are rich, the government isn't.

The UK government’s debt stands at $9 trillion now.

World’s Richest Government

Richest governments after 2008-2009 financial crisis:


1. China
National reserves: $2,454,300,000,000


2. Japan
National reserves: $1,019,000,000,000


3. Russia
National reserves: $458,020,000,000


4. Saudi Arabia
National reserves: $395,467,000,000


5. Taiwan
National reserves: $362,380,000,000


6. India
National reserves: $279,422,000,000


7. South Korea
National reserves: $274,220,000,000


8. Switzerland
National reserves: $262,000,000,000


9. Hong Kong , China
National reserves: $256,000,000,000


10. Brazil
National reserves: $255,000,000,000

Here are the rest, in million US $:

11 Singapore / 203,436
12 Germany / 189,100
13 Thailand / 150,000
14 Algeria / 149,000
15 France / 140,848
16 Italy / 133,104
17 United States / 124,176
18 Mexico / 100,096
19 Iran / 96,560
20 Malaysia / 96,100
21 Poland / 85,232
22 Libya / 79,000
23 Denmark / 76,315
24 Turkey / 71,859
25 Indonesia / 69,730
26 United Kingdom / 69,091
27 Israel / 62,490
28 Canada / 57,392
29 Norway / 49,223
30 Iraq / 48,779
31 Argentina / 48,778
32 Philippines / 47,650
33 Sweden / 46,631
34 United Arab Emirates / 45,000
35 Hungary / 44,591
36 Romania / 44,056
37 Nigeria / 40,480
38 Czech Republic / 40,151
39 Australia / 39,454
40 Lebanon / 38,600
41 Netherlands / 38,372
42 South Africa / 38,283
43 Peru / 37,108
44 Egypt / 35,223
45 Venezuela / 31,925
46 Ukraine / 28,837
47 Spain / 28,195
48 Colombia / 25,141
49 Chile / 24,921
50 Belgium / 24,130
51 Brunei / 22,000
52 Morocco / 21,873
53 Vietnam / 17,500
54 Macau / 18,730
55 Kazakhstan / 27,549
56 Kuwait / 19,420
57 Angola / 19,400
58 Austria / 18,079
59 Serbia / 17,357
60 Pakistan / 16,770
61 New Zealand / 16,570
62 Bulgaria / 16,497
63 Ireland / 16,229
63 Portugal / 16,254
64 Croatia / 13,720
65 Jordan / 12,180
66 Finland / 11,085
67 Bangladesh / 10,550
68 Botswana / 10,000
69 Tunisia / 9,709
70 Azerbaijan / 9,316
71 Bolivia / 8,585
72 Trinidad and Tobago / 8,100
73 Yemen / 7,400
74 Uruguay / 8,104
75 Oman / 7,004
76 Latvia / 6,820
77 Lithuania / 6,438
78 Qatar / 6,368
79 Cyprus / 6,176
80 Belarus / 6,074
81 Syria / 6,039
82 Uzbekistan / 5,600
83 Luxembourg / 5,337
84 Guatemala / 5,496
85 Greece / 5,207
86 Bosnia and Herzegovina / 5,151
87 Cuba / 4,247
88 Costa Rica / 4,113
89 Equatorial Guinea / 3,928
90 Ecuador / 3,913
91 Iceland / 3,823
92 Paraguay / 3,731
93 Turkmenistan / 3,644
94 Estonia / 3,583
95 Malta / 3,522
96 Myanmar / 3,500
97 Bahrain / 3,474
98 Kenya / 3,260
99 Ghana / 2,837
100 El Salvador / 2,845
101 Sri Lanka / 2,600
102 Cambodia / 2,522
103 Côte d'Ivoire / 2,500
104 Tanzania / 2,441
105 Cameroon / 2,341
106 Macedonia / 2,243
107 Dominican Republic / 2,223
108 Papua New Guinea / 2,193
109 Honduras / 2,083
110 Armenia / 1,848
111 Slovakia / 1,809
112 Mauritius / 1,772
113 Albania / 1,615
114 Kyrgyzstan / 1,559
115 Jamaica / 1,490
116 Mozambique / 1,470
117 Gabon / 1,459
118 Senegal / 1,350
119 Georgia / 1,300
120 Panama / 1,260
121 Sudan / 1,245
122 Zimbabwe / 1,222
123 Slovenia / 1,105
124 Moldova / 1,102
125 Zambia / 1,100
126 Nicaragua / 1,496
127 Mongolia / 1,000
128 Chad / 997
129 Burkina Faso / 897
130 Lesotho / 889
131 Ethiopia / 840
132 Benin / 825
133 Namibia / 750
134 Madagascar / 745
135 Barbados / 620
136 Laos / 514
137 Rwanda / 511
138 Swaziland / 395
139 Togo / 363
140 Cape Verde / 344
141 Tajikistan / 301
142 Guyana / 292
143 Haiti / 221
144 Belize / 150
145 Vanuatu / 149
146 Malawi / 140
147 Gambia / 120
148 Guinea / 119
149 Burundi / 118
150 Seychelles / 118
151 Samoa / 70
152 Tonga / 55
153 Liberia / 49
154 Congo / 36
155 São Tomé and Príncipe / 36
156 Eritrea / 22

Big national reserves doesn't guarantee prosperity however, for instance, the yearly expenses for China 's government is $1.11 trillion, their government must always think of economic growth and making more money.

China’s gov't overspent $110bn last year, much on it towards modernizing their military, if it goes on like this their reserves can only last for 22 yrs.

The Malaysian gov't overspent $13bn last year, if it goes on like this their reserves can only last for 7 yrs.

The Singaporean government overspent $3bn last year, much of it rescuing their banks from financial crisis, if it goes on like this their reserves can last 68 yrs.

The Swiss gov't overspent $1bn last year, if it goes on like this their reserves can last 262 yrs.

A country normally can borrow up to 100% its GDP, a very strong industrial country or very financial stable nation can borrow up to perhaps 200% its GDP, debts over 250% GDP the country is bankrupted.

's Debts Is 113.40% GDP, In Danger As It Is Not Considered A Strong Industrial Or Financial Country.

Is 107.60%, Also In Crisis As It Is Not So Strong Industrial Or Financially.

Debts Is 113.10%, Not In Hot Water Due To Its Global Financial Hub Status, And Also Its Financial Strength. It's Only Dangerous For Singapore When It Reaches 200%

Debts Is 189.30%, Still Under Radar As A Powerful Industrial Nation. It Needs To Panic Only At Around 200%

Has The World Largest Debts, But It Is Only 62% Its GDP, It Is Not In Any Immediate Danger Of Bankruptcy.

Debts Is 282.60% GDP, It Is A Bankrupted Nation.

Debts Is Currently At 53.70% GDP.

Hong Kong
And Taiwan Is Doing Pretty Good With Debts At 32-37% GDP

South Korea
Is Even Better With Debts At 23.5% GDP

Is Very Stable With Debts At 16.90% GDP

Is Like A Big Mountain With Debts Only At 6.30% GDP

There Are Only 5 Countries With No Debt (I.E. 0%) –

Brunei, Liechtenstein , Palau , Nieu, And Macau Of China .

And Now We're Headed For The GREATEST Depression, Says Gerald Celente

The fake "recovery" was nice while it lasted, says famous apocalyptic forecaster Gerald Celente, founder of the Trends Research Institute. But now the fun's over, and we're headed for what Celente describes as the "Greatest Depression."

Specifically, the always startling Celente says the country is headed for rising unemployment, poverty, and violent class warfare as the government efforts to keep the economy going begin to fail.

The crux of the problem, Celente argues, is that the middle class has been wiped out. America used to be a land of opportunity for all, where hard-working people could build their own small businesses in their own communities and live prosperous and fulfilling lives. But now a collusion of state and corporate interests that Celente describes as "fascism" have conspired to help only the biggest companies and the richest Americans. This has put a shocking amount of the country's wealth in the hands of a privileged few and left the rest of the country to subsist on chicken-feed wages and low job satisfaction as Wal-Mart "associates" -- or worse.

The answer, Celente says, is to bring back the laws that prevented huge companies from getting so big and powerful, and put some opportunity back in the hands of ordinary people. But doing that is going to take a while. And in the meantime, we're headed for trouble.

(Celente's dead right about U.S. wealth inequality, by the way. It's shocking. And it's getting worse. For a quick overview, see "15 Mind-Blowing Facts About Wealth And Inequality In America)


Mr McGuinty Thank-you for Finding My G20 Spot!

It is not a topic or study of behaviour you will ever find in a Masters and Johnson report. But it's there. Evolved from isolated cases of discontent into a mass phenomena.

The G20 Spot.
Courtesy of Mr. McGuinty.

Unfortunately it doesn't equate with pleasure (even though I did fancy a ciggy for the first time in years, after the fact) - the spot in question arouses disgust, disappointment, a bit of fear for the future, but mainly anger.

It's interesting to me that a few months down the road, a number of very conservative individuals I spoke with when the news was first breaking, expressed initial discontent with the protesters, and are now questioning the police action and the premise of "THE FENCE".

What gives with this change of heart?

There hasn't been overkill in the media. There has been a number of tidbits in the news relating to regular individuals having their rights trampled for NOTHING!

Well as normal, I have to ask...are we being set up? If suggestive ideas are being fed to the masses - enough to sway rather conservative individuals, it makes me wonder if there is actually a ground swell of sensibility emerging OR, is there some sort of media pied piper instilling ideas. If so, by whom and to what end?

Possibly enough people had time to digest the concept that there is a large "people control" machine. "Wot? Here in Canada, you say? Pity!" "We have always taken our right of free speech and the concept we live in a "democracy" for granted. But is it true any longer?" "Arrests are no longer based on crimes, but seem subjective to the individual cop's (lack) of discretion"

This is what I am hearing.

Perhaps when the protesters singing Oh Canada, who were charged by the riot squad in full gear, went viral, many individuals have had time to rethink the situation.

G20 police shot rubber bullets, woman says

And then of course there is Bubbles the Cop...if this doesn't fully explain the current status of "to serve and protect", nothing does.
"You touch me with that bubble you're going into custody,"

In a viral Internet video ...

"the 52 Division officer tells protester Courtney Winkels she will be arrested for assault because she is blowing bubbles in front of officers. he tells her in a video entitled "Booked for Bubbles" that was shot June 27 near Queen St. W. and Dufferin St."
Toronto's 'Officer Bubbles' gains web notoriety

Can you imagine the ramifications if this cop had shown up to tell me about the Christian cutting the grass next door, a few weeks back? I suspect there would be no blog entry this evening...or for many to come.

Did anyone smell rubber burning at McGuinty's session?
Cabinet rushed secret G20 change, documents show
"A controversial G20 policing measure rubber-stamped by Premier Dalton McGuinty's cabinet was one of at least 116 orders-in-council signed in a flurry of end-of-session moves last month, the Star has learned.

A more typical cabinet meeting would have 30 to 40 orders-in-council on
the agenda, and sometimes as few as 20. Perhaps the most notorious item of business was cabinet's designation of areas within the G20 security zone around the Metro Toronto Convention Centre as a "public work" under the 1939 Public Works Protection Act.

Ministers made the temporary change at the request of Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who sought clarification for officers if they had to stop anyone inside the restricted area where world leaders were meeting June 26-27. The Star first revealed the unusual modification on June 25, three days before it was to have been officially revoked and eight days before it was published in the Ontario Gazette.

In the wake of that story, there was an erroneous impression that police had been given the power to arrest people who refused to provide identification or submit to a search within five metres of the zone's outer perimeter.
But Blair, McGuinty and Community Safety Minister Rick Bartolucci, who defended the "extraordinary" powers throughout the G20, did not set the record straight until two days after the summit had ended."

If they can confuse the facts and drag it on long enough those dumb tax payers will forget about it. They will all need resuscitating after they get their new hydro bills and insurance premiums and adjustments to the HST take effect. It's called being punch drunk! And broke and worried about money. What a clever distraction for every day use!
But we can count on ethics to save the day! Oh....darn.
Dueling G20 probes may hinder each other

What frightens me most about the cops stepping beyond their realm of authority and interpreting the law on an individual basis to suit their own egos, (thank you very much Officer Bubbles) is that we may soon be subjected to militant mind washing, which has already been attempted in the UK.
ASA Adjudication on The Association of Chief Police Officers

Lonely? Pay in cash? Keep your curtains drawn? You could be a terrorist

But they have EXAGGERATED before in an ad...(then this did occur across the pond, so what are the chances of being misled so blatantly out here in the colonies? Ha!)
Advertising watchdog bans 'misleading' police ad
"A Home Office campaign stating that police can now be expected to spend 80% of their time on the beat has been banned by the advertising watchdog. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the advert did not make clear time spent "on the beat" included duties other than foot patrols.

It said that as well as having a misleading definition of "on the beat", the advert failed to make it clear which officers it referred to. The pledge does not apply to all 140,000 police officers in England and Wales, only to 13,500 neighbourhood constables and 16,000 community support officers in neighbourhood policing teams. "

The following article by Denis Ranacourt is a must read and extremely insightful analysis of the G20.
"Police violence at G20-Toronto, like the economic violence engineered by G20 itself, are windows into Canada’s loss of sovereignty as it continues to integrate the US military economy and military culture at breakneck speed. Loss of economic and security sovereignty and the associated planned plundering (so-called austerity) must be attended by loss of democracy and civil rights."
G20-Toronto and lost sovereignty

This article in the Star today, caught my eye.
Anatomy of the G20: the story from both sides of the fence
Supposedly written from both sides of the fence (no pun subtly intended) it does touch on the malaise many innocent bystanders and peaceful protesters were caught up in that fateful weekend. Interestingly enough, there are also some insights into the police psyche surrounding their intentions during the G20.

Social justice activist Anna Willats, head marshal of the parade, led a circle of protesters in a pep talk. “This is a peaceful march,” she said. “This is one we want to take to the end.”

The route would be subject to ongoing negotiations with police.
The 31-year-old activist said she and another police liaison arrived at the park around 2 p.m. and immediately sought out an officer in charge. She was eventually pointed toward a couple of staff sergeants, including 55 Division’s Grant Burningham and Shaun Narine, an experienced crowd control officer who had helped manage last summer’s Tamil protest on the Gardiner Expressway.

By about 4 p.m., more than 1,000 people marched west on Carlton St., with police on bicycles. As the mass forged westward, Withers spotted Burningham in the crowd and ran up to him. Could the march continue west of Yonge St.? Yes, he replied.

But soon after, the staff sergeant became visibly agitated. The protest was moving too fast.
“Slow, slow!” he shouted at two police vans leading the march. “Crawl, crawl. Use your vans as a natural barricade to slow them down.”

Burningham spoke brusquely into his cellphone and could be heard saying: “It’s posturing at this point. Until they break off, we’re not going to deploy anything.”

It's that last sentence that gets me. They were expecting a group to splinter and cause mayhem so they could deploy. hmmmmmmm.

Me thinks the persons contributing this article have a weenie case of G20 spot, but are keeping it clean for their corporate masters. It peeps out on occasion and has all the comfort of a heel blister in a pair of new shoes. Poor girls.

Money as debt

A short film by Paul Grignon

Oil spill hearings: Safety procedure was unfamiliar to BP worker in charge

This is an update from the joint hearings by the Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement investigating the causes of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on April 20.

The BP employee who wrote the procedure for installing a protective lockdown sleeve in the Macondo oil well said he had never done the job before.

Shane Albers, BP's subsea engineer, also told internal company investigators after the well blew April 20 that the device was supposed to be installed in the well on April 18, but "problems caused a delay."

Testifying before a Marine Board panel investigating the accident, Albers was asked what he meant by problems. The nervousness coming through in his voice, Albers said he couldn't recall.

"I'm a relatively new hire, and my main role is to learn how to run a lockdown sleeve," Albers said. Asked how he wrote the procedure, he said he based it on one written by the manufacturer, Dril-Quip, and one from another BP well.

As it turned out, the lockdown sleeve never got installed. It was sitting on the rig when it blew up. The fact that the safety item hadn't been installed earlier confused some rig workers who had always seen such lockdown sleeves put in place with drilling mud still in the well. But Albers wrote the procedure to place the device after the mud, which protects against kicks of gas, had already been removed.

"I'm not aware of all the reasons drilling fluid is used," Albers said.

Previous testimony:

John Guide, BP's wells team leader in Houston supervising the top BP people on the Deepwater Horizon rig, gave a clearer explanation Thursday of why he balked April 16 when his boss authorized the use of additional devices recommended by contractor Halliburton to reduce the risk of ablowout.

oil-hearings-john-guide.JPGJohnGuide, BP's well team leader, answers question during the Deepwater Horizon joint investigation hearings on Thursday at the Radisson Hotel in Kenner.

After days of speculation by lawyers at Marine Board hearings that 15 items called centralizers went unused on the rig because they were the wrong kind, Guide testified that they were the wrong type for the job.

In an internal BP e-mail message April 16, Guide wrote: "It willtake 10 hours to install them. We are adding 45 pieces that can come off as a last minute addition. I do not like this." That raisedquestions about whether Guide was fighting against adding thecentralizers because of how long it would take.

He said the time wasn't the issue. Instead, he said the BP team was more comfortable running fewer centralizers than with using more of the wrong type.

Ky Kirby, a lawyer representing Anadarko and MOEX Offshore, minority owners of the Macondo well, challenged Guide's logic that the only option other than using the wrong devices was to use fewer.

"Why couldn't you wait to get the right centralizers?" Kirby asked.

"That subject to the best of my knowledge, never came up," Guide said.

Guide's boss, David Sims, authorized the use of 21 centralizers while Guide was out sick, Guide testified. E-mails indicate that Sims felt the larger number of centralizers was more consistent with BP's other changes to well design.

Guide said he didn't think using the other kind of centralizers was prudent because of a problem they recently had at another BP project, Atlantis. At that other Gulf well tools fell off the casing tubes when those tubes had to be removed from the hole, Guide said. He said he didn't believe there were significant cost differences between using 21 centralizers as opposed to six.

Previous testimony:

Akey BP official in Houston said he didn't bother opening a document warning of a risk of a severe gas flow problem in the Macondo oil well before a gas bulge blew it out and caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

John Guide, BP's wells team leader in Houston supervising the top BP people on the Deepwater Horizon rig, said that by the time he got an e-mail message from cement contractor Halliburton, tubes that give structure to the well had already been placed and he considered the attached document about the possible impacts of the well's design to be "too late."

Therefore, Guide said that he never opened the document attached to the e-mail message from Halliburton's Jesse Gagliano, which stated that BP's choice to use fewer than seven devices called centralizers to hold well pieces in place risked a "SEVERE gas flow problem."

Guide said he didn't look at that document until April 24, four days after the accident, even though Gagliano sent it on April 18, two days before the accident.

Miles Clements, a lawyer for rig owner Transocean, confronted Guide about his assertion that Halliburton's assessment of risk came too late.

"It wasn't too late to do a proper cement job; it just would have cost more time and money, isn't that right?" Clements asked.

"We did a proper cement job," Guide responded.

"I'm not sure everyone would agree with you on that, sir," Clements said.

Many experts believe that improper cement barriers allowed natural gas to seep into the well and shoot up open spaces.

Guide said he didn't put much faith in the models Halliburton used, anyway.

Capt. Hung Nguyen asked Guide if he didn't trust the Halliburton model, why didn't BP leaders order a test called a cement bond log to be more sure of the integrity of the well's cement barriers. Guide replied that actual checks of the well, not simulations, showed the well's cement was safe, so the cement bond log was no longer necessary.

Guide repeatedly said his company's decisions were based on ensuring "long-term wellbore integrity," not on saving money and time, but when pressed, he allowed that some of BP's choices also saved time and money.

Previous testimony:

john-guide.JPGJohnGuide, BP wells team leader, answers question during the Deepwater Horizon joint investigation hearings Thursday at the Radisson Hotel in Kenner.

A top BP official on the Deepwater Horizon rig at the time of the massive explosions April 20 questioned why company executives in Houston combined two processes on their troubled well, suggesting the bosses were trying to "save time."

"They decided we should do displacement (of protective drilling mud with seaw ater) and the negative test together; I don't know why," BP company man Robert Kaluza told internal BP investigators after the accident, according to notes from those investigators.

"Maybe they were trying to save time. At the end of the well sometimes they think about speeding up."

That's how the investigators' notes were read Thursday by lawyer Steve Gordon during Marine Board investigative hearings in Kenner.

Experts have said it was a mistake to displace the mud before the well was completely plugged, because the mud weight is the first defense against natural gas or oil kicking up and blowing out the well.

Kaluza, who had only been overseeing rig operations for four days when the accident happened, has not made any other public statement about it because he has twice invoked his Fifth Amendment rights to refuse to testify before the Marine Board panel.

At the panel hearings Thursday, Gordon asked Kaluza's boss, BP wells team leader John Guide, whether Kaluza was right.

"I don't know exactly what Mr. Kaluza is referring to," Guide said.

Gordon asked if it's true that doing those two activities together would save time.

"Could be," Guide said.

"And time equals money out there, right?" Gordon asked.

"Yes," Guide said.

Previous testimony:

john-guide.JPGJohnGuide,BP wells team leader, looks at a document during his testimony duringthe Deepwater Horizon joint investigation hearings Thursday at theRadisson Hotel in Kenner. July 22, 2010

A key BP official who oversees deepwater drilling operations from Houston testified Thursday that e-mail messages citing the higher costs of certain well designs did not mean his company compromised safety tosave money.

John Guide, BP's wells team leader and the direct supervisor of the top BP men who were on board the Deepwater Horizon rig, was part of a group that reviewed or approved significant changes in the design of the well in the week before the explosions that killed 11 workers and led to the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

One of the changes was to run a single tapered string of casing through the very center of the well, the whole 13,000-foot length of the well. The well's designers considered using a shorter tube at the bottom of the well called a "liner," that would be tied back to a series of larger ones already in the hole, which overlap and extend upward in sections like a telescope.

BP leaders debated the relative safety of each and Guide testified Thursday that the shorter "liner with a tie-back" would have provided an additional barrier against natural gas blowing out the well.

Several engineering experts have said it was a major design flaw to not have the tie-back barrier because it left a clear path for gas to flow all the way from the bottom of the well to the well head on the sea floor.

But internal BP e-mails from before the incident indicate it would have taken an additional three days to install the liner and would have cost an additional $7 million to $10 million, according to a congressional committee.

Asked about that added cost, Guide said, "It was mentioned, but it was not a factor in the decision." He said he felt a single, tapered tube would make the well's walls stronger over the long-haul.

"It was the best decision for long-term wellbore integrity," Guide said. "It just happened to also be a case where it did cost less, so it was a win-win. It just happened to be a case where it also saved money."

Another sudden change to the well plan was to install fewer devices called "centralizers," items that latch onto well liners to make sure they are centered in the hole so cement poured in to make seals would be evenly distributed.

Halliburton, a BP contractor on the project, warned that BP's plan to use six centralizers instead of 21 would lead to a "SEVERE gas flow problem." In an e-mail exchange April 16, BP executive David Sims, Guide's boss, approved the use of more centralizers to be consistent with the earlier decision to use a single, longer string of casing.

But Guide appeared to have led the successful charge to go with the original scheme of fewer centralizers when he wrote an e-mail on April16 complaining: "It will take 10 hours to install them. We are adding 45 pieces that can come off as a last minute addition. I do not like this."

Guide testified Thursday that he wasn't against taking the time to add the other centralizers, but didn't think it was prudent because of a problem they recently had at another BP project, Atlantis. At that other Gulf well centralizers fell off the casing tubes when they had to be removed from the hole, Guide said. He said he didn't believe there were significant cost differences between using 21 centralizers as opposed to six.

Previous testimony:

kenner-hearings.JPGThe Deepwater Horizon joint investigation hearings continued Tuesday at the Radisson Hotel in Kenner.

Roughneck Shane Roshto's widow said that before her husband's death on the Deepwater Horizon, he told her the Gulf oil well he was drilling was "from hell" and that "Mother Nature just doesn't want us to drill here."

Natalie Roshto of Liberty, Miss., appeared Thursday before a Marine Board panel investigating the April 20 disaster.

She has testified before several congressional committees about what her husband shared with her in the days and hours before the accident. The couple often spoke more than once a day while he was offshore.

In a tacit push against President Barack Obama's drillingmoratorium, Natalie Roshto told the investigative panel that moresafety rules aren't necessary and unique dangers to this particularwell led to the deaths of 11 workers, including Shane Roshto, and theworst oil spill in U.S. history.

"I don't think we need more safety rules," she said. "The ones out there need to be implemented harder for our men providing necessary commodities."

James Cameron, Mega-Climate Creationist, Chickens Out On Debate

Some are comparing him to the Goracle, but, really, Gore refuses to debate to start with

Hollywood director James Cameron challenged three high profile global warming skeptics to a public debate at a global warming and energy conference. But Cameron backed out of the debate at the last minute after environmentalists “came out of the woodwork” to warn him not to engage in a debate with skeptics because it was not in his best interest.

Cameron challenged Andrew Breitbart, Climate Depot’s Marc Morano and filmmaker Ann McElhinney of ‘Not Evil Just Wrong.’ The debate was already in the program for the Aspen American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) summit. The website program described the agreed to debate as “AREDAY Climate Change Debate: Reality or Fiction?”

After setting up the public global warming debate, Cameron and his negotiator then changed formats multiple times and initially said it would be open to the media and then said he would only participate if it was private with no recording devices. The skeptics agreed to all the changes. According to AREDAY organizers, activist Joseph Romm of Climate Progress urged Cameron not to go ahead with the debate as well.

Cameron’s cancellation of the agreed to debate did not happen until one debate participant (Morano) was already in mid-air, flying from DC to Aspen on Saturday August 21 to attend the debate. (AREDAY did grant Morano a 90 minute slot to speak at the summit. See: Climate Depot’s Presentation at Warmists’ Summit Met By Hostile Interrupting Moderator and Crowd; Call for Morano to Kill Himself!)

Anyone surprised? Climate creationists rarely debate, because they know that the “deniers” facts will trump the Believers emotions every time. And, notice that Cameron refused to allow recording devices, the media, and the public.

Ann McElhinney further slams Cameron

I was looking forward to debating with the film maker. I was looking forward to finding out where we agreed and disagreed and finding a way forward that would help the poorest people in the developing and developed world.

But that is not going to happen because somewhere along the way James Cameron, a great film maker, has moved from King of the World to being King of the Hypocrites.

Say, I wonder what kind of plane Cameron used to get to the conference?


Truth and Conspiracy in the Catskills

A small gathering of 50 or 60 people; roughly 95 percent white, 90 percent male, a few blond-haired kids, average age 45, all nodding in assent as a series of speakers explains that our government is conspiring against us and fabricating massive lies in order to hide its own crimes and frighten us into giving up our constitutional rights and liberties.

The Tea Party? Minutemen? Birthers? No, “Truthers,” left-wing conspiracy theorists who believe (among other things) that 9/11 was an inside job, that no plane hit the Pentagon, that Ted Olson did not receive a call from his wife, Barbara, shortly before she perished in the crash of Flight 77, that the anthrax scare was also a government hoax (although the anthrax was real and deadly), and that hurricane Katrina was the result of weather manipulation by racists or profiteers or both.

Like many others, I was aware of these theories and aware too that a significant percentage of Americans (about the same percentage that believes President Obama is a Muslim who was born in Kenya) was at least partly persuaded by them. But on Aug. 15 I got an up-close look at the phenomenon when I attended a meeting of Truthers that just happened to be held in Livingston Manor, a small Catskill town about 20 miles from my house.

The thing about people who hold beliefs you find unbelievable (in two senses) is that they are in most other respects just like you and your friends. The parking lot of the facility housing the conference might have been a parking lot at any university: lots of Subarus and Priuses. The men and women were casually dressed, polite and friendly. I’m sure that on any other topic — the Yankees, the Stieg Larsson novels, the latest Julia Roberts movie — they would have been all over the place, but when the topic is 9/11 and the “official story” told by the government, they all speak and think with an impressive unanimity of opinion and with an equally impressive sincerity.

I was the only insincere one in the room. I didn’t announce myself as a columnist looking for something to write about. I let them think I was one of them. When a speaker began his presentation by asking, “Is there anyone here who holds to the official story?”, I didn’t raise my hand. When he followed up by asking whether anyone was on the fence, I raised my hand weakly, along with one other person who, presumably, was telling the truth. Technically, I hadn’t done anything wrong, but I felt dishonest and I was certainly being duplicitous.

I distanced myself from my discomfort by regarding the event as theater and inventorying the dramatis personae. They were straight out of central casting. Sander Hicks, the master of ceremonies, looked like an amalgam of Johnny Depp, Sean Penn and Matt Dillon; he kept things moving and implored “put your hands together” as each speaker came to the podium. Paul Zarembka played (and was) the left-leaning academic economist. He said, “The ruling class will do anything to keep in power.” The Rev. Ian Alterman preached gentleness, humility and respect. He said that those who have an investment in the official lies because that’s all they’ve ever heard cannot be approached in a confrontational manner.

But confrontation was obviously the preferred mode of Barry Kissin, the resident rabble-rouser who harangued the audience with the sins of elites who deliberately killed 3,000 of their own citizens and bullied “beleaguered countries” like North Korea and Iran. Nick Bryant tied the same elites to a massive network of pedophiles including almost everyone you’ve ever heard of.

The star turn was taken by architect Richard Gage, founding member of Architects & Engineers for Truth, a group, he said, of 1,200 experts in the area of the construction and destruction of tall buildings. It was Gage, the man of science and the scientific method (another stock character), who laid out the basic thesis from which everything else grew. The twin towers could not have been brought down by fire. A fire, however intense, would have left the steel girders standing, perhaps at an odd angle. The way the towers fell — in free fall, straight down, in only 7 seconds — shows clearly, Gage declared, that the cause was controlled demolition by explosives placed next to the support structures and detonated in a precisely timed sequence. In short, destruction from the inside by insiders and not by a rag-tag group of fanatics who were incapable of flying the planes they supposedly deployed with incredible skill.

Once this scenario is established, you have only to ask, first, who could have had the expertise to bring this off and, second, who had the motive to bring it off. Bingo! The government, which certainly had both money and materials and needed a pretext for starting two real wars and a metaphorical “war on terror” that could justify tight governmental and military control, torture, rendition and the passage of the Patriot Act. On this rock the house of the Truthers is built. Everything that comes up in the way of an objection can be explained by extending the basic assumption, by asking the question, “How did the conspirators get away with this one and pull the wool over everyone’s eyes?” It is always answered.

At the end of the afternoon and before the conference-ending dinner, I slipped away. I thought about identifying myself before leaving. I should have, but I didn’t. Instead I drove home to a small dinner party: my wife and I, another couple and a friend. I told them about what I had seen and heard. The man of the couple said that on Sept. 11, 2001, when he heard the news, “inside job” was the first thought he had, although he hadn’t bothered much with the thought since. Our other guest told us that her brother-in-law was even more a partisan of the “government-did-it” view than those I had listened to. I guess you never know.

Town debates poverty


In these days where transparency in government is sought after, some residents would prefer to hide unpleasant facts of life in Pahrump from the sight of outsiders — especially business owners who might be considering a move to the valley.

As reported last week, the Pahrump Town Board passed Resolution No. 2010-08, related to poverty, by a vote of 3-2, at their August 9 meeting, with members Frank Maurizio and Mike Darby voting against passage.

The adopted resolution recognizes the need for volunteers as well as public and private organizations in Pahrump whose ongoing actions are necessary to help alleviate the physical, mental, economic and other known problems associated with the conditions of poverty.

The resolution was discussed with passion by supporters on both sides of the issue.

Darby asked for a clarification on the words stating the town would be “supporting the actions” of those working to alleviate poverty and was assured that the town was not pledging any monetary support by board member Vicky Parker and others, such as volunteer Don Rust, a member of NyE Communities Coalition.

“This resolution was introduced to simply give government recognition,” said Rust. “It supports the actions of volunteers and nonprofits.”

Parker said, “I know there is a great deal of poverty in this town, and I know that a number of people and organizations are doing the best they can to help. I feel it’s within the purview of the town board to officially support them in this effort.”

Parker then made a motion to accept the resolution and Vice Chairman Bill Dolan seconded it, opening the way for public comment.

Andy Alberti questioned whether a business would come to an area where residents didn’t have enough money to make purchases.

“To me, we are advertising to the rest of the world that we don’t have enough talent here to attract business” Alberti said. “Jobs eliminate poverty. Lack of work and subsidies are the things that create poverty.

“I would like to see this town board reject this and encourage every organization that wants to do something about poverty in this town to look to see what they can do to help attract light industry or other types of jobs.” Alberti left the podium with a round of applause, as did each speaker offering an opinion on the resolution.

Dave Stevens had a different take on the subject: “I want to say to this town board, God bless them for bringing something like this up. People are at least thinking about others. These people are no magicians. There’s no jobs here.”

According to resident and town activist Margery Hansen, Nye is the most poverty stricken county in the country.

“Nevada is number eight in the country for poverty and our unemployment recorded rate is 14 percent, but the actual rate is 25 percent,” she said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most recent unemployment figure for Nye County was 16.7 percent in June.

Hansen also said there are 50 delivered eviction notices in Pahrump each day.

“Yes, we need jobs here. However, we are averaging five suicides a week. I don’t care about corporations — I care about the people we save.”

Isabelle Isherwood was next at the public podium. “Corporations create jobs. This town is begging for business and … it has turned businesses away. I think that a resolution is pap. It’s worthless. It doesn’t do a thing.”

Auctioneer Carl “Ski” Censki, said he was a little confused. “We are quite active in trying to raise money to feed a lot of people. We’ve got children that are sleeping in vans. We aren’t asking to put a big billboard up to say Pahrump is poverty stricken.

“This is just asking for an endorsement. Can you really look at yourself in the mirror if we have one child starve to death just because we don’t want the world to think that Pahrump is poverty stricken?”

Don Cox said Pahrump is branded right now with the prison. “Are we going to get branded again for being the most poverty stricken town in the nation?” He blamed the Nye County Board of Commissioners for “running jobs off.”

Candidate for town board Harley Kulkin was the last at the podium. He was for adopting the resolution.

“If we are willing to publicly admit we have a financial crisis in our community, that’s the first step toward recovering from that crisis,” Kulkin said. “I think it’s a good idea.”


Fox News shareholder funded ‘Ground Zero mosque’ imam: report

The second largest shareholder in News Corp. -- the parent company of Fox News -- has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to causes linked to the imam planning to build a Muslim community center and mosque near Ground Zero in Manhattan, says a report from Yahoo!News.

According to the report from Yahoo!'s John Cook, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, who owns seven percent of News Corp., "has directly funded [Imam Feisal Abdul] Rauf's projects to the tune of more than $300,000."

Cook reports that Prince Al-Waleed's personal charity, the Kingdom Foundation, donated $305,000 to Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, a project sponsored by two of Rauf's initiatives, the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, which is building the Manhattan mosque.

That Fox News' second-largest shareholder, after Rupert Murdoch, has financial links to the "Ground Zero mosque" will be seen as ironic by critics of the news network, who have watched with chagrin as the network's talking heads attempt to link the mosque to radical Islamism.

Last week, Daily Show host Jon Stewart lambasted Fox panelist Eric Bolling's attempt to link the Cordoba Initiative to Hamas and Iran. Stewart used News Corp.'s connections to Prince Al-Waleed, and the prince's connections to the Carlyle Group and Osama bin Laden to make a tongue-in-cheek argument that Fox News may be a "terrorist command center."

"Stewart didn't need to take all those steps to make the connection," Cook writes.

Cook also reports that Prince Al-Waleed has in the past funded a number of Islamic organizations that have been maligned by Fox News commentators:

Al-Waleed donated $500,000 to the Council on American-Islamic Relations — which has been repeatedly denounced on Fox News's air by Geller and others as a terror group — in 2002. Indeed, Rauf's "numerous ties to CAIR" alone have been cited by the mosque's opponents as a justification for imputing terrorist sympathies to him, yet few people seem to be asking whether Murdoch's extensive multi-billion business collaboration with the man who funds both Rauf and CAIR merits investigation or concern.

Other beneficiaries of Al-Waleed's largess include the Islamic Development Bank, a project designed to "foster the economic development and social progress of [Muslims] in accordance with the principles of Shari'ah." The IDB funds the construction of mosques around the world, and has been implicated by frequent Fox News guest Stephen Schwartz in an attempt to spread radical Wahhabism (a fundamentalist branch of Islam) throughout the United States.

Cook notes that it was none other than News Corp.'s New York Post that reported on Prince Al-Waleed's donation to Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow. He reports that Fox News had no comment for his article, and emails to the prince's Kingdom Foundation were not returned.

Prince Al-Waleed owns an estimated $2.5-billion-worth of News Corp. Majority shareholder Rupert Murdoch recently took a stake in the prince's Middle East-based media conglomerate, Rotana Group. Murdoch and Prince Al-Waleed are reportedly working on launching an Arabic news network that will compete with existing pan-Arabic networks Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.

(Editor's note: Original article's headline incorrectly referred to Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal as co-owner rather than the second largest shareholder.)

Autumn in New York

Above we have the monthly basis price of gold (www.timingcharts.com) for the past 10 years. For the past 10 years, there has been a pronounced advance through the autumn, usually into the winter and sometimes lasting until May. Gold usually hits a bottom in July and then makes a secondary test in August. Then in late August it starts to rally and after Labor Day begins a steady advance. The up move in early August is unusual and is probably a hint that this year’s autumn rally will be stronger than usual.

If you buy gold at the end of August and are good enough to catch the “winter” top, you usually have a nice gain. For example, if you bought at the end of August 2009 ($953) and held through the end of November ($1,182) – and I caught that top almost to the day –you had a gain of 24% on fully owned gold. This, of course, is more if you used margin or were in the more volatile gold stocks. 2008 was a rough year for gold, and I missed the summer decline. However, I toughed it out (which is sometime, not always, the thing to do), held on for the Nov., Dec., January rally and sold within days of the Feb. ’09 top. A person who bought at the end of August ($842) and sold at the Feb. close ($942) made a gain of 13%.

A person who bought at the end of August ’07 ($681) and sold at the end of February ’08 ($975) made a whopping 43% gain on fully owned gold. (Again, I caught that top within days.) For ’06, if you bought at the end of August ($632) and sold at the end of March ’07 ($669), you made 6%. For 2005, which was an exceptional year because of the silver ETF, if you bought at the end of August ($446 and sold at the end of April ’06 ($660), then you made 48% on your fully owned gold. How sweet it was.

Going back to the early part of the decade we find similar bullish autumn moves in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. They are smaller in absolute numbers, but the semi-log chart tells the truth and proves that these moves were very close in percent gain to the ones later in the decade.

I believe that the 2008 decline was a unique situation. I knew that the New York Times was powerful, but even I underestimated their ability to move markets. And in 2008 they pulled out all the stops. They started to scream “FINANCIAL CRISIS,” and they kept repeating similar headlines through the last 2 weeks of September.

The two biggest headlines in the New York Times over the course of the 20th century were Pearl Harbor and the landing of men on the moon. The “financial crisis” of 2008 was only slightly behind these two in size of headline and quantity of space. And it surpassed them in frequency of repetition. Both Pearl Harbor and the moon landing only happened once. But the “financial crisis” of 2008, not being a real event, could be strung out and reported over and over. (If I have a good sense of the world – and my record shows that I do – then I would not be at all surprised to learn that the New York Times was maneuvering behind the scenes at that time to get the Japanese to attack a second time so that there could be another headline.)

The astonishing thing about the “financial crisis” was that the Times had been telling the country how stupid President Bush was since his election in 2000. But when he declared a financial crisis, they believed everything he said. The only financial crisis that occurred in 2008 was the collapse of the NINJA loans made during the financial bubble. It was a crisis for the Wall Street firms who had made these loans and held toxic assets, but it was not a crisis for the country.

Who benefited from the housing bubble of 1997-2006? It was housing speculators. Young couples searching for their first homes were priced out of the market. People were buying houses, not to live in them but to “flip” them, meaning sell to a greater fool, who also would not live in them. Housing affordability collapsed.

Around World War I, major advances were made in homebuilding techniques, and houses were built much more cheaply and were much more affordable. The people of the day had the brains to realize that this was a good thing. You could buy more house for your money, or you could have more money left over after you made the purchase. Today’s media treats a decline in prices as something bad. They say, “there is a threat of deflation.”

Well, if a decline in prices is bad, then how come 1955, the last year in American history to see a decline in prices, is called “Happy Days.” It must be that the average American knows more about economics than all these fancy idiots running around with big titles. Or, try the following experiment. Go into a small town in America, sit down in a local eating place and strike up a conversation. “Hey, remember two years ago when gas prices dropped from $4.00 to $1.50? Was that a good thing or bad?”

“What, are you kidding fellow? My gas bill for the quarter was down. My heating bill was down. The family could go out for a drive without worrying about spending too much money. The money was flowing from the oil companies and the Saudis into my pocket. I wish those days would come back.”

As I have noted previously in these pages, there was a much bigger decline in prices in the late 19th century (1866-1896). A succession of geniuses (Edison, Tesla, Bell, etc.) invented wonderful new products which made American life the envy of the world. Real wages rose by 90% in real terms. Immigrants flooded into the country to become part of America. And the country became the number one economic powerhouse in the world.

And yet the New York Times is telling us that in 2008 a financial crisis began. Well, Mr. Sulzberger, why don’t you get your own house in order before you tell anyone else what to do? You took all your money around 2000 and used it to buy your own stock for $40 per share. By 2009, it was down to $4 per share. That is, you lost 90% of your money. During the same period gold bugs multiplied their money by almost 4 times. Now that was a financial crisis – for you – precisely because you took your own advice.

But I don’t take your advice, Mr. Sulzberger. No, the One-handed Economist has a responsibility to make money for its subscribers. The One-handed Economist has to tell it like it is. The One-handed Economist is saying that prices are not going down. That is nuts. Prices are going way, way up. The rise will start with commodity prices, spread into producer prices and then into consumer prices. At some time in the future, we will get the modern equivalent to 1979, when the CPI rose by 13.3% and the price of gold multiplied by a factor of 3.8 (except in the future both these numbers will be much higher.)


A few months ago, U.S. News & World Report noted:
“Early retirement is no longer the goal of most workers. Even retirement at age 65 seems unattainable to many people. The majority of Americans now expect to work until age 65 or later.

The number of Americans planning to retire before age 65 has dropped from 50% in 1996 to 29%, according to a Gallup survey of 1,020 adults. Meanwhile the proportion of people planning to work until after age 65 has increased from 15% in 1996 to 34%. This is the first time in the 15-year-old survey that more workers plan to retire after age 65 than before it. Another 27% plan to retire exactly at age 65.”

U.S. News & World Report, May 18, 2010

I have repeatedly commented in these pages that retirement had become impossible in America in principle. It takes some time for a principle to be actualized in reality, but gradually fewer and fewer people are making the decision to retire. The US News & World Report article makes it clear that we have passed the half way mark toward the society where retirement is impossible for most people.

The reason is simple. To retire, your savings must grow, and the traditional way of doing this was by compound interest. But when the New Deal abolished the gold standard, it started to print paper money at a rate just about equal to the rate of interest. This, of course, means that you have been getting 0 real interest rate for the past 77 years. But at 0% interest money cannot grow, and this means that you cannot accumulate money for retirement.

Americans have responded by trying to make money for retirement by speculating in stocks. This is like making up for a cut in pay by beating your buddies in the Saturday night poker game. Speculating is a zero-sum game. Some may win, but an equal amount must be lost.

The myth is perpetrated today that the stock market always goes up. The stock market has gone up since 1933, but this has happened because the Fed stole money from bond (and other fixed income) investors to give it to stock speculators. FOR EVERYONE TO BENEFIT, NET WEALTH MUST BE CREATED. That is a point that the “Brain Trust” did not understand.

Do you want to speculate in the stock market intelligently? Then watch the Fed. When the Fed eases credit and prints money, then stocks will go up (and bondholders will lose via the depreciation of the currency). When we are on the upswing of the commodity pendulum (as now), then be in gold or other commodities. When we are on the downswing of the pendulum, then be in stocks (or real estate). That is, in broad scope, the name of the game.

The specifics to implement this strategy are discussed fortnightly (every two weeks) in the One-handed Economist. ($300 per year). You may subscribe by visiting my web site at www.thegoldspeculator.com. Or you may subscribe by sending a check for $290 ($10 cash discount) to The One-handed Economist, 614 Nashua St. #122, Milford, N.H. 03055. Both the price of gold and the gold stocks are looking explosive, and I am confident of a good autumn.

Howard S. Katz


Thousands strain Fort Hood's mental health system

FORT HOOD, Texas — Nine months after an Army psychiatrist was charged with fatally shooting 13 soldiers and wounding 30, the nation's largest Army post can measure the toll of war in the more than 10,000 mental health evaluations, referrals or therapy sessions held every month.

About every fourth soldier here, where 48,000 troops and their families are based, has been in counseling during the past year, according to the service's medical statistics. And the number of soldiers seeking help for combat stress, substance abuse, broken marriages or other emotional problems keeps increasing.

A common refrain by the Army's vice chief of staff, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, is that far more soldiers suffer mental health issues than the Army anticipated. Nowhere is this more evident than at Fort Hood, where emotional problems among the soldiers threaten to overwhelm the system in place to help them.

Counselors are booked. The 12-bed inpatient psychiatric ward is full more often than not. Overflow patient-soldiers are sent to private local clinics that stay open for 10 hours a day, six days a week to meet the demand.

"We are full to the brim," says Col. Steve Braverman, commander of the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center on the post.

That doesn't even count those soldiers reluctant to seek care because they are ashamed to admit they need help or the hundreds who find therapy outside the Army medical system, Braverman and other medical officials say.

Officials worry the problems may worsen — for the military and the country.

"If Fort Hood is representative of the Army — and 10% of the Army is assigned to Fort Hood — then if you follow the logic, our numbers should be scalable to any other post in the country," says acting base commander Maj. Gen. William Grimsley.

"I worry that if we don't see this through the right way over the long haul ... we're going to grow a generation of people 10 or 15 years from now who are going to be a burden on our own society," he says. "And that's not a good thing for the Army. That's not a good thing for the United States."

Statistics provided to USA TODAY by Fort Hood commanders show the explosion of mental health issues here:

•Fort Hood counselors meet with more than 4,000 mental health patients a month.

•Last year, 2,445 soldiers were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), up from 310 in 2004.

•Every month, an average of 585 soldiers are sent to nearby private clinics contracted through the Pentagon's TRICARE health system because Army counselors cannot handle more patients. That is up from 15 per month in 2004.

•Hundreds more see therapists "off the network" because they want their psychological problems kept secret from the Army. A free clinic in Killeen offering total discretion treated 2,000 soldiers or family members this year, many of them officers.

•Last year, 6,000 soldiers here were on anti-depressant medications and an additional 1,400 received anti-psychotic drugs.

"I don't think we fully understand the total effect of nine years of continuous conflict on a force this size," Chiarelli says, reacting to those statistics.

"Those numbers are pretty staggering," says Kathy Beasley, a health care executive with the Military Officers Association of America. She wonders what will happen when those soldiers leave the military. "Do we have the supply and the people in our systems to take care of that?"

Every time more counselors are hired here, their schedules immediately fill up with patients. "It's almost like a Field of Dreams," Braverman says, referring to the famous line from the 1989 film about a baseball field on an Iowa farm that spontaneously draws crowds. "If you build it, they will come."

'Life can slowly slip away'

Staff Sgt. Josh Rivera came back from his third tour in Iraq this year eager to save his marriage.

"When a soldier is constantly gone and actually fighting, not just deploying and sitting in an office, life can slowly slip away," says Rivera, 32, a native of the Bronx, N.Y.

Thirty-nine cumulative months of war had left him distant from his family and confused about his role in their lives, Rivera says. All that made sense was the infantry, which he loves. Rivera resisted seeing a counselor until his marriage was in real trouble, he says.

The Army therapist who met with Rivera and his wife, Julie, gently guided them back to basics — what brought them together 10 years before, why each mattered to the other and what they wanted out of life, the couple say.

Chaplains provide marriage counseling, but for soldiers who want to see a licensed marriage counselor, the base's social work department has two, each with a caseload of 60 couples, says Lt. Col. Nancy Ruffin, department director.

She has to refer some troubled marriages to private clinics, and not all the soldiers are willing to do that, Ruffin says.

The demand for other types of counseling also far exceeds supply. There are not enough social workers to treat soldiers suffering the emotional effect of sexual assault. Ruffin says she has one social worker, who is handling 50 cases.

Fort Hood has an intensive, three-week therapy program, followed by eight weeks of group therapy, for soldiers suffering stress-related issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder. It has a waiting list of 80 soldiers.

The child and adolescent psychiatric services at Fort Hood handle more than 1,000 visits, assessments or counseling sessions with military children each month, up from about 800 in 2004. It refers about 30 overflow cases off base each month, up from zero in 2004, the base statistics show.

Fort Hood has one of the most robust mental health programs in the Army. It has 171 behavioral health providers and 28 new hires are on the way, says Lt. Col. B. Kirk Phillips, a psychiatrist and director of mental health care at the Darnall medical center. This is up from about 50 mental health workers in 2004.

Because of war and deployments, not only are there more soldiers suffering emotional problems, they are sicker than ever and require more counseling sessions, Phillips says. Even after the latest round of hiring, Phillips says, a recent internal analysis showed the mental health staff will need an additional 58 counselors to meet the demand.

Suicides outpacing 2009

Despite the increase in mental health resources, there have been 14 confirmed or suspected suicides among Fort Hood soldiers this year. That figure outpaces 2009 and matched each of the three worst years for suicides in recent base history, 2006-2008. In June, the Army recorded 32 suicides overall, the highest monthly total since it began keeping records.

Army Sgt. Douglas Hale Jr., 26, was one of the most recent Fort Hood suicides.

On July, 6, Glenda Moss received this text message from Hale, her son: "i love u mom im so sorry i hope u and the family and god can forgive me."

Her son had tried to kill himself in May. She feared he might try again. She immediately called the Army and then drove the 90 minutes from her home in King, Texas, to the base.

It was too late. Hale had walked into a restaurant across Highway 190 from Fort Hood, asked to use the bathroom, locked the door and shot himself in the head with a newly purchased handgun, according to a police report. He was removed from life support a few days later.

Moss knew her son was very troubled. When his second combat tour to Iraq ended in 2007 after 15 months, he was diagnosed with PTSD and severe depression, began drinking heavily, saw his marriage disintegrate and, finally, left the base without permission last year.

He was brought back to Fort Hood in May after being taken into custody by police in King for being absent without leave, his mother said. He attempted suicide in his barracks that month.

The Army sent him to a psychiatric hospital in Denton, Texas. Army doctors told him "we don't have enough people here (at Fort Hood) to help you," his mother recalls.

A statement released by Fort Hood in response to questions about Hale's case says, "Space and staff shortages prevent us from treating all our patients on post. While it is our intent to treat patients within our facilities, the reality is we cannot at the present time."

Base officials declined to discuss the specifics of Hale's case while an Army investigation continues.

Moss says her son seemed to be in good spirits after leaving the Denton hospital following a month of treatment in June. He spent the July 4th weekend at his mother's home before she drove him back to Fort Hood on July 5.

Moss says the Army can do more to watch over troubled soldiers like her son. "They need to do as much as they can to stop this, because if they don't, the Army's going to be responsible for a lot more (suicides)," she says. "I don't want another family to have to deal with what I went through.

'Stigma was still a problem'

After the mass killings in November, Fort Hood launched a campaign to gauge the psychological health in the community. The goal was to see how many people needed help, whether they were getting it and how many counselors were needed. Part of the effort was an online, confidential survey in February to get soldiers' views. Troops were offered incentives such as a day off from work to participate. More than 5,000 responded.

One in four said they would be viewed as weak, treated differently or harm their careers if they admitted suffering emotional issues, says Col. William Rabena, who led the campaign. The attitude was particularly strong among majors, lieutenant colonels and full colonels.

"Stigma was still a problem," Rabena says.

For those soldiers afraid to seek help, who decline to go to Army therapists or private clinics that contract with the military, there are alternatives.

A Pentagon program offers soldiers a limited number of counseling sessions with private therapists that will remain off their medical records. The program is called Military OneSource, and it provides up to 12 free and confidential therapy sessions when soldiers call a toll-free hotline. From May 2009 to May 2010, there was a 72% increase in sessions provided by the program in the Fort Hood area, from 822 to 1,412, says Air Force Maj. April Cunningham, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

Another option for Fort Hood soldiers who want to keep their psychological problems secret from the Army is a free clinic in Killeen called Scott & White Military Homefront Services. The therapy provided at this clinic does not show up as a mental health diagnosis on a soldier's medical record.

The five therapists at the project are booked solid, says the director, Maxine Trent, a psychotherapist and the wife of a retired Navy SEAL.

The clinic has seen 7,117 soldiers, spouses and their children since it opened in 2008, says Matthew Wright, a director with Scott & White Healthcare of Temple, Texas, which operates the project.

Soldiers, many of them officers, come into the clinic seeking therapy for the first time in their careers, Trent says.

"Generally, you have the parade rest," she says, demonstrating how they sit with backs straight, arms outstretched and palms on knees. The tension in their bodies, she says, is palpable.

"Those who have been back-to-back deployed vibrate. ... There's different energy. There's hyper-vigilance that you won't see anywhere else," Trent says. "They walk in here not sleeping. They walk in here having mood disruptions, angry driving, explosions at wife and/or husband and kids."

When her offices opened, Trent canvassed the wives of Fort Hood commanders to get a sense of what she was facing. "They told us basically, 'We know everything we need to know about deployment. Please don't set up any programs to teach us about deployment,' " Trent recalls. " 'What we don't know how to do is to keep doing it (deployments). We're tired. We're exhausted.' "

Even this program struggles to cope with all those needing help and getting the money to pay for it.

A $750,000 grant from the Dallas Foundation and the Association of the U.S. Army for the project is nearly gone and officials are trying to secure more funding, Wright says.

Adam Borah, who runs the outpatient psychiatric clinic at Fort Hood, sees progress in the many soldiers stepping forward to seek help. "The bad news is that there are a lot of people out there who need behavioral heath care," he says.

Braverman worries that if the number of patients keeps climbing, soldiers will give up waiting to see someone and avoid seeking help. Private clinics that contract with the military to handle overflow patients are overworked, says Chuck Lauer, a senior administrator at Darnall Hospital. "These guys (local private therapists) are putting in six days a week. Some of them have their practices open 10 hours a day," Lauer says.

Staff Sgt. Rivera, who got the marital help, worries for the soldiers. "The military needs to know that they are losing very good soldiers and squads and platoons to multiple deployments," he says. "The amount of help needed is actually overwhelming."