Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Battle For Libya Is Almost Over... As Is The Battle For Its 144 Tons Of Gold

Following a 6 month stalemate in which neither side had attained any advantage, it suddenly took just a few days for the Libyan rebel forces to steamroll unopposed into Tripoli. While we are confident that the political aftermath of this outcome will be very much comparable to what is happening in Egypt right now, many wonder why it is that the Libyan situation has progressed with such speed. Perhaps the answer can be found in the 143.8 tons of gold held by the Libyan Central Bank. Granted it is nowhere near close the 366 tons of gold that Venezuela supposedly has per the WGC, most of it likely held offshore and not being repatriated, the question of where the global gold cartel may find some of the much needed physical to satisfy Chavez' demands has been now answered. Of course we assume that said gold has not already departed Libya in direction Caracas over the past 6 months. Which, in retrospect, we probably should, as it would explain why gold is now at $1875 and rapidly rising.

and gold:

Analysis: Gold shines as Swiss franc's haven appeal dims

(Reuters) - Moves by the Swiss National Bank to curb strength of the Swiss franc will fuel investors' insatiable demand for gold, adding to its relentless rise to new record highs as confidence in the franc as a safe store of value dwindles.
Analysts say this could help gold vault $2,000 an ounce within the coming weeks, with the potential for very large spikes if risk aversion on financial markets gains momentum.
The Swiss franc has fallen sharply from record highs since the SNB bank vowed on August 10 to take steps to curb franc strength. The Swiss central bank has flooded the franc market with liquidity and sold the currency via swaps on the forward market to dim its appeal.
Since that date, gold priced in Swiss francs has spiked. This reversed a trend over recent months when Swiss franc-denominated gold stayed relatively steady as gold in other major currencies hit a string of record highs.
"While gold in euro, sterling and dollar terms was really skyrocketing, gold in Swiss franc terms wasn't doing much, and that's telling us that the Swiss franc was being seen as a proxy to gold," said Stephen Gallo, head of market analysis at Schneider Foreign Exchange.
"Now we've seen an enormous spike in Swiss franc-denominated gold, which may indicate that the SNB has succeeded in causing the Swiss franc's proxy status to gold to become unhinged."
Swiss franc-priced gold has risen nearly 20 percent since the SNB's announcement, hitting a record high for the first time since June 2010 near 1,500 francs ($1,908) an ounce. Spot gold has climbed just over 8 percent to record highs just below $1,900 an ounce in the same period.
With concerns about high U.S. debt and a weak economy denting the appeal of the dollar and intervention by Japanese authorities weighing on the yen, the SNB's measures remove the franc as the remaining accessible safe-haven currency, boosting demand for gold.
"Given that even the Swiss are considering adding liquidity to the market, gold as a currency that can't be printed has a certain attraction," said David Jollie, an analyst at Mitsui Precious Metals.
Maurice Pomery, an analyst at consultants Strategic Alpha, said that now the SNB have "turned off the safety valve," gold could surpass $2,000 an ounce within two weeks, while silver will also gain.
Analysts say gold's appeal is enhanced as the SNB's actions have caused short-term deposit and money rates in Switzerland to turn negative.
"Gold usually does well in currencies that cut rates and have negative real rates," said Tobias Merath, an analyst at Credit Suisse. "If you get a negative nominal yield on government paper and a zero yield on gold, then gold looks more attractive."
Once seen as a hedge against weakness in the dollar, gold is increasingly perceived as an alternative to paper currencies in general as central banks seek to keep their currencies weak via quantitative easing or through intervention -- described by some as "currency wars."
Central bank intervention in currency markets typically has a significant effect on gold prices. Gold priced in Japanese yen rallied nearly 9 percent to a then-record high near 140,000 yen ($1,836) an ounce in the week after the Bank of Japan intervened to curb strength in the currency on August 4.
Gold prices have hit record highs in recent weeks in all major currencies -- U.S. dollars, yen, euros and sterling -- as well as major commodity currencies such as the South African rand, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian dollars.
The devaluation of major currencies cannot be seen in currency rates - except until recently against the Swiss franc - because all currencies have been losing value, but it can be seen in their value against gold.
Bank of New York Mellon currency strategist Simon Derrick argues that gold's long-term ascent that began in 2001 coincided with the Bank of Japan's quantitative easing program that began that year and went on until 2006.
"Gold is a flight from currency debasement," BNYM's Derrick said. "It's not gold going up, it's developed currencies going down."
($1 = 0.786 Swiss Francs)
($1 = 76.245 Japanese Yen)
(Reporting by Jan Harvey and Jessica Mortimer; Editing by Jane Baird)

Gerald Celente: Gold is the wisest asset

Hugo Chavez: Crash JP Morgan - Gimme Gold!

Lloyd Blankfein Hires High Profile Defense Attorney

Neither Blankfein nor goldman commented for the Reuters story, so we do not know with certainty if criminal or civil charges are pending.  However, the DOJ has been proceeding behind the scenes and it is likely that Blankfein hired Weingarten as a pre-emptive move to fight on his behalf to insure that no charges are ever filed.
(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein has hired Reid Weingarten, a high-profile Washington defense attorney whose past clients include a former Enron accounting officer, according to a government source familiar with the matter.
Blankfein, 56, is in his sixth year at the helm of the largest U.S. investment bank, which has spent two years dodging accusations of conflicts of interest and fraud.
The move to retain Weingarten comes as investigations of Goldman and its role in the 2007-2009 financial crisis continue.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission scored a $550 million settlement against the bank in a fraud lawsuit in July 2010, but other investigations continue.
"Why do you bring in someone like that?" said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly. "It says one thing: that they're taking it seriously."
Blankfein has not been charged in any civil or criminal case, and it was not immediately clear why he hired Weingarten.
David Wells, a spokesman for Goldman, declined to comment.
Continue reading...
Meet Lloyd Blankfein’s Lawyer: Reid Weingarten
we don’t know why or when Blankfein has hired an attorney. Goldman Sachs did not comment for the Reuters story.
Here is some nuggets about Blankfein’s apparent attorney, Steptoe & Johnson’s Reid Weingarten, an experienced Washington defense attorney.
Prior clients: Bernie Ebbers, the former WorldCom CEO convicted of fraud; Roman Polanski, the film director who has been wanted in the U.S. for decades-old charges involving having sex with a 13-year-old girl; Lauren Stevens, the GlaxoSmithKline attorney cleared of corporate misconduct; Former agriculture secretary Mike Espy, who won acquittal on corruption charges.
Quotable quotes: When Stevens, the Glaxo attorney, was cleared of misconduct by a judge, Weingarten said: ”We did not have a bad five minutes in that courtroom; if it had been a prize fight, they would have stopped it,” Weingarten was quoted.
“I feel like I’m in the French Revolution, defending the nobility against the howling mob,” Weingarten told BusinessWeek for a 2002 profile, referring to his corporate clients. “They want to guillotine these people without any evidence.”
Background reading:

Demand To See Your Mortgage Note! -- Brand New Website Makes It Simple

Where's your note?  Has it been lost somewhere along the way?
You can also verify your loan servicer with MERS online -- takes about 45 seconds:

Bloomberg reveals massive corruption in the private Federal Reserve

By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie

When the mainstream media is reporting stories like this, you know it is so serious that it cannot be ignored, even if they wanted to.
Today Bloomberg has revealed that the “Wall Street Aristocracy” received a staggering $1.2 trillion in loans. Yes, you read that right: $1.2 trillion.
The private Federal Reserve calls these hand-outs to their corporate cronies “emergency loans” but in reality they are nothing more than friends giving friends unfathomable amounts of money in order to “keep the economy from plunging into depression”.
Of course Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Bloomberg opt to characterize the giveaway of public funds as legitimate “unprecedented efforts” to help our withering economy, when this is far from the case as we have seen from the entire “stimulus” package that has just driven American deeper into the black hole of debt.
If Bernanke actually cared one iota about getting the American economy back on track, he would have given the money to the people of the United States.
This $1.2 trillion would be able to cover almost the entire 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages of struggling American citizens. Instead, and not at all surprisingly, Bernanke and the Fed opted instead to give the money to their buddies.
The preponderance of the funds went to Morgan Stanley, who received $107.3 billion. Second was Citigroup, receiving $99.5 billion, and third was Bank of America who received $91.4 billion, according to information obtained via FOIA requests, months of litigation, and an act of Congress on behalf of Bloomberg.
Nearly half of the Federal Reserve’s top 30 borrowers as measured by peak balances were not American. A disturbing amount of money, which was given with American citizens as collateral, went directly to offshore European banks.
The Royal Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh received $84.5 billion, UBS AG out of Zurich got $77.2 billion, German Hypo Real Estate Holding AG received $28.7 billion. Bloomberg reports that this equals an average of $21 million for every single one of Hypo Real Estate Holding’s 1,366 employees.
Bloomberg reveals a quite disturbing reality in the following paragraph:
The $1.2 trillion peak on Dec. 5, 2008 — the combined outstanding balance under the seven programs tallied by Bloomberg — was almost three times the size of the U.S. federal budget deficit that year and more than the total earnings of all federally insured banks in the U.S. for the decade through 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Federal Reserve is indeed working against the American people. They are deliberately destroying the value of the dollar, giving out free money to their cronies to the detriment of the American economy, and to make matters worse, they are promising to continue these practices.
More at -

Foreclosure Fraud Talks Snag On Bank's Future Liability: "They Want To Be Released From Everything, Including Original Sin" (WSJ)

The latest detail on the foreclosure fraud talks can be found here:
NY Attorney General Facing Intense Pressure From Obama Administration On Bank Foreclosure Fraud Deal: "Wall Street Is Our Main Street And We Have To Make Sure We Are Doing Everything We Can To SUPPORT Them"
Efforts to reach a settlement that would end the long-running probe of foreclosure practices are snagged over whether banks will get broad legal immunity from state officials for mortgage-related claims.
Federal and state officials are seeking penalties of $20 billion to $25 billion from Bank of America Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and other financial firms under investigation since last fall. The banks are pushing hard for a deal, but they have insisted on a wide-ranging legal release from state attorneys general.
"They wanted to be released from everything, including original sin," said a U.S. official involved in the discussions. The legal protection sought by the banks included loan origination; securitization and servicing practices; fair-lending procedures; and their use of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, an industry-owned loan registry that often acts as an agent for owners of mortgage loans, people familiar with the discussions said.
"The reason the banks would settle or pay anywhere near $20 billion to $25 billion is to get this behind them," said one person familiar with the banks' thinking. "There's no reason the banks would pay that amount of money and leave their flank exposed."
U.S. and state officials dismissed the push for broad immunity as a "nonstarter," according to a federal official involved in the talks, but they have countered with a narrower offer. It would cover robo-signing and other servicer-related conduct but leave banks open to potential legal action for wrongdoing in fair lending and securitization, according to people familiar with the situation. Attorneys general in California, Delaware, Massachusetts and New York have said they are investigating mortgage-securitization practices.
"Those of us at the table…have maintained this investigation is about robo-signing and loss-mitigation problems," Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in an interview. "The release should be narrowly drafted to cover those issues."
The debate over the release is one of the most contentious issues facing banks and government officials.
Continue reading...

Guess What Will Never Happen: A Sales Tax on Wall Street Transactions?

By NANCY FOLBRE Nancy Folbre is an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Most of us pay state and local sales taxes on most things we buy, and
most casino gambling is subject to state taxes ranging from up to 6.75
percent in Nevada to 55 percent on slot machines in Pennsylvania.

 Everyone ELSE pays taxes, mate...

But speculative purchases of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments in the United States go untaxed but for a tiny fee (less than a half-cent) on stock trades that helps finance the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In Britain, by contrast, a 0.5 percent tax on stock transactions raises about $40 billion a year. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany recently announced plans to introduce a similar tax in the 27 nations of the European Community.

Ron Paul: Bring the Troops Home NOW!

Chinese Think Tank Implies America May Be Falsifying Its Accounting, Says US On Way To Default

Joe Biden came to China, saw, and failed to conquer the locals' ridicule. Punctuating just how "effective" Biden's visit to China was in order to "reassure that the US is solvent" (no seriously, that;s the name of the article) is a just released article in the Securities Times by Wang Tialong, member of Chinese think tank Center for International Economic Exchanges in which he went on to blatantly say that "The U.S. may be on its way to default on its debt despite the U.S. government's ability to print more money, a Chinese think tank researcher said Monday." Now this is nothing new in the escalating war of words between the two countries, although increasingly China appears to be attacking the primary loophole that defenders of the unsustainable US debt use, namely the fall back to the USD as a reserve currency. Wang went on further to implicitly accuse the US of fabricating economic data: "There is also no way to punish the issuer country if it falsifies its accounting and there is no way to restructure the issuer either, Wang said." Well, when China accuses the US of "falsifying accounting" you know you have hit rock bottom.
From Dow Jones:
The U.S. may be on its way to default on its debt despite the U.S. government's ability to print more money, a Chinese think tank researcher said Monday.

There is no guarantee for sovereign debt, which increases the risks the lenders face, said Wang Tianlong, a researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a think tank supervised by the country's economic planner, adding that the issuer could be more careless in using the loans.

In the short term, the U.S. doesn't have much ability to reduce its deficit, Wang said in an opinion piece published in Securities Times. He added that the U.S. lacks the political system to guarantee that it will not default on its debt.

There is also no way to punish the issuer country if it falsifies its accounting and there is no way to restructure the issuer either, Wang said.

Wang's comments come after the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Sunday the U.S. "never will default" on its government debt and reassured Beijing that Chinese investments in the U.S. are safe.
Slowly, surely, China is realizing that the endgame is nothing short of out of control debt inflation, which is precisely what having no way to "restructure the issuer" means. That plus sending the US to bankruptcy court may be somewhat problematic. It also means that Chinese holdings of US debt will be increasingly worthless, and its population increasingly stabby as the price of hogs resumes its record climb. The only alternative is for the CNY to float and for the Chinese, Russians and Germans to say enough to this broken economic model and launch a gold (and other hard asset) backed currency. The only question is when.
h/t London Dude Trader

Guess Where Coca-Cola Is Investing $4 Billion

Who says American companies aren't investing? They are.  Billions, in fact. Only, they are just not investing here in the U.S.
Atlanta based Coca-Cola (KO) plans to invest $4 billion in China, the company's CEO Muhtar Kent told reporters in Shanghai this week. It's the company's biggest planned investment in China since the 2009 investment of $2 billion. The investments will start next year and is part of the company's China capex until 2014.
Kent said the company is even considering listing its shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, adding itself to the list of mainstream brands listing their depositary receipts on exchanges outside of their home base. Massachusetts luggage maker Samsonite opted to list in Hong Kong in the second quarter rather than do its initial public offering on the NYSE.  The new China investments will focus on innovation, infrastructure and expansion of its production capacity. The company now has six manufacturing centers in the country.
"U.S. corporations are actually in good shape and a lot of that is due to emerging markets, particularly the BRIC countries," fund manager Paul Dietrich of Foxhall Capital Management in Orange, Conn told Forbes on Friday. The BRIC countries are Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Low growth in the U.S. and Europe have essentially forced the hands of the big multinationals to look for growth elsewhere. "In this low growth environment, we will continue to see European and American multinational companies spending in countries far from home," says Martin Schulz, managing director of international equities at PNC Capital Advisors in Columbus, Ohio.

British government begins stealing its peoples’ bank deposits

It happened before and it is starting again. Government confiscating (stealing) the people’s life savings. Just like in 1929 the British government began its theft of the people’s life savings just before the Great Depression.

After an inflationary run-up in prices and asset values, the stock market crashed in 1929, and the economy soon went with the crash. This time the British government is disguising its outright theft by claiming the entire contents of safety deposit banks are owned by criminals and the contents are the proceeds of crimes.

In March of 2011 the British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered British police to execute Operation Rize - raid and seize the entire contents (art, gold ingots, gold dust, jewelery and cash) of nearly 7,000 safety deposit boxes from three vaults in London. The British government simply told Scotland Yard that the safety deposit boxes were used by criminals to store cash, guns and drugs.

The British government instructed the police to arrest anyone who went to the vaults to try and recover the contents of their safety deposit boxes. Those who protested the seizure of the contents of their safety deposit boxes were to be charged with various offenses including pedophilia, money-laundering, drug-dealing and firearms possession.

When word spread about the government raid and theft of the contents of their safety deposit boxes people rushed to the bank vaults. The police arrested 146 and charged 30 (those with the most cash and gold in their safety deposit boxes) with trumped up pedophilia, money-laundering, drug-dealing and firearms charges.

Full story:

One family's experience in the federal mortgage aid program

In May 2006, Lynne Choate and her husband, Jesse, bought their Winslow home, appraised at $189,000, for a little more than $146,000.
With one child and two jobs, they applied for an adjustable rate mortgage, and thought they got a sweet deal: a 9.25 percent interest rate for the first two years, with no money down. In a year's time, a representative told them the equity in their home would qualify them for a 3.5 percent interest rate.
All was well for a while; the payment was a manageable $926 a month.
Then it all blew up. And the interest rate drop never came.
That October, the Choates' payments ballooned to around $1,326 monthly.
In March 2009, they got their first default notice.
After periods of unemployment for both, the couple now takes in around $3,000 a month.
The Choates can't afford their home.
They aren't alone. As the foreclosure process grinds painfully forward across the country, a second wave of domestic pain is increasing the number of people in default, threatening neighborhoods with blight and putting a drag on an already fragile economic recovery.
Experts say the first wave of the foreclosure crisis snared homeowners in a spree of subprime lending; the second wave is from a persistently weak U.S. economy. The Choates are experiencing both.
A forthcoming Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection report says Maine ranked fifth in the nation in the first quarter of 2011 for number of homes in "foreclosure inventory" per capita, up from sixth place the previous quarter.
About 5.5 percent of all Maine homes are in this category. They are homes whose owners are at any point in the foreclosure process.
Of all Maine homes in the inventory, 8.26 percent, or 13,500 homes, are in "serious deliquency" -- past 90 days in arrears.
The effect is drastic for the Choates. Electric bills have gone unpaid. Their vehicle was given up for voluntary repossession. And they face the prospect of being out in the street.
"We don't take vacations," said Lynne Choate, 35. "We don't take trips. There are no extras."
The mortgage has been flipped from firm to firm; Lynne Choate said she's received default letters from five companies in the past three years.
A federal aid program rooted in an aggressive 2010 Wall Street reform law may be all that keeps the Choates from homelessness, and from putting another empty house back onto an oversupplied housing market.
But critics bristle at the notion that someone else's personal financial woe should become the responsibility of taxpayers -- or that the aid will solve, and not just delay, the country's intractible foreclosure problem.
Easing the burden
Locally, the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection said 14 percent of all Kennebec County households received a delinquency notice between June 2009 and January.
That only means lenders have started the process -- comparatively few will be taken over by banks.
That's low compared to some surrounding counties: Sagadahoc County was at approximately 23 percent during that period; with Lincoln, 18 percent; Somerset, 16 percent; and Androscoggin at 15 percent.
The 4,925 foreclosure notices sent to Maine homeowners in January was the most on record with the bureau.
So it's likely the foreclosure rate will stay high nationally through at least 2014 and into 2015, the report says.
Lynne Choate was one of the first Mainers to apply for mortgage help through the the Emergency Homeowner Loan Program.
The program -- authorized by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act signed by President Obama in 2010 -- grants selected homeowners a one-time forgivable loan to make mortgage payments, missed payments and late charges, up to $50,000 over a two-year period.
When that period is up, the homeowner is back on the hook. They also must meet with financial counselors a year into the program to make sure household budgets are sustainable.
The forgiveness of the loan comes after five years, only if homeowners have completely closed the gap on delinquent payments and remain the owner of the home.
Applicants must meet a long list of criteria. Among other things, they must be at least 90 days late on mortgage payment, have received a foreclosure notice and experienced a drop in income of at least 15 percent since 2009 from unemployment, underemployment or a medical condition.
Casey Bromberg -- an administrator for the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, which coordinates the program locally -- said there were only 134 openings for aid initially.
But poor outreach nationally led to only 43,000 participants nationwide. That opened up waiting lists and put more than 200 more Mainers than expected into KVCAP's application pipeline.
The small house where the program is based, next to KVCAP's office in Waterville, is busier than usual right now. Intake for the program is extremely time-intensive. Documentation of each applicant's financial situation can reach into the hundreds of pages.
Before a meeting, Bromberg told Lynne Choate -- approximately six months and $15,000 behind on payments -- she was "an early catch."
"It doesn't feel like it," Choate responded.
'Treated like criminals'
The Kennebec Journal was allowed access to the Choates' financial records and a counseling meeting between Lynne Choate and KVCAP counselor Carol Homer.
In taking applicants through the process, the soft-spoken Homer, 64, said she often deals with upset, sometimes distraught, homeowners.
She had one just that day. "You're lucky you weren't here earlier," she told Choate. "He was so mad at his mortgage company. I couldn't calm him down. His wife eventually did."
Homer also takes calls from bill collectors. With them, she talks a bit tougher.
Once, she said a client got a call from one of his lender's collection agents, who asked him why he was working with KVCAP. The lender told the client that KVCAP was "only going to cause trouble."
So Homer called the agent back.
"I said, 'The only trouble we're going to create is with you,'" she said. "Then I hung up."
Homer reacts viscerally during a foreclosure interview, for good reason. She, too, has defaulted.
After being laid off in 2008, Homer said she took a temporary job at the veteran's hospital in Togus, a 100-mile, three-hour round trip from her Cornville home.
When gas topped $4 a gallon, Homer said it was costing her a week's salary to earn three weeks of pay.
"And that's when I started to default," she said.
Once she started making payments, Homer said she found out the holder of her mortgage was paying payments forward instead of backward, meaning they were still charging fees on missed payments.
Homer was able to get out from under impending foreclosure. But the experience, she said, makes her empathize with those who come into her office.
"It's an attack on your way of life," she said.
She rattled off another story of a widow she counsels being harassed by creditors for her late husband's default.
"It's breaking her heart. It's dragging her down," Homer said. "A lot of these people are hard-working Maine people. They're good people.
"And they're being treated like criminals."

Madoff Whistleblower Markopolos Uncovers Another Scam


Video - Harry Markopolos with Aaron Task on Banks' Pension Scam - Aug. 19, 2011
Banks Are Ripping Off Pension Funds By Backdating Currency Transactions
Source - Tech Ticker
Amid all the market volatility and weakness in the financial sector of late, you may have missed this WSJ front page story: "States Go After Big Bank on Forex".
The man who uncovered the alleged scam, Harry Markopolos, expects all 50 states to eventually join the suit.  In this case, Markopolos says BNY Mellon and State Street we're taking about "three tenths of a percent from every forex transaction for pension funds" by back-timing the trade to benefit banks at the detriment of their pension fund clients. "It's almost the exact same scheme as the market timing scandals of 2003," he claims.
"Attorneys general in Virginia and Florida filed civil suits against BNY Mellon alleging that the bank cheated pension funds in those states by choosing improper prices for currency trades the bank processed for the funds," The WSJ reports. "The Virginia lawsuit, filed in a Fairfax, Va., state court, cites internal bank emails allegedly showing that senior bank officials knew about, and endorsed, a currency-trading method that hurt state pensioners."

Abercrombie pledges to Raise Taxes Again: “The Problem is People”

August 21, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden :: 702 Views
KOS: “Hirono would be the first non-theist to serve in the Senate”
Hirono: Statehood evokes different emotions in all of us
Berg: Ansaldo will Cost Taxpayers $250M on Maintenance
Regaining Confidence Key to Economic Outlook
Abercrombie pledges to Raise Taxes Again: “The Problem is People”
Even in the middle of a private interview, the subject gets him so excited that Gov. Neil Abercrombie leaps to his feet exhorting his listener to understand.
The problem is people. We are living longer, there are more of us and those in public employment have been promised benefits that Hawaii can no longer afford with the existing budget, says Abercrombie.
His arms are raised above his head and the hands spread far apart.
"It is not the spending, it is the costs. The costs are exploding, the spending is chasing the costs. I am not talking about new programs, this is just to stay in place," Abercrombie said during an interview a few days ago.
According to his estimates, by the end of the 2010-2020 decade, one-third of the state's general fund will be needed to cover medical insurance for state retirees.
"One-third of revenues, we can't sustain that," Abercrombie said, adding that the state will not pay it….
If the state's budget crises are now stable, they are still ill enough to be in the emergency room and Abercrombie sees himself as the doctor performing triage, deciding which patients or programs can survive and whether they need immediate surgery or just bedside care.
"Who can be saved, in what order and you don't blink," he proscribed.
Reality: Act 100: How Hanabusa and Cayetano launched Hawaii Pension crisis
read … Mounting
Cayetano, Heen, Roth, Slater: How the city misled the public on Rail
The city has paid more than $2 million in taxpayer money to 10 different public relations firms to promote its heavy-rail project. Here's what they have not yet told you….
The mayor, City Council members and Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) board all lack expertise and experience with rail systems, so they must rely on others. Crucial information about the proposed rail project can be traced to one of three sources: Parsons Brinckerhoff, which has already received more than $100 million in contracts from the city and stands to receive another $300 million to $400 million if the project is built; InfraConsult, a firm formed by three former Parsons Brinckerhoff employees, which the city hired to provide oversight on Parsons Brinckerhoff's work; and Wayne Yoshioka, who was recruited by Mayor Mufi Hannemann from Parsons Brinckerhoff to head up the city's Department of Transportation Services, and whose wife continues to work at Parsons Brinckerhoff….
The city has tried to create the impression that heavy rail is a "done deal," such as by conducting a fake groundbreaking earlier this year. The FTA has limited the city to relocating utilities, so starting construction now without that agency's approval would eliminate any chance of federal funding. Moreover, Congress has yet to approve full funding for the project. And finally, our lawsuit alleges that the city, in rushing the project, violated federal law. If we prevail, the rail project will be halted.
read … How the city misled the public
Water board seeks public's input before possible 70% rate increase
A public hearing on the proposed rate increases will be held Monday at 2 p.m. at the Board of Water Supply headquarters, 630 S. Beretania St. The agency’s board of directors will make the final decision on the proposal.
Former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, a former City Councilman who is running again for Congress, also penned a scathing letter about the Board of Water Supply, calling it "out of control."
Related: Djou: Honolulu Board of Water Supply is out of control
read … Water Board
ORI was Top Recipient of Honolulu HUD Money
According to HUD, ORI Anuenue Hale received more Community Development Block Grant money than any other organization in Honolulu, and its 16,500-square-foot Wellness Center, which opened in April 2010, was supposed to serve at least 50 clients a day.
On a monitoring visit in April, HUD staff found only five participants in the Adult Day Care program and said further efforts to monitor projects were hampered because staff was uncooperative and unwilling to produce documents, leading to the order that ORI and the city either get into compliance or repay the $7.9 million spent on the center….
(Congrats to the Star-Adv editors who managed to get this article done without a single mention of Ernie Martin. That’s the kind of journalism which keeps them earning the Big Bucks!)
Reality: Resignation call after Audit reveals “ward heeler’s slush fund” overseen by Honolulu Councilman
read … Elder care site pressed to comply with federal grant terms
SA: With Only Six Schools Succeeding DoE needs to get Waiver from NCLB and still sucker Feds into thinking RTTT is real
In recent weeks it's become increasingly clear why Hawaii is likely to join the parade of states seeking a waiver. The law mandates that schools demonstrate that all of their students are proficient in math and reading by 2014, and only a handful of the state's 286 public schools appear within striking distance of that goal. Preliminary statistics show that six elementary schools — Haleiwa, Manoa, Waikiki, Mililani Ike, Momilani and Noelani — had 90 percent or better of their students testing as proficient in reading or math, or both….
Education officials in most states, as in Hawaii, are eager to avert a train wreck of demoralizing sanctions and funding consequences that failure would bring, but they are adopting the same wait-and-see stance.
The state needs to craft an alternative — a combination of progressive academic targets and a means of tracking students — that both satisfies U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and is attainable within the state's budgetary constraints….
If that wasn't enough, Tanimura said the state must worry about its $75 million Race to the Top award, the competitive federal grant Hawaii won with a proposal for education innovation and reform. Exactly right: The state DOE doesn't want to jeopardize that program by telegraphing unintentionally any avoidance of rigor.
Tanimura credits the No Child law with compelling much more precise systems for following student progress: Rather than tracking merely aggregate performance by entire schools, states now can analyze smaller groups, such as English language learners, and understand better where corrections are needed.
read … DOE correct in waiting on NCLB waiver
HSTA Contract Critical Juncture for Labor power in Hawaii
Q: Why is mediation more realistic (for HSTA contract negotiations)?
A: Because of the HGEA (Hawaii Government Employees Association) "most favored nations" deal, and because the arbitrator's not going to have direct or final say over the arbitration award that's final and binding. And if it's more than what the HGEA (settlement) was, then he's got a problem, he's got to give it to the HGEA as well.
Q: Would you say the other unions are watching this all unfold?
A: Oh, yeah. And in fact, UHPA (University of Hawaii Professional Assembly) intervened last week, so they're right in the middle of it. And I talked with (United Public Workers State Director) Dayton Nakanelua Friday afternoon (Aug. 5), and of course his negotiations are still going on. He's watching it, like, daily….
Q: And now, would you call the public-sector unions the last bastions of labor strength?
A: Yes. ... The thing none of us expected here was, OK, Lingle was a Republican, and she said, "We're going to cut across the board to balance the budget, and get used to it, that's the way it's gonna happen." What we didn't expect: this kind of behavior from a liberal, lifelong Democrat that's been elected to every position he's had with union support. The HSTA was the first to endorse Abercrombie. So that's what's odd, that he would be the first guy to cut the teachers' pay -- not talking about furloughs.
Related: VIDEO: Abercrombie argues with retired teacher in Hilo, Four of a Kind: UPW, UHPA get big Fat Pay Raise—and HSTA suit could give one to HGEA
read … Labor lawyer sees union power in Hawaii at a critical juncture
VIDEO: Hundreds gather at town hall meeting featuring Newt Gingrich
On Saturday night Gingrich met with Maui residents at the Door of Faith church in Wailuku.
What was expected to be a small gathering turned out to be a packed house
"We're clearly talking to 'Candidate Gingrich' now and I love being here, but we're also campaigning all through Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina. We're on the way, we'll be in New Hampshire again this week and we'll be campaigning very intensely from now till Christmas," Gingrich says.
read … Gingrich
Fontaine is a good representative for Maui
In the past, I have written letters critical of the Republican Party of Hawaii. I have the opinion that its lack of success in Hawaii is due to three things: a lack of good candidates; its negative past history in Hawaiian politics; and a national GOP whose policies are in direct conflict with the beliefs of the people of Hawaii.
But I think George Fontaine is a good state representative for Maui. He seems to focus on the needs of the community and not just the politics. He has a positive attitude and seems to be able to work well with the majority party. He has a track record of working on Maui and knows the community.
MN: Fontaine has demonstrated integrity and compassion
read … Fontaine
Will Deployment Help Djou’s Campaign?
The number of veterans in Congress is at the lowest level since World War II, according to a January report by CNN. But there are plenty of groups that support electing service members to Congress, which may give Djou a fundraising edge.
read … Will Deployment Help Djou’s Campaign?
Fool Calls for Renewed Push to Disenfranchise Military Personnel
If the commission does not alter its vote on this matter, neighbor island citizens will have to go to court to seek justice and equality for permanent residents residing on the Big Island. In the meantime, to comply with time constraints, new district maps will be drawn. If the court rules in favor of justice for the growing population of the neighbor isles, those district maps will have to be redrawn — a giant waste of time and money because eight commissioners ignored the law….
If you think that justice should prevail over politics, let the commission know it should follow the law. Attend a meeting, or send an email message to Chairwoman Victoria Marks at Stand up for fair representation for all the islands (people) in our state Legislature.
Stand up for the Troops: A list of the commission's public hearings is at elections/reapportionment/2011/documents/public_hearings_2011-08-09.pdf.
Inouye: National Guard deserves seat at Pentagon table (but do the troops deserve a vote?)
read … State redistricting panel is off to a bad start
Hawaii's genetically modified papayas attacked—eco terror feared
Thousands of papaya trees were chopped down on 10 acres of Big Island farmland under the cover of night last month, and farmers fear the destruction was the work of activists protesting genetically modified fruit.
Police have no leads and few clues beyond the tree stumps and all the fruit left to rot.
"It's hard to imagine anybody putting that much effort into doing something like that," said Delan Perry, vice president of the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association. "It means somebody has to have passionate reason."
related: Papaya attack coincides with Worldwide Week of Eco Terrorism
read … Hawaii's genetically modified papayas attacked
Ibarra Rules that RENOVATIONS require SMA Permit, orders demolition of Keauhou Church Building
Judge Ronald Ibarra rejected the plan to renovate three buildings on a Heeia Bay property owned by the Hawaii Conference Foundation, the investment arm of the Hawaii Conference of the United Church of Christ.
"We're very pleased with the decision," said Frank Jung, the lawyer for appellants John Dagres and Judith Fitzgerald….
He said the work to be done on the ministerial intern building requires an SMA permit. In the decision, he wrote the proposed work went well beyond the repair and maintenance that would be allowed without such a permit.
The church group wanted to replace the roof, add a kitchen and install an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant bathroom and ramp in that building.
Ibarra (the judge who presided over the Hokulia shakedown) also ruled the 912-square-foot ministerial intern building shouldn't even be allowed on the property.
read … Keauhou church plans struck down
Lunalilo Trust pursues growth
But in the past decade, Lunalilo Home's financial stability was shaken somewhat after the home was closed from 1997 to 2001 for a $4 million renovation that took longer than anticipated.
The main building, which was built in 1918, received needed renovations. But no former residents returned for a variety of reasons including deaths and getting comfortable elsewhere.
Asam said trustees faced tough and unpleasant choices about how to keep Lunalilo Home solvent given the difficulty of rebuilding a resident population critical for sustaining operations costing about $2.5 million a year.
Trustees obtained court approval to deviate from some terms in Lunalilo's will, and opened the care home to non-Hawaiians. The trustees also stopped accepting residents who couldn't pay the cost for full services.
Resident fees range from $4,000 and $5,000 a month, which is toward the low end of care homes in Hawaii for services including room, meals and nonmedical physical care.
To fill beds temporarily and generate revenue, Lunalilo Home started a respite care program that allowed other caregivers to take a break and have Lunalilo Home provide 24-hour care for up to 30 days.
Other ways Lunalilo tried to restore revenue included converting a former laundry building into a 25-person adult day care facility, starting a food delivery service and cooking meals for Hawaii Meals on Wheels.
"It helped pay some of the bills, and I think really saved the place from further deterioration of its finances," Asam said.
read … Lunalilo Trust pursues growth
Kauai AIDS Clinic Finds Substitute for Federal Funds
Jackson seems stoic on the funding cutback. “We are looking at 22 percent cuts in CDC prevention funding each year for three years, and that’s a relatively small amount of our total budget.”
Malama Pono has a $600,000 annual operating budget, of which the CDC has contributed $116,000 a year. The CDC portion will drop over the next three years by 66 percent to about $40,000 annually.
The good news is that Malama Pono will make up for the lost funds from other sources, according to Jackson. “We’ll make it up through donations from fundraising, grants from foundations, and with support from other agencies. And we continue to have other state and federal funding for HIV/AIDS and Hep-C services.”
read … Malama Pono challenged by federal cuts

Star-Adv Charges $1500 for Obituary

Jim wrote up a narrative and asked the newspaper how much it would cost to publish on a Sunday. The answer: $1770.95. After a revision and a slight reduction in size, the amount dropped to “just” $1,522.26.
The quote was $95 per column inch, plus an additional $50 for the online version, and yet another $50 for a color photo.
Jim’s comment to me: “We paid far less than this to have the body cremated….
read … Cheaper to die than to print an obit
Hilo Claims Senior League World Series Title
Unbeaten Hilo triumphed over Tyler Texas team to capture World Series win….
The team will be arriving back in Hilo Sunday at 7:40 p.m. on their flight back from Los Angeles.
read … World Series
Pre-APEC, Korea Free Trade Enters Critical Stage
The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (Korus FTA) is entering the most critical stage in the coming month. In November, President Barack Obama heads to Bali, Indonesia for his first East Asia Summit (EAS) and then to Hawaii, where he will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. The White House needs the Korus FTA to pass in order to convince the rest of the Asia that Obama is serious about economic engagement with the region. …
It is a messy process, but the Blue House can take some comfort in the words of Winston Churchill, who remarked that the Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing after exhausting all the alternatives.
Related: Djou welcomes US-South Korea Free Trade deal
read … Threading the needle in Washington

NYT: Citing a Lack of Usage, Costco Removes E.V. Chargers
“We were early supporters of electric cars, going back as far as 15 years. But nobody ever uses them,” said Dennis Hoover, the general manager for Costco in northern California, in a telephone interview. “At our Folsom store, the manager said he hadn’t seen anybody using the E.V. charging in a full year. At our store in Vacaville, where we had six chargers, one person plugged in once a week.”
Mr. Hoover said that E.V. charging was “very inefficient and not productive” for the retailer. “The bottom line is that there are a lot of other ways to be green,” he said. “We have five million members in the region, and just a handful of people are using these devices.”
…Mr. Hoover said the company was aware of the state-funded upgrade program, but did not see a compelling reason to take advantage of it.
“Why should we have anybody spend money on a program that nobody’s thought through?” he said.
read … Nobody Uses Them
Honolulu Rail Contractor Surrounded as Gunmen Close in on Headquarters
Hundreds of euphoric Libyan rebels pushed to the western outskirts of Tripoli without meeting any resistance after they overran a major military base that defends the capital today. The trappings of Moammar Gadhafi's regime were crumbling fast, with opposition forces rising up from within his stronghold at the same time.
Associated Press reporters with the rebels said they reached the Tripoli suburb of Janzour around nightfall Sunday. They were greeted by civilians lining the streets and waving rebel flags. Hours earlier, the same rebel force of hundreds drove out elite forces led by Gadhafi's son Khamis in a brief gunbattle.
The elated fighters danced and cheered, hauling off truckloads of weapons and advanced full speed toward the capital in pickup trucks. Ahmed al-Ajdal, 27, a fighter from Tripoli, was loading up a truck with ammunition.
"This is the wealth of the Libyan people that he was using against us," he said, pointing to his haul. "Now we will use it against him and any other dictator who goes against the Libyan people."
Inside Tripoli, there was a second day of widespread clashes between what the opposition called "sleeping cells" of rebels who are rising up and Gadhafi loyalists. There were also large anti-government protests.
Libyan state television aired an audio message from Gadhafi tonight, his second in less than 24-hours. He sounded angry ….

Study shows powerful corporations really do control the world's finances

( -- For many years conventional wisdom has said that the whole world is controlled by the monied elite, or more recently by the huge multi-national corporations that seem to sometime control the very air we breathe. Now, new research by a team based in ETH-Zurich, Switzerland, has shown that what we’ve suspected all along, is apparently true. The team has uploaded their results onto the preprint server arXiv.
The Perfect Golf Swing? - "Rebel" PGA Instructor Claims He Can Add 30+ Yards to Anyone's Swing -
Using data obtained (circa 2007) from the Orbis database (a global database containing financial information on public and private companies) the team, in what is being heralded as the first of its kind, analyzed data from over 43,000 corporations, looking at both upstream and downstream connections between them all and found that when graphed, the data represented a bowtie of sorts, with the knot, or core representing just 147 entities who control nearly 40 percent of all of monetary value of transnational corporations (TNCs).
In this analysis the focus was on corporations that have ownership in their own assets as well as those of other institutions and who exert influence via ownership in second, third, fourth, etc. tier entities that hold influence over others in the web, as they call it; the interconnecting of TNCs that together make up the whole of the largest corporations in the world. In analyzing the data they found, and then in building the network maps, the authors of the report sought to uncover the structure and control mechanisms that make up the murky world of corporate finance and ownership.
To zero in on the significant controlling corporations, the team started with a list of 43,060 TNCs taken from a sample of 30 million economic “actors” in the Orbis database. They then applied a recursive algorithm designed to find and point out all of the ownership pathways between them all. The resulting TNC network produced a graph with 600,508 nodes and 1,006,987 ownership connections. The team then graphed the results in several different ways to show the different ways that corporate ownership is held; the main theme in each, showing that just a very few corporations through direct and indirect ownership (via stocks, bonds, etc.) exert tremendous influence over the actions of those , which in turn exert a huge impact on the rest of us.
The authors conclude their report by asking, perhaps rhetorically, what are the implications of having so few exert so much influence, and perhaps more importantly, in an economic sense, what the implications are of such a structure on market competitiveness.
More information: The network of global corporate control, Stefania Vitali, James B. Glattfelder, Stefano Battiston, arXiv:1107.5728v1 [q-fin.GN]
The structure of the control network of transnational corporations affects global market competition and financial stability. So far, only small national samples were studied and there was no appropriate methodology to assess control globally. We present the first investigation of the architecture of the international ownership network, along with the computation of the control held by each global player. We find that transnational corporations form a giant bow-tie structure and that a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions. This core can be seen as an economic "super-entity" that raises new important issues both for researchers and policy makers.
© 2011

ZATO and the Wannabe Whores of Babylon.

Dog Poet Transmitting.......

May your noses always be far from places like this.

In an age of darkness; in an age of dreadful materialism, you find things like this. Not just anyone can be The Whore of Babylon. It requires special characteristics and the absolute lack of various other things. There are so many contenders who have to be measured against the potential of harm committed against the greatest number of persons. Of course, these persons have to be willing to be harmed. They’ve got to let their little light shine out from under a bushel of darkness in search of a more intense darkness. They have to be willing to abandon all sense of self, in search of a more repulsive self that has to be broadcasting on Hell’s most powerful radio station. They have to tune in and they have to tune out.

Kim Kardashian was mentioned some months ago, as having the most friends on Facebook. It was over three million. Now I no longer see any friends listed, only something called, ‘likes’. She’s got over six million of those. At least someone is getting their six million. You have to scroll down the page in growing horror, as you see the nature and motivations of this creature, leading the six million and more into the hot central violence of compressed coal, which is the physical representation of suffocating materialism. She married a basketball player, whose greatest play was to slam dunk his soul down the swirling toilet of evolutionary reversal. Fare the well ye walking zombie dead.

Presently, ZATO is performing mass murder upon the people of Libya, who don’t have the proper banking scheme and whose leader wanted to organize the African nations to protect their resources and reject the debt enslavement, visited upon them by London bankers and assorted true vampires in search of plunder, death and destruction, in any order; it doesn’t matter. ZATO is the Zionist Alliance for Total Occupation. It has been misidentified for a long time as The North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Even a casual observation of their activities over recent times will disabuse you of the notion that they work for anyone but the central bankers of London and Tel Aviv. New York City is a secondary location that is controlled by the aforementioned.

ZATO and Kim Kardashian have a great deal in common. They are both killing large numbers of people, though I think Kardashian has killed more people overall so far. There are a lot of ways to kill a person and some of the more pervasive and effective ways of doing so are unknown to the greater mass of the population. Let’s say you’re a 12 or 13 year old girl or boy on the streets of London and you’ve been passed around through a few hands; this is another not so well known reality, even though there have been articles about some significant number of them making sex dates on cellphones for the purpose of material goods from older men. Recently a fellow sought to go to London and give a talk on sex abuse and trafficking of children by the church and state in London and he was arrested and deported because the politicians and police there are deeply into it; it is one of the basic behavioral routines of Satanism. Then you run into a ‘handler’, or you’ve had one from the start and they shoot you up with Heroin so you don’t much care what happens to you. You’ve been killed, even though it might take some agonizing interval of time yet.

If someone leads you down the garden path, while you are in emulation of them and their lifestyle, they have also killed you, on several levels, even though it might take some agonizing interval of time yet. Kim Kardashian does this. You might dispute the reality of it but you can argue with the wind as far as I’m concerned. It’s murder is what it is. She’s not the only one committing murder. The educational system does it. The culture does it. The governments do it and the religions do it. Liars for profit and control do it through every medium in which they operate. The media is an accessory to murder every day. The media is the information arm of ZATO. Kim Kardashian is their product spokeswhore.

ZATO and one of their media constructs, CNN, are shooting at and threatening independent journalists in Libya for reporting actual events, instead of bending over for the official pronouncements of The Powers that Seem. It’s all a matter of degrees of subtlety, in terms of applied murder, whether it’s ZATO or Kardashian. However, dead is dead, today, tomorrow or on any given Sunday.

Everyone comes to some arrangement with the system, depending on what they want out of it, or depending on their need to operate inside it for the purpose of survival in a mug’s game. You’re at the carnival and you believe the games aren’t rigged because that disturbs your sense of possibility. It appears to be better to lie to yourself in the hope of something you won’t get than to face the reality of the situation. If you see someone succeeding at something, you don’t question their methods; you’re looking at their results. They may be the greater evil but those following them are the wider danger; willingly polluted and engaged in sharing and spreading their pollutions upon their children, relatives and friends. It’s what’s know as a clusterfuck.

The Synagogue of Satan is the applied worship of materialism as the object of existence. This means directing the culture through lifestyles, fashion, products, advertising and duplicitous information, designed to convince you that this is what you want; until you get it, or, actually, it gets you. It can still take you awhile to die and you might get some gratuitous enjoyment out of it on the way but you’re DOA from the departure gate. It’s obvious or it’s confusing and if it’s confusing then you only have to consider what’s confusing you because that’s the nature of the game, as a songwriter once said. It’s like the fascination with a meticulously recorded false history and the dream of a physical king, as opposed to a metaphysical regent. It’s all there to be seen but you’ll have noted the danger of representing truth in a world of lies and the majority of you will look for an easier passage. Keep in mind that the passage is easier because of the direction it is headed in.

ZATO is a murder machine based on a web of lies, for the sole purpose of profit at any cost. It is the military arm of ZOG. Kim Kardashian is a murder machine, fueled by the corporations who pimp her as an icon for successful existence. It’s a fitting irony that she has no talent at anything but this and that is enough for most.

Zionism is applied Satanism for social and political gain at the expense of EVERYONE else. The club of anti-Semitism designed by Theodor Hertzl for the purpose of a defense against all criticism and to be used at any time without reason or basis, is the chief weapon of Zionism. As you have heard them say, “it’s a trick, we always use it”. Given what we have seen and are presently being oppressed by, it stands to reason that anti-Semitism is a badge of honor in the awareness of a clear and present danger that has been with us for a long, long time. The Apocalypse is making this more widely known and at some point it will combust, to the enduring dismay of those who thought they could always count on murder and lies to achieve their ends.

What happens abroad and what is being planned for the populations in the home countries, is made possible by the murder of awareness at the hands of the ones who pervert our values and aspirations. This is the purpose of reality TV shows; to murder human dignity and reduce humanities perception of itself to the level of an ignorant beast. This is the purpose of those in the headlines in every area of endeavor. They work for ZATO and ZOG. You can find it hard to believe and you may be unwilling to believe it and you may be outraged that anyone would besmirch your obsession with the thousand forms of shit that you desire more than life itself because...that is the price of the possession of and obsession with them. That is the price.

What is happening in Libya, will be happening somewhere else tomorrow and eventually it will be happening in your neighborhood because you didn’t care when it was happening to someone else and even supported it, if it meant you could have your share and get your fill of as many of the thousand forms of shit that is possible for you. Bon voyage, as you sail away in the burning dumpsters of flaming shit. There are handkerchiefs waving from the shore, as you sail off into the darkness of the sea of ignominy.

End Transmission.......

One in Four California Families Can’t Afford Food for Their Kids

People line up at a food bank Alameda, California
– SAN FRANCISCO — One in four California households with children reported food hardship, according to a new analysis of Gallup data released last Thursday by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).
“It’s disturbing, but not surprising,” said Kelly Hardy, director of health policy at Children Now.
The report analyzed data gathered as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index project’s responses to the question: “Have there been times in the past 12 months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?”
“It sends a clear signal of economic distress, particularly for families with children,” noted James Weill, president of FRAC. “The answers to the question reveal there are times that these families are going without eating a meal, or the parents are skipping a meal for their children, or children are skipping meals.”
California had the second highest number of metropolitan areas with rates of food hardship in households with children in 2009-2010, according to the report.
According to, a project of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, which tracks the health and well being of children in communities across the nation, 68.6 percent of students in schools in Fresno County and 65.6 percent in Los Angeles County were eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals in 2010.
But sadly, “California has one of the worst records of enrolling those eligible in federal food programs,” said Weill – an assertion borne out by a report by the California Food Policy Advocates, which talks about the dismal enrolment in CalFresh, the federal food program in the state. The finger-imaging requirement discourages many from participating in the program, the report says.
According to the FRAC’s findings, California has four of the top 20 metropolitan areas in the nation facing food hardship. Fresno ranked fifth (32.6 percent) nationwide among large metropolitan cities in households with children facing food hardship. The Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario area ranked eigth (30.4 percent), the Bakersfield area ranked 11th (29.5 percent), and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area ranked 18th (28.3 percent).
And, according to, 59 percent and 62.3 percent of children living in the Fresno and Los Angeles County, respectively, are Latino.
Children’s healthcare advocates worry about the consequences of a lack of access to nutritious food.
“It will lead to development and health issues which affect performance in school,” Hardy said. “A lack of nutritious food can also lead to poor oral health, which has been shown to lead to heart disease.”
Kelly noted that there is a connection between food deserts — areas where there is a lack of easy access to affordable nutritious food – and obesity. These areas are often found in the inner-cities or rural areas such as Fresno and are often the cause for poor nutrition choices, she said.
California Association of Food Banks policy director Eric Manke worries that the newly setup federal Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the “Super Committee,” set up to further reduce federal spending by $1.5 trillion, might target federal food programs.
The Super Committee is set to hold its first meeting when Congress returns to Washington after its August recess. The California Association of Food Banks, along with FRAC and other non-profit food organizations, is urging Congress and the Super Committee to protect food programs for the low-income population.
“Our goal is to make sure they don’t target the federal food programs,” said Manke, noting, “Folks in Congress must understand that there is a great deal of need for these type of programs, and this is the opposite time to think about cutting programs that serve those with the most need.”
Source: New America Media, August 20, 2011
By: Raul Rodriguez