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"Right," said Malaclypse. "They were the innovators in that instance. All the Illuminati were and are neophiles. Even today, they see their work as directed toward progress. They want to become like gods. It's possible for humans, given the right methods, to translate themselves into sentient latticework of pure energy that will be more or less permanent. The process is called transcendental illumination, to distinguish it from the acquisition of insight into the true nature of man and the universe, which is ordinary illumination. I've gone through transcendental illumination and am a being composed altogether of energy, as you may have guessed. However, prior to becoming energy fields men often fall victim to hubris. Their actions cause pain to others and make them insensitive, uncreative and irrational. Mass human sacrifice is the most reliable method of achieving transcendental illumination. Human sacrifice can, of course, be masked as other things, such as war, famine and plague. The vision of the Four Horsemen vouchsafed to Saint John is actually a vision of mass transcendental illumination."
And above all, a depression circa 2009 might be a less visible and more isolating experience. With the diminishing price of televisions and the proliferation of channels, it's getting easier and easier to kill time alone, and free time is one thing a 21st-century depression would create in abundance. Instead of dusty farm families, the icon of a modern-day depression might be something as subtle as the flickering glow of millions of televisions glimpsed through living room windows, as the nation's unemployed sit at home filling their days with the cheapest form of distraction available.
Falling crime rates have been one of the great American success stories of the past 15 years. New York and Los Angeles, once the twin capitals of violent crime, have calmed down significantly, as have most other big cities. Criminologists still debate why: the crack war petered out, new policing tactics worked, the economy improved for a long spell. Whatever the alchemy, crime in New York, for instance, is now so low that local prison guards are worried about unemployment.
Lately, though, a new and unexpected pattern has emerged, taking criminologists by surprise. While crime rates in large cities stayed flat, homicide rates in many midsize cities (with populations of between 500,000 and 1 million) began increasing, sometimes by as much as 20percent a year. In 2006, the Police Executive Research Forum, a national police group surveying cities from coast to coast, concluded in a report called “A Gathering Storm” that this might represent “the front end … of an epidemic of violence not seen for years.” The leaders of the group, which is made up of police chiefs and sheriffs, theorized about what might be spurring the latest crime wave: the spread of gangs, the masses of offenders coming out of prison, methamphetamines. But mostly they puzzled over the bleak new landscape. According to FBI data, America’s most dangerous spots are now places where Martin Scorsese would never think of staging a shoot-out—Florence, South Carolina; Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina; Kansas City, Missouri; Reading, Pennsylvania; Orlando, Florida; Memphis, Tennessee.
NEW YORK (AP) -- The financial woes of U.S. automakers have grabbed Washington's attention, but similar problems at auto suppliers have the potential to set off a cataclysmic chain of events in the industry if key parts makers run out of cash and fail.
As with the automakers, auto suppliers' sales have tumbled this year because of the steep drop in demand for new vehicles.
That has forced suppliers to burn through their cash reserves and slash their costs to stay in business, said Craig Fitzgerald, an automotive analyst with Southfield, Mich.-based Plante & Moran PLLP, which advises about 400 small and midsize auto suppliers.
Meanwhile, banks and other credit providers have become dead-set against lending to any company in the faltering automotive industry, making it difficult and expensive for suppliers to get needed financing.
But if the companies at the bottom of the supply chain don't find a way to recapitalize, Fitzgerald warned, numerous bankruptcies and liquidations among the small companies will set off a string of parts shortages that could reach all the way to the vehicle assembly line.
The resulting disruptions could negate any help the government might give General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC.
"Either they deal with the liquidity issues at the lower tier, or these problems have the potential to just devastate the Detroit OEMs and the other automakers," Fitzgerald said, referring to so-called original equipment manufacturers GM, Ford and Chrysler. "It's an issue equal to what's going on at the Big Three, they just don't have the heft, so it doesn't get quite the play."
In most cases, auto suppliers have their own suppliers, who in turn receive their parts from other companies, meaning that many automotive components pass through a chain of several companies before they're sold to an automaker.
"The fragility of the whole thing is very much like a house of cards," said Bob Viswanathan, an assistant professor of operations management at the University at Buffalo School of Management. "Everybody knows that the finance markets are so interconnected, but the auto industry is worse."
"Much of a modern depression would unfold in the domestic sphere: people driving less, shopping less, and eating in their houses more. They would watch television at home; unemployed parents would watch over their own kids instead of taking them to day care. With online banking, it would even be possible to have a bank run in which no one leaves the comfort of their home."
General Electric Co. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt and Citigroup Inc.’s Vikram Pandit are back to buying their own companies’ shares. That means there may be more stock declines to come.
The U.S. Federal Reserve's emergency lending programs, intended to thaw commercial paper and money markets, are also helping banks limit losses from some of their $4 trillion in off-the-books guarantees and loan commitments.
CRH Plc of Ireland and Hochtief AG and Siemens AG of Germany lead a list of European building and engineering companies that may benefit from emergency U.S. spending on roads, bridges and power plants.
Originally posted by LookingAround
I think a good study would be Africa and it's involment in the next bridge, Somalia was on EC today and I think that they should be looked at in relation to the next event.
Russia and Somalia are getting close in a bad way, Somalia is poking a stick at Russia now and Somalia will be mauled soon.
The US would not intervene in that conflict, we still remember "black hawk down".
[edit on 11-16-2008 by LookingAround]