A Warning to Those Who Have Been Investing in Gold and Silver

I have written several articles on how tightly held the REAL trading in gold and silver really is, and how the small investors don’t have a chance to “move” in the market.  I am sure a lot of my readers have been investing in gold and silver, and why not look where the market is going.  But Caveat Emptor!

If you do not have PHYSICAL possession of the gold and silver you think you have invested in, you may have already been screwed big time.  If you google “gold and silver oversubscription” today, you will get over 66,000 “hits”.  Almost every gold and silver commodities vessels are grossly oversold.  What that means in very simple terms, the “certificate” you are holding that says you own “X” amount of gold or silver may NOT be redeemable in physical gold and silver if you demand it.

When we hit the hyperinflation panic point, and that is say oh RIGHT NOW!, then everyone will scramble to get their gold and silver that is NOT there.  If you have been paying to “STORE” your gold and silver with the brokerage firm, you are still in that boat.  You guys are the real smucks to these slick trading firms because not only did you pay in advance for your “bullion”, you also paid “storage fees” for stuff that doesn’t really exist!

If you think I am kidding, try and get physical delivery of your gold or silver and see what happens next.  I want you to consider what some of the biggest Hedge Fund Investors are quietly doing behind your backs and how the MSM is complicit in keeping everything on the “QT”.  The following move was made today by The University of Texas Investment Management Co., the second-largest U.S. academic endowment.

They took delivery of almost $1 billion in gold bullion and is storing the bars in a New York vault, according to the fund’s board.  The fund, whose $19.9 billion in assets ranked it only behind Harvard University’s endowment as of August, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers, added about $500 million in gold investments to an existing stake last year, said Bruce Zimmerman, the endowment’s chief executive officer. The holdings are worth about $987 million, based on yesterday’s closing price of $1,486 an ounce for Comex futures.

The decision to turn the fund’s investment into gold bars was influenced by Kyle Bass, a Dallas hedge fund manager and member of the endowment’s board, Zimmerman said at its annual meeting on April 14. Bass made $500 million on the U.S. subprime-mortgage collapse.

“Central banks are printing more money than they ever have, so what’s the value of money in terms of purchases of goods and services,” Bass said yesterday in a telephone interview. “I look at gold as just another currency that they can’t print any more of.”

Also consider this: Belarus’ central bank has stopped selling gold to local retail customers for Belarussian roubles, it said on Friday, after demand for precious metals soared due to expectations of a currency devaluation.  The bank did not explain its decision.  Belarus is in talks with Russia on a $3 billion bailout package that Minsk hopes will help it avoid a painful devaluation of the rouble and offset the large current account deficit.

Belarussians bought 470 kilograms of gold from the central bank last month, up from 209 kilograms in January and February together, as they sought to protect their savings. Analysts say that Belarus will have to eventually devalue the rouble by about 20-30 percent even if it receives aid from Moscow. However, the central bank has said it would not make any such moves until late April.

What this means is we have reached the tipping point, I believe, that I have been warning everyone about for weeks now.  Because the central banks are trying to print their way out of the crisis we are in, currencies around the world are headed for huge devaluations and within, I think, a matter of days.  I am not talking about some small corrections in currency valuations, but more in the range of 20 or 30%!

So my good friends, I would advise( friendly advice, not investment advice, as I am not an investment professional) you to really pay attention and if you are exposed here, get your gold or silver in your own hands.  The value of these commodities could go up even higher, but if you don’t physically possess them you are a lamb ready for slaughter.  I also wouldn’t be surprised if governments globally don’t start trying to confiscate privately held gold and silver in the near future.  It has happened before and it can happen again.  As I said Caveat Emptor!

Finally A Step in the Right Direction

As a followup to my previous post calling out the fact that not one single bankster or Wall Street financial thug has been prosecuted for the giant fraud and ponzi schemes foisted on the world’s economy, it now appears that at least some in CONgress are beginning to fear the wrath of the people.  This is a start, but I suspect it will still be a long time before any of these crooks actually see jail time.  We all can help the process a bit by letting our Representatives and Senators that we demand justice.  They either do the right thing or we will do the right thing come next election.

This just released:

“They clearly misled their clients and they misled the Congress,”  Senator Levin added, announcing that he will recommend that his panel refer all of the Goldman executives who testified before the committee for criminal prosecution by the Justice Department and for sanctions by the SEC for violations of securities laws.

This is a fairly detailed and lengthy piece by Shahien Nasiripour.  It is worth reading in full at its source.  The only thing missing from Levin’s report is a perjury recommendation for Henry Paulson who lied before Congress repeatedly during various testimony given in 2007 and 2008 – see the right column of this website to watch his lies for yourself. Here’s the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/14/goldman-financial-crisis-prosecution_n_848994.html

Huff Po

WASHINGTON — Goldman Sachs executives deceived clients in order to profit off the brewing financial crisis and then misled Congress when asked to explain their actions, concluded a top lawmaker who led a two-year investigation into Wall Street’s role in the meltdown.

Carl Levin, chair of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, will recommend that Goldman executives who testified before his panel, including chairman and chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, be referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution, the Michigan Democrat announced Wednesday. Members of the subcommittee will now deliberate Levin’s proposal.

A Goldman spokesman said its executives were truthful in their testimony, adding that the firm disagreed with many of the panel’s conclusions.

Two and a half years after a historic crisis that has yielded not a single criminal conviction of anyone who played a leading role in causing it, the prosecution of such a high-profile Wall Street executive may satisfy the public’s desire to see culprits brought to justice. Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission settled a lawsuit it had brought against Goldman.

But the firm was just one target of a sweeping, 639-page report by the Senate panel into the causes of the crisis. Hardly a fluke occurrence, the meltdown was the product of a deeply corrupt financial system, one fueled by profit-hungry banks that deceived their clients, and overseen by lax regulators who were complicit in the firms’ chronic abuse of the most fundamental rules of the game, the report concludes.

The investigation found a “financial snake pit rife with greed, conflicts of interest, and wrongdoing,” Levin said.

More than any other government report produced in the wake of the crisis, this account names names, blaming specific people and institutions: Goldman Sachs, Washington Mutual, Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s, the Office of Thrift Supervision and others. It targets four types of institutions, all of which it says played key roles in causing the crisis: mortgage lenders that offered prospective homeowners booby-trapped loans; regulators that were paid by the institutions they were regulating and cooperated in widespread deception; rating agencies that gave seals of approval to products they knew to be especially risky, all in the pursuit of market share; and Wall Street banks that duped investors into buying securities that only the insiders knew were destined to go bad.

“They clearly misled their clients and they misled the Congress,” he added, announcing that he will recommend that his panel refer all of the Goldman executives who testified before the committee for possible criminal prosecution by the Justice Department and for sanctions by the SEC for violations of securities laws.

This is a very rare time when YOU can really make a difference in the world.  Everybody call, write, email your Representatives and Senators and demand that they not only support the committee on this effort, but that they also continue hound the Justice Department to fully, completely, and swiftly investigate and prosecute these crooks.  These crooks have all but destroyed our future with their greed.  WE WANT OUR MONEY BACK!!!!

The Realities of the “Budget Crisis” Hidden by Both Sides

As the budget debate continues, the American people are being fed BS from both parties.  This is especially true when it comes to the facts about tax revenues, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  In my last previous article, I presented some of the facts especially about Social Security.  Now it is time to reveal the truth about income taxes and corporate income taxes, and how they relate to job creation in America.  Keep in mind, I only try to present the facts and NOT opinion.

I trust that if the “Common Folk” can see the real balance sheets, they can read and understand it just like they understand their own checkbook or bank statement.  It just ain’t that difficult.  The problem we have is that those facts are hidden deep in some reports and disclosure statements by the IRS  and the Department of Labor that are not publically released, at least not in the Main Stream Media.  Also, Main Stream Media is controlled by the very corporations that benefit from us not knowing, so any hope of true journalistic work coming from them is a pipe dream.  Even if they have hired good honest journalist, they are quickly either gagged or if they have the courage to try and report anyway, their job security evaporates and they are out of the mainstream.  Just ask the likes of Keith Olbermann and those of such integrity.  Their access to us is diminished to a point they can not effectively reach the mass of audience to really effect change and inform the masses.

OK, lets talk taxes and who is paying what.  I warn you that the chart I am about to present will make you blood boil, and quite frankly, I hope it will.  This chart is just one month’s tax receipts (March 2011) but is reflective of what is really going all.  I think we all feel or have a sense that corporations are not paying their fair share, but this will reveal something quite beyond that.  The Republicans are arguing that raising taxes on corporations will kill jobs in the US.  Well, I will show you a second chart to reveal the reality of why corporations, with their sweetheart tax deals haven’t created a single job in the US since 2004!

Here’s the first chart, remeber this is ACTUAL IRS data For March 2011:

What this chart shows that we, the honest taxpayers paid in more than $91 billion in taxes, received almost $58 billion in refunds, with net receipts to the IRS of nearly $38 billion. Great, huh?  Now look at what our fat cat corporations paid.  They paid in $4.5 billion, got refunds of nearly $6 billion, and the IRS PAID THEM $1.3 billion!!! What this really shows is not only did corporations pay $0 in taxes, WE PAID them a bonus of $1.3 billion.  Are you catching on here?  I know, you want to pinch yourself and say this isn’t so, but facts are facts.

OK, now let’s address the argument that corporations shouldn’t pay any taxes because after all it is corporations that generate the jobs in America and if they were given free tax breaks , they would solve the economic crisis by creating full employment and job growth.  This is the talking points of donkeys and lackeys such as Mitch McConnel, Kantor, and Boner(misspelled on purpose).

OK, lets again look at the facts as presented by the Department of Labor.  Facts, just the facts, ma’am.  The following table show the total of jobs in the US by month.  OK?

So, adjust for population growth during that period, NOT A SINGLE JOB has been created since 2004!  Facts, just the facts, as presented by our own government that they hoped you would never see!

I will let you all reach your own conclusions.  I have my opinion that I have reached by just looking at facts and not paying attention at all to either side’s rhetoric.  It’s time to do a triple rinse in Washington and Wall Street and start all over again.  I hope this will help us all make some decisions that are really informed come next election.

 

 

 

 

 

Budgets Lies, Manipulation, and Other Criminal Distortions

As the US faces massive deficits and the wealthy continue to raid both the Federal and State coffers unchecked.  As the social “safety net” is ripped to shreds and the assault continues on the middle class globally.  The most defenseless and poor of the world are bearing the brunt of this unchecked greed, power, and hubris, the facts are most grossly distorted.

In the US, but in other countries as well, the mantra is the social programs will be the downfall of the fiscal equation and are the cause of the current financial crisis.  In the US, it is Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare will be the ruin of life as we know it.  That is the biggest lie of all!

Consider this from Sherwood Ross who heads a public relations firm “for good causes” and also runs the Anti-War News Service.  You can reach him at sherwoodross10@gmail.com if you would like more details.

“As long as the $1.2-trillion annual budget for the military-security complex is off limits (to cutting), nothing can be done about the US budget deficit except to renege on obligations to the elderly, confiscate private assets (which includes the physical gold and silver hoarding that is afoot)or print enough money to inflate away all debts,” Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Treasury Secretary under President Reagan warns.

In an article titled “Stealing from Social Security to Pay for Wars and Bailouts,” published in the April issue of the “Rock Creek Free Press” of Washington, D.C., Roberts says that Republicans are calling Social Security and Medicare “entitlements”—making them sound like welfare—when, in fact, workers over their lifetimes have contributed 15 percent of all their earnings to the payroll tax that funds these benefits and have every right to them.

And far from Social Security being in the red, between 1984 and 2009, Roberts writes, “the American people contributed $2-trillion…more to Social Security and Medicare in payroll taxes than was paid out in benefits” but “the government stole” that sum to fund wars and pork-barrel projects!

What’s more, under one realistic estimate, far from crashing into the red, “Social Security (OASDI) will have produced surplus revenues of $31.6-trillion by 2085, Roberts says.

Americans, apparently, are unaware of how the federal government’s illegal, foreign wars sap the economy and rob every household. The Iraq war cost alone is 20 percent of the size of last year’s entire U.S. economy. Instead of investing that sum at home, “which would have produced income and jobs growth and solvency for state and local governments, the US government wasted the equivalent of 20% of the economy in 2010 in blowing up infrastructure and people in foreign lands,” Roberts says.

“The US government spent a huge sum of money committing war crimes, while millions of Americans were thrown out of their jobs and foreclosed out of their homes,” he added. Viewed another way, the Pentagon continues to expand and put people to work to modernize its 700-800 bases abroad in order to dominate every corner of the globe while public works and public employment in America are going into the toilet.

“When short-term and long-term discouraged workers are added …the US has an unemployment rate of 22%,” Robert says. A country with that large a percentage out of work “has a shrunken tax base and feeble consumer purchasing power.”

The U.S. media, he claims, is only reporting one-third of the real cost of the wars, leaving out the sums needed for “lifelong care for the wounded and maimed, the cost of lifelong military pensions of those who fought in the wars, the replacement costs of the destroyed equipment, the opportunity cost of the resources wasted in war, and other costs.”

President Obama’s budget, if passed, doesn’t reduce the deficit over the next 10 years by enough to cover the projected deficit in the fiscal year 2012 budget alone, the financial authority writes. “Indeed, the deficits are likely to be substantially larger than forecast,” as the military-industrial complex “is more powerful than ever and shows no inclination to halt the wars for US hegemony,” Roberts says.

Add to this the fact that the FED is sitting on its largest excess reserve in history Federal Reserve Aggregate Reserves, over $1.4 Trillion dollars and corporate cash reserves are at historical levels, one really must start questioning what is really afoot here.

Understanding this reality exposes the PTB and their political hacks for what they really are up to in this effort to strip governments and make them appear inept.  Don’t buy it.

If you look at the so-called “budget crisis” in Wisconsin, New Jersey, etc, these so-called large deficits are equal to the tax breaks passed into law for corporations and the wealthy.  Just do the math. Just do the math.

There is no question the US government will have ongoing deficits of $1.3 to $2.2 trillion annually for some time to come. If this is the case there is no chance of the debt of government ever being paid. That means official devaluation and default, although it will be done jointly by many countries. The US debt limit will be raised. The Republicans are playing politics and remember the same group of thieves overwhelmingly controls both parties. It will also be interesting to see how, before the end of the year, the Treasury places more than $2 trillion in bonds. We bet the Fed buys about $1.7 trillion. This has to push up real interest rates by ½% to ¾% by the end of the year and the same should happen in 2012. Foreigners and even PIMCO does not want to purchase Treasury bonds, notes and bills. In order to entice such buyers, yields will have to move up a point now and a point later. As part of that sequence of actions by buyers quantitative easing would have to end, as well as stimulus, and budget deficits would have to be cut realistically, not by $33 billion paltry dollars. Incidentally GDP growth under those circumstances would be minus 3 to minus 6 percent. The Fed has little trouble holding up and manipulating the short end of the bond market, but the long end is another matter. It is not only QE2 and manipulation, but also the Fed’s continuing to purchase CDO’s and MBS, which are toxic waste from banks to get the debt off of banks’ books and to liquefy them. The purchase of US dollar denominated bonds, especially Treasuries, is coming to an end. We cannot expect the Fed to continue indefinitely to do what it is doing. It can only end in hyperinflation. We might add that JPMorgan Chase soon will forge a civil settlement concerning fraud relating to CDOs and MBS. Again no jail time; it is a national disgrace. Those people should have been prosecuted criminally. As you can see money buys everything. If QE3 is implemented, and we believe it will be, classical economics says the result, hyperinflation, is inevitable.

I would contend hyperinflation is already here, given the price of oil and food commodities.  These are the factors that is flaming the fire of global revolution, which will soon be in a town near you.  There is an ancient saying that states, “if a man cannot choose the manner of his living, he will choose the manner and time of his death.”

There is time, very little time, but still time to wake up as a people and demand fiscal responsibility and regulations; time to legislate a re-distribution of the wealth that has been illegally taken from the people.  The time has come to begin the criminal investigation of those banksters, politicians and lobbyists who have perpetrated this fraud and corruption on the people of the world.

Making Sense of the Events in The Middle East

MSM tends to report the events in Egypt, Yemen, Tunsia, Bahrain, Syria, and Libya as if they were all the same.  The same MSM, both western and Arab tend to paint the involvement of the EU, UK, and the US as purely self interests related to oil.  In both cases to do so does not create an understanding of the real complex and in all cases, country specific issues.  Nor does these same western countries relate the events in the region to events at home in their own countries.

Let’s address the “oil” issue first. The truth is that the entire global economy, including the side-liners like Russia, China, and India economies,  must have a SECURE supply of oil.  If anyone of these nations were really “after the oil”, Kuwait would be a US territory as well as Iraq.  That is not the case in either country and the US pays MARKET price to these countries for their oil, just like everyone else.  The same could be said of the european countries as related to Libya.  So from my perspective and vantage point, the oil imperialism argument, primarily kept in the mainstream by Iran, is just a red herring argument.

When we look at the divisions within the Arab countries, Iran is the nation, fomenting the issues.  What most Westerners fail to grasp is the fact that while Iran is primarily a Shia nation, they are NOT Arabs!  Iran is Persian.  One only has to look deeply at how Iran has constantly be meddling in the affairs of Iraq to understand why there is more concern in the Arab world over the activities of Iran than there are concerns about Western interference.

That is not to say that the Arab countries are all that secure with their relationships with the US and EU, but these concerns are more related to the consistency that may be demonstrated by the US and the EU and NATO related to assisting in the security and protection of Arab countries in relationship to Iran.  these concerns are well founded and have resulted from the fickle manner in which both the US and NATO have acted in the past.  These concerns were voiced again when US Secretary Gates visited Saudi Arabia last week.

The GCC countries are especially worried about the Iranians , their aggressiveness in the region, and their ability to disrupt the flow of oil to the world.  GCC foreign ministers on Sunday condemned Iran’s “blatant” interference in the State of Kuwait’s internal affairs, accusing Iran of “planting espionage networks on [Kuwait’s] territory” to undermine the country’s security and stability and the interests of its citizens. In a statement issued at the conclusion of their extraordinary one-day meeting, the foreign ministers commended Kuwait’s security bodies for uncovering the sleeper cell of spies believed to be working covertly on Iran’s behalf. The ministers also affirmed their support for all the measures taken by the State of Kuwait to protect its national security.

The statement further noted that the senior government officials had expressed concern at what they called “continuous Iranian interference in the domestic affairs of the GCC countries, by conspiring against those nations’ national security … and instigating sectarian sedition between their GCC countries’ citizens, independence, principles of good neighborliness, international laws, the Charter of the UN and OIC.” The foreign ministers also welcomed the return of calm and stability to the Kingdom of Bahrain, praising the spirit of the Bahraini people who it said had sought the country’s higher interests.

Bahrain has the capabilities and wisdom to dealing with its internal affairs, said the ministers, whilst stressing that they “strongly condemn the Iranian interference” in Bahrain’s affairs. The senior government officials also stressed the legitimacy of the deployment of Peninsula Shield forces in Bahrain, which they indicated was compliant with an earlier defense agreement binding the six GCC countries – Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and UAE.

The GCC ministers further condemned the Iranian Shura Council’s national security and foreign affairs committee’s statement which claimed that Saudi Arabia’s policy was “playing with fire.” The Iranian statement, which also called on Saudi Arabia to pull out forces from Bahrain, “is a hostile position and is a provocative interference in the internal affairs of the GCC countries,” the ministers warned.

On Yemen, the foreign ministers voiced great concern over the deterioration of security and the growing divisions in the country, a matter that would undermine interests of citizens and economy as a whole. They called on all parties in Yemen to launch dialogue to ultimately reach reform and bring about social stability. The ministers said they respected the wishes and choices of the Yemeni people, adding that they would be establishing contact with the Yemeni government and opposition to address the conflict

Also on Sunday, the UAE’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nuhayyan said that there is a “huge contradiction” between Iran’s words and its deeds towards the GCC countries. “The espionage networks that were arrested in the State of Kuwait are strange [things to] happen from a neighboring country that always claims to have good neighborly relations with us,” Sheikh Abdullah told a joint news conference with GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayyani that followed the ministers’ meeting.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are firmly behind the Bahraini King’s request to send Peninsula Shield forces to the Kingdom, he reiterated. Concerning events in Yemen, meanwhile, Sheikh Abdullah said the GCC countries would be contacting the government and opposition parties there in a bid to resolve their conflict. Al-Zayyani on his part said that there are currently numerous challenges facing the GCC countries, further reiterating the member states demand for “other countries not to interfere in the GCC countries’ affairs.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s caretaker foreign minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Al-Sabah told a Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas via phone following the meeting that the talks, as well as the concluding statement, “reflect the collective spirit of the GCC,” indicating that “GCC Foreign Ministers insisted on the common united fate of GCC countries,” whilst also noting that the Bahraini subject and current events in Kuwait were equally addressed during the meeting and stressing the cohesion of the GCC as a single unit. “The GCC proved to be capable of meeting its responsibilities, and showed that to the security of member states…meaning a threat to any GCC state is regarded as a threat to all countries of the region”.

Meanwhile, in the same article, Al-Qabas, also quoted GCC insiders as saying that the foreign ministers had agreed during the meeting that all the member states’ capabilities would be utilized to confront any potential threats against any member state. The sources further indicated that the senior government officials agreed on the principal measures that should be taken to face any Iranian threats, adding that an agreement was also reached to hold further top-level GCC meetings featuring senior security and defense personalities within the next couple of days to discuss the type of measures to be taken and the strategies to be utilized for their implementation.  The insiders further asserted that the GCC foreign ministers were unanimous in stressing the importance of eliminating “suspicious individuals” in member states, while ensuring that this process is not based on group identity. Other sources also revealed that an agreement was reached to “reinforce internal fronts” in the member states in order to confront any attempts to incite sectarianism.

Given these issues and the economic situations in each of the countries now experiencing internal conflicts it is crucial for the US, the EU, and NATO to develop a consistent and strong policy to support it’s vital Arab partners.  Players like Russia, China, and India are sitting on the sidelines looking for opportunities to exploit the failures of the US and EU policy in the region.  So far, their decision to remain on the sidelines, and even tacitily support Iran seems to have traction.  The politicians in the US and EU better get their act together before oil goes to $200 or $300 per barrel.  Commit to their Arab partners and support them unconditionally.

Tracking Solar Cycle 24

As we anticipate the solar activity from this particular solar cycle (solar cycle 24), it promises to be one on the most active in our lifetimes. It is important to look at the situation as it is unfolding.  There has been much speculation on this issue, particularly since this cycle began much more quiet than anyone ever anticipated.

That is not necessarily a good thing as it may indicate “a building” pressure with Ole Sol’s furnace that will be released suddenly and with a vengeance.   It does appear that solar cycle 24 is beginning to live up to predictions though these past several weeks .

Solar Cycle 24 “First” List

Here is a list of Solar Cycle 24 “firsts” in order to track the progression and timeline of SC24.

First “Magnetic Plage” of Cycle 24 – Dec 13, 2007
First “official” Cycle 24 Sunspot – Jan 4, 2008 (Sunspot 981)

First Solar Flux above 70 – Oct 11, 2008
First Solar Flux above 80 – Oct 26, 2009
First Solar Flux above 90 – Jan 11, 2010
First Solar Flux above 100 – Feb 13, 2011
First Solar Flux above 110 – Feb 14, 2011
First Solar Flux above 120 – Feb 18, 2011
First Solar Flux above 130 – Mar 5, 2011
First Solar Flux above 140 – Mar 6, 2011
First Solar Flux above 150 – Mar 7, 2011
First Solar Flux above 160 –

First Sunspot Number above 11 – Jan 4, 2008
First Sunspot Number above 20 – Nov 12, 2008
First Sunspot Number above 30 – Sept 23, 2009
First Sunspot Number above 40 – Dec 19, 2009
First Sunspot Number above 50 – Feb 7, 2010
First Sunspot Number above 60 – Feb 7, 2010
First Sunspot Number above 70 – Feb 8, 2010
First Sunspot Number above 80 – Feb 13, 2011
First Sunspot Number above 90 – Feb 14, 2011
First Sunspot Number above 100 – Feb 15, 2011
First Sunspot Number above 125 – March 8, 2011
First Sunspot Number above 150 –

First Solar Flare above B-Class – Nov 2, 2008 (Sunspot 1007)
First Solar Flare above C-Class – Dec 11, 2008 (Sunspot 1009)
First Solar Flare above M-Class – Jan 19, 2010 (Sunspot 1041)
First Solar Flare above X-Class – Feb 14, 2011 (Sunspot 1158)
First Solar Flare above X5+ –
First Solar Flare above X10+ –

First CME produced by a Sunspot causing a true Geomagnetic Storm – April 5, 2010 (KP = 7)
First Solar Radiation Storm caused by a Solar Flare – August 14, 2010 (S1 level caused by C4.4 Flare)
First Aurora contact made by VE3EN during a Geomagnetic Storm – VE2XK / April 6, 2010 (01:35 UTC)

OK, that’s cool science stuff, but why should this concern everyone?  There are several things short of the life extinguishing massive flare that fries the entire planet and all living things on it.  That, by the way, is NOT the most likely or feared outcome, although it could happen.  We simply cannot predict that event.

First, we would lose all of the orbiting satellites.  It is called a bake out.  These satellites have no real protection from massive flares.  This would have the most profound effect on military and weather satellites.  Given the abnormally strong weather we have been experiencing, it would mean less of a warning of approaching storms, hurricanes, and cyclones.  This will increase the loss of life and property damage from those approaching storms. Secondly, the civil unrest, wars, and rumors of wars would not be able to be tracked, monitored, and defended against as we do now.

Secondly, there would be a loss of global internet and cell communications.  There will be massive disruptions to the internet and its associated role in carrying out the workings of the global economy.  Given the current state of the global economy, this could prove to be the straw that collapses the entire global economy, as we know it.  This is very likely to happen during this solar cycle.

Thirdly, and most importantly, there has never been a cycle this strong since the world’s power grid has been built.  When the last solar flare above X5+ struck the earth, the only “electrical” grid was the telegraph system, and it was completely wiped out.  This time the entire electrical grid will be fried.  You have to think about this in terms of getting the grid back up and online.  There simply are not enough transformer spares to accomplish even 5% of that goal.   Are you prepared to live years without electricity?  Most of us are not, but it also very likely (better odds than Vegas) that that is exactly what we may have to do and soon.

Lastly, the electro-magnetic impulses from these flares have a concussive effect on the planet and its tectonic plates.  If a “big one” hits us just right we could be experiencing multiple earthquakes and volcanic eruptions at once.  We have witnessed in just the past few years how a Banda Aceh, A Katrina, and now the Japanese earthquake are taxing the world’s response capabilities to disasters.  What if events of that magnitude happened all at once?  Again, this is a very likely scenario during this solar cycle.

All of the above scenarios are likely during this solar cycle.  Being prepared to survive the outcome on an individual basis is the best defense.  Having a few months supply of clean drinking water and food is a simple thing to accomplish.  Preparing alternative heating sources for winter survival is also very doable.  Simply ask yourself, are you ready? The other most critical element is to be AWARE of approaching events.  There are several websites that monitor the sun’s activities.  Here are a few links for you to watch.  Solar Cycle 24 and SIDC and Space Weather Alerts.  The good news is that if you are aware, you will have about three days notice of the approaching danger.