How To Survive Rising Food Costs

The U.S.Department of Agriculture has confirmed what you likely already know: Food prices are on the rise. In January, the department forecast a price increase of 2.5% for 2011; last week, they upped that to between 3% and 4%.

We’re expected to see the bulk of that increase toward the second half of the year, but you — the consumers — know it’s already pretty evident: Major food manufacturers like Sara Lee (SLE) and ConAgra (CAG) are starting to increase prices on items such as frozen meals and deli meats. And other companies, like Kraft (KFT), may reduce the size of packaging to cut costs.

All this translates to a higher grocery bill for you.

What is driving these price hikes? I’m not just talking about the soaring gas prices we’ve been shaking our heads over. Beginning in July of last year, we also started to see a pretty sharp increase in corn prices, according to Darrel Good, an agricultural economist and professor at the University of Illinois.

“The price of corn has basically doubled since the end of June last year,” Good says. “There are three or four factors that are fundamental to rising prices, but first and foremost, crop problems resulted in a smaller-than-expected output.” We also saw a rapid expansion in demand due primarily to corn’s use in ethanol.

But corn’s not the only problem. There’s been an increased demand for soybeans. Meat prices, too, are headed up, because of large price increases for livestock cattle and hogs. Producers of livestock have been slowly losing money, so they’ve reduced supply. And as basic college economics taught us, when the supply is down, prices go up.

So the question is, how do you cope? I have four suggestions:

continue via DailyFinance

Is the United States Broke?

The U.S. Treasury is depleting its cash at an accelerating pace, drawing down its cash balance by $81.6 billion in the just the first four days of March, leaving the federal government with only $108.9 billion on hand, according to the Daily Treasury Statement released Monday afternoon.

At the beginning of February, the Treasury had $349.1 billion in cash on hand, but spent that down by $158.5 billion during the month, ending February with only $190.6 billion on hand.

Were the government to continue to draw down its cash balance at the $20.4 billion-per-day rate that prevailed in the first four days of March, it would spend its way through its final $108.9 billion in little more than five days.

Under current law, the U.S. Treasury may only run the national debt up to $14.294 trillion. At the end of February, according to the Treasury’s Monthly Statement of the Public Debt, the total debt subject to this legal limit was $14.142331 trillion—just $151.669 billion short of the limit.

Had the Treasury not spent down the $81.6 billion in its cash balance in the first four days of this month and borrowed that money instead, it would have significantly reduced its remaining legal borrowing authority.

For the Treasury to borrow more than the current $14.294-trillion limit, Congress and President Barack Obama will need to enact new legislation authorizing the Treasury to increase the national debt up to whatever new limit they find agreeable.

The Treasury’s largest single expenditure in the first four days of March, according to the Daily Treasury Statement, was paying off maturing debt. During those four days, Treasury paid $128.477 billion to redeem old bonds. At the same time, it borrowed $133.196 billion by selling new bonds.

via CNSNews

UFO Disclosure Is Coming

Tell people you’ve seen a UFO, and you might get written off as a nut — and indeed, there are nuts out there.

But even in the last few years, there have been UFO sightings that can’t easily be explained away, along with testimony from highly credible witnesses.

At the 20th annual International UFO Congress, or IUFOC, nearly 30 speakers will travel from around the world to Scottsdale, Ariz., on Wednesday for a five-day conference with topics including alien technology, government cover-ups, black projects, crop circles and ultimate disclosure of extraterrestrial visits to Earth.

“This year is pretty exciting because we have a very credible lineup — we’re really bringing a strong ex-military presence. We have six retired military personnel, three of whom were officers,” said Alejandro Rojas of Open Minds Production, which is hosting the event.

International UFO Congress
OpenMinds.tv
The 2011 International UFO Congress is bringing nearly 30 speakers to Scottsdale, Ariz., this week to present scientific, military, technological and societal information to the public about UFOs.

“It’s one thing to hear about here and there where the media will focus on certain stories, but to have all of these people together in one spot, I think, can be very moving and very eye-opening,” Rojas told AOL News. “Especially when you see an abundance of people who are very credible and willing to talk openly about their beliefs that we’re being visited by extraterrestrials.”

The list of IUFOC speakers reads like a Who’s Who of all things otherworldly. It includes Paul Hellyer, former Canadian minister of national defense; retired U.S. Army Col. John Alexander, a UFO myth and reality insider; Linda Moulton Howe, an Emmy Award-winning TV producer and investigative reporter; nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman; best-selling cover-up and conspiracy author Jim Marrs; award-winning space and missile defense consultant Carol Rosin; and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Charles Halt, the highest ranking U.S. military officer speaking about his personal, dramatic UFO experiences while in the military.

Also on hand at the event will be Nick Pope, author of “Open Skies, Closed Minds” (Dell), who was, essentially, Britain’s real-life Fox (“X-Files”) Mulder when he headed up the British government’s UFO project at the Ministry of Defense, or MoD.

 
An unidentified flying object was photographed by a government employee over the Holloman Air Development Center in New Mexico in 1964. Conspiracy theorists have claimed the photo is proof that the U.S. government has been in contact with aliens.
UFOs and Alien Encounters?
An unidentified flying object was photographed by a government employee over the Holloman Air Development Center in New Mexico in 1964. Conspiracy theorists have claimed the photo is proof that the U.S. government has been in contact with aliens.

//

Pope’s analysis of UFOs and his access to classified government files on the subject eventually convinced him that while some unidentified flying objects represented a real mystery, they didn’t seem to threaten Britain’s national security.

“I was charged to investigate every UFO sighting reported to the ministry and to assess whether there was evidence of anything of any defense significance. Was there a threat or was there anything else of any more general defense interest?” Pope told AOL News.

“For example, if any of these sightings could have told us anything interesting about aerodynamics and propulsion systems, irrespective of what these things are, whether we detected any threat or not, that might have been interesting from a technological perspective.”

During Pope’s 21-year career at the Defense Ministry, he wore different hats, serving in a number of positions. In 1991, when he began his three-year stint in charge of the UFO division, he was initially skeptical about it all.

“The MoD’s position was: We don’t know what these things are, we don’t believe that they’re of any defense significance [because in the decades that they’d been investigating this, there’d been no evidence of any hostile intent], but the Ministry of Defense said it remained open-minded about the possibilities of extraterrestrial life. In other words, the department really wasn’t taking a view one way or the other.”

Nick Pope
OpenMinds.tv
Author and investigator Nick Pope headed up the British Ministry of Defense’s UFO office for three years and emerged less of a skeptic than when he started.

His work led him to specific conclusions about UFOs.

“I think, like all those who have gone before me in any government UFO program, I found that most of these things, of course, had conventional explanations. I’d say 80 percent are explained as misidentifications of all the usual objects and phenomena that you would expect: aircraft lights, weather balloons, satellites, meteors, bright stars and planets, etc. I’d say about 15 percent insufficient information to make a meaningful assessment either way. And 5 percent unknown.”

Even though he had access to all kinds of UFO reports to pore over in his “X-Files” job, Pope was most interested in that elusive 5 percent of unknowns.

“With my Ministry of Defense background, it was very much sightings from police officers, pilots — both commercial and military — and sightings from radar operators (again, both civilian air traffic controllers and military fighter control). So, it’s those sorts of sightings that were of most interest to me.”

While Pope began his government research as a UFO skeptic, he didn’t end up a true-blue believer in little green men, either.

“But I certainly did come out a little less dogmatic in my skepticism, and I came out thinking, ‘Well, hey, wait a minute, there’s more to this than just aircraft lights and weather balloons and misidentifications and hoaxes and delusions.’

“I’m not saying that these things are extraterrestrial, but I emerged from that job thinking, ‘Well, you know what? I can’t rule out that possibility.’ I think my headline-finding, as it were, was that I knew what it wasn’t, but I didn’t know what it was.”

At this week’s IUFOC conference, Pope plans to talk about recent discussions by Britain’s prestigious Royal Society concerning the possibilities of contact with extraterrestrials.
“You hear a lot of people say that the day after it’s announced that we’re not alone — whatever form that announcement takes — you hear people say that the world will change forever. And one of the interesting points that was made at the Royal Society was, you know, actually it won’t.”

Whether or not UFO disclosure is around the corner, Pope says he’d be happy if one of the more exotic theories — such as extraterrestrials or interdimensionals — ends up being true.

And like his fictional counterpart, Fox Mulder, this investigator wants to believe the truth is out there.

“I absolutely hope that it turns out to be something like aliens. It would be a far more interesting world with aliens in it than not.”

via AOL

Close-Up UFO Video In Jerusalem

Is this another elaborate hoax, or is there some credibility here? Another set of videos that look very realistic. It’s a little too hard  to judge. Needless to say, if  this is a hoax it’s a very , very good one. If you’re looking for more truth on UFO’s, you can start here.  Please leave your comments below.

Do you like a good UFO mystery? Then try your hand at this one: In the past week, several videos have appeared on the Internet depicting an amazing UFO sequence over the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine, on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.

But are these videos real or faked? It’s causing quite an online ruckus as people debate the issue of what really occurred in the early morning on Friday.

The first video that emerged shows a bright object hovering over the Dome of the Rock and slowly descending until it stops above the shrine. After a few moments, there’s a flash of light from the area surrounding the religious structure, and the UFO suddenly shoots straight up in the air. When the camera pans up, several red lights or objects can be seen rotating clockwise in the sky.

The interesting thing about this video is the presence of a man in the foreground who is also filming the UFO with a cell phone. And his version of the UFO activity showed up on YouTube the day after the first video.

What seems to help the credibility of these two videos is the fact that they were shot by two different people and at slightly different angles and they reveal the same unusual event.

It’s what the skeptics always call for: corroboration.

But then a third video emerged, from a much closer proximity to the Dome of the Rock, showing a close-up of the UFO as it stopped in the air and its subsequent rapid acceleration straight up.

Also, all three videos include the audio reaction of people who witnessed this UFO encounter, especially their responses when the object suddenly shot up in the air.

via Aol

Cloud Nine Talk/ The Lost Collection 2/13/2011 – Cloud Nine Mike | Internet Radio | Blog Talk Radio

Cloud Nine Talk/ The Lost Collection 2/13/2011 – Cloud Nine Mike | Internet Radio | Blog Talk Radio. We have a great show lined up!

Violation Of Young Adults

Insurance company puts cameras in teens' cars.

How far is too far? Is this a direct violation of our childs rights, or are we preparing them to have no privacy when they grow up? Big brother is watching.  Cameras on street corners, red light cameras, highway cameras, car cameras, phone cameras. It is indeed the digital age, our world is evolving. The information is there, what you do with it is up to you. What are your thoughts??

To help parents monitor their young drivers, American Family Insurance is offering its customers the option to have a small video camera installed in their childrens’ vehicles, free of charge. According to The Kansas City Star, the camera, which is mounted on the rearview mirror, records views of the person behind the wheel, and of the road ahead. If a driver makes an irregular move — like whipping into another lane, stomping the brakes or crashing into something — an analyst for DriveCam, Inc., the video firm behind this technology, can view a 20-second clip. After looking at the moments before, during and after the accident, the analyst determines whether or not the video should be sent to the teen’s parents. Sandra Spann, a spokeswoman from the insurance company, told the Star that this video footage isn’t typically used to settle claims or determine liability for customers. Instead, the idea is for parents and teens to sit down, look at the footage, and discuss what the teen was doing wrong, so that he or she doesn’t make the same mistake in the future.

Of course, teens want their privacy and freedom behind the wheel. Driving unaccompanied is a rite of passage, and the fact that the DriveCam is always recording will likely annoy young drivers. But parents will only see footage from inside the car if their teen makes a mistake behind the wheel. Sorry kids, but you can’t cry privacy violation as your folks watch you plowing over a mailbox because you were texting on your iPhone.

via Switched

Man With Obama Mask Robs Banks Demands Change

VIENNA—Say, isn’t that the president with a gun in his hand? Actually, no, but it sure looks like it.Austrian authorities are searching for a bank robber who uses an unusual disguise: He wears a Barack Obama mask during his holdups.

Police say the man, nicknamed the “Obama Robber” by local media, is wanted for six heists since 2008. The most recent took place Thursday in the hamlet of Handenberg, where the Obama-resembling suspect made off with an undisclosed amount of money after threatening bank employees with a gun.

Police official Markus Mitloehner said Friday that the man is thought to be a local since he speaks the regional dialect—with nary a trace of Obama’s more professorial accent.

Read more: Veto this: Armed “Obama robber” hits Austria banks – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/watercooler/ci_17157868#ixzz1BjREbJxw