US Trucking Diesel Use Down, GDP Up – What Gives?

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

I’ve excerpted an article below, showing that, while the US Economy nominally grew from a GDP of $13.8 Trillion to $17.4 Trillion, the US Trucking Industry diesel consumption fell from 4.3 million barrels per day to 3.8 million barrels from 2007 to 2014, and it had nothing to do with gas mileage.

For GDP to have grown 26%, while trucking fell over 10%, seems to be a big disconnect to me. All else being equal (never) it would appear that GDP growth was all due to 4.5% inflation above what the government number crunchers are telling us.

As a secondary note, I see in the chart below that Trucking Fuel Efficiency fell off a cliff between 1965 and 1970 – from 7.8 to 5.5 miles per gallon. Does anybody out there know why?

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The Litigators Of War

By Jeffrey Lewis – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

`Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

`No, no!’ said the Queen. `Sentence first–verdict afterwards.’

`Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. `The idea of having the sentence first!’

`Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.

`I won’t!’ said Alice.

`Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice.

— Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

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Co-founder of Greenpeace Tells the Truth on CO2

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Dr. Patrick Moore, who was one of the original founders of Greenpeace who left the organization in disgust of their current political zealotry, and Greenpeace is now trying to have him erased from history for daring to do that. He has now produced this interesting video in conjunction with with Prager University that is sure to put some people into conniption fits.

Global Warming activists will tell you that CO2 is bad and dangerous. The EPA has even classified it as a pollutant. But is it? Patrick Moore provides some surprising facts about the benefits of CO2 that you won’t hear in the current debate.

CONTINUE READING –>

Congress Infringes on Due Process: Votes to Allow Obama to Strip You of Right to Travel Without Trial

By Suzanne Hamner – Re-Blogged From http://www.FreedomOutpost.com

Another day, another right lost to the political corruption in Washington. In a move that has garnered almost “no” media attention, the House of Representatives passed HR 237, known as the “FTO (foreign terrorist organization) Passport Revocation Act, which allows the “Obama administration the unilateral power to strip you of your passport and right to travel without a trial or even criminal charges.” This piece of legislation did not receive a “recorded vote” due to the “uncontroversial” support and passed after only 15 minutes of “supposed” debate. For anyone caught up in this “web” wrongly, there is no recourse contained in the legislation to “challenge the status as a non-person involuntarily trapped inside US borders by order of the secretary of state.”

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Housing/Gold Ratio As A Valuation Indicator

By Daniel Amerman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

The Housing/Gold ratio is a quite useful measure for evaluating relative values between real estate and gold, and also has an interesting historical track record for identifying turning points in long-term gold price trends.  In light of the commodities rout occurring in the summer of 2015, and the continuing strength in housing – it is worthwhile revisiting this basic measure, because the results aren’t at all what most people likely think they are.

The graph below shows the Housing/Gold ratio for the modern era in the United States, from when gold investment was legalized on December 31, 1974 through November of 2011.  When analyzed at that time (link here), the ratio clearly showed an historic outlier was being reached in terms of gold being expensive relative to real estate.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #189

The Week That Was: July 25, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Limiting Power of the EPA? On his web site, 35-plus year veteran of the EPA Alan Carlin and author of Environmentalism Gone Mad, briefly describes how today’s EPA went from an organization representing the best interests of the American public to one representing a small segment of it, the extreme radical environmental movement. The EPA is a creature of President Nixon’s political thanking, who cobbled together a government entity without need for legislative review and oversight. As such, the administrator of the EPA answers only to the President, the executive branch of government; and not to Congress, the legislative branch. This arrangement is contrary to principles behind the Constitution, which was designed to provide a separation of powers, where the ambitions of one branch were counter-balanced by the ambitions of another.

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How To Identify A Classic Bubble

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

One of the most ironic and fascinating characteristics about an asset bubble is that central banks claim they can’t recognize one until after it bursts. And Wall Street apologists tend to ignore the manifestation of bubbles because the profit stream is just too difficult to surrender.

The excuses for piling money into a particular asset class and sending prices several standard deviations above normal are made to seem rational at the time: Housing prices have never gone down on a national basis and people have to live somewhere, the internet will replace all brick and mortar stores, and perhaps the classic example is that variegated tulips are so rare they should be treated like gold.

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Plan to Save the Highway Trust Fund Falls Short

By Michael Sargent – Re-Blogged From www.heritage.orgg

Last week, the House passed an $8-billion bailout of the Highway Trust Fund using gimmicky offsets and tax increases to finance new highway and transit spending through mid-December.

Not to be outdone, the Senate released its 1,030-page, six-year highway deal, including $48 billion in offsets that make even more extensive use of tax increases and budget tricks.

The kicker is that these measures will pay for only the first three years of the bill, leaving the final three years of spending to be funded down the road or appended to deficits.

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$1.99 Per pound Filet Mignon…And War!

By Bill Holter – Re-Bloged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

This past Sunday night and Monday’s action in gold needs to be discussed of what I believe is now a rapidly moving big picture.  $2.7 billion worth of gold futures were sold in just 2 minutes Sunday night.  As I have asked before, “who” could possibly “own” this much gold other than an official source?  The answer of course is nearly no one other than a very small handful of ETF’s.  In perspective, $2.7 billion worth of gold is roughly 3% of global production.  Said differently, it amounts to nearly 10 days’ worth of labor and production worldwide… sold in less than two minutes!

Next, assuming there really is an entity that owns this much gold, “who” in their right mind would sell it in this fashion?  Who would sell so much and so rapidly concentrated in time as to knock the price down $50?  What trader would still have a job the following day if their own sale created a drop of four percent in the proceeds received?

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The Climate Wars Go to Congress

Patrick J. Michaels testifies before the Committee of Natural Resources at the hearing “An Analysis of the Obama Administration’s Social Cost of Carbon”

Climatologist Dr. Pat Michaels writes:
In his introductory remarks, Congressman Lowenthal (D-NY) went on the usual these-witnesses-are-climate-deniers rant.  As I was the next speaker, I re-wrote my oral testimony to point out, in three spots, that people who did not recognize the low-sensitivity papers, or the huge disparity between the mid-tropospheric observed and modeled data, or the low sensitivity in the multiauthored Otto study (15 of the authors were lead  authors in the last IPCC report), were in fact “science deniers”.

Judging from his reaction at the end of the hearing, it really got to him.

See the 3+ minute video here. It’s well worth the view!

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A 30-50% Stock Plunge ‘Would Not Be A Surprise’

By HENRY BLODGET – Re-Blogged From http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com

As regular readers know, for the past ~21 months I have been worrying out loud about US stock prices. Specifically, I have suggested that a decline of 30% to 50% would not be a surprise.

I haven’t predicted a crash. But I have said clearly that I think stocks will deliver returns that are way below average for the next seven to 10 years. And I certainly won’t be surprised to see stocks crash. So don’t say no one warned you!

So far, these concerns have just made me sound like Chicken Little. The S&P 500 is up strongly from where I first sounded the alarm.

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Science vs. Assumpsence: The Act of Knowing What You’re Quarreling About

By Geir Hasnes – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Very often, and arguably most often, a disagreement is rooted in a lack of definition of what one agrees upon before starting the argument. Thus the argument soon develops into a quarrel, and while each side thinks he has won the argument in the end, he is also puzzled by why the other side doesn’t give in to the facts, of for instance, as in the case of the climate quarrel, the ‘Science’.

The statistician William M. Briggs, in his recent article Climate Change Alarmists Appear Immunized against Reality (link) asks: “This brings us to the crucial question: how do we reach educators like Johnson? We can’t do it with reality. Temperatures aren’t increasing, storms are down in number and strength, sea levels aren’t chasing folks from beaches, droughts are not increasing, parts of the world are growing greener.

“I don’t have the answer. Do you?”

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$15 Minimum Wage in New York

By  – Re-Blogged From http://www.Mises.org

The state of New York has voted to raise the hourly minimum wage from $8.75 to $15 following fast food workers’ protests. Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and their families will pitch in the additional $6.25 per hour to help support low-wage workers in the fast food industry. “This is just the beginning. We will not stop until we reach true economic justice,” Cuomo said. “As much as fast food workers need and deserve a raise – and we know they do – we must ensure that every worker gets a living wage,” de Blasio filled in.

Well, not really. The state will raise the minimum wage, but Cuomo and de Blasio do not expect to foot the bill. Instead, they’re happy to sign the dotted line because they are on the receiving end. The “raise” effectively buys them a lot of votes using other people’s (and corporations’) money. For this reason, it is no surprise that Cuomo considers the vote “one of the really great days of my administration.”

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The Fact-Free Left

  By Thomas Sowell – Re-Blogged From http://www.LewRockwell.com

The outrage over another multiple murder of American military personnel on American soil by another Islamic extremist has been exacerbated by the fact that these military people had been ordered to be unarmed — and therefore sitting ducks.

Millions of American civilians have also been forbidden to have guns, and are also sitting ducks — for criminals, terrorists or psychos.

You might think that, before having laws or policies forcing fellow human beings to be defenseless targets, those who support such laws and policies would have some factual basis for believing that these gun restrictions save more lives, on net balance, than allowing more legal access to firearms. But you would be wrong.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #188

The Week That Was: July 18, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

The Sun? Last week’s TWTW discussed a new paper published by the Royal Astronomical Society announcing a “new model of the Sun’s solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun’s” 10 to 12 year solar cycle. “The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the ‘mini ice age’ that began in 1645.”

The conditions last seen during the “mini ice age”, also known as the Little Ice Age relate to low sunspot activity, particularly as applied to the Maunder Minimum roughly from about 1645 to 1715, depending on interpretations of data. This period roughly included the Little Ice Age, roughly from about 1500 to 1850. The article did not predict a return of a Little Ice Age, which was added by others. Unfortunately, adherence to the hypothesis that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the control knob of the Earth’s temperatures clouded this distinction by using a logical “red herring” and claiming that the Little Ice Age was European event, thus the model was false.

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The Tyranny of the Criminal Justice System

By – Re-Blogged From http://www.LewRockwell.com

How can the life of such a man

Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?

To see him obviously framed

Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land

Where justice is a game.—Bob Dylan, “Hurricane

Justice in America is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Just ask Jeffrey Deskovic, who spent 16 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit. Despite the fact that Deskovic’s DNA did not match what was found at the murder scene, he was singled out by police as a suspect because he wept at the victim’s funeral (he was 16 years old at the time), then badgered over the course of two months into confessing his guilt. He was eventually paid $6.5 million in reparation.

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Science Trumps Politics and Patronage: Al Gore is ‘Losing the Bet’ Against Scientific Forecasting

By Kesten C. Green – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Global warming is a forecasting problem. The claim of the IPCC and sympathetic alarmists is that if we don’t stop emitting carbon dioxide, the Earth will be dangerously warmer in the future. How can they know that?

To put it another way, given the state of knowledge, are the IPCC using forecasting methods that are known to provide accurate forecasts?

In order to draw attention to this question, Professor Scott Armstrong in 2007 challenged former Vice President Al Gore to a bet on what would happen to global average temperatures over the next 10 years. Mr. Gore was getting a lot of media coverage at the time for his claims that temperatures on planet Earth were at a “tipping point” due to human emissions of CO2. He nevertheless declined, on the grounds that he does not bet.

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A Common Currency Is NOT A Cause Of Economic Problems!

By Steve Saville – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

A popular view these days is that the euro is a failed experiment because economically and/or politically disparate countries cannot share a currency without eventually bringing on a major crisis. Another way of expressing this conventional wisdom is: a monetary union (a common currency) cannot work without a fiscal union (a common government). This is unadulterated hogwash. Many different countries in completely different parts of the world were able to successfully share the same money for centuries. The money was called gold.

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Record Gold/Silver Shorting

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Bloged From http://www.ZealLLC.com

The miserable summer for precious metals grinds on, with both gold and silver limping along near major lows.  Such dismal price action has exacerbated the extreme bearishness long plaguing this sector, sparking even more capitulation.  But this incredible weakness will be short-lived, as it was driven by American futures speculators’ record short selling.  That will soon reverse into guaranteed, proportional buying.

In all markets including precious metals, price is rightfully considered the most-important fundamental signal.  Prevailing price levels are set by free-market buying and selling until supply and demand meet.  And gold and silver prices are exceptionally weak, with these despised precious metals slumping down to challenge major new 5.2-year and 5.4-year lows this week.  So their fundamentals must be bearish, right?

The only fundamental factors that can drive prices near major secular lows are too much supply, too little demand, or some combination of the two.  And if the gold and silver markets are as oversupplied as their prices indicate, they’re likely to keep drifting lower indefinitely.  This popular bearish thesis is universally believed today, with virtually no dissent.  There aren’t many contrarians left to combat this overpowering groupthink.

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What’s Important to People?

Despite the ‘urgency’ of Paris climate talks, a U.N. sponsored global poll rates climate change dead last

From the United Nations “MY World” initiative, which has recorded the opinions for All Countries & Country Groups with votes of 7,679,273 at the time of this writing. They describe it as:

MY World is a United Nations global survey for citizens. Working with partners, we aim to capture people’s voices, priorities and views, so world leaders can be informed as they begin the process of defining the next set of global goals to end poverty.

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US at War With Puerto Rico

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

The US is causing high unemployment, high and growing public debt, and an increasing reliance on handouts among the citizens of Puerto Rico. US federal laws are killing what could be a Free Market success in this territorial “possession.” Peter Schiff discusses below, the particulars of US stupidity on the island, making Puerto Rico another Greece waiting to happen, and he outlines easy solutions to the US caused socialistic destruction.

By Peter Schiff – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

While Greece is now dominating the debt default stage, the real tragedy is playing out much closer to home, with the downward spiral of Puerto Rico. As in Greece, the Puerto Rican economy has been destroyed by its participation in an unrealistic monetary system that it does not control and the failure of domestic politicians to confront their own insolvency.

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News Flash: There Is No Greek Deal

By Graham Summers – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Any editor, analyst or commentator who claims that a “Greek bailout deal has been reached” is lying.

Greece has NOT reached a bailout deal in any way shape or form. What DID happen was Greece’s Prime Minister agreed to try and push a new austerity program through Greece’s parliament.

IF he can do this, and IF the Greek government agrees to the austerity program then NEGOTIATIONS (not a deal) can begin as to whether or not Greece should receive another bailout.

Put simply, Greece has THREE DAYS to agree to an austerity program in which it will hand over assets worth 25% of its GDP to the EU… at which time TALKS (again not a deal) COULD begin regarding a potential third Greek Bailout.

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‘Black Swan’ Taleb Warns “Calm Before The Storm”

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

– Is the apparent calm of the West a signal of latent instability?
– Increasing symptoms of instability in West as proposed by Nassim Taleb
– Wider public and mainstream press believe “experts” have everything under control
– Black Swan approaches and we may be experiencing “the calm before the storm”

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Fooled by GDP

By Steven Horwitz – Re-Blogged From The Foundation For Economic Education

Economic activity versus economic growth.

Even the smartest of economists can make the simplest of mistakes. Two recent books, Violence and Social Orders by Douglass North, John Wallis, and Barry Weingast and Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson both suffer from misunderstanding the concept of economic growth. Both books speak of the high growth rates in the Soviet economy in the mid-20th century. Even if the authors rightly note that such rates could not be sustained, they are still assuming that the aggregate measures they rely on as evidence of growth, such as GDP, really did reflect improvements in the lives of Soviet citizens. It is not clear that such aggregates are good indicators of genuine economic growth.

These misunderstandings of economic growth take two forms. One form is to assume that the traditional measurements we use to track economic activity also describe economic growth, and the other form is to mistake the production of material things for economic growth.

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The Fiscal Grand Canyon

By Jeffrey Lewis – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

The cycle of hyperinflation is already upon us. It was set in motion long ago.

We are in the ultimate conundrum. Politically, the US Government, Treasury, and Central Banks must satisfy – pay for – unfunded liabilities and promises. But the “money” is simply a desperate conjuring meant to keep the doors of government open.

The dollar as a concept is temporary and limited. Many outside the mainstream have observed ubiquitous evidence that the end is near. We know it’s limited because history shows this to be true. All fiat currencies, all world reserve currencies eventually died.

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Don’t Let Me Design Your Retaining Wall

By Warren C Gibson – Re-Blogged From The Foundation For Economic Education

The State of California says I’m qualified to practice civil engineering. That means you can trust me to design structures that achieve a high degree of safety, economy, reliability, and maintainability. I even have an official rubber stamp that I can apply to drawings or calculations. It is supposed to guarantee that I know what I’m doing and that I follow generally accepted best practices.

But I haven’t practiced engineering in decades. I used my license perhaps half a dozen times in the 1970s. My rubber stamp has sat idle ever since.

The Market Protects You from My Incompetence.

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Should Washington End Agricultural Subsidies?

By – Re-Blogged From The American Enterprise Institute

U.S. farmers don’t need support from U.S. taxpayers, either directly or through legislation that restricts the supply of a commodity to raise its price.

First, many people seem to believe that farmers, like the Joad family in John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” are poor, when in fact the average farm household enjoys an income that is about 15% higher than that of the average nonfarm family. What’s more, the 10% to 15% of farm families that receive more than 85% of all farm subsidies—amounting to millions of dollars a year in a few cases—have annual household incomes many times as large as those of the average U.S. taxpayer. Some estimates suggest that the farmers who receive the bulk of all subsidies—many of whom mainly raise corn, cotton, rice, peanuts, soybeans and wheat—are worth somewhere between $6 million and $10 million on average.

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A Tech Manifesto for the GOP Field, Part III: Government Surveillance

By – Re-Blogged From The American Enterprise Institute

Government surveillance represents one of the more challenging technological issues for the Republican field to address because it pits one set of crucial conservative values (national security and a robust homeland defense) against another (privacy, personal freedom, and restraint on the federal government’s power).

What would a principled, appealing Republican stance on surveillance look like?

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Congressmen Push to Get Us Out of United Nations

Re-Blogged From http://freedomoutpost.com

Rep. Michael Rogers (R-AL) has put forth legislation to repeal the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 and has several supporters in favor of the bill. Currently Representatives Thomas Massie (R-KY), Jeff Duncan (R-SC) Westmoreland (R-GA), and Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) has co-sponsored the bill. According to the bill, it would:

  • Repeal The United Nations Participation Act of 1945 (Public Law 79–264; 22 U.S.C. 287 et seq.) is repealed.
  • Termination of membership in United Nations
    • The President shall terminate all membership by the United States in the United Nations, and in any organ, specialized agency, commission, or other formally affiliated body of the United Nations.
  • Closure of United States Mission to United Nations Any remaining functions of such office shall not be carried out.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #187

The Week That Was: July 11, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Science or Selective Ignorance? In an editorial published in Science magazine on July 3, Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief of the Science Journals, removed all doubt concerning the direction that this once prestigious journal is taking. In “The beyond-two-degree inferno”, she wrote: “The time for debate has ended. Action is urgently needed.” Then, she strongly supports the contrived effort of the European Union to keep “global warming” below 2°C above the preindustrial level – a number for which we have no rigorous measurement or logic. She advocates the political position of the Administration in forcing reductions in carbon dioxide emission (CO2) by stating “The United States has pledged reductions of 26 to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025…” Of course, there is no such pledge by the American people and its representatives in Congress. The Administration’s pledge is arbitrary and authoritarian. Ms. McNutt concludes with a description of the nine circles of Hell found in Dante’s Inferno.

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Environmental And Climatic Alarmism Demand Accountability

By Dr. Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

In Aesop’s story of the boy who cried wolf the consequences included him losing his sheep and his credibility, even if he later told the truth. Today, environmental and climate alarmists who cry wolf don’t lose anything. There is no accountability. In fact, they continue to have credibility, keep their jobs and receive funding as millions of others suffer in a multitude of ways. Failed climate predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) continue as the basis for regulations and policies, that profoundly affect thousands of people’s lives. What is happening confirms H.L. Mencken’s observation,

“The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the greatest liars: the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.”

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Will 2015 be the Year of Renewable Fuel Standard Reform?

By Marita Noon — Re-Blogged From http://www.CFACT.org

The fact the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee is attacking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) management—er, mismanagement—of the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS) is indicative of the growing frustration over both the agency and the RFS itself.
The federal diktat has been late coming and unachievable every year. The EPA Administrator,  was grilled by Senators from both sides of the aisle. Senator James Lankford (R-OK), who chaired the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, opened the hearing by calling the RFS “unworkable in its current form.” In her comments, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) claimed that the EPA’s management of the RFS ignored “congressional intent,” while creating “uncertainty” and costing “investment.”

Fixing America’s Economy

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

There are numerous Economic truths. One of these is that, in a Free Market, interest rates are set by borrowers and lenders based on each group’s perceptions of the urgency of their need to take action.

A borrower may have a business opportunity which will yield an expected profit. If it is a longer term project, such as building a new factory, the cost of money may need to be in a relatively narrow band to make the plan feasible. A shorter term project horizon, such as a 6 month loan to finish off 20 new homes, which are almost completed, might withstand a much higher interest rate. The “combined” need for money for these projects will constitute the demand for loans.

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An Indication Of Global PPT Failure?

By Bill Holter – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Forget about Greece, they didn’t matter yesterday as the NYSE shut down for nearly four hours.  Greece does matter and certainly will matter in the weeks to come.  Before getting to yesterday’s very peculiar “glitch”, I do want to mention something quite humorous about Greece.  Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote yesterday the referendum actually backfired!  When Tsipras called for the referendum, he apparently expected a “yes” vote (and so did the banksters running the show!).  The “plan” was after the yes vote, Tsipras would hang his head and agree to more austerity and thus kick the can one more time.

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China’s Stock-Bubble Burst

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

China’s stock bubble has burst, with its stock markets utterly collapsing after rocketing parabolic.  The failure of this popular speculative mania has grave implications for the global stock markets.  It shatters the universally-believed myth that central banks can nullify normal market cycles.  No government has more power over its stock markets than China’s, yet not even it could magically eradicate greed and fear.

Even before their recent calamity, the Chinese stock markets had been the most-interesting financial story of 2015.  Having the world’s second-largest economy, China is immensely important in global markets.  And its stock markets were soaring, as evidenced by China’s flagship benchmark stock index.  It is the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index (SSEC), the local equivalent of the US S&P 500.

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An Interview Worth Watching

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Michael Pento is an stock market money manager who follows the Austrian School of Economics (as do I). For those of you unfamiliar with what that is, Austrian Economics is Free Market Economics, as opposed to Keynesianism and other names for Socialism.

Michael was interviewed recently, and I’d like to share the video with you. It’s one of the few lucid, straightforward pieces that I’ve seen recently. But, understand that some of what he says is scary, so if you have a bad ticker, you’d better take a pill before watching.

 

Greece Enters Its Crack-Up Boom

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From http://www.DollarCollapse.com

The Austrian School of economics has a concept called a “crack-up boom” in which a critical mass of people conclude that their government is actively trying to devalue its currency.

Consumers respond by front-running the government, spending their paychecks immediately in order to convert their soon-to-be-less-valuable money into real things. Merchants, not happy about the sudden influx of suspect currency (and sensing the panic of their customers) hold out for ever-higher prices, causing inflation to spike. But it’s a special kind of inflation, driven not by a sudden increase in the money supply but by collapsing confidence among holders of the currency.

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Markets’ Ups and Downs

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Stock markets in the US, and those around the world, go up – and they go down. There are various names for the size and speed of the downdraft which inevitably follows an up move. Pullback, correction, crash, and bear market are some of the terms used.

But, why do markets go up and down? “In the long term, markets are a weighing machine. In the short run, markets are a voting machine.” I’ve read that quote numerous times, attributed to several different people.

The gist of it is that, a company’s earnings and growth over the long haul are what will cause one company’s stock to double (or more!) while another’s goes down the toilet. But, since growth and earnings are measured in quarters, years, and longer, in the short run, it is how investors feel  about those fundamentals – market participants’ sentiment – which causes the wiggles along the way. Sometimes those wiggles can be major temporary moves, but they still are just wiggles based on sentiment.

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Law vs Legislation

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

In our society, and every society, there are rules. Ideally, all the rules are applied equally, and nobody feels put out by having to abide by them.

Some rules evolved naturally, as a consequence of some activity which people engaged in. That’s why in the US, and in many countries, we drive on the right. We decided, when we still were using horses and buggies, that keeping to the right – even when walking on the sidewalk – facilitated movement.

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“Deniers” in Their Midst – All is Not Well in Nobel Prize Land

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

A couple of days ago we reported on the Mainau Nobel Conference, on Friday, 3 July, over 30 Nobel laureates assembled on Mainau Island on Lake Constance signed a declaration on climate change. Problem was, there were 65 attendees, and only 30 signed the declaration. As is typical of the supression of the alternate views on climate, we never heard the opinion of the 35 who were in the majority. Today, one of the nobel laureates who was an attendee has spoken out.

From Climate Depot: Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Who Endorsed Obama Now Says Prez. is ‘Ridiculous’ & ‘Dead Wrong’ on ‘Global Warming’

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Have Fossil Fuels Diminished the World’s Sustainability and Resilience?

By Indur M. Goklany – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

The recent Papal Encyclical on the environment’s endorsement of “changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat…warming,” and drastic reductions in carbon dioxide and other emissions is based on the notion that “it is not possible to sustain the present level of consumption in developed countries and wealthier sectors of society…” and that the “exploitation of the planet has already exceeded acceptable limits” (paragraphs 23. 27). It also reflects the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences’ Declaration which asserts that “Unsustainable consumption coupled with a record human population and the uses of inappropriate technologies are causally linked with the destruction of the world’s sustainability and resilience” (p. 1).

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THERE’S Your Hyperinflation!

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Hyperinflation is commonly defined as rapidly rising prices which get out of control. For example, the Wikipedia entry begins, “In economics, hyperinflation occurs when a country experiences very high and usually accelerating rates of inflation, rapidly eroding the real value of the local currency…” Let’s restate this in terms of purchasing power. In hyperinflation, the purchasing power of the currency collapses. Before the onset, suppose one collapsar buys ten loaves of bread. Soon, it buys only one loaf. Shortly thereafter, it buys only one slice. Next, it can only purchase a saltine cracker. Pretty soon the collapsar won’t buy any bread at all. Stick a fork in it, it’s done.

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First Peoples: The Warming Alarm-Dog That Didn’t Bark

By Alec Rawls – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Beneficial climate change allowed modern humans to emigrate out of Africa and spread around the globe says the new PBS documentary “First Peoples,” but it fails to mention that the era it designates as “good times” was several degrees warmer than today.

A critical moment in human history is intoned with intense drama (21:08-21:52 here):

The movement of prehistoric people was affected by the climate, which fluctuated over thousands of years.

I turned up the volume, knowing that if there was anything a warming alarm-dog could find to bark about, it was about to be featured front and center.

In bad times the Sahara was an un-crossable barrier, but in good times, when the climate was wet, the desert disappeared. Any adaption that emerged in one part of Africa could spread to other parts of the continent….

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #186

The Week That Was: July 4, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

The Loyal Opposition: One of the most humanely compelling criticisms of the thinking exhibited by the pontifical academies that went into the Pope’s recent encyclical, Laudato Si’ (Praised Be), was “The Pontifical Academies’ Broken Moral Compass,” written by Indur Goklany and published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Goklany’s 2007 book, The Improving State of the World: Why We’re Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet is a classic on the improving human condition – largely attributable to the use of fossil fuels. Goklany’s book and his analysis of the pope’s encyclical is data driven – not model driven, unlike the thinking of the pontifical academies that relies on forecasts from inadequately tested, non-valid climate models.

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The Persisting Slump In Factory Orders——‘Escape Velocity’ It Ain’t

While the payroll report commands almost all attention, the view from factory orders is simply much more significant. Even if we accept that payroll growth is steady at something greater than 200k per month, that is still at least two steps removed from actual economic activity as is intended from that same orthodox framework. Jobs are supposed to lead to income which is supposed to drive further spending, so the jobs figures themselves aren’t even the true gain. It is always just assumed that spending goes with jobs without ever dissecting the processes that lay in between.

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Barack Obama Tells Another Whopper—He Did Not Create 12.8 Million Jobs

By David Stockman – Re-Blogged From http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com

America is better off when President Obama is out on the stump bloviating and boasting rather than in Washington actively doing harm. But the whoppers he just told the students at the University of Wisconsin are beyond the pale. Said our spinmeister-in-chief:

 And the unemployment rate is now down to 5.3 percent. (Applause.) Keep in mind, when I came into office it was hovering around 10 percent. All told, we’ve now seen 64 straight months of private sector job growth, which is a new record — (applause) — new record — 12.8 million new jobs all told.

That’s a pack of context-free factoids. There is still such a thing as the business cycle, and only economically illiterate hacks—-like those who work on the White House speech writing staff—-would measure anything from the deep V-shaped but momentary bottom that happened to occur during Obama’s second year in office. What counts is not that we’ve had a bounce after a terrible bust, but where we are now on a trend basis.

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What “Exit Door?”

By Bill Holter – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Often times I like to write about an event or someone else’s article because of the importance to the overall picture.  Today I will do something a little different.  Below is an e-mail I received last Thursday from a friend.  I have the utmost respect for his thought process and his knowledge.  The writer is “plugged in” if you will, he has very high and powerful contacts in both China and London while he operates out of North America.  The following is chilling to say the least because it comes from someone who “knows”, it is not a speculation on his part because he is seeing it real time!  I will add my comments afterward.

I have been pounding the drum for some time about shrinking liquidity and what the impact will be. Well, I can tell you that we are almost there and a real crisis is developing far faster than what I envisioned that is impacting the 75 Trillion Shadow Banking sector which is on the verge of implosion. Focus on Europe as the real crunch will spread like a wildfire from there seizing up all credit markets.

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A Physician’s Perspective on the EPA’s “Data Derangement Syndrome”

By Charles Battig M.D. – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Derived from Heartland Climate Conference, June 11-12, 2015 Presentation by Charles G. Battig, MD: Panel 8 “Human Health and Welfare” June 11, 2015

In the latest iteration of propaganda tactics employed by eco-environmental activists and the EPA, emotion has become the chosen media tool. Mothers and children pose on the capitol steps and wave signs proclaiming their fight for clean air and the children’s health. Images of these “lovable lobbyists” for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan are heart tugging. It is maternal instinct vs. scientific debate; if it sounds bad, that is all that such moms need to hear, and in fact, it is hard to overcome such pleadings with cold facts alone. Such “do something” demonstrations find politicians and agencies all-to-ready to craft new legislation and regulations. I view this much like physicians who succumb to patients’ “do something” demands by prescribing antibiotics for the common cold…a useless, if not dangerous practice.

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Fed’s Full Normalization

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Bloged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

The US Federal Reserve has been universally lauded for the apparent success of its extreme monetary policy of recent years.  With key world stock markets near record highs, traders universally love the Fed’s zero-interest-rate and quantitative-easing campaigns.  But this celebration is terribly premature.  The full impact of these wildly-unprecedented policies won’t become apparent until they are fully normalized.

Back in late 2008, the US stock markets suffered their first full-blown panic in 101 years.  Technically a panic is a 20% stock-market selloff in a couple weeks, far faster than the normal bear-market pace.  In just 10 trading days climaxing in early October 2008, the US’s flagship S&P 500 stock index plummeted a gut-wrenching 25.9%!  It felt apocalyptic, the most extreme stock-market event we’ll witness in our lifetimes.

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With Pollution Levels Dropping, is Small Particle Air Pollution Really Killing Americans?

By Steve Goreham – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Unnoticed by most citizens, last week the United States Senate introduced the “Secret Science Reform Act of 2015.” The act is aimed at the Environmental Protection Agency’s practice of refusing to disclose data from scientific studies that support new pollution regulations. The act indirectly questions the EPA assertion that Americans are dying today from small particle air pollution.

Past EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson testified before Congress in 2011, stating, “Particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick. It’s directly causal to dying sooner than you should.” Particulate matter refers to PM2.5, classified by the EPA as particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, much smaller than the eye can see. Particle pollution is a mixture of dust, nitrates and sulfates, metals, pollen, and organic chemicals.

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