‘Most Secure Coin In The World’?

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

– New pound coin ‘most secure coin in world’? 
– New British £1 coins much harder to counterfeit
– Pound coin uses “secret” cutting edge technology
– Coins uses ‘iSIS’ technology which may involve RFID tags
– Central banks, governments may be able to track coins
– Libertarians and privacy advocates will have concerns
–  “Secure coin” yes but real risk is that savings not secure due to currency debasement
– Now new risk to bank deposits as all digital wealth exposed to hacking and cyber fraud
– Sound as a pound? Safer to stick with true “coin of the realm”

– Gold and silver Sovereigns and Britannias  (VAT and CGT free) are only truly secure coins

The UK launched what is being touted as the “most secure coin in the world” yesterday – the day before Brexit day.

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Fear of Nuclear – Part 3

By Roger Graves – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

This post deals with the disposal of spent fuel from nuclear power stations, and whether our fears concerning it are justified. You can also read Part 1 and Part 2.

image

Technician handling an unused CANDU reactor natural uranium fuel bundle. Note the absence of any radiation protection.

Nuclear fuel typically consists of either uranium dioxide (UO2) or a mixture of UO2 and plutonium dioxide (PuO2), commonly known as MOX (mixed oxide). The uranium can be natural uranium, containing only 0.7% of the fissile uranium-235 isotope, or it can be enriched uranium containing up to 5% of uranium-235. Uranium oxide fuel is only mildly radioactive and can be handled without any special precautions, as the accompanying illustration shows. MOX fuel is somewhat more radioactive, but not dangerously so [1].

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Heartland Climate Change Conference

This was my first climate change conference and I had a great time. To hear the full talk by any of the speakers go to the Heartland.Org site here.

The most memorable statement is from Myron Ebell. Three U.S. elections “have turned on climate issues.” These are 2000, 2010, and 2016. In 2000 Al Gore lost because he lost West Virginia. This “was due entirely because someone named Buck Harless put,” in every voter’s mailbox a study he commissioned showing the effect on West Virginia’s coal industry and economy of Al Gore’s proposed policies. The 2010 election was turned by the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, which caused the House Democrats to lose 20 seats and making the House of Representatives Republican. Finally, in 2016, climate change and the fossil fuel industry were explicit issues and Clinton and Trump were on opposite sides. The pro-fossil fuel side won the key fossil fuel states of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.

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Catalyst For Chaos

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Up until very recently, stocks had been humming along without so much as a minor speedbump and volatility was becoming a distant memory. However, it now seems prudent to once again remind investors that this extremely overvalued market is headed for an epic crash. The Cassandras, myself included, have been wrong about this warning for what seems like a long time. Nevertheless, much like those who warned of a housing bubble a few years before the bottom completely fell out, reality is destined to slam into the current triumvirate of asset bubbles, and those sounding the alarm will be proven correct again.

The governments’ massive interest rate manipulation and record amount of new debt accumulation have engendered unprecedented equity, real estate and fixed income bubbles across the globe.

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Cold Kills More Than Hot Weather

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/02/18/new-1918-style-flu-pandemic-fear/comment-page-1/#comment-2431116

COLD WEATHER KILLS MANY MORE PEOPLE THAN HOT WEATHER. This trend is true in cold and also in warmer climates.

Excess Winter Mortality is the number of people who die in the four Winter months, as compared to the 4-month average for the non-Winter months.

Excess Winter Mortality globally is about 2 million people per year, including about 100,000 per year in the USA and up to 50,000 per year in the United Kingdom. Excess Winter Mortality rates are high even in warm countries like Australia.

Paradoxically, rates of Excess Winter Mortality are sometimes greater in warmer climates than in cold ones, probably because people in cold climates adapt better to cold weather.

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Trump to Sign “Energy Independence” Executive Order, Killing Obama Climate Regs

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

President Donald Trump will issue a sweeping “energy independence” executive order today to dismantle signature global warming policies put in place by the Obama administration.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt told ABC News Trump would issue the order tomorrow to make “sure that we have a pro-growth and pro-environment approach to how we do regulation in this country.”

“The executive order is going to address the past administration’s effort to kill jobs across this country through the Clean Power Plan,” Pruitt told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos of the “energy independence” executive order on Sunday.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #263

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President,The Science and Environmental Policy Project

False Precision: In their early education, many students of science faced the problem of significant numbers (digits). A useful rule of thumb was that the chain was only as strong as its weakest link. In measurement, the less precise instrument making the measurements determines precision of any dataset representing the measurements. A mathematical operation does not add precision to the instruments, or the dataset. For example, as discussed in the January 21 TWTW, the widely used Automatic Surface Observing System (ASOS) instruments at airports have a precision of plus or minus 1 degree C (1.8 F, correctly, 2 F). Surface datasets using these measurements cannot be more precise than these instruments. Yet, routinely, some government agencies report data, after mathematical manipulation, with far greater precision – to one-hundredths of a degree C. Such precision is false.

Writing in the non-conservative Boston Globe, columnist Jeff Jacoby gives a simple illustration on how small errors in measurement can compound in a computer model with many small errors. Any assumption that the errors will cancel each other out needs to be demonstrated. However, in the reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers, such cancellation of errors is not demonstrated.

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Two Trends That Will Force The Fed To Start Buying Stocks

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

While the Japanese and Swiss central banks have turned themselves into hedge funds by loading up on equities, the US Fed has stuck to supporting the stock market indirectly, by buying bonds. It’s worked, obviously, with all major US indexes at record highs. But it won’t work going forward, thanks to two gathering trends.

First, the main way bond buying supports equities is by lowering interest rates which, among other things, allows corporations to borrow cheaply and use the proceeds to buy back their own stock. Companies avoid paying dividends on the repurchased stock and the government gets capital gains tax revenue from a bull market. From a short-sighted Keynesian perspective, it’s a win-win.

Alas, this New Age public/private partnership on running out of steam. Interest rates have fallen about as far as they can fall and corporations have borrowed about as much as they can borrow. So the buyback binge is topping:

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The Futility of “Earth Hour”

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

The winner for Earth Hour every year since 2003  – North Korea. Odds favor them to be the winner again this year.

satellite image of the korean penninsula at night, showing city lighting

“Earth Hour” –  Yawn.

Every year at Christmas, many newspapers reprint “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus“, this excellent essay by Ross McKittrick should be repeated on every blog on every observance of Earth Hour. Copy, paste, and share it widely. Better yet, turn on all your lights to celebrate, as Ross says below.

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity. – Ross McKitrick

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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Abusive Civil Forfeiture Law, Allows Police to Keep $201,000 in Cash from Legal Home Sale with No Proof of Criminal Activity

[Most Judges, including Supreme Court Justices, are appointed for life – during good behavior. The Justices who have refused to uphold the Constitution in this case are guilty of Bad Behavior, and they should be removed. – Bob]

By John Whitehead – RE-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

In refusing to hear a challenge to Texas’ asset forfeiture law, the U.S. Supreme Court is allowing Texas police to keep $201,000 in cash primarily on the basis that the seized cash—the proceeds of a home sale—was being transported on a highway associated with illegal drug trade, despite any proof of illegal activity by the owner. Asset forfeiture laws, which have come under intense scrutiny and criticism in recent years, allow the police to seize property “suspected” of being connected to criminal activity without having to prove the owner of the property is guilty of a criminal offense.

Lisa Leonard, the owner of the $201,000, had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to compel Texas to return her money, given that she was innocent of any crime. In a written opinion that denounced the profit incentives that drive asset forfeiture schemes, Justice Clarence Thomas concluded, “This system—where police can seize property with limited judicial oversight and retain it for their own use—has led to egregious and well-chronicled abuses.”

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Silver Miners’ Q4’16 Fundamentals

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

The silver miners’ stocks have had a roller-coaster ride of a year so far.  They surged, plunged, and then started surging again last week on a less-hawkish-than-expected Fed.  Such big volatility has spawned similar outsized swings in sentiment, distorting investors’ perceptions of major silver miners.  But their recently-reported fourth-quarter operating and financial results reveal the true underlying fundamental realities.

Four times a year publicly-traded companies release treasure troves of valuable information in the form of quarterly reports.  Required by securities regulators, these quarterly results are exceedingly important for investors and speculators.  They offer a clear snapshot of what’s really going on fundamentally, in individual silver miners and this small sector as a whole.  There’s no silver-stock data I look forward to more.

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How Solid Are Canada’s Big Banks?

By Peter Diekmyer – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Originally posted at Sprott Money March 22, 2017

The World Economic Forum consistently ranks Canada’s banks among the world’s safest. Competent regulators have overseen stress tests, tightened lending standards and delinquency rates are low. Demographics are good and the country’s diversified economy is backed by a treasure of oil, wood, gold and other natural resources.

So the experts say.

Institutional investors, relying on the work of Jeremy Rudin, Canada’s chief bank regulator, agree. In fact, Canadian financials accounted for 35.5% of the market capitalization of the benchmark exchange (NBF February).

However this façade hides major uncertainties. Key concerns stand out, which if unaddressed, could spark solvency and liquidity issues in one or more of Canada’s Big Six banks.

The fragilities can be seen in an IMF report, which calculated that Canada’s financial sector accounted for a stunning 500% of GDP in 2012. Today, the assets of the Big Six banks alone are more than double the size of the country’s economy.

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Lifetime Performance of World’s First Offshore Wind Farm

Decommissioning of world’s first offshore wind farm offers an opportunity to see how industry costs have changed over the past 25 years.

By T. A. “Ike” Kiefer, CAPT, USN (ret.) – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Lifetime Performance of World’s First Offshore Wind Farm

Decommissioning has started at the 26-year old Vindeby offshore project, one of the world’s first The 4.95MW Vindeby offshore project was installed in 1991 using 11 Bonus 450kW turbines. It operated 1.5-3.0km off the southern Danish coast.

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Spurious Correlations

   By Bob Shapiro

Correlation is not causation.

That seems like it should be obvious, but in too many cases, otherwise rational people ignore the obvious – largely just because they want to. This is seen in diverse public policy topics, such as Climate “Science,” Constitutional Law decisions, and the benefits of stealing from the rich to give to the poor.

I came across a website with numerous graphs of ridiculous correlation, which I thought you might enjoy. The graphs didn’t cut and paste well, so instead, here is a link – it is well worth the few minutes you’ll spend. http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

Lithium Suppliers Can’t Keep Up with Skyrocketing Demand

By Frank Holmes – Re-Blogged From http://usfunds.com

Near the extinct volcano known as Monte Pissis, high in the Andes on the Chile-Argentina border, the air is thin and animal life scarce. It’s also a prime location for lithium, the silvery-white metal used in the production of lithium-ion batteries.

Next year, Tesla plans to make 500,000 electric cars all of which will require lithium-ion-batteries

According to Sam Pelaez, an analyst on our team who recently visited the deposit, the seasonal meltdown of the snowy peaks collects lithium, sodium and other minerals from the soil and underwater hot springs, all of which flows down to the flats and settles—hence the name salt flats or, in Spanish, salares. Over long periods of time, with seasonal temperature variations, the salt builds a crust on top of the “lake,” making for a stunning landscape. Under the crust are high concentrations of lithium.

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Solar Slump: The Sun Was Blank for Two Weeks Straight

[Low sunspot numbers correlate very well with colder times. We have just had 7 higher than average sunspot cycles (11 years each) and temps have been warmer than “usual.” – Bob]

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

Over the weekend, we reviewed the state of the solar data for March 2017. Now, there’s a two week straight lack of sunspots, the longest stretch since 2010.

A blank look to the sun on Monday, March 20, and it has now been blank for two weeks straight; image courtesy NASA/GSFC

Overview

The sun is currently blank with no visible sunspots and this is the 14th straight day with a blank look which is the longest such stretch since April 2010 according to spaceweather.com. Historically weak solar cycle 24 continues to transition away from its solar maximum phase and towards the next solar minimum. In April 2010 – the last time there was a two week stretch with no visible sunspots –  the sun was emerging from the last solar minimum which was historically long and deep.  There have already been 26 spotless days in 2017 (34% of the entire year) and this follows 32 spotless days last year which occurred primarily during the latter part of the year. The blank look to the sun will increase in frequency over the next couple of years leading up to the next solar minimum – probably to be reached in late 2019 or 2020.  By one measure, the current solar cycle is the third weakest since record keeping began in 1755 and it continues a weakening trend since solar cycle 21 peaked in 1980.  One of the impacts of low solar activity is the increase of cosmic rays that can penetrate into the Earth’s upper atmosphere and this has some important consequences.

Comparison of all solar cycles since 1755 in terms of accumulated sunspot number anomalies from the mean value at this stage of the solar cycle. Plot courtesy publication cited below, authors Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt

Comparison of all solar cycles since 1755 in terms of accumulated sunspot number anomalies from the mean value at this stage of the solar cycle. Plot courtesy publication cited below, authors Frank Bosse and Fritz Vahrenholt

Third weakest solar cycle since 1755
A recent publication has analyzed the current solar cycle and has found that when sunspot anomalies are compared to the mean for the number of months after cycle start, there have been only two weaker cycles since observations began in 1755.  Solar cycle 24 began in 2008 after a historically long and deep solar minimum which puts us more than eight years into the current cycle.  The plot (above) shows accumulated sunspot anomalies from the mean value after cycle start (97 months ago) and only solar cycles 5 and 6 had lower levels going all the way back to 1755.  The mean value is noted at zero and solar cycle 24 is running 3817 spots less than the mean.  The seven cycles preceded by solar cycle 24 had more sunspots than the mean.

Daily observations of the number of sunspots since 1 January 1900 according to Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC). The thin blue line indicates the daily sunspot number, while the dark blue line indicates the running annual average. Last day shown: 28 February 2017. (Graph courtesy climate4you.com)

Daily observations of the number of sunspots since 1 January 1900 according to Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC). The thin blue line indicates the daily sunspot number, while the dark blue line indicates the running annual average. Last day shown: 28 February 2017. (Graph courtesy climate4you.com)

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A German Medical Insider Tells the World How Muslim Refugees Will Use HealthCare to Destroy Our Country

By Re-Blogged From iPatriot

President Trump is right. Remember the “Welcome Refugee” banners the Germans waved just two years ago? Well, read what has happened.

Hospitals are overwhelmed by Refugees and cannot continue to provide care for taxpaying Germans:* A female doctor has stated that German hospitals are struggling to deal with the number of refugees. The doctor, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote to the press back home in the Czech Republic, to express her shock at the “unsustainable” situation which she says is now affecting the medical care received by taxpaying Germans. Continue reading

Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Sux

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Bizarrely, and unlike almost every other industrialized country, the US has fuel efficiency standards for cars. Each corporation (Ford, Chevy, etc.) has to meet certain fuel economy standards called the CAFE standards.

Let me start by saying that I think that this is governmental over-reach. In virtually every other part of life we let the market decide the required efficiency. We don’t have required efficiencies for gas-fired power plants. More efficient plants occur as a result of the market. We also don’t have required efficiencies for cell phones. If they burn through the batteries, they don’t sell. The market has always handled efficiency quite … well … efficiently.

So I object to ANY automotive fuel standards as both totally un-necessary, and worse, market distorting.

Here’s one important way it distorts the market. “Fuel Economy” is measured in a very curious way. Work efficiencies are usually measured per pound or per kilogram moved. Efficiency would relate to how much energy it takes to move say a hundred kilograms a distance of 10 metres horizontally. If you can move the same weight at the same speed using less energy, you have a more efficient setup.

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Why Free Trade Is Officially Dead

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

G20 Finance ministers meeting in Baden Baden last weekend agreed, on America’s insistence, to drop the long-standing commitment to free trade from the final communiqué. It is hard to know to what extent America’s position is driven by her autarkic view on world trade, or to what extent it is an acknowledgement of the fruitlessness of paying lip-service to an ideal which is never delivered. Doubtless, it’s a bit of both.

It is certainly true that finance ministers in the advanced nations have always shown a protectionist attitude towards international trade, protectionism that has intensified through attacks on American international corporations, which to a large extent can choose where to pay their taxes. The thrust of research by international NGOs, particularly the Paris-based OECD, has been to decry tax competition; however, even though it has bullied tax-havens to supply tax-related information to revenue-hungry states, it has failed to stop multinationals, armed with teams of tax lawyers, from complying with their statist demands.

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PEMEX: Mexico’s State Oil Company On The Verge Of Bankruptcy & Collapse

By SR Srocco – Re-Blogged From https://srsroccoreport.com

Mexico’s state oil company, Pemex, is a perfect example of the ongoing collapse in the global oil industry.  Falling oil prices and declining production are putting severe pressure on the company’s financial balance sheet.  It has been four long years since Pemex posted a small profit.  However, since 2012, Pemex has suffered huge annual losses while its long term debt has exploded.

The result is… Pemex is technically bankrupt.  Now, I am not the only one saying this.  There have been several articles written about horrible financial situation at Pemex.  According to the following article, Mexico’s Largest Company Is Broke:

March 3, 2016:

Mexico’s largest company is broke. The country’s state oil company, Pemex, which is one of the federal government’s main sources of revenue, is losing money and is one of the world’s most indebted oil firms. The company’s production has dropped for 11 straight years now, while gross income plummeted more than 80 percent last year.

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If We Had Listened to Climate Scientists Back in 1979

By Alberto Z. Comendador – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

In two previous articles I made a point that seems inarguable but that advocates of emission cuts seldom acknowledge: the only worthy metric of progress in reducing emissions is the CO2 intensity of GDP, which one could also call CO2 efficiency. Looking at absolute emissions is absurd because absolute emissions depend largely or mostly on GDP and the growth thereof, which are of course unknown (especially if we’re making projections about the year 2100!).

In any case, climate policies aren’t supposed to reduce emissions by reducing GDP; sometimes advocates of emission cuts even brag about the economic benefits of their policies. So they can only work by reducing CO2 intensity, which is to say by increasing CO2 efficiency.

A second point hardly ever acknowledged is that CO2 efficiency isn’t static: it’s growing most of the time, in most places. It would have grown without the COP meetings and it did grow before the Kyoto agreement was signed – at a faster pace than thereafter.

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How Much Profit in that Slice of Pizza?

By Dan Perkins – Re-Blogged From http://www.Constitution.com

Without carried interest perhaps hundreds of thousands of small businesses would never get started. Some people, including President Trump, say that we should tax carried interest as current income because some hedge fund or private equity managers get special tax treatment with carried interest taxed as capital gains. The hedge fund managers are not the only people who benefit from carried interest transactions. Some of you may know what carried interest is, but I think most people do not understand the term. I thought that I should define it in words people like me and you know, and then I will describe an example. By the way, if you want to see real examples of carried interest transactions in action watch “Shark Tank.”

A carried interest is when an investor agrees to help provide money for a business to start it or additional capital to run it under special terms. Generally speaking the small businessman or woman needs capital, and an investor will say, “I will lend you the money at a reduced interest rate, but in exchange for a lower cost of money to you, I want some of the stock in the company and monthly interest income. Then in the future, I want to be able to sell my stock, hopefully at a profit.” This future sale is referred to as an exit. Keep in mind there is no guarantee that the investor will get his money back.

 

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Social Cost of Carbon Regulations Hurt the Poor, and Ignore Benefits

Anti-fossil fuel SCC relies on garbage models, ignores carbon benefits and hurts the poor


Foreword:

The Social Cost of Carbon is a key foundation for numerous Obama-era energy policies, regulations and programs. Climate alarm activists insist the SCC is rooted in solid science and economics, but it is actually little more than Garbage In-Garbage Out forecasting – and worse.

The SCC assumes fossil-fuel-driven carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous manmade climate change, and blames U.S. emissions for every conceivable climate-related cost worldwide. But it fails even to mention, much less analyze, the tremendous and obvious benefits of using oil, gas and coal to power modern civilization – or the undeniable benefits of more CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere helping crops and habitats grow faster and better. Finally, the SCC totally ignores the social, economic, employment and environmental costs of the regulations imposed in the name of saving the planet by converting America to a totally carbon-free energy system.


By Paul Driessen and Roger Bezdek – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

“If you could pick just one thing to reduce poverty, by far you would pick energy,” Bill Gates has said. “Access to energy is absolutely fundamental in the struggle against poverty,” World Bank VP Rachel Kyte and Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Amartya Sen agree.

The UN Development Program also calls energy “central to poverty reduction.” And International Energy Agency Executive Director Dr. Fatih Birol notes that “coal is raising living standards and lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.” In fact, all fossil fuels are doing so.

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Don’t Hide Your Gold Coins Where Your Thermostat Can See

By John Rubino- Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Back in the 1990s when businesses started going online they frequently didn’t realize that their new networking gear came with simple default passwords like “admin”. So a whole generation of early hackers simply scanned the web for companies that had inadvertently exposed themselves in this way, siphoning off (probably, no one really knows) billions of dollars and causing various other kinds of mischief.

Now that process is repeating with the Internet of things (IoT). As pretty much every device in homes and businesses is imbued with sensors and connected to internal networks and/or the broader Web, hackers are exploiting the many resulting vulnerabilities.

But this time around it’s personal, as formerly innocuous things like TVs, phones and thermostats gain cameras and microphones, creating all kinds of privacy issues – some of which are potentially (and catastrophically) financial. Here’s a sampling of what appeared on the subject in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal:

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Trump’s Budget to “Hammer Climate Programs” Across the Federal Government!!!

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

gallagher

The Promise Keeper keeps delivering…

TrumpBudget

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 can be read as a political document, a statement of his administration’s policy priorities. Many of these proposed cuts won’t get passed by Congress, but it’s a look at what Trump values.

And what’s clear is that Trump wants the US government to pull back sharply from any effort to stop global warming, adapt to its impacts — or even study it further. Under the proposal, a wide variety of Obama-era climate programs across multiple agencies would be scaled back or slashed entirely.

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Ignore the Hard Data at Your Peril

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Pento Portfolio Strategies

Surveys of both consumers and businesses show there is an extreme level of confidence regarding future GDP growth. Consumer confidence is now at its highest level since 2001. Small and medium-sized business owners, the driving force of growth in the economy, appear downright giddy; as the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index recently soared to its highest level since 2004.

The Philly Fed Index, a survey that gauges how well manufacturers are feeling, hit its highest level since 1984. Business leaders are betting on tax cuts, infrastructure spending and a scale-back of onerous regulations that will, hopefully, make America great again!

But just as we were beginning to get tired of all this “winning”, investors are also receiving a strong reality check from the actual hard data regarding the current state of economic activity.

The economy slowed more than expected in the fourth quarter of 2016. Gross domestic product increased at a lackluster 1.9 percent annual rate at the end of last year. For all of 2016, the economy grew only 1.6 percent, which was the weakest pace since 2011.

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To Protect Climate Money, Obama Stashed It Where It’s Hard to Find

By Christopher Flavelle – Re-Blogged From http://www.Bloomberg.com

  • Obama’s aides spread money across the government, eluding cuts
  • Most recent estimate puts tab at $77 billion from 2008-2013

What to Expect From Trump on Climate Change

President Donald Trump will find the job of reining in spending on climate initiatives made harder by an Obama-era policy of dispersing billions of dollars in programs across dozens of agencies — in part so they couldn’t easily be cut.

There is no single list of those programs or their cost, because President Barack Obama sought to integrate climate programs into everything the federal government did. The goal was to get all agencies to take climate into account, and also make those programs hard to disentangle, according to former members of the administration. In some cases, the idea was to make climate programs hard for Republicans in Congress to even find.

“Much of the effort in the Obama administration was to mainstream climate change,” said Jesse Keenan, who worked on climate issues with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and now teaches at Harvard University. He said all federal agencies were required to incorporate climate-change plans into their operations.

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Outwitting Climate Change With a Plant ‘Dimmer’?

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

From the TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH (TUM) and the “dim and dimmer” department comes this finding that suggests GMO tweaking of plant DNA is the way to “outwit” the apparent nefarious intelligence of climate change.

Molecular mechanism responsible for blooming in spring identified

For many plant species, such as the thale cress, which is often used in research, but also for food crops such as corn, rice and wheat, there are now initiatives currently mapping the genome of many subspecies and varieties. CREDIT Photo: Regnault/ TUM

Outwitting climate change with a plant ‘dimmer’?

Plants possess molecular mechanisms that prevent them from blooming in winter. Once the cold of win-ter has passed, they are deactivated. However, if it is still too cold in spring, plants adapt their blooming behavior accordingly. Scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have discovered genetic changes for this adaptive behavior. In light of the temperature changes resulting from climate change, this may come in useful for securing the production of food in the future.

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Discounting Away the Social Cost of Carbon: The Fast Lane to Undoing Obama’s Climate Regulations

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Trump to Drop Climate Change From Environmental Reviews, Source Says
March 14, 2017, 1:06 PM CDT
  • Directive to reverse Obama-era mandate for agency actions
  • Clean Power Plan, methane rules and coal halt also addressed

President Donald Trump is set to sign a sweeping directive to dramatically shrink the role climate change plays in decisions across the government, ranging from appliance standards to pipeline approvals, according to a person familiar with the administration’s plan.

The order, which could be signed this week, goes far beyond a targeted assault on Obama-era measures blocking coal leasing and throttling greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that has been discussed for weeks. Some of the changes could happen immediately; others could take years to implement.

It aims to reverse President Barack Obama’s broad approach for addressing climate change. One Obama-era policy instructed government agencies to factor climate change into formal environmental reviews, such as that for the Keystone XL pipeline. Trump’s order also will compel a reconsideration of the government’s use of a metricknown as the “social cost of carbon” that reflects the potential economic damage from climate change. It was used by the Obama administration to justify a suite of regulations.

Trump’s Secret Weapon Against Obama’s Climate Plans

Tom Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, a conservative, fossil fuel-oriented advocacy group, welcomed Trump’s comprehensive approach, calling it essential to undoing Obama-era climate policies that “permeated the entire administration.”

[…]

Bloomberg

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Gold Juniors’ Q4’16 Fundamentals

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From Zeal

The junior gold stocks corrected hard in recent weeks, setting them up to blast higher on Wednesday’s less-hawkish-than-expected Fed.  That started to dispel some of the serious bearish sentiment that has been mounting in this sector.  The junior gold miners’ fundamentals justify much-higher stock prices, as evidenced in their recently-reported fourth-quarter operating and financial results.  They remain very bullish.

Four times a year publicly-traded companies release treasure troves of valuable information in the form of quarterly reports.  Required by securities regulators, these quarterly results are exceedingly important for investors and speculators.  They banish all the sentimental distortions surrounding prevailing stock-price levels, revealing the underlying hard fundamental realities.  This greatly helps in re-anchoring perceptions.

After spending decades intensely studying and actively trading this contrarian sector, there is no gold-stock data I look forward to more than their quarterly reports.  These offer a true and clear snapshot of what’s really going on, overcoming all the misconceptions bred by the ever-shifting winds of sentiment.  If you have capital deployed in this sector but don’t watch the quarterlies, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

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The French Migrant Crisis Means the Majority Don’t Feel Safe

By JoeScudder – Re-Blogged From http://patriotupdate.com

While politicians get threatened with removal if they don’t go along with it, the French migrant crisis leaves French citizens worried.

What happens when a mayor tries to deal with the French migrant crisis? Others petition to remove him from office:

So, what do the average citizens of France think about the French migrant crisis? Breitbart recently reported on that question and the answer is not good:

The survey found that 93 per cent of French believe the threat of more terror attacks is high, and 71 per cent feel the security situation in France has got worse over the last five years.

More broadly, 59 per cent of those polled said they did not feel safe anywhere, with almost one in four (24 per cent) opting to “strongly agree” with the statement.

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What if Education Was Left to the Free Market?

By Stephen Hicks – Re-Blogged From Savvy Street

Nothing can come into our minds as knowledge and nothing can become a skill except that we choose to make it so. So the real cost of education is the effort each individual has to put into it.

Higher education can be a path to a successful life. Yet many successful people did not graduate from college and many unsuccessful people have impressive degrees.

So who should go to college? And who should pay for it?

Let’s start by imagining an average student who wants to go to college but has no money and compare that student’s options in socialized and free-market education systems.

In a socialized system, the government pays for it. The student eventually graduates, goes to work, and starts to pay taxes.

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What is the Opportunity Cost of Climate Waste?

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

What do we miss out on because the world wastes so much money and attention on climate? Imagine if some of that squandered money was spent on other fields such as medical research, such as the following accidental discovery, which if developed offers the possibility of longer life and superhuman athletic prowess.

Mouse

Mouse. By George Shuklin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Low Oil Prices Continue To Decimate Saudi Arabia’s Currency Reserves

By SR Srocco – Re-Blogged From http://www.SRSroccoReport.com

The low oil price continues to wreak financial havoc on the largest oil producer in the Middle East.  While the Mainstream press has published articles forecasting a rebound in Saudi Arabia’s financial outlook, due to higher oil prices this year, it seems like the Kingdom’s problems are just beginning.

In order to make up for falling oil revenues, Saudi Arabia has been liquidating its foreign currency reserves at a pretty good rate over the past two and a half years.  I discussed this in my article, Bankrupting OPEC… One Million Barrels Of Oil At A Time.  In that article I published this chart:

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Renewable Energy, What is the Cost?

By Andy May – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

A key question to think about, do renewable fuels decrease fossil fuel use, or do they increase it?

What are the costs of using renewable energy? The sun and wind are free, does that make wind and solar power free? Biofuels require power to plant crops, make fertilizer and spread it, harvest the plants, make and transport the ethanol. Solar and wind require power to produce, transport and install the equipment. All renewable energy sources require lots of land per megawatt of electricity produced. We will not be able to determine a cost for renewable power in this essay, but we can discuss the components of the calculation and provide some context.

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Stock Market Most Overvalued On Record — Worse Than 1929?

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

The US stock market today has never been more dangerous and overvalued, according to respected Wall Street market analyst John Hussman.

Indeed, Hussman goes as far as to say that “this is the most dangerous and overvalued stock market on record — worse than 2007, worse than 2000, even worse than 1929” as reported by Marketwatch.

For some months now, Hussman of Hussman Funds’ has been warning in his research that investors are ignoring extremely high stock market valuations and are being lulled into a false sense of security by central bank liquidity, massive quantitative easing and zero percent and negative interest rates.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #262

By Ken Haapala, President,The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

The Climate Establishment Strikes Back: MIT Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences Richard Lindzen had circulated a petition signed by some 300 scientists calling for the US to withdraw from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He sent the petition with a letter to President Trump.

In response, twenty-two MIT professors sent a letter to President Trump a stating that they have worked on climate science and disagree with him. This letter cites the claimed future risks from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) including “sea level rise, ocean acidification, and increases in extreme flooding and droughts.”

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Here’s What The Market Could Do For The 3rd Time In 17 years

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

The major averages continue to set record highs, which provides further evidence that Wall Street is becoming more complacent with the growing dichotomy between equity prices and the underlying strength of the U.S. economy. When investors view the Total market cap to GDP ratio, it becomes strikingly clear that economic growth has not at all kept pace with booming stock values in the past few years.

In fact, this key metric, which oscillated between 50-60% from the mid-seventies to mid-nineties, now stands at an incredible 130%

The reason for this huge discrepancy is clear: massive money printing by the Fed has led to rising asset prices but at the same time has failed to boost productivity. In fact, since Quantitative Easing (QE) began back in November of 2008, the Fed’s balance sheet has grown from $700 billion, to $4.5 trillion today. That is an increase of 540%! Yet, during the same time period U.S. GDP has only managed to increase from $14.5 trillion, to $18.8 trillion; for a comparative measly blip in growth of just 29%.

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Is Stagflation Stalking?

By Gordon T Long – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

It is important to anticipate whether Stagflation is stalking because the yield curve will start pricing it in which will place equity yields, earnings and PE growth multiples at risk.

We believe there are clear signs of stagflation already occurring and according to the recent Global Fund Manager Survey many already believe, if we don’t have elevated Inflation and an emerging period of Stagflation, we can soon expect it!

Yield Curve

What is particularly critical to the equities markets is how the yield curve will react differently regarding whether it anticipates increasing Inflation through Reflation or Stagflation. If it views reflation the yield curve will shift up but also steepen as long-term yields increase faster than short term yields. If it sees stagflation because the drivers for inflation also impede economic growth, then the yield curve also shifts upward,  but instead can be expected to flatten. The longer-term yields rise slower than the short term yields.

In both case yields rise which places pressures on equities but the shape of the yield curve has the most profound impact on equity prices. In the last 5 years  71% of equity index increases are a result of P/E multiple expansion from 10X to 18X. This places PE multiple of the S&P 500 currently in the 90 percentile of historical valuations relative to the last 40 years. Anticipating what may occur is presently of the utmost importance to smart investors.

The 10 Year US Treasury Yield lifted violently on the Trump victory and reflation policy expectations. After a brief consolidation it has again aggressively moved up but it is important to view this as part of three reasons bond yields increase – 1- Economic growth rate, 2- Inflation and 3-Creditworthiness. The current Treasury yield lift in my judgment is more about the pending US debt ceiling congressional hurdles and potential Creditworthiness factors than reflation or stagflation concerns.

Stagflation

STAGFLATION: “Is persistent high inflation combined with high unemployment and stagnant demand in a country’s economy”

Stagflation is very costly and difficult to eradicate once it starts, both in social terms and in budget deficits. It is a situation in which the inflation rate is high, the economic growth rate slows, and unemployment remains steadily high. It raises a dilemma for economic policy, since actions designed to lower inflation may exacerbate unemployment, and vice versa. Historically, inflation and recession were regarded as mutually exclusive, the relationship between the two being described by the Phillips curve.

Economists offer two principal explanations for why stagflation occurs:

First (Think: ’70’s) stagflation can result when the productive capacity of an economy is reduced by an unfavorable supply shock that causes an increase in the price of oil for an oil-importing country. Such an unfavorable supply shock tends to raise prices at the same time that it slows the economy by making production more costly and less profitable.  Milton Friedman famously described this situation as “too much money chasing too few goods”.

Second (Think today), both stagnation and inflation can result from inappropriate macroeconomic policies. For example, central banks can cause inflation by allowing excessive growth of the money supply,  and the government can cause stagnation by excessive regulation of goods markets and labor markets. Excessive growth of the money supply, taken to such an extreme that it must be reversed abruptly, can be a cause. Both types of explanations are offered in analyses of the global stagflation of the 1970s: it began with a huge rise in oil prices, but then continued as central banks used excessively stimulative monetary policy to counteract the resulting recession, causing a runaway price/wage spiral.

Let’s consider the four elements of stagflation, 1- Inflation, 2- Unemployment, 3- Demand and 4- GDP Growth to see whether this is a real possibility for the US.

1- Inflation

According to The Federal Reserve, entrusted with monitoring and managing Inflation pressures in the economy, until recently it is has been low and well below the Fed’s 2% target.  But the times they are a changing!

Since this time last year inflation expectations have  been increasing steadily and rose even more dramatically with the Trump Presidential victory. The Trump spike was a result of his proposed economic stimulus programs such as Infrastructure and Defense.

However, it is isn’t just expectations that have been increasing, but also actual price tags.

Some price increases have been much higher than how such measures as the CPI tabulates inflation.

From a long-term historical perspective (if you believe government statistics) the inflation rate is still relatively low.

However, taking out “special” government adjustments such as “Substitution”, “Hedonics” and “Imputation” along with the other changes that have been made by the government since the early 80’s, we see the real picture.

ShadowStats.com which tracks inflation closely show that in fact if we consider inflation in terms of how the government calculated it in 1980 (before interest rates started falling abruptly) you find it approximates 10% per annum!  I personally believe this much more closely matches what the average US household would suggest they are experiencing.

CONCLUSION: We DEFINITELY have inflation and it is worse than the Federal Reserve acknowledges or is actually aware!

2- Unemployment

According to the government narrative we have low unemployment with concerns about a tight labor market. This is pure fabrication or minimally misinformation and distortion of the facts. John Williams at ShadowStats again shows the reality.

The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Rate for January 2017 is 22.9%.

We presently have a labor force participation level at historically low levels with nearly 100 million working age adults not in the work force and many with jobs not able to to get sufficient hours to support a middle class life style.

As Presidential candidate observed at a campaign rally in front of 30,000 people. “If the unemployment rate was really 5% do you think we would really have this many people here!” Do you believe government statistics or “your lying eyes”?

CONCLUSION: We have high a very high unemployment and under-utilization of the American workforce.

3- Demand

What we have in the US is “Artificial Demand” rather than “Stagnant Demand”. The difference being that the former temporarily camouflages the later –  but only temporarily as in reality we have “Stagnant Demand” being camouflaged by massive credit expansion and low finance rates. This only brings demand forward creating a demand void in the future.

Consider that Consumer Credit is rising rapidly in comparison to Disposable Income. In other words we are borrowing increasingly to make ongoing purchases but those purchases are not increasing. Debt is surging to buy the same amount of stuff — not more. In reality real economic demand is shrinking and is only presently artificially being supported.

CONCLUSION: We have Weak Demand being supported by high levels of credit in relationship to disposable income. 

4- Growth

How can the US current GDP levels seen to be anything other than terribly weak! Thus far this quarter 1Q17 is tracking at 1.8%

The common narrative is that the US is entering a golden age in its economy and that this growth will drive stocks ever higher.  The reality is that GDP growth has collapsed. The third quarter of last year (3Q16) was the quarter everyone thought signaled a new beginning with growth of 3.5%. However, the very next quarter’s growth (4Q16) collapsed to 1.9%.

Put simply, growth is NOT coming soon if at all. Even Trump’s top economic advisor has admitted that GDP growth of 3% is unlikely until the end of 2018.

CONCLUSION:  We have historically weak economic growth

Summary

It is hard not to conclude that we are already living in a period of STAGFLATION which the markets have yet to fully recognize (may we suggest “Cognitive Dissonance”?).

There is little way out other than praying for the Trumponomic Economic miracle that the markets are so clearly euphoric about!  Of course I have never found prayer as a reliable approach to investment strategy!

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Searching for Honest Energy Policies

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Renewable energy is defective solution in search of a problem, money and power.

The Greek philosopher Diogenes reportedly carried an oil lamp during the daytime, the better to help him find an honest man. People everywhere should join Congress and the Trump Administration in search of honest energy and climate policies – as too many existing policies were devised by special interests seeking money and power, and often using imaginary problems to justify their quest.

Statue of Diogenes at Sinop, Turkey.

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The US Economy…Post-Payrolls And Pre-FOMC

By Gary Tanashian – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

This week’s Notes From the Rabbit Hole included a little Payrolls/Wages related economic discussion before moving on to the usual coverage of stock markets, commodities, precious metals, bonds, currencies and related indicators and market internals.  With FOMC on tap there will be more data noise directly ahead, but then I expect markets to smooth out into what is looking like a sensible short and intermediate-term plan.

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EU Crisis Becoming Existential…Dutch Vote Tomorrow And Why It Matters

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

The leader of the National Front in France, Marine Le Pen, has hailed Britain’s decision to leave the EU – and has called for France to hold a similar referendum

The EU is facing an existential crisis and does not look like it will survive the massive political and financial challenges it is faced with. This has ramifications for investors in the EU itself and globally as the collapse of one of the world’s largest trading blocs will badly impact already fragile global economic growth and increasingly “frothy” looking financial markets – particularly stock and bond markets.

The existential crisis facing the EU, the Dutch elections tomorrow and the coming elections in France and Germany and the risks increasingly likely EU contagion poses to Asian economies and the global economy is considered by True Wealth’s Kim Iskyan today:

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Yahoo! Indifference or Incompetence

   By Bob Shapiro

On several occasions, I have told Yahoo! that their lack of updating one of their web pages was making them look foolish. Most recently, over a month ago, I wrote to the head of the company, but still there is no change.

So, I put it to you. Is this a case of Indifference or just rank Incompetence? Please note in the image below both the date of the screen capture and the date of the chart, which hasn’t been updated in over 3 years! Does this affect your level of trust in other data that Yahoo! presents?

Will Mid-March Madness Maul the Stock Market in 2017?

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Great Recession Blog

Many of the 2017 economic headwinds I’ve described will hit during the Ides of March, just as the Trump stock-market Rally shows signs of topping out. This might not be the Great Epocalypse — not all at once anyway — but a large and likely correction is looming. I think the bear is about to be let out of his cage.

Chaos emerged in emerging-market stocks last week, bond prices plummeted (yields rose to match their last 2016 high), stock-market volatility rose, and the Dow took its worst drop in 2017. Copper prices, a bellwether for recessionary conditions, saw their worst week since last September. It looked like the Trump rally in almost everything was rolling over last week, and that takes us into this week when several likely big bangs are scheduled to hit on the same day.

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Science Deniers in the Wind Industry

By Helen Schwiesow Parker – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

The human health consequences of manipulated measurements

Like the tobacco industry before it, the wind industry has spent decades vehemently denying known harmful consequences associated with its product, while promoting its fraudulent feel-good image. Dismissing or denying the serious health impacts of industrial-scale wind turbines is wishful thinking, akin to insisting that tobacco is harmless because we enjoy it.

The problem with wind energy is not just its costly, subsidized, unreliable electricity; the need to back up every megawatt with redundant fossil-fuel power; or its impacts on wildlife and their habitats.

Infrasound (inaudible) and low-frequency (audible) noise (slowly vibrating sound waves collectively referred to as ILFN) produced by Industrial-scale Wind Turbines (IWTs) directly and predictably cause adverse human health effects. The sonic radiation tends to be amplified within structures, and sensitivity to the impact of the resonance increases with continuing exposure.

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End the Phony Social Cost of Carbon

By Paul Driessen and Roger Bezdek – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

The SCC drives war on fossil fuels but relies on faulty analyses that ignore carbon benefits

The Social Cost of Carbon is the foundation for numerous Obama-era energy policies, regulations and programs. Under complex SCC metrics, agencies calculate the “hidden costs” of carbon dioxide emissions associated with fossil fuel use, assigning a dollar value to each ton of CO2 emitted by power plants, factories, homes, vehicles and other sources.

Originally, in 2010, every ton of U.S. emissions averted would prevent about $25 in global societal costs allegedly resulting from dangerous manmade climate change: less coastal flooding and tropical disease, fewer droughts and extreme weather events, for example.

Within three years, regulators increased the SCC to around $40 per ton, the better to justify the Clean Power Plan, Paris climate agreement, and countless actions on electricity generation, drilling, fracking, methane, pipelines, vehicle mileage and appliance efficiency standards, livestock operations, carbon taxes, and wind, solar and biofuel mandates and subsidies.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #261

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Major Climate Model Issues — Curry: In her paper: Climate Models for the layman” presented last week, Judith Curry discusses major issues with Global Climate Models (GMCs) and why the predictions / projections from them are not reliable. Some of these issues have been discussed by others, such as David Evans on Jo Nova’s blog, but the key points deserve repeating. In general, these issues occur in models used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers such as the US Global Change Research Program, EPA, etc. The weaknesses in the procedures used are generally buried in details by the IPCC and largely ignored or dismissed by its followers. These weaknesses should be the center of discussion, if the models are being considered for government policy.

In her discussion “What is a global climate model?” Curry states: “While some of the equations in climate models are based on the laws of physics such as Newton’s laws of motion and the first law of thermodynamics, there are key processes in the model that are approximated and not based on physical laws.” [Boldface added.] In its finding that greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare, the EPA emphasizes that models are based on physical laws and ignores that the models are also based on approximations – educated guesses.

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2016 Debt Binge Produces (Surprise!) 2017 Inflation. Guess What That Means For 2018?

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Just as everyone was finally accepting the idea of deflation and negative interest rates, inflation decides to pay a return visit. In the past day, articles with the following headlines appeared in major publications around the world:

Swiss inflation rises at highest monthly rate in 5 years

China February producer inflation fastest in nearly nine years

Year-over-year import prices at highest level in five years

ECB keeps bond-buying, rates unchanged amid inflation flare-up

Food inflation doubles in a month as UK shoppers start to feel the pinch

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Gold Miners’ Q4’16 Fundamentals

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

The gold miners’ stocks have corrected hard in recent weeks, hammered by a gold pullback driven by soaring Fed-rate-hike odds. Like any considerable selloff, this has spawned serious bearish sentiment. But the gold miners’ underlying operating fundamentals remain quite strong, proving the recent selling was purely psychological. This sector’s just-reported fourth-quarter results are impressive, very bullish.

Four times a year publicly-traded companies release treasure troves of valuable information in the form of quarterly reports. Required by securities regulators, these quarterly results are exceedingly important for investors and speculators. They dispel all the sentimental distortions surrounding prevailing stock-price levels, revealing the underlying hard fundamental realities. They serve to re-anchor perceptions.

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A Primer on the Hatred of Climate Skeptics and other Leftists

In case you missed it, our friends at americanthinker.com had a fantastic column (which won’t load now due to internal server error, but is cached by Google, so I repeat it here) by Dr. Danusha V. Goska in 2014. She was a life-long leftist and wrote that she has abandoned that philosophy. Here, she gives her top ten reasons. It parallels many if the trials and tribulations climate skeptics suffer at the hands of [climate activists]. I highly recommend it, and I recommend sending it to every activist who calls you a “climate denier”. There may be hope yet for those who value spewing hate over rational debate. – Anthony Watts


By Dr. Danusha V. Goska – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

How far left was I? So far left my beloved uncle was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party in a Communist country. When I returned to his Slovak village to buy him a mass card, the priest refused to sell me one. So far left that a self-identified terrorist proposed marriage to me. So far left I was a two-time Peace Corps volunteer and I have a degree from UC Berkeley. So far left that my Teamster mother used to tell anyone who would listen that she voted for Gus Hall, Communist Party chairman, for president. I wore a button saying “Eat the Rich.” To me it wasn’t a metaphor.

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