China’s Economic Reforms Get Another Chance

Re-Blogged From https://worldview.stratfor.com

Editor’s Note

The 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress runs Oct. 18-24. The convention marks the start of a transition as delegates name new members to lead China’s most powerful political institutions. But the change in personnel is only part of a larger transformation underway in the Party and in the country — a process that began long before the party congress kicked off and will continue long after it ends. This is the third installment in a four-part series examining how far China has come in its transition, and how far it has yet to go.

For years, China has tried to better balance the wealth in Qingdao and other coastal areas with inland areas that have languished.

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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America the Beautiful, but Divided

By Rebecca Keller – Re-Blogged rom https://worldview.stratfor.com

For nearly a year the world has worked to adapt to recent changes, both real and perceived, in U.S. foreign policy. But as the globe responds to the new priorities of its only superpower, Americans themselves remain divided over how best to engage with their surroundings.

Much like the members of the European Union, each of America’s states has its own needs to fulfill. Technological progress has given some states an edge in pursuing their goals, but it has also left behind regions that were once among the most prominent forces in U.S. politics — including the country’s flourishing breadbasket, the American Midwest. And as the socio-economic gap between different parts of the country has widened, so have their policy preferences.

By design, political discourse and debate are woven into the very fabric of American governance. But rarely do rifts among states spill into foreign policy and global issues in a substantial way. That may not be the case for much longer, however, as U.S. President Donald Trump’s populist appeals attract strong allies — and even stronger opponents — to the White House.

States like California hold political stances that are much different than those of Trump's constituents in the American Midwest, particularly on matters related to the environment, energy, immigration and the tech sector.

(DUSTYPIXEL/iStock)

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What Could Pop The Everything Bubble?

By Charles Hugh Smith Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

A Crisis That Can’t Be Solved By Just Printing More Dollars

I’ve long held that if a problem can be solved by creating $1 trillion out of thin air and buying a raft of assets with that $1 trillion, then central banks will solve the problem by creating the $1 trillion out of thin air—nothing could be easier.

This is the lesson of the past eight years: if a problem can be solved by creating new money and buying assets, then central banks will solve that problem.

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This Bubble Gets Its “Alternative Paradigm”

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From https://dollarcollapse.com

Towards the end of financial bubbles, asset prices behave in ways that can’t be explained with rational/historical metrics. So new ones are invented to make sense of things. In the 1990s tech stock bubble, earnings were “optional” and “eyeballs” – that is, the number of visitors to a dot-com’s website – were what determined value. In the 2000s housing bubble, home prices would always rise, which justified pretty much any selling price and asset backed security structure.

Now David Einhorn, a high-profile (and highly frustrated) hedge fund manager, has offered an explanation for today’s bubble:

David Einhorn: ‘We wonder if the market has adopted an alternative paradigm’

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DC Swamp Denizens Strike Back

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

While demand for biodiesel is down, senators and crony corporatists deep-six proposed EPA reductions in biodiesel mandates

Despite what I thought were persuasive articles over the years (here, here and here, for example), corn ethanol and other biofuel mandates remain embedded in US law. As we have learned, once a government program is created, it becomes virtually impossible to eliminate, revise or even trim fat from it.

This year, it looked like this “rule of perpetuity” might finally change. The Trump-Pruitt Environmental Protection Agency proposed to use its “waiver authority” to reduce its 2018 biodiesel requirement by 15% (315 million gallons) and (possibly) lower the 2019 total down to the 1-billion-gallon minimum mandated by Congress. The proposed action would not affect corn or other ethanol production and blending requirements, despite growing problems with incorporating more ethanol into gasoline.

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Wal-Mart’s New Robots Scan Shelves to Restock Items Faster

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is rolling out shelf-scanning robots in more than 50 U.S. stores to replenish inventory faster and save employees time when products run out.

The approximately 2-foot (0.61-meter) robots come with a tower that is fitted with cameras that scan aisles to check stock and identify missing and misplaced items, incorrect prices and mislabeling. The robots pass that data to store employees, who then stock the shelves and fix errors.

Image: Wal-Mart's New Robots Scan Shelves to Restock Items Faster
Gary-Arbach/Dreamstime

Yawning Debt Trap Proves the Great Recession is Still On

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Great Recession Blog

While David Stockman stated early this year with resolute certainty that the debt ceiling debate would blow congress up and send the nation reeling over the financial precipice, I avoided jumping on the debt-ceiling bandwagon. While I was convinced major rifts in the economy would start to show up in the summer, I was not convinced they would have anything to do with the debt ceiling debate. If there is anything you can be certain of this in endless recovery-mode economy, it is that the US will just keep pushing its bags of bonds up a hill until it can finally push no more. So, I figured another punt down the road was more likely.

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Lemmings in Full Gallup Towards Cliff

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

Its official…the stock market has broken above 23,000, and its valuations should now scare even the most mind-numbed carnival barker on Wall Street. The forward 12-month PE ratio is 18, compared to the 10-year average of just 14. The 12-month trailing PE for Pro-forma earnings, which takes into account non-recurring items that seem to recur ever quarter, is trading at 20 times earnings. But on a reported earnings basis—the number you report to the SEC under penalty of the law and according to GAAP standards–the 12-month trailing PE is 25.5 times earnings.

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Bank Backing Out

By Ted Butler – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

News reports this week indicated that the Bank of Nova Scotia (ScotiaBank), Canada’s third largest bank, had put its precious metals operation, ScotiaMocatta, up for sale. Various sources said the unit had been for sale for a year or so and it was thought or hoped that Chinese interests might buy the business. It was also reported that the Bank of Nova Scotia would shrink the unit if no buyer could be found. The impetus for the sale was said to be a scandal involving smuggled gold from South America to the US. Somewhat ironic, and interesting, was that the sale “listing” agent was none other than JPMorgan.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-scotiabank-gold/scotiabank-mulls-sale-of-gold-trading-unit-sources-idUSKBN1CN2CN

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The Long March BACK through the Institutions Dupe

By Cheadleg – Re-Blogged From iPatriot

Do the words above sound familiar? They are a take-off of the slogan that has motivated the socialist, Leftist movement since WWII.

The Long March refers to Mao Zedong’s grueling year-long march in 1934/35 with his Peoples’ Liberation Army around the rocky periphery of China to eventually overcome the Nationalist forces and establish the current Chinese Communist state. “Long March” has become a metaphor for long-lasting struggle through many hardships, resulting in final victory.

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Deepwater Horizon: EpiLLOG

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

The movie Deepwater Horizon is probably the only movie ever made that actually tried to realistically depict oil drilling operations.  While it didn’t get every detail right, it was compellingly realistic (too realistic for me watching it on IMAX) and told the story of how ordinary people, just doing their jobs, can become heroes when everything goes wrong.  I won’t go into detail about everything that went wrong leading up to the terrible disaster on April 20, 2010.  BP’s Deepwater Horizon Accident Investigation Report is fairly comprehensive.  Ultimately it boiled down to the normalization of deviance.  The 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster has also been attributed to the normalization of deviance.  When dangerous jobs become routine, corners get cut, people become complacent and a sense of impunity sets in.  The safety director for my first employer, Enserch Exploration used to start almost every safety meeting with this question and answer:

What kills the most people in industrial accidents?  Impunity.

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The Internet Must Remain Anonymous

[Here’s an opposing view to a recent post, -Bob]

By Herman Gazort – Re-Blogged From iPatriot

No. We can not. In the age of political correctness, the Marxist media are thought police. In order to even say anything we need to seek alternative media that is not controlled.

Do you know who Shakespeare is? No. You don’t. William Shakespeare is a pseudonym. None of us know, for certain, who he was.

He planned his anonymity because he knew that in order for people to think for themselves they must only be guided by what they see, so that they can think for themselves and reach their own conclusions, without being influenced by someone else’s power, prestige or money. These are second hand, attributed characteristics that someone else, with a different agenda than your own well being has given the “expert.”

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‘Way to go, Greenies’

By John Hinderacker, Power Line Blog.

‘GREEN’ ENERGY FAILS EVERY TEST

The sad story of Minnesota’s green energy failure is one that no doubt is being replicated around the country. And one of the ironies of green energy is that it is terrible for the environment.

Liberals will tell you that Minnesota is one of the nation’s leaders in “green” energy, so its experience represents a good test: can green energy fulfill the extravagant promises made by its backers?

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Silver Stocks Comatose

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

The silver miners’ stocks have mostly drifted sideways this year, looking vexingly comatose.  Such dull price action repels speculators and investors, so they’ve largely abandoned this lackluster sector.  That weak trader participation has led to silver stocks’ responsiveness to silver price moves decaying.  What can shock silver stocks out of their zombified stupor?  And how soon is such an awakening catalyst likely?

Silver stocks’ flatlined behavior so far in 2017 is surprising and odd.  Silver-stock prices are ultimately driven by silver-mining profits, which are overwhelmingly driven by prevailing silver price levels.  Silver in turn is slaved to gold’s fortunes, the yellow metal is the white metal’s dominant primary driver.  With gold faring quite well this year despite the euphoric record stock markets, silver and its miners’ stocks should be shining.

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Americans Are Retiring Later, Dying Sooner

By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax.

The U.S. retirement age is rising, as the government pushes it higher and workers stay in careers longer.

But lifespans aren’t necessarily extending to offer equal time on the beach. Data released last week suggest Americans’ health is declining and millions of middle-age workers face the prospect of shorter, and less active, retirements than their parents enjoyed.

Here are the stats: The U.S. age-adjusted mortality rate—a measure of the number of deaths per year—rose 1.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to the Society of Actuaries. That’s the first year-over-year increase since 2005, and only the second rise greater than 1 percent since 1980.

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60 Scientists Call for EPA Endangerment Finding to be Reversed

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

Electricity Consumers Fully Support Scientists’ Letter to EPA Calling for Immediate Reopening of its GHG Endangerment Finding

 Key Points: 

  1. This Letter from over 60 highly credentialed scientists states that: “We the undersigned are individuals who have technical skills and knowledge relevant to climate science and the GHG Endangerment Finding. We each are convinced that the 2009 GHG Endangerment Finding is fundamentally flawed and that an honest, unbiased reconsideration is in order.”
  2. The letter states further that: “If such a reconsideration is granted, each of us will assist in a new Endangerment Finding assessment that is carried out in a fashion that is legally consistent with the relevant statute and case law.  We see this as a very urgent matter – – – – “ Continue reading

Prager Suing YouTube for Censoring Their Videos

Re-Blogged From Prager University

[I’ve added  few videos from Prager University recently, and it turns out that YouTube has blocked them, and Prager is suing them for censorship. Here’s a note I got from Prager asking me to sign their web site petition and for a donation. -Bob]

As you know, PragerU’s videos are available on a number of platforms, one of which is YouTube. And as you may also know, YouTube has chosen repeatedly to restrict some of our videos for violating their “Community Guidelines.”  Those guidelines are meant to protect users against viewing sexual content, violent or graphic content, and hate speech.

As a PragerU viewer, you know as well as I do that our videos contain nothing even remotely close to any of these categories.

To date, YouTube has restricted or “demonetized” 50 PragerU videos, addressing topics ranging from the Ten Commandments to the history of the Korean War.

More than a year ago, we filed a complaint with YouTube, hoping that there was some kind of innocent mistake.

That’s when we were told by YouTube that after reviewing our videos they determined that they were indeed “not appropriate for a younger audience.” Of course, we have this in writing.

Think about the millions of actually inappropriate videos on YouTube and then ask yourself, “Why is our content restricted?”

Unfortunately, the answer is rather obvious, isn’t it?  YouTube has restricted PragerU videos for only one reason: Ideological discrimination.

Of course, YouTube is owned by Google, which was founded to, ironically, “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

YouTube has made some of our most important videos inaccessible to the very audience PragerU seeks to reach: young people.

Let me be clear: they don’t like what we teach and so they intend to stop us from teaching it. This kind of censorship is what we have seen on college campuses for years. But it is far more dangerous in this circumstance because the internet is where the world goes to get informed.

Can you imagine if the left owned the internet the way they own our universities?

Can you imagine what the world would look like if Google is allowed to continue to arbitrarily censor ideas they simply don’t agree with? 

Well, this is why Prager University filed suit again YouTube and Google. We are not fighting this only for PragerU—we are taking this on for America and possibly the world.

Now, I have to tell you … this was not an easy decision.

Over the summer, former Governor of California Pete Wilson — who has been a longtime supporter of PragerU — approached us and posited the idea: “We have to sue them,” he said. “Google is hubris.”

Those words weighed heavy on our entire team as we considered our options.

Obviously, a fight with Google will be hugely difficult and costly, and we hate the idea of deploying energy and resources away from producing more content and reaching new audiences.  We simply cannot do that.

So, before taking any such action, we decided we’d attempt a more diplomatic approach one last time. On the one-year anniversary of Google blocking our content, or the “BANniversary” as we had come to call it, we renewed our complaints to YouTube and re-circulated an online petition urging Google to change course. Many articles have been written and many people, including many very prominent and influential people, rallied in support of our cause. To date, well over a quarter-of-a-million people have added their names to our petition.

What was the result of our efforts?

Nothing. YouTube ignored us. In fact, they have since restricted 11 more PragerU videos.

With our hands tied, we knew Governor Wilson was right—Google’s hubris had to be challenged.

So, we have built an all-star legal team, including Governor Wilson’s Law Firm, Eric George, Alan Dershowitz, Barak Lurie, Kelly Shackelford, Mat Staver, and more.

It’s an impressive group, because this is an important case; not only for PragerU, but for the fundamental American right to freedom of speech.

But this is not going to be easy and it isn’t going to be cheap.

Despite the fact that our amazing attorneys have agreed to reasonably cap their legal fees, there will be additional personnel, research, marketing and public relations costs to PragerU.

This case will be tried in the court of public opinion as much as in the courtroom, and we intend to win in both venues.

However, we cannot deplete our operating budget to fight this case. Thanks to you, PragerU has reached more than 1-out-of-4 Americans on the internet. Sixty-three percent of them are under 34. We plan to continue to focus on this growth and reach 3 out of 4 Americans. We can’t let up now.

We are fully committed to the lawsuit but we won’t let them slow the growth of PragerU.

This is why our board of directors and many staff members have donated, in addition to our annual gift, to what we are calling the “YouTube Action Fund.” Dennis Prager, Allen Estrin, and I have all given extra this year.

Now, here is how you can help:

  1. Please go to our website and sign the petition against YouTube censorship. It already has nearly 300,000 signatures; please add yours if you haven’t done so already, and ask 10 of your friends to do the same.
  2. More importantly, please contribute to our action fund if you can, over and above your planned support for PragerU. Our initial goal for the legal fund is $1 million, and we think we can reach that goal with your help.

Many of you have already given so generously and I am embarrassed to ask for more. But if you think this fight is important please support us in whatever way you can.

It seems like a lot to ask…until you consider how much we have to lose.

Perhaps Goliath could teach Google a little bit about where hubris leads … when a David comes slinging.

Thank you, and God bless you.

Marissa Streit
CEO, PragerU

Resiliency Pricing Rule

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

  • DOE = United States Department of Energy
  • FERC = Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Rick Perry Directs FERC To Complete Final Action On Resiliency Pricing Rule In 60 Days

Rod Adams , CONTRIBUTOR

One of the most sweeping changes to the U.S. electricity supply market in the past two decades may be implemented before the coming winter heating season. The brief bottom line of the change is that eligible power sources will be able to participate in a details-to-be-determined rate structure that allows the owner to recover its “fully allocated costs” plus a “fair return on equity.”

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British Feds Ban Surgery for Smokers and the Obese

By Benjamin Arie -Re-Blogged From Conservative Tribune

Socialized medicine is a wonderful, compassionate system that brings important care to everyone… at least, that’s what leftists in the United States and Europe keep insisting.

As the United Kingdom is finding out, however, everyone is not actually equal under health care socialism. As soon as the system starts running out of other people’s money, people are quickly pushed out… and you’d better hope that you’re not one of the unlucky ones who gets thrown aside!

That’s exactly what happened this week in Britain, as the socialized National Health System announced that patients are being banned from important surgeries if they happen to be a bit overweight or smoke tobacco.

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‘Big Government’ Is Ever Growing, on the Sly

By George Will – Re-Blogged From National Review

The number of federal employees hasn’t changed much in 50 years, but that fact masks how the government has actually grown relentlessly.

In 1960, when John Kennedy was elected president, America’s population was 180 million and it had approximately 1.8 million federal bureaucrats (not counting uniformed military personnel and postal workers). Fifty-seven years later, with seven new Cabinet agencies, and myriad new sub-Cabinet agencies (e.g., the Environmental Protection Agency), and a slew of matters on the federal policy agenda that were virtually absent in 1960 (health-care insurance, primary- and secondary-school quality, crime, drug abuse, campaign finance, gun control, occupational safety, etc.), and with a population of 324 million, there are only about 2 million federal bureaucrats.

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Part Time Power

By Viv Forbes – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Solar power only works while the sun shines – it is part-time power.

Wind power only works when suitable winds blows – also part-time power.

Batteries only work when charged – part-time power again.

Hydro fails in droughts – more part-time power.

And using full-time power like natural gas to fill the inevitable supply gaps from part-time power forces backup gas to operate like part-time power.

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Obama EPA’s Crooked Prosecutors

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

The agency’s carbon dioxide climate “endangerment finding” was a kangaroo court process

Suppose a crooked prosecutor framed someone and was determined to get a conviction. So he built an entire case on tainted, circumstantial evidence, and testimony from witnesses who had their reasons for wanting the guy in jail. Suppose the prosecutor ignored or hid exculpatory evidence and colluded with the judge to prevent the defendant from presenting a robust defense or cross-examining adverse witnesses.

You know what would happen – at least in a fair and just society. The victim would be exonerated and compensated. The prosecutor and judge would be disbarred, fined and jailed.

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Tocqueville The Productivity Myth

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Every now and then, there’s a rash of commentary on national productivity. And for the British, productivity is all part of the Brexit angst, with the OECD, the Treasury, the Bank of England and Remainers all saying the average Brit’s poor productivity just goes to show how much they need the certain comfort of being in the EU. As Hilaire Belloc put it, we must hold on to nurse, for fear of something worse.

Only this week, the OECD came out with a paper repeating its disproved nonsense about the economic consequences of Brexit, even recommending Britain should hold a second referendum to reverse the Brexit decision. To back up its analysis it claimed Britain’s labour productivity is at a standstill, while that of France, Germany the United States and the OECD averages are all improving.

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Stores Struggle to Find Workers Amid Retail ‘Armageddon’

By Thomson/Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

U.S. retailers are finding it increasingly difficult to hire employees for stores and for middle and higher management as low pay and a feeling of uncertainty clouds the industry following a spate of bankruptcies and store closures.

Retailers including Macy’s Inc. and J.C. Penney have said they will hire the same or fewer seasonal workers for the holidays this year than last, while some, like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., have chosen not to hire temporary workers at all.

Image: Help Wanted: Stores Struggle to Find Workers Amid Retail 'Armageddon'
(Ronfromyork/Dreamstime)

Climate Scientists Reveal Their Ignorance

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

Climate scientists don’t usually propose anything specific to ‘tackle climate change’ other than, well, doing something. Because according to them nothing is being done, or at least nothing was being done until very recently.

(Apparently, in climate scientists’ minds the $4 trillion invested in renewable electricity between 2000 and 2016, and hundreds of billions invested in non-electric renewable energy, count as nothing).

While some may interpret this lack of detail as a sign that they don’t want to politicize the issue, those of us who follow the debate know many climate scientists don’t exactly make a big effort to stay apolitical. Thus in this article I put forward another hypothesis: climate scientists are clueless about energy and the economy. Knowing little to nothing on what has been and could be done, or even how to measure progress in reducing emissions, their exhortations and pontifications remain as vague as any motivational quote you may find lying around on the interwebz.

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Silver Bullion Prices Set To Soar

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

Silver bullion prices are expected to jump as solar and smartphone demand rises and the Fed tries to stave off economic weakness

Gold prices have far outpaced gains in silver so far this year, but silver will emerge as the winner for the second year in a row.

With a per-ounce price of $17.41 for silver futures as of Friday, analysts say the white metal is poised for a big climb, particularly as the gold-to-silver ratio stands well above historical averages. “Silver is definitely undervalued compared to gold and as a stand-alone investment. I consider it likely to be the most undervalued asset in the general investment markets,” says Paul Mladjenovic, author of Precious Metals Investing For Dummies.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #287

By Ken Haapala

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org – The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week. Were it not rational behaviour based on irrational government policy, this deliberate elimination of an essential service could only be described as a form of economic self-harm.” Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia

Number of the Week: $160 billion in losses

Challenging Green: On October 9, former prime minister of Australia Tony Abbott gave a noteworthy speech at the annual lecture of the Global Warming Policy Forum. Abbott is the former leader of the Liberal Party of Australia, classical liberal. In his speech, Abbott challenged the false “climate consensus” and false belief accompanying it that solar and wind power can replace fossil fuels for reliable electrical power generation. Abbott’s speech indicates he now understands the delicate balance required to keep the grid operating.

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Who Pays What in Taxes?

   By Walter E Williams – Re-Blogged From The Patriot Post

Politicians exploit public ignorance. Few areas of public ignorance provide as many opportunities for political demagoguery as taxation. Today some politicians argue that the rich must pay their fair share and label the proposed changes in tax law as tax cuts for the rich. Let’s look at who pays what, with an eye toward attempting to answer this question: Are the rich paying their fair share?

According to the latest IRS data, the payment of income taxes is as follows. The top 1 percent of income earners, those having an adjusted annual gross income of $480,930 or higher, pay about 39 percent of federal income taxes. That means about 892,000 Americans are stuck with paying 39 percent of all federal taxes. The top 10 percent of income earners, those having an adjusted gross income over $138,031, pay about 70.6 percent of federal income taxes (https://tinyurl.com/yddvee2o). About 1.7 million Americans, less than 1 percent of our population, pay 70.6 percent of federal income taxes. Is that fair, or do you think they should pay more? By the way, earning $500,000 a year doesn’t make one rich. It’s not even yacht money.

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Taking the Fight to Malicious Cyber Actors

[I agree with some of this, and disagree with some. But, Cyber Attacks are a huge Economic problem. -Bob]

By Montgomery Sibley – Re-Blogged From iPatriot

Recently, a Google executive, decrying the danger of  cyber attacks claimed that “Our society is in real jeopardy.”  I agree but rather than argue that passive “high-quality cybersecurity must be a pillar of modern society” I contend the opposite: It is time to take the fight to Malicious Cyber Actors.

Just like Steve Austin at the start of the 1970s television show “The Six Million Dollar Man”, our Internet is “barely alive.”  Beset by malicious actors intent on preying on our personal privacy and property rights; the greater harm they do is denying to us the full realization of the potential of the Internet to usher in a new economic prosperity for all of mankind.  I herein claim – akin to Oscar Goldman in the Six Million Dollar Man – that we can rebuild the Internet; We have the technology, We have the legal capability. If we are brave enough to do so, the Internet will be: “Better… stronger… faster.”

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Buffett: Dow One Million

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

In a recent speech, Warren Buffett came down boldly on the side of optimism when it comes to both the economy and financial markets. What he said was “being short America has been a loser’s game…  And it will continue to be a loser’s game.”

And to throw down the gauntlet against some the current negative talk in the markets, Mr. Buffett boldly predicted something quite extraordinary – which was that in 100 years “the Dow will be over a million.”

Is that even remotely believable, or is Mr. Buffett getting carried away by his own optimism?

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Turkey Poised to Roll Into Syria

Re-Blogged From Stratfor Worldview

Turkish-backed Syrian rebel fighters advance toward jihadist-controlled Idlib province along the Syria-Turkey border on Oct. 6.

(NAZEER AL-KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)

Weeks after Turkish forces started to deploy in large numbers along the border with Syria, adjacent to the province of Idlib, Ankara appears to be on the verge of launching yet another significant military operation into the war-torn country. Unlike Operation Euphrates Shield, which targeted lands occupied by the Islamic State, the upcoming operation into Idlib will be directed toward lands occupied by Syrian rebels. As befitting a convoluted conflict such as Syria, Turkey’s advance into Idlib will be assisted by other Syrian rebel groups trained over time by Turkey in neighboring Aleppo province. And according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest statements, they will be supported by Russian aviation. Continue reading

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #286

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org The Science and Environmental Policy Project

By Ken Haapala, President,

Quote of the Week. “Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.” – Bertrand Russell, “A Liberal Decalogue” from his autobiography.

Number of the Week: 87 Seconds

Which Science – Empirical? Modern empirical science is a great accomplishment of civilization and a gift to it. It is a process for evaluating many diverse ideas, weeding out those ideas that fail necessary tests, and modifying those ideas that need improvement. Sometimes the process may take one hundred years or more. Such is the case of Einstein mathematically speculating the existence of gravitational waves – ripples in space and time created by the motion of massive objects in the universe.

The testing was daunting, and for four decades the National Science Foundation (NSF) has been allocating funds supporting it. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) is an elaborate experiment, costing some $1.1 billion and using some highly sensitive instrumentation, especially designed for the project. It involved the construction of twin buildings 4,000 m (13,000 feet) long and about 2400 miles apart. In September 2015, the equipment detected gravitational waves, substantiating indirect evidence first observed in 1974. The three scientists who led the development of LIGO were honored with the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. All involved and the NSF are to be praised for their diligence in funding this multi-decadal experiment, whose construction started in 1994. See links under Other Scientific News

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Original Measurement Uncertainty

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

GRID1_smallIntroduction:

Temperature and Water Level (MSL) are two hot topic measurements being widely bandied about and vast sums of money are being invested in research to determine whether, on a global scale, these physical quantities — Global Average Temperature and Global Mean Sea Level — are changing, and if changing, at what magnitude and at what rate. The Global Averages of these ever-changing, continuous variables are being said to be calculated to extremely precise levels — hundredths of a degree for temperature and millimeters for Global Sea Level — and minute changes on those scales are claimed to be significant and important.

In my recent essays on Tide Gauges, the question of the durability of original measurement uncertainty raised its toothy head in the comments section.

 

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China Wants the World’s Reserve Currency

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From PentoPort

In the aftermath of WWII the American economy was that shining city on a hill. After saving mankind from the Nazi’s, America had the only intact manufacturing base and was the repository for most of the world’s gold. Those circumstances propelled the US dollar to world’s reserve currency status. And for the past seventy years, this status has been the cornerstone for America’s power base and hegemony around the globe.

But the 1960’s ushered in a time of great fiscal mismanagement. President Johnson’s dual wars on poverty and Vietnam led to worldwide distrust about the greenback’s purchasing power in relationship to gold. This eventually led to Nixon’s baneful decision to close the gold window, which untethered the exchange between gold and the dollar.

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Jobless Claims Hit More Than 44-Year Low

By Thomson/Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

[Fewer people losing jobs is good news, but it doesn’t address how many Americans have been unemployed for so long that they’ve given up hope of finding a job. I prefer this ‘Participation Rate’ chart. -Bob]

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to its lowest level in more than 44 years last week, pointing to a rebound in job growth after a hurricane-related decline in employment in September.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ended Oct. 14, the lowest level since March 1973, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Really Bad Ideas, Part 5: An Inflation Target

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Central banks in general and the Fed in particular are struggling to understand a world in which they’ve thrown everything they have at the economy without generating “beneficial” inflation. Their confusion can be traced back to some profoundly false assumptions.

Here’s a good overview of the current debate:

Fed ‘should defend’ inflation target or risk losing credibility: Bullard

(Reuters) – The Fed needs to mount a clear defense of its 2 percent inflation target and stop raising rates until the pace of price increases strengthens, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Thursday.

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Greens versus “Big Oil”

By Russell Cook – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

If you are an enviro-activist with access to lawyers and mega-money who believes that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) is caused by evil fossil fuel industries who ignore this harm to humanity to protect their profits, you don’t simply whine about this problem, you file giant lawsuits against those industries.

This already happened in three major global warming nuisance cases: Connecticut v. American Electric PowerComer v. Murphy Oil, and Kivalina v. Exxon.  More recently, New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman joined with 19 or so other state attorneys general to hold ExxonMobil accountable for supposedly knowing about the harm of it for decades while failing to tell its shareholders about it.

However, Schneiderman has suffered setbacks ranging from faulty evidence to withdrawn subpoenas, and the three global warming nuisance cases have fallen apart.  The Supreme Court dismissed Connecticut v. AEP on June 20, 2011; Comer v. Murphy Oil came to its final end on March 20, 2012; and the 9th District Court put the final nail in the coffin of Kivalina v. Exxon on September 21, 2012, prompting some legal pundits to wonder if this was the end of climate tort litigation.

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Reported Plunge in Renewable Costs Prompts Aussie Government to Pull Subsidies

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

The Australian government is so impressed by the alleged plunge in renewable and battery storage costs they think it will no longer be necessary to subsidise renewables.

Coalition rethinks need for clean energy target as renewable cost plunges

The Turnbull government is rethinking the need to adopt a clean energy target, believing the rapidly falling cost of renewable energy means there may no longer be a requirement for subsidies.

In the keynote address to The Australian Financial Review National Energy Summit, federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will highlight the falling costs of wind and solar energy, including battery storage capacity, as he stresses emissions reduction cannot come at the expense of reliability and affordability.

It is challenging but possible to simultaneously put downward pressure on prices and enhance the reliability of the system, while meeting our international emissions reductions targets,” he will say at the start of the two-day summit that begins on Monday.

The speech will signal a possible shift away from plans to design and implement a CET from 2020 onwards, in the belief emissions reduction can be achieved without such a scheme.

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Free Market Is Rising From the Ashes of Obamacare

By Will Ricciardella – Re-Blogged From Independent Journal Review

The complexity and costs of Obamacare mandates regarding medical records, billing codes, and prior authorizations forced thousands of independent doctors, mostly primary care doctors, to become part of large hospital networks to help absorb the added costs. Add the complexity and lack of cost transparency for the patient, and you have a recipe for a free market solution.

Government Recovery Act Funds South Florida Low-Income Health Clinics

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Politicized Sustainability Threatens Planet and People

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

Foreword:
It seems nearly everyone wants to advance sustainability principles. The problem is, no one really knows what they are. Real sustainability means responsible conservation and stewardship of natural resources. The public relations variety is mostly image-enhancing fluff. Politicized sustainability – the version that’s all the rage on college campuses and among government regulators – insists that we may meet the needs of current generations only to the extent that doing so “will not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

The problem with this infinitely malleable definition is that it requires us to predict both unpredictable future technologies and their raw material demands. Even worse, we are supposed to protect those future needs even if it means ignoring or compromising the undeniable needs of current generations – including the needs and welfare of the most impoverished, politically powerless people on Earth today. That’s why this irrational, unworkable, environmentally destructive idea deserves to land in history’s trash bin.


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Tocqueville Gold Strategy 3rd Quarter 2017 Investor Letter

By John Hathaway – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Gold appears to have formed a solid base since bottoming at year-end 2015 at $1060.00/oz. Through 9/29/17, the metal’s price increased 11.10%, even after a sharp pullback from its early September 2017 high of $1355. As of September 30, 2017, the price stood at $1280.15, 20.75% above its low at year-end 2015.

In our view, gold and the precious-metals complex is in the early stages of a dynamic upcycle that will match or exceed the run from 2000 to 2011. Downside appears limited; the greatest challenge for investors will be to muster the necessary patience to hang on until the up-cycle becomes more assertive and evident.

[The charts in the 2nd half of the pdf are well worth the price of admission. -Bob]

Read the full article here. [PDF]

CONTINUE READING –>

Copper, “The Metal Of The Future”

By Frank Holmes – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

As many of you know, copper is often seen as an indicator of economic health, historically falling when overall manufacturing and construction is in contraction mode, rising in times of expansion.

That appears to be the case today. Currently trading above $3 a pound, “Doctor Copper” is up close to 28 percent year-to-date and far outperforming its five-year average from 2012 to 2016.

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70% To 80% Chance Of Another Global Financial Crisis

By Petr Diekmeyer – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

When Janet Yellen, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, said in June that she does not expect another financial crisis in our lifetime, eyebrows were raised.

None more so than Richard Sylla’s.

Sylla, a professor emeritus at the Stern School of Business and co-author with Sydney Homer of the magisterial A History of Interest Rates, has studied past business cycles. He is thus able to put today’s events in a broader context.

“A lot of the same things are going on right now as before the 2008 crisis,” said Sylla, who puts the probability of a repeat, in our lifetimes, at between 70% and 80%.

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Gold Miners’ Q3’17 Preview

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

With the third quarter’s earnings season now underway, the gold miners will soon join in and report their latest results. No data is more highly anticipated by investors, for good reason. Quarterly reports dispel the dense fogs of herd sentiment that usually obscure gold stocks, revealing their operations’ underlying fundamental realities. Q3’17’s upcoming results are likely to prove quite bullish for this neglected sector.

Four times a year publicly-traded companies release treasure troves of valuable information in the form of quarterly reports. Companies trading in the States are required to file 10-Qs with the US Securities and Exchange Commission by 45 calendar days after quarter-ends. The gold miners generally release their quarterly reports in the latter half of this span. So Q3’17’s will arrive between late October and mid-November.

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Paris Phasing Out Non-Electric Cars

By Brad Jones – Re-Blogged From Futurism

In Brief

Parisian officials have announced plans to completely phase out usage of fossil fuel-powered cars by 2030. The entire nation will follow with its own restriction in 2040.

[Since France generates most of its electricity from Nuclear, this actually might not be a disaster. -Bob]

The Future of Fuel

Soon, drivers will only have the option of using electric cars in Paris as authorities in the French capital have announced plans to remove all gas- and diesel-powered cars by 2030.

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Germans Become The World’s Biggest Buyers Of Gold

By Frank Holmes – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

When I talk about Indians’ well-known affinity for gold, I tend to focus on Diwali and the wedding season late in the year. Giving gifts of beautiful gold jewelry during these festivals is considered auspicious in India, and historically we’ve been able to count on prices being supported by increased demand.

Another holiday that triggers gold’s Love Trade is Dussehra, which fell on September 30 this year. Thanks to Dussehra, India’s gold imports rose an incredible 31 percent in September compared to the same month last year, according to GFMS data. The country brought in 48 metric tons, equivalent to $2 billion at today’s prices.

 

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