The Climate-Wrecking Industry

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

David Middleton has been a proud member of the Climate-Wrecking Industry since 1981.

From the flamingly left-wing The Nation

The Climate-Wrecking Industry… and How to Beat It

Insisting that we’re all responsible for global warming lets the biggest corporate polluters off the hook.

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Temperature Tampering Temper Tantrums

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Commenters on my recent threads explaining the gaping error my team has found in official climatology’s definition of “temperature feedback” have asked whether I will update my series pointing out the discrepancy between the overblown predictions in IPCC’s First Assessment Report of 1990 on which the climate scam was based and the far less exciting reality, and revealing some of the dodgy tricks used by the keepers of the principal global-temperature datasets to make global warming look worse than they had originally reported.

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Toy Story: Catching Up with Howard Wexler

In the summer of 1969, Howard Wexler called a time-out. He was in his early 30s, living in a high-rise Manhattan apartment near Lincoln Center. He’d been a social worker, a teacher, and a school psychologist in New York City and on Long Island for nearly a decade. And for the past year, he’d been taking courses in a doctoral program at Fordham’s Graduate School of Education. But he was dissatisfied at work and unsure of his next move.

Amazon Isn’t Paying Its Electric Bills. You Might Be

By Mya Frazier – Re-Blogged From Bloomberg

For a little while earlier this year, it seemed as though 87-year-old Rosie Thomas and her neighbors in the small town of Gainesville, Va., had beaten Amazon. Virginia’s largest utility, Dominion Energy Inc., had planned to run an aboveground power line straight through a Civil War battlefield—and Thomas’s property—to reach a nearby data center run by an Amazon.com Inc. subsidiary. After three years of petitions and protests in front of the gated data center, skirmishes punctuated by barking dogs and shooing police, Dominion agreed to bury that part of the line along a nearby highway, at an estimated cost of $172 million.

False Consensus: The Onion Spoofs Climate Science

By Robert Bradley Jr. – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The Onions recent satire on climate science, “Climate Researchers Warn Only Hope For Humanity Now Lies In Possibility They Making All Of This Up,” presents a paradox worth solving.

“Saying the time to act has come and gone,” the piece begins, “a group of researchers from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned Tuesday that any hope for the future of humanity now hinges on the possibility that scientists like themselves are simply making all of this up.” The spoof continues:

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Blue-Collar Lives Seem to Be Advancing in the ‘Right Direction’

By Madison Summers – Re-Blogged From IJR

New study collected from 1,049 blue-collar workers shows they’re pretty optimistic about their lives and jobs.

In a new survey by The Harris Poll, commissioned by Express Employment Professionals, 85 percent of blue-collar workers believe their lives are heading “in the right direction.”

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

From CNN’s Non Sequitur Department: “Most economic forecasts have a big blind spot”

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Definition of non sequitur

1 : an inference that does not follow from the premises; specifically : a fallacy resulting from a simple conversion of a universal affirmative proposition or from the transposition of a condition and its consequent

Guest ridicule by David Middleton

Honestly… I’m not picking on Real Clear Energy… But today’s headlines were a gold mine!

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Climate Activists Have Long History of Ducking Debates With Skeptics

By Marc Morano – Re-Blogged From WUWT

In response to this ridiculous letter in the Guardian saying “we won’t share a debate platform with skeptics” Marc Morano writes:

Climate activists and scientists supporting the alleged “consensus” on man-made global warming have a long history of suppressing debate and intimidation scientists into silence. As a new round of calls go out to shut down scientific debate,

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Media Justifies Ethnic Cleansing With Fake Stats About South African Farmers

By Daniel Greenfield – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

After President Trump tweeted about the mistreatment of white farmers in South Africa, the media rushed out stories justifying the ANC regime’s plans to ethnically cleanse white farmers by seizing land without compensation. These stories invariably contained a popular fake statistic abused by racists.

Bloomberg pretended to conduct a fact check by accusing Trump of misleading the public and claimed that, a “land audit released in February showed that whites own 72 percent of the land.”

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The Dollar vs. Other Currencies And Gold

By Maurice Jackson And Jayant Bhandari – Re-Blogged From Gold Standard

Investment advisor Jayant Bhandari, in this conversation with Maurice Jackson of Proven and Probable, discusses recent moves in the U.S. dollar, the role of gold, and several arbitrage opportunities he sees.

Maurice Jackson: Welcome to Proven and Probable. I’m your host, Maurice Jackson. Joining us is Jayant Bhandari, the host of the highly acclaimed Capitalism & Morality seminar, and a prominent, sought-after advisor to institutional investors. Today we will discuss geopolitical events between the United States and third world nations.

Jayant, we’ve talking with you today so that you can share your insights on developments occurring with peripheral markets, specifically in third world nations. You and I were talking offline and you referenced a sequence of events that you see occurring with third world currencies rapidly depreciating. What currencies are being impacted, and why?

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John Law – 300 years On

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Most people are aware that historically there have been speculative bubbles. Some of them can even name a few – the South Sea bubble, tulips, and more recently dot-coms. Some historians can go even further, quoting the famous account by Charles Mackay of the South Sea bubble, the tulip mania and the Mississippi bubble, published in the mid-nineteenth century.

The most valuable bubble empirically for the purpose of our elucidation has to be the Mississippi bubble, whose central figure was John Law. Law, a Scotsman whose father’s profession was as a goldsmith and banker in Edinburgh, set up an inflation scheme in 1716 to rescue France’s finances. He proposed to the Regent for the infant Louis XIV a scheme that would be based on a new paper currency.

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Weather and Climate in the Real World

By Dr. Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From WUWT

My overall career interest is the impact of weather and climate on human history and the human condition. Much of this involved the impact on primary industries like agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. For 17 years I produced monthly columns titled Weather Talk in the largest circulation farm magazine in Canada, Country Guide. Despite the popularity with the farmers and agribusiness, I was fired because I wrote about what was wrong with the science of the global warming issue. Shortly after ending with Country Guide I began a similar column in a magazine called The Landowner and have produced monthly columns for several years now. Beyond the sin of disagreeing with the official government position on anthropogenic global warming (AGW), I spoke out about the failure of Environment Canada to improve forecasting for farmers or even consider their specific needs. While they were doing that, the Auditor General of Canada identified they spent $6.8 billion in a seven-year period (1998-2005) on climate change that produced nothing. It produced worse than nothing because a portion of the money was spent on the Canadian climate model that contributed to the IPCC amalgam of models; as Ken Gregory showed, its projection was the worst of all of them (Figure 1).

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California Relaxes Logging Regulations

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

h/t Dr. Willie Soon / Daily Caller – After weeks of climate change rhetoric, California Governor Jerry Brown has decided to do something practical to reduce Californian fire risk, by proposing a relaxation of regulations governing logging and tree thinning.

California fires: Governor proposes easing logging rules to thin forests

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Of Water And Albedo

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From WUWT

As usual, there is more to learn in the CERES satellite dataset. I got to thinking of the idea put forth by Lacis 2010. He announced model results claiming that if the only modeled greenhouse gas in the modeled atmosphere were modeled water, the model world would basically evolve to a modeled ice over condition at a modeled -20°C (-4°F). Here is his money graph, showing the evolution of various modeled climate measurements in the first fifty modeled years after removing all modeled GHGs except for modeled water from the modeled atmosphere. See his paper for details.

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Seizing Land Would Send South Africa Down the Wrong Path: U.S.

WASHINGTON/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The United States warned South Africa on Thursday that seizing land without compensation risked sending the country down the wrong path, deepening a spat over Pretoria’s efforts to fix a glaring racial disparity almost 25 years after the end of apartheid.

South Africa accused U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday of stoking racial divisions in a late-night tweet in which he said he had asked U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to study South African “land and farm seizures” and the “killing of farmers”.

Washington’s charge d’affaires in South Africa, Jessye Lapenn, was summoned by the ministry of foreign affairs over the tweet, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Trump’s comments inflamed an already heated debate over land ownership in South Africa, a country that remains deeply racially divided and unequal nearly a quarter of a century after Nelson Mandela swept to power at the end of the apartheid era.

Trump’s tweet appeared to be a response to a Fox News report on Wednesday that focused on South Africa’s land issue and murders of white farmers.

“The expropriation of land without compensation, our position is that would risk sending South Africa down the wrong path,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Thursday.

“We continue to encourage a peaceful and transparent public debate about what we consider to be a very important issue in South Africa.”

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Aug. 1 that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) plans to change the constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation, as whites still own most of South Africa’s territory.

Writing in the London-based Financial Times on Thursday, Ramaphosa said: “This is no land grab. Nor is it an assault on the private ownership of property.”

He has said any measures would not hit economic growth or food security. No land has been “seized” since the reform plans were announced, the ANC said.

His spokeswoman said Trump was “misinformed” and the foreign ministry would seek clarification from the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria.

“South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past,” a tweet from South Africa’s official government account said.

At public hearings, suggestions for expropriation included unused land, derelict buildings, circumstances where occupiers have strong historical rights, informal settlements and abandoned inner-city buildings, Ramaphosa wrote on Thursday.

And he said that the country would not make the same mistakes that other countries have made, alluding to the violent land seizures seen in neighboring Zimbabwe.

“All of us would be concerned if they went the direction that Zimbabwe did. Right now it’s just a proposal in parliament,” U.S. Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Africa subcommittee, said.

The State Department’s Nauert pointed out that Zimbabwe’s government had squashed civil society, shut down the media and destroyed an independent judiciary. “We have not seen that happen in South Africa,” she said.

South Africa’s far-left opposition firebrand, Julius Malema, who has led calls for the seizure of white-owned land, told Trump to stay out of the debate. “You have caused enough problems in Africa,” he told journalists.

Senator Cory Booker, the top Democrat on the Africa subcommittee, said Trump’s tweet showed a “painful ignorance.”

The ANC has long had a strained relationship with the U.S. Republican administration, mainly over U.S. support for Israel.

AfriForum, which mostly champions white people’s rights in South Africa, welcomed Trump’s announcement.

“Everyone in South Africa should therefore hope that the pressure from the USA will lead to the ANC reconsidering the disastrous route that they want to take SA on,” AfriForum’s CEO, Kallie Kriel, said.

He added that Trump’s comment came just three months after the organization sent a delegation to the United States to brief Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson, and the Cato Institute think tank, on the situation in South Africa.

VIOLENT CRIME

Violent crime is a serious problem across South Africa and 47 farmers were killed in 2017-18, according to statistics from AgriSA, an association of agricultural associations. However the same figures show that farm murders are at a 20-year low.

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, the ANC has followed a “willing-seller, willing-buyer” model under which the government buys white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks.

Progress has been slow and most South Africans believe something has to be done to accelerate change, providing it does not hurt the economy or stoke unrest.

“Reforming the land distribution and ownership will be good for South Africa,” said independent political analyst Nic Borain.

“That there will be instability and worries about property rights is inevitable, but we don’t expect that the government will act in a way that radically destabilizes investor security.”

Trump’s tweet came days after it was announced that his wife, Melania, would travel to Africa in October for her first major solo international trip as first lady.

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Taming the EPA Regulatory Hydra

Foreword by Paul Dreissen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

In recent years, the US Environmental Protection Agency published over 25% of all pages of regulations issued by all federal government agencies, including 13 of the 28 most costly rules. In fact, EPA has been responsible for half of all costs imposed by federal regulations on American businesses and families – often for few or no actual environmental, health or welfare benefits.

The Trump Administration has taken important steps to rein in this Regulatory Hydra. However, another anti-business, hyper-regulatory administration could reverse those gains, especially because a single Administrator runs an agency that has shown a penchant for exaggerating risks and hiding or ignoring any scientific evidence that questions its claims and proposals.

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Most Wear-Resistant Metal Alloy in the World

Re-Blogged From Sandia National Laboratory

If you’re ever unlucky enough to have a car with metal tires, you might consider a set made from a new alloy engineered at Sandia National Laboratories. You could skid — not drive, skid — around the Earth’s equator 500 times before wearing out the tread.

Sandia’s materials science team has engineered a platinum-gold alloy believed to be the most wear-resistant metal in the world. It’s 100 times more durable than high-strength steel, making it the first alloy, or combination of metals, in the same class as diamond and sapphire, nature’s most wear-resistant materials. Sandia’s team recently reported their findings in Advanced Materials. “We showed there’s a fundamental change you can make to some alloys that will impart this tremendous increase in performance over a broad range of real, practical metals,” said materials scientist Nic Argibay, an author on the paper.

Fighting Friction

Sandia National Laboratories researchers Michael Chandross, left, and Nic Argibay show a computer simulation used to predict the unprecedented wear resistance of their platinum-gold alloy, and an environmental tribometer used to demonstrate it. (Photo by Randy Montoya) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

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Economy Beholden to Fed Interest Rate Policy

By Mike Gleason – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Dr. Lucas Engelhardt associate professor of economics at Kent State University. Dr. Engelhardt is an Austrian economist who has been a guest lecturer at the Mises Institute and in his teaching specializes in macro-economics in the examination of the business cycle, and it’s certainly a real pleasure to have him on with us today. Lucas, thanks so much for taking the time and welcome.

Dr. Lucas Engelhardt: Well thank you for having me on.

Mike Gleason: Well, I’m excited to have you on today because there is a lot to discuss with you. For starters I think a good place to begin is the business cycle. Now, but before we get into the misunderstandings that the Keynesians seems to have about this, explain the business cycle if you would and why it’s important in order to have a proper understanding of monetary policy.

Dr. Lucas Engelhardt: Sure. Now, as you mentioned, I come from the Austrian economic framework. And Austrian economics describes the business cycle as the consequence of manipulations happening in the money supply, specifically in credit markets. So, starting from that point, so how the business cycle happens is that we have somebody in the banking system. We know in modern America it would be the Federal Reserve is generally responsible for this. Decides to push down interest rates, normally to stimulate the economy.

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Turkey Is Not Contained

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

During my last appearance on CNBC, before I was banned several years ago, I warned that the removal of massive and unprecedented monetary stimuli from global central banks would have to be done in a coordinated fashion. Otherwise, there would be the very real risk of currency and debt crises around the world.

However, coordination among central banks is not what is happening. The Fed is miles ahead in its reversal of monetary stimulus, as it has already raised rates seven times; with two more 25bps rate hikes in the pipeline scheduled for later this year. It has also avowed to sell off two trillion dollars’ worth of debt off its balance sheet–while the rest of the world’s central banks are far behind in this monetary tightening course. This has led to a significant increase in the value of the US dollar.

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Muslim Leader Calls for Conquest of “America, Britain, Russia, France, and Italy”

By Robert Spencer – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

Recently a Muslim spokesman in Tunisia named Said Khecharem, who is affiliated with the international pro-Sharia, pro-caliphate organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, declared (to delighted screams of “Allahu akbar” from his audience), that the “establishment of an Islamic state…requires the conquest of America, Britain, Russia, France, and Italy – Rome and other infidel lands will be conquered, Allah willing.”

According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Khecharem also said: “After the laws of Allah were abandoned, and the heretic regimes were imposed on the Muslims, the most important thing to do is to restore the rule of the Muslims, through the Quran and the Sunna, in order to renew Islamic life and to deliver the Islamic message to the world. My brothers, the implication of this today should be the establishment of an Islamic state over all the lands of the Muslims.”

https://www.memri.org/player/clip/40469/1/1

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Solar Electricity Installations Look Like a Gravy Train.

[A regular reader from Melbourne, Australia has this analysis of PV Panel home installation costs. BTW, today’s currency conversion rate is 1 USD = 1.36418 AUD. -Bob]

By tonytran2015 – Re-Blogged From Survival Tricks

With electricity price running out of control, anticipated to hit 40c/kWh in the near future, I have to consider investing in a home system of Solar Panels to reduces my expenditure. The good news is there are some Solar Panels on sale at $150 per square meter and my friend can install them for me at a cost of $150 per square meter. So I drew up the following financial analysis for the prospective installation of 1m2 of panel. The results are quite surprising: Solar electricity is not matured enough to be economically competitive. The Green actions by Australian Governments are mostly a gravy train with well connected, greedy people already having First Class seats on it.

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Remember When They Told us Coral Bleaching Was a Sure Result of Recent Man-Made Global Warming? Never Mind.

By Marc Hendrickx – Re-Blogged From WUWT

From the “science eventually self-corrects” department, new science showing coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef is a centuries-old problem, well before “climate change” became a buzzword and rising CO2 levels were blamed.

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Trade War To Continue, Global Debt Default And Higher Interest Rates Unavoidable

By Mike Gleason – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome back Michael Pento, president and founder of Pento Portfolio Strategies, and author of the book The Coming Bond Market Collapse: How to Survive the Demise of the U.S. Debt Market. Michael is a well-known money manager and a fantastic market commentator, and it’s always great to have him here on the Money Metals podcast.

Well, Michael, you have recently written about why current problems in Turkey are definitely worth paying attention to. There are some similarities with the Asian crisis of the late 1990s which had ripple effects around the globe. The entire developing world is drowning in dollar denominated debt. If there are defaults, lenders in the first world, including major banks in Europe and the United States will have a real problem. Now, there have been a number of brief panics in recent years over the potential for default in places like Greece, Italy, Argentina. Officials seemed to have been able to kick the can and avoid a full-blown crisis, but one of these days people are going to be surprised and find out the reckoning for all the borrowing and debt has finally arrived. Turkey’s economy dwarfs that of Greece, so what do you make of the current events there, Michael? How serious are things really?

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Turkey’s Detention of Pastor Andrew Brunson Prompts U.S. Sanctions. What’s At Stake?

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

The Big Picture

The distance between Turkey and the United States has been growing as each pursues security and economic imperatives at the expense of the other. In our annual forecast, Stratfor mentioned that U.S. rival Russia would use its “deepening ties to widen Turkey’s rifts with NATO and with the European Union,” just one of many stressors taxing the U.S.-Turkey relationship.

 

See 2018 Annual Forecast

See Middle East and North Africa section of the 2018 Annual Forecast

What Happened?

On Aug. 1, the United States sanctioned two Turkish government ministers in response to what Washington views as the “unjust and unfair” detention of Andrew Brunson, an evangelical pastor who has lived and worked in Turkey for two decades. Turkey’s government has promised to retaliate.

How Did Turkey and the United States Get Here?

The sanctions on Turkish government officials because of Brunson’s detention represent the culmination of increasing tension between Ankara and Washington. For months, they have disagreed over issues as wide ranging as Turkey’s demands for the extradition of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, Turkey’s relationship with Russia and its threats to the NATO alliance, Turkey’s history of flouting Iran sanctions, conflicting U.S.-Turkish policies in Syria and more.

What Do These Sanctions Mean for Turkey’s Economy?

The economic sanctions themselves are largely symbolic — they only affect the two ministers’ personal finances — but their imposition is just one of many external factors wreaking havoc on its economy and contributing to the further depreciation of its currency, the lira. And Turkey has a history of exacerbating domestic economic strains with its foreign policy decisions.

 

The sanctions on Turkish government officials because of Brunson’s detention represent the culmination of increasing tension between Ankara and Washington.

 

In part because of the country’s flagging economy, there has been an unusual coalescing of its many feuding political parties. Now that Washington has implemented sanctions, all the parties can join together to blame the United States for Turkey’s economic woes.

What Do the Sanctions Mean for American Businesses in Turkey?

Turkey’s legal system, its recently expanded counterterrorism laws and the current hypernationalist political atmosphere give Ankara license to crack down on anything that it deems a security threat. There is a strong possibility of increased harassment of U.S. travelers and businesses, as well as a disruption of business operations for companies with U.S. ties.

What Are the Foreign Policy Implications?

The United States and Turkey maintain the largest and second-largest militaries in NATO, respectively. A serious rift between them would result in disruptions and confusion within the NATO alliance. This would be a boon for Russia, which would welcome a less cohesive NATO. Moscow could use the potential disruptions — especially in the Black Sea — as an opportunity to break down Turkey’s traditional role as NATO’s southeastern flank against Russia. The Kremlin may also decide to shift more of its forces to its western military region to face off against NATO in Eastern Europe.

The United States is also traditionally the largest arms exporter to Turkey, so damaged relations between the two could drive Ankara toward alternative suppliers. And given the two countries’ interconnectedness in a number of defense industry areas, a U.S. cancellation of arms deals with Turkey (seen in the U.S. threat to cancel F-35 fighter shipments to Ankara) could result in significant short-term defense disruptions that would affect the many countries involved in the F-35 program.

A serious rift between the Turkey and the United States would result in disruptions and confusion in the NATO alliance as a whole. This would be a boon for Russia, which would welcome a less cohesive NATO.

Furthermore, a schism could damage U.S. interests in the Middle East. The harm would be particularly evident in northern Syria and northern Iraq, where Turkey could be even more proactive in undermining the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as well as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and its allies in northern Iraq. This approach would clash with U.S. efforts to emphasize the defeat of violent extremist groups like the Islamic State by maintaining a stable SDF presence in Syria and a stable environment in northern Iraq. The United States could also potentially lose access to its air base in Incirlik, Turkey, though it has enough alternative basing rights in the Mediterranean and the Gulf region to mitigate such a loss.

One final negative implication for U.S. policy in the Middle East could involve Turkey’s refusing to enforce U.S. economic sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. Some of those penalties will be reapplied on Aug. 6 and Nov. 4. Turkey is likely weighing two competing imperatives. It needs to protect its fragile economy, which could not withstand additional external shocks from more U.S. sanctions. But it also could choose to trade with Iran in order to poke a hole in U.S. efforts to limit Iran’s economic activity. For this type of retaliation, Turkey would need to rely more on its fair-weather relationship with the European Union, which is currently in a fairly positive place.

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Poll: Most Democrats Prefer Socialism to Capitalism

By Kaylee McGhee – Re-Blogged From Liberty Headlines

According to a poll released by Gallup on Monday, 57 percent of Democrats favor socialism while only 47 percent have a positive outlook on capitalism.

It marks the first time in Gallup’s measurement since 2010 that a clear majority on the left (outside the margin of error) has shown a socialist inclination.

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What if Brexit Happened Without an Exit Deal?

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • If the March deadline for the United Kingdom to exit the European Union arrives without a Withdrawal Agreement between both parties, Brexit would happen with no transition period, forcing businesses to immediately adjust to the new rules defining EU-UK relations.
  • Under a “no-deal” scenario, British exporters would face EU tariffs that are low on average, but high in specific sectors like automobiles and agriculture.
  • The strongest economic effect of a no-deal scenario would be felt in the United Kingdom and its close trade partners, like Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium.
  • Without a deal, London and Brussels would probably arrange temporary agreements to minimize disruptions while they continued to negotiate.

EU Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier (R) and Britain's Brexit Minister Dominic Raab hold a joint press conference after their meeting at the European Commission in Brussels on July 26, 2018.

(JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Negotiators for the United Kingdom and the European Union are racing the clock to reach agreements on a long list of remaining issues before the United Kingdom formally leaves the bloc on March 29, 2019. Ongoing discussions are focused on a Withdrawal Agreement that would establish the legal terms of the Brexit and a political declaration outlining the general framework for future ties between the European Union and the United Kingdom. London and Brussels would ideally like both documents to be finalized in time to be signed during a European Council summit in October. But negotiators are still far apart on both deals, opening the door for a no-deal scenario, in which Brexit would happen without any prearranged conditions. If that happened, the economies and the political and institutional systems of both would have to cope with a number of possibly disruptive effects.

 

The Big Picture

Stratfor’s Annual Forecast noted that the European Union and the United Kingdom would spend the year trying to figure out what their future relationship would look like in the wake of Brexit. Furthermore, it said that disagreements over the future of the Irish border would be one of the main obstacles to a deal, and that the British government would remain internally divided on the approach to negotiations. The complications leave open the possibility that the Brexit date will arrive with no agreement over how to handle a host of issues.

 

See 2018 Annual Forecast

See Europe section of the 2018 Annual Forecast

See Brexit and Beyond

The Current Situation

London and Brussels are already aligned on several aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement. For example, the United Kingdom has agreed to pay its “Brexit bill” — some 39 billion pounds ($52 billion) to the European Union to honor its financial commitments to the bloc, and both have pledged to preserve the residency rights of EU citizens living in the United Kingdom and likewise of British citizens on the Continent. They have also negotiated a transition period that would allow the United Kingdom to remain within the EU single market until December 2020. This would give both parties time to adapt to the new reality and to negotiate a trade agreement.

But the Withdrawal Agreement is not complete, and several sticky issues remain unresolved, including future cooperation on police and judicial issues and the role of the European Court of Justice in the United Kingdom after Brexit. But by far the most controversial issue remains the eventual status of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Both parties want the border to remain open, but they cannot agree on a way to accomplish that. In March, negotiators settled on a “backstop option” that would leave Northern Ireland in the EU customs union if a better solution cannot be found before Brexit day arrives. In July, however, the British House of Commons voted to make that option illegal, possibly complicating the chances of reaching a border agreement (the bill has yet to be ratified by the House of Lords).

 

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government is internally divided between those who want to keep close ties with the European Union and factions pushing for a hard exit. This has forced May to seek compromise with both groups, often resulting in complex policy proposals. Further complicating the situation are the divisions in the British Parliament between hardliners and softliners, meaning that even if May can hold her government together, she cannot guarantee that her proposals will pass parliamentary muster. The European Union, in the meantime, says that it will not approve an ad hoc agreement with the United Kingdom, insisting that it must follow an existing trade model, whether that be membership in the single market or the customs union or a free trade agreement.

 

British Trade With the EU

What a No-Deal Scenario Would Mean For Trade

If the two sides fail to reach a Withdrawal Agreement by early 2019, or if they sign a deal that either the British Parliament or the European Council reject, it would most likely force the United Kingdom to exit the European Union under a no-deal scenario. While EU rules allow for the negotiation period to be extended after the March 2019 deadline, the bloc would likely demand concessions on a soft exit in exchange, a prospect that British politicians could find unacceptable.

Without the Withdrawal Agreement, beginning March 30, 2019, the United Kingdom would find itself suddenly out of the single market, and EU laws and regulations would no longer apply to it. The European Union would treat the United Kingdom as it would any other country with which it has no agreements, applying tariffs and customs controls, and enforcing EU sanitary and phytosanitary standards for British goods. The new border controls would cause delays at borders and ports, and supplies of food and other goods would stack up as they awaited inspection. (The British government recently suggested that in a no-deal scenario, it could waive checks to keep traffic moving, but it would require the European Union to do the same.)

Without a deal, World Trade Organization (WTO) rules would govern relations between the European Union and United Kingdom. British exporters would have to contend with EU tariffs that are low on average (roughly 5 percent). However, the rates run higher in specific sectors (10 percent for cars, for example, and an average of 11 percent on agricultural products). EU exporters, in turn, would have to deal with whatever tariffs London decides to impose. Even if the United Kingdom unilaterally reduced or eliminated its own tariffs to prevent an escalation of the price of imports, non-tariff barriers (such as standards and regulations) would still create obstacles for bilateral trade. The United Kingdom could try to remain aligned with EU standards and regulations to limit disruptions in trade, but it’s only natural that over time, the two would progressively drift apart.

 

EU Import Tariffs, Select Goods

The effects of a no-deal situation would be even more pronounced in the case of services, which constitute about 80 percent of the British economy. The British financial sector would lose the “passporting rights” that allow companies to sell their services within the single market without having to apply for authorization in each country. Without those rights, the financial services sector, which accounts for more than 6 percent of Britain’s gross domestic product, would be among the main losers. Although not every financial activity would be affected in the same way (banks that operate domestically would not be as affected as other activities that rely on foreign customers), a no-deal could deal a heavy blow to the sector.

 

 

UK Financial Services Trade with EU Countries

And the impact on services would go well beyond finance. Providers of professional and business services, like legal, accounting, advertising, architectural and engineering services, now have relatively unrestricted access to EU countries through the single market. In a no-deal scenario, London would have to reach specific agreements with Brussels to preserve this access. Similarly, a no-deal would mean that for British airlines to maintain the access to European markets that they now enjoy though the European Common Aviation Area, London would have strike a new agreement with the European Union. At the same time, to preserve their access to the single market, companies in a wide range of other sectors would have to move some of their operations to continental Europe.

Under a no-deal scenario London would be free to sign free trade agreements with any countries it wishes to (such as the United States and Australia). But negotiating, ratifying and enforcing such deals takes years. In the meantime, the United Kingdom would lose access to the free trade agreements that the European Union already has with countries like Canada, Japan and South Korea.

What Else Would Be Affected?

If no Withdrawal Agreement is signed, the future of the roughly 3.6 million EU citizens living in the United Kingdom and the 1 million British nationals living in the European Union would be thrown into doubt. There would not be massive deportations, but they would remain in a legal limbo for weeks, if not months, until their status was defined.

The United Kingdom would be free to set an independent immigration policy, and considering that this was one of the key issues in the Brexit referendum campaign, London would probably impose restrictions, such as work visas or annual quotas, on future migrants from the European Union. Associations representing sectors from tech and manufacturing to construction and tourism have warned that doing so could create a shortage of skills in the British economy, as it would be harder (or at least involve more layers of bureaucracy) for British employers to hire workers from the European Union. Should the United Kingdom decide to impose restrictions for short-term visitors as well, the tourism sector would feel the pinch. And should the European Union retaliate by imposing visas for British tourists, that would hurt tourism destinations like Spain and Portugal.

At the same time, in a no-deal scenario, British individuals, companies and institutions would lose access to EU financing in areas such as education and scientific research. The European Union would also likely restrict, or even exclude, British participation in continental projects such as the Galileo GPS system or in regulatory entities such as the European Medicines Agency.

Without a Withdrawal Agreement, London would probably refuse to pay the Brexit bill, at least initially. That would leave less money for the EU budget and force spending cuts. The British government would be able to redirect that money to domestic needs, such as compensating British farmers for lost access to EU agricultural subsidies. But refusing to pay the Brexit bill would sour UK-EU relations and make it harder for London and Brussels to negotiate the bilateral agreements needed to cope with the effects of Brexit. As a result, London would probably agree to make the payment at some point.

The Economic Impact Would Be Spread Unevenly

Trade, supply chains, capital movement and migration flows between the European Union and United Kingdom are so tightly entwined that the economic impact of a no-deal scenario would be felt in both. But the effects would be spread unevenly. A recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report found that if the European Union and the United Kingdom start trading under WTO rules, the economic growth of the 27 remaining EU countries would fall by as much as 1.5 percent by 2030. Countries with close ties to the United Kingdom like Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium would feel a particular sting, but the pain would be much milder in those with bigger economies or weaker UK ties like Italy or Spain. The biggest downturn would come in the United Kingdom itself, where the economy could contract by as much as 4 percent in the decade after Brexit. According to the IMF, softer versions of Brexit (like a comprehensive free trade agreement or remaining in the single market) would lead to softer economic impacts everywhere.

In January, British media published a leaked internal British government document that paints an even darker picture. That report estimated that British economic growth would be reduced by as much as 8 percent in the first 15 years after Brexit in a no-deal situation, compared to reductions by 5 percent under a free trade deal and by 2 percent with membership in the single market. Impact reports by private companies offer different figures, but most agree that trade under WTO rules would be the most disruptive scenario for both the United Kingdom and the European Union, and that the British would feel the strongest impact.

The unprecedented situation presented to Europe’s political, economic and institutional actors by a no-deal scenario would generate confusion and uncertainty. But the chaos would not necessarily last for a long period or affect every aspect of EU-UK relations the same way. Even in a no-deal scenario, both parties would still be interested in reaching a permanent trade agreement, which means that negotiations between London and Brussels would likely continue. In the meantime, the United Kingdom and the European Union would probably reach temporary deals to try to minimize disruptions as much as possible, with many people carrying out business as usual while they waited for further instructions. A no-deal scenario would trigger a significant change after four and a half decades of British membership in the EU, but while its ties with the Continent would be disrupted, they would not be completely severed.

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Drought Proofing a Dry Continent

By Viv Forbes – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Earth is a blue watery planet.

70% of its surface is covered by oceans of salt water, some of which are extremely deep. These oceans contain about 97% of Earth’s water. Another 2% is locked up in snow, ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% of Earth’s surface water in inland seas, lakes, rivers and dams. We have plenty of water, but not much to drink.

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The Fight Against Global Greening – Part 2

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Note:  This is Part 2 of a four part series.  If you are not familiar with The Fight Against Global Greening – Part 1, you can either read it in its entirety and then read this, or read the introduction of Part 1 up to the line “Let’s look at #1” and then read this. — kh

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

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

By Ken Haapala, President

Transparency in Regulatory Science: On August 16, the EPA comment period closed on proposed rules to ensure transparency in science used for regulations called “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.” Harvard University roared against the proposed rules claiming the rules would “drastically limit the scientific and medical knowledge that underlies a host of EPA regulations that protect human health.”

According to the Harvard Gazette the letter signed by 96 officials of the school included, “Harvard President Larry Bacow, the deans of Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the presidents of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Massachusetts Eye and Ear. It says that the EPA’s push to require studies to reveal the material that supports their conclusions would bar the best available science from being considered in the regulatory process.” TWTW was unable to find the latest letter, but a June 4 letter from then Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust highlighted the key issue.

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“Printing Money” and Cocaine

By Gary Christenson – Re-Blogged From Deviant Investor

The addictive behaviors of drug addicts are similar to the actions of a modern “Keynesian” economy addicted to “money printing” by central banks and fractional reserve banking.

From Psychology Today on Addiction:

“Addiction is a condition in which a person engages in use of a substance or in a behavior for which the rewarding effects proved a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite detrimental consequences.”

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Currency Woes

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

This week’s collapse of the Turkish lira has dominated the headlines, and it is widely reported that this and other emerging market currencies are in trouble because of the withdrawal of dollar liquidity. There are huge quantities of footloose dollars betting against these weak currencies, as well as commodities and gold, on the basis the long-expected squeeze on dollar liquidity is finally upon us.

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Climatology’s Startling Error of Physics

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley- Re-Blogged From WUWT

Answers to comments from the original essay on WUWT, here.

I make no apology for returning to the topic of the striking error of physics unearthed by my team of professors, doctors and practitioners of climatology, control theory and statistics. Our discovery the climatology forgot the Sun is shining brings the global-warming scare to an unlamented end. My last article discussing our result attracted more than 800 comments. Here, I propose to answer some of the more frequently-occurring comments, which will be in bold face. Replies are in regular face.

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Dollar/Yuan and Treasuries/Gold

   By Bob Shapiro

The relationship between currencies on the FOREX market has a lot to do with the trade balances between countries. If a country consistently runs a trade surplus against a second country, most likely its currency will rise. Certainly, there are other factors, mainly bearing on how they affect expectations of future trade.

For many years, China has run a trade surplus with the US. Of course, as China exports goods containing components from other of its trading partners, the China/US trade balance likely is overstated. But, China still has a surplus.

Image result for image china

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Gold And Silver Prices: Similar To 2008

By Dave Kranzler – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

In 2008, gold was taken from $1020 to $700 and silver was pounded from $21 to $7 during the period of time that Bear Stearns, Lehman and the U.S. financial system was collapsing.  The precious metals were behaving inversely to what would have been expected as the global financial system melted down.   Massive Central Bank intervention was at play.

Currently the price of gold and silver are being dismantled by what appears to be massive hedge fund shorting of Comex paper gold.  As of last Tuesday, the “managed money” trader category as detailed in the Commitment of Traders report showed that the hedge funds were short a record amount of paper gold.

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California Fires Causes

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Greens have reacted with fury at Trump Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke‘s suggestion that opposition to sensible forestry management is exacerbating fire risks.

The low-to-moderate intensity surface fire in this prescribed burn will lower the fuel load in this forest in the Lake Tahoe Basin. CREDIT
Alan H. Taylor
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The Big Pension Grab

It has been quite some time since we last collaborated on an article, opting instead to chase other pursuits and let some of the hysteria going on in the world fade into some type of steady state. It hasn’t happened, but there are pressing matters that need attention regardless. The circus going on all around us makes for great theater and distraction – and that is its intent.

The topic at hand is the failing pension and retirement system. Americans are notorious for spending well in excess of what they make, saving nothing in the process. The only way most save are the deductions from their paychecks for a 401k or IRA. Or perhaps they contribute to an IRA at tax time, when they realize doing so will reduce their tax liability.

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Formal Complaint Against Facebook for ‘Discriminatory Policy’

By Washington Times – Re-Blogged From Info-Wars

Data mining practices could violate the Civil Rights Act

The Trump administration announced a fair housing discrimination complaint against social media giant Facebook on Friday, saying the way the company targets ads can be used to screen out people based on race, sex or other protected categories.

The complaint goes to the heart of Facebook’s business model, which depends on being able to offer advertisers micro-targeting.

“Facebook mines extensive user data and classifies its users based on protected characteristics. Facebook’s ad targeting tools then invite advertisers to express unlawful preferences by suggesting discriminatory options,” the Housing and Urban Development Department said in the complaint.

Among those options are physical disabilities, parents with children and even religious practices — advertisers are allowed to show their ads only to people Facebook deems interested in “Jesus” or the “Christian Church,” for example.

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Climate Change Debating Points

Re-Blogged From CO2 is Life

Chart #1: This is the chart on which the entire CO2 driven climate change fraud is based. It is also the chart that will ultimately be used to prove the fraudulent nature of the NASA, NOAA and HadCRU data “adjustments.” CO2’s increase in near-linear and it is this linear trend that will ultimately undermine the CO2 driven climate change fraud. The reason will be explained later in this posting.

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The Cash it Takes to go Shopping in Failing Socialist Venezuela

By Reuters – Re-Blogged From IJR

Jittery Venezuelans on Friday rushed to shops and lined up at gas stations on concerns that a monetary overhaul to lop off five zeros from prices in response to hyperinflation could wreak financial havoc and make basic commerce impossible.

The Wider Image: Venezuelans rush to shops before monetary overhaul

The Fight Against Global Greening – Part 1

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Something odd happened between April 2017 and July 2018.  I haven’t discovered exactly what prompted it but the rather good science writer and journalist, Carl Zimmer, seems to have flipped his wig.  Well, at least he flipped his viewpoint on Global Greening.

In April 2017, Zimmer wrote a nice article for the New York Times titled “Antarctic Ice Reveals Earth’s Accelerating Plant Growth”.   The article is a straightforward report on research performed by Dr. J. E. Campbell of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, University of California in Merced, California (and others…) called “Large historical growth in global terrestrial gross primary production” published 5 April 2017 in the journal Nature.

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States Rush to Rein In Prescription Costs, and Drug Companies Fight Back

By Robert Pear – Re-Blogged From NY Times

States around the country are clamping down on pharmaceutical companies, forcing them to disclose and justify price increases, but the drug manufacturers are fighting back, challenging the state laws as a violation of their constitutional rights.

Even more states are, for the first time, trying to regulate middlemen who play a crucial role by managing drug benefits for employers and insurers, while taking payments from drug companies in return for giving preferential treatment to their drugs.

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Twenty-four states have passed 37 bills this year to curb rising prescription drug costs, according to Trish Riley, the executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy.CreditJulio

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Anatomy Of Hyperinflation

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Two drones filled with explosives were recently deployed in a failed assassination attempt to take out Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Chaos filled the streets as the military ran for their lives. But this sort of pandemonium is commonplace in Venezuela today: Where citizens have run out of basic necessities such as toilet paper and have begun eating their pets in order to stay alive. The mainstream Keynesian-brainwashed media doesn’t talk much about Venezuela or hyperinflation; perhaps because they are viscerally aware that the seeds of intractable inflation on a worldwide basis have already been sown by the global elites–and they don’t want to frighten you.

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What Was the Cold War?

By Andrew Roberts – Re-Blogged From Prager University

The decades-long “Cold War” (1947-1989) between the United States and the Soviet Union was so named because the two global powers never came to direct blows. Yet, the war was not without its victims. In fact, millions of Cubans, Koreans and Vietnamese suffered under Communist tyranny. In this video, Renowned British historian Andrew Roberts explains why “The Cold War” could just as easily be called “The Third World War.”

[Looking at the world today, including here in the USA, I think the Cold War still may be going on, with Russia, China, and/or Islam much closer to winning against the US. -Bob]

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Spectacular Gold COT Report

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

No need to mince words anymore. If the futures market still influences gold’s price, then that price is going to spike. And silver is better than gold.

Since January, gold futures speculators have been trending from extremely bullish to scared short. And in the week ending last Tuesday (the most recent data available) they appeared to capitulate, adding a massive number of short positions while marginally cutting their longs. They’re now about as close to neutral as they’ve ever been. Based on the history of the past decade this is hugely bullish, since speculators tend to be wrong when they’re fully convinced they’re right.

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