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Silver-Silica and Antibiotic Combination Lethal to Germs

Re-Blogged From The Silver Institute

By coating silver-silica nanoparticles with an antibiotic,
Brazilian scientists have found a more powerful way to kill
drug-resistant bacteria.
Normally, silica compounds – silica is the mineral quartz
– are toxic when inhaled, causing the disease silicosis in
which the particles scar the lungs making it difficult to
breathe. Silicosis often is seen in foundry workers, glass
makers and those who work in rock quarries.
However, when the research team wrapped the antibiotic
ampicillin around silver-silica it renders it harmless allowing
both the silver ions and antibiotic to kill germs without
harming human cells.
The combination has not been tested on people, but
laboratory results show that it overcame a strain of
E. coli that was resistant to antibiotic drugs alone.
“There are commercial drugs that contain nanoparticles,
which typically serve to coat the active ingredient and
extend its lifetime inside the organism.
Our strategy is different. We decorate the surface of the nanoparticles with
certain chemical groups that direct them to the site where
they’re designed to act, so they’re highly selective,” said
Mateus Borba Cardoso, lead study author and a researcher
at Brazil’s National Energy & Materials Research Center
(CNPEM) in an interview in Phys.org.
“We used molecular modeling to find out which part of
the ampicillin molecule interacted most with the bacterial
membrane,” he added. “We then arranged all the molecules
of the drug so that this key part was facing outward from the
nanoparticle, increasing the likelihood of interaction with
the pathogen.”
The silver-silica/antibiotic treatment has a drawback. Silver-
silica is inorganic and humans don’t metalize it, so it could
build up in the body. Cardoso said that his group is studying
this issue to learn whether it presents a danger or not. He
plans to do animal testing.
One possibility is to developa nanoparticle that can be excreted through urine. He
suggests, though, that for patients for whom no other cure
exists for their bacterial infection, the silver-silica/antibiotic
mixture offers hope where none is available.

America’s Fiscal Doomsday Machine

By David Stockman – Re-Blogged From Zero Hedge

Maybe the Democrats did win the 2016 election. Or at least the the Deep State and its accomplices among the beltway political class, K-Street lobbies and the media did.

That’s because the media won a giant victory against something they deplore and despise more than anything else – the public debt ceiling. They sanctimoniously admonish that it’s a relic of the nation’s fiscally benighted past. They operate on a belief that this is an episodic tendency to threaten America’s credit and to offer Capitol Hill an opening to grandstand about the fiscal verities is a blight on orderly governance.

So the Donald’s latest burst of impetuosity — agreeing with Sen. Schumer to permanently abolish the public debt ceiling — has descended on the beltway like manna from heaven. Not Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter or even the Great Texas Porker, Lyndon Johnson, dared to utter the thought of it — at least not in polite company.

Suddenly, and notwithstanding all the good he has done disrupting the status quo, the Donald has become the foremost enemy of America’s very financial survival.

The Federal budget is a Fiscal Doomsday Machine. The depository of American wars and entitlements have run rampant. Under the pile drivers of a global empire and the retiring baby boom, it is rapidly propelling the nation toward fiscal catastrophe. That grim outcome is virtually guaranteed if the only remaining safety brake — the debt ceiling — is summarily abolished.

Due to entitlements, debt service and the slow pipeline of appropriated spending there is no such thing as an annual Federal budget or accountability for how much Uncle Sam spends and borrows. Instead, the $4.1 trillion that Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects the Federal government will spend in FY 2018, and the $563 billion it will borrow, reflects the dead hand of the past.

Entitlements and other mandatory spending alone is projected to reach $2.566 trillion or 63% of total FY 2018 outlays.

Another $307 billion will be required for interest on the nation’s $20 trillion public debt, while upwards of half the $1.22 trillion for so-called “discretionary” or appropriated programs also reflects funds appropriated years ago.

Altogether, $3.5 trillion, or 85% of outlays, will be essentially baked into the cake before a single Congressional vote is taken on anything regarding the FY 2018 budget.

The Federal spending machine is almost entirely on autopilot and heading for disaster owing to ballooning populations and debt. Ten years from now the combined cost of mandatory programs and debt service will reach $5.12 trillion compared to just $2.87 trillion during FY 2018.

Entitlement spending will be nearly double — even if Congress took a 10-year recess!

As shown below, that means the Federal spending share of GDP is now inexorably climbing toward 30% owing to baby boom retirements, even as revenue under current law is stuck at about 18% of GDP. The CBO’s latest projection of the widening fiscal gap — soon more than 10% of GDP annually — leaves nothing to the imagination.

America really does have in place a Fiscal Doomsday Machine.

The Fiscal Doomsday Gap Is Uncloseable — The Crisis Is Permanent

1 Federal Spending and Revenues Fiscal Doomsday

In the chart above, it is easy to see why the beltway argument — that we’ve already spent the money and must liquidate by borrowing whatever it takes — is so thoroughly wrong. The tidal forces driving the budget are so enormous and dangerous that some kind of automatic, institutionalized braking force is absolutely necessary.

The fiscal exigencies of empire, demographics and debt have now become insuperable.

In the case of demographics, it is all right here. The baby boom is retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day, and the wave will not crest until there are nearly 100 million Americans over 65 years of age — double today’s 50 million.

Needless to say, at an average cost of $35,000 per year for retirement pensions and medical care alone, the fiscal math becomes prohibitive.

The voting and political math is downright impossible, and has been that way for the last 34 years.

The last time any significant chunk was taken out of social security or medicare benefits was back in 1983 when the Congress did agree to the Greenspan Commission’s proposal to delay the payment date of the Social Security cost of living allowance (COLA) by the grand sum of 90 days on a one-time basis!

There was one other change, that I was personally involved in, that seals the case. Working with Greenspan we had narrowed the benefit cut options down to a binary choice and presented it to the swing vote on the commission. The latter happened to be 88 year-old Claude Pepper — a left-over from the New Deal era and champion of America’s elderly lobby.

Did he want a reduction in early retirement benefits immediately or an increase in the retirement age starting 30 years hence? Apparently, Senator Pepper concluded he would not live to be 118, and choose the second option!

All of that happened when the over 65 population was about 28 million, not 100 million.

2 Elderly Population Growth

There is no plausible scenario in which Congress will proactively and voluntarily address reform for the ballooning population of elderly Americans. It will only happen when action is forced by the debt ceiling mechanism — the equivalent of a credit card cancellation on a national level.

The recent utter failure to do anything at all about ObamaCare and the underlying health care system that is already consuming 18% of GDP only reinforces the case for a fiscal dues ex machina. As seen below, the cost of the medical entitlements alone relative to national income will double from 5% to 10% over the next three decades.

3 Federal Spending on Health Care

Where that leads, of course, is to fiscal catastrophe.

Without a fiscal braking mechanism that is external to voluntary legislative action, the day of reckoning will be catastrophic.

Even by the CBOs own Rosy Scenario based long-term projections, the nation’s public debt ratio is heading for a Greek-style 150% within the next 25 years, and by our own more sober view of the economic future far worse than that.

When Washington descends into complete fiscal disarray, the meltdown will be on and the grim reaper of recession will be just around the corner.

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Hackers Closer to Catastrophic Attack on U.S. Electric Grid

By Steve King – Re-Blogged From Liberty Headlines

For a long time now the United States has been engaged in a constantly evolving set of battles on several cyber-fronts, including business, health care, industry, education, and government.

Screen shot (yahoo video)

These have been largely a disorganized set of skirmishes that usually result in the theft of valuable personal information, ransom attacks in which money is extorted in exchange for abducted information or computing assets, the co-opting of business processes that have led to outright financial theft, and hacktivism, which raises havoc in political processes.

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Stock Market is Priced to Sell

By Vitaliy Katsenelson – Re-Blogged From Investment Management Associates

If you feel that you have to own stocks no matter the cost; if you tell yourself, “Stocks are expensive, but I am a long-term investor,” — there’s help for you yet.

First, let’s scan the global economic landscape. The health of the European Union has not improved, and Brexit only increased the possibility of other nation’s “exits” as the structural issues that render this union dysfunctional go unfixed.

Meanwhile, Japan’s population isn’t getting any younger — in fact, it’s the oldest in the world. Japan is also the world’s most-indebted developed nation (though, in all fairness, other countries are desperately trying to take that title away from it). Despite the growing debt, Japanese five-year government bonds are “paying” an interest rate of negative 0.10%. Imagine what will happen to the government’s budget when Japan has to start actually paying to borrow money commensurate with its debtor profile.

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Cryptocurrencies: Modern Day Alchemy

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Pento Portfolio Strategies

Cryptocurrencies make good currencies, but fail miserably when trying to achieve the status of money.

Cryptocurrencies are both created and held electronically inside a virtual wallet. These digital currencies use encryption techniques to regulate the generation of new units and to verify the transfer of funds. Cryptocurrencies operate independently of governments and are decentralized.

The most popular cryptocurrency now is Bitcoin. Bitcoin has risen in popularity because, unlike government-backed fiat currencies, it has a finite number of coins–21 million, 15.5 million of which are currently in circulation–and user transactions remain anonymous. Thus, the argument goes, it is superior to the fiat currency system and a viable replacement for precious metals because of the limited supply, anonymity, and independence of central bank authority.

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