Sunday, January 31, 2016

Protectionism and the Destruction of Prosperity

Protectionism, often refuted and seemingly abandoned, has returned, and with a vengeance. The Japanese, who bounced back from grievous losses in World War II to astound the world by producing innovative, high- quality products at low prices, are serving as the convenient butt of protectionist propaganda. Memories of wartime myths prove a heady brew, as protectionists warn about this new “Japanese imperialism,” even “worse than Pearl Harbor.” This “imperialism” turns out to consist of selling Americans wonderful TV sets, autos, microchips, etc., at prices more than competitive with American firms.
Is this “flood” of Japanese products really a menace, to be combated by the U.S. government? Or is the new Japan a godsend to American con- sumers?
In taking our stand on this issue, we should recognize that all government action means coer- cion, so that calling upon the U.S. government to intervene means urging it to use force and vio- lence to restrain peaceful trade. One trusts that the protectionists are not willing to pursue their logic of force to the ultimate in the form of another Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

Protectionism and the Destruction of Prosperity_2.pdf

After 40-year ban, U.S. starts exporting crude oil

The first freely-traded shipments of U.S. crude are symbolic of the country's newfound role as a leading producer of oil. America's entry into the world market can also be viewed with relief by those worried about potential supply disruptions. After all, many big oil producers are located in volatile parts of the world susceptible to geopolitical shocks.
"The fact that producers have free access to the global market will make it easier for U.S. supply to respond to disruptions around the world," said Jason Borduff, a former energy adviser to President Obama who is currently a professor at Columbia University.
America officially banned exports in 1975. It came two years after an OPEC oil embargo that banned oil sales to the U.S. had sent gas prices skyrocketing. Newspaper photographs of long lines of cars outside of gas stations became a common and worrisome image.
Fast forward 40 years and the world has changed drastically, with booming U.S. oil production from the shale revolution creating an epic supply glut that recently sent oil prices below $30 a barrel. 

Hillary Clinton’s email defense just hit a major bump in the road

For months, Hillary Clinton and her presidential campaign have stuck to a consistent story line when faced with allegations of classified information on the private server she used exclusively as secretary of state: She was the victim of an overzealous intelligence community bent on categorizing information as top secret or classified when it was, in fact, neither.
That defense hit a major snag on Friday when the State Department announced that it, too, had found “top secret” information on Clinton’s server — 22 emails across seven separate emails chains. The information, the State Department said, was so secret that those emails would never be released to the public. 

The Clintons’ political legacy of dishonesty

When Donald Trump, Ben Carson and other political outsiders first denounced political correctness, they instantly struck a nerve. They were promising to peel back the mushy language that government and so-called sophisticates use to conceal simple truths.
I was hardly alone in liking the vow of honesty, and as Trump and Carson rose in the early polls, their rivals, the media and voters got into the act. Denouncing political correctness quickly became routine and is now the leading ­cliché of the campaign.
Alas, that makes it part of the problem it was meant to solve.
Look at it this way: Accusing someone of being politically correct is the politically correct way of saying they are lying. Let’s cut to the chase and just say it, for God’s sake!
That urge came over me as I watched Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, along with Jeb Bush, ­argue over each other’s immigration flip-flops during last week’s GOP debate. Because Fox moderators used videos to demonstrate the differences between where the candidates once stood and where they stand, the truth was obvious, yet none of the three ­rivals dared say it. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Things in General.

This is an interesting website.  It is called the Pharma Death Clock.  Data sources are included.  Consider this disturbing fact.  Pharmaceutical medicine kills more people than all acts of war, terrorism, gun violence and murder COMBINED.

Big Pharma's efforts help bring socialized medicine to the US.   Quote: "For those free market purists who say no drug company should be forced to sell their drugs at a lower price than the market demands, I have some sobering information: The U.S. drug market is heavily skewed in favor of the pharmaceutical industry and hasn’t been free for decades. For example, even if we manufacture a drug in the states, once we’ve sent it abroad, it’s gone for good. Why? Because it’s illegal to import drugs, even drugs we already made. Needless to say, Pharma loves this, because it artificially decreases the supply of drugs, allowing them to hold Americans hostage to whatever price they want to charge. This is a much bigger violation of free market principles than 340B, which represents just two percent of the $374 billion American drug market."

This item is a logical follow on to the previous item.

This is a prime example of leftist elitists who use taxpayer money to pursue their personal, mostly unethical, ambitions.  And, it should stop and stop now.

Big pharmaceuticals want to have the right to say who should be provided their products and not have to obtain FDA approval.  While the FDA is already largely an extension of the pharmaceutical industry they do not want even them to impede their marketing efforts.  What do you think?

This item does a pretty good job of showing a possible link between political correctness and illogical behavior/victimhood of so many.  Quote: "The current official list of mental disorders hovers at 300. That’s 300—separately defined, treatable, and covered by insurance plans.  On a cultural level, this means the population is being tuned to the idea that they are vulnerable and at high risk. The right trigger at the right moment, a slight change in brain-chemical balance, and there it is: a disorder, with a title, a professional diagnosis, and the need for treatment.  This cultural programming—no surprise—has been a major factor in influencing people to believe they are victims. The obsessive focus on politically correct words that could offend and traumatize is, in reality, an extension of the psychiatric matrix.  A cascade of propaganda has been unleashed around the notion that people are helpless; they can’t rise above “triggering”; they must be attended to and given special consideration, even if their needs interfere with the interests of those who aren’t affected by “insensitive language.”"

We have reviewed a number of items detailing the destructive efforts ongoing by Monsanto.  Now we know more about what their contribution to the declining bee population will mean to us.   Quote: "Wild bees are disappearing in some of the nation's most crucial agricultural areas – a phenomenon that may have devastating effects on crops such as blueberries, almonds and apples."  And, "One thing that is clear is the fact that most, if not all, of the factors contributing to the decline of wild bee populations are directly caused by humans, which is tragically ironic, since – as many have pointed out, including Albert Einstein – if the bees completely disappear, so will we.

Quote: "You probably want to know what’s actually in what you’re eating, right? Of course you do. That’s probably why you read the ingredients label. But even if you’re making responsible choices, there still might be more to that meal than you realize. There’s a movement that’s trying to keep you in the dark about genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), not to mention a host of other nasties in your food. You’ll want to stick around while I tell you seven things that you should really know about GMOs."

In the last Science item sent you I provided some disparaging remarks about Bill Nye (Science Guy).  Now there is even more reason to distrust him and to not believe anything he has to say.  He has apparently sold out what little integrity he had left to Monsanto.

I have never paid much attention to this guy but what little I have made me think he seemed too much like the science guy (Bill Nye) for me.  Both come across more as showmen than honest to goodness scientists.  Given this article, assuming the author has his facts right, maybe the two are really more alike than not.   Looks like someone else thinks Bill Nye is a joke, too.

What about MSG?  Good or bad?  Find out here.

George Burns

Climate Change.

Proponents on both sides of the climate change debate need to read this excellent, well reasoned discussion.  Quote: "Climate scientists are usually clear in their definitions, but that precision tends to get lost in popular discourse. To say that global warming is a fact does not, standing alone, mean that we have to accept a particular causation of that trend. Following from that, we must acknowledge that the climate has changed quite radically through the millennia, and that equally is beyond dispute. Climate change of some scale has happened, is happening, and will happen, regardless of any human activity. The issue today is identifying and assessing the human role in accelerating that process."

As most people know not all scientists agree with global warming alarmist scientists.  This item provides an example. Quote: "49 former NASA scientists and astronauts sent a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden last week admonishing the agency for it’s role in advocating a high degree of certainty that man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change while neglecting empirical evidence that calls the theory into question."

This esteemed scientist offers cogent remarks that counter the alarmists whose record and use of un-validated models are proven failures and not worthy of supporting policy decisions.

Here is an item suggesting that volcanic activity is a more serious threat than anything man can do to affect the climate.  Quote:  "In a scientific report published in 2015, experts at the European Science Foundation concluded that large volcanic eruptions posed the greatest risk to human survival – greater, in fact, that an asteroid collision with earth, human activity leading to climate change and nuclear war."

This is a powerful retort to two MIT scientists who challenged a critical piece written by Freeman Dyson in the wake of the recent Paris Climate change summit.  I certainly cannot claim to understand the science discussed in this piece and questions asked by the author of the two MIT scientists but I get the gist of the points being made.  An interesting read in any case.  

For those who still believe climate change is scientific, not only that but "settled science", read this.  It is an assessment of the Paris agreement reached at the recent "climate" summit.  What you will learn is that it is indeed a socialistic elitists endeavor to enslave the globe to a centralized socialistic government based on Marxists principles.  The agreement says it is about saving the earth from human induced harm but its real purpose is to turn the world into a communist utopia.  Quote: "To those complaining that the lack of mandatory emissions targets means that the Agreement does nothing concrete to combat GHG emissions, I can only say "Good morning, and welcome to reality!"  No, Virginia, Al Gore does not believe polar bears are stranded on ice floes.  Ban Ki-moon does not believe climate change causes Islamic fanaticism.  No one ever believed that manmade CO2 could cause the Earth to wobble on its axis.  And the U.N. Conference of the Parties on Climate Change neither believes that it can prevent the global mean temperature from rising 1.5 °C nor has any intention of seeking such a delusional goal."

This is a sensible response to the nonsense EPA's "...2012 Proposed Federal Plan and Model Rules for the Clean Power Plan, as issued by EPA and published in the Federal Register: 80 FR 65979-80."

At this link are charts that depict temperature data as measured by satellites for the past 37 years.  These data are more accurate than randomly distributed land based collection sites and certainly more accurate than manmade computer models. (See next item)  The charts reveal that the earth has not been warming for some time.  Quote: "UAH v6.0 (University of Alabama Huntsville satellite) data for November were released a couple of days ago.  Here are updated graphs for various regions showing the furthest back one can go to show a zero or negative trend (less than +0.01C/ 100 years) in lower tropospheric temperatures.   For the second month of the climb towards the El Nino peak, there is still NO pause in the Northern Hemisphere trend.  However, in some regions the pause has lengthened.  Note: The satellite record commences in December 1978.  The entire satellite record is now 37 years long- 444 months."    Just more proof that proclamations that the earth is warming at the recent Paris Climate Summit are purposeful lies uttered by dishonest partisans with an agenda having nothing to do with the climate.  Facts refute the lies.

More studies coming out with bad news for the Climate Change advocates.  Quote: "The only reason AGW theory became fashionable in the first place was because, for a period, there seemed to be a very distinct correlation between rising temperatures and rising levels of man-made CO2. If – as seems to be becoming increasingly evident – those rising temperatures were, at best, exaggerated by dodgy scientists and, at worst, faked, then what we have is the biggest case of fraud in world history.  And there are so many people with vested interests in this fraud – even newspaper editors – that when presented with the evidence, a lot of them really would prefer not to know…"

Here is a report of another study that suggests fraud has been committed.  Quote: "The way we measure global temperature is once again facing scrutiny for over-estimating the planet’s warming trends. Our government homogenizes weather data so that all nearby weather stations are all singing the same tune. It’s done to weed out bad stations or failing weather equipment. We discovered such a thing earlier this year when we found that perhaps the nation’s most politically iconic weather station—Washington DC’s Reagan National Airport—was reading temperatures that were far too hot to be plausible."

This study details the faults with ground based temperature data collection.  Quote: "Lead author Anthony Watts said of the study: “The majority of weather stations used by NOAA to detect climate change temperature signal have been compromised by encroachment of artificial surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and heat sources like air conditioner exhausts. This study demonstrates conclusively that this issue affects temperature trend and that NOAA’s methods are not correcting for this problem, resulting in an inflated temperature trend. It suggests that the trend for U.S. temperature will need to be corrected.” He added: “We also see evidence of this same sort of siting problem around the world at many other official weather stations, suggesting that the same upward bias on trend also manifests itself in the global temperature record”.

The alarmist appear to be changing the facts to make Climate Change fit their theories.   It gets worse.  It is sad that science has become a tool to be manipulated to fit the desires of those with an agenda.

Regarding Global Warming this scientist who is a Nobel laureate says to Obama, "Excuse me, Mr. President, but you're wrong...dead wrong."

Al Gore should be ashamed of the big part he has played in inflicting untold damage to our nation and across the globe.  But, my guess he feels no shame whatever.  He has been laughing all the way to the bank.   He was rich when he started his Global Warming alarmism scheme.  Thanks to his efforts he is now much richer than he was when he started.  And the world lost access to funds that could have been used for good rather than contributed to the massive waste that has ensued. 

This item deals with geoengineering projects such as ChemTrails.  If you don't know anything about this you need to do a web search.  It has been widely poo-pood by those who do not want the public to know about this and related projects.  As this piece notes it is suspected that these chemical deposits dumped into the atmosphere are part of the reason why the bee population is collapsing and that climate scientists have ignored these uncontrolled experiments.  Because the experiments such as ChemTrails are not well based scientifically the Professor cited here thinks they should be halted. Quote: "In other words, governments and whomever else are involved in geoengineering efforts are currently engaged in a large-scale, uncontrolled experiment, according to this admission by Prof. Lenton. And like many of the rest of us, he wants to see this experiment halted in favor of sound scientific proposals.  But in order to get there, it must first be acknowledged that this experiment is real, which is something that chemtrail-deniers can't seem to get through their dense skulls. It's no longer an argument over whether or not chemtrails are real – they are – but rather whether or not they've begun, which mounting evidence suggests was many, many years ago."

It is long past time to start dealing in facts and stop with the unscientific and historically inaccurate hype.

I really do wish more people would embrace what this esteemed physicist has to say.  He has the credentials to provide an informed opinion and plenty of common sense to go along with it.  Uninformed people are being led by the nose by so called experts with an agenda.  Although certainly no expert our president is at the head of the list of people who have an agenda.  Truth does not matter to such people.  Here is a good follow on.

Wise people will examine with great care what the Climate alarmist say.  This German scientist gives us good cause to believe we are being hoodwinked by the alarmist.  Quote: "In 2012, we realized that the data offered by NASA was not the same as that offered in 2010.  The data had been altered.  If in 2010 someone had, for instance, looked up the data for Palma de Mallorca, they would have seen a cooling of .0076 degrees.  But in 2012 it suddenly showed a temperature increase of .0074 degrees.  This is not a one-off.  Until then measurements were sacrosanct.  Can you call it fraud or falsification? I’m not a lawyer, but I can say it has been changed retroactively.  If I show you the data a negative judgment is justified.  In 2012 there was twice as much warming in the sample we examined compared with just two years prior.” 

This should raise questions in the minds of critical thinkers.  The loss of a suspicious NOAA satellite after discovery of manipulated data is too convenient for my taste.  Besides why refuse to release data if you have nothing to hide?  And who thinks a totally self absorbed and inefficient, ineffective, wasteful socialistic UN (which is nothing but a series of unelected ambitious bureaucracies) can run anything, much less manage global climate?  The complexities of a global climate system are far too complex for any collection of scientists to understand, much less master.  Why anyone would think a government bureaucracy, a "bigger is better" is beyond me.  An oversized unelected UN bureaucracy for example is a sure recipe for disaster as our very own bloated government proves beyond any shadow of a doubt.

Everyone may not agree with this piece but it should give everyone something to think about.  My opinion?  It is right on target.

This is an introduction to a 200 year old bit of insight.  Ponder it since it relates to the climate change phenomena.

If anyone needs to be convinced that the political left, including it member scientists, are a bit demented maybe this item will help.  To my way of thinking it is almost comical the extremes these people will go to promote what normal logical thinking people know full well is a bunch of hoowie.   It is to the point where I feel sorry for them as they see their creation crumbling all around them.

This is another item that is both sad and slightly humorous.  It summarizes a theory posited by a scientist that is intended to save the planet.  Her thought is that we will think ourselves to smaller size  to reduce our carbon footprint (she speculates that we downsize ourselves to approximately the size of chickens through evolutionary processes).  Such is the state of both climate and evolutionary science. 

Matters of Science

This is an interesting article about Joyce Dreger and her new book  Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science The article provides this quote from her web site: "I do social justice work in medicine and science, and I do that through my research, writing, speaking, and advocacy. I’m constitutionally inclined to use evidence (especially historical and scientific evidence) to help create a more just present and future. I spend a lot of my energy pushing specific groups of people to be more evidence-based, particularly within controversies."  And here's what she says about her new book:  "I’m increasingly obsessed with American democracy and the critical role of academics and journalists within it. Evidence, as I argue in my new book, is fundamentally critical to American democracy and to social justice. With academics and journalists under increasing threat from harsh economic and cultural pressures, I’m growing quite concerned about the health of American democracy. The book calls on American academics to step up, defend academic freedom, and be responsible to truth and democracy, both."   

In follow up to the above item, this one applies to medical science being abused and what can even be considered medical malpractice.  The Journal of American Medical Association reports that, "millions of medical diagnoses, procedures and treatments are based on questionable scientific evidence and, in some cases, the “risk of harm exceeds its potential for benefit.”"  And, "It’s being called “medical overuse.” A too-forgiving term for over-diagnosis and overtreatment. It can also be defined as a healthcare practice that patients wouldn’t get if they knew what was in it for them—which for most procedures is potentially nothing.  Are doctors intentionally lying to patients? In this case, you have to look beyond individual doctors. Look at medical researchers, pharmaceutical companies and the medical landscape at large."

A very interesting item.  Quote: " Since 1987, one of my goals as a reporter has been to educate the public about false science.  Between then and now, I have found that, with remarkably few exceptions, mainstream reporters are studiously indifferent to false science. They shy away from it. They pretend “it couldn’t be.” They refuse to consider facts. They and their editors parrot “the experts.” Official science has a stranglehold on major media. It has the force of a State religion. When you stop and think about it, official science is, in a significant sense, a holy church. Therefore, it is no surprise that the church’s spokespeople would wield power over major information outlets."

A frightening piece.  Quote: "Although I agree with Galalae's diagnosis of what's happening today with food and medicine, I disagree with his conclusion of surrendering to a world government authority to solve these problems."

This item reinforces the content of the three previous items.  Quote: "The phenomenon of “settled” science is a sad reflection of the frenetic intemperance of these times. The desire to be free from any moral restraint has reached such a point that even the most exacting and absolute sciences must be sacrificed to the tyranny of human passions. Even reality itself must be altered to conform to the agendas of the liberal establishment. Indeed, “settled” science is not science at all but propaganda that is highly unsettling."

Psychotropic drugs.   This item is both informative and disturbing.  And sad for the victims.  Quote: "This article is just a quick summary about how the pharmaceutical industry’s unholy alliance with the medical industry helped drive the goals planned for many decades ago. We recommend you watch the film Psychiatry: An Industry of Death, in order to obtain a strong background about the origins, workings and goals that the pseudoscience of Psychiatry has for all of us.  For a more contemporaneous view on what is the Psychiatry Industry doing right now and how the unholy alliance works, please watch the film Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging. Furthermore, pass the information contained in this article and the films cited above to as many people as possible."

Radiation Therapy.   Radiation therapy may be bad for you.  This study found that it increases by 30 times the potency of malignant breast cancer cells.  Quote: "Following on the heels of recent revelations that x-ray mammography may be contributing to an epidemic of future radiation-induced breast cancers, in a new article titled, “Radiation Treatment Generates Therapy Resistant Cancer Stem Cells From Aggressive Breast Cancer Cells,” published in the journal Cancer July 1st, 2012, researchers from the Department of Radiation Oncology at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center report that radiation treatment actually drives breast cancer cells into greater malignancy."

Medical Marijuana vs Prescription Drugs.  Quote: "It’s about time that the US government’s war on drugs is dwindling, with people across the country becoming educated enough about medical marijuana to enjoy its numerous benefits. The plant was always a nemesis to Big Pharma, because they knew just how powerful it can truly be. Now, a new study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review reveals that people are increasingly substituting prescription medications, alcohol, and illicit drugs with cannabis."      Here is a related and most interesting item - "Cannabis has been demonized as a gateway drug for more than 80 years. Now, in a stunning, though quiet, feat of acknowledgment, the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) has admitted that cannabis kills cancer cells without harming normal cells."
Government Finally Admits that MMR Vaccines Cause Autism.  Two quotes: "You won't hear anything about it from the mainstream media, but the federal government's kangaroo "vaccine court" has once again conceded, albeit quietly, that the combination measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine does, indeed, cause autism. In a recently published ruling, part of which was censored from public view, a young boy was awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars after it was determined that the MMR vaccine led to a confirmed diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)."  And, "Of particular note in the case is the fact that concession documents by the government remain under seal. While the court and the government at large openly admitted that the MMR vaccine caused Ryan's encephalitis, it did not make public its opinion on whether or not that encephalitis led to Ryan's other injuries, including those that fall into the category of ASD. But the fact that these documents remain censored shows that the government is hiding something of importance from the public, which most definitely has to do with the connection between the MMR vaccine and autism."   

Another Disturbing Detail Regarding MMR, Polio and Flu Vaccines.  Two quotes: "The mysterious virus known as EV-D68 has spread across the Midwest at a rapid rate. Many children have been hospitalized with the virus, about 475 in Kansas City alone, and there is no known vaccine to lessen the effects of the virus or protect those that have yet to acquire it."  And, "Although there is no known vaccine for the virus, and the scope which it will reach is also unknown, those that have become infected are following a common theme. They have all been vaccinated with the MMR vaccines, influenza vaccines, and polio vaccines. Of course, many children in the United States have been vaccinated, and most are required to be vaccinated in order to enter school. However, it is interesting to note that the illness is not occurring, yet, in children that have not been vaccinated."

Something to Consider Before Getting A Flu Shot.

Don't Think Vaccines Can Cause Harm?  and this item extends this conversation.  Quote: "All vaccines contain a number of toxic poisons and chemicals that are linked to serious neurological damage including aluminum, thimerosal (methyl mercury), antibiotics, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and formaldehyde. How many times have you thought about ingesting or injecting yourself or your kids with anti-freeze, lead, cadmium, glycerine or acetone? Well, those ingredients are also found in vaccines."

Study - Cancer Screenings Not Effective.   Quote: "An extremely important new study published in the British Medical Journal titled, “Why cancer screening has never been shown to “save lives”—and what we can do about it,” confirms something we have been reporting upon at since our inception, namely, cancer screening has not lived up to its long held promise of “saving lives” because disease-specific reductions in mortality do not equate to reductions in overall mortality. Worse, in some cases overall mortality actually increased because of screening. "

Here's what 'constitutional scholar' Obama really taught at law school

Among the lies about himself Obama consistently repeats is that he was a constitutional law professor. 
Lie one:  Obama was never a professor; he was a lecturer.  He did not have the qualifications to be a professor.  Obama never published a single law paper.  He was hired by the University of Chicago when they learned he had been given a book contract on race and law directly after graduating from Harvard.  There was no book – just the contract, which he later reneged on.  This is not the normal level of accomplishment for a University of Chicago professor or even lecturer.
Obama was not capable of writing, and eventually, after failing to deliver, he changed it to a memoir, which he also struggled with.  Finally, he asked Bill Ayers to write his memoir for him, using tapes that Michelle dropped off at the Ayerses'. 
Lie two: Obama did not specialize in the Constitution.  Obama cared about and taught only one subject: race.  One course was about race in the Constitution.  It is on this flimsy basis that he attempts to pawn himself off as a constitutional scholar.
As the New York Times explains, Obama the lecturer taught three subjects only: "race, rights and gender."

Debate Without Trump Gets Better Ratings Than Last Debate with Trump

Donald Trump's campaign manager predicted that Thursday night's GOP presidential debate on Fox News would only get "about 2 million" viewers because Trump refused to show up. In fact, "Fox News likely had 11 million to 13 million viewers for the debate," CNN's Brian Stelter reports.
Thursday's debate ended up getting higher ratings than the the last debate in which Trump participated. "Fox's Trump-less debate had an 8.4 household rating, according to early Nielsen data from so-called metered markets," reports CNN's Stelter. "The most recent GOP debate, televised two weeks ago on the Fox Business Network, had a household rating of 7.4." It's possible that Thursday's debate had up to 2 million more viewers than the January 15 debate that included Trump.
Trump said he wouldn't debate on Thursday because Fox News and moderator Megyn Kelly had not been nice to him. Trump instead held a rally and fundraiser for veterans. The leader of one veterans group called the fundraiser a political "stunt." In recent years Trump's charitable foundation has given more money to the Clinton Foundation than it has given to veterans groups.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sanctions And Low Oil Prices Deepen Russian Recession

The Russian economy’s heavy reliance on energy, plus Western sanctions imposed because of Moscow’s role in the Ukraine conflict, have left the country in its worst financial position since the depths of the global financial crisis eight years ago.
The Federal Statistics Service reported Monday that its preliminary data shows Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 3.7 in 2015, due in large part to a 10 percent decline in retail sales over the year, including a 15.3 percent drop in December compared with December 2014, and an annual decline of one-third in foreign trade. Russia’s GDP had grown by 0.6 percent in 2014.
The overall GDP drop exactly matched the forecast made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the update to its World Economic Outlook issued on Jan. 19. The same IMF report said Russia’s economy would drop an additional 1 percent in 2016 before recovering with 1 percent economic growth in 2017. 

This is how to tell whether China is really heading in the right direction

Economist Michael Pettis, a superstar of China analysis, wrote a must-read (but massive) blog post on the state of the Chinese economy and whether planned reforms are likely to work.
There are a lot of uncertainties in terms of timing and policy implementation, he said.
What Pettis considers a certainty is how the world will know China's serious problems with debt and overcapacity are being dealt with.
From his blog post:
It is only when credit growth begins to decelerate much more rapidly than nominal GDP growth that we can begin to talk hopefully about China's moving in the right direction, and it is only when credit growth falls permanently below the growth rate of the economy's debt-servicing capacity that China will have adjusted.
China's economy is transitioning from a system based on investment to one based on consumer consumption. During those investment years, China's massive state-owned enterprises racked up a ton of debt, and now it's making them unproductive.
When companies are paying off debt, they're not reinvesting or expanding. They're not hiring people. They may have to lay off workers. Worse, down the line, they may not be able to pay their creditors.
You see how this is a problem.

El-Erian Warns of 'Global Recession With Financial Disorder'

Newsmax Finance Insider and Allianz Chief Economic Adviser Mohamed El-Erian said Tuesday the world economy is nearing a crucial fork in its financial road.

He said the global economy is at the end of the era of borrowing growth and profits from the future in the form of easy monetary policies.

"Either we validate the financial asset prices and growth faster, or alternatively we will slip into a global recession with financial disorder," he told CNBC,  saying we’ll know the answers within the next three years.
"The path we're on right now — and that we've been on for a while— is ending," he said.

“El-Erian said the Federal Reserve waited too long to begin exiting from emergency polices designed to boost the economy after the 2008 financial crisis,” CNBC explained.

"They were waiting, waiting, and waiting, and irony is that the economy has healed, but it is not unleashed," he said.


In Part 1 of this article I discussed the catalyst spark which ignited this Fourth Turning and the seemingly delayed regeneracy. In Part 2 I will ponder possible Grey Champion prophet generation leaders who could arise during the regeneracy.

The nearly seven year reign of Barack Obama has resulted in furthering wealth inequality, in spite of his socialistic rhetoric. Notwithstanding his Nobel Peace Prize, military spending is at all-time highs and we are engaged in actual and proxy wars across the Middle East and in the Ukraine. Race relations have never been worse. Poverty levels have never been worse. Real median household income is lower than it was in 1989. Real hourly wages are at 50 year lows. Home ownership has plunged to 50 year lows, as middle class workers have been kicked out of their homes and young people are saddled with so much student loan debt and bleak job opportunities they will never have an opportunity to own. The ownership society pushed by Clinton and Bush, with the proliferation of Wall Street created “exotic” subprime mortgages, peddled to people incapable of paying their mortgages, blew up the world in 2008, and the fall out will last for decades. 

Veterans’ Groups Line up to Reject Money from Trump (if He is Even Raising Any)

Trump’s standard line when he is about to storm out of a media event because he doesn’t like how it covers him is that he is going to go host an event to raise money for veterans. Thus it was no surprise when he announced that he would be skipping the FoxNews event to hold a separate event to raise money for… well, “veterans,” generally. Of course, Trump did not name a specific charity so that his feet might be held to the fire on this, just “veterans,” generally.
Well, there are two small problems. The main veterans group that Trump has used for publicity stunts in the past, the Wounded Warrior Project, was the subject of a scathing CBS report and recently lost their tax exempt status. Besides, if Trump is planning on using them, he hasn’t told anyone from the group. Per CNN, the Wounded Warrior Project has not even been contacted by Trump about possibly doing an event tomorrow.
If he is doing it for some other group, they are now lining up to say that they don’t want any money Trump might make off of promoting himself, and will reject it if offered. 

Obama’s Legacy: Runaway Deficits, Debt And Health Costs

The Budget: When President Obama released his first budget plan in 2009, he called it a “New Era of Responsibility.” What he produced was irresponsibility on a historic scale.
“Government has failed to fully confront the deep, systemic problems that year after year have only become a larger and larger drag on our economy,” Obama said in his inaugural budget plan, promising to make “the tough choices necessary to … put our nation on sound fiscal footing.”
Seven years later, a new Congressional Budget Office report reveals that Obama will bequeath chronic and rising deficits, rapidly expanding debt, and exploding health care costs to his successors.
First, there’s the deficit, which the CBO says will top $1 trillion in six years, and continue climbing. Over the next decade, deficits will total more than $9 trillion. The CBO’s outlook has worsened significantly since its last forecast, mainly because it expects the economy to grow more slowly.
Debt held by the public will nearly double over the next decade, the CBO says, going from close to $14 trillion this year to $23.8 trillion in 2026. By that year, debt will equal more than 86% of the economy.
“Such high and rising debt would have serious negative consequences for the budget and the nation,” the report notes. 

A humiliating day awaits the Federal Reserve

Friday’s the day that the Federal Reserve will be embarrassed — yet again.
The Commerce Department, at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 29, will announce how healthy the US economy was in the fourth quarter — and the answer is expected to be “not so good.”
In fact, according to the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, the nation’s economy, or gross domestic product, grew at just a 0.7 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2015.
That’s not the official number — the official one will come on Friday from Commerce. The Atlanta Fed keeps running tabs of what the number should be, based on data already in circulation. They call it GDPNow and, so far, it has been pretty accurate.
Some Wall Street economists have GDP forecasts that are even lower, much lower — like negative numbers lower.
So why will the Fed be embarrassed? 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Why oil glut not going away soon

U.S. oil production continues to defy forecasts that it is on the decline, and with refiners processing as much of the stuff as they can, the glut of oil, gasoline and diesel fuel keeps growing.
That should continue to pressure oil prices, which rallied Wednesday because the large weekly build in supply was not quite as gigantic as feared. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil supplies grew by 8.4 million barrels last week, well below the 11.4 million reported Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute.
The government's lower figure helped trigger a relief rally in crude futures that erased steep losses and were trading more than 2 percent higher for the front month futures contract for West Texas Intermediate crude. Another factor was comments from Russia's energy ministry suggesting that possible coordination between Russia and OPEC was discussed Wednesday.
"It's a record amount of crude oil in storage. It's a huge build in gasoline, but there was a little strength in distillate demand, thanks to the weather. It's squarely bearish again," said John Kilduff, partner with Again Capital. 

Another $58 Mil for Failed “Green” Car Program

A scandal-plagued “green” auto program that’s fleeced American taxpayers out of huge sums just got another $58 million from the Obama administration to support the development of advanced technology vehicles that meet higher efficiency standards.

The experimental program is known as Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) and it’s one of the president’s many disastrous green-energy investments. The public funds are funneled through the Department of Energy (DOE), which is handing out cash like candy on Halloween. In all, the administration has set aside an astounding $25 billion for the cause and a chunk of it has already been lost on initiatives that have failed miserably. Among them is fly-by-night electric car company called Fisker Automotive that shut down after getting an eye-popping $193 million from the government. The Obama DOE originally pledged $529 million for the California startup but the cash finally stopped flowing when Fisker laid off three quarters of its employees and announced it was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Judicial Watch has an ongoing investigation into the Fisker scandal and has sued the DOE for records detailing the government “loan” that will obviously never be repaid because the company went under. The Obama administration touted it as a great investment in a company that would create thousands of jobs in a region hit hard by unemployment. The administration also promised Fisker would develop two lines of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that could run up to 300 miles on a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. None of this ever came close to materializing and instead taxpayers got stuck with the huge loss of this failed experiment.

Asian Freeze Adds to Doubt on Reality of Global Warming

While many Americans are regarding the record-breaking East Coast blizzard as yet another reason to be skeptical of global-warming propaganda, we should not neglect events on the other side of the world. Most of eastern Asia is in the grip of a record-breaking cold snap of its own, a meteorological event that has claimed more than 80 lives in Taiwan alone — mostly from hypothermia — and seen snow fall for the first time in decades on tropical islands such as Okinawa.

The great Asian freeze is crippling Pacific Rim nations, many of them ill-equipped to deal with cold winter weather. Normally balmy Hong Kong, for example, is experiencing its coldest weather in nearly 60 years, and has had to close down its schools since few buildings in Hong Kong have central heating. Heavy snow and sleet have caused more than 100,000 flights to be cancelled or delayed in South Korea and China, while across Japan, cities are being blanketed with snow, including areas where snow seldom if ever falls. The southerly island of Amami Oshima (Japan’s seventh largest island and part of the Ryukyu chain), with a humid subtropical climate, has had snowfall for the first time in more than a century. In mainland China, the cold wave has coincided with the onset of Chinese New Year travels, but with road closures and flight, ferry, and train cancellations in the many thousands, holiday travel has been severely disrupted.

With Trump It All Depends on What the Meaning of “It” Is

Attempting to describe Donald Trump in conventional political terms is like trying to explain a smart phone app to a Neanderthal. Despite the candidate’s claim to be “conservative,” looking at Trump’s “political” past, one would find ample support for policies at the heart of an avowed leftist; including progressive taxation, gun control, and single-payer healthcare. Even if one were to afford Trump the benefit of the doubt that his views have genuinely “evolved” rightward since his days of palling-around with the likes of Al Sharpton and Hillary Clinton, the man remains more a chameleon than a conservative.

For example, where he would attempt to solve America’s immigration issues -- a key concern of conservatives -- Trump would vastly expand the size and power of the federal government. In combatting domestic terrorism threats, Trump would gut religious freedoms conservatives have fought hard to preserve, while further curbing civil liberties and privacy rights. Other “policy” statements Trump recently has espoused make even less sense; for example, championing ethanol regulations as a means of fostering “energy independence,” and eminent domain as a way to create jobs. Always a fast moving target, Trump often changes his positions from one ideological polarity, to the other in a matter of hours as he mentally works through how to “make America great again.”

On the surface, Trump’s kitschy campaign tagline might seem like just another hollow campaign ploy to take advantage of the growing political unrest on both sides of the ideological aisle.  However, when looking at Trump’s stances both in the past and in present day, a common theme emerges that sheds a light on what a Trump presidency would look like, and what it would mean for the future of conservatism. That theme? Trump’s fondness for authoritarianism.

The Flint Water Crisis Is the Result of a Stimulus Project Gone Wrong

Liberals are wrongly blaming Flint's lead poisoning crisis on austerity measures imposed on the city by a fiscallyconservative Republican Governor Rick Snyder, as I wrote last week. (Snyder had appointed an emergency manager in 2011 to help the city balance its books and avoid bankruptcy.) However, I didn't quite realize just how wrong they were. As it turns out, the debacle is the result of Snyder's efforts to stimulate the local economy—the exact opposite of the liberal line.

The whole mess occurred because Flint decided against renewing its 30-year contract with the Detroit Water and Sewage Department (DWSD) and switched instead to Karengondi Water Authority (KWA). KWA was planning to build its own hugely expensive pipeline, parallel to DWSD's, to harness water from Lake Huron and service the Genesee County area where Flint is located. This left the city in the lurch for a few years when its contract with DWSD ended but the new facility had not yet gone online, prompting it to reopen a local mothballed facility that relied on the toxic Flint River as its source (more on the rank stupidity of this decision later).

The rationale for the original decision to switch Flint's water providers was that, in the long run, KWA would generate substantial savings for the cash-strapped city. Not only was this false but Snyder had very good reasons at that time to believe that this was false.


It’s the season of the political pander. It seems worst on the right. Just vote for me for president, and I will make your dreams come true. Lots of benefits, low taxes, large military, many services, little government. It’s magic!

It probably comes as no surprise that a Democrat like Hillary Clinton doesn’t want to talk about how she’s going to pay for all the goodies she says she wants Americans to have. After all, she claims to be a friend of the middle class, and her Wall Street friends probably wouldn’t like new levies on their earnings.

Yet the Republicans are no more courageous. Donald Trump says he represents the disenfranchised masses. So he has defended programs like Social Security without explaining how he would sustain the underfunded system. His more mainstream opponents laud smaller government and criticize high taxes, while advocating ever higher military outlays without detailing what domestic spending programs they would cut. No wonder America faces some $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

But the bad news starts now. In January the Congressional Budget Office issued its latest report on the federal budget, warning that the deficit is set to grow from $439 billion last year to $544 billion in 2016. Future increases will be steady. By 2026 the deficit will be $1.37 trillion. The cumulative deficit over the next decade will be $9.4 trillion.

Why Sharia Is Incompatible with American Values

You and I don't like sharia, while hundreds of millions love it.  Chillingly, it's still making inroads in American society.

Who's right?  Are we stuck in relativism?  Worse, is the side with the strongest military right?

How do we break the deadlock?  Any objective – timeless and transcultural – moral truths out there?

It's time to go deeper and figure out what's happening in us that makes us recoil at it.

ISIS and many Islamic nations believe, because original Islam teaches, the following:

Mosque and state are not separate.
Apostasy, or leaving Islam, is outlawed up to the penalty of death.
Speaking against Islam is outlawed up to the penalty of death.
Jihad or qital (military war only) to force conversions or submit to a tax is allowed.
Having sex with female prisoners of war is allowed.
Drinkers and gamblers may be flogged.
Adulterers and fornicators may be flogged (and adulterers may be stoned to death).
Bearing false witness about sexual sin (a "crime" in Islam) can incur flogging.
Homosexuals may be flogged or executed.
A woman inherits half of what a man does.
Domestic violence is allowed.
A woman's testimony counts as half of a man's testimony.
A man may divorce his wife by pronouncing three times "you are divorced" outside a court of law, and the divorce is legal and final.

George Soros in China’s Crosshairs After Predicting Tough Economic Times Ahead

China is putting a face on the economic pessimism it accuses of helping weaken the yuan and the economy: billionaire investor George Soros.
A front-page commentary published in some editions of People’s Daily on Tuesday appeared to warn Mr. Soros would lose any bets he made based on a recent prediction that hard economic times for China are “unavoidable.”
Other state media followed suit. Denouncing “radical speculators,” China’s official Xinhua News Agency dismissed the famed currency trader’s view as “the same prediction several times.” The Global Times, in its English edition, asked, “So why are so many Western pundits and media outlets so intent on talking China down?”
The rhetorical shots come as China is making broader efforts with market interventions and rule adjustments to offset the impact of its slowest growth rate in a quarter century, shore up grinding stock markets and stem surging capital outflows. China’s state-run media regularly note concerns the economy is cooling, but they tend to highlight positive aspects of what the government describes as a broad economic restructuring. 

Young voter confronts Hillary Clinton: People my age say you're 'dishonest'

Hillary Clinton had a message Monday night for a young supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) who said young people didn’t trust Clinton: Don’t get distracted.
At a CNN town-hall event Monday night, a student confronted the former secretary of state about the perception that she is dishonest.
“I’ve heard from quite a few people my age that say you’re dishonest,” the supporter said, describing himself as a supporter of Sanders.
He proceeded to ask her about what he perceived as an enthusiasm gap among young people for Clinton’s campaign vs. Sanders’.
Clinton said she was “totally happy to see young people involved in any way.” But she said she wanted voters to know that she thought she was frequently attacked because she fights for progressive causes.

FBI Closing In on Hillary

Hillary's campaign is the Titanic, and the email scandal and Clinton Foundation pay-to-play corruption is the iceberg. Like those who built the Titanic and those who worked aboard the ship they were arrogant and dismissive.

Convinced that "she" was invincible and unsinkable. Then it hit the iceberg and she sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Like the White Star Line, the Hillary 2016 operatives and the "captain" herself are in denial. She is going down.

Democrats will rue the day they crammed boarded her ship. And, like the Titanic, there are not enough lifeboats to handle those on board her campaign. Abandon ship! Of course just like Hillary professes, women and idealistic youth first while the media band plays on.
Like Hillary 2016, those who built the Titanic were an insular group. They were secretive in the design and construction in order to protect and fend off competitors stealing their ideas and innovations and protecting their principals.

Fox News Responds to Donald Trump’s Debate Boycott

Fox News didn’t waste any time responding to Donald Trump’s announcement that he planned to bail on the network’s upcoming presidential debate.
“It should be clear to the American public by now that this is rooted in one thing — Megyn Kelly, whom he has viciously attacked since August,” Fox said about the GOP frontrunner’s decision to skip the debate.
The network issued that statement Tuesday evening, about an hour after Trump announced he’d be a no-show. Trump’s debate departure came after he asked Fox to remove Kelly as a debate moderator and the network refused.
“Unlike the very stupid, highly incompetent people running our country into the ground, Mr. Trump knows when to walk away,” the Trump campaign said.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Will Obama Be Held Accountable for Fast and Furious?

The Tuesday decision by District of Columbia federal district court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee, was in the lawsuit that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform filed in 2012 to enforce a subpoena the Committee served on former Attorney General Eric Holder in 2011.
On Feb. 4, 2011, after Congress started investigating the operation, the Department of Justice sent a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, denying that any weapons had been allowed to leave the country and enter Mexico. Ten months later, the Department of Justice retracted that denial and confirmed that federal investigators had allowed straw purchasers to smuggle weapons into Mexico.
The subpoena sought documents from the Justice Department and ATF (which is part of DOJ) about Operation Fast and Furious, including anything bearing on DOJ’s false claim in the Feb. 4 letter; why it took so long for Congress to be informed about the misrepresentation; and, according to Jackson, any records “reflecting the agency’s internal deliberations over how to respond to Congressional and media inquiries.” 

Friday, January 22, 2016

These Things Cannot Be Avoided

Too many people are giving Muslims the benefit of the doubt.  And, there is no doubt that some, maybe even many Muslims deserve that benefit.  That said, the incessant, unsightly and depressing news we see, hear and read confirms far too many do not.  But the flow of news in print and over the air waves is just the tip of the iceberg.  Far more incidences end up on the editing floor than make it on the air.  Fortunately we have the internet to fill he void.  This item focusses on the issues we and others across the globe face as a consequence of the rise in radical Muslim terrorism.  This is not a pleasant topic but it is one we cannot ignore.

Two quotes: "But somehow, the constant spin by the media and the government seems to be to distinguish between radicals and peaceful Muslims as if the peaceful Muslims get their beliefs from the Quran and the radicals get them somewhere else - as if the radicals only get that from the Quran because someone else wrongly tells them what to believe. With the commonly applied principals of interpretation of the Quran found in the Quran itself, it is hard to find a message of peace in the book."  And, "Liberals, peaceful Muslims and those without much faith of any kind at all might not want to hear it. But until our society comes to grip with this, we will forever be going to exhaustive lengths to make peace with an ideology whose end goal is not one of peaceful coexistence, but of bringing everyone into submission to its authority." 

The reality is that far too many of the accounts detailed in the items below have happened and every day more happen.  We cannot ignore reality or claim they are merely exceptions to the rule.


And what is Obama doing?  Trying to bring people with this type mentality into our country.

If the above and many more examples don't convince you that Islam is no friend of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, then maybe this will provide needed insight. 

And, if you think our government and its judicial system is looking out for the interests of American citizens then you need to consider this.   And as long as apologists and weak kneed leaders assume this posture no significant government leadership will be forthcoming...being politically correct trumps protecting the interests of American citizens.

Ask yourself how is it that the Muslim invasion in the western world has created such chaotic, irrational and unjustified craziness.

And what about the progressives who write our children's school books?  They are promoting Islam over all other religions.
Another category of people given refugee status has been invented by the President.  The below links illustrate his new approach to dealing with our Central & South American illegal immigration problems.  The history of these people is that most are unfortunates seeking a better life.  They constitute a group of people who will enter the country with few if any skills and become welfare dependents.  The consequence will be a further drain on already limited resources to fund their housing, medical care, schooling, and food.  Unfortunately many are also criminals.  With history as our guide we will also see a rise in criminal activity impacting law enforcement, increased legal system and incarceration costs.  While it is the liberal/progressive way to use emotions to deal with tragic situations it takes a fool to determine that a nation with a nearly 20 trillion dollar debt, over 94 million people out of work, the highest number of citizens on welfare in history is capable of accommodating even more people who will be funded by hard working, tax paying citizens many of whom are barely surviving in an unstable economy.  The only rational explanation is one made by many who have studied the motives of the President.  They believe that his socialistic upbringing/philosophy conditioned him to believe our country deserves to be punished for its history of colonialism and should be reduced to third world status through bankruptcy as well as the destruction of our culture, history and national security.  It does not take a genius to see that is his likely motive.

George Burns