http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/bill-gates-says-that-capitalism-cannot-save-us-from-climate-change--b1xNpbL8O_x* THERE REALLY ARE NO WORDS...* THE HEADLINE:Bill Gates says that capitalism cannot save us from climate change(*HEADACHE*)* FOLKS... THE MASK IS OFF...
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2015/10/29/world/europe/29reuters-climatechange-summit-russia-media.html* TO PUT IT MILDLY... (*SMIRK*)... THE TIME'S COVERAGE IS A BIT... er... SKEWED.* BOTTOM LINE: GOD BLESS VLADIMIR PUTIN!The president [of Russia, Vladimir Putin,] believes that "there is no global warming, that this is a fraud to restrain the industrial development of several countries including Russia," says Stanislav Belkovsky, a political analyst and critic of Putin.* AND PUTIN IS CORRECT. PERIOD. END OF STORY.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/turkey-election-president-erdogan-tightens-his-grip-on-power-in-surprise-landslide-victory-a6717321.htmlPresident Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won a decisive victory in the Turkish parliamentary election, with his Justice and Development Party (AKP) winning a majority of seats and defeating the other three opposition parties. With 98 per cent of the vote counted, the AKP had won 49.4 per cent and 316 seats in the 550 seat parliament, a far better performance than predicted by the polls. These had mostly forecast that the AKP would fail to win back the majority it lost in the last election on 7 June.* WOW... LOOK AT THAT... YET ANOTHER ELECTION WHERE THE POLLS WERE OFF.(*SMIRK*)* FOLKS... I DON'T KNOW. PERHAPS IT'S LEGITIMATE. PERHAPS CANADA'S ELECTION WAS LEGITIMATE. PERHAPS OBAMA'S RE-ELECTION VICTORY WAS LEGITIMATE.(*SHRUG*)* I'VE GOTTA BE HONEST, THOUGH; AT THE RISK OF COMING OFF AS A CONSPIRACY THEORIST... I WONDER.The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) had a surprisingly sharp fall in its vote from 13 per cent in the last election, which denied the AKP its majority, to bring it dangerously close to the 10 per cent threshold below which it would lose all its members of parliament. This would have left Turkey’s Kurdish minority, with its long history of confrontation with the state, without any effective parliamentary representation.(*SHRUG*)In the wake of the AKP’s spectacular victory, it will be in a strong position to take control of all remaining levers of power: army, security services and media. Ever since it first formed a government in 2002, the AKP has been progressively eliminating all opponents in positions of authority in the secular Turkish state founded by Kemal Ataturk. Almost all the state and private media has already come under AKP control, which is one factor explaining its gain in votes. State television has given blanket coverage to Mr Erdogan and the AKP, while largely ignoring its opponents.* ANYWAY...(*SHRUG*)
http://www.wsj.com/articles/health-laws-strains-show-1446423498Premiums for a type of plan that is closely watched as a signal of consumer costs — the second-lowest-priced insurance product in the law’s “silver” metal tier — will increase 7.5% on average across the roughly three dozen states that rely on the HealthCare.gov marketplace, according to the administration.Health insurers lost a total of $2.5 billion, or on average $163 per consumer enrolled, in the individual market in 2014...Now, a number of insurance startups are shutting down, including many of the law’s 23 cooperative insurers, which won’t have products for this fall’s open enrollment shoppers.* AS PREDICTED, FOLKS... ALL AS PREDICTED...(*SIGH*)
http://www.wsj.com/articles/encouraged-by-the-feds-cities-are-punishing-business-1446415467The Minneapolis City Council is debating what some call the most sweeping fair-scheduling ordinance contemplated in the country. Fair-scheduling laws require employers to provide advance notice of work schedules and pay extra to employees if their schedule changes within a notice period (less than a month in Minneapolis’s version).* INSANITY...The city is proceeding with a proposal to require paid sick-leave.In Washington, D.C., the City Council is considering legislation that gives all D.C. residents and those employed in the district up to 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave every 24 months for certain qualifying events, such as bonding with a new child and caring for an ill family member.* FOLKS. IT'S SIMPLY INSANE. WHILE I'D ARGUE THAT EVEN MINIMUM WAGE LAWS ARE AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT ENCROACHMENT UPON PRIVATE CONTRACTING, THESE TYPE INITIATIVE ARE CLEARLY VIOLATIONS OF THE "TAKING" CLAUSE. GOVERNMENT IS FORCING ONE PARTY TO PAY ANOTHER PARTY... TO STAY HOME AND NOT WORK? IT'S INSANE!The new requirement is supported by the Obama administration...* OF COURSE IT IS.* FOLKS... ATLAS SHRUGGED SHOULD BE REQUIRED READING IN EVERY HIGH SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY.
http://chuckspinney.blogspot.com/2015/06/flush-with-cash-running-on-empty.html One would think the end of a Cold War with a nuclear-armed superpower and the massive force structure reductions that have taken place over the long term would have some effect on the pattern of boom-bust Pentagon spending dynamics — but they did not, except to raise both the ceiling of the boom phase and the floor of the bust phase. The bottom line should be clear to even the most casual observer: The claim that the ongoing military-technical revolution reduces costs by substituting capital for labor is fact-free claptrap. Moreover the hype about this military-technical revolution, which has became ever more hysterical since the mid-to-late 1980s, has been accompanied by a dramatic worsening of the mismatch been promises and reality.Perhaps the apotheosis of the cost and labor saving dimensions of the military-technical revolution has been the evangelical rhetoric surrounding the use of “labour saving” unmanned airplanes — drones — in the GWOT. I urge readers in denial about my bottom line to carefully study How America Broke Its Drone Force by David Axe in the Daily Beast (attached below for your reading convenience).http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/20/how-america-broke-its-drone-force.htmlAxe describes how the high cost of labor-intensive drone operations has broken the back of the drone force to such a point that it had to cut back operating tempos in the face of the increasing intensity of the offensive campaign waged by ISIS.Bear in mind, the pathetic misery in the drone force described by Axe coincides with Era IV of the boom bust cycle in the preceding chart of Defense Spending.
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/1101/Antarctica-is-actually-gaining-ice-says-NASA.-Is-global-warming-overA new NASA study found that Antarctica has been adding more ice than it's been losing, challenging other research, including that of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that concludes that Earth’s southern continent is losing land ice overall.The new study results show the fallibility of current climate change measuring tools and challenges current theories about the causes of sea level rise.In a paper published in the Journal of Glaciology on Friday, researchers from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the University of Maryland in College Park, and the engineering firm Sigma Space Corporation offer a new analysis of satellite data that show a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001 in the Antarctic ice sheet. The gain between 2003 and 2008 measured 82 billion tons of ice per year.(*SMIRK*)
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-colleges-hate-speech-1st-amendment-20151030-story.htmlA recent poll of college students’ attitudes toward free speech (in general and on campus)...[reports that] 21% students -- and 30% of self-described liberals -- agreed with the statement that the 1st Amendment was an “outdated amendment that can no longer be applied in today’s society and should be changed.”* 21% FOLKS. MORE THAN 1/5TH. WE ARE SO F--KED.Thirty-five percent (35%) of respondents agreed that “hate speech is NOT protected under the 1st Amendment.”As Eugene Volokh of UCLA law school pointed out on his blog in the Washington Post: “Hateful ideas (whatever exactly that might mean) are just as protected under the 1st Amendment as other ideas. One is as free to condemn Islam — or Muslims, or Jews, or blacks, or whites, or illegal aliens, or native-born citizens — as one is to condemn capitalism or Socialism or Democrats or Republicans.”(Volokh’s parenthesis about “whatever exactly that might mean” points to a different issue: the defining down of the word “hate.” Opposing same-sex marriage, a position embraced not that long ago by President Obama, is sometimes viewed as anti-gay hate speech. So is criticism of the Catholic Church. Bill Donohue of the Catholic League asserted that a Jon Stewart skit involving a Nativity scene "ranks with the most vulgar expression of hate speech ever aired on television.")* WE ARE SO F--KED...
http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2015/11/clinton-foundation-spin-off-wont-refile-tax-returns-215448An organization spun off from the Clinton Foundation has no plans to refile its tax returns due to mistakes in prior years, an official said, contradicting a highly-publicized news report earlier this year.A series of articles published as Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign kicked off this spring noted that the Clinton Health Access Initiative, set up in 2002 as the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative and spun off from the foundation in 2010, had not fully complied with aspects of a conflict-of-interest agreement negotiated before the former first lady and senator became secretary of state in 2009. The HIV program did not seek a State Department ethics review of several donations from foreign governments, including Switzerland, Rwanda, Sweden, Papua New Guinea, and the Belgian region of Flanders, officials said, while also acknowledging that the initiative also failed to publicly report its donors at all after the spin-off.An April 2015 Reuters story reported that Clinton Health Access Initiative spokeswoman Maura Daley conceded that the nonprofit organization made errors reporting the amounts of government grants on its 2012 and 2013 tax filings and said the group planned to refile those returns with the Internal Revenue Service,However, in a recent exchange with POLITICO, Daley denied the initiative ever committed to refiling and said no revised forms are being prepared.(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/wall-street-financial-engineering-a-work-how-valeant-got-vaporized/If you need evidence that Wall Street is a financial time bomb waiting for ignition look no further than the recent meltdown of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX). In round terms, its market cap of $90 billion on August 5th has suddenly become the embodiment of that proverbial sucking sound to the south, having plunged by nearly two-thirds to only $34 billion by Friday’s close.No, Valeant was not caught selling poison or torturing cats during the last 90 days. What is was doing for the past six years is aggressively pursuing every one of the financial engineering strategies that are worshipped and rewarded in the Wall Street casino.Indeed, Valeant’s evolution during that period arose straight out of financial engineering central. That is, it was a creature of Goldman Sachs and the various dealers, underwriters, hedge funds and consulting firms which ply the Bubble Finance trade.At the end of the day, the latter have turned the C-suites of corporate America into gambling dens by attracting, selecting and rewarding company wrecking speculators and debt-crazed buccaneers to the top corporate jobs.As the New York Times noted in an piece over the weekend:"Looking at Valeant’s real earnings compared with its make-believe ones exposes an enormous gulf. Under generally accepted accounting principles, the company earned $912.2 million in 2014. But Valeant’s preferred calculation showed “cash” earnings of $2.85 billion last year. That gap is far wider than at other pharmaceutical companies presenting adjusted figures."Needless to say, it did not take long to turn Valeant into a veritable debt-mule. Its debt outstanding rose from $400 million in 2009 to $31 billion at present, and that’s the rub.Indeed, its demise is a near certainty.It goes without saying, of course, that these Bubble Finance deformations have resulted from the lunatic cheap money and wealth effects levitation policies of the Fed. Financial repression and QE deeply subsidize corporate borrowing to fund financial engineering deals, thereby reducing the after-tax cost of even sub-investment grade debt to low single digit levels.Likewise, ZIRP is the mother’s milk of Wall Street speculation. It enables hedge funds and other fast money traders to build-up positions in rocket ships like Valeant at virtually no cost through the options and dealer financing markets.Indeed, as VRX’s market cap grew from $14 billion to $90 billion in just 36 months, it generated a daisy chain of rising “collateral” value that enabled leveraged speculators to chase its stock to an ever more absurd height relative to the company’s GAAP financials.During the 12 months ending in September, for example, VRX generated only $2.54 billion of operating cash flow, but spent $14.3 billion of cash on CapEx, M&A deals and other investments.Nor was that an aberration. During the 27 quarters since the end of 2008, VRX has generated a mere $7 billion in operating cash flow, but has consumed nearly $26 billion of cash on investments and deals. Stated differently, it was a Wall Street Ponzi pure and simple.* A WALL STREET/WASHINGTON D.C. PONZI SCHEME UNPURE AND QUITE SIMPLE.Valeant’s $55 billion implosion in recent weeks is just a preliminary tremor. On a worldwide basis, the mother of all financial bubbles is just beginning to fracture.Accordingly, in the US alone there is probably another $15 trillion of bottled air waiting to be released. Perhaps then the American people will learn that Yellen & Co have actually been in the un-wealth effects business for way too long.
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