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Friday, July 29, 2016

Terrible Economic Legacy Of #Obama's Presidency - Just Malarky!

Why MainStreet Isn’t Buying Obama’s Economic Story

Last night, President Obama took the stage at the Democratic National Convention to throw his support to Hillary Clinton in her bid for the Presidency. He also took the opportunity to take a victory lap for his economic achievements while in office.
With the 2016 Presidential Election fast approaching, this was one of the final chances the President will have to try and divert attention away from Hillary’s “trustworthiness” problem following continued revelations surrounding Benghazi, email scandals and the Clinton Foundation which is now under investigation by the IRS.
The problem for the Democrats currently, following a rather severe beating at the polls during the 2012 mid-terms, is the broad loss of faith in “hope and change.” With Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton virtually tied in the majority of polls(within a margin of error), it is imperative to regain those voters. Not surprisingly, since voters tend to “vote their pocketbook,” it wasn’t surprising to hear the President spin a decisively positive economic picture during his speech.He hopes that by pointing to falling unemployment rates, economic growth and higher confidence levels; it will give voters a sense of confidence in the President’s accomplishments and be convinced the expect the same for Hillary.
The question is whether the majority of the voting public will agree with the President’s message? Let’s take a look at some charts.


Coup d'état Attempt: Turkey's Reichstag Fire?

The damage that was inflicted on the parliament building in Ankara was huge reminiscent of the Reichstag fire in Germany in 1933. The Reichstag fire marked the end of basic freedoms and critical thinking in Germany. 

Greenpeace: 'Extremely High' Jump in Post-Fukushima Radioactive Chemicals 

There is no return to normal. The vast expanse of contaminated forests and freshwater systems will remain a perennial source of radioactivity for the foreseeable future, as these ecosystems cannot simply be decontaminated.

Unicef Report Reveals 250 Million Child Victims Of War

There have not been so many children suffering the consequences of conflicts, crises and natural catastrophes since the Second World War. Some 250 million girls and boys, one in nine children, are forced to grow up in conflict zones. Even more are threatened by natural disasters such as droughts, floods and epidemics. 

Nearly 3,000 Migrants Have Died so far This Year in Mediterranean 

 Some disturbing figures about the upcoming banking crisis 

Deutsche Bank has a capital level of less that 3% (just like Lehman), and a risky asset base with derivatives exposure of more than $70 trillion, roughly the size of world GDP. Even the IMF has stated unequivocally that Deutsche Bank poses the greatest risk to global financial stability. And the IMF would be right… except for all the other banks.

Currency Crash Drives Stg to a 31 Year Low As Deutsche Bank Sinks To Lowest Level Ever

The British pound could eventually hit parity with the US dollar.  We are seeing seismic shifts on the foreign exchange market right now that will affect trillions of dollars of currency-related derivatives.  

Heat Dome Expected to Bake the United States

Forecasters expect a high pressure ridge and extreme temperatures to combine to create what is referred to as a "heat dome" over large portions of the US. A heat dome occurs when high pressure in the upper atmosphere acts as a lid, preventing hot air from escaping. The air is forced to sink back to the surface, warming even further on the way. Heat index values for parts of the U.S. are expected to reach 110 degrees or higher.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Warning Signs Say #China Heading Into Dumpster

More Warning Signs From China’s Economy

“Following the release of Chinese economic and money/credit data last week, there has been much confusion in the investment industry over whether or not Chinese economic growth is finally picking up. Having carefully examined all the data, we do not find evidence of a meaningful pick-up in growth.” – BCA Analytics   

More warning signs from China's economy

Another day, another warning about the state of China’s economy.
This time, the warning comes from analysts at BCA Analytics who are extremely concerned about China’s deteriorating capital spending. Specifically, BCA’s research shows that the growth rate in private fixed asset investment, excluding infrastructure, dropped to an all-time low during the first half of 2016.
Fixed asset investment growth in the manufacturing sector has fallen to 0% (year-on-year) and is about to turn negative if you take the monthly readings. The six-month moving average for the same metric has dropped to a ten-year low. Also, the six-month average of fixed asset investment in the mining sector plunged to a low of -20% in the past few months (one of the lowest levels recorded), and investment in the service sector has been bouncing around a 10-year low for much of this year.
To an extent, China has been manipulating its investment figures via the government’s fiscal/credit stimulus program. Under this program, authorities issued RMB 1.2 trillion of bonds between September 2015 and March 2016 to fund infrastructure projects, keeping infrastructure investment at very high levels. But this debt-funded building boom has only been able to take the edge off the deteriorating figures. China’s aggregate fixed asset investment growth rate has fallen to 8% this year, the lowest since 2001.

How Extrajudicial Executions Became Policy in Washington 

The US has been fighting wars for almost 15 years.  As vets have returned from their tours of duty, numbers have gone into police work when weaponry, vehicles, and military equipment have poured off distant battlefields and into police departments.  And while the police were militarizing, gun companies have been marketing battlefield-style assault rifles by the millions, at the very moment when citizens can carry weapons in public.

The Trojan Drone: An Illegal Military Strategy Disguised As Technological Advance 

The technical advances embodied in drone technology distract us from a more fundamental change in military strategy. The US has now embraced extrajudicial executions on foreign soil.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Canadian Banks In Trouble As 50% Housing Market Slump Feared

OSFI tells some banks to test for sharp drops in Vancouver, Toronto housing markets 

Financial institution watchdog says the banks should stress test for 40-50% drop in housing prices

Some of Canada's banks must stress test their ability to withstand a 50 per cent drop in housing prices in Metro Vancouver area and a 40 per cent drop in the Greater Toronto Area, the country's banking regulator says.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions also said Tuesday that the banks must all test for a 30 per cent downturn in valuations for all other areas of the country.
The OSFI said the test doesn't apply to the Big Six banks and HSBC. An OSFI spokesperson said the regulator and the Bank of Canada work together to conduct "regular macro" stress tests on the Big Six banks, which also do their own internal testing.

Global warming hadn’t paused at all. It was just getting ready to hit the accelerator.

It is the increasing rate of emissions that indicates we are entering an increasingly rapid-change era in which each increase adds fuel onto the next. Exponentially

 The Myth of “Aggressive Russia”

The US and allies have imposed sanctions because of the Crimea decided to separate from Ukraine and rejoin Russia. Tourist cruise ships no longer stop at Crimean ports and international airlines are prohibited from flying directly to the international airport at the Crimean capital, Simferopol. Students from Crimean universities cannot transfer their academic credits to universities internationally. Despite the sanctions Crimea appears to be doing reasonably well.

Scores of City-Sized Siberian Wildfires Spew 2,500 Mile-Long Plume of Smoke 

Practically no one in the global mainstream media is talking about how Northern and Central Siberia is burning. Scores of massive fires, some the size of cities and small states, are throwing off a great pall of smoke 2,500 miles long.

US Releases Saudi Documents: 9/11 Coverup Exposed

fresh evidence of a deliberate cover up of the role played, not only by the Saudi government, but US intelligence agencies themselves, in facilitating the attacks and then covering up their real roots.

The full text

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

This Emperor's Stock Rally Has No Clothes

Could This Rally Be a Head-Fake?

If there's nothing supporting this rally but euphoric sentiment arising from orchestrated buying, any eruption of reality will reveal the rally as a head-fake.
Let's say you wanted to engineer a stock market rally that triggered every technical "buy" signal and wiped out those who are short the market--what would you do? First, you'd engineer a new all-time high to signal "all clear for further advances."
Then you'd crush volatility as measured by the VIX, signaling that there is nothing standing in the way of more advances.
Next, you'd engineer new highs every day for a week or more.
To do this, you'd unleash a wave of strong buying at every bit of "good news," no matter how jury-rigged, to trigger computer-trading buying: bogus earnings "beats," any M&A activity, rumors of more stimulus in Japan, a pop up in crude oil, etc.--whatever could be construed as even modestly good news.
This entire rally has an engineered feel. All the technical "buy" signals are precisely what you'd expect in a rigged rally.
The rally's strength is reminiscent of the 1999-2000 Internet-era stock market, but compare the fundamental backdrop of then and now. Back then, earnings, sales, profits and employment were all up strongly globally, and China and the emerging markets were experiencing trade-based organic (i.e. not the result of central bank stimulus) expansion.


Theresa May Shuts Climate Change Office

Less than a day after becoming the UK’s unelected PM, Theresa May closed the government’s climate change office and moved responsibility for the environment to a new Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. The decision comes the same week as the UK's own advisers warned that the nation was not ready for the inevitable consequences of climate change.

UK poorly prepared for climate change impacts

The UK is poorly prepared for the inevitable impacts of global warming in coming decades, including deadly annual heatwaves, water shortages and difficulties in producing food

Britain Faces the Biggest Crisis of Democracy in its History

Theresa May’s new regime represents the most authoritarian, racist and austerity-obsessed government in British history. May plans to continue brutally cutting public services and basic welfare benefits that hit the poorest.

First Half of 2016 Blows Away Temperature Records

Look at the gap between slow annual growth in global heating and the extraordinary jump since October.

Monday, July 25, 2016

China G20 May Soften Worries Over Brexit - Then There's Italy?

In China meeting, G20 has chance to soothe post-Brexit jitters

Finance heads from the world's leading economies will confront fresh fears about protectionism when they meet in China this weekend, with Brexit fallout and dwindling policy options to boost global growth expected to dominate talks.
The Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting will put the spotlight on Britain's new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, who makes his international debut at the gathering and will need to answer questions about how London will manage its exit from Europe.

Also overhanging the G20 meeting in the southwestern city of Chengdu will be Donald Trump's U.S. Presidential campaign in which protectionist themes are expected to be central, after his official nomination as the 2016 Republican candidate this week.

"(On Brexit), the focus will be on what message G20 can deliver to ease concerns," said an Asian financial official involved in G20-related issues. "We still need to remain vigilant."

The International Monetary Fund this week cut its forecast for global growth, specifically on Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

The Practical Path to Reversing Climate Change

Most Australians (53%) believe there is a 50% or greater chance our way of life will end within the next 100 years, and a quarter that humans will be wiped out. These are surprisingly high estimates; no organisation would accept this level of risk. In response, 75% agreed we need to transform our worldview and way of life (an 'activist' response); 44% agreed that the world's future looks grim so we have to focus on looking after ourselves and those we love (nihilism); and 33% agreed that we are facing a final conflict between good and evil in the world (fundamentalism).

Large Sections of Greenland Covered in Melt Ponds, Dark Snow

The Earth has now warmed by more than 1 C above Preindustrial temperatures. And 1-2 C warming from this baseline in the Eemian resulted in a 10-20 foot rise in ocean levels. We’re in this temperature range now.

New Studies Show Extent of Earth's Ice Melt

This is worth watching

 George Monbiot on the current UK government

We have a environment secretary whose ideology urges her to see the environment as an impediment to profit, a communities secretary whose every fibre rebels against the planning system and an international trade secretary who used his previous post in government to connect mysteriously with American corporate lobby groups. We no longer have a climate change secretary, of any description. We have a government that treats the Earth’s systems, upon which our survival depends, as an afterthought. Or not a thought at all.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Top Nuclear Physicist's - "Dream of Peace" (Part 1)

Special Op-Ed
(Part 1 of 3 )

 Special thanks to our friend and colleague, Yuji Ishiguro, for writing and sharing his thoughts and views on the present state of human affairs. There is little doubt that the human predicament is grave on many fronts, while the time and opportunities to remedy the situation are rapidly evaporating. In actuality this discourse is, by far, much more than a dream for peace -

"It is a call for Immediate Action! "

T. A McNeil
July 24, 2016

Image result for peace images 

By Yuji Ishiguro, 
Instituto de Estudos Avançados 
São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil 


Part One

 I dream of the world without wars and indefinite evolution of Homo sapiens but the future seems dark. We all know that humanity faces a multitude of difficulties but few people seem to realize that all the problems have been caused by humans and need to be solved by humans. 

Image result for limits to growth the 30-year update

The biosphere is being destroyed and the equilibrium in the systems of the Earth has been disrupted. The current ways of civilization cannot be continued much longer. In some decades at most, I think, shortages of resources and social and ecological collapse will cause another world war, this time all-out with biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, causing an end to the civilization as we know it. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are just another episode in the long series of madness humanity has been committing throughout history and an appetizer for some people in positions of war decisions who, having known the taste, await the main course. The horrible images and statistics will not deter them. 


A large bomb in the current stock can devastate a largest megalopolis but still, if seen on a world map, it would be a tiny dot. Some seemingly rational people and societies are capable of extreme evils. 

In order to avoid this future, we need to transform our collective consciousness, recognizing the finiteness of the planet and our dependence on nature and acknowledging the existence of evil and irrationality in human mind. We have to accept that all ideals cannot be realized in the finite world: there are limits to ideals, including the so-called human rights. A fundamental error of humanity, since ancient times, is promoting population growth and countering it with wars on one hand and by ravaging the planet on the other, while clinging to impossible ideals. Humanity has been extremely short sighted and irrational. We need to see the whole in space and time and wake reason that may be dormant but must surely be extant in human mind. Without population control the current ideas and efforts for peace and for conservation and sustainability, such as the Paris Agreement, will be useless. Fundamental concepts of human existence need to change. 

I present what I call a framework for sustainability, summarized in twenty short sentences, then a brief review of the current situation and its causes, and finally discuss fertility and population control as the fundamental requirement for peace and for continuity of the environment and civilization.

Framework For Sustainability 

 1. The Earth is finite in space, resources and capacity of its systems; 

 2. Man is adapted to the current equilibrium in the systems of the Earth; 

 3. A healthy biosphere is essential for equilibrium in the habitats for man; 

 4. The biosphere is maintained by photosynthesis in plants;

 5. There is a limit to the size of the biosphere; 

 6. An increase of human population means a reduction of those of other species; 

Image result for species extinction and human population

 7. Perturbations in the biosphere as well as in other systems could break the equilibrium; 

 8. In a closed system the effective fertility rate of each species must be that of replacement; 

 9. There cannot be human rights that lead to the destruction of the community; 

10. The concept of community needs to include all humanity and the biosphere; 

11. Ultimately man will have to live with renewable resources; 

12. The principles of economy need to be modified; 

13. Equity requires a limit to personal wealth; 

14. The meaning of life must be found in something other than procreation or consumption; 

15. All ideals cannot be realized; 

16. Some new rationality needs to be added to the rules of community; 

17. Evolutionary success of Homo sapiens will be greater in a small permanent community; 

18. The Earth can support indefinitely an abundant lifestyle in a limited global civilization; 

19. Many wars were due to mismatches between available resources and human demands on them; 

20. Human population must be reduced. 



 Current Situation And Its Causes 
 Part  Two