Those lazy, hazy days of summer aren’t too far off, and hopefully you’ll be lolling like a slug at the pool, on the beach, or wherever warm days might take you. But even if you’re feeling lazy, your vocabulary doesn’t have to be. We’ve worked with the editors at the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) to come up with 13 regional idioms to describe the idle, indifferent, and lackadaisical.
In Hawaii and pretending to be sick to get out of work? You might get called molowa, moloa, ormoloha from the Hawaiian word moloā.
In Louisiana and Alabama African-American vernacular, the lazy and indifferent are don’t-care-ish and don’t-care-ified: “She’s so don’t-care-ish about work lately. She’s just phoning it in.”“You bone loafer!” you might say to someone sleeping on the job. This term is found in the Ozarks, which is made up of northwestern Arkansas, northeastern Oklahoma, and southwestern Missouri. Bone idle and bone lazy are South Midland sayings. All come from the idea, says an 1825 quote in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), of being so lazy or idle that the laziness or idleness seems “to have penetrated the very bones.”
A do-less does little. He lacks energy and is shiftless and lethargic. Common in the South Midland states, the word might simply be a combination of “do” and “less,” but in some instances might be influenced by the Scots dowless, without strength or energy, feeble.
In New England, if you’ve got sprawl, you’ve got energy, initiative, and spunk. Therefore, those without sprawl or who are sprawlless are lazy. A quote from Cape Cod, Massachusetts: “He ain’t got no more sprawl to him ’n day-old kitten!” Why does sprawl mean energy? The word comes sproil, an English dialectical meaning “strength, energy; power of quick motion, spring, activity, agility.”
Lately, those who live the preparedness lifestyle have been more concerned than ever about the events going on in the world, and for many of us, the urgency to convince loved ones to prep is at an all-time high as worries increase. The economic collapse of Venezuela, our own shaky markets and banking system, the threat of natural disasters, and worries about cyber attacks all have the potential to become life-changing catastrophes. These are the events we prep for and we clearly understand the ramifications of facing them without the necessary supplies.
And many of us have friends and family without those necessary supplies. Raise your hand if you have ever tried to convince loved ones to prep. Yep, just as I thought. Hands everywhere.
As a prepper, you have to make a difficult decision. Are you going to prepare for a few extra people, adding supplies and making room for them when the SHTF? Or are you going to go about your preparedness business quietly, embracing OPSEC and building up your supplies with only your immediate family members in mind?
Some people state that they have absolutely no compunction turning away unprepared family members when disaster strikes because they spent years warning them to get ready. This is a choice that you may have to make one day, and there is no “one size fits all” answer.
If you allow unprepared loved ones to come to your house, that means there are fewer supplies for your immediate family. You’ll be sharing whatever you have and it won’t stretch for as long a period of time. As well, if they are unprepared despite your best efforts, there could be other problems down the line, like wastefulness, folks who talk too much (and to the wrong people), and loved ones who just don’t grasp the importance of every decision in an emergency. What if they can’t accept the necessity for armed self-defense? This could cause a lot of discord, and even be life-threatening if the situation is dire.
On the other hand, the guilt of turning people away will be too much for some folks to handle. Many hands make lighter work, so if the family members will do their fair share or if they have special skills, then having them at your retreat will probably be worth the division of supplies. Plus, the family is family. Sometimes you have to go beyond the call of duty for those you love.
This is not something that should be decided at the spur of the moment when adrenaline is running high. To make a rational choice, it is important to discuss this among the decision-makers of your household and present a unified front, whichever conclusion you reach.
Reprinted with permission from The Organic Prepper.
The enormous hole takes up much of the top half of the star
The remarkable footage was captured by the US space agency’s Solar Dynamics Observatory between May 17 and 19.
The video shows a giant dark area on the star’s upper half, known as a coronal hole.
A NASA spokesman said: “Coronal holes are low-density regions of the sun’s atmosphere, known as the corona.
“Because they contain little solar material, they have lower temperatures and thus appear much darker than their surroundings.
“Coronal holes are visible in certain types of extreme ultraviolet light, which is typically invisible to our eyes, but is colorised here in purple for easy viewing.”
NASA says the huge hole is actually not of great concern, but it remains unclear why the coronal holes actually form.
But it does mean that large amounts of solar winds, that cause the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights to form, have been blasted to Earth.
Frankfort, the state capitol of Kentucky is in turmoil. Kentucky Republican Governor Matt Bevin’s explosive charges against the administration of his predecessor Democrat Steve Beshear coming on the same day that federal prosecutors had secured a guilty plea on bribery charges from former Beshear Personnel Cabinet Secretary Timothy Longmeyer, makes one thing very clear – investigations into Kentucky corruption aren’t going to end anytime soon. Most of you can buckle up and enjoy the ride while others better consider lawyering up!
If you needed any more proof, look no further than the public comments made by the FBI Special Agent in charge of cleaning up the Commonwealth, who went so far as to say that that government corruption was “tolerated” and “ingrained” in Kentucky’s political culture.
In light of everything going on, our first communication endeavored to shine a brighter light on a legal case that requires much closer scrutiny – the staggering and legally absurd $870 million judgement (plus 12% annual interest) against Amaya/Poker Stars. The suit was part of the Beshear Administration’s long-run vendetta against online gambling, aka a government money-grab by Frankfort politicians desperate to plug budget holes created by their overspending.
Legally speaking, the handful of people paying close attention to the case know that this outrageous ruling has virtually zero chance of holding up on appeal based on the clearly applicable and definitive ruling from the highly-respected Seventh Circuit Federal Appeals Court. The 7th Circuit recently struck down a substantially similar, if not identical, case in Illinois to the one here in Kentucky.
But while the legal case is interesting on its own merits, the players involved make for an even more compelling tale that raises serious questions about how roughly $18 million in losses by 34,000 online poker players in Kentucky, turned into a billion-dollar judgement benefiting the state and their handpicked trial lawyers courtesy of an ethically-challenged judge.
You’ll hear more about all of them in the coming weeks, but let’s start with the lawyers.
As you know, the Commonwealth’s lead attorney is William H. May, III, who previously served as General Counsel to the Kentucky Democratic Party. At one time, Mr. May also served as General Counsel for the Kentucky Lottery Corporation wherein he supervised legal staff and served as the Legislative and Executive Branch Agent for the Lottery. In addition to those duties, Mr. May was responsible for supervising outside counsel in litigation, establishing the internal rule and regulation process, handled all internal/external employment law and intellectual property matters and advised the Board and senior management on a variety of general corporate issues affecting the Lottery’s proprietary business. In short, he had incredible influence on the operation of the state lottery. More on that later.
Notably, Mr. May was once questioned by a federal grand jury as part of the Ross Harris vote-buying scandal back in 2005. That case famously involved the campaign of Family Court Judge Debra Lambert, the wife of then Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Lambert. In the category of “you can’t make this stuff up” – Mr. May’s law partner, Jim Deckard, was Chief of Staff to Chief Justice Lambert at the time.
According to the popular political blog BluegrassReport.org, the two cases were tied together. They reported that Chief Justice Lambert was investigated “for his involvement in a multi-million dollar appeal by convicted felon Ross Harris, who months earlier made thousands of dollars in illegal contributions to Lambert’s wife, Family Court Judge Debra Lambert. Those donations came during the final days of her 2000 re-election campaign, and just months before Lambert himself cast a tie-breaking vote that allowed Harris to keep a $14 million jury award.” Interestingly, during the related investigation, Deckard pleaded the Fifth when called to testify.
The background on Mr. May and Mr. Deckard is important because their law firm has a sweetheart contract with the Commonwealth (courtesy of Gov. Beshear) that would permit them to take an outrageous – and potentially unprecedented – 25% contingency on any final judgement. Additionally, the rumored future daughter-in-law of the Judge on the Amaya case, Thomas Wingate, is employed by the May-Deckard law firm and has been in some fashion since May 2012.
Not included on Mr. May’s law firm biography is the fact that he’s not just a lawyer, but he is also a lobbyist. Mr. May owns and operates a lobbying firm called HCM Governmental Relations LLC, which shares the same membership, address and telephone number as the law firm. Among his clients are Anthem, who is at the center of the charges against Mr. Longmeyer. It would be interesting to see what, if anything, Mr. May knows about the kickback scheme between his fellow Democratic Party powerbroker and his current client.
In addition to Anthem, Mr. May is also the registered lobbyist for IGT/GTECH and the Kentucky Lottery Corporation. In fact, according to the website followthemoney.org, IGT/GTECH employed an active lobbyist in just one state during the period when the Amaya lawsuit was starting up, and that state was the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Want some more? IGT/GTECH has a lucrative contract with the Kentucky Lottery. More? IGT/GTECH is in competition with Amaya/Poker Stars in, among other aspects, online gaming.
Think about that the ethics and optics of this for a second and see if you are as queasy as we are: The Beshear Administration chose as the Commonwealth’s attorney, a lobbyist for IGT/GTECH, and then allowed him to make the government’s case against its competitor, Amaya/Poker Stars. In doing so, Mr. May can curry favor with his lobbying client by attacking a major competitor in the online gaming space, while pocketing upwards of $200 million in contingency fees courtesy of his eye-popping 25% contingency agreement with the Commonwealth.
“The horror… the horror…”—Apocalypse Now (1979)
“You can’t show war as it really is on the screen, with all the blood and gore. Perhaps it would be better if you could fire real shots over the audience’s head every night, you know, and have actual casualties in the theater.”—Sam Fuller, film director and author
Nearly 71 years ago, the United States unleashed atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000 individuals, many of whom were civilians.
Fast forward to the present day, and President Obama—the antiwar candidate and Nobel Peace Prize winner who has waged war longer than any American president and whose legacy includes targeted drone killings and at least 1.3 million lives lost to the U.S.-led war on terror—is paying lip service to the victims of America’s nuclear carnage, all the while continuing to feed the war machine.
Jarhead (2005). Sam Mendes’ film follows a Marine recruit (Jake Gyllenhaal) through Marine boot camp to service in Operation Desert Storm, winding up at the Highway of Death. But what Mendes serves up is war as a phallic obsession in the oil-drenched sands of Kuwait and Iraq. Here soldiers fight not for causes but to survive in the nihilistic pursuit of destruction. Fine performance by Jamie Foxx as Sergeant Sykes.
As these films illustrate, war is indeed hell.
What we must decide is whether we’re stuck with war as a necessity of the world in which we live, as President Obama suggested in his Nobel Peace Prize speech, or whether we’re prepared to do as Martin Luther King suggested 45 years earlier in his Nobel Peace Prize lecture and find an alternative to war.
Speaking in Oslo in 1964, King declared:
Man’s proneness to engage in war is still a fact. But wisdom born of experience should tell us that war is obsolete. There may have been a time when war served as a negative good by preventing the spread and growth of an evil force, but the destructive power of modern weapons eliminated even the possibility that war may serve as a negative good. If we assume that life is worth living and that man has a right to survive, then we must find an alternative to war.
Detox water has become a wildly popular diet craze. Many hail it as a miracle diet and think it can support weight loss. Could this be a revolutionary new way to drop pounds and trim the physique, or is it just another fad diet? Let’s start by understanding what detox water is.
What Is Detox Water?
Detox water is basically water (I recommend distilled water) infused with fruits, vegetables, and/or herbs. Sometimes called infused water, many people use it as part of a body detox strategy.
The oranges in this recipe add vitamin C. The dash of Himalayan salt gives it a mineral boost that distilled water alone lacks.
- 1 whole cucumber, sliced thin
- 2 orange wedges
- 2 pinches rosemary
- Add a dash of Himalayan salt
5. Kicking Lemon Ginger Water
I call this “kicking” because the chili and ginger give it a kick. Definitely recommended if you like a little spice.
- Squeeze fresh juice from 2 whole lemons
- Add a third lemon, cut into wedges
- Mince about 1-inch fresh ginger root (peeled)
- Add 1 tablespoon (to taste) of fresh ground red chili powder
Two Democratic congressmen, always seeking madder music, stronger wine, and new ways to punish people for holding opinions they despise, have introduced a bill they call the “Do No Harm Act.” The purpose of that measure is to abolish the religious liberty and free speech rights of business owners who hurt the feelings of those who belong to “specially protected groups.” This would be done by weaponizing a legal concept called “dignitary harm.” The case of Leo Soell, which we will examine anon, offers a perfect example of that concept in action.
The “Do No Harm Act” is, in part, a reaction to recent Supreme Court rulings protecting the rights of business owners against Obama administration policies that would require them to violate their religious convictions. Those rulings have cited the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was intended to buttress the putative protections offered by the First Amendment.
Section 2 of the “Do No Harm Act” stipulates that “the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 should not be interpreted to authorize an exemption from generally applicable law that imposes meaningful harm, including dignitary harm, on a third party.” (Emphasis added.) “Dignitary harm” does not involve fraud, failure to honor contractual obligations or injury to person or property. To paraphrase the familiar song, it is nothing more than (hurt) feelings.
In what is probably the definitive treatment of the concept, Cristina Carmody Tilley of the Northwestern University School of Law contends that infliction of emotional distress “does more than inflict property damage or even physical injury that the modern man is expected to rationally commodify. Instead, it invades an individual’s sense of worth and dignity, important values in a relational society.”
To substantiate that astonishing claim, Tilley cites a passage from sociologist Erving Goffman’s book Interaction Ritual: Essays in Face to Face Behavior: “[T]he individual must rely on others to complete the picture of him of which he himself is allowed to paint only certain parts.”
Assuming that this means anything intelligible, it appears to be a claim that refusing to indulge someone’s preferred “picture” of himself violates the supposed victim’s right to be validated, thereby undermining his or her “sense of self-worth and dignity.” Tilley invites us to pretend that this gives rise to a valid civil claim under the Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution.
Properly understood, that amendment was intended to protect unenumerated individual rights from abridgment by the federal government. Tilley, a cultural Marxist by inclination if not by overt profession, treats that amendment – and the Constitution in general – as a license for limitless state intervention in private affairs for the purpose of creating an egalitarian social order. This will require the use of state coercion to equalize the “power deficit” that occurs when a “privileged” individual inflicts “dignitary harm” on an officially designated victim.
The most interesting element of Tilley’s essay is her insistence that redress of hurt feelings through state action is necessary to prevent “violent self-help” on the part of the supposed victim. Slights to a person’s sense of dignity, she writes, “are more likely to incite vengeance” than physical injury or damage to personal property. What she calls “civil recourse theory” allows for the state’s judicial system to address “injuries to personality in a way that might now be true for injuries to property or body.” Through “the provision of a state-sponsored forum for vindicating the dignitary interests invaded by these wrongs,” the need for vengeance will be addressed without violence, according to Tilley.
Blinded by ideology, Tilley either doesn’t see or will not admit, that her prescription legitimizes violence and vengeance to the extent they are carried out in the name of the fictive entity called the State – and that she approves of violent punishment of people who have inflicted no tangible injury on anyone. The political government, after all, is nothing but the praxis of violence.
The legal doctrine described by Tilley, and embedded in the “Do No Harm Act,” has led to a string of administrative rulings punishing businessmen – florists, bakers, photographers,innkeepers — who have declined to participate in same-sex weddings. None of those cases involved actual harm to the purported victims, or a refusal by the defendants to carry out the terms of a contract. A recent case in Gresham, Oregon expands the concept of “dignitary harm” to include the use of pronouns that offend someone designated as part of a “specially protected class.”
Brina Soell, a fifth-grade teacher who had her given name legally changed to Leo, was born a biological female. A year ago, she “came out” as transgender after surviving breast cancer and undergoing a bilateral mastectomy. She remains otherwise anatomically female. Rather than “identifying” as male, she insists on being treated as “transmasculine” and “gender-queer,” and demands that others address her as “they” rather than “he” or “she.”
Most of Soell’s colleagues have done what they can to accommodate her desires, albeit at severe expense to the proper English they are supposed to be teaching their young students. On occasion, however, some have referred to her has “she,” “lady,” or “Miss Soell,” and one of them expressed a candid disagreement with Soell’s “belief system.”
All of this resulted in “dignitary harm” to Soell’s incomparably precious feelings. As an accredited member of a specially protected class, she threatened to file a harassment complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.
Brad Avakian, the BOLI’s chief commissar, is the same unaccountable functionary who imposed a $135,000 punitive judgment on a Christian couple who declined a request to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding ceremony – and a $400,000 judgment on a bar owner who had politely asked a group of transgender males not to monopolize his Friday night business. Contemptuous of due process and unhindered by conscience, Avakian considers his will to be law – which is why the mere threat of filing a complaint with his agency was sufficient to induce capitulation on the part of the school district.
On May 20, a few weeks after the Obama administration effectively re-wrote the federal Civil Rights Act to include “gender identity” as a protected category, the Gresham-Barlow School District agreed to pay a $60,000 tax-subsidized settlement to Soell, and to enact policies intended to teach grade school students that “gender identity” is infinitely customizable – and that the English language is subject to modification at the whims of “specially protected” people and the bureaucrats who exploit their contrived grievances.
In a career otherwise devoted to polluting the air with foolishness, Eleanor Roosevelt said one unambiguously wise thing: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Each of us is the exclusive owner of his personality and self-concept, and any “dignitary harm” that results from words spoken to or about any of us is purely consensual.
As Thomas Jefferson might put it, someone accused of “dignitary harm” has neither picked his neighbor’s pocket nor broken his leg. The “social recourse” approach to such disputes socializes violence by unleashing state-licensed pickpockets and leg-breakers to punish people who have not injured the property rights of anybody.
Where redress is demanded perceived harm of this kind, it should be pursued privately. Tilley, interestingly, acknowledges that “early Anglo-Saxon law [treated] dignitary interests as compensable in private actions until the Norman conquest of England in 1066.” One lamentable consequence of that conquest was the imposition of the “King’s Peace” doctrine, under which all disputes were to be considered offenses against the “sovereign,” rather than a specific injured party.
Prior to 1066, perceived injuries to personal honor and reputation were often settled through trial by single combat, a tradition that persisted, in the form of dueling, in the United States until the early 20th Century. If we are to treat “dignitary harm” as a matter of public concern, the most rational approach would be to restore and update that tradition.
This wouldn’t necessarily involve pistols at dawn or bare-knuckle boxing. It could be a formal challenge for a mediated debate before a jury of one’s peers, who could rule in favor of either the plaintiff or the defendant. Plaintiffs who prevail would see their self-image fully restored, which we are supposed to believe is the only thing they really want. A defendant who refused a summons to single combat would lose a default judgment, thereby producing the same outcome.
Of course, as the accused party, the defendant would have the right to decide the form of single combat. Social Justice Warriors who seek palpable punishment for intangible “dignitary harm” revel in vicarious violence committed on their behalf in the name of the State. For the most part, they would melt into puddles of pathos at the prospect of participatory violence.
Today, Manhattan is one of the iconic locations of the United States of America. It is also the place where New York was born. However, the origins of Manhattan are often forgotten these days. Modern Manhattan’s history is related to people who conquered many colonies – the Dutch.
Nowadays, the island has a population of 1,626 million people (2013). It is the heart of New York City and a symbol of the USA. Its name comes from the Algonquian language, which was spoken by the earliest inhabitants of the area. The name means ”hilly island” or ”place of intoxication”.
The Land of Lenape
The area of Manhattan first belonged to the Native American tribe Lenape. This tribe is known also as the Delaware Indians, and they created the First Nations band government. Their territory included the area of New Jersey, the Lower Hudson Valley, the Delaware River, and western Long Island. Europeans pushed them out of their land during the 18th century.
Lapowinsa, Chief of the Lenape, Lappawinsoe painted by Gustavus Hesselius in 1735. (Public Domain)
Map showing the territory of the Native American tribe Lenape. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Will the Federal Reserve raise rates in June?
Peter Schiff says it’s immaterial.
Peter appeared on CNBC’s Fast Money and created a firestorm when he said he sees this as a repeat of what happened at the end of last year and suggested everybody knows the Fed is at the end of its tightening cycle.
“I do believe the Fed will put a floor beneath the market by printing money. But the ultimate collapse is on the dollar. It hasn’t happened yet, but the Fed is going to sacrifice the dollar.”
“That’s what we do. We print money because we can’t repay our debts.”
“Puerto Rico is broke. We all know that. But it was broke two years ago. It was broke three years ago. Why didn’t anybody care? The creditors kept lending them money even though they were broke. Well, eventually people wake up and they realize the debtor is broke. America is more bankrupt than Puerto Rico.”
“[The Fed] felt they were in the catbird seat right before the financial crisis. Do you think there was a single person on the Fed that had any concern about the housing market? About the mortgage market? They were blind as a bat. Janet Yellen was the leader of the deniers. She thought everything was great, there was nothing wrong, and we were around the corner from a complete collapse. They have no track record of predicting anything.”
Reprinted from SchiffGold.com.
Search queries reveal Americans would be quickly eliminated in the National Scripps Spelling Bee.
And depending on the state they live in, some words are more troublesome than others.
Google gathered data from its search trends to reveal the top words American’s ask ‘how to spell’ in each of the 50 US states – and most are commonly used words.
Google gathered data from its search trends to reveal the top words American’s ask ‘how to spell’ in each of the 50 US states – and most are commonly used words. Words that were seen throughout the map of ‘America’s Top Spelling Mistakes’ are ‘pneumonia’, ‘vacuum’, ‘cancel’ and ‘gray’
Today marks the 89th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee at National Harbor in Maryland, where nearly 300 students are competing for a trophy and $40,000 cash prize.
And to honor the event, Google has dug into its own database to see how well Americans are at spelling and revealed its findings using a map of the United States.
Although the well-known Mojave Desert occupies a significant portion of south-eastern California, residents have to check with the search giant on how to spell ‘desert’.
‘Cancelled’ seems to stump the east coast, as those living in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Virginia were found to second guess the spelling.
Alaska has trouble with ‘Hawaii’ and interestingly enough the top ‘how to spell’ in Massachusetts is ‘Massachusetts’.
There were also some odd words that made the cut.
Utah and Arkansas had the most spelling queries for ‘leprechaun’, New Jerseyans stumble with ‘February’ and both Arizonans and citizens of New Hampshire struggle with the word ‘diarrhea’.
The cowardly dithering in the Eccles Building is sucking Wall Street punters into a vortex. And it promises to be the mother of all bubble implosions.
There is no other possible outcome for a stock market that is trading at 24X reported earnings in the teeth of an enormous headwinds ever accumulated.
The intensifying global deflation/recession lapping upon these shores gets more ominous by the day. Yet that’s only the half of it.
When you take an unvarnished look at the domestic economy, the real recessionary skunk in the woodpile becomes apparent. Yet the casino is falsely capitalizing earnings as if recessions have been outlawed and the nirvana of Keynesian full-employment has become a permanent condition, world without end.
Today’s bubble vision meme that all is well because the Fed judges the economy to be strong enough to absorb 1% money market rates sometime next year is just a manifestation of that permanent full employment delusion. After all, earnings always collapse during a recession—–so implicitly there is not one in sight as far as the eye can see.
Then again, why would anyone credit the Fed’s insight into the future or even its grasp of the present? In its April minutes, for example, it noted that the world financial dangers that caused it to pause in March have now eased.
No, they haven’t. As detailed below, the only thing that changed is that China went through another flash bubble in the commodity space that is already done and gone.
In fact, the Fed has never, ever anticipated a recession——even when we were in month 118 of the 1990s technology and dot-com bubble.
Likewise, it had no clue that the housing collapse was coming and was shocked by the September 2008 Wall Street meltdown. And now it has had to revise sharply lower every single GDP forecast it has made in the years since the crisis.
Here’s the thing. The Fed’s paint-by-the-numbers Keynesian incrementalism leaves it blind to the underlying rot in the US economy and to drastically over-estimate its capacity to maintain a stable growth equilibrium.
In fact, corporate America is being strip-mined by Fed-fueled financial engineering and flyover America is sinking irretrievably into debt, dependency and shrinking living standards.
You can’t capitalize that at 24X. And most certainly the fools who occupy the Eccles Building have no clue about the storms that are coming.
The idea that international conditions have eased, for example, is sheer idiocy. Take the most recent anomalies out of the Red Ponzi.
It appears that its latest bubble in iron ore and steel inflated white hot and then plunged abruptly——all within the span of fewer than 100 days.
And it did so in the context of excess capacity that is out of this world. That is, China has 1.3 billion tons of steel capacity and sustainable demand for 400-500 million tons at the very best. So ordinarily its industry fundamentals would have crushed prices and margins for a long time to come.
Instead, a massive surge of credit funded speculation in China’s incipient futures markets during February/March caused iron ore to rise from $40 to $70 per ton in a few weeks; and daily trading volumes to spike to such manic levels that they actually exceeded annual consumption.
Worse still, the speculative run-up in the futures markets caused idle steel mills to be re-opened—–they very opposite of the hundreds of millions of steel mill tonnage than needs to be closed.
During the past four weeks, by contrast, these same speculators have gone into a selling and liquidation frenzy, and prices will soon be back under $50 per ton. The whole episode had nothing to do with economics; it was just another eruption of China’s $30 trillion credit volcano.
Likewise, there has been a flash housing bubble, especially in the largest cities where prices briefly soared by upwards of 60% on a year over year basis. Again, this occurred in an economic backdrop that is drowning in empty apartment units. By some estimates that monumental surplus numbers upwards of 60 million units and the reason for it explains the bubble anomaly.
To wit, China’s tens of millions of real estate speculators do not want the units occupied in order to keep them shiny new; they are being purchased in lieu of stock certificates or, for the matter, lottery tickets, on the theory that real estate prices will rise forever.
In that same vein, word now comes that China’s northeastern harbors have become a parking lot for oil tankers. It seems that China loaned the OPEC have-not’s, such as Venezuela and Nigeria, upwards of $100 billion against the value of future oil deliveries. But the bulk of those loans were made when oil was above $100 per barrel, meaning that in order to avoid default these borrowers are now paying-in-kind (PIK) nearly three times more oil than was implicit in the original deals.
Accordingly, China is now receiving 1.0 million barrels per day of PIK payments, and most of that is flowing through a forest of “teapot refineries” that have sprung up in its northeastern rust belt.
Needless to say, these fly-by-night refineries did not rise to meet incremental demand for a petroleum product. Diesel demand last year was actually down nearly 10%, and the increase in the auto fleet and vehicle miles were driven did not make up the difference.
Consequently, much of the apparent increase in global crude oil demand is being indirectly routed through another Potemkin village in the Red Ponzi.
At some point soon, therefore, the massive build-up in east Asia of refined petroleum stocks from these teapots will bring oil prices crashing back into the $20s, and with it the delusion that commodities are recovering and global growth is back on track.
To the contrary, the Red Ponzi continues to deflate at an alarming rate, and it is only the leading indicator.
The veritable depression in Brazil, the plunge in Japan’s trade accounts, the sharp drop in exports and PMIs in Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and the rest of east Asia, the swirling liquidity crisis in the petrostates, 31 straight months of sales declines at CAT and other giant global equipment suppliers, the slump in German machinery and luxury vehicle exports, the near double-digit decline of US imports and rail volumes—–all speak to the global recession now approaching.
Yet even if our monetary politburo had the luxury of waiting for the massive excess capacity and unserviceable debts to be wrung out of the global economy, which will take years, it is missing the boat entirely on the domestic front. The main street America is not approaching full employment; it is tapped out and sinking to ever lower economic lows.
In a sense, Donald Trump’s shocking rise toward the presidency is a far better indicator of stress in the flyover zone of America than Janet Yellen’s entire “dashboard” of labor market indicators, which mostly measure the medicated and modeled self-referential noise published by the BLS.
The main street reality that Trump is tapping escapes our monetary central planners because they are enthralled to a lethal combination of bad ideas and bad data about inflation. As we have repeatedly stressed, the Fed’s 2.00% inflation target has no economic merit whatsoever; and basing it on the PCE-deflator less food and energy compounds the offense.
To wit, the flyover zone of America is suffering from too much inflation and too much debt. Yet the Fed’s fundamental policy is to generate more inflation and induce more borrowing. After all, what other reason could justify holding the costs of funds in the money market to essentially zero for 89 months running?
To be sure, the Fed’s argument that there is not enough inflation and that it is missing its targets from below is pretty threadbare based on its own preferred measuring stick. That is, the PCE deflator less food and energy has risen by 1.6% during the past year, 1.6% during the past 5-years and 1.7%during the 15 years since the turn of the century.
In short, there is no material change of trend, and how in the world can 30 or 40 basis points of difference from the magic 2.00% target make any difference to the growth and wealth of an $18 trillion economy anyway? Surely this is just plain academic pettifogging designed to justify the will to power in the Eccles Building and the massive daily intrusion of the FOMC in the money and capital markets.
The truth is, however, there is way too much inflation on the main street America and that’s why its real wages and living standards are sinking ever lower. To document that fundamental proposition we have modified the CPI to include a heavier weight for the four horsemen of inflation—–food, energy, medical and housing——that hammer the budgets of the overwhelming bulk of main street households.
To that end, we have replaced the phony OER (owners equivalent rent) which accounts for nearly 25% of the CPI with a market-based index of asking rents. Likewise, we have substituted the comprehensive Milliman index of medical costs for the systematically understated medical components sub-index of the CPI and have raised its weight from 8.5%, which vastly understates what main street households spend for premiums, deductibles, copays and uncovered expenses, to 10.5%.
In addition, the combined weight of food and energy has been increased from 20.5% of the CPI to 22.5%. Altogether, then, the four horsemen of inflation account for 65.0% of our “flyover CPI” index compared to 61.0% in the regular CPI and reflect far more realistic and accurate measures of medical and housing cost inflation.
As shown below, there is a stunning revelation here. It turns out that inflation, as measured by the “Flyover CPI” index, has risen at a 3.3% annual rate since the turn of the century. That is, the Fed’s hallowed targets are been drastically overshoot from above, while upwards of 80% of American households, which easily spend 65% of their budgets on the four horseman items, have experienced inflation at 2X the rate gummed about at the FOMC.
Needless to say, that causes the trend of nominal wages and incomes in flyover America to appear in a wholly different light when deflated by a more reasonable inflation measuring stick.
Here is one example. It shows that when reported hourly earnings are deflated by a more realistic inflation index than the deeply flawed CPI, the wages of flyover America have been declining for the entirety of this century, save for a few very short-lived spurts.
In fact, the average hourly wage rate in constant 2015 dollars is down nearly7% from its turn of the century level.
Moreover, owing to the declining labor force participation rate and the deteriorating mix of jobs available as measured by annual hours worked, the trend in real household money incomes (i.e. before in-kind government benefits) is even more troublesome.
As shown below, when deflated by the Flyover CPI, household incomes are now nearly 20% lower than there were when Bill Clinton was packing his bags to vacate the White House.
(To be continued in Part 2)
Reprinted with permission from David Stockman’s Contra Corner.
Though the primary season is not yet finished, Democratic contender Bernie Sanders has challenged the Republican nominee Donald Trump to a one-on-one debate in California. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has refused to debate Sanders.
In a Wednesday appearance on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Trump was asked if he would consider holding a debate with Sanders, reading the challenge that was written in a letter by the Democratic candidate.
“Hillary Clinton backed out of an agreement to debate me in California before the June 7th primary,” the letter read. “Are you prepared to debate the major issues facing our largest state and the country prior to the California primary?”
Sanders’ invitation and response were a dig at Hillary Clinton’s refusal to debate the self-described democratic socialist, even though the two Democrats had previously agreed to one more debate that would take place in May.
In the interview, Trump also expressed sympathy for the Vermont senator’s electoral plight.
“What I do like about Bernie is that, when he loses—because the system is rigged against him, totally, just the way it was rigged against me, I mean, the system is rigged – and if I didn’t win by massive landslides every state there was no chance I could have won,” Trump said before being offered the debate challenge. “[Bernie] is sorta having the same thing… [Hillary] has superdelegates that were just handed to her.”
Though his commiseration with the Vermont senator has been earnestly expressed before, CBS News was later told by sources that Trump was “kidding” about accepting the invitation.
At a Thursday afternoon press conference, Trump said that he would in fact debate Sanders. He stuck to his comments about needing to be paid, though, clarifying to reporters that his price would be a $10 to $15 million donation to charity.
The fate of the Sanders-Trump debate, therefore, remains up in the air. Sanders himself is set to appear on Kimmel’s show Thursday night.
Reprinted from Russia Today.
Muirfield, a few miles out of Edinburgh on the East Lothian coast, is one of the world’s great golf courses. Indeed, the magazine Golf Monthly has rated it the best of all. Jack Nicklaus won the first of his three Open Championships there in 1966, and when he designed his own course in Dublin, Ohio, he named it Muirfield Village. Other winners there include Harry Vardon and James Braid (two of the pre-1914 Triumvirate), Walter Hagen, Henry Cotton, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els, and Phil Mickelson. The Open has been held there fourteen times, and, as you can see, it has almost always produced a great champion. But there will be no more Opens at Muirfield, for some time at least. The Championship Committee of the R&A has just removed the course from its rota of Open venues.
The reason? Muirfield—more properly the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers—is a men-only club, and the members have just rejected a proposal to open the membership to ladies. There was actually a majority in favor of the motion, but the rules of the club require a two-thirds majority for change, and the vote fell just short of this.
The debate over the amount of fat in our diet has just become more confusing thanks to a new report.
After a study released earlier this week suggested that low-fat diets are doing more harm than good, many people who thought they were health conscious are now contemplating an entirely new eating plan embracing the very ingredient they believed was the enemy.
So which fats should we embrace, and which are still no-nos? FEMAIL talked to the experts to find out.
The authors behind the report say saturated fat does not cause heart disease while full-fat diary can actually protect the heart.
But nutritionist Sarah Flower told FEMAIL that the report does not give us a free pass to eat all fatty foods.
BALTIMORE, Maryland – We are all originarios…
There were two newsworthy developments last week, neither of them really important – the first because it won’t happen, the second because it won’t matter.
First, the Fed let it be known that it has “normalcy” once again in its sights.
“Prospect of rate rise grows as U.S. moves closer to passing Fed tests,” reported the Financial Times on Monday.
salaries, even though you don’t really need that many workers. You lose money every year…
“You claim to be ranching, but you’re really just redistributing money. From us to them. The whole thing is absurd. You charge them rent – a couple goats and a skinny cow. Then, you can’t do anything with the animals… so you allow them to give you a few pesos instead. After inflation, you get about 70 cents a year, total, for a house and a farm. And if they don’t pay, you can’t do anything about it anyway.
“And now, instead of thanking you… they rebel against you. But what do you expect? Welfare programs never work. Give people something for nothing and they hate you because you make them feel inferior.”
Maybe he’s right. We’re going back to Scotland! At least, there’s water there.
Reprinted with permission from Bonner & Partners.
“Something startling is happening to middle-aged white Americans. Unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group … death rates in this group have been rising, not falling.”
The big new killers of middle-aged white folks? Alcoholic liver disease, overdoses of heroin and opioids, and suicides. So wrote Gina Kolata in The New York Times of a stunning study by the husband-wife team of Nobel laureate Angus Deaton and Anne Case.
Deaton could cite but one parallel to this social disaster: “Only H.I.V./AIDS in contemporary times has done anything like this.”
Middle-aged whites are four times as likely as middle-aged blacks to kill themselves. Their fitness levels are falling as they suffer rising levels of physical pain, emotional stress and mental depression, which helps explain the alcohol and drug addiction.In Hollywood films and TV shows, working-class white males are regularly portrayed as what was once disparaged as “white trash.”
Republicans are instructed that demography is destiny, that white America is dying, and that they must court Hispanics, Asians, and blacks, or go the way of the Whigs.
Since the affirmative action for black Americans began in the 1960s, it has been broadened to encompass women, Hispanics, Native Americans the handicapped, indeed, almost 70 percent of the nation.
White males, now down to 31 percent of the population, have become the only Americans against whom it is not only permissible but commendable, to discriminate.
When our cultural and political elites celebrate “diversity” and clamor for more, what are they demanding, if not fewer white males in the workforce and in the freshman classes at Annapolis and Harvard?
What is the moral argument for an affirmative action that justifies unending race discrimination against a declining white working class, who have become the expendables of our multicultural regime?
“Angry white male” is now an acceptable slur in culture and politics. So it is that people of that derided ethnicity, race, and gender see in Donald Trump someone who unapologetically berates and mocks the elites who have dispossessed them, and who despise them.
Is it any surprise that militant anti-government groups attract white males? Is it so surprising that the Donald today, like Jess Willard a century ago, is seen by millions as “The Great White Hope”?
It’s known as the dreaded 2:30 feeling.
You’ve had your eight hours of sleep, a very productive morning and a healthy lunch – but as the afternoon hits you start to fall into a post-lunch slump.
Feeling drowsy after lunch is completely natural, according to Dr. Fiona Kerr, a neuro specialist from the University of Adelaide, who explains that humans are “built for two sleeps a day”.
“Sleep deprivation, in general, has a number of negative consequences to the creative process and to general and mental health,” she explains.
To say that Hillary did not react properly to the damning State Department Inspector General report which yesterday found that she broke numerous government rules by setting up her own email server, would be a gruesome understatement.
As a reminder, Hillary’s kneejerk response was to plead ignorance and claim that she was merely doing what her predecessors had done before, a claim that was promptly refuted, which was followed by her spokesman Brian Fallon appearing on CNN and saying that the Obama appointed IG had an “Anti-Clinton” bias by releasing the report.
Things, however, turned decidedly worse for Hillary when even the rabidly pro-Clinton channel MSNBC decided to tear Hillary apart for what is now an insurmountable mountain of lies.”Well, actually, there was a lot of classified documents, a lot of classified materials going through this server. The great fear all along [was] that a home-brewed server in Chappaqua, N.Y., was going to be broken into.”
And then there is the “Guccifer” wildcard. Recall that as we reported previously, the extradited Romanian hacker Marcel Lazar who allegedly hacked into Hillary’s server just pled guilty and has promised to fully comply with the ongoing investigation. He has previously claimed that he had access to the former Secretary of State’s “completely unsecured” server. “It was like an open orchid on the Internet,” Lazar told NBC News. “There were hundreds of folders.”
If he provides the evidence that he has done just that, and we are confident that is precisely why he was so eager to plea with the Feds, Hillary’s troubles are about to skyrocket.
See the full clip.
Reprinted with permission from Zero Hedge.
Alan Young, who has died aged 96, was a British-born actor who became famous as the human sidekick of Mister Ed, the talking horse, in the eponymous 1960s CBS sit-com.
When he was first approached to play the role of Wilbur Post, Mister Ed’s hapless owner, in the early 1950s, Young, an Emmy-winning star of his own comedy revue, replied that he “didn’t want to work with anybody who doesn’t clean up after themselves”.
In the meantime the actor George Burns had financed an unsuccessful Mister Ed pilot with another actor and in 1959 he again approached Young, saying that he looked “like the kind of guy a horse would talk to”.
“Seven years later,” Young recalled, “nobody was knocking on my door and I was willing to talk to anyone, including a horse.”