• Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 10:45 PM
    A Monday Gallup poll reveals that most Americans feel it is more important for the United States to work towards improving relations with Russia, as opposed to sanctions. Of those surveyed, 58% say it's "more important to improve relations with Russia," while 36% say "strong diplomatic steps against Russia" are a priority. The poll, which took place between Aug. 1-12, comes after nearly two years of constant media bombardment over Russian hacking, invasive DOJ investigations which Trump refers to as a "witch hunt," and an admission by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that alleged hacking and social media influence campaigns by Russia had no effect on the 2016 US election. That said, 75% of those surveyed by Gallup believe Russia interfered in the election, while 16% say they did not. Of those who say Russia interfered, 36% said it didn't change the outcome, while 39% say it did. Opionions over whether Russia actually influenced the election were also highly partisan - with 78% if Democrats saying that Russian interference affected the outcome of the election, and just 9% of Republicans who believe that Russia both hacked - and changed the outcome, of the election. The vast majority of Republicans (58%) think Russia did interfere, but it didn't affect the outcome. More at: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-20/majority-americans-want-diplomacy-russia-over-sanctions-gallup
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    Today, 10:42 PM
    A series of what appeared to be coordinated attacks against police took place in Chechnya on Aug. 20, The Moscow Times reported. Four attacks across Chechnya, which were claimed by the Islamic State, led to at least one death and several injuries. More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situation-report/russia-terrorist-attacks-chechnya-appear-coordinated
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    Today, 10:41 PM
    Iraq's government has certified the results of the country's May election, giving parties 90 days to create coalitions and form a government, Al Jazeera reported Aug. 20. More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situation-report/iraq-election-results-officially-certified-coalition-building-begins
    29 replies | 738 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 10:39 PM
    Swordsmyth replied to a thread Mexico. in World News & Affairs
    Esteban Moctezuma, the nominee for secretary of education in the next administration, said that the next government plans to amend constitutional and legal reforms that overhauled Mexico's education system in 2013. The government will hold public forums with stakeholders, such as teachers' unions, to take suggestions on how to alter the reform. Moctezuma did not specify which parts of the reform would change. The government will likely decide on the changes after the consultations are finished and when it's ready to hold a national referendum on the measures. In 2013, the government approved constitutional changes to the country's educational system, including instituting evaluations to hold teachers accountable for poor job performance. Before then, teachers had not been subject to particularly strict performance requirements, and certain sections of teachers' unions resisted the measure. For years after the reform, branches of the unions in the states of Michoacan, Morelos and Guerrero were particularly active in resisting the evaluations through frequent, disruptive protests. Starting in 2016, Lopez Obrador made repeal or amendment of education reform a key campaign promise. More at: https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/mexico-next-administration-targets-education-reform
    22 replies | 494 view(s)
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    Today, 10:30 PM
    During the American Civil War, in which 620,000 people were slaughtered on the battlefields alone and hundreds of thousands more injured, the organization of the Roman Catholic Church in the American north and south remained united throughout the war and after. The same cannot be said for the four-year-old civil war in Ukraine, which has deepened existing divisions among Orthodox Christians in the country. Tensions are rising to the point that the Ukrainian government has been accused of suppressing the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of the coming of Christianity to ancient Rus, the proto-state of Eastern Slavs, which included the territories of modern Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. The government is being blamed for involvement in an effort to eliminate the original historic church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), because of its affiliation with Russia and the word “Moscow” in its name. The UOC-MP currently includes more than 12,000 of about 18,000 parishes in Ukraine, and is headed by Ukrainian Metropolitan Onuphrius, under the higher spiritual authority of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus, seated in Moscow. On July 27, a solemn march celebrating the 1030th anniversary of the baptism of Rus by Prince Vladimir the Great of Kiev in 988 AD drew 250,000 faithful of the UOC-MP in Kiev despite the attempt to sabotage it by the U.S.-backed Ukrainian government of President Petro Poroshenko. According to numerous testimonies by UOC-MP’s priests, published in the Ukrainian press, transportation was cut off from outlying parishes and believers were intimidated. But, if we believe the government, these actions weren’t a suppression of religion, but rather “required by a specific situation.” The Poroshenko regime, formed in the beginning of the civil war that followed the U.S.-backed 2014 bloody coup in the “Euromaidan” uprising, is favoring a split-off of the traditional church by an anti-Moscow church known as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate ( UOC-KP) headed by a self-proclaimed leader named Patriach Filaret (born, Denisenko). Denisenko, a former cleric of the Moscow Patriarchate, left the UOC-MP in 1992 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. He had lost an ecclesiastical election and tried to form his own church. Denisenko was then excommunicated. His church is not recognized by any of the other members of the international community of Orthodox churches. There is no single authority in the Orthodox Churches similar to the Roman Catholic pope; rather there are independent or auto-cephalic regional Patriarchs considered equal in authority, with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), regarded as first among equals (primus inter pares) primarily for historic reasons because Constantinople, before its takeover by Turks in 1453, was the center of Orthodox Christianity. None of these Orthodox Patriarchates recognize either the UOC-KP or “Patriarch” Filaret Denisenko. But now the Poroshenko government, together with Denisenko, is moving to reverse that situation. They have called on Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul to remove the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate and recognize a new, single independent Orthodox church in Ukraine, severing all ties to Moscow. The single church in the Poroshenko-Denisenko plan would carry the UOC-KP name with the authority, according to Denisenko, to seize all churches, temples, chapels, monasteries and other properties belonging to the UOC-MP.
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  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 10:21 PM
    I think most of us just ignored it on the assumption that it was nonsense somehow, good catch.
    7 replies | 171 view(s)
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    Today, 10:14 PM
    I accept your surrender.
    21 replies | 178 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 10:11 PM
    It's more like "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones at brick mansions".
    21 replies | 178 view(s)
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    Today, 10:09 PM
    It’s easy to fall victim to a spoof when your ideology itself is indistinguishable from satire. The New York Times may learn this the hard way after, if a hoaxing comedienne can be believed, it got trolled and rolled by her alleged authorship of the letter “How Can I Cure My White Guilt?" Written under the pseudonym “Whitey,” the letter was a wholly ridiculous lamentation about how the author was pained by her own white privilege. “I’m riddled with shame. White shame,” she opened — and the Times not only ate it up; it licked that plate clean providing politically correct advice to the poor suffering Caucasian reader. Since then, a foul-mouthed comedienne going under the name Titania McGrath has taken credit for the letter. As she tweeted Thursday: For the record, here’s what I wrote reporting on this story the day before, responding to the letter’s inane subject matter: Wow, Sacha Baron Cohen, is that you? Are you punking via print now? American Thinker’s Monica Showalter emphasizes that Whitey’s letter isn’t a joke, but I’m not so sure. Commenters under Showalter’s piece suspect the Times of concocting the letter itself as a rhetorical device. While this is unlikely, it wouldn’t surprise me if a reader is using parody to make the Times look foolish; it’s a bit like how a woman years ago tricked the art world into thinking her toddler’s tomato-ketchup paintings were great art. My suspicions were raised, mind you, not by the letter’s Through the Looking Glass quality; with leftism’s cultural ascendancy, truth today really has become stranger than fiction. But it just seemed too perfect in its lunacy. This isn’t to say that McGrath, assuming she actually is the author, didn’t do a good job. Looking at her Twitter feed, she seems to aspire to be the third millennium’s Andy Kaufman, a comic who keeps one confused about when he is and isn’t serious to the point where, if he dies, his friends and relatives suspect it’s just another act. Of course, we can’t be sure that a would-be Andy Kaufman is telling the truth, but as American Thinker’s Thomas Lifson wrote Friday, “I don’t know if the New York Times was hoaxed by a comedian pretending to be ridiculously PC about collective ‘white guilt,’ and it almost doesn’t matter. The fact that the New York Times published this op-ed is simultaneously horrifying and hilarious (‘horrifarious’ in the very useful neologism coined by talk show host Joe Getty).”
    2 replies | 95 view(s)
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    Today, 10:04 PM
    Right back at you dude.
    21 replies | 178 view(s)
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    Today, 10:00 PM
    Writing in City Journal, Heather Mac Donald explained years ago that Hispanics don’t particularly care about immigration policy, and to the degree they do, it doesn’t affect their vote. So a GOP amnesty or shift toward open borders won’t help shift the Hispanic vote. A Hispanic backlash in California after Proposition 187 (the 1994 voter initiative that denied illegal aliens many publicly funded services) turned the state from red to blue, they claim; a similar rout awaits the party if it does not embrace liberal immigration policies. But that probably isn’t all she wrote. President Reagan’s amnesty in 1986 “did not trigger a Latino surge into the Republican Party.” California’s Hispanics leaned as strongly Democratic before Prop. 187 as after it. Hispanic voting patterns in California have held steady since 1988 — they vote approximately two-to-one for Democratic presidential candidates. California’s shift from red to blue would have happened with or without Prop. 187, as defense-industry whites left the state, replaced by liberal high-tech professionals, and as the Hispanic portion of the electorate tripled from 7 percent to 21 percent. Socially conservative Hispanics are not “Republicans waiting to emerge” who “just need to be invited into the party by an amnesty and not scared off by immigration enforcement,” as Scott and his strategists would claim. The majority of Hispanics vote their perceived economic interests, rather than their social values (evangelical Hispanics may be an exception to this rule). Blacks are equally conservative on gay rights and other favorite liberal crusades, and that doesn’t affect their allegiance to the Democratic party. Even Republican Hispanics, she explained, favor higher taxes and a bigger welfare state, while “the majority of Latinos — poor and poorly-educated — the more government services, the better.... Welfare use actually increases between the second and third generation of Mexican-Americans — to 31 percent of all third-generation Mexican-American households. In 2001, the Center for Immigration Studies explained likewise: “There is no indication that the Republican or Democratic positions on immigration policy explain the orientation of Latino voters. Rather, it seems that the core positions of the Republican Party are simply not as attractive to Latino voters as are those of the Democratic Party.” More at: https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/29832-florida-s-scott-pandering-to-hispanics
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    Today, 09:53 PM
    A Florida candidate for agriculture commissioner says Wells Fargo terminated her campaign account because she supports medical marijuana. Democrat Nikki Fried said Monday that the banking giant started asking questions about her platform after she joined the statewide race: Does she advocate more access to medical marijuana? Would she accept contributions from medical marijuana lobbyists? Fried responded in July that she herself had lobbied for medical marijuana companies, and received contributions from lobbyists. Then, just weeks before the Aug. 28 primary, Wells Fargo said it was shutting down her account, based on a review of its banking risks. More at: https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Wells-Fargo-Terminates-Campaign-Account-of-Florida-Candidate-Who-Supports-Pot-491269981.html
    3 replies | 18 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 09:28 PM
    British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn reportedly met with officials from the terrorist organization Hamas on a 2010 trip to Israel and the West Bank. According to i24NEWS, Corbyn met with two groups of Hamas parliamentarians during his trip between November 5-9 as a part of a delegation with the Islamist lobby group Middle East Monitor (MEMO). The trip also reportedly violated parliamentary rules due to Corbyn failing to disclose it to the British Parliament’s Register of Members’ Financial Interests. A colleague on the trip, Labour MP Andrew Slaughter, declared the trip to cost £927, which is over the threshold which required MPs to report gifts of £660 or more. Slaughter claimed the trip was funded by Friends of Al-Aqsa and Middle East Monitor. i24NEWS claims to have obtained evidence of Corbyn’s visit despite MEMO deleting it. The trip reportedly included meetings with cleric Raed Salah, who has been jailed for inciting anti-Semitism and violence, whom Corbyn once labeled a “very honoured citizen.” In Ramallah, Corbyn reportedly met with Mahmoud al Ramahi, Muni Saleem Mansour, Naser Abd El-Jawad, Omar Abdel-Razeq, and Aziz Dweik — all of whom are Hamas politicians. The UK Labor Party defended Corbyn’s alleged visit with terrorists, claiming, "Jeremy has a long and principled record of solidarity with the Palestinian people and engaging with actors in the conflict to support peace and justice in the Middle East. That is the right thing to do." These latest revelations come amid controversy from Corbyn attending a wreath-laying ceremony for terrorists behind the 1972 attack at the Munich Olympics, warranting a harsh response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. https://www.dailywire.com/news/34756/jeremy-corbyn-secretly-met-officials-hamas-kassy-dillon
    1 replies | 78 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 09:20 PM
    The USGS defines any earthquake of at least magnitude 4.5 as “significant”, and there were 53 earthquakes that met that criteria along the Ring of Fire on Sunday alone. If you would like to verify that information for yourself, you can so do right here. Not too long ago, I wrote about how “Earth changes” seem to be accelerating all over the world, but even I was stunned by the ferocity of the seismic activity that we witnessed over the weekend. Because none of the earthquakes happened in the United States, the mainstream media almost entirely ignored this story, but that is a huge mistake. The entire west coast of the U.S. falls along the “Ring of Fire”, and experts assure us that it is only a matter of time before the seismic tension that is building up along the tectonic plates in that area is released. Much of the seismic activity on Sunday was near the small island nation of Fiji, and it is true that Fiji often experiences earthquakes because it sits directly inside the Ring of Fire… Fiji falls in the Pacific Ring Of Fire – a massive horseshoe-shaped area in the Pacific basin. The ring is formed of a string of 452 volcanoes and sites of seismic activity (earthquakes), which encircle the Pacific Ocean. Roughly 90 percent of all earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire, and 75 percent of the world’s active volcanoes are dotted along the expansive ring.
    1 replies | 24 view(s)
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    Today, 09:17 PM
    North Korea has agreed to allow the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to conduct an on-site inspection of the country's missile launches in order to ensure the safety of international flights from the country's missile launches, reports the Japan Times, citing officials with the Montreal-based UN agency. Inspections by the ICAO aim to ensure that member states comply with its regulations concerning the safety of international aviation. The last review of North Korea, conducted in 2008, was not related to missile launches. -Japan Times Assurances were given to high-ranking ICAO representatives by North Korea's General Administration of Civil Aviation during the UN agency's visit to the country in May. The 192-member ICAO is now planning to send its personnel next year in order to verify what measures North Korea, which is a member of the group, has taken to keep unannounced missile launches in check as it pledged, they said. After last May’s trip, the ICAO said North Korea had promised to suspend activities that represented a danger to civil aviation, including the test-firings of long-range missiles without prior notice. Pyongyang conducted numerous unannounced missile tests last year, posing an enormous threat to airplanes flying in the region. -Japan Times The danger of North Korea missile testing was highlighted last July, when an Air France plane flying from Tokyo to Paris flew "downrange" of a North Korean ballistic missile which splashed down into the Sea of Japan off Hokkaido sailed past minutes later. North Korea's willingness to allow an on-site inspection is the latest in a series of measures taken by the isolated country to convince the world that it stands behind its pledge to dial back their ballistic missile program as it mends ties with the international community. The upcoming inspection will include visits to the country's aviation authorities, as well as access to those in charge, according to the ICAO. Last October, the ICAO issued a strong condemnation of North Korea's seemingly continuous launches of ballistic missiles within range of international air routes without prior notice - claiming they seriously threatened the safety of international travelers.
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    Today, 09:13 PM
    Good points.
    2 replies | 55 view(s)
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    Today, 08:54 PM
    After reeling from the sight of approximately 100 burning cars, frequent shootings, grenade attacks and sexual assaults, populism is rising in Sweden - as evidenced by the anti-immigration right-wing Sweden Democrats party surging in polls leading up to next month's September 9 elections. Both the center-left and center-right parties have ruled out working with the Sweden Democrats, a party with neo-Nazi roots that wants to freeze immigration and to hold a referendum on Sweden’s membership of the European Union. That said, the moderate parties may be forced to adopt SD measures in order to assuage public calls for tougher policies on crime and immigration. In response, the head of the center-right Moderate party, Ulf Kristersson, is now on the offensive when it comes to crime and migrants - telling the Financial Times that Swedes have lost trust in the government, and that the country is "paying the price for 20 years of "very unsuccessful integration policies" by both left and rightwing governments." "There is a crisis in politics being able to solve problems," Kristersson lamented. "Is politics able to do anything at all?" Sweden, held up in international surveys as one of the world’s happiest and most successful countries, has been jolted by frequent shootings, grenade attacks and arson attacks on cars in suburbs with a heavy immigrant population in Stockholm, Malmo and Gothenburg. -FT Kristersson said Sweden faces a crisis as serious as when it reeled from financial and economic problems in the early '90s, when interest rates spiked 500% and several banks were in need of rescue. “We have been saying it since 2013, and showing in practice that we accept it. This is threatening very basic values. a sign that things happen that should not happen, that did not happen, that this is not an extreme event,” he added, Kristersson added. To address Sweden's exploding elephant in the room, the Moderate party has rolled out a series of platform planks dealing with crime and immigration. Some highlights from their website (translated):
    57 replies | 715 view(s)
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    Today, 08:46 PM
    A new study has shown that robots can brainwash children, essentially programming their minds into “mindless conformity.” Children can be significantly influenced by machines, even when the robots were obviously wrong. Writing in Science Robotics, the University of Plymouth researchers behind the study said the findings raise concerns about the potential for robots to have a negative influence on vulnerable children. Children were shown to trust the answer a robot provides over their own assessment, even though it was easily wrong, making “robot pressure,” the new peer pressure, reported RT. “People often follow the opinions of others and we’ve known for a long time that it is hard to resist taking over views and opinions of people around us. We know this as conformity. But as robots will soon be found in the home and the workplace, we were wondering if people would conform to robots.” “What our results show is that adults do not conform to what the robots are saying. But when we did the experiment with children, they did. It shows children can perhaps have more of an affinity with robots than adults, which does pose the question: what if robots were to suggest, for example, what products to buy or what to think?” – Professor in Robotics Tony Belpaeme, one of the scientists behind the study. Professor Noel Sharkey, who heads the Foundation for Responsible Robotics, responded to the research on Twitter. “If robots can convince children that false information is true, the implication for the planned commercial exploitation of robots for childminding and teaching is problematic,” he wrote. More at: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-20/new-study-robots-can-brainwash-children-mindless-conformity
    1 replies | 21 view(s)
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    Today, 08:44 PM
    But perhaps the greatest sign that the writing is on the wall for Syria's "the last rebel stronghold" (to repeat CNN's words), there are new reports that Britain has cut off its longtime support to the "moderate rebels" it has for years throughout the war funded and armed. According to The Guardian: The UK government is to end funding to a scheme to support the Syrian opposition, deeming the programmes now too risky to operate as the final rebel-held areas face imminent attack from Bashar al-Assad’s forces.... While humanitarian support will continue, the ending of this governance programme is highly symbolic, suggesting Britain has accepted that the Syrian opposition, which it has backed since the early days of the civil war in 2012 to 2013, is facing imminent defeat from a combination of Syrian regime forces and Russian airstrikes. On Monday a UK government spokesperson confirmed the following: “As the situation on the ground in some regions has become increasingly difficult we have reduced support for some of our non-humanitarian programming, but continue to deliver vital support to help those most in need and to improve security and stability in the country,” according to Reuters. This is in essence the UK finally admitting its side has lost — though we should note its "humanitarian funding" will continue to flow to controversial groups like the 'White Helmets', who have long been proven to work in tandem with al-Qaeda. More at: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-20/uk-finally-ditches-funding-moderate-rebels-ahead-syrian-army-advance-idlib
    1 replies | 20 view(s)
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    Today, 08:35 PM
    The public shock and fury surrounding one of the biggest infrastructure tragedies in Italian history is about to get worse. Days after a 200 meter section of the Morandi bridge in Genoa collapsed, killing 43 people, it emerged that Italian transport ministry officials were warned of weaknesses in the viaduct and corrosion in the bridge's cables some six months ago. According to a study by Autostrade per l’Italia, the country’s biggest motorway toll company, some of the columns supporting the bridge were estimated to have lost 20% of their resistance capacity and needed repair the FT reported. On Monday, the transport ministry, Autostrada and the architect tasked with investigating the collapse confirmed that the findings had been discussed by civil servants in February. The revelation that the government was aware of the structural weaknesses in the bridge will undermine attempts by the populist coalition to pin blame for the disaster squarely on Autostrade and its parent company Atlantia whose shares have been crushed in recent days amid concerns the government would nationalize the company's contract in retaliation. It will also hinder efforts to blame EU austerity for preventing Italy from keeping its infrastructure up to date. In a confusing back and forth, the government which came to power in May (and sent Italian bonds into a tailspin) told Autostrada that it intended to revoke its license to operate about half of Italy’s toll motorways, and refused an initial offer by the company of €500m for repairs and compensation. The price of shares in Atlantia fell as much as 9% on Monday before rebounding into the close, after tumbling the most on record last week. Furthermore, the objectivity of the official investigation by the transport ministry into the collapse has also been questioned after it emerged that the ministry appointed the same official who assessed the Autostrade proposals to head the ministry’s investigation into the accident. Roberto Ferrazza, a transport ministry architect in Genoa, was part of a provincial board overseeing public works. He said he assessed the project proposed by Autostrade to carry out maintenance and repair works on the bridge in February this year. Last week he was appointed to lead the ministry’s investigation into the collapse. Ferazza told the FT that he would not step down from his power as head of the investigation team: “I don’t see a conflict of interest,” he said. Whether he continued to head the investigation “is not my decision”, he added. “I was appointed.” In an attempt to regain control over the narrative, Ferrazza said on Monday that the Autostrade report quoted “at length” from a survey by the Politecnico University in Milan in October last year, which stated that corrosion meant that “parts of the bridge were 10 to 20% down in resistance capacity”. “This was the main reason for the works,” he said.
    0 replies | 24 view(s)
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    Today, 08:26 PM
    In his most vitriolic interview yet with regard the markets, President Trump, speaking to Reuters in an Oval Office interview, opened up about everything from The Fed's hawkishness to China trade talks and European currency manipulation; as well as sanctions threats and deals with Turkey, Iran, and Russia. Turkey - No Concessions Trump, said he thought he had a deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he helped persuade Israel to free a detained Turkish citizen. He had thought Erdogan would then release pastor Andrew Brunson. “I think it’s very sad what Turkey is doing. I think they’re making a terrible mistake. There will be no concessions,” he said. “I’m not concerned at all. I’m not concerned. This is the proper thing to do,” he said, when asked about the potential damage to other economies. Trump added: “I like Turkey. I like the people of Turkey very much. Until now I had a very good relationship as you know with the president. I got along with him great. I had a very good relationship. But it can’t be a one-way street. It’s no longer a one-way street for the United States.” Russia - Consider lifting sanctions President Trump told Reuters that he would consider lifting sanctions on Russia if it were to take steps to work with U.S. on issues like Syria and Ukraine. The Fed - "not thrilled" at rate-hikes Then Trump doubled-down (to the establishment's horror) on the fact that he was "not thrilled" with The Fed hiking rates imploring that Jay Powell should "do what's good for the country," (which is presumably keep rates low and extend all asset bubbles)... Trump believes the U.S. central bank should be more accommodating.
    0 replies | 27 view(s)
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    Today, 08:21 PM
    China, like Japan, faces a demographic crisis, and like Japan, the central planners have decided to do something about it. Japan has tried a few things - from imposing "handsome taxes" to make it easier for uglier men to get laid, to changing women's attitudes towards sex as "bothersome," but so far it is not working as young Japanese men appear to prefer the company of their AI girlfriends. But, while Japan went with the 'carrot' incentive for encourage more fornication; China, having relinquished its one-child policy three years ago, prefers the 'stick' to change Chinese people's attitudes towards baby-making. As The South China Morning Post reports, a proposal to tax all working adults aged under 40 – with the money going to a “reproduction fund” to reward families who have more than one child – has caused uproar in China. The proposal comes amid a nationwide campaign to encourage people to have more children – a drastic turnaround after a one-child policy that lasted nearly four decades and only ended three years ago – as Beijing worries about a rapidly ageing society, shrinking workforce and falling birth rate creating a demographic time bomb. Couples can now have two children but the birth rate is falling despite the new policy.
    12 replies | 366 view(s)
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    Today, 08:13 PM
    The most dire warnings from analysts worry that Brazil may turn into the next Turkey if the left-wing Workers' Party (PT) takes power again... and the Real is tumbling back to cycle lows following the latest poll showing PT dominating with over 37% of the vote. Even more crucially, market-friendly Geraldo Alckmin failed to show any gain with 4.9% of the votes, which wouldn’t be enough to take him to runoff As Bloomberg details, all this pessimism reflects what’s really an intense distaste for the Workers’ Party, known locally as the PT, among investors and business executives. They see the government of former President Dilma Rousseff as largely responsible for bringing about the worst recession in a century before she was impeached, and her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as a crook. While the PT has put Lula forth as its candidate, it’s unlikely he will be allowed to run in October because of a corruption conviction. His probable replacement, former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad, gets no more love from traders. “Turkey and Argentina are examples of how disrupting it is for financial markets when investors lose confidence in policy direction and institutions,” said Tania Escobedo, a Latin America strategist at RBC Capital Markets in New York. “Lula’s PT party would represent this scenario, unless it moderates its views significantly.” One specific concern is that a PT government might seek to unwind the efforts President Michel Temer made to shore up the budget after the country’s credit rating was cut to junk, including a push to overhaul the social security system. The result is selling in the Real... (and weakness in Brazilian stocks)
    0 replies | 27 view(s)
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    Today, 08:05 PM
    SybilDefense J S Bach Mon, 08/20/2018 - 13:05 Permalink Paper ballots should be returned to the voter via US mail to verify the paper you submitted is the paper they counted, or if you receive a returned ballot but never submitted one. Make that announcement 3 days before the election after having all the necessary paperwork and supplies ready to go, with self addressed, no postage necessary pre printed form. Fill it out, they scan/count it and drop it in the mail. Great way to catch cheating. The leadership folks who complain because you made people use a pen vs PC or receive a piece of mail at a US address will have zero excuse. What could they argue about. Not everybody who votes has an address? Not everybody can write their name? If the scan/counter gets a bunch of returned non deliverable ballots, they don't count. If 2000 D votes go to one house address, verify. Make everybody fill in their address on the day they voted. Wonder how different the proportions would be from the usual method to this. We may just find out there are in reality very few Democrats... Enough of a nuance to look into previous bogus D wins. From: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-20/luongo-trump-crosses-black-chasm-ends-democrats
    2 replies | 55 view(s)
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    Today, 07:32 PM
    An unknown gunman fired several gunshots from a passing vehicle at the US embassy in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Monday, hitting a window in a security cabin but causing no casualties, police and broadcaster CNN Turk reported. The attack has coincided with a deepening row between Ankara and Washington over the trial of a U.S. pastor in Turkey. A police officer told Reuters at the scene the drive-by shooting occurred around 5 a.m. (0200 GMT) and that nobody was hurt. The embassy was closed for a weeklong public holiday to mark the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival. Broadcaster Haberturk showed police teams inspecting one of the entrances to the embassy and apparent damage caused by a gunshot could be seen in one window. It said empty cartridges were found at the scene. #BREAKING: Shots fired at the US Embassy in Ankara #Turkey, targeting the security guards booth pic.twitter.com/Zg5VJHyB5M — Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) August 20, 2018 Commenting on the shooting, an Erdogan spokesman said that the shooting at the US embassy was a clear attempt to create chaos. Police teams were searching for the assailants, who fled in a white car after the attack, CNN Turk said. Four or five gunshots were heard, it said. The U.S. embassy in Ankara and the consulate in Istanbul have been the targets of attacks by militants and have faced numerous security threats in the past. Separately, in the latest diplomatic escalation between the US and Turkey, the WSJ reported , citing a White House official, that the Trump administration has "rejected an effort by Turkey to tie the release of a U.S. pastor with relief for a major Turkish bank facing billions of dollars in U.S. fines," and has told Ankara other issues are off the table until the minister is freed.
    36 replies | 1320 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 07:21 PM
    Thank you for supplying us with the party line.
    35 replies | 509 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 07:09 PM
    A Republican lawmaker said he has a novel idea to cut down asylum seekers illegally crossing the border. Make them apply for asylum before they reach the U.S. border. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., is introducing a bill that would require asylum officers to conduct credible fear screenings at U.S. embassies or consulates in Mexico and Canada before asylum seekers can cross the border. Inhofe said that would cut down on the surge of migrants illegally crossing the Mexico-U.S. border. Currently, migrants ask for asylum at U.S. points of entry. They are given a court date, but many fail to show up – leading to a large number of illegal immigrants lost within the immigration court system. “The key here is to make sure they don’t get in,” Inhofe said. “Once those individuals who are in the pipeline do come to the United States find out that it’s not working – people are not able to get into the United States – then the demand will drop off.” Inhofe said he plans on introducing the bill on August 20. “That way they never step foot into the United States and they have to wait and have that case heard before they enter into the United States,” Inhofe said. “Obviously, most of the people who are seeking asylum and are assigned a court date here in the United States, they walk away and they never show up anyway.” More at: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/17/gop-bill-would-let-asylum-seekers-apply-in-mexico-in-bid-to-ease-immigration-court-backlog.html
    1 replies | 42 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 07:03 PM
    The Justice Department of the United States charged two people with circumventing US sanctions against Iran, discretely working on behalf of Iran’s government to conduct surveillance on Israeli and Jewish facilities inside the country, and attending MEK events in the US to collect intelligence. The Justice Department's National Security Division announced the charges Monday evening. Ahmadrea Doostdar, 39, of Iranian and US citizenship, and Majid Ghorbani, 59, of Iranian citizenship and whose residence was California, are the two individuals named in the indictment. Among the alleged offenses ascribed to Doostdar and Ghorbani are collecting identifying information on American citizens who are members of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), a group that seeks to overthrow Iran's current leadership. The group, which has been described as a "cult" by the Washington Post and others, pays John ("Bomb Iran") Bolton tens of thousands of dollars to speak at MEK rallies, and was designated a terrorist group by the United States Department of State from 1993 to 2012, when Bolton reportedly was able to lobby for its removal. "In or about July 2017, Doostdar traveled to the United States from Iran in order to collect intelligence information about entities and individuals considered by the government of Iran to be enemies of that regime, including Israeli and Jewish interests, and individuals associated with the MEK, a group that advocates the overthrow of the current Iranian government," the DOJ said with respect to the indictment. More at: https://sputniknews.com/world/201808211067348495-us-indicts-two-spying-iran-mek/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=idealmedia&utm_campaign=sputniknews.com&utm_term=68731&utm_content=1
    1 replies | 40 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 06:48 PM
    PDVSA settled with ConocoPhillips on Monday over an outstanding debt issue, a move that the Venezuelan oil company surely hopes will give it some breathing room even as the nation continues to crumble. Earlier this year, Conoco won an international arbitration award resulting from the 2007 assets seizure by Venezuela. Conoco quickly moved to lay claim to PDVSA’s refining assets in the Dutch Caribbean, a devastating blow to Venezuela that compounded fiscal and operational problems. Without the processing facilities on the islands of Curacao and Aruba, PDVSA’s oil exports plunged deeper in the second quarter. Venezuela’s revolutionary government has made it a point of pride to resist outside pressure, which makes the latest settlement all the more remarkable. PDVSA has agreed to pay ConocoPhillips an initial $500 million within 90 days, which will then be followed by quarterly payments over the next four and a half years. The fact that PDVSA agreed to the settlement is a testament to how much of a crisis the company (and ultimately the Venezuelan government) finds itself in, and how important those Caribbean assets are to ongoing operations. Venezuela’s oil production continues to decline. In July, output fell to just 1.278 million barrels per day (mb/d), down 500,000 bpd from the fourth quarter of last year and down nearly 1 mb/d from two years ago. A growing number of analysts see output dipping below the 1-million-barrel-per-day mark by the end of 2018. The deal comes as the U.S.-based subsidiary of PDVSA, Citgo, is also in the spotlight. A recent court ruling in a separate case exposed Citgo to asset seizure. Canadian miner Crystallex won a case just this month against PDVSA, arguing that Citgo, as a subsidiary of PDVSA, was essentially the same company as PDVSA, which means that Citgo was eligible for asset seizure. A U.S. federal judge agreed, putting Citgo in jeopardy. Citgo is appealing the decision. PDVSA’s settlement with Conoco could get the American oil company of its back, so long as payments are forthcoming. That could potentially relieve some operational pressure. Presumably, PDVSA could regain control of the facilities on the Caribbean, which should allow for oil exports to resume at higher levels. But the settlement does not mean that PDVSA is out of the woods, by any means. First, the payments will be painful and hard to meet. The $2 billion that PDVSA owes ConocoPhillips amounts to about a quarter of the cash reserves that Venezuela’s central bank still has left. If the Venezuelan oil company fails to meet the terms of the settlement, Conoco “can resume global enforcement actions,” Daren Beaudo, a Conoco spokesman, told Bloomberg in an email. Second, it does little to assuage the long line of creditors who are not part of the deal. Indeed, they could begin to fight for the remaining crumbs as the country falls apart.
    56 replies | 1528 view(s)
  • Swordsmyth's Avatar
    Today, 06:43 PM
    Saudi Arabia may be looking to build an oil port in Yemen’s southeast al-Mahra governorate, where the Saudi-led coalition troops are present, Al Jazeera reported on Monday, quoting sources and a document it has obtained. Saudi Arabia-based marine construction company Huta Marine has sent a letter to the Saudi ambassador to Yemen in which it thanks the official for the opportunity to submit a technical and financial proposal for the future oil port, according to the document that Al Jazeera has obtained. The al-Mahra governorate borders Oman, and the border crossing, as well as the seaport and airport in the governorate, is under the control of the Saudi and UAE coalition, which has been fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015. Earlier this month, Yemen was said to have resumed oil exports. Despite a worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen amid a war between the Houthi rebels and a coalition between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the poorest Arab country has found a way to restart oil production and has even exported the first cargo: 500,000 barrels from a field in the southern Shabwa province bound for a Chinese company, The National reports. This is the first outbound shipment of crude oil from Yemen since 2015 when a civil war broke out and quickly escalated into an international conflict. The oil was offered in an open tender, in which 35 companies from around the world took part, the Yemeni ministry of oil and minerals said in a statement. Now there are plans to restart the rest of the oil fields in Shabwa and neighboring provinces, the secretary to the oil and minerals minister told The Emirati daily. The provinces are under the control of the elected government that the Houthis are fighting as a result of the intervention of the Saudi and Emirati forces.
    344 replies | 19492 view(s)
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Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

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Groucho Marx

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