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Topics - Eddie

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1
Marathon Man Newz / Bohemian Rhapsody
« on: December 10, 2018, 09:19:19 AM »
I was never a Queen fan in the early days. At the time Live Aid happened, I didn't even own a stereo. Or a computer, I don't think.

 I had just graduated from four really, really busy years of trying not to flunk out of dental school (I actually graduated near the top of the class, but I was worried until the day we walked and I passed the boards). We had 2 little kids and had just moved our broke asses to Houston for my residency.

My exposure to Queen was greatly augmented by watching those Mike Myers movies....Party on, Wayne.

But most of you probably know that Queen's performance at Wembley Stadium in July 1985 has been voted in many polls to be the best rock music performance of all time.

The movie reprises that performance, and after I watched the movie last night, we watched the original, and it is hard to tell them apart. The actors  look EXACTLY like the real members of the band.

Anyway, it was a very worthy show. Even though you know it ends badly, no spoiler alert needed.


Actual performance
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ktYlzVYQbwY&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ktYlzVYQbwY&fs=1</a>

Movie Trailer
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/mP0VHJYFOAU&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/mP0VHJYFOAU&fs=1</a>

Even though I knew there was a Mike Myers cameo, it sneaked by me. That was well done.

2
Marathon Man Newz / Maureen Dowd Delivers a Clinton Political Obit
« on: December 03, 2018, 11:12:59 AM »
This caught my eye. I wouldn't have bothered to post it, but this is Maureen Dowd saying this, for fucks sake.   

MAUREEN DOWD: Curtains for the Clintons


Posted 5:00 a.m. today


Curtained-off empty seats during Bill and Hillary Clinton?0073 speaking tour event at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Nov. 27, 2018.  The formerly golden couple who dominated their party for nearly three decades is traveling North America in a bubble, shockingly un-self-aware, Maureen Dowd writes. (Shawn McCreesh/The New York Times)
TORONTO — The snow is falling lightly.

My thoughts are racing darkly.

I’m feeling something foreign, something I’ve never felt before. It takes me a moment to identify it.

I’m feeling sorry for the Clintons.

In the 27 years I’ve covered Bill and Hillary, I’ve experienced a range of emotions. They’ve dazzled me and they’ve disgusted me.

ADVERTISING

But now they’re mystifying me.

I’m looking around Scotiabank Arena, the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it’s a depressing sight. It’s two-for-the-price-of-one in half the arena. The hockey rink is half curtained off, but even with that, organizers are scrambling at the last minute to cordon off more sections behind thick black curtains, they say due to a lack of sales. I paid $177 weeks in advance. (I passed on the pricey meet-and-greet option.) On the day of the event, some unsold tickets are slashed to single digits.

I get reassigned to another section as the Clintons’ audience space shrinks. But even with all the herding, I’m still looking at large swaths of empty seats — and I cringe at the thought that the Clintons will look out and see that, too. It was only four years ago, after all, that Canadians were clamoring to buy tickets to see the woman who seemed headed for history.

It’s a sad contrast with the sold-out boffo book tour of Michelle Obama, who’s getting a lot more personal for the premium prices. But introspection has never been within the Clintons’ range.

I can’t fathom why the Clintons would make like aging rock stars and go on a tour of Canada and the U.S. at a moment when Democrats are hoping to break the stranglehold of their cloistered, superannuated leadership and exult in a mosaic of exciting new faces.

What is the point? It’s not inspirational. It’s not for charity. They’re not raising awareness about a cause, like Al Gore with global warming. They’re only raising awareness about the Clintons.

It can’t be the money at this point. Have they even spent all the Goldman gold yet? Do they want to swim in their cash like Scrooge McDuck?

The Clintons’ tin cup is worthy of the Smithsonian. They hoovered more than $2 billion in contributions to their campaigns, foundation and philanthropies.

After the White House, the money-grubbing raged on, with the Clintons making over 700 speeches in a 15-year period, blithely unconcerned with any appearance of avarice or of shady special interests and foreign countries buying influence. They stockpiled a whopping $240 million. Even leading up to her 2016 presidential run, Hillary was packing in the speeches, talking to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the American Camp Association, eBay, and there was that infamous trifecta of speeches for Goldman Sachs worth $675,000.

“What scares me the most is Hillary’s smug certainty of her own virtue as she has become greedy and how typical that is of so many chic liberals who seem unaware of their own greed,” Charlie Peters, the legendary liberal former editor of The Washington Monthly, told me. “They don’t really face the complicity of what’s happened to the world, how selfish we’ve become and the horrible damage of screwing the workers and causing this resentment that the Republicans found a way of tapping into.” He ruefully worries about the Obamas in this regard, too.

Indeed, in the era of Trump, greed is not only good. It’s grand. The stock market is our highest value. Mammonism rules.

But watching the Clintons hash over their well-worn tale of falling in love at Yale Law School, I realize that it’s not only about the money.

Some in Clintonworld say Hillary fully intends to be the nominee. Once more, in Toronto, she didn’t rule it out, dodging the question with a lame joke. She carries herself with the air of a president in exile. Her consigliere, Philippe Reines, has prodded reporters on including her name when they write about 2020 candidates.

And Bill has given monologues to old friends about how Hillary knows how she’d have to run in 2020, that she couldn’t have a big staff and would just speak her mind and not focus-group everything. (That already sounds focus-grouped.)

After losing to an orange puffer clown fish who will go down as one of the most destructive forces in American history and flushing the Obama legacy down the drain, that’s delusional. Some Obama associates say the former president has some regrets about throwing his support solely behind Hillary and knows he misread the anger and frustration of voters.

Bill was radioactive in the midterms and Hillary was the Ghost of Christmas Past. Her approval rating is at a record low of 36 percent. The only American who seems truly interested in her these days is President Donald Trump, who can’t stop tweeting about her. She’s still money in his book.

The Clintons refuse to be discarded. It has been their joint project for half a century to be at the center of the public scene and debate. The way that the whole thing came crashing down in 2016 is too hard for them to bear. They would like to rewrite the ending, but there is no way to do that.

Nothing they have done lately suggests that they have learned anything, including their obtuse post-#MeToo comments about Monica Lewinsky, who has been far more candid and sympathetic in the 20th anniversary retellings of the impeachment saga. The Clintons are still unable to hold themselves accountable. The formerly golden couple who dominated their party for nearly three decades is traveling North America in a bubble, shockingly un-self-aware.

Their pathological need to be relevant in America is belied by a Canadian arena, where stretches of empty seats bear witness to the passing of their relevance.

It’s a pity.

https://www.wral.com/curtains-for-the-clintons/18033351/

3
Conspiracy / Facebook Bans Jeff Berwick
« on: November 23, 2018, 07:50:44 AM »
I'm not saying anybody should take Jeff Berwick at full face value (no pun intended), after all, he is selling something. And as you all know, I think Alex Jones is a nasty, dangerous, fruitcake who is right about as often as a broken clock....but Berwick makes some good points, nonetheless. Presented FYI, FWIW, under the Conspiracy Theory thread umbrella.

Sorry he isn't communist, but then neither am I.


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/KWuFTrH4ERY&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/KWuFTrH4ERY&fs=1</a>

4
Marathon Man Newz / A Nice Video On Gold and Cryptos
« on: November 23, 2018, 07:05:57 AM »
This guy is Jeff Berwick, speaking in Australia at a metals conference last month. He thinks all fiat money will collapse by 2020. He hates the banksters.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/JvO1v0RPtSQ&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/JvO1v0RPtSQ&fs=1</a>

5
I ran across this excellent piece in the Washington Post. It isn't new, but it's timely.It helped me understand how a moron like Trump can come to be President, and be hugely popular among large numbers of people, even though almost everything he does is either ignorant, stupid, or downright mean.

The Post goes to great lengths to make sure people like me have trouble reading them for free or re-posting their stuff on forums, so it would be much easier to read the images, which are huge, if you just follow this link.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/22/who-exactly-is-the-white-working-class-and-what-do-they-believe-good-questions/?utm_term=.79a5b691ba70





 Wonkblog

If you’ve ever described people as ‘white working class,’ read this

By Max Ehrenfreund and
Jeff Guo November 23, 2016

 .

The white working class has received enormous attention since Election Day thanks to its critical role in electing Donald Trump the next president. Exit polls show he won this group — defined as white adults over 25 without a four-year degree — by an overwhelming margin of 39 percentage points.

Census data show that 42 percent of American are part of the white working class, bigger than any other single group.

Yet although this demographic acted with surprising uniformity on Election Day — few other groups swung so far toward a particular party's direction since 2012 — it is far from monolithic. And it is certainly doesn't match the stereotype of the rural, blue-collar worker that has often been cited as a typical member of the white working class.

Here are seven key facts about this group that capture how socioeconomically diverse it actually is.

1. The majority of white Americans are working-class, and nearly half have more than a high-school education

The 90 million white adults without a college degree far exceeds the 51 million white adults who have at least a bachelor's degree. Of those without a college degree—the white working class—about 39 million, or 43 percent, have some college or an associate's degree. Another 41 million have only a high-school diploma, and the remaining 9 million do not have a diploma.



 

 
 

White workers without a degree earn more than workers of other races and ethnicities with similar levels of education, according to the bureau.

For instance, the median white worker with only a high-school diploma makes $706 in an ordinary week (compared to a worker with a bachelor's degree, who earns $1,154 a week). Among Latinos, the median worker with only a high-school diploma makes $611 — the same as the median Asian worker in this category. For black workers with only a high-school education, the figure is $578.



 
A significant number of people in the white working class are either unemployed or not looking for work. Among men between the ages of 25 and 54 — prime working age — only about 79 percent are working; another 5 percent are unemployed, and 16 percent are not working or looking for a job, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

In contrast, 93 percent of white men with a four-year college degree are working. The pattern is similar for women.

 


 

 
2. They live in cities and suburbs, not primarily in rural America

While it is true that the white working class outnumbers white graduates in rural America — and the election did highlight a huge urban-versus-rural divide — many of them also live in and around cities.



 
A Post analysis of Census data shows that there are 62 million working-class white adults living in the metropolitan footprint of a large city with a population of over 250,000. There are just 37 million white adults with bachelor's degrees living in these metropolitan areas.

Many working-class whites might live in outlying counties, but their neighborhoods are still intimately connected with the economic and social life of the nearby city. Metropolitan areas are defined as regions in which at least a quarter of a county's population commutes to the city or elsewhere in the metropolitan area for work.

3. Few of them have blue-collar jobs



 
Trump campaigned on promises to restore employment in factories and the manufacturing sector through aggressive negotiation on international trade. Yet not that many members of the white working class work traditional manufacturing jobs. Most of them are employed in white-collar or service occupations, according to the Brookings Institution.

According to a Post analysis of Census data, white workers with less than a four-year degree most commonly hold jobs as store managers, cashiers, salespeople and administrative assistants. Many work in food service as servers or cooks. Some are nurses. There are a number of blue-collar workers in trades outside of manufacturing, such as trucking and construction.

White workers who do have bachelor's degrees are more likely to be teachers, accountants and lawyers.

 
 

4. A few use opioids, but far more use marijuana

A study published last year by economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton focused national attention on opioid abuse among the white working class. The study showed that the number of white Americans with no more than a high-school diploma dying from poisonings, including drug overdoses, increased five-fold from 1999 to 2013.

These numbers are troubling, but opioid use remains relatively rare among the white working class despite the increase.

Only about 2 percent of white respondents between the ages of 25 and 54 without a bachelor's degree use heroin or prescription painkillers not for medical purposes, according to a Post analysis of a Department of Health and Human Services survey. About half as many whites with a degree used these drugs.



 
Marijuana is more popular, especially among the white working class. About 11 percent of respondents without a bachelor's degree reported getting high at least once in the past month. The figure was 7 percent among white respondents with a degree.

 


Alcoholism is also a greater danger among the white working class. Those with no more than a high-school diploma are nearly six times more likely to die of chronic cirrhosis of the liver than those with at least a bachelor's degree, Case and Deaton report.


 
Again, however, these figures might be more representative of the few who seriously abuse alcohol than of the white-working class as a whole. The Post's analysis also shows that those both with and without a bachelor's degree report drinking about nine or 10 days out of the month. Respondents without a bachelor's degree are somewhat more likely to binge on booze, but the difference is small in the context of the overall population.

 
 
 

5. They are not culturally conservative

While Donald Trump's marital history and crude language were prominent features of the campaign, the white working class doesn't tend to be especially sensitive to these cultural issues as much as traditional conservatives are. On the whole, the white working class attends church about as frequently as the general population, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.

 

Over the last few decades, members of the white working class have also become less likely to be married. As this chart from economists Shelly Lundberg and Robert A. Pollak shows, marriage rates have fallen for whites without a college degree. About 55 percent of white men and 60 percent of women with no more than a high school diploma are married, compared to about 70 percent of men and women with four-year college degrees.

6. Being white matters to many of them

Members of the white working class identify more strongly with their race. About 40 percent of the white working class said that being white was "very" or "extremely" important to their identity, compared to about 29 percent of whites with four-year college degrees, according to a Post analysis of a January poll from the American National Election Studies project.

 

The two groups are equally patriotic, however. The same poll showed that, regardless of their educational background, about 70 percent of whites say that being American is "very" or "extremely" important to their identity.

7. They don't believe education will make them better off

Even though data shows that whites without a bachelor's degree earn less, on average, than their more-educated counterparts, many members of the white working class are not hopeful about the power of education to improve their lives.


 
About 51 percent say that their lives would be no different if they had a four-year college degree, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation/CNN poll. Only 45 percent believed that a bachelor's degree would benefit them. In contrast, 73 percent of the black working class and 74 percent of Hispanic working class said they thought having a four-year college degree would make their lives better.

Overall, members of the white working class say that they're doing okay. When asked if they felt "happy" about their lives, about 79 percent said yes, compared to 87 percent of college-educated whites. There's a happiness gap there, but the majority of the working class — no matter their race or ethnicity — are staying on the sunny side.



https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/22/who-exactly-is-the-white-working-class-and-what-do-they-believe-good-questions/?utm_term=.79a5b691ba70

 

6
Marathon Man Newz / And Now For Something Completely Different
« on: November 15, 2018, 12:59:07 PM »
One of my patients recommended this video for me today. I have not yet watched it, but I'm looking forward to it.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/GB4s5b9NL3I&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/GB4s5b9NL3I&fs=1</a>

7
Marathon Man Newz / I'm Going Back To School for a PhD In Social Justice
« on: November 15, 2018, 11:59:40 AM »
Not really. But this story caught my eye. You just can't make this shit up.

I know this is some kind of conservative site, publishing this info. I get that. But it happens to be true. I checked.




NC State rolls out Ph.D. in ‘social justice education’

Adam Sabes
Mississippi Senior Campus Correspondent
@asabes10
on Nov 14, 2018 at 11:25 AM EDT


North Carolina State University will debut its "social justice education" Ph.D. program in fall 2019.
The program will focus on “equity in STEM” and “scholar activism.”
NCSU College Republicans chairman Kye Laughter is not pleased with the initiative.

North Carolina State University announced a Ph.D. in social justice education on Monday.

The program, which will debut in fall 2019, aims to teach educators, or "scholar-activists," about social justice and how they can bring about change in the classroom setting, according to an NC State news release.

"I am doubtful we will see any Ph.D. programs in conservative ideologies anytime soon, as academia has been infested with liberalism."    Tweet This

“The goal of the program is to help educators recognize and disrupt systems of oppression by helping to foster and create equitable learning environments,” Jessica DeCuir-Gunby, a professor of educational psychology and director of graduate programs for the Teacher Education and Learning Sciences Department, said in the news release.

Faculty will come from various research areas, such as “social justice teacher education, multicultural education and literacy, education and immigration and diversity and equity in schools and communities,” according to the Ph.D. program’s webpage. The program also claimed it would focus on “equity in STEM” and “scholar activism.”



“This program area of study promotes social diversity while naming, interrogating and challenging oppression, exploitation and marginalization within education at the local, state, national and international levels,” the website states.

Courses that are required to attain the Ph.D. in social justice education include “Social Justice in Education,” “Diversity & Equity Scholar Leader Course,” and more.

NCSU College Republicans chairman Kye Laughter told Campus Reform he views this new Ph.D. program as a way to push social justice on future students.

“I think any person pursuing a degree or a Ph.D. in social justice already has an agenda in mind and this field will only allow bias to grow not only among those in academia but for those being taught this dangerous ideology,” Laughter said.

[RELATED: Academics target ‘whiteness’ at social justice conference]

The chairman also suggested that the program shows that the university has a double standard, contending that a Ph.D. in a conservative thought field would never be created.

“Our university should not be afraid of discussing different ideas, but I am doubtful we will see any Ph.D. programs in conservative ideologies anytime soon, as academia has been infested with liberalism,” Laughter said, while noting that the university excels in fields like agriculture, engineering, and architecture.

https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=11520




8
Marathon Man Newz / Alex Jones Is NOT a Great Dad
« on: November 13, 2018, 09:24:55 AM »
America is a fucked up place.  I know this because a nutjob like Alex Jones can make 10 million bucks spewing vitriol on the radio and the net, telling people that they need to fear soy milk in their lattes and airplane contrails in the sky.

Wait, you say. It's just what he does for money. He's probably a great guy in person.

Well, not according to his ex.



Ex-wife of Infowars host Alex Jones wins joint custody


By Jonathan Tilove
Updated Sep 25, 2018 at 8:06 PM
     
After nine hours of deliberation, a Travis County jury in the Alex Jones-Kelly Jones child custody trial gave Kelly Jones a great victory, awarding her joint custody with the right to have their three children make their primary residence with her instead of her husband for the first time since the couple’s 2015 divorce.

Alex Jones will share joint custody, which means that he will have visitation rights. But Kelly Jones and her lawyers want to begin the new arrangement with a period of time in which the children will live exclusively with her while they adjust to the new situation, followed by increased visitation with their father.

She also wants the family involved in a program for undoing parental alienation, the phenomenon in which one parent turns the children against another parent, which she and her lawyers argued was what happened to her when the children began living with Alex Jones. She said during the trial she is thinking of writing a book about it.

“I am so grateful to God that he has kept me and my family strong through this,” Kelly Jones said after the verdict. “I just pray that from what’s happend with my family, people can really understand what parental alienation syndrome is and get an awareness of it and we can stop this from happening in the future.”

When state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo read the verdict Thursday night from the bench in the third-floor courtroom at the Travis County Court, Kelly Jones sat quietly and dabbed her eyes with a Kleenex. Alex Jones stared at the judge. His mien was serious but he otherwise betrayed no emotion, a rarity for a man whose relentless expressiveness, even in silence, was an issue during the trial.

He had predicted during the trial that a verdict like this would lead his son to run away from home.

As the last juror left, unlocking his bicycle from a bike rack outside the courthouse for the ride home on the cooly comfortable night, he said the jurors thought both Joneses were good parents. “That’s why we deliberated so long,” he said.

The juror, who did not identify himself, said that Infowars did not figure in the verdict.

“It was not dispositive,” he said.

 
Kelly Jones hugs a supporter Thursday evening, after a jury awarded her joint custody in her case against ex-husband Alex Jones.

Jonathan Tilove

The jury began deliberations after returning from lunch at 12:30 p.m.

At stake was whether the three Jones’ children, ages 9, 12 and 14, would continue to live with Alex Jones, the provocative broadcaster whose Infowars show has made him currently the most influential conspiracy theorist, or live instead with his ex-wife, who described him on the stand as a “violent, cruel and abusive man” who is “enraged and out of control most of the time.”

In his closing argument Thursday, Kelly Jones’ attorney Robert Hoffman argued that she was the victim of parental alienation with Alex Jones brainwashing their children to align with him and turn against her.

“Mr. Jones is like a cult leader; the children appear to be cult followers, doing what Daddy wants them to do,” said Hoffman.

“Nobody knows how to stop this man,” Hoffman told the jury, and that, he said, included Judge Orlinda Naranjo, who throughout the trial repeatedly told Alex Jones to stop making faces and nodding and shaking his head in reaction to testimony.

“Nobody can stop this man except the 12 of you,” Hoffman said. “You have an unbelievable amount of power.”


But Alex Jones’ lawyers depicted Kelly Jones as emotionally unstable, self-absorbed and paranoid.

Randall Wilhite, representing Alex Jones, said Kelly Jones came to view a legion of mental health professionals in the case — and even her former attorney — as “conspiring against her.”

David Minton, another of Alex Jones’ lawyers, said Kelly Jones’ mantra was “they all got it wrong.”

“They didn’t all get it wrong,” Minton said in his closing. “They are not all bought and paid for. They are not corrupt.”

But as he finished, Minton struck a rare, conciliatory note in the contentious nine-day trial, saying that while Kelly Jones wasn’t yet ready to see her children on a more regular basis, she was on her way there.

“She is working hard to get better. I applaud her. Mr. Jones applauds her,” Minton said. “He is going to help her make herself a better mom.”


“As she gets better and better, that access will get better and better,” Minton said. “That’s how it works.”

Kelly Jones’ lawyers said she now sees her children as little as four hours a month.


The case stood out mostly because of the celebrity of Alex Jones and the question of whether he would have to distance himself from his Infowars’ persona to convince a jury that he was a suitable custodial parent to his children. But, as best she could, Naranjo kept the testimony from veering into Infowars territory.

Nonetheless, despite a gag order not to talk about the case, Jones continued to post videos on Infowars during the trial attacking the media for pushing the narrative — based on his lawyers’ strategy revealed at a pretrial hearing — that he was only playing a role on the air.

Yes, he sometimes engages in satire, Jones insisted, but his on-air politics are genuine.

In court, he and his lawyers simply contended that he didn’t bring his often angry, raging on-air personality home with him and into his parenting.


But Kelly Jones testified that he was the same “volatile,” “hateful,” personality on the air and at home. Hoffman said in his closing argument that Alex Jones was making his children into “foot soldiers” for Infowars.

“I submit these kids are in serious emotional, psychological and physical danger,” Hoffman

The trial also became a high-profile test of parental alienation as an argument in a child custody case.

The difficulty in presenting the argument before a jury is that, as Kelly Jones’ lawyers noted, it is counterintuitive because the children’s preference for one parent over the other might actually be an indication not of the preferred parent’s merits, but proof that the child has been brainwashed by the parent in charge.

Alex Jones’ lawyers went first in presenting their case and through most of the trial, the jurors were left with the impression that Kelly Jones was an emotional mess, subject to episodes of “emotional dysfunction” in which her responses were uncontrollable and disproportionate to the circumstances. It was used to explain why the children lived with Alex Jones since even before the 2015 divorce was finalized and why Kelly Jones now had such limited access to her children.

But when her lawyers got to present their case this week, they created a picture of a woman prone to anxiety who was driven to emotional dysfunction by the threat of losing her children.

I think Kelly Jones' main mistake in life was hooking up with a batshit crazy conspiracy theorist. If she needed help with emotional and mental problems, there'a a damn good reason.

https://www.statesman.com/NEWS/20170428/Ex-wife-of-Infowars-host-Alex-Jones-wins-joint-custody

9
The revolution you'd like to see is simply an event of such extremely low probability that expecting it to happen amounts to believing in Santa Claus.

I EXPECT a swing to more socialism.  The politics of that are already successfully incubating on our university campuses. But it won't be called socialism or communism.  Those are buzzwords with a lot of bad connotations.

Our future looks a lot like Europe. And like socialism in Europe today, it won't make any difference in people's lives,when the energy isn't there.

But the changes here are going to be ( already are, actually) incremental and involve taxing some people more and giving money to other people who don't have any. And that's a bottomless hole that will get bigger. The very idea depends on having tax donkeys to pay somebody else's share. Eliminating high paid professional jobs is a way to achieve instant failure.

10
Marathon Man Newz / How to Be a Millionaire and Pay No Taxes
« on: November 12, 2018, 07:59:58 AM »
The journalists haven't figured out crypto is a new away to avoid taxes, by borrowing against it. Too new. You heard it from me first.

The article below says it's not a good time to be rich.

Bullshit, it's ALWAYS a good time to be rich. Journalists are all socialists at heart. And dumb too, most of 'em. (Present company excepted, of course.)


10 ACCOUNTING TRICKS THE 1% USE TO DODGE THE TAXMAN




It’s not a good time to be rich. Currently, the world of finance is going through more scandals than British comedian Jimmy Carr has one-liners (but more on him later). And everywhere you look, there’s illegal shifting, trading and sharing of information between the wealthy.

But what about the legal and quasi-legal tricks used by the rich to hang onto their money? It’s a sad fact that most of the methods used by the top 1% to evade the taxman are, if not moral, at least allowed within the letter of the law. Hold onto your purse strings as we list the 10 dirtiest accounting tricks the rich use to keep their cash.

10. TAX HAVENS


Image Source

Hanging onto money using the world’s many tax havens has a long and dishonorable history, with areas like the Channel Islands’ freedom from taxes dating back as far as the Norman conquests. This trick is based on the fairly simple idea that if taxes are high in one location, you can gain an advantage by registering your location as being somewhere else instead.

It’s been a significant asset to corporations, but a number of celebrities have also taken advantage of global travel and relocation to avoid paying income tax. U2, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones are just a few of the names that have dodged the taxman by spending time abroad. It isn’t even a big disadvantage; in practice, residents can usually return to their country at a later date, or on visits.

Tax evasion through offshore havens occurs on a huge scale. A recent study by the Tax Justice Network found that approximately $21 trillion is currently being hidden in offshore tax havens. One of the most prolific offenders is the Cayman Islands, which is home to more than 85,000 companies – making it one of the few territories with more registered organizations than people.

9. SHELL COMPANIES


Image Source

A shell company is a type of company that only exists on paper, allowing the person who uses it to funnel money through it and avoid paying taxes. Typically, this type of corporation has a legal existence but provides few or no actual products or services.

One classic way of using these companies is buying and selling through them, which means that the owner does not need to report international operations conducted through the shell company and will be able to avoid any taxes on the profits. Shell companies are also used to conduct various other pieces of shady business, including selling supermarket brand goods without impacting the value of the main brand.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently got into hot water over claims that he has been evading the government’s claims on his finance, with one of the accusations that he channeled his income into a shell company in the tax haven of Bermuda. You could say he shares his party’s belief that the government should stay out of private citizens’ affairs…

8. EQUITY SWAPS


Image Source

An equity swap is another shady method of tax evasion. Basically, it’s an official agreement that allows two parties (say, two rich individuals or companies with in interest in reducing their taxes) to exchange the gain and loss of a set of assets without actually transferring ownership.

One of these swaps is generally pegged to a fixed rate, like LIBOR, which means that the participants can expect a fixed return, either in one payment or at several predetermined points.

This exchange of value allows the parties to avoid transaction costs and, in some cases, local taxes pegged to certain locations. This is obviously a sneaky bonus for people who want to avoid high taxes in a particular area while still getting the benefits of owning assets in another.

7. AVOIDING CAPITAL GAINS TAX


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Capital gains tax automatically kicks in from the sale of certain valuable properties, such as shares, and acts as a deterrent on investors cashing them in. Obviously, though, a number of rich people are interested in avoiding this and have found legal loopholes to allow them to do so.

One cunning way of dodging capital gains tax is by borrowing from an investment bank with the shares as collateral after purchasing options, which set their price at a fixed rate.

This sneaky option allows the borrower to avoid triggering the capital gains tax that would come with actually having the money at hand, while giving them the free cash – and allowing them to repay the loan – either from the profits of using the money or by handing over the shares themselves. Talk about making your money work for you.

6. EVADING THE ESTATE TAX


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Different places may call it the death duty, the estate tax, or the inheritance tax. But whatever the name, one thing’s for sure: most countries have ways of taking a percentage of a person’s possessions and capital once they have bequeathed it after passing away. While this may arguably be considered unfair, the methods some millionaires use to dodge this tax will make your hair curl.

The main problem with estate tax is that it only focuses on the actual property and capital owned by an individual, and there are a number of exceptions to the assets that it can target. One especially effective way of dodging it is to set up a GRAT (grantor retained annuity trust – basically a trust fund), which invests the money for you: any income earned over and above the interest is completely free of income and estate taxes.

Estate tax isn’t called the last “voluntary tax” for nothing: virtually anyone with the savvy to have earned any money in the first place can set up this loophole, and it’s completely legal as well.

5. SHELL TRUST FUNDS


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This scheme, which exists in forms such as the Jersey-based K2 fund run by Peak Performance Accountants, has allowed wealthy individuals to pay as little as 1% income tax per year. Subscribers to this kind of “tax plan” pay money into a trust fund, which accepts their money as “donations.” The fund then offers its members cheap loans, which the borrowers subsequently, shall we say, “forget” to pay back. Thus, by disguising their salaries as loans, the members can write off much of their income tax.

This scheme hit the headlines in the UK recently when it was revealed that comedian Jimmy Carr and thousands of other members were using it to eliminate most of their taxes – and this was after Carr had previously appeared in a sketch lampooning Barclays for only paying 1% tax.

This little legal loophole may have technically been within the law when it was devised, but it still looks like one of the shadiest tax dodges on the market to us.

4. INCORPORATING


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In legal terms, there are many advantages to being a company and few to being an earner in the top tax bracket. As a result, a large number of celebrities have incorporated themselves in order to avoid various forms of tax. For example, by channeling your wages into a nominal “corporation” you are able to pay yourself a small, interest-free wage, claim expenses, and reduce income tax.

Others have devised even more cunning loopholes: take, for example, Mitt Romney’s recent maneuver of claiming the management fee of his corporation as a capital gain rather than income, which reduced his actual rate of tax rather sharply.

3. PAYMENTS IN KIND


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Payments-in-kind was a former tax loophole that has, fortunately, been rendered obsolete by tighter regulation. Previously, it was possible for executives to receive their payments “in kind” – so rather than receiving a regular wage, they would instead be paid in valuable, tradable commodities, such as gold, silk, or other consumer goods and benefits.

These could then either be sold or “traded on” for additional commodities, which could be used by the executive. Effectively, it reintroduced a mutated form of the old barter system as a tax loophole.

One more modern example is payment-in-kind securities, which give companies the option of paying investors in additional securities rather than cash.

Despite its advantages, the system had an obvious flaw in that being paid with a truckload of gold bars every month would overload even the most powerful executive’s car. There’s a reason we started using money in the first place, after all.

2. LIFE-INSURANCE BORROWING


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This is an especially clever use of borrowing against an asset – in this case, the asset being a life insurance policy. The way this loophole works is this:

An individual takes out a policy with a large cash dividend – for example, one million dollars. This gives the individual involved a lot of leverage when it comes to borrowing, since most banks will lend up to 90% of the surrender value of the policy. And because this sum isn’t income, it isn’t eligible for income tax or capital gains tax.

This has major advantages over actually earning the money, since earning $1 million would undoubtedly result in taxes of nearly 50%. If you want to be an instant millionaire (or just add to your considerable fortune), this may be the right kind of tax evasion scheme for you.

1. REAL ESTATE BORROWING


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Another sneaky way to use assets to make tax-free income is to put mortgages on your current properties until the rental income equals your expenses. This has the advantage of allowing you to borrow money against the value of those properties free of tax: for example, if the property was valued at $2 million and you can borrow 75% of the equity, this would give you $1.5 million of tax-free borrowing.

The money cannot be taxed because, technically, it isn’t income: as with the previous loophole, it’s officially classed as a loan. Unfortunately for the little people, this just proves the truisms of the world of finance: the more money you have, the easier it is to get more.

11
Marathon Man Newz / Blockchain Efforts to Save Your World
« on: November 12, 2018, 07:50:12 AM »
Worthy of some further research and reading.

TOP ICOs That Inspire Environmental Protection

Environmental Protection Problems
The result of human impact on the environment over the past 200 years has exceeded our total impact over the centuries of history in intensity and diversity. As a consequence of global human population growth and the scientific and technological revolutions, the consumption of natural resources has tripled in the last 35 years.

Businesses and people in developing countries tend to choose economic interests over the environment. A desperate desire for huge economic growth outweighs any environmental concerns. Countries are expanding their economy at the expense of nature. The Industrial Revolution changed the surface of the earth beyond recognition, and became the cause of a global environmental crisis. It also impacted natural resources that had been taken for granted for the entire prior history of humankind.

The Paris Climate Agreement obliges countries to take control of emissions reduction; and, despite enormous technological capabilities, monitoring and reducing human impact on the planet is still a daunting task. However, consumers want to buy eco-products, and are ready to pay more for environmentally and socially responsible products and services.


The critical situation in which humanity has emerged reflects the general crisis of consumer attitudes toward these resources. It is high time to realize the essential need to harmonize ties and relationships in the global system: “Man — Technology — Nature.” In this regard, the realization of global problems of our time — their causes, interconnections, and solutions — is now of special significance.

Blockchain as a Solution
One of the main threats to the deterioration of the environmental situation on the planet is the lack of a transparent accounting system. All environmental protection monitoring systems face the problem of trust issues. Modern management methods are prone to corruption and remain unable to direct humanity toward sustainable development, despite the ongoing global environmental crisis. Power is predominantly in the hands of powerful institutions and numerous intermediaries who, for the most part, do not add value to common efforts. Smaller enterprises are being relegated to the sidelines. As a result, only a fraction of the funding raised for sustainability efforts finds its way to intended projects and has an impact.

Blockchain, as a decentralized register of property rights and a safe way to transfer these rights, can become a means of eliminating all kinds of bureaucracy and preventing corruption. The use of natural resources controlled via computer code algorithms will be more effective, avoiding the influence of the human factor. Blockchain will allow us to streamline the use of natural resources, and entrepreneurs will be able to monitor their businesses’ environmental impact. Blockchain has a wide range of possibilities to preserve nature. One of them is monitoring the expenditure of common resources. For example, a felled tree can be assigned a hash code that changes when the entire supply chain reaches its conclusion. Thus, the final consumer will be able to find out whether the tree was cut down legally.

Blockchain technology is transparent and secure, and has already been implemented in various projects. Recently, the World Wildlife Fund has begun to take measures by using a blockchain system to prevent the illegal catching of tuna. Each package of tuna will receive a unique QR code, which will provide consumers with all information about the product.

In order to preserve the natural resources, humanity needs to control production and consumption. With strict monitoring of the extraction and further use of raw materials from the bowels of our planet, it is possible to reduce the negative impact on the environment. If every stage, every transaction, every transfer of money was controlled by a distributed register, then each of the participants could control the supply, extraction, and disposal of waste.

Top ICOs in Environmental Protection
ICOs (Initial Coin Offering) are a technology for raising capital, working on the principle of crowdsales and based upon blockchain infrastructure. This technology has revolutionized the financial and capital markets. Modern technologies — blockchain, in particular — that are actively used in the creation of cryptocurrencies are today finding application in other areas. One of them is environmental protection.

The following projects have been created to address environmental protection issues and contribute to our planet’s natural preservation.

1. Earth Token
Details

Symbol: Earth

Platform: Ethereum

Crowdsale opened: November 17, 2017

Crowdsale closed: March 15, 2018

Country of origin: Republic of Mauritius

Token: ETN

Soft cap: 40000 ETH

Hard cap: 200000 ETH

Tokens for sale: 1,000,000,000

Icobench ratings: 3.4

Concept
Earth Token (EARTH) is a blockchain-based project that provides users with the opportunity to participate in assets sales that preserve the planet’s climate health. The company has focused its attention on the ecological health of the planet.

Solutions/How Does the Project Work?
Earth Token is an ICO platform for trading natural assets. The project is aimed at producing energy from waste and creating environmentally-friendly fuels while implementing the following solutions:

Carbon Mitigation (a platform that allows users to determine the impact on the environment and measures aimed at reducing it in the form of a product or service)
Waste-to-energy (the use of waste to create synthetic fuel which in turn engages in generating energy; the company turns the coal and municipal waste into synthetic gas, which is a clean fuel)
Climate-neutral Fuel (a way to increase the efficiency of equipment through fuel-quality improvement)
Team
A strong team, combining experience in the fields of web development, ecology, financial services, product management, marketing, mobile and blockchain applications, software engineering, and blockchain technologies, is involved in this company. There are several particularly experienced members:

Allan Saunder has over 25 years of experience in bringing leading-edge technologies to market.
Suyash Sumaroo has more than 10 years of experience in open-source technologies, and has been working in the blockchain space for three years.
Omwantee Moodoo has over 10 years of experience working as a software engineer and project manager.
Gavin Knight has worked in Bitcoin since 2013, helping to raise VC funding and providing research and advisory to Bitcoin businesses and decentralized projects.
White Paper
The Earth Token white paper is very well-constructed. It describes in detail the techniques of the project, the alternative approaches to energy production and use, waste recycling, etc. Readers are given examples on the basis of which they can understand the possibilities of the project. The body of the text is accompanied by illustrations, tables, and a full range of calculations, allowing to make a complete picture of all the nuances. In addition, it contains a very informative team description.

Technical Aspects
There were three stages of token distribution:

Stage 1: 4800 per 0.04 BTC / 1 ETH (20% bonus)
Stage 2: 4400 per 0.04 BTC / 1 ETH (10% bonus)
Stage 3: 4000 per 0.04 BTC / 1 ETH
EARTH token is based on Ethereum, a next-generation blockchain protocol enabling advanced smart contracts. The use of EARTH Tokens (EARTH) as the settlement currency reduces complexity related to fiat currency exchange rates, along with significantly reducing transaction fees. EARTH Tokens will be fully transferable and exchangeable, and will be listed on selected exchanges once distributed.


Social Media Presence
The company is available in the most popular social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram, etc.), but tends to show the most activity in the Telegram group and on Twitter. The team always welcomes everyone and answers all questions almost immediately, which indicates responsibility and professionalism.

YouTube views: 306,400

Facebook followers: 5,871

Twitter followers: 13,181

Telegram followers: 5,881

Synopsis
The company has been engaged in environmental protection for more than eight years, and that is why it deserves to be included in this list. The Earth Token project provided many organizations with the opportunity to compensate for negative impact on the environment ensuing from their activities. Thanks to increased energy efficiency, reduced production costs, the feasibility of using accounting technology, and a significant reduction of supply expenses, the project really allows improvement of the ecological state of the planet.

The company combines technologies for monitoring the consumption of resources, which ensures the efficient use of fuel and reduction of harmful emissions from fuel combustion. With the project’s business model and blockchain-based operation platform, every inhabitant of the planet can participate in natural-resource and capital preservation.

2. Climatecoin
Details
Platform: Ethereum

Crowdsale opened: 1st Dec 2017

Crowdsale closed: 1st Jan 2018

Country of origin: USA

Token: CO2

Distributed in ICO: 51%

Price in ICO: 210 CO2 = 1 ETH

Icobench ratings: 4.0

Concept
This project is the first cryptocurrency designed to combat climate change. Its main goal is to democratize carbon systems and allow everyone in the world to participate in environmental protection.

Solutions/How Does the Project Work?
Climatecoin’s website and mobile applications are designed to allow users and owners of cryptocurrency to track their investments and profit distribution, and to monitor current progress around the world in the reduction of CO2 emissions. This mechanism will be an incentive for combating climate change on our planet. Each of us can contribute, depending upon individual capabilities.

The Climatecoin project plans to popularize a CO2 cryptocurrency among a wide audience, with the support of material assets. An increase in the nominal value of the coin is provided by increasing the value of companies and fund-related projects. The C02 cryptocurrency is ERC20 tokens distributed under an intellectual contract. Owners of counters are allowed quarterly dividends. In addition, the fund will simultaneously reinvest a certain percentage of its investment back into Climatecoin.

Team
The company claims to have created a highly experienced team that will remain on track to reach their goals. Analyzing information about the team, we can see that its members are qualified and have work experience in many different fields. For example, James Haft, the Climatecoin chairman, has significant experience with internet apps and platforms, cryptocurrencies and tokens, integrated media, online advertising and online metrics, mobile apps, telecoms, energy, emerging markets, financial consulting, real estate, and venture capital; Jose Lindo, chief executive officer, is a social entrepreneur with particular expertise in the fields of fundraising and corporate responsibility strategy, and holds a master’s degree in Natural Resources Management and Social Marketing; Juan Boluda, chief operating officer, is an entrepreneur and senior executive with more than 12 years’ experience in a wide variety of business sectors, including the maritime industry, real estate and property business, and cinema.

White Waper
The white paper’s size is 37 pages. Its main plus is that it contains many visual elements that make the perception of information more effective. Another advantage is the brief but informative description of each member of the team.

Technical Aspects
The Climatecoin Foundation issued Climatecoin CO2 tokens through the smart-contract system operated by Ethereum. The trade of CO2 tokens is done in three ways:

purchase on the official website
via Coinexchange and EtherDelta exchange platforms
through the ClimatePay payment platform

Social Media Presence
The company is available on the most popular social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.), but tends to show the most activity on Twitter, where they post news, articles, and other information every day.

YouTube views: 6,178

Facebook followers: 340

Twitter followers: 4,720

Synopsis
Climatecoin is a unique project, which is why it is included in this list. The company is influencing climate with the following methods:

carbon emissions trade
simpler clean-energy trade (consumers can buy or sell renewable energy sources using tokens and digital assets representing a certain amount of energy)
increased climate financing
monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions
Having analyzed the responses from the Climatecoin representative, we realized that the project is positioned in the middle of the carbon markets movement. The company is creating the biggest decentralized carbon credits portal in the world. Carbon credits are going to grow exponentially in price in the next years, and corporations will be forced to buy more in order to compensate for their emissions. Carbon pricing offers economic advantages to nations that use them well. Corporations and citizens will be able to buy tokenized carbon credits directly from the producers with no mediators. The Climatecoin protection program represents a long and challenging journey for governments, companies, and citizens toward preserving our planet.

3. BioCoin
Details
Token: BIO

Pre-ICO started: 25th Sep 2017

Pre-ICO ended: 31st Oct 2017

Crowdsale opened: 1st Nov 2017

Crowdsale closed: 18th Feb 2018

Hard cap: $15,000,000 USD

Tokens for sale: 800,000,000

Country: Russia

Icobench ratings: 3.7

Concept
BioCoin is a blockchain-based platform and international loyalty system for green and eco-enterprises. The project is designed to encourage the production, sale, and purchase of environmentally-friendly products.

Solutions/How Does the Project Work?
One of the main benefits of the project is its care of customers’ comfort. The project functions in the following way: each user has a web-wallet assigned to him as soon as he joins the loyalty program, and every purchase of a clean product generates a 10 percent remuneration from the amount he spent. The reward is saved in the web-wallet, and serves as an incentive for the purchase of natural and clean products.

Team
Analyzing the project team, we can see that most of its members have experience in business and are involved in the “LavkaLavka” farm company, which appeared in 2009. The most experienced are:

Boris Akimov, who is “The leader of new farming in Russia,” according to The New York Times. He is a farmer, businessman, philosopher, and one of the founders of the “LavkaLavka” cooperative.
Oleg Pokrovsky, who is a farmer and an expert in the field of block technology. Engaged in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies since 2012.
Olga Mayboroda, who is a marketing director at Premium Bonus and has 15 years’ experience in marketing.
David Yavruyan holds a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, and is an international specialist in the organic farming economy.
Thus, the Biocoin project was developed mostly by businessmen.

White Paper
The white paper’s size is 24 pages. It has only a few illustrations and doesn’t contain a market analysis, but it has the most detailed description of their business model and token system, goals, and principles. The document itself is written to inspire readers to support healthy products free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, grown by farmers who care about the environment and revive lost varieties of fruits and vegetables, local breeds of animals, traditional crafts, and the rural way of life.

Technical Aspects
The token sale goal was to raise about $ 15 million. All funds collected are used to implement, launch, support, and promote the BioCoin blockchain platform.

There were 7 stages of the token sale:

Test sale (until 31.08.2017), 60 BIO = 1 USD
Pre-sale (25/09/2017–8/10/2017), 50 BIO = 1 USD
Pre-sale (9/10/2017–31/10/2017), 45 BIO = 1 USD
Sale (01.11.2017–02.11.2017), 40 BIO = 1 USD
Sale (03.11.2017–30.11.2017), 35 BIO = 1 USD
Sale (01.12.2017 -31.01.2018), 31.5 BIO = 1 USD
Sale (01.02.2018 -18.02.2018), 24 BIO = 1 USD

Social Media Presence
The company is available on the most popular social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, etc.). The BioCoin team is the most interactive in social networks. It always gives responses to comments and messages, and posts new information on both Facebook and Twitter at the same time. Cryptocurrency is not easy to comprehend, and it’s highly-appreciated that the company takes the time to explain the details of their project to each interested user personally, even if they have already been given in their white paper.

Facebook followers: 1,097

Twitter followers: 1,189

Telegram followers: 3,119

Synopsis
The Biocoin project deserves to be on this list because it encourages the purchase of environmentally-friendly products and seeks to develop farming and agriculture based upon the cultivation of these products. BioCoin tokens can be stored in a mobile wallet, and consumers can exchange their tokens at any time for loyalty points to purchase goods and services from the company’s partners. It also helps to develop small business and farming. The company invests in different regions, and creates innovative agricultural projects.

The difference between the BioCoin project and other ICOs can be identified as follows: BioCoin was created by farmers, who know the industry and are ready to provide assistance in any green activities and eco-friendly projects in the economy. Investing in a such project brings future opportunities to contribute to the development of other green projects.

4. Power Ledger
Details
Token POWR

Raised $13,232,290

Tokens for sale $350,000,000

Country of origin: Australia

Icobench ratings: 3.7

Concept
The Power Ledger platform allows owners and organizations to buy and sell solar energy through the network. It is a project for P2P electricity trade between consumers in their houses, or between regulated networks. Due to a business platform that operates without mediators, Power Ledger reduces the need of energy companies for the energy market.

Solutions/How Does the Project Work?
The POWR token operates as a limited license that allows application users, such as energy companies, network enterprises, and multi-apartment complexes, to be part of a closed peer-to-peer electricity trading platform.

The company has developed applications for the energy trade, stand-alone property of renewable energy assets, and others.


Team
The Power Ledger team consists of highly-qualified IT developers, managers, and engineers. The most experienced are:

Jemma Green, co-founder and chair, has more than 15 years’ experience in finance and risk advisory.
David Martin, co-founder and managing director, has nearly 20 years’ experience in the electricity industry.
Jenni Conroy, co-founder and director, has more than 30 years’ experience in the Western Australian energy industry.
Bill Tai, board advisor, has been a venture capitalist since 1991, and is chairman of Treasure Data, Inc. and a board member at Bitfury and Voxer.
Gov van Ek, co-founder and director, investor and business founder, launched his first software company in 1991, and holds a Ph.D. in Total Technology.
White Paper
The white paper of the project contains a detailed description of the token system and how the users will interact with it. There’s also a deep analysis of their industry and a distinct illustration of each of their platforms. It also contains information about the team and a detailed roadmap.


Technical Aspects
The total number of tokens will be allocated as follows:

600,000,000 tokens distributed to rapidly develop the ecosystem (distribution pool’s allocation of 350,000,000 to the token sale, 248,500,000 used by the Power Ledger growth pool, and 1,500,000 toward the bounty campaign)
250,000,000 tokens will be reserved for future use if needed (Power Ledger escrow)
150,000,000 tokens allocated under escrow to developers and founders.
Social Media Presence
The company is available on the most popular social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, etc.). The Power Ledger project publishes new information on all of their accounts daily, but the fastest feedback from the team was provided on Facebook.

YouTube views: 18,740

Facebook followers: 21,902

Twitter followers: 80,325

Telegram followers: 16,762

Synopsis
The Power Ledger platform stands for environmentally-friendly energy sources such as solar energy, which is why it is on this list. It has the perspective of a long-term hold, and is led by professionals. Power Ledger rewards consumers for the steps they take to reduce the environmental impact and improve network mobility and decentralization, focusing on the location of consumers.

In addition, there are some significant investors supporting the project:

Blockchain Capital
Bill Tai (a board member of Bitfury)
Mike Novogratz (billionaire investor)
After contacting the Power Ledger project, we discovered what makes it unique and strong. There are a few factors, including the fact that they already have a working platform which has been tested and proven, and is now being scaled globally. They’re working with communities and utilities, and have support from the government-backed renewable energy provider BCPG, which is one of the project partners and receives funding from the Australian government as part of their Fremantle Smart City project.

This article is based on research carried out by the Applicature team.

https://medium.com/applicature/https-medium-com-applicature-top-icos-that-inspire-environmental-protection-73217ac0aaf6

12
Marathon Man Newz / Let The Wild Geoengineering Rumpus Begin
« on: November 12, 2018, 06:06:26 AM »
Shit WILL be tried, before it's done.


Would flooding the deserts help stop global warming?

The idea is “risky, unproven, even unlikely to work," according to Y Combinator. But if it did work, it could slow climate change.

 A Silicon Valley firm wants to flood deserts to help solve global warming.

Nov. 11, 2018 / 9:10 AM CST
By James Rainey

Imagine flooding a desert half the size of the Sahara. Using 238 trillion gallons of desalinated ocean water to do the job. Creating millions of 1-acre-square micro-reservoirs to grow enough algae to gobble up all of Earth’s climate-changing carbon dioxide. For an encore: How about spreading the water and fertilizer (the dead algae) to grow a vast new forest of oxygen-producing trees?

A Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Y Combinator, unveiled the radical desert flooding plan as one of four “moonshot” scenarios that it hopes innovators will explore as potential remedies to catastrophic global warming.

But would it work? And should it even be tried?

With unlimited capital and political will — both far from given — experts said the scheme would stand a chance of reducing dangerous greenhouse gas levels. But while they generally believe the climate crisis has become severe enough to push even extreme options onto the table, the experts cautioned against interventions that might create as many problems as they solve.

“We do not want to have this be purely profit driven,” said Greg Rau, a University of California, Santa Cruz climate scientist and part of the team that helped Y Combinator craft the request for proposals. “We are trying to benefit the planet, not just make money. So we need this kind of research and development first, but then oversight and governance over how any of this is deployed.”

The Y Combinator proposal grows out of what is now the consensus of climate scientists — that humanity needs to move beyond slowing the production of carbon dioxide and begin removing excess levels of the gas already straining Earth’s atmosphere.

The startup accelerator that helped finance Airbnb, Dropbox and Reddit asked innovators last month to come forward with specific proposals on desert flooding and three other extreme plans for reducing greenhouse gas concentrations. The existential threat posed by climate change requires research into solutions that the investment firm itself conceded could be “risky, unproven, even unlikely to work.”

Y Combinator said it had a rush of interest in its challenge. It declined to say how many took up the desert flooding option. But Sam Altman, Y Combinator's president, predicted that in 2019 his firm will fund three companies to pursue the “Plan B” climate solutions.

A host of scientists who have studied Earth’s ecosystems, climate change and bio-engineering said further exploration might be warranted. But they were quick to cite many reasons that desert flooding is not likely to succeed.

MASSIVE SIZE
Y Combinator called filling 1.7 million acres of arid land with 2-meter-deep pools of water “the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken.” Just to pump ocean water inland and desalinate it would require an electrical grid far greater than the one Earth now devotes to all other uses.

“It’s a desert for a reason,” said Lynn Fenstermaker, a research professor at Nevada’s Desert Research Institute. “Flooding the desert and then keeping the water there, in an already water-poor area with all the evaporation, is hard to imagine.”

Y Combinator doesn’t deny the magnitude of the challenge. “Economies of scale as well as breakthroughs in material science and construction technology will all be necessary for success,” its proposal says.

UNPRECEDENTED COST
Y Combinator pegs the price tag at $50 trillion. That’s roughly half the entire globe’s economic productivity for a year. Altman said in an interview that the cost for any solution will need to drop into the billions to become more realistic. “You can do a lot of things that require spending more money than you will ever be able to get,” Altman said, “and it just doesn’t come.” Brought to a more realistic price, he believes that governments will pay.

DESTRUCTION OF UNIQUE ECOSYSTEMS
Many species would be wiped out by massive man-made flooding of deserts. “People think there is nothing valuable in the deserts, but that is far from the truth,” said Henry Sun, a microbiologist and research professor at the Desert Research Center. “These diverse species deserve, and need, the desert to survive.” Most of the world’s countries would set a high bar, Sun said, before destroying habitat.

POTENTIAL FOR MAKING THINGS WORSE
Interfering with nature can have unexpected consequences. Katherine Mackey, a University of California, Irvine climate scientist, noted how Australia has long tried, and failed, to combat overpopulation of native species by introducing non-native creatures. Famous case in point: toads were introduced in 1935 to tame sugar cane-eating beetles. But the toads couldn’t climb sugar cane. So the beetles thrived, alongside their new neighbors — an out-of-control toad population.

“Saying that we intervened and created a problem with global warming, so let’s further intervene, that’s not the thing to do,” Mackey said. “That’s not how you fix the problem, by replacing it with another problem.”

DISTRACTING FROM MORE WORKABLE SOLUTIONS
Climate scientists believe that most, if not all, the needed solutions for limiting new greenhouse gas emissions and reducing current CO2 concentrations already exist. Environmentalist Paul Hawken has catalogued solutions in his Project Drawdown. Taken in total, Hawken has said, they would reduce emissions and sequester enough carbon to more than meet the goals laid out by world leaders in the 2015 Paris climate accord.



Paradise, California, in ruins as Camp Fire continues to rage
Among the carbon-sinking projects that would require little or no new technology: creating new forests in degraded pasture, farm and other land; criss-crossing fields with trees to create so-called silvopastures, which absorb far more carbon than open fields; and preserving and restoring peatlands, the boggy wetlands that store carbon at twice the rate of the world’s oceans.

“I think it’s far easier to, for instance, make our houses better insulated and solar powered, than to flood deserts. Also, from a timescale perspective, how quickly will this technology be available at scale?” said Mathis Wackernagel, president of the Global Footprint Network, an Oakland, California-based sustainability think tank. “If we want to solve climate, why not bet on the easy stuff?”

THE CASE FOR A MOONSHOT
Altman’s answer is that he and Y Combinator already support, and fund, pragmatic green energy companies. But big reductions in greenhouses gases are still needed and don’t appear to be coming quickly enough, the firm said.

Y Combinator suggests that flooding the deserts may be less risky than another solution on its list — fertilizing the oceans with massive amounts of iron or other nutrients to spur the growth of CO2-gobbling phytoplankton. Compared to ocean phytoplankton seeding, “doing so in desert reservoirs reduces systemic risk and exposure of the marine ecosystem to our widespread meddling,” Y Combinator’s request for proposals says.

“The window for easy solutions is already closed. Doing nothing is guaranteed suicide,” the firm said. Altman, 33, added: “All of this stuff is scary. However, runaway global warming where we all die is also quite scary. ...None of this is where we would like to be. But here we are.”

Activists and scientists interviewed by NBC News said exploration of far-out solutions is warranted — as long as researchers, governments and funders don’t lose focus on other fixes.

“The concern I have is that Silicon Valley seems very excited about these moonshots, when maybe what we need is a bunch of Boeing 737s,” said Armond Cohen, executive director of the Clean Air Task Force, a clean energy think tank and lobbying organization. “And to do it on a 10- to 15-year development cycle, not one that takes 30 years.”


James Rainey covers climate change for NBC News.


https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/would-flooding-deserts-help-stop-global-warming-n934551



13
Marathon Man Newz / A Question of Karma
« on: November 10, 2018, 11:18:16 AM »
I was just curious. In order for Trump to be Hitler reincarnated, Hitler would have had to have died before Trump was born.

I was hoping I could prove it was impossible. No such luck.

Adolf Hitler ( 20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was a German politician, demagogue,[1] and Pan-German revolutionary.


Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is the 45th and current President of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality.


I would have figured Hitler would be reincarnated as a Jewish negro transgendered massage therapist wrongfully imprisoned in the Louisiana state penitentiary with a bunch of Hells Angels for cellmates...but maybe not..


14
Marathon Man Newz / A Short History Of Gold Suppression In Modern Times
« on: November 09, 2018, 01:09:13 PM »
This is the short version, summed up by Bill Murphy at the recent GATA conference in New Orleans. It's a recap of GATA's efforts for the last 20 years to bring anti-trust action against the bullion banks. (GATA stands for Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee).Nothing has really changed, and the price manipulation goes on unchecked.

As Murphy says, it's hard to make progress when the richest people in the world and the US Treasury are on the other side.

Many people talk about manips in the metals markets, but Murphy and guys like Ted Butler and Paul Mylchreest have written extensively about the details, and I've been reading about this myself since I got involved in gold and silver in about 2004. Some people think there IS no gold manipulation, but I strongly believe there is.....Why? Because it is a very big part of what keeps the debt-based money house of cards from collapsing. It makes perfect sense.

GATA has made a very good case, showing the hows and whys of this phenomenon, who the players are, and what the possible end game might look like. For those of you who might not be up to speed on this, this is a quick primer. Most of the high points are hit in this piece.



GATA’s Past and Gold/Silver’s Future - Bill Murphy's Presentaion 2018 Investment Conference


Hello Everyone!

Thanks for taking the time to come by on a bustling Friday night in New Orleans.

What to bring your way of new interest this year was the most puzzling for me than at any other time over the past two decades when first preparing this presentation. Very little has changed over the past year for the precious metals camp except that The Gold Cartel has stepped up their lockdown of the gold/silver markets in the most forceful of fashions. So I thought it might be best to go over the past years and what it ought to portend in the future for gold/silver investors.


But first a bit of a GATA recap as The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee was set into motion 20 years ago just about now when my colleague Chris Powell responded to my constant complaining about the manipulation of the gold market by various bullion banks.

Jefferson Financial, promoters of this very conference, had published The Gold Book by my long time friend Frank Veneroso, a consultant to the World Bank and other prestigious organizations. In his book Frank explained that the bullion banks of the world had secretly lent out many thousands of tonnes of physical gold in order to control the gold price. One of his sources for this information was the Bank of England.

Soon after opening my LeMetropoleCafe 20 years ago this past September, the famed hedge fund, Long Term Capital Management, went belly up. They were such a big deal back then their demise threatened the financial system. Mostly because they were short some three or four hundred tonnes of gold (which were lent out to finance other investments) and would have to be covered as part of the liquidation of assets on their books. It then came to my attention that the major bullion banks were collectively selling gold on the Comex to prevent the price from going through $300 an ounce. In essence they were taking the Long Term’s gold liability off their books and were making sure they didn’t lose money on their new positions. Interestingly enough, the now famous Jim Rickards of the gold world was Long Term’s lawyer back then and knows full well what occurred at the time. In addition there were other coinciding events which confirmed the manipulation … Enough to raise a big stink for anyone who could put two and two together.



Anyway, that was two decades ago and my colleague here Chris Powell, who had become a subscriber to my website, suggested we do something about it. That was how GATA came into being in January of 1999.

What a journey it has been!

We came out of the box on fire.

In February of 1999 I was interviewed by CNBC’s Ron Insanna. Course once they heard what GATA had to say that would be the last time we would be on CNBC in the US. In April Dow Jones wrote an extensive story on GATA and presented our views. That was unacceptable to the establishment. How dare they give GATA’s discoveries of foul play coverage! Eighteen years later the Wall Street Journal wrote a lengthy front page story about the Fed’s gold, but purposely cut GATA completely out of the article, despite lengthy interviews with us.

Then in May of that year I met Congressman James Saxton, head of the Joint Economic Committee, in Washington, who listened intensely. Since then, we met with Speaker of the House at the time, Dennis Hastert. Ironically, he certainly developed a great deal more problems as time passed by than GATA ever had. Speaker Hastert quickly arranged a meeting with the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy. Over the years ahead we met with very pro-gold advocate Congressman Ron Paul and contacted many other politicians by mail. They all listened intensely. But that is all they did.

Yes, we were off to a very enthusiastic start. Around that time the GATA camp began to contact the gold mining executives to raise funds and garner support. The CEO of Goldcorp, Chris Thompson, sent us $20,000 and we were off to the races. Bobby Godsell, CEO of Anglo-Gold and a major hedger akin to Barrick Gold, was soon shamed to do the same by an ardent GATA follower.

But we soon realized, the task at hand would not be an easy one. We would be taking on the richest and most powerful people in the world. THEY don’t like to be messed with and very few people or entities would be willing to take them on. Actually, phrasing it that way is an understatement.

To begin with we soon came to understand the manipulation of the gold market was far larger and more complex than we originally thought. We realized that included in this nefarious activity were other central banks, The Fed, The US Treasury, Exchange Stabilization Fund, and the Bank for International Settlements. AND it included the silver market as well.

How tough would it be to get the gold industry behind GATA to end the price suppression scheme which was hurting THEM so badly?

As far as the gold companies go, this little recap says it all…

*I flew to Vancouver for an arranged meeting Robert Champion de Crespigny, the chairman of Normandy Mining in Australia. After going all that way, he refused to see me.

*The secretary for Newmont Mining’s CEO Wayne Murdy returned my email to him saying Newmont never received it. HUH?

*Chris Thompson was to become the CEO of the World Gold Council. When I met him personally in South Africa at a conference years later, he would not even talk to me.

*And finally Chris, John Embry and I went to London and met up with the World Gold Council and their new CEO. When we arrived, we had to sign a document that said we were never there. HUH again!

You get the drill. It was going to be an uphill battle recruiting the management of the major gold companies. That said we are very grateful for the financial support we have received from some of the junior/exploration firms.

And, not to be deterred, my colleague CP is making another valiant effort to gain the attention and support of some major gold companies at this very moment.

As far as the politicians go, it is very difficult for them to do anything about the gold price suppression scheme when it is their own government who is responsible for what is going on. The same government which espouses free markets and freedom of speech. Surely part of the rigging scheme is conducted by The Exchange Stabilization Fund. This secretive operation reports only to the President and Secretary of the Treasury and has full, legal authority to do whatever it wishes in the gold and currency markets.

Even the most pro-gold political advocate of all, Congressman Ron Paul will not press very hard about the rigging of the gold price. Chris and I have met him and he is a great guy. But, I will never forget how much work we put into formulating key questions to be asked to a monetary committee way back when, one which was televised. He and his staff requested questions from GATA to be asked. The outspoken Congressman just backed down and did not ask one of them.


Then, you have the CFTC, the regulatory agency in charge of oversight for the commodities markets. What a farce they are, as most of you know. We have been to Washington and met with them too and then I was able to make a presentation in front of a televised CFTC inquiry into the markets. There were various presentations, all of which were seen by the public. EXCEPT mine, which was mysteriously blacked out. You can’t make this stuff up, especially when it is all tied together.

The bottom line is this: one of the great lines ever was by Chris when he said the US would rather reveal their nuclear secrets than what they are doing in the gold market. It is THAT big a deal.

Now, while this has been as frustrating as anything I have taken on in my life, it has been one of the most rewarding experiences imaginable. The people we have met on this journey are the best, some of whom are here now. We have held four international conferences: in Durban, South Africa; Dawson City in The Yukon: right outside of Washington, D.C.; and in London. They all were very successful and the speakers/attendees were awesome.

Yes, while exposing the gold price suppression scheme and making progress to end this rigged farce has been more than aggravating, what we have learned will pay off big time for those who are paying attention. The gold and silver prices have been sent to incredibly low artificial prices. IMO the most important thing to know about those prices is that because of what The Gold Cartel has done, they are going to really EXPLODE in the years ahead.

As a result of The Gold Cartel’s antics, numerous investors have fled the sector. Other assets have soared these past many years, while gold and silver have faded and gone nowhere. What should have meant higher prices due to rising budget deficits, surging government debt and zero interest rates have meant nothing..

While gold and silver prices should have taken off, they were battered, and now are incredibly cheap. They should not be here, but they are.

Here is what I think happened over the last 7 plus years.

The Gold Cartel had a plan and this is how they carried it out.

In late 2010 silver began to make its move … from $16 an ounce to right below $50 at the beginning of May 2011. It was SOME move and IMO engineered by JP Morgan. My colleague CP astutely believes The Gold Cartel wanted to take a more elevated position in the rigging business, but had no physical silver left to help them get the job done. To be fully effective a lousy silver price was needed to confirm a lousy gold price, which is widely regarded as the barometer of US financial market health. As former Fed Chairman Paul Volker said about gold. "Up is bad, down is good."

So, JP Morgan began to buy physical silver, all the way up to the $50 mark. Yes, they were eventually buying high, but that would be insignificant compared to the amount of shorting of derivatives they put on their books as silver was to peak out.

Ted Butler, who covers the silver market thoroughly, is constantly pointing out how JPM took over the short positions of Bear Stearns when that firm blew up. The silver open interest back then in 2008 was around 162,000 contracts. When the silver price began its mega move years later that open interest had fallen to around 133,000 contracts and it was about that level until the very end of the silver move in 2011. It came to my attention after the move that JPM was out of the market. They probably had no short positions, having rid themselves of the Bear Stearns’ shorts. Have not heard Ted ever deal with that issue.

So, JPM began to sell silver derivatives in size as silver began its approach to $50.

And then they blasted silver for $7 in a day. Stunning. It was some blow to the bull move and it has been downhill ever since. JPM has made a fortune. Yes they bought some now relatively expensive physical silver, but have cleaned up by shorting derivatives at the top of the move in 2011 and ever since then … many times over their physical holdings. And NOW they had physical silver to belt the price any time they wanted for The Gold Cartel.

That was critical. Mission accomplished.

With JPM (the US Government) having the ability to sell physical silver at will, the price fell below $14 an ounce, below where JPM first took over their short positions from Bear Stearns. And this is KEY. The silver open interest (the number of longs and shorts in the futures market on the Comex) soared … to a high of 193,000 for years and then recently it went even more bonkers to 243,000 contracts earlier this year despite the price going into oblivion. This just does NOT occur in other commodity markets. The norm would be for the open interest to collapse as hedgers on the short side disappear because the prices are too low to hedge and spec longs flee the scene due to lack of interest and expectations. The extraordinarily high silver open interest has been like an anchor around silver’s neck for many years now and THE constant sign of excessive suppression.

Interestingly enough, gold did not top out for another six months after silver when it moved above $1900 one month after GATA’s London gold conference in August of 2011. A US debt downgrade was the cause for the move of over $250 after our conference. Gold was then blasted lower in the early days of September of that year.

It has been downhill for both metals ever since. Gold and silver could be punished lower in sync now. It seems to me The Gold Cartel forces knew what had to be done to revitalize the US economy and gold and silver had to be put in their place and negate all the fundamental reasons for them to keep going higher by the price action. To repeat, those reasons included enormous budget deficits, soaring government debt, and zero interest rates.


As the years have gone by, interest in the west in the precious metals slowly evaporated.

SO, here we are, years later, in the weeds. But boy this ought to change in a major league way sometime in the near future.

While gold and silver have remained as dull as dishwater over the past year, the efforts by The Gold Cartel to bury their prices has been as blatant as it could be, or ever has been.

Perhaps the most obvious of all this past year was when gold was blasted done below key support right above $1300 for no apparent reason at all. The whole drill was ludicrous, but fits right into the way The Gold Cartel operates … one that the financial world refuses to deal with.

Gold fell close to $1160 and then has recovered these last weeks to $1230, which is a ludicrous price relative to the debasement of currencies and financial trauma in the world.

What THEY have done to the gold price to accomplish their mission is a true farce. Yet what they have done to silver is beyond comprehension and their never-ending capping of ANY silver price advance has been hideously BLATANT.

For silver bulls like myself, this is a BIG problem. All the money and power in the world, backed by JP Morgan, says clearly they do not want the price of silver to exhibit any sort of life of other than looking like a nearly dead animal.

Silver is now the cheapest asset on the planet as a result of its manipulation by JP Morgan and The Gold Cartel. What THEY have done is incredibly obscene and it will end badly for them if they stay the course.

Just recently, GATA supporter James McShirley, a prominent speaker at GATA’s 2011 conference in London; lumber company CEO; and highly regarded futures trader, recently noted the following three scenarios for silver:

*If the silver price control is part of a mutually agreed contractual obligation the buyers of physical are getting the deal of a lifetime.

*If the silver price control isn’t mutually agreed upon the buyers of physical are still getting the deal of a lifetime, however under hostile circumstances.

*If the silver price control is because of the cartel’s total terror of silver getting away from them, and hence gold too then somebody is still getting the deal of a lifetime.

He went on to say…

The only question is, WHOSE lifetime? At what point does a massive buyer of silver make their move, and clean up the BILLIONS currently there for the taking? In a short squeeze there’s no earthly reason why silver couldn’t be priced closer to platinum, or even palladium. Daily moves of $10 or more would be more probable that these 1 cent daily comas.

***

SO well put.

Dealing with the constantly suppressed gold/silver prices while other assets have soared has been tiresome to put it mildly. There was a phrase growing up, "The Seven Year Itch." That is what dealing with the precious metals has felt like the past seven years. Now, after all this time, enough is enough.

The pressures seem to be building within the gold/silver markets to take their prices to much higher levels. Based on what we have seen of late, The Gold Cartel has been as aggressive as ever in stopping price rises. They have pulled out all stops to prevent gold from taking out resistance at $1235 and staying above that key technical level. What they have done to keep silver below the pitifully low $14.70 level is a joke, reported on over and over again in my commentary. Taking out $15 is pivotal for silver, but JP Morgan won’t even let it get close to that level.

So why should things change? Increasing inflation pressures due to monetary debasement and stock market turmoil around the world are suddenly attracting investors to the precious metals in the west because they are so artificially cheap, thanks to what The Gold Cartel has done.

The likelihood this Cartel is going to be overpowered by investment demand from around the world is growing … enough to enforce a major retreat. They certainly are not going away quietly. Over the past months the Commitment of Traders Reports put out by the CFTC revealed the commercials (which includes the Cartel forces) to be as long the futures markets as they have been for decades. Due to the constant interference in the market, the large specs were as short as they ever get. The internet was ripe with calls for short covering squeezes of those spec shorts. Didn’t happen. Gold had one unusual 3% rally and then was stuffed. Silver was not allowed to do anything on the upside. It was kept in a tomb, like rarely ever seen in markets. And now the so-called commercials are going heavily short yet again as the specs go long.

For long suffering and patient precious metals investors this Gold Cartel is going to have to be overpowered, which is just what I believe will occur. Seems to me it is an accident waiting to happen. The tide is going to turn. But the tide ought to look quite a bit different than it did in the years leading up to 2011.

Gold rose 12 years in a row. The Gold Cartel constantly flushed out spec longs in the process, raking in the dough, but the price gradually went higher and higher. But now, after all these years of suppression, we are probably looking at a typhoon instead of a rising tide. The gold price is more than likely going to explode like it did in its blow off top in September of 2011 and keep on going. And it is likely to make new all-time highs sooner than most people think.

The real surprise ought to be moribund silver. I am a big fan of Newton’s Law of Equal and Opposite Reactions. As poorly as silver has traded these past years, which has the gold/silver ratio above 84, it should suddenly act that surprisingly well over the coming months. Short term it has to clear $15 to begin its move. But the real key is for its price to take out $21. When done it will be off to the races in a move to $100 an ounce. Seems like a pipe dream after all these crummy years, but it is coming.

As far as GATA goes, we will continue to fight the good fight. Eventually, following severe market turmoil and soaring precious metals prices, the price suppression scandal will break wide open. A decimated investing public will want to know how such a debacle developed the way it did. And the GATA camp will lay it out for them … in hopes it is not allowed to happen ever again.

Thank you.

Bill Murphy
Chairman
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee

www.lemetropolecafe.com

I copied this from ZH. Not sure if Murphy's site is public.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-09/gatas-past-and-goldsilvers-future-bill-murphys-presentaion-2018-new-orleans

For those (like me at one time) who look for gold and silver to recover and make them rich....be advised that the bad guys are still winning,. As Murphy says, it might be the opportunity of a lifetime, but whose lifetime? Of particular interest to all of us should be whether gold that belongs to the US Treasury has been leased out (a bogus term, in this case leased means gone forever). If anything CAN kill the USD, a public revelation that most of the gold claimed to be owned by the US is missing.....that could do it.



15
Far Out Newz / A Meat Suit You Can Take Off Any Time
« on: November 09, 2018, 08:17:31 AM »


Not sure why Google thought I might want to buy this, or why anyone thought anyone would want to....but  I wish I'd run across it before Halloween.

I immediately thought of AZ. :)

It's a meat suit hoodie.

https://www.gamiss.com/hoodies-11571/product1382454/?lkid=108808&gclid=CjwKCAiA_ZTfBRBjEiwAN6YG4UHDTKPXZaU2r3_hXkDOU_U0coCIzll7izVnCTF3HsiGAcKAadPT6BoC9d8QAvD_BwE

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