Sep 022019
 September 2, 2019  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Strongest storm ever to threaten Florida east coast



‘Get Ready for Brexit’: Government Launches Information Blitz (G.)
Johnson’s Brexit Gambit Puts Queen in a Tight Spot (Spiegel)
Leaked No-Deal Report Says Lorries Could Face 48-Hour Delays At Dover (PA)
Irish Border After Brexit – All Ideas Beset By Issues Says Secret Paper (G.)
Many US Firms Already Have Ditched China, More On The Way (CNBC)
Hong Kong Students Boycott Classes As Chinese Media Warns ‘End Is Coming’ (G.)
Why Has The U.S. CEO-To-Worker Pay Ratio Increased So Much? (Colombo)
In The Era Of Neurocapitalism, Your Brain Needs New Rights (Vox)
Hollywood Reboots Russophobia For The New Cold War (Parry)
A Black Hole So Big It Shouldn’t Even Exist Is Baffling Scientists (RT)



After carefully making sure there were no needy people left in the country, and no children were going hungry, the new UK gov decided to spend £100+ million on an advertising campaign. They’re going to absolutely bombard, if not strangle, you with this stuff. You won’t be able to escape it.

‘Get Ready for Brexit’: Government Launches Information Blitz (G.)

The billboards have been unveiled, the branded mugs have been ordered and the adverts will soon start following you around the internet after the government launched what it claimed to be the largest ever public information campaign in an effort to prepare the British public for leaving the EU. The Get Ready for Brexit campaign went live on Sunday, stating that the UK would be leaving the EU on 31 October and urging the public to visit a new website to check what they needed to do to prepare for a no-deal exit. The slogan appeared for the first time on a giant advertising screen next to a John Lewis store at the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, east London, looming over visitors.

Downing Street has previously briefed that the taxpayer-funded advertising campaign will cost up to £100m, although doubts have been raised over whether the government will realistically be able to spend that much on a campaign lasting just two months. One leading advertising industry source pointed out that this figure was substantially higher than the amount spent on traditional advertising in the UK by major consumer brands such as Amazon, Tesco and Asda in the whole of 2018. This suggests that either the government is overstating the amount it intends to spend in an attempt to draw extra attention or that Downing Street really is launching an advertising campaign that will be unequalled in its ubiquity.

Michael Gove, the cabinet minister in charge of no-deal planning, said: “Ensuring an orderly Brexit is not only a matter of national importance, but a shared responsibility” as he launched the adverts by referring to government polling that showed only 50% of the population thought it was likely the UK would leave the EU on 31 October. The same research found that 42% of small- to medium-sized businesses were still unsure of how they could prepare for Brexit and just a third of the British public have looked for information on what they will need to do, suggesting large-scale ignorance of what Brexit will involve with less than two months to go until the expected departure date.=

Read more …

View from Germany: “..the last intact pillar of the United Kingdom: its queen…”

Johnson’s Brexit Gambit Puts Queen in a Tight Spot (Spiegel)

[..] the anger of the masses isn’t being directed solely at the man in Downing Street. One of the last taboos for many Brits has also been broken: blatant criticism of the queen. “The. Queen. Did. Not. Save. Us,” tweeted Labour Party politician Kate Osamor, and hinted at the abolition of the monarchy. Her party leader Jeremy Corbyn asked the queen in writing for a personal meeting to protest against Johnson’s coup. Jo Swinson, the head of the EU-friendly Liberal Democrats, also wrote to the queen asking for an “urgent meeting.” After three years of the country beating itself up in the Brexit debate, Johnson is now leading Britain into the last round of the ordeal – an unprecedented showdown between the executive, the legislative and the judiciary, which, incidentally, threatens to damage the last intact pillar of the United Kingdom: its queen.

It’s impossible to predict what will ensue in the coming weeks – aside from chaos. But there is much to suggest Johnson wants precisely that, and at any cost, in order to deliver the main promise he made to become British prime minister – to lead his country out of the EU on Oct. 31, with or without an agreement. After the G-7 summit in Biarritz, Johnson may have praised the EU’s willingness to compromise, he may have put the chances of no deal at “one in a million,” and the majority of Brits and their elected representatives may be against leaving the EU without a deal, but no one in the betting crazy UK is now likely to bet on there being any agreement between London and Brussels in the end.

Read more …

Blame France.

Leaked No-Deal Report Says Lorries Could Face 48-Hour Delays At Dover (PA)

Leaked government documents which reportedly say there could be 48-hour delays at Dover in the event of a no-deal Brexit have moved hauliers to warn of the “clear and present danger” to the UK supply chain. Sky News said it had seen documents which suggest vehicles could face a two-day delay at the Kent port in a no-deal scenario, and the revelation has led to industry insiders saying the government has “failed to deliver”. Rod McKenzie, the managing director of policy at the Road Haulage Association (RHA), said it came as absolutely no surprise to him that such a document existed, adding that there was still no sign of a new customs process with just weeks left before the UK is expected to leave the EU.

He had not seen the Department for Transport documents (DfT), but said he understood they were more recent than the leaked Operation Yellowhammer files which contained predictions of a three-month “meltdown” at ports in the event of no deal. “The Road Haulage Association has been saying this for quite literally years now that if there is a no-deal Brexit, there will be very substantial queues at the border,” McKenzie said. “We have got a very, very serious problem with the UK supply chain if there is a no-deal Brexit on 31 October from where we are now. “This is a clear and present danger to the supply chain on which we all depend, and we are calling on the government in the clearest terms to make it clear what traders have to do to trade with the continent. This they have failed to do so far.”

Sky News said on Sunday night that analysis commissioned by the DfT suggested that on the first day of a no-deal Brexit, the worst-case scenario would be a two-day maximum delay for freight and vehicles at Dover, and an average wait of a day-and-a-half. McKenzie said any delay at the ports would cause a “very, very substantial traffic jam”, adding: “What we are saying is that we urgently need clarity from this government, having not had it from the previous government, we urgently need clarity from this government of what traders have to do to get ready for a no-deal Brexit.”

Read more …


Irish Border After Brexit – All Ideas Beset By Issues Says Secret Paper (G.)

All potential solutions to the post-Brexit Irish border are fraught with difficulty and would leave smaller businesses struggling to cope, experts have said, as leaked government papers outline major concerns just two months before Britain is due to leave the EU. A report summarising the findings of the government’s official “alternative arrangements” working groups concluded that there are issues with all the scenarios put forward to try to replace the backstop arrangement. There are also specific concerns over whether any technological solution could be delivered to monitor cross-border trade. Critics said the paper, seen by the Guardian, should “ring alarm bells” across government over how likely it is that alternative arrangements to the backstop will be found.

The dossier marked “official-sensitive” prepared for the EU Exit Negotiations Board is dated 28 August. It details how the findings of all advisory groups informing the government on the Northern Irish border are being kept deliberately under wraps to try to avoid hampering Britain’s intended renegotiation of the backstop agreed to by Theresa May. Alternative systems to avoid a hard Northern Irish border after Brexit have become the central tenet of Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy. He sees this as a way of unlocking a new deal with Europe and has claimed that there are “abundant solutions”.

However, the damning report shows there is no single deliverable solution at present, despite the fact Johnson is almost a third of the way through the “30 days” target that the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, gave him to come up with a fresh border proposal. The report said: “It is evident that every facilitation has concerns and issues related to them. The complexity of combining them into something more systemic and as part of one package is a key missing factor at present.”

Read more …

This will take a long time.

Many US Firms Already Have Ditched China, More On The Way (CNBC)

President Trump rattled Wall Street when he demanded U.S. firms move production out of China. But many have already taken steps to do so, and, in earnings calls just over the past month, dozens of chief executives have signaled plans to further diversify their supply chains amid the intensifying trade war. On Aug. 23, Trump took to Twitter, ordering American companies to “immediately start looking for an alternative to China” and urging them instead to start making their products in the U.S. In doing so, he cited the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) — passed in 1977 to deal with an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.” [..]

Trump doubled down on Friday, attacking General Motors for its significant presence in China and questioning whether the automaker should move the operations to the U.S. “Sometimes you’ve got to take stern measures,” White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said alongside Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the sidelines of the G-7 meeting in France. Kudlow added that American companies should heed the president’s call to leave China. No U.S. president has invoked the law as leverage in a commercial dispute, let alone to sever commercial ties with one of its largest trading partners. Indeed, over the past century, U.S. administrations have mainly deployed the IEEPA to prosecute drug trafficking or financial terrorism through sanctions or other economic penalties.

[..] in an annual survey conducted in June by the U.S.-China Business Council, nearly 30% of the 220 respondents said they have already delayed or cancelled investments in China or the U.S. due to mounting trade uncertainty. Though just 13% said they had plans to specifically move operations out of China, that’s steadily increased from 10% in 2018 and 8% in 2017.

Read more …

Peace please.

Hong Kong Students Boycott Classes As Chinese Media Warns ‘End Is Coming’ (G.)

For the last 13 weeks, protesters have come to the streets to demand the formal withdrawal of a bill that would allow extradition to mainland China, which critics fear will be used by Beijing to target those who criticise the ruling Chinese communist party. As the protests have dragged on, they have taken on new forms and other demands including instituting democratic reforms and conducting an independent investigation into police behaviour. On Sunday, demonstrators attempted to lay siege to the airport, prompting a swift response from riot police. On Saturday, riot police stormed a metro station, attacking trapped protesters with batons. Monday’s class boycott was accompanied by a call for a general strike. It followed two days of mass protests where demonstrators paralysed links to airport, and clashed with police outside government buildings and in MTR stations.

Several editorials in Chinese state media on Monday condemned the protesters as “crazy and vicious” for bringing “catastrophe” upon the Hong Kong economy. An editorial on the website of the state-run news agency Xinhua warned “the end is coming for those attempting to disrupt Hong Kong”. The shift of the protests to school campuses is comes after Chinese officials have blamed the protests on the city’s liberal education curriculum. In recent weeks, Beijing has criticised teachers and parents for not instilling patriotic values in students and called for an overhaul of Hong Kong’s education system, which includes topics like the Chinese military’s violent crack down on democracy demonstrators on 4 June, 1989.

Read more …

Is capitalism itself at fault or just the excesses it allows for?

Why Has The U.S. CEO-To-Worker Pay Ratio Increased So Much? (Colombo)

MarketWatch recently published a piece about the soaring U.S. CEO-to-worker pay ratio, which hit 278-to-1 in 2018 (up from just 58-to-1 in 1989 and 20-to-1 in 1965) –

“CEO pay has increased 1,008% between 1978 and 2018, while typical worker pay has edged up 12%. [..] In 2018, CEOs in the country’s top 350 businesses were paid $17.2 million on average. Employees working in those industries — ranging from retail to technology and manufacturing — typically earned $64,500, researchers said. Overall, there’s a 278-to-1 pay ratio between workers and CEOs. In 1989, the compensation ratio was 58-to-1 and in 1965, it was 20-to-1. Stock awards and cashed-in stock options averaged $7.5 million of CEO pay in 2017 and 2018, the study added. Incorporating stock in pay arrangements is one way to incentivize CEO, and rising salaries illustrate the market for talent in the C-suite, some observers say.”

Left-leaning economists, politicians, and other commentators frequently use the soaring CEO-to-worker pay ratio as an example of why capitalism is inherently flawed and always leads to the rich getting richer, but my research has found that it is a byproduct of central banking and fiat (i.e., “paper”) currency rather than capitalism. To make a long story short, the Federal Reserve has excessively inflated the financial markets in its attempt to create an economic recovery from the Great Recession. This excessive asset price inflation has pushed U.S. household wealth far out of line with its historic relationship to the GDP, as the chart below shows. The wealthy have been the greatest beneficiaries of this asset price inflation because they own a disproportionate share of the assets that have been inflated by the Fed, which are stocks, bonds, and high-end real estate.

The Fed’s inflation of the U.S. stock market is the primary reason why the CEO-to-worker pay ratio has increased so much. The CEOs of public corporations usually receive stock options as part of their compensation packages, which means that they can benefit greatly when their stock prices rise. As the chart below shows, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio surges during asset bubbles, but falls back down when the bubbles burst (it correlates with the chart above). The current asset bubble is no different and the excesses will be corrected in the form of a strong bear market, just like they always are.

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Elon Muck can’t even produce a decent electric car. How big a threat is he?

In The Era Of Neurocapitalism, Your Brain Needs New Rights (Vox)

“Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull.” That’s from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, published in 1949. The comment is meant to highlight what a repressive surveillance state the characters live in, but looked at another way, it shows how lucky they are: At least their brains are still private. Over the past few weeks, Facebook and Elon Musk’s Neuralink have announced that they’re building tech to read your mind — literally. Mark Zuckerberg’s company is funding research on brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) that can pick up thoughts directly from your neurons and translate them into words. The researchers say they’ve already built an algorithm that can decode words from brain activity in real time.

And Musk’s company has created flexible “threads” that can be implanted into a brain and could one day allow you to control your smartphone or computer with just your thoughts. Musk wants to start testing in humans by the end of next year. Other companies such as Kernel, Emotiv, and Neurosky are also working on brain tech. They say they’re building it for ethical purposes, like helping people with paralysis control their devices. This might sound like science fiction, but it’s already begun to change people’s lives. Over the past dozen years, a number of paralyzed patients have received brain implants that allow them to move a computer cursor or control robotic arms. Implants that can read thoughts are still years away from commercial availability, but research in the field is moving faster than most people realize.

Your brain, the final privacy frontier, may not be private much longer. Some neuroethicists argue that the potential for misuse of these technologies is so great that we need revamped human rights laws — a new “jurisprudence of the mind” — to protect us. The technologies have the potential to interfere with rights that are so basic that we may not even think of them as rights, like our ability to determine where our selves end and machines begin. Our current laws are not equipped to address this.

Read more …

Russiagate, the sequel.

Hollywood Reboots Russophobia For The New Cold War (Parry)

In the Cold War, Tinseltown played an important role in the cultural battlefield against the USSR and anti-Soviet paranoia was an ever-present theme in American cinema for decades, from the McCarthy era until the Berlin Wall fell. Contemporaneously, a revival of geopolitical tensions between the United States and the Russian Federation — which many have dubbed a second Cold War — has seen the return of such tropes on the silver screen. Most recently, it has resurfaced in popular web television shows such as the third season of Netflix’s retro science fiction/horror series Stranger Things, as well as HBO’s miniseries Chernobyl, which dramatizes the 1986 nuclear accident in Soviet Ukraine.

It was a famous cinematic work that many believe ominously foreshadowed Chernobyl in Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 science fiction film, Stalker, less than a decade prior to the calamity. It is unlikely that HBO would have been as interested in green-lighting a five-part program on the disaster without the current hysteria surrounding the unproven allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and ‘collusion’ between Moscow and the Trump campaign. ‘Russiagate’ has become a national obsession and suddenly the very idea of corruption and intrigue has been made synonymous with the Kremlin. Hollywood liberal figures have been some of the hoax’s biggest proponents, including the show’s writer, Craig Mazin.

It is equally as hard to imagine Americans themselves being as captivated by a re-enactment of the nuclear accident without the current political climate of fear-mongering bombarding them every day in corporate media. From the perspective of the U.S. political establishment, what better way to deflect attention away from its own sins than onto a manufactured adversary?

Read more …

The black hole’s mass is 100 times greater than that of the sun.

M87* is an example of a black hole that is 6.5 billion times as massive as the Sun.

A Black Hole So Big It Shouldn’t Even Exist Is Baffling Scientists (RT)

Scientists may have spotted a black hole that is so enormous, it shouldn’t even exist, although they aren’t quite sure if it even does. The black hole’s mass is 100 times greater than that of the sun. The potential black hole, which is twice as large as what physicists had believed was possible, was detected by the LIGO and Virgo gravitational-wave detectors at the European Gravitational Observatory. A black hole is usually formed when a star collapses after it runs out of fuel, but this only happens when the star’s core is less than 50 times the mass of the Sun, Quanta Magazine explains. Stars with larger masses, between 50-130 times the mass of the Sun, either shed matter until they are small enough, or destroy themselves in a powerful explosion, meaning this new potential black hole defies what scientists understand to be possible.

Black holes that are larger than 130 solar masses can also form when their core’s collapse is too strong to stop. M87* is an example of a black hole that is 6.5 billion times as massive as the Sun. Scientists are scratching their heads trying to figure out how this newly spotted potential large black hole came into being. According to Qanta, they suspect that the black hole could be the result of smaller black holes colliding and merging into one gigantic one. They think it is possible that somewhere in a dense area of the universe, a 30 and 50 solar mass black hole could have merged and that the new black hole then combined with another one, which could explain the signals they detected.

Read more …






Home Forums Debt Rattle September 2 2019

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    Strongest storm ever to threaten Florida east coast     • ‘Get Ready for Brexit’: Government Launches Information Blitz (G.) • Johnson’s Bre
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle September 2 2019]

    V. Arnold

    Black holes, hmmmmmmmmmmm…
    How long before the PC creeps find the term BLACK objectionable…

    Dr. D

    “here is much to suggest Johnson wants precisely that,”

    Nice! So they think BoJo’s plan from childhood was to create chaos? “Some men just want to watch the world burn.” I doubt it. Just the casual, unsubstantiated smear on the average uncurious, fact-free day. And astonishing lack of self-awareness from Westminster, mirrored here, that the elites never EVER say, “Hey, we had a democratic referendum, and we lost. Now, as good sportsmen who don’t want shooting in the streets, we will now stand aside and execute that vote as the rules require, and get you next time ‘round.” So so many Brexiteers, vilified daily, had simply WANTED a vote. Like the EU, even the illusion, the trappings, some pretense of a sham of democracy would be enough, was all they were asking. Every one of them expected to lose and say, “Well, okay mate, as expected we lost. Now I can go on criticizing, advocating, and don’t say we didn’t warn ya.” But they would have accepted the Referendum, which is something Westminster, the elites, all those people who don’t have to bear the actual costs, cannot do. As Authoritarians in the Stalinist, Orwellian vein (but I repeat myself), it is only power, power for its own sake, will to power trampling the boot of all opposition, forever. My side right or wrong, my ego above all. #AntiLogos, as expressed by an angel, once.

    Can we just TRY democracy for a sec, before there are cricket bats chasing down people in the streets? Democracy not only means a VOTE – which they already resist with every fiber of their being – but ALSO to stand aside, stop meddling, and let the other guy, the other ideas, have their turn. Essentially, they’ve done neither, and now cry a “lack of democracy” and “democratic process.” You had your democratic process. You didn’t take it, and now, like the rest of us, it’s being shoved down your throat according to the rules you yourself enacted and gravitated to.

    If you’d done it in the first place, you could have set the terms, done it nicely, and looked like the good guy.

    “Leaked No-Deal Report Says Lorries Could Face 48-Hour Delays At Dover (PA)”

    They say it’s “for paperwork.” So? Suspend the paperwork for the time being. Certainly the U.S. doesn’t enforce their border and everyone thinks it’s the greatest, most loving, wonderful thing ever. Really it’s “for punishment.” And like the lost vote, they are going to stick it to them as hard as they can. Yet it will all be worth it, as Britain remains and does not sink beneath the waves, sovereignty lost, never to exist again. It’s pretty rough tho’ and no mistake, just as everyone knew it would be. Like any psychotic spurned ex, Europe hates Britain, but really won’t tolerate the loss of revenue and control, the loss of E G O, being made to look less, the ultimate unforgivable.

    “CEO pay has increased 1,008% between 1978 and 2018, while typical worker pay has edged up 12%.”

    Meanwhile, thanks to their Universal Lying™ inflation has been 30%, and the worker is 15% behind. But that’s the Federal Reserve Money Fire Hose™ sprayed all over my friends. It can, it will, never, never end until this system does, from Wall Stright to Congressmen, but everyone loves this system, they love the corruption, the lies, the honey, the payoffs, the crushing of others, so, so much, they will never end it. So am I supposed to save you from yourselves? Stop the consequences of your own theft, fraud, lies, and corruption?

    “Hollywood Reboots Russophobia For The New Cold War (Parry)”

    Ah, the McCarthy era! Hey, wasn’t that just nuts? We’d never do anything like that again, unemploying, blacklisting, debanking, depersoning people just because of their unsubstantiated, uncredible, un-adjudicated politicial beliefs, would we? And especially not Hollywood or Leftists.

    “ A Black Hole So Big It Shouldn’t Even Exist Is Baffling Scientists (RT)

    This coming after the Methuselah Star, which by their rules is about 50% older than the universe it lives in. Science! Wrong again! We know everything. We know the exact temperature it will be in 2050, and how there won’t be any ice left on earth by 2012, when Manhattan will be 50% underwater, but we don’t know what gravity is, what time is, what consciousness is, what a black hole is, or what the universe is. Really, humility is not our bag. …Which is pretty odd for a group that’s universally, serially wrong for 250 years. You’d think they’d have it down by now.


    Hurricane Dorian is stalled over the Bahama.
    Will there be anything left after the hurricane moves off?
    Black Holes
    Here some info for your thinking pleasure.

    The theories leave many questions.
    The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform (bend) spacetime to form a black hole.
    A black hole is a region of spacetime exhibiting gravitational acceleration so strong that nothing—no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from it.

    Space and time is bent so much that the two cannot be distinguished from each other.
    The maximum that space and time can bend into is a sphere.

    If something cannot get out of a sphere then something cannot get in.

    Surface Area = 4π r^2 (A radius of .9772 is the smallest length (most compact) needed to make a sphere with 12 units that has .9772 x .9772 area )

    John Day
    The Saker Blog has an updated assessment on the Russian economy, which was deeply decayed by the 1990 dissolution of the USSR, then parasitized by vulture capitalists and oligarch toadies under Yeltsin.
    In 2001 the western empire was alarmed to discover that Putin was a competent and resolute Russian nationalist.
    Russia is now the most self reliant industrial nation, with the lowest level of imports, and it’s economy further diversified after sanctions were imposed in 2014.
    Russian debt is the lowest of any industrialized country. That includes government, business and personal. Russian economy has been growing with absolutely minimal lending. Sanctions did not succeed in smothering Russia’s economic recovery, but did prevent it from depending upon debt.
    The expansion of domestic economy, fed by domestic industries, makes Russia less dependent upon exports and imports.
    Russian oil, natural gas and forest products remain in demand, assuring export revenue, though Russia can get by with a lot less export revenue.
    The Russian government runs a budget surplus, and has large reserves of foreign currency and gold.
    This is a unique position among large economies, going into the credit reset in global finance, which is broadly anticipated, and has been since it almost happened in 2008-2009.
    This article anticipates the collapse of the ailing artist previously known as “new-world-order”, and notes that Russia is positioned to thrive and possibly help shape the rebuilding of world economy, based upon recent experience, and learned efficiencies.

    New World Order in Meltdown, But Russia Stronger Than Ever

    It was the US that broke the Syrian-Russian cease-fire, and successfully killed a bunch of “Syrian rebel” military leaders at a big meeting they were having to coordinate their plans for looming defeat. (Maybe surrender.) The US has not sought propaganda spotlighting of this. (Maybe those guys know too much and needed to be permanently silenced, before explaining what their support system has been for the last 5-6 years.)
    ​ ​The Russian Defence Ministry’s Centre for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria said in a statement on Saturday that the US had launched an air strike in the northwestern province of Idlib without notifying Russia or Turkey, in violation of all previous de-escalation agreements.
    ​ Earlier, the Pentagon confirmed that the US-led coalition had conducted strikes against the leaders of an al-Qaeda*-linked militant group in Syria’s Idlib province.
    “There are numerous casualties and destruction in the [Idlib] villages affected by the American strike,” the statement pointed out.

    ​This article was written a couple of days ago, just before Hezbollah responded to Israeli military strikes on some offices in Beirut, Lebanon, in violation of agreements. It lays out the political and military considerations going into what is expected to be another Israeli war against Lebanon.

    The Israeli military launched mortar, artillery and air strikes against multiple targets in southern Lebanon on Sunday, responding to a Hezbollah anti-tank missile attack targeting Israel Defence Force positions along the border. Lebanon’s prime minister has called on the United States and France to intervene to calm the crisis.

    ​Wealthy Americans quite spending much a few months ago, and are “saving more”, protecting their assets. That is one of many indicators that recession won’t be staved off much longer. (The real economy never recovered after 2008, as you may be personally aware.)

    My read on “canceling bad medical debt” is that it appears populist, but will clearly serve as a bank bailout, making lenders whole(ish) on bad debt that they would otherwise have to write off. “Cancel” means “pay”. Shades of Obama’s bank bailout, Bernie knows how to play this game…
    ​ ​U.S. presidential contender Bernie Sanders proposed a plan on Saturday to cancel $81 billion in existing past-due medical debt for Americans, but offered no details on how it would be financed.
    ​ ​Sanders, an independent U.S. senator from Vermont, said in a statement that under his plan, the government would negotiate and pay off past-due medical bills that have been reported to credit agencies. The proposal, he said, would also repeal some elements of the 2005 Bankruptcy reform bill and allow other existing and future medical debt to be discharged.

    ​A Society is Only As Free as it’s Most Troublesome Political Dissident,
    Caitlin Johnstone on the imprisonment and psychological torture of Julian Assange​
    You wouldn’t know it from any western mass media reporting as of this writing, but musician Roger Waters is about to perform the iconic Pink Floyd song “Wish You Were Here” in front of the office of British Home Secretary Priti Patel in order to draw attention to the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange…
    The persecution of Julian Assange tells us about the real function of the mass media. The discrepancy between the news media coverage of the Assange benefit event and Richard Branson’s regime change propaganda party are just one of many, many examples we could discuss about the way those outlets reliably slant their coverage in favor of agendas which just so happen to align with the interests of the CIA and the US State Department. Every time Assange’s plight makes headlines, social media lights up with ambitious blue-checkmarked media aspirants posting snarky quips about him in an attempt to show the operators of the billionaire media just how far they’ll go to defend the status quo…
    The persecution of Julian Assange tells us about the mechanics of empire. Assange was pried out of the embassy and imprisoned by an extremely obvious collaboration between the US, UK, Sweden, Ecuador, and Australia, yet they each pretended that they were acting as separate, sovereign nations completely independently of one another. Sweden pretended it was deeply concerned about rape allegations, the UK pretended it was deeply concerned about a bail violation, Ecuador pretended it was deeply concerned about skateboarding and embassy cat hygiene, the US pretended it was deeply concerned about the particulars of the way Assange helped Chelsea Manning cover her tracks, Australia pretended it was too deeply concerned about honoring the sovereign affairs of these other countries to intervene on behalf of its citizen, and it all converged in a way that just so happens to look exactly the same as imprisoning a journalist for publishing facts.

    A Society Is Only As Free As Its Most Troublesome Political Dissident

    The Chinese Lunar-Rover has come across something that seems impossible on the dark side of the moon. The lunar day-night cycle is 26 Earth days. With daytime temperatures 260F/123C, and nighttime temperatures to -280F/-173C. What could possibly be a gel at – 173C, that would not disappear into space at +123C?
    ​ ​T​​he mission’s rover, Yutu-2, came across a “gel-like” substance on its 8th day – which caused scientists to put a full stop on its planned schedule and try to figure out what exactly the goo is.
    ​ ​On July 28, the Chang’e-4 team was preparing to power Yutu-2 down for its usual midday “nap” to protect the rover from high temperatures and radiation from the sun high in the sky. A team member checking images from the rover’s main camera spotted a small crater that seemed to contain material with a color and luster unlike that of the surrounding lunar surface.
    ​(​O​h, the little rover didn’t step in it yet, just peeked at it. Calling it a “gel” seems premature.
    It could just be glass from the heat of a meteor impact.​ ​)​

    THE PENTAGON — Starting in fiscal year 2021, the Department of Defense will reduce waste. by banning all single-use plastic explosives.​ ​In lieu of such environmentally harmful weapons, the DoD will being to employ more ecofriendly options such as sustainably sourced, small-batch, artisanal gunpowder.
    ​ ​“It’s about the big picture,” Harber said. “When you’re trying to blow something up, it’s imperative that you don’t also needlessly cause lasting damage to the ecosystem in the process.”…
    ​Retired Army explosives ordnance disposal technician Billy James has started an online petition claiming that recycling explosives is “fucking stupid. How do you recycle something that just blew up?” …
    “Focus on your recycling goal. Claims that ‘we just can’t recycle this’ are always absurd and typically made by non-specialists. These petitioners simply don’t understand how recycling works.”

    DoD bans single-use plastic explosives


    Dr. D on Brexit: From what I have read the British referendum did not provide a mandate for a no-deal Brexit.


    Why share the black hole article at all?

    In theory, a black hole can have any sort of mass. We have a model of how stars of a range of given masses can create black holes, but once created they can grow their mass by accretion. Even assuming the measurements are correct, scientists are not baffled, since the very article body shows them having no problem coming up with one obvious explanation.

    It’s dumb science click bait. Lose belly fat with this weird trick!

    @Dr. D
    Methuselah Star.
    Have you ever heard of measurement uncertainty? The age of the universe, 13.8 billion years, is within the age estimate for that star, 14.46 ± 0.8 – that star is certainly nowhere near 50% older than the unverse itself.


    Follow the track by going to the “trackers” web-page
    NHC issuing advisories for the Atlantic on Hurricane Dorian
    NHC issuing advisories for the Eastern Pacific on TS Juliette

    Did you notice the yellow and orange “X”

    There’s the possibility of a lot more activity before the end of Dorian


    I really enjoy your art postings. But not today. Is there any change at all that you could drop the utter lunatic nonsense that is the climate change religion and just go back to posting great art?

    1,000s of your fans would be grateful. Thanks.


    We are not alone


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