Thursday, February 22, 2018

Florida lawmaker fires aide who allegedly called mass shooting survivors ‘actors’

An aide to a Florida state lawmaker was fired on Tuesday after he allegedly referred to some survivors of last week’s mass shooting as “actors that travel to various crisis when they happen,” officials said.

Doping In Curling? What Just Happened In Korea (And When Will We Ever Learn?!)

Via The Saker,



Okay, a quick summary first: one of the Russian athletes participating in the Winter Olympics has tested positive for Meldonium.  On two different probes.  There is no way to explain that away, Alexander Krushelnitsky did have Meldonium in his body.





But he was also tested for the same substance just before leaving Russia for Japan (where the athletes were training) and he was clean then.  So he must have ingested that during the past two weeks while already abroad. 



Wait, it gets better!  The dosage detected is the equivalent of one dose only.  Not only that, but Meldonium increases blood-flow and helps athletes who engage is extremely high intensity sports. 



Have you ever seen a curling match? 



Finally, to be effective Meldonium needs to be taken regularly, not just once.



Now let’s sum it up. 



A Russian athlete takes one single dose of Meldonium even though he knows with absolute certainty that:




1) this will detected (Meldonium is THE drug Russians athletes, including Maria Sharapova, have been accused of taking in the past),



2) that this will not help him at all, and



3) that no amount of Meldonium could help, even in theory, an athlete competing in curling (in fact, if anything, it could be harmful).




Needless to say, anybody and everybody involved in this issue in Russia understands: this is self-evidently a “provocation”.  Even British newspapers realize the enormity of the nonsense the US press is now feeding its zombified readers and listeners (you know, the kind of folks who believe that magic bullets can zigzag or that 2 aircraft can bring about the collapse of 3 buildings).



While, in theory, a jealous team-member or some other person hating either Krushelnitsky or Russia could have given him that one single dose of this drug (any non-clear liquid would do as would any food), this seems to well-timed to be just case of personal revenge or malfeasance.



The sad reality is that Russia stupidly waltzed into a trap and now there will be hell to pay: good luck finding and proving that Krushelnitsky was given that chemical without his knowledge!  In my opinion, it was a mistake to go Pyeonchang to begin with, but now the damage is done: Russia is the laughingstock of the AngloZionists who pulled off a very simple (all the Russian athletes drink the bottled drinks given to them the organizers, use the same dining halls, etc.) and very ugly (yes, Russians can be naive, very naive at times) trick.  One small bottle liquid in a room and, TADAH!!, there you got it: the evil Russians are cheating and lying again!  What else to expect for these semi-Mongolian orcs form Mordor?



When will we ever learn!?



In my many contacts with Russians I notice one recurrent feature: most of them simply do not understand that they are at war and that the war which is being waged against them has absolutely no rules.  Whoever put that Meldonium into Krushelnitsky’s room or bottle or snack took a tiny risk and yet that resulted in yet another major PR blow delivered against Russia’s image and the against the morale of the poor Russian athletes who are already competing with an (illegally) reduced team and in terrible conditions (Hats off to whoever came up with that plan: it was nothing short of brilliant, very low risk and very high yield)



Have you heard anything about the conclusion of the expertise on the engine of the SU-25 recently shot down over Syria?  I haven’t.  How about the investigation of the downing of the MH-17?  What about the bombing of the Russian airliner (Metrojet 9268) over Egypt?  Again, maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see anything.  So what about this drink, or toothpaste, of snack or whatever was used to give Krushelnitsky this one single dose of Meldonium, just enough to be detected – do you expect that we will find out who done it?



I don’t.



Yeah, I know.  The Russian hockey team beat the USA 4-0.  So what?! Was that really worth going to Pyeonchang?



I really don’t think so.  The Olympics are a stupid, useless, corrupt waste of money, a disgusting display of crude nationalistic fervor which has nothing to do with real sports and Russia ought to be the first country to leave them, slamming the door loudly, and organize her own, real, sportive events.  In fact, I believe that Russia is big, rich and diverse enough to pull out of all the zombifying and vulgar “entertainment” the West is so good at spreading worldwide (stuff like the Eurovision or mindless TV “talent” shows).  Alternatively, we can simply sit, do nothing and wait for the IOC simply expel Russia from the next Olympic games, or even the entire Olympic movement, and then whine and sob about how unfair this all is, how innocent we are all, how much we care for de Coubertin and his Olympic spirit.  Is that really the better choice?



Each time Russia participates in such AngloZionist controlled events she ends up getting slapped in the face (remember the last Eurovision?) and walks away in impotent shame.  How can the Russians makes fun of the Ukie’s “Ukraine is Europe” when they themselves are constantly trying to play in the very same events, with the very same rules, organized by the very same people who all viscerally hate Russia to begin with?



When will we ever learn!?



The reality is a simple as it is horrible: the AngloZionist elites have declared and are waging total, full-spectrum, war on Russia.  Oh no, not a military war (yet?), that’s the kind of war they lost so often that’s they don’t have the stomach for it, but an “everything else but military” kind of war: Russia is the Evil Empire, Mordor, and she must be either completely enslaved or completely destroyed.  Have you noticed how recent US movies are, once again, constantly showing evil Russkies (bandits, hackers, terrorists, etc.) again?  When all the European comprador elites got together in Munich, what was their unanimous message?  “Russia is Evil, Russia Is A Danger! We Will Fight Russia!”  It’s WWII,  the Crimean War, the Napoleonic invasion or the Northern Crusade all over again (all of the West pulling all of its forces together again), but fought with different means.



And the Russians really seriously believed that they could travel to Korea to enjoy an innocent and peaceful competition in this context?



When will we ever learn!?



There *is* and Evil Empire out there: the AngloZionist Empire.  And it wants to crush and subjugate Russia no less than the Nazis, the Masons or the Latins did in the past.  Same plan, different methods, that’s all.  Just because this time around they are militarily weak does not mean that their political ‘soft’ power is not still immense and that they cannot defeat Russia: they most definitely can unless the Russians finally wake up and start acting like adults who understand that they are, yet again, locked into a struggle for their survival.



When will we ever learn!?

Florida Deputies Will Now Carry Rifles On School Grounds: Broward Sheriff

Broward County Deputies will begin carrying rifles on school grounds in the wake of last week"s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, according to Broward Sheriff Scott Israel. 



“This morning, I implemented a practice within the Broward Sheriff’s Office and spoke to Mr. Runcie and he’s fully cooperative of my decision, that our deputies who are qualified and trained will be carrying rifles on school grounds from this point forward,” Israel said in a Wednesday press conference. 



"Schools as soft targets need to be fortified," said the Sheriff, who said that officers would safely secure weapons when not in use. "When they are not carrying the rifle, until we look for gun locks and gun lockers, the only place when they"re not slinging the rifle, that will be allowed to be stored, will be in their locked police vehicle," Israel said.




When asked by a reporter if AR-15s will be carried, Israel said that some would. "It will be done safely," replied Israel, "We need to be able to defeat any threat that comes onto campus."



Israel also discussed the fact that Marjory Stoneman Douglas" School Resource Deputy was on campus the day of the shooting: 



“Deputy Peterson was on campus. As you all know, he’s the School Resource Deputy. He was armed. As our command staff moves forward in this investigation the response and actions of Deputy Peterson will be looked at and scrutinized as will everyone.”



The Sheriff"s full press conference can be viewed

https://t.co/MdG0jqbOIL

— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) February 21, 2018 ">here.



Last week"s shooting ignited a fierce debate over gun control, with several students from the Stoneman Douglas drama department making frequent appearances on national television to advocate for gun control. 



On Monday, a group of teenagers who said they are "desperate for some action on gun control" staged a "lie-in" outside the White House - organized over Facebook by a group called Teens for Gun Reform. 




"By doing this, we will make a statement on the atrocities which have been committed due to the lack of gun control, and send a powerful message to our government that they must take action now" the group stated in a post. 



On Tuesday, students traveled to the Florida state capitol to urge lawmakers to outlaw assault weapons, however within hours the gun-friendly legislature struck down the motion. 



“They’re voting to have shootings continually happen. These people who voted down the bill haven’t experienced what we did. I want to say to them, ‘It could be you,"” said 16-year-old Noah Kaufman said after traveling 400 miles to Tallahassee.




And on Wednesday, grieving and concerned citizens sat down with President Trump for a discussion on gun control, where he advocated for more stringent background checks, and floated the notion of arming teachers to deal with active shooters. 



"If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly, and the good thing about a suggestion like that -- and we"re going to be looking at it very strongly, and I think a lot of people are going to be opposed to it. I think a lot of people are going to like it. But the good thing is you"re going to have a lot of [armed] people with that," said the President. 



"A gun-free zone to a maniac, because they"re all cowards, a gun-free zone is "let"s go in and attack," said Trump. "I really believe if these cowards knew that the school was well-guarded from the standpoint of pretty much having professionals with great training, I think they wouldn"t go into the schools to start with, it would pretty much solve your problem."




As we previously noted, President Trump announced that he had directed the Justice Department to propose a ban on bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire much more rapidly - and which were used by Las Vegas shooting suspect Stephen Paddock. 


Russia Surpasses China With Massive Gold Purchases In January

Authored by Louis Cammarosano via smaulgld.com,



Russian Central Bank Gold Reserves Rise to 1,857 Tons in January, Passing People’s Bank of China’s 1,843 Ton Gold Hoard.






  • Russian gold reserves are now the fifth largest in the world.




  • Russia added 600,000 ounce of gold (18.66 tons) to reserves in January.




  • Russia added a record 224 tons of gold to reserves in 2017.




  • Since June 2015, the Central Bank of Russia has added over 576 tons of gold to reserves.




  • Overall Russian reserves rose from $432.742 billion in December to $447.735 in January.




  • Russian holdings of U.S. Treasuries top $100 billion for ninth in a row.




  • Gold reserves worth $80.4 billion constitute 17.95% of overall Russian reserves.





Russian Gold Reserves



After adding 6,700,000 ounces (208 tonnes) of gold to her reserves in 2015, the Russian Central Bank added 6,400,000 ounces (199 tonnes) in 2016 and another 224 tons (7,202,000 ounces) in 2017.

The Central Bank of Russia ended 2016 with 1838.21 tonnes of gold on their balance sheet.



Central Bank of Russia added 7.2 Million ounces (approximately 223.945 tonnes) in 2017.



The chart below shows the Central Bank of Russia’s Gold Reserves by month with tonnage rounded to the nearest metric ton.



Central Bank of Russia Gold Reserves June 2015 - January 2018

 



The Central bank of Russia has added about 576 tons of gold to her reserves from June 2015 – to January 2017.




Russian Additions-Subtractions to Gold Reserves 1997 - 2017



 



Since 2009, Russia has added over 1,100 tons of gold to its reserves more than China who added about 775 tons during the same time period.



Russian Monthly Gold Purchases June 2014 – January 2018



Russian Monthly Gold Purchases June 2014 - January 2018

 



Russia has added 25.0 million ounces (approximately 778 tons) to its reserves from June 2014 through January 2018.


Watch The Boston Dynamics Robot Dog Fight Back Against A Human

One week ago, the world watched mesmerized as Boston Dynamics" robotic dog, Spot Mini, showed off its brand new skill: entering a room after opening a door on its own by using a claw attached to its head. The video prompted an avalanche of dystopian humor.



Now, for its latest trick, the Boston Dynamics’ door-opening robot dog can also fight off humans to fulfill its simple door opening prerogative.



On Tuesday, the company published a new video that shows SpotMini successfully opening a door and walking through it, despite the best efforts of a man armed with a hockey stick trying to impede the robot.



In the clip, a human "armed" with a hockey stick does everything in his power to stop the robot from opening the door, including tugging on the machine, which struggles in what Wired called "an unsettling manner." But the ambush doesn’t work. The dogbot wins and gets through the door anyway.



As Wired notes, however, the most subtle detail here is also the most impressive: The robot is doing almost all of this autonomously. Since Boston Dynamics is a notoriously tight-lipped company, the few sentences it provided with this clip is a relative gold mine. It describes how a human handler drove the bot up to the door, then commanded it to proceed. The rest you can see for yourself. As SpotMini grips the handle and the human tries to shut the door, it braces itself and tugs harder—all on its own. As the human grabs a tether on its back and pulls it back violently, the robot stammers and wobbles and breaks free—still, of its own algorithmic volition.



The bottom line is that this simple robot can correct for extreme forces, effectively nullifying an aggressive human presence, all the while handling a relatively precise task. This is precisely the desired outcome: after all Boston Dynamics is, as it says in the title of the video, “testing robustness" and "SpotMini"s ability to adjust to disturbances."



Like last week"s clip that shows SpotMini engaging in the now far simpler task of merely opening a door and holding it open to allow a robot with no arms through, it has provoked plenty of discussion from viewers online.







 



SpotMini, the quietest robot Boston Dynamics has built, comes equipped with stereo cameras, depth cameras and force sensors in its limbs, and can carry up to 14kg of weight, according to the Independent.



“A camera in the hand finds the door handle, cameras on the body determine if the door is open or closed and navigate through the doorway,” says Boston Dynamics, which also offers its assurances that the test did not “irritate or harm” SpotMini.



“Software provides locomotion, balance and adjusts behavior when progress gets off track. The ability to tolerate and respond automatically to disturbances like these improves successful operation of the robot.”



"They Had More Information Than Us" - Sanders Blames Clinton For Not Exposing Russian Meddling

Sen. Bernie Sanders, unsurprisingly, has a deep and abiding respect for public radio, and frequently sits for interviews with the local Vermont station. But while most of these interviews focus on Sanders" favorite topics (burgeoning economic inequality in the US and, of course, his famed "Medicare for All" proposal), during an interview on Wednesday, Sanders felt compelled to address the "hot topic" of Russian interference during the US election.





In response to a caller asking why Bernie didn"t do more to expose the Russian disinformation campaign while it was happening, Sanders replied that he had no idea that it was happening - and furthermore, he questioned why Hillary Clinton, whom he said had far more information than he did at the time, did not do more to address the issue.




"If he was aware that Russians were trying to promote him and divide Democrats against Mrs. Clinton, why did he not communicate this to his supporters?" the listener asked Sanders.




First, Sanders clarified that the Russians weren"t supporting his campaign any more than they were supporting other controversial causes...




"This was not supporting me any more than they were supporting groups like Black Lives Matter that are fighting for social justice," Sanders said.




...Before adding that the real question is why Clinton didn"t do more to expose the Russians, or at least try to explain to the public what was happening...




"I did not know that Russian bots were promoting my campaign," Sanders added. "Russians bots were not promoting my campaign. What we found out is that in April and May, it appeared that there were lots of strange things happening, attacking Hillary Clinton."



"I would say that the real question to be asked is what was the Clinton campaign doing - they had more information about this than we did, and at this point, we were working with them," he responded.




The interviewer then asked if the Clinton campaign expressly asked that the issue not be discussed. Sanders said it hadn"t.




"No, of course not, but who do you think would be raising that issue?" Sanders said.




"I could see a world in which Mrs. Clinton said, ‘It"s the Russians," and Sanders supporters say, ‘Oh, that"s baloney," but if Sanders says it, they say, ‘OK,"" the interviewer said.




"We knew what we knew when we knew it, and that"s about all that I can say," Sanders said.




Of course, Clinton famously blamed both the Russians and Bernie Sanders (along with the movie "There"s Something About Mary" and deep-seated misogyny) for her stunning election lost in her "mea culpa" "What Happened?" - which was notably free of the "accepting of responsibility" that Clinton has repeatedly promised her distraught supporters.



 

Who Will Buy Trillions Of US Treasuries???

Authored by Chris Hamilton via Econimica blog,



As of the latest Treasury update showing federal debt as of Wednesday, February 15...federal debt (red line below) jumped by an additional $50 billion from the previous day to $20.76 trillion.  This is an increase of $266 billion essentially since the most recent debt ceiling passage.  Of course, this isn"t helping the debt to GDP ratio (blue line below) at 105%.





But here"s the problem.  In order for the American economy to register growth, as measured by GDP (the annual change in total value of all goods produced and services provided in the US), that growth is now based solely upon the growth in federal debt.  Without the federal deficit spending, the economy would be shrinking.



The chart below shows the annual change in GDP minus the annual federal deficit incurred.  Since 2008, the annual deficit spending has been far greater than the economic activity that deficit spending has produced.  The net difference is shown below from 1950 through 2017...plus estimated through 2025 based on 2.5% average annual GDP growth and $1.2 trillion annual deficits.  It is not a pretty picture and it isn"t getting better.





Even if we assume an average of 3.5% GDP growth (that the US will not have a recession(s) over a 15 year period) and "only" $1 trillion annual deficits from 2018 through 2025, the US still continues to move backward indefinitely.





The cumulative impact of all those deficits is shown in the chart below.  Federal debt (red line) is at $20.8 trillion and the annual interest expense on that debt (blue line) is jumping, now over a half trillion.  Also shown in the chart is the likely debt creation through 2025 and interest expense assuming a very modest 4% blended rate on all that debt.





So, for America to appear as if it is moving forward, it has to go backward into greater debt?!?  If you weren"t troubled so far, here is where the stuff starts to hit the fan.



With the change to the Unified budget, effective as of 1969, the Social Security surplus was "unified" into the federal budget.  The government gave themselves a ready buyer for US debt while simultaneously allowing the SS surplus to be spent in "the present".  Congressionally mandated to buy US debt, from 1970 to 2008, the Intra-Governmental Holdings (over half from the Social Security surplus) purchased over 45% of all federal debt issued.  This meant "only" 55% of US debt was auctioned into the market, or "marketable debt".



But the annual SS surplus has declined by 90% (from over $200 billion a year at the peak in 2007 to perhaps $20 billion this year) and, according to the SS trust fund, the last surplus will be recorded in 2020 or 2021.  After that (or essentially now), the Congressionally mandated buyer (which consumed almost half of all US federal debt for 4 decades) will cease.  Not only will the IG Holdings no longer be a buyer, they will need additional debt created to make good on those $2.9 trillion in SS "reserves"...and all the debt issued will be "marketable".



The chart below shows the "marketable" debt vs. IG Holdings from 1970 through 2025.  As noted above, IG consumed nearly half of all US debt up to 2008...but since "08, IG has consumed just over 10% of all the new issuance and nearly 90% of new debt been auctioned into the market.  IG has essentially ceased to be a buyer...meaning that marketable debt will continue to soar.





So who is a buyer of US Treasury debt? 



Only three possible groups remaining; "foreigners", the Federal Reserve, and private domestic sources (pensions, banks, mutual funds, individuals).



I will show that foreigners have essentially ceased buying, that the Federal Reserve isn"t a buyer and in fact is reducing it"s balance sheet...and this means there is only one buyer remaining to soak up the surging marketable debt.



But before I detail these...I want you to remember Harry Markopolos.  Markopolos is a financial investigator and he gave clear evidence of Bernie Madoff"s Ponzi to the SEC as early as 2000, again in 2001, and again in 2005.  The SEC did not see what they didn"t want to see and it wasn"t until the great financial crisis of "08 that Madoff"s fraud was exposed and the loss of approximately $65 billion realized (below, from Wikipedia).




When Markopolos obtained a copy of Madoff"s revenue stream, he spotted problems right away. Madoff"s strategy was so poorly designed that Markopolos didn"t see how it could make money. The biggest red flag, however, was that the return stream rose steadily with only a few downticks—represented graphically by a nearly perfect 45-degree angle. According to Markopolos, anyone who understood the underlying math of the markets would have known they were too volatile even in the best conditions for this to be possible.



As he later put it, a return stream like the one Madoff claimed to generate "simply doesn"t exist in finance." He eventually concluded that there was no legal way for Madoff to deliver his purported returns using the strategies he claimed to use.



As he saw it, there were only two ways to explain the figures—either Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme (by paying established clients with newer clients" money) or front running (buying stock for his own account, based on knowledge about his clients" orders).




With that in mind and the largest single buyer (IG) now a seller, let"s look at the remaining "buyers" and consider the nearly $21 trillion US Treasury market:



BUYERS -



Federal Reserve...presently allowing Treasury bonds and MBS (mortgage backed securities) to mature, reducing it"s balance sheet on a monthly basis.  The Fed plans to roughly halve its balance sheet from $4.5 to $2.2 trillion between now and 2022 (a $250 billion annual reduction in Treasury holdings).  That is a net increase of available Treasury debt of $250 billion annually above and beyond the trillion plus in new issuance and trillions being rolled over every year.





Foreigners...foreigners presently hold $6.3 trillion in US Treasury debt but since QE ended in late 2014, foreigners have essentially gone on strike, adding just $150 billion in a little over three years (chart below).



Foreigners added an average:



  • "00-->"07 +$160 billion annually

  • "08-->"14 +$540 billion annually

  • "15-->"18 +$50 billion annually

The current pace of foreign Treasury buying is less than 1/3 the pace of the early "00"s and a 90% reduction from the pace of "08 through "14, when QE was in effect.





Just three buyers hold over half (55%) of all debt held by foreigners; China, Japan, and what I call the BLICS (Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, Cayman Island, Switzerland).  The chart below shows each nations/groups US Treasury holdings from "00 through December of "17.  Entirely noteworthy:



  • China "00-->"11 +$1.2 trillion...but China has been a net seller of Treasury"s since the July of 2011 debt ceiling debate

  • Japan "00-->"11 +$600 billion...Japan"s holdings did rise after the July 2011 debate but are fast declining now toward the same quantity it held in July of 2011

  • BLICS "00-->"11 +$300 billion...It has been the $800 billion surge in BLICS buying since July 2011 that has kept foreign demand alive.



As for the BLICS, their buying patterns since "07 have grown increasingly bizarre, as if profit isn"t their motive?  However, if maintaining a bid for US debt is the motive, the massive surges in buying at the worst of times makes sense.





So, I"ve shown US federal debt is surging but the only thing keeping the US economy "growing" is the size of the deficit and debt incurred.  I"ve shown the traditional sources of net Treasury buying have ceased except for the domestic public.  That the Intra-Governmental holdings are essentially peaking and will be a net seller within a couple years and all new debt issued will be "marketable".  I"ve shown the Federal Reserve plans to "roll off" approximately $250 billion a year for up to four years.  I"ve shown that China ceased net buying Treasury debt in 2011 and foreigners have essentially gone on strike since QE ended.  The only real foreign bid remaining is from some pretty shady demand that looks an awful lot like it could be central bank buying, but regardless the BLICS, foreign demand for Treasury"s (on a net basis) has essentially stopped.



This leaves the domestic public to purchase all the surging new issuance, plus the portion the Fed (and soon enough, the IG) is rolling off, and with little to no assistance from foreigners (even the possibility the strike turns into an outright selloff!?!).  The domestic public currently holds about $6 trillion in Treasury debt and will need to buy in excess of $1.5 trillion annually (indefinitely) between picking up the roll off and the new issuance.  If the public "willingly" do this at low interest rates, it will represent 7.5% of GDP going toward Treasury purchases that yield well below needed returns.  If the Public don"t do this "willingly", interest rates will soar far more than shown above and the US will be overwhelmed by debt service.  The only other option is that the Federal Reserve makes a U-turn to re-start QE and openly engage in endless monetization.



Some articles with further and slightly different details on much of the above.(HERE) (HERE) (HERE)