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Special counsel probe continues into Biden"s mishandling of government secrets

Like Trump, Biden faces his own special counsel probe over how classified documents turned up at his properties. President BidenJacquelyn Martin, Pool President Biden faces his own special counsel investigation over mishandled secret documents. Like Trump, Biden has faced his own drip, drip, drip of revelations in the case, and questions about his role. But so far there's no evidence of aggravating factors like willful retention that may lead to charges. One president charged, another under investigation for wrongly keeping secrets.News broke Thursday night that former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a Miami grand jury in connection with a similar type of investigation — the alleged mishandling of government secrets — that another special counsel is probing President Joe Biden over.The Biden investigation appears to be far from over. It began in November after Biden's attorneys located and alerted the government to files found in a private office he had used after his vice presidency. Biden is prepared to sit with the investigators but hasn't been asked so far, NBC News reported Thursday, suggesting the probe led by special counsel Robert Hur may still be many steps from completion.Like Trump, Biden has faced his own drip, drip, drip of revelations in the case, and questions about his role. After the files were found at the office he'd used, another batch of documents were discovered in his garage in Delaware; Biden claimed they were in the locked garage where he stores a Corvette. Then another file was found at his Delaware home.The FBI undertook searches of these spaces associated with the sitting president, an unprecedented investigative step only matched by the search warrant executed at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in August that resulted in the recovery of 103 documents with markings that, despite Trump's claims, show no signs of having been declassified.Trump allegedly bragged about having a classified document about US options to strike Iran. Biden allegedly kept intelligence memos, but no evidence has similarly emerged that he discussed having them with others; Biden has said he was "surprised" by the discovery that he'd had classified records, and is cooperating with the investigation. As such, the legal cases facing these political opponents appear quite different. Trump is reportedly charged with false statements, illegal retention of national defense secrets, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Aides to Biden, by comparison, took the proper steps of alerting the National Archives and Records Administration that classified files had been found and oversaw their return. It's unusual for the Justice Department to prosecute someone for mishandling classified records without evidence of so-called aggravating factors, such as obstruction of justice or willful violation, Insider's Sonam Sheth has reported. And in the unlikely event the special counsel does seek charges, Biden as the current president would be shielded from a criminal prosecution until when he's left office.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT1 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

In Japan, you can pay a startup $144 to quit your job on your behalf

Exit's story began in 2017, when cofounder Toshiyuki Niino found himself trying to quit a job he was unhappy at. Workers in a Japanese officeGetty/ Michael H/ Creative #: 627617029/ DigitalVision Japanese startup Exit will quit your job and confront your boss for you for $144. Employers "try to make you ashamed and guilty that you quit your job in less than three years," the cofounder told Al Jazeera. Japanese culture — with deep-rooted practices for lifetime employment — sees success as a long-term commitment. Breakups are hard. They are even harder when you need to break up with your boss.That's the exact sentiment one company is capitalizing on: For 20,000 Japanese yen, or $144, a Japanese startup called Exit will quit your job for you. Exit's story began in 2017 when cofounder Toshiyuki Niino was trying to quit a job he was unhappy at, Al Jazeera reported."When you try to quit, they give you a guilt trip," he told the news outlet. "They try to make you ashamed and guilty that you quit your job in less than three years, and I had a very difficult time," he added.Niino teamed up with his childhood friend Yuichiro Okazaki and created a company that now sees about 10,000 inquiries each year, per Al Jazeera.Most of Niino's clients are men in their 20s. "The two major reasons I see are they are scared of their boss so they cannot say that they want to quit, and also the guilty feeling they have for wanting to quit," he told Al Jazeera. Japanese culture — with deep-rooted practices for lifetime employment and the concept of "karoshi," or working oneself to death — sees success as a long-term commitment, the cofounder told the outlet."It seems like if you quit or you don't complete it, it's like a sin," he said. "It's like you made some sort of bad mistake."In 2019, the average length of service in Japan across all industries was 12.4 years, according to Japan's health, labor, and welfare ministry. In comparison, the OECD average employment tenure was about 10 years in 2019.Exit did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT1 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

DeSantis responds to 2nd Trump indictment by promising to "end weaponization" of DOJ if elected president

The Florida governor avoided criticizing Trump over the documents case, instead promising major changes to federal law enforcement if elected. Former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.Alon Skuy/AFP via Getty Images and Scott Olson/Getty Images DeSantis came to the defense of Trump, his top 2024 rival, after news of the federal indictment.  The Florida governor and 2024 alleged it was politically motivated. He promised to overhaul the Department of Justice if elected.  Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis promised Thursday evening that if elected president he would overhaul the US Department of Justice in response to news that former President Donald Trump was indicted. In a statement released to Twitter, DeSantis accused the Biden administration's law enforcement agency of "weaponization," saying it "represents a mortal threat to a free society." With the indictment, Trump became the first former president in US history to face federal criminal charges."We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation," DeSantis wrote. "Why so zealous in pursuing Trump yet so passive about Hillary or Hunter? The DeSantis administration will bring accountability to the DOJ, excise political bias, and end weaponization once and for all."DeSantis, who is Trump's top rival for the 2024 presidential nomination, has otherwise become more vocal about criticizing Trump ever since making his White House run official on May 24.While in recent months DeSantis has loosely referred to the "drama" that surrounds Trump, he has focused his attacks on bashing the ex-president's record on immigration, on his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and on his losing electoral record.Unlike 2024 candidate Asa Hutchinson, former governor of Arkansas, he did not call for Trump to pull out of the race over the indictment. He instead in his statement echoed comments made by many Trump supporters that openly pondered about former 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server for official communication, as well as a Fox News story that broke Thursday alleging that President Joe Biden was paid $5 million by an executive of the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, where his son Hunter Biden sat on the board. DeSantis didn't say whether he would pardon Trump if elected, as 2024 challenger and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy did.Federal prosecutors are charging Trump with seven criminal counts, according to numerous reports. Among them are obstruction of justice and false statements. Such charges could carry decades of prison time. The public first became aware of the documents investigation in August 2022, when the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida. They seized several boxes of documents Trump took from the White House, some of which were marked "top secret." Trump will be reporting to a federal court in Miami on Tuesday afternoon, he said on Truth Social, his social media platform. He told Fox News Digital that he would enter a plea of "not guilty."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT1 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

Not even Trump"s lawyer is sure about what he"s being charged with: Here"s what we know

It has been reported that Trump faces seven charges, including espionage, obstruction, false statements and conspiracy. Donald Trump.Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Donald Trump was indicted for a second time, but it appears that even his lawyer is unsure what they are. His attorney revealed the nature of the charges to CNN, but cautioned that it was not "biblically accurate." The seven charges are rumored to be linked to espionage, obstruction, false statements and conspiracy. Former President Donald Trump was indicted for a second time on Thursday in the Mar-a-Lago records case, but even his lawyer seems to be unsure what the charges exactly are. Speaking to CNN's Kaitlin Collins on Thursday evening, Trump's lawyer Jim Trusty said his legal team had not been provided with an indictment charge sheet. Instead, the team had been sent a summons by the Department of Justice, asking Trump and his legal team to be present at the courthouse on Tuesday. He said that the summons suggested what the charges against Trump were, but he was not "100% clear what the seven charges would be."Trusty said the summons hinted at an Espionage Act charge, several obstruction-based charges, and false statements charges. When asked by Collins whether there was a conspiracy charge in the summons, Trusty said: "I believe so."—Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 9, 2023However, Trusty cautioned that what he was saying was not "biblically accurate.""There's language in there that might actually be reflecting a single count instead of two, but I think there was a conspiracy count as well," he said to Collins.  If Trump's convicted of violating the Espionage Act, he could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The law criminalizes the illegal removal of any sensitive materials which relate to national defense. Reporters from ABC News tweeted the rumored charges against Trump, which carry sentences of five to 20 years if convicted. —Alex Mallin (@alex_mallin) June 9, 2023 Trump's legal team did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: NYT1 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

Pence drops from Fox News Sean Hannity lineup after breaking news of Trump"s indictment overtakes the airwaves

Pence tweeted about the interview with Sean Hannity earlier in the day, but deleted the tweet after Trump's indictment and didn't appear on the program. Former Vice President Mike Pence, right, speaks as former President Donald Trump looks on.Alex Brandon, File/AP Photo Pence tweeted on Thursday evening that he would be appearing on Sean Hannity's program. Then news of Trump's indictment hit, and Pence didn't appear on the program.  The decision was mutual, a campaign spokesman told Insider.  Former Vice President Mike Pence didn't make a scheduled appearance with Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity on Thursday, shortly after the US Department of Justice indicted former President Donald Trump. As of Thursday evening, Pence had not yet released a statement about the indictment, which centers on classified documents Trump held at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, from his time as president. Pence almost certainly would've been asked about the charges in the Hannity interview, which the producers ended up devoting the entirety of to interviewing conservative legal experts and political observers about the indictment. Devin O'Malley, spokesman for the campaign, told Insider that the original purpose of the interview had been to discuss Pence's 2024 campaign announcement for president, but then the show's organizers wanted to focus on the breaking news about the indictment. "We mutually decided to find another time to get the two together," he said. The indictment news broke 1.5 hours before Hannity's program began. Pence had previewed the Fox News appearance in the afternoon through a post on Twitter, which was later deleted. —Tom LoBianco (@tomlobianco) June 9, 2023Pence entered the 2024 presidential nomination for a long-shot bid on Wednesday, when he sharply rebuked his former boss for pressuring him to try to overturn the 2020 election results after Biden won the presidency. Trump, he said, "should never be president of the United States again."It's not clear what stance Pence will take on the documents case. Pence, too, had classified documents at his home in Carmel, Indiana, but turned them over to federal authorities. He searched his home after it was discovered that President Joe Biden also had classified documents in his garage in Wilmington, Delaware, and in a Washington, DC, office, from his time as vice president. Federal prosecutors are charging Trump with seven criminal counts, according to numerous reports. Among them are obstruction of justice and false statements. Such charges could carry decades of prison time. The public first became aware of the documents investigation in August 2022, when the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago. They seized several boxes of documents Trump took from the White House, some of which were marked "top secret." Trump will be reporting to a federal court in Miami on Tuesday afternoon, he said on Truth Social, his social media platform. At that time he or his lawyers are expected to enter a plea of "not guilty."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: NYT2 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

Rickards: The Coming Shock To The Global Monetary System

Rickards: The Coming Shock To The Global Monetary System Authored by James Rickards via DailyReckoning.com, On Aug. 22, about 2½ months from today, the most significant development in international finance since 1971 will be unveiled. It involves the rollout of a major new currency that could weaken the role of the dollar in global payments and ultimately displace the U.S. dollar as the leading payment currency and reserve currency. It could happen in just a few years. The process by which this will happen is unprecedented, and the world is unprepared for this geopolitical shock wave. This monetary shock will be delivered by a group called the BRICS. The acronym BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. This play for global reserve currency status by the BRICS will affect world trade, direct foreign investment and investor portfolios in dramatic and unforeseen ways. The most important development in the BRICS system concerns the expansion of BRICS membership. This has led to the informal adoption of the name BRICS+ for the expanded organization. There are currently eight nations that have formally applied for membership and 17 others that have expressed interest in joining. The eight formal applicants are: Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The 17 countries that have expressed interest are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. There’s more to this list than just increasing the headcount at future BRICS meetings. If Saudi Arabia and Russia are both members, you have two of the three largest energy producers in the world under one tent (the U.S. is the other member of the energy Big Three). If Russia, China, Brazil and India are all members, you have four of the seven largest countries in the world measured by landmass possessing 30% of the Earth’s dry surface and related natural resources. Almost 50% of the world’s wheat and rice production as well as 15% of the world’s gold reserves are in the BRICS. Meanwhile, China, India, Brazil and Russia are four of the nine highest-population countries on the planet with a combined population of 3.2 billion people or 40% of the Earth’s population. China, India, Brazil, Russia and Saudi Arabia have a combined GDP of $29 trillion or 28% of nominal global GDP. If one uses purchasing power parity to measure GDP, then the BRICS share is over 54%. Russia and China have two of the three largest nuclear arsenals in the world (the other leader is the United States). By every measure — population, landmass, energy output, GDP, food output and nuclear weapons — BRICS is not just another multilateral debating society. They are a substantial and credible alternative to Western hegemony. BRICS acting together is one pole of a new multipolar or even bipolar world. When the new currency launch is announced in August, the currency will not fall on an empty field. It will fall into a sophisticated network of capital and communications. This network will greatly enhance its chances of success. The BRICS are also developing an optical fiber submarine telecommunications system that would connect its members. It is being developed under the name BRICS Cable. Part of the motivation for BRICS Cable is to foil spying by the U.S. National Security Agency on message traffic carried through existing cable networks. What’s behind this quest to ditch the dollar? In no small part the answer is U.S. weaponization of the dollar through the use of sanctions. On numerous occasions from 2007–2014, I warned U.S. officials from the Treasury, Pentagon and intelligence community that overuse or abuse of dollar sanctions would lead adversaries to abandon the dollar to avoid the impact of sanctions. Such abandonment would lead to the diluted potency of sanctions, unforeseen costs imposed on the U.S. and eventually to the collapse of confidence in the dollar itself. These warnings were mostly ignored. We have now reached the first and second stages of this forecast and are dangerously close to the third. For years, the U.S. has used sanctions to punish nations like Iran. But the sanctions the U.S. and its allies imposed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine last year went far beyond previous sanctions regimes. They were unprecedented. Many other nations began to conclude that they could be next if they run afoul of the U.S. on certain issues. And that fear has greatly accelerated the push to opt out of the dollar system entirely. This desire is not limited to current targets such as Russia but is shared by potential targets including China, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and many others. The BRICS+ present a realistic effort to de-dollarize global payments and eventually global reserves. For years, I’ve argued that the dollar would remain the world’s leading reserve currency for longer than most people think. But below, I show you why a new BRICS+ currency could greatly accelerate the demise of the dollar as the world’s leading reserve currency. How could it happen so much faster than I previously thought? Read on. The Coming Shock to the Global Monetary System The global desire to move away from the dollar as a medium of exchange for international trade in goods and services is hardly new. The difference today is that it’s gone from a discussion point to a novelty to a looming reality in a remarkably short period of time. Dubai and China have recently concluded an arrangement whereby Dubai will accept Chinese yuan in payment for oil exports from Dubai. In turn, Dubai can use the yuan to buy semiconductors or manufactured goods from China. Saudi Arabia and China have been discussing similar oil-for-yuan arrangements but nothing definitive has yet been put in place. These discussions are made complicated by Saudi Arabia’s long-standing petrodollar deal with the U.S. Still, some progress along these lines is widely expected. China and Brazil have recently reached a broad-based bilateral currency deal where each country accepts the currency of the other in trade. Meanwhile, there’s a growing strategic relationship between China and Russia as the two superpowers jointly confront the United States. In the trading relationship between the two nations, Russia can pay in rubles for Chinese manufactured goods and other exports while China pays in yuan for Russian energy, strategic metals and weapons systems. Yet all these arrangements may soon be superseded by a new BRICS+ currency, which will be announced in Durban, South Africa, at the annual BRICS Leaders’ Summit Conference on Aug. 22–24. The currency will be pegged to a basket of commodities for use in trade among members. Initially, the BRICS+ commodity basket would include oil, wheat, copper and other essential goods traded globally in specified quantities. In all likelihood, the new BRICS+ currency would not be available in the form of paper notes for use in everyday transactions. It would be a digital currency on a permissioned ledger maintained by a new BRICS+ financial institution with encrypted message traffic to record payments due or owing by participating parties. (This is not a cryptocurrency because it is not decentralized, not maintained on a blockchain and not open to all parties without approval.) The latest information from the BRICS working groups is that this basket valuation methodology is encountering the same problems that John Maynard Keynes encountered at the Bretton Woods meetings in 1944. Keynes initially suggested a basket of commodities approach for a world currency he called the bancor. The difficulty is that global commodities included in any basket are not entirely fungible (there are over 70 grades of crude oil distinguished by viscosity and sulfur content among other attributes). In the end, Keynes saw that a basket of commodities is not necessary and that a single commodity — gold — would better serve the purpose of anchoring a currency for reasons of convenience and uniformity. Based on the impracticality of commodity baskets as uniform stores of value, it appears likely that the new BRICS+ currency will be linked to a weight of gold. This plays to the strengths of BRICS members Russia and China, who are the two largest gold producers in the world and are ranked sixth and seventh respectively among the 100 nations with gold reserves. These and related developments are frequently touted as the “end of the dollar as a reserve currency.” Such comments reveal a lack of understanding as to how the international monetary and currency systems actually work. The key mistake in almost all such analyses is a failure to distinguish between the respective roles of a payment currency and a reserve currency. Payment currencies are used in trade for goods and services. Nations can trade in whatever payment currency they want — it doesn’t have to be dollars. Reserve currencies (so-called) are different. They’re essentially the savings accounts of sovereign nations that have earned them through trade surpluses. These balances are not held in currency form but in the form of securities. When analysts say the dollar is the leading reserve currency, what they actually mean is that countries hold their reserves in securities denominated in a specific currency. For 60% of global reserves, those holdings are U.S. Treasury securities denominated in dollars. The reserves are not actually in dollars; they’re in securities. As a result, you cannot be a reserve currency without a large, well-developed sovereign bond market. No country in the world comes close to the U.S. Treasury market in terms of size, variety of maturities, liquidity, settlement, derivatives and other necessary features. So the real impediment to another currency as a reserve currency is the absence of a bond market where reserves are actually invested. That’s why it’s so difficult to displace Treasuries as reserve assets even if you wanted. Again, no country in the world can come close to the U.S. in that regard. But here’s where it gets interesting, and why the dollar could lose its leading reserve status much faster than previously thought. That’s because the BRICS+ currency offers the opportunity to leapfrog the Treasury market and create a deep, liquid bond market that could challenge Treasuries on the world stage almost from thin air. The key is to create a BRICS+ currency bond market in 20 or more countries at once, relying on retail investors in each country to buy the bonds. The BRICS+ bonds would be offered through banks and postal offices and other retail outlets. They would be denominated in BRICS+ currency but investors could purchase them in local currency at market-based exchange rates. Since the currency is gold backed it would offer an attractive store of value compared with inflation- or default-prone local instruments in countries like Brazil or Argentina. The Chinese in particular would find such investments attractive since they are largely banned from foreign markets and are overinvested in real estate and domestic stocks. It will take time for such a market to appeal to institutional investors, but the sheer volume of retail investing in BRICS+-denominated instruments in India, China, Brazil and Russia and other countries at the same time could absorb surpluses generated through world trade in the BRICS+ currency. In short, the way to create an instant reserve currency is to create an instant bond market using your own citizens as willing buyers. The U.S. did something similar in 1917. From 1790–1917, the U.S. bond market was for professionals only. There was no retail market. That changed during World War I when Woodrow Wilson authorized Liberty Bonds to help finance the war. There were bond rallies and Liberty Bond parades in every major city. It became a patriotic duty to buy Liberty Bonds. The effort worked, and it also transformed finance. It was the beginning of a world where everyday Americans began to buy stocks, bonds and securities as retail investors. If the BRICS+ use a kind of Liberty Bond patriotic model, they may well be able to create international reserve assets denominated in the BRICS+ currency even in the absence of developed market support. This entire turn of events — introduction of a new gold-backed currency, rapid adoption as a payment currency and gradual use as a reserve asset currency — will begin on Aug. 22, 2023, after years of development. Except for direct participants, the world has mostly ignored this prospect. The result will be an upheaval of the international monetary system coming in a matter of weeks. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/08/2023 - 19:45.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT3 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

Revealed: Bombshell FBI Document Alleges $5 Million Bribe Paid To Joe Biden By Burisma Exec

Revealed: Bombshell FBI Document Alleges $5 Million Bribe Paid To Joe Biden By Burisma Exec Someone has leaked the contents of the stonewalled FBI document, form FD-1023, which alleges that President Joe Biden was paid $5 million by an executive of Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, where his son Hunter sat on the board. This, according to a confidential human source, who told this to the FBI during a June 2020 interview, according to Fox News. The form, dated June 30, 2020, is from a "highly credible" confidential human source who had detailed multiple meetings and conversations they had with a top Burisma executive over the course of several years, beginning in 2015. The CHS had been working with the FBI as a regular, reliable source of information since 2010, and has been paid approximately $200,000 by the bureau. The Burisma executive sought the advice of the confidential source, a business professional, on gaining U.S. oil rights and getting involved with a U.S. oil company, the sources familiar with the documdnt said. The Burisma executive was speaking with the confidential source to "get advice on the best way to go forward" in 2015 and 2016. According to the FD-1023 form, the confidential human source said the Burisma executive discussed Hunter’s role on the board. The confidential human source questioned why the Burisma executive needed his or her advice in acquiring access to U.S. oil if he had Hunter Biden on the board. The Burisma executive answered by referring to Hunter Biden as "dumb." -Fox News According to the Burisma executive, the company had to "pay the Bidens" because Ukraine's lead prosecutor, Victor Shokin, was investigating Burisma. According to the CHS, he suggested that the Burisma executive "pay the Bidens $50,000 each," to which the Burisma executive replied "not $50,000," it is "$5 million." "$5 million for one Biden, $5 million for the other Biden," the executive reportedly said. The $5 million payments appeared to reference some sort of "retainer" Burisma intended to pay the Bidens in order to 'clean up' several issues - including the investigation led by Shokin. Another source told Fox it was a "pay-to-play" scheme. The CHS believes that the $5 million payment to Joe Biden and $5 million to Hunter happened, as the Burisma executive said he "paid" the Bidens is a way "through so many different bank accounts" that investigators would not be able to "unravel this for at least 10 years." The document also makes reference to 'the Big Guy,' thought (and as seen on Hunter's laptop) to be a reference to Joe Biden. According to the Burisma executive, they "didn't pay the Big Guy directly." Meanwhile, sources tell Fox that the Burisma executive appears to be at a "very, very high level" of the company, with one source suggesting it could be the president, Mykola Zlochevsky - though the executive's name is redacted in the document. Biden notably bragged on camera about a quid-pro-quo arrangement to have Shokin fired. "I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in,' I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money," Biden said in 2018 at a Council for Foreign Relations event, recalling a conversation with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. "Well, son of a bitch, he got fired," he continued. "And they put in place someone who was solid at the time." Of course we would be remiss if we didn't note that this is exactly what Trump was impeached for asking about, after a 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy - who Trump asked to launch investigations into the Biden family, particularly Hunter's dealings with Burisma, and Joe Biden's involvement in Shokin's ouster. The confidential source, according to the sources familiar with the FD-1023 form, told the Burisma executive he should "get away" from the Bidens and said the executive should "not want to be involved" with them. A source familiar with the document told Fox News Digital that the confidential human source goes on to detail a later conversation with the Burisma executive following the 2016 presidential election. The confidential source asked the Burisma executive if he was "upset" that Donald Trump won. The source said the Burisma executive told the confidential source that he was "an oracle," referring to his or her advice to "get away" from the Bidens due to fears of potential investigations into their dealings. -Fox News The revelations came to pass after a whistleblower approached GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) to let them know that the FBI was in possession of the FD-1023. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/08/2023 - 20:05.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT3 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

Jaw Dropping Stats - Reports Of Bud Light Memorial Day Sales Dropping -60% As Brand Boycott Continues

Jaw Dropping Stats - Reports Of Bud Light Memorial Day Sales Dropping -60% As Brand Boycott Continues Authored by Sundance via The Last Refuge, Memorial Day customarily kicks off summer and the beer beverage industry generally looks forward to the enhanced sales that come from summer.  However, if the recently published reports of Anheuser-Busch sales are accurate, which includes a stunning 60% sales drop during the holiday, the brand position of Bud Light is in freefall. While the impacts do have a regional trend based on consumer boycotts and patterns, when the Daily Mail reports, “numbers are suffering primarily due to a decline in Bud Light sales that reached as high as a 60 percent drop off over the week that ended on Memorial Day,” we can be certain the executive offices of A/B are watching closely. The feedback from wholesalers and distributors to the parent company must be something beyond alarm. Worse still, the forward-looking data trend doesn’t offer any hope.  Things are getting worse for the parent company. (Daily Mail) – […] For the week ending May 20, Bud Light sales across the US fell nearly 26 percent compared to the same period last year. For the week ending May 6, in-store sales plummeted 23.6 percent. And the week before that, ending April 29, sales dropped by 23.3 percent. This follows declines in sales for the week ending April 22, which saw a 21.4 percent decline. Seven days earlier, the dip has been 17 percent, according to NielsenIQ data provided to Dailymail.com by Bump Williams Consultancy. The data – showing that US sales of Bud Light are dropping by as much as 20 percent each week – is being uniformly viewed by industry experts as a negative trend that may not reverse itself anytime soon. Beer Business Daily editor Harry Schuhmacher told Fox News Digital that the ‘whole industry is in shock’. (read more) It is safe to say the Bud Light brand is now firmly connected to the image of transgender ideology. As a result, it would appear that anyone who holds a Bud Light beverage is essentially identifying themselves as a transvestite pickle-puffer, and that could potentially draw considerable side-eyes from anyone in a public place outside the region of San Francisco, California. As further noted by the New York Post, “Demand for Bud Light over the crucial Memorial Day weekend — the official kickoff of the summer beer buying season — was lukewarm with many store shelves still holding cases of the once mighty beer, Williams said after a spot check of local stores.  At least one store was trying to unload a 24-pack of Bud Light for just $3.49, according to Beer Business Daily.” Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Michel Doukeris reportedly addressed the ongoing boycott’s impact on delivery drivers, salespeople, and wholesalers on a recent earnings call. It is a little bit odd to see A/B positioning themselves as victims of their customers. “This situation has impacted our people and especially our frontline workers: The delivery drivers, sales representatives, our wholesalers, Bud owners and servers,” Doukeris said, according to ABC News. “These people are the fabric of our business. They are our neighbors, family members, and friends. They are in every community in America. We’ve been doing everything we can to support our teams.” It would appear that Anheuser-Busch the corporation, are refusing to accept or acknowledge their responsibility in creating this crisis for their brand.  The brand image issue was not forced upon them.  These were decisions made by the marketing division of the company, and now they place blame for the consequences on their customers. Every time, in every story, in every print and broadcast update, as the ongoing events are told or written – every visual aide that accompanies the news includes that weird guy with the Bud Light beer in his hand.  This is now a bizarre marketing self-fulfilling prophecy. The articles and news telling updates to the story are now optically affirming the Bud Light brand as a beverage exclusively for transgenders. This level of ongoing public relations failure is something for the record books.  I wonder if Target Inc is paying attention. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/08/2023 - 20:25.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT3 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

Man Convicted Of Nonviolent Crime Cannot Be Stripped Of Gun Rights: Appeals Court

Man Convicted Of Nonviolent Crime Cannot Be Stripped Of Gun Rights: Appeals Court A Philadelphia federal appeals court has ruled that a Pennsylvania man convicted of a nonviolent crime cannot be stripped of his 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. A rifle at a gun shop in Richmond, Va., on Jan. 13, 2020. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times) Bryan Range was convicted in 1995 of one count of making a false statement to obtain food stamps amid a dire financial situation. He completed a three-year probation, made $2,500 in restitution, and has committed no crimes aside from minor traffic offenses and fishing without a license since then. After he pleaded guilty in 1995, it was classified as a misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in jail - a conviction which technically made him ineligible to possess a firearm under federal law, which states that it is "unlawful for any person … who has been convicted in any court, of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year" to own guns or ammunition. In 2021, a federal judge ruled against Range's challenge. While his case was pending appeal, the US Supreme Court decided a landmark Second Amendment case which settled on a two-step test for the constitutionality of restrictions on firearms. The two-step process, set forth by Supreme Court Justice Thomas Clarence, first requires the court to determine whether the Second Amendment’s “plain text” covers an individual’s conduct. If so, then that conduct is presumptively protected, and the government must prove that its law is “consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” -Epoch Times In applying the test to Range's case, a majority of the judges agreed in an 11-4 ruling (pdf) delivered on June 6th that despite his criminal record, he remains one of "the people" protected by the 2nd Amendment, and therefore the burden fell on the US government to prove that disarming Range would conform to "historical tradition" dating to the nation's founding. "Yet the Government’s attempts to analogize those early laws to Range’s situation fall short," wrote Circuit Judge Thomas Hardiman in the majority opinion. The fact that people during the Early Republic era sometimes got executed for committing nonviolent crimes, according to Hardiman, doesn’t mean that the state, then or now, could constitutionally strip a felon of his Second Amendment rights if he was not executed, because “the greater does not necessarily include the lesser.” “Because the Government has not shown that our Republic has a longstanding history and tradition of depriving people like Range of their firearms, [the federal law] cannot constitutionally strip him of his Second Amendment rights,” Hardiman wrote. The judges did note that the June 6 decision is limited to Range’s individual circumstances: he was banned from owning guns because the nonviolent crime he committed decades ago carried a relatively lengthy maximum prison sentence. -Epoch Times "Our decision today is a narrow one," read the majority opinion. "Bryan Range challenged the constitutionality of [the federal law] only as applied to him given his violation of [the Pennsylvania law]." As the Epoch Times notes further; Other Opinions Circuit Judge Thomas Ambro, a Bill Clinton appointee, wrote a concurring opinion, saying that even though the government failed to carry its burden in this case, the federal felon-in-possession ban still stands lawful. “This is so because it fits within our Nation’s history and tradition of disarming those persons who legislatures believed would, if armed, pose a threat to the orderly functioning of society. That Range does not conceivably pose such a threat says nothing about those who do,” Ambro wrote. “And I join the majority opinion with the understanding that it speaks only to his situation, and not to those of murderers, thieves, sex offenders, domestic abusers, and the like.” Ambro was joined by Judges Joseph Greenaway and Tamika Montgomery-Reeves, who were appointed by Barack Obama and Joe Biden, respectively. In one of the three dissenting opinions, Circuit Judge Patty Shwartz pointed to now-unconstitutional firearm bans on groups such as Native Americans, African Americans, Catholics, Quakers, and Loyalists. She argued that these restrictions, no matter how repugnant and unlawful they are today, serve as an analogy good enough to justify disarming people such as Range. “The founders [of the United States] categorically disarmed the members of these groups because the founders viewed them as disloyal to the sovereign. The felon designation similarly serves as a proxy for disloyalty and disrespect for the sovereign and its laws,” the Obama appointee wrote. “Such categorization is especially applicable here, where Range’s felony involved stealing from the government, a crime that directly undermines the sovereign.” Shwartz also warned that even though her colleagues have clarified that their opinion is “narrow,” the analytical framework they have applied to reach the conclusion could render most, if not all, felon firearm bans unconstitutional. “The ruling is not cabined in any way and, in fact, rejects all historical support for disarming any felon,” she wroted. “As a result, the Majority’s analytical framework leads to only one conclusion: there will be no, or virtually no, felony or felony-equivalent crime that will bar an individual from possessing a firearm. “This is a broad ruling and, to me, is contrary to both the sentiments of the Supreme Court and our history.” Tyler Durden Thu, 06/08/2023 - 20:45.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT3 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

Look Around And What Do You See? Social Defeat

Look Around And What Do You See? Social Defeat Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog, How often do you see acknowledgements that social defeat and social depression are rampant in America? If you do a search for social defeat, you find hundreds of links to studies of rodents. Here, we demonstrate that social defeat stress (R-SDS) impairs goal-directed motivation in male mice. "Social defeat is initiated when a male rodent is introduced into the home cage of an older, aggressive, dominant male." "The social defeat stress model." And so on. When applied to humans, the definitions are generalized in psychological terms: "The definition of Social Defeat is the loss of power, status, or self-esteem as a result of verbal or physical abuse by others." "Social defeat (SD) is defined as a feeling of having lost the fight leading to a loss of valuable status or of important personal goals." And so on. In my analysis, social defeat is a complex response to systemic economic, social and political inequalities. In other words, social defeat is the only possible outcome of structurally generated extreme asymmetries of wealth, income and power. Downward mobility excels in creating and distributing social defeat. Social defeat arises in strict social hierarchies in which the few dominate the many. Overcrowding exacerbates the many ills of social defeat within these social hierarchies based on dominance. In my lexicon, social defeat manifests as a spectrum of anxiety, insecurity, chronic stress, powerlessness, and fear of declining social status. Countless studies have identified the destructive consequences of chronic social defeat: social avoidance, passivity, depression, hyper-aggression, increased food intake and body mass, drug addiction, and so on. What do you see when you look around? I see all the manifestations of widespread chronic social defeat. When the system has been rigged to favor the dominant few at the expense of the many, the only possible outcome is systemic social defeat which manifests as all the ills listed above. Downward mobility and social defeat lead to social depression. Here are the conditions that characterize social depression: 1. Unrealistically lofty expectations of endlessly rising prosperity have been instilled in generations of citizens as a birthright. 2. Part-time and unemployed people are marginalized, not just financially but socially. 3. Widening income/wealth disparity as those in the top 10% pull away from the shrinking middle class. 4. A systemic decline in social/economic mobility as it becomes increasingly difficult to obtain middle class security or hold onto it. 5. A widening disconnect between higher education and employment: a college/university degree no longer guarantees a stable, good-paying job. (This is what historian Peter Turchin calls overproduction of elites.) 6. A failure in the Status Quo institutions and mainstream media to recognize social depression as a reality. 7. A systemic failure of imagination within state and private-sector institutions on how to address social depression issues. 8. The abandonment of middle class aspirations by the generations ensnared by the social depression: young people no longer aspire to (because they cannot afford) families or homeownership. 9. A loss of hope in the young generations as a result of the above conditions. The rising tide of collective anger arising from social depression is visible in many places: road rage, violent street clashes between groups seething for a fight, the destruction of friendships for holding the "incorrect" ideological views, and so on. The unwelcome reality is that America chose economic and financial policies that transferred $50 trillion from labor to politically powerful capital. If this doesn't seem possible, please read the RAND study in its entirety: Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018. Next, read the summary from Time.com The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90% -- And That's Made the U.S. Less Secure. Here's an excerpt: There are some who blame the current plight of working Americans on structural changes in the underlying economy--on automation, and especially on globalization. According to this popular narrative, the lower wages of the past 40 years were the unfortunate but necessary price of keeping American businesses competitive in an increasingly cutthroat global market. But in fact, the $50 trillion transfer of wealth the RAND report documents has occurred entirely within the American economy, not between it and its trading partners. No, this upward redistribution of income, wealth, and power wasn't inevitable; it was a choice--a direct result of the trickle-down policies we chose to implement since 1975. We chose to cut taxes on billionaires and to deregulate the financial industry. We chose to allow CEOs to manipulate share prices through stock buybacks, and to lavishly reward themselves with the proceeds. We chose to permit giant corporations, through mergers and acquisitions, to accumulate the vast monopoly power necessary to dictate both prices charged and wages paid. We chose to erode the minimum wage and the overtime threshold and the bargaining power of labor. For four decades, we chose to elect political leaders who put the material interests of the rich and powerful above those of the American people. Those who gained the pilfered wealth credit their "hard work." That's not the full story. Policies stripmined labor and the middle class and funneled the trillions to well-connected capital via tax loopholes, subsidies, favorable tax write-offs, family trusts and many other policy decisions that could only benefit the top 0.1%, who now own more of America's wealth than the bottom 80%. While the bottom 50% of America's households lost ground as their share of the nation's wealth shrank by a third to a meager 3%, the share of the top 1% soared by 40% to 32%. How often do you see acknowledgements that social defeat and social depression are rampant in America, and that the causes are systemic, the result of policies chosen by the nation's leadership elites? Shall we be brutally honest and admit the answer is never? And what do you expect to be served at the banquet of consequences of this systemic generation of social defeat and social depression? Perhaps a pendulum swing to the opposite extreme? New Podcast: Charles Hugh Smith on Getting Ready for a Real Recession (38 min) (38 min) *  *  * My new book is now available at a 10% discount ($8.95 ebook, $18 print): Self-Reliance in the 21st Century. Read the first chapter for free (PDF) Become a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com. Subscribe to my Substack for free Tyler Durden Thu, 06/08/2023 - 21:05.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT3 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

Lira Plunges After Erdogan Appoints Co-CEO Of Failed First Republic Bank As New Central Bank Governor

Lira Plunges After Erdogan Appoints Co-CEO Of Failed First Republic Bank As New Central Bank Governor Turkish President Erdogan, fresh from his re-election as president, has named Hafize Gaye Erkan as the new central bank head - and first ever female CBRT governor - replacing Sahap Kavcioglu in a move that some optimists claim may signal an attempt at returning to more conventional monetary policy (spoiler: it won't). But even if it does mean the attempted end of Erdoganomics, the outcome will be another disaster for the Turkish economy for the simple reason that Erkan was formerly co-CEO of the failed First Republic Bank, and before that she of course worked at Goldman Sachs. Her current job will be to oversee the failure of Turkey, and take as much of the blame as possible even though the real culprit is someone else entirely. Hafize Gaye Erkan  The announcement, made through a decree in the Official Gazette, completes a makeover of Erdogan’s top economic team after Mehmet Simsek’s appointment as treasury and finance minister. In his time as governor, Kavcioglu never deviated from Erdogan’s belief that lowering interest rates can slow inflation. And now that Turkey is out of reserves, even if Erdogan wants to put an end to the devastating MMT episode he put his country through, there simply is no more money. While Bloomberg incorrectly claims that her appointment "was taken by markets as a sign of possible normalization in Turkey’s monetary policies after years of ultra-low borrowing costs" the reality is just the opposite and the lira quickly tumbled to a fresh record low in Asia on Friday after the news hit. The currency was indicated down almost 2%, which would mark a fresh record low. While we expect Erkan to be fired within a month or two, if not weeks, her success will also depend on how much policy autonomy she will enjoy under Erdogan, according to Nick Stadtmiller, head of product at Medley Global Advisors. “Erkan’s appointment hopefully marks an improvement over the policies of her predecessor,” he said. “The lingering question is whether Erdogan will allow the central bank to raise rates sufficiently to bring down inflation.” And since Erdogan will never allow anyone else to have full autonomy over Turkey's money printer, the answer of how much Erdogan will allow rates to rise is zero. The Turkish central bank has been at the center of the growth-at-all-costs strategy that Erdogan has pursued since he turned his office into the nexus of all executive power in 2018. Erdogan argues lower interest rates slow inflation, a belief that contradicts conventional economic theories. There is no reason why Erdogan's outlook on economics should change now that a return to normalcy would mean a devastating economic depression: at least as long as he pursues the status quo, Erdogan can pretend that it's some evil outside force that is causing Turkey's misery, much as he has been doing for the past decade. And to show just how much Erdogan demands to be in charge of the central bank, before installing the outgoing central bank Kavcioglu as governor in March 2021, Erdogan ousted his three predecessors for tightening monetary policy too much as he wielded more power over the direction of interest rates. Kavcioglu never deviated from Erdogan’s guidance on borrowing costs. Despite price growth reaching a peak of 86% last year, the central bank under his stewardship delivered zero rate hikes and instead slashed the benchmark to 8.5% from 19% at the start of his tenure. The result is hyperinflation, economic collapse and a currency that looks like this. Finally, since merely switching around puppets will do nothing for the country which now needs to sell most of its gold to kick the can for at least a few months, we expect that today's news will inevitably lead to an even faster collapse in the Turkish Bolivar. Indeed, at least check the USDTRY was trading at 23.56 for the dollar, a fresh record low. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/08/2023 - 21:25.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT3 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

White House Denies Report China Seeking Spy Base In Cuba, But Menendez Demands Answers

White House Denies Report China Seeking Spy Base In Cuba, But Menendez Demands Answers China is seeking to establish a spy base in Cuba in order to better eavesdrop on the United States, in an alleged plot which is reminiscent of Cold War intelligence maneuvering among great powers. Beijing is reportedly in direct talks with the Cuban government, with The Wall Street Journal being the first to report Thursday that the two had reached a "secret agreement" to establish the base. However, hours later in a press briefing White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby rejected the report as inaccurate.  Some of the details in the WSJ report included that the deal had been arranged for "several billion dollars" and that China would gain an edge in sweeping up communications of US military bases in the southeast United States, given Cuba lies a mere 100 miles from the US. The Cold War era Radioelectronic Exploration Base in Lourdes, Cuba - once the biggest the Soviets operated. As is usual for such sensitive intelligence matters, the current reports are sourcing to unnamed US officials. China did not comment, but a Cuban official suggested it's another baseless Washington smear campaign.  Veteran Cuban diplomat Jose Cabanas tweeted the WSJ story and commented-- Sorry guys, you are not recovered yet from "sonic attacks" and "20 000 troops in Venezuela" fiasco and you are trying to demonize Cuba again. Don't you feel shame from time to time? And according to Kirby's comment as cited in Reuters: "We have seen the report. It's not accurate," John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, told Reuters. But he did not specify what he thought was incorrect. He said the United States has had "real concerns" about China’s relationship with Cuba and was closely monitoring it. Hours after the WSJ report, Politico while relying on two senior US officials said that China and Cuba are in "talks" for the Caribbean island-nation to host a spy base, but the suggestion is that it's only preliminary.  In Congress, naturally the China hawks (who also tend to be in favor of a muscular policy on Cuba) seized on the story, with Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who serves as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, saying that if accurate this would mark "a direct assault upon the United States." "So I hope the administration will think about how they'll react, if it’s true," he told a press briefing. The report comes months after the early February Chinese 'spy balloon' shootdown which triggered spiraling US-China relations.  Tyler Durden Thu, 06/08/2023 - 15:25.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT8 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

SEC"s Gensler Offered To Serve As An Adviser To Binance In 2019: Lawyers Claim

SEC"s Gensler Offered To Serve As An Adviser To Binance In 2019: Lawyers Claim.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT8 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

VIX Dumps, Gold Pumps, Jobless Jump As Trillion-Dollar Bill-Bomb Looms

VIX Dumps, Gold Pumps, Jobless Jump As Trillion-Dollar Bill-Bomb Looms Tl;dr: The S&P 500 entered a new bull market (off the October lows) as jobless claims hit a 19-month high... Bad news is good news... or just ignore the news... The morning started with two ugly data points as jobless claims jumped dramatically (this is the biggest rise in initial claims year-to-date - ex-COVID - since 2009... Source: Bloomberg ...and Wholesale Sales totals tumbling into the red YoY (a strong recession signal)... Source: Bloomberg ...pulling Treasury yields and the dollar lower and sending gold higher as the market's expectations for The Fed dropped dovishly lower... Source: Bloomberg And bear in mind that, as Deutsche Bank strategist Steven Zeng said in a recent research note, net bill issuance of $400 billion is expected in June, followed by $500 billion between July and September. In total, Zeng estimated $1.3 trillion in net bill issuance by the end of the year... all of which could well drain significantly liquidity from the system. But hey, keep selling vol (down 9 of the last 11 days) - VIX hit a 13 handle today, the lowest since Jan 2020... Source: Bloomberg Today saw a reversal of yesterday's chaos in equity land with Nasdaq surging at the cash open while Russell 2000 was dumped (but the latter made a strong comeback after Europe closed). S&P and Dow rallied around 0.5%... Nasdaq was supported by the 0-DTE traders all day today who bought calls with both hands and feet... Source: SpotGamma Interestingly, the 'soft landing' reversal stalled today as Nasdaq outperformed Small Caps (but only modestly and even that reversed back lower in the afternoon... Source: Bloomberg TSLA rallied for the 10th consecutive day (it has only rallied for a longer period once before, in Jan 2021)... Oh, and then there's CVNA...! Treasuries were bid across the curve with the belly outperforming (5Y -9bps, 2Y -3bps, 30Y -6bps). The 30Y yield is back to unchanged on the week... Source: Bloomberg The dollar tumbled again today (its biggest daily drop since March) - the second big drop in a week - to 3-week lows... Source: Bloomberg Bitcoin went nowhere today... Source: Bloomberg Oil prices plunged today with WTI back below $70 and well below pre-Saudi-cut levels after headlines about possible Iran nuke deal talks... which was denied about an hour later... Gold surged today, erasing yesterday's plunge as markets are all acting like penny stocks... Finally, the "trilemma" continues to confuse... The dollar, tech stocks and real rates are not supposed to act like this into a recession. The dollar rallies (fact) on higher real rates (check) OR rising risk aversion (not present), tech rallies (fact) on lower real rates (not present) OR higher risk appetite due to US exceptionalism (check). Goldman believes that the dollar is right and equities aren't. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/08/2023 - 16:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT8 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

Is AI The Beginning Of The End, Or Just A Beginning?

Is AI The Beginning Of The End, Or Just A Beginning? Authored by Mike 'Dr.Doom' Hobart via BombThrower.com, So, here we are… it’s 2023 and the world seems to believe that we are on the verge of both World War 3 AND a terminator-driven apocalyptic nightmare from which there is no escape. I’m sure that the most tempting reaction is to simply throw your hands high into the air, quit your job(s), stop by the store on the way home, purchase copius amounts of alcohol, marijuana, psilocybin, whatever drug of choice you have and just party and f*** your way to the next aspect of this game that we call “life.” If that’s the way you want to go heading into the end, I wouldn’t blame you, but I will judge you. I prefer to take a more adult, intelligent tact at viewing our current landscape. With a particular focus on this thing we call artificial intelligence. We’ve all heard it at this point – if you haven’t then I both commend you for being insulated from the nonsense for so long as well as have questions for where the rock is located that you have been so successfully hiding under. “Artificial intelligence will lead to the demise of the human species.” Or some derivative of this claim. It is nearly impossible to hear at this point. But we have heard this song & dance before. We heard it with the automobile and with electricity (both occurred at roughly the same time). We heard similar levels of discountenance with regards to the development of the internet, “why would I need to read the newspaper on the internet when I have the perfectly good physical copy delivered to my doorstep every morning?” I know what you’re saying, as it has been shouted at me plenty of times already, “this is different.” Believe me, I understand the difference that artificial intelligence poses with regards to dissolution of the employment market. But there is a problem, rather a few problems. Technological development takes time. Artificial intelligence is not disintermediating the job market *checks watch* tomorrow. In the macro view it can be claimed as such, but on the scale of months or years, you can rest assured your job is likely safe for at least the near future. That doesn’t mean you just throw any and all concern for your future out the window, you’d have to be an idiot to live that way. This just means there is time to hone skills and hobbies with the aim of turning your skillset and passion into a monetized venture. So crack-on. Health. It may be difficult to grasp but artificial intelligence stands to present some serious potential in the realms of healthcare. By this I do not mean the perversion that is the “healthcare system” today, but actual health care. Today is just an addiction factory, an assembly line of pharmacological masking of symptoms without any actual treatment of underlying sources of problems that are advertising themselves via symptoms. For an example of this I recommend my thoughts over anxiety, ADD, and depression here. Artificial intelligence can be deployed to help identify more complex patterns in enzyme structure, biochemical pathways, protein folding, and so on… which can then be used for processes such as to identify irregularities or cross-reference for abnormalities/bifurcations in neural signaling pathways (as some larping examples). Population. Did you forget about the population replacement and fertility problems? I did not. With issues in rapidly diminishing fertility, in both men and women, and an already slowing population replacement rate that is now negative, developed nations stand in the face of rather… not great forward outlooks. A shrinking population means a shrinking consumer base. Making for (generally) slowing economies. This is one reason why Japan doesn’t produce at home, they produce their products within the countries and jurisdictions in which their products sell. Like, for example, automobiles being sold by Japanese companies but built in America. If the currently developed world(s), let alone America, want to stand a chance at staying relevant going into the future, they will need artificial intelligence in order to produce products and services that remain competitive. As shown in the above below: Asia, Africa, and Latin America still have substantial room to grow as far as population density is concerned. North America stands a bit different here as immigration is a big player in population growth, both legal and illegal immigration that is. This also does not consider that here in the US we have a significant liabilities and balance of workforce problem already on our doorstep. There are 10,000 Boomers hitting retirement age every day of 2023. These are individuals that will be transitioning from producing consumers to strictly consumers. This also doesn’t take into account an aspect from Point #2 above; health of the average workforce participant. Not only are the average  American workers overworked as is, which is certainly contributing to the fertility and population replacement problems, but Joe & Jane are also not well. Placing a heavy burden on employers both in the costs of providing benefits, as well as the risks that come along with having employees and subordinates that are lacking in fortitude. A fragile workforce is a costly workforce. Both in capex as well as opportunity cost and risk management. Meanwhile so much of the population is buying-into these fanciful 007-esque story arcs of an invisible hand that is guiding this grand world against them in an elaborate scheme for world domination. This is very important as a consideration as it can cause individuals to feel that they have little-to-no power over their lives; a very important contribution to mental health and confidence. Which also ply-out effects on fertility and an individual’s physical health. My Concerns The reason I bring these points up is that I cannot help but grow concerned that America is likely to charge headlong into shutting down innovation in artificial intelligence over raw fear of our own demise without thinking things through rationally. Keep in mind, we took the exact same approach to COVID-19 and all that accomplished was a series of numbskull, stupid decisions, all based on fears that were largely misplaced. So, I ask Are we on the precipice of shooting ourselves in the knees (or gonads at this point) by shutting down development of artificial intelligence right before we are about to need it most? Our world as we know it can end in a fashion that does not involve a third global conflict, or the demise of our species. It will take stoic leadership, and intelligent guidance in order to achieve such a possible task. We cannot afford to be driven by such foolish whims as emotions like fear & hate. Through strength of the individual, and unification in a mission to build a world that is better than today, so that we may provide a better platform for our children to stand upon, is how we get this done. It’s how our grandparents did it, it’s how their grandparents did it, and it’s how we need to do it now. *  *  * This post is via Mike “Dr. Doom” Hobart, via the Just Hear Me Out Substack. Subscribe to Bombthrower and get a copy of my next e-book “The CBDC Survival Guide” when it drops. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/08/2023 - 16:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT8 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

Fed Emergency Bank Bailout Facility Usage Tops $100 Billion For First Time As Money-Market Inflows Soared Again

Fed Emergency Bank Bailout Facility Usage Tops $100 Billion For First Time As Money-Market Inflows Soared Again Following Friday's farcical Fed data on commercial bank deposits - which turned $28.4 billion on NSA outflows into $102 billion of SA inflows - tonight's money-market fund flows and Fed balance sheet data should be pretty bloody heroic or The Fed's "adjustments" tomorrow night are going to astronomical. Sadly, for The Fed, things don't look good as money market funds saw $36.6 billion of inflows to a new record high of $5.457 trillion. This is the 7th straight week of inflows (and 12th of the last 13 weeks)... Source: Bloomberg The last 15 weeks - since SVB - has seen over $635 billion of inflows into money-market funds - by far the fastest inflows outside of COVID lockdowns ever. Institutional funds saw $24 billion of inflows while retail inflows topped $12.5 billion again... Source: Bloomberg Which, as we noted above, means The Fed has some 'splainin' to do as deposits magically decouple from money-market flows... Source: Bloomberg The Fed's balance sheet surprisingly expanded by $3.47 billion last week - its biggest rise since the SVB bailout... Source: Bloomberg As far as QT is concerned, The Fed sold a very modest $2.4 billion to its lowest since August 2021... Source: Bloomberg The US central bank had $103 billion of loans outstanding to financial institutions through its two backstop lending facilities, up $5.742 billion from last week... Source: Bloomberg With the Fed's Emergency Bank Term Funding Program surging to over $100 billion... Source: Bloomberg Finally, we note that as US equities have soared in recent weeks, US Bank reserves at The Fed rose once again... Source: Bloomberg How will all this change now that Janet's trillion-dollar Bill-Bomb looms? If everything is so awesome - with regional banks at 3-month highs - why are they needing to borrow $100 billion from The Fed? Tyler Durden Thu, 06/08/2023 - 16:44.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT8 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

GM Joins Ford In Switching To Tesla Charging Standard For Next Generation EVs

GM Joins Ford In Switching To Tesla Charging Standard For Next Generation EVs General Motors announced on Thursday that it will be switching to Tesla's charging network and charging technologies, CNBC reports. The decision follows a similar move by Ford, and will allow GM vehicles to access 12,000 of Tesla's chargers using a special adapter and the Detroit automaker's EV charging app, beginning in 2024. GM will join Ford, which last week announced the switching to a type of charging port known as NACS, vs. the current industry-standard CCS. The partnership was heralded by CNBC as a 'major win' for Tesla and its charging technology - and it's expected to add pressure on other automakers (and the US government) to adopt Tesla's technology. The deal is expected to be announced by GM CEO Mary Barra and Tesla CEO Elon Musk during a live audio discussion Thursday on Twitter Spaces. GM is ramping up production of its fully electric vehicles in pursuit of Tesla-level sales volumes in the segment. It also marks a stark reversal in strategy for GM. Weeks ago, when Ford announced its own partnership with Tesla, GM was working with engineering organization SAE International to develop and refine an open connector standard for CCS. -CNBC To listen to the Twitter Spaces conversation between Musk and Barra, click the image below: "This collaboration is a key part of our strategy and an important next step in quickly expanding access to fast chargers for our customers," Barra said in a statement. "Not only will it help make the transition to electric vehicles more seamless for our customers, but it could help move the industry toward a single North American charging standard." The deal between GM and Tesla will likely benefit both companies - more than doubling access to fast charging stations of which Tesla says there are roughly 4,947 worldwide. The company has not disclosed how many are located in the United States. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/08/2023 - 16:50.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT8 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

West Coast Dockworkers Making $200K Demand Higher Pay

West Coast Dockworkers Making $200K Demand Higher Pay By Greg Miller of FreightWaves West Coast container port operations are being disrupted by a dispute over the size of dockworkers’ next pay raise, with disruptions now starting to affect ship operations. “We got a rash of vessel movements canceled overnight,” said Kip Louttit, executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, on Wednesday. Departures of six ships berthed in Los Angeles or Long Beach have been delayed: the Cosco Portugal, Cosco Oceania, Cosco Shipping Rose, CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci, CSCL Yellow Sea and YM Unicorn. Arrivals of four ships to the ports are delayed: the Aitolikos, Cosco Denmark, Cosco Netherlands and Cosco Taicang. Yet another ship, the MSC Jeongmin, had its arrival in Los Angeles delayed Tuesday. International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) dockworkers handle cargo across the West Coast, including at the major container gateways of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland in California, and Seattle and Tacoma in Washington. Union pushes for higher wages The ILWU is demanding wages and benefits in the next five-year contract that reflect dockworkers’ role in the COVID-era import boom, a one-off event that ended last year. The prior contract expired July 1, 2022. The union cited the decrease in member wages and benefits as a share of the revenues of terminal employers and ocean carriers represented by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). ILWU Local 13 said that “ocean carriers and terminal operators have thumbed their noses at the work force’s basic requests” after effectively treating dockworkers’ lives as “expendable in the name of profit” during the pandemic. If the narrative is “greedy employers take advantage of American workers,” it’s only fair to take a closer look at what West Coast dockworkers currently earn — the starting point for pay and benefits they’re seeking to boost in the new contract. Detailed compensation data is published annually by the PMA. It shows that West Coast dockworkers are already some of the highest-paid workers in the country. ILWU wages vs. other professions Full-time registered longshore workers earned an average of $197,514 in 2022, not including benefits, according to the PMA. Clerks earned an average of $220,042 and foremen and walking bosses averaged $306,291. (Full time is defined as working 2,000 hours or more per year, or 38.4 hours per week.) The PMA also paid $100,534 per ILWU registrant in benefits costs. Benefits include full insurance coverage, a 401(k) and a pension with a maximum yearly retirement benefit of $95,460. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles data on average annual wages by profession. West Coast dockworkers rank toward the top when compared to the government stats. Full-time dock foremen earned 24% more than the average CEO’s base salary in 2022 and 20% more than neurologists. ILWU clerks earned just $5,600 per year less than airline pilots. Full-time dockworkers came in 21% higher than lawyers and 9% above dentists. Average earnings in 2022 for all full-time ILWU registrants — $211,000 — were 3.4 times higher than the average wage for all professions calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The caveat on the PMA data is that a portion of union registrants are under the full-time threshold. Of longshore workers, 42% worked less than 2,000 hours in 2022. The bulk of longshore workers (including non-full-time workers) earned in the $100,000-$200,000 range. Among clerks, 19% worked less than 2,000 hours, with overall earnings bunched in the $150,000-$225,000 range. Of walking bosses and foremen, only 10% did not meet the full-time definition. Salaries were grouped in the $250,000-$325,000 range. Some foremen earned over $400,000 and a few topped a half-million. How ILWU earnings are calculated The average 2022 ILWU registrant base rate — $46.23 per hour — doesn’t sound that steep for skilled labor. But as the PMA explained in its annual report, worker earnings also include an additional component based on skill level. Skill bonuses range from $2.40 to $5.80 per hour and were added in 80.7% of hours paid last year. Pay also increases for the second shift (eight hours starting at 6 p.m.) and third shift (five hours starting at 2:30 a.m.) to $61 to $83 per hour. Work on these shifts accounted for 38.5% of total hours paid last year. Then there is overtime, which accounted for 36.4% of hours paid in 2022. Overtime pay rates range from $69 to $93 per hour. Altogether, the PMA said the effects of skills bonuses, work shifts and overtime brought the effective average rate for all hours paid to $64.10. COVID was yet another key factor. The ILWU labor force was essential to keeping goods flowing during the pandemic, despite risks to the dockworkers’ health. At least 43 union members died of COVID, according to the ILWU. The change in consumer behavior during the pandemic led to a flood of cargo into West Coast ports that continued through the first half of last year, hiking both straight hours (non-overtime) and overtime. The PMA paid ILWU registrants at all U.S. West Coast ports total wages of $2.31 billion in 2022, up $371 million or 19% versus 2019, pre-pandemic. The effective hourly rate rose 7% over the three-year period. Straight time was 22,895,230 hours in 2022, up 8% from 2019. Overtime came in at 13,084,540 hours, up 16%. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/08/2023 - 17:05.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT8 hr. 8 min. ago Related News

Orcas observed devouring the tongue of a blue whale just before it dies in first documented hunt of the largest animal on the planet

The Western Australia study filmed orcas — also known as killer whales — preying on blue whales, the largest animal on Earth, for the first time. Researchers approach a blue whale to attach a suction-cup tag.Elliott Hazen under NOAA/NMFS permit 16111 A study from Australia is the first to scientifically document blue whales' killings by orcas.  Orcas were observed devouring the nutrient-rich tongues of the giant blue whales. "This is the biggest predation event on this planet," a marine scientist said. Orcas aren't the largest animal in the sea but they're certainly one of the smartest, making them the ocean's apex predator.They'll hunt virtually anything from great white sharks to boats, throwing yachts around like rag dolls.However, the scientific community has long debated whether orcas can hunt blue whales, the largest animal on the planet. The debate was finally settled in a report published in Marine Mammal Science in 2022.Orcas can hunt and kill blue whalesThe report documented the first recorded observations of a pod of orcas — also known as killer whales — attacking blue whales off the coast of Western Australia.The attacks were recorded by marine scientists from Cetrec WA (Cetacean Research). The report includes details of how the killer whales swam inside the mouth of the enormous whales to eat their nutritionally rich tongue just before they died."Here we provide the first documentation of killer whales killing and eating blue whales: two individuals killed, 16 days apart in 2019, and a third in 2021," the researchers wrote in the paper. "Notably, the first whale taken appeared to be a healthy adult."Researchers arrived at the first killing of a 72-foot-long blue whale to see large chunks of skin and blubber having been gouged from its body and with most of the dorsal fin having been bitten off. It was followed by relentless attacks by the orcas, where three lined up against the blue whale and pushed it underwater, while two attacked its head. The study explains that 50 orcas joined the pack for six hours to feed on the carcass. Hunting in large numbers like this is not all that uncommon for orcas. They have highly-developed methods of communication which enables them to orchestrate hunting tactics as well as imitate each other.A few weeks later, the next attack occurred when a blue whale calf was targeted. Twenty-five orcas attacked the 40-foot-long animal. The final attack recorded by the study was on a 45-foot-long blue whale, chased for 15 miles in a 90-minute hunt. Again, the orcas' hunting strategy was to push and ram the whale under the water while others attacked its head and tongue. A 50-strong pod devoured the remains of the kill.An orca and its calf.Jeff Foott/Getty ImagesMother orcas are the lead aggressorsPrevious studies had concluded that orca attacks had to be executed by the biggest killer whales — who are male and can grow to 30 feet in length — to be successful. But the new research documented that these killings were led by female orcas, with the study saying that the drive to feed their offspring could make them more aggressive. "This is the biggest predation event on this planet: the biggest apex predator taking down the biggest prey," study coauthor Robert Pitman, a marine ecologist at Oregon State University's Marine Mammal Institute, told National Geographic. "We don't have dinosaurs anymore, so for me as a whale biologist and a zoologist. It's an amazing thing."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT8 hr. 36 min. ago Related News

China and Xi are making a backup plan in case Putin dies or gets deposed, analyst says

Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping have declared a "no limits" friendship. But Xi appears to have doubts Putin will last. Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with China's President Xi Jinping at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21, 2023.MIKHAIL TERESHCHENKO/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images Xi Jinping may be "contingency planning" in case Putin is deposed, an analyst told Insider.  He appears to be forming closer ties to Putin's deputy, another analyst wrote.  Rumors of a military coup, as well as concerns about Putin's health, are circulating in Russia. China's President Xi Jinping and Russia's President Vladimir Putin have sought to portray themselves as adamant allies, engaged in a longstanding partnership to roll back the US' global dominance. But China's president may not be as convinced as he appears that his "no limits" friendship with Putin will endure, amid rumors that the Russian president is suffering from a serious illness, or may be deposed in a coup.According to one analyst, Xi is likely already seeking to form closer relations with potential successors to the Russian president.Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin meets with China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing on May 24, 2023.ALEXANDER ASTAFYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty ImagesAnders Åslund, an economist and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said Xi appears to be cultivating closer ties to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.At the April summit where the Chinese president visited Putin in Moscow,  Xi held a rare one-on-one meeting with Mistushin, noted Åslund.Then, in May, China's Prime Minister Li Qiang invited Mishustin to China, where he "received Mishustin at the Great Hall of the People, once again completely beyond the ordinary bounds of Chinese and Russian protocol.""Why was Mishustin invited and not Putin? This cannot have gone down well with the Russian leader," he writes. As evidence of Putin's displeasure, he points to Mishustin's absence from subsequent Russian Security Council meetings, of which the prime minister is a permanent member. "This old-style Kremlinology is perhaps the best evidence we have that China may be looking beyond Putin and seeking to cultivate alternative relationships in Russia."Mistushin's is not a name that usually comes up in discussions of potential successors to Putin. A former tax official, he has cultivated a reputation as an effective manager. According to Russian independent media organization Meduza, he has played "no part" in implementing Putin's Ukraine war, and does not discuss it. In the closed world of Russian and Chinese politics, where reliable information on the thinking of its leaders is rare, analysts have long relied on subtle signals and snippets of information to read the underlying power dynamics. It's a discipline that became known as "Kremlinology" during the Cold War, and is still very much alive today, with Putin's use of a huge table for meetings with top officials the subject of weeks of speculation last year about his state of mind. The same methods are applied to the secretive world of politics in Beijing. Reading between the lines, analysts have previously found signs of underlying tensions in Putin and Xi's relationship, such as Xi's refusal to approve a new gas pipeline from Siberia to China, which they say is a power play Xi is using to underscore Russia's new reliance on China. Ali Wyne, an analyst with the Eurasia Group in Washington, DC, told Insider that given rumors about Putin's health, and potential challenges to Putin's power, it made sense for China to be engaged in "contingency planning." "Governments regularly engage in contingency planning; that activity does not necessarily indicate strategic preferences," he said."Given ongoing rumors about Putin's health and speculation that a Ukrainian defeat of Russia could undermine his rule, many countries—including the United States and China—are likely envisioning various post-Putin futures and weighing the implications of each for Russia's domestic politics and foreign policy."However, he cautioned, it's too early to suggest that Xi would prefer to be dealing with a different president in the Kremlin. "Whether one considers the number of occasions on which Xi and Putin have met, however, the growing intensity of their shared grievances against US influence, and the priority that both have placed on deepening Sino-Russian relations, it seems premature for now to conclude that China seeks different Russian leadership," he said.   Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT8 hr. 36 min. ago Related News