Wednesday, January 4, 2017

WAR GAMES US sends special forces to RUSSIAN BORDER as Nato is poised to strike back against Vladimir Putin’s ‘aggression’

The Sun
January 4, 2017

PRESIDENT Obama has deployed US special forces troops along Lithuania’s border with “aggressive” Russia.
Tensions between Washington and the Kremlin have reached Cold War levels amid reports Vladimir Putin is deploying nuke-ready missiles in the Russian province of Kaliningrad – which borders Poland, Belarus and Lithuania.
President Obama has sent US troops to the Russian border with Lithuania amid increased military aggression by Vladimir Putin
President Obama has sent US troops to the Russian border with Lithuania amid increased military aggression by Vladimir Putin
And Lithuanian Defence Ministry spokeswoman Asta Galdikaite confirmed America has offered additional military support following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
She said: “The United States was the first to offer additional safety assurance measures to the Baltic countries following the deterioration of the security situation in the region after the annexation of the Crimea.”
She added: “US Special Operations Forces presence in Lithuania is one of the deterrents” against military threats by Putin’s aggressive regime, reports the Express.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Re-Energized Dollar Looms Over the Rest of the World

Wall Street Journal
January 1, 2017

On Wall Street, the rising dollar has been one of the most visible signals of growing optimism in the U.S. economy. For many other countries, it spells trouble.
Most analysts expect the U.S. currency to strengthen in 2017, extending a gain that has boosted the value of the dollar by more than one-third since the U.S. credit downgrade in 2011.
That expectation is mostly because a strengthening economy appears likely to enable the Federal Reserve to enact its plan for multiple rate increases in 2017. Higher rates make it more attractive to hold dollar-denominated assets, attracting money into the U.S.
“Right now, there is an incredible amount of pressure to sell just about every type of currency and buy the dollar,” said Christopher Stanton, chief investment officer at Sunrise Capital LP, which manages $700 million.
Mr. Stanton recently bet that the U.S. currency will appreciate against the Australian dollar, Japanese yen and euro in the next few months.
A stronger dollar raises the buying power of U.S. consumers and businesses by making imported items cheaper and reducing the costs of traveling abroad. By the same token, however, it hurts U.S. exporters by making their goods less competitive overseas, cutting into corporate earnings and potentially weighing on stock prices.
In emerging markets, sustained dollar strength could undercut prices for oil and other dollar-denominated commodities, pressuring developing economies that export raw materials. Emerging-market companies and governments that have borrowed heavily in the U.S. currency will also find their debt more difficult to service.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

U.S. Economic Confidence Inches Up to New High

December 21, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' confidence in the economy continues to gradually strengthen after last month's post-election surge. Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaged +10 for the week ending Dec. 18, marking another new high in its nine-year trend.
Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index -- Weekly Averages
The latest figure is up slightly from the index's previous high of +8recorded in both of the prior two weeks. The first positive double-digit index score since the inception of Gallup Daily tracking in 2008 reflects a stark change in Americans' confidence in the U.S. economy from the negative views they expressed in most weeks over the past nine years.
Last month's election of Donald Trump not only marked a change in the country's political power structure but also significantly improved Republicans' economic confidence -- pushing the index into positive territory for the first time since March 2015.
Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: how Americans rate current economic conditions and whether they feel the economy is improving or getting worse. The index has a theoretical maximum of +100 if all Americans were to say the economy is doing well and improving, and a theoretical minimum of -100 if all Americans were to say the economy is doing poorly and getting worse.
Americans' assessments of current conditions and their outlook for the economy are the most positive they have been in nine years. Thirty-one percent of Americans rated the economy as "excellent" or "good" last week, while 22% said it was "poor," resulting in a current conditions score of +9.
Read the entire article

Friday, December 16, 2016

Human Trials Envisioned After Scientists Reverse Aging In Mammals

Technocracy News
December 16, 2016

Photo: Octogenarian Olympian Johanna Quass (86) of Saxony, Germany (April 2012). Courtesy of Common Constitutionalist

Gene modification in humans is a huge field that is set to explode within a few years, giving hope to Transhumans that immortality is just one step away. Technocrat scientists are racing for the gate to be first to hit the next big breakthrough.  TN Editor
An end to grey hair and crows-feet could be just 10 years away after scientists showed it is possible to reverse ageing in animals.
Using a new technique which takes adult cells back to their embryonic form, US researchers at the Salk Institute in California, showed it was possible to reverse ageing in mice, allowing the animals to not only look younger, but live for 30 per cent longer.
The technique involves stimulating four genes which are particularly active during development in the womb. It was also found to work to turn the clock back on human skin cells in the lab, making them look and behave younger.
Scientists hope to eventually create a drug which can mimic the effect of the found genes which could be taken to slow down, and even reverse the ageing process. They say it will take around 10 years to get to human trials.
Our study shows that ageing may not have to proceed in one single direction,” said Dr Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory. “With careful modulation, aging might be reversed.
“Obviously, mice are not humans and we know it will be much more complex to rejuvenate a person. But this study shows that ageing is a very dynamic and plastic process, and therefore will be more amenable to therapeutic interventions than what we previously thought.”
Scientists have known for some time that the four genes, which are known collectively as the Yamanaka factors, could turn adult cells back to their stem cell state, where they can grow into any part of the body.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Obama in Interview: America “By No Means” Has Overcome “Legacies of Slavery” and “Racism”

The New American
December 13, 2016

    Obama in Interview: America “By No Means” Has Overcome “Legacies of Slavery” and “Racism”
    In a recent interview, Barack Obama expressed the shopworn belief that America has not “overcome” the legacy of “slavery.” The president was not, apparently, talking about how Americans are essentially enslaved to the government until April 24, which in 2015 was the day we had to work until to pay the nation’s tax burden. (Note: According to the Tax Foundation, Americans spent “more on taxes in 2015 than … on food, clothing, and housing combined.”) Rather, he was referring to the slavery that ended 151 years ago.
    Obama made his comments Monday night while being interviewed at the White House by Trevor Noah, host of Comedy Central’s Daily Show (video below). After Noah asked him how he skirts “that line between speaking your mind and sharing your true opinions on race whilst, at the same time, not being seen to alienate some of the people you are talking to,” Obama replied that while race isn’t the only factor in our lives, “we have, by no means, overcome the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow and colonialism and racism, but that the progress we've made has been real and extraordinary; if I'm communicating my genuine belief that those who are not subject to racism can sometimes have blind spots or lack of appreciation of what it feels to be on the receiving end of that, but that doesn't mean that they're not open to learning and caring about equality and justice.”

    It’s apparent that when Obama was speaking of “those who are not subject to racism [and] can sometimes have blind spots,” he wasn’t referring to himself, even though he’s not targeted with white-privilege theory or “safe spaces” from which whites are excluded. (In fact, Obama enjoyed a somewhat privileged upbringing, attending the elite Punahou School in Hawaii — tuition: $20,000 a year.)
    Obama’s excessive focus on the slavery that once occurred in America is lamentable but not surprising, and indicates a lack of perspective. For instance, a striking fact is universally ignored: Europeans and Americans might not have been the first to practice slavery.
    But they were the first to end it.
    Slavery is one of the world’s oldest institutions, once present in most places and in every time — including places such as Africa in our time. The Egyptians, Spartans, and Romans practiced slavery, as did many African tribes, the latter of which would then also sell slaves to European traders. Of course, primitive civilizations might actually consider slavery merciful, as the other option often was death (for captured foes), sometimes as a human sacrifice in a pagan ceremony (à la the Aztecs). Note also that the term “slave” at least partially derives from “Slav” precisely because so many Slavs — white people — were once sold into bondage.
    Of course, a critic will point out that these facts do nothing to change the reality of American slavery’s “legacy.” But what is that reality? As Dr. Walter Williams wrote in his 2001 piece “The Legacy of Slavery Hustle”:
    Illegitimacy among blacks today is 70 percent. Only 41 percent of black males 15 years and older are married, and only 36 percent of black children live in two-parent families. These and other indicators of family instability and its accompanying socioeconomic factors such as high crime, welfare dependency and poor educational achievement is claimed to be the legacy and vestiges of slavery, for which black Americans are due reparations. Let’s look at it.
    In 1940, illegitimacy among blacks was … [14 percent]. From 1890 to 1940, blacks had a marriage rate slightly higher than whites. As of 1950, 64 percent [of] black males 15 years and older were married, compared to today’s 41 percent.
    In Philadelphia, in 1880, two-parent family structure was: black (75.2 percent), Irish (82.2 percent), German (84.5 percent) and native white Americans (73.1 percent). In other large cities such as Detroit, New York and Cleveland, we find roughly the same numbers.
    According to one study of black families (Herbert G. Gutman, “The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925”), “Five out of six children under the age of 6 lived with both parents.”
    That study also found that, in Harlem between 1905 and 1925, only 3 percent of all families were headed by a woman under 30 and 85 percent of black children lived in two-parent families.
    The question raised by these historical facts is: If what we see today in many black neighborhoods, as claimed by reparation advocates, are the vestiges and legacies of slavery, how come that social pathology wasn’t much worse when blacks were just two or three generations out of slavery? Might it be that slavery’s legacy and vestiges have a way, like diabetes, of skipping generations?
    In fact, the “slave-plainers” are like a skipping record, indulging the insanity of saying the same thing over and over again even though the results are in. Dr. Williams reports that today the statistics are even worse than when he penned his 2001 article, with, for example, the black illegitimacy rate now being almost 75 percent. He also tells us, “Black youth unemployment in some cities is over 50 percent. But high black youth unemployment is also new. In 1948, the unemployment rate for black teens was slightly less than that of their white counterparts — 9.4 percent compared with 10.2.” Note that this figure, too, is worse now than in 2001.
    Moreover, whites and other groups have exhibited similar trends. The white illegitimacy rate in 1960 was 2.3 percent. Now it’s almost 30 percent.
    Is this also due to the “legacy of slavery”?
    And given that all groups are following these patterns, paralleling one another, is it logical to blame such a legacy in the case of one particular group? Or does it make more sense to identify a factor they all have in common?
    Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, head of the group Brotherhood Organization for a New Destiny, identified this factor when stating, “The lack of moral character is the number one problem in the black community today.” In fact, our civilization is in a state of moral crisis, one affecting all within it. We see this in the rampant moral relativism; decline in faith; corruptive philosophy in academia; and the sexual messages peddled and license encouraged by entertainment, the media, and schools.
    This is why the “legacy” excuse is actually evil. You cannot address a problem until you first acknowledge it; you cannot prescribe the correct cure without first making the correct diagnosis. Of course, it’s understandable why it’s not made. It’s man’s nature to seek excuses, to blame outside forces for one’s woes as opposed to taking personal responsibility. As for the statist powers-that-be, not only are they more than happy to serve up the excuses to win votes and gain and maintain power, but it’s hard to grow government by stressing personal responsibility. So they’d rather blame “society” and always be able to claim we need more affirmative action, quotas, big-government programs, and bureaucratic oversight to stamp out “systemic racism” — with no end in sight.
    What we really need to overcome is the legacy, and continuing reality, of leftist thought.
    Mark Matheny
    December 13, 2016

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