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Promises of free willing young blonde girls attract migrant Muslim men to Sweden

by 1389AD ( 58 Comments › )
Filed under Immigration, Islamic Invasion, Sweden, Syria at September 30th, 2015 - 2:30 pm

Here you go…these are your ‘refugees’!

Blonde girls lure Arab migrants to Sweden

Speisa.com has the story:

A tax-financed luxury living with free housing, sky high welfare benefits and their own “blonde beauty” as a girlfriend. These are some of the promises that immigrants from the Arab world currently are receiving to make a pilgrimage to Sweden, according to a investigative report in Dala-Demokraten.

Right now, over a thousand immigrants a day, most of whom are men, are seeking asylum in Sweden.

Many people have asked themselves why so many Arabs choose to go through Europe to get to the little country far up north, where the summer is autumn and the winter lasts until summer.

In its report, Dala-Demokraten states that most of the so-called refugees are already residing in Syria’s neighboring countries, where there is no war, but takes to northern Europe for economic reasons.

Expectations of Sweden in particular are soaring, according to the newspaper. On the sites where smugglers go out with information, Sweden is singled out as the best country to go to: You get asylum quickly and you can soon get a family reunion.

On the sites, the migrants are also promised a tax-funded life of luxury. They are told that they must stay in luxury hotels until the government has found a free accommodation to them. Then they can sit back and let the Swedish taxpayers bear all their costs of living.

There is also sexual content in the advertisements, according to Dala-Demokraten. Among other things, the Arabs are promised their own free young willing blond Swedish girlfriend if they manage to illegally get all the way to the promised land in northern Europe (article picture).

“In reality one can say that the young Syrian men are lured to Sweden by the oldest trick in the book – money and girls. Pictures of blonde beauties are published, and that Swedish women require real men,” writes Dala-Demokraten.

Nobody asked the blonde girls whether they were, in fact, ‘willing’:

Gatestone Institute: Sweden: Rape Capital of the West

by Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard

  • Forty years after the Swedish parliament unanimously decided to change the formerly homogenous Sweden into a multicultural country, violent crime has increased by 300% and rapes by 1,472%. Sweden is now number two on the list of rape countries, surpassed only by Lesotho in Southern Africa.
  • Significantly, the report does not touch on the background of the rapists. One should, however, keep in mind that in statistics, second-generation immigrants are counted as Swedes.
  • In an astounding number of cases, the Swedish courts have demonstrated sympathy for the rapists, and have acquitted suspects who have claimed that the girl wanted to have sex with six, seven or eight men.
  • The internet radio station Granskning Sverige called the mainstream newspapers Aftonposten and Expressen to ask why they had described the perpetrators as “Swedish men” when they actually were Somalis without Swedish citizenship. They were hugely offended when asked if they felt any responsibility to warn Swedish women to stay away from certain men. One journalist asked why that should be their responsibility.

Story here…

Meanwhile, in neighboring Norway:

Norwegian MP – Blondes Dye Hair Dark to Avoid Harassment From Immigrants

Uploaded on Sep 9, 2011 by No Muslim Immigration
Norwegian MP Christian Tybring-Gjedde FRP (Norwegian Hard Right). In the Grorud Valley in Oslo, blonde girls are harassed into dying their hair dark. Children are threatened with beatings if their lunch box contains salami….

But wait, there’s more…


Carly Fiorina really was that bad

by 1389AD ( 3 Comments › )
Filed under Business, Elections 2016 at September 29th, 2015 - 2:30 pm

From the time of its founding, HP was the gold standard for quality and reliability in its products and its customer service. All that changed when Fiorina took over the helm. She squandered that legacy by forcing HP into a merger with Compaq (whose reputation was mediocre at best), and by outsourcing and offshoring much of HP’s operations. I never figured out how she got the job in the first place, other than the possibility that the board decided to hire a female to meet affirmative action guidelines.

I worked in IT for over three decades, much of that time on Hewlett-Packard equipment. HP equipment was once a pleasure to work with. I have owned many HP products myself, including computers and printers. The older HP printers were practically bulletproof – they kept working for years without a hitch. The last three HP printers cost much less, but weren’t worth the money I paid for them. They never worked for any length of time and kept going back to the shop for repairs. My next printer will be made by a competitor.

NYT has the story:

HER silver tongue honed by decades in corporate marketing, Carly Fiorina has used two debates, and a steely determination on the campaign trail, to climb near the top of the polls for the Republican nomination.

But Americans should pause on her biggest professional credential for our highest office: a short, disastrous stint atop one of America’s iconic technology companies, Hewlett-Packard.

The clearest measure of her performance — and the report card preferred by Wall Street — is H.P.’s stock price, which dropped by 52 percent during her tenure of almost six years.

Yes, Mrs. Fiorina served during the worst fall in technology shares in history. But she managed to underperform her key competitors; IBM’s shares declined by 27.5 percent and Dell’s fell by 3 percent.

The most ruinous aspect of Mrs. Fiorina’s tenure was her decision to acquire another “old tech” hardware company, Compaq Computer Corporation, instead of moving more heavily into services and software, as IBM did.

The proposed merger — Mrs. Fiorina pronounced that the two companies “fit together like a zipper” — bitterly divided directors and shareholders and was approved with just a 51.4 percent majority, a split I cannot recall seeing elsewhere during my 33-year Wall Street career.

To be fair, Mrs. Fiorina was saddled with a dysfunctional board. But that was well known, so taking the job with that added complexity was her eyes-wide-open choice.

Investors were so down on her that H.P.’s shares jumped by almost 7 percent on the day of her firing. And in ensuing years, she appeared on several “worst C.E.O.” lists, including those of CBS News and USA Today.

In 2009, Portfolio magazine ranked her the 19th worst C.E.O. of all time and described her as a “consummate self-promoter” who was “busy pontificating on the lecture circuit and posing for magazine covers while her company floundered.” (That sounds like good preparation for running for president.)

Mrs. Fiorina tries to obscure these harsh realities with a blizzard of her own “facts.” On the campaign trail, for example, she speaks of having doubled her company’s revenues. However, most of that increase came from adding in Compaq’s sales, which is a misleading way to calculate revenue growth.

While some of the intricacies of Mrs. Fiorina’s performance may elude voters amid the dust storm that she has kicked up, her compensation won’t. She banked $21 million in severance payments as part of the more than $100 million in compensation she received during what one critic called her “destructive reign of terror” (which included pushing for H.P. to acquire five corporate jets.)

In the course of her losing Senate run in 2010, she was also attacked for the 30,000 layoffs that occurred at H.P. during her tenure. That’s not entirely fair — the entire technology industry was going through a downsizing and H.P.’s total employment ultimately climbed back up — but it was deadly effective politics that could doubtless be repeated in 2016.

Less attention has been paid to her time at Lucent Technologies, where she rose through the marketing ranks, learning the sales techniques that she is now putting to good use on the stump.

Soon after she left, Lucent veered off a cliff, and while she was never the chief executive, part of the company’s collapse stemmed from overly aggressive sales and loans to financially shaky customers made under her supervision.

Continue reading…

Time to Cut Govt

by coldwarrior ( 44 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, government, Open thread, Politics, taxation at September 9th, 2015 - 7:00 am
By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 8, 2015 | 11:14 AM EDT

(CNSNews.com) – Those employed by government in the United States in August of this year outnumbered those employed in the manufacturing sector by almost 1.8 to 1, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There were 21,995,000 employed by federal, state and local government in the United States in August, according to BLS. By contrast, there were only 12,329,000 employed in the manufacturing sector.

The BLS has published seasonally-adjusted month-by-month employment numbers for both government and manufacturing going back to 1939. In the first 50 years of the 76-year span since then, manufacturing out-employed government. But in August 1989, government overtook manufacturing as a U.S. employer.

That month, government employed 17,989,000 and manufacturing employed 17,964,000.

Since then, government employment has increased 4,006,000 and manufacturing employment has declined 5,635,000.

According to the BLS data, seasonally-adjusted manufacturing employment in the United States peaked in June 1979, when it hit 19,553,000. Seasonally-adjusted government employment peaked in May 2010, when it hit 22,996,000.

(However, government employment in May and June of 2010 was unusually high because of temporary workers hired to help conduct the decennial census. In April 2010, there were 22,569,000 government employees in the United States. That climbed to the peak of 22,996,000 in May 2010, then dropped to 22,740,000 in June, and returned to 22,659,000 in July 2010.)

There were more Americans employed in manufacturing in 1941 in the months leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor than are employed in manufacturing in the United States today, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This August, according to BLS’s seasonally adjusted data, there were 12,329,000 employed by the manufacturing sector in the United States. But back in August 1941, there were 12,532,000 employed by the manufacturing sector. By December 1941, the month of the Pearl Harbor attack, employment in the U.S. manufacturing sector had risen to 12,876,000.

The 12,532,000 employed in manufacturing in August 1941 equaled 1 manufacturing worker for each 10.6 people in the overall population (which the Census Bureau estimated at  133,402,471 in July 1941). The 12,329,000 employed in manufacturing in August 2015 equaled 1 manufacturing worker for each 26.1 people in the overall population (which the Census Bureau estimated at 321,191,461 in July 2015).

The 4,821,000 people employed by government in August 1941 equaled 1 for each 27.7 people in the overall population of 133,402,471. The 21,995,000 employed by government in August 2015 equaled 1 for each 14.6 people in the overall population of 321,191,461.

Of the 21,995,000 employed by government in August, 2,738,000 worked for the federal government (including 596,500 who worked for the Postal Service), 5,092,000 worked for state governments, and 14,165,000 worked for local governments.

State and local government employees include large numbers of people employed in education. Of the 5,092,000 who worked for state governments in August, 2,446,300 (or 48 percent) worked in education. Of the 14,165,000 who worked for local governments, 7,852,500 (or 55.4 percent) worked in education.

H1-B Fallout

by coldwarrior ( 43 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, immigration, Open thread, Politics, unemployment at September 8th, 2015 - 7:00 am

Read the article below and tell me how it is a ‘conservative’ position to want more H1-B visas.


The proposed new bill, “I-Squared”, introduced by Senators Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
80%, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) 38%, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)52%, will triple the number of foreign H1-B guest workers increasing this problem threefold.

Point 1:

On a sunny Monday morning in late October of 2014 I drove down the interstate toward the huge 40 square mile Disney Orlando, Florida property to my office. Ten days earlier Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, had just announced that the company’s earnings were up well over 20 percent for the quarter and this was just one among a long series of record breaking financial results for the company. About six months earlier, a new CIO, Tilak Mandadi, was appointed for the Parks and Resorts Division of Disney, which would result in huge changes to our lives. Little did I know what was about to happen that very same day to me and hundreds of other fellow Disney Information Technology Cast Members.

Point 2:

As I watched the grim faced Disney Executive, it was obvious that bad news was going to be delivered. The dead silence was broken when the Disney Executive made a harsh announcement. All of you in this room will be losing your jobs in the next 90 days. Your last day of employment for this company will be January 30, 2015. Your jobs have been given over to a foreign workforce. In the meantime you will be training your replacements until your jobs are 100 percent transferred over to them and if you don’t cooperate you will not receive any severance pay. Also, if we don’t feel confident that we have captured everything that you do we can, at our discretion, keep you longer than the 90 days until we have captured everything that you do with this job. Don’t discuss this meeting with anybody else in the company. Everybody in the room was appalled at the message. I was completely silent thinking how this was going to affect my coworkers and how I was going to break the news to my wife and children back at home as I was the only person in my home with a steady job. How would I pay for all the expenses that go along with a home, a wife, and children?

Point 3:

The first 30 days was focused on capturing all that I did with my job. We started getting mandatory meeting invitations for “KT” or “Knowledge Transfer” sessions showing on our calendars. The daily sessions involved us training our foreign replacements for several hours. We all felt humiliated when the foreign workers sat next to us and watched everything that we did.

Presumably at the direction of the Disney Executives, the foreign workers insisted that they record all the audio as well as everything that we did on our computer screens with recorded video during the training meetings. We were then astonished as everything that we did on our job was documented and read right back to us for further critiquing. By then, it was a slow and methodical process that went on day in and day out. In hopes of landing a new Disney job we watched the Disney internal job postings and noticed a number of the vague job descriptions. Our frustration started to grow as we applied for the jobs yet none of us were contacted in any fashion. Those of us losing our jobs started to wonder if these new job postings really even existed.

The next 30 days had us working side by side with our replacement workers doing part of our job while the “KT” sessions continued. The daily disgrace continued when the foreign workers started assuming our responsibilities. They referred constantly back to all the audio, video and documentation that they had previously captured from us and asked that we explain the same questions repeatedly. They were obviously much younger, less skilled and less experienced.

The last 30 days were the most disgraceful and demoralizing of this entire period as I had to watch a foreign worker completely take over my job. I had no work to do during the last 30 days other than watch a foreign worker completely take over everything that I did in my job. One ironic twist was that I actually received a significant pay raise during my last 30 days with the company because I had received the highest possible job rating in performance reviews. The new Disney job postings only resulted in three coworkers getting new positions from the over three hundred IT workers. I was not one of them. The last day we turned in our mobile phones, laptops, ID badges along with our dignity and we were ushered out the door as temporary foreign workers took over our jobs.

Since leaving Disney we have also been informed by several large IT recruiting firms that Disney has a policy in place that states all displaced Disney IT Cast Members will not even be considered as contractor workers for 12 months. Thus we have been essentially shut out and black listed by the largest employer in this very small Orlando job market.

READ the rest here.

So, tell me how this is conservative? How is this even capitalism? How is it capitalism when you make 20% profit and then get rid of the very people who make your product superior for a one time reduction in labor costs?


**Bumr50 wants you to look at this chart**



I’m Confused.

by coldwarrior ( 183 Comments › )
Filed under Barry Goldwater, Donald Trump, Economy, Elections 2016, government, immigration, Military, Open thread, Patriotism, Politics, The Political Right at August 31st, 2015 - 7:00 am

I actively read all of the negative punditry from the ‘righty’ chattering class and statements made by our ‘righty’ politicians, and I have noticed two negative themes that they use against Trump and his supporters. I find these very sly and interesting, and I find these suppositions to be very incorrect and frankly insulting:

1: Free trade is a pillar of conservatism. Is it? Since when? Since when is it even remotely conservative to willingly look the other way while your trade partners cheat and send good middle class jobs out of the country forever? Since when is it conservative to actively regulate to run billion dollar account deficits? For that matter, since when is it conservative to massively expand government and run up debt that equals 100% of gdp? Since when is it conservative to agree to regulations and policies that keep wages stagnant for almost 30 years?

The GOP needs to jettison the so called Chamber of Commerce, a once truly capitalist group, but now a group that fights for more regulation and immigration / free trade treaty crutches instead of doing the real capitalism of hard work and innovation and productivity. Lowering wages only goes so far, sending jobs overseas only goes so far then the system comes unglued at home becasue short term gain costs in the long run. Their talking points will risk losing the newly won middle class. Free trade is not a pillar of conservatism. Fair trade is. When we compete, we win.

I wonder what would happen if the University of Dehli set up a Law School and H1B’s became available to the new grads? I wonder what would happen if we outsourced the chattering class?

2: Nationalism is a bad thing and never a conservative position. Really? Since when  it it not conservative to put America’s interests first ahead of the other countries and groups in the world? Since when is it conservative to be in never ending wars to ‘spread democracy’ where we send the middle class kids off to die while the political and chattering class kids go to university? Since when is it not conservative to enforce the laws and control the border? Why is it not conservative to be a nationalist?


How the HELL did we get to the point where putting America’s interests first became a bad thing?


Tho GOP and the chattering classes are reaping what they sewed. And it would be very nice to see them ‘unemployed’.


*A word from Dorian on the same subject*

Monday Morning Market Stomp

by coldwarrior ( 117 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Open thread at August 24th, 2015 - 1:59 am

Good Monday Morning.


The Rout Is On:

Asian stocks swoon as China stock rout accelerates

Asian stocks swooned further on Monday, touching multi-year lows, as the meltdown in China’s equity markets accelerated in the morning trading session.

“We are going to see a fearful Asia today, as risk selling activity is expected to blanket the regional markets. Geopolitical tensions in the Korean peninsula are going to add to the weak sentiments,” IG’s market strategist Bernard Aw wrote in a note released early Monday.

Read MoreWeek ahead: Asia looks to Big Three economies

On Friday, Wall Street finished deep in the red, as global growth concerns accelerated selling pressure to push the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average and tech-heavy Nasdaq into correction territory.

The Dow and the S&P 500 ended 3.12 percent and 3.19 percent down respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 3.5 percent. On Friday, the major averages had their biggest trade volume day of the year and posted their worst week in four years.

In the commodity space, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and the global benchmark Brent, hit fresh 6-year lows on Mondays, to levels last seen during the peak of the credit crunch of 2008-2009. Copper prices clocked up their seventh consecutive weekly loss on Friday.

Mainland markets in free fall

The rout in China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite index gathered pace early Monday, sinking as much as 8.2 percent to a five-month low of 3,218.5 points, even as authorities allowed pension funds managed by local governments to invest in the stock market for the first time over the weekend. The move could potentially channel hundreds of billions of yuan into the country’s struggling equity market.

Among China’s other indexes, the benchmark CSI300 index – which consists of 300 A-share stocks listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges – fell 7.9 percent, while the smaller Shenzhen Composite retreated 7.3 percent.

According to Reuters, the tumble on Monday has erased all gains for the year on the benchmark Shanghai bourse, while the CSI300 is down over 6 percent for the year.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index tracked the sluggishness in its mainland peers to fall nearly 4 percent at the start of trade, with heavyweights such as HSBC and China Mobile losing more than 3 percent each.



You Isolationist Pig!

by coldwarrior ( 176 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Open thread at August 11th, 2015 - 8:30 am

Rain of Lead got me with the headline:

China Rattles Markets With Yuan Devaluation

Or, China just drove down wages.

Part of the agreement that goes with free trade treaties is that governments don’t do what China just did to their currency. See, when you devalue your currency you export unemployment and import inflation. ‘Beggar Thy Neighbor’ or ‘Competitive Devaluation’ . See, Free Trade deals are based on free floating currencies where you r partners don’t export their unemployment to you.


Seriously, I know they quit teaching economics in school so that the rulers can pull the wool over the eyes of the rubes. ‘You aren’t a conservative if you aren’t for free trade!’ goes the mantra. Sadly, a whole lot of economic illiterate ‘conservatives’ buy that nonsense. Ha! Suckers! Your jobs get exported overseas and ya still hold onto that chant: ‘You can’t be a conservative if you aren’t for Free Trade agreements.

Well, sunshine, what we agree to isn’t what Adam Smith was talking about. We sign up for what Adam Smith was talking about, then our trade partners go down the economic nationalism path. This causes jobs to get exported for America.


Have you ever noticed that the ‘conservatives’ who are for Free Trade Deals are never in position that can be exported overseas? The talking heads, politicians, and such just love this stuff because it keeps wages low, unemployment up and in their short sightedness prevents real economic growth here in America. How is that conservative to sell out your own economy and countrymen?

So tell me, how is it conservative to be a SUCKER?


Goodbye OPEC?

by coldwarrior ( 106 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Energy, Islamists, Middle East, Open thread at August 6th, 2015 - 4:06 am

It appears that the oil ticks have over-played their hand. Showing the lesson once again, never play poker with cowboys.


Please read the entire article, there are many salient points in it that are worth your time.

(FYI: there will be a debate thread for later)


Saudi Arabia may go broke before the US oil industry buckles

It is too late for OPEC to stop the shale revolution. The cartel faces the prospect of surging US output whenever oil prices rise

If the oil futures market is correct, Saudi Arabia will start running into trouble within two years. It will be in existential crisis by the end of the decade.

The contract price of US crude oil for delivery in December 2020 is currently $62.05, implying a drastic change in the economic landscape for the Middle East and the petro-rentier states.

The Saudis took a huge gamble last November when they stopped supporting prices and opted instead to flood the market and drive out rivals, boosting their own output to 10.6m barrels a day (b/d) into the teeth of the downturn.

Bank of America says OPEC is now “effectively dissolved”. The cartel might as well shut down its offices in Vienna to save money.

If the aim was to choke the US shale industry, the Saudis have misjudged badly, just as they misjudged the growing shale threat at every stage for eight years. “It is becoming apparent that non-OPEC producers are not as responsive to low oil prices as had been thought, at least in the short-run,” said the Saudi central bank in its latest stability report.

“The main impact has been to cut back on developmental drilling of new oil wells, rather than slowing the flow of oil from existing wells. This requires more patience,” it said.

One Saudi expert was blunter. “The policy hasn’t worked and it will never work,” he said.

By causing the oil price to crash, the Saudis and their Gulf allies have certainly killed off prospects for a raft of high-cost ventures in the Russian Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico, the deep waters of the mid-Atlantic, and the Canadian tar sands.

Consultants Wood Mackenzie say the major oil and gas companies have shelved 46 large projects, deferring $200bn of investments.

The problem for the Saudis is that US shale frackers are not high-cost. They are mostly mid-cost, and as I reported from the CERAWeek energy forum in Houston, experts at IHS think shale companies may be able to shave those costs by 45pc this year – and not only by switching tactically to high-yielding wells.

Advanced pad drilling techniques allow frackers to launch five or ten wells in different directions from the same site. Smart drill-bits with computer chips can seek out cracks in the rock. New dissolvable plugs promise to save $300,000 a well. “We’ve driven down drilling costs by 50pc, and we can see another 30pc ahead,” said John Hess, head of the Hess Corporation.

It was the same story from Scott Sheffield, head of Pioneer Natural Resources. “We have just drilled an 18,000 ft well in 16 days in the Permian Basin. Last year it took 30 days,” he said.

The North American rig-count has dropped to 664 from 1,608 in October but output still rose to a 43-year high of 9.6m b/d June. It has only just begun to roll over. “The freight train of North American tight oil has kept on coming,” said Rex Tillerson, head of Exxon Mobil.

He said the resilience of the sister industry of shale gas should be a cautionary warning to those reading too much into the rig-count. Gas prices have collapsed from $8 to $2.78 since 2009, and the number of gas rigs has dropped 1,200 to 209. Yet output has risen by 30pc over that period.

Until now, shale drillers have been cushioned by hedging contracts. The stress test will come over coming months as these expire. But even if scores of over-leveraged wild-catters go bankrupt as funding dries up, it will not do OPEC any good.

The wells will still be there. The technology and infrastructure will still be there. Stronger companies will mop up on the cheap, taking over the operations. Once oil climbs back to $60 or even $55 – since the threshold keeps falling – they will crank up production almost instantly.

OPEC now faces a permanent headwind. Each rise in price will be capped by a surge in US output. The only constraint is the scale of US reserves that can be extracted at mid-cost, and these may be bigger than originally supposed, not to mention the parallel possibilities in Argentina and Australia, or the possibility for “clean fracking” in China as plasma pulse technology cuts water needs.

Mr Sheffield said the Permian Basin in Texas could alone produce 5-6m b/d in the long-term, more than Saudi Arabia’s giant Ghawar field, the biggest in the world.

Saudi Arabia is effectively beached. It relies on oil for 90pc of its budget revenues. There is no other industry to speak of, a full fifty years after the oil bonanza began.

Citizens pay no tax on income, interest, or stock dividends. Subsidized petrol costs twelve cents a litre at the pump. Electricity is given away for 1.3 cents a kilowatt-hour. Spending on patronage exploded after the Arab Spring as the kingdom sought to smother dissent.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that the budget deficit will reach 20pc of GDP this year, or roughly $140bn. The ‘fiscal break-even price’ is $106.

Far from retrenching, King Salman is spraying money around, giving away $32bn in a coronation bonus for all workers and pensioners.

He has launched a costly war against the Houthis in Yemen and is engaged in a massive military build-up – entirely reliant on imported weapons – that will propel Saudi Arabia to fifth place in the world defence ranking.

The Saudi royal family is leading the Sunni cause against a resurgent Iran, battling for dominance in a bitter struggle between Sunni and Shia across the Middle East. “Right now, the Saudis have only one thing on their mind and that is the Iranians. They have a very serious problem. Iranian proxies are running Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon,” said Jim Woolsey, the former head of the US Central Intelligence Agency.

Money began to leak out of Saudi Arabia after the Arab Spring, with net capital outflows reaching 8pc of GDP annually even before the oil price crash. The country has since been burning through its foreign reserves at a vertiginous pace.

The reserves peaked at $737bn in August of 2014. They dropped to $672 in May. At current prices they are falling by at least $12bn a month.

Khalid Alsweilem, a former official at the Saudi central bank and now at Harvard University, said the fiscal deficit must be covered almost dollar for dollar by drawing down reserves.

The Saudi buffer is not particularly large given the country’s fixed exchange system. Kuwait, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi all have three times greater reserves per capita. “We are much more vulnerable. That is why we are the fourth rated sovereign in the Gulf at AA-. We cannot afford to lose our cushion over the next two years,” he said.

Standard & Poor’s lowered its outlook to “negative” in February. “We view Saudi Arabia’s economy as undiversified and vulnerable to a steep and sustained decline in oil prices,” it said.

Mr Alsweilem wrote in a Harvard report that Saudi Arabia would have an extra trillion of assets by now if it had adopted the Norwegian model of a sovereign wealth fund to recyle the money instead of treating it as a piggy bank for the finance ministry. The report has caused storm in Riyadh.

“We were lucky before because the oil price recovered in time. But we can’t count on that again,” he said.

OPEC have left matters too late, though perhaps there is little they could have done to combat the advances of American technology.

In hindsight, it was a strategic error to hold prices so high, for so long, allowing shale frackers – and the solar industry – to come of age. The genie cannot be put back in the bottle.

The Saudis are now trapped. Even if they could do a deal with Russia and orchestrate a cut in output to boost prices – far from clear – they might merely gain a few more years of high income at the cost of bringing forward more shale production later on.

Yet on the current course their reserves may be down to $200bn by the end of 2018. The markets will react long before this, seeing the writing on the wall. Capital flight will accelerate.

The government can slash investment spending for a while – as it did in the mid-1980s – but in the end it must face draconian austerity. It cannot afford to prop up Egypt and maintain an exorbitant political patronage machine across the Sunni world.

Social spending is the glue that holds together a medieval Wahhabi regime at a time of fermenting unrest among the Shia minority of the Eastern Province, pin-prick terrorist attacks from ISIS, and blowback from the invasion of Yemen.

Diplomatic spending is what underpins the Saudi sphere of influence caught in a Middle East version of Europe’s Thirty Year War, and still reeling from the after-shocks of a crushed democratic revolt.

We may yet find that the US oil industry has greater staying power than the rickety political edifice behind OPEC.

Carbon and Politics

by coldwarrior ( 77 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Environmentalism, Global Warming Hoax, Open thread, Politics, Regulation at August 5th, 2015 - 4:40 am

A quick drive by post:


It’s just chock full o’ bad news.  Can/Will the GOP stop this? Do note how politics plays into Obama’s energy plan:


President Obama’s Clean Power Plan: All Cost, No Benefit

By Benjamin Zycher

On Monday President Obama announced the final “clean power plan” regulation for greenhouse gas emissions from electric generating plants, the centerpiece of the broader Climate Action Plan being implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency. Amid the many assertions about the looming climate crisis confronting “the planet,” about which more below, one central parameter was conspicuous by its absence. To wit: What effect on future temperatures—that, after all, is the supposed benefit of the rule—would this regulation provide?

Interestingly enough, the president did not tell us. Nor did the EPA provide an estimate of temperature effects so obviously central to the discussion when it published the rule in draft form in June last year. Amazingly, EPA omits this even from its regulatory impact analysis of the final rule: Table 4-1 (“Climate Effects”) informs us that the “global climate impacts” from reduced emissions of carbon dioxide (presumably, all greenhouse gas emissions in CO2 equivalents), of ozone, of particulates, and of other greenhouse gases have not been quantified or monetized. EPA directs interested readers to the administration’s deeply flawed analysis of the “social cost of carbon,” which does not answer this central question; and to its own “integrated science assessments” and to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, without specific references. (Neither the ISAs nor IPCC answers this basic question either.) EPA does note, however, that it “assess[es] these co-benefits qualitatively because we do not have sufficient confidence in available data or methods.” Wow.

It is not as if this question cannot be answered; that is what climate models are for, whatever their massive failings. EPA itself uses the MAGICC/SCENGEN model developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. So: Let’s apply that model not just to the clean power plan, but to the broader climate action plan, which envisions a 17 percent reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2020. The temperature reduction in the year 2100: fifteen one-thousandths of a degree. The effect would be too small even to be measured, let alone to affect sea levels and cyclones and all the rest. If we include the pseudo-agreement between the U.S. and China that was announced last November (even though the Chinese effectively disavowed it almost immediately), we can assume an additional 10 percent reduction by the U.S. by 2025, with no actual reduction by the Chinese. This gets us another one one-hundredth of a degree, for a grand total of twenty-five one-thousandths of a degree. A similar exercise assuming large cuts by the Chinese and by the rest of the industrialized world, costing $600-750 billion per year inflicted disproportionately upon the world’s poor, would reduce global temperatures by about four tenths of a degree by 2100.

And so the reluctance on the part of the president and the EPA to tell us what we are getting in exchange for a large increase in power costs and reliability risks is easy to explain: The answer is embarrassing, so much so that even inserting it into a Friday news dump would not work. That is why the EPA’s analysis of the new rule assumes a deeply dubious array of “co-benefits” in the form of particulate reductions and other impacts that are simply invented out of whole cloth and/or that already are counted as justifications for such other regulatory policies as the proposed ozone rule, the proposed particulate rule, and the utility mercury rule recently invalidated by the Supreme Court. Without such machinations, the clean power plan would collapse as a regulatory framework, because it is all cost and no benefit, even apart from its legal weaknesses now about to be the subject of massive litigation.

The president during his comments did not skimp in terms of his description of the adverse climate impacts awaiting mankind if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced substantially. As with an estimate of the temperature effects of his policies, he did not offer much actual evidence. Accordingly: The temperature record is ambiguous, as is the correlation of GHG concentrations and the rate of sea-level increases. The Arctic and Antarctic sea ice covers do not differ by a statistically significant amount from the respective 1981-2010 averages. The Arctic ice cover is near the bottom, but within, the relevant range, and the Antarctic ice cover is near the top—and exceeds in some months—the relevant range. Tornado counts and intensities are in a long-term decline. The frequency and accumulated energy of tropical cyclones are near their lowest levels since satellite measurements began in the early 1970s. U.S. wildfires are not correlated with the temperature record or with increases in GHG concentrations. The Palmer Drought Severity Index shows no trend since 1895. Over the last century, flooding in the U.S. has not been correlated with increased GHG concentrations. World per capita food production has increased and undernourishment has decreased, both more-or-less monotonically, since 1993.

It is no accident that the Clean Power Plan would raise energy costs disproportionately in red states, thus reducing their competitive advantages over blue ones? Do not underestimate the power of wealth redistribution as a force driving policymaking in the Beltway. The president repeatedly used the phrase “carbon pollution,” a propaganda term designed to end debate before it begins by assuming the answer to the underlying policy question. Carbon dioxide is not “carbon” and it is not a pollutant, as a minimum atmospheric concentration of it is necessary for life itself. By far the most important GHG in terms of the radiative (warming) properties of the atmosphere is water vapor; does the president believe that it too is a “pollutant”? Presumably he does not, because ocean evaporation is a natural process. Well, so are volcanic eruptions, but no one argues that the massive amounts of particulates and toxins emitted by volcanoes are not pollutants. The climate debate is desperately in need of honesty and seriousness, two conditions characteristic of neither the Beltway nor the climate industry.

Benjamin Zycher is the John G. Searle scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

GOP Wants More Money From the Middle Class

by coldwarrior ( 117 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Open thread, taxation at July 29th, 2015 - 7:00 am

Yes, the GOP raising taxes. I have problems with that from both an economics level and from a moral level. First the Moral Level, the GOP should never be for raising taxes, period. But, they just love big government like the Democrats.

“The billions of dollars in lost sales tax is revenue badly needed by cash-strapped state and local governments to pay the salaries of essential workers such as police officers, firefighters, ambulance crews, and schoolteachers,” the NRF states.

Ummm….BULL! Cut spending! Failing that, try to raise taxes on the citizens in the state or local government. GO ahead, put THAT to a vote with your names on it state and local coward politicians.

Now for the economic reason against this tax:

The National Retail Federation (NRF) claims that states could collect an additional $25 billion in sales taxes annually if the legislation is passed, and argues that imposing the tax would help to promote business at traditional stores, create jobs, and provide tax revenue.

On-line purchases are already taxed at the same or higher level than those bought at a brick and mortar store. Here is how that works: A product is purchased by a person in PA from an on-line merchant in, let’s say, KY. (I just got an amazon package from Lexington so I will use that as an example). This retailer has a huge brick and mortar warehouse in KY that pays taxes on wages, energy, telecom/data, property, et cetera. Fine and dandy for KY but what about PA? They want taxes too.

Well, since this package is not part the tractor trailer load going from Walmart-distro to Walmart store, it is handled far more often by more people and creates taxes at a higher level. First, the package and goods are loaded into a box at Amazon, that act is taxed on the existence of the brick and mortar warehouse and workers involved. Then, it is handed off to a FedEx line haul driver in an 18-wheeler (gas/wage/tire/vehicle taxed) who drives it to the Hub in Louisville.

The Hub is enormous and generates a ton of tax revenue for KY/local. There the package is sorted and it goes to Columbus OH Hub where it is taxed en-route by deisel/truck/tire/wage taxes of the line-haul driver and his big rig. The sort Hub in Columbus generates a ton of tax revenue as well.

It then goes to PA, to the mini-hub in Pittsburgh where it is taxed again through wages/energy/ et cetera of the sort workers who place it on a delivery truck in that brick and mortar building. There it raises more tax revenue through gas/wages/vehicle et cetera taxes to get to my door. The delivery driver works and is paid to deliver, he then spends his money and is taxed on that. Without on-line sales his job does not exist. Without on-line sales, that mini-Hub has far fewer employees and PA/local gets far less tax money, so does everyone else down the line. When taxes are raised, the taxed action is penalized and occurs less often.

So, the jobs that the NRF and GOP want are part time retail jobs instead of full time transportation careers. That line-haul guy makes well over 50k a year not counting benefits, The mangers and support staff make pretty good coin too. The package-handlers range from 14-24 an hour and at UPS they get a great benefit package. A couple more clerks at Walmart gets you what in tax revenue?

Again the GOP tries to strangle the middle class. See, the thing is, they can’t send the transport jobs over to China….I suppose they could offer H1B visas to Pakistani taxi drivers to do line haul and package delivery….