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by Tyler Durden
Apr 5, 2017 3:25 PM
If you prefer fake news, fake data, and a fake narrative about an improving economy and stock market headed to 30,000, don’t read this fact based, reality check article. The level of stupidity engulfing the country has reached epic proportions, as the mainstream fake news networks flog bullshit Russian conspiracy stories, knowing at least 50% of the non-thinking iGadget distracted public believes anything they hear on the boob tube.
This stupendous degree of utter stupidity goes to a new level of idiocy when it comes to the stock market. The rigged fleecing machine known as Wall Street has gone into hyper-drive since futures dropped by 700 points on the night of Trump’s election. An already extremely overvalued market, as measured by every historically accurate valuation metric, soared by 4,000 points from that futures low – over 20% – to an all-time high. Despite dozens of warning signs and the experience of two 40% to 50% crashes in the last fifteen years, lemming like investors are confident the future is so bright they gotta wear shades.
The current bull market is the 2nd longest in history at 8 years. In March of 2009, the S&P 500 bottomed at a fitting level for Wall Street of 666. In a shocking coincidence, it bottomed on the same day Bernanke & Geithner forced the FASB to rollover like mangy dogs and stop enforcing mark to market accounting. Amazingly, when Wall Street banks, along with Fannie and Freddie, could value their toxic assets at whatever they chose, profits surged. The market is now 240% higher.
You have the second longest bull market in history, while stock market valuations, as measured by the Shiller PE ratio and every other historically accurate valuation method, are higher than 1929 and 2007, but the Wall Street hype machine and the business network shills adamantly declare this bull has years to go and thousands of points of upside. Greybeards who haven’t been captured by the Wall Street machine honestly point out the market will deliver 0% returns over the next ten years at these valuations. Eric Peters’ words of wisdom will fall on deaf ears:
“The longer a market trends lower, or higher, the more confident people become that tomorrow will look like today. And what they forget is that the single most important consideration in investing is your starting point.”
You would think the PE ratio of the market rising to historic highs must be due to corporate profits continuing to rise and making investors confident about the future. The narrative being flogged by the fake news networks is a strong economy and surging corporate profits are the reason for all-time high stock prices. The narrative is fake news, as corporate profits have been stagnant for the last five years, as the market has advanced by 70%.
In March of 2009, at the height of the financial crisis, Fed overnight interest rates were at an emergency level of .25%. Eight years later after a “tremendous” economic recovery, Fed overnight interest rates are still at an emergency level of .75%. Ten year Treasuries were 2.9% in March 2009 and are currently 2.3%. If this was a true economic recovery, would rates be at these levels?
The truth is, this entire bull market has been generated through financial engineering. A critical thinking individual, which eliminates all CNBC bimbos/talking heads and Ivy League educated Federal Reserve schmucks, might ask how reported corporate earnings per share since 2009 have risen by 221% when corporate revenues have only risen by 28%. That’s quite a feat – creating fake earnings without increasing revenue. It’s easy when you implement a three pronged scheme to manufacture a phony economic and stock market recovery.
Step one was to “temporarily” repeal FASB Rule 157 in March 2009 so banks could value their toxic real estate assets at whatever price they chose. Mark to fantasy versus mark to market allowed the criminal Wall Street banks to generate billions in fake profits. Step two was for the Federal Reserve to buy $3 trillion of toxic worthless assets from the criminal Wall Street banks at 100 cents on the dollar and stick them on their own insolvent balance sheet.
Step three was breathing life into failing corporations with unnecessarily low interest rates. The Fed’s 0% interest rates allowed Wall Street banks to generate billions in risk free profits by depositing reserves at the Fed. ZIRP also allowed insolvent financial firms, underwater real estate developers and zombie retailers to refinance their massive levels of debt at ridiculously low interest rates – eliminating the market clearing creative destruction that happens in free markets. Corporations also used off-balance sheet shenanigans to suppress leverage levels and boost earnings.
Lastly, S&P 500 companies embraced the benefits of globalization by off-shoring millions of jobs to slave labor camps in the Far East, drastically reducing their cost structures and boosting earnings. These same corporations used the BLS fake inflation data as the reason to suppress wage increases for their employees at a 2% level, further boosting earnings. As a humorous aside, executive pay and bonuses advanced at double digit rates.
The following chart sheds some light on this “fundamentally” driven bull market.
S&P 500 companies have bought back $500 billion in stock in the last two years, and $2.1 trillion since 2010. Until recently, individual investors have been net sellers for the last eight years. Pension funds have not been net buyers. That means the entire stock market surge has been reliant upon corporations buying their own stock and Wall Street institutions using their HFT machines to rig the system. And this entire scheme has been enabled by the Federal Reserve’s crisis level low interest rates for the last eight years.
After you’ve run out of accounting gimmicks, refinanced all your debt, and outsourced as many jobs to the third world as possible, how else can you make your earnings per share rise? Why invest your money in capital, innovation, research or human resources to grow your sales, when you can just buy back your own stock and goose earnings per share the easy way. Goosing EPS by reducing the number of shares makes it easier for the Wall Street fleecing machine to pump stocks and it makes it easier for corporate CEOs and their executive teams to “earn” their million dollar bonuses while stiffing their employees with 2% raises.
But it gets better. Since 2009 over $1 trillion of debt was taken on by S&P 500 companies just to buyback their own stock. The narrative about corporations being flush with cash is complete bullshit. In the last two years, the trend of issuing debt to buyback stock has accelerated to an all-time high of 30%. Think about that for one moment. With stock market valuations at all-time highs, the brilliant Ivy League educated MBA CEOs of the largest companies in the world have issued $300 billion of debt in the last two years to buyback their stock at all-time highs.
The stupid, it burns. This ridiculous miss-allocation of corporate funds was enabled by the Fed keeping interest rates so low for so long. The Fed is always the culprit in the boom and bust cycles that plague our rigged economic system. The big banks and corporations always get bailed out when their reckless financial schemes blow up, while the average American gets screwed by inflation, stagnant wages, and higher taxes. Retail CEO’s were buying back their stock over the last eight years and are now declaring bankruptcy and closing stores at a record pace. Maybe they could have used the cash used on buybacks to sustain their businesses.
Corporate debt levels are at all-time highs despite a supposed eight year economic recovery. The debt was used to buyback stock rather than invest in the business. Revenues have been stagnant and earnings are now falling. Interest rates are being ratcheted up by the Fed, and the economy is falling into recession. With debt levels already high and interest rates rising, the buyback machine is going to shut off. Without corporate buybacks what will sustain the stock market rise?
The trillion dollars of stock bought at record high prices with debt will be vaporized in the next inevitable stock market crash. But the debt will remain. And the CEOs will plead ignorance and say who could have known as they cash their multi-million dollar paychecks. The Wall Street shysters know their only hope now is to lure the stupid money into the market as they head for the exits. That’s why their hype machine has been in overdrive with the Snapchat IPO and gushing articles about Tesla’s Model 3 revolutionizing the auto industry. It’s enough to make a sane person gag.
And it’s working. The little guy has been hesitant to dip their toe back in the water after seeing 50% of their net worth obliterated in 2000/2001 and then again in 2008/2009. It seems the election of Donald trump and his promises of tax cuts, walls, infrastructure and fixing healthcare have enthused the masses into investing in the stock market at its all-time high. I guess they forgot how much it hurt when they were clubbed over the head eight years ago. Well, they are going to relearn that lesson again.
As the stupid money goes in, the smart money heads for the exits. The perfect example of how American corporations are led by greedy, short-term oriented, unprincipled, dishonest, corrupt egomaniacs can be seen in their personal actions versus the their corporate mandates. As Wall Street touts stocks to the little guy and corporate executives commit billions of shareholder dollars towards buying back their stock, corporate executives are cashing in their stock options and selling like there is no tomorrow. What a despicable display of self-interest.
If all is well and the market is headed higher then why are corporate executives buying their own firms’ shares at the slowest pace in at least 29 years. According to the Washington Service, there were a total of 279 insider buyers in January, the lowest since 1988. Moreover, the number of sellers has also grown in recent months, pushing the ratio of buyers to sellers in February to its lowest since 1988 as well. If the market isn’t overvalued, then why are corporate executives, who know their business’ prospects better than anyone, selling their stocks at a far greater rate than buying? It’s because they are going to let the ignorant investing masses be left holding the bag when the shit hits the fan.
Human beings are so predictable en mass that it’s almost humorous to watch them get it good and hard once again. They are like Wile Coyote thinking they will surely catch the Road Runner this time by using the same old methods that have failed a thousand times before. Their confidence rises just before they go over the cliff once again. We’ve reached that point again for the third time in the last seventeen years. Consumer confidence is at a sixteen year high (seems odd considering retailers are closing 3,500 stores in the next few months). The previous peaks were in May 2000 and July 2007. We all know what happened next. But it will surely be different this time. Jim Cramer tells me so.
So all the pieces are in place for an epic stock market crash, along with a real estate and debt market crash as an added kicker. The arrogant, over-confident thirty year old MBA investment geniuses and their super computer algorithms are sure they are smarter than the next guy and will get out before it’s too late. They think there will be a clear event which will signal it’s time to go. The markets are so overvalued, so dependent on the Fed, and so propped up by massive amounts of leverage, they will topple under their own weight at any moment. Central bankers, Wall Street bankers, politicians, pundits, experts, and the stupid lemmings will be shocked by this truly unexpected development.
Data reported in the last week will be the gasoline thrown on the fire when this market starts to burn, turning it into a towering inferno. Margin debt has reached an all-time high, as supremely confident investors (aka speculators) know the trend is their friend. They have borrowed over $500 billion against their stock portfolios to buy some more Snapchat, Tesla, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple. The previous peaks of $400 billion to $425 billion in 2000 and 2007 have been far surpassed. What happened after those previous peaks? I forget. I’m sure this time will be different. A CNBC bimbo spokesmodel told me so.
Lance Roberts, an honest, analytical, critical thinking investment manager describes what will happen, because it always does:
“Investors can leverage their existing portfolios and increase buying power to participate in rising markets. While “this time could certainly be different,” the reality is that leverage of this magnitude is “gasoline waiting on a match.”
When an event eventually occurs, it creates a rush to liquidate holdings. The subsequent decline in prices eventually reaches a point which triggers an initial round of margin calls. Since margin debt is a function of the value of the underlying “collateral,” the forced sale of assets will reduce the value of the collateral further triggering further margin calls. Those margin calls will trigger more selling forcing more margin calls, so forth and so on.”
I watched The Big Short a couple weeks ago for the second time. The lessons from that movie will never grow old. Greed drives human beings to do reckless things in the pursuit of riches. Men think in a herd like manner and go mad in pursuit of their delusional aspirations of wealth and power. Those who see the irrationality and stupidity of the herd are scorned and ridiculed until they are ultimately proven right. Delusions die hard, but they do die as reality always wins.
“We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.” – Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds
by Tyler Durden
Mar 31, 2017 7:19 PM
Chicago's pension funds, along with several other large public pensions around the country, are in serious trouble (we recently discussed the destruction awaiting our financial markets here: "Are Collapsing Pensions "About To Bring Hell To America"?").
The problem is that the pending doom surrounding these massive public pension obligations often get clouded over by complicated actuarial math with a plan's funded status heavily influenced by discount rates applied to future liability streams.
Take Chicago's largest pension fund, the Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago (MEABF), as an example. Most people focus on a funds 'net funded status', which for the MEABF is a paltry 20.3%. But the problem with focusing on 'funded status' is that it can be easily manipulated by pension administrators who get to simply pick the rate at which they discount future liabilities out of thin air.
So, rather than lend any credence to some made up pension math, we prefer to focus on actual pension cash flows which can't be manipulated quite so easily.
And a quick look at MEABF's cash flows quickly reveals the ponzi-ish nature of the fund. In both 2015 and 2014, the fund didn't even come close to generating enough cash flow from investment returns and contributions to cover it's $800mm in annual benefit payments...which basically means they're slowing liquidating assets to pay out liabilities.
Of course, like all ponzi schemes, liquidating assets to pay current claims can only go on for so long before you simply run out of assets.
So we decided to take a look at when Chicago's largest pension fund would likely run out of money.
On the expense side, annual benefit payments are currently just over $800 million and are growing at a fairly consistent pace due to an increasing number of retirees and inflation adjustments guaranteed to workers. Assuming payouts continue to grow at the same pace observed over the past 15 years, the fund will be making annual cash payments to retirees of around $1.3 billion by 2023.
Investment returns, on the other hand, are much more volatile but have averaged 5.5% over the past 15 years. That said, the fund took big hits in 2002 (-9.3%) and 2008 (-27.1%) following the dotcom and housing bubble crashes.
But, just to keep it simple, lets assume that today's market is not a massive fed-induced bubble and that the MEABF is able to produce consistent 5.5% (their 15-year average) returns every year in perpetuity. Even then, the fund will only generate roughly $500mm per year in income compared to benefit payments growing to $1.3 billion...see the problem?
Which, of course, means that the fund has likely just entered a period of perpetual cash outflows which will not stop until either (i) the city decides to cut back retiree payments or (ii) the fund runs out of money.
And, putting it all together, even if Chicago's largest pension generates consistent positive returns for the foreseeable future, it will literally run out of cash in roughly 6 years.
And while we hate to be pessimistic, lets just take a look at what happens if, by some small chance, today's market gets exposed as a massive bubble and we have another big correction in 2018.
Such a correction would force the fund to liquidate over $1.5 billion in assets in 2018 alone....
....and the system would run out of cash completely within 4 years.
The risk associated with America's pension ponzi schemes have largely been overlooked by investors to date because so long as they can meet annual benefit payments then plan administrators can just continue to 'kick the can down the road' and pretend that nothing is wrong.
Of course, that strategy ceases to work when the pensions actually run out of cash...which could happen sooner than you think...and when it does, America's retirees will suddenly find themselves about $5 trillion poorer than they thought they were.
Townhall.com ^ | March 1, 2017 | Walter E.Williams
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement, "The president's decision to ask Betsy DeVos to run the Department of Education should offend every single American man, woman, and child who has benefitted from the public education system in this country." Expressing similar sentiments, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond said, "I expect that Mrs. DeVos will have an incredibly harmful impact on public education and on black communities nationwide." Those and many other criticisms of Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos could be dismissed as simply political posturing if we did not have an educational system that is mostly mediocre and is in advanced decay for most black students.
According to The Nation's Report Card, only 37 percent of 12th-graders were proficient in reading in 2015, and just 25 percent were proficient in math. For black students, achievement levels were a disgrace. Nationally, 17 percent of black students scored proficient in reading, and 7 percent scored proficient in math. In some cities, such as Detroit, black academic proficiency is worse; among eighth-graders, only 4 percent were proficient in math, and only 7 percent were proficient in reading.
The nation's high-school graduation rate rose again in the 2014-15 school year, reaching a record high as more than 83 percent of students earned a diploma on time. Educators see this as some kind of achievement and congratulate themselves. The tragedy is that high-school graduation has little relevance to achievement.
In 2014-15, graduation rates at District of Columbia Public Schools, just as they did nationally, climbed to an all-time high. At H.D. Woodson High School, 76 percent of students graduated on time; however, just 1 percent met math standards on national standardized tests linked to the Common Core academic standards. Just 4 percent met the reading standards.
The low black academic achievement is not restricted to high-school graduates of D.C. schools. The average black high-school graduate has the academic achievement level of a white seventh or eighth-grader. As such, it stands as unambiguous evidence that high schools confer diplomas attesting that students can read, write and compute at a 12th-grade level when in fact they cannot. That means they have received fraudulent high-school diplomas. There are many factors that affect education that educators cannot control. But they have total control over the issuance of a diploma.
Educators often complain that there's not enough money. Census Bureau data show that as early as 2009-10, Washington, D.C. spent $29,409 per pupil. Starker proof that there's little relationship between spending and academic proficiency is in the case of Detroit's public schools. In 2009-10, the nation's elementary and secondary public school systems spent an average of $10,615 per pupil. According to the Census Bureau, Detroit schools spent $12,801 per pupil. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy claims that Detroit actually spent $15,570 per pupil that year. There's not much payoff for education dollars. The National Institute for Literacy found that 47 percent of the city's adults are "functionally illiterate." The Nation's Report Card reports that Detroit students score the lowest among the nation's big-city schools, and Washington is not far behind.
I'd ask Sen. Schumer how it would be possible for Secretary of Education DeVos to make education any worse than it is for many Americans. I'd suggest to Rep. Richmond that if the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan were the Secretary of Education and wanted to sabotage black academic achievement, he couldn't find a better method for doing so than keeping our public school system as it is. Many black politicians and educators would never have their own children attend the rotten, dangerous schools that are so much a part of our big cities. Many black parents, captured by these schools, would like to get their children out. But that's not in the interest of the education establishment, which wants a monopoly on education. Black politicians and academics are the establishment's facilitators. That explains their hostility to Betsy DeVos. She would like to give more parents a choice.
It’s been a rough ten years as a so-called “climate denier”. Every year the climate data would show a complete refusal to follow the accepted and official line, and every year the faith of the climate change faithful only seemed to get stronger and stronger. And their abuse of heretics like myself only got stronger and stronger. I have lost friendships over my stance on this issue. I have been attacked publicly by those around me on numerous occasions. And I have endured the casual mockery at social gatherings where the accepted response has been to pat me on the head in a condescending manner - here he is; our own climate denier. Isn’t he precious?
I have watched landscapes I love destroyed by the looming figures of gigantic wind farms that stand in mute mockery of my continued resistance to this enormous scam. I have observed with silent loathing the hypocrites who swan around in their enormous SUVs while proudly parading their dubious green credentials, even as ordinary families struggle with the reality of paying their ever-increasing power bills. Only a few months ago, a piece I wrote on the climate change scam elicited concerned emails and calls from people I know who cautioned me with the treacherous path I was taking.
But money talks and bulls - walks, and the money is beginning to drop out of this con to end all cons.
The usual platitudes are being spoken, but actions speak louder than words. Courtesy of Maggies Farm, here are a couple of articles that caught my attention. The first is from the Manhattan Contrarian who observes that climate alarmism doesn’t seem to be working any more. Governments are beginning to invest mightily in coal-fired power stations, of all things. Who would have ever believed it? Meanwhile the dismal climate science is rocked by yet another scandal as employees and insiders, who previously refused to speak out for fear of the consequences, are now beginning to find their voices once again. They know which way the wind is blowing and the wind has begun to shift.
But here’s the thing. Once this all unravels, and it will unravel very quickly as soon as the money stops flowing, those of us on the side that is ludicrously described as being “deniers” are not going to forget. We are not going to let you bastards off the hook. We remember what has been said and written about us. We don’t even need to remember - the internet is forever. You’re not going to shrug off this one as just another Y2K. And you’re certainly not going to quietly move on to your next charade of choice that you’ll ram down our throats and wallets with your usual religious fervour.
Because the climate scam was too big. You pushed all of your chips into the centre of the table and said “all in” with a smug stare at us sitting on the other side of the felt. And you busted out. Not only have you busted out, but you don’t have any more chips to play. We’re not going to let you have any. From now on, every time you come up with some pathetic attempt to control populations through a fear-based con we will remind everyone of climate change. Every time governments attempt to hijack science to support a political agenda, we will bring up that old climate change bugbear. You are going to be shoved into the corner as the crazy bearded freak standing on the side of the road with his sign proclaiming the end of the world is nigh. We aren’t going to listen to you any more. You have proven yourselves too stupid or untrustworthy to participate in public discourse.
And that goes for those in my social circle as well. You know who you are. You’re the ones that have been parroting the climate change line like blind simpletons for the past ten years. A decade of listening to you idiots chant on and on about “the science!” when you wouldn’t know science if it slapped you across the face with a Bunsen burner. A decade of watching you drive around with a “no more oil” sticker on your car bumper. I mean, how much more clueless do you have to be?
A decade of you retarded monkeys claiming that plant food is a pollutant. Years of you driving electric cars that only exist due to the biggest taxpayer subsidy in history, while you are seemingly oblivious to the fact that they need to be plugged into an electric power grid. Decades of you opposing nuclear power, which if any of your bogus claims were true would be the immediate answer if mankind truly were in some kind of climate peril. Decades of you pontificating at how the sea levels are going to rise while you buy palatial beach-front homes, and you then have the gall to sue local councils for sea erosion after you participated in demonstrations to stop them building a sea wall.
Years of you advocating for corn to be turned into bio fuel while there are still people in the world with not enough food to eat. Morons who buy solar panels with taxpayer subsidies and then put them on the side of the roof facing the street which signals your virtuousness but fails to get any sunlight. Years of you actually believing that there is such a thing called renewable energy, and every time some country manages to get some above-average power from them due to a fortuitous combination of weather events, you scream it from the top of your lungs that this is incontrovertible proof that the entire world will soon be run on wave farms. Eleven years of you quoting total s--- from An Inconvenient Truth.
Years of governments investing huge amounts of taxpayer money in renewable scams so that they were forced to parrot the official line, otherwise their foolish investments would be at risk. Boy, that chicken is coming home to roost. Years of listening to cretins living on tiny island nations, who have completely mismanaged their delicate ecosystems but now want to blame it all on rich countries and guilt trip us into bailing them out. Years and years of a concerted attempt by the UN and other globalist organizations to subvert and destroy capitalism by using the climate scam as a proxy, while listening to people in your social circles whose entire lives and standard of living depend entirely on the capitalist model, go along with the scam like lemmings following each other off a cliff.
And you lot had the nerve to label the very few of us who stood up to this rubbish and tried to protect the very system which you so mindlessly enjoy as being climate deniers?
You can all go f--- yourselves. We will not forget. We will remind you for the rest of our lives. We will write the histories. You will never again be able to publicly hide from your cowardice, your avarice, your gullibility, your ignorance, and your sheer stupidity. But at least you’ll still have that free market capitalist model to enjoy which you so badly wanted to throw in the recycling bin.
A video going around on Facebook has been viewed over 40,000,000 times in just a few days since being released.
The video shows past footage from former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in which they discuss the issue of illegal immigration. If the statements coming from Clinton and Obama sound familiar, well they should. They say a lot of the same things that President Trump is saying.
So what then is the difference between Trump and the two former Democratic Presidents? Trump is a man of his word who is acting on what he said he was going to do whereas Obama and Clinton just made speeches and did little to nothing in terms of getting results.
Why is the left all of the sudden outraged now when former Democratic Presidents said a lot of the same things that President Trump is saying now?
Feb 8, 2017 9:25 PM
Flemish Father Daniël Maes (78) lives in Syria in the sixth-century-old Mar Yakub monastery in the city of Qara, 90 kilometers north of the capital Damascus. Father Daniel has been a witness to the “civil war” and according to him, Western reports on the conflict in Syria are very misleading. In short: “the Americans and their allies want to completely ruin the country.”
Interviewer: You are very critical of the media coverage on Syria. What is bothering you?
Father Daniel: “The idea that a popular uprising took place against President Assad is completely false. I’ve been in Qara since 2010 and I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. That was filmed and aired by Al Jazeera to give the impression that a rebellion was taking place. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people. While in my experience, the Syrian people were actually very united.
Before the war, this was a harmonious country: a secular state in which different religious communities lived side by side peacefully. There was hardly any poverty, education was free, and health care was good. It was only not possible to freely express your political views. But most people did not care about that.”
Interviewer: Mother Agnès-Mariam, of your Mar Yakub (“Saint Jacob”) monastery, is accused of siding with the regime. She has friends at the highest level.
Father Daniel: “Mother Agnès-Mariam helps the population: she has recently opened a soup kitchen in Aleppo, where 25,000 meals are prepared five times a week. Look, it is miraculous that we are still alive. We owe that to the army of Assad’s government and to Vladimir Putin, because he decided to intervene when the rebels threatened to take power.
When thousands of terrorists settled in Qara, we became afraid for our lives. They came from the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Europe, Turkey, Libya, there were many Chechens. They formed a foreign occupation force, all allied to al-Qaeda and other terrorists. Armed to the teeth by the West and their allies with the intention to act against us, they literally said: “This country belongs to us now.” Often, they were drugged, they fought each other, in the evening they fired randomly. We had to hide in the crypts of the monastery for a long time. When the Syrian army chased them away, everybody was happy: the Syrian citizens because they hate the foreign rebels, and we because peace had returned.”
Interviewer: You say that the Syrian Army protects civilians, yet there are all sorts of reports about war crimes committed by Assad’s forces, such as the bombardments with barrel bombs.
Father Daniel: “Do you not know that the media coverage on Syria is the biggest media lie of our time? They have sold pure nonsense about Assad. It was actually the rebels who plundered and killed. Do you think that the Syrian people are stupid? Do you think those people were forced to cheer for Assad and Putin? It is the Americans who have a hand in all of this, for pipelines and natural resources in this region and to thwart Putin.”
Saudi Arabia and Qatar want to establish a Sunni state in Syria, without religious freedom. Therefore, Assad must go. You know, when the Syrian army was preparing for the battle in Aleppo, Muslim soldiers came to me to be blessed. Between ordinary Muslims and Christians, there is no problem. It is those radical Islamic, Western-backed rebels who want to massacre us. They are all al Qaeda and IS. There are not any moderate fighters anymore.”
Interviewer: You once mentioned Hillary Clinton to be a "devil in holy water," because as Secretary of State she deliberately worsened the conflict.
Father Daniel: “I am happy with Trump. He sees what every normal person understands: That the United States should stop undermining countries which possess natural resources. The Americans’ attempt to impose a unipolar world is the biggest problem. Trump understands that radical Islam is a bigger threat than Russia.
What do I care whether he occasionally takes off his pants? If Trump practices geopolitics the way he has promised to do so, then the future looks bright. Then it will become similar to Putin’s approach. And hopefully then, there will be a solution for Syria, and peace will return.”
Interviewer: You understand that your analysis is controversial and will encounter much criticism?
Father Daniel: “I speak from personal observation. And no one has to believe me, right? But I know one thing: The media can either contribute to the massacre of the Syrian people or help the Syrian people, with their media coverage. Unfortunately, there are too many followers and cowards among journalists.”
Published: 22:57 GMT, 4 February 2017 | Updated: 08:10 GMT, 5 February 2017
A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.
The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers.
But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data.
It was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process – which Dr Bates devised.
His vehement objections to the publication of the faulty data were overridden by his NOAA superiors in what he describes as a ‘blatant attempt to intensify the impact’ of what became known as the Pausebuster paper.
His disclosures are likely to stiffen President Trump’s determination to enact his pledges to reverse his predecessor’s ‘green’ policies, and to withdraw from the Paris deal – so triggering an intense political row.
The PM, the Prince and 'the pause': David Cameron and Prince Charles attended the historic 2015 Paris climate change conference with 150 world leaders. Cameron committed Britain to an EU-Wide emission cut as a result. And Charles, writing in this paper last month, stated there was no pause in global warming, influenced by the flawed NOAA paper that made this claim
In an exclusive interview, Dr Bates accused the lead author of the paper, Thomas Karl, who was until last year director of the NOAA section that produces climate data – the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) – of ‘insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximised warming and minimised documentation… in an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming pause, rushed so that he could time publication to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy’.
Dr Bates was one of two Principal Scientists at NCEI, based in Asheville, North Carolina.
A blatant attempt to intensify paper's impact
Official delegations from America, Britain and the EU were strongly influenced by the flawed NOAA study as they hammered out the Paris Agreement – and committed advanced nations to sweeping reductions in their use of fossil fuel and to spending £80 billion every year on new, climate-related aid projects.
The scandal has disturbing echoes of the ‘Climategate’ affair which broke shortly before the UN climate summit in 2009, when the leak of thousands of emails between climate scientists suggested they had manipulated and hidden data. Some were British experts at the influential Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.
Data published by NOAA, the world’s top climate data agency, claimed global warming was worse than previously thought. The information was published to coincide with the Paris climate change conference in 2015, where world leaders agreed that...
$100bn be given every year in extra ‘climate-related’ aid to the developing world by rich nations
2 degrees C be set as the limit for maximum temperature rise above pre-industrial times
40% of CO2 emissions would be cut across the EU by 2030
£320bn… what the UK’s pledges will cost our economy by 2030
NOAA’s 2015 ‘Pausebuster’ paper was based on two new temperature sets of data – one containing measurements of temperatures at the planet’s surface on land, the other at the surface of the seas.
Both datasets were flawed. This newspaper has learnt that NOAA has now decided that the sea dataset will have to be replaced and substantially revised just 18 months after it was issued, because it used unreliable methods which overstated the speed of warming. The revised data will show both lower temperatures and a slower rate in the recent warming trend.
The land temperature dataset used by the study was afflicted by devastating bugs in its software that rendered its findings ‘unstable’.
The paper relied on a preliminary, ‘alpha’ version of the data which was never approved or verified.
A final, approved version has still not been issued. None of the data on which the paper was based was properly ‘archived’ – a mandatory requirement meant to ensure that raw data and the software used to process it is accessible to other scientists, so they can verify NOAA results.
Dr Bates retired from NOAA at the end of last year after a 40-year career in meteorology and climate science. As recently as 2014, the Obama administration awarded him a special gold medal for his work in setting new, supposedly binding standards ‘to produce and preserve climate data records’.
Yet when it came to the paper timed to influence the Paris conference, Dr Bates said, these standards were flagrantly ignored.
The paper was published in June 2015 by the journal Science. Entitled ‘Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus’, the document said the widely reported ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ was a myth.
Less than two years earlier, a blockbuster report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which drew on the work of hundreds of scientists around the world, had found ‘a much smaller increasing trend over the past 15 years 1998-2012 than over the past 30 to 60 years’. Explaining the pause became a key issue for climate science. It was seized on by global warming sceptics, because the level of CO2 in the atmosphere had continued to rise.
Mises Economic Blog ^ | 10/29/2009 | Stephan Kinsella
Posted on 11/27/2009 5:01:23 PM by sionnsar
Physicist Howard Hayden, a staunch advocate of sound energy policy, sent me a copy of his letter to the EPA about global warming. The text is also appended below, with permission.
As noted in my post Access to Energy, Hayden helped the late, great Petr Beckmann found the dissident physics journal Galilean Electrodynamics (brochures and further Beckmann info here; further dissident physics links). Hayden later began to publish his own pro-energy newsletter, The Energy Advocate, following in the footsteps of Beckmann's own journal Access to Energy
I love Hayden's email sign-off, "People will do anything to save the world ... except take a course in science." Here's the letter:
Howard C. Hayden
785 S. McCoy Drive
Pueblo West, CO 81007
October 27, 2009
The Honorable Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20460
Dear Administrator Jackson:
I write in regard to the Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act, Proposed Rule, 74 Fed. Reg. 18,886 (Apr. 24, 2009), the so-called "Endangerment Finding."
It has been often said that the "science is settled" on the issue of CO2 and climate. Let me put this claim to rest with a simple one-letter proof that it is false.
The letter is s, the one that changes model into models. If the science were settled, there would be precisely one model, and it would be in agreement with measurements.
Alternatively, one may ask which one of the twenty-some models settled the science so that all the rest could be discarded along with the research funds that have kept those models alive.
We can take this further. Not a single climate model predicted the current cooling phase. If the science were settled, the model (singular) would have predicted it.
Let me next address the horror story that we are approaching (or have passed) a "tipping point." Anybody who has worked with amplifiers knows about tipping points. The output "goes to the rail." Not only that, but it stays there. That's the official worry coming from the likes of James Hansen (of NASAGISS) and Al Gore.
But therein lies the proof that we are nowhere near a tipping point. The earth, it seems, has seen times when the CO2 concentration was up to 8,000 ppm, and that did not lead to a tipping point. If it did, we would not be here talking about it. In fact, seen on the long scale, the CO2 concentration in the present cycle of glacials (ca. 200 ppm) and interglacials (ca. 300-400 ppm) is lower than it has been for the last 300 million years.
Global-warming alarmists tell us that the rising CO2 concentration is (A) anthropogenic and (B) leading to global warming.
(A) CO2 concentration has risen and fallen in the past with no help from mankind. The present rise began in the 1700s, long before humans could have made a meaningful contribution. Alarmists have failed to ask, let alone answer, what the CO2 level would be today if we had never burned any fuels. They simply assume that it would be the "pre-industrial" value.
- The solubility of CO2 in water decreases as water warms, and increases as water cools. The warming of the earth since the Little Ice Age has thus caused the oceans to emit CO2 into the atmosphere.
(B) The first principle of causality is that the cause has to come before the effect. The historical record shows that climate changes precede CO2 changes. How, then, can one conclude that CO2 is responsible for the current warming?
Nobody doubts that CO2 has some greenhouse effect, and nobody doubts that CO2 concentration is increasing. But what would we have to fear if CO2 and temperature actually increased?
In a way, we have been here before. Lord Kelvin "proved" that the earth could not possibly be as old as the geologists said. He "proved" it using the conservation of energy. What he didn't know was that nuclear energy, not gravitation, provides the internal heat of the sun and the earth.
Similarly, the global-warming alarmists have "proved" that CO2 causes global warming.
Except when it doesn't.
To put it fairly but bluntly, the global-warming alarmists have relied on a pathetic version of science in which computer models take precedence over data, and numerical averages of computer outputs are believed to be able to predict the future climate. It would be a travesty if the EPA were to countenance such nonsense.
Howard C. Hayden
Professor Emeritus of Physics, UConn
There was an Israeli state in the land of Israel 2000 years before the evil prophet of Islam allegedly flying on a "magical horse" from Mecca to Jerusalem.
The “Palestinians” are Arabs who were brought to the region by the Ottoman empire as part of the Muslim occupation in the region. They are definitely not the tribes from Crete who settled down in the 5 cities of Gaza strip after the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. These tribes were called Philistines and they weren’t Arabs at all and today’s “Palestinians” are definitely not their descendants. The Philistines don’t exist as a nation.
Israel isn't just a name of a state. It's first and for all a name of a nation (Am Yisrael). Israel is the name of the father of the nation (Jacob) and Israelis are his descendants. The real meaning of the word 'Israeli' is someone who belongs to the nation of Israel and not only "a citizen of a state called Israel".
Gentiles invented the word ‘Jews’. When the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans occupied the land of Israel they called all the Israelis in the name 'Jews' because at those days the tribe of Judah was the biggest and the dominant tribe which survived the exile of Assyria in which 10 tribes of Israel were exiled. The tribe of Judah lived in the Judean desert thus the gentiles who occupied the land of Israel called the members of this tribe (and also the ones of Benjamin and Levi who joined it) in the name 'Jews'.
When Israelis (Jews) who live abroad go to synagogue they don't read about Jews in the prayer books nor in the Torah but about 'The Nation of Israel', 'The Children of Israel', 'The House of Israel’,'Shema Yisrael' etc. They are Israelis because they belong to the nation of Israel even if they aren't citizens of a state called Israel. Both the words 'Jews' and 'Israelis' refer to nationality, to ethnic identity and not to religion. Jews are members of the tribe of Judah and not "people who believe in Judaism". And the nation isn't called Judah but Israel, and so does the land and in the future the 10 tribes will return to this nation.
That's why Arab citizens of Israel don't define themselves as Israelis but as Arab/"Palestinian" citizens of a state CALLED Israel. They aren't members of the Israeli nation but of the Ishmaelite nation. Ishmael used to shoot arrows at Isaac (father of Israel) while saying: "I'm only playing..." That's why there's no "Israeli-Palestinian conflict" but a WAR that the Ishmaelite/Arabs opened on the Israelis. Also Muhammad murdered Israelis in Saudi Arabia who refused to accept his murderous pagan dream.
Couple of facts about Israel that the haters of Israel don't like:
1. Israel became a state in 1312 B.C., two millennia before Islam.