More money is now available for people who want to develop affordable housing in their local area.
Mauricio Macri is all but ignoring stubbornly rising prices as he searches for growth
Nervous money flows to the US even if the source of nerves lies in the White House
The announced meeting between Trump and Putin has already produced a good result by revealing the hypocrisy of the media and politicians. The meeting has been branded as the greatest danger to humanity, according to the Western globalist elite, because of the danger that “peace could break out between Russia and the United States”.
Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. The following so stretches credulity that sources will have to be cited and an exact quotations given to be believed.
A case in point is the following title:
“Fears growing over the prospect of Trump ‘peace deal’ with Putin”.
The Times does not here fear a military escalation in Ukraine, an armed clash in Syria, a false-flag poisoning in England, or a new Cold War. The Times does not fear a nuclear apocalypse, the end of humanity, the suffering of hundreds of millions of people.
No, one of the most authoritative and respected broadsheets in the world is fearful of the prospect of peace! The Times is afraid that the heads of two nuclear-armed superpowers are able to talk to each other. The Times fears that Putin and Trump will be able to come to some kind of agreement that can help avert the danger of a global catastrophe. These are the times in which we live. And this is the type of media we deal with. The problem with The Times is that it forms public opinion in the worst possible way, confusing, deceiving, and disorienting its readers. It is not by accident the world in which we live is increasingly divorced from logic and rationality.
Even if the outcome of this meeting does not see any substantial progress, the most important thing to be achieved will be the dialogue between the two leaders and the opening of negotiation channels for both sides.
In The Times article, it is assumed that Trump and Putin want to reach an agreement regarding Europe. The insinuation is that Putin is manipulating Trump in order to destabilize Europe. For years now we have been inundated with such fabrications by the media on behalf of their editors and shareholders, all part of the deep state conglomerate. Facts have in fact proven that Putin has always desired a strong and united Europe, looking to integrate Europe into the Eurasian dream. Putin and Xi Jinping would like to see a European Union more resistant to American pressure and able to gain greater independence. The combination of mass migration and sanctions against Russia and Iran, which end up hurting Europeans, opens the way for alternative parties that are not necessarily willing to Washington’s marching orders.
Trump’s focus for the meeting will be to convince Putin to put even more pressure on Europe and Iran, perhaps in exchange for the recognition of Crimea and the ending of sanctions. For Putin and for Russia it is a strategic issue. While sanctions are bad, the top priority for Moscow remains the alliance with Iran, the need to further strengthen relations with European countries, and to defeat terrorism in Syria. Perhaps only a revision of the ABM treaty and the withdrawal of these weapons from Europe would be an interesting offer for Putin. However, reality shows us that the ABM treaty is a pillar of Washington’s military-industrial complex, and that it is also Eastern European countries that want such offensive and defensive systems in their own countries, seeing them as a deterrents against Russia. Are they victims of their own propaganda, or are billions of dollars pouring into their pockets? Either way, it does not really matter. The most important point for Moscow will be the withdrawal of the Aegis Ashore ABM systems as well as military ships with the same Aegis system. But this is not something that Trump will be able to negotiate with his military leaders. For the military-industrial complex, the ABM system, thanks to maintenance, innovation and direct or indirect commissions, is a gravy train that too many interests intend to keep riding.
From the Kremlin’s point of view, the removal of sanctions remains necessary for the restoration of normal relations with the West. But this would be difficult to achieve, given that Moscow would have little to offer Washington in exchange. The strategists at the Pentagon demand a withdrawal from Syria, an end to support for Donbass, and a cessation of relations with Iran. There is simply too much divergence to reach a common position. Moreover, Europe’s sanctions against Russia benefit Washington, as they hurt the Europeans and thereby undermine what is a major trading competitor to the US. The US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) can be looked at in the same light, blocking US allies from doing business with Iran.
Putin will keep faith with his commitments to Syria and with his allies, unwilling to betray his word even for the recognition of Crimea. On the other hand, as already mentioned, the priority remains the removal of the ABM; and while Crimea is already under the control of the Russian Federation, Syria remains an unstable territory that risks propelling Islamist terrorism to Russia’s soft underbelly in the Caucasus. For Moscow, involvement in Syria has always been a matter of national security, and this certainly remains the same now, even with Donald Trump’s unrealistic offers.
It should be kept in mind that Putin is aiming for a medium- to long-term strategy in the Middle East, where Iran, Syria and the entire Shiite arc serves to counter Saudi and Israeli aggression and hegemony. This strange alliance has emerged as the only way to deter war and dial down the heat in the region, because the crazy actions from Netanyahu or Mohammad bin Salman are deterred by a strong Iranian military. Preventing a confrontation between Iran and Saudis/Israelis also means not making Tehran appear weak or isolated. Such considerations seem beyond the strategists in Washington, let alone in Tel Aviv or Riyadh.
While it is difficult to achieve a positive outcome from the meeting between Trump and Putin, it is important that there is a meeting in the first place, contrary to what The Times thinks. The media and the conglomerate of power that revolves around the US deep state fear diplomacy in particular. The same narrative that was proclaimed weeks before and after the meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un is being repeated with regard to Trump’s meeting with Putin.
Washington bases its power on force, both economic and military. But this power also rests on the posture assumed and image projected. The United States and its deep state considers negotiating with opponents to be wrong and counterproductive. They consider dialogue to be synonymous with weakness, and any concession is interpreted as surrender. This is the result of 70 years of American exceptionalism and 30 years of Unipolarity, has allowed the US the ability to decide unilaterally the fate of others.
Today, in a multipolar world, the dynamics are different and therefore more complex. You cannot always employ a zero-sum mentality, as The Times does. The rest of the world recognizes that a dialogue between Putin and Trump is something positive, but we must not forget that, as in Korea, if diplomacy does not bring significant progress, then the hawks surrounding Trump will again be in the ascendant. The tasks for Rouhani, Putin and Kim Jong-un are complex and quite different from each other, but they share in common the belief that dialogue is the only way to avoid a catastrophic war. But apparently, peace is not the best possible result for everyone.
Meet the Air Force’s $1200 cup of coffee — or more precisely the $1220 coffee cup which keeps breaking, after which the military simply buys more and more cups.
The Air Force’s $1,220 reheating coffee cup. Image source: US Air Force
Some outlets which have reported on the insanely pricey self reheating coffee mug commonly used aboard aerial refueling tankers have presented it as merely a human interest and innovative tech story as the US military is considering cheaper designs using 3-D printers.
However, we doubt American taxpayers will see it that way, as the public has had to foot the bill to the tune of nearly $56,000 over the past three years just to replace the cup’s handle.
If it sounds too absurd to be true a new Air Force Times report begins as follows:
When a mobility airman drops a cup of coffee aboard an aircraft, the Air Force can be out $1,220.
Since 2016, the replacement cost for some of the service’s coffee mugs, which can reheat coffee and tea on air refueling tankers, has gone up more than $500 per cup, forcing the service to dish out $32,000 this year for just 25 cups, military.com recently reported.
The 60th Aerial Port Squadron at Travis Air Force Base recently revealed that it has spent nearly $56,000 to replace broken hot cups over the past three years. The culprit, they say, is a faulty plastic handle known to break on impact. Each time a handle breaks, the Air Force is forced to order a whole new cup, as replacement parts are no longer made.
So the Air Force charged taxpayers $32,000 this year alone for cups with
solid gold handles “faulty plastic handles” so that pilots can ensure their tea and Folgers get adequately reheated.
And we’re not so sure — to use the Air Force Times’ language — that faulty handles are “forcing the service” to have to do anything, much less we can’t figure out how the military is “forced to” shell out tens of thousands for coffee cups.
According to Air Mobility Command officials, the 60th Aerial Port Squadron purchased 10 hot cups for $9,630 in 2016. The price for each cup surged from $693 to $1,220 in 2018, resulting in a cost of $32,000 for 25 cups — a price jump of $527 per cup, the release said. — Military.com
But it is true that the cups have to withstand use in pressurized areas on aircraft such as cargo planes, and must endure turbulence while flying through inclement weather. Still, as Popular Mechanics concludes in what sounds like an ironic understatement, “A self-heating coffee cup is a nice morale-builder for air crews, but it comes at a price.”
Meanwhile in the same report we learn about “$10,000 toilet seat covers” which when combined with $1200 coffee cups “just adds up” — in the words of one government spending watchdog group.
Spokesman for the Project On Government Oversight, Dan Grazier, notes that this kind of obscene excess is hardly new for the Department of Defense, explaining to the Air Force Times, “the root of the problem is intellectual property rights. When the Pentagon makes deals with defense contractors, it rarely demands data rights, allowing contractors to charge heavily for repair and replacement on the systems down the road.”
Once locked into a fat government contract, the suppliers take the DoD to the bank for all they can manage, apparently.
The Air Force is currently seeking alternate ways to replace the faulty handles on the $1200 cups, reportedly considering 3-D printed replacement handles at an estimated cost of 50 cents.
Currency sell-off expected to accelerate pick-up in inflation
Last March, protestors at Middlebury College in Vermont sent professor Allison Stanger to the hospital with a neck injury. Stanger’s crime? She had the nerve to ask the protestors to allow the conservative/libertarian author Dr. Charles Murray to speak, and then to engage in a debate after his speech.
According to news accounts, after about 20 minutes of protestors shouting down Murray’s ability to speak, “Professor Stanger then took the microphone and asked the students, ‘Can you just listen for one minute.’ Many in the audience replied, ‘no.’ She added that, ‘I spent a lot of time preparing hard questions.’ Finally, she conceded that, ‘You’re not going to let us speak.’”
Stanger is a liberal professor who chose to combat Murray’s ideas with words, not violence or the heckler’s veto. This was simply unacceptable to the protestors.
After moving to another location on campus, Stanger and Murray were confronted when attempting to leave following their discussion. What followed was minutes of pushing and shoving, and “(w)hen Stanger tried to shield Murray, according to a Middlebury spokesman, a protester grabbed her hair and twisted her neck.” Stanger ended up going to a hospital where she received a neck brace to treat her injuries.
Over the last year and a half, we’ve witnessed a rash of accounts of college campuses being turned into riot zones by Leftist protestors hoping to shut down conservative or libertarian speakers. Middlebury is just one, and far from the worst , of such examples.
These protestors would rather incite violence than listen to a viewpoint that challenges their own.
The War on Curiosity
Why is the Left so afraid of an opposing opinion? How do they justify resorting to violence to shut down a dissenting voice rather than engaging in debate?
One such explanation is the war on curiosity.
This war is engaged by anyone without the faintest interest in learning about political philosophies, economic theories or moral principles that challenge their existing worldview.
Are you a soldier in the war on curiosity?
Take this litmus test:
How do you react when presented with new information or a viewpoint that contradicts your beliefs?
If the revelation stimulates your intellect and makes you thankful for the chance to expand your knowledge and gain a better understanding of an opposing position, you have the gift of curiosity. You welcome the opportunity to challenge your beliefs with this new information, a process that may enable you to more strongly confirm the justness of your belief and sharpen your argument in favor of it. Or, if the new viewpoint is persuasive enough, you alter your belief, owing a debt of gratitude to the one who opened your eyes.
On the other hand, if you react with anger, anxiousness or a general feeling of being threatened, you are likely allowing your emotions to snuff out your intellectual curiosity.
Social psychologists, writing in a 2017 LA Times article , described such reactions as “motivated ignorance.” People engaging in motivated ignorance “neither know — nor want to know — what the opposition has to say.”
Indeed, in one study cited by the authors, “people we surveyed said they anticipated getting angry if they were to listen to the other side, and suspected that it might damage their relationship with the person spouting off.”
Those who are not curious close themselves off to other views. Over time, they can’t figure out how any normal human being could possibly think differently than they do on political issues. Sinister motives, or stupidity, must be the only explanation. This is where the nastiness comes in. If one disagrees, surely they must be evil, dumb, racist or transphobic.
And because those who are not curious become convinced the other side is some sort of cartoonish villain, the uncurious feel compelled to not just ignore opposing viewpoints, but to silence them. Nobody should feel the indignity of being exposed to such “hate speech,” they’ll reason.
Using Shaming or Bullying to Silence
Violence is the most extreme and dangerous tactic in the war on curiosity, but far from the only one.
Safe spaces offer protection for those who feel threatened by opposing viewpoints. There are campuses that offer mental health counseling to students who cannot bear “ even the thought of an individual coming to campus” to express non-politically correct views. That the mere thought of someone with opposing views setting foot on your campus can threaten your mental health takes motivated ignorance to the Nth degree.
Public shaming or bullying is another popular tactic. Anyone who disagrees with a Leftist is obviously a racist, or homophobe or a tool of the rich and therefore must be discredited through name-calling. Why bother with debate when mindlessly dismissing other viewpoints as “not worthy” of discussion is so much easier, and empowering? After all, moral authority is valuable currency in the Left’s desire to gain the top slot in our social hierarchy, and demonizing opponents has proven to be a more convenient route than open debate of ideas.
Leftists Tend to be More Uncurious of Opposing Views
To be sure, the war on curiosity is being waged by people of all political stripes. However, Leftists seem to be outgunning their opponents when it comes to motivated ignorance. Indeed, social scientist Jonathan Haidt in his book “ The Righteous Mind” reported on a study which found “clear and consistent” results that “(m)oderates and conservatives were most accurate in their predictions” when people of varying political bents were tested on how well they understood their ideological opposites.
In other words, Leftists don’t understand their opponents’ views as well as their opponents understand theirs.
When is the last time you heard of a Leftist speaker being shut down by violent protestors?
The Role of Confirmation Bias
Enabling this war is confirmation bias – the strong tendency in us to interpret all new information through the lens of our prior beliefs. Whatever your political philosophy is, you can easily immerse yourself into media outlets, social media and internet content that exclusively reaffirm your convictions. One can comfortably spend hours a day consuming political information without once encountering a differing viewpoint.
Moreover, most Americans can go thru thirteen years of public education, plus four or more years in university, and never be confronted with a viewpoint counter to the orthodox Leftist vision of government as benevolent dispenser of justice.
Lack of exposure to other viewpoints may help explain why so many Leftists can muster no greater argument than “shut up, racist.”
The war on curiosity serves only to dumb down political debate. Non-Leftist viewpoints get silenced, while progressive arguments need never be thoroughly presented because intimidation and name-calling prove much easier and satisfyingly self-righteous. History proves such trends lead to ugly outcomes.
It appears the drop in home sales that has afflicted Manhattan and wealthy tri-state-area enclaves like Greenwich, Conn. is spreading to Westchester County, the suburban enclave directly north of the Bronx According to Bloomberg, sales fell 18% in the second quarter compared with a year earlier, marking the fourth straight quarter of declining sales.
Purchases in the northern suburban county — which shoulders the biggest property-tax burden in the U.S. — plunged 18 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the most since 2011, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. It was the fourth consecutive quarter of sales declines.
“We’re seeing buyers take a second to understand the math,” Scott Elwell, Douglas Elliman’s regional manager in charge of Westchester and Connecticut, said in an interview. “They’re spending more time with their accountants and really understanding how this plays out.”
The reason, according to Bloomberg, is that home buyers have been deterred by the county’s high property taxes. Federal rules approved in December set a $10,000 limit on deductions for state and local taxes, which is nearly half the $17,179 average tax paid by Westchester residents in property taxes last year.
The tax wasn’t passed until December, but details about the proposed cap on the SALT deduction surfaced months earlier. Also, the fact that home prices in the area have been rising much more quickly than incomes could have something to do with it. But even in towns like Scarsdale that are traditionally havens for Wall Streeters and other members of the monied elite saw a significant drop in sales. And according to preliminary data
Even before the tax changes, years of rising values were already making Westchester less affordable, said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel. The median price of homes that sold in the three months through June climbed 5 percent from a year earlier to $525,000, according to the report. Prices have increased in all but three quarters since the beginning of 2013.
The drop in transactions is likely to continue. On June 30, there were 8.8 percent fewer Westchester homes in contract than there were on the same day last year, brokerage Houlihan Lawrence said in its own report. The biggest decline was for homes priced from $1.5 million to $1.99 million. Pending deals in that range fell 17 percent to 94.
In Scarsdale, home to many Wall Street executives, completed sales in the first half of the year were down 20 percent to 88 transactions, Houlihan Lawrence said. The median price there dropped 5 percent to $1.57 million. In nearby Mamaroneck, closings rose 25 percent to 127. The median price of those deals dropped 13 percent to $1.19 million.
While the reasons why cashed strapped millennials aren’t buying are obvious (they don’t have any money), maybe wealthy people who have an understanding of how markets work aren’t buying because they think that they might be able to get a better deal if they wait a year or two. And they might be right, especially if Republicans retain control of Congress in November, which would greatly reduce the likelihood that the Trump tax cuts will be repealed.
“Thanos did nothing wrong” has become one of the most common mantras on the Internet in recent days, and it just sparked one of the biggest events in Reddit history, but most people still don’t understand what all of the commotion is about. So let me try to break it down very simply.
In the most recent Avengers movie, the story centers around a super-villain named Thanos that intends to wipe out half of all life in the universe. He does not want to do this just to be evil, but rather his plan is to get population growth under control so that those that remain will be able to enjoy happy, sustainable lives.
If that sounds uncomfortably close to something that you have heard before, that is because it is. Population control is a major theme on the radical left, and many of them truly believe that humanity’s population must be greatly reduced “to stop global warming” and “to save the planet”. In the film, Thanos truly believes that he is doing the right thing, but since he is the villain everyone in the audience is theoretically supposed to be rooting for him to be defeated. But instead of being universally hated, Thanos has become the big breakout star from this movie. Large numbers of people are insisting that “Thanos did nothing wrong” and are embracing his population control philosophy.
Of course population control is not exactly a new idea. It was one of the main reasons why ancient civilizations conducted human sacrifice rituals, and several centuries ago it was given a more modern spin by Thomas Malthus. So the truth is that the philosophy that Thanos is promoting is simply “repackaged” for a new generation, and this is a point that G. Shane Morris made in an article earlier this year…
“Infinity War” casts its big baddie as a champion of yet another progressive pet cause: Population control. Thanos, who has teased audiences with sinister grins and cryptic statements in years of after-credit scenes, has finally revealed his true motive: He wants to wipe out half the galaxy’s population to make sure the other half has plenty to eat.
We watch during his obligatory villain speech as Thanos explains why he needs the power of the Infinity Stones: to teleport from planet to planet, killing billions in order to defuse the population bomb that desolated his home world. He does so on the assumption that Thomas Malthus first propounded: that each species has limited resources at its disposal, and the only way to keep from exhausting them is to check population growth.
The movie has been out for several months now, but the debate about Thanos has really heated up in recent days. July 9th was one of the biggest days in Reddit history, and it was because of a “mass culling” on the r/ThanosDidNothingWrongsubreddit. This “mass culling” was actually called for by members of the subreddit in order to “honor” Thanos. The following comes from Business Insider…
Like the “Avengers: Infinity War” villain himself, the Thanos subreddit r/ThanosDidNothingWrong sought perfect balance among its more than 700,000 members, up from the 200,000 subscribers it had last week.
The online community began banning over 300,000 of its members at 5:00 PM PDT sharp on Monday, in a purge that was actually planned weeks in advance — a purge that was, indeed, instigated by its own members, who cheered the culling as honoring their hero, Thanos.
Originally, the moderators of the subreddit were hesitant when the idea was first suggested. Back on June 29th, one of them asked, “You seriously want us to ban half of the subreddit?”
The members of the subreddit kept insisting, and the idea quickly became viral. Once word got out that there would actually be a “mass culling”, membership in the subreddit climbed to more than 700,000…
Thus the great project was born. The moderators of r/ThanosDidNothingWrong had to get permission from Reddit admins to go through with the ban, and then they had to automate the process. As word of the upcoming ban spread, hundreds of thousands of Reddit users flocked to join r/ThanosDidNothingWrong just so they’d have a chance to get ousted. By the time ban day rolled around, over 700,000 users had subscribed — making the culling by far the largest “dusting,” or mass ban, in Reddit history.
And this event got so big that even some high profile members of the Avengers movie team got directly involved…
When the process began late Sunday night, it was making headlines. Infinity War directors the Russo brothers even took part in the exercise, with Anthony Russo joining in the sub’s preliminary festivities. The ban process was also live-streamed on Reddit’s official Twitch account — and none other than Thanos himself, an inexplicably shirtless Josh Brolin, was on hand to snap the ban into existence.
I understand that a lot of young people are just having fun with this, but ultimately population control is not something that we ever want to celebrate.
There really are global elitists that consider “human overpopulation” to be a “plague” on the planet that needs to be dealt with. They are truly convinced that climate change is the number one threat that the globe is facing, and they have identified human population growth as the primary driver of climate change.
And so they really do want to reduce the population in order to “save the planet”. For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “46 Population Control Quotes That Show How Badly The Elite Want To Wipe Us All Out”.
About 50 years ago, Paul Ehrlich wrote a book entitled “The Population Bomb” in which he breathlessly warned about what would happen during the decades to come if humanity’s population continued to grow.
Well, humanity’s population did continue to grow, and none of his prognostications turned out to be accurate.
But now the same philosophy has been rebranded and repackaged for a new generation, and young people are eating it up.
When a substantial portion of the population decides that the solution to our problems is to get rid of large numbers of people, that sets the stage for mass genocide. We have seen this happen before in human history, and it must not happen again.